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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

January 1970 Archives

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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




Explaining Economic Issues

posted by Nell Minow

My selection of David Copperfield as the book to best help people understand the current economic situation is included in this Washington Post round-up of recommended books by people with a background in business, economics, or finance. All of the […]

Online Audio and Video Resources

posted by Nell Minow

With not much new in theaters this week and next week, it’s a good time to investigate some of the great online resources for entertainment. I was delighted to find out that there is still a way to see Joss […]

List: Alaska Movies (and one television show)

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of the new Republican nominee for Vice-President, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, here’s a list of movies that take place in Alaska: 1. North to Alaska This easy-going comic “Northern” (that’s a western set up north) stars John Wayne […]

Why all the Vampires?

posted by Nell Minow

Vampires are really big this year. Breaking Dawn, the fourth volume in Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight series was the most eagerly anticipated book since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. And one of the most popular events at Comic-Con was the […]

Hot Weekend — Cold Opens

posted by Nell Minow

When a studio is fairly certain it will not get a single good review it simply refuses to let the critics get a look before the release date. That’s called a “cold open.” Usually, movies that open cold are based […]

List: NPR on Movies about Politics

posted by Nell Minow

Just in time for the political conventions, NPR lists the best political movies. Bob Mondello divides them into three categories: manipulating the media, manipulating the candidate, and manipulating the process. Well, if someone isn’t manipulating something, there’s no need for […]

Traitor

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense violent sequences, thematic material and brief language
Movie Release Date:August 27, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense violent sequences, thematic material and brief language
Movie Release Date: August 27, 2008

A timely story, some welcome complexity, and a compelling performance elevate this story of terrorism above the usual bang-bang. Don Cheadle plays Samir, a person of interest being tracked by the authorities for his possible involvement in terrorist activities. He […]

While We’re On the Subject of Disabilities

posted by Nell Minow

The disability advocates who are picketing “Tropic Thunder” should take a look at “The House Bunny.” It is a much more worthwhile target for their complaints. In that movie, the title character becomes the house mother for a sorority of […]

Interview: Jodi Benson of ‘The Little Mermaid’

posted by Nell Minow

It was a great pleasure to speak again with Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in “The Little Mermaid.” Jodi returns to the role for a new DVD called “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning,” in stores this week. Tell me […]

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some partial nudity and innuendo.
Movie Release Date:March 7, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some partial nudity and innuendo.
Movie Release Date: March 7, 2008

A delicious retro romp about a failed nanny who finds her true calling when she transforms the life of a flighty singer, this film is designed around two fabulously entertaining stars, Frances McDormand and Amy Adams. McDormand is Miss Pettigrew, […]

What Happens in Vegas…

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual and crude content, and language,including a drug reference.
Movie Release Date:May 9, 2008
DVD Release Date:August 26, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual and crude content, and language,including a drug reference.
Movie Release Date: May 9, 2008
DVD Release Date: August 26, 2008

A romantic comedy needs to get us on the side of its couple as individuals and on the side of romance. This one fails by giving us characters so crude and unlikeable that even the star wattage of Cameron Diaz […]

The S.S. Minnow is Back in Shipshape

posted by Nell Minow

Anyone for a 3-hour tour? If you get on the S.S. Minnow and the other passengers are a movie star, a professor, a millionaire and his wife, not to mention Mary Ann, you might want to check to make sure […]

List: Movies About Making Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Inspired by “Tropic Thunder,” Keith Demko of Reel Fanatic created a superb list from one of my favorite categories: movies about making movies. On his list: critic-turned-director Francois Truffaut’s bittersweet Day for Night, the trenchant satire Living in Oblivion, the […]

The House Bunny

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sex-related humor, partial nudity and brief strong language.
Movie Release Date:August 23, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sex-related humor, partial nudity and brief strong language.
Movie Release Date: August 23, 2008

Being a good sport is part of what makes Anna Faris such a gifted comic actress. She has never had any hesitation about doing whatever it takes to be funny, no matter how ridiculous, embarrassing, or dangerous. Through the “Scary […]

The Longshots

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some thematic elements, mild language and brief rude humor.
Movie Release Date:August 23, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some thematic elements, mild language and brief rude humor.
Movie Release Date: August 23, 2008

A little bit of grittiness keeps this fact-based story of a girl who plays football from getting too sugary. The talented Keke Palmer of Akeelah and the Bee gives a beautifully understated, witty, and sincere performance as Jasmine, the first […]

BDK interviews Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer

posted by Nell Minow

Kevin McCarthy reviews films as “BDK” and hosts a weekly radio broadcast. Check out his interview of Hans Zimmer, whose score is one of the defining elements of the year’s biggest movie, The Dark Knight. Zimmer’s discussion of the development […]

August MVPs: Steve Coogan and Danny McBride

posted by Nell Minow

This month’s Most Valuable Cinematic Player award has to be shared by Steve Coogan and Danny McBride, who each deliver not one but two different magnificently hilarious performances in two August releases. Steve Coogan, is often underrated as an actor […]

Sisterhoods and Bromances: Where Are the Love Stories?

posted by Nell Minow

We have a lot of tender love stories in movies this year but they have mostly been about friendships. I can’t remember a time when there have been so few movies about falling in romantic love. What used to be […]

Interview: Travel With Kids

posted by Nell Minow

Robert Benchley famously said that there are two kinds of travel: first class and with children. But family trips are often among the most beloved memories and inspire many permanent family references, in-jokes, and traditions. The Travel With Kids series […]

Yes to Running

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:August 12, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: August 12, 2008

Grammy-award winning singer-storyteller Bill Harley has a great new concert performance DVD for families called Yes to Running: Bill Harley Live. Harley is best known for his funny and clever songs and stories for kids (with some parent-friendly lessons about […]

Who Should Be Offended by ‘Tropic Thunder?’

posted by Nell Minow

A coalition of disability group has called for a boycott of the R-rated satire Tropic Thunder. They are asking people not to see the movie because they say it demeans, insults, and harms individuals with intellectual disabilities by using the […]

Fly Me to the Moon

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:August 13, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: August 13, 2008

Don’t try to swat that enormous insect buzzing a few inches above your popcorn. It’s a hologram-like image hovering in front of you and it is part of the movie. Yes, you have to wear the clunky glasses, but within […]

Unexpectedly Spiritual Films: ‘Hamlet 2′ and ‘Henry Poole is Here’

posted by Nell Minow

August is usually the time of the movie year for silly gross-out comedies, cheaply-made slasher films, and studio inventory they never found the right time to release. And Hollywood is usually very uncomfortable dealing with spiritual themes or religion as […]

Remembering the Hays Code — Movie Censorship from 1930-1968

posted by Nell Minow

NPR’s Bob Mondello has an excellent essay on the Hays Code, which governed Hollywood films from 1930-1968, when it was replaced by the MPAA rating system. A reaction to some provocative films in the days of the early talkies, the […]

Boxboarders!

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language, crude and sexual content, some teen partying and reckless behavior.
Movie Release Date:NA
DVD Release Date:July 29, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language, crude and sexual content, some teen partying and reckless behavior.
Movie Release Date: NA
DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008

The writer of the delightful Clockstoppers has written and directed an unpretentious little comedy about a crazy “sport” — racing boxes on wheels. It makes the most of its low budget with an easy-going good humor in this goofy but […]

List: the Hendricks’ Top Relationship Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Authors and consultants Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks (Conscious Loving, Attracting Genuine Love, Five Wishes, and The Corporate Mystic) teach seminars in conscious relationships and “bodymind vibrance.” They have complied a list of their top relationship movies, movies that combine “artistic […]

Adventures in Faith, Honesty, and Courage

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:August 12, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: August 12, 2008

The great “Adventures from the Book of Virtues” animated series has three new releases today: Adventures in Faith, Adventures in Honesty and Adventures in Courage. These are classic stories that have thrilled audiences through the ages because they are about […]

The ‘Traitor’ Commercial Gives Too Much Away

posted by Nell Minow

It infuriates me when trailers and ads give away too much of the movie. This often happens when all the best jokes or special effects are strung together to get you to buy a ticket but once in a while […]

Tribute: Bernie Mac

posted by Nell Minow

What a sad loss in the passing of actor-comedian Bernie Mac. The first time I saw him was in the comedy concert film, The Original Kings of Comedy. He played variations on that his stand-up character in Ocean’s Eleven (his […]

Quiz: Olympics Movies

posted by Nell Minow

The Olympics have inspired a lot of great (and not-so-great) movies, both fact-based and fictional. Which ones can you identify? 1. A warm-weather country competed in a cold-weather sport in which fact-based Disney film? 2. Which Oscar-winning movie was the […]

Book for Concerned Parents: So Sexy So Soon

posted by Nell Minow

The authors of the book “So Sexy So Soon,” Diane Levin and Jean Kilbourne, say that children are constantly bombarded by the media and advertisers with images and portrayals of hyper-sexuality. Thong panties, padded bras, and risqué Halloween costumes for […]

Contest: The First Olympics

posted by Nell Minow

I am thrilled to have FIVE copies of this week’s DVD pick of the week, The First Olympics, one of my all-time favorites. This two-part television miniseries an outstanding family film about the first modern-day Olympics in 1896, exciting, touching, […]

Movie Mom Quoted in Appleton Post-Crescent

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to Cheryl Sherry for a nice mention in her article about “teachable moments” for talking to kids about values. I especially appreciate her including my gallery of movies about values to help families talk about honesty, compassion, loyalty, and […]

Nim’s Island

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild adventure action and brief language.
Movie Release Date:April 4, 2008
DVD Release Date:August 4, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild adventure action and brief language.
Movie Release Date: April 4, 2008
DVD Release Date: August 4, 2008

A pair of heroines on opposite sides of the world team up in an eye-filling and heart-warming story from Walden Media, the latest in its series of fine films based on popular children’s literature. Eleven year old Nim (Abigail Breslin […]

Pineapple Express

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, drug use, sexual references and violence.
Movie Release Date:August 8, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, drug use, sexual references and violence.
Movie Release Date: August 8, 2008

Another week, another Apatow movie. Another Apatow movie, another story of lame, pot-smoking slackers up to all kinds of hijinks and discovering the true meaning of friendship. Sigh. Comedy is often grounded in the pleasure of seeing someone get away […]

Parents Television Council Report on Sex on TV

posted by Nell Minow

The Parents Television Council released a new report on the way sex and marriage are portrayed on prime time television this afternoon. Today’s prime-time television programming is not merely indifferent to the institution of marriage and the stabilizing role it […]

Interview: Matthew Goode

posted by Nell Minow

Matthew Goode was in Washington to talk about his role in the new version of “Brideshead Revisited,” on his way to Comic-Con to talk about his next role in “The Watchmen.” He pointed out that while they are very different […]

Desson Thomson on Archetypes in ‘Dark Knight’ and ‘American Teen’

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most thoughtful and knowledgeable movie critics I know, Desson Thomson, appeared on NPR’s “Weekend Edition” this week to talk to Scott Simon about what ties “Dark Knight” and the new documentary “American Teen” together — the way […]

Wired’s 25th Anniversary Tribute to ‘Wargames’

posted by Nell Minow

I recently included War Games in my list of great movie computers. Wired Magazine has a fascinating salute to the movie’s 25th anniversary and the way it influenced a generation of proto-geeks in the current issue, featuring interviews with the […]

Watchman Trailer

posted by Nell Minow

Wow — the trailer for “The Watchman” looks amazing!

Ebert’s Farewell to The Balcony

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to my friend Bob Elisberg for directing me to Ebert’s farewell to the 33-year movie review television show he shared with Gene Siskel and then Richard Roeper. That show, “just two guys talking about the movies,” made them into […]

Good Review of A Bad Film — Cynthia Fuchs on ‘Step Brothers’

posted by Nell Minow

I often say that when movies are good, critics are very, very good, but when movies are bad, they’re better. It is a challenge sometimes to write an interesting, meaningful review of a dumb comedy like Step Brothers. One of […]

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