Tag Archives: movies

Some people have fine china…

19 Nov

or some other special heirloom like a painting or jewelry that they hand down to their children when they reach an age when they can understand its importance, respect and appreciate it. This moment recently happened for Nia when I introduced her to the movie, Grease.

I actually can’t remember the first time I watched it because I’ve seen it so many times. I know I was 10 or younger. I have fond memories of watching it with my sister and also with my friend, Mary Lou. We would repeat the lines and sing along. We quoted it when we weren’t watching it. My sister and I had the album and I remember starring at the pictures on it as I listened. I even got to see Grease on Broadway in New York City. It is cherished.

I wasn’t sure if Nia would feel the same way. Or if she was even really ready for it. I know I didn’t realize most of the stuff they were saying but Nia is way more attentive and inquisitive. She asked questions through the entire movie and reviewed it. Nate even throw in a few peanut gallery comments as he caught scenes here and there.

  • “Why are the Pink Ladies making fun of Sandy? I thought they were friends.” (Inquired during “Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee.”)
  • “They are licking tongues!” (Nate’s reaction to the parking scene with Rizzo and Kenickie.)
  • Major giggles from both when Danny pulled the umpire’s mask after the foul ball call.
  • More giggles when Danny raises his arm in the air at the end of “Summer Nights.”
  • Censorship by daddy in the form of a loud clearing of his throat during a lyric about not being respectful to girls in the song, “Summer Nights.”
  • “They have wine!” (Reacting to the wine at the sleepover.)
  • “They always get mad at each other and then make up and then mad again.” (Nia’s general perception of Danny and Sandy’s relationship.)
  • “Sandy becomes this girl?! No way.” (Nia, pointing to the DVD case with red high-heeled Sandy on it.)
  • “What’s that called where they are? (I answer.) Drive-ins look cool. Do we still have them?
  • “The T-Birds aren’t being nice to Eugene.” (Said each scene with Eugene.)
  • “They used speakers back then? Now we have tvs for morning announcements.”
  • “Can I watch it again?”

She even asked to watch Grease 2 but she wasn’t digging that it wasn’t Danny and Sandy. As for me, well, I love a cool rider and I’m so happy to share this with her.

Dear Super 8,

12 Jun

One Arm Paparazzi

You made me laugh, you made me cry, you made me gasp, stop eating my nachos, point at the screen and whisper to my mom who was sitting next to me in the theater. But it wasn’t all just due to the writing, performing and action. It was because of the city you named Lillian, Ohio. The city where I grew up.

I wrote about my excitement for your creation before but now that I’ve seen it all completed on the big screen – you made me remember and appreciate so many parts of my history – places I don’t get to see anymore. Where I used to play softball, where I used to take walks, where I used to sit and wait for friends, where I would drive by on any given day, where family is laid to rest, and where I lived and still call “home.”

Our house gets a few minutes of your time. It doesn’t do much – just exists in the background – but it’s there. Holding its own in your summer blockbuster. My second story bedroom window hovers above the scene. A window I would’ve been peeking out to watch it all happen. I used to sit and look out over Weirton Heights, watching the cars drive by on Pennsylvania Avenue while the smell from the metal screen filled my senses. Now, that window is a super star.

Hearing the stories from my mom/neighbors/friends, it was quite a spectacle to see your production in our town. (Pictures that my mom took are in the slideshow below.) It was a town that used to thrive around the steel mill and have an energy about it that I’m sure I romanticize now but you made me feel it again. You ignited a renewed spirit around the city – with your movie magic and interest in a place that so many don’t even know about. (Although we were a Jeopardy question once.)

Thank you for your attention and for thinking that Weirton, West Virginia had something special to offer in your Hollywood cinematic masterpiece. Also, thank you for allowing me to leave the theater and excitedly (and obnoxiously) tell a stranger, “That was my hometown! Our house was in the movie!” I think you would agree, it’s a worthy brag.

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I used to write a sex column…

17 Jul

so why am I such a prude and conservative when it comes to certain things? Those things all involve the upbringing of children in the areas of sex and violence.

Let’s start with what sells – sex. It’s fantastic, right? Talking about it, thinking about it, watching it, having it. Great stuff, that sex. I just am finding it difficult to deal with how even the most common children’s cartoons demonstrate sexual attraction. What Nate is learning by watching these cartoons is that when he sees a pretty lady he’s supposed to call her hot, whistle, pop his eyes out of his head, make that arooga noise and pant. I know male cartoon characters have been portrayed like that since before our parents were kids but I find it, well, STUPID. I can tell Nate, it’s not the best idea to act that way when you see a beautiful girl but if popular culture says it’s ok, does my small voice matter?

The same is true for violence or how anger is handled on tv, movies, music or even during a skit at a baseball game. Someone make you mad? Give ’em a knuckle sandwich, push them down, kick ’em where it counts, play a nasty trick on them and call them names the whole time. I counter with a, “That’s not nice, is it? Here’s what you should do instead…” But again, how long will my voice win over what they continually see as acceptable behavior? Heck, sometimes the fighting is cheered. Yay! Go get ’em!

I find myself even having to correct commercials now. For example, it’s not nice to stick your tongue out at people. Right? This mom says so and it took some time for us to get that through to Nate. When we finally did, what do we see? A mini-van commercial where a little boy outsmarts some other kids then sticks his tongue out at them. That little tongue-sticker-outer is the “good” kid. Great.

It is my responsibility to raise my children to the best of my ability. I take that on wholeheartedly. I do not expect movies, cartoons, commercials or songs to teach my children proper behavior and I don’t want to shelter my children from them. I just wish they didn’t contradict me all the time. I guess my cartoon would be pretty boring.

Nia’s New Love

7 May

He’s 26 years old, he’s super short and wobbles when he walks.

He needs a tan and needs to learn how to handle his beer.

His fingers are incredibly long and one of them can glow.

He has a limited vocabulary, usually repeating the same words/phrases over and over again.

You know, like “E.T. phone home.”

Nia was introduced to the little alien this weekend and hasn’t been able to stop talking about him since.  She loved every minute of the movie, laughing out loud at parts (the “phone home” part really made her giggle, especially since E.T. was dressed up) and even crying toward the end saying, “I don’t want ET to die Momma.”

It may sound incredibly dramatic but the whole thing made me tear up because of how precious it all was.  I was Nia’s age when I first watched the movie and now I get to experience the feeling all over again through her eyes.  The movie captivated her heart and imagination and there is something touching in that.  She’s becoming a little sci-fi/fantasy lover and I think that’s so cool.  From Lord of the Rings to Narnia and now E.T., I’m so excited for her to discover there’s more than just Disney princesses out there!

Gets Me Every Time

27 Jan

I don’t know why I do it to myself.  I just can’t help it.  For some reason, I enjoy (?) watching the same movies over and over again even though I know they are going to make me cry.  And, I don’t just mean a few tears.  I mean, I cry.  Hard.  My body shakes. My chin quivers. I leak so much liquid from my face that my sleeves alone aren’t enough to handle the mess.  Even after I’m finished sobbing and I’m calm, the tears still sneak out of my eyes. Slowly sliding down the sides of my face.

I even get mad if something happens to prevent me from crying during a movie.  For example, if Andrew stares at me and smiles when he knows I’m about to cry – ah!  I end up having to tell him to stop looking at me and then all that built up emotion is ruined and I can’t cry anymore!  I really wanted to cry dammit!

What is all that about?!

One of the worst (best?) movies that has the power of me is The Green Mile.  It’s been on a lot lately and we’ve watched it a lot.  It gets me every time.  I lose it.  One of the times I was actually ironing something – so there I was – standing, bawling, iron in my hand, frozen, hysterical.  Even the Disney cartoon Mulan does it to me.  The kids will be watching it and I’ll be cooking or cleaning through the majority it and then, I pay attention to it for a few minutes.  That’s all it takes.

I guess, maybe it’s not so much that I enjoy watching sad movies. I think I’m just an emotional person who enjoys movies.  Whether sad or funny or a thriller or a sci-fi flick, I am addicted.  Especially to the ones that are powerful, beautiful, touching, hilarious, surprising, real and an overall amazing piece of entertainment.  For me though, there’s a lot of those. They bring tears to my eyes just thinking about them…

How about you?

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