Clan Gardner is a big fan of Avatar: The last Airbender, more commonly known as 'That Nickelodeon Avatar.' The kids have watched through all 3 seasons about 400 times. Habtamu and I had already had a conversation about how the Avatar movie that everyone is talking about is not about Avatar the Airbender. It's about blue people (NO! NOT AIRBENDERS,) it's PG-13, it's too expensive, and he's never going to see it. He was fine with that because, after all, it was the wrong Avatar. It's probably worth noting that the kids had no idea that movies show at the theater first and then come to video. So, it was easier to tell H that he would never see the Blue Avatar than it was to explain the whole movie distribution cycle, guess at the DVD release schedule, etc...
One of the joys of being an American child these days is that you don't have to wait for sequels as long as your super uncool parents don't ever let you watch anything new. And until this weekend, they hadn't.
So I closed the door on Avatar and then predictably came back around to it. I figured, you know, what better first movie than a 3D, surreal, action-packed, winter blockbuster that your Dad told you you'd never ever see? Empire Strikes Back probably wasn't my first movie, but it's the first one I remember. We were running late and came in just as the TaunTaun was getting split open. Like I said, whatever movies I saw before that were over-written in my memory that day.
So here's me trying to convince my son that he wants to see this movie even if I'm there. "Ok, well, I think we're going to see Avatar on Monday."
"What do you mean why? It's a movie."
"It's the wrong one.""Well, I know it's not the Avatar you know, but I think you'll like this one too."
"Well, it's supposed to be very exciting."
"It's almost 3 hours long."
"3 hours? Ooo..." (The kids still equate quantity with quality programming, but regardless, now I've got his attention.)
"Look, it's should be good."
"You've seen it?"
"Urk! No I haven't seen it. It's at the theater." (temperature rising...)
"Then how do you know it's good?" (This is all coming from a boy who has never met a TV show or a sofa cushion he didn't like.)
"Ack! Gah! Listen. Uncle Paul saw it and said it was really really good. Ok?"
Note to self: if Uncle Paul says it's ok, it must be ok.
Monday afternoon comes and we're running late. I wanted to catch the matinee showing, so we ate McDonald's in the car and screeched into the parking lot. The previews were already running when we got in, but Habtamu still found time to poop and drool over the same IronMan 2 poster his sister saw before the movie started. Sorry, I just think it's funny that both kids specifically informed me of their intended bowel movements before settling in for their first movie.
The movie started and after a barrage of initial questions, he did a good job of keeping up with it. No spoilers here, but there's a scene early on where the main character gets chased through the jungle by a large cat-like animal. It was pretty intense, and made my son snuggled into me. That was my favorite part. Habtamu later said that he liked everything after that 'the best.'
As we left, he gave me a big smile and said he couldn't wait to go home and get Avatar2 on DVD. I had to tell him that there wasn't an Avatar2 yet.
"But I want to know what happens next!" he pleaded.
"I know honey, boy do I know. What do you think happens next?"
"How am I supposed to know if I haven't seen it?"
"Well, you might have to use your imagination. I don't know if there will be another movie, but I bet there will be books or something. You might have to read about what happens next."
"Ugh! I don't want to read! I just want to watch it!"
And thus another media junkie is forged. Start saving your money kiddo, them action figures ain't cheap.
Side note: Both kids, independently chose the back row center as the ideal movie watching location. In Yordi's case, it was right next to the only other people in the theater. That was fine for her, a little awkward for Daddy. H said it was because he didn't want anyone else's head in his way, (because you that showing was *packed,* being a school-day matinee and all) but I think there's some subconscious 'back of the bus' coolness factor going on.