I started buying DVDs way back in the early part of the last decade. At first I had no aim or goal in mind, I just bought whatever touched my fancy. Soon, I realized that I would quickly waste any and all money that I had on these things if I kept this strategy up. So I made the rule that I would only buy a movie if I expected that I would watch it at least once every two years. That way, I would get my money's worth out of buying it versus renting it.
Of course, I still bought way more DVDs than I ever watched once every two years or at all for that matter. Recently, I looked at my DVD collection, and wondered why the hell I had bought most of them. I could count on one hand the discs that I'd ever watched even once. What was I thinking? Then I remembered, I was thinking that it would be cool to sit down and watch these movies with my son when he finally got old enough to handle them.
Well, he's ten years old now, and I think he's made it to the age of being able to understand and enjoy all the movies I've been saving up. So we've started watching them together. In fact I watch them with all my kids. My eight-year-old daughter and my six-year-old daughter as well.
We started with the Spiderman movies, and the kids loved them. I tried to make it a weekly event, but the kids would have none of it. As soon as we finished one, they wanted to see the sequel. If I didn't let them watch it right away, they would start asking again the next morning, and not stop pestering me until I relented and let them finally watch it.
This week, I watched 2000's X-Men. This movie, along with the even better X2: X-Men United are singlehandedly responsible for my interest in comic books today. I picked up my first graphic novel from the library because of a desire to know more about the plotlines that I had been introduced to in those films.
The movie is a really good one. My eight-year-old initially didn't want to watch it, but she was won over pretty quickly.
I have to admit, though, that I'm glad that the kids don't get all the jokes in these movies just yet. For example, there's that great exchange near the end of the film where Wolverine has been fighting Mystique disguised as Wolverine. The other X-Men are confused as to who is who. When Wolverine reappears after the fight, Cyclops insists that he prove that he's the real Wolverine.
"You're a dick," Wolverine says, and Cyclops merely nods. This is enough proof for him. It's a great sequence. Rish told me once that it was the only thing in the script that remained from Joss Whedon's time working on the script, and I believe it, because it sounds like one of Joss's clever lines.
However, I always feel a little squeamish exposing my kids to language like that. They'll learn to be foul-mouthed, pieces of crap someday, but I don't think they need my help to get there. In this particular case it seems that I didn't help them at all, because, as soon as the exchange was over, my eight-year-old chuckled and repeated the lines.
"It's me!" she said, repeating Wolverine's line.
Then, "Prove it," she said, repeating Cyclops's part.
"You're a tick!" she said, finishing off what she thought Wolverine's last line in the exchange was. She paused and then asked, "Daddy, what's a tick?"
I smiled, struggling not to laugh out loud, and said, "It's a little bug."
My eight-year-old smiled, and my ten-year-old son laughed and said, "they don't like each other."
I'm glad I didn't have to explain to my eight-year-old daughter what a dick was. And, while nowhere near as good, a tick is a passable line in that exchange. Someday the kids will see that again, and see that they were wrong in what they heard, and know that I led them astray. But I think they'll understand and forgive me.