This past weekend I traveled south to Virginia to spend some quality time with my family. They live in Alexandria. These are great times for me. I get to hang out with my sisters Faithie and Becky, and my brother-in-law, "Dandy" Dan Sheehan. All three of them are home grown Norwoodites, and they bleed blue and gold. It bums me out that they live so far away, but when we get together, we eat, laugh, and talk about Norwood... and about movies.
But honestly, I actually go down for the main attraction, my niece and nephews. The bro's and sis's are secondary. Sorry guys.
Zoe is my niece and she is the oldest at 9 years. She's smart as a whip and is an excellent gymnast. Virginia State Champion! Look for her at the 2020 Olympics.
Maddox is 7. He goes by the nickname "Maddog." He is a die-hard "Star Wars" fan, (just like his uncle) and is bone crushing in the hockey rink, just like his old man.
And then there's Beckett. Beckett is 4 years old and plays kickball for the "Lugnuts." He's the cutest kid on the planet and is fluent in four languages (we just haven't figured out which ones yet).
They all love the movies. So on Saturday morning, after a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts, I told their parents that I would take them to the movies. They were thrilled (the parents, that is). It gave them a little time to themselves, and it gave me time to mold and sculpt my apprentices for their future jobs as professional movie reviewers. We all know that this is a gruelling business and I can't review forever. I need my legacy to be passed down to the next generation of Kelley's/Sheehan's, and who better to pass the torch to but these three. All their parents asked me was just, "please don't take them to see Batman." I said, "Fine, we'll go see Magic Mike."
We decided on the Disney-Pixar film, "Brave."
Now, I know that this film came out on June 22, but I wanted to see it with the kiddos, so I held off on reviewing it until now. I hope you're not mad at me.
The day started out with me and my sister Becky taking the kids to the Kingstowne AMC 16 theatre. It was a very nice theatre. I thoroughly enjoyed the layout. We walked up to get tickets. The attendant said, "May I help you?" I said, "Yes, my good man, two adults for 'Brave' and two children please." He said, (as he pointed to Beckett) "What about him?" And I said, "What about him, he's only two." He gave us our tickets and we were on our way. That's when I turned to Zoe and Maddox and said, "Lesson one: if you can get in for free, get in for free."
Next, we went up to the concession stand. The kids wanted drinks and candy. I said, "You guys can get a slurpee. Don't worry about the candy." I grabbed them two small slurpees that came in a cup the size of an oil drum. It was just way too much slurpee... and way too much money! Zoe and Maddox said, "What about the candy?" That's when I said, "Lesson two: sneak in as much food as you can, because you're going to get ripped off at the concession stand!" I think they were beginning to understand how Uncle Matty's mind works. I pulled out my 'man-pocketbook' (it's European!) and showed them the goods. It was loaded with candy!
Finally, we all skipped on down to our theatre. I looked at the children and said, "Lesson three, and this is an important one: ALWAYS sit in the back row, so no one can kick your seat."
We grabbed our row... and within two minutes the kids were running around the entire theatre. I knew that this was going to get interesting.
Movie time! The seating went Becky, Zoe, me with Beckett, and then Maddox. This arrangement lasted through the the first preview. Beckett wanted his own seat. I let him have one. He sat quietly for a few minutes. Then I turned to look at him, and the chair had swallowed him up! He wasn't big enough for it! It was such a funny sight.
Let me tell you a little about the movie.
A young princess named Merida is being forced to into a relationship with some young men who are vying for her hand. Merida's mom, the Queen, says it must be done this way because it is their custom, their tradition. Merida does not like this custom at all and runs away. She heads out into the woods and somehow gets to make one wish. I think she wishes for her mom to become a bear. Yes, a bear! I can't be 100 percent sure on how it exactly went down because at right about this time, Maddox and Beckett decided to go play arcade games. I had to go chase them, so I lost about a half an hour of the movie. But if any of you want a review of "Miss Pac-Man" or that "claw game" let me know, I can review them for you.
Meanwhile, Zoe and Becky are enjoying the film! Maybe I should've had them write the review.
I finally got the boys under control and said it was time to go back to the movie... but you know what I did? (And you can't tell my sister Faithie, or Danny. They'll kill me!) I snuck them into Batman! That's right, I know they wanted to see it! Lesson four: If you can sneak into a movie, sneak into a movie. Well, they didn't seem as into it as I was, so we headed back to "Brave."
The theatre was packed and the boys were all hopped up on sugar. I told them that we had to watch the rest of the movie in the front row. Well, we stayed in the front row but none of us really watched the movie. We just talked and played with my phone flashlight and waved up to Zoe and Becky in the last row. Yeah, it was mayhem... and it was fun!
Ok now, I did get to catch the ending of the film. And it's a violent ending. A bear (not the bear/Queen) gets flattened by a giant boulder and dies. I'm kind of glad the boys weren't paying attention to that. What I do know for sure is that the spell that turned the Queen into a bear was lifted, and they all lived happily ever after.
Alright, this my be the worst review of a movie ever, but I can guarantee you that it was the best time I've ever had at the theatre! I got to hang out with my niece and nephews, and no matter what, nothing is more fun than that.
So, let me sum up. I give the movie "Brave" 8 out of 10 stars... I give "Miss Pac-Man" 7 out of 10 stars... the "Claw" game, 0 out of 10 stars.
And going to the movies with Zoe, Maddox, and Beckett, 100 out of 10 stars! I couldn't have had a better time.
I just hope I taught them the right lessons.
Matty W. Kelley, Norwood Patch, reporting.
Fun Fact: My sister Becky was my anchor for this film. She helped me out so much and I thank her. She also told me that at one point, Zoe looked down at us boys and said that we were "the most inappropriate family in the theatre." I found this to be quite hilarious.
Fun Matty Fact: Its been 144 days since the release of "John Carter"... and it still sucks.