Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

The Wrecking Crew
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for language, thematic elements and smoking images
Release Date:
March 27. 2015

 

Unbroken
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for war violence including intense sequences of brutality, and for brief language
Release Date:
December 25, 2014

Home
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Release Date:
March 27, 2015

 

Into the Woods
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for thematic elements, fantasy action and peril, and some suggestive material
Release Date:
December 25, 2014

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
March 20, 2015

 

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
Release Date:
December 19, 2014

Interview: Michael Landon, Jr. of ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’

posted by Nell Minow

velveteen rabbit.jpgMichael Landon Jr.’s new film is The Velveteen Rabbit, based on the classic book by Margery Williams about the stuffed toy bunny loved so dearly that it becomes “real.”
The movie opens in select cities this Friday, February 27, and will be out on DVD next month. Landon was interviewed by Guideposts, and I also had the great pleasure of talking with him about the film.
It must have taken a lot of courage to adapt a book that has such passionately devoted fans!
It was very daunting. One of the things though that I wanted to do that’s quite different than Margery Williams’ source material was that she tells the story form the rabbit’s point of view and there have been sweet little films that covered that ground already. I wanted to give the boy’s point of view and combine live action and animation.
In our story, the boy, called Toby, is sent away for the holidays with his stern grandmother. He finds the attic with all the forgotten toys and this little rabbit leads him to this imaginary world that he loves.
Is the movie live action or animated?
Both! It is live action, shot in Montreal, until Toby goes to the imaginary world, and that part is animated. We wanted to try to give it a period kind of feel because it takes place in 1910. We wanted to keep that feel through 2D and update it a little with 3D. Feature Films for Families owns an animation company and they spearheaded the animation, which took over three years. The cast includes Ellen Burstyn, Tom Skerritt, and Jane Seymour. The live action scenes were done more than three years ago.
Wow, so the kid who played Toby must be practically grown up!
He’s a teenager now! Wild to hear him.
Why has this story been so powerful for so many people over the generations?
The theme for me is that love makes us real. That’s a theme that transcends time. There’s definitely something for everyone in this film and something to connect the generations, just as it is when you read the story to children. Any parents and grandparents who see this, they’ll leave inspired and not only entertained but want to be closer and love better.
Did you have a special toy when you were a kid?
Charlie, a monkey! He was by far my favorite, he was my bud. He would still be with me but my mom got rid of all my stuffed animals, which devastated me.
What films and film-makers inspired you?
In terms of overall storytelling ability, Spielberg. No one is as versatile as he is. He can can tell a story like “E.T.” and then do “Jaws” and “Schindler’s List.” He’s on the top of my list. I like visionary directors like Ridley Scott. He is stunning. His background in production design makes his films something to behold, mesmerizing. Chris Nolan is a genius film-maker; I’m blown away by him. Going back years, Frank Capra is one of my all-time favorite classic directors, who tells a story that is not only compelling but makes me want to be a better person. That’s more of what I set out to do with this film and my others, too.
What makes you laugh?
My kids crack me up, not necessarily on purpose! And I love the old Pink Panther films with Peter Sellers.
What are you doing next?
I’m finishing up a novel, The Silent Gift, co-writing with Cindy Kelley, with whom I co-wrote “The Velveteen Rabbit” and other films. Coming in late spring early summer I have “The Shunning,” an Amish story based on a novel by Beverly Lewis and I am also working on “When Calls the Heart” with Maggie Grace. I have a history with both of those authors and it is wonderful to be able to continue to develop those relationships.

My Policy on Conflicts

posted by Nell Minow

Per the FTC’s guidelines on blog disclosures, here is my policy:

I sometimes receive DVDs or other items for review or to give away in contests. All opinions are my own and as readers of the site know, I have no hesitation in expressing my negative views on any movie or DVD I do not like. But you should always question the bias of anyone expressing an opinion online or anywhere else.

The ads on my site are automatically generated beyond my control, though I have the right to refuse any advertiser and have done so. I welcome your questions or comments at any time, about ads or about my posts.

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation, all of which goes to Beliefnet and does not affect my compensation.

The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All advertising will be identified as paid advertisements.

I am paid by Beliefnet to provide information and opinions. I am not paid or compensated by the producers of the content I write about. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely mine. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest. Most of the DVDs or other promotional items I receive are used for giveaways or contests. If you ever have any questions or comments about this policy or anything else, I’d be glad to hear from you.

Gustafer Yellowgold’s Mellow Fever

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:February 4, 2009

The third in the award-winning series of Gustafer Yellowgold is coming out on DVD March 17, featuring guest artists Lisa Loeb and Wilco’s John Stirratt and Pat Sansone.

These tuneful treats from artist/songwriter Morgan Taylor are family favorites, with singable songs and colorful visuals. Gustafer is a yellow guy from the sun who comes to Earth to make some friends, giving him a chance to explore and enjoy a wide range of characters and locations. It is a lot of fun for kids ages 3-8 and their families, gentle and charming without being sugary.

I have one DVD to give away to the first person who sends me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Gustafer” in the subject line. Good luck!

More on Scary Movies — from Christianity Today

posted by Nell Minow

Christianity Today asked parents what scary movies have “worked” with their kids — scared them enough to be entertaining and instructive but not too much to be truly upsetting.
I found the comments very insightful. Here are some excerpts:
I recently heard Tony Campolo speak, and he was trying to communicate to parents that “safe” is not what we are raising kids to be. Safe kids will not change the world. Instead, we want them to be wise, powerful, courageous, tenacious, furious at injustice, unprotected from reality, totally dedicated to serving Christ and his beloved people.
Pinocchio, The Wizard of Oz, Spirited Away, Mirrormask, even The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe are all fine examples of scary movies for children. Because they are all steeped in the classic fairy tale tradition. These types of well-written, well-made films can provide integral lessons to youth as they journey on the scariest trip of all: the road to adulthood…”Family-friendly” need not mean “intellectually stunted.” These types of films, watched with a discerning eye, teach deep lessons.
Being scared in the moment can produce a teachable moment, but if the kid is prone to nightmares then nothing is being learned.
A little over a year ago, I wrote about why (and how) we like to be scared, and just this month we’ve had a spirited discussion about whether “Coraline” is too scary. I agree with this comment in the Christianity Today story:
Every single child is different, and the parents should know their child best. If your child is 12 and scared of things, I don’t care if a movie is rated G–if it’s going to scare your child, don’t take them. If you aren’t sure, read your child a thoughtful review of the movie and see if they even want to go. Some children of 6 aren’t scared by anything. Some children love the feeling of feeling scared; they’re aware that it’s “just” a movie.

Previous Posts

The Wrecking Crew
Maybe you like Frank Sinatra and your friend likes the Mamas and Papas. Maybe you've argued about who is better, the Beach Boys or Simon and Garfunkel, or maybe you prefer Elvis. Each of those monumen

posted 9:48:37pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Home
"Home" is a cute and colorful movie about an alien invasion with an important safety tip concerning one of the most destructive forces in the universe, something devastating to every known life form.

posted 5:59:44pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Ebertfest 2015
Passes are on sale for Ebertfest 2015!  I'll be there!  From Chaz Ebert's blog: We are opening with Jean-Luc Godard's silent opus in 3D, "Adieu Au Langage" ("Goodbye To Language"). Some have complained that you were against 3D films, but we know that you were against 3D when it was used onl

posted 3:49:39pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Apps for Movie Fans
Geek Dad has a great list of apps for movie lovers, including MoviePass, which gives you unlimited movie tickets for one set fee.  I'd add Flixter from Rotten Tomatoes and of course my favorite, IMDB.

posted 12:15:35pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Pretty Woman -- 25 Years Later
The cast and director of "Pretty Woman" reunited on the Today Show to reminisce about the movie that, improbably, made us root for a predatory finance guy and a prostitute to live happily ever after. They d

posted 1:33:04pm Mar. 25, 2015 | read full post »


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