Classic Monster Movies for Kids

I love movies, and I love sharing great movies with my kids. My kids are all ten years old or younger, and that presents a challenge. They aren’t old enough to appreciate Casablanca or Citizen Kane, and I don’t want them to become budding gangsters by watching The Godfather. So what is a movie-loving parent to do? I have the solution! Classic monster movies for kids!

Many of these classic movies, even those made nearly one-hundred years ago, still have the power to captivate, excite, and provoke deep thoughts. These classic films tell great stories, and are usually straightforward enough not to confuse kids. They have great special effects that are just fake enough not to scare the kids. Bad language is at a minimum. Good always triumphs over evil at the end (although what is evil and what is good can be debatable, even in the movie). They won’t traumatize the kids like more modern horror movies would.

Read on for my list of 1930s-era classic monster movies for kids. As a special treat, you can read what my kids thought about each movie. I was impressed that they remember each movie and had detailed thoughts on each of them.

Continue reading Classic Monster Movies for Kids

Watch the Entire Infinity Saga in Theaters!

Now this is what I’m talking about! A 22-movie, 59-hour Marvel Movie Marathon for the low, low price of $125! That’s less than $6 per movie! You get to see the entire Infinity Saga, ending with the titanic, 3-hour Avengers: Endgame on its premiere night!

The details are a little sketchy. AMC’s official page for the event is here, but doesn’t have many details. It may be hosted in theaters in 11 cities, or maybe it is only 3 cities (New York, Chicago, and San Francisco). It starts on April 23rd and ends on April 26th, but it isn’t clear what time it starts on the 23rd. ButFandango lists it as starting on May 23rd. (c’mon guys! Let’s get organized here!)

Also, it isn’t too clear to me why it runs 59 hours. Watching all 22 films (including Endgame) would take 47 hours and 53 minutes (thank you Movie Marathon Time and your movie time adding abilities!). A half hour break between each film adds 11 hours to the marathon, so perhaps that is where the 59 hour length comes from.

So – if you aren’t the lucky social media influencer selected to get paid to watch all these movies, do the next best thing and pay for it! You are buying in bulk!

And don’t worry – if you can’t make it through all 59 hours – you have Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World to sleep through.

Infinity Saga Movie List
The Infinity Saga will be played in theaters by AMC, ending with the premiere of Avengers: Endgame

Get Paid for a Marvel Movie Marathon? will pay you $1,000 if you have a marvel movie marathon and tweet about it!

If you watched all of the movies in their lineup back-to-back, that’s a cool 42 hours and 47 minutes. Getting paid $23 an hour to watch movies is a pretty good wage! You also get some additional goodies:

  • Every Marvel MCU Blu-Ray film for your collection
  • A Captain America popcorn popper
  • Orville Redenbacher popcorn kernels
  • Thanos Infinity Gauntlet mug
  • Iron Man snuggie

I’m not sure I need all those things, but an Infinity Gauntlet mug does sound pretty badass

I loaded up their lineup into my movie marathon app. The app tells me that if you watched all of these movies back-to-back, this is what your next two days would look like:

  • Iron Man (2008) 12:00 PM 2:06 PM
  • The Incredible Hulk (2008) 2:06 PM 4:00 PM
  • Iron Man 2 (2010) 4:00 PM 6:04 PM
  • Thor (2011) 6:04 PM 7:59 PM
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) 7:59 PM 10:03 PM
  • The Avengers (2012) 10:03 PM 12:26 AM
  • Iron Man 3 (2013) 12:26 AM 2:36 AM
  • Thor: The Dark World (2013) 2:36 AM 4:28 AM
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) 4:28 AM 6:44 AM
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) 6:44 AM 8:45 AM
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) 8:45 AM 11:06 AM
  • Ant-Man (2015) 11:06 AM 1:03 PM
  • Captain America: Civil War (2016) 1:03 PM 3:30 PM
  • Doctor Strange (2016) 3:30 PM 5:25 PM
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) 5:25 PM 7:42 PM
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) 7:42 PM 9:55 PM
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017) 9:55 PM 12:05 AM
  • Black Panther (2018) 12:05 AM 2:19 AM
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018) 2:19 AM 4:48 AM
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) 4:48 AM 6:47 AM

Sadly, I don’t think I’m quite cool enough to get the job. You need to be a social media “influencer”.

The hero we’re looking for is not only a Marvel fanatic, but also an active, outgoing social media personality who’d be enthusiastic about live-tweeting their MCU marathon experience while tagging (@CableTV, #CableTV).

Also, I’m disappointed to find this isn’t really a movie marathon!

And don’t worry… we will let you sleep. The chosen candidate will have three days to complete this epic binge.

What is the challenge in that? Anyone with opposable thumbs can watch some movies and tweet about it. Binge watching them over 42 hours takes real skill!

Ah well – I’ll just have to wait for the next opportunity to get paid to watch movies. I’m sure it’ll come some day.

Movie Marathon 2019

It is 2019, which can only mean it is time to throw 24-hour movie marathon 2019! We have selected the movies and set the schedule. Read on to learn all about the movies we picked out. I hope we inspire you to throw your own 24-hour movie marathon this year.

Movie Marathon 2019 Theme

When my wife and I host a movie marathon, we don’t center it around a single genre or theme as most people expect. Instead, we always follow two rules when selecting movies:

  1. We have never seen the movie before
  2. The movie is one we’ve always wanted to see, or have heard we “should” see

We’ve found that this really helps foster variety and novelty in our movie marathons. Compared to, say, watching our favorite movie series for the 100th time, it is a risky approach. Sometimes the movies don’t work out. But sometimes we stumble on a real gem, and it becomes a favorite movie we re-watch for years to come. We don’t know until the movie marathon what we are going to get. It is all really exciting!

This year is no different. We’ve assembled a variety of films based on recommendations from friends, recent releases which we missed, entries from great film lists, and more. Let’s look in detail at the movie roster.

Movie Marathon 2019 Movies

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)

Kingsman: The Secret Service PosterStart: 12:00 PM Finish: 2:30 PM
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%
Common Sense Media Age: 16+
TMDB Description: The story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

My take: James Bond has been a reliable opener for all of our movie marathons – but we ran out of the best bond films! I hear the Kingsman movies are a ridiculous over-the-top action-oriented James Bond-like experience. Let’s give it a try!

Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

Smokey and the Bandit PosterStart: 2:30 PM Finish: 4:15 PM
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%
Common Sense Media Age: 13+
TMDB Description: A race car driver tries to transport an illegal beer shipment from Texas to Atlanta in under 28 hours, picking up a reluctant bride-to-be on the way.

My take: Would you believe I’ve never seen a Burt Reynolds movie? In fact, I may have first become aware that Burt Reynolds was a celebrity of note from Saturday Night Live’s Celebrity Jeopardy series of skits. Now I can find out if the parody lives up to the reality!

Bullitt (1968)

Bullitt PosterStart: 4:15 PM Finish: 6:15 PM
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
Common Sense Media Age: 13+
TMDB Description: Senator Walter Chalmers is aiming to take down mob boss Pete Ross with the help of testimony from the criminal’s hothead brother Johnny, who is in protective custody in San Francisco under the watch of police lieutenant Frank Bullitt. When a pair of mob hitmen enter the scene, Bullitt follows their trail through a maze of complications and double-crosses. This thriller includes one of the most famous car chases ever filmed.

My take: Look. It is just time to watch the greatest car chase of all time. It just is.

Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

Atlantis: The Lost Empire PosterStart: 6:15 PM Finish: 8:00 PM

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 49%
Common Sense Media Age: 8+

TMDB Description: The world’s most highly qualified crew of archaeologists and explorers is led by historian Milo Thatch as they board the incredible 1,000-foot submarine Ulysses and head deep into the mysteries of the sea. The underwater expedition takes an unexpected turn when the team’s mission must switch from exploring Atlantis to protecting it.

My take: This is one of those Disney movies time forgot. Or, at least, I forgot about it. I was in college when it was released, so I wasn’t exactly the target demographic. Now that I’m a parent of multiple children, I’m right back there again!

Chicken Run (2000)

Chicken Run PosterStart: 8:00 PM Finish: 9:30 PM
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
Common Sense Media Age: 7+

TMDB Description: Having been hopelessly repressed and facing eventual certain death at the British chicken farm where they are held, Rocky the american rooster and Ginger the chicken decide to rebel and lead their fellow chickens in a great escape from the murderous farmers Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy and their farm of doom.

My take: Shaun the Sheep was a big hit in a past movie marathon, and has been rewatched many times in our house. Let’s see if lightning will strike twice by watching another claymation classic from Aardman Animations.

Shane (1953)

Shane PosterStart: 9:30 PM Finish: 11:45 PM
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
Common Sense Media Age: 10+
TMDB Description: A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smouldering settler and rancher conflict forces him to act.

My take: All of our movie marathons include a western. This is the Western. Why this picture? Well – it was definitely on a list of best Westerns of all time. I also hear Shane is supposed to come back. Other than that – I don’t really know what to expect out of this film. Sometimes, surprises are nice.

The Sixth Sense (1999)

The Sixth Sense PosterStart: 11:45 PM Finish: 1:35 AM
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%
Common Sense Media Age: 14+
TMDB Description: A psychological thriller about an eight year old boy named Cole Sear who believes he can see into the world of the dead. A child psychologist named Malcolm Crowe comes to Cole to help him deal with his problem, learning that he really can see ghosts of dead people.

My take: Ok – to be clear. I know the super-secret twist ending. But, to be doubly clear – I still have not seen this movie. Yes, that seems impossible in this day and age, but there it is. It is time to correct this pop culture blind spot.

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Crazy Rich Asians PosterStart: 1:35 AM Finish: 3:40 AM
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%
Common Sense Media Age: 14+
TMDB Description: An American-born Chinese economics professor accompanies her boyfriend to Singapore for his best friend’s wedding, only to get thrust into the lives of Asia’s rich and famous.

My take: Rom-coms seemed to die out in the early 2000, but then this movie suddenly blew into 2018 to much fanfare. Adding this movie to the schedule adds a little humor to the schedule and lets me pretending I’m current and woke. Win-win-win!

Ex Machina (2015)

Ex Machina PosterStart: 3:40 AM Finish: 5:30 AM
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%
Common Sense Media Age: 17+
TMDB Description: Caleb, a 26 year old coder at the world’s largest internet company, wins a competition to spend a week at a private mountain retreat belonging to Nathan, the reclusive CEO of the company. But when Caleb arrives at the remote location he finds that he will have to participate in a strange and fascinating experiment in which he must interact with the world’s first true artificial intelligence, housed in the body of a beautiful robot girl.

My take: A movie about a super-intelligent, sexy, evil robot lady? It sounds like this movie was made for me.

All About Eve (1950)

All About Eve PosterStart: 5:30 AM Finish: 8:00 AM
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%
Common Sense Media Age: 8+
TMDB Description: From the moment she glimpses her idol at the stage door, Eve Harrington is determined to take the reins of power away from the great actress Margo Channing. Eve maneuvers her way into Margo’s Broadway role, becomes a sensation and even causes turmoil in the lives of Margo’s director boyfriend, her playwright and his wife. Only the cynical drama critic sees through Eve, admiring her audacity and perfect pattern of deceit.

My take: The Unspooled podcast really sold me on this movie. I’m hoping for witty, fast-paced dialog like some of the other classic movies I love, like Casablanca.

Matilda (1996)

Matilda PosterStart: 8:00 AM Finish: 9:45 AM
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
Common Sense Media Age: 9+
TMDB Description: An extraordinarily intelligent young girl from a cruel and uncaring family discovers she possesses telekinetic powers and is sent off to a school headed by a tyrannical principal.

My take: Ronald Dahl wrote a surprising number of recognizable childrens books, including James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, and this story: Matilda. While I’ve read much of his work, I’ve never read “Matilda” or seen this movie. I’d like to see what its all about.

Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited Away PosterStart: 9:45 AM Finish: 12:00 PM
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
Common Sense Media Age: 9+
TMDB Description: A young girl, Chihiro, becomes trapped in a strange new world of spirits. When her parents undergo a mysterious transformation, she must call upon the courage she never knew she had to free her family.

My take: I’m a sucker for Hayao Miyazaki films. My kids really enjoyed Howl’s Moving Castle last year, and I’m hoping to end the marathon with another classic.

Great New Movie Podcast: Unspooled

The American Film Institute’s Top 100 movies list has been one of my favorite sources movie marathon ideas for a long time. Now there’s a podcast for that!

The podcast is called Unspooled. The premise is that Paul Scheer and Amy Nicholson watch a movie from the AFI 100 top movies list, and put together a podcast to discuss that movie.

I am a little wary of movie podcasts. Many of the movie podcasts I’ve listened to are a group of bros blathering on too long, making in-jokes, going on unrelated tangents,  and having Skype-level audio quality. That’s not my cup of tea.

Unspooled is different. You can tell Paul and Amy are media professionals. Both of them have credentials on MTV, FX, and other TV and written media. The podcast itself definitely sounds like a professionally produced podcast.

What you get

Each episode has the standard discussion of the movie and what they thought about it. But it is not just talking – they also include audio clips from the movie or related media. It is also not just them – they include interviews with high-quality guests with something relevant to say about the movie. Throw in some discussion of the historical context the movie was made in too, and that is a lot of content. This is a podcast I’m going to stick with.

I started with their latest episode All About Eve. I am happy to say I now need to add All About Eve to my next movie marathon! Based on what Paul and Amy say, it contains the perfect blend of witty, fast-paced, cutting 1950’s style dialog that I love from movies like Casablanca and The Big Sleep.

I’ve listened to their episodes on The General and Platoon, and the quality is consistent for each episode.

How to Listen

If you’d like to check them out, you have multiple options: