Butler County Times Gazette
  • Jeff Vrabel: ‘X-Men’ and awesome fatherness

    • email print
      Comment
  • Took the 10-year-old to see the “X-Men” movie this past weekend, because I am the most awesome father in the country.
    We went to “X-Men” for one reason: I wanted to see “X-Men.” I’ve had a lengthy stretch of solo parenting here, and honestly I just wanted to get out of the house, and there was an “X-Men” movie.
    Did I check to see if it was appropriate for a 10-year-old? No!
    Did I ask if it had language in it? NOPE.
    Did I have to spend most of the movie explaining to my 10-year-old who everyone was, why they all had powers, who Richard Nixon was and why people in the 1970s dressed like that? YEP, PRETTY MUCH.
    It was a nice change of pace, being the one who didn’t shut up while trying to watch a movie.
    But I went knowing it was a little more advanced than his usual movies. I wanted to see “Godzilla” last weekend with my son and his little best friend, both impossibly sweet, sensitive kids who do NOT do well with scary movies. We watched “Raiders of the Lost Ark” here one time, and basically the entire movie was a joint refrain on when the scary parts were going to be, what the scary parts would involve, how long the scary parts would last, whether the current scene was or was not the scary part, and when it was safe to come out from under the blanket.
    Hilariously, once it got to the end with all that face-melting, they had no problems whatsoever. Eh, ark angel turning Nazi faces to liquid goo? That’s no problem. But the anticipation of a scary part — well that is an awful lot for a fourth-grader to take.
    But I figured that he’s old enough, he likes comic book movies (we’ve spent many a breakfast quoting “Avengers” lines back and forth) and, again, I really wanted to get out of the house. I also wanted to watch a movie that wasn’t “The Lego Movie.” Or “Frozen.” Or that show with the guys teaching about “wild animals.” Or these Road Runner cartoons they’re obsessed with, I mean I love the Road Runner to death, but after a while it’s like OK WE GET IT THE BOOMERANG COMES BACK TO HIT THE COYOTE IN THE FACE.
    And it turned out that “X-Men,” was great. Really great. Like, are all the “X-Men” movies this great? I know there are like 28 of them, and they all take place in different timelines and 15 of them are prequels and 9 of those are titled “The Wolverine.” But this was really fun, as movies in which you don’t know who does what go.
    It was also, however, kind of violent. And one major character drops a well-timed f-bomb. And there’s a bit of Wolverine nudity. And a few other things I should have probably checked on before toting the 10-year-old along.
    Page 2 of 2 - For his part, he didn’t seem terribly bothered by any of it, especially the violence. (The language, and this will endear me to some part of the readership, I’m like “Enh.” He’s gonna hear it anyway, and I’m way more concerned about real-life violence and sexism than movie bad language.) But he also didn’t react to it with the same enthusiasm he shows for “The Lego Movie” or all the Road Runner cartoons. This could be because I took him to a movie that was maybe a step or two above his appropriateness grade. Or maybe he just likes Legos better.
    ——
    Jeff Vrabel’s mutant superpower would be a very large nose. He can be reached at jeffvrabel.com, or on Twitter @jeffvrabel.

        calendar