Sunday, June 29, 2008

WALL•E Won Us Over

I talked myself into taking the kids to WALL•E yesterday. (The kids themselves didn’t need much convincing.) My husband was pessimistic—not about the movie itself, mind you, but about the cost of such an outing. I gave him my most winsome smile and told him not to worry. I’d take care of the expense myself.

And then I raided the kids’ piggy banks.

With their permission.

We arrived just in time for the 4:30 matinee and shelled out $50.00 for the six of us. (Hubby stayed home. Go figure.) I bypassed the concessions thinking I’d save a penny (ha) or two.

Well, here’s a riddle: What do you do when you take a 3-year-old into a darkened movie theater? You (quickly) leave when she (loudly) requests some popcorn.

I will tell you that I hated to miss a single minute of this movie. I want to go back to see what I’ve missed. I want to go back to see it all over. I want…

…to stop getting ahead of myself.

Angela and I followed the smell & sounds of popcorn. I held her small hand and felt thankful for the moment. (Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!) As I stood there scanning the options, the guy in the tie behind the counter asked if we’d like to try one of their “specials.”

“Um,” I responded, “How much is a ‘Number 1?’” None of their prices were listed and so I had to ask. A large popcorn and two large sodas sounded good to me, though—just the trick for our group of six.

“$17.00,” the kid replied.

An exclamation point flash over my head. Was he crazy? Are they crazy? Am I crazy? I certainly felt so as I dished out a mere $12.00 for a large tub of popcorn and a single medium soda.

Angela & I made our way back to the movie where my other kids were watching—rapt and laughing—and where I felt both entertained and fairly guilt-ridden. On the one hand, I felt privileged to be watching one of the best family movies that I’ve ever seen. On the other hand, I just felt privileged.

You could say that WALL•E won us over…at a cost.

I wonder why it has to be like this, why the price of a movie & snacks has to be so darned prohibitive? It’s ridiculous. We’ve a throw-away mentality—the theme of this movie attests to that—and it would seem that we are now being asked to throw away our money, too.

Anyway. I’ll stop with my budget-oriented rant now.

I am not at all going to discourage you from going to see WALL•E. It’s brilliant; he’s sweet; I think you should. The irony is that this movie goes “green” in its take on environmentalism—in a good way, in an amazingly creative way—and yet, sitting there with my jumbo tub of overpriced popcorn, I felt much like one of the big fat American consumers that this movie portrays.

Perhaps I’m just a tad too sensitive.

Perhaps I’m just mad at the economy.

Perhaps I should just pack my own snacks next time!

(Would that be cheating? I don’t think so.)

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

PS. If you do go, plan on arriving early and staying late. First off, Pixar throws in an animated short film (“Presto!”) that’s hilarious. And then, at the end of WALL•E (during the closing credits) is a history of art that is not to be missed. Do you hear that, all you movie-goers who were in the theater with us? Plus you’ve got a theme song by Peter Gabriel! Why would you leave?

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Catholic Take on WALL-E

Catholic Exchange has a very nice review of Pixar's WALL-E. I haven't seen the movie yet, but now I certainly will.

The Young Riders

Another NetFlix recommendation...
My family cannot get enough of "The Young Riders" whose 67 episodes ran on TV during 1989-1992. The movie is an exciting series of western adventures based on the boys who actually worked for the Pony Express. Our family LOVES this historical connection because we live in St. Joseph, MO -- the location of the Pony Express National Museum and original Stables. My daughter even works there giving tours to school children.

The riders include the future "Buffalo Bill" Cody; James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok; Ike, an orphan who is a mute; Buck, a half-White/half-Kiowa scout; and the Kid, a quiet Southerner similar to "Billy the Kid." They also ride with Lou, a young woman who keeps secretly disguised as a boy.

Although highly fictionalized, there are many facts woven into the tales of this group of Express riders based at a waystation in Sweetwater, Kansas. The station is run by an ex-Texas Ranger and all-around eccentric named "Teaspoon" Hunter, and Emma, who is their cook, housekeeper, and mother hen and tries to keep them out of trouble.

Bless me Father

We've been watching this as a family nightly, courtesy of netflix. The Amazon link will give you a glimpse of how well-loved this series is--it has a solid 5 star rating from numerous customer reviews. Now available as a complete set on DVDs. Filmed in the 70s, set in the 50s, supposedly pulled from BBC in the USA.

The old pastor of St. Jude and the new, inexperienced young priest and their housekeeper is a hilarious trio. Family fare, and not at all disrespectful of the Catholic Church, although of course a bit politically incorrect for these days: the doctor is always smoking and carries a bottle in his bag!

Monday, June 16, 2008


A movie adaptation of Dan Brown’s book, Angels and Demons, is now in production; it is the prequel to the film, “The Da Vinci Code.” There are reports today that the Vatican has banned those associated with “Angels and Demons” from shooting in Catholic churches in Rome or in the Vatican itself. This is important because there are scenes in the movie that are supposed to take place in the Vatican and in two churches in Rome.
You can read the rest of the Catholic League's current alert here