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Top 10 Films To Watch With Your Kids - Part II
Part II on our list of the top 10 films to watch as a family or with kids of all ages has just arrived. Watching films as a family or with kids is a really enjoyable experience...but raises the same issue time and time again. What should we watch? As an 18 Year old, a son and a film lover, I feel as though I should share my thoughts to help answer this question. Below we have our last 5 of the top 10. Not all films are appropriate for everyone so heed the advice and use your head. Happy viewing. If you do follow this advice, tell me what you thought about the list.
If something needs a mention, add it to the comment section.
Part I can be found : http://hazzabanana8.hubpages.com/hub/Films-to-watch-with-kids
This one, is one for all ages. It is sweet. It is cute. Do you feel a strong emotional investment in it within the first 10 minutes? Yes. This Pixar film is quite different to its predecessors' in terms of what it is about, but like all Pixar films, it does not patronize any age groups. Rather than focusing on a family or group of anthropomorphised beings, it is the adventure of a lonely old man - disenchanted with the world - who travels to South America - attaching ballons to his house - in search of a mysterious bird from his childhood. He is inadvertently followed by the upbeat and madly enthusiastic wilderness explorer Carl. Together they embark on an adventure in which each teaches the other something about life. On of the funniest characters of the Adventure is a floppy dog named Dug who brings a persistently funny dose of comic relief with light-hearted and pleasantly doppy comments which kids and older teens (like myself) will laugh at. The painful romantic relationship our main protagonist experiences in the early moments of the film (spanning 80 years in a touching sequence of scenes) will be particularly moving to the older audiences, but thanks to its wonderful score and visual design, will also have an impact on younger viewers too. Emotionally uplifting and enjoyable for all ages,it is easy to see why Roger Ebert described it as 'a wonderful film'.
Recommended Age - All ages. A perfect film for children and their grandparents.
7) The Boat That Rocked / Pirate Radio
Think of a rom-com like Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral....set it on a boat......a pirate radio station boat....add rock'n'roll....set in the sixties and BANG, there you have the Boat That Rocked (Pirate Radio in the States). Both films above could potentially take this place on the list, but despite being a rom-com lover myself, I feel this film is that slight bit more refreshing. Comparatively, it has a more masculine tone to it and feels very much like a 'good time' movie. A young but honest and lovable kid is sent to a Pirate Radio station to join his godfather (a cool and suarve Bill Nighy), the head of an eclectic group of disc jokey's, each with an over the top and stand out personality. The plot is admittedly a bit messy, mixing coming of age tales and love stories, with an overarching story of Sir Kenneth Branagh, as a government minister, who plays the part of a 'boring' conservative wanting to close the station down. What this film achieves (that many prior films have failed to) is portray the eccentric and ridiculous attitudes of Rock'n'Roll whilst remaining boisterous and well-meaning. There are jokes you will laugh at, lines that will stick in your head and moments when you wish you were part of the film. The actors look as though they certainly had a lot of fun filming it. This film is a personal favourite of mine and I was amazed to find it was not a big taker (in terms of profit). Nevertheless, if this brief summary, the trailer, or 60's music takes your fancy, I'd heavily advise seeking out this film.
Recommended age - 14+ This film is great for kids who are growing up. Watching it with parents may show them their parents aren't the boring types they think. Also, no matter your age, the opening sequence with the Kinks playing in the background will appeal to all people! However, there is sex, drug use and nudity throughout the film, as expected from a rock'n'roll setting, but it is never explicit or vulgar and it does lead to some entertaining scenes. Nudity is frequent too with breasts and bums appearing. Clearly a broad age recommendation is impossible but it's certainly appropriate for 14-15 year old kids.
8) Monsters Inc
I did not want to overload this list with animated Pixar films...but THIS IS MONSTERS INC WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. If you are contemplating watching this film with your family but are having doubts then rest assured, there many are groups called 'Move out the way kids, I've been waiting 12 years to see Monsters Inc 2'' all over Facebook in response to it's announced sequel. What better review can you get! 12 years later and children who are now adults, are excited about a sequel! Most similar to Toy Story, Pixar creates a world where monsters (Pixar's cool, quirky and friendly version of monsters mind) use the power of 'screams' to power their universe. Mike and Sulley (12 years later and I didn't have to double check those names, it's that memorable as a film) are a pair of monsters, cutting it through life as professional 'scarers' using a huge collection of million of doors as portals into childrens wardrobes. Unfortunately, children are becoming harder to scare and an energy crisis is looming. Given that children are believed to be toxic to touch, when child 'Boo' crosses worlds, Sulley realises they are not toxic monsters and is determined to get her home. Children will love the fantasy world, Mike and Sulley's double act and a details of the monsters Pixar has created. Furthermore, a quick scout of reviews, confirms my view that parents will be pleasantly surprised with enough references and jokes to prop up a rather fantastically executed feature. Also, the extra scene 'Mike's Car', was the funniest thing of my childhood. Period.
Recommended Age - There are monsters in wardrobes. No matter how cute and lovely they are, children can easily get scared. Randall - Sulley's serpentine 'scarer' rival and film antagonist - is less cute and cuddly. Nevertheless, children over 7 shouldn't have much problem with this, 5 being young enough to enjoy it without getting too scared. With a parent, this shouldn't be much of a problem.
9) Ferris Beuller's Day Off
Many kids won't know of this film so showing them a polished good-time comedy from the 80's, may well be a good way to spend a few hours. This classic film, shows Ferris Beuller as a smooth and slick high school student who lives care free in the world, who takes his friend and girlfriend, to the city, borrowing fancy cars, going to ball games and enjoying the impossibly fantastic day that could only happen in a film. Any viewer, whether adult or child will wish they could have a similar time. What makes this film stand out and is that Ferris is that person everyone wants to be. Cheeky, intelligent in a 'cool' way, lovable, effortlessly living life the way he wants, all performed perfectly by Matthew Brodrick, whose breaking of the 4th wall only makes this better. The whole film was, and still is, loved by critics for it perfectly captures the spirit of being young and free. Another true classic.
Recommended Age - 11+ The glorification of Ferris' 'skipping school' and defiance of authority may dissuade some parents. It has some swearing but personally, given the context, it's not said in a manner which is very memorable or particular obscene.
If you were to watch a film with your family right now, which would it be?
10) Bridesmaids / Scott Pilgrim Vs The World
Choosing between these two was difficult. Very difficult. I then realised this was my list so it can have my rules. So here are two films, both equally as worthy for a spot on this list.
Bridesmaids is the female version of the Hangover which older teens, adults and guys, will have fun with. And that is not me saying that, I'm quoting almost every single review the internet and magazines can provide me with. Its not about going to casino's and LV like the Hangover mind, its all about planning a wedding....yes, your sons and husband will still relate to this film. In fact they will love it just as you will. It surrounds a group of Bridemaids before a wedding and the conflict between the long time friend of the bride...and the bride's unpleasant more recent friend. Humour ensues. Friendships change. To amend the words of Scott Pilgrim, the characters (who you'll feel a connection with) finish the film 'feeling like they've learned something'. J. Jahns cites the dialogue as being outstanding which is why it is so funny and relatable all of which is exacerbated by solid characters. Similarly, frequently rude jokes especially are well done, told from a female perspective, a very fresh idea in mainstream cinema. In summary, Bridesmaids is simply a high quality rom-com which having watched with my family, including two young sisters, deserves to be on this list. If you don't see it now, you'll no doubt come across it soon.
Recommended Age - About 15+ This is a tricky one, although it's definitely one for the older kids. It focuses on positive role models and there are strong messages about friendship and love. However, bad language is frequently, sex scenes with implied nudity are there (all accompanied by hilariously loud sex noises) and there are plenty of sex references including an impression of a penis. It is, after all, the female version of 'The Hangover'. If your family is family comfortable with these things, go for it and have fun.
Scott Pilgrim is what happens if you take a series of comics, add the director of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz to turn it into a film, keep the rom-com aspects, keep the comic book KAPOWS!, fill it with video game features such as coins appearing upon a persons defeat and then give it one of the greatest soundtracks of all time. Certainly sounds like a film aimed at teens. Set in Canada, 22 Year Old Scott Pilgrim is the bassist in a band who has to battle the 7 evil ex-boyfriends of his new girlfriend. A film with a simple premise and fantastic execution. Stylistically, this film is amazing. Comic book thought bubbles and new idea lightbulbs are the food of the day. The fact people have comic book-esqe superpowers, but this is not only expected, but knowingly never explained, is a perfect example of how...fun this film is. Its quirky. It's definitely going to be thought of as 'cool' by younger audiences. Furthermore, the gags make you laugh. It didn't do too well in cinema (again, this bewilders me) and has become a cult classic. However, it is perfectly designed to appeal to the up and coming generations. The only gripe is with the last quarter which seems to go on a lil' bit long than it should have. Nevertheless, a truly enjoyable unsung film that adults can happily watch along side their kids.
Recommended Age - The UK rating of 12A seems accurate (meaning anyone below 12 should watch with parents). Frequent combat (at least 7 times) but it's done in a clean comic book way with no blood, all fought like an arcade game (even with the GAME OVER title on the screen). Sex references are here and there and one female character is seen in underwear. Nothing outrageous but parents should keep an eye out.