Tag Archives: movies in bed

Movies in Bed: Spirited Away

spirited-awayPost by Mark T. Locker.

This past weekend, my home town of Portland, Oregon threw its annual Rose City Comic Con, a fabulous convention for lovers of pop culture, comics, movies and art. Thousands come dressed in amazing and creative costumes, and many more come to peruse the booths of artists and vendors. This year we came out with a lithograph and some little decals both inspired by the fabulous anime movie, Spirited Away.

This is one of my favorite films by the remarkable animator Hayao Miyazaki, who is also known for Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, and My Neighbor Totoro. All of his movies are worth watching; each one is carefully hand-drawn frame by frame, with an attention to detail that is rarely seen in animated movies these day. But of all of them, Spirited Away is one of the very best.

Inspired by and made for a couple small children he knew, the movie tells the tale of a young girl, Chihiro, whose move to a new town and away from her friends takes an unexpected detour after a wrong turn. Her parents, intrigued by a tunnel that leads to a strange and abandoned town, are lured in by amazing food that magically appears. Chihiro leaves them to explore and discovers an incredible bathhouse, but too late she discovers she shouldn’t be there. This is a bathhouse for the gods, run by an unpleasant with named Yubaba. But night has fallen and she is trapped. Her parents, having eaten food meant for the gods, are turned into pigs and Chihiro must figure out how to save them, and herself.

Filled with many amazing and strange characters, from the many-armed furnace operator and his army of animated soot creatures, to the mysterious and eerie No Face, it’s hard to tear your eyes away from this incredible movie. So snuggle up with your No Face stuffed animal, turn down the lights and enjoy this truly unique movie.

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Movies in Bed: Legend

legend-1985Post by Mark T. Locker.

Do you like unicorns? Forces of darkness? Tom Cruise? How do feel about completely confusing plotlines? If you said “yes” to two or more of those questions, then Legend is the movie for you

Legend is a classic 1980s fantasy movie starring a young Tom Cruise. He plays Jack, a young man—possibly a wild child? He definitely hangs with faeries and dwarves—who is in love with a woman named Lili (Mia Sara, better known as Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend). But when he takes her to see the amazing magical unicorns, he’s made a big mistake. For Lili touches one of the beasts and then these goblins come and hack off the unicorn’s horn to bring to their master, Darkness (Tim Curry with a LOT of prosthetics and paint) who will use the power of the horn to lord over the world.

So, Jack gets together with his dwarf and faerie friends to go recover the horn and restore order.

If you grew up in the 80s and watched this movie, maybe it made a lot of sense to you. I was constantly confused by what was going on. That said, it’s an enormously entertaining movie, partly due to its incredible badness, also due to its liberal use of glitter and the soundtrack by Tangerine Dream. Bear in mind that Ridley Scott made this film and he also cut 52 minutes from the film which may explain some of the confusing transitions.

If you have a kid who likes fantasy, or if you haven’t watched this movie since you were a kid, pick up a copy and watch it.  Perfect bedtime watching material!

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Movies in Bed: Goosebumps

Goosebumps_(film)_posterPost by Mark T. Locker.

Happy long weekend! If your geography is anything like mine, Memorial Day weekend means guaranteed rain. So if the sky opens up and the coal on your grill are hissing from the raindrops, maybe you can run inside, take cover under your blankets, and watch a movie with the kids. And if your kids are fans of scary things that aren’t actually scary (like my kid) you can load up Goosebumps the movie!  Goosebumps is an homage to author R.L. Stine and to the menagerie of monsters he’s created over the many years of writing scary books for children. And the premise is pretty weird for this one. Zach has recently moved to a new town. R.L. Stine (Jack Black) is the creepy and reclusive new neighbor, though he is only known as Mr. Shivers. Despite warnings to stay away, Zach can’t help himself, mostly because of Stine’s alluring daughter, Hannah.

So Zach learns the true identity of Stine, who also reveals that his monsters came to life and he had to trap them in their books. Guess what happens? Yup, a creature gets unlocked. And then Slappy the evil living ventriloquist’s dummy, gets out and he releases all the evil on the small Delaware town.

Although filled with CGI monsters and other odd baddies, the movie is not particularly scary. Action, comedy, rampaging creatures are what fill the time. It’s a harmless and entertaining movie and Jack Black usually brings a fun element to movies. Available streaming, Goosebumps is a good family movie to while away the rainy spring evening.

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Movies in Bed: Gods of Egypt.

Gods_of_Egypt_posterPost by Mark T. Locker.

Gods of Egypt has finished its brief run in theaters and is now available to watch in the comfort of your own bedroom. Set in ancient Egypt, at a time when the gods walked among the men, larger than life and powerful. All is well and at peace until the banished god Set comes back with an army and usurps the throne and blinds his brother Horus, who was to take the throne. The fate of the kingdom of Egypt falls into the unlikely hands of a young thief, whose only reason for fighting is to get his girlfriend back. He uses his amazing thieving skills to recover one of Horus’s eyes. Horus in turn agrees to help fight Set for the throne.

This is not what I would call a “good” movie; it’s full of too much CGI, lots of Europeans and Australians posing as Egyptians, and weak dialog. It’s difficult not to think of Liz Taylor’s famously overbudget Cleopatra when watching this movie. Loads of money spent on what was meant to be some kind of epic, but just wasn’t. That said, it’s a very entertaining movie. It’s a movie that is easy to just relax and enjoy in all its ridiculousness. Plus, who doesn’t like to see fleshed-out ideas of what Egypt would have looked like in its heyday? Even if those interpretations might make Egyptologists (like my wife) cringe just a little. (Though I must say, the bit in the Underworld with the awesome jackal-headed Anubis is pretty cool to watch.)

This movie is a fun way to end a busy week. If you want something with lots of action that lets you just turn off your brain and immerse yourself in a fantasy world of gods and monsters, this is the movie for you.

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Movies in Bed: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

butchPost by Mark T. Locker.

It’s crazy to think that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is closing in on FIFTY YEARS OLD. And if it weren’t for a sneaky sickness keeping me home from work I might never have seen it. But I saw it for the first time just the other day.

If you’ve been living under a rock like I apparently have, here’s what you’ve been missing out on. Robert Redford and Paul Newman are a pair of old West bandits. Butch Cassidy (Newman) is a charming train robber. He’s a bit older, a bit calmer, but dangerously charming. Sundance is young, hotheaded, but a dead aim with a pistol. Together they have been hitting trains and banks all across the West along with Butch Cassidy’s Hole in the Wall Gang. But after an unsuccessful train heist, Butch and Sundance find themselves unable to shake a sheriff assisted by an incredible Indian tracker who goes by Lord Baltimore. So they flee to Bolivia with Sundance’s girlfriend Etta.

I was amazed by how good this movie was; well-written, cleverly assembled and funny. Paul Newman’s Butch Cassidy is particularly likeable and even though they’re outlaws, you can’t help but root for them the whole way. It’s a great movie to end a long week. Fluff up the pillows and get ready! Butch and Sundance are coming!

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