Dear Jack: Going to See Movies in the Theater Isn’t a Big Deal to You Anymore

7 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

When I was kid, getting to go see a movie in a theater was quite an event! It was a special occasion that I never took for granted.

Maybe it’s a generational thing, but I have learned you are sort of already over going to see movies.

I carefully planned our family’s weekend schedule around seeing the newest Star Wars movie earlier this year. But when the time came, after groceries were bought and put away, the bathrooms were cleaned, and I got your sister to sleep for her nap, you asked me, “Daddy, do we have to go see it? Can we just wait until it comes out on Netflix?”

So we didn’t go.

Selfishly, I was disappointed because it would have given me an uninterrupted break for 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon. No responsibilities, yet still serving as a form of spending quality time with you.

But no, I wasn’t going to make you to the the movies. Instead, you just wanted to play at our house.

Though it’s a struggle, I suppose I can understand where you’re coming from… a little bit. After all, these days it seems all the new Star Wars, Marvel, and Disney movies end up on Netflix anyway. And for a movie over 2 hours, it’s nice being able to not have to commit to it all in one viewing.

I admit, too; with all the amazing movies constantly coming out, it’s a little exhausting keeping up with them all.

So much for Sunday afternoons free of parental responsibilities.

Maybe it’s just a phase. Maybe by the time I’m no longer constantly exhausted once you and your sister are older and more independent, when I finally need less of a break, then you’ll see it as a worthwhile experience to go see a movie in the theater.

Until then, Netflix it is.

Love,

Daddy

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4 Movies That Need To Be Revived For New Generation (By Guest Blogger, Katie Porter)

Whilst researching this article, I enlisted the help of friends on social media and found myself inundated with a huge list of films that they would love to introduce to Generation Y and Z.

Everything from the iconic ETStand By MeThe Lost Boys and WarGames.

Don’t worry – we’re sticking to life-affirming (rather than running for the hills) for this list!

Here are my 4 movies to be revived for new generations to love and enjoy, just like we did.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

One for the teenagers. From the explosive opening chords of “Don’t You Forget About Me”, to the David Bowie quote crashing through the screen, The Breakfast Club has to be one of the most memorable movies of the 80s.

John Hughes was king of the Brat-Pack teen-flick. And there was no film that more acutely defined the social construct of the playground than this fantastic comedy, exploding the existential angst that made high-school the worst (and the best) place on the planet. It told our story – at a time when we were desperate to know who we were.

Each of the characters were a playground archetype – The Brain, The Athlete, The Basket Case, The Princess and The Criminal – played with such pitch-perfect performances that we saw a bit of ourselves in all of them.

The five, who would never normally mix, are thrust together during a Saturday detention, led by the tyrannical Mr Vernon. They discover that their differences are only skin deep, with a warmth that avoids schmaltz and a humour that makes you wish you were there.

Rammed full of quotables, my favourite has to be from John “The Criminal” Bender to the rather-too-suave, beige-suited Richard “Dick” Vernon – “Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?

The Goonies (1985)

Steven Spielberg had hit full throttle by 1985, with a string of massive worldwide successes including ETPoltergeist and Gremlins. His golden touch continued with this coming-of-age classic about a gang of misfits trying to save their beloved hometown from the bulldozer of evil developers.

The Goonies was the adventure that every big kid wishes they’d had. With a treasure map, classic  bumbling bad-guys, the fumbling awkwardness of burgeoning romance, and a hideous monster who turns out to save the day – this was the movie with all the gifts: funny, heart-warming and dramatic in equal measure.

And if your kids haven’t seen it yet, I totally envy your Sunday afternoon viewing for one of the best family favourites ever made.

Bugsy Malone (1976)

Alan Parker is a genius. How can you deny it when he’s been responsible for some of the most iconic movies of the past 50 years? From the high-tension drama of Midnight Express and the gritty, bitter-sweet unrequited promise of The Commitments, to the mad-cap joy of the splurge gun, the tea-cup “gin” and the speak-easy with the unforgettable Bugsy Malone. The younger generation may know Bugzy Malone as the “grime reviver”, but there’s very little chance that they won’t be dragged in to the zany world of Fat Sam’s Grand Slam with this enduring classic.

The world of the adult, portrayed by a cast of children, has a charm and that no other children’s film had ever managed. This was one VHS cassette that got worked VERY hard.

Bugsy Malone was the film that securely cemented Jodie Foster as the one-to-watch, along with a young Dexter Fletcher and, of course, Scott Baio in the title role.

With a collection of some of the most memorable songs a musical has ever produced, Bugsy Malone has to be a timeless winner that will never grow old.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

This was one of the greats. A classic tale of the squeaky-clean bad-kid who gets away with it, enjoying a sneaky taste of what adulthood might offer along the way.

Ferris and his girlfriend, Sloane, convince best friend, Cameron, to steal his dad’s prized possession: an immaculate 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder. They spend the day  sight-seeing around Chicago, eating dinner in expensive restaurants, lip-syncing during street parties (like you do), all the while shaking off the trail of the suspiciously evil head-teacher, Mr Rooney.

This movie perfectly celebrates the transition of the child into the adult, with all the optimism of what life might offer.

If you’re looking for a great movie that the whole family can enjoy time and time again, this is the one!

Parents, aunts, uncles and babysitters of the world – this is a call to action to share these classics with our younger brethren.

Have a great time catching up on some of the movies that made us who we are, with (hopefully) a similar effect on the generations after us.

Katie Porter is an aspiring writer, movie lover, and part of the team at Seatup. In her free time, she enjoys exploring her home state Colorado and plays in women’s amateur rugby league.

What Kind of Parental Stereotype are You? (5 Ways I’m Not a “Normal” Dad)

What Kind of Parental Stereotype are You? (5 Ways I’m Not a “Normal” Dad)

This past weekend I took my dad and my son to see Star Trek Beyond. It was a really fun and exciting movie to us to see together.

While I was there at the theater, I noticed the promotional posters for the R-rated Bad Moms. I found them to be interesting, as they stereotyped several types of “bad” moms.

What Kind of Parental Stereotype are You? (5 Ways I’m Not a “Normal” Dad)

They included… It got me thinking, “How would I be stereotyped as parent, by the outside world?”

What Kind of Parental Stereotype are You? (5 Ways I’m Not a “Normal” Dad)

For me, it’s simple: I would likely be “The Token Quirky Daddy Blogger.”

In so many ways, I live on the fringes of what our American pop culture deems as normal for a dad; as my wife and I raise our Kindergartner son and 3 month-old daughter:

  1. I’m not a sports fan. (However, I’m very active in exploring and hiking with my son.)

2. I don’t personally believe in spanking as an effective method of discipline.

3. I’m a vegan who raises my children as vegetarians.

4. I’m a faithful Dave Ramsey follower, who will surely ultimately brainwash my kids accordingly.

5. I get free stuff from companies by blogging about their products.

While that last one may not seem so strange, I have to recognize that the average dad out there can’t just inform major car companies he’s going on a road trip and be sent a brand-new car for that week with a full tank of gas to drive to the family events he’s been given complimentary passes to because he will also be promoting them on his blog as well.

So therefore, I accept my label: I’m the token quirky daddy blogger.

What Kind of Fun Parental Stereotype are You? (5 Ways I’m Not a “Normal” Dad)

If you ever see me out in public with my family, you’ll see a $600 camera looped around my wrist, as I take pictures of my own family like I’m the paparazzi.

That’s simply what’s normal for me. I’ll never be able to go on vacation, or even to Whole Foods Market, without taking an array of photos, assuming a blog post will develop out of the event.

So that’s my fun parental stereotype, what’s yours?

Ghostbusters Reboot Movie Toys: Boys Aren’t Buying Them?

Ghostbusters Reboot Actions Figures Already on 30% Clearance at Target, 2 Weeks before Movie’s Release

This week while perusing through Target during my lunch break, because apparently that’s what I do for fun, I discovered a curious thing:

The action figures for the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot movie are already on 30% clearance, even though the movie doesn’t come out for another 2 weeks, on July 15th.

(This took place at the Franklin, TN, location.)

It presents a theory about the free market:

Could it be that boys aren’t interested in buying action figures

in which females are the protagonists?

I invite you to watch the video I shot, on the scene, which clearly shows that the Ghostbusters reboot movie is clearly being marketed to boys, as these toys are in the same isle as Star Wars and Ninja Turtles, which primarily consist of male characters.

Even though the new Ninja Turtles movie has been out for a month already, none of those toys are on clearance, which implies boys are still asking their parents for them.

ghostbusters-2016-movie-cast

Obviously, there has been a lot of skepticism about the upcoming movie by Ghostbusters fans; especially to make the four Ghostbusters female; as opposed to male, which is the gender they been identified as since 1984.

Ghostbusters Reboot Actions Figures Already on 30% Clearance at Target, 2 Weeks before Movie’s Release

Sure, I admit: If they couldn’t get the original cast to do an actual sequel (especially since Harold Ramis passed away two years ago in 2014), I would have at least liked to have seen brand-new characters to carry on the torch, in the likeness of the original cast:

Maybe Paul Rudd, Steve Carrel, Seth Rogen, and Donald Glover. I think that would have been awesome to see!

Ghostbusters Reboot Actions Figures Already on 30% Clearance at Target, 2 Weeks before Movie’s Release

In that version of reality, I could imagine that much more action figures would have been sold and prevented this 30% clearance situation at Target. Not to mention, I think fans would be much more excited about going out and seeing the new movie.

Again, these toys are purposely placed in the boys’ aisle, not with Barbies. The Ghostbusters toys are clearly intended to be purchased mainly by boys, not girls; which is why they are stocked on the shelves the way they are.

Yet boys aren’t buying them.

This is the free market at work; in which politically correctness is evidently being ignored by very young consumers.

With all that being said, I will be seeing the Ghostbusters reboot movie in a few weeks and will be doing a movie review on it; comparing it to the original, from a family friendly perspective.

So if you if this post has entertained you, check back in a few weeks for more on the Ghostbusters reboot.

I Cry Every Time I Watch Inside Out (and I am a Man)

I Cry Every Time I Watch Inside Out

It’s true and I am not ashamed. I know that’s technically the least masculine blog title I have ever used, but I am comfortable with it.

I took my son to see Inside Out this past summer when it first came out, then we watched it as a family this weekend now that it’s out at Redbox.

Granted, I’ve only seen it twice so far, but I am confident that I will never be able to keep dry eyes for any future viewings of it. Still, I can legitimately proclaim that I cry every time I watch Inside Out.

Just to be clear, if you were sitting next to me while watching Inside Out, you wouldn’t know I was crying.

You wouldn’t hear anything about of me.

But if you simply turned to me to look me in the eyes, you would see tears running down both sides of my face.

Yes, it’s suppressed crying, but it’s still crying.

Sunday night after the movie ended, my wife, my son, and I all looked at each other’s wet cheeks, then laughed at the fact we all just saw proof of each other crying.

It’s not that Inside Out is a sad movie, because I don’t believe that it is.

Instead, with it being a movie about emotional intelligence, Inside Out undeniably reveals the love that involved parents have for their children.

The movie provides an enlightening experience as it reminds us that the emotion of sadness is necessary and vital; especially as it strengthens family relationships.

I might just have to proclaim that Inside Out is officially my favorite Disney movie, ever. It appears the general public agrees, as the movie has earned an impressive 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

And it has been nominated for an Oscar for best animated feature film.

It’s one of the few Disney movies to not adhere to the stereotype that the protagonist’s parents are dead. Instead, her parents are alive and well, and are actually good people.

Compare them to Elsa and Anna’s parents, in Frozen, who instead of confronting the issue that one of their daughters had a special power that makes her different, they basically locked up both of their daughters and kept them from interacting with each other. And if that psychological drama wasn’t enough, then the parents had to die, like almost every other Disney protagonist’s parents.

Of course, there is a very legitimate theory that Riley, the protagonist of Inside Out, is adopted.

But whether she is or is not adopted, that doesn’t change the fact that the movie does a wonderful job of expressing from the inside out what it’s like to be a parent and a kid who is part of a loving family.

And again, it’s also a fact that I’ll cry every time I watch this movie.

Dear Jack: Taking You to See Stars Wars (The Force Awakens) was a Top Parenting Moment for Me *No Spoilers*

Dear Jack: Taking You to See Stars Wars (The Force Awakens) was a Top Parenting Moment for Me *No Spoilers*

5 years, 2 months. 

Dear Jack,

I had been preparing you for over a year for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The time finally came this past Saturday.

Easily, I can say in confidence, it was one of my most epic experiences as a parent, to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the first time, together with you.

We arrived about an hour before the movie as supposed to begin. Even though it had been out in theatres for a month already, I wasn’t willing to risk not getting a good seat, or any seat at all.

Good thing I approached the situation the way I did. We were there at the 4:05 matinee when, technically, the least amount of people are supposed to be interested in seeing a movie.

When we walked in, there were only about 15 or 20 seats taken; so we got our choice seats.

But within 30 minutes, the only seats remaining were the 3 separate front rows, where the floor is flat and you have to look straight up at the screen.

So the good news was that we got good seats by being there an hour before show time.

The bad news was that the commercials and previews started at “show time”, meaning that we were sitting there for close to an hour and a half before Star Wars actually began, meaning we both had to “go potty” as the show was finally beginning. That was the downside of making sure we were fully hydrated for the movie.

However, the movie was so enthralling that we made it through the entire movie, which was 2 hours and 16 minutes; we stayed all the way until the credit ended.

The whole time, you sat on my lap. Each time a new character appeared, you would whisper to me, “Daddy, is that a good guy or a bad guy?”

That’s an especially relevant question when watching a Star Wars movie, when that’s one of the underlying themes in most Star Wars movies anyway: Is he a good guy or a bad guy?

During the most intense action scenes, you would sit straight up on my knee. You were so into it!

I am so happy were you born in 2010; making you 5 years-old when the first new J.J. Abrams/Disney Star Wars movie came out.

That is the perfect age for you to start watching these movies with me.

Having seen all the previous Star Wars movie, I must say that this new one was everything I’d hope it would be.

I was so impressed. I can’t wait for us to watch it when it comes to Redbox. Mommy is pretty intrigued by us talking about it so much, that now she looks forward to seeing it with us.

We love Star Wars!

Love,

Daddy

Why I Am Not Rushing Out to See the New Star Wars Movie: The Force Awakens

Why I Am Not Rushing Out to See the New Star Wars Movie: The Force Awakens

It would be boring and cliché of me to illustrate how, as a child of the 80s, Stars Wars was a big part of my childhood and therefore, how I’m excited to take my own son to see the new Star Wars movie. So I won’t.

Granted, I’m going to take him to see it… at some point, after it’s been out a while.

But I will not be rushing out to be one of the first to see it.

Here’s why: I don’t trust crazy people enough.

And it appears I’m not alone in how I feel. Just yesterday, the New York Times published this article:

Mass Shootings Add Anxiety to Movie Theater Visits

Between all the mentally ill and armed Americans as well as ISIS members targeting crowded venues, I am for good reason expecting to see a headline on MSN about how there was a mass attack (whether shooting or bombing) at a movie theater where Star Wars: The Force Awakens was showing.

My hope is that by talking about it now, I can jinx that from happening. I definitely want to be wrong about this.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen enough in my lifetime to know the likelihood of an attack during the new Star Wars movie is decent.

Maybe part of it is my age and where I am in life, but I care a lot less about going to see movies than I did compared to when I was in my 20s.

I used to go to the movies every couple of weekends. But since August 2012, when there was the mass shooting during The Dark Knight, my eagerness has dwindled.

For me, it’s just common sense not to be where a big crowd is in relation to a special event with a lot of hype, like a new legendary movie coming out.

I’ll wait until maybe January to take my soon to see it.

It’s not that I live in fear of crazy people with guns or ISIS, but I can do my part to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

My point is not “I’m never going to the movies again because mass shootings or bombings may occur.”

Instead, my point is “I’m not going to one of the biggest movie premieres of my lifetime, in an age where mentally ill and armed Americans as well as ISIS members are targeting crowded venues.”

I’ll just wait until the theaters are less packed.