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While I do not generally care for television, I do enjoy movies. Movies, however, present both a financial and a time commitment. When my family and I go to a movie, we spend roughly $20 for admission and an additional $20 for popcorn, sodas, and other snacks. At this cost, a night at the movies will often function as the evening meal as well. Occasionally my mom and I or my husband and I will go see something I especially want to see and leave the children with a sitter. Still the financial obligation is significant. Movies generally last somewhere between an hour and a half to two hours, plus time to dress, drive, park the car, buy tickets, get snacks, find a seat, and watch previews. Thus, there isn't always room in a busy schedule--or a tight budget-- to go to movies. In other words, I can't see them all at the theater. For these reasons, I've devised a ranking of movies to include those that I can watch at home. The films in my life (Although the specific movies vary, these groups work for most other people too) belong in these categories: 1)Films I will pay to watch in a theater; 2)Films I will rent; and 3)Films I will watch on television.

I will pay to see three different types of movies: family pictures, science-fiction films, and literary adaptations. Sometimes these all overlap, making me truly happy but usually not. With two young children the pressures to see every children's, or family, film are tremendous. At school, they hear all about "Brother Bear" and "Sinbad." The actual quality of these films is meaningless to children. Deny them the opportunity and they feel cheated. Take them to a bad film, and they become instant film critics. And take them, we do. As a family, we all like science-fiction. Special effects belong on the big screen. It is a given that we will see every new "Star Wars" or "Star Trek" film that makes its way to theaters within the opening week. Some literary adaptations or other very film-not-movie type films warrant their own special experience for me, I suppose, due to my literary interest. Not terribly long ago I dragged my husband to see a film entitled "The Hours." This film deals with feminist and lesbian issues, women unhappy or unfulfilled in their marriages, and it alludes significantly to Virginia Wolfe's novel Mrs. Dalloway. About midway through he asked me, "Is there something you need to talk to me about?" I whispered so as to not disturb the other two people in the theater, "No, I read Mrs. Dalloway in grad school."

Most movies that I will rent but not pay theater prices to view are rated PG-13 or worse. These movies must be screened



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