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Bedtime Stories (2008)
Good family fun...
We went to this movie with my two kids (ages 7 and 10, both girls), my Brother-in-law and his wife and their two kids (ages six and nine, both boys.) We were a bit apprehensive about this due to the poor critics ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. (Frankly, the critics gave it abysmal ratings and I almost avoided this entirely because of those ratings.) And perhaps they were right. But I know that despite the critics we all enjoyed it greatly. Maybe it was just the mood we were all in or the good meal we just had before the movie but we laughed throughout. Obviously there is no high-brow humor here or social commentary to be made. It's just a movie who's sole purpose is simply to have fun.
Cookie cutter? Perhaps. In fact, in retrospect I'm sure it was. But it was still enjoyable.
So if your looking for something more than what you see in the previews, forget it. It isn't happening. This movie makes no pretenses about what it is exactly about: good fun. If your looking for anything other than that, you're going to be disappointed.
On the down side, some of the best moments were captured in the previews. While this certainly isn't the first movie to this (not the last I'm sure), it always seems to take something away from the experience of watching the movie. But there were plenty of other twists and turns in this movie that helped minimize the effect this had on the overall viewing experience.
Overall this movie was a delight for kids both big and small in our group. You'll enjoy it if you watch it with a child's eye...and not those big ones Bugsy has!!!
Nim's Island (2008)
A nice "family" film that refreshingly helped bring out the kid in the adults.
I had no idea what to expect of this film, and after reading the synopsis I wasn't to jazzed to see it. But I like both Jodie Foster and Gerald Butler, and the kids were bored so off to the movies we go.
I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. The movie was a great escape. It had humor, adventure, sharks, flying lizards, volcanoes, hurricanes, neurotic shrews, phantom heroes, and British tourists. All the makings of a classic family movie.
The film, for those unfamiliar with the book, revolves around Nim and her Father and the secret island the live on. When Nim's father goes missing while doing research, she reaches out to the neurotic, reclusive, and "borderline Agoraphobic" Alexandria Rover for help.
Comedy, fun, and adventure ensue.
One of the best parts of this movie was how it encouraged both reading and using one's imagination.
My kids (both girls, ages six and nine) enjoyed it and my wife and I also thought it was just great.
Update 4/11/2008 - My oldest daughter is about halfway through the book and reports that the movie stays very true to the book for the most part.