Saturday, June 2, 2012

Citizen Grouch Recommends: "The Decendents" and "We Bought a Zoo"

Before I get into the latest movie reviews let me say that we have entered the 00's and bought a flat screen TV.  How did this happen?  The Missus and I were discussing what to get Young Son as a graduation present.  He wanted a laptop which of course he will use for college.  I mentioned (again I am sure) that I got a dictionary for my graduation present.  The Missus couldn't remember what she got and I asked her what she would like to go along with Young Son's gift.  She quickly replied with a flat screen TV so that is what she got.  It is only a 40" model which Older Son dismissed as completely inadequate for watching but since our other TV was a 30" CRT beast I feel it is a step up.  I was shocked at how heavy the old TV was when it was dethroned from the TV stand in favor of the new device.  What was in that thing anyway?  Is the tube lead lined??   Our smart and frugal Young Daughter it taking it away to replace her previous TV, an even earlier hand me down from a friend.

So, to the movies.  We rented two movies recently, both excellent and surprisingly with common themes.  Both center around a husband and father who have suffered the loss of the wife.  Both guys have been a bit absent perhaps in the lives of the children and neither has the whole being the mom role down.   Both have troubled kids to deal with while facing an enormous challenge in their life that they must confront and master.  And both movies are ultimately love stories about the love that they felt for their wives and how they must deal with the loss.   One man who had issues with his wife when she was alive comes to realize that despite all he still loves her; the other knows that his love continues on for his departed wife and he helps his children see and remember her too.  They both had Grouch and the Missus with teary eyes at the end.

The movie is slow and thoughtful and shows a man who under pressure from multiple shocks and two daughters who are acting out with self destructive behavior manages to come to grips with his (spoiler alert!!) unfaithful wife and reform his family after her death.   I loved the music and the scenes of the islands and the story too.    If you like fast paced, laugh out loud type movies, don't see this.  But if you want to see a thoughtful movie about a man who at this point in his life must grow up and be a man and a father and recognize that he hasn't been pulling his weight as both, then see this one.  Four out of Four stars from me.

Another movie with a dead wife, an acting out son (notice he didn't make the movie poster) a man whose career may have taken him away from home too often and a challenge in his life.  In this case the challenge is a small zoo that he bought.  Based more or less on a true story (you can look it up) it was a fun movie with a good plot line and a bit predictable but the love story for his dead wife was what got me.   She is always with him and even with the presence of the young woman zookeeper who came with the zoo when he bought the place he never forgets his love for the wife.  The scenes where his wife comes to life for him through his memories were definite eye-waterers.  He seems to know that someday he will have to let go of his wife but not yet, not during the movie.  We both enjoyed it and the happy ending was the cherry on top of the desert.

I'll have to give this one Four stars too.  You'll like it. 

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