Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


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McFarland USA
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for thematic material, some violence and language
Release Date:
February 20, 2015

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images and thematic material
Release Date:
November 21, 2014

The DUFF
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual material throughout, some language and teen partying
Release Date:
February 20, 2015

 

Foxcatcher
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some drug use and a scene of violence
Release Date:
November 21, 2014

Kingsman: The Secret Service
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual content
Release Date:
February 13, 2015

 

Horrible Bosses 2
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong crude sexual content and language throughout
Release Date:
November 26, 2104

‘Lost’ Travels Through Time

posted by Nell Minow

Jen Chaney reports in the Washington Post that “Lost” gets even more mysterious with its season premiere as the island itself begins to travel through time.
After four seasons that contained flashbacks, flash-forwards and electromagnetic forces that sent some characters into a chronological tailspin, the crafty writers of the ABC drama about plane crash survivors on a mysterious island take things to a whole new level during the fifth season. In the season premiere, which airs Wednesday, the island itself moves in time. Repeatedly. Several characters become “unstuck” in time. And “Lost” proves that it stands — to borrow a phrase from James Franco in “The Pineapple Express” — at “the apex of the vortex” of TV time travel.
Chaney remembers some other television series that experimented with time travel, including “Dr. Who,” “The Simpsons,” and “Quantum Leap.”
Entertainment Weekly has a guide to Season Five of “Lost” from Doc Jensen for those who can use a refresher. Chadwick Matlin of Slate has another guide for the lost with advice on how to find out everything you need in each episode’s opening moments.
Instead of searching for recaps online or trying to pull an 82-episode marathon, just watch the first few minutes of each premiere–the introductory scene through the first commercial–and you’ll learn everything you need to know.
Matlin knows what he’s talking about — his bio says he taught a course on “Lost.” And he says that season one was about survival, season two was about the hatch, season three may be about the Others, season four may be about the island’s advantages, and season five? Matlin says the clues will all be in the first part of this week’s episode.
What do you think about this development for “Lost?” Deepening the mystery or jumping the shark?

Contest: Win Your Own Space Buddies!

posted by Nell Minow
SpaceBuddiesDVDBoxart.jpg

Adorable Golden Retriever puppies Rosebud, Buddha, Budderball, B-Dawg, and Mudbud return in Space Buddies, an epic adventure that takes them to the moon, to be released on DVD . Moving at warp speed, dodging asteroids and more, the Buddies and their two new friends, Spudnick, a sweet bull terrier and Gravity, a resourceful ferret, must summon their courage and ingenuity to launch plans for a moon landing and a rocketing trip back home. Will they have the right stuff?

Win a Space Buddies DVD! I’ll send one to the first three people to send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Space Buddies DVD” in the subject line.

Plushie Buddies 3.jpg

Or enter to win a set of Space Buddies plush toys! The first three people to send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Space Buddies toys” in the subject line will win these adorable little guys.

(One prize per household. Good luck to all!)

The Express

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic content, violence and language involving racism, and for brief sensuality.
Movie Release Date:October 10, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 20, 2009

When a real-life story combines athletic excellence and civil rights breakthroughs, it has more than enough heart and drama to be good movie material. Ernie Davis was a combination of heart and pure talent who came along at just the right time to do what his predecessor on the Syracuse football team could not. Jim Brown could break records, but he could not win college football’s highest honor, the Heisman trophy. In that volatile era, a player needed to be more than talented to win that prize. He needed to qualify as “a credit to his race,” determined enough to break through color barriers but not angry enough to scare anyone. Ernie Davis was that player.

He had all the talent anyone could dream of. He could run so fast and dodge so gracefully that enormous angry linebackers seemed to dissolve into air as he ran by. He had one of those talents so rare that he could dissolve ignorance and bigotry as well. One force powerful enough to overcome prejudice is competition. Everyone wanted to have him on their side. Syracuse coach Ben Schwartzwalder (Dennis Quaid) is not eager to bring on a black player, not just because of discomfort with non-whites but because of bad experiences with Jim Brown (Darrin Dewitt Henson), an angry and impatient superstar. But Brown helps persuade Davis to come to Syracuse. And Schwartzwalder shows that when it comes to football, the only colors that matter are those on the uniforms.

Rob Brown of Finding Forrester shows us Davis’ essential decency and dedication. He wants to win for his team, but he also wants to win for his people. If he is a little too glowingly perfect, a little too heroic, it adds to the mythic feeling of the story. And it is balanced by Quaid’s cranky Schwartzwalder and the challenges of an era before the Civil Rights Act, when a member of the team could win the Most Valuable Player award but not be permitted to attend the dinner. It is also a welcome reminder of an era when athletes were role models because of the way they behaved off the field as well as on.

City of Ember

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild peril and some thematic elements.
Movie Release Date:October 10, 2008

Under the earth’s surface for so long they have forgotten how and why they got there and even that there is another place to be, the citizens of the City of Ember have just about lost their sense of hope, of wonder, of imagination, and adventure. On “assignment day” kids pick their careers out of a hat. The idea of special interest, curiosity, or competence never comes up. And neither does the idea of creating or improving anything. All of the jobs that occupy the time of the citizens of Ember are about maintenance. All of the clothes, all of the infrastructure, everything is made from broken pieces of other things. Decay and breakdown pervade everything. Learning, reading, and creating, are ideas that have just about disappeared.

There is a genial but disengaged mayor (Bill Murray). Everyone seems to accept everything the way it is except for two kids, Lena (Saoirse Ronan), who lives with her dotty grandmother and little sister, and Doon (Harry Treadaway). Together, they race to solve the mystery of how their city was created before it becomes uninhabitable.

An almost Junior Great Books version of Brazil, this is a gorgeously imagined and visually sumptuous but still bleak and dystopic vision. In most stories featuring young lead characters, at some point they consult with a wise older person or get help from an adult. But here all of the other characters, the adults and even Lena’s little sister all seem oddly passive and disconnected and the kids are on their own. It does not have the brightness and energy of many films for this age group, and that may take some getting used to for kids used to a lot of flash.

But like a good book, it rewards patience and thoughtful attention. As with Wall∙E, some audience members will complain that this film is a one-sided and thinly-veiled allegory about current controversies or that it promotes rebellion. But that a very superficial mis-reading of the movie’s message, which is about the much more important and much more fundamental importance of independent thinking and not being satisfied with the status quo. In a time where both candidates for President are competing to persuade voters which will be the most effective in bringing change, it is an important reminder that we can all find ways to make things better.

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Opening this Month: March 2015
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