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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

July 2008 Archives

showing results 1 - 62 of 62

genre

  • Action
  • Animation
  • Comedy
  • Classic
  • Documentary
  • Drama
  • Epic
  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Musical
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction
  • Sports
  • Spy
  • Thriller
  • War
  • Western

quality

  • A+, A, A-
  • B+, B, B-
  • C+, C, C-
  • D+, D, D-
  • F+, F, F-

who's watching

  • My entire family
  • Just the grown-ups
  • Little kids
  • Big kids

age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
  • 4th - 6th grade
  • Middle school
  • High school
  • Mature High schooler
  • Adult
  • All Ages




The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for adventure action and violence
Movie Release Date:August 1, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for adventure action and violence
Movie Release Date: August 1, 2008

Salt the popcorn and settle your gigantic soda in the cup-holder. Brendan Fraser is back and just as important, so are the mummies. Strictly speaking, these guys are not mummies, but they’re close enough. It’s only been nine years since […]

Dennis Lim on Movie Fight Scenes

posted by Nell Minow

Anything Dennis Lim writes about movies reflects his exceptional knowledge and insight and is a pleasure to read. His latest piece is about the way fight scenes are staged in movies is terrific — and his insights are accompanied by […]

Interview: Christine Frisbee on Healthy Siblings of Disabled Kids

posted by Nell Minow

The healthy siblings of disabled or sick children are often “the forgotten ones” as understandably pre-occupied parents devote their attention to the child whose needs seem most pressing. Author Christine Frisbee lets these siblings tell their own stories in Day […]

Comic-Con 2008, Part 3 (Igor, On The Bubble, and Joss Whedon’s Latest)

posted by Nell Minow

I had a private interview with Chris McKenna, screenwriter of an animated release due out this fall called “Igor.” It is the story of a hunchbacked lab assistant to an evil scientist who wants to be more. Voice talent for […]

Comic-Con 2008, Part 2 (Spaced, MAD, and Lynda Barry)

posted by Nell Minow

More highlights, observations and pictures from Comic-Con 2008 Most of the presenters mentioned that their name cards had a cautionary note on the back reminding them that they should be careful about what they said because there would likely be […]

Mistakes!

posted by Nell Minow

I think one reason I became a critic is that I am fascinated by mistakes. I don’t mind seeing bad movies (most of the time) because I like to think about what it is that makes them so bad. And […]

The Del Coronado and the Jeff and Jer Show

posted by Nell Minow

While we were in San Diego for Comic-Con we had a chance to visit the legendary Hotel Del Coronado, where Some Like It Hot and The Stunt Man were filmed. We had breakfast overlooking the water and imagined Marilyn Monroe […]

Corduroy…and More Stories About Caring

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:July 29, 2008
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008

My very favorite DVD series for kids is saluting the 40th anniversary of the classic book Corduroy with a beautiful new DVD version. It is the story of a toy bear who goes off in search of his missing button […]

‘Swing Vote’s’ inspiration?

posted by Nell Minow

“Swing Vote,” starring Kevin Costner, opens this week. It stars Kevin Costner as a slacker whose vote will decide the outcome of a Presidential election. There’s nothing in the credits to indicate any connection to an earlier movie, but it […]

The Language of Film

posted by Nell Minow

Michael Wohl has a great introduction to the language of film — the way different kinds of shots and camera movements help to tell the story. This is an outstanding resource for anyone who wants to understand the way that […]

Comic-Con 2008 (Red Sonja, The Rock, Spike’s Scream Queens)

posted by Nell Minow

An Elvis impersonator in a “Star Wars” storm trooper outfit with a lot of bling (think “This is Elvis” vintage) was about to introduce Superman surrounded by a bevy of Princess Leias in the harem girl outfit. I love Comic-Con. […]

List: The Top 25 Law Movies

posted by Nell Minow

The magazine published by the American Bar Association has assembled a list of the 25 best movies about the law, with another 25 on the list of runners-up. I am a lawyer from a family of lawyers and we all […]

Lists: Great Sports Documentaries

posted by Nell Minow

10. The Heart of the Game A dedicated girls’ basketball coach and a talented player with some daunting challenges make this an unforgettable story. 9. 16 Days of Glory Bud Greenspan’s documentary series about the Olympics give you a front-row […]

Interview: Tannishtha Chatterjee and Sarah Gavron of ‘Brick Lane’

posted by Nell Minow

Sarah Gavron is the director and Tannishtha Chatterjee is the star of the new British film “Brick Lane,” based on the best-selling novel by Monica Ali. While the book covers three decades in the life of its heroine Nazneen, a […]

The X-Files: I Want to Believe

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violent and disturbing content and thematic material
Movie Release Date:July 25, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violent and disturbing content and thematic material
Movie Release Date: July 25, 2008

I want to believe, too, but this movie did not make it happen. Six years after the record-breaking television series ended its run, this attempt to carry the franchise forward is unlikely to make any new fans or entirely satisfy […]

Interview with Robert Gotlin about Raising Fit Kids

posted by Nell Minow

Do kids today get less exercise than their parents did? Why? If I told you kids are playing more sports than their parents did yet they are in worse shape and exercising less, you may look at me as if […]

Comic-Con 2008

posted by Nell Minow

I’m getting ready for one of my favorite events of the year, Comic-Con in San Diego. It began in 1970 with a few dozen comic collectors swapping comics and stories. This year, all 125,000 passes were sold out long before […]

‘Lord Save Us From Your Followers’

posted by Nell Minow

My good friend Brandon Fibbs has a characteristically thoughtful review in Christianity Today of a new documentary called Lord Save Us From Your Followers from writer-director Dan Merchant. Merchant’s documentary turns on a deceptively simple question: Why is the gospel […]

Quotes of the Week: Dark Knight and Mamma Mia

posted by Nell Minow

The Dark Knight has inspired some very thoughtful reviews. Anonymous DC critic “J.J.” wrote that the film moved him to tears: Perhaps it’s because the film has characters I grew to care about, scenes that soaked my heart in adrenaline […]

PG-13 Superheroes in Pre-K Books

posted by Nell Minow

Children’s book author Erica S. Perl has a gallery in Slate about books for early readers featuring superheroes from PG-13 movies like The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man and even the very violent and disturbing Dark Knight. Perl reports that […]

Report on Gender and Movie Criticism

posted by Nell Minow

Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, Director of the Center for the Study of Women In Television and Film at San Diego State University, has released a new report on the representation of women among film critics. I live in the Washington […]

FCC Commissioner insists on Public Interest in Satellite Radio Merger

posted by Nell Minow

FCC Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein, who will be casting the deciding vote in the proposed merger of satellite radio stations Sirius and XM, has been opposed to the merger in the past, but has agreed to vote in favor with […]

21

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, and sexual content including partial nudity.
Movie Release Date:March 28, 2008
DVD Release Date:July 22, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, and sexual content including partial nudity.
Movie Release Date: March 28, 2008
DVD Release Date: July 22, 2008

The real-life story of a group of MIT math whiz kids who won millions playing blackjack gets the glossy Hollywood treatment here — a poor but worthy son of a single mother who needs money for med school tuition makes […]

Beliefnet’s Most Inspiring Sports Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Beliefnet has assembled a great gallery of the most inspiring sports movies. Most are based on true stories, like Miracle (the 1980 Olympic hockey team), Seabiscuit (horse-race champion), Friday Night Lights (Texas high school football team), The Rookie (middle-aged teacher […]

ABBA on video (with a surprise guest appearance)

posted by Nell Minow

“Mamma Mia” is a good reason (as if we need one) to revisit some ABBA classics featured in the movie: Take a Chance on Me Gimme Gimme Gimme Money Money Money All of ABBA’s promotional clips like these were directed […]

Batman

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Movie Release Date:1989
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Movie Release Date: 1989

The critical and box office success of The Dark Knight is a reminder to take another look at the last re-booted Batman and Joker, Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s broody re-imagining of a character then best remembered […]

Interview: Jonathan Levine of ‘The Wackness’

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Jonathan Levine has been getting great reviews for “The Wackness,” the story of the friendship between a teenage drug dealer (Josh Peck) and his customer/therapist (Ben Kingsley). I spoke to him about what inspires him and about what it […]

Country Sings Disney

posted by Nell Minow

Some of country’s brightest stars sing some of Disney’s most hummable tunes on this new release. It’s a pleasure to hear soundtrack hits like Rascal Flatts’ “Life is a Highway,” from “Cars” and Tim McGraw’s “Wherever the Trail May Lead” […]

Dr. Horrible — This Weekend Only!

posted by Nell Minow

Until midnight tomorrow you can watch a new three-act musical from Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Firefly”) online. It is the story of Dr. Horrible (a sensational Neil Patrick Harris) and his nemesis, the very manly Captain Hammer (Nathan […]

Teen Ink: Online Magazine for Teens

posted by Nell Minow

Teen Ink is a great resource for teens and a great opportunity, too. Published for teens by teens, it is a national teen magazine, book series, and website devoted entirely to teenage writing and art. Distributed through classrooms by English […]

Quiz: Villainous Voices

posted by Nell Minow

USA Today accompanies its excellent article about Heath Ledger’s creepy voice as The Joker in the new “Dark Knight” with a delightful quiz that challenges you to match the villain with his famous line. It takes a special actor to […]

Slapsticon 2008: Slapstick Film Festival

posted by Nell Minow

Slapsticon, the international film festival of classic slapstick, starts today in Arlington Virginia. This annual, four-day film festival — scheduled in July of every year — features screenings of rarely seen comedies from the silent and early sound eras. It […]

Contest: Bob the Builder — Let’s Build the Beach!

posted by Nell Minow

Thinking about going to the beach this summer? So is Bob the Builder! But he’s not on vacation. Even at the beach, he has a lot of projects and a lot of lessons about teamwork and organization. And, as always, […]

Movie Mom on WJLA-TV re Heath Ledger

posted by Nell Minow

Local movie critic Arch Campbell did a television spot about Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker in this week’s “The Dark Knight” and he asked three local critics what we thought. You can see me here (briefly) with my friends […]

X-Files Artifacts at the Smithsonian

posted by Nell Minow

The setting was almost too perfect. In order to get to the ceremony for the donation of X-Files artifacts and memorabilia I had to go into the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History through the “staff health center” entrance inside […]

William Holden Salute at Lincoln Center

posted by Nell Minow

The Film Society of Lincoln Center completes its salute today to one of my favorite movie stars, William Holden. Michael Atkinson writes on the Museum of the Moving Image’s wonderful Moving Image Source site that Holden was: on the surface […]

College Road Trip

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:March 7, 2008
D
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: March 7, 2008

What bugs me the most about this movie is not that it is cynical, synthetic, exploitative, and lazy, though it is all of those things. It is not that it alternates being dull with being both painful and dull, though […]

Step Up 2 the Streets

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language, some suggestive material and brief violence.
Movie Release Date:February 14, 2008
DVD Release Date:July 15, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language, some suggestive material and brief violence.
Movie Release Date: February 14, 2008
DVD Release Date: July 15, 2008

Isn’t it too soon for a remake of “How She Move,” which came out less than a month ago? “How She Move” itself felt like a remake of all of those “You Got Served”/”Stomp the Yard”/”Save the Last Dance”/”Step Up” […]

Mandela

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:March 21, 1997
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: March 21, 1997

Celebrate the 90th birthday this week of one of history’s greatest leaders, Nelson Mandela, with one of the fine films about his extraordinary perseverance, vision, courage, and leadership. The story of the massive social change he achieved without violence is […]

Tribute: Thomas M. Disch

posted by Nell Minow

Science fiction writer Thomas M. Disch, who died on the 4th of July, wrote one movie for families, the wonderful animated film, The Brave Little Toaster. It is the Toy Story-style tale of a group of appliances left behind by […]

12 Angry Men

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:July 29, 1957
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: July 29, 1957

Twelve jurors, hot and tired after a six-day murder trial, file into the jury room. They begin with a vote — 11 vote for a guilty verdict, but one (Henry Fonda), juror Number 8, votes to acquit. The others are […]

Fonts From Your Favorite Movies and TV Shows

posted by Nell Minow

Want that “S” with the antennae from “Shrek?” Or write in letters from “Spongebob Squarepants” or “The Simpsons?” How about “The Addams Family” or “Bewitched” or “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?” Maybe the CNN logo typeface would give your office presentation […]

Wall?E’s Favorite Movie: Hello Dolly

posted by Nell Minow

Wall∙E’s curiosity about the world and capacity to feel loneliness is part of what makes him such a vivid character in Pixar’s latest hit. And nothing in the film conveys those qualities more effectively than his affection for the 1969 […]

Olivia Thirlby from “The Wackness”

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful Olivia Thirlby, who played Juno‘s best friend and is featured in the current Vanity Fair cover story on the most promising young stars, stopped by for a few seconds when I was interviewing Jonathan Levine, the writer/director of […]

Journey to the Center of the Earth

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for intense adventure action and some scary moments
Movie Release Date:July 11, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for intense adventure action and some scary moments
Movie Release Date: July 11, 2008

The most impressive achievement from Brendan Fraser and Josh Hutcherson in this 3D action -adventure is holding our attention as it feels like we are being chased by a drooling dinosaur and squirted with something really ooky. Fraser plays a […]

Kavanah Productions:

posted by Nell Minow

Kavanah is a documentary production company dedicated to creating films on Jewish themes to be used in educational settings. It was established by Lauren Shweder Biel, a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at New York University. The word “kavanah” means “intention,” […]

How Would Wall?E Vote?

posted by Nell Minow

The chattering classes are already going after that sweet little robot Wall?E. Some on the right accused the film of being leftist propaganda because of its environmental message. As the New York Times points out: Blogland moves at the speed […]

Shorts: Where is Matt Dancing Today?

posted by Nell Minow

In 2006, a semi-slacker named Matt traveled around the world doing what he referred to as his dance. While he acknowledged that this is the only dance he can do and he does it badly, even that is probably saying […]

Stop-Loss

posted by Nell Minow
B-
MPAA Rating: Rated R for graphic violence and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date:March 28, 2008
DVD Release Date:July 8, 2008
B-
MPAA Rating: Rated R for graphic violence and pervasive language.
Movie Release Date: March 28, 2008
DVD Release Date: July 8, 2008

A young soldier who has come home from Iraq is forced to rethink his ideas about heroism and patriotism when he is “stop-lossed” — informed that instead of leaving the Army he has been involuntarily assigned to another tour of […]

Shipwrecked

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1991
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1991

A Norwegian boy named Hakon (Stian Smestad) is being pushed around by some bullies. He warns them that his father will take care of them when he gets back from sea, and they tell him his father owes so much […]

Do Movie Critics Matter?

posted by Nell Minow

In 2006, Time asked whether movie critics still mattered. Since then, more than 30 major national critics have retired or been laid off and there has been a lot of commentary about the pros and cons of the democratization of […]

Women Critics on Superhero Movies

posted by Nell Minow

The members of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists speak out on superhero movies. Are they just for boys? MaryAnn Johanson, who’s carved her critic’s niche by taking superhero movies seriously, provides an introduction: “Comic books and comic book movies […]

Independence Day

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Movie Release Date:July 4, 1996
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Movie Release Date: July 4, 1996

In this heart-thumping, slam-bang action extravaganza, aliens arrive and blow up the world’s major cities. The president (Bill Pullman) and fighter pilots (led by Will Smith) must find a way to fight back. Some kids will find this too intense […]

Quiz: Movie countdown

posted by Nell Minow

This is an astonishing compilation of 100 movie clips — all from well-known films — counting down the numbers from 100-1. How many of these films can you name?

Are Movie Fans Smarter and More Creative?

posted by Nell Minow

A Mindset Media study finds that people who go to the movies more than three movies a month, they are more likely to be highly optimistic, creative, or assertive. “We asked ourselves why, with insane gas prices and video-on-demand, would […]

Kids Video Contest: Summer in My Town

posted by Nell Minow

The virtual field trip website MeetMeAtTheCorner.org is challenging kids to create a video documentary of a special summertime event in their hometown. The “Summer in My Town” video documentary contest is for children ages 7-13. The winner will receive a […]

Wall?E’s Apple Easter Eggs

posted by Nell Minow

Slashdot has identified some of the hidden Pixar in-jokes and Apple references in Wall?E. Be sure to read the comments for many more. The New York Times also has some info on the involvement of Apple industrial designer Johnny Ive […]

American Dream Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Idol Chatter has posted a list of the five best movies celebrating the American Dream. All good choices: Avalon and An American Tail (about the immigrant experience), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington about an idealistic young Senator, and Rocky, the […]

My Visit to Green Gables and Prince Edward Island

posted by Nell Minow

As promised, here are two of my pictures from our visit to the home that inspired L.M. Montgomery to write Anne of Green Gables just 100 years ago. Ms. Montgomery never lived here but it belonged to a relative and […]

Family of the Week: Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jaden, and Willow

posted by Nell Minow

Will Smith likes to joke that he owns the 4th of July, and it is true that he starred in two of the hugest hits to open on the 4th, “Men in Black” and “Independence Day.” He’s hoping to do […]

Drillbit Taylor

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude sexual references throughout, strong bullying, language, drug references and partial nudity.
Movie Release Date:March 21, 2008
DVD Release Date:July 1, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude sexual references throughout, strong bullying, language, drug references and partial nudity.
Movie Release Date: March 21, 2008
DVD Release Date: July 1, 2008

Like Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow has tried to extend his franchise, and like Sandler, the result is diluted, derivative, and disappointing. Director Steven Brill (of the truly terrible “Without a Paddle,” “Ready to Rumble,” and Sandler’s biggest flop, “Little Nicky”) […]

Vantage Point

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense violence and action, some disturbing images and brief strong language.
Movie Release Date:February 22, 2008
DVD Release Date:July 1, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense violence and action, some disturbing images and brief strong language.
Movie Release Date: February 22, 2008
DVD Release Date: July 1, 2008

A gimmicky thriller without much of a gimmick or many thrills, “Vantage Point” suffers, too, from being out of synch with its time. Its premise may be current — an assassination attempt at an anti-terrorism summit — but its tone […]

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