movies

Parents’ Guide to Cinderella

Parents’ Guide to Cinderella

I have had four family members ask me this weekend if Cinderella is okay for their kids.  Here is a my quick review and parent guide.

This new live-action version of Cinderella from Disney doesn’t stray too far from the source material, which in this case is the animated Disney version from 1950.  It stars a wide-eyed Lily James (familiar as Cousin Rose to Downton Abbey fans) as Ella, the beloved daughter of a beautiful mother and a merchant father.  Ella’s mother teaches her that above all else, it is important to have courage and be kind (apparently very important, as this mantra is repeated about 20 times in the film).  After the death of her mother, her father marries Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett), who along with her bratty daughters make life miserable for Ella right from the get-go.  After Ella’s father dies, the abuse at the hands of her stepfamily gets worse, and after dirtying herself in the fireplace, she is bestowed the new name “Cinder-Ella”.
One of the aspects that I enjoyed in this film was that with it’s longer running length than it’s animated source, they delve into the backstories of the characters a bit more. Lady Tremaine is still an awful person, but at least we are given a reason for her cold heartedness.  Even the prince has a backstory, which certainly makes him more sympathetic than the cartoon version, but there is still the pesky “love at first sight” plot which I don’t love.
Should you bring your kids to Cinderella?  There isn’t much that’s objectionable here.  There is no bad language, no sex, no explosions or violence, no drug references.  The characters of Lady Tremaine and the Stepsisters are overtly mean – even cruel – to Cinderella, which may be a good talking point. Other talking points:  Why does Cinderella stay?  How are her mother’s words “Have courage brave and be kind” important?
I think kids under five may be bored.  There is not as much comedic relief from talking mice (Cinderella’s live action mouse friends are bit less adorable), and it’s a dialogue driven film.  On that same note, 14 year old Nate was also pretty bored.  His review of the movie was that it was nothing new. Granted, teenaged boys are probably not the target audience, but if you are picking a movie for the whole family it’s definitely something to keep in mind.
Cinderella is playing in theaters now.

Ant-Man Trailer

Disney released the first (human sized!) trailer for Ant-Man last night during the premiere of Agent Carter.


We get a good look at Scott Lang and Hank Pym, and a brief glance of Hope Van Dyne.  I’m not super duper familiar with the Scott Lang story line, when I think of Ant-Man I think of foul tempered domestic abuser Hank.  No doubt the affable Paul Rudd as Lang will be a bit more sympathetic. I do know that in the Scott Lang storyline in the comics Lang steals the suit (or Pym Particles or something) and that in this trailer he seems to be gifted them by Hank, which again was probably to make the character more likeable.

The screenplay was written by Adam McKay, who is known for Anchorman, Talladega Nights and The Other Guys.  So this should be pretty funny, though you wouldn’t really know it from this teaser.

Are you excited for Ant-Man?  It’ll be released right around my birthday in July, so I’m pretty pysched!

Win Tickets to See ANNIE Before it Hits Theaters (Seattle) and a Gift Pack (US)

Win Tickets to See ANNIE Before it Hits Theaters (Seattle) and a Gift Pack (US)

On Saturday night, Nate was hanging out at a friend’s house, and we were looking for something to do.  We saw that the original Annie was on Netflix, so Super-Dad, Kitty, and I  cuddled up on the couch and watched.  Kitty LOVED it.  She maybe didn’t love the vocal accompaniment that SD and I provided (I thought we were pretty good), but she is *so* into Annie.
I’m glad she got a chance to see it before the remake of ANNIE hits theaters on December 19th.  Totally coincidentally, two days after we watched the original Annie, the folks over at Columbia pictures asked if I’d like to offer my Seattle readers VIP tickets for an advance screening of ANNIE on December 13th at 10:30 AM at Pacific Place.  There will be three winners!  Two of you will win passes for four, and one runner up will win passes for two.  Your passes will enable you to enter the theater and choose your seats before the rest of the line.  To enter, use the first rafflecopter form below.

Don’t live in Seattle, but still a fan of ANNIE?  Don’t fret!  Columbia Pictures has a gift pack filled with collectible ANNIE items that anyone in the U.S. can enter to win.  The pack includes: an ANNIE T-Shirt, fuzzy socks, a poster and a plush Sandy.  To enter to win this pack, use the second rafflecopter form below.

Enter to win either a 4 pack (2 winners) or a two-pack (1 winner) of VIP Tickets to the preview screening of ANNIE on December 13th at 10:30 AM at Pacific Place in Downtown Seattle (Seattle and vicinity only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win a Promotional Gift Pack of ANNIE Merchandise (open to all residents of the US)
a Rafflecopter giveaway