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July 11, 2008

Movies are fun!

movie days

We played hooky from pre-school yesterday morning and headed to our local mall to watch the new Kit Kittridge movie.  We've had good experiences with movies lately and I thought the girls were finally ready to try something that wasn't animated.  This one came highly recommended (thanks, Catherine!) but even though they tried to sit still and enjoy the popcorn and the movie, they just couldn't really get into it.    During a mid-movie potty break, we noticed that Wall-e was playing and (even though we just saw it last week), everyone was more than happy to switch theaters and watch it again.    I'll have to Tivo Kit Kittridge to find out how it ends.  I liked the movie but it was just a bit too mature for my 47 and 48 month kids. 

Wall-e, on the other hand, was even more fun the 2nd time around!  It's a brilliant movie with spectacular graphics, an adorable main character, a heart warming story line and laugh-out-loud comedy.  It might have just bumped Monster's Inc out of the top spot on my list of kid's favorites.

You can't help but fall in love with Wall-e and his robot gal pal, Eva.   I'm a softee and cry during Charmin TP commercials but my girls have never gotten emotionally involved with any of their movies.  Until now.  Maddy nudged me and said "Mommy, it's sad" and when I looked at Gwen, I saw that she had tears streaming down her cheeks!   Never fear, moments later, the sad part turned happy again and all was well.

Before any of this, we saw Kung Fu Panda.   I love Jack Black and the animation was excellent but the story line was lame and there was too much fighting.  Of course, I knew there would be fighting but I guess I didn't think about how much Gwen and Maddy would act out the scenes at home.    Later, I'll post some pics of their crazy karate poses.  For now, I'm just working hard to teach them that they can't actually hit or kick when they play Karate.  

I wanted to blog about all of this but I didn't have my camera with me at the theater.  So how did I create that top photo of the girls at the movies with the popcorn?

When we got home, we played "movie" by setting up a pretend movie theater in our house.  We dragged two small chairs into a dark room (Gwen's room).  We picked the dark room because I knew I would be adding a dark movie theater background and wanted the lighting to match.  Then mommy brought some pretend popcorn and candy and we all sat and "watched" a pretend movie on white the closet door "screen".      The kids loved this game and I was able to capture some great pictures but none of them really looked like they were in a movie theater.  So, while the kids were napping, I worked some photo magic...


movie days pg 2a Here's how I transformed this photo (left).

First, I traced around the edge of the girls to extract their image and separate it from the background.  I use Paint Shop Pro to do this and it's really easy as tracing.

Next, I had to add the popcorn cup.  I found one I liked on Google Images.  I darkened it slightly and extracted it from the other two cups.  Then I extracted Gwen's hands and layered everything to get the effect I  wanted. Really, It was easier than it sounds.
movie days pg 2b Lastly, I needed a background.  My favorite source for just about any photo is www.flickr.com so I went searching and found several.  But I liked this one best because it's most like the actual seats in our local theater.

I played around with different search terms and found some fun alternatives.  Here are a few of my favorites.

The fun thing about doing this is you can recreate memories of places you've been even if you forgot to bring your camera!


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