We held off for four years, but this summer Sydney finally got to go see a movie in the theatre for the very first time. She is so sensitive to loud sounds and any plot element that may be even the teeniest bit scary, so it never made sense for us to take her to movies. Gosh, it doesn't even make sense to have her watch anything more intense than Winnie the Pooh's Great Honey Pot Robbery. This year, though, we thought she might be old enough to enjoy seeing a movie on the big screen, so we took advantage of Regal's Free Family Film Festival.
Almost every Wednesday for the last month, Jason and Sydney have been heading downtown to watch a movie. The first week it was Charlotte's Web, which was a great one to choose as Syd's first movie experience. She loves farm animals, no scary elements, and I'm pretty sure she didn't catch on that Charlotte dies at the end of the movie. Her favorite? The geese. More favorite than the movie? Spending the morning with her dad, getting dressed up in a spinny dress (her idea, not mine), and stopping at the grocery store first to get red vines and milk duds. Can't beat that with a stick.
They also went to see Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit (which Sydney proclaimed as so silly), Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (which Sydney didn't quite get, but seemed to enjoy), and Arctic Tale (though it was produced by those fine folks at National Geographic it was not enjoyable for Syd; she cried when the baby polar bear died...the perils of not previewing the movie ahead of time. However, she thought the showcase of animal "toots and burps" was hilarious).
Yay for free movies!
Not to be totally outdone, I also got to take Sydney to a pre-showing of Fly Me the The Moon, which just opened in theatres this past weekend. I wasn't sure how Syd would manage this one since the movie is in 3-D, but aside from being startled at the beginning, she thought it was pretty cool. She just put the special glasses over her glasses, and didn't have any trouble at all. We both had fun reaching out and trying to grab the objects that flew our way, and Syd made sure to dodge away from one of the bugs that zoomed in front of her. I think the last 3-D movie I saw was probably at Disneyland, about 20 years ago, and it starred Michael Jackson. I think it's fair to say that Fly Me to the Moon was produced better than Captain EO (and yes, I had to Google that to remember what the name of the movie was). Some great visual effects show up in the film.
My review? I hadn't seen or heard anything about this new 3D cartoon, but it's basically a kid-friendly version of the Apollo moon landing. Three little houseflies decide to hop aboard the Apollo 11 spacecraft and go for a ride to the moon. The movie has a solid message, not too many toot and burp jokes, and should get kids dreaming again about trips to the moon. As for star-power voiceovers, Kelly Rippa is the voice of the mom; Christopher Lloyd is the voice of the grandpa. Even Nicollette Sheridan and Ed Begley, Jr., have voice appearances.
The movie wasn't quite as clever or funny as some of my favorite cartoons--although I did chuckle over the mom's line, "Oh my Lord of the flies." Heh. However, Sydney really liked seeing the moon, and she got a nice space lesson while watching the movie. Pretty harmless fare; good intro to the space missions. And hey! It's in 3D. Very cool.
Movies for us this summer?
- The Dark Knight. I loved it, but I've loved Christian Bale ever since he was Laurie in Little Women (always rewriting the ending in my mind so that Jo, not Amy, accepts his proposal). Heath Ledger was fabulous; I didn't think the plot was developed as much as I would have liked. I also was expecting a lot more violence, so ole' desensitized me didn't really get bothered by any of the thematic elements. I was, however, horrified at the number of very young children in the theatre; one young boy in front of us hid his face in his mother's shoulder for more than half the movie. As I watched the poor kid's reaction to the movie, I mentally wrote up a whole editorial about exposing children to violent movies. Seriously. Just because your kid likes Batman, doesn't mean it's okay for him to watch the movie. That's for another day though. When I'm not busy packing life into boxes.
- X-Files. If you're an X-Files fan, it's an entertaining enough movie. It's just like watching one of the old episodes, except much less scary than most of the regular season shows. My favorite part? The first time Mulder appears. Classic.
- Mamma Mia! I went last week with Inklingwhen we were both desperate to get out of the house and escape the heat. Fun movie, very silly, great music. Meryl Streep is fabulous; Pierce Brosnan's voice surprising. And when I told Jason that Colin Firth was in the movie, he said, "Who's he?" Ridiculous.
- Iron Man. I went with a friend of mine after school got out, and Jason and I planned to go see it together later, but that didn't happen (we have trouble spending money on movies when we also have to spend money on a babysitter). Liked the movie though. Yay for Robert Downey, Jr., for cleaning his life up.
And, yep, that about does it. Clearly most of our movie experiences were more in the G-rated area. This school year, though, Jason and I will have Thursday nights without the kiddos (they'll be staying at the farm while I come back to town to teach), so maybe more movies are in our future.
Or maybe we'll just enjoy whatever is on TV that night. It's Thursday, afterall. Lots to see.
* Alternate title: The Summer of George. I hope someone recognizes that allusion, or I'll be so sad.