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Friday Family Movie Night

July 17, 2010

Yesterday while shopping at Wal-Mart, we received a flyer for Family Movie Night, sponsored by Wal-Mart and P&G products. This is the second in the “Bringing Back Family Movie Night” campaign: The Jensen Project.

The Jensen Project

The world is hanging by a string. Can this family pull it together?

After a 16-year absence, Claire and Matt Thompson are reintroduced to The Jensen Project — a secret community of geniuses conducting advanced underground research to solve the world’s most difficult problems. The former scientists, accompanied by their tech-minded teenage son Brody, are thrust into a frantic pursuit to keep a potentially dangerous technology from falling into the wrong hands. As the family races against the clock to stop the group’s rogue faction, they discover an important truth. In this high-pressure, high-tech world, sometimes the smartest thing we can do is lean on each other.

The flyer had the movie information on one side and a shopping list for the perfect night on the other – all for only $10.00. The evening was complete with pizza, movie and typical movie-theater treats (soda, popcorn and candy). Since all four kids were with us, they cajoled, prodded and pleaded us into succumbing to the blatant marketing. Since we are a larger-than-average family, we ended up spending $20.00 for twice the product.

We first prepared our pizzas – Wal-Mart Marketside pizza for $5.00 each in two flavors: one five-cheese and one three-meat.   Around 6:30PM I served these with our 2-liter bottles of Pepsi ($1.00 each) purchased as part of the package: we chose regular Pepsi and Wild Cherry Pepsi. We devoured the pizzas rather quickly, with plenty of compliments from our, at times, difficult to please audience (two teens, one tween, and one preschooler). The pizzas were quite good, with fresh ingredients. The crust was similar to a “hand-tossed”, a nice cross between thick and thin (very close to my homemade crust). The toppings were quite good, with a nice blend of cheeses on the cheese pizza. The meat pizza had large chunks of sausage, only mildly spicy, along with shaved bacon, pepperoni slices and mozzarella cheese. There was also thinly shaved grilled beef, a surprising addition that gave a unique layer of flavor to the pizza. We would have liked more pepperoni slices, but overall the pizza was quite good.

I then left open our two cans of Pringles (one ranch flavor and one multi-grain). These were advertised at $1.00 for a slightly smaller can, but we chose the larger can for $1.50 which was a better deal overall. This also worked better for our size family.

Around 7:30PM I put on the popcorn (Orville Redenbacher’s Movie Theater Butter at $2.00 a tub), so we could settle in for the movie. This time, we all came into the master bedroom where we could all be comfortable. Our eldest son, who is 18 and has his own apartment, was visiting. He chose to stay in the living room to play Guitar Hero (something he greatly misses since moving out on his own). Our other teen boy, who is “too cool” for family night, chose to stay in his room alternating between talking with his girlfriend on the phone and playing his favorite computer game. Although I wish he would join us as well, at least he’s not out making mischief or otherwise getting into trouble. I count my blessings.

At 8:00PM we tuned in to NBC for the family movie The Jensen Project.We enjoyed this with our popcorn, some Skittles (we tried the new flavor of Fizzl’d Fruits, which was sort of Pop-Rocks meets Sour meets chewy Skittles). We had two bags of Skittles, at $1.00 each, in the “theater box” size. The price for all of this was incredibly reasonable, and it was far better than what we would have paid at the theater. Not to mention our floors are not near as sticky (even with a preschooler) and the bathrooms are far cleaner (even with our teenagers).

The movie was very cute, and although it was a bit dark in places for our four-year-old, my younger teen girls enjoyed it. Could it be the hint of romance between Brody and Samantha? Or perhaps just them enjoying Justin Kelly as Brody?  Either way, our whole family enjoyed the movie and we do plan on purchasing the DVD/CD combo available at Wal-Mart today. The CD has the soundtrack from the movie, featuring Jordin Sparks, Brooke White and more.

Overall, we felt this was a good deal: fun, cost-efficient, and family oriented. In the fall, we will be ready and waiting for the next family movie night:  A Walk In My Shoes.

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