Tag Archives: movies in bed

Movies in Bed: Galaxy Quest

Galaxy-Quest

Post by Mark T. Locker.

As you know, we have already lost a few great artists this year. One of those was Alan Rickman and although he may always be best known for his captivating portrayal of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies, he won my heart earlier and it wasn’t for his role in Love, Actually and it wasn’t for playing the villian in Die Hard. Rather, it was for his role as the disillusioned actor whose stint as an alien on a Star Trek-like show had marked him for life.

Galaxy Quest is a surprisingly clever and funny movie about a cheesy science fiction program like Star Trek whose passionate fan base elevated it to cult status. Eighteen years since the final episode, the cast stays together for the comic con circuit though they don’t really like each other any more. Then one day Jason Nesmith, who played the captain, (Tim Allen) is approached by a group of aliens in humanoid disguise who plead for the help of his crew. Turns out, they had watched every episode of Galaxy Quest, believing it to be historical documentation, not fiction. Whether it’s for ego or the chance to make a real difference, Nesmith convinces the crew to join him to fight the vicious enemy of their new alien friends.

With a cast including Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shaloub, and of course Alan Rickman, what I thought would be a really dumb movie is actually quite funny and charming. There’s even a tip of the hat to the die-hard fans whose intimate knowledge of the entire series helps to save lives.

Although it has a little violence, it’s a generally family-friendly movie though the Star Trek references will like be lost on younger audiences. A fun science fiction comedy to watch in bed in honor of the great Alan Rickman.

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Movies in Bed: Into the Woods

into the woodsPost by Mark T. Locker.

I am a big fan of fairy tales. The original 19th-century German tales, as recounted by the brothers Grimm, hold a lot of value to me. To be honest, I never knew that Into the Woods was a musical by Stephen Sondheim until the movie was released. I was intrigued as to what a fairy tale-themed musical might be like.

With an A-list cast including Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, and James Cordon to name a few, it showed a lot of promise. The story contains mix of several fairy tales that will be familiar to viewers: Cinderella; Jack and the Beanstalk; Little Red Riding Hood; and Rapunzel. Their stories merge as a poor childless baker and his wife make a deal with a witch. In exchange for several items, she will give them a child. Those items happen to include a golden slipper and a red robe. Each character finds him/herself headed into the woods for each individual purpose. And one by one they find each other and create a new story altogether.

I enjoyed this movie. It’s a good family-friendly sing-along-able movie with a mix of old stories and new. I only wish the movie had ended at what I assume was the intermission. I felt that everything was resolved nicely and that the second part only served to muddle the story. I found myself asking: why did that character do that? Why did that just happen? When did songs turn into people just singing what seems like regular dialogue?

Aside from that, I would watch it again. I’d probably turn it off at intermission. But that’s just me. If you are looking for a family-friendly musical that’s got a mix of humor, adventure, and tales we all know and love, take a trip Into the Woods.

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Movies in Bed: The Martian

the-martian-main

Post by Mark T. Locker.

If you don’t live under a rock, chances are you have heard of The Martian. Unlike the other occupied Mars movies of the past (Red Planet, Total Recall, Ghosts of Mars) this one is not some pie in the sky super future movie where all the terraforming and whatnot has already occurred. This story, based on Andy Weir’s novel of the same name, is set in a very plausible near-future and is filled to the brim with science. Much of the buzz around this movie is how scientifically accurate it is and how NASA even helped offer insight to make it as realistic as possible.

Luckily, it has more than scientific accuracy on its side. Though dubiously placed in the “Comedy” category for the Golden Globes, the movie does have some chuckleable moments. But mostly it’s a science drama. When a massive, crazy scary Martian storm blows in unexpectedly, a manned mission is aborted. Astronaut and botanist Mark Watley is struck by flying debris and presumably killed. All the sensors say he is dead. They have no choice but to leave him. But he is alive, if not totally well. Fully aware of his circumstances, he begins working on doing all he can to survive and work out how to get himself rescued.

A surprisingly amusing and interesting movie, The Martian was recently released on video so it’s a great way to wrap up a long week. But schedule your movie in bed early because at a whopping 2 hours and 30 minutes, you’ll be up late!

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Movies in Bed: Muppets!

muppets_the_20112

Post by Mark T. Locker.

When I was a kid, Friday nights was a sacred time. After the glittery disco spectacular that was Solid Gold (I only ever got to see the end credits, but that was enough to captivate me) came the greatest half hour of television. It was time for The Muppet Show. When Scooter pops his head through the door and announces, “Elton John? 15 seconds to curtain, Elton John!” (or whoever the guest of the week was) you knew everything would be fine for the next thirty minutes. The intro still fills me with the childlike glee I felt as a kid. And what better way to end a long day than with Muppets, music, and comedy? The Muppets was the best bedtime viewing imaginable.

Now I am passing on that great experience to my son. Granted, a lot of it is extremely dated—I’m not sure he’s ever seen a variety show outside of the Muppet version—but the humor is still hilarious and Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Beeker and the rest are as popular today as ever. We picked up season 2 from the library and started with Peter Sellers, one of my favorites. Taking his Dr. Strangelove character and bringing it into the world of Muppets is a mash-up I won’t be forgetting.

If you aren’t into the old-fashioned stuff, I hear ABC is currently airing a new version, set in the world of late-night talk shows. I haven’t see it yet but if you have, please let me know how it is! I’m quite happy to watch the old Pigs in Space and Veterinarian’s Hospital. So if you are in the mood for a blast from the past and like to end your days with classic, timeless humor, you can’t do much better than some Muppet Show in bed.

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Movies in Bed: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

IchabodposterPost by Mark T. Locker.

As a lover of the season of Halloween, our family is always on the hunt for fun, spooky movies. The problem is they have to be bearable for an easily frightened (but VERY arbitrarily frightened) seven-year-old. So we decided to dust off our copy of the 1949 Disney classic interpretation of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. Inexplicably, Disney packaged it with “The Adventures of Mr. Toad” which is based on The Wind in the Willows which is rather un-spooky.

So the first forty minutes of this movie I was begging my kid to let me skip ahead. But he wouldn’t relent. It wasn’t awful; it just wasn’t what I had come here to watch. My kid loved it. Mr. Toad gets himself into some trouble and his sprawling estate is given over to the criminal weasel gang and Mr. Toad is imprisoned. Conspiracies are uncovered and Toad and his friends fight to right the wrongs done to him. Somehow all of this must relate to the ride at Disneyland, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. What that relationship is, I do not know.

Then, quite suddenly, we are transported from 1908 England to upstate New York in 1790. We all know Ichabod Crane: the gangly, food-obsessed new schoolteacher in Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod is in love with the lovely Katrina. So is Brom. After many thwarted attempts to garner her attention away from Ichabod, Brom hatches a plan. Knowing that Ichabod is a highly superstitious man, he tells a terrifying story about the legend of the Headless Horseman who roams the land searching for his head. Ichabod is frightened and on his way home sees shapes and hears eerie sounds in everything. Suddenly, a figure on a horse rears up before him! It’s the Headless Horseman! A frightening chase ensues. The next day, all they find is a smashed pumpkin and Ichabod’s hat. He is never seen in Sleepy Hollow again.

Pretty darned harmless cartoon, only about 2o minutes long, this Halloween classic is sure to provide chills to kids without much worry for nightmares. They can watch it while the grown-ups finish the half-gutted pumpkins!

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