While looking to clean up my laptop’s hard drive yesterday, I saw that I had downloaded a number of full-length features from Miro, but had never watched them. I transferred them to my MythTV computer with the intent of watching them on the television.

This afternoon I watched The Last Man On Earth, the original movie of which I Am Legend is a modern re-telling. The original was interesting, and I wish now that I had watched it prior to seeing the latter, which I didn’t particularly like. I tried to get the kids to watch it with me this afternoon, but they only watched it in small snippets, convinced that it would be scary despite my claims that movies made back then didn’t employ the “jump out and scare you” tactics of modern “horror” movies. I’ve seen Vincent Price in a handful of other films, but I’d really like to explore his works in greater depth now: his performance was very commanding in “The Last Man on Earth.”

I made Carina watch The Fountain with me awhile back, and she liked it considerably more than I did. I watched it primarily because of Hugh Jackman, with whom I continue to be impressed, but also because the Netflix description of The Fountain suggested it was a slightly different story than that which was actually told. In particular, I kept waiting for “the 26th century astronaut.” When the movie was over I explained to Carina why I was so disappointed in an otherwise acceptable movie. She got a hearty laugh at my expense.

To make up for the lack of astronauts in The Fountain, I next watched Mission to Mars. I generally like Brian de Palma films (I especially liked Raising Cain), and this movie did not disappoint. The star-studded cast was extremely enjoyable to watch, and the three acts of the story each worked to produce a cohesive whole. It was vastly superior to Red Planet and Ghosts of Mars in terms of Mars movies. The special features on the DVD provided some extremely interesting insight into the production of the movie, too.

In an effort to share some of myself with my kids, I’ve been adding some of my favorite childhood movies to their Netflix queue, and watching them with the girls. They both really enjoyed The Black Hole, which was a tremendous delight for me. During the scene where Maximillian approaches Anthony Perkins’ character, Tayler said softly to herself “Oh shit!” which made me cover my mouth and bite my tongue so as not to laugh out loud and thus ruin the feeling of the moment for her. While not thrilled with her language choice, I was pleased beyond words that she could get so into the movie. I had forgotten how tense some of the scenes were in that movie, and it really got me thinking about what constitutes “kids movies” today. We recently watched The Spiderwick Chronicles as a family, and I think it’s the closest thing I’ve seen to a good kid-friendly scary movie in a long time. I hope more films like it are made for adolescents.

Tonight I put on Cool Runnings, a movie in which I have always taken something of a guilty pleasure. It’s not a particularly good movie, but it is fun and tells a sweet story. I thought that both of the kids would enjoy rooting for the underdogs, and could share in the value of the lesson taught. Unfortunately, we started late in the evening, and since we all stayed up late all weekend long, Tayler simply couldn’t keep her eyes open. She went to bed about a third of the way into the movie. Tyler stuck it out with me, though, and she clapped her hands at the end, as the Jamaicans walked their sled across the finish line. I’m confident that Tyler will want to watch it again, and I know Tayler will enjoy it when she watches it.

Earlier this evening, though, I broke out a few DVDs of home movies I made of the twins from 2003 and 2004. It was so much fun to watch! The girls were so little, and their voices so sweet. They were both fond of putting on “shows” for Carina and I, although they never bothered to prepare or even discuss their plans with one another before doing so, so their “shows” usually ended up being impromptu attempts at hogging the camera from one another. The girls laughed out loud as they watched their younger selves dance and wiggle and read from books and lead the camera on a tour of our house. I asked them if I could put a few of these on YouTube for the whole world to enjoy, but I was resolutely denied.

I need to remember to use our video camera to keep recording the kids: it’s such a delight to see those little moving snapshots of history.

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