Saturday 03 Dec 2016

Let's Go to the Movies
Jennifer Flaten

Summer is here! Endless days of outdoor fun in the sun, save for those pesky rainy days.

If the occasional rainy day, which will inevitably happened, stretches into several rainy days, there is no better way to keep the kids from killing each other then to see the newest flick at the theatre.

After chasing the ever energetic kids around the yard, and playing lifeguard for the backyard kiddie pool, I look forward to the few times I get to relax in the ice cold movie theatre -- mental note, to self, pack a sweater -- with a giant vat of salty, butter popcorn and a jumbo soda.

If I am lucky, I will get a meager handful of popcorn and a couple of slurps of the soda before the locusts, I mean kids, devour everything but the containers.

Of course, with what a movie ticket costs, I may have to forgo the snacks. Unless I am willing to take out a loan to pay for them, and since the banks aren't sharing any of their TARP money, I may have to watch the movie without benefit of munchies.

No, no I don't think I can do that, instead, I will have the kids raid their piggy banks, they can buy snacks and I will buy the movie tickets. Screw their college fund!

Hey, it seems like a win-win situation to me.

Unfortunately, my movie viewing will be limited to movies with animated animals in it.

Anything above a PG rating won't be on my must see list. I will have to wait until it comes out on DVD and even then, I will only be able to watch the movie deep in the middle of the night.

While this seems a little extreme, it is necessary. If I watch it early, in the evening I have to contend with numerous pauses and nothing breaks the flow of good movie like stopping it answer the call of, "Mommy I can't find my stuffed monkey."

These to pauses end up occurring about every 5 minutes. Without fail, all through the movie the munchkins will get up for their 99th glass of water and their 150th trip to the bathroom.

It doesn't matter that each kid goes off to bed completely quenched and empty, somehow they end up thirsty and "full."

Not to mention the inevitable complaints I get that it is "not fair" that I get popcorn while they are forced to go to bed. Curse, that microwave popcorn and how its smell permeates the house.

To ensure that on those rare occasions when the kids fall asleep before I do, that I actually have something to watch I always have a few movies on hand.

For that to be possible, it is necessary that I belong to one of those nifty movie subscription services.

This is a godsend, because there is no way I can have a firm deadline to return a movie. I just can't handle that kind of pressure.

Sometimes my movies languish on top of the entertainment center for weeks, in fact just the other day I found myself dusting around a pile of DVDs. The dust was quite thick, if you must know.

There have been times when I don't remember why I wanted to see a particular movie, and can't remember what the movie was supposed to be about, and that is after reading the synopsis on the back.

In fact, I had to start renting movies for the kids, who actually watch the movies as soon as they get them, so that I felt I was getting real use out of the DVD subscription service.

I am more likely to see the "Great Muppet Caper," within 24 hours of rental, then wanted.

I noticed that this summer the hot ticket is 3D movies, I believe that just about every movie for the under 10 crowd is in digital 3D. Even movies that seem ill suited to 3D like hamsters.

Before you even say it, there is so a 3D movie with Hamsters in it. The title is "G-Force" and Jerry Bruckheimer directs it. Go ahead Google it, I'll wait.

Seriously, I do not want to see 3D hamsters. Me thinks I will be pressing grandma into service on this one.

Well, to tell you the truth it doesn't matter what creature is in dynamic 3D we won't be seeing it. I don't know about other theatres but around here, the 3D version adds an extra charge to the ticket.

Hey, I am on tight budgets, 3D is just a luxury we can't afford; we will watch the movies in not so glorious 2D.

Although, I am not sure why I have to pay extra to see the movie in 3D.

I mean you give the damn glasses back at the end of the movie, if I got to keep them then I can see charging extra.

Still, the glasses now are a lot cooler, today, then the cheap paper frame 3D glasses of my youth. I am pretty sure the special 3D lenses, of my day, were really coloured saran wrap.

The new glasses are definitely cool, not adding $3 to the cost of the movie cool, but cool nonetheless. They might just make up for the lack of cool involved in exiting an animated hamster movie.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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