Sunday, May 22, 2005

A note to Simon (and other cinematically inclined parents)

Angela told me she ran into you today at the Farmer's Market (and that you're reading this... oh boy, I'm thinking of writing a doozy of an entry later today, too...) and that you were heading out to see Star Wars: Return of the Sith to check it out ahead of time because your son reeeeeally wants to see it.

And so, here I offer a big plug for my good friend Nell, a.k.a. The Movie Mom. She happens to be a really insightful critic under any circumstances and for anyone, in my opinion, and she has been the critic I've been reading consistently since Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote that anyone who didn't find Gangs of New York to be the greatest thing since sliced bread (instead of the three hours of tedium that it was) didn't know anything about movies. That severed our relationship (although I occasionally run back to sneak a peek at what he thinks these days before realizing I'm better off without him, just like an ex) and I was alone and adrift until I met Nell.

Anyway, the plug, and why she's good for you, Simon: in addition to providing an assessment as to the quality of the film, she indicates all sorts of information for parents -- like possible questions to discuss with kids afterwards, issues and scenes that kids/parents of a certian age might find disturbing or objectionable, and other films that one might enjoy (or, in the case of a bad film, enjoy more). Although her kids are now in college (I've only met one, and only briefly), she tackles all sorts of movies kids might want to see (including all the horror flicks that teens love) along with some other gems she thinks people should see. (Her book, The Movie Mom's Guide to Family Movies, is also really insightful in terms of learning how to raise kids with movies as more than just "background entertainment.") She's also a fab person and much more attractive than Peter Travers anyway -- and I'm not just saying that because she also reads my site. (Hi, Nell!) I strongly suggest checking it out.

All that said, considering Xan's already been exposed to Kung Fu Hustle, we're going to see it on Wednesday at Georgetown for the Reel Parents' screening. Woohoo!


Simon Park said...

Wow, a post directed at me. Thanks. I will check out the link and (probably) see the movie with Eli. Yesterday, he asked me very direct questions about the PG-13 rating and what it means (amazing what 5 year-olds absorb).

My wife and I saw "Crash" this weekend at the AFI Silver Theater. I highly recommend both the movie and the theater. The movie shares lots of similarities with "Short Cuts", "Grand Canyon", and "Magnolia" in themes and styles. I liked the first two and tolerated the last.

You're probably wondering how the former owner of your home found your blog. On a slow day at work last week, I went to the blog of Eric Muller, whom I know from the Brown Alumni listserv. From his blog, he has a link to Jenny Foreit's blog (another Brown alum). From Jenny's blog, I stumbled upon your blog, recognized the picture, and started reading. Then I ran into Angela at the Farmer's Market yesterday. Funny how these things happen.

Middento said...

Indeed, how very serendipitous! And I know that I have to check out Crash, particularly given that Short Cuts is one of my favorite movies ever. It seems there is another film called Heights set in New York which also has the interlocking-multiple-character idea working.

Anyway, do check out the MovieMom site and, if I'm not mistaken, you could probably email her if you have questions about ratings. Her reviews generally are good with that respect, often chastising a particular film for having having a softer rating than it deserves.

And this whole blog-linking thing really does work in mysterious ways. Twice now, Jenny's blog has connected people I haven't chatted with in a while -- Percival, I'm talking about you, naturally. Jenny, once again, I take off my hat to ya.

Middento said...

Indeed, I just checked Nell's non-MovieMom site, where she cites an article from the San Jose Mercury News about bringin five-year-olds to see Sith. Worth reading, at least.