Popcorn Movies

I go to the movies a lot. I like to go with a friend or two when I can find them. Sometimes I go by myself. Sometimes I go just for the popcorn.

My favorite local theaters in the area sell a plastic bucket that you bring to the theater anytime and fill it up with popcorn. I’ve done that a few times. It’s good for about 6 months, and I get my money’s worth. The same theaters’ concessions include a butter-flavoring pump so you can apply your own “butter,” salt, and other flavors – like white cheddar, or cinnamon.

Today, was the last day for my most recent bucket – so I’ll need to buy another one soon. Today I also saw several occurrences of a phenomena that makes my blood pressure rise like the foil on a pan of Jiffy Pop.

Parents – a note for those of you who take your kids to movies rated above their age. (if you don’t do this, feel free to share my rage) I’m staggered, outraged an appalled. Do you honestly think that when people, especially young people, are exposed to the unsavory elements of our culture that they are unaffected? Seriously? I’m amazed at how many parents bring children (age 4-12) and young teens (13-16) (group the whole age range into “kids”) into R rated movies. What are you thinking?

Now, I’m not a parent, so of course I get to make these comments without the consequences of following my own advice. So – feel free to take my thoughts with a dash of popcorn salt.

The MPAA provides ratings to help moviegoers understand what’s in the movie before they go. There are also a ton of resources out there to help you pick appropriate movies. Once someone is over 18 or over 21 – they need to be cultural discerners and make their own decisions. However, if you don’t teach them how to make decisions, they won’t learn, and we’ll all be one gladiator fight away from showing actual death in our media.

Some of my recommended movie review sites:
1) Rotten Tomatoes – if it’s less than 60% fresh, I think twice, or thrice before I spend money on it – not for everyone.
2) Past The Popcorn – the films, the people who make the films.
3) Hollywood Jesus – get the spiritual perspective.
4) Preview – for family-friendly ratings.

Please, please, please don’t bring kids to see R-rated movies. Please don’t bring children to see PG-13 movies. Don’t show the movies to them at your home. Think about the potential long term effects of what your children experience. I know our culture is all about instant gratification. I know this isn’t popular. I know it’s going to be hard to do this. Your kids will be better people for it in the long run.

… maybe it’s just me.

Brian Atkinson

Brian is an international and inspirational speaker, consultant, and voice artist. Brian has served as the Director of Digital Communications at American Bible Society, and the Director of Digital Media at The Bible Gateway (Gospel Communications International). He has worked as a communications director, technology manager, church-planter, radio announcer, welder, and ice cream man. He has a lot of t-shirts.

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3 comments on “Popcorn Movies
  1. Heather says:

    Mmmmm…popcorn

    It’s not just you. I absolutely agree. I don’t have children either but I think some parents use the theater as day care.

  2. Steve says:

    Don’t get me started, sir.

    Megan and I go to a fair number of movies at the 2nd run “cheap seats” (1.50-2.25). Top R-rated films that we have seen ids in the 5-10 range sitting in the row in front of us. (in order of inappropriateness)

    5. Children of Men
    4. Pan’s Labyrinth
    3. History of Violence
    2. The Departed
    1. Sin City

    If you have kids, then by all means check out the links above, but I also HIGHLY recommend “Screen It” that breaks down objectionable elements scene by scene without really getting “preachy”.

    A sample review:
    http://www.screenit.com/movies/2006/the_hills_have_eyes.html

  3. Morgan says:

    I’m a little torn on this, because while I do agree with you in part, my parents did take me to see Die Hard with them when I was 8, and I’d like to think I turned out alright. I don’t think I quite agree with what my parents did, but I don’t feel as extreme as you.

    I think it takes a lot of discernment from the parent first, and obviously a lot of involvement and education from them as well. I don’t think that you should never take your children to any R or PG-13 rated movies ever no questions asked, but certainly you shouldn’t just take your kids to anything and you should have thought it out beforehand. I’m assuming probably the main thing you’re frustrated withe are the parents that take their children to anything because they don’t feel like finding a sitter or whatnot.

    This is probably an obvious example, but I saw Schindler’s List with my Dad when I was 11 or so, and that movie is extremely R rated, but I think also a very important film for anyone to see. After seeing it, my dad and I talked about it (I obviously was quite disturbed and terrified and had a lot of questions) and it was a very educational and powerful experience for me. Now taking your 8 year old to The Hills Have Eyes, Sin City (there were kids there?!), or even Die Hard is probably not the best idea, but I think you can agree that not all rated R movies are rated R for the same reason, and some I think can be appropriate to take your children to. However, if you are taking your child to an R rated or PG-13 movie, you need to be very involved in the discerning whether or not you feel they should go, and also in talking afterward. Just like in anything, the parents should be involved in the education of their children, and not the sheltering (which can be just as damaging). I just wonder what’s more damaging, the movies themselves or the parents not educating their children appropriately about those movies. Although, I also don’t have kids, so my comments can also be taken with a grain of popcorn salt.

    Maybe it’s just me.