It is a holiday tradition for my wife and I to see a movie over the Christmas break.
When we began the tradition, more than two decades ago, it was just the two of us, so we could see any movie we wanted.
But then kids came on the scene, and we had to change our movie selections to age-appropriate titles, which isn't a bad thing. Many of the kid-friendly movies today can keep both generations entertained.
Toy Story has long been a family favourite, as is just about any Pixar film. As the kids grew older, the genres changed, but it was always a family friendly flick - no matter how much the oldest child protested.
"But Dad, Bikini Chainsaw Slaughter is a family movie. Everyone who gets dismembered is from a family."
Nice try, kid, but I don't think that's a Pixar flick.
This year, for the first time in a long time, it was just me and the Missus, so the selection was not a catalyst for debate. All three of the kids were busy skiing or hanging out with friends or whatever it is they do, so that just left the two of us to catch a show.
We have come full circle.
I must admit it was a lot cheaper with the reduced numbers.
I didn't have to remortgage my home just to sit in a theatre seat for a couple hours, eat overpriced popcorn and watch the latest Hollywood has to offer.
The big trend in movies right now is 3D. Everything is in 3D, even if it doesn't need to be. You have to shell out an extra three bucks a ticket to wear the funny glasses and watch the latest in technology, but I've seen a couple movies where the 3D wasn't necessary.
If the moviemakers are going to charge an extra three bucks (which brings the cost for a family of five to just under that of a fighter jet) then it had better be one heck of a 3D movie.
Often, that is not the case.
Anyway, this year we saw a regular old 2D movie, and because the kids were scattered to and fro, we could choose whatever movie we wanted. And we wanted to see The Hobbit.
However, tickets to the latest Tolkien offering were sold out for the next 19 weeks, so we had to go with plan B.
It was a shame we didn't really have a plan B.
The theatre has seven screens, so surely one of them would offer something worth spending my hard-earned pesos on. The Missus decided we should see Les Miserables, often called Les Mis.
I knew it was a musical, and was afraid Les Mis was going to be Les Yawn, but it actually turned out to be a pretty good movie. I had never seen it live, so I had nothing to compare it to, but what I saw was well done.
My brother-in-law, who has seen Les Mis live about 1,154 times, was not overly impressed, but I admit the movie was much better than I thought it would be.
Something odd happened at the very end of the seven-hour-long production - a few people applauded.
Why? Obviously, they enjoyed the show, but they would have to clap pretty loud for the makers and stars in Hollywood to hear them.
It just seemed kind of pointless. I have never applauded a movie before, and this was only the second time I had ever seen it happen.
I thought it was odd the first time it happened as well.
So you liked the movie. Why do you feel it necessary to make it a public declaration?
But I guess if it helped them enjoy their evening out of the house, then I say go for it.
Darren Handschuh can be reached at
. For more of his ramblings, check out his blog at www.therudemonkey.blogspot.com.