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Ross Family Movie Challenge: 'Jumanji' vs 'National Velvet'

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Every week EW’s Dalton Ross and his wife, writer Christina Kelly, have a…um, lively discussion about what movie they should watch with their two children (Dale, 12, and Violet, 9) that weekend. Now they make their cases publicly and you get to vote on the choices and decide how the Ross family will be spending part of their weekend. The power is in your hands, people. Last week, the underdog hoops classic Hoosiers was unable to mount a fairytale comeback against Christina’s pick of Big. Read on and then vote for which movie they should watch this week.

Dalton’s Pick: Jumanji (1995)
Board games are fun. Especially when I win. I particularly like destroying my family in Sorry!, because it is quite possibly the most sarcastic board game in existence  — looking someone dead in the eye and saying “Sorreeeee!” as you blast their game piece back to Start. My children share my affinity for board games and each have their specialty: Dale is ruthless in Monopoly, while Violet takes particular joy in besting me in the 1961 Barbie Queen of the Prom game. (She always lands Ken as a boyfriend while I get stuck with dorky Poindexter.)

The point is, we dig anything involving cards or a die. Which makes it surprising that we have never watched Jumanji. You all probably know the story of the movie better than I, seeing as how I have never seen it. All I know is Robin Williams plays some dude that played the game 25 years ago, only to get stuck in its universe until some young whippersnappers (including a pint-size Kirsten Dunst) inadvertently release him… as well as some stampeding rhinos and elephants. I’m pretty sure someone turns into a monkey at one point. And David Allen Grier makes lots of “What the…?” faces. Regardless, this film appears to have it all — a bitchin’ board game, elements of fantasy, and Robin Williams not wearing a fat suit and wig. Please do the right thing and vote Jumanji as the winner this week. Otherwise, I am destined for another date with Poindexter.

Christina’s Pick: National Velvet (1944)
I finally won last week, but I don’t feel good about it, because I chose Big mainly to ensure a victory. This week I am remaining true to myself by proposing an old movie. Old movies never win, but they should, because they are awesome. National Velvet stars Elizabeth Taylor as a young equestrienne who dreams big, wins an important race, and then is not allowed to keep the prize because she is female. This, I am sure, will provide fodder for a deep family discussion about sexism. Just kidding. The only film commentary I can get out of my son consists of one word answers such as “good,” “ok” and “popcorn.” Still, what’s not to like about a horse movie set in 1920′s England, made in the 1940s, and starring gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor? If voted in, National Velvet will be a hit with the kids. They like movies about characters who chase their dreams. And though we are not horsey people, the three of us did watch and enjoy Secretariat, starring Diane Lane as the strong-minded owner of the famous racehorse from the 1970s.


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