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Family Friendly Films!

pureflix_movie_checklist_StLouisDadSomethings just arn’t for everyone. That goes for a lot of things, food, sports, tomatoes, and even movies. My post about mature movies got a lot of attention, however not all families are as adventurous as I am and want to stick to some more family friendly films. While looking for a service other than Netflix that would provide these specific types of movies I ran across the site PureFlix.com. It is a fantastic website that has exactly what I was looking for, family friendly films!

Focusing more on family and faith the movies found on Pure Flix are all appropriate for the entire family. There are dramas, comedies, educational films, cartoons, and more. There’s something for everyone in the family. There are several movies listed that we have watched as a family that I know my kids love.

Browsing through their catalog I see thousands of movies that fit all sorts of categories and knowing that the service works on just about all devices, including Chromecast, Roku, and the Fire stick is a great benefit of the service.

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Pure Flix even sent over an awesome checklist that you can print and use yourself for planning out your family fun movie night. Be sure to list all of the essentials you are going to need such as popcorn, drinks, and other snacks! Popcorn and nachos are my top two favorites. What are some of your favorite snacks to eat while watching a movie with the family? Tweet at me @dadSTL!

You can check out Pure Flix for a month for free and if you like it the cost per month is pretty low compared to a monthly cable or satellite bill. So what do you have to lose? You are minutes away from having thousands of movies just a click away!

I was not paid or compensated for this post. The thoughts and opinions of Pure Flix are my own. Pure Flix is available on PC and MAC as well as iOS and Android and is supported on a variety of systems so you can totally cut the cord with Pure Flix!

 

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Mature Audiences Only

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When I was a very young kid I remember watching some of the greatest action movies ever made. Movies like Robocop, Terminator 1 & 2, and Total Recall. As an kid in elementary school these movies were amazing. The profanity and violence and all around bad-ass of the lead actors kept this He-Man / Ninja Turtle fanatic in constant awe. Looking back and knowing I was in elementary school makes this even weirder. In Robocop there’s a scene where Robocop shoots a criminal in the no-no’s. Should a 7-10 year old be seeing something like that? In today’s standards, no they shouldn’t, but back then life was different. I was never sheltered as a kid. My grandparents would let me and my cousins watch Serial Mom over and over again. We were just kids watching a funny movie, but when you actually watch the movie it is filled with stuff that is clearly for adults only.

Watching these movies as a kid, at least from what I can tell have not caused any psychological issues in me or my friends and family that watched them with me. We are all normal, in whatever ways normal is considered normal. Now that my own children are old enough to start picking movies of their own to watch I have to think about what it is they want to see. More often than not they want to pick a cartoon movie, LEGO Batman is still pretty popular in our house, along with Moana and many other Disney Princess movies. However, there are times when the kids will surprise me with a request that I wasn’t expecting.

ZombieAbbyWith Andy Muschietti’s IT being a box office smash hit I thought it would be nice to re-watch the original made for TV series. Typically, I will watch something like IT later in the evening when the kids are in bed, but I have seen this one before. It’s long but it’s not really that graphic. There are only a few scenes that are pretty tragic but as a whole based on today’s ratings the original IT movie is maybe a soft PG-13. Stan’s death and a few blood filled balloons are about as bad as it gets. So anyways, I started re-watching the movie and the kids wanted to know what I had on, so I told them and they sat and watched almost the entire movie. All 3 plus hours of it. I was very surprised that they made it through such a long movie but they loved it. To them IT is a pretty scary movie but it wasn’t scary enough for them to come crawling into our bed at night. We have actually gotten a few more requests to watch IT again and while I’m not opposed to another viewing, I think it might be time to introduce a few other mature movies to them.

Alex, just like Abby when she was his age, is starting to become obsessed with zombies. I think Minecraft helps with that in some degree but Alex is all about wanting to watch a zombie movie. After looking through my collection, I knew I had plenty of options but I wanted to show him something that wouldn’t be too graphic but still satisfy the zombie request. So first I went with Michael Jackon’s Thriller music video. Just to give him a taste of something scary without it being too scary. Him and my daughter loved it. They started dancing and trying out the routine from the video, but apparently that wasn’t scary enough for them. They recognize that the actors are just wearing costumes and makeup. I feel like that is a good indicator of how well they will handle a real zombie movie. The fact that they know they are actors in costumes helps bring them back to the real world if ever they do get scared from a more graphic scene. So with the kids begging for more zombies I figured it’s time to start a re-watch of The Walking Dead.

You may be thinking that was a big mistake, it wasn’t.

ZombieAlexThe kids are now asking to watch movies that arn’t cartoons. Which helps mom and me to not go crazy watching LEGO Batman for the 200th time. The other night I let the kids pick a movie for us to watch as a family. They picked Peter Jackson’s rendition of King Kong. A three hour epic was the movie they wanted to watch. I told them it was long and that there were dinosaurs, bugs, and many other exciting creatures in the movie, that’s all it took to hook them in. It is fascinating seeing my kids react to King Kong. First they were scared, then they felt sympathy for King Kong when he was getting bit by the dinosaurs and then finally empathy when they saw the humans take him down. They were sad when he finally succumbed to the pain and died. Alex and Abby both seemed to understand why King Kong was doing what he was doing. He was in love and knew he had to sacrifice himself to protect his human and they picked that up, which to me is awesome.

daddyandsonKing Kong isn’t a horror movie, but it does hit some mature tones and has some creepy parts in it, but my children just loved it all. With that being said, I feel like they are ready for more options when it comes to movies they watch. Don’t get me wrong here, I wouldn’t let them watch Saw or another very graphic movie in the same vein. Some other movies that show a lot of hanky-panky will be kept off the list for now as well. I do not think they are ready for those. They probably arn’t ready for Robocop or Serial Mom either, but maybe Terminator. It’s just a judgement call, how mature are the kids, can they handle the visual imagery, the story, and emotional tones found within the movie? If I feel like they can, then I don’t mind them watching. I’m always right there with them anyways. If they get scared or have questions, I do my best to answer them or show how it’s just movie magic. You can tell they appreciate that because when you explain something is really a puppet or a costume then they start thinking about how they can create their own.

Both of my kids are very imaginative and I’m not worried about showing them some safer mature movies. There are plenty that they won’t be allowed to see until they are much older, such as Serial Mom, but I think Terminator and many others are good to go with these creative kids. Plus I am excited that I can finally sit and watch The Good The Bad and The Ugly with my kids around. I like the idea of my children being ready for whatever and have a good understanding of how the world works. I know movies are not real and I want these two kiddos to know that too. They are not going to be sheltered from the finer things in life and honestly I don’t think I can watch LEGO Batman again for at least a few years.

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The Peanuts Movie Review

peanuts movieToday I surprised my daughter with a trip to the movies to see The Peanuts Movie. Yesterday she had told me that she wanted to see it and I had told her that going to the movies is expensive and that daddy could not afford it. She then said “we never have any money”. It broke my heart when she said that, and while she is right, she is also wrong. We try really hard to budget and keep extra spending to a minimal. That doesn’t always happen. Today I dipped into the funds I earn from illustrating. It’s not a lot but it is extra money that I keep aside for special occasions.

So I talked with my wife about taking her to see the movie and Destiny was actually really excited and encouraged me to take her. So I looked up the times and figured a very early show would do as they are cheaper. I told Abby this morning to get ready and that we were going to run an errand. She likes tagging a long but typically if it’s an errand she knows it will be a little boring, but she goes anyway. The entire drive there she kept asking where we were going and I wouldn’t say a word. She had never been to the theater I took her too either so she did not know what the place was when we parked. Once we got inside she started to get really excited seeing all of the posters and cardboard cutouts, and once I asked for two tickets for The Peanut Movie she knew exactly where we were and was super excited.

12190106_10206248768952868_6589527187437449923_nWe got some popcorn and a drink and found our seats. We had the cool lounge chair seats and Abby loved being able to kick her feet up and relax while watching the movie. She got a little wiggly towards the end of the movie but she remained in her seat and was very good through-out the entire movie and only needed one bathroom break.

12184970_10201183694072627_6443856413513237210_oThe movie itself was very cute. As an adult who grew up watching the various Peanuts cartoons I really enjoyed the movie. It has the same type of story line and of course Charlie Brown messes up things right and left but it ends beautifully. The animation was great. Blue Sky did not get as detailed as they have in the past on Ice Age or Rio but the style they used in The Peanuts Movie fit perfectly and was great. I really liked how they used some traditional animation to add to the cgi animation.

All in all, the movie was a 4 out of 5 on the St. Louis Dad rating scale. The voices and animation were spot on. The story could’ve used just a little bit more but when it comes to Peanuts the story is usually not as epic as you would expect. It was a fantastic day to take my beautiful little girl out on a daddy/daughter date. I hope we get to spend some more days like today together. I seen trailer for a new Alvin and the Chipmunks sooo, maybe we will go see that in a few months.

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13 Nights of Halloween – Coraline

The_Other_MotherOur last night of 13 Nights of Halloween has arrived and in my opinion we have saved the best for last. This stop motion animated film was directed by the same man responsible for The Nightmare Before Christmas, Henry Selick. This stop motion animated film is my top scariest children’s movies of all time.

I don’t know what it is about Coraline that creeps me out but I think it has a lot to do with The Other Mother and her button eyes. They look innocent enough but oh boy does the creep factor really set in when watching her interact with Coraline.  The hidden meaning of mind control in the movie is also rather creepy and though provoking at the same time. The simpleness of story but tied with the deep association of mind control really show how well this movie was written, directed, and produced. Which is why it tops out our list for 13 Nights of Halloween.

I hope you enjoyed these last 13 nights as much as I did. Our family watched some classic and some not so classic Halloween movies. Tonight we will set out and gather up our own tricks and treats, so be sure to be safe and have a Happy Halloween!

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