Recently, a series of disasters led me to drive my loaner car to my sister’s house, to pick up a loaner computer (although, I suppose I’m very lucky to be a part of a family that has random cars and computers lying around. The good news is, at least one of the disasters has since been resolved) After spending the afternoon and night at Sis’s house, I asked her to come to my house to continue to hang out, and she agreed–even though it meant fighting a five year old and two year old all the way down. She must like me or something.
We wanted to get a Redbox movie, but G was having none of it, and several tantrums later, we both gave up on trying to have fun out in the wilds of Utah County (whoo.) and ended up back at my house. A cooling off period, and some full bellies later, I was examining my (meager) DVD collection for a film that would both keep a five year old boy’s attention, and was fairly kid-friendly. What I came up with was “The Princess Bride”. G had never seen it before, and I have to say, it was really interesting to watch what was my favorite movie when I was his age through his eyes.
The first thing I noticed was how well the movie had held up–I mean, I know that I’ve loved it for the past 25 years and it’s considered a classic, but–how do I put this?
It’s like your old, favorite sweater. The color looks great on you, it fits well and it accentuates your bust. Then one day, while wearing your favorite sweater, you happen to be watching an early season episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, and slightly chuckling at the fashions of your high school years. Then, you glance down and realize the sweater you’re wearing would not look out of place at Sunnydale High.
What, I’m the only one that’s happened to?
Anyway the point is, “The Princess Bride” is near enough to my heart that I wasn’t sure I had been watching it objectively as a teen and adult. But G loved it–I’ve never seen him that still when he wasn’t sleeping, sulking of seat belted down–even if he was up and down a bit. So, enough of my long, rambling, introduction: Here is “The Princess Bride”, via a five year old’s first viewing.
It didn’t really hold G’s attention until Buttercup was kidnapped and jumped off the boat, which, okay, there’s not a lot of action up to that point. He definitely lost interest when Peter Falk and Fred Savage were on screen, though he did understand that the action was part of the story the Grandpa was reading, at least a bit into the movie he asked “Is this still the story?”
My favorite part was when the Man in Black appeared for the first time. G declared definitively “He’s a bad guy.” I don’t ever remember wondering if the Man in Black was good or bad–but then, I guess I don’t remember the first time I saw “The Princess Bride”. G loved the sword fight, and said he was rooting for Inigo (I think that Inigo was his favorite character, or maybe Inigo is just my favorite character.)
I don’t think he understood the exchange between The Man in Black and Fezzick (by the way, you can tell that Andre the Giant had a blast making the movie) and Vizzini, though he did laugh at Vizzini’s death scene–which I still maintain to be the greatest death scene ever put on film. He was fascinated by the Fire Swamp, and wasn’t scared at all by the ROUSes–which scared the crap (not literally) out of me when I was a kid. I’m not sure if that was simply because he’s a boy, and more action/protection oriented than I was, or if he could tell that they were actors in rat suits where you could practically see the zipper. He was worried that Westley was all bloodied up after the battle with the ROUS, but didn’t die–“Why is his shoulder bloody? If he’s bleeding, why didn’t he die?” Ah, kids.
I know that he didn’t understand why Sis and I were laughing during the Miracle Max and Impressive Clergyman scenes, but he loved the storming of the castle, and was once again rooting for Inigo during his duel with Count Rugen.
When the movie was over, I asked him what the best part was, and he said “The sword fights”. Sis then asked if that was a movie they should watch at their house, and he agreed that it was.
So, I think it’s safe to say that S. Morgenstern’s (and I guess this Reiner guy had something to do with it, too) masterpiece has a new fan. And the fact that “The Princess Bride” is continually gaining fans in the new generation makes me happy beyond belief.
Of course, not that any kid I see on a regular basis would have had any choice but to watch “The Princess Bride” on a regular basis. So it’s a good thing he liked it.
I finally got off my lazy butt and got my taxes done. It only took five hours longer than I thought it would. Still, I got enough money back that if I watch my budget I’ll be okay for another couple of months without unemployment. So…yay.
Anyway, by the time I got everything taken care of, I was tired and hungry, and didn’t want to eat anything that I had at my house, so I ordered a pizza. I ordered online, and, not paying attention, I told Papa John’s to send my dinner to the last address I sent a pizza to, forgetting that the last time I ordered pizza I was babysitting. At my sister’s house. 50 miles away.
G was really excited about it. He called to tell me thank you for the pizza.
I realize that I’ve been really depressed lately, and I don’t want this blog to descend into a pity party–I’m working on it, really.
I watched Julia & Julie yesterday, and I’m surprised at how much it’s stuck with me. I was expecting a light dramady, but it got me thinking. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about Julia Child.
Julia Child didn’t get married until she was 35, and, at that time, she didn’t know how to cook. She enrolled in cooking school at 36, She published her first cookbook at 49, and appeared on TV for the first time at 50.
This woman single handedly changed the way that Americans think about food, and how we cook. She was not beautiful, and her voice was… distinctive. I doubt that she would have even gotten as far as making a pilot today.
I’ve been feeling sorry for myself because my birthday is Friday, and I’m feeling old, alone and unaccomplished. I needed to be reminded that I still have a lot of life left ahead of me–a lot of time to still accomplish my dreams.
So today, I learned: Don’t wait until the last minute to take care of stuff (although I’m patting myself on the back for not waiting until the VERY last minute, as tomorrow is going to be much busier than today was) and pay attention to what you’re doing.
Otherwise, you provide lunch for your brother-in-law for the next few days.
If you have spent any time at all watching TV shows or movies on Hulu lately, you probably have come across a long-format commercial for Disney Blu Ray. The tagline for this commercial is “Create New Memories”, and it directs you to this website. I tried to find a version of the commercial that I could post in my blog, but, after diving into the equally scary worlds of Disney and YouTube, this video was the closest I could find.
I should probably mention that I came across this ad repeatedly while watching anime that is rated–oh, wait, my parents read this blog–let’s just say it’s rated a bit higher than the standard family friendly fair.
So, here’s the thing. I grew up in the age of the VCR. I remember watching movies with my family and friends, but I don’t remember a single instance of watching a particular movie in a particular location with anybody in particular. Wait, that’s not true, I did insist my parents rent “The Princess Bride” every time I got to choose the movie or we had a sleepover, but that’s only because my Mom put her foot down and said no more.
I do remember playing outside, or playing dolls/dinosaurs with my friends. (Amber was always a dinosaur when we played Barbies, her choice) I remember reading books, like Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, The Little House on the Prairie box set, Island of the Blue Dolphins and A Wrinkle in Time. I even remember reading more obscure titles, like The Diamond in the Window or I Spent My Summer Vacation Kidnapped Into Space . And those are just the titles I can remember off the top of my head. If I thought about it, I could come up with a much longer list. I remember family vacations, including a road trip to Bear Lake via Wendover. (For those of you unfamiliar with Utah geography, Bear Lake straddles the Utah/Idaho border, and is very close to Wyoming. Wendover straddles the Utah/Nevada border on I-80. Basically, we started a road trip to points east by driving 120 miles west.) I have fond memories of singing songs and playing games, but not of watching movies.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Disney movies, especially the animated ones that were released during the 90’s. I remember walking to the movie theater to see “The Lion King”, but it’s not one of my top 100 favorite memories.
I know that Disney is all about making money under the guise of family entertainment, but please, don’t reduce the American family to a group of individuals who does nothing together except watch TV. (Yes, I am aware there are families like that. Leave me alone.) If the memories of the rising generation are all about watching “Up” or “Cars” on Blu-Ray, than we as a society don’t deserve to continue.
I have never once waxed nostalgic about watching “Alf” or “Punky Brewster” even though those were my favorite shows as a kid. I don’t remember a single movie of my early childhood (except Princess Bride), even though I now know there were some amazing Jim Hansen kids movies put out during the early to mid 80’s.
Disney, please re-think this ad campaign. “Create New Memories” is a great tag line–please use it for one of your parks. Movies and TV do not equal memories.