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Movie Mom

January 1970 Archives

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quality

  • A+, A, A-
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  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
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Interview: Antonio Vargas of “Silver Bells”

posted by Nell Minow

Antonio Vargas plays an angel-like character who changes the life of a type-A father in Silver Bells.  He talked to me about how he broke into show business  and singing in the airport with his co-star and fellow 70’s television icon […]

Interview: Bruce Boxleitner of “Silver Bells”

posted by Nell Minow

Bruce Boxleitner stars in Silver Bells, premiering on UP TV tomorrow, Sunday, December 1st at 7pm, 9pm and 11pm ET.  It is the story of a Type A, very competitive dad who wants everything his family does to be the best, including Christmas. […]

List: Sister Movies!

posted by Nell Minow

As the oldest of three girls, I have a soft spot for movies about sisters, and this week’s release of Frozen made me think of some of my favorites. If you haven’t seen these, give them a try. If you […]

Contest: Merry Christmas, Splat

posted by Nell Minow

I am delighted to be able to give away a copy of the adorable Merry Christmas Splat & More Winter Stories, from my very favorite series for kids, Scholastic Storybook Treasures. Splat the cat is worried that he hasn’t been […]

Happy Hanukkah!

posted by Nell Minow

For the first time in more than a hundred years, the holidays of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day. It won’t happen again for thousands of years, so carve the turkey and spin the dreidel and enjoy this […]

Happy Thanksgiving 2013!

posted by Nell Minow

I am, as ever, deeply grateful to all of my friends and family and to my wonderful readers.

Thanksgiving and Hannukah! Together Tonight!

posted by Nell Minow

Enjoy! They won’t be on the same day again for about 70 thousand years.

Happy Thanksgiving — Alice’s Restaurant

posted by Nell Minow

Arlo Guthrie sings about an unforgettable Thanksgiving.

Contest: Olaf Magnets from “Frozen”

posted by Nell Minow

The most endearing character in Disney’s new “Frozen” is Olaf, the sunny-natured little snowman who loves warm hugs. If you’d like your very own Olaf to brighten your refrigerator, here’s your chance to win one! Send me an email at […]

Black Nativity

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic material, language, and a menacing situation
Movie Release Date:November 27, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material, language, and a menacing situation
Movie Release Date: November 27, 2013

The poet Langston Hughes wrote a play called “Black Nativity,” a joyous African-American retelling of the story of the birth of Jesus with gospel music, and it has become a holiday perennial. Now it has been adapted by writer/director Kasi […]

Frozen

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some action and mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:November 27, 2013
DVD Release Date:March 17, 2014
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some action and mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: November 27, 2013
DVD Release Date: March 17, 2014

Smart, exciting, funny, sweet, tuneful, and gorgeously animated, the Oscar-winning “Frozen” adapts Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale into a story of two sisters kept apart by a scary secret.  Scary wolves, an enormous snow monster, a perilous journey, a […]

Interview: Tatyana Ali of “Home Again”

posted by Nell Minow

Tatyana Ali stars with CCH Pounder in the heartbreaking drama Home Again as Marva, a young Canadian mother deported to Haiti without her children. She talked to me about taking on a role so different from her work on “Fresh […]

My Two Favorite Thanksgiving Movies

posted by Nell Minow

I admit it.  I’m not a fan of “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” which always strikes me as nasty and mean-spirited.  For me, the two movies that best sum up all that is stressful and complicated and wonderful about Thanksgiving are: […]

Interview: William Lorton on “Take Away One” about Teacher Mary Baratta Lorton

posted by Nell Minow

Mary Baratta Lorton was a pioneering teacher whose revolutionary ideas about making learning more accessible and involving transformed nearly every classroom in America in the 1970’s.  Her books included Mathematics Their Way.  Tragically, she was murdered.  The killer was never found.  Her […]

Philomena

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 on appeal for some strong language, thematic elements and sexual references
Movie Release Date:November 22, 2013
DVD Release Date:April 14, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 on appeal for some strong language, thematic elements and sexual references
Movie Release Date: November 22, 2013
DVD Release Date: April 14, 2014

Dame Judi Dench has played many strong-minded, determined characters, from Queens (Victoria and Elizabeth I) to the even more imperious head of the MI6 who can take on James Bond with an air of crisp authority.  As the title character […]

The T.S. Eliot Quote from “Philomena”

posted by Nell Minow

We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding, Four Quartets

Interview: Mark Henn of “Frozen”

posted by Nell Minow

I always love talking to Mark Henn, one of the top animators in Disney history.  Previously, we spoke about young Simba in The Lion King and the most recent Winnie the Pooh.  This week, we talked about the adorable snowman character, […]

What’s the Worst Toy of 2013?

posted by Nell Minow

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has come up with another list of the most dreadful and appalling children’s toys of the year.  Take a look at these horrible products and cast your vote for the CCFC’s TOADY award. 2013 […]

Contest: DreamWorks Holiday Collection With Shrek, Po, Madagascar, and Dragons!

posted by Nell Minow

All your favorite DreamWorks animation characters are included in the fabulous Dreamworks Holiday Collection, and I have two to give away! * Shrek the Halls (2007) – Shrek promises Fiona a special Christmas surprise, but as usual, Donkey gets involved, […]

Google Maps Middle Earth for The Hobbit

posted by Nell Minow

Explore Middle Earth with Google Maps’ cool new interactive site.

Cute Clip from “The Naughty List”

posted by Nell Minow

I’m delighted to present a clip from the cute new holiday film, The Naughty List. Two young elves, Winter and Snowflake, have a hard time following the rules and are prone to sneaking off for some good elf playtime. But […]

Interview: Steve Coogan of “Philomena”

posted by Nell Minow

Steve Coogan co-wrote and stars in “Philomena,” based on the true story of an Irish woman searching for the son she gave up for adoption fifty years earlier.  As an unwed pregnant teenager she was sent to a convent-run home. […]

Coming Soon: Son of God

posted by Nell Minow

The people behind the smash worldwide success miniseries “The Bible” now bring the story of Jesus’ life to audiences through compelling cinematic storytelling that is both powerful and inspirational.  Told with the scope and scale of an action epic, the […]

My Dad Remembers His Friend, John F. Kennedy

posted by Nell Minow

My father, Newton N. Minow, met then-Senator Kennedy in the 1950’s and worked on his 1960 Presidential campaign. He was appointed by President-Elect Kennedy as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission until the spring of 1963. His work there […]

Delivery Man

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content, some drug material, brief violence and language
Movie Release Date: November 22, 2013

The undeniable sweetness of “Delivery Man” makes its inherent silliness just about forgivable.  Or, it just might be the sense of relief that Vince Vaughn is finally making a movie that is just silly instead of crass and stupid like “Couples […]

Help Fund a Movie About Roger Ebert

posted by Nell Minow

No one has ever loved movies more than Roger Ebert.  Now it’s time for the movies to love him back — I’m a backer of this new movie about Roger and hope they get enough to do him justice and […]

The Christmas Candle

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:November 22, 2013
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: November 22, 2013

Former Presidential candidate Rick Santorum is now in the faith-based movie business and his first film is based on The Christmas Candle by Max Lucado. Just before the holidays, a progressive young clergyman named David (Hans Matheson) takes over a […]

Sensational Movie Props for Sale at Auction

posted by Nell Minow

In The Maltese Falcon, after all the betrayal and misery and death, a cop gazes at the title object and asks, “What is it?”  The hard-boiled detective played by Humphrey Bogart gives an answer that is not only #14 on […]

Trailer: Muppets Most Wanted

posted by Nell Minow

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some frightening images, thematic elements, a suggestive situation and language
Movie Release Date:November 23, 2013
DVD Release Date:March 4, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some frightening images, thematic elements, a suggestive situation and language
Movie Release Date: November 23, 2013
DVD Release Date: March 4, 2014

In the second chapter of the three-book, four-movie series, Katniss Everdeen has gone from being a shy unknown with extraordinary skills to being an acclaimed superstar. The same could be said for the actress who plays the part. When Jennifer […]

Goldieblox Rocks! Hurray for Girls Who Think and Build

posted by Nell Minow

Hurray for Goldieblox for knowing that girls want to think and invent and problem solve and that they don’t always want everything to be pink and princessy!  The company was created by Debbie Sterling, a female engineer from Stanford University.  I […]

Should There Be a Bechdel Test for Rating Movie Sexism?

posted by Nell Minow

Alison Bechdel once had a character in her comic strip explain what she looked for in a movie.  There had to be two named female characters and they had to talk about something other than men.  It was a joke, […]

Trailer: Divergent

posted by Nell Minow

This looks every bit as awesome as I was hoping!  Coming in March of 2014.  In the meantime, read Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Moms Mabley — A New Documentary on HBO

posted by Nell Minow

Whoopi Goldberg pays long overdue tribute to a pioneering figure in the history of comedy, Moms Mabley in a new documentary premiering on HBO tonight.  In an era where stand-up comedy was almost entirely white and male and — as […]

Trailer: Heaven is for Real

posted by Nell Minow

Coming to theaters for Easter 2014

Guidelines for Family Movie Night from Common Sense Media

posted by Nell Minow

Common Sense Media has some common sense guidelines for family movie night.  The range of opportunities for solitary consumption of media has led to less time for families to sit down at the same time to enjoy — and talk […]

Download Copies of This Year’s Best Screenplays

posted by Nell Minow

Some of the year’s best screenplays are available for free download!  If you’d like to read the scripts for “Mud,” “Rush,” “Before Midnight,” “The Armstrong Lie,” and more, check out this site.

Princess Bride Comes to Live Theater

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most quotable movies of all time, “The Princess Bride,” is being developed as a play. It was originally a book by Oscar-winner William Goldman, then the beloved movie with Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, and Peter […]

The Newseum Pays Tribute to Legendary Anchorman Ron Burgundy

posted by Nell Minow

Life imitates art imitating life! Washington D.C.’s Newseum, the museum of journalism, plays tribute to legendary (if fictional) anchorman Ron Burgundy. “Anchorman 2” opens next month.

Interview: “The Book Thief”

posted by Nell Minow

Following an extraordinary evening presenting the film at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, with survivors in the audience, some of the people behind “The Book Thief” sat down for an interview.  Director Brian Percival, who introduced the film, joined stars Sophie […]

Paradise

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual material, substance abuse, some language, and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:November 15, 2013
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual material, substance abuse, some language, and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: November 15, 2013

Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (“Juno”) tries directing for the first time with “Paradise,” based on her own script about a girl from a very conservative religious background whose faith is challenged after a terrible accident.  Even she acknowledges that she […]

The Book Thief

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence and intense depiction of thematic material
Movie Release Date:November 15, 2013
DVD Release Date:March 11, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and intense depiction of thematic material
Movie Release Date: November 15, 2013
DVD Release Date: March 11, 2014

The title character in “The Book Thief” is Liesel (Sophie Nélisse), a little girl in pre-WWII Germany.  We first see her on a train with her mother and dying younger brother.  The children were both going to be delivered to […]

Trailer: Maleficent

posted by Nell Minow

Angelina Jolie looks magnificent as Maleficent in the forthcoming Disney movie about Sleeping Beauty’s evil fairy.

Interview: CCH Pounder on “Home Again”

posted by Nell Minow

Home Again is the story of three people, Jamaican by birth but having lived their entire lives in other countries, are who are deported for getting into trouble with the law.  A mother from Canada, a student from England, and […]

Turbo in Sixty Seconds

posted by Nell Minow

Watch a 60-second version of my Pick of the Week, the cute “Turbo” about the NASCAR racing snail.

“It Happened One Night” — A Tribute to this 5-Oscar Classic

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most insightful people I know about movies is my friend Michal Oleszczyk, and he has written a marvelous essay  about one of my favorite movies, “It Happened One Night.”  The screwball romantic comedy about a runaway heiress and […]

Trailer — Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

posted by Nell Minow

Idris Elba stars as Nelson Mandela in this film, opening November 29.

Leonard Maltin Answers Viewer Questions

posted by Nell Minow

Leonard Maltin answers viewer questions on obscure (but cherished) Disney programs, the future of the movie business, “Citizen Kane,” Kickapoo Joy Juice, and more.

“Frozen” from Disney — New Clip

posted by Nell Minow

Disney’s latest animated release will be out for Thanksgiving.  Here’s a sneak peek:

Yes, There is More Violence in PG-13 Movies Now: Pediatricians

posted by Nell Minow

Pediatrics, the journal of the pediatric professionals, has published a new study about the increase of gun violence in PG-13 movies, often more than in R movies.  It documents what parents have already figured out. Violence in films has more […]

Veteran’s Day 2013

posted by Nell Minow

Veteran’s Day 2013: Movies to Pay Tribute

posted by Nell Minow

As we remember and thank those who have served our country and defended our freedom, these movies help us begin to understand their contribution. The Messenger One of the finest young actors working today, Ben Foster, stars with Woody Harrelson […]

In DC: I’m Co-Hosting a Series of Pre-Code Films at the Hill Center

posted by Nell Minow

I’m thrilled to announce that Margaret Talbot and I are co-hosting a steamy series of four films from the early 1930’s at Washington DC’s Hill Center, starting this Friday with Barbara Stanwyck’s “Baby Face.” In a film and discussion series […]

“Book Thief’s” Director Explains an Important Scene

posted by Nell Minow

The NY Times’ terrific Anatomy of a Scene series has director Brian Percival explain a key scene in “The Book Thief,” including the off-camera operation of puffs of smoke inside the jacket of the main character after she rescues a […]

Did Obi-Wan Try to Tell Luke the Truth? Deleted “Star Wars” Scene

posted by Nell Minow

Moviefone has a long-lost deleted scene from “Return of the Jedi” that would have changed the way we look at the Jedi masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda.  “Obi-Wan would have told you long ago had I let him.”  Why do […]

Interview on Kevin Sampson’s Picture Lock Show

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Kevin Sampson for a great interview!

Smile of the Week: Watch This Guy Dance

posted by Nell Minow

Mark Your Calendars for the Next Star Wars Chapter

posted by Nell Minow

December 18, 2015 — just a little more than two years away!  Stay tuned for updates on casting and more.

Dallas Buyers Club

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:November 8, 2013
DVD Release Date:January 28, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: November 8, 2013
DVD Release Date: January 28, 2014

Matthew McConaughey lost nearly 40 pounds to play Ron Woodroof, a good-time party animal and homophobic Texas cowboy who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986 and given a month to live.  This was in the early days, before safe and […]

Thor: The Dark World

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 For sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content
Movie Release Date:November 8, 2013
DVD Release Date:February 25, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 For sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content
Movie Release Date: November 8, 2013
DVD Release Date: February 25, 2014

I always say that superhero movies are defined by their villains, and “Thor: The Dark World” has a lulu in Tom Hiddleston‘s Loki, who was not as vanquished at the end of “The Avengers” as we thought.  Thank goodness. Loki, […]

List: Texas Movies

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s release of the fact-based “Dallas Buyer’s Club” inspired me to recommend some of my favorites of the dozens of other movies set in the Lone Star State. 1. Giant This massive epic, based on the novel by Edna […]

Coming Soon: The Veronica Mars Movie

posted by Nell Minow

The Kickstarter-funded Veronica Mars movie is coming at last! And I have a t-shirt to give away! Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with Veronica in the subject line and tell me your favorite character from the series. Don’t forget […]

Christmas with Carol Burnett — Now on DVD

posted by Nell Minow

Carol Burnett never did a Christmas special, but her landmark television variety series had many Christmas episodes, and the highlights have been collected on a new DVD releases, Christmas with Carol. Guest stars Alan Alda, Sid Caesar, Jonathan Winters, Helen […]

Listen to the Folk Soundtrack of the New Coen Brothers Movie: Inside Llewyn Davis

posted by Nell Minow

This magnificent soundtrack was produced by T. Bone Burnett, who also did “Oh Brother Where Art Thou?”  It is set in the early 1960’s folk music scene and features Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake. Marcus Mumford, “Girls’” Adam Driver, and Bob Dylan […]

For Election Day: The Great McGinty

posted by Nell Minow

This delicious political satire from the incomparable Preston Sturges is the story of a homeless man whose enterprising attitude (offered $2 to vote for a machine candidate, he votes 37 times) leads to his rise in politics all the way […]

The Real Story: The Man Who Inspired “Apocalypse Now”

posted by Nell Minow

Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam story Apocalypse Now was inspired by Joseph Conrad’s book, Heart of Darkness, about the disintegration into madness of a man who goes into the jungle.  It was an apt metaphor in the days of the Southeast Asian […]

The Real Story: Dallas Buyer’s Club and Ron Woodroof

posted by Nell Minow

“The Dallas Buyer’s Club” (expanding to wide release this week) stars Matthew McConaughey in the real-life story of Ron Woodroof.  He was a Texas man diagnosed with AIDS in 1986, when there was no safe and effective treatment, and given just […]

For Hannukah — Mama Doni’s Jewish Holiday Party

posted by Nell Minow

Hannukah is coming early this year!  Get the family ready to celebrate with the first DVD from Mama Doni, with a warm and tuneful introduction to Hannukah, Passover, and Shabbat.  Mama Doni sings and dances through the holidays, including a bluegrass […]

The Wes Anderson Collection

posted by Nell Minow

Critic Matt Zoller Seitz’s new book, The Wes Anderson Collection, is designed (in the most literal use of that term) to delight even the most devoted fans of this most singular of film-makers.  Seitz interviews the writer-director of “Moonrise Kingdom,” “Rushmore,” […]

Last Vegas

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date:November 1, 2013
DVD Release Date:January 28, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language
Movie Release Date: November 1, 2013
DVD Release Date: January 28, 2014

Oscar-winning actors are a precious commodity, usually doled out no more than one or two per movie.  But in this AARP-version of “The Hangover” crossed with “Ferris Bueller,” there are five, and the greatest pleasure of this film is in […]

Desperate Acts of Magic — Now on DVD/Streaming

posted by Nell Minow

Magic is in the air. “Now You See Me” had an all-star cast and one of the most entertaining scripts of the year. 17-yearo-old Collins Key wowed the judges on “America’s Got Talent” and how has millions of fans called […]

Ender’s Game

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence, sci-fi action and thematic material
Movie Release Date:November 1, 2013
DVD Release Date:February 11, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, sci-fi action and thematic material
Movie Release Date: November 1, 2013
DVD Release Date: February 11, 2014

Director Gavin Hood (“Tsotsi”) has skillfully adapted the Nebula and Hugo award-winning novel about a boy who leads an interplanetary battle against insect-like aliens, doing justice both to the fun of the sci-fi action and to the seriousness of the […]

Time of Death — Showtime’s Brave New Series About Dying

posted by Nell Minow

We pride ourselves — for better and worse — about being very open and modern in contemporary society.  Topics that were previously not spoken of in polite society are discussed openly — sex, money, race, politics, religion.  But the one […]

Interview: Composer Dominic Lewis of “Free Birds”

posted by Nell Minow

“Free Birds,” an animated film opening today, stars Owen Wilson, Amy Poehler, and Woody Harrelson.  And it has a great score by composer Dominic Lewis available on iTunes.  He talked to me about what it was like to write music for […]

Previous Posts

Interview: Lorne Balfe, Composer for "Terminator Genisys"
Lorne Balfe composed the score for "Terminator Genisys," the fifth in the series, which takes place in three different time period, some very ...

posted 3:32:31pm Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: The Dovekeepers
[jwvideo vid='TMTJEKgu' pid='GvkPWNBE'] NCIS star Cote de Pablo gives a behind the scenes look at the making of the Roma Downey/Mark Burnett produced miniseries, The Dovekeepers. Adapted from Alice Hoffman's novel, "The Dovekeepers" follows ...

posted 11:15:01am Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Coming in July 2015: Magic Mike XXL, Terminator: Genisys, Minions, and Amy Schumer's Trainwreck
Happy July! As usual, this July is going to be filled with blockbusters, sequels, remakes, raunchy comedies, and superheroes, but there are some worthwhile smaller films as well. Opening today, for the holiday weekend, we have two sequels. ...

posted 8:00:49am Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Magic Mike XXL
"We're healers," one of the male exotic dancers, explains to another in "Magic Mike XXL."  They're here to bring a smile to women who ...

posted 6:02:11pm Jun. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Terminator Genisys
"I'll be back," Arnold Schwarzenegger said in the first "Terminator" movie. He had the title role but only 16 lines, with about a total of 80 words. But those ...

posted 5:15:15pm Jun. 30, 2015 | read full post »

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