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Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Last Time I Watch James Bond with my Kids!...

1965 Thunderball movie poster..
One recent Wednesday night, my wife had a meeting with her women’s group at our parish and I was left to fend for myself with the kids.

After ordering Chinese, I thought, what better way to spend some time together than watching a James Bond movie? (Alright, so maybe it’s not exactly quality time but at least we’re together!)

Listen, my kids, including my 5-year-old, have watched The Chronicles of Narnia trilogy, Pirates of the Caribbean, and even some of the superhero movies, like The Avengers, which my son loved so much that it was the theme of his birthday party. Yes, they may be a little violent, but my criterion for a movie is whether it has sexual content, vulgar language, graphic or excessive gore or violence and, as importantly, whether it has a clear defined difference between good and evil.

I am very leery of all these mixed and subliminal messages that recent movies send about evil (witchcraft) being used for good (i.e. the ends justify the means!) and vampires falling in love (since, in other words, they are people too, right?) and there is no right or wrong, because it’s all relevant. (And that doesn’t even include the cartoon movies!)

So, I figured that watching an old 1960’s James Bond movie, Thunderball with Sean Connery, which I remember watching as a kid, only because of the amazing underwater fight scene, and where the blood looks like ketchup and the shootings, by today’s standards, appear as primitive as my first brick cell phone, would be fine to watch with the kids.

Boy was I wrong!

It wasn’t the violence that I should have been concerned about; it was the scenes of Connery shacking up with different women.

The guy was like the Wilt Chamberlain of spies. I didn't remember that part of the movie!  In a blink of an eye, and without giving me much time to react, because the scenes were so quick, except one, which I changed to a chorus of “Daddy!” from my kids, he had sex with a physical therapist in a shower room, a terrorist spy that kidnapped him and the bad guy’s mistress, which became his love interest, under water in scuba gear (I'm telling you, Wilt would be proud).

As a matter of fact, even though the scenes usually cut out before they got too explicit, the fact that Connery was shown shirtless and wearing nothing but a towel around his waist, while messaging a topless woman’s back in bed and kissing her (the terrorist spy), was suggestive enough to prompt my seven-year-old daughter to say, “He flirts with a lot of girls!” To be honest, I think I blushed.

I have two young daughters; one soon to be a teenager and another who thinks she is; not to mention a son, who I hope to raise with a little more respect for women, considering he has two sisters!

Although, the scenes may have gone over the heads of the younger two, I’m sure they were not lost on my 11-year-old, who learned about the birds and the bees this year at school, in the context of the importance of chastity (since they attend a Catholic school). Meanwhile, Bond was not exactly the beacon for showing restraint!

Anyway, lesson learned; I’ll never watch another Bond movie with my kids again (unless I preview it first!).

Thank goodness for the Summer Olympics!  Now, all I have to worry about are the programming ads and commercials...

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