My April Movie Selection

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STAY AT HOME MOVIES

Because we’re all spending so much time inside with time to fill, I thought it would be fun to recommend several movies this month. While Earth Day Celebrations will be curtailed, you can watch The Iron Giant for a film that celebrates the environment in a unique way. April is the month that gave the world Carol Burnett (my idol), and Disney’s Once Upon a Mattress is a wonderful way to celebrate her birthday. I have some other suggestions that may help fight cabin fever in these isolated times.

The Iron Giant is a great movie. This 1999 film is set in 1957, and it’s good to have some historical background.  In 1957, Russia (then the USSR) launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite, into space. This was at a time when the US and the USSR were engaged in The Cold War, a time when both countries were terrified of the other country and their nuclear capability. The 1950’s produced some memorable science fiction movies like THEM and Forbidden Planet. The Iron Giant stands with some of the great alien invasion movies of the past.

Hogarth lives with his hardworking widowed Mom in a small coastal town in Maine. He encounters an enormous metal robot that fell from space. No, really…this thing is ENORMOUS. It eats metal. It can also regenerate itself, which becomes important.  The Giant is wrecked into pieces, and Hogarth must find a hiding place for the Giant’s recovery. He enlists the help of Dean, a beatnik (bearded poet guy from the 1950’s who drinks a lot of coffee and wears sunglasses) artist who owns a scrapyard. Dean creates art objects from the metal found in the scrapyard. Hogarth entertains the Giant during his recovery by reading comic books. The Giant becomes fond of Superman. When an evil government agent enters the picture, Hogarth and Dean must work together to save the Giant. The Iron Giant may be a little intense for younger kids and anyone who is sensitive to a lot of explosions in a movie. There is no blood or gore, but I cannot stress this enough…there are a lot of explosions. There are explosions of another kind when the government agent has to keep running to the bathroom. This movie is rated PG.

Once Upon a Mattress is a 2005 made-for-TV version of the musical play that made Carol Burnett a Broadway star in 1959. It’s the story of a very dysfunctional royal family and the search for a bride for Prince Dauntilus. A Royal Decree says that nobody in the kingdom can marry until the Prince does. But his mother, Queen Aggravain (played by Carol Burnett) disapproves of every princess who is brought into court to meet the Prince. One day, Princess Winnifred the Woebegone swims the moat around the castle and nominates herself as a possible bride for Dauntilus. The Queen is having none of it, and devises a plot to prove that Winifred is no princess.

This musical version of the fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea” is funny. Tracy Ullman is a wonderful Fred (the Princess’ preferred nickname). Carol Burnett is an overbearing impossible Queen. The romantic secondary parts are played by Zoey Deschanel and Matthew Morrison, who went on to become more famous later for the TV shows “New Girl” and “Glee.” Once Upon a Mattress is a funny musical with some slightly adult themes. Additional songs have been created for Carol Burnett, and she does her usual brilliant job with them. The original musical score was written by Mary Rodgers, who wrote the book “Freaky Friday.”

More suggestions:

Everybody suffers from cabin fever at some point---grownups and kids---but you can cure some of its symptoms by getting involved with a good movie or book. Check out book suggestions from our Librarian Joe Hilton with the Kids Corner Bookmobile. My movie suggestions are films the whole family can enjoy, even if some family members need help following the plots. 

The Gold Rush: This 1925 silent film from Charlie Chaplin is a perfect choice to fight cabin fever because it’s about cabin fever! The Little Tramp (Chaplin’s famous character) plays The Lone Prospector, who is mining for gold during the Klondike Gold Rush. He encounters a bear, villains and a terrible blizzard that traps him in a cabin without food. It sounds sad and scary, but it is truly funny.

Singin’ in the Rain: Now that you have seen a silent movie, how about a 1952 musical about the transition from silent movies to talkies? This is one of the best musicals ever made, and you don’t need to know film history to enjoy it! I first fell in love with this movie because Debbie Reynolds’ character is named Kathy. Soon I was laughing and loving musical dance numbers like “Good Morning,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” and (my favorite) “Make ‘Em Laugh.”

The LEGO Movie: At some point with cabin fever, you may get bored with all your toys…even your LEGOs! This 2014 computer animated film will reignite your energy for LEGO play. It’s the story of construction worker Emmett and the way he and other LEGO figures combat the evil Lord Business. It is also the story of a family where the Dad loves his LEGOs WAY too much. You can do a great service by introducing the adults in your family to this wonderful, imaginative, funny movie. They will be surprised at just how much they can enjoy a whole movie about toys they usually step on in bare feet.

 

Read 297 times Last modified on Tuesday, 07 April 2020 22:31