Movie nights

With the fall semester complete and a lull in my school year, Kates and I have been busy piling on the movies and clearing off our DVR these last couple weeks. It’s been great fun.

A few weeks ago, we caught “Up” on TV and recorded it on the DVR for a time that all of us could watch it together. It’s a movie that everyone who’s seen it seems to promote, and we had always wanted to see it. … Now? We think it’s overrated. The first 15 minutes of the film and the touching story of Carl and Ellie growing old together is wonderful. Then the film gets weird and feels like it doesn’t really know what direction it wants to go in. I'm not sure I'd recommend seeing it.

Last weekend, we wanted to introduce Phoebe to “White Christmas,” and I was sure I had it somewhere on a VHS tape. I headed to the basement to search the boxes we have stored of VHS tapes … I never did find it, but I did have a good time getting reacquainted with all of the great movies and classic TV episodes I recorded during my college years of the late ‘90s and early 2000s. And I found – I forgot I had this – a tape with the series finale of “Boy Meets World.” Score.

In light of recent events, I couldn’t help but watch it, and I was more than pleased that Kates and Phoebe actually joined me. … And when the tape kept rolling, we rediscovered “The Parent Trap” – the new one, “introducing Lindsay Lohan.” Phoebe seemed to enjoy it – and oh, the memories it brings back for Kates and I. … After spending the summer together, our long-distance relationship had just begun, and she was visiting me in Kansas for a few days before we both headed back to our respective colleges. We had seen the previews for “The Parent Trap” during our movie excursions earlier in the summer and wanted to see it. So when she visited we met up with some of my high school friends and saw “The Parent Trap” at the Great Mall of the Great Plains. Classic.

On the same video tape after “The Parent Trap” was “American Beauty.” It’s one of my favorite films of all-time, but I think we can all agree that’s one Phoebe won’t be seeing any time soon.

And tonight, Kates and I watch “The Hunger Games.”

Kates has read all of the books. I haven’t and I knew very little of the story going in. But I was still intrigued and interested in seeing the film, based on the trailers I’d seen.

The movie was beautifully shot. And I loved how it played to the senses – from Katniss’ disorientation after a fall and multiple bee stings to the ringing sound after an explosion. There’s a lot of action and, even while knowing Katniss’ fate, it definitely kept my heart pounding once the games were underway.

But …

I found the whole premise just sick and wrong. And disturbing – kids fighting to the death, while adults behind the scenes control the game and manipulate it at every turn. From lighting the woods on fire and tossing fireballs at Katniss to making the sky go dark and inserting some kind of mountain lion to hunt Katniss and Peeta.

I have no interest in seeing the sequels.

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