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Family valued 6.23.04

'Around the World in 80 Days'

Why did it take so long for Disney and Jackie Chan to find each other? When I was a kid, Disney churned out silly, mostly bad, family entertainment. There were the Herbie flicks, and all those silly Kurt Russell vehicles. I'll admit it: I liked them then, though I have no desire to see them now.

            The best thing you could say about those movies is that they were unpretentious. These days, filmmakers seem afraid to make such movies. Well, Disney, Jackie Chan, and director Frank Coraci (whose credits include, um, two Adam Sandler movies), dare to be stupid in this new film based on Jules Verne's book. And nobody, nobody, nobody does stupid and appealing better than Jackie Chan. It's a marriage made in, well, Disney.

            Continuity? Forget it. When Paris gets old (and it doesn't), we go to Turkey (with Governor Schwarzenegger as a prince with a hot tub). Enough of that? How about an oddly clean train full of cute kids in India? Ten minutes is plenty there, and it's off to China for some not-quite-vintage Chan action (complete with Sammo Hung). There's also San Francisco, New York, London, and the Wilson brothers in the desert.

            Chan mugs incessantly, and we smile back. His face runs into walls, statues, and people, and we laugh every time. Around the World in 80 Days is relentlessly good-natured, and a very mild PG (we took all three kids, even two-year-old Oscar). Is it good? Well, not really. But so what?

--- Adam A. Wilcox

This week for families:

Cool Kids Thurs, June 24, PanGaia Steel Band, 7-9 p.m. | Fri, June 25, juggling festival and comedy, 7-8 p.m. | Sun, June 27, Cool Kids Party at the Farm Market, Market St, 12-2 p.m. | Sagawa Park, Erie and Main Sts, Brockport, Free. 637-3984, www.brockportny.org.

City Summer Kids Club Mon-Fri, June 28-Sept 3. For ages 6-10, various recreation centers, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $50 per week. 428-6767, www.cityofrochester.gov

Elim Gospel Church Camp TotalExcitement June 28-July 2. For ages 6-12, Elim Gospel Church, 1679 Dalton Rd, Lima, 12-4 p.m. $55. 624-5560

RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium 657 East Ave. A Trip to Saturn and Pluto, Saturdays 1 p.m. | The Sky Tonight, Sat 10:30 a.m. | I See The Sky, for ages 3-5, Sat 9:30 a.m.| Dave Matthews Laser, Sat 9 p.m. | Reserve seats. Tix: $4-$7. See "Movies" section for large-format film showings. 271-1880

Rochester Museum and Science Center 657 East Ave. Surprise! It's Science, through May 2005. | Body Carnival: the Science and Fun of Being You, ongoing. | Rochester's Frederick Douglass, through Jan 2006. | Live Science Demos, Wed-Fri 3:30 p.m., Sat 2, 3, 4, Sun 1:30, 2:30, 3:30. | Hours: Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $5-$7. 271-1880, www.rmsc.org.

Seneca Park Zoo 2222 St Paul St. Sat, June 26, Tiny Glover, stories, 3 p.m. | Sun, June 27, Common Folk Singers, 3 p.m. | Hours: daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tix: $5, $4 seniors, $2 kids. 467-9453, www.senecazoo.org.

Strong Museum 1 Manhattan Square. Making America's Music, through Sun, Sept 12. | Long-term exhibits include National Toy Hall of Fame, Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street?, and Super Kids Market. | Hours: Mon-Thurs 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $7; $6 seniors, students; $5 children. 263-2700

Volunteers of America Universal Pre-K Programs Openings available, for 4- and 5-yr-olds, free to city residents, 100 State St or 214 Lake Ave, 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. 647-1344, 263-3103

You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown Fri-Sat, June 25-26. Everyone's Theatre Company, Victor Educational Center Auditorium, 953 High St, Victor, 7:30 p.m., June 26 1:30 p.m. Tix: $10, $5 seniors, students. 415-4747

A light in a dark house

I wonder why teenagers aren't morning people. There must be exceptions to the rule, but I'm not one of them (it's past midnight now). Even if I drag myself out of bed at 8 a.m. and proceed, zombie-like, through my day, around 9 p.m. I suddenly get a bit more energized.

            Where is the logic in this? Is it some sort of odd wiring of the teenage brain? What is the point? We are entering the Preparing-For-The-Future portion of our lives, and how does our body help us out? By deciding it prefers to be nocturnal. This, in a world designed for early risers, seems like a backwards step. High school starts terrifyingly early, so early it's not fit to print, and most jobs are about the same.

            Of course, there are things I like about being a night owl. It's fun to be a tiny light of activity in a house that is dark and sleeping. It's the time when I can think most clearly and be by myself. Sleeping late also makes a sunrise seem particularly special, since I only see about one a year.

            Sometimes my nocturnal tendencies can be annoying, though... I'll wake up at 10 or 11 a.m. and find out that major events in the household have occurred while I slept!

--- Ellyn Rolleston, age 13