The Power of a Captive Audience

Flew out to Utah yesterday, and for once the trip went fairly smoothly. Delayed by about an hour, but for Bryce standards, that almost deserves a gold star. No soccer teams. The kids were well behaved throughout. Even MC handled it all like a champ, though she didn’t sleep hardly at all–true to form for all of our kids on planes, which is true to form to me, so perhaps that’s where they get it.

This also meant I was at the mercies of the travel gods when it came to what sort of entertainment I’d be able to consume. (Well, not entirely–I’d loaded the iPads with some movies for the kids. Because it’s one thing to be bored yourself, but it’s an entirely different thing to be stuck with two bored kids for the whole day.) I watched two movies that I probably wouldn’t have watched otherwise. Well, one that I definitely wouldn’t have, and one that I probably wouldn’t have.

First up was Standing Up, a teen drama about two kids (boy and girl) who get bullied at summer camp. Not exactly up my alley. It’s got one strike against it right off for being a drama. The movie starts out with both kids getting taken off to an island, stripped, and abandoned. That’s the point where I was faced with a tough decision: which would be less pleasurable? Sitting on a bus watching the road for two hours, or watching this movie?

Life is full of tough decisions.

In the end, I decided the nice thing about watching a sappy movie would be that anytime I got really bored, I could just look out the window and remind myself that I had nothing better to do.

The movie turned out okay, more or less. Compared to the alternative, certainly. Still, it was almost devoid of humor, and its plot hinged on adults making really silly decisions. It’s based on The Goats, a YA book that’s been well received. I hope it’s better than the movie, plot-wise. Then again, the movie was well acted, and it wasn’t one of those horrendous movies where people (SPOILERS!) all die at the end. So there’s that going for it. I’d give it a 5.5/10, though people who go for these kinds of movies will likely rate it higher.

Second was on the plane, where I discovered Delta had the genius idea of putting personal entertainment units in each seat . . . and then charging for any movie you tried to watch on them. (Thanks, Delta. That was fun explaining it to my kids.) However, after some trial and experimentation, I found out you could watch TV channels for free. So the kids watched Cartoon Network and I watched FX, which was showing This Means War.

Talk about a horrendous premise. Two BFF spies meet and fall for the same girl, and decide to use her as a playing field of sorts to see who could get her to fall for them. I don’t know–maybe I was just in a bad mood because of the plane ride, but it seemed like such a sexist movie. And of course Reese is okay with everything at the end.

Predictable from start to finish. Weak attempts at humor. Deplorable morals. Not a good movie at all.

But better than sitting on an airplane remembering that I’m sitting on an airplane.

4/10. Avoid.

Watching lame movies kind of makes me want to watch something excellent to get that bad taste out of my mouth. Might be in for a bit of quality Netflixing today . . .

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