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Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Last night we had the best Family Movie Night ever! Until recently, our kids have been too rambunctious to sit down and watch a full movie. Our 2-year-old daughter Ariella asks us to put on Wally about 7 times a day. When we oblige, she will sit on the couch completely fascinated by Eva and the Captain for all of 4 minutes. Then she wanders into the kitchen and asks, “Whats that Daddy?” about a variety of objects that she knows the name of already. So Family Movie Night has never really worked.

But Susie came up with a brilliant plan. She set up my LCD projector on the wall and turned out all the lights. She had snacks ready and sippy cups on hand. And when it was dark and our kids were fascinated by the huge screen on the wall, we watched UP.

Well our kids were silent and focused on the screen for almost the whole time! And as they got antsy we broke out the snacks- it was great! Ella sat with Susie for most of the movie but halfway through she crawled over to me, plopped herself down on my lap and rested her head against my chest. What a beautiful moment. She must have felt quite peaceful because just as the final standoff was about to happen, Ariella peed on me.

If you haven’t seen UP, might I recommend you do so. If you have a family, make it a family night! Just ask your daughter to sit on the couch.

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As an actor, I have practiced my Oscar acceptance speech every year for 12 years. This is normal. I’m pretty sure every actor does this. But one thing I haven’t prepared is how to react if I am interrupted mid-speech by a belligerent red-head. I guess I should have an audible ready just in case…

That said, the terrorist attack has resulted in a whole lot of positive publicity for the Oscar-Winning film Music By Prudence. “All things work together for the good” as the scriptures say. So kudos to Roger Ross Williams and his team. I’m sure this Oscar experience has been a dream come true… that turned into a nightmare, and back to a dream.

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Someone once asked me, “which would you rather watch: a decent 90-minute movie OR 90-minutes of previews for upcoming films?”

My answer was the previews. I get so inspired and excited watching previews… at least I used to. Now I actually put my hands over my ears and insert my head into my lap when a trailer for a good movie comes on.

It all started a couple months ago when I was on a date night with my wife Susie. Date nights are very important to us. When you have kids, your relationship with your spouse can dwindle into that of “child-rearing partners” if you aren’t careful. Sure that’s a major component of any marriage with children but what happens when the children leave the nest? Your raison d’être has left the building. Yikes. So even if we are broke and have to go to a coffee shop, order hot water, and bring our own tea bag- we will go on our date night.

On this particular date night we went to the movies and I can’t remember what we saw. What I do remember is seeing the trailer for the movie Brothers with Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman.

Susie and I were so taken by the trailer we made a pact to see the movie as soon as it came out. It looked incredible. Later I saw the poster and thought it was brilliant. (I love how British people say “Brilliant”. I have to consciously remind myself not to put on a British accent when I use the word. Try saying brilliant with a Canadian accent. It’s just not the same.) Anyway, although I was really taken by the preview I was also a little bothered by it. I mean, they basically reveal the entire plot of the film. If you haven’t seen the trailer, watch it here. I pretty much know the major twists and turns of the story before I have seen the film! It drives me crazy!

So we went to see Brothers a couple weeks ago. I thought the acting was amazing and the writing was brilliant. (There’s that lovely little word again… why am I not British!?) I really enjoyed the film. But I would have enjoyed it SO MUCH MORE if they hadn’t have revealed the kiss!!! Why!? WHY!? WHY!!!???

I think a really good preview should leave you intrigued, enticed and in the dark. Like this trailer for the Canadian film Passchendale. Even the trailer for the poorly received Lady in the Water was terrific. Intrigued, enticed and in the dark. My recipe for a good movie trailer.

So next time you are at the movies and notice a chap with his hands over his ears and his head in his lap, you know why. Cheerio.

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