I really like to sit down and watch a movie when I get a chance (although those chances are few and far between). What I really like to do is have a "movie night" with the kids. We'll pop some popcorn, the kids turn off most of the lights, and we make it seem like we are at the "movie theater."
There are a ton of children's movies out these days. I really don't remember going to movies much as a kid, and that's probably a good thing. But there was one movie I truly remember, and that was "Star Wars." I can still remember going to the Stuart theater in downtown Lincoln (which is now a totally different business called the Rococo Theater). Back then, the Stuart theater offered just one screen, and it had a big white curtain that went up when the movie started. I can remember watching the lights dim, and seeing that curtain rise. Then I heard that amazing "Star Wars" music kick off. It was exciting! Not long after that, I got really scared when I saw the big Imperial Star Destroyer chasing that poor rebel ship with Princess Leia on board. When the evil minons of the galactic empire captured that ship with a tractor beam and sucked it up inside the star destroyer, I was nervous, and I wondered if I should leave the theater. This was getting intense! But I stayed with it, and "Star Wars" became my favorite movie of all time.
I bring this up for two reasons. First, I wonder if there are so many movies out there these days that kids can't really name a favorite anymore. Second, the content of today's movies for kids can sometimes be suspect. I love sitting down with my kids and watching a good animated movie, but sometimes I'm not sure what we are getting into.
As the Details Dad, I'm obviously concerned about the content of movies for kids. In the case of "Star Wars", there was plenty of action and peril, but at least there wasn't any questionable language (at least that I can remember). In some of the movies aimed at a young audience, I've noticed there is always at least one word used in the movie that I wish the writers hadn't used. The movie "Alvin and the Chipmunks" is a really fun movie that we like. But there is one word-- just ONE-- that I think could have been avoided. I often wonder why the producers of the film decided to include that one word in the script. Is it really necessary to get the point across? Why not remove that one word, and make the film more digestible for parents who are worried about content. I sometimes wish the movie ratings system could be a little more descriptive, telling parents if questionable language is going to be used (even one word). However, there are words used in our language today that many people don't consider to be swear words anymore. Unfortunately, it could be that some of these words are more acceptable to the general audience.
As a Details Dad, I'm always looking to give my kids a good movie experience, and I especially like it when the movie has a good message. Do you know of any websites or services that offer movie reviews to calm the nerves of a concerned Mom or Dad? Let me know. And even though there are some potential pitfalls when it comes to watching a movie with my kids, we'll still be popping the popcorn and settling in for a good movie once in a while. But I will be watching closely.
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