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Taking Kids to See Ghostbusters

Preparing for Ticket Purchase

Before buying our tickets to Ghostbusters, my wife and I had to decide whether we should take J (5) to the theater or not. Ghostbusters is rated PG-13 for supernatural action and crude humor, so we had a lot of researching to do before buying J a ticket. J and I have sat down multiple times to watch the 1984 classic original Ghostbusters (rated PG) to determine if the ghosts in that type of story would scare him, and then we watched trailers for the reboot to see the differences in the ghosts. I’ve talked with J a lot about the difference between fantasy and reality, and that the ghosts we would see in Ghostbusters aren’t real, but are just part of the story. After a few conversations, it was determined that J would be able to handle Ghostbusters. Immediately after purchasing our tickets, J and I sat down to watch the 1984 Ghostbusters one more time before seeing the reboot.

Going to the Movie

On our way to the theater, J and I talked a lot about ghosts and Ghostbusters. J was singing the Ghostbusters theme song at the top of his lungs on the train. J would stop singing to tell me that he was excited to see a new Ghostbusters movie, and he would tell the other passengers on the train that they should “really go see the new Ghostbusters” because “it looks really good.” We met mommy at the theater and got some snacks and drinks before taking our seats toward the back of the theater. I chose those seats as a precaution, just incase it got too scary and I had to take him out of the theater.

Movie Time

J started the movie sitting in my wife’s lap. The beginning of the reboot seemed like a nod to the original. You had a haunting that led into the theme song. During the first “scary” scene, J gave a squeeze and leaned deeper into my wife’s lap, but once that theme music started, J had his dancing pants on and started grooving to the music. The rest of the movie was pretty tame on the ghost part. There were a couple suspenseful scenes where J had to squeeze my arm, but we never got scared enough that he screamed or wanted to be taken out of the movie. As far as the crude humor goes, those jokes will go over a young kid’s head. Personally I was surprised that the humor was part of the reason for the PG-13 rating. There were a couple jokes, but I feel like the original could be seen as more “crude” than the reboot.

After the Movie

After the movie, I asked J some questions about Ghostbusters. He absolutely loved the movie, and the fact that women were the Ghostbusters did phase him one bit. He liked the ghosts, but was most impressed with the new arsenal that were created for the Ghostbusters. J gave Ghostbusters 10 thumbs up, he said there were some ghosts next to him giving some thumbs up next to his.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I thought Ghostbusters was amazing. In my opinion, the writing was great, and the cast was spot on. There were a few nods to the original with some great cameos from the original cast, yes even the late Harold Ramis in bust form. Chris Hemsworth was amazing as the “not to bright” receptionist, and Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy were great as a ghost hunting duo. But, the show stealers in my opinion have to be Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon. I love these two in Saturday Night Live and they are easily my two favorite cast members. Leslie and Kate are a breath of fresh air and give the audience some amazing laugh lines.

Don’t let the online hate that Ghostbusters has been getting stop you from seeing this movie. Give it a chance and you will be pleasantly surprised. As you can see we loved the movie. Before taking kids younger than 7, I would suggest sitting down with them, watching the original, and then talking about ghosts with them. Just because it was okay for J (5) doesn’t mean it would be good for all 5 year olds. Remember all kids have different personalities and will react different to the movie.

Ghostbusters stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. It’s directed by Paul Feig, and written by Paul Feig and Kate Dippold. Ghostbusters is rated PG-13 for supernatural action and crude humor and has a run time of 2 hours and 5 minutes.

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Play Pokémon GO With Family

Pokémon GO has been available for a few days now. People are getting out and accidentally exercising while doing something they’ve wanted to do for the past 20 years, feel like real life Pokémon trainers. With the release of this new interactive app, parents can take the opportunity to share something they loved from their childhood with their children.

Sometimes it’s hard to get up and just walk around the neighbor hood with your kids, especially if they are younger. Some kids lose focus, get tired (fast), and sometimes they just want their technology. Thanks to Pokémon GO, kids have a way to distract their kids on long walks.

In the past 3 days, J and I have walked 10 miles around the city. We have the app on “Battery Saver” mode, and I have an ear bud in so we can enjoy our walk together while still being notified when Pokémon are near. We set up lures when we are planning on being at our favorite coffee shop (Watchtower Cafe) for more than 30 minutes and hang out with friends while catching Pokémon.

Pokémon GO, for me, has brought back the feeling of community and comradery that the Pokémon trading card game had back in the day. While I understand that some people see Pokémon GO as a silly game meant for kids, but I see this as a way for people to come together. People are meeting up at parks, making friends, going out on Pokémon hunts and just having fun. In a time when there is so much sadness in the world, why wouldn’t you want your kids to see people coming together having fun and laughing together.

If you are not a fan of Pokémon, and you have young kids, I would highly recommend downloading the app and trying it out with your kids. It really is a way to get in some good walking time mixed in with some good old family fun. We have had a blast these last few days and we think that everyone who plays Pokémon GO will have an amazing time making new friendships and fun memories with your family.

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Geek Bullying

Two words that I never thought I would see next to each other were geek and bullying. These days it’s easy to find some type of geek bullying going on. I for one am done. I’m done seeing all the geek shaming that happens online and at conventions.

I am tired of seeing people posting things across social media, saying things like “You’re not a real fan. You only know who these people are because of the movies/tv shows/Netflix/etc.” Who cares how people know the characters. Are they paying to see movies? Are they giving our favorite shows ratings? Are they buying geeky merchandise? Are they talking about geeky movies and tv shows online? If the answer is yes, then CALM DOWN!!

As a community we need to be welcoming to new geeks. These new fans are spending money at the comicbook store. They are taking their friends to see movies with our favorite characters. It truly has never been a better time to be a geek. Well, the late 70s was probably pretty cool to, I would have loved to see Star Wars opening night on the big screen.

To the new fans out there, welcome. I am happy that you found your way into our world. If you ever need help navigating this amazing world of geek, I will help as best as I can. If you ever feel the sting of geek bullying, I will stand by you. A majority of geeks are good people and we apologize for the bad eggs.

To those who are geek shaming, knock it off. Do you not realize what the state of geek would be if it wasn’t for new fans? Look back to the 90s when Marvel was on the verge of bankruptcy. It took 20th century Fox bringing in new fans with the X-Men franchise to pave the way for us to have the Marvel Cinematic Universe we all know and love, which lead to Disney wanting to by Marvel.

So let’s come together, stop the shaming cycle. Don’t tell people they aren’t real fans because they don’t know the mythology as well as you do. Help these new fans, embrace their new found geekdom. Remember,  the state of geek could be a lot worse without the new fans.

 

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Finding Dory Review

J and I were lucky enough to go to an early screening of Finding Dory thanks to our friends at X96. We were so excited that we watched Finding Nemo before we went to the theater.

Just like all other Disney/Pixar features, Finding Dory starts with a short. Piper is the short that kicks off Finding Dory. Piper is a story about overcoming fear and never giving up. Piper is a little sandpiper bird who must learn how to fend for herself now that she is too big for her mama to feed her.

Finding Dory takes us on an adventure. We get to see Dory’s origin story up to her meeting Marlin in Finding Nemo. From there we are taken to a year later where Dory is living right next to Nemo and Marlin. Throughout the movie, things are happening to unlock memories of Dory’s family. Dory, Marlin, and Nemo set out on a journey to reconnect Dory with the family that she lost and forgot. Finding Dory introduces a lot of fun and helpful characters, J’s favorite is Hank the octopus. Like Piper, Finding Dory shares a message that “you can do anything you put your mind to,” and gives you a new way to solve problems by asking yourself “What Would Dory Do?”

Parents beware, there are some loud suspenseful parts of the movie that may frighten younger children. So, sit close and be prepared for arm squeezing throughout the movie. Other than that, this is a perfect movie to take the kids, grandkids, nephews, and nieces to. The IMAX 3D is pretty interesting if you get a good center seat. If you can’t get a good center seat, standard 2D will be more than enough for Finding Dory.

Do yourself a favor this weekend and go see Piper and Finding Dory.

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X-Men: Apocalypse Review

This latest X-Men movie wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It was another 20th Century Fox film where the actors were great, but the story just fell flat. I felt like they were pandering to the audience with their some of their choices. There were scenes that didn’t need to be the movie and I wanted way more Quicksilver than I got.

Definitely not a movie for the younger kids. If they’ve seen Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, they may be able to handle some of the more gruesome death scenes in the movie. I would follow the PG-13 guideline with this one.

I will say that fans of this 20th Century Fox franchise will like this movie, but it’s defientely one that not everyone will enjoy. If you like the previous X-Men movies go see this, if not wait for Redbox. Also feel free to skip the 3D, I don’t think it added anything to the feel of the movie.

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Captain America: Civil War Review

Captain America: Civil War is probably going to go down as my favorite movie of the Summer. It was everything that I have been dreaming about since I first read the Civil War comic books. Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, and the Russo brothers did an amazing job working around the characters that they were not able to use (thanks to 20th Century Fox) and still come out with an amazing story.

With the cast list was large enough to rival the previous Avengers films, the Russo brothers did a great job pushing Cap’s storyline to the forefront of the movie. The Russo brothers also excelled in their challenge of introducing two huge characters into the MCU. Spider-Man and Black Panther were fantastic additions to cast and Tom Holland and Chadwick Boseman were great casting choices. It seems like a lot of people were skeptical about going with a younger Spidey, but in my opinion, Tom Holland is the best Peter Parker/Spider-Man to date.

I took J to see Captain America: Civil War, we were going to do a video review, but there were some technical difficulties. So, here is a transcript of J’s thoughts on Civil War:

Me: What did you think about Captain America: Civil War?

J: IT WAS AMAZING!!!

Me: What do you think made it AMAZING?

J: The story was really good, I also really liked the fighting scenes.

Me: Which character were you most excited to see in the movie?

J: Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Ant Man!!

Me: What about Cap and Iron Man.

J: They were great too, daddy. But Black Panther was so cool, and Spider-Man and Ant Man made me laugh a lot. They were just really funny.

Me: Ok, what do you want other young kids to know about Civil War?

J: It’s just a really good movie, there are some parts that might be scary and some parts that might be too sad. The other kids should just snuggle with their mommies and daddies if they get scared or sad.

Captain America: Civil War is rated PG-13 for language, violence and some adult humor. The language isn’t too bad, there is probably just as much swearing in all the other Disney/Marvel movies. The violence is a little heavier than that of Winter Solider. If your kids were able to sit through Winter Soldier, then they should be fine with Civil War. The adult humor is basically a few jokes that are going to go straight over your kids heads, so I wouldn’t be too worried about it.

Are you Team Cap or Team Iron Man? Choose your side and go see the movie! And after you see the movie, click here to join in a discussion group about Captain America: Civil War. The group has spoilers, so please join after you see the movie.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review

Last night J and I attended a screening of Batman v Superman with our friends from Salt Lake Comic Con. It was fun to see a comic book themed movie with a bunch of geeks/nerds.

The movie takes place 18 months after the events of Man of Steel. We see what was going in with Bruce Wayne during the Superman/Zod fight and why he is so mad at the Man of Steel. Now, even though we see that Clark has only been Superman for about 2 years, we learn that Batman has been fighting crime in Gotham for 20 years. Batman’s brand of justice has evolved to where he is now branding sex traffickers and those who would harm children. He’s simply had enough, and after the events of Man of Steel, he wants to do nothing but protect the planet from the possibility of Superman going “bad”.

I really enjoyed Ben Affleck as the Batman, and Gal Gadot made me excited for the Wonder Woman movie. The Batman/Superman fight scenes were very reminiscent of The Dark Knight Returns part 2, and we loved them. The pace of the movie was pretty slow and I personally think they could have cut 30-45 minutes.

I think that Batman v Superman would be a fun $5 Tuesday movie, but don’t take the kids. It’s not that it’s scary or too violent, it’s just too slow paced and too long. If your kids want to see it, wait for the Blu-Ray.