Sunday, June 11, 2006

Cars - Drop Everything and Go See it Now

One of the really cool things about having a child in the family is that you can go to "kids" movies and not look odd. I have been to child-friendly movies before without a child and I always feel like someone is going to ask me to leave. So it was with great joy that I headed out to the theater on Sunday with my nephew in tow to see Pixar's latest flick "Cars."

My mom, sister-in-law, nephew and myself loaded up on popcorn, sweedish fish, snickers poppers, skittles and diet cokes and got a prime seat - on the aisle in the case the two-and-a-half year old nephew couldn't make it all the way through his first movie. (Please don't lecture me on the idea of a diet coke with all that junk, I'm not listening...)

First of all to report on Evan's first movie experience, he did quite well. Better than I expected, actually. He liked the movie and the cars, although the constant snacking for the entire movie was the highlight for him. (He doesn't just look like his Aunt Jessi, he also acts like her as well!) With about 20-30 minutes to go in the movie, Evan's mother took a trip to the bathroom and Evan got a bit bothered by being left in the dark, new place without her. I took him out to the hallway to wait for her and then we all trecked back in. That disruption was pretty much the end for him, he was ready to go home. So he saw all of the movie except for the last twenty minutes or so.

Now for the movie itself. I loved it! It was funny, and had a lot of heart. It was easy to forget they weren't real. The actor's voices were very fitting to their car and it transended the fact that it was just a cartoon. There were some great morals to the story and they were presented in a natural, easy way - not too cutesy or preachy.

I loved the credits at the beginning when the tractor-trailer was taking Lightning to California. The music (Life is a Highway by Rascall Flatt's) was perfect and the road/driving scenes looked realistic. It was just a fun scene. Another favorite part was the Piston Cup race at the end when the townies from Radiator Springs showed up as the pit crew. I adored the Italian tire salesmen duo and the Mater the two truck.

If you go see it, make sure you sit through the credits. There is a hilarious scene where the cars are at the drive-in theater watching movies. The movies are all past Pixar movies (Monsters, Inc., Toy Story, A Bug's Life, etc.) with cars as the lead characters. It was really one of the funniest scenes of the movies.

If I had any complaints, they rested only upon the theater itself. First of all, I HATE the movie theater at the Town Mall in Westminster. I drive an hour out of my way to avoid it. But since we had Evan, we figured we'd need to go close by. And it was every bit as crappy as I remembered. They had one ticket seller and one person serving snacks. The line was about 30 people deep to get in and then 30 or 40 people deep getting snacks. By the time you get to your seat, you're exhausted. The floors were just as sticky as they used to be - it's probably still the same gunk that was there the last time I was there. I will say that the movie didn't break at any point in the movie and the mouths appeared to line up with the words as well which was quite an improvement from most of my other experiences there. So while I won't be going back until I absolutely positively have to, we got through it reasonably unscathed.

In addition, I'd like to request that the next time a movie theater shows a movie to an audience mostly made up of elementary school kids, how about skipping the 25 minutes of previews. Evan would have made it through the whole movie if he hadn't had to watch preview after preview. They are often annoying enough when I go to the movies, but with kids movies they are completely unnecessary. Most of the movies were not even coming out until Christmas or next summer. What kid (or most of the adults for that matter) will remember these previews and look forward to something coming in June of 2007? Who even cares about a movie that's not even finished yet?

So aside from my whining about the movie experience (and I'm not even going to comment on the popcorn, drinks and snacks that cost more than I put in my gas tank last week and with the price of gas, that's saying something), go see Cars with or without a youngster. It's charming and fun!


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