Monday, December 13, 2004

Where have all the good movies gone?

As a parent life is a whole lot different than when I was single. OK, everyone says that but let me explain further. I adore going to the movies. I love the adventure, the dramatic environment of movie theaters. I enjoy seeing the newest candy or popcorn creation designed to entice viewers into spending extra money. Sitting in a theater with plush seating and the occasional adjustable arm with cup holder included. Movies take one on a journey to places usually unseen before. One experiences excitement as characters expose new parts of the human experience.

Now, a mom, I must limit my movie going escapades. My husband, also a movie fanatic, would love nothing more than making a weekly movie visit. But, with the cost of babysitters and the increase in cost of the movie itself, we have to choose carefully when we will go out. We have decided that we are looking for "Big Screen Worthy" movies. In other words, movies which are so grand in scale that to miss them on the big screen would be disappointing. There is one exception to this rule. If we discover movies which are aimed at our 4 year old daughter and good for her to see, we will have the family movie experience.

What do I mean by that? "Good for her to see?"

My daughter is one big sponge for information. Any kind of information. It will in some way shape who she is, what she thinks, and what she believes. Information can shape how she treats others or views herself. So, we are very careful about what will be see by those all encompassing eyes. We have decided that she will not attend a movie which is considered to be PG or above, because the parental committee who decides these ratings is much less conservative than we are and if they consider something PG worthy, it isn't for her. We have also discovered that simply receiving a G rating isn't necessarily good enough either. I have, over the years, seen many movies which contained scary scenes including tiger attackes or death of a parent or family member, also they have sexual innuendo as well as other elements I am not ready for my 4 year old to view.

So what do we do? We wait. If we find a big screen worthy movie, we have to hire a baby sitter, if we can find one, then pay that person, and of course the cost of the movie and assorted accoutraments. We have very much wanted to take our daughter to a movie and in her four years there have been 2. The veggie tales "Jonah", she sat with rapt attention adoring every moment. Princess Diaries 2, not quite as rapt, though it was not a harmful movie.

It's amazing to me that movie companies don't try harder to produce for people like me. All the totally kid friendly G movies have raked in serious money. It is only the ones where they try harder to impress the parent than the kid that haven't cut the muster. Example in point, "Polar Express" while being a G movie, scares any child who has not been exposed to that type of experience. They try too hard to impress parents with what they can technically do, they don't take into account the fear factor of small children. I won't take my daughter. The Incredibles, while being a fun movie, is not for small children. With all the bullets flying and the explosions, my daughter cannot and will not see this PG rated cartoon. Too bad, it's a great story. One which I have told her without adding the unnecessary violence.

where have all the good movies gone?

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