As a parent of a soon-to-be nineteen month old, one of things that I’ve learned over the past year and change is that choices matter and more importantly, your choices have heavier repercussions. Quite simply, you need to choose wisely. Every choice, or at the very least, nearly every choice you make should be made after asking yourself the following question: is it worth it. If you ask yourself that, the answer is easier to come by.
Movies are collateral damage, specifically going out to movies, when a couple become parents. Either the time isn’t there, the resources aren’t there or a babysitter isn’t there. If you do get a chance to go out and see a movie, you need to make sure you are making a rock solid choice. As a result, I’ve created somewhat of a ranking system for movies, a system placed into two categories.
- A Movie Is Worth Seeing in Theaters
- We Can Wait Until It Comes Out On Video
These two distinctions aren’t all that new. They’ve been around for as long as watching movies at home was an option. However, once a baby is added to the decision making process of your household, the scales are tipped and rational for going with one over the other is skewed. Going with option 1 isn’t nearly as easy and even option 2 isn’t as clear cut. Option 2 is actually broken down into sub-rankings.
- Watch it On Demand (more immediate, more expensive)
- Rent it from RedBox (cheaper, but you have to wait a month and one out of five movies you rent from RedBox are likely to be scratched)
- Wait for it to come on HBO, etc
I’m sure that are other options – we’ve used Amazon and even though Apple TV is a mystery to me, I’m sure it’s an option as well. I’m also a law-abiding citizen so when the youth of America talk about streaming movies via normally unlawful means, that means nothing to me. If anything, it means you should be ashamed of yourselves. Or you could teach me how to do that. Or whatever. Never mind. Don’t break the law, stay in school.
For two-thirds of the year, the question of whether or not we should go out and see a movie in the theater is essentially an easy one. There’s a movie here and there that look like a candidate, but rarely is there a sure thing. This time of year is where things get interesting, though. It’s the pre-dawn hours of awards season and Hollywood start rolling out their Oscar-bait right about now. As a result, parents such as my wife and I are left to rack our brains. How many times is too many times to ask grandparents to babysit, does the kid down the street seem trustworthy enough to babysit, is it possible for the dog to babysit? This is when those tough choices come into play. Life is all about picking your spots. November through January for young parents is all about picking your date nights and what movies might be involved in each.
This is where I’m here to try and help.
Each month for the next three I’m going to put together a loose guide of the movies coming out for parents like myself. I’m going to pick at least five movies coming out and give them a score – either they are worth finding a babysitter for or they’re not. I’ll give some reasons because reasons are fun.
I hope it helps.
Let’s get cracking with November.
Doctor Strange (11/4)
Imagine there’s a bartender out there and they ask you what you’d like to drink. You reply that you’d like some sort of cross between The Matrix and Inception, mixed in with a little comic book fun. The bartender would hand you Doctor Strange. You might be pumped, but the person you’re with who is content with a nice fall-specific micro brew might not be. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the title character. Sherlock is rad. Visually this movie looks pretty dope, but I for one need a break from comic book origin stories.
Hacksaw Ridge (11/4)
Remember Mel Gibson? I do. This is his return to directing and hey, if you like big ol’ WWII movies, you’ll be pumped. Andrew Garfield plays a religious fellow who enlists, but refuses to carry a weapon. Old heads will be lining up for this one. It’ll be more appealing if it snags some Oscar nods. But until then, Garfield’s accent is weird.
Once this election is over, you’ll be looking to escape day-to-day life as quickly as possible. So what better way to do that than check out a big time alien movie? Amy Adams plays a hot shot linguist tasked with communicating with aliens who recently came to Earth with typically dodgey alien intentions. Jeremy Renner is in it and given his track record, he probably thought he was going to be the linguist only to find out just before filming he was getting bumped. One of the reasons to go to any movie under the parameters of the new parent lifestyle is that plain and simple, it looks like it’d be awesome on the big screen. Arrival looks like it’ll be really good regardless, but really, really good in a theater.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (11/18)
This movie brings with it an additional question you need to ask yourself: you jonseing for more Harry Potter? If so, then yes, you will go see this immediately. If not, it’ll depend on what your significant other says.
Verdict: Totally a case by case basis
Bleed for This (11/18)
Miles Teller plays a boxer, a real boxer, who was on the come up before a car accident seemed to all but end his career. If you’re saying to yourself, well that only seems like half of a movie. It’s because it is; it’s the first half. The second half is his comeback. Boxing movies are funny. No one really watches actual boxing anymore, but everyone seems to love a boxing movie. I don’t think this movie will be any different. Yet, with that being said…
Manchester by the Sea (11/18)
Boston accents? Dudes on boats? Inclement weather? I’m in.
Allied looks like one of those why we love movies kind of movies. It has big-time movie stars, is a period piece and involves some spy monkey business. Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard play spies who, wait for, thinks that one of them might not be who they thought they were. Ooooooohhhh! I love when someone suspects that someone else might not be who that someone thought they were. That’s juicy. Throw in some World War II backdrops and I’m so in I might lock the grandparents in now.
That’s it for November. See you next month.