Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


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Love is Strange
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language
Release Date:
08/22/2014

 

Moms' Night Out
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action
Release Date:
May 9, 2014

The November Man
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong violence including a sexual assault, language, sexuality/nudity and brief drug use
Release Date:
August 27, 2014

 

Blended
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and language.
Release Date:
May 23, 2014

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

 

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some scary images and mild peril
Release Date:
May 9, 2014

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.”

Mythos from Joseph Campbell

posted by Nell Minow
B+

Joseph Campbell believed there was “one great story of mankind” and he spent his life collecting the great myths and parables of world cultures and religions and showing us the connections between them. His work has influenced everyone from Hollywood screenwriters (George Lucas cites him as the inspiration for the “Star Wars” movies) to abstract expressionist artists, diplomats and politicians, and, through his appearances on PBS, millions of people around the world. The Mythos series, the culmination of his work on the way that myths reveal and guide us, is inspiring and illuminating.campbell.jpg

Joseph Campbell: Mythos I: The Shaping of Our Mythic Tradition — an exploration of the psychology, history and biology of myth, and an introduction to the Western mythos.

Joseph Campbell: Mythos II: The Shaping of the Eastern Tradition –an introduction to the great mythic traditions of South and East Asia

Remembering Charlton Heston

posted by Nell Minow

Ben-Hur_chariot_race.jpgCharlton Heston, who died this morning at age 84, had the screen presence for larger than life, heroic roles, and often appeared in films with religious themes. He will be best remembered for his Oscar-winning performance as Ben-Hur and for appearing as Moses in The Ten Commandments. He also played John the Baptist in The Greatest Story Ever Told. Heston created audio recordings of the Bible and provided voice talent for a series of animated Bible stories for children.

I am especially fond of his performance in the brilliant Touch of Evil as a policeman who lives on the border, literally and metaphorically, and in a rare romantic comedy, “The Private War of Major Benson.” Whether he was leading a circus (The Greatest Show on Earth) or a stranded team of astronauts (Planet of the Apes) or even trying to survive as the last man on earth (The Omega Man), his conviction and commitment made him the essence of a movie star.

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Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang -- Beyonce, Cher, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and Jesse J
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Contest: Hey Arnold! The Complete Series
The football-headed Arnold and all his pals are here in this box set with all 99 adventures from the beloved Nickelodeon series. It's available exclusively at Walmart, but I have a copy to give away! Send

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