On the subject of Movies

I watched bits and piecs of ‘Flipper’ on television last week.  Aside from grinning about how stinkin’ cute Luke Halpin was, I was struck with a bit of nostalgia.  It was the first movie that I ever went to see without parental supervision.  In fact, Shelly and I were put in charge of a younger sibling at a small town theater showing while our parents played cards together.  They dropped us off and we had to buy our own tickets, purchase popcorn, see the show and then wait outside the theater to be picked up.  How cool was that?  I think I was 8 or 9. 

    I have written in the past about my family’s affection for drive in theaters as I was growing up…..and the excitement at finding a working drive in not far from where we live now.   We’ve been twice this summer.  I have to admit that I fell asleep during both of those excursions.  Fortunately my leg was pressing against the speaker in the car door and I was jarred awake by all of the explosions at the end and so didn’t totally miss the finely sculpted tushy and  pecs of Hugh Jackman’s ‘Wolverine.’  Not exactly my choice of movie so I was glad not to miss the only thing that I was interested in.

     When it comes to choosing movies today, I generally roll with the crowd and it’s caused some friction in my household lately.   I am beginning to buck the system.  We are a family of acutely different tastes.  The Prince generally nixes any of my choices….just because they are mine….and he might enjoy them after all.  (I am still not forgiven for a forced Saturday afternoon viewing of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’…..something I made him do before taking the final in English class after reading the book….even though he actually enjoyed it.  Nor has he forgiven me for ‘Whale Rider’, which his teacher made his 7th grade class sit through…..about three months after I made the whole family watch a Netflix rental of it.  I love that movie. )   The Princess has still not outgrown the need for animation.  HRH generally goes for anything that is loud with explosions or warfare or growls or blood.  Don’t get me wrong.  I kinda enjoyed the latest ‘Hannah Montana’ offering.  ‘Transformers II’….not so much…. but in the interest of doing something ‘with my family’, I went.  Will they see ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ with me?  Not a chance.  How about ‘The Proposal’??  Nope.  I did manage to cajole the Princess into seeing ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ once….and took a lot of flak from friends for allowing my 13 year old to see it before screening it myself.  At any rate, she enjoyed it, loved the music and dance at the end and bought me a copy for my collection as a Mother’s Day gift. 

I tend to go for the movies that are not huge blockbusters.  Quiet movies with lots of good character development.   Those were the kind of films that we watched on Sunday afternoons.   ‘Bill Kennedy At The Movies’ was a local show that mixed movies with movie trivia and interviews.  We used to plan dinner around it and eat from t.v. trays in front of the television.  We watched things like ‘Mister Roberts’,  ‘The Thrill of it All’, ‘Father Goose’, ‘The Longest Day’ , ‘Spencer’s Mountain’ , ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’ and ‘The Rare Breed.’    Those are just some of the movies I remember enjoying back then.  I was exposed to so many great performers…Cary Grant, Sophia Loren, John Wayne and John Mills, Gregory Peck, Doris Day, Jimmy Stewart, Maureen O’Hara….sigh.  I miss them. 

     However, Netflix has been able to assuage my need for those kinds of films again.  And since no one else thinks to add things to our list,  the red envelopes that come in the mail are not generally met with a whole lot of enthusiasm as a rule.  They are ‘Mom’s choices.’  Don’t get me wrong.  We have seen some gems (‘Bottle Shock’ comes to mind.  We talked about it for days afterward.)  and others have been a total waste of time (‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’??  What the frick was THAT all about?). 

     I am glad that my children will have their own memories of ‘ET’, ‘Star Wars’, ‘Star Trek’, ‘Wall-E’ , ‘Harry Potter’ and drive in showings of ‘Night at the Museum’, …..and okay…..’Transformers.’ 

    We are a movie going family after all.

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