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Ross Family Movie Challenge: 'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids' vs. 'Cinema Paradiso'

Everett Collection; Luca Diamonte

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, Christina got her first 2013 win, when The Parent Trap slayed DragonHeart. Read on and then vote for what film they should watch this weekend.

Dalton’s Pick: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
I can’t help it. I still giggle to myself any time I see the word Moranis. I realize that pegs my maturity level at that of a second grader, but it is what it is. I’m actually a big Rick Moranis fan, and not just for his name. Love his stuff on SCTV, and Strange Brew is one of my favorite movies ever. (Seriously.) My kids got a little taste of Moranis — seriously, I just started giggling again — courtesy of Ghostbusters. Now it’s time to graduate them to the big leagues with Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

The plot of the movie is pretty self-explanatory: Moranis plays a professor who accidentally, yes, shrinks his and his neighbor’s kids. The action then comes from small everyday objects becoming terrifying death traps as the miniature children attempt to stay alive. Oh, and at one point Moranis almost eats his own son by accident. Cannibalism! Hilarious! This movie will not rock Dale and Violet’s minds nor alter their outlook on life and how to live it. But they are pretty much guaranteed to double over with laughter at one or two points. Three if I tell them the main actor’s last name.

Christina’s Pick: Cinema Paradiso (1988)
This award-winning Italian film will remind the kids of Hugo, the Martin Scorcese film about an orphaned boy who eventually makes a connection with an elderly, formerly renowned filmmaker. Both Cinema Paradiso and Hugo are about the capacity of film to fuel dreams. Both feature a fatherless boy who finds a safe haven and a protector.

In Cinema Paradiso, which is mostly set in Italy after WWII, a little boy named Salvatore loses his father in the war. He soothes himself by sneaking into a local theater, where he is nurtured by a film projectionist named Alfredo. Salvatore falls in love with film, and with the support of his mentor, he grows up to be a famous film director. This movie is very sweet, and I have not seen it in years. I think it is especially appropriate for Academy Awards weekend. It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1989, and it is about a love for film that developed in childhood.  Not that our kids watch the Academy Awards, but still.


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