T-man and Bear are finally getting to the age when we can start sharing some of our favorite (aka “good-old-days”) movies with them.

Actually, BrightSide is the one who’s convinced they’re ready to handle seeing them.  I’m still a little “Ack!  Ack!  Don’t you remember the Harry Potter fiasco?  Bear had nightmares about Voldemort slinking through the woods for WEEKS!”  I was a teensy bit worried when BrightSide wanted to start them on the Jurassic Park movies, but I couldn’t really tell if it was justified or I was being overprotective.

So, being the responsible parents we are, we decided to preview the movies first.  (I think BS might have been looking for an excuse to watch them again, but whatever.)  During the first one I found myself curled into a ball on the couch, flinching every time something lurched out of the darkness or a dinosaur launched itself at one of the actors.  (Did I mention suspense freaks me out almost as much as the scary/gory stuff?  Which means pretty much every intense movie scares the daylights out of me.  Good times.)

All I could picture was Bear, eyes screwed up tight, watching an enormous T-rex attack the kids in their car after the lawyer abandoned them to fend for themselves.  And that girl in the movie does an excellent “holy shit, we’re gonna die” face.  Let’s just say that I still had my concerns.

Anyway, in the end I figured all right, let’s crank up the first Jurassic Park movie, and if there are any dinosaur-induced nightmares then Bear could shake BrightSide in the middle of the night to calm her 2 AM trauma.  I don’t know who I was kidding, though.  She never wakes him.  Or, if she tries, he either won’t wake up or tells her to get me.  (Seriously, he’s sent her to my side of the bed at three in the morning on more than one occasion.  I like to remind him that payback’s a bitch.)

It’s been about a week and the first Jurassic Park seems to have settled okay, so now we’re looking at moving on to the second and third ones.  I thought the second one was kind of intense and the third was only so-so, but they can probably handle these.

The real question here is what we’re going to do this week.  If we do a Jurassic Park marathon at home, then we could take them to see Jurassic World on Friday when BrightSide is off work.

*** SPOILER ALERT!  I don’t believe in tossing out revealing details.  But if you haven’t seen Jurassic World and don’t want to hear anything about it at all, consider this the end of today’s post. ***

We had date night a couple of weeks ago and hit the movie theater before dinner to see what all the fuss was about.  I have to admit, I didn’t have high hopes for Jurassic World.  We’d watched the first three movies (again, “previewing”) beforehand and I was pretty sure I needed a break from the whole prehistoric-creatures-terrorize-repeatedly-stupid-humans thing.  Plus I wasn’t terribly impressed by the third movie and didn’t see how a fourth installment could go anywhere but down.

But then our sitter gave it great reviews.  And NPR had just run a segment with a paleontologist and geneticist discussing various aspects of the movie.  And then we had one of those “this is really one of those movies where the effects are going to be better on the big screen” discussions and BAM! There we were, joining the masses to see yet another dinosaur movie.

And I actually liked it.

Yes, there was still the whole terrifying suspense aspect (greatly amplified by the dark movie theater and deafening sound level).  And there’s no avoiding the inevitable carnage resulting from gigantic, previously extinct carnivores placed in close proximity to large crowds of sheep-like humans.

But the special effects rocked, and they somehow managed to come up with a premise that may not pack the creative punch of the first Jurassic Park but still had some interesting points to debate.

So there it is.  Can the kids handle a theater experience of dinosaurs that are the polar opposite of Barney?  Or will they crack under the pressure, foreshadowing weeks of prehistoric nightmares?

Decisions, decisions.