Sunday, July 6, 2008


After four years and five months as parents, the Camerons took our first family outing to the local movie theater.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that the boy has been to the movies a few times before. A couple of weeks ago, he saw Kung-Fu Panda with one of Mrs. Bootleg's girlfriends and her kids. Prior to that, the wife semi-regularly took then-Baby Bootleg to one of those weekday "Movies with Mommies" promotions – park the strollers at the entrance, the volume is minimal, the lights are only partially dimmed.

Yep…all the accoutrements of your Grandma's living room and for only $8 and gas!

So, this is the first trip to the movies that I'm taking with the Cam Fam. Sure, I could've opened with that, but, really…newsflash I'm a neglectful father and inattentive husband.

Our son, Jalen, is just getting out of an irrational and financially one-sided relationship with Disney's Cars movie and merchandising. And, WALL-E seemed like a good enough fit for a four-year-old. Jalen's glommed on to the toy line and his "WALL-E: Smash Trash!" book has been an indispensible bedtime story for two straight weeks.

Mrs. Bootleg Fandango'd us some tickets for today's 11:15AM show, so we left the house at around 10:30AM. And, since "doing something" on a Sunday morning is foreign to my family, at about the five mile mark down the freeway I realized that I forgot to DVR the A's/White Sox game. Well, this f*cking day is already ruined.

We get to the theater and Mrs. Bootleg promptly buys movie food. Now, I have a good job and we're not cash-strapped or anything, but for as long as I've known her this has always driven me right up the wall. There are three of us, including small child, and she buys: a hot dog, nachos, two drinks, Skittles and popcorn. I don't even want to know what this set us back. And, before any of you who've been with me to baseball games open your yaps, just remember they sell beer at the ballpark. It's totally different.

Jalen finished the decent-sized hot dog in about three bites and annihilated 7/8 of the popcorn. I got the unpopped kernels he didn't finish and whatever fell out of mouth.

Thankfully, our timing was pretty good as the "Where's WALL-E?" question from the boy started up about five minutes after we reached our seats and, immediately afterwards, the trailers began.

Speaking of which, have you heard about the new animated flick Fly Me to the Moon? It's about three flies in outer space – the smart-mouthed leader, the bespectacled genius and the fat one. Oooh, I'm telling. Also, if Meet Dave doesn't kill off Eddie Murphy's film career once and for all, I'll give all y'all a dollar.

Onto WALL-E.

Ummm, put it this way: Jalen was rapt for the first few minutes, then slowly began drifting off until he was sort of horizontal across his mom's lap well into the third act. He perked up towards the end and, when it was over, he asked if he could see it again.

Save for the desire to see it again, that's about my WALL-E reaction to a tee.

Quick synopsis – our planet is one big Mrs. Bootleg's walk-in closet in our master bedroom trash hole, so mankind has relocated to a giant ship in outer space. WALL-E is the last functioning trash remover from a project that's in its 700th year of abject failure. WALL-E meets a mysterious probe (tee hee) and the two of them must work together to return mankind to earth.

For a kid's movie, the writers sure seemed content to load up on the sedentary scenes. At one point, early on, the probe ("EVE") finds what it's looking for and locks up. We see day and night and day and night and day, etc. pass with WALL-E waiting around for it to open up again. Later, the one life form that is the key to the whole movie is batted around in an interminable bout of "hot potato" that…never…ends.

The voice actors aren't given much to do, save for that guy who plays Larry David's agent in Curb Your Enthusiasm. Here, he's the captain of the Axiom – the giant spaceship where we all live seven centuries from now. And, then there's Fred Willard, who – for some weird reason – plays a live character. He's the CEO of the company that junked up our planet and his slimy countenance is way out of place here.

Even though it's a Disney movie, I won't get into spoilers that you all could probably guess. Just a few questions:

Why does the Axiom continue to send probes to planet Earth even after it becomes clear that the real forces controlling the ship have no desire to return to Earth?

How do all those people living on the Axiom earn the money to buy all of the excesses that symbolize their current existence?

What happened to all the animals?

And, why did I have a lot fewer questions after the talking race car movie?

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