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Musical Archives

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For the 4th of July: Singing Founding Fathers in “1776”

posted by Nell Minow

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 know how it all turned […]

Magic Mike XXL

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sexual content, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use
Movie Release Date:July 1, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use
Movie Release Date: July 1, 2015

“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 have not, through tragically misguided oversight, been worshipped and adored.  They have not been ap-PRE-ciated.  They […]

Pitch Perfect 2

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for innuendo and language
Movie Release Date:May 15, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for innuendo and language
Movie Release Date: May 15, 2015

“Pitch Perfect 2″ is — bear with me — the musical comedy variation on the “Furious 7″ recipe for success.  The sequel jettisons any pretense of seriousness of purpose, structural logic, or psychological authenticity, joyfully tosses off any pretense of […]

The Sound of Music Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

posted by Nell Minow

A glorious new 50th anniversary Blu-Ray edition of Sound of Music is out this week, featuring commentary, behind the scenes footage, and all kinds of extras — sure to be one of your “favorite things.”   This box-office champ is one […]

Strange Magic

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some action and scary images
Movie Release Date:January 23, 2015
DVD Release Date:May 18, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some action and scary images
Movie Release Date: January 23, 2015
DVD Release Date: May 18, 2015

Despite the big names behind it, including George Lucas, who came up with the story and produced, it feels like a straight-to-DVD, about the level of Disney’s Tinkerbell series. It’s bright, colorful, self-affirming, and bouncy. And, likely to be appreciated […]

Interview: Meredith Anne Bull of “Strange Magic”

posted by Nell Minow

Meredith Anne Bull stars in this week’s release “Strange Magic,” an animated musical fairy tale based on a story by George Lucas. She plays Dawn the “young, naive, unaffected and thrilled with life” younger sister of the heroine, Marianne, played […]

Premiering on Fox This Week: Empire with Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most exciting new televisions shows of the season is “Empire,” premiering on January 7, 2015 on Fox. It is part “King Lear,” part “Godfather,” part “Lion in Winter,” part soap opera, and set in the world of […]

Into the Woods

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements, fantasy action and peril, and some suggestive material
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2014
DVD Release Date:March 23, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements, fantasy action and peril, and some suggestive material
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2014
DVD Release Date: March 23, 2015

This is not a Disney movie. Oh, well, yes, it is a Disney movie in the sense that it is produced by Disney, which is the only possible explanation for the PG rating (and the slightly sweetened storyline), but this […]

Annie

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild language and rude humor
Movie Release Date:December 19, 2014
DVD Release Date:March 16, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild language and rude humor
Movie Release Date: December 19, 2014
DVD Release Date: March 16, 2015

The story of the plucky little Depression-era orphan with the curly red hair has been not just re-booted but re-imagined into the world of rent-a-bikes, viral videos, DNA tests, YOLO, corporate privacy invasions, and Katy Perry tweets. There are some […]

Two Nights Only in Theaters: 60th Anniversary of “White Christmas”

posted by Nell Minow

The 60th anniversary of one of the most beloved movies in history is coming up, and so you will have a chance to see “White Christmas” in theaters for just two nights, December 14-15, 2014. This is your chance to […]

The Book of Life

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action, rude humor, some thematic elements and brief scary images
Movie Release Date:October 17, 2014
DVD Release Date:January 26, 2015
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action, rude humor, some thematic elements and brief scary images
Movie Release Date: October 17, 2014
DVD Release Date: January 26, 2015

Jorge Gutierrez (Nickelodeon’s “El Tigre”) is co-writer and director of a dazzling new animated film that all but explodes off the screen in a kaleidoscope of color and energy and a love of life and storytelling and colorful characters and […]

Fifty Years of Fiddler on the Roof

posted by Nell Minow

The Yiddish-language stories of Sholem Alechim, collected as Tevye the Dairyman and The Railroad Stories (Library of Yiddish Classics), inspired one of the most successful, influential, and widely performed Broadway musicals of all time, “Fiddler on the Roof,” which opened […]

Cinderella — With Music by Rodgers and Hammerstein

posted by Nell Minow

Every family will enjoy the 50th anniversary edition of the glorious Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, starring Lesley Ann Warren, with Celeste Holm as the fairy godmother, Jo Van Fleet as the evil stepmother, and Walter Pidgeon and Ginger Rogers as […]

Coming Soon: Evergreen Christmas

posted by Nell Minow

Naomi Judd and Robert Loggia star in “Evergreen Christmas,” on DVD and VOD November 4, 2014. Leaving her seemingly glamorous Hollywood life on hold, Evie Lee is forced to return to her small hometown of Balsam Falls, Tennessee and her […]

The Identical

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic material and smoking
Movie Release Date:September 5, 2014
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material and smoking
Movie Release Date: September 5, 2014

“The Identical” is an incompetent mishmash of mawkish sentimentality larded with a few pleasant musical numbers and some random asides about Israel.  I’m not making this up. It is inspired by an intriguing fact.  Elvis Presley was a twin.  His […]

Get on Up

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug use, some strong language, and violent situations
Movie Release Date:August 1, 2014
DVD Release Date:January 5, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug use, some strong language, and violent situations
Movie Release Date: August 1, 2014
DVD Release Date: January 5, 2015

There are a lot of challenges in taking on the life story of James Brown, known variously as the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, the Godfather of Soul, Mr. Dynamite and others with variations on the term “Funk.” First […]

Begin Again

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
Movie Release Date:July 2, 2014
DVD Release Date:October 27, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
Movie Release Date: July 2, 2014
DVD Release Date: October 27, 2014

“It’s delicate,” a songwriter tells a performer who has (literally) amped up her gentle ballad into a power anthem. The songwriter is Greta (Keira Knightly) and the performer (Maroon 5’s Adam Levine) is her ex. They were together for five […]

Jersey Boys

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout
Movie Release Date:June 20, 2014
DVD Release Date:November 11, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout
Movie Release Date: June 20, 2014
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2014

Winston Churchill famously said that history is written by the victors.  In movie terms, that means that when you see the names of just two of the original Four Seasons listed as the film’s producers, it is clear we are […]

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some scary images and mild peril
Movie Release Date:May 9, 2014
DVD Release Date:August 25, 2014
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary images and mild peril
Movie Release Date: May 9, 2014
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2014

“Oh, Toto,” says Dorothy (“Glee’s” Lea Michelle), “This doesn’t look like the Oz I remember.” Tell it, sister. Why why why why why take the most beloved family film of all time, based on a cherished book, and make a […]

It’s May! Vanessa Redgrave in “Camelot”

posted by Nell Minow

Rio 2

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:April 11, 2014
DVD Release Date:July 14, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: April 11, 2014
DVD Release Date: July 14, 2014

Just because a South American frog has toxic venom that can cause instant death does not mean she cannot be adorably lovesick.  Broadway belter Kristin Chenoweth (“Wicked,” “Glee”) steals the show right under the Brazil nut-cracking beaks of our old […]

Rodgers and Hammerstein Musicals Get New Releases from Fox

posted by Nell Minow

Fox Home Entertainment is releasing the Rodgers & Hammerstein Blu-ray Collection on May 6. This Amazon-exclusive collection will feature six of the 15-time Academy Award-winning movie musicals by the EGOT and Pulitzer Award-winning team of Rodgers & Hammerstein, including Best […]

Muppets Most Wanted

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild action
Movie Release Date:March 21, 2014
DVD Release Date:August 11, 2014
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild action
Movie Release Date: March 21, 2014
DVD Release Date: August 11, 2014

The Muppets live up to the title in this adorable follow-up that is even truer to the essence of Muppetry than the Jason Segal predecessor because it puts the Muppets themselves at the heart of the story, not the humans. […]

Trailer: Get On Up — The James Brown Story

posted by Nell Minow

Chadwick Boseman (“42″) looks electrifying as James Brown in this biopic directed by “The Help’s” Tate Taylor, produced by Ron Howard, and co-starring Viola Davis, Jill Scott, and Octavia Spencer.  It will be in theaters this summer.

And NBC’s Next Live Musical Performance Will Be….Peter Pan!

posted by Nell Minow

NBC pledged to follow up it’s live production of “The Sound of Music” with another family musical and they’ve announced what the next one will be — another classic that originally starred Mary Martin, “Peter Pan.” There have been many […]

Inside Llewyn Davis

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:December 20, 2013
DVD Release Date:March 10, 2014
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: December 20, 2013
DVD Release Date: March 10, 2014

Oscar Isaac gives the best performance of the year as the title character in the most intimate and profound movie yet from the Coen brothers.  The story is set in the New York folk music world of 1961 and the […]

Carrie Underwood’s Live Sound of Music — Dec 5

posted by Nell Minow

Carrie Underwood stars as Maria von Trapp in NBC’s live broadcast of “The Sound of Music” on December 5. Stephen Moyer of “True Blood” plays the Captain, “Smash’s” Christian Borle plays Max, and, thrillingly, Tony winner Audra McDonald plays the […]

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 […]

Tonight Only: Merrily We Roll Along from Sondheim/Furth/Kaufman/Hart

posted by Nell Minow

Tonight only — Fathom will make the legendary musical “Merrily We Roll Along” available in theaters across the country. Set over three decades in the entertainment business, the story charts the relationship between three friends Franklin, Mary and Charley. Travelling backwards […]

Win Tickets to See “Wizard of Oz 3D”

posted by Nell Minow

It’s probably the most beloved family film of all time, and now it is bigger and deeper than ever.  “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Judy Garland, is coming to 3D Imax screens for the first time.  See the Munchkins, the […]

Shrek the Musical — Now on DVD/Blu-Ray

posted by Nell Minow

Can’t make it to the theater to see “Shrek the Musical?” On October 15,  you will be able to get front-row tickets to a spectacular Broadway musical based on the beloved movie from DreamWorks Animation, which is itself based on […]

Oliver & Company

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1987
DVD Release Date:August 6, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1987
DVD Release Date: August 6, 2013

Disney is celebrating the 25th anniversary of this tuneful animated classic loosely based on Dickens’ Oliver Twist with a new Blu-Ray release.  It is the story of an orphaned cat named Oliver (Joey Lawrence) who is befriended by vagabond dogs […]

This Week on the Disney Channel: Teen Beach Movie

posted by Nell Minow

I have a lot of affection for the teen beach movies of the 1960’s starring the late Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, with guest stars including Buster Keaton and “Little” Stevie Wonder.  There was a nice update, “Back to the […]

Trailer: Jennifer Hudson in “Black Nativity”

posted by Nell Minow

Oscar winners Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker star in this musical opening in November about a struggling single mother who sends her son to her parents’ home for Christmas. It is adapted from a Langston Hughes story and directed by […]

For the 4th of July: 1776

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Independence Day!  There’s only one possible pick of the week for the 4th of July. This rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost […]

Interview: “American Idol’s” Brooke White on Hallmark Channel’s “Banner 4th of July”

posted by Nell Minow

American Idol star Brooke White talked to me about her role in “Banner 4th of July,” premiering on the Hallmark Channel this Saturday at 9/8c.  White plays Desiree Banner, who once was in a successful band called The Banner Project […]

Help!

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1965
DVD Release Date:June 25, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1965
DVD Release Date: June 25, 2013

The Beatles’ second film is not the masterpiece of their first, “A Hard Day’s Night,” but it is colorful, funny, and exciting.  And it also has a fabulous soundtrack including the title song and “You’re Going To Lose That Girl,” […]

At Long Last: At Long Last Love

posted by Nell Minow

“At Long Last Love” was one of the most derided films of its era, mostly for reasons that had nothing to do with the film.  Director Peter Bogdanovich had left his wife for his star, Cybill Shepherd, and ticket-buyers were […]

A Remake of “Guys and Dolls” with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum?

posted by Nell Minow

New York Magazine’s Vulture blog says that a remake of the Frank Loesser classic musical “Guys and Dolls,” based on the stories of small-time gamblers and crooks by Damon Runyon.  The original movie starred Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons, […]

The Sapphires

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexuality, a scene of war violence, some language, thematic elements, and smoking
Movie Release Date:March 22, 2013
DVD Release Date:August 15, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexuality, a scene of war violence, some language, thematic elements, and smoking
Movie Release Date: March 22, 2013
DVD Release Date: August 15, 2013

A very conventional story of a 60’s Australian girl group gains extra power from its context and setting in this fact-based story set to the beat of Motown soul.  Co-written by the son of one of the real-life singers and […]

A Lost Song from “The Music Man”

posted by Nell Minow

“The Music Man” is my all-time favorite musical, so I was especially intrigued by this great blog post by Bob Elisberg about the “lost song” from the show.  It is hard to imagine that a musical that seems so organically […]

Fred Astaire Dances on the Ceiling — And Glee Pays Tribute

posted by Nell Minow

I held out longer than most but am now among the many whose enthusiasm for “Glee” has wavered.  But you know I loved this week’s tribute to classic songs from movies.  The “Top Gun”/”Risky Business” mash-up was fabulous.  And I […]

The Best Family Movie of All Time: The Wizard of Oz (and Other Versions)

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s release of the prequel, “Oz the Great and Powerful” is a good reason to take another look at what may be the greatest family movie of all time, the classic MGM musical version of “The Wizard of Oz,” […]

20 Film Collection from Warner Brothers: Musicals

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Varied
DVD Release Date:February 25, 2013
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Varied
DVD Release Date: February 25, 2013

Warner Brothers has issued a spectacular collection of musical films, from the ground-breaking “The Jazz Singer” to classics like “Cabaret,” “Signin’ in the Rain,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” and “The Music Man.”  This is a treasure that should be […]

Les Misérables

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for suggestive and sensual material, violence, and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2012
DVD Release Date:March 22, 2013
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for suggestive and sensual material, violence, and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2012
DVD Release Date: March 22, 2013

Fair warning: I seem to be impervious to the appeal of “Les Misérables.”  I was not a fan of the stage show or the songs, but I understand that it is the most popular musical of all time, and I […]

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some dramatic images and mild sensuality
Movie Release Date:December 21, 2012
DVD Release Date:March 11, 2013
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some dramatic images and mild sensuality
Movie Release Date: December 21, 2012
DVD Release Date: March 11, 2013

Her curiosity overcoming her shyness, a girl with big eyes and a gamine haircut (Erica Linz) walks through the gate for the “Circus Marvelous.”   She sees “The Aerialist” (Igor Zaripov), first smiling a welcome as he helps install the […]

Disney’s Cinderella — New Diamond Edition

posted by Nell Minow

This week, Disney’s animated classic Cinderella is being released with a glorious new Three-Disc Diamond Edition: Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy, and that glass slipper really sparkles! The classic fairy tale by Charles Perrault is lovingly and imaginatively brought to life in this […]

Pitch Perfect

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual material, language, and drug references
Movie Release Date:September 28, 2012
DVD Release Date:December 18, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual material, language, and drug references
Movie Release Date: September 28, 2012
DVD Release Date: December 18, 2012

The sensationally talented Anna Kendrick finally gets to play the lead in a story about the cutthroat world of a capella competitions.  It’s “Stomp the Yard” with singing, or  “Glee Goes to College.”  The songs are fabulously entertaining, the romance is sweet, […]

Sparkle

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving domestic abuse and drug material, and for some violence, language and smoking
Movie Release Date:August 20, 2012
DVD Release Date:November 27, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving domestic abuse and drug material, and for some violence, language and smoking
Movie Release Date: August 20, 2012
DVD Release Date: November 27, 2012

You can’t help wondering what Whitney Houston was thinking when she decided to co-produce and star in the remake of a flawed but beloved 1976 musical melodrama about a singer who becomes involved with an abusive performer and becomes addicted to drugs. […]

Step Up Revolution

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some suggestive dancing and language
Movie Release Date:July 27, 2012
DVD Release Date:November 26, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some suggestive dancing and language
Movie Release Date: July 27, 2012
DVD Release Date: November 26, 2012

A girl.  A guy.  A ragtag but devoted and immensely talented group of dancers with varied styles and talents.  Impressively toned bodies.  Breathtakingly athletic moves.  Even more breathtakingly sensuous moves. A conflict.  A misunderstanding.  A pep talk.  “We’re going to […]

Yankee Doodle Dandy

posted by Nell Minow

James Cagney as George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy:

Magic Mike

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language, and some drug use
Movie Release Date:June 29, 2012
DVD Release Date:October 22, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language, and some drug use
Movie Release Date: June 29, 2012
DVD Release Date: October 22, 2012

You might expect a movie about strippers to be either a glossy Hollywood fantasy or a gritty, sour, documentary.  The surprise of “Magic Mike” is that it avoids both extremes with an appealing naturalness and intimacy that softens but does […]

Rock of Ages

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, suggestive dancing, some heavy drinking, and language
Movie Release Date:June 15, 2012
DVD Release Date:October 12, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, suggestive dancing, some heavy drinking, and language
Movie Release Date: June 15, 2012
DVD Release Date: October 12, 2012

The era of big power ballads reaching to the back rows of big stadiums filled with big crowds of fans with big hair is paid big tribute in this irresistibly entertaining anthem-rock love letter to the 80’s.  Sung almost entirely by actors […]

“It’s May!” (Camelot)

posted by Nell Minow

Vanessa Redgrave sings “It’s May” from the Lerner and Lowe musical Camelot.

3D “Swan Lake” in Theaters on March 20

posted by Nell Minow

Audiences across the country will have a chance to watch Matthew Bourne’s critically acclaimed re-interpretation of one of ballet’s classic stories, Swan Lake in 3D, shown exclusively in RealD™ 3D, in select theaters on Tuesday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m. local […]

Happy Leap Day!

posted by Nell Minow

Celebrate the day we observe just once every four years with The Pirates of Penzance, the delightful Gilbert and Sullivan musical about a man who thinks he is turning 21 but, because he was born on leap day, has had […]

Joyful Noise

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language including a sexual reference
Movie Release Date:January 13, 2012
DVD Release Date:April 30, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language including a sexual reference
Movie Release Date: January 13, 2012
DVD Release Date: April 30, 2012

Joyful indeed — this movie is pure cinematic sunshine, guaranteed to brighten the heart and gladden the spirit.  Super-divas Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah play rival gospel choir leaders in an inspiring and heart-warming story filled with love, laughter, music, […]

Beauty and the Beast

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:January 13, 2012
DVD Release Date:2010
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: January 13, 2012
DVD Release Date: 2010

“Beauty and the Beast” is one of Disney’s most beloved fairy tales and the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.  This week it is back in theaters in 3D and it looks gorgeous.  It is […]

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:December 17, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 27, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: December 17, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 27, 2012

The third in the series about the singing chipmunks and their exasperated but perpetually forgiving human father is a little brighter and sweeter than its predecessors. It tones down the slapstick and potty humor, meriting a family-friendly G rating. The […]

The Muppets

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:November 23, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 19, 2012
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: November 23, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 19, 2012

Let the joy be unrestrained.  The Muppets are back.  It turns out that deep inside Jason Segal, best known for raunchy Judd Apatow comedies and for playing the monogamous Marshall on “How I Met Your Mother,” is at his core […]

Happy Feet 2

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some rude humor and mild peril
Movie Release Date:November 18, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 13, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some rude humor and mild peril
Movie Release Date: November 18, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012

I loved the original Happy Feet, but five years later only liked this sequel.  It’s still a lot of fun to see dancing, singing penguins, but the meandering storyline never catches hold. In the original, a small Emperor penguin named […]

West Side Story

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:1961
DVD Release Date:November 15, 2011
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: 1961
DVD Release Date: November 15, 2011

In honor of the 50th anniversary of this American classic there is a new Blu-Ray release of West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition.  Modeled on “Romeo and Juliet,” this movie puts the star-crossed lovers in two warring gangs in the […]

Footloose

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some teen drug and alcohol use, sexual content, violence, and language
Movie Release Date:October 14, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 6, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some teen drug and alcohol use, sexual content, violence, and language
Movie Release Date: October 14, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 6, 2012

Director Craig Brewer doesn’t so much remake 1984’s Footloose as tweak it.  At times, it feels almost identical, with small changes that are as likely to be commentary as updates.  But the most important thing this version has in common with […]

The Lion King

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1994
DVD Release Date:October 3, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1994
DVD Release Date: October 3, 2011

“The Lion King” finishes its record-breaking theatrical re-release in 3D with its first Blu-Ray in a superpack and I have five to give away!  Details below. One of Disney’s most popular animated features (and the inspiration for one of Broadway’s […]

Dumbo

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1941
DVD Release Date:September 19, 2011
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1941
DVD Release Date: September 19, 2011

A gorgeous new 70th anniversary “Dumbo” Blu-Ray DVD pack is the Pick of the Week. The stork delivers babies to the circus animals, including Mrs. Jumbo’s baby, an elephant with enormous ears. The other elephants laugh at him and call […]

The Lion King 3D

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1994
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1994

One of Disney’s most popular animated features (and the inspiration for one of Broadway’s biggest blockbuster) has been re-issued in 3D.  “The Lion King” is sort of a cross between “Richard III” and “Hamlet,” the story of Simba (voice of […]

Glee Live! 3D

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements, brief language, and some sensuality
Movie Release Date:August 12, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 20, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements, brief language, and some sensuality
Movie Release Date: August 12, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 20, 2011

Gather up, Gleeks, “Raise Your Glass” and get ready for “Fireworks!”  The musical TV series about a high school show choir, now poised to move from hit to cult, continues its juggernaut from television, CDs and iTunes downloads, live performances, a […]

Smile of the Week: Fred and Judy are A Couple of Swells

posted by Nell Minow

I love this silly number from Easter Parade!

Winnie the Pooh

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:July 15, 2011
DVD Release Date:October 25, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: July 15, 2011
DVD Release Date: October 25, 2011

Disney’s latest film lovingly captures the magic of A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories and poems, which have been enchanting children and their parents for 85 years.  They were a sort of earlier “Toy Story,” with the adventures of Christopher Robin’s stuffed tiger, […]

1776

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language
Movie Release Date:1972
DVD Release Date:July 2, 2012
A
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language
Movie Release Date: 1972
DVD Release Date: July 2, 2012

Happy Independence Day!  There’s only one possible pick of the week for the 4th of July. This rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost […]

Smile of the Week: June is Busting Out All Over

posted by Nell Minow

From “Carousel” by Rodgers and Hammerstein — Happy June!  

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:February 11, 2011
DVD Release Date:May 10, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: February 11, 2011
DVD Release Date: May 10, 2011

Things for the young fans of Justin Beiber to think about as they watch this film: He is cuuuuute! Hair! Smile! Voice! Dancing!I  am so lucky to have a talented, unassuming, nonthreatening, hard-working, scandal-free performer to test my still-developing sense […]

Rio

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:April 15, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 1, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: April 15, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 1, 2011

A South American setting and striking animation lend freshness to “Rio’s” otherwise much-traveled storyline about a pampered pet who has to learn to survive in the wild.  We’ve seen this tale many times — “Madagascar,” “Bolt,” “The Wild,” “Beverly Hills […]

Country Strong

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving alcohol abuse and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:January 7, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving alcohol abuse and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: January 7, 2011

The husband manager of the beloved country singer just out of rehab says to her, “Do I tell you how to sing, darlin’? Hmm? Have I ever told you how to sing a song?” “That ain’t the point,” she weakly […]

Tangled

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild violence
Movie Release Date:November 24, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild violence
Movie Release Date: November 24, 2010

Disney has taken a 200-year-old story from the Brothers Grimm and made it just modern enough, sassy without being snarky, fresh and contemporary without any po-mo air quotes. It’s the classic fairy tale of the girl with the long, long […]

‘Memphis’ Comes to Movie Theaters — Special Event

posted by Evan Derrick

The Broadway smash hit, “Memphis,” Tony Award-winner for best musical, is coming to a movie theater near you. NCM Fathom and Broadway Worldwide are presenting an exclusive Broadway musical event in more than than 530 movie theaters for four nights […]

Lord of the Dance 3D

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:March 17, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: March 17, 2011

The best seat in the house for one of the most popular shows on the planet is “Lord of the Dance 3D,” a concert film that puts the viewers on stage with the thunderously percussive Irish dancers starring and under […]

Contest: Win Four Films Featuring Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, and Fred Astaire!

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful Warner Archive debuts four new films today and I have one set to give away! These are lesser-seen films from three of the greatest musical performers of all time, including Gene Kelly’s dream project, a film displays his […]

Burlesque

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content including several suggestive dance routines, partial nudity, language and some thematic material
Movie Release Date:November 24, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 1, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content including several suggestive dance routines, partial nudity, language and some thematic material
Movie Release Date: November 24, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 1, 2011

Somewhere on the continuum that connects “Showgirls,” “Glitter,” and drag shows is a place for “Burlesque,” a vanity project from producer Christina Aguilera for pop star and would-be actress Christina Aguilera. That doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining. It just means […]

Alice in Wonderland

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:N/A
Movie Release Date:1951
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: N/A
Movie Release Date: 1951

Almost 150 years ago Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson published his wildly imaginative story about Alice’s adventures down a rabbit hole. And now the wildly imaginative director Tim Burton has brought Wonderland to the 3D movie screen. It is less faithful […]

Willow Smith to Play ‘Annie’

posted by Nell Minow

“Whip my Hair’s” Willow Smith, the daughter of mega-stars Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and sister of “Karate Kid’s” Jaden Smith is going to have a big-screen remake of her own. She will play Little Orphan Annie in the third […]

Contest: Alice in Wonderland

posted by Nell Minow

I am overjoyed to have two copies of one of my very favorite Disney classics to give away. This is the Blu-Ray/DVD 60th anniversary edition of “Alice in Wonderland.” I have loved this film since we watched it at my […]

Change of Plans — Family Movie Night on FOX

posted by Nell Minow

The latest in the WalMart and P&G-sponsored Family Movie Night series is “Change of Plans,” starring “American Idol’s” Brooke White as a free-spirited singer married to an engineer and pilot (Joe Flanigan of “Stargate Atlantis”). When her one-time best friend, […]

Step Up 3D

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:August 6, 2010
DVD Release Date:December 21, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: August 6, 2010
DVD Release Date: December 21, 2010

“Will I be able to understand it if I never saw the first two ‘Step Up’ movies?” asked a friend. Uh, you’ll be able to understand it if you have never seen a single movie and don’t speak English. All […]

Fantasia

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1940
DVD Release Date:December 7, 2010
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1940
DVD Release Date: December 7, 2010

Disney’s glorious “Fantasia” and its sequel, “Fantasia 2000″ are out for a limited time in a spectacular 4-DVD blu-ray package. Considered a failure on its original release, “Fantasia’s” eight-part combination of images and music is now indisputably a classic. Musicologist […]

In Honor of William and Kate: Royal Wedding

posted by Nell Minow

Cheers to Prince William and his bride-to-be, Kate Middleton! Celebrate with a classic Fred Astaire musical that features glimpses of his grandparents’ wedding back in 1951. Fred Astaire and Jane Powell play a brother-and-sister act (inspired by Astaire’s real-life vaudeville […]

The Sound of Music

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1965
DVD Release Date:November 9, 2010
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1965
DVD Release Date: November 9, 2010

The Sound of Music is out in a gorgeous new 45th anniversary edition Blu-Ray/DVD combo. The beloved family musical is the fictionalized story of Maria von Trapp (Julie Andrews). It is an outstanding family film, filled with glorious music (“Do […]

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for stylized violence, sexual content, language, and drug references
Movie Release Date:August 13, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 2, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for stylized violence, sexual content, language, and drug references
Movie Release Date: August 13, 2010
DVD Release Date: November 2, 2010

Director Edgar Wright’s latest movie is based on the popular series of graphic novels about Scott Pilgrim, an often-clueless, out of work musician who falls for a girl named Ramona and has to fight her seven evil exes in a […]

Happy Halloween!

posted by Nell Minow

From The Nightmare Before Christmas. Happy trick or treating!

The Pirates of Penzance

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G

Celebrate “Talk Like a Pirate Day” by talking like these delightful rascals! February 29 (Leap Day) comes only once every four years, a calendrical adjustment that is of the utmost importance in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. It […]

The Rocker

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for drug and sexual references, nudity and language.
Movie Release Date:August 20, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 27, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for drug and sexual references, nudity and language.
Movie Release Date: August 20, 2008
DVD Release Date: January 27, 2009

Emma Stone’s breakthrough role in next week’s “Easy A” makes this a good time to look at some of her earlier work. She is terrific in this story of a high school rock group. Pete Best, who was famously kicked […]

The Pajama Game

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1957
DVD Release Date:August 29, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1957
DVD Release Date: August 29, 2011

Labor Day is a good time to see this musical about the romance between a representative of the union (Doris Day) and a representative of management (John Raitt). It has the good sense to keep the plot out of the […]

The Runaways

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, drug use and sexual content -- all involving teens
Movie Release Date:April 9, 2010
DVD Release Date:July 20, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, drug use and sexual content -- all involving teens
Movie Release Date: April 9, 2010
DVD Release Date: July 20, 2010

The fierce determination. The big break. The tyrannical and sometimes unreasonable and sometimes even crooked manager. The endless rehearsals. The performances in dingy clubs. The breakthrough. The first album. The first magazine cover. The first fans. The fights among band […]

Grease: The Singalong Version!

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School

It’s the one that you want! You probably already know the words, but it’s great to see them up on the big screen and it is really fun to sing along. For just one moment, we’re all students at Rydell […]

1776

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1972
A
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1972

Happy Independence Day! This rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost forget that you already know how it all turned out. William Daniels is […]

Fantasia

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1940
DVD Release Date:2010
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1940
DVD Release Date: 2010

Disney’s glorious “Fantasia” and its sequel, “Fantasia 2000″ are out for a limited time in a spectacular 4-DVD blu-ray package. Considered a failure on its original release, “Fantasia’s” eight-part combination of images and music is now indisputably a classic. Musicologist […]

Smile of the Week: Happy June!

posted by Nell Minow

From “Carousel,” the musical about a carnival barker whose love for a sweet small-town girl ends in tragedy when he tries to steal some money to take care of her. He gets a chance to come back from heaven for […]

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 […]

Nine

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content and smoking
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2009
DVD Release Date:April 27, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and smoking
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2009
DVD Release Date: April 27, 2010

High profile director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) has everything he needs to make his ninth movie and more. Much more. It is Italy in the early 1960’s and Guido is a glamorous celebrity, a name brand, a commodity. His production […]

Crazy Heart

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:January 8, 2010
DVD Release Date:April 20, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: January 8, 2010
DVD Release Date: April 20, 2010

Jeff Bridges does not portray Bad Blake, a broken-down, once-successful country singer; he inhabits the role, showing us not just what is happening to the man on screen but everything, every success and every failure, every love and every loss […]

The Princess and the Frog

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:December 11, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 16, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: December 11, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 16, 2010

Disney has cooked up a yummy batch of gumbo with this blend of the past and present. “The Princess and the Frog” is a satisfying and thoroughly entertaining return to the hand-drawn animation that built the studio. Although it is […]

Once Upon a Mattress

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

“Once Upon a Mattress,” a musical version of “The Princess and the Pea,” is one of my favorites. Carol Burnett became a star for her portrayal of the kind-hearted but rather loud princess when it premiered on Broadway and she […]

Interview: Bruce Faulk of ‘Soul of the Church’

posted by Nell Minow

I was able to speak to the man behind the Black History Collection: Soul of the Church DVD, Bruce Faulk, who assembled a treasure trove of gospel performances into this stirring and inspirational collection. It even includes some of the […]

Fame

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG for thematic elements
Movie Release Date:September 25, 2009
DVD Release Date:January 12, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements
Movie Release Date: September 25, 2009
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010

Less a movie than a mosaic, this remake of the 1980 classic with the Oscar-winning title anthem about the high school for the performing arts has been re-imagined for the hyper-linked and just plain hyper 21st century. As in the […]

Passing Strange

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2009
DVD Release Date:January 12, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2009
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010

Spike Lee’s latest movie is a film version of the Tony Award-winning musical autobiography, something between a concert and a play, about, by, and starring the one-named musician named Stew. He heads up the on-stage band, which functions somewhere between […]

This is It

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some suggestive choreography and scary images
Movie Release Date:October 28, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some suggestive choreography and scary images
Movie Release Date: October 28, 2009

“This is It” is here to rescue us from the tabloids and remind us what true star power looks like. There are moments of aching sadness as we get a behind-the-scenes look at the concert tour that never happened, but […]

Anvil: The Story of Anvil

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:April 10, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 6, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: April 10, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 6, 2009

If this story wasn’t true, they’d have to invent it. Indeed, they already did. “This is Spinal Tap,” one of the most outrageous, influential, and utterly hilarious movies ever made, is a “mockumentary,” a fake documentary about a heavy metal […]

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1937
DVD Release Date:2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1937
DVD Release Date: 2009

Disney’s 70th anniversary release of its first animated feature film on Blu-Ray is gorgeously restored and filled with behind-the-scene extras and a wonderful opportunity to catch up with the one that is still “the fairest of them all.” Snow White […]

The Wizard of Oz

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1939
DVD Release Date:2009
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1939
DVD Release Date: 2009

The 70th anniversary of this all-time classic is being celebrated with a beautiful new DVD release, a great chance for the family to sit down and watch what is probably the all-time greatest family film again. Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) […]

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1971
DVD Release Date:September 9, 2001
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1971
DVD Release Date: September 9, 2001

Based on the book by based on the book by Mary Norton (also the author of The Borrowers,” Bedknobs and Broomsticks is the story of three Cockney children evacuated from London during WWII, who are placed with Miss Eglantine Price […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. ]

Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:February 27, 2009
DVD Release Date:June 30, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: February 27, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 30, 2009

Jonas Brothers fans will feel like they are on stage with Joe, Nick, and Kevin in this immersive 3D concert film from the recent “Burning Up” tour. Brief backstage glimpses of the JoBros waking up, having breakfast, filming a music […]

The Seven Little Foys

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Not Rated
Movie Release Date:1955
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Movie Release Date: 1955
DVD Release Date: 2007

Bob Hope would have turned 106 this week, and his birthday and the upcoming Father’s Day reminded me of one of my favorite of his films. It’s also one of the least characteristic because he is playing a real-life character […]

Pinocchio

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1940
DVD Release Date:March 10, 2009
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1940
DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009

This week Disney is releasing a glorious new edition of its most most gorgeous, splendid, and fully realized of all of its animation classics, the high point of painstakingly hand-painted animation, before the use of photocopiers and computers. Every detail […]

Jonas Brothers 3D

posted by Nell Minow

No review because they didn’t show it to critics, but here’s a shot from the new Jonas Brothers concert film.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:October 24, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 17, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: October 24, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 17, 2009

Sometimes “nice” can be very high praise, and that is the way I mean it when I say that the utterly snark-free “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” is as nice as it gets. With a gossamer-weight plot line that […]

Soul Men

posted by Nell Minow
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, and sexual content including nudity
Movie Release Date:November 7, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 10, 2009
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, and sexual content including nudity
Movie Release Date: November 7, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 10, 2009

If you see this movie, stay through the end credits to watch an interview with co-star Bernie Mac, who died not long after filming was completed. It is a better reminder of his gifts than the movie itself, a formulaic […]

Funny Face

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1957
DVD Release Date:2009
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1957
DVD Release Date: 2009

My second DVD pick of the week for Valentine’s Day is the other new Audrey Hepburn release, “Funny Face,” a gorgeous musical set in Paris with Fred Astaire and songs by Gershwin. The title tune, and “How Long Has This […]

Viva Las Vegas

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:1964
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: 1964

Happy birthday, Elvis! In honor of The King’s birthday this week, we present one of his best movies, the delirious Viva Las Vegas, co-starring the combustible Ann-Margret. Elvis plays a race-car driver named Lucky who meets a spirited girl named […]

Mamma Mia!

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sex-related comments.
Movie Release Date:July 18, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 16, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sex-related comments.
Movie Release Date: July 18, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 16, 2008

Go ahead, admit it. We won’t judge you. You, in the car, with the Ramones t-shirt, singing along to “Fernando” when it comes on the radio. And you, in the shower, singing “Dancing Queen” into the shampoo bottle. You, over […]

Cadillac Records

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language and some sexuality
Movie Release Date:December 5, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language and some sexuality
Movie Release Date: December 5, 2008

In the words of Etta James, at last. At last, albeit imperfectly, the extraordinary story of the rise and fall of Chess Records has been given the loving attention it deserves. Magnificent performances and soul-shaking music make up for some […]

Meet Me in St. Louis

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1944
DVD Release Date:2000
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1944
DVD Release Date: 2000

This episodic story of the Smith family in the St. Louis of 1903 is based on the memoirs of Sally Benson.  Its pleasures are in the period detail, the glorious songs (including standards “The Trolley Song” and “Have Yourself a […]

Quiz: High School Musicals

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of HSM3, test your memory of musicals with high school settings: 1. What number is on Troy’s basketball uniform? 2. What is the name of the high school musical they perform in the first movie? 3. What 1978 […]

High School Musical

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

This week, as the powerhouse franchise that is known as “HSM” moves from television to CD (top-seller of the year), DVD, stage show, video game, ice show, birthday party decoration theme, and now feature film theatrical release, it’s time to […]

HSM3 Trailer!

posted by Nell Minow

Sleeping Beauty

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1958
DVD Release Date:October 7, 2014
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1958
DVD Release Date: October 7, 2014

Disney’s gorgeous “Sleeping Beauty” is out in a magnificent new Diamond edition this week. This classic should be in the library of every family and every animation fan. The King and Queen happily celebrate the birth of their daughter, Princess […]

Dr. Horrible — This Weekend Only!

posted by Nell Minow

Until midnight tomorrow you can watch a new three-act musical from Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Firefly”) online. It is the story of Dr. Horrible (a sensational Neil Patrick Harris) and his nemesis, the very manly Captain Hammer (Nathan […]

Step Up 2 the Streets

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language, some suggestive material and brief violence.
Movie Release Date:February 14, 2008
DVD Release Date:July 15, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language, some suggestive material and brief violence.
Movie Release Date: February 14, 2008
DVD Release Date: July 15, 2008

Isn’t it too soon for a remake of “How She Move,” which came out less than a month ago? “How She Move” itself felt like a remake of all of those “You Got Served”/”Stomp the Yard”/”Save the Last Dance”/”Step Up” […]

Wall?E’s Favorite Movie: Hello Dolly

posted by Nell Minow

Wall∙E’s curiosity about the world and capacity to feel loneliness is part of what makes him such a vivid character in Pixar’s latest hit. And nothing in the film conveys those qualities more effectively than his affection for the 1969 […]

Interview: Nina Paley of “Sita Sings the Blues”

posted by Nell Minow

Nina Paley, who bills herself as “America’s best-loved unknown cartoonist” is the artist/writer/director behind a smart, funny, visually stunning new animated film called “Sita Sings the Blues.” Paley’s cartoons include “Fluff” (Universal Press Syndicate), “The Hots” (King Features), and her […]

Astaire and Rogers: La Belle, La Perfectly Swell Romance

posted by Nell Minow

They said she gave him sex and he gave her class. In eight heavenly movies from the 1930’s at RKO Studios and then with one more — their only one in color — at MGM, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers […]

Young@Heart

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild language and thematic elements.
Movie Release Date:April 21, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild language and thematic elements.
Movie Release Date: April 21, 2008

In School of Rock Jack Black taught a classroom of 10-year-olds that rock and roll music is always about one thing: Sticking it to The Man. A new documentary about a chorus of performers in their 80’s and 90’s shows […]

Alvin and the Chipmunks

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor.
Movie Release Date:December 14, 2007
DVD Release Date:April 7, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor.
Movie Release Date: December 14, 2007
DVD Release Date: April 7, 2008

Novelty songwriter Ross Bagdasarian noticed that speeding up the audio recordings creatd a high-pitched sound in 1958, and used that technique in his song “The Witch Doctor.” It was a hit. And so, he created the singing chipmunks, Simon, Theodore, […]

Interview with Hugh Welchman of “Peter and the Wolf”

posted by Nell Minow

Peter and the Wolf,” this year’s Oscar-winner for best short animated film will be shown on PBS this Wednesday from 8-9 Eastern Time. It is a brilliantly imaginative film and well worth setting aside some family time to watch it […]

Enchanted

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some scary images and mild innuendo
Movie Release Date:November 21, 2007
DVD Release Date:March 18, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary images and mild innuendo
Movie Release Date: November 21, 2007
DVD Release Date: March 18, 2008

Fairy tales and modern-day Manhattan find a way to live happily ever after in this adorable Disney story about the adventures of a prince, an almost-princess, and an evil queen in New York City.

August Rush

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some thematic elements, mild violence and language
Movie Release Date:November 21, 2007
DVD Release Date:March 11, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some thematic elements, mild violence and language
Movie Release Date: November 21, 2007
DVD Release Date: March 11, 2008

Those who are willing to open their hearts to this urban fairy tale will find its pleasures, as long as they they don’t think about it too hard.

Across the Universe

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some drug content, nudity, sexuality, violence and language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:February 5, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some drug content, nudity, sexuality, violence and language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: February 5, 2008

On the list of movies featuring Beatles songs, this one comes far below A Hard Day’s Night, Yellow Submarine, Let It Be, and Help but slightly above Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, maybe somewhere around Magical Mystery Tour. Director […]

How She Move

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some drug content, suggestive material and language.
Movie Release Date:January 25, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some drug content, suggestive material and language.
Movie Release Date: January 25, 2008

Raya Green (Rutina Wesley) has to go back home because her Caribbean immigrant parents can no longer afford the tuition at her tony private school. They spent that money on drug rehab for Raya’s sister. But they were unable to […]

The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything-A Veggie Tales Movie

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:January 11, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: January 11, 2008

The Veggie Tales have produced a series of popular computer-animated videos for children and their families, with fruit and vegetable-inspired characters in engaging and funny stories with gentle moral overtones. Their new feature film does not mention God, as the […]

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language.
Movie Release Date:December 21, 2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language.
Movie Release Date: December 21, 2007

Childhood tragedy and attendant guilt feelings. A big career-defining concert followed by a flashback of everything that went before. Adults amazed by early evidence of extraordinary talent and feel for music. Tragedy and loss to overcome. A first wife who […]

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for graphic bloody violence.
Movie Release Date:December 21, 2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for graphic bloody violence.
Movie Release Date: December 21, 2007

There could be no better match for the gothic saga of the barber who slit men’s throats and the baker who made their bodies into pies than director Tim Burton, the master of the macabre. Here working with Johnny Depp, […]

Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas

posted by Nell Minow

Judy Barber wrote a wonderful comment about this neglected gem: One of THE sweetest movie or video is Emmet Otter Jugband Christmas, a muppet video. I make everyone watch it at Christmas. And the funnest thing about it is the […]

Best Video Clips: Singing complaints

posted by Nell Minow

Two hilarious You Tube hits put complaints to music. Complaints Choirs started in Birmingham, England and are popping up all over the world. Here, the Helsinki Complaints Choir combines the universal and the very particular in a hilarious and harmonic […]

Hairspray

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language, some suggestive content and momentary teen smoking.
Movie Release Date: 2007

I am not sure which is the more amusingly surprising — the idea that one of the most painful struggles in American history could become the subject of a light musical comedy, or the idea that it comes from one […]

Music & Lyrics

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexual content.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual content.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Comedy that is actually funny plus romance that is actually sweet equals a sunny little valentine to brighten the winter doldrums. And — I can’t help saying it — Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore go together like music and lyrics. […]

Dreamgirls

posted by jmiller
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language, some sexuality and drug content.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language, some sexuality and drug content.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

If my movie reviews had headlines, this one’s would be: “A Star is Born.” More like a Supernova. Jennifer Hudson explodes onto screen in this incendiary production of the Broadway musical inspired by Motown and the Supremes. She is mesmerizing. […]

Happy Feet

posted by jmiller
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild peril and rude humor.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild peril and rude humor.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

It’s official. The cutest thing on the planet is penguins singing “Boogie Wonderland.” Especially if one of them is tap-dancing. This movie is a straight shot of sunshine. I defy anyone to watch it without smiling. Just as important, I […]

Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, sexual content and drug use.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, sexual content and drug use.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

If you’re going to make an unapologetic slob/druggy/rock and roll comedy it has to be snark-free, without a hint of irony. Self-deprecation is welcome, but winking at the audience spoils the effect. And this movie winks at its winking, a […]

Idlewild

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, sexuality, nudity and language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, sexuality, nudity and language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Percival, a mortician by day/speakeasy piano player by night, sleeps under an assortment of singing cuckoo clocks and serenades a lovely corpse dressed as a bride. The engraved rooster on a silver liquor flask talks to its owner, also named […]

Step Up

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, brief violence and innuendo.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, brief violence and innuendo.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

A ballet dancer needs a partner for the biggest show of the year. She sees a boy working off his community service time at her school showing some of his dance moves off to a friend. Could he do? Will […]

A Prairie Home Companion

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for risque humor.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for risque humor.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Garrison Keillor’s voice is a national treasure. It is so warm, so magnetic, even hypnotic that it lulls you into a whole different dimension, an idealized past located somewhere between innocent nostalgia and ironic self-awareness, as though Norman Rockwell painted […]

American Dreamz

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sexual references.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sexual references.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

The Roman rulers used to distract the populace from the problems of corruption and decadence with “bread and circuses.” Today’s equivalent might be junk food and television, especially “reality” television. It plays to our fascination with both “real people” and […]

The Devil and Daniel Johnston

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, drug content, and language including a sexual reference.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, drug content, and language including a sexual reference.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

It’s not just that an interview with a rock star while he is in the dentist’s chair having his teeth drilled is far from the weirdest thing in this movie. It’s more that the whole story is so weird that […]

Take the Lead

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material, language and some violence.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material, language and some violence.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

It never fails. No matter how many times rap songs win the Oscar, no matter how many years have passed since Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were at the top of the box office as they danced the Carioca and […]

Block Party

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

The regal Erykah Badu takes the stage, her slender form topped with an enormous puff of hair that hangs down over her face. But the stage is outdoors on a gusty, rainy day, and all of a sudden it is […]

The Producers

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual humor and references.
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual humor and references.
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2006

The 1968 version of The Producers was a brilliantly funny commercial flop about an outrageously offensive and atrociously appealing play that became a hit. The screenplay won an Oscar for director/writer Mel Brooks. It was fall-out-of-your-chair-gasping hilarious and a cherished […]

Rent

posted by jmiller

When thinking about a Tony- and Pulitzer-prize winning musical based on an opera, an almost-entirely-sung story about homeless artists, some of them drug addicts, some infected with the AIDS virus, the director of Mrs. Doubtfire is not the first thought […]

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Movie Release Date:2004
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Movie Release Date: 2004

Despite lavish settings and sweeping camera movement, this sumptuously produced Andrew Lloyd Weber musical feels static, stuffy, and stagey. This is in part because so much of it takes place on a stage but more because it is mostly just […]

Mary Poppins

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1964
DVD Release Date:December 09, 2013
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1964
DVD Release Date: December 09, 2013

In honor of the upcoming “Saving Mr. Banks” and the 50th anniversary of the original film, Disney is releasing a superclifragilisticexplialidocious new edition of Mary Poppins. Based on books by P.L. Travers (whose reluctance to allow a film to be […]

Oliver!

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1968
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1968

Plot: This glorious musical (and Oscar-winner for Best Picture) is based on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Oliver is an orphan who so outrages the staff at the orphanage by asking for a second bowl of gruel that he is sold […]

Hello, Dolly!

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1969
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1969

Plot: Dolly Levi (Barbra Streisand) is a matchmaker in turn of the century Yonkers, outside of New York. She is hired by Horace Vandergelder (Walter Matthau) to find him a wife. He also hires her to take his niece Ermengarde […]

The Music Man

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1962
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1962

“Professor” Harold Hill (Robert Preston) is a con man posing as a salesman of band instruments and uniforms. He happens upon River City, a small town in Iowa. As the citizens explain in song, Iowa is a place of stubborn […]

Peter Pan

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1953
DVD Release Date:February 4, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1953
DVD Release Date: February 4, 2013

Disney’s latest release is a beautiful Blu-Ray of one of its animated classics, the Disney version of the Victorian classic about the boy who would never grow up. Wendy, Michael, and John Darling, three London children, meet Peter Pan, a […]

Singin’ in the Rain

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1952
DVD Release Date:July 16, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1952
DVD Release Date: July 16, 2012

The 60th anniversary of one of the best-loved movies of all time is being celebrated with gorgeous new DVD and Blu-Ray releases. Silent movie star Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) is paired on screen with Lina Lamont (Jean Hagan), who would […]

Lady and the Tramp

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1955
DVD Release Date:February 6, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1955
DVD Release Date: February 6, 2012

Perfectly timed for Valentine’s Day, Disney’s romantic animated classic “Lady and the Tramp” is out this week for the first time in a Diamond DBD/Blu-Ray combo. Lady is the pampered cocker spaniel of a couple she knows as “Jim Dear” […]

The Little Mermaid

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1989
DVD Release Date:September 30, 2013
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1989
DVD Release Date: September 30, 2013

After some lackluster years, Disney came back into the top rank of animated features with this superbly entertaining musical, based loosely on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen (but with a happier ending). Ariel was the first in a […]

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1954
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1954

Plot: Handsome backwoodsman Adam Pontabee (Howard Keel) strides into town, singing “Bless Your Beautiful Hide” to his future wife “whoever she may be.” He has given himself one day to find a wife to take back to his ranch. He […]

The Court Jester

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1956
DVD Release Date:1999
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1956
DVD Release Date: 1999

“Life could not better be” than the pure cinematic joy of this movie from the first frame to the last.  Danny Kaye has his best role as Hawkins, a follower of the Black Fox, a Robin Hood- style rebel who […]

A Hard Day’s Night

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1964
DVD Release Date:June 24, 2014
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1964
DVD Release Date: June 24, 2014

One of the greatest musicals of all time has a gorgeous new Criterion edition in honor of its 50th anniversary. The documentary style of this movie masks its tight construction, clever script, and sublime anarchy second only to the Marx […]

Guys and Dolls

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1955
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1955

Plot: The story takes place among the small-time underworld characters of New York. Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra) runs a “floating crap game” (held in a different place each time) that provides entertainment and bankrolls for many members of the community. […]

Fantasia 2000

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2000
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2000

Almost sixty years ago, the original “Fantasia” was released and hard as it may be to believe it now, the response was unenthusiastic. Today, images like Mickey as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the little black Pegasus getting some extra help learning […]

Cats Don’t Dance

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1997
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1997

A singing, dancing cat named Danny goes to Hollywood to become a star in this colorful and energetic animated musical suitable for all but the very youngest toddlers. He finds, however, that no one in Hollywood thinks that animals can […]

Quest For Camelot

posted by rkumar
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1998
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1998

A young girl named Kayley dreams of being a knight like her father, who was killed defending King Arthur from the brutal Ruber. When Ruber steals Excalibur from Camelot, Kayley goes into the forbidden forest to find it. There she […]

1776

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1972
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1972

Happy Independence Day! This rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost forget that you already know how it all turned out. William Daniels is […]

The King and I

posted by rkumar
F
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:1999
F
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
Movie Release Date: 1999

Don’t waste your time on this animated version — rent the classic version with Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr instead. Some of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein songs remain, but second-rate animation and massive plot changes (mostly of the dumbing-down […]

The Thief and the Cobbler

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:1996
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
Movie Release Date: 1996

This neglected but absolutely delightful animated musical (released in theaters as “Arabian Knight”) is a must for family viewing. A shy cobbler and a plucky princess save ancient Baghdad in this fairy tale, put together by the Oscar-winning animator from […]

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Inside "Inside Out" -- Takes on Pixar's Hit Movie About Feelings
"Inside Out" is not just one of the best movies of the year (animated and live action). It is also one of the most psychologically profound and astute films about emotions and the mind ever made. It set the all-time box office opening weekend ...

posted 3:35:36pm Jul. 06, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: People, Places, and Things with Jemaine Clement and Regina Hall
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bawtuko5zYs ...

posted 8:00:10am Jul. 06, 2015 | read full post »

Contest: Win a DVD of the Sweet Romance, "Old Fashioned"
Win a copy of the sweet romance, "Old Fashioned," from PureFlix. It set a record with the highest opening for faith film on less than 300 ...

posted 9:00:48pm Jul. 05, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Jenny's Wedding with Katherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsRh-PTeXzw[/youtube] ...

posted 10:00:44am Jul. 05, 2015 | read full post »

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