My kids and I don't watch much TV during the school year, but now that it's summer, we are making up for lost time-- and I'm very lucky to have two excellent (and captive) movie watchers . . . one of the great joys of fatherhood is forcing my kids to watch films that I want to see; and the rule is, if you don't want to watch what dad has chosen, then go read a fucking book . . . here's a few of the things we've watched lately:
1) Song of the Sea . . . 2D and proud of it, a little slow, but visually stunning;
2) American Werewolf in London . . . best pub scene ever at The Slaughtered Lamb, a lot of awkward seventies nudity, and if they had just listened and stayed off the moors . . . a great movie and streams for free on Amazon Prime;
3) Caddyshack . . . still holds up and my kids loved it as both a comedy and a sports movie-- the dialogue is a lot weirder than you remember, especially Chevy Chase's seventies mystical guru bullshit . . . Bill Murray is often incomprehensible, and may have been drunk/stoned during production;
4) Goodfellas . . . this is one of my favorites and the kids really appreciated the dialogue and the lesson . . . Alex said in school they told him not to do drugs, but he though a better approach would have been to simply show the last twenty minutes of Goodfellas, the deathly pale Ray Liotta having paranoid freak-outs while being chased by helicopters, and the class would have gotten it more clearly;
5) The Shawshank Redemption . . . Ian sat silently during the entire film and then at the end turned to me, astonished, and said, "That was a great movie!"
6) Saving Private Ryan . . . this one struck a chord with Ian as well, making him want to watch another war movie, and we realized you can stream this film on Amazon . . .
7) Apocalypse Now . . . I was really impressed that my kids dug this movie, it's long and trippy and slow at times-- although punctuated with some of the greatest scenes of violence and horror ever filmed-- I hadn't watched it in a long time and forgot how astounding it is-- you couldn't make a movie like that today: slightly plotless, surreal and psychedelic, chock full of stars, and tragically abject at the end . . . the boys were riveted, even during the interminably long and weird Kurtz portion . . . warning though, animals ARE harmed during the production of this movie, especially a water buffalo . . .
8) 30 Rock . . . we all love this show and it's a great thing to watch right after you finish Apocalypse Now, in order to wind down and not have nightmares;
9) Raising Arizona . . . kids loved this one as well, especially the fight between John Goodman and Nicholas Cage in the trailer home, and Randall "Tex" Cobb as Leonard Smalls;
10) Poltergeist . . . fairly scary, especially the clown, and very important for kids to see, so they understand jokes about building houses on top of ancient Indian burial grounds.