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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

May 2010 Archives

showing results 1 - 69 of 69

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




Taps: Origin and Meaning

posted by Nell Minow

On Memorial Day, we honor those who gave “the last full measure of devotion” to protect freedom and democracy. Let us all keep their example in mind as we do our best to live up to the dreams they died […]

Harlem Hostel

posted by Nell Minow

“Harlem Hostel” is an unpretentious little film about a group of friends who decide to turn a run-down brownstone into a youth hostel to make ends meet. At times the film looks as low-budget as its setting, but with an […]

Tribute: Dennis Hopper

posted by Nell Minow

Actor/director/emblem of a generation Dennis Hopper died today at age 74 after a career of extraordinary range that took him from roles in the iconic films Rebel Without a Cause, Easy Rider, Giant, and Apocalypse Now, to a stunning comeback […]

When I Was 17 — on MTV

posted by Nell Minow

One of the best shows on television right now for teens and their families is MTV’s “When I Was 17.” It’s as simple as the title. Celebrities talk about what they were doing when they were 17 years old. Participants […]

Judy Canova

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to Ben Ohmart for reminding us of the unjustly neglected Judy Canova. He specializes in books about golden-age era performers, and he is the author of a new biography of the “Ozark nightingale,” Judy Canova: Singin’ in the Corn!. […]

Tribute: Gary Coleman

posted by Nell Minow

Gary Coleman died today from head injuries. He was 42. At one time one of television’s most popular performers, Coleman struggled to find a place for himself after “Diff’rent Strokes” left the air. The show was about a wealthy single […]

My Look at This Summer’s Movies: Video

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Jennifer Kachler, Adam Donald, Daniel Sheppard, my homegirl Laine Kaplowitz, and everyone at the fabulous Bethesda Row Theatre .

DVD Giveaway: One Hot Summer

posted by Nell Minow

Get ready to sizzle with “One Hot Summer,” the story of a beautiful Cuban-American lawyer who is torn between her husband and an old boyfriend as she and her two best friends try to follow their hearts to love and […]

More for Memorial Day

posted by Nell Minow

A thoughtful commenter named Richard S. Webster added some superb suggestions to the list I published for Memorial Day, and I wanted to post them for families to have as they salute the courage and sacrifice of our armed forces. […]

Movies to Salute Our Armed Forces

posted by Nell Minow

Reposting from 2008: In honor of Memorial Day, take a break from picnics and sales and share one of these great films about American soldiers, sailors, and Marines. And be sure to take time thank the military and veterans in […]

Should White Actors Play Non-White Characters?

posted by Nell Minow

The LA Times writes about what writer Chris Lee calls a “whitewash,” with all major parts in two high-budget, high-profile films set in the Mideast played by Caucasian performers. None of its principle cast members are of Iranian, Middle Eastern […]

Shrek Sells Out

posted by Nell Minow

I loved the new Shrek Forever After movie. But I was very sorry to see that the lovable big green ogre is not just living happily ever after over in Far Far Away. He is all over the mall selling […]

What I Read

posted by Nell Minow

The Atlantic Monthly’s website has a daily feature called “What I Read.” They invite people to tell them about their sources of information and news. If you’d like to read about my “media diet” take a look. And yes, the […]

Dear John

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sensuality and violence
Movie Release Date:February 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 25, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sensuality and violence
Movie Release Date: February 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 25, 2010

Nicholas Sparks writes the equivalent of comfort food, high-carb, low-nutrition, but sometimes it hits the spot. His stories usually feature relationships that are not just true and deep and loving but healing. And then, like ripping off a band-aid, he […]

The Road

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language
Movie Release Date:November 25, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 26, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language
Movie Release Date: November 25, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 26, 2010

The most terrifying moment we ever experience is the realization that we are responsible for the life of the perfect being who has turned us from people into parents. We want more than anything to keep them safe and teach […]

Drop Dead Diva

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2009
DVD Release Date:2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2009
DVD Release Date: 2010

The Lifetime television series “Drop Dead Diva” was one of the happiest television series surprises of 2009. As it returns for a second season, the first is out on DVD and I have one copy to give away. It’s the […]

Giveaway Week!

posted by Nell Minow

Stay tuned this week as I have all sorts of surprises and giveaways including goodies for children and their parents! DVD prizes include a popular Lifetime series, a sizzling crime story, and a drama about three friends struggling to balance […]

‘Lost’ and Found!

posted by Nell Minow

The concluding chapter of “Lost” has prompted all kinds of speculation. On September 22, 2004, the show premiered with a plane crash on a mysterious tropical island and it has been an endless source of intrigue and speculation ever since. […]

Opening this Week: ‘Prince of Persia’ and ‘SATC 2′

posted by Nell Minow

We are in the midst of summer blockbuster season, and with a three-day weekend coming up, we get two enormous releases this week, both involving the desert of the mid-East. “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” is a sword […]

Write Your Screenplay!

posted by Nell Minow

Ever watch a movie and think you could write a better one? Here’s your chance, without having to invest in pricey screenwriting software. Plotbot is a nifty web-based interface that walks you through the mechanics of screenwriting, handles all of […]

Ron Masak Meets His Heroes

posted by Nell Minow

Ron Masak’s face and voice are more familiar than his name. As Sheriff Mort Metzger in “Murder She Wrote” he appeared with Angela Lansbury as the mystery novelist who ran into a different real-life mystery every week. And he has […]

More Bad Language Goes Mainstream

posted by Nell Minow

I have written before about the coarsening of language in the media, which continues to concern me. Two recent examples are in the titles of upcoming releases. While the movie and television series are not intended for children, I wonder […]

Emma Stone Should Be a Star

posted by Nell Minow

I’m hoping that this fall’s “Easy A” will give Emma Stone the breakthrough role she needs to become a major star. From “Superbad” to “The Rocker,” “Zombieland,” “The House Bunny,” and even “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past,” she has demonstrated the […]

Christian Toto on Movie Cliches He’d Like to Ban

posted by Nell Minow

My friend and fellow critic Christian Toto has a blog post about three movie cliches he’d like to ban from all future movies. # The ambivalent hit man: Yes, “The Matador” gave Pierce Brosnan one of his meatiest film roles. […]

Movies Made By Sons About Their Dads

posted by Nell Minow

Two small independent films opened up in New York this week that are both labors of love based on the dysfunctional fathers of the film-makers. One is “Touching Home” with Ed Harris as an alcoholic father of twin sons who […]

Guilty Pleasures with Betty Jo Tucker

posted by Nell Minow

I’ll be on Betty Jo Tucker’s Reel Talk over at Movie Addict headquarters today at 4pm Eastern time. Listen to our discussion here! And I’d love to hear about your guilty pleasure films, too.

Valentine’s Day

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual material and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date:February 12, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 18, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual material and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date: February 12, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 18, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, let the record show that the Twitter movie has arrived. “Valentine’s Day” consists of a bunch of incidents and concepts and indications that in our omni-media world are taken for stories, though all of them would fit […]

Giveaway: Valentine’s Day

posted by Nell Minow

I have one “Valentine’s Day” DVD/Combo to give away. The director of “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries” brings us a collection of love stories happy, sad, bittersweet, angry, tender, and hopeful. Tell me which is your favorite performer in […]

New Narnia Poster: Dawn Treader

posted by Nell Minow

Coming this December 10 in 3D: “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”

Smile of the Week: Muppet Joy!

posted by Nell Minow

Flicka 2

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some reckless behavior
Movie Release Date:2010
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some reckless behavior
Movie Release Date: 2010
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010

Flicka 2 is a straight-to-DVD sequel of the most recent version of Flicka, the kid-and-a-horse story that goes back to the 1941 novel, My Friend Flicka, which inspired sequels, movies, and a 1956-57 television series. In this latest version a […]

How to Protect Yourself From Facebook’s New ‘Privacy’ Changes

posted by Nell Minow

Facebook has made some new changes that make your information much more vulnerable to public display. Please take a few moments to watch this video from Connect Safely and share it with your middle and high school children to make […]

The End of the Original ‘Law & Order’

posted by Nell Minow

I was sorry to hear that the original Law & Order has been canceled by NBC just as it was about to break the record set by “Gunsmoke” as the longest-running live action television series. I can’t help feeling that […]

The Quay Brothers: The Calligrapher

posted by Nell Minow

Pioneering animators The Quay brothers created this breathtaking short film for the BBC, which rejected it. That just makes it even more fun to watch.

The Evolution of Movie Soundtracks

posted by Nell Minow

The New Yorker has a fine article by music critic Alex Ross about soundtrack composer Michael Giacchino, who won an Oscar for his lilting but wistful score for “Up” and who also writes the evocative music for the television series, […]

The Oracle of Omaha’s Lessons for Children

posted by Nell Minow

The greatest investor in history is Warren Buffett, the only man ever to become a billionaire only through investing. He is giving the vast majority of his fortune to charity through the Gates Foundation. Mr. Buffett’s investment advice has produced […]

Ebert’s Recommendation — Better than 3D

posted by Nell Minow

Roger Ebert, who recently took on some controversy when he said that video games could not be art, has kicked it up a notch with a piece in Newsweek called “Why I Hate 3D (And You Should Too).” 3-D is […]

Redgrave and Nero — Then and Now

posted by Nell Minow

In 1967, Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero co-starred in the movie musical “Camelot,” the Lerner and Lowe version of the story of King Arthur, Guenevere, and Lancelot. Off-camera, Redgrave and Nero fell in love and they had a child, director […]

The Spy Next Door

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of action violence and some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:January 15, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 11, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of action violence and some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: January 15, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 11, 2010

Jackie Chan, the most graceful and acrobatic of men when it comes to action scenes, is also one of the most clumsy when it comes to dialogue. So it is clever to cast him as a man who is awkward […]

The Origins of Hava Nagilah

posted by Nell Minow

Many of us have danced to Hava Nagilah. But how many of us know where it comes from? Here is a charming excerpt from a forthcoming documentary (featuring the co-creator of “Friends,” Harry Belafonte, and Leonard Nimoy!) that has the […]

Two PG Romances in One Week

posted by Nell Minow

We don’t get many PG movies designed for general audiences but this week we have two, both sweet romances, “Letters to Juliet” and “Just Wright.” The first is the story of girl about to be married who helps a woman […]

Pixie Hollow Now Has Boys

posted by Nell Minow

Disney’s online role-playing game Pixie Hollow is based on its DVD series about Tinker Bell and her friends. It gives children a chance to select a (female) fairy avatar and interact with other fairies. Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams reports that […]

Smile of the Week: Surf Dog

posted by Nell Minow

Another one from my mom! This is a story of a dog who could not be what his trainer wanted but was even more than she hoped.

Invictus

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:December 11, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 11, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: December 11, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 11, 2010

Clint Eastwood tells the story of South Africa’s triumph in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the first World Cup after the end of apartheid. The title, “Invictus” comes from the inspiring poem that Nelson Mandela shared with the team’s captain, […]

Extraordinary Measures

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic material, language and a mild suggestive moment
Movie Release Date:January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 11, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material, language and a mild suggestive moment
Movie Release Date: January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 11, 2010

Harrison Ford has his best role in years as a testy scientist who listens to classic rock as he works all night in the lab and who may just have the key to a crucial medicine for a disease that […]

Tribute: Lena Horne

posted by Nell Minow

Lena Horne, who graced our planet with her exquisite beauty, smoky sensuality, and stunning musicality, died yesterday at age 92. Ms. Horne was the first African-American to sign a major studio contract, in the 1940’s. It specifically provided that she […]

The Horse Boy

posted by Nell Minow

I highly recommend “The Horse Boy,” an extraordinary documentary about a family that traveled to the other side of the world to help their autistic son and found all of their lives changed. Rowan Isaacson was diagnosed with autism in […]

The Adventures of Robin Hood

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1938
DVD Release Date:2002
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1938
DVD Release Date: 2002

Errol Flynn is the definitive Robin Hood in this glorious Technicolor version of the classic story, one of the most thrillingly entertaining films of all time. King Richard the Lion-Hearted, off fighting in the Crusades, has been captured and held […]

Is television still a vast wasteland?

posted by Nell Minow

Forty-nine years ago today my father, Newton Minow, in his first speech as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in the Kennedy administration, gave a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters that has been widely quoted and anthologized as […]

TV Theme Songs (Part 4)

posted by Nell Minow

Cartoons! When I was a kid, the cartoon theme songs were light pop jingles and we could all sing along. But then some of them got more electric, more rock power ballad-style, even some hip-hop. Listen to the sweet original […]

We Love You, Betty White

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s to tonight’s host of Saturday Night Live! Ms. White has been on television since the very beginning, in 1939, when television was just an experiment and no homes had sets. She co-produced and starred in one of the first […]

TV Theme Songs (Part 3)

posted by Nell Minow

Sitcoms! (Notice the product placement!) And I like “Frasier’s” closing music (sung by Kelsey Grammer) better than the intro.

Interview: Neil Volz of ‘Casino Jack’

posted by Nell Minow

Neil Volz had one of the most powerful jobs in Washington as chief of staff to Congressman Bob Ney. He then joined Jack Abramoff as a lobbyist and was a part of the corruption scandal involving illegal payments and gifts […]

Lady GaGa Inspires the Troops and NPR

posted by Nell Minow

Our troops take a well-deserved break to create a salute to Lady GaGa and her video for “Telephone.” And NPR takes a moment to salute them both. I love the way both videos have such whole-hearted enthusiasm and good humor. […]

Casino Jack and the United States of Money

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language
Movie Release Date:May 7, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language
Movie Release Date: May 7, 2010

As print media crumbles and broadcast and cable media splinters, documentaries have become one of the most thorough and dependable formats for delivering long-form journalism. From the acid (in both metaphorical senses of the word)-tinged advocacy of Michael Moore and […]

The Square

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence and language
Movie Release Date:May 7, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence and language
Movie Release Date: May 7, 2010

When the first 10 minutes of film introduce us to an illicit affair, a kickback scheme, and a hidden bag filled with money, we know we’re in for a twisty thriller, and “The Square” delivers. Brothers Nash and Joel Edgerton […]

Mother and Child

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexuality, brief nudity, and language
Movie Release Date:May 7, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexuality, brief nudity, and language
Movie Release Date: May 7, 2010

Rodrigo García, who showed great taste, restraint, and sensitivity in telling the intertwined lives of women in “Nine Stories” and “Things You Can Tell Just from Looking At Her” shows less of all three in the clunky, awkward “Mother and […]

Preacher’s Kid

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving some sexual content, violence, and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:January 29, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving some sexual content, violence, and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: January 29, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010

Former Destiny’s Child singer Letoya Luckett has the title role in this touching story of a sheltered young woman from a small town who joins a traveling gospel show. She finds her values and her faith challenged by the temptations […]

National Day of Prayer: Prayer on Film

posted by Nell Minow

This lovely Sabbath scene from “Fiddler on the Roof” is inspired by a traditional Hebrew prayer.

The Best TV Moms

posted by Nell Minow

I’ve written about great movie mothers before (more great movie moms here). The Wall Street Journal’s article on a return to the portrayal of parents as sensible and caring inspired me to celebrate Mother’s Day this year with some of […]

Interview: Former Congressman Bob Ney of ‘Casino Jack’

posted by Nell Minow

Bob Ney was a powerful Congressman (R-Ohio) brought down — and sent to jail — by the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. He is featured in “Casino Jack,” the new documentary about what happened. He now has a daily show on […]

TV Theme Songs (Part 2)

posted by Nell Minow

More great TV show theme songs! This time, I’m going to focus on shows about cops and detectives and crime. The “Hawaii Five-O” theme suggests the pounding surf and adrenalin. The theme of “The Rockford Files” has its hero’s rumpled […]

Interview: Rich Christiano of ‘The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry’

posted by Nell Minow

I spoke to writer-director Rich Christiano about making — and marketing — faith-based films. You were really a one-man show behind the scenes for this film. We have a good production team and worked hard on the distribution. This the […]

Leap Year

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sensuality and language
Movie Release Date:January 8, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sensuality and language
Movie Release Date: January 8, 2010

A movie’s premise can be implausible and still work. The audience does not have to buy into whatever it is that the hero and heroine are after long as we believe that the movie’s characters believe in it. But in […]

The Tooth Fairy

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild language, some rude humor and sports action
Movie Release Date:January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild language, some rude humor and sports action
Movie Release Date: January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010

Cute kid + The Rock in a pink tutu = movie deal. After the success of The Game Plan, Dwayne Johnson (nom de wrestling: The Rock) has become the go-to guy for movies about taming the gentle giant. So once […]

Ebert on Why Today is the Golden Age of Film Criticism

posted by Nell Minow

There have been many articles about the end of the era of the movie critic as print media cuts have led to the departure of many of the best-established and most widely-read commentators on film. But Roger Ebert says this […]

Summer Movie Preview 2010

posted by Nell Minow

When the weather gets warm, the movies get big! The summer of 2010 will be filled with big-budget sequels and remakes along with some newcomers hoping to establish new franchises. Get ready for chases, sword fights, karate, 3D, many brinks […]

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010

Christian families looking for wholesome and satisfying entertainment will appreciate “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry,” the story of young friends whose lives are changed through friendship with a man who does more than encourage them to study the Bible; he […]

TV Show Theme Songs (Part 1)

posted by Nell Minow

ScreenRant has a sensational list of the best TV show theme songs of the 2000’s, including . I especially enjoyed it because so many of today’s shows have all but jettisoned the idea of an opening theme. I still love […]

Previous Posts

Interview: Matt Mamula of Celebrity Impersonator Documentary "Just About Famous"
Matt Mamula co-directed "Just About Famous," the very entertaining new documentary about celebrity impersonators. He generously took time to talk to me about the unexpected opportunities that open up when someone looks like someone who becomes ...

posted 3:59:51pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Barak Goodman of "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies"
Director Barak Goodman talked to me about his superb series for PBS, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, now available on DVD. The series is produced ...

posted 3:55:04pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Creativity Conference 2015: Nancy Pelosi, Snoopy, and Drones with GoPros
I had so much fun at last year's Creativity Conference that I could not imagine how they could top it this year, but they succeeded. This is ...

posted 3:07:48pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: The Little Prince
The beloved book The Little Prince has been gorgeously animated, with voices including Jeff Bridges, James Franco, and Rachel McAdams.  I love this trailer. [iframe frameborder="0" width="480" height="270" ...

posted 8:00:24am Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Samuel L. Jackson is the President in "Big Game"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKThy0cipVA ...

posted 8:00:34am Apr. 25, 2015 | read full post »

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