Stepping away from the politics for a little while, I thought I’d do some reviews.
- First, Curious George, the movie. (Disclosure: I was sent a free review copy. While I don’t necessarily praise the things that I get sent, I do feel guilty if I don’t get around to posting about them. Should I? Is it unethical to accept the offers if I don’t review the item?) This is a cute, inoffensive kids movie. Unlike most G-rated movies these days, there are no hidden pop references that are designed to go over the kids heads. The plot is not directly based on any of the Curious George Books, although they inspire various scenes (George painting the walls, George hanging from a balloon). The writers figured out how to avoid the most cringe-worthy elements of the book (e.g. that the man in the yellow hat kidnaps George) and also answer such pressing questions as what he’s doing in that stupid yellow suit in the first place. My kids loved it.
- Street Fight. I netflixed this, and asked T. if he wanted to see it. What’s it about, he wanted to know. It’s a documentary about a mayoral race, I said (the 2002 Newark mayoral race between Sharpe James and Cory Booker). Not interested, he said. But 15 minutes later, he was watching it just as intently as I was. It has the hypnotic qualities of a car crash — you can’t believe that James’ goons didn’t realize how bad they were going to look on video.
- I’m an Amazon Associate on this blog (last quarter I earned $2.42), so they occasionally send me emails pitching products I might want to feature. Most of the toys they’re promoting for this holiday season made me yawn, but both T and I are sorely tempted by the new Lego Mindstorms robots. We’re resisting the temptation, because we know our boys are really too young for them, but boy do they look impressive.
- I’ll admit that I’m also quite tempted by the Nintendo Wii. If that controller is as cool as it’s being described, I suspect we’ll be getting one, although maybe not this holiday season. The idea is that the controller is motion sensitive, so instead of pushing a combination of buttons, you can use it as a tennis racket or steering wheel or whatever the game requires.
- In browsing through the toys r us catalog, I had to laugh at the Lifestyle Dream Kitchen, which is described as "realistic and upscale." A quick comparison with the regular play kitchen reveals that what makes this "upscale" is the fake stainless steel on the stove and the refrigerator. But this has to be an aspirational pitch, because my guess is that the mommies and daddies who have stainless steel appliances in their ktichen wouldn’t buy their little darlings anything with so much plastic — they’d go for something like this wooden version.
What’s on your wish list?