A Dad, a Son and a World of Film

July 29th, 2011 was perhaps the best day of my life. No, I wasn’t sent a preview screener copy of the ‘Star Wars Saga‘ Blu-ray collection earlier than anyone else. My news is far better. My son was born – healthy, alert, and ready to begin his journey of life. And when your father is a movie critic, that means getting started on movies at a very young age.

Dexter Aaron Peck came into this world with his eyes wide open. He didn’t cry much; he just sat there and took everything in. His observant nature could be a precursor to becoming a movie critic in training. He’s only a few days old, so I haven’t tried to introduce him to the world of movies just yet. However, I can’t wait for the day where we can sit down and share a movie experience together. I hope our first movie together is a special one. There’s a lot of planning to be done.

Just in case any of you were wondering, yes, we did get the name Dexter from the TV show. I’ll probably leave out that bit of information as he grows up. I don’t want to have to explain why I named him after a fictional serial killer when he turns five. In all fairness, he really isn’t named after the character. We just thought, “Hey, that’s a cool name.” That’s what you get when your dad is obsessed with TV and movies. I’m already planning to name our next son (if we have one) after Maximus from ‘Gladiator‘. That’s just the way we roll.

As a discerning father, I plan to give Dexter a wide and thorough study in cinema. While I’m excited to see what his favorite Disney movie will be, or what Pixar he’ll want to watch over and over, I want him to have a wide variety of movies to watch. Sure, in his early years we’ll keep it G-rated whenever his eyeballs are on the screen. I don’t know what other parents do and I wouldn’t want to tell anyone else how to parent, but we’re going to monitor Dexter’s media consumption as closely as we can. When he gets older, we won’t be able to control what he watches, but hopefully we’ll be able to lay down some ground rules as he grows up that will help him when choosing movies later in life.

I hope that Dexter will be able to enjoy the classics as well as the brightly-colored Pixar movies. I plan to give him a well-versed education in ‘Star Wars’, ‘Star Trek‘, ‘Indiana Jones’ and all other manner of geeky movies. I’m excited to see his face light up when he sees his first lightsaber battle, or watch how he reacts as Nazi faces melt off. I remember shutting my eyes as tightly as I could as a kid during that part. Hopefully, if he feels scared, he’ll do the same.

I want to be there for him. I want to be able to share movie experiences with him. Movies can be so much more than just mindless entertainment. So many times, movies are used as electronic babysitters. I hope that I can help my child understand that they are so much more.

This whole post may seem trivial to some, but to a person like me, who makes a living watching and discussing film, it will be important to me to share those experiences with my son.

Right now, Dexter is too busy eating and pooping. But once he finds out what that giant glowing box in the living room can do, we’ll hopefully have many nights where father and son share a great movie.


  1. Whatever you do, don’t tell the kid you named him after a TV serial killer. Show him some episodes of Dexter’s Laboratory and tell him you named him after that.

    If you do name your next son Maximus, I hope that you have twins so that you can call the other one Minimus. That should go over really well… 🙂

    Congrats, Aaron!

  2. Jane Morgan

    Congratulations, Mr. Peck!

    You son is lucky beyond measure. I wish I had grown up with a father who was a film critic.

    I wonder what home theaters will be like when your son is our age…

  3. javier

    Congrats! I have a 4yr old daughter whom I am trying to ween off those terrible cgi Barbie movies and introduce to Pixar and Disney. So far only The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride have really got her attention. She will watch them several times a week, always in our theater room and not in her playroom, and on her ipod when she’s in the car.

  4. Aaron Peck delivers again. He writes excellent reviews and he fathers beautiful children. A toast to a great future for Dexter.

    Congratulations to you … and Mrs. Peck, of course!

  5. yeah, hide the whole “i named you after a serial killer” thing. and the show, hide the show.

    re: maximus….if your kid has that name and gets bullied, then a legal name change is in order. maximus needs to be the kid who punches people in their adam’s apples, not the one being punched.

    congrats go to aaron and kin. i plan on raising any spawn on the opposite doctrine, the hard stuff early…and often. disney, we have the whole library already, but what kid won’t be better off for knowing what Denise Richards and Neve Campbell do in Wild Things, or knowing how to make napalm or chemical burns from Fight Club. only porn will be off limits. obvious. hell, nightmare on elm street series, that’s probably great shit for kids right there.

    /yes i’m being serious. TWILIGHT will be banned, but few things else.

  6. Aaron Peck

    Thanks for all the kind words guys and gals. The last few days have been a blur. I’m only just starting to get back into the whole watching movies/writing about them thing.

    He’s a cool little dude though. You can friend me on Facebook to see his progress through life, but I must warn you, I’ve become one of those Facebook saps that can’t stop talking about his kid.

    • Oh, you are no worse than all my other friends. I think I am the oldest one that still doesn’t have kids. I enjoy it though. I love kids, but will probably never have any, as the love of my life passed away three years ago, and I really am not up on the idea of playing the dating game all over again.

      Keep up the facebook posts! I may not always comment, but I do usually look over them.

      BTW, I STILL close my eyes when the Nazis’ faces melt off!

      • Wow, William, that’s a very personal tidbit there. I’m very sorry to hear such a tragedy befell you. Those wounds will never heal. Be strong.

  7. Scott H

    Congratulations, you can also get him interested in the classic cartoons from the 80’s and early 90’s that were awesome. Today’s stuff is so unoriginal, except for a few shows.

  8. No idea how I missed this post, but better late than never, so congrats on the new baby boy. Mine is due on Halloween and I couldnt agree more with you when it comes to movies and shows, I cant wait to do everything you said with my son as well, I may not be a critic but I love cinema and I cant wait to get him started on Pixar, Star Wars and hopefully he becomes a horror genre fan like his dad someday 🙂

    Congrats again and good luck with everything!