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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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to buy or not to buy
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Parenting via Livejournal: last resort. Though really, this is parenting by fangirl, which is far better.

I'm looking at the anniversary edition of Bladerunner for Christmas this year for Child (it's on sale, and I like to plan ahead). He's eleven and fairly comfortable with horror and sci-fi (I've restricted it to idiotic sci-fi movie of the week or the classics I've already seen and I have a very, very weak stomach, but I'm guessing Nightmare on Elm Street is coming up fairly soon since that's standard fare for girls when I was that age; basically, I can't deal with it so I don't let it in the house quite yet if I can't watch it with him or haven't seen it myself already).

Long story short: good idea/bad idea? I haven't seen it, which means it'll be a treat for both of us, but I'm not entirely sure about the sexual versus violence content versus adult issues that will make no sense to him. He know movie violence (and critiques sci-fi channel for it, which is hilarious), and eleven-twelve, if I remember correctly, is when he *should* be hiding this stuff from me and watching on the sly. I'll probably screen it first anyway, but give me an idea of what I'll be looking at.

Also grabbing him the first Star Wars trilogy finally. We have them, but they're fairly old, and I think the new edition has some commentary (he does, in fact, watch the commentaries and extras: God, he's going to outgeek us all) and he gets a kick out of it.

For reference, what he has seen: Halloween (first one), Halloween IV (on sci-fi, seriously, that cut it makes it hysterically funny), um, most sci-fi movies of the week involving snakes, pythons, bugs, or killer mammals, The Ring (bored out of his mind, liked the girl a lot, don't know what to do with that), Final Destination I and II (we both enjoyed and freaked out), Alien I, II, III, and IV, Alien Versus Predator I and II (seriously awesome, so ashamed), Scream I and II, the one with the giant bug people and a bus or something?, etc etc etc. No later Fridays, no Nightmare on Elm Streets, no Halloweens other than mentioned, no Hostels or Saws or super slasher movies (so misleading to read that for a slasher). Those he can do on the sly with his little friends at sleepovers so I have a.) plausible deniability and b.) don't have them in the same building I am in.

Weirdly, I'm really ambivalent about George Romano's stuff, because it's a.) good stuff and b.) it freaks me out but I can still watch it and love it, which makes me nervous how he'll take it. He really should see the original zombie movie of greatness. OTOH, again, I get nightmares off of made for TV horror so I am a really bad judge.

(Hellraiser for instance. It's a classic, and I read the synopsis, and it scares the shit out of me, but I can't tell if it's because it's me and I am bad with horror movies, or if it's, you know, objectively terrifying.)

(Add Chainsaw Massacre to that list as well, just the first. These are the ones I can't judge; I know objectively they're *good* horror and awesome, but they freak me the fuck out.)

Done for today. Re-reading Daybreak by giddygeek because Groundhog Day in Atlantis is never not awesome.


I liked Bladerunner okay, but haven't seen it in years. I vaguely remember it wasn't over-the-top violent or sexy, but was kind of depressing, which made sense since it's dystopian SF. It's a good SF mystery, but kind of a downer, basically.

Okay, I am less eager, even with Harrison Ford in it.

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That'll work well. IF he's like me, he'll rewatch it every so often and get a kick out of it as he grows and sees more in it than he saw originally. Very cool!

I'm really very squeamish about horror, but loved Bladerunner, and it didn't ping me as very scary, much more heavy on the SciFi than the horror, IMHO. Half the stuff on that list of stuff he's seen is to much for me, so on a violence/scary level, I'd say it's just fine. IIRC, there's definitely sexual content hinted at, but nothing terribly explicit. It's worth a scan to be sure (I've seen it a long time ago) but I'd let someone his age watch it before any of the horror movies you listed, definitely..

Plus, you know, a classic of modern cinema, CREEPILY prescient and just flat out phenomenal production design, Admiral Adama as a young man, and some fascinating, thought provoking stuff on what it means to be human. I'd say definite thumbs up.

Escellent. Ooh, Admiral Adama? *bounces* Now this is cool.

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Hee! I tried to remember what we watched at slumber parties and what not when I was his age. I remember the first Friday the Thirteenth at my third grade birthday party and figured we all grew up functional, so he should be okay watching it, especially since, comparatively speaking to today's TV, not that much of a jump.

Why am I commenting? I have nothing to add other than to agree with the previous comments.

I don't like horror, never have. I was 14 when this came out, and I went to see it with a friend from school. I had no problems with it. Loved it then, love it now.

Excelllent.

I *love* horror, but only textual. On a screen watching, I am not nearly so brave.

The script for Blade Runner is online, if skimming that would help.

Alternately: I recommend Dead and Breakfast. It has LINE-DANCING ZOMBIES. And two (TWO!) commentary tracks.

*helps?*

OOOH LOVE.

...Dead and Breakfast with line dancing zombies? I am *so there*.

I know nothing about eleven-year-olds.

However, George Romero is brilliant and the original Night Of The Living Dead is one of the best movies ever, and definitely the classic of the genre. All his films are great because they're never about the zombies or about supernatural horror, they're about us and the horrors we inflict on each other and ourselves. Diary Of The Dead, his most recent (I think), is also brilliant. It's looking at video culture and the way we use video, cameras, YouTube, etc, to distance ourselves from the terrible things happening around us so that we can avoid feeling so bad about not taking action.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a classic of its genre, but its genre is one I hate, the gore-fest psychopath movie. I don't even really consider it horror.

Hellraiser actually is scary, though not the kind of scary that really gets me. Possibly because I was all distracted by the S&M trappings.

/random

Blade Runner is fantastic. I seem to recall I watched it when I was maybe 12? And was fine. Weeks later, I read the novel it was based on and THAT gave me nightmares.

Oh, hell yeah. The book was so much creepier than the movie.

(but really really good)

I'm squeemish as hell. But I made it through Bladerunner at about 13 just fine.

He may not get the details, but compared to the stuff you mention?

I can't watch that sort of film. So you know, should be fine.

So I haven't seen Blade Runner and am therefore, no help. Although it sounds interesting. And well, Harrison Ford, yum.

I love scifi and scifi violence doesn't usually bother me. I'm not overly fond of horror movies, I'd rather be on edge with a suspense movie than scared witless. And I categorically refuse to watch torture-porn, i.e. Saw, Hostel, etc.

After a unfortunate watching of Untraceable (oh Diane Lane how could you do such a horrible movie?) I've started relying on screenit.com to avoid movies I'm not sure I want to watch. However they don't seem to have a review of Blade Runner. Sorry. IMDB does have a brief Parent Guide though.


That's the word I was looking for! Torture-porn masquerading as horror. It's pretty much the only hard and fast line I have on movies. And it's impossible to explain I totally see the merit of Final Destination (God I love that movie) and not--well, Saw, Hostel, and the later Friday the Thirteenths. It's like--if it is cut for TV, will I enjoy it and will it make sense and will it last more than ten minutes with cut scenes? Or something like that.

Which comes down to my problem with Hellraiser; it has a complex mythology and is very well plotted, but the violence is super explicit and such a part of it that I can't pre-watch and I'm just not sure. And in all honesty, I'm not sure he can appreciate the mythology behind it either; I read up on it and it's *incredibly* cool, but again, complicated. And deeply gross. I think that one I'll just leave for when he runs across it himself. Most of his friends family's are fairly conservative, and he knows his own comfort lines pretty well, so probably not going to come up in a discussion of what to buy quite yet.

FWIW, I'd let my boys watch BladeRunner but pretty much none of the ones you listed above.

My violence kneejerk's probably higher than my sex one, but I don't recall it being an issue much either way. I screened the director's cut for my class a few years ago and thus was conscious of not showing anything I could get in trouble for...

My sex one is more his comprehension; he's just not all that interested yet other than theoretically. IE, Torchwood was fine for the most part, and relationships are good, but the sexual content completely passes him by, what there is of it, so it was a nice and comfortable monster show for both of us.

Also, I'm really uncomfortable, on a lot of levels, with him at any time equating sex with violence. Either/or, maybe, but together, that's something I don't wnat him connecting with.

I think there's some brief nudity in Blade Runner, but that's about the only warning I can think of -- it's bloody brilliant, and set the tone and style for brooding, dark, dystopic future settings.

Eh. Nudity he doesn't even notice, he's so used to it.

I saw it at age 9, which was probably a little young, but it's remained one of my favorite films of all time.

Some things I'd probably want to know if I were a parent thinking about showing it to a child: there's a stripper who performs with a snake, and you see her boobs. There are several dramatic death scenes, a couple of them violent. There are some pretty creepy things with sexual overtones (at least one of the female Replicants is "your basic pleasure model"; the stripper is a Replicant; Harrison Ford's character has what seems to be dubious-consent-at-best sex with Sean Young's character). There's a lot of very tense drama throughout.

I would not in any way classify it as horror. When you see it, you will recognize at once that many elements of the "look" of dystopian scifi film have been stolen from this one.


Oooh. That works. Those all seem fine. He tends to glaze over the less blatant sex for the more awesome scary anyway. *glee* I am totally going to love this, I can tell.

I believe I was about 12 when I first saw Blade Runner and it didn't bother me much at all and I was a total horror wimp. So if he's into sci fi and all, it would probably be fine.

Hi there! (For the record, you sound like a completely awesome mom!)

My folks never censored anything. If I asked if God wore shoes, my mom pulled out the King James illustrated bible, the Qur'an, and the 7 pillars of Buddha and kept talking until I grasped the metaphors. If I asked about babies,, Mom pulled out Atlas of the Body and showed me pictures of a penis, testicles, vagina, and uterus. If I wondered about sunlight, my dad would take a flashlight, an orange, an egg, and an apple, turn off all the lights, and reenact the earth’s and moon’s rotations. If I asked about masturbation, my nana told me about orgasms and about self-discipline in public. And this was all before I was two.

Nana took me to the library every weekend since I was born until I turned 13 and I could get whatever books I wanted. If it was above my reading level, she'd read it to me. (Nothing makes bath-time fun like your granny sitting on the john, reading you the Wreck of the Hesperus ~_^).

In fact, my parents made a point of showing me scary things like that TV special called Adam, about how kids get abducted. Also, they'd make sure to tell me if it was truth or fiction, but I could watch lots of disturbing things, like how sometimes nice pretty people are really bad guys (oh, Planet V). By kindergarten, I was several steps ahead of the other kids. And, if I found out my folks lied to me—about Santa or the Easter Bunny or something—OMG would I read them the riot act. I was a very serious child and didn’t develop a sense of humor until I interacted with kids my own age.

Now, I should say, I was speaking sentences by 6 months and reading by 3. So, as I watched Silence of the Lambs or Nightmare on Elm Street, my parents were right there, and if I got stressed, they'd talk to me about it. I’m pretty well adjusted and I'm now a fiction writer. And I have very strong beliefs about how actions should be regulated for everyone’s safety, but art/ideas should be free for everyone’s enlightenment. But again, I stress that my parents talked to me about adult topics as if I were an adult. (Your kid sounds extremely mature. I think Bladerunner is a classic and he should totally see it, but it may take him a few years for all the nuances to sink in. I mean, I read Catcher in the Rye in 6th grade and I was like "Geez, how depressing; I hate it!" and then re-read it in 9th grade and I was like "OMG, this book is a teenager's bible!!”)

But I have to mention one exception: I never could bear to see animal cruelty. I can't watch Animal Cops even now, and things like Flag, Pet Sematary, and Old Yeller…There was no living with me after that; usually, I’d only stop crying if we did something to help another animal, like rescue a stray or donate to a shelter or something, and then that was like “evening the scales.” But, on the other hand, my father was a Park Ranger and a zoologist, so, National Geographic specials where like lions kill cheetah cubs I was made to understand was not cruelty but the way nature worked. I was made to watch a lot of those and told natural death was beautiful and not something to be feared or pitied. My father was always bringing wounded things home—alligators, raccoons, squirrels, owls, dogs, whatever—and until it was time to release it or take it back to the zoo, he'd teach me about its instincts. He talked about energy and nonverbal-signals like the Dog Whisperer does. I learned so much from that, and I still volunteer at the SPCA often. But, like, videos (fact or fiction) where people abuse animals? I can barely stand it. Some people love things like Trials of Life videos or hunting shows but, I could never switch my empathy off. I was going to be a vet or pediatrician, but, I cannot shut off my emotions around patients in pain, and that doesn’t help them, so I switched majors and became a writer instead. ^_^

Anyway, this should be about you and your little one, not me. So, in short, I vote yes. To everything. And he's old enough to let you know if something upsets him, so I wouldn’t worry. You have a pretty solid relationship and you can always talk it out. ^_^

Re: I vote yes ^_^

OK- I cannot be the only one wondering- does God were shoes? I would imagine God could, if it wanted to. And went corporeal. But in general- non-corporeal and so not so much with the shoes?

Man- I am glad I don't have kids!