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Saturday, July 19, 2008

future tense

so in the realm of stuff we've done lately? there's not a whole lot. last week (or was it two weeks ago?), we had a full-frontal family monday all together at home. my bride is on maternity leave and i usually work tues-sat, so normally we only have one day a week as a family. sunday. but! for a brief time, while she's on leave, we actually get to enjoy two days as a family. sunday and monday ... in the same week! who'dathunk?! anyway, we're home on a monday and it's like 108 degrees outside, 202 percent humidity, plus 24 more degrees celsius, because they felt left out. so we decided to go see WALL-E.

for those of you unfamiliar with WALL-E, it's that new disney/pixar remake of
Idiocracy, starring Johnny 5. not too shabby.

it's also probably not so appropriate for your average 3 year old, especially if your 3 year old has never been to a movie before. take, for example, my 3 year old, who had never been to a movie before. we arrived at the 10:30 am showing (and only paid $65,000 per person! yay, matinee!), took our seats and snuggled in. i was a little worried that she was going to talk through the whole thing, that she was going to get distracted, that she might get bored and want to leave. basically, i was desperately terrified that she was going to keep me from watching this movie. which is marketed to pre-teens.

i needn't have been concerned. we get in there, the blessed air conditioning is a blessed godsend of sweet blessed relief, and i suddenly realize that i am fully prepared to take my daughter to see WANTED and also maybe DEBBIE DOES DALLAS 12, ANAL CHEERLEADING BRIGADE immediately after WALL-E if that's what it takes to stay out of the fetid equatorial new york swelter.

but i digress. i sit with my girl and i tell her "now, don't talk because this is a movie and we don't talk during movies." i mean, inside voice, right? oh, silly daddy. the lights go down and an entire audience of 9 year olds starts yapping away. their parents? they whip out cell phones and call third cousins in Schenectady. i get momentarily affronted. such rudeness! silly daddy, strike two. i should have saved my energy to get affronted at THE DEFEANING VOLUME OF THE PREVIEWS, WHICH HAD APPARENTLY BEEN ASSIGNED TO GITMO FOR TORTURE/INTERROGATION PURPOSES, BUT ACCIDENTALLY ENDED UP AT OUR LOCAL CINEMA, PLAYING AT 39,485 DECIBELS. AND I AM SPEAKING AS SOMEONE WHO HAS 3 SUB-WOOFERS ATTACHED TO HIS IPOD.

so, yeah, the previews were loud.

my child did not seem to mind. she laughed heartily at the preview for Journey to the Center of Your Pocketbook, starring
Encino Man, who used to make $20 million per picture (wrap your mind around that if you can) but no longer does because his employers realized that he is completely unbankable, but that doesn't stop him from out-earning you for your entire life in the past month alone. a dinosaur barfs on someone's head in that preview.

anyway. we watch the movie. (my grunting newborn daughter, incidentally, is strapped to her mother in a sling. she cannot see the screen, although she occasionally does her impression of Dick Cheney providing a running commentary on the flick: MEGH! GRAGGH! GOATFART!) i figured that WALL-E would be a safe bet for the 3-year-old because it doesn't feature much dialogue and therefore would be easier for her to follow. what i hadn't counted on was the fact that the movie relies fairly heavily on tricky devices like: the future.
if you tell my daughter that we're going to the playground "later" she says "NO LET'S GO TODAY!!!" and then you say "yes, we're going later today. today. but later. same day. just later." she crumbles into a heap of salt, screaming "NO NOT LATER! TODAY!" if you ask her what she did while you were at work, she'll tell you "four weeks ago, i went to music class." so, explaining a distant dystopian future where we have all terribly failed our descendants, and now robots are cleaning the trash-heap of earth while devolved humans live on a corporate-sponsored space-station stuck in an endless purgatory of mindless consumerism, was a tad sticky.

she enjoyed it though. she loved wall-e, and who wouldn't? every scene that wall-e wasn't in, she would ask WHERE'S WALL-E?!?! WHAT EVA DOING?

she got scared once or twice, so she sat in my lap. that was my favorite part of the movie: the part that scared my daughter. this is how desperate for affection i am -- i was incredibly grateful for a thing that spooked my 3-year-old enough to scramble into my lap, who then muttered "i'm just a little bit scared, but that's ok."

movie ends. she fixates on all the wrong details: like the fat boneless future-babies that you see for .0003 milliseconds at the end of the movie ("what are the babies doing?!! where the babies go? what happened to babies!!!"). whatever, she loves the movie. on the way out of the theater, she sees a poster for the movie and she yells "WAAAALLL-EEEEE!" and she sounds exactly like the robot -- it's uncanny and it's cute, she sounds like wall-e! and then she says "i remember that movie from yesterday!"

so i laugh. i wonder out loud: did you like the movie? she says "yeah, it was my favorite movie." and so i ask her, what was your favorite part of the movie? and she says "the dinosaur throwed-up on his head!"


Anonymous angie said...

You captured kids at the movies perfectly! And what is up with all these lame Encino man flicks, anyway? He hasn't been good in a movie since Encino Man.

7/20/2008 8:04 AM  
Blogger Trish said...

Good to know. My 3-year old (who, incidentally, also thinks "later today" does not mean the same thing as "TODAY!!!") sounds just like your daughter. So I figure we'll take a pass on movie theatres for awhile longer yet.

7/21/2008 2:09 AM  
Blogger Krissy said...

We took Wallace to see it. He's been to three movies this summer having just recently gotten over his automatic hatred of Everything Loud.

He enjoyed the movie (we all did) and wasn't too bothered by the plot points. Mostly he watched WallE run around and that was about as much of the plot as he grabbed. "They're running!"

Afterward, having really honestly enjoyed the movie, we asked him what his favorite part was, "I loved that movie!" "I know! What was your favorite part!" "When it was over!"

Wahn wahn waaaaaaahhhhhh.

7/21/2008 10:19 AM  
Blogger anonymom said...


7/22/2008 11:00 AM  
Blogger FilmFather said...

You're a brave man, Mr. Nice Guy...I took my 5-year-old son to see WALL-E opening weekend, but left our 2-year-old son at home with the wife (her suggestion). Though I don't remember the part where "the dinosaur throwed up on his head!" LOL

7/29/2008 4:36 PM  
Anonymous jessica said...

hi, i dont have children. i just like good writing. yours is wonderful. witty, charming and genuine. i rss'ed you after reading like two posts and i look forward to reading.

i live in switzerland, and i was wondering over xmas last year if i had been changed, because i had to walk out of a movie in the us movie theater. i thought my eardrums were going to bleed and the manager refused to turn it down

9/25/2008 5:59 AM  

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