Thursday, 11 December 2014

Matinee Idle

I tell my children regularly that I only had babies so they would grow up into people I could take to watch films. One high point of my parenting journey was the first time I found myself in a cinema at 10.30am, drinking coffee, and watching my two little angels staring up at the huge glowing screen.

Time was we could just go to a Kids AM £1.75 screening and it would be the perfect morning. (These screenings are the film equivalent of The Works - films that are a few months old and you might have already seen, or very slight animated films you never see anywhere else.) We didn't do it a lot, but it was always the Right Thing, and everyone would be happy. They're getting a bit older, now - we have to choose films a bit carefully. Films that work for younger children, but have characters and jokes that appeal to all ages. The Lego Movie. A Monster in Paris (fantastic film).

I got the chance to review two films at home this week - the first, The Snow Queen 2, was pitched to me as a film that ''all Frozen fans would love!" I don't quite know how they worked this out. The thing with Frozen is the princesses and the singing and the love story. The Snow Queen 2 is about a troll and his grandma. Also, no singing. Sean Bean is in it - miserably briefly - and he doesn't even die.

The film had Kids AM written all over it, in my head. The Lattes enjoyed it - though I thought you laboured under a distinct disadvantage if you hadn't seen The Snow Queen 1. Still, if you had children younger than mine and you wanted a couple of hours in the dark on a tired morning, I think The Snow Queen 2, a cup of coffee and a bag of Minstrels would do it.

We liked The Nut Job much better (it's coming out on DVD about now) The colours were lovely! If I was a purple squirrel, I'm telling you, I'd find myself a mint green rat friend because they go so well together. Really! And it has Brendan Fraser and Liam Neeson in it, and they're definitely worth having around. The Lattes loved this, especially Littlest. A definite favourite for an afternoon of cuddling under quilts.

Truth is, we're just getting too old. All good things come to an end, they say, and one day very soon we won't find ourselves at the Kids AM films at all. Those Little Lattes are growing too Big. Littlest is nearly 10; Eldest is 14. Choosing a film and pleasing everyone is getting much, much harder.

A while ago I lurked on the periphery of the madness that is organised Parent Blogging. I realised I had left it far behind this week when I went to a blog event - the first in at least two years - and was presented with a goody bag which contained a sippy cup and a cuddly toy. Trolls and sippy cups - they're just like Sean Bean in a way. A really gorgeous memory, but in truth, they just don't look the same any more.


  1. The day we graduated from solely animated movies, to movies I'd take a friend to was probably the best parenting moment I've ever had. That, and when all three fell in love with the Doctor. Also that brief interlude when being allowed to use a kettle was a treat and they'd make me a proper cup of tea everyday. #itsallaboutme

  2. Am rather startled by that Sean Bean statistic. Poor love. I must say I do miss watching a good Pixar film with the kids but there is nothing we watch as a family anymore.

    1. There's a Sean Bean Death Reel on YouTube if you had nothing better to do.

    2. I had nothing better to do. Thank you.

  3. oh yes... and you don't have boys that want a high body count in whatever they watch.... (no 1) or scary Daniel Radcliffe .. (No 2 is obsessed with the Lady in Black or whatever it's called. I ain't watching it!! If I want to be terrified I just glance at the ironing basket...

  4. I can't remember the last film the daughter and I went to... we've got a cinema complex nearby and so she tends to meet friends and watch films I would not watch (anything with vampires.... really anything). The one thing we do watch together is Dr Who, we both love it and it is the only time we sit together on the sofa and really enjoy TV. Long may it last!

  5. add in the mix of a girl And a boy and then you have problems. I have learnt to sell superhero movies to the girl by pointing out the muscles of the actors. which is really not very pc parenting................

  6. Having my son was a great excuse to watch every disney film I could lay my hands on...I miss them but as he's grown I've ended up watching things I'd never have thought I'd watch (Lego movie) and mostly being pleasantly surprised... this evening we have just taken him to the Imax in brum to watch the last episode of the hobbit and I realised I'd actually been looking forward all year for this new christmas tradition of ours (this is the 3rd year)

    I loved taking him to the cinema when he was small but I love it more now he is 9... just don't love the price anymore...

    (there was also a memorable open air film event of Kung Fu Panda in Northamptonshire thanks to tickets provided by you a few years ago !)

  7. I have nut job squirrelled away ina Christmas stocking (see what I did there) so I'm glad it's not dire. These days I get more put out by the 14 year old when he goes to see movies with mates that I would have liked to go to. But I think The Hobbit is reserved for a family christmas outing.

  8. I salute you for the title of this post - I do so love a punning blog post title! We have similar issues with finding a film to suit all with eldest being 11 years old, middle 9 and youngest going-on 5. Last night we had a film night of our own and watched Mannequin (my latest approach to films-for-all has been dvds of 80s classics, which also pretty much guarantees their sleepover guests haven't already seen them). Mannequin got a big thumbs up from the elders but sadly youngest made it through only the first 15 minutes in abject terror then actually asked to go to bed, which has never happened before. But then, she is also terrified of Frozen, Tangled, Cinderella and Peter Rabbit, so I shouldn't have been surprised.


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