Tag Archives: movies in bed

Movies in Bed: Star Trek: into darkness

Post by Mark T. Locker.

star teafPost by Mark T. Locker.

This post is in memory of Leonard Nimoy, AKA Spock. You lived long. You prospered.

This movie has been sitting in my queue for a very long time. So, facing a monster pile of laundry to fold, I decided it was high time to watch it. There are certain movies and TV shows that are the best laundry-folding entertainment. Anything with beautiful cinematography has no place amongst my scattered socks and shirts. One of my favorites was Burn Notice, but I burned through all the seasons of that. This most recent installment in the most recent reboot of the classic sci-fi series is pretty good folding fodder. There are lots of high-action scenes filled with explosions and hand-to-hand combat that you can look away from while pairing socks without losing any crucial plot points.

The story is fun as it touches on characters we met in early movies, namely Khan, the ultimate bad boy whose younger self is played by the dreamy Benedict Cumberbatch of Sherlock fame. It also features a moment of young Spock conferring with future Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy for the last time. It’s touching to think of now, of course.

All in all, it’s a solid action movie with all the explosions and edge-of-your-seat excitement you could shake a sock at. Available streaming and surely for purchase.

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Movies in Bed: Pee-Wee’s Playhouse

pee_wee_playhouse

Post by Mark T. Locker.

We don’t have a TV in the bedroom. We just have the one, in the front room. But that doesn’t stop us from snuggling up on the couch under a bunch of blankets on Saturday mornings for cartoons. And now, our Saturday ritual is so much better, and nostalgic, thanks to the release of the complete Pee-wee’s Playhouse series on Netflix! Also on Blu-ray if that’s how you roll. I was the perfect age to watch this when I was a kid, if a little bit too old towards the end.

Pee-wee’s Playhouse is a joyful half hour full of talking animals and furniture, refrigerator drama, surprising celebrities, and the occasional morality lesson. Phil Hartman (rest his soul) and Laurence Fishburne were regulars. My son was an instant fan. He is always asking me who my favorite character is. That’s like choosing my favorite Chinese dish! I love most of them. But Terry (Pterry?) I guess is preferable to Chairry or Globey. It’s a wonderful new world that has opened up to my kid and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I had forgotten how utterly weird and silly the show is. I’d also forgotten about the little moral lessons, like when Randy tries to get Pee-wee to smoke. All in all, it’s the goofiest, most harmless show. Except for that intro song. That can hurt after hearing it a few times! :)

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Movies Television in Bed: The Great British Bake-Off

great british bake off

Post by Mark T. Locker.

We have a great deal of cooking competitions here in the United States, full of weird editing to make the judges look super mad and the contestants look super dopey. Lots of drama; the more, the better. Catty female cooks and cocky male ones. Most of those shows are just too much for me. I like “Chopped” and the ones where they make awesome giant jack-o’-lanterns. But you know what I like even better? “The Great British Bake-Off”. The title pretty much says it all. It’s British! It’s all about baking!

Twelve amateur bakers face off in three daily challenges: first round is the signature challenge, in which the contestants bake a tried and true recipe they make regularly. Next is the technical challenge, wherein they are given a recipe with only general directions and must rely on savvy and know-how to succeed. Third is the show-stopper. Given a general theme, they are to make something that not only tastes great but looks amazing.

The contestants are a wide range, from an older Scottish Navy man to an adorable girl of seventeen named Martha, who always has a smile on her face. It’s fascinating from a cultural perspective as well, with Bakewell tarts and savoury biscuits and all manner of supremely British concoctions. The hosts are charming and funny and the two judges, who are top-tier bakers in their own rights (Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood) are honest but kind.

PBS is currently airing season five and it’s quickly become my favorite show to watch to unwind at the end of the evening. If you love baking, or competition, or are and Anglophile, definitely give this show a watch.

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Movies in Bed: Guardians of the Galaxy

GOTG-posterPost by Mark T. Locker.

In a world where every superhero gets a movie, or a movie franchise, it’s hard not to feel a little bit jaded or at least completely overwhelmed by the flood of choices. It seems like there are new movies every week. So when a movie like “Guardians of the Galaxy” shows up, it’s hard not to be totally skeptical. For one thing: ANOTHER movie from the endless reservoir of Marvel characters. And another: a giant tree man and a talking raccoon make up part of this team. But all that concern falls away when you watch the movie.

Good news: this movie is enjoyable! It’s funny, it’s clever, it’s not a lot of things it could have been. Here’s the premise: Peter Quill is an Earthling who was taken from his home in 1988 and has been raised by a race of blue-skinned thieves. In a tussle to claim a mysterious orb, he and his opponent are arrested and taken to a space prison. Here he meets a giant tree man named Groot, a brilliant but bad-tempered name Rocket, and Drax, a big meaty very literal guy. This motley crew, along with Gamora, the one who fought Quill for the orb, they form an alliance when they discover they have a common enemy in Ronin, who seeks the orb.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is peppered with funny one-liners, top-shelf cast, and plenty of action and special effects to keep viewers entertained. There is a great deal of fighting and killing but none of it is graphic or bloody. Good exciting movie for grown-ups and older children. And I bet you anything you will have “Hooked on a Feeling” in your head for days afterward.

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Movies in Bed: Maleficent

MaleficentPost by Mark T. Locker.

Disney has been on quite the roll lately. It doesn’t hurt that they have gobbled up a number of hugely popular dynasties recently, from Star Wars to Pixar to Marvel. This time, however, Disney is not riding on the coattails of any of these, but rather on a retelling of one of their classic retellings of a classic fairy tale. I am talking, of course, about Maleficent, the dark and dramatic Sleeping Beauty spinoff, told from the perspective of Maleficent, who was so cruelly portrayed in the 1959 cartoon version. In the new telling of the story, we learn that Maleficent was a lovely and kind queen of the moors, cruelly betrayed by the greed of men. The king, her former childhood friend, is the real villain here.

Angelina plays the title role, and does a great job, although there are an awful lot of close-ups of her eyes watching through shadows. Perhaps this is some sort of tribute to the original; I don’t know because I haven’t seen it. Beyond that, though, it is a lovely movie. It has a lot of darkness; you would too if you’d been treated as Maleficent had. But Sleeping Beauty brings a brightness and joy to everything and everyone she encounters.

Don’t look for any hackneyed old plot points in this movie! Disney seems to be all about turning all the tired old clichés on their heads; especially the ones they’ve been guilty of perpetuating in the past. Now available on DVD, it’s a great movie to watch with the kids on a chilly autumn evening.

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