February 25, 2005


This morning, while the family was getting ready for school/work, Tristan, my 3-year-old, grabbed a DVD off the shelf and brought it to my wife and me. "Can I watch this DVD?" he asked. I looked to see him holding a copy of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. My wife said "sure," and then she looked at me and said, "He'll get bored with it and turn it off anyway."

Then she told me that the other day, he came to her carrying three different movies: Wimbledon, Sweet Home Alabama, and I forget the third one; and he says to my wife, "These are girl movies." Where he got that from, we have no idea, since neither I or my wife told him that. Perhaps it was the teenage boys from up the street who hang out at our place, who keep trying to convince Tristan to go dirt-bike riding with them. (They actually don't have to convince Tristan.)

The funny thing is, most of the time Tristan doesn't really watch movies. What he does is put the DVD in, and then he has fun pressing buttons on the remote. He'll go to "Scene Selection," pick a scene, start watching it, then go back to the menu, do a bonus feature, stop it halfway through, watch a preview, then back to the menu, and then play a game or activity. Basically, he just likes to press buttons. So I guess it really doesn't matter what movie is in the DVD player, as long as it has extra features.

Clearly, different people watch movies for different reasons. Some people like to laugh; some like to cry; some like to escape from reality; and some just like to push the buttons.

If I were to give out awards for movies (the Academy Awards are coming up, after all), here are the categories I would create, and the movies I'd award them too. Not all are movies from the past year, but they're all movies that I saw in the past 12 months.

Most interesting choice of a movie to see with your youth group: Without a Paddle. (It was their choice, but did they really get all those references to 80s culture?)

Best movie based on a children's book: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. (Way better than the first two Harry Potter movies.)

Best sequel: Spiderman 2. (Also better than its predecessor.)

The father-in-law award: Shark Tale. (My father-in-law LOVES that movie, and he took Tristan to see it, even though it wasn't really appropriate or entertaining for a 3-year-old. Come to think of it, it was barely entertaining to this 34-year-old.)

Most surprising movie: Million Dollar Baby. (I guess if you didn't know anything about it, like me, and went to see it only because a friend was buying your ticket, and all you were expecting was some dumb movie about boxing.... Boy, was I blown away!)

Best movie that I finally got on DVD: Smoke Signals. (Best line in the movie: "Tell me a story." / "Do you want lies or the truth?" / "I want both!")

The movie that made me cry: Ray (Especially the flashbacks to when he was a child.)

If anyone has their own special category, and the movie they'd award it to, feel free to let me know!

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