Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Upcoming Kids' Movies (and why I don't want to watch them)

Last week I wrote about my somewhat traumatic experience taking my son to see "Rango".  I enjoyed the movie okay, but, let's face it, if I didn't have a kid to bring with me, I'd have spent my movie tickets on "The Adjustment Bureau", and would have waited for the kiddie movie to be released on DVD.

But, one of the good and bad things about being a parent is that you go see a lot of kids' movies.  It's good when it's a movie you want to see, because then you have an excuse to go (me seeing "Gulliver's Travels", for instance), but it's bad when it's a movie you really don't want to see.

In the spirit of painful viewings of children's entertainment, 8PP presents to you:

Movies I Wish I wasn't Being Dragged to this Year

"Hop".  I knew I was in trouble the second my son saw the preview.  Two of his favorite animals are "duckies" and "bunnies" (and he doesn't know the difference between chicks and ducklings).  Then, when he started carrying a stuffed bunny everywhere and calling it "Hop", I knew my fate was sealed.

Pros:  Really good casting.  Hank Azaria and Russell Brand are doing voicework, and they're always hilarious.  And, believe it or not, that guy who plays Cyclops, who's playing the human actor in the movie?  He actually has some real comedic chops.  Scott Summers was in an underappreciated comedy called "SexDrive", and it was hilarious.

Cons:  With the exception of "Fred Claus" and "Nightmare Before Christmas", I hate holiday movies.  They're unbearably cheesy, the moral never changes, and they're unwatchable 93% of the year.  And I'm not going to go into some sanctimonious lecture about everyone missing out on the real meaning of Easter (I certainly don't think my toddler needs to understand the details of crucifixion yet), but this movie encompasses all of the cheesy secular associations, with none of the heart.  My kid will get a basket from the Easter Bunny as long as he believes in it, but I still feel weird about going to see "Hop" in the middle of Lent.

"Kung Fu Panda 2".  I'll end up sitting through this one because there's two things my son can't resist:  talking animals being silly, and upbeat music.  I can't resist a laughing, cheering, dancing baby, so we'll be front and center for this one.

Pros:  I'm one of the few people who really likes Jack Black in everything he does.  I don't care if he's a one-note actor; I've enjoyed everything from "King Kong" to "School of Rock", and I'm not ashamed of that.  And Jack Black vehicles often have great soundtracks, and watching my kid dance in a theater is plenty entertaining for me.

Cons:  I never saw the first one, because I didn't have a kid then.  I doubt plot continuity is very important in the "Kung Fu Panda" series, but I'd still like to be a little caught up when it comes out.

"Cars 2".  Not only are movie writers so out of ideas that they're resorting to sequels, they can't even come up with interesting names for those sequels.  Why not, "Cars 2:  Out of Gas"?  You can add a political slant by making it about rising oil costs and alternative energy sources.  Let Michael Moore guest-direct, and that's a kids' movie I'd see opening day.

Pros:  My son loves playing with his toy trucks, bulldozers, etc., and he already has a ton of "Cars" merchandise because of it.  So someone is going to have to take him to see this movie.  However, his Mimi also loves "Cars" (she went to see it without any of the grandkids, and owns the DVD), so she can probably be easily convinced to take him.

Cons:  The freaking merchandising.  I have a vision of my son spending his next few years in Cars clothes, with a Cars bedspread, eating from a Cars lunchbox, etc.

What's worse?  This only covers the first half of this year.  A new "Winnie the Pooh" movie comes out in July, with many more sequels and remakes to follow, all throughout the rest of the summer and into winter.  And what's my other option?  To not, go sit through these movies?  I'm not going to wake up suddenly capable of not spoiling my kid.

So I'll do the next best thing.  Pay to see them, and then complain to strangers on the internet.

But seriously, if anyone out there has any Hollywood connections, get back to me on the Michael Moore version of "Cars".  I think we've got a blockbuster there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jack Black has one note allright. And it's off-key.

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