Let’s Go to the Movies

We rarely go to movies as a family, so you can imagine how unusual it was for us to see not one but TWO movies this past weekend.

First up: Percy Jackson and the Olympians—The Lightning Thief. Boy #1 and I read all of the Percy Jackson books, so we were pumped to see the first of what I’m assuming will be several movies.

We decided to make it a family night out, complete with a sit-down dinner.

Well, if you count Burger King as a sit-down dinner, that is. (We DID sit down to eat. Except Boy #3, I guess, who kicked off his shoes and squatted on the bench.)

Father and son argued bonded over mistaken Steakhouse Burger identity. Husband took two bites of Boy #1’s sandwich before realizing that it wasn’t his. Never missing an opportunity to declare something “unfair,” Boy #1 kept making comments the rest of the meal about those two missing bites that he would never get back.

Boy #2 did his part to cause a scene with his belching trick, where he obviously makes himself burp and then immediately does the “What?! I couldn’t help it!” act, trying, unsuccessfully, to hold in a smirk. Needless to say, Husband and I were not amused.

After leaving Burger King with the only casualties of our invasion being Boy #3’s clothes, which are now splattered from knee to sleeve in ketchup, we made the five-minute trek to the movie theater. Where we proceeded to sit in the parking lot threatening to drive home if the boys didn’t CALM. THEMSELVES. DOWN. (I swear, we didn’t let them drink Mt. Dew at Burger King, but they were WIRED!)

Then after promises of “being good” (yeah, right), we headed into the theater, where we plunked down $39 for tickets and another $22 for concessions. (This being the reason we rarely go to movies. Who can afford it?)

After finding a place to sit down, Boy #2, never able to sit still, was bopping up and down in his fold-up chair when I warned him, “You’re going to spill your popcorn if you don’t sit down.”

I’ll give you one guess what happened.

There sat Boy #2, with 3/4 of his popcorn now on the cement below his chair. Angry at me because I wouldn’t trot right back out and spend another $4.oo on popcorn for him, he decided he’d “show me” by stomping on the popcorn under his feet.

And oh, how that hurt me.

Although it actually did hurt my stomach a little bit when I caught him, 10 minutes later, scooping up and eating that same popcorn he had his dirty shoes all over.

Whatever. “At least we don’t have to hear him whine about it anymore,” Husband reasoned.

It was at this time we also noticed the horde of middle school kids who had invaded the theater, doing typical middle school things—giggling, pretending to be busy texting someone, moving from one seat to another to another. And the irony in this? Boy #1’s response: “They’re so annoying.” Pot, I’d like you to meet Kettle.

And finally the movie started. It was a little scarier in parts than I’d anticipated. (Which, when I later said this to Husband, he came back with, “Yeah, I wouldn’t have thought a movie that had scenes in HELL would be scary either!” Sarcasm noted.) But overall, it was a good movie and kept the interest of three different-aged boys. Of course, not as good as the book, but that’s usually the case. If you haven’t already read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, I highly recommend it. Great suspense and character development, as well as humor and a ton of info about Greek mythology. It’s really piqued Boy #1’s interest in his current Social Studies unit on Ancient Greece!

So after Friday night’s flick, I thought that would be it for us for a while. But then my mother-in-law called on Saturday and asked if we wanted to meet them to see Avatar in 3-D on Sunday afternoon. The boys were excited to not only see the movie, but to see Grandma and Papa as well. (And Grandma offered to pay for our tickets so we only had to buy our treats; you can’t pass that up!)

I wasn’t sure how Boy #3 was going to do sitting for 2 hours and 45 minutes, especially after the movie started and I realized that it was probably a bit over his head. But he stayed awake the whole time (on Papa’s lap for most of it), huge 3-D glasses still on, and didn’t miss a swear word. (Whoops! Guess it WAS PG-13 for a reason.) After the movie ended, however, he turned to Papa and asked, “So when is Avatar going to start?”

Apparently he thought it was going to be like Avatar, the cartoon. He thought he’d been watching a preview that whole time!

Poor Mother-in-Law, though, felt bad about the swear words (really they weren’t that bad) and the violence (Unfortunately, my boys have watched worse). She swore that she would never again suggest a movie now that she’d taken her grandsons to a “violent” movie and taken her 87-year-old mother to watch “The Hangover” with her and my father-in-law! (She didn’t realize it was going to be as nasty as it was in parts.) We didn’t see The Hangover until after Christmas, and I couldn’t watch it without picturing Granny watching it with me. What a hoot!

But back to Avatar…I really enjoyed the movie, and the kids did as well. I thought it had a good message and was amazing from a cinematic standpoint. The performances were incredible too, and I didn’t feel like I had been sitting for three hours when it was over. I could’ve watched more! Boy #3 said he didn’t think it was scary (although he was still confused about what exactly he had been watching).

Now that we’ve seen two movies in one weekend, I’ve got the urge to keep the trend going! And there are some movies coming out soon that are going to be great “boy” flicks.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid — If you haven’t read a of these books, you really should. Especially if you have boys at home. Perfect boy books. Funny, even disgusting in parts. Written from a total middle school boy point of view. Can’t wait to see Fregley and his secret mole (“It’s got a hair on it!”).

How to Train Your Dragon — If this movie is half as good as the trailer, it’s going to be a hit. Vikings, dragons, and a strong girl character. Just the ingredients to appeal to boys and girls alike. Can’t wait to see this in 3-D.

The Last Airbender — Okay, this is the “real Avatar” that Boy #3 was talking about. Apparently wanting to capitalize on the whole “Avatar movie theme,” the producers probably couldn’t have come out with this at a better time. It looks suspenseful with a strong storyline. If you don’t know anything about Avatar (the animated series), check out a few episodes on Nickelodeon. Since it’s not just a silly cartoon and has some real meat to its story, it’s one that adults can really get into as well. Plus, it’s an M. Night Shyamalan movie. What more is there to say?

What good movies have you seen lately?

Popcorn image copyright shannahsin
Avatar image copyright Nickelodeon
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