At the Movies

Nate used to want to see every kid movie that opened in theaters. It’s the only reason I paid hard earned dollars for the right to see Baby Geniuses, the worst movie ever made. He’s developed an unpredictable process. It’s 3D movies or nothing, except when something he wants to see isn’t in 3D, then it’s OK. It’s almost impossible to know what he wants to see in the theater.

At home is different, though slightly so. Nate buys a lot of DVDs but watches relatively few. He’ll watch some superhero movies, but he doesn’t care for others (Captain America and the latest Spiderman. I don’t care for Andrew Garfield Spidey either.) He’s usually up for comedies, but not always. So we ask and ask, hoping for the best. When he joins us, it’s cause for celebration.

To my surprise, Nate gave a big “yes!!” for The Wolf of Wall Street. He went through his whole pre-screening routine – cooking up two bags of microwave popcorn, filling a small bowl of candy and a full glass of ice water (with straw), then grabbing various documents that he’s printed out. He lies on the floor, almost at my feet, and puts on the subtitles. I can’t remember when he started doing that (he told me 2001), but it helps him understand the dialogue better, when he pays attention. Often he’s looking down at his papers, or grabbing my phone to check eBay auctions of Disney DVDs and videos.

Usually Nate will make a stray comment on the film. “This is a killer movie, isn’t it?” he said last night while watching Gravity. They’re rarely deep. (When I asked him what he liked the most about Gravity, he said “The space stuff.”) But The Wolf of Wall Street must’ve struck a chord.


“They behave like I did in my younger days,” Nate commented. Now, as far as I know, Nate has never taken fistfuls of Quaaludes or frequented hookers, so what he meant was that the characters didn’t know how to behave properly, that they did things that were inappropriate and wrong (especially when DiCaprio and Hill fought). He saw that clearly enough and it reminded him of when he was often out of control himself.

It was an astute comment. Two thumbs up.


About Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is the former Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.
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