The Post In Which I Become a Movie Critic

The boy’s list of things to do has basically centered itself around one thing, which he has begged to do.

1. Build with Legos. (Check.)
2. Read a boring book for school because your teacher has forced you to do it. (Check.)
3. Stir your dinner around on your plate and offer up the lame excuse that you’re full, when your mama knows full well that you’re not, and you’re just trying to escape another casserole. (Check.)
4. See Avatar. (Hmm. That would be it — the item on the list without a check mark beside it.)

Until this afternoon, that is.

The boy had been begging and pleading, and offering up a dedicated willingness to perform any chore, at random, around the house, if we (his parents) would please, please take him to see Avatar. He has been on a mission to see it since the trailers first came out, and he was mesmerized with the tall blue people, the strange creatures, the fantastic photography, and the machine guns. He is, after all, his daddy’s boy, and he likes a movie that involves a good battle using every form of weaponry available to mankind.

Hubs and I had decided that we were going to crush the poor little fellow and tell him no on this one, because…well…we’re a bit old-fashioned, and the PG-13 rating was glowing at me like a flashing strobe on a runway. The boy’s media intake is a bit limited around here, and he’s finally attaining an age where he isn’t overly fond of it. As we tell him frequently, “PG-13 doesn’t mean PG-9.”

Cue the fight over Avatar.

Actually, it wasn’t much of a fight. The boy requested 5,843 times to see it. Hubs and I told him no 5,843 times. He didn’t whine. He didn’t pout. He accepted it, although his bottom lip stuck out a smidgen, and it sort of trembled a little bit.

Then, I’ve been getting the movie reviews from everyone else in town who has seen it. Suffice it to say that all the reviews were heavy on the good, and very light on the bad. Hubs and I called a summit and reevaluated our stance. We were beginning to waver, although we had not fully committed to taking the boy.

And then the poor little man came home from school yesterday and unhappily declared, “Kellen got to see Avatar over the weekend, and he told me that it was amazing. I wish I could go.”

Was this where I responded with the cliche that I have been waiting to use all my life? “If Kellen jumped off of a cliff, would you?” I wasn’t sure that the timing for this particular line was appropriate, so I held it in. I ruffled the boy’s hair and said, “Maybe you can rent it on DVD, when you’re a bit older.”

This afternoon, Kellen’s mama called and said, “We loved Avatar so much this weekend, we’re going again today. Would you and the boy like to join us?”

A second summit between Hubs and Mama commenced immediately; this one was carried out via fast and furious text messages, as the show began exactly one hour after our invitation to go. After even more debating, and more time spent checking reviews from people, the summit broke and the boy flashed the victory sign.

We piled into the Suburban, we gave the teenage boy at the ticket counter the necessary amount of cold, hard cash to get into the theater, we bought our popcorn, and we settled ourselves into the seats.

And lands’ sakes, people.

We have come a long, long ways from the special effects that Hubs and I saw in movies when we were nine years old! I was stunned by the photography, and the colors (Ohmylands! The colors! They were breathtaking!), and the action. The boy and Kellen cheered through the entire thing, which was fine, since we were in the theater with exactly six other human beings. No one seemed to mind the two nine-year-olds down in front, whooping and cheering every time a rebel helicopter was tossed to the ground in flames. If the truth is to be revealed, I was secretly cheering, too — just a lot quieter than the boy and Kellen were. It’s actually a great piece of cinematography, and the good guys win. (And, believe me, I like a flick where the good guys win.)

So my reviews…

Should you take your nine-year-old punk to see Avatar? I’m not sure. You’ll have to decide. My boy loved it. He clapped. He cheered. He laughed. He cried. On the way home, the two of us talked about the need for all of us to do what is right, even when someone else tells us otherwise. If we know what’s right in our hearts, then that’s where we need to be walking. Just like Jake Sully did in the movie, when he had been given his orders, yet he knew that they weren’t the right orders.

And the boy sat still for the entire three hours, which is sayin’ somethin’.

1 thought on “The Post In Which I Become a Movie Critic

  1. Didja see it in 3-D? If not, you have no idea how "OH MY" it is!!! It is, 100%, totally amazing. We've now been twice to see it in 3-D. And both times we took our (not-quite-13) little 12 yr. old, Delaney with us. I was getting nervous at the "love" scene. Turned out I was very glad they weren't of the human race and didn't mate like humans either. Wheeew!

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