GUEST CRITIC #12: Shaun the Sheep
As busy I get from time to time, I find that I can't see every movie under the sun, leaving my friends and colleagues to fill in the blanks for me. As poetically as I think I wax about movies on this website as a wannabe critic, sometimes a simple sentence or two from a friend says it all. Sometimes, it inspires me to see the movie too and get back to being my circle's go-to movie guy. Sometimes, they save me $9 and you 800+ words of blathering. In a new review series, I'm opening my site to friend submissions for quick-hit movie reviews.
For me, this is a very special edition of my "Guest Critic" series. It is a return for two very special little boys who have grown up before my eyes. Five years ago, during this website's first year, I was lucky enough to play "Uncle Don" and see (and also review) the perfect "Toy Story 3" with two youngsters named Patrick and Nathan Finnegan. At the time, Patrick was 5 and Nathan was 3 and "Toy Story 3" was their first trip to a movie on the big screen.
Patrick and Nate are the sons of my wife Thanh's wonderful friend and matron of honor, Heather Finnegan and her husband Peter. The littler brother, Nate, is Thanh's god son as was the ring bearer at our wedding. The trip to the theater was a big deal for all involved. The big seats, big screen, big snacks, and big moments permeated everything. These two were hooked, just like so many before them and after them. I wrote about observing that core memory moment in one of this website's first editorials entitled "Two Brave First-Timers." It was an honor and pleasure to watch that moment. I loved writing that piece and, in the back of my mind looking at my then girlfriend, wished and hoped, before I was ever married and a father myself, that I would get to do that someday with my own children.
In what has seemed like a flash, five years have passed and those two little tikes are now big boys in school. We have a fourth grader and a second grader. Patrick is 10 and Nate is 7-going-on-8. The Finnegans have moved from the Chicagoland area to the Lake Geneva area of southern Wisconsin, so I don't seem them as much as I used to, but we follow each other's exploits on Facebook with great joy.
I knew they were always big "Shaun the Sheep" fans from Netflix. When I saw the feature film "Shaun the Sheep" was coming, I just had to get their take. Using my movie hookup skills, I was able to send my unofficial nephews a digital edition of the film and they ate it up. The two of them are not the biggest talkers (and mom had to pull them away from Minecraft), but I couldn't resist bringing them back five years later and getting their own words. Little brother likes to copy big brother, so enjoy!
PATRICK: "It was hilarious! It was very funny. My favorite part was when the sheep were jumping over something and make people go to sleep. I wouldn’t change anything about the movie. It was perfect!"
NATE: "It was hilarious! My favorite part was when the people with ice cream were counting sheep and they fell asleep and the ice cream splattered their faces. It was so funny!"
What did I tell you? Straight and to the point. Twice! If they keep this up, I'll be out of job. I give my thanks to Patrick and Nate to sharing their thoughts on the movie. I'm glad you like it. Someday, you'll have to read my full review of the film and let me know what you think. Finally, I must also thank Heather for coordinating these two hooligans into sending me their stuff! You boys are welcome anytime! Let's see you back in less than five more years!
Let's keep this going. Friends, if you see a movie that I don't see and want to be featured on my website (and get a fun fake biography written about you), hit up my website's Facebook page and you can be my next GUEST CRITIC!