me + movies = happy

i have said before, i really, really love the movies! it’s a way i connect with God & life and is my most favorite escape. well, this summer i set a little goal to watch as many movies as i possibly could for the next few months and to not feel guilty about it.  this will be a more relaxing summer than usual.  with 5 kids at home, jose studying for the bar (he takes it on july 31st), and the refuge foundation a little more solid, i decided to limit my schedule a bit and be a little more chill for the next 10 weeks (we have the shortest summer ever, my kids go back to school august 12th this year!).  i haven’t really watched TV in years so i decided to make up for all that lost time–from memorial to labor day it’s my summer movie marathon…  

here’s what i’ve seen so far.  yeah, 11 movies in less than 2 weeks…decadent, fun, and good for my soul!

1. indiana jones & the kingdom of the crystal skull – jose, josh and i snuck away for a morning matinee the day after it came out. we liked it, just good ol’ indiana jones fun

2. the station agent – got the recomendation from brian & tracy. we really liked it. very simple & sweet.  our favorite character was joe, the guy who ran the snack truck.  his longing for connection & for friendship was the cutest thing.  and of course patricia clarkson was amazing.  it was a sundance film festival winner & i hope to watch as many of those as i can.

3. prince caspian – we all went to see this one, the whole fam.  it was great, loved it.  still thinking about so many scenes…better than any sermon or church service hands down.  

4. into the wild – wow, that was intense.  excellent music, too. i had been wanting to see this for a long time. disturbing on so many levels and such a telling example that without people to share life with, it just doesn’t work.

5. enchanted – cute!  amy adams was great and i thought it was so well done for a kids movie.

6. the squid and the whale – oh boy, i would never in a million years tell anyone to watch this movie. it was so disturbing, my jaw was locked and my stomach was tight the entire time and i was yelling out loud at jeff daniels because his character was such a jackass.  the unfortunately too-real-and-raw story of a family experiencing divorce and the fallout to the two children was just a little bit too intense for me.  i saw it with my dear friend who loves movies like i do and we both felt a little sick.  i must admit, the acting was amazing. 

7.  once – so sweet, so good.  only reason it got rated R is for the f word. loved the story & the music and the simplicity and the beautiful story being told underneath. 

8. ps: i love you – julia and i watched that together (she’s my 14 year old).  i got sucked in.  we cried. it made me want to write notes to jose and all my kids just in case i die suddenly…

9. what about bob –  “i need, i need, i need, gimme, gimme, gimme”  so funny on so many levels.

10. reign on me – wow, that was a tough one, but i love don cheadle & it really came together.  no way not to cry at certain moments when he is telling his story & i think it illustrated the power of community, believing in what others can’t see and staying in even when it’s tough.

11.  must love dogs – i always love john cusak & once in a while a good ol’ sappy romantic comedy is just what the doctor ordered.

well, there you have it, my 2 week recap.  i am not sure if i should be embarrassed or proud???  i have to say, wish i could have the same commitment to working out & eating right, ha!   next up:  the namesake, charlie bartlett & we’ll re-watch the great debaters together as a fam.  going to see the visitor & iron man at the theater.  any great recommendations, send them my way!

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar co-pastors at The Refuge, a Christian community and mission center in North Denver and is the author of Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

8 Comments

  • My kid is an aspiring director, so movies are a big part of our family. Here are a few of our favorites…(and my son would name a few more)…

    “Elizabethtown”–love the story, and the tone in which it’s told

    “Walk the Line”–I’m a lifelong Cash fan.

    Almost anything directed by Christopher Nolan (“Batman Begins”, “The Prestige”, “Memento”).

    “The Hudsucker Proxy”–twisted humor. Hilarious.

    “Les Miserables”–an amazing tale of redemption.

    And much, much more. 🙂

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  • I envy you the time to watch movies. I’m so happy if I can get time for one or two DVD movies in a month. So, let me add to your joy! Some of these are older, but you may not have seen them yet.

    The Martian Child. It’s a different type of “Lars and the Real Girl.” You’ll love it!

    House of D. (I’m ready to watch this one again, it’s been awhile.)

    If you like foreign films with English subtitles:

    After the Wedding (this was an incredible film)
    The Lives of Others (oh, man, I want to see it again!)
    The Syrian Bride (Shows the strength of women who have to do what they have to do!)

    Movies that disturbed me (so if you’re looking for sheer pleasure, pass these by), but I am so glad I watched them as they enriched my life in a very satisfying way. They’re all also foreign with English subtitles (can you tell I’m not a big Hollywood-made movie fan?!):

    Children of Heaven
    Color of Paradise
    The Chorus

    Have a wonderful time of escape!

    Tracy

    Reply
  • August 12th? That’s insane!

    I’m finding I love movies a lot, too. I think narrative gets the short end of the stick when it comes to recognition for how powerful of an agent of change and communication it is – at least in my world. I’m finding I have too many non-fiction books to read so movies end up being a very inspiring, digestible medium for narrative! Here’s to more movies!

    I just saw the Great Debators – so good! ooo and I want to see Iron Man!

    Reply
  • Hey Kathy, On your list I have seen “Into the Wild” and “What About Bob”.

    Into the Wild: I really liked this movie. In the book, Chris (a.k.a. Alex Supertramp) comes across as some spoiled kid who refuses to speak to his family for reasons you are not really sure are valid. In the movie, hearing his sister and parent’s voice provided me with more of a backdrop for why he felt compelled to screw his family and leave all he had known with out a trace.

    What About Bob: I saw this movie when I was in high school. I especially liked the dinner table scene where Bob is eating corn on the cob and complimenting Richard Dreyfus’ wife on her excellent cooking.

    My Movie Reccomendations: Across The Universe, A River Runs Through It, and Office Space

    Reply
  • Oh Yeah, also “Better Off Dead” (a zany 80’s John Cusack movie)

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  • Glad you liked Station Agent. That is one fine flick.

    I also really enjoy Once. I think you mentioned that to me in an email. I saw it after it won the Oscar and enjoyed the simplicity of it.

    The Squid and the Whale is a tough pill to swallow. Another fine Laura Linney movie . . There was another movie a few years ago that was very similar called “The Door in the Floor” with Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger. Check it out . . .

    If you get a chance, rent The Savages. And The Sea Inside.

    I too have a bit of free time as of late (being laid off helps) and so I have sat down to rewatch the entire Carnivale series. That is simply an awesome show.

    Enjoy, and how about a weekly update from now on . . . short and sweet summary of what you liked and what you wanted to throw across the room.

    Reply
  • hey thanks everyone, those are some great suggestions. some i have seen, but some i definitely haven’t and now will put on my queue!! yeah! i am so with you justin, there’s just so much power in some of these stories. brian, maybe i can pass on a little update. a few of us are thinking of starting a blog for movie-hounds. nothing complicated, very simple: movies we’re watching & quick thoughts and then room for others to post theirs, too, so we have a good little hodgepodge list going. i’ll keep you posted!

    Reply

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