Monday, August 31, 2009

Movie Night

This past weekend we decided to put a large movie screen outside on the patio and have "movie night" at our home. Footloose is currently being preformed as a musical in our area so we thought this might be a good movie for the kids so they would enjoy going to the play next month. The rating on the box said "PG" but this was before "PG" & "PG-13" ratings were used. I remember seeing Footloose when I was growing up....but I don't remember how inappropriate this movie is for young children. This was not a movie for kids!!! There was bad language, poor ideas, and inappropriate scenes. What disturbed me the most were two scenes where "Ariel", the main character in the film, decides to stand up between two moving cars as a semi-truck barrels down on her. At the very last minute she jumps into her boyfriend’s truck and leaves her friends spinning out into the dust to save their lives. If that wasn't bad enough, later in the film she stands in front of an oncoming train. At the last moment, the boy pushes her out of the way and everyone lives happily ever after. The film glorified these dangerous actions and made them seem appealing and fun to young eyes.

These dangerous scenes were especially appalling to me because our family had just watched clip about the dangers of texting and driving. Although this was a graphic movie, it was a powerful tool that provided many learning opportunities for our family. We discussed ways to stay safe in a car, things they could do to help parents stay focused on the road, and ways to let the driver know when they are doing something that is risking their life.

So this weekend I learned a few things. Before renting a movie learn more about it. A website called is a great resource for parents. You can learn what words are said, what type of nudity and how much, and if there is violence in the film. It really gets specific on the content of the movie. Such a great site!

The next thing I learned is that there are TV filters available such as the TVGaurdian or the TVDefender. These systems tie into your TV and mute inappropriate words or scenes. Has anyone ever used this type of filter? Does anyone have suggestions for this type of device. Does it work? Which system do you like?

So the search is on for our next film for movie night. I will definitely be doing more research before our next event. Any suggestions on movies your family loves?


  1. I love this and the movie screen outdoors idea too. We don't watch TV at home, but would like to do movie nights with a big screen like that. Where is the most affordable projector available?

  2. I bought my projector at Costco and have had it for about six years. I believe it was around $500. I had a friend buy one on e-bay for less and it works greet. The bulbs are pretty expensive (around $250) so you want to make sure it works before buying on. We double up three sheets for our backdrop and pull the corners tight so it makes a good, flat screen. One night we hung the sheet on the garage door and backed the cars into the driveway. It was like going to a drive-in movie. It was alot of fun!

  3. Because of Winn Dixie is a great movie with some good lessons in it for kids but no bad language or violence.

  4. I don't know how old your kids are, but mine are 19 and 6. We have started doing "reruns" with movies that our daughter saw years ago for our son. So this list is full of oldies, but goodies.

    Dennis the Menace
    Swiss Family Robinson
    All the "Love Bug" movies
    The Sandlot
    Free Willy
    The Parent Trap (old and new)
    101 Dalmations "
    Stuart Little

    Hope this helps!

  5. Kit Kitterege American Girl with Abigail Breslin is a new one but it's excellent. Nothing bad, but full of entertainment. Even my husband and I were entertained! Also classic disney movies such as the Shaggy DA, and others are usually quite trustworthy!

    Hope this helps!

  6. We have and love the tv gaurdian. You can ajust the setting to allow certin things through, (for example, there "highest" setting doesn't allow for the word "God" or "Lord" to be used... this isn't real handy when watching anything remotly related to the bible, even veggie tails gets muted from time to time. I would deffinatly give it a shot!