Movie Mom

Movie Mom

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If I Stay
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some sexual material
Release Date:
August 22, 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

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
August 22, 2014

 

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

When the Game Stands Tall
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for thematic material, a scene of violence, and brief smoking
Release Date:
August 22, 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

List: April Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Spring! Celebrate with these wonderful films, all with “April” in the title:

1. Enchanted April Four women in post-WWI London get away from winter chill when they take a villa in Italy. All of their lives are transformed through the unexpected connections they make with each other.

2. Pieces of April A girl prepares Thanksgiving dinner for her estranged family, including her mother who is dying of cancer. Beautifully written and directed and unexpectedly heartwarming, with brilliant performances from Katie Holmes (pre Tom Cruise), Patricia Clarkson, Alison Pill, and Derek Luke.

3. “The April Fools” Dated and uneven but irresistible story of a man (Jack Lemmon) who falls for the wife of his boss (Catherine Deneuve). In the best scene, they meet a middle-aged couple played by Myrna Loy and Charles Boyer who show them the power of lasting love.

4. “April Love” Okay, it’s no classic, but it’s a sweet story about a city boy who learns about life and love when he has to go to work on a relative’s farm. Pat Boone stars and sings the Oscar-nominated title song and Shirley Jones is the pretty neighbor.April_Love_%281957%29.jpg

5. April in Paris A silly story about a chorus girl sent on a diplomatic mission is an excuse for singing and dancing from Doris Day and Ray Bolger.

The Ultimate Relationship Test: Renting a DVD

posted by Nell Minow

Traveling together. Buying a house. Handling finances. Dealing with in-laws. Raising children. Sex. These are often listed as the primary argument topics for couples — and the arguments most revelatory of underlying relationship issues and problems. It’s time to add debates about DVD rentals to the list, both discussions during the actual rental experience and conversations afterward about the merits of the item selected. A perceptive article in The Movie Blog provides some wise advice, clearly based on experience, to help couples through this minefield. Now, perhaps they can come up with a solution to the “when do you ask for directions” conundrum.
Thanks to Cinematical for bringing my attention to this piece.

Reservation Road

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some disturbing images.
Movie Release Date:October 26, 2007
DVD Release Date:April 8, 2008

We’ve all done it. We know we shouldn’t. We know it is dangerous. Dwight (Mark Ruffalo) is racing to get his 10-year-old son home after a ball game went into extra innings. He is talking on the cell phone to the boy’s annoyed and anxious mother. And he is going too fast around the curve, just as his son slips out of his seatbelt to change the channel on the radio. Ethan (Joaquin Phoenix) has a 10-year-old son who is standing too near the edge of the road, freeing some fireflies from a jar.

And the unthinkable happens. A sickening thud. The driver’s son hits his head on the dashboard. And the car keeps going. The father speeds away, in shock and denial, seeing to his boy’s bruises and still trying to get him home on time, desperately, irrationally, magically thinking that maybe if his boy is safe, the other one will be, too.

But he is not. As Luke Arno (Eddie Alderson) is being returned to his mother, holding a bag of frozen peas to his swelling eye, the other boy’s mother and sister are huddled in the back of a police car, shattered by grief.

The Final Season

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language, thematic elements and some teen smoking.
Movie Release Date:October 12, 2007
DVD Release Date:April 8, 2008

From the opening shots of the American flag fluttering gracefully from a barn in the Iowa morning mist, to the closing scenes of cheering crowds at the baseball field, The Final Season is one great big corn-fed cliche.

The movie tells the story of the small town of Norway, Iowa (population 586) which, despite its small size, consistently manages to field a winning baseball team due to pluck, hard work and good Iowa values. As one crusty old timer puts it, “In Norway, our baseball tradition is as rich as the Iowa soil.” The school is going to be closed as a result of some nasty legal tricks and budget cuts by people far away who don’t appreciate the special character of a small town. So this is to be the last hurrah for the Norway Tigers.

Despite its small size, Norway is large enough to contain every stereotype known to man: the tough and disrespectful city kid whose life is transformed when he is exposed to good country values; the sharp city slickers who want to shut down Norway’s school (including the beautiful young professional woman in a business suit who succumbs to the homespun charm of the team coach); the father who made the crucial play in a ball game many years ago, watching his son step up to the plate in the exact same situation; the aging coach who hands over his team to his young and unsteady replacement, and many more. Yes, you’ll meet them all here in Norway.

The plot of “The Final Season” does not have much to commend it; this same story has been told better hundreds of times before. The script is often unbearably hackneyed. (“Every player who ever wore a Norway uniform is going out there with you today…”) The characters are so stereotyped that there is not much room for quality acting. Norway is a Nuance-free Zone.

But what this movie does have is montages of healthy, graceful teenage boys leaping, running, catching, and playing under the big Iowa sky. It shows them working as a team. It has baseball. And sometimes, that can be enough.


Parents should know that there is brief strong language, smoking, and a drug reference, all disapproved of.

Families who see this movie should talk about the role of sports in community-building.


Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy “The Sandlot.”

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An R Rating for Being Gay?
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If I Stay
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