Tuesday, March 24, 2020

COVID-19 Cinema: Secret of the Oohs (1)

Week one (of at least three) was pretty wild. Staying at home with my kids is essentially our summer routine, but those warm, carefree days include as many activities as possible, and summer madness typically takes place far, far away from the watchful eye of Sauron. (mom's home, dig?)

Ah, remember the Shire...

Clearly these are wildly different times. Like summer, I'm home, but now I'm playing teacher to my two kids, a first grader and a fifth grader, both attempting to navigate their initial foray into the dreaded world of online learning. Eventually, all fortitude and civility break down, and it becomes movie time. Family movie time. And when that's over? After dinner, showers, their second wind and my wife passes out? It's movie time. Again. Without the family.

Here's what went down in round one...

Film: Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Runtime: 87 minutes  Rating: PG-13
Audience: Matty and Violet  Status: Engaged

Michelangelo...press some buttons.

Being that I'd never dipped my toe into the pool of D.C.s' direct-to-video animation prior, this little flick absolutely stunned me. A mysterious gang is snatching up all the tech in Gotham with plans to unleash a chemical agent all over the city. Enter the good guys, a ton of them (Batman's whole crew + the Turts), to kick the ass of a who's who of evil doers (Joker, Harley Quinn, Shredder, etc). Seriously, tell me they're making a $700 million dollar, four-hour live-action epic, and I'll pre-order my tickets now. Assuming, you know, movie tickets are still a thing.

Yay: The action is shockingly hard-hitting, and the comedy, even more surprising, is gut-busting.
Boo: I'm not sure my kids knew what to make of Joker and Harley frenching like/as wild animals.
Homeschool lesson of the day: Teamwork makes the dream work. Assuming your partner is really strong, really rich...or both.

Runtime: 82 minutes  Rating: PG-13
Audience: Just Dad     Status: Feeling it

It isn't safe here.

What the Hell is this? A Universal logo? A (mostly-silent) monster movie? Why didn't anyone tell me? Our heroine Jenn would have, after she woke up on a beach, momentarily alone, but she's got work to do, especially when her friend washes ashore. Most of him. Being alone on a deserted island would be terrifying enough, but turns out having company is infinitely worse. See, every night after Jenn calls it a day, a hulking beast crawls out of the ocean looking for blood, and outside of baby sharks (don't you dare, a-hole) and the occasional person Jenn knew, there ain't really a lot of options. Jenn's going to have to handle it herself. Did you ever see the last half of Predator? Jenn did.

Yay: I thought that the hammock sequence was a dream, but it turns out it was a f--king nightmare.
Boo: 10:30 in the a.m., volume fairly low, room totally bright. And I still did a f--king backflip..

Common Thread (Adult Lesson of the Day): In each film, when you think about it, the real monster isn't the giant green creature on two legs.


  1. You had to hit me with baby shark, didn't you? I'm stuck at home with a 2-year old, baby shark is on repeat. She's finally having a nap, I escape to the blog world and you do this to me?!
    In all seriousness - I hope you and your family are doing ok! <3

    1. Yeah, sorry about that. I almost wrote a full review just so I could make that joke, but wisely chose against it!

      So far, so good. Same to you and yours!

  2. This is a great idea for a post! Though unlike your children mine has watched some truly horrendous shit on Netflix that I've unfortunately had to watch with him at times.

    1. Thank you!

      I step out for all their junk, as it's mostly Big City Greens and Apple and Onion (that's all Violet, Matty just goes along like a nice big brother/total wimp).If they ever watch a movie, it's always Space Jam...which is weird, but has my endorsement.

  3. Ah, I hope you and your family are doing okay! I love this idea too, "Just dad" well.. that's nice. thinking back my parents showed me all kinds of crazy stuff as a kid so like.. you seem to make much healthier choices. :D

    1. We are good, and hopefully you are as well.

      That's nice of you to say, Getter. I'm trying to be responsible, but I know that for my son's sake, I gotta throw in the occasional grown-up thing too. I can't have him entering middle school not knowing...anything, if you know what I mean.

      Yeesh, I don't think my parents showed my anything on purpose, but I do remember seeing some weird shit with them.

  4. Your posts don't reek of desperation and fury like other stuff written by people stuck in homes with their children so you must be doing pretty great! :D

  5. At least not THAT kind of desperation (because, believe me, I'm desperate).

    My kids, as you may have inferred, are pretty awesome. Annoying, yes. But good people. Though they are both readers, and both are online on laptops at damn near all times.