Monday, November 12, 2012

Friday Family Fun Night

About  a year ago we started a tradition where Friday nights are family time, no questions asked. It's a great way to start our weekends off with a bang. We go back and forth between Friday family fun night and Friday family movie night. But yesterday, alert the authorities, because WE DID BOTH IN ONE NIGHT!!!

About 30 minutes from our house is Hollywood Movie Theatre. A theatre I've heard about but never actually went to. Um, yeaah, it's awesome. For one, it's totally decked out in old Hollywood style with celebrity pictures everywhere.

There's even a miniture replica of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.

I swear that's my camera flash and not her glowing vagina 

They've even got movie props and costumes behind plexiglass a la Planet Hollywood. Memba that place? Bella lost her ever lovin' mind when she saw THE GRINCH'S REAL COSTUME!!!

But the best part of all---you can eat dinner and drink alcohol during the movie! The menu is STOCKED with so many different choices, for example the kids got chicken fingers and pizza while I devoured a Chinese Chop Salad that rivals Portillos and Eugene sucked down a dozen chicken wings. But get this--the food was surprisingly good! We sat in a long row in comfy office chairs (that spin!) with a little table ledge that runs the length of the aisle. It was more comfortable than the regular movie theatres.

The only drawback was going for what I thought was a sweet potato french fry only to find out it was one of Eugene's (licked clean) chicken bones. DOH! Eating in the dark can be tricky.

If you ask me, it's the only way to see movies with kids, you knock out that whole "dinner before the show chaos" in one swoop. IT WAS AWESOME! Chicagoland friends you must check it out. We went to the Woodridge location but they also have a theatre in Naperville. If you're interested in ticket times or some of their fun movie going events, check their website by clicking here.

The movie we saw was Wreck it Ralph and it was so great! A really unique and inventive storyline about a "bad guy" in a video game who wants to be good. It was a total hit with the kids. And with us too. By the time the movie was over Eugene and I were chomping at the bits to kill each other in a round robin of Mario Kart.

The orginal.

Ya know, the one with JOYSTICKS and CORDS! Jeesh, kids have it way too easy these days.
I'll have you know that I miss my Atari 5200 (which was like way better than the 2600) and Pole Position and Alex Kidd in Miracle World and Transbot, but I digress....

Another great tip I'd like to share with all you parents out there is a site called Common Sense Media. It's an organization that prides itself in sharing trustworthy information and education that helps parents, caregivers and children thrive in a world of media and technology. Want a little more than the 4 ratings the Motion Picture Association assigns to a movie, then you've really got to see this.

It even suggests the average age a particular movie is best suited for. Wreck it Ralph got an age "7" rating, which I totally overlooked. But what's great about this site is that it really breaks down what parents need to know about a particular movie, book, app, TV show, video game, website and even music.

It even gave us some helpful hints on topics to talk about with our kids after the movie. This is what they suggested for Wreck it Ralph:

What families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how Wreck-It Ralph portrays video game violence. What's realistic? What's not? What are your family's values when it comes to violence in the media?
  • What are the movie's female characters like? Do they challenge stereotypes about girls and "girly" video games? How so?
  • Talk about the ways that Ralph and Vanellope are mistreated and misunderstood. What could other characters have done to be more inclusive and more accepting?

    Now, don't get me wrong, I've yet to have the spiritual discussion with my kids on how Ralph could have overcome society's labels etc.  because frankly at 9:00 at night all I wanted to do was shove their over fed selves into bed but it's nice to know that I've got something to discuss should the situation arise. 

    But this organization really is awesome, check them out! 

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