Tag Archives: movies in bed

Movies in Bed: Muppets!


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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Movies in Bed: Song of the Sea

Song_of_the_Sea_(2014_film)_posterPost by Mark T. Locker.

Another gorgeous and beautifully animated movie for the whole family comes to us courtesy of Tomm Moore. If you don’t know the name, he is behind the movie The Secret of Kells, a visually arresting animated movie about a young boy living long ago in the Monastery of Kells in a scary, beautiful, magical world. I could watch it over and over just for the beauty of the animation.

His newest movie, Song of the Sea, was nominated for best animated picture last year, for what it’s worth. Taking on Irish legend, the movie tells the story of a boy named Ben and his little sister Saoirse, who is mute. They live alone at a remote lighthouse with their father. One day Saoirse finds her mother’s sealskin cloak in a trunk and puts it on, then runs out to the sea. She dives in and is immediately transformed into a seal. She is a Selkie, one of they mythical creatures who can shed their seal skin and become human for brief periods of time. When her father finds her cold and shivering on the shore the next day, he locks up the cloak and sends the children to their grandmother.

But Saoirse has a shell flute from her mother and its song alerts faeries, both good and bad, to her presence. Soon it becomes clear that Saoirse is unwell and must don the sealskin cloak to survive. Good big brother Bed stops at nothing to keep her sister safe and save the faerie folk from the wicked Macha and her owls who turn them to stone.

This movie is full of so much and yet it never gets muddled or confusing. Half tale of lore, half tale of love of a boy for his sister, Song of the Sea is a lovely and beautiful movie to watch as a family. Watch it in bed and you’ll have the loveliest dreams.

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Movies in Bed: Annie Rebooted

annie2Post by Mark T. Locker.

I’ll be honest with you: the only reason this movie came into my house at all was because my son REALLY, REALLY wanted to see it. I don’t really know why but he seems to enjoy musicals. It was sitting on the shelf at the library and he saw it so we got it. I had very low expectations of this movie. For one thing, I’m tired of reboots. For another thing, it’s a reboot of Annie. But I have to say, this movie was not terrible. I give a lot of credit for that to Quvenzhané Wallis, the remarkable 12-year-girl who took on the role of Annie. Known for her roles in more serious movies such as Beasts of the Southern Wild and 12 Years as a Slave, I can only imagine it was a nice change of pace to do a feel-good musical starring Jamie Foxx. She takes on the role of the warm-hearted, selfless girl with aplomb and she’s pretty easy to love as a protagonist.

The story is adapted to a more modern environment, moving Annie and her friends from an orphanage to a foster home and unfortunately replacing Carol Burnett with Cameron Diaz. She’s fine but she’s no Carol Burnett. And the millionaire Daddy Warbucks is updated to cell phone mogul/mayoral hopeful Will Stacks. Like so many kids’ movies these days, the main grown-up is learning that work isn’t everything and sometimes the thing that makes you happiest is right in front of your face.The least plausible part of this movie is the story of Stack’s political advisor, the bad guy who will stop at nothing to get his boss elected, even if it means destroying Annie’s life in the process. It’s your out-of-the box villain whose greed is comically inflated.

Nevertheless, my kid had a great time watching this and I was drawn in despite my initial reluctance. Great family movie to watch on a weekend night.

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Movies in Bed: I AM ZIM!!!!!!


Post by Mark T. Locker.

Invader Zim has been around for a long time. Zim-related products have overwhelmed the Hot Topic employees for years. Everyone who has watched the show knows it’s because GIR is amazing. Zim is pretty great, but GIR is where it’s at.

This Nickelodeon cartoon was created by Jhonen Vasquez, which seemed highly unlikely seeing as he was previously known for his very good, but very disturbing comic Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. Zim is a horse of a different feather. He is a very egotistical but highly inept alien from the planet Irk. Their purpose is to dominate other planets. Eager to get rid of Zim for good, this leaders, the Tallest, send him on a wild goose chase to the far end of the universe. Each invader is armed with a robot warrior servant but in Zim’s case they filled its head with garbage. And so is born GIR, the dopiest, funniest, cupcake-loving robot companion you ever will see.

When they arrive on Earth, Zim disguises himself as a human child “I am normal! Nothing to see here! I am a normal human doing human things!” and GIR as a dog, zipper visible in the front plain as day. The only thing stopping him from taking over is Dib, the one person who sees through Zim’s disguise.

This is a super fun cartoon for grown-ups and adults alike. Word of warning though: if you are squeamish, there are a few episodes with a very high “ick” factor, so beware. My son loves this show but to be honest, I was watching it years before he was born. Available streaming on Amazon and surely for sale as well. Enjoy!

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