Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Theater

I went with the wife and two younger boys to the movies last night.

Let's see, tickets- $30,
Coke and popcorn for the kids,
Diet Coke for my wife,
bottled water for me- $18

How can they honestly charge that much? I remember when five dollars would get you into the Saturday matinee, along with a snack and a drink. Brought change back for dad too. And I'm not that old for goodness sake!

Anyway, the movie;

As a reward for my middle son, we saw Eragon.

A few months back, my son got the book Eragon at the school library. They check out books and then take a test over the content to get grades, and points toward prizes at the end of the year. My son found out that the movie of Eragon would be coming out soon, he wanted to wait and see the movie and then take the test. Classic strategy, but Mom and Dad weren't born yesterday.

We forced him to read the book, and take the test. As a reward, if he did well on the test (which would mean he had read and understood the book) we would take him to the movie. He didn't like the idea. "No fair!" was a common complaint during the early reading.

But, a funny thing happened on the way to the theater; he began to enjoy reading the book. He began to enjoy the story. He found he could loose himself in the book. A boy after my own heart.

I love to read. I seldom watch TV. My oldest son is very similar. He can read and re-read a good book many times, just like me. My middle son has resisted reading thus far. It never interested him. He would rather watch something, anything on TV.

But this book hooked him. And the original desire to see the movie helped keep him going.

The book (and movie) is about a boy forced to mature. It is about growing, giving of yourself, being brave when you are afraid, and caring for something(s) other than yourself. It is a good story for a young boy.

Last night on the way to the theater, he was telling us what would happen. He was excited, and we had to tell him not to spoil it for us. During the movie, he kept saying, "They left out the part about....", and "That wasn't the way it was in the book."

I smiled each time. I knew too well about being disappointed by a movie version of a good book. Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein being the best example of a great book being made into a mediocre (at best) movie I can think of.

After the movie, as we walked to the car, I asked if he enjoyed it. He said, "Yeah, but the book was better. The next book is out and I'm gonna get it to read."


The little man in my head was pumping his fist in the air. He was dancing with joy.

My son had learned a truth that cannot be taught. It must be found out by yourself; Reading is fun. Reading is often better than watching. The special effects in your head are better than those on the screen.

I know it is just a start, but I hope it continues.

Mr Fixit


Jason said...

+1 on the Starship Troopers movie. Man what a disappointment. I think the only thing they took from the book were the names of the characters and the word "bugs". I'm still mad over that movie.

Larry said...

And another youth saved. Nice work.
And Starship Troopers was an excellent book, but I think you gave the movie too much credit. The only redeeming part of the movie was Denise Richards's anatomy. And she played the part of a GUY that DIED in the first chapter of the book.

Ordinary Janet said...

let's hope he can find something else after the Eragon series. Otherwise he might get sucked back into the television. How old is he? I might be able to recommend some books.