Image: IGN

The official start of summer was just two weeks ago. Well, in the meteorological sense. Anyone in the Queen City that has stepped outside in the past month knows it is already upon us.

Summer also brings something most parents dread: Kids out of school.

There is only so many trips to the pool/waterpark, purchases of ice cream, or days in camp that can be had. What to do with the rest of the summer to keep the youngster from getting bored?

Movies. Films. Flicks. That’s what!

Here are my Top 5 kid appropriate movies that will keep the kiddoes enthralled for a couple of hours during these hot days. A bonus if you choose the right theater, is you can relax in a reclining chair in air conditioned comfort with a cold adult beverage that you don’t have to get yourself.

Taking the kids out of the house for the day could also get you a double-bonus with the wife/girlfriend later too.

Without further ado…

  1. Wonder Woman – To be honest, this is one that your girlfriend/wife might want to take your daughters too themselves. Released a couple of weekends ago, it should be around for about another month in first-run theaters before heading off into streaming video land. It is more suited if you have daughters. My wife recently took my 9-year-old daughter to see it with some of my daughter’s friends. The reviews were good with the phrase, “decidedly girl power” being thrown around.   You have been warned! I didn’t attend myself this night, but being a fan of the old-school superheroes I’ll eventually check this out. Quick note: This version of WW is not for the too young. First, it’s not a cartoon. Second, there are a couple of scenes that are a bit adult.
  2. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie – Another one that has already been released, which means it will probably only be around a couple more weeks in first-run theaters. However, it also means that you don’t have to wait if you need to take the tikes somewhere, like, this week! Unlike Wonder Woman, this is a cartoon and appropriate for just about every age level. And I mean every age level. Featuring Kevin Hart, along with Comedy Central veteran comedic actors Ed Helms, Nick Kroll and Jordan Peele this comedy might be a cartoon but you know that they’ll make it hysterical even for us adults. If you don’t know the synopsis of this, just ask your kids. It is based on the extremely successful book series. They’ll be happy to school you. And probably make you feel old and dumb all at the same time. Kids have that unique ability, gentlemen.
  3. Cars 3 – If you haven’t heard of this Disney behemoth of a movie series, then you don’t have kids. Period. I’m not even going to bother with the cast or plot. Just know this: If you want the easiest hit with your kids this summer take them to this movie. Don’t believe me? Click the link to the trailer above, show them, and watch their reactions. You’ll thank me later. It just opened; knocking Wonder Woman out of the number spot in the process.
  4. Despicable Me 3 – Getting into some advanced planning, this flick and the next one will be coming shortly. I’m going to cut right to the chase. You might not recognize the title. That would be because you kids refer to these movies only as “the minions!”. That’s right, this is the highly popular series with those little yellow, pill-shaped goof balls. This too is a cartoon. But aside from the fact that it’s a guaranteed hit with your kids (refer to minions), there is also some entertainment for the adult crowd. The hilarious Steve Carrell from The Office fame voices the lead, while rounding out the cast is Saturday Night Live graduate Kristen Wiig and Trey Parker—who voices the villain Balthazar Bratt. And yes, gentlemen, it is that Trey Parker. Though I’m guessing he’ll be a bit more toned down South Park. Or not. In looking at the trailer in the link above, the 80’s soundtrack from this could be epic hilarity! It will release nationwide June 30.
  5. Spider Man: Homecoming – Well gentlemen, I started the rundown with a superhero (non-cartoon) flick, so let’s bookend it with one. While this movie isn’t suited for just one gender, as Wonder Woman is geared, both do require children of a bit older age. If you have toddlers, early kindergarten to first graders, etc. you’re better off with one of the above cartoon movies. But for the slightly older kid crowd, this could be right up their alley. Not to mention that it looks pretty darn awesome for us gents as well. C’mon. Who didn’t love Spider Man when we were kids? Heck, some of you out there might still have those old comic books in pristine condition, right? In this edition, we take a step back in time and find out what I young, teenage Peter Parker is like when he first begins to get used to the Spiderman suit. In addition, our good friend Tony Stark (Ironman, played awesomely by Robert Downey, Jr.) is in integral portion of the story. This open nationwide right after the holiday on July 7.

Alright gentlemen, there you have it: Five easy ways to win brownie points with your kids and your significant other without sweating your balls off in the process.

Until next time, gentlemen.