Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Annie
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some mild language and rude humor
Release Date:
December 19, 2014

 

The Maze Runner
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, including some disturbing images
Release Date:
September 19, 2014

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action, some rude humor and brief language
Release Date:
December 19, 2014

 

Magic in the Moonlight
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for a brief suggestive comment, and smoking throughout
Release Date:
August 1, 2014

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

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Release Date:
August 8, 2014

The Most (Unexpectedly) Spiritual Film of the Week

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s releases include some very spiritual themes. W. shows us the 43rd President’s decision to let his life be guided by God, his lessons from a spiritual advisor, and his participation in Bible study. The Secret Life of Bees portrays three sisters who conduct Christian religious services in their home and call their brand of honey “Black Madonna.” But it just might be the based-on-a-videogame “Max Payne” that has the most spiritual themes of the week. Along with a lot of guns, chases, and explosions, it finds time to consider its title character’s thoughts about angels, Satan, Judgment Day, and the afterlife. Not just grafted on, these themes are central to the character’s decisions and ability to find meaning in life following the murder of his wife and child.

Creationism vs. Atheism at the Box Office

posted by Nell Minow

As the pro-intelligent design film Expelled comes out in DVD this week, the ads crow that it is the top-grossing documentary of the year. But its record has been eclipsed by the anti-religion film Religulous after only two weeks in fewer than half the theaters “Expelled” was shown in.
According to the LA Times:

“Expelled,” hosted by commentator and character actor Ben Stein, opened April 18 at a whopping 1,052 theaters and grossed a total of $7.7 million at the domestic box office during its full run, according to data tracker Box Office Mojo.


That was nothing like the breakout blockbusters “Fahrenheit 9/11″ ($119.2 million), “March of the Penguins” ($77.4 million) or even “An Inconvenient Truth” ($24.1 million), but nothing to sneeze at either: It was the 12th-highest gross ever for a documentary….

“Religulous,” playing at 568 theaters, is benefiting from positive word of mouth. The controversial documentary, hosted by comedian Maher (“Politically Incorrect”) and directed by Charles (“Borat”), dropped only 35% in its second weekend, compared with the industry average of about 51%. By Monday it had topped $7 million, on pace to surpass $7.7 million by Friday and ultimately to a spot in the all-time top 10 for the documentary genre.
Both are unabashed advocacy films starring popular television figures who have appeared both as comics and commentators. “Expelled” urges schools to add the religiously-based intelligent design theory to biology classes and argues that excluding it is a form of harassment. “Religulous” argues that religion is responsible for anti-intellectual, fundamentalist behavior that is a serious threat to human survival.
Imperfect as these films are, the good news is that there is an audience for this kind of provocative material that challenges assumptions on all sides and gets people talking about faith, science, and politics. I look forward to seeing what comes next.

Morning Light

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some language
Movie Release Date:October 17, 2008

This sunny documentary about a sailboat race across the Pacific Ocean is a bit of a throwback to the days when a night at the movies included some cartoons, a newsreel, and a travelogue. It has a lot of postcard-pretty pictures of glorious sunsets and fresh-faced kids. But for a movie about a lot of hard work leading up to an attempt to beat the world champs, it is rather laid back.

Roy Disney, nephew of Walt Disney, is the man behind the documentary and its title ship and at times it feels like a reality-show version of “The Mickey Mouse Club Goes to Sea.” Fifteen young sailors are selected from a range of competitors and they are brought to Hawaii for sailing boot camp. Then eleven are selected for the team and they choose a captain and assign positions for the race from California to Hawaii.

The kids, all in late teens or early twenties, are all high-spirited and wholesome. But despite a few “up close and personal” tidbits, it is hard to keep them all straight, in part because while they have a range of accents, they don’t have much variety of vocabulary. If you eat a handful of popcorn every time one of them says “awesome” or “rad,” you’ll be at the bottom of the bucket long before they reach Hawaii. The training scenes do not tell us enough about what skills they will need onboard and the racing scenes lack momentum because we — like the crew — go for days without knowing where they are in relation to the competition. Like the ship, the movie gets becalmed.

‘Star Trek’ — Biggest Movie of 2009?

posted by Nell Minow

star trek ew.JPGEntertainment Weekly has the latest on what could be next summer’s biggest box office smash, the rebooted “Star Trek” from J.J. Abrams (creator of Alias and Lost).
After 10 often dismal movies, Star Trek had turned into a pop culture punchline. Even people who’d built their entire careers around Trek could see the writing on the wall. “Star Trek,” says Leonard Nimoy, “had run its course.” But director J.J. Abrams believes he can make the franchise cool again….
Abrams says he was also drawn to the project because he believed in–and wanted to evangelize–Trek’s unabashed ideal­ism. “I think a movie that shows people of various races working together and surviving hundreds of years from now is not a bad message to put out right now,” says Abrams. That ethos may seem cornball to an America darkened by a decade’s worth of catastrophe, but after an election season that has seen both presidential nomi­nees run on “hope” and “change,” Star Trek just may find itself on the leading wave of a zeitgeist shift–away from bleak, brood­ing blockbusters and toward the light. “In a world where a movie as incredibly produced as The Dark Knight is raking in gazillions of dollars, Star Trek stands in stark contrast,” Abrams says. “It was important to me that optimism be cool again.”
That sounds like something to please the fanboys and bring in a whole new audience. I can’t wait!

Previous Posts

Smile of the Week: A Boy and a Penguin
This reminds me a little of the depiction of a child's world in The Complete Calvin and Hobbes and Barnaby. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iccscUFY860[/youtube] Many thanks to Slate for this and the others on its list of the year's best ads.

posted 12:06:45pm Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Mel Torme and Judy Garland: Christmas Song
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaEedtRHklg[/youtube] I love it that Judy Garland sings "rainbows" instead of "reindeer."

posted 8:00:57am Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »

What Happened to All the Great Quotable Movie Lines?
Michael Cieply has a fascinating piece in the New York Times about the movie lines we love to quote and why there don't seem to be any new ones. Look through all of the top ten lists of the year, and see if you can think of one quotable line from any of them. That doesn't mean they aren't well wri

posted 3:58:57pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

George Clooney and the Cast of Downton Abbey
You don't have to be a fan of "Downton Abbey" (or "Mr. Selfridge") to love this hilarious spoof, with guest appearances by Jeremy Piven, George Clooney and the Absolutely Fabulous Joanna Lumley. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ryo7fqdmcGQ?rel=0" frameborder="0"] [

posted 1:43:50pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Ask Amy Says: A Book on Every Bed
I love to remind people about Amy Dickinson's wonderful "Book on Every Bed" proposal: Here’s how it happens: You take a book (it can be new or a favorite from your own childhood). You wrap it. On Christmas Eve (or whatever holiday you celebrate), you leave the book in a place where Santa is

posted 12:00:42pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »


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