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Life goes on, to the movies with kids

My faithful reader will doubtlessly understand the interruption in my posts, for which I am heartily grateful. I have to admit that I have been a bit apathetic over the last few days.

I actually did write a post a couple of days ago, exploring the depths of our encounter with mortality. It turned out a bit too philosophical and psychoanalytical, and after having spent a few hours composing it, I decided to let my inner editor to drop it.

But I realize that we have to move on, with everything in our lives, including this blog. So here is the brief overview of my last few days with the kids, which were largely about movies.

The daily schedule looked somewhat like this. I get up around nine, power up my laptop, check for office emails to respond to (grand total of six over the course of three working days this week), wake the kids up around eleven, have very late breakfast with them, let them watch TV or do whatever they want until about two, and then we are off to the local multiplex. After the movie, a trip to an eatery (a sushi place one day, a pizzeria another), a fun-filled discussion about the movie just seen, followed by more in-house stuff (computers, TV, board games).

We’ve done it three times now, with Becky getting one up on us via a play-date with a classmate (Kimmy got her entertainment that day with a visit to my offices at Canary Wharf; despite the fact that corporate firewalls block all gaming websites, – including the likes of Neopets or Club Penguin, which are aimed at pre-teens and younger, – she professed to having had lots of fun from the experience itself).

We saw Bee Movie (cute and full of Seinfeldian humor), Alvin and the Chipmunks (tremendously entertaining, with the right mix of “listen to your parents or there be trouble” message, hilarious antics and contemporary music) and The Golden Compass. The latter was oddly dissatisfying. Maybe it was because some concepts of that particular fantasy world were not adequately explained, or because some events veered too much in the realm of “accidental” narrative, or because I had no prior inclination that the story is not going to be complete until undoubtedly forthcoming sequel, or simply because I cannot get behind an idea of a tween girl as an astute and sage heroine. But overall, this reminded me too much of The Chronicles of Narnia: Visually arresting at times, extremely well-made, yet lacking the masterly storytelling of The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

Oops, I may be passing judgment on the books more so than on the movies (especially, since I happened to watch both Narnia and Compass before I read the books they are based on; the sequence was opposite with Tolkien and Rowling).

I did appreciate the nice touch of having the enemy commander respond in perfect – and consistent with English subtitled translation – Russian before the culminating battle. It may be literally taken from the book (the depicted fantasy world does have enough in common with ours to suggest that northern warriors could be Russians), or it may be director’s Cold War prejudice; either way, for all other patrons in the audience, it was a foreign gibberish, while the three of us almost burst in laughter…

Becky also saw St Trinian’s, a British girl-school movie, and loved it.

We are likely to cap our moviegoing week with Enchanted tomorrow, before going to the airport to pick up Mom.