This past weekend saw the Light House Cinema kick off their third edition of the popular film season, ‘Films You’d Love Your Kids To See’, with the first of three showings of ET: The Extra Terrestrial. Now in it’s third year, the lengthily titled season is a selection of favourites from the past that are perfectly suited to being shown to and loved by a whole new generation of film fans. From beloved standards like The Goonies and the Back to the Future trilogy, to all-time classics like The Wizard of Oz to 90’s Kids picks like Aladdin and Jurassic Park, there’s a wide selection of films showing all summer long that are bound to delight kids and adults alike and get the nostalgia flowing again. You can find the Light House’s full selection of films here, but Film In Dublin has picked out some of the must-sees for your calendar over the next few months.
The Light House incorporate their monthly Cinema Book Club into Films You’d Love Your Kids To See, as they show Danny DeVito’s 1996 adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Matilda. Though the film moves the story to the US, it otherwise follows the book pretty closely, as the brilliant but neglected Matilda develops telekinetic powers all while she’s ignored by her parents and menaced by her psychopathic headmistress Miss Trunchbull. Can Matilda find her bliss with her kind teacher Miss Honey? Any young avid readers in the audience will be enthralled to find out. See the film and have a chat about the book too on the 31st of July.
Most nostalgic moment: One scene that perfectly shows both the twisted side and the kid triumph that are textbook Roald Dahl is poor Bruce Bogtrotter being forced to eat a whole chocolate cake (and all the blood and sweat that went into making it) by Miss Trunchbull. Somewhat traumatising, and memorable enough to get an oral history from everyone involved by Newsweek.
Every kid has that moment where they wish they could wake up and be an adult, in the misguided belief that this will make their life easier and more fun and that they won’t say, have to know what a P60 is. In 1988’s Big, Tom Hanks played the All Grown Up version of New Jersey kid Josh Baskin, who makes a wish to the arcade fortune telling machine Zoltar Speaks and wakes up to find he’s been made considerably…bigger. Fun in the city, a rise through the ranks working at a toy company, important life lessons and the complicated and confusing ethics of a woman unknowingly sleeping with a man who is actually a child in an adult’s body ensue. You can catch Big on the big screen on the 4th, 5th and 10th of August.
Most nostalgic moment: Josh and his kind-hearted boss (played by Robert Loggia) play Heart and Soul and Chopsticks on the famous Walking Piano at toy store FAO Schwarz.
Addams Family Values
Both The Addams Family and its sequel Addams Family Values will be showing during Films You’d Love Your Kids To See, including as part of a double-bill, but its the 1993 follow-up that stands out to us. The creepy and kooky family were already an exceptional cast in the first film with Raúl Juliá, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd and Christina Ricci providing madcap charm to their characters, but this film’s addition of Joan Cusack truly kicks things up a notch. Cusack shines as Debbie, the ‘Black Widow’ serial killer looking to marry Uncle Fester and off him for his fortune, and though she’s entertaining enough that she could be forgiven for marrying Fester, destroying his spirit and taking him the Addams, her love of pastels is another matter entirely. You can catch Addams Family Values on the 5th and 24th of August.
Most nostalgic moment: After a summer of enforced fun, cultural insensitivity and bolted-on smiles at the nightmarishly positive summer camp of Camp Chippewa, Wednesday Addams takes revenge as only an Addams can: by burning it all down.
Is Batman Forever an all-time classic? No. It Batman Forever even particularly good? Debatable. But there is definitely a case for Batman Forever being the most kid-accessible Batman film of the lot, with Joel Schumacher stepping into Tim Burton’s shoes as director and providing a decidedly toyetic and more light-hearted experience. Val Kilmer fits into the tight rubber batsuit this time around, much to the delight of Nicole Kidman’s Dr. Chase Meridian character, but this movie is all about the baddies. Are the performances of Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carey as Two-Face and the Riddler the kind of buffoonery that can be sanctioned in the cold light of adulthood? Perhaps not, but it’s big and colourful acting in a big and colourful movie that you can see on the 8th of August and as part of a special ’90’s Knight’ for more grown up fans of the Dark Knight, which takes place on the 19th.
Most nostalgic moment: This. Just this. What is Robin at here?