Saturday, January 9, 2010

I would like a side order of head, please.

Mom and Dad took us to see "Arachnophobia" when it came out 8 billion years ago. I remember sitting in my seat with my legs tucked under me with the absolute knowledge that if I put my legs down either a large spider was going to make a meal of me or a giant egg sack was going to explode under my chair sending tiny airborne spiders everywhere.

I don't know why Mom and Dad thought that film was in any way appropriate for a small girl (or a big girl...or anybody for that matter), but perhaps they fell prey to the I'm-trying-to-be-a-fun-parent syndrome. Or perhaps they thought the film was about learning to not fear spiders, and thought to cure their children of spider-fear. Or perhaps they liked watching the abject terror on their kids' faces.

I will never, ever, ever, ever, EVER like spiders. EVER. EVER!

That being said...

We took the kids up to Thanksgiving Point to see an IMAX movie. There are three: The Great Barrier Reef (oh so cool), Dinosaurs, and Bugs! (The exclamation was not mine. The title comes with it. Perhaps they are trying to make the whole prospect of having bugs jump at your face fun.) The one playing when we got there was BUGS! The poster looked cute and gentle (lots of foliage, and a cute little butterfly in the corner), so I figured it was worth a shot.

We sat down, put on our oh-so-fashionable glasses and all winced as we zoomed into a pile of insect eggs that were writhing with who-knows-what inside.

I tried to be brave for the kids. I don't want them having phobias about bugs. Unless they are bugs that can kill you...which is about 90% of them.

"OOO, look how cool!" I exclaimed as Eva whimpered and pulled her glasses off.

I don't know why I was trying so hard. Is it wrong to dislike bugs, especially when they are dangling in front of your face? Hmmm...

So, we followed the life of a praying mantis and a caterpillar. I have to say I was truly touched at the magnificence of the life of a caterpillar, and their metamorphosis into a butterfly. And, dang it, they are super cute. It was all fuzzy when it came out of it's egg (though a tad disturbing at times) and it cutely ate its egg (which, according to the narrator, Judi Dench, was filled with protein...hey, I learned something!).

After about 15 minutes everybody seemed to be enjoying it. Jeremy bounced gently with Lily in the snugglie, Joshua loudly asked about everything, and Eva quietly leaned up against me and ate her M&Ms. (I don't recommend eating candy during this film, though. Especially crunchy candy. Or squishy candy...We had both. I'm just glad we didn't buy popcorn.)

At one point, the praying mantis, having left home (after a disgusting emergence from his egg with his 249 brothers and sisters), needed to eat.

It was pretty cool to watch him stalk his prey. Him eating it, 3D....

Joshua put his fingers in his ears at that point, as if by doing so would stop the flood of images of a 30-foot mantis eating a foot long fly. The film makers completed the scene by turning up the crunching noises.

They cut from that scene (thank heaven) to a battle between two naughty Rhino beetles, as Eva put it.

What were they fighting over? A female.

*Cut to female sitting on a rock*

"Awww, pretty!" Eva cooed. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

*Cut back to fighting male types*

"NAUGHTY!" She objected.

After the praying mantis and butterfly grew up, they did what they do best, as Judi Dench put it, and attempted to multiply and replenish the earth with more creepycrawlies.

The butterflies, elegant creatures, retained their dignity and quietly went about their business.

The praying mantises...well, let's just say that I felt like I should turn away in shame (though I was giggling and shooting glances at Jeremy), and that I should cover Josh and Eva's eyes. The best part was when they said the male had to be careful or the female would bite his head off. That's true for any species, right!? RIGHT?! HA HA HA!


Near the end (and I should have seen this coming), the praying mantis and the butterfly meet up. No, they are not friends.

The butterfly is innocently drinking nectar from some flowers....

The praying mantis is sneaking up on her...

And before I could yell out an objection, the praying mantis snatched the butterfly in its jaws and you watch as the little butterfly's wings flutter in terror...and then fall into the river. Yes, just the wings. The audience was supposed to feel comforted, I guess, in the fact that the butterfly had accomplished what it needed to in its short life, and then feel sweetly-sad as we watch the wings float out to sea.

It was a little too grotesque for me.

At least they didn't film the mantis eating the butterfly. That would have crossed the line.

So, I am never going to see that film again. EVER. EVER!

Of course, one could say there is something wrong with me for thinking that letting my kids watch sharks eat each other on the Great Barrier Reef is okay. I guess we'll have to see.


Katscratchme said...

I don't think I remember ever being bothered by graphic scenes in nature programing. I think I was far too fascinated.
Of course, the nature programing that was my favorite (and still is) were the ones with the cute lions and cheetahs. They, in their turn, would hunt down cute little zebras and gazelles and eat them with much crunching.

shydandelion said...


Trillium said...

During the last 40+ years I have been inflicted with all kinds of wretched movies--movies I wouldn't have chosen if it had been left up to me .... need I say more?

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