Friday, April 9, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

I loved, Loved, LOVED this movie! (How's that for a start?) This film is exacty what a parent wants when they take their kiddo to see a film. It was enjoyable for adults and children alike without being inappropriate. It was beautiful to look at and the story was FUN! More than fun, however, it had a great message. What more could a parent (or grandparent) ask for?

It is so good that I want to limit what I tell you because I want you to enjoy it for yourself. It is an exciting tale. It is a heart-warming story. It is about finding your place in the world and learning to see others as yourself. My favorite line was when the central character (Hiccup -- yes, Hiccup) says "I looked at him and I saw myself" when speaking of the dragon. Oh, so sweet. That's it. I'm not telling you any more except "Go see it!!!"

The film is probably too scary for very young chilren. I took my six year old and it was perfect. I might let my younger child watch it on DVD but I would not take her to see it in the theater. A couple of scenes had my son on my lap -- especially during the very dramatic climax at the end. The closest thing to double entendre were mild references to breasts and undies. Otherwise, nothing. It was so nice to not having anything to cringe at while watching with my son. So nice!

Overall:rope rope rope rope rope 3

Age Appropriateness (6 and Up): rope rope rope rope rope 3

Child attention Span: rope rope rope rope rope 3

Adut Enjoyment: rope rope rope rope rope 3

I definitely give this "Step Out"!

Check out my friend, Kelly at Kelly's Lucky You. She guest posted for me and she liked the film, as well. Here's her take...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Where the Wild Things Are -- DVD

I am very mixed on this film. Let me start with this. It is very well acted. Max Records is perfectly cast as "Max" and Catherine Keener is lovely as a well-intended if over-taxed single mother. The visuals are very impressive and I enjoyed the puppetry over CGI. But this is a dark film.

No longer is Max a spirited boy sent to his room for the evening. His only real danger -- missing dinner. In the film, Max is a profoundly lonely and angry boy. His sadness is palpable. I cried. The precipitating event that starts his adventure in the land of the wild things results not in a child grounded in the safety of his bedroom but rather a young boy on the streets. He runs out into the night. Alone. This was devastating to watch as a mother.

Even the time with the Wild Things is not an easy, joyful rumpus. Instead it is an outward reflection of the dysfunction in Max's life. He sees how acting out in anger and frustration pushes away the very people (monsters) we need in our life.

The lessons are real and very profound but they are hard-earned. I cried at the end of the film almost as much as at the beginning. I hurt for Max. I hurt for his Mom. I hurt for the Monsters. In case you didn't catch the theme, I hurt.

Now all that said, my children watched this film before me with other family. They asked to watch it several times again. In fact, that is why I saw it. They seemed unfazed by the sadness. They liked the monsters. They liked it.

Honestly, I don't know how to rate this film. I think that it is a good film, if you know the film you are going to see. Do not expect to see a childhood classic coming to life. Expect to be taken on a deeply moving, dark experience. I think that this film would have been better for me had it not been based on one of my favorite childhood books, but it was. So I leave it to you to discover if you enjoy life "Where the Wild Things Are".

Overall: rope rope rope

Age Appropriateness: rope rope rope 3

Child Attention Span:rope rope rope 3

Adult Enjoyment: rope rope

I can't rate this a Press Play because I do believe that the adult themes may be upsetting to some children. I give it a marginal Settle In.