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Ross Family Movie Challenge: 'Jurassic Park' vs. 'Breaking Away'

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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, 10) that weekend. Now they make their cases publicly and you get to vote on the choices and settle the argument. The power is in your hands, people. Last week, Dalton’s selection of ‘The Sandlot’ hit a home run against Christina’s pick of ‘Girls Rock!’  Read on and then vote for what they should watch this weekend.

Dalton’s Pick: Jurassic Park (1993)
Sometimes a movie just falls through the cracks. In fact, it so perfectly fits the mold of a film you would have all watched together as a family that you just assume you all have watched it, only to be hit with the horrific realization that you have, in fact, failed as a parent. In the case of Jurassic Park, the movie had been on my radar for a while, but there was scary dinosaur stuff to worry about, so I had to wait until the kids were old enough to handle it. Then I just kinda forgot. My bad.

Anyhoo, Dale and Violet are more than ready now. And their interest in the franchise was no doubt piqued from our ride down the Jurassic Park water ride at Universal Studios Orlando. (A ride I still curse to this day seeing as how one of the cameras caught me closing my eyes in fear during the big descent — a fact that my children like to derisively remind me of on a daily basis.) Unlike some of the sports underdog movies I’ve been known to select, I’m not trying to teach them any life lessons this week about never giving up in the face of adversity. I just want us all to chow down on some popcorn and watch some freakin’ dinosaurs. And as a special bonus, we get to see Mace Windu’s other arm get chopped — or, in this case, chomped — off.

Christina’s Pick: Breaking Away (1979)
I have never seen Jurassic Park. Before Dalton and I started dating, I generally avoided blockbusters. For the love of God, I hadn’t even seen E.T. until he forced me to watch it, and I was soon reduced to a sobbing mess. I don’t think I will like Jurassic Park, but then again I was absolutely sure I wouldn’t like E.T., and I was completely wrong.

Still, I prefer a smaller film, and so I submit for your consideration the sweet cycling picture Breaking Away. It’s an underdog sports movie, which all of our family does enjoy. I first caught it as part of a double feature at a revival house in the early eighties (meanwhile, my future husband was at home in his room playing with Star Wars figures). This movie popped into my head when Lance Armstrong finally decided to confess this week. Every time I think of Lance Armstrong, and all the other sports stars who cheat, I just feel so sad that my kids are constantly let down by their heroes. But that’s another rant for another post. The star of Breaking Away is the converse of Lance Armstrong. He becomes obsessed with cycling for the simple joy of cycling. Sure, he is a little wacky, pretending to be from Italy when he, in fact, lives in Indiana. But his love of the sport is pure. Pouring your soul into a sport just for the sake of doing it well– that’s what I want my kids to see.


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