My son took me to the movies today. Sure, he didn't pay for the ticket, but if not for him wanting to go see Cowboys and Aliens, I wouldn't have gone.
He had a lousy start to a tough week this past Monday, and he was pitifully miserable that night. I tried everything I could think of to make him feel better and nothing worked. If anything, all my encouraging words made him feel worse. Why is that? Why, when we are offering our children pure gold to chew on, are they most annoyed with us?
Anyway, I changed tactics. I did what we've all done. I bribed him. "If you'll stop that incessant whining, I'll take you to the movies on Saturday."
Maybe I didn't put it quite that way, but you get the idea. However I put it, it worked, and he finally saw that life wasn't quite so dismal as he feared. Nothing like a little mass media to soothe the soul.
So off to the movies we went today, he, his buddy, and I.
How was it? Well, it's a little predictable. It's got the standard issue characters: the handsome outlaw, the bespectacled saloon owner, the good-for-nothing weakling son, the gruff but good-down-deep Colonel, the Native American with all the integrity, etc . The dialogue is a little tired, with gruff confessions of past crimes and casually dropped lines full of significant information. There's a loyal dog. Of course.
But it was super fun, and sometimes, that's exactly what you want in a movie. I'll try not to give away too much, but I do "spoil" one line of dialogue below, so stop reading if you don't want to know it.
Overall, the movie is great. The aliens are creative enough to be interesting, which must be hard to do after so many alien creatures have filled up the big screen. The clash of the two genres, sci-fi and western, is something new and engaging. And the battle scenes are perfect for anyone who likes to see good guys go after bad guys.
The boys loved it. There were enough surprises and enough violence to keep them on the edge of their seats and happy. The special effects were good enough for me, although I'm maybe not the best judge of special effects, since most of the movies I go see require tissues instead of 3-D glasses. And there were some great last breath scenes, with people speaking the truth right before expiring. The best was the preacher, looking at the outlaw, gasping and saying: "Bring back our people. God doesn't care who you were, son. Just who you are now." Then he dies of a huge gaping wound inflicted by a sticky alien.
So yes, I recommend this movie. It helps if you take a 10 year old boy with you. He will think both the movie and you are awesome.
* * *