Tuesday, October 21, 2008

City of Ember

I had never heard of the children’s novel “The City of Ember,” by author, Jeanne Duprau. But my online search for a PG movie suitable for viewing by my 7th and 8th grade Sunday school department brought the flick to the forefront.

So…Saturday morning the 18th at 10:00 am we loaded the eight kids that showed up and four adult sponsors into the church van and headed for the mall. We pretty much had our own private screening as not many are up for movie watching early Saturday morning. We chose the early time because the price is reduced to $5.00 before noon on Saturday.

The movie takes place after the world becomes uninhabitable because of…what, I don’t know? I didn’t catch that part. The “builders” have designed an underground city, powered by a giant generator and lit by floodlights. Storerooms are stocked to sustain the people for 200 years. A box containing instructions for escaping from the city is to be passed down from mayor to mayor. After one mayor dies unexpectedly, the box and plans are stored away and forgotten. Two hundred fifty years have passed and the storerooms are becoming depleted.

The residents of the city have never known sunlight or life above ground. When the generator begins failing, leaving the city in total darkness, two teens begin to worry and investigate an escape. Their adventure reveals that the current mayor is corrupt and also that an enormous frightening mole is on the loose in the city’s pipe works. (I’m told the mole didn’t exist in the novel). Nevertheless, the teens go on to save the day and the city.

The movie is called “City of Ember” because—well I don’t know that either. I’m not even sure if that was mentioned in the movie. I guess I should have read the book. Here’s a quote from one eighth grader.

“The book was boring, and the movie was even worse.” Kyle (He’s in 8th grade, what can I say?)

The movie includes high magnitude stars such as Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, Mary Kay Place, and Martin Landau. The female lead is played by Saoirse Ronan who did a wonderful portrayal of Lena Mayfleet, the main character. And the little girl twins that played her baby sister, Poppy, were absolutely adorable.

I thought the movie was mildly entertaining and I must admit I jumped at least twice during the mole scenes. Would I watch it again? Probably not if I had to pay to see it, but if it came on television, sure why not. Was it family friendly? Yes, although I think little children would be frightened by the mole. My rating: Eh, it’s okay.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Autumn Is

Amber, gold, orange, yellow, red and brown; leaves break free for one final flight
Uber-gigantic pumpkins plump, ripe and ready for funny fancy carved faces
Thanksgiving, turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie and parades; thankful for another good year
Unanimous agreement—summer was hot! Soon cooler weather draws near
Marching bands, football season, fall festivals, scary costumes, candy galore
National decision, casting votes, choosing sides, elephants, donkeys; Election Day is here