Geek streaming you can/should watch with your kids in July 2016
With school out and the kids already saying “We’re bored!”, here are some “new” movies that are streaming on Netflix in July 2016 (and one holdover from June 2016) that will not only entertain your kids, but will give them additional geek cred (and heck, you’ll enjoy them too).
Back to the Future trilogy (1985, 1989, 1990)
If you haven’t yet shown your kids the time-travel series starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd yet, this is a great chance, as all three movies are available starting tomorrow. There’s some 1980s-level language to watch out for (especially the S-word and some G-damns), but for the most part kids aged 8 and up should be OK to watch this (they tend to ignore the subplots of the whole Marty/Lorraine arc). Mainly they’ll laugh every time Biff lands in the manure pile.
Batman: The Movie (1966)
Your geek kids have likely been exposed to Batman, whether it’s through the LEGO games, animations or Batman: The Animated Series. If you haven’t yet shown them the campy version from the 1960s, the “movie” shown here is a good place to start. It features the four best villains from the TV show (Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman), and the action is mainly harmless. The best jokes, which kids will love, come when Batman is trying to get rid of a bomb and every place he wants to throw it is obstructed by some random innocent bystanders, causing West’s Batman to utter, “Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb!”. Classic.
The Sting (1973)
As a kid, it took me a while before I could watch this classic film in its entirety – it’s a very long movie without a whole lot of action (it’s two hours, nine minutes). But if your kids can sit for that length of time, they’re in for a treat. Robert Redford and Paul Newman are awesome as con men who set up a “sting” to try to get revenge on a criminal who murdered a fellow con artist. Even if they don’t appreciate the subtleties of the film, they might enjoy some of the music from Scott Joplin, and you can show them the scene where everyone signals each other with their finger on their nose and start doing that with your own kids. Or maybe it will teach them how to cheat at cards.
Working Girl (1988) / Bob’s Burgers
OK, on this one we’re recommending that YOU watch this first, without the kids. Why? It’s rated R, and you probably don’t want your kids asking questions about Melanie Griffith’s outfit, hairstyles or Alec Baldwin’s chest. HOWEVER, we bring this up because you might want to show them the Bob’s Burgers episode in which Gene puts on his Die Hard-based musical to compete with a Working Girl musical. Our kids loved the music from that episode, but a lot of the references were lost on them. So catch up on Working Girl and then show them the cartoon so you can explain why the references are so funny.
Jurassic Park (1993)
It’s more-than-probable that you’ve already taken your older kids to the mega-blockbuster film from last year, Jurassic World. If they were able to handle the dinosaur-eating-people action of that movie (our kids were more sad at the dinos-killing-dinos scenes), they should be able to handle the stuff from the original. Again, a lot depends on whether your kids like scary and suspenseful moments (the Raptors chasing the kids in the kitchen comes to mind). If they’re really into it you can delve into Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World, but by all means avoid Jurassic Park 3 (play those scenes in the LEGO video game).
We prefer showing our kids the original cartoons from the 1970s and 1980s, but if they are really big fans of the Mystery Machine they might be able to sit through the 2002 live-action version (we couldn’t, but then we grew up with the superior version).
Other potentials, depending on your parenting levels, style and tolerance:
* Mean Girls (2004)
This movie resonated with a lot of millennials, but for parents who now have kids entering the “Mean Girls” age range, this might be worth a look. Plus, Tina Fey!
* Big Trouble in Little China (1986) We never really got into this action-flick from the 1980s starring Kurt Russell, but we know that there’s a cult following among some people, so if you’re one of those parents, by all means share this obsession with your kids.
* Hello, Dolly! (1969): For your budding theater geeks.