Monday, August 30, 2010

Movies and Boys

The movies the boys watch at home (and don't watch) fall into several categories. Some I like, some they like, and some are, well, the opposite. Our tastes don't always line up, and I struggle sometimes to find things for them to watch that they will enjoy - I have a much harder time with this than with books. At least I have to worry about this less: they are allowed one movie on Saturday and one on Sunday, and they take turns with their choices. Otherwise, the TV is off-limits.

Here's some categories, and some reasons why I (and they) like what we like:

Movies I’m glad they love:

Second-hand Lions: this is an awesome movie, about a boy in Texas in the 1960's living with his two squirrely great-uncles. I've seen it panned by a number of reviewers, which just goes to show they don't know diddly about what boys like.

The two Narnia movies: I love how close these are to the books, and I'm hoping that trend will continue. They are a little violent for a child Two's age, but he has that second-child thing about being less bothered by things at an earlier age. It's just what comes from following along behind your older brother.

The Princess Bride: The boys adore this one, and they love to quote it along with their dad. "Why do you keep using that word? I do not think it means what you think it means." And so on and so forth, until I scream "STOP!".

The Court Jester: Yes, my children like Danny Kaye in tights. And if you have a problem with that, you can stuff it. Because there's nothing funnier than the "chalice with the palace", okay?

Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk, Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), and Ivanhoe: The boys have no idea who Leo DeCaprio is, or Keanu Reaves, but they love, love, love Errol Flynn. They want to be each of his characters in these movies, and frequently pretend to be as soon as the movie ends.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: One loved this book, and both boys love the movie.

Treasure Island (the Disney version): this has been a favorite for years. I worked a deal several years ago and got to know the people on the other side so well; they would ask if they could come over and watch this with the boys, since the boys put it on during every conference call we had. We're glad those people live far, far away.

To Kill a Mockingbird: One and his dad read the book this past Spring, and we decided he was old enough for the movie. Of course, that meant Two sat there and watched it too. What can I say about it? It's just spectacular.

The Great Escape: they love this one, and even talked a friend into watching it last Friday night when he slept over. All three boys voted 2 thumbs up.

If they have to watch animation, because they don’t like it much anymore:

Wallace and Grommit (Three Amazing Adventures and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit): these are just too funny - and the clay-mation is truly a work of art.

The Disney version of The Sword in the Stone: my favorite movie from childhood. Two does a mean imitation of Archimedes.

Movies I’m mad they don’t like:

Up: They pretty much hated it in the theater, although the dogs made them laugh. Now they refuse to watch it at home. Husband bought it for me for Christmas; the boys booed.

Darby O'Gill and the Little People: It scares One. Little People especially. I have no idea why.

Miracle: Having spent years skating in that famous, red-seated arena, it offends me that they don't want to watch this movie. I don't necessarily want them to like hockey; I just want them to watch this movie. Is that too much to ask?

The Secret of Roan Inish: Seals scare One, especially when they turn into women. Given that he's scared of this and Darby O'Gill, maybe he's just scared of the Irish. Since I'm half-Irish, I don't know how I feel about that. Wait - yes I do: I think it's hysterical.

Movies I wish I’d never let them watch in the first place:

Anything Star Wars: bad plots and bad acting. Face it: they're poorly constructed movies. Their only redeeming factor is they are about the bad guys vs. the good guys, and you can never get enough of that.

Anything Harry Potter, Indiana Jones or Lord of the Rings. Don't get me wrong, I like these movies myself. I just wish I'd never let the boys watch them, because then I wouldn't be in the unenviable position of telling them they can't watch them ever again for a long, long time. And why can't they? Because when they watch these movies they behave poorly and they have nightmares; that tells me they are way, way too young for this stuff. Of course, since they refuse to believe the movies have anything to do with their behavior or their dreams, I am Mean Mommy, forever and ever, amen. And you can tell by how little I let them watch TV: I like being Mean Mommy, a lot.


Anonymous said...

Another Mean Mommy signing-in here. Sometimes the accusations of mean-ness came from outside our home. We are swimming upstream with the parenting practice of limited screen time.

Thanks for this post, Tari. Good info to share. Totally agreeing with you on the 1st three movies. We have not seen all the ones you list.

Our children are older and had read the HP books before they hit the screens. Both are highly critical of the movies being insufficient representations of the books.

In their teens I hit a parenting dilemma with the public library. Both children have tried to read books that I believe are truly bad for their minds. My mean-ness extends to print, too.

Also wanted to share this blog I just found:

Hope you are having a good week. Barbara

Tari said...

Barbara, Thanks for the recommendation - I will have to check him out. I worry about books, too. I tend to buy them tons of books, in hopes that it will keep them too busy to check the bad stuff out from the school library. Eventually One and I will have to chat about this, but I'm hoping to put it off. I think he will be receptive to it, though, since he already knows things like HP upset him. I don't know if I'd ever let them watch past movie #3 - they'd definitely have to be in high school, I think.

Anonymous said...

I came back because I remembered another favorite movie/sequence - the 2 National Treasure movies. What do you think of them?

Buying books is a sure way to control some of their reading, but our oldest's need for books was near-insatiable. Sadly, even his school libraries were less careful with what was on the shelves than I would have liked.

I have a tiff-waiting-to-happen on my desk. I complained about a book in our public library that on the cover is reviewed as funny, but contained scenes that if they were visual would be illegal and porn0graphic. When I complained to the library I received a 'You used the wrong form' response. *firebreathinganger* Longer story than I will include here, but just to make the point that our parental pride at having readers for children comes with some consequences also. Sigh.


Tari said...

I haven't seen them - we'll have to check them out. Thanks.

And thanks again for the recommendation to Fr. Stephen's blog. WOW!

Have a great week, even with the library kerfluffle.