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January 1970 Archives

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genre

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quality

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

who's watching

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age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
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Ask Amy Recommends My Blog!

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful Amy Dickenson of Ask Amy was kind enough to recommend my blog as her favorite resource for checking out movies. Minow smartly distills plots and rates films with kids and families in mind. In two minutes I learned […]

Trailer: The Men Who Stare at Goats

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, Keith Demko of Reel Fanatic, for this trailer: This is from the folks behind Good Night, and Good Luck and it looks like a sharp, smart, funny, satire with a sensational cast. Can’t […]

Movie References in ‘Inglourious Basterds’

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to Cinematical for referring me to Scarecrow Video’s exhaustive list of all the movie references in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds.” A nice reminder of why “independent, brick & mortar video stores that employee real people” are not “outmoded and […]

Celebrate Mary Shelley’s Birthday: Watch Frankenstein!

posted by Nell Minow

Mary Shelley, daughter of two leading intellectuals and wife of a brilliant poet, was a teenager when she was challenged to write a ghost story and came up with one of the most enduring and often-filmed scary stories of all […]

Danyl Johnson Gets By With a Little Help From His Friends

posted by Nell Minow

Please watch this X Factor clip of Danyl Johnson singing “I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends” in what the notoriously critical Simon Cowell calls the best first audition he has seen since the show began. Johnson, […]

Summer 2009

posted by Nell Minow

The end of August is the worst time of year for movies. This makes no sense to me. I would think that people would want to see some good movies before the end of vacation. But it has been true […]

Miles Davis at the Movies

posted by Nell Minow

I love this Slate article by Kim Gittleson on the best and worst uses of the classic jazz album, Kind of Blue, by Miles Davis, in film and television. The list includes an action film with real-life jazz-lover Clint Eastwood […]

Interview: Marc Fienberg of ‘Play the Game’

posted by Nell Minow

“Play the Game” has many elements that are often found in sexy romantic comedies — a hero who thinks he does not want to fall in love and a heroine who teaches him that he does not know what he […]

Tribute: Teddy Kennedy

posted by Nell Minow

The essence of Sen. Kennedy’s political power was crystallized by Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, one of many Republicans who worked with the late senator to forge compromises on bills. Alexander called Sen. Kennedy “at once the most partisan and […]

Tribute: Dominick Dunne

posted by Nell Minow

Fallen Hollywood luminary, name-dropper, world-class party-goer, best-selling author, and force for justice Dominick Dunne died of cancer yesterday at age 83. He was the brother of screenwriter John Gregory Dunne (the subject of The Year of Magical Thinking by his […]

Wiseguy

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1987
DVD Release Date:August 25, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1987
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009

“Wiseguy” was a tough, smart 1980’s television series about a cop (Ken Wahl) who goes deep undercover, starting with 18 months in prison to establish his criminal credentials. In this first season, just out on DVD, he infiltrates the organization […]

Angels in Movies and Television: Before 1970

posted by Nell Minow

Ellen Leventry’s list of post-1990 angels on movies and television got me thinking about some of my favorites from the old days. Hard to believe that performers from Jack Benny to Cary Grant to Donald Duck have taken on an […]

Duplicity

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 25, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009

What do Egyptian launch codes and a new frozen pizza topping have in common? They’re both secrets that are of value to both those who know it and those who want to know it. Where there are secrets, there must […]

Interview: Ramin Bahrani of ‘Goodbye Solo’

posted by Nell Minow

In 2009, film critic Roger Ebert declared “Ramin Bahrani is the new great American director.” I’d say he’s a great new American writer as well. I heard him speak at Ebertfest (his second time presenting there) and was moved, enthralled, […]

Adventureland

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, drug use and sexual references
Movie Release Date:April 3, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 25, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, drug use and sexual references
Movie Release Date: April 3, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009

We all have at least one, a summer when everything changes, when we first start to become the person we truly are. Every writer tries at least once to tell the story of one of these summers and the best […]

First Glimpse of ‘Avatar’

posted by Nell Minow

James Cameron says he wanted to give the fans more than a 3-minute trailer to give them an idea of what to expect from his first non-documentary feature film in 12 years, the very-eagerly anticipated (by fanboys everywhere) “Avatar.” So […]

Woodstock

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for drug content, nudity and language
Movie Release Date:1970
DVD Release Date:August 25, 2009
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for drug content, nudity and language
Movie Release Date: 1970
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009

Forty years ago, it seemed for one brief moment as though a disastrous, mud-soaked music festival that attracted so many people it had a larger population than all but one city in the state could be the beginning of a […]

Interview: Milkshake’s Lisa Matthews

posted by Nell Minow

Lisa Mathews and guitarist Mikel Gehl once wrote songs for grown-ups as the indie rock group Love Riot. But now, as Milkshake, they write lively and singable songs for children. I spoke to Lisa about the similarities and differences of […]

No No No No No — Please Don’t Remake ‘Yellow Submarine!’

posted by Nell Minow

Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump,” “Back to the Future”) has announced that he is teaming up with Disney to secure the rights to Beatles songs for a remake of “Yellow Submarine” that could include merchandising, a Broadway musical, and a Cirque […]

Betty Asks Amy

posted by Nell Minow

The wise and witty Amy Dickenson of “Ask Amy” gets a letter from a blonde named Betty who is distraught that her boyfriend of 67 years is going to marry her rival, Veronica! Amy has some good advice: I want […]

Legion: the Archangel Michael on Film

posted by Nell Minow

Paul Bettany plays the Archangel Michael in “Legion,” a new film opening in early 2010, also starring Dennis Quaid, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, and “Gray’s Anatomy’s” Kate Walsh. In the film, he fights on the side of humanity when God […]

Interview: Sophie Barthes of ‘Cold Souls’

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite films of the summer is “Cold Souls.” Paul Giamatti plays an actor named Paul Giamatti who is anxious and depressed as he prepares to play Chekov’s Uncle Vanya. When he reads in the New Yorker about […]

X Games 3D: The Movie

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for extreme sports action and accidents
Movie Release Date:August 21, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for extreme sports action and accidents
Movie Release Date: August 21, 2009

Kids, don’t try this at home. 3D is X-treme film-making and thus well suited to the X Games, hyper-intense, hyper-dangerous, hyper-what are they thinking? sports that are closer to stunts. Young men compete on skateboard, snowboard, and on dirt bikes […]

Archie Proposes to…Veronica!

posted by Nell Minow

It has been one of popular culture’s most enduring conundrums: Betty or Veronica? Until now. Archie Andrews, after seven decades as a teenager, has all of a sudden grown up. Archie and his friends have made only the smallest concessions […]

‘Fame’ Update: Meet Kay Panabaker

posted by Nell Minow

I am really looking forward to the new version of “Fame” and one reason is the talented Kay Panabaker. Her work on television series like “Gray’s Anatomy” and “Boston Legal” has been very impressive and it looks like “Fame” will […]

Early TV on Stamps

posted by Nell Minow

I’m thrilled with the wonderful new postage stamps saluting the early days of television. They bring back some very happy memories. I love all those old shows, especially “Burns & Allen,” “The Twilight Zone,” “The Ed Sullivan Show,” and of […]

Quiz: Alien movies

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of this month’s most talked-about movie, District 9 and the family movie “Aliens in the Attic,” here’s a quiz about some of the most memorable interplanetary visitors from the history of film. 1. While movie featured aliens who […]

Pete’s Dragon

posted by Nell Minow

“Pete’s Dragon,” a warm-hearted Disney musical fantasy combining live action and animation, is out on DVD today. It stars Helen Reddy (singing the Oscar-nominated song, “Candle on the Water”), Mickey Rooney, and Jim Dale (narrator of the Harry Potter audiobooks). […]

Mary J. Blige sings ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself’

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s Mary J. Blige singing the title song from Tyler Perry’s upcoming movie, starring Taraji P. Henson and featuring Blige and Gladys Knight.

Interview: Jon Brunson of ‘Addicted to the Outdoors’

posted by Nell Minow

Jon and Gina Brunson are Addicted to the Outdoors and so that is the name of their television show on the Outdoor Channel. Now they are working on a new show that will include their six children, ranging from age […]

‘District 9′ — About Racism or Racist?

posted by Nell Minow

“District 9″ is one of the best-reviewed films of the 2009. Entertainment Weekly put it on the cover and called it the must-see movie of the summer. Most critics described it as a thinking person’s action movie because it presents […]

Hannah Montana — The Movie

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:April 9, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 18, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: April 9, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 18, 2009

Think of it this way. Hannah Montana is to Miley Stewart what Superman is to Clark Kent. Audiences of all ages but especially children and teenagers are always taken by stories of secret identities and hidden sources of power and […]

NPR’s Five Ways Movie Governments Should Respond to Aliens

posted by Nell Minow

NPR has a very funny list of suggestions for movie governments who must respond to an alien invasion with examples from classics like “Independence Day,” “Cocoon,” “E.T.,” and the original “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” All of the ideas are […]

Calling all Gleeks! Preview of ‘Glee’ Episode 2

posted by Nell Minow

Behind the Scenes of "Gold Digger"!

Chris Rock on ‘Good Hair’

posted by Nell Minow

This new documentary from Chris Rock about the way African-American women think about what makes “good hair” looks terrific.

The ‘Friends’/HSM connection

posted by Nell Minow

This week, there are new releases in both theaters and on DVD pairing “High School Musical” stars with alumnae from “Friends.” It’s a little disconcerting to see our “Friends” playing parents of teenagers, however. Lisa Kudrow is the mother of […]

Irene Cooking With the Stars

posted by Nell Minow

You know the old saying “No matter where I serve my guests, they seem to like my kitchen best?” Well, that’s what I think of when I watch Irene and her new cooking show, Irene Cooking With the Stars. She […]

Bandslam

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some thematic elements and mild language
Movie Release Date:August 14, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some thematic elements and mild language
Movie Release Date: August 14, 2009

A little edgier than the “High School Musical” series and a little smarter than the usual tween fare, “Bandslam” is a refreshing late-summer treat for tweens, teens, and their families from the always-welcome Walden Media, a top provider of quality […]

How Well Do You Know Hannah Montana?

posted by Nell Minow

THE ULTIMATE HANNAH MONTANA MOVIE QUIZ! Sweet niblets! Think you know Miley and her new movie better than anyone in the world? Well, put yourself to the test with this ultimate Hannah Montana: The Movie quiz. These questions are toughies, […]

Molly Ringwald Remembers John Hughes

posted by Nell Minow

Molly Ringwald has a touching tribute to John Hughes in today’s New York Times. While she had not spoken to the very private writer-director for 20 years, she and co-star Anthony Michael Hall spoke on the phone about the way […]

Sneak Peek: 14 Seconds from ‘New Moon’

posted by Nell Minow

The full trailer premieres before “Bandslam” this Friday!

Meryl’s accents

posted by Nell Minow

Slate has put together a magnificent compilation of some of Meryl Streep’s best accents but what I think of when I watch this is the astonishing range of the performances behind them. It is almost impossible to imagine that it […]

17 Again

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language, some sexual material and teen partying
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 11, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language, some sexual material and teen partying
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 11, 2009

There’s nothing new in the storyline, which mixes a little “Freaky Friday” with a bit of “Back to the Future,” but it is a lot of fun to watch Zac Efron take center stage with plenty of star power in […]

‘Harvey’ Remake Coming from Steven Spielberg

posted by Nell Minow

Steven Spielberg has announced the remake of one of Jimmy Stewart’s most beloved films, “Harvey.” It is the story of a gentle soul named Elwood P. Dowd and his invisible friend, a six-foot rabbit-ish character called a pooka. The screenplay […]

Alien Trespass

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sci-fi action and brief historical smoking
Movie Release Date:April 3, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 11, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sci-fi action and brief historical smoking
Movie Release Date: April 3, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 11, 2009

Was there ever a time when cheesy 1950’s sci-fi movies were actually scary? Is it because they are so low tech in comparison to the intense realism of CGI? Or is it just the balsa wood sets and cardboard dialog […]

Trailer: The Blind Side

posted by Nell Minow

I know, I know, it has the inevitable “I got more from him than he ever got from me” scene and I am always cautious about “mighty whitey” (white person transforms the life of a person of color) and “magical […]

Life Lessons from Saturday Morning Cartoons

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to read Paul Asay’s entertaining and enlightening discussion of the lessons we learned from Saturday morning cartoon shows like “Scooby-Doo” (be careful of strangers) and “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids” (television can teach moral lessons). I especially […]

Trailer #2: ‘Where the Wild Things Are’

posted by Nell Minow

Better and better!

Law on Television: the ABA’s Top 25

posted by Nell Minow

The magazine of the country’s largest organization of lawyers, the American Bar Associaton has published its list of the 25 all-time greatest legal television shows from enduring classics like “LA Law,” “Law & Order,” and “Perry Mason” to some quirkier […]

‘Dirty Dancing’ spoof with Channing Tatum and Charlyne Yi

posted by Nell Minow

The stars of two films opening this week, Channing Tatum of “G.I. Joe” and Charlyne Yi of “Paper Heart” show us their Johnny and Baby, and no one gets put in a corner.

Tribute: John Hughes

posted by Nell Minow

John Hughes, writer-director of some of the most successful and influential films of the 1980’s and 90’s, died yesterday at age 59. Fellow Chicagoan Roger Ebert has a thoughtful tribute, calling Hughes “the creator of the modern American teenager film.” […]

To the Nines

posted by Nell Minow

Is it because we’re in a year that ends with a nine that there are so many “nine” movies coming out? There’s “Cloud 9,” a German film about a long-married woman who has an affair. Next is “District 9,” about […]

Adam

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material, sexual content and language
Movie Release Date:July 31, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material, sexual content and language
Movie Release Date: July 31, 2009

Adam (Hugh Dancy), appropriately shares his name with the first man because even though he lives in contemporary Manhattan, he is in a very real way new to the world. He seems at once tightly wound and untethered. When he […]

Tribute: Budd Schulberg

posted by Nell Minow

Hollywood legend and Oscar-winning screenwriter Budd Schulberg died this week at age 95. His best work documented the anguish and corruption he observed growing up as the son of one of the top executives of MGM at the height of […]

Interviews about ‘Adam’ — Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne

posted by Nell Minow

Hugh Dancy plays the title role in “Adam,” the story of a man with Asperger Syndrome, a form of social dyslexia that is on the autism spectrum. As the movie begins, Adam’s father has just died and he must learn […]

Interview: Max Mayer of ‘Adam’

posted by Nell Minow

Max Mayer is the writer/director behind the sensitive and insightful new film, “Adam,” the story of a young man with Asperger Syndrome (Hugh Dancy) who is befriended by his new neighbor (Rose Byrne). He is an exceptionally thoughtful and engaging […]

‘Reality’ Dating: In the Dark and Overweight

posted by Nell Minow

I’m not a fan of reality shows about dating because they seem too artificial and everyone on them seems so self-obsessed (granted, inevitable given their constantly being asked how they feel). But two new variations are worth a mention. Dating […]

WordGirl Interviewed by Jim Lehrer

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to Siva Vaidhyanathan for sharing this delightful interview with the newest PBS superhero, WordGirl, who keeps the world safe from bad guys and poor word choices! Here’s to vivid and grammatically correct speech, and to PBS and WorldGirl.

Stop Marketing of PG-13 Movies to Young Children

posted by Nell Minow

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is circulating a petition to protest the marketing of GI Joe action figures promoting the new PG-13 movie “GI Joe.” Yes, GI Joe was a toy for decades before the movie. But these action […]

The Soloist

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some drug use and language
Movie Release Date:April 21, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 4, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some drug use and language
Movie Release Date: April 21, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 4, 2009

All around Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey, Jr.), everything seems to be broken or breaking. The newspaper is losing readers and laying off staff. His marriage to editor Mary Weston (Catherine Keener) is over. He is estranged […]

Race to Witch Mountain

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of action and violence, frightening and dangerous situations, and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date:March 13, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 4, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of action and violence, frightening and dangerous situations, and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date: March 13, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 4, 2009

After an enormous train crash/explosion, a line of dialog reassures us that the engineer (played in a quick cameo by Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook) was not hurt. This is, reassuringly, a Disney movie. The entire planet may be at […]

Interview: AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig of ‘Witch Mountain’

posted by Nell Minow

The young stars of Race to Witch Mountain talked to me about making the movie, a re-imagining of the Disney classic, Escape to Witch Mountain, about a brother and sister with extraordinary powers. AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig could not […]

Sid the Science Kid

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:August 4, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 4, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: August 4, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 4, 2009

Preschool programs focus on words and numbers and there has not been much about science. But all children are inherently scientists, endlessly curious about the world around them and constantly performing experiments and asking “why.” The Jim Henson company introduces […]

Super Why!

posted by Nell Minow

I am very pleased to see this delightful DVD re-issued. I love the way it encourages kids to read by bringing them inside the stories. Meet Jack and the Giant, the Three Little Pigs, Little Red Ridinghood, and the Princess […]

Trailer: Fantasic Mr. Fox

posted by Nell Minow

This movie, opening in November, looks wonderfully cool. Owen Wilson, George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Anjelica Houston, and Bill Murray star in this animated film based on a book by Roald Dahl, author of “Charlie […]

Contest: Hannah Montana!

posted by Nell Minow

The terrific Hannah Montana feature film is coming out on DVD and I have three for giveaways! It has some great extras including a behind-the-scenes featurette and some bloopers. Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Hannah” or in the […]

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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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