Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

A Will for the Woods
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
August 15, 2014

 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence
Release Date:
May 2, 2014

The Expendables 3
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language
Release Date:
August 15, 2014

 

Bears
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
G
Release Date:
April 19, 2014

Let's Be Cops
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language including sexual references, some graphic nudity, violence and drug use
Release Date:
August 15, 2014

 

Need for Speed
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of reckless street racing, disturbing crash scenes, nudity and crude language
Release Date:
March 14, 2014

DVD Giveaway: Enchanted

posted by Nell Minow

I have just two copies of the enchanting “Enchanted” to give away to the lucky first two people who send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com — Good luck! (Be sure to put the title of the DVD you want in the subject line of the email. And only people who have not already won a DVD please.)

Remembering Ollie Johnston

posted by Nell Minow

The people who created the great Disney animation classics were called the Nine Old Men, and the last of them, Ollie Johnston, died last week at age 95. Johnston and his closest colleague, Frank Thomas, was featured in the wonderful documentary “Frank and Ollie.” They and the other animators were actors who performed with paintbrushes, creating unforgettable performances. Johnston created Thumper in “Bambi,” Mr. Smee in Peter Pan and the trio of fanciful fairies in Sleeping Beauty.

As lifelong friend and fellow animator Frank Thomas recalled, “Ollie was the only one of the Studio animators who was sensitive to character relationships and how they affected story,” explained Frank — “Back then cartoon characters seldom touched unless they hit each other. But one day Ollie said, ‘You know, the act of two people holding hands communicates in a powerful way.’ And he was right. His warmth made a difference in so many of our characters.”

List: The 20 Greatest Movie Fights of All Time

posted by Nell Minow

Tim Ryan of Rotten Tomatoes picks the 20 greatest movie fights of all time, and as you can imagine, it has prompted some impassioned arguments, you might even say fights, in the comments. I love its scope — it even manages to include a romantic comedy (the Colin Firth/Hugh Grant “It’s Raining Men” fight from “Bridget Jones’ Diary”) along with all of the martial arts/boxing/noir/spy/plain-old-fashioned-beat-downs. The best part is that it includes the clips, so you can see for yourself. But like most lists, it will leave you thinking of the ones they left out. No “Kill Bill?” No John Wayne? No “Adventures of Robin Hood?” And, incredibly, no Merlin vs. Madame Mim? (Sorry, the only clip I could find was in French, but you don’t need to understand what they’re saying to enjoy this one.)

School children force-fed avertising on the bus

posted by Nell Minow

The New York Times reports that a special radio channel has been installed in school buses. It plays music that kids like, and it plays commercials. The content is provided at no cost to the school district by RadioOne, which is only to happy to have a captive audience of young consumers.

Steven Shulman, who founded BusRadio with Michael Yanoff, said the company provided an “age-appropriate” alternative to local FM radio stations, with songs and advertising screened by an advisory committee of school administrators and psychiatrists.
In contrast, he said, his son once came home asking what Viagra was after hearing a commercial on the bus coming home from summer camp in Mashpee, Mass. BusRadio develops playlists from a library of 1,000 pop songs and will either edit out questionable content and lyrics or refrain from playing a song altogether. “It’s tough to find clean rap music, but we do,” Mr. Shulman said.school-bus-large.gif
Recent advertisers on BusRadio include Answers.com, the Cartoon Network, Buena Vista Home Entertainment and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. The company does not accept advertising for candy or soda, or for toys that Mr. Shulman considers inappropriate, like video games with violent content, and it prefers advertisements that have a message. “We don’t want them to say, ‘Go out and buy $200 sneakers,’ ” Mr. Shulman said. “We want them to say, ‘Go and exercise, and use this gear if you want.’ ”

I appreciate this sensitivity (which is, I am sure, a commercial necessity), but do we really need to fill kids’ heads with mass media to and from school? Isn’t this time for social interaction and looking out the window and quiet reflection? Aren’t we teaching them that they should expect every minute of every day to be hooked into some form of media instead of learning how to make conversation and use their imagination? And do we really need to bombard them with more exhortations to buy more things?

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