Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Love is Strange
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language
Release Date:
08/22/2014

 

Moms' Night Out
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action
Release Date:
May 9, 2014

The November Man
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong violence including a sexual assault, language, sexuality/nudity and brief drug use
Release Date:
August 27, 2014

 

Blended
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and language.
Release Date:
May 23, 2014

If I Stay
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some sexual material
Release Date:
August 22, 2014

 

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some scary images and mild peril
Release Date:
May 9, 2014

Start the School Year With a No-Screen Week

posted by Nell Minow

A new study shows another good reason to detox from all screen time now and then, especially for kids.  Children who take a five-day break from all screens are better at reading real-life facial expressions to understand the emotions of the people around them.  Psyblog described the study, which set up a camp program to occupy children used to spending 4-5 hours a day watching screens.

At the camp, the children weren’t allowed to use any electronic devices, while the other group went about their normal, everyday lives.

It was quite a change for those children who attended the Pali Institute as the usual amount of time they spent texting, watching TV and playing video games was 4.5 hours per day — and that was on a typical school day.

After five days at the Institute, the children’s ability to read facial emotions improved tremendously in comparison to those who’d had their electronic devices for the week.

The number of errors they made on the test reduced by around one-third.

Yalda Uhls, who was the study’s lead author, said:

“You can’t learn nonverbal emotional cues from a screen in the way you can learn it from face-to-face communication.

If you’re not practicing face-to-face communication, you could be losing important social skills.”

 

COMING THIS MONTH: September 2014 Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Happy September!  There isn’t much new in theaters this Friday, but next week things start to pick up. Here’s the best of what’s coming in theaters this month:

September 12: “Dolphin Tale 2″  This sequel to the endearing fact-based “Dolphin Tale” brings back stars Harry Connick, Jr., Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble, director Charles Martin Smith, and, of course, Winter the dolphin with the prosthetic tail.  Surfing champion Bethany Hamilton joins the team as they work to rescue another injured dolphin, this one named Hope.

September 19: “This is Where I Leave You,” based on the comic novel by Jonathan Tropper, features an all-star cast: Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Corey Stoll, and Rose Byrne in the story of a loving but very dysfunctional family gathering to mourn the loss of their father.

“The Maze Runner” is the latest movie based on a dystopian trilogy with teenage protagonists, this one the The Maze Runner Series by James Dasher.  On a panel at Comic-Con, director Wes Ball acknowledged “That YA label on our back is a little bit of a target,” but promised that this is “very original, unique, very cinematic,” with a “mystery that drives the movie…more of a shipwreck story about kids who have to create their own world, their own society—plus balls-to-the-wall action, kind of “The Goonies” or “Jurassic Park.” Spectacle alone is not enough without characters you care about.” And, he promised, this film is “not bogged down in romance and being a teenager.”

September 26: There is no movie I am looking forward to more eagerly than “The Boxtrolls,” even more so since my visit to LAIKA to see the set last spring.

And even though I bet I can guess the end, “Hector and the Search for Happiness” looks very good.

Labor Day 2014: Movies About Unions

posted by Nell Minow

Today we pay tribute to workers, especially those who worked for better conditions for everyone.

Sally Field won an Oscar for this real-life story about a courageous woman who helped mill workers form a union.

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Doris Day plays a union worker who falls for a new guy in management but doesn’t lose sight of the seven and a half cent raise the workers are bargaining for.

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John Sayles “Matewan” tells the story of mine workers fighting for safer conditions.

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“Harlan County USA” is a documentary about a strike by mine workers.

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Summer Summer-y: The Summer Movies of 2014

posted by Nell Minow

fault-in-our-stars-poster-largeA few concluding thoughts on the summer movies of 2014:

A good summer for food movies: “The Chef,” “The 100-Foot Journey,” and “The Trip to Italy” had some big-time actors but the real stars were the luscious meals. Special mention of the delicious French comedy “Le Chef,” starring Jean Reno, as well.

A bad summer for comedies: “22 Jump Street” was uneven, but at least it had some laughs. Can’t say the same for “Neighbors,” “Blended,” “Tammy,” “The Other Woman,” “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” or “Let’s Be Cops,” excruciating and un-funny wastes of time and talent.

A good summer for super-heroes: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” were all we hoped for in summer comic book blockbusters. “Spider-Man 2″ was pretty good, primarily due to the sizzling chemistry between leads Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.

A good summer for Scarlett Johansson: She followed up last year’s prestige hit, “Her,” with brilliant work in an astonishing range of films, from the spooky “Under the Skin” to her witty performance in “Captain America.” She was even good in Luc Besson’s second-rate “Lucy.”Guardians of the Galaxy

A good summer for YA adaptations: “The Fault in Our Stars” was skillfully brought to screen, with “If I Stay” and “The Giver” solid runners-up.

A good summer for CGI: “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” was a new leap forward in the realism of the motion capture and special effects, especially the expressiveness of the characters. “Guardians of the Galaxy” had terrific CGI, especially Groot.

A bad summer for CGI: “Godzilla” was a disappointment.

I loved: “Boyhood” and “Life Itself”

I wanted to but did not love: “Jersey Boys,” “Magic in the Moonlight,” “Wish I Was Here”

I cried: “The Fault in Our Stars” and — yes — “How to Train Your Dragon 2″

Deserved better box office: “Edge of Tomorrow”

Got better box office than they deserved: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Transformers”

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT

We’ve had quite a string of what I call Pogo bad guys. Remember when the comic strip character Pogo looked sadly at a polluted river and said, “We have met the enemy and he is us?” I’m not sure whether it is a lack of imagination in screenwriters or a reflection of the zeitgeist mistrust of institutions, but in films like “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The November Man,” and even “Let’s Be Cops,” the bad guys turned out to be inside the U.S. Government.

Previous Posts

Start the School Year With a No-Screen Week
A new study shows another good reason to detox from all screen time now and then, especially for kids.  Children who take a five-day break from all screens are better at reading real-life facial expressions to understand the emotions of the people around them.  Psyblog described the study, which s

posted 3:56:33pm Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

COMING THIS MONTH: September 2014 Movies
Happy September!  There isn't much new in theaters this Friday, but next week things start to pick up. Here's the best of what's coming in theaters this month: September 12: "Dolphin Tale 2"  This sequel to the endearing fact-based "Dolphin Tale" brings back stars Harry Connick, Jr., Morgan Fr

posted 8:00:52am Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Labor Day 2014: Movies About Unions
Today we pay tribute to workers, especially those who worked for better conditions for everyone. Sally Field won an Oscar for this real-life story about a courageous woman who helped mill workers form a union. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45CX8W9peTs[/youtube] Doris Day plays

posted 7:00:42am Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Summer Summer-y: The Summer Movies of 2014
A few concluding thoughts on the summer movies of 2014: A good summer for food movies: "The Chef," "The 100-Foot Journey," and "The Trip to Italy" had some big-time actors but the real stars were the luscious meals. Special mention of the delicious French comedy "Le Chef," starring Jean Reno, as

posted 3:46:47pm Aug. 31, 2014 | read full post »

The Last Leonard Maltin Movie Guide
Leonard Maltin was only 17 years old when he was offered the chance to create his guide to movies on television. For many years, I kept the latest copy on my desk and anyone who came into my office could pick a page number at random. If I had not seen any of the movies on that page, I had to buy t

posted 8:00:33am Aug. 31, 2014 | read full post »


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