I can only do this while kid-free, you understand. Doing this with kids is an exercise in futility. I end up with a pile of movies that I have to pick up off the floor and my $5 indulgence turns into a $25 indulgence after the kids throw their selections into the cart. Whether they'll actually get watched or not is a total crapshoot, too.
On this particular occasion, I got really, really lucky and found a great old movie that I knew - just knew - my kids would love. We settled in the following weekend, had our Friday movie night, and I was right. The movie is now one of my son's favorites and he's watched it on a repeating loop ever since. Sometimes you just know, and it takes a glimpse of it in the $5 bin to jog your memory of just how great that movie was.
[Zathura Movie Poster design by Shoolery Design]
So without any further fanfare, here's my list of five terrific (but older) movies that you might have forgotten about - and might be lucky enough to find in a $5 movie bin sometime:
- Zathura - A Space Adventure - This movie was originally meant as a companion to the much better-know movie Jumanjii, but in my opinion it's far better and so much fun! It features a young Josh Hutcherson and Kristen Stewart, and it's about a couple of kids playing a board game about a space adventure that turns into reality. All kinds of mayhem ensues, and there's a wonderful message about family in there, to boot.
- Willow - This is sort of a cheat, because it's a Mommy indulgence as well. Let us all not forget how screaming hot Val Kilmer was back in the day, ladies. And along with those sculpted cheekbones, full lips and sword-swinging arms, you get a terrific story about little people, magic, lost princesses and good winning over evil. And young, hot Val Kilmer. Oh, and did I mention young, hot Val Kilmer?
- The Mummy/George of the Jungle - Okay, okay - another shameless Mommy indulgence. I listed them both because The Mummy can be scary for younger kiddos. Both have Brendan Fraser in his prime, and the latter has him in a loincloth. Need I say more? The kids will love the action in The Mummy, and the humor in George of the Jungle. And you can pour a big glass of wine and just enjoy the view.
- Cats & Dogs - I completely forgot how hilarious this movie is. Evil cats masterminding a plot for world domination, and a secret-agent dog in training who foils them all. And with Jeff Goldblum along for the ride, it all spells awesome.
- The Last Starfighter - Greetings Starfighter! You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada! If you know that line, you're remembering just how amazingly fun this movie is. And what kid doesn't want to be recruited to fight aliens based on his mad skills at video gaming? It's a little dated technology and CGI-wise, but the story is so great, you won't notice it much.
This is only a partial list of the great movies I've found in a discount bin or on a lower shelf somewhere. They might be a little dusty, but they're definitely worth a re-visit with your kids!