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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

January 1970 Archives

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genre

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quality

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

who's watching

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age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
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Comic-Con 2009: Interviews for ‘Alien Trespass’ and ‘Boondock Saints II’

posted by Nell Minow

I am a huge Eric McCormack fan and enjoyed his retro sci-fi movie Alien Trespass, so it was a special treat to get a chance to talk with him and writer/director R.W. Goodwin (of “X-Files”) at Comic-Con about the DVD […]

Chicka Chicka 123… and More Counting Fun

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:July 28, 2009
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: July 28, 2009

First-time preschoolers can get a head start, kids returning in the fall can get a refresher, and everyone in the family can have fun with this terrific new DVD of counting stories from my very favorite series by Scholastic. I […]

You Star in Yoostar

posted by Nell Minow

You want to be in movies? Here’s your chance! Yoostar is like movie karaoke. You remove the actors from famous scenes so you and your friends and family can take over. You can be Rocky! You can be the Blues […]

Comic-Con 2009: Costumes!

posted by Nell Minow

The Joker was still very popular this year, and of course there were plenty of Jedis and Klingons and characters from anime and games. Watchmen were up-and-coming, especially Silk Spectre. Here I am with a special friend. And here are […]

Paul Peterson — Protector of Child Actors

posted by Nell Minow

Paul Peterson was one of my first celebrity crushes when he appeared on The Donna Reed Show. He was briefly a Mousketeer at age 8 and played Cary Grant’s son (with Sophia Loren as his babysitter) in the affecting romantic […]

The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:PG for mild language
Movie Release Date:1998
DVD Release Date:1998
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: PG for mild language
Movie Release Date: 1998
DVD Release Date: 1998

This is a wonderful, magical movie! Based on the short story and play by Ray Bradbury (who adapted for the screen), this is the story of five poor men who pool their resources to buy one magnificent, beautiful, white suit, […]

Fast & Furious

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual content, language and drug references
Movie Release Date:April 3, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 28, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual content, language and drug references
Movie Release Date: April 3, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 28, 2009

How fast? How furious? Well, this fourth in the series is so zippy it doesn’t even have time for “the” or “and.” And how necessary? Is there any more fastness or furiousness not fully covered by the original The Fast […]

Watchmen

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and language
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2009
DVD Release Date:July 28, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and language
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2009
DVD Release Date: July 28, 2009

This movie deserves two separate reviews. The first is for fans of the the award-winning graphic novel, a dense, complex, challenging story of superheroes and costumed crusaders with lives that are messy, dysfunctional, and bleak. You will be very satisfied […]

Comic-Con 2009: More Highlights

posted by Nell Minow

The 40th anniversary Comic-Con hosted some of the biggest Hollywood stars (Denzel Washington for “The Book of Eli” and Robert Downey, Jr. for “Sherlock Holmes” and “Iron Man 2″) and first peeks at some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters (James […]

John Goodson — Models and Special Effects

posted by Nell Minow

The CG Society has a terrific interview with John Goodson, who worked on the starship Enterprise and many other iconic movie models. “I’ve worked on almost all the miniatures for the Enterprise that exist and I’ve studied them all,” he […]

Comic-Con 2009: Interview with the Winner Twins

posted by Nell Minow

One of the highlights of Comic-Con was the time I spent with Brianna and Brittany Winner, 14-year-old identical twins who are cuter than a box of kittens and more fun, too. When the girls were in fourth grade, they became […]

Comic-Con #2

posted by Nell Minow

There may be red carpets and glamor and great big movie stars in great big movies, but at it’s big, beating, heart, Comic-Con is still about passionate fans of the popular arts, whether of the most arcane and all-but forgotten […]

Comic-Con 2009 #1

posted by Nell Minow

“I really like your fangs!” This is not a comment I had ever anticipated I’d be making, but at Comic-Con it seemed perfectly natural. As did her response: “Thanks! We make them ourselves!” Some things are different at this 40th […]

G-Force

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor
Movie Release Date:July 24, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor
Movie Release Date: July 24, 2009

Top voice talent and good 3D computer graphics cannot make up for the fact that this film is utterly synthetic as well as crass, loud, and vulgar. Even at a brief running time of under 90 minutes, it overstays its […]

The Ugly Truth

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date:July 24, 2009
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date: July 24, 2009

There is little chemistry between co-stars Katherine Heigel and Gerard Butler in this charmless war of the sexes story, but there is even less chemistry between the two genres it tries to combine, the romantic comedy (sunny pop song over […]

Quote of the Week: Jeff Daniels

posted by Nell Minow

Jeff Daniels is interviewed in the current issue of Esquire, where he made an important point about the difference between the way a character actor and a star approach a role. Stars like to be likable. The Squid and the […]

Tripod: Funniest Music Video Ever

posted by Nell Minow

As I take off for Comic-Con, I want to share my all-time favorite comedy video short. Enjoy!

Interviews: ‘In the Loop’

posted by Nell Minow

“In the Loop” is a scathingly funny satire about politics and politicians. While it names no names of individuals or countries or conflicts, it is inspired by the British and American government in the run-up to the Iraq war. But […]

Write a Theme Song for Mindy!

posted by Nell Minow

The Absolutely Mindy Show on Sirius/XM’s Kids Place Live is in big time need of an official theme song and is inviting everyone to write one for her. Send in your submission of between 30-60 seconds on a CD by […]

Tim Gordon’s Romantic Movie List

posted by Nell Minow

My dear friend and fellow critic Tim Gordon always has something interesting to say about movies. I love to talk to him after screenings about what we’ve just seen and how it compares to some of our favorites (and least […]

Comic-Con 2009

posted by Nell Minow

The 40th anniversary of Comic-Con is this week and I am thrilled to be attending. It long ago expanded its range from the original gathering of comics fans and now includes sneak peeks at everything that is going to be […]

Recess Monkey: Great Music for Kids and Their Families

posted by Nell Minow

Seattle-based teachers-turned-music group Recess Monkey came to Washington DC to play at XM Radio and Jammin’ Java this week and I was lucky enough to see them perform before a wildly enthusiastic crowd of very excited kids and very happy […]

The Great Buck Howard

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some language including suggestive remarks, and a drug reference
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date:July 21, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some language including suggestive remarks, and a drug reference
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: July 21, 2009

This story about a retro performer itself has a very retro feeling, as though it is a recently rediscovered artifact. The likable Colin Hanks plays Troy Gabel, who drops out of law school with some vague thought that he would […]

Coraline

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images, some language and suggestive humor
Movie Release Date:February 6, 2009
DVD Release Date:July 14, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images, some language and suggestive humor
Movie Release Date: February 6, 2009
DVD Release Date: July 14, 2009

In the grand tradition of Alice, Dorothy, Milo, and the Pevensie children, Coraline enters a portal to a magical world that is both thrilling and terrifying, one that will both enchant her and demand her greatest resources of courage and […]

Do Reality Shows Abuse Children?

posted by Nell Minow

The Wrap has a provocative column by Domnic Patten about the impact of reality television programs on the children who participate in them. One problem is a loophole in the law. If children are working as actors on a film […]

From the Earth to the Moon

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1998
DVD Release Date:1998
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1998
DVD Release Date: 1998

The very best American miniseries I have ever seen is the HBO production from Tom Hanks, From the Earth to the Moon. Instead of a chronological run-down, each episode takes on the space race from a different angle. One gives […]

What does ‘Syfy’ mean?

posted by Nell Minow

Forrest J. Ackerman is credited with coining the term “sci-fi” at UCLA in 1954. It is the perfect way to describe the wide range of astonishing, imaginative, mind-expanding works of fiction that are grounded in some element of science, often […]

Adorable Music Video from Sour

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to my pal Brandon Fibbs for sharing this adorable video from the Japanese pop group Sour. This was filmed entirely with webcams and the participants are Sour fans from around the world. Think of it as a high-tech […]

‘New Moon’ Update from Director Chris Weitz

posted by Nell Minow

Lucky Jen Yamato of Rotten Tomatoes got to interview the director of “New Moon,” Chris Weitz, taking over from Catherine Hardwicke. Some highlights: “Our aim was to make [the werewolves and vampires] look like what it says they look like […]

Moon River — Audrey Hepburn

posted by Nell Minow

Another “moon” movie moment — Audrey Hepburn sings “Moon River” in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Tribute: Walter Cronkite

posted by Nell Minow

As well as I remember those misty images of Neil Armstrong coming out of the lunar module to put the first footstep on the moon, I remember the look on Walter Cronkite’s face as he reported it. Cronkite died today […]

Moon Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Salute the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moon mission with some moon-y movies (but my favorite is Monday’s DVD pick of the week, so stay tuned). 1. Moonstruck Cher won an Oscar for her performance in one of the most […]

‘Revelation’ — a new Showtime Series

posted by Nell Minow

Entertainment Weekly reports that Showtime has a new series about a minister and his family called “Revelation.” Margaret Lyons wrote: I’d be pumped for anything from David Janollari and Craig Wright — their mutual previous credit is Six Feet Under, […]

Web Site Story

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Entertainment Weekly for recommending this very funny update of “West Side Story” for the age of the internet. ]

I’m Through With White Girls

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:2008
DVD Release Date:2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: 2008
DVD Release Date: 2008

Another unexpected pleasure I came across on cable recently is a light romantic comedy with some shrewd and audacious commentary on race and gender, whose full title is “I’m Through with White Girls (The Inevitable Undoing of Jay Brooks).” Anthony […]

Happy Birthday SpongeBob!

posted by Nell Minow

VH1 has a 10th birthday tribute to SpongeBob Suqarepants that premieres tonight. VH1 TV Shows | Music Videos | Celebrity Photos | News & Gossip I like this tribute to SpongeBob’s innocence and sincerity. The Washington Post has an article […]

Regina Spektor is Having a Moment

posted by Nell Minow

I am thrilled that songs from one of my favorite performers, Regina Spektor are featured in two of this summer’s biggest movies. “Better” appears in “My Sister’s Keeper” and “Us” is in the trailer and on the soundtrack for “500 […]

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

Mrs. Palfrey (Joan Plowright) did not think of herself as someone who would live in the shabby gentility of the Claremont, a residential hotel in London. We never learn the details of what brought her there or keeps her there, […]

Disney Scavenger Sweepstakes!

posted by Nell Minow

Is your family madly searching the Disney channel to find an orange life vest, a bottle of blue dye, and a blood pressure cuff? Then you must be participating in the very popular Disney Scavenger Sweepstakes! The list of required […]

Harry Potter: Looking Back

posted by Nell Minow

As we get ready for the new Harry Potter movie and look forward to the final two, it’s a good time to remember where it all started. Look at how young the stars were in the first film, Harry Potter […]

‘Marry Me’ — Short Film from TropFest

posted by Nell Minow

TropFest is the world’s largest festival for the world’s shortest films. I like this one about a determined little girl who shows persistence, creativity, and courage in getting the attention of the boy she likes.

PTC Opposes Raunchy Ads from Burger King, Hardees, and Carls Jr.

posted by Nell Minow

From the Parents Television Council: The Parents Television Council condemned Burger King, Carl’s Jr., and Hardee’s for a rash of new advertisements that are taking sexual innuendo to the next level. PTC slammed the companies for their gross irresponsibility and […]

Tom Clocker Interviews The Movie Mom

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Baltimore movie critic Tom Clocker for a terrific profile and interview. Some selections: Tom: You don’t have to get into too much detail since everyone can check out the full article from The Washington Post, but it […]

‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ Clip and App on iTunes

posted by Nell Minow

I’m very excited about the new Harry Potter movie, opening next Wednesday and already setting records in ticket sales. Want an early peek? Making its worldwide debut today is an exclusive podcast titled “Being Me Has Its Privileges,” from the […]

List: Angel Movies

posted by Nell Minow

My fellow Beliefnet blogger Susan Gregg, has a new post about her favorite angel characters in movies and a link to a Beliefnet gallery about angels in movies and television in the past 20 years. These are all good choices […]

Interview: D.W. Brown, Acting Coach to Stars and Future Stars

posted by Nell Minow

D.W. Brown has trained, directed, and coached hundreds of actors and is co-artistic head of the distinguished and successful Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Studio. His new book, You Can Act!: A Complete Guide for Actors is both practical and inspiring with […]

Actors with Character, Part 1

posted by Nell Minow

You know them. That is, they look familiar, but you might not be sure if that is because you saw them in a movie or because you saw them on a train. These are character actors, the indispensible performers who […]

Slate’s Proposed Future Toy-Inspired Blockbusters

posted by Nell Minow

Slate’s movie critic, Dana Stevens, invited readers to propose “Transformers”-like summer blockbusters inspired by action figures and other toys. The result was hilarious. My favorites were “Night of the Cabbage Patch Kids–This Time, Your Vegetables Will Finish You” and “Lego […]

Michael Jackson: How Will He Be Remembered?

posted by Nell Minow

Michael Jackson was a complex and tragic figure. It seems that his memory is being splintered into a thousand shards. Always a showman and a shrewd manager of his brand, Jackson reputedly insisted that he be referred to on MTV […]

Knowing

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for disaster sequences, disturbing images and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date:July 7, 2009
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for disaster sequences, disturbing images and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: July 7, 2009

When MIT astrophysics professor John Koestler (Nicolas Cage in one-note mournful mode) looks distracted and thoughtful as he invites his class to debate randomness vs. determinism, you don’t have to be much of a determinist to figure out that as […]

Remembering Robert McNamera

posted by Nell Minow

Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamera, the architect of the Viet Nam war, died today, still a figure of controversy after nearly half a century. Every family should watch the Oscar-winning documentary The Fog of War for a thought-provoking (and […]

Washington Post Online Discussion

posted by Nell Minow

The transcript of my online discussion about the Washington Post profile is up on their website. Many thanks to all of you who participated!

Interview: Ellen Besen on Visual Literacy

posted by Nell Minow

The average American child watches two to three hours of TV a day, according to the American Association of Pediatrics. And that doesn’t include the time they spend playing video games, sitting in front of the computer, and watching movies. […]

Join me for an Online Chat

posted by Nell Minow

The Washington Post has invited me to host an online chat today from 12-1. Please join me with your questions or comments. You can also submit questions ahead of time. I look forward to your participation!

The Rookie

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:2002
DVD Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 2002
DVD Release Date: 2002

If this hadn’t really happened, Disney would have had to make it up. But a high school science teacher did tell the baseball team he coached that if they won the division title he would try out for the major […]

‘The Answer Man’ — Trailer

posted by Nell Minow

This looks great!

YouTube Reporters Center

posted by Nell Minow

YouTube has a fascinating new section with top reporters explaining how they get, organize, verify, and tell their stories. Katie Couric explains how to conduct an interview. Bob Woodward talks about investigative journalism. NPR’s Scott Simon talks about how to […]

Gertrude Berg, Television Pioneer

posted by Nell Minow

A forthcoming book and documentary about Gertrude Berg tell the story of this pioneering broadcaster, producer, and actress. According to a story in Flow Magazine, Gertrude Berg was the founder of the family situation comedy on radio and television. She […]

Profile in the Washington Post

posted by Nell Minow

There’s a lovely profile of my two jobs as corporate governance analyst and movie critic in this weekend’s Washington Post Magazine. It has lots of information about my background, my family, and how I got to where I am in […]

Summer Camp Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Nametapes ironed on? Bugspray and sunscreen packed? As kids depart for camp, it is fun to watch some classic movies about the joys and terrors of life among the bunk beds and color wars. 1. Meatballs Bill Murray was the […]

Interview: Nati Baratz of ‘Unmistaken Child

posted by Nell Minow

As they have for hundreds of years, a Buddhist monk goes on a journey in search of the “unmistaken child” who is the reincarnation of his master. The quest is unchanged in its goal and its procedures. But this time […]

Tribute: Karl Malden

posted by Nell Minow

Oscar-winner Karl Malden died today at age 97. Read the superb obituaries from Adam Bernstein of the Washington Post and Jim Cheng of USA Today. Bernstein described his appeal very well, saying Malden “excelled in plainspoken, working-class roles.” He had […]

Previous Posts

For the 4th of July: Singing Founding Fathers in "1776"
Happy Independence Day!  Every year, I recommend the rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence. "1776" makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost forget that you already ...

posted 8:00:01am Jul. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Sesame Street's Maria Says Goodbye
Sonia Manzano has announced that she is leaving Sesame Street after 44 years.  She was 22 years old when she auditioned for the brand new series that would revolutionize children's programming. She became Maria, one of the first Latina ...

posted 1:20:21pm Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Happy 99th Birthday, Olivia de Havilland!
Two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland turns 99 years old today. She was one of the biggest stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, appearing memorably opposite Errol Flynn eight times, most memorably in "The Adventures of Robin ...

posted 10:20:13am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Contest: Win a DVD of "Hope Bridge"
"Hope Bridge" is a new DVD from Pure Flix about the devastating impact of suicide. Christi and David Eaton produced the movie after having experienced suicide twice in their family. They knew the best way to reach out to others was through a ...

posted 8:00:59am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: No Ordinary Hero -- The SuperDeafy Movie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6Yo3kRFW9g Coming next month on DVD, "No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie" is the story of a deaf actor (John Maucere) who plays a deaf superhero in a campy television series. But he wants to be a real ...

posted 8:00:41am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

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