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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

The Lost Gods

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:January 13, 2009

The Lost Gods is a new DVD series from the Smithsonian about the earliest ideas about God. Filmed in 11 countries and hosted by Christy Kenneally, it explores the concepts of God as understood by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Incas, and Celts and is a fascinating journey to help trace the way ancient people reached out to try to touch the divine.

The Top 10 Jewish Movie Characters from Esther Kustanowitz

posted by Nell Minow

Esther Kustanowitz posted her list of the top 10 Jewish movie characters on Idol Chatter. Some are a bit of a stretch — Obi-Wan Kenobi? Melanie Griffith in “A Stranger Among Us?” Aside from the fact that she is only pretending to be a Jew in that film, some people consider that and her performance as a Jew the same year in “Shining Through” to be, well, a shonda (embarrassment to the community).

I would add to this list: Judd Hirsch as the sympathetic psychiatrist in Ordinary People, Meryl Streep as a sympathetic psychiatrist in Prime and as a Holocaust survivor in Sophie’s Choice and as a high-strung food writer in Heartburn, Barbra Streisand as a sympathetic psychiatrist (is there a pattern here?) in The Prince of Tides and as musical comedy star Fanny Brice in Funny Girl (plus Omar Sharif as Nicky Arnstein), Carol Kane as a turn of the century immigrant in Hester Street, Brendan Fraser as the only Jew in the fancy prep school in School Ties, Robin Williams as a club owner named Goldman — or is it Coleman? — in The Birdcage, George Segal as a Jewish cop (and Eileen Heckert as his mother) in No Way to Treat a Lady, Ben Kingsley as a Holocaust survivor in Schindler’s List, Ben Cross as an Olympic athlete in Chariots of Fire, Jessica Tandy as a Southern aristocrat in Driving Miss Daisy, Dustin Hoffman as Carl Bernstein in All the President’s Men, Jennifer Gray as Baby who will NOT be put in a corner in Dirty Dancing, and Woody Allen in just about anything.

My List of Comfort Movies

posted by Nell Minow

My gallery about the best movies to watch when you’re in bed with the sniffles or flu has been posted.
The right movies can help you pass the time until you feel better. They can even help you recover faster, too. Author and editor Norman Cousins pioneered “humor therapy” after he found that watching silly movies and television shows did more to ease his pain and cure his ailment than conventional medicine. Laughter can decrease blood pressure and boost your immune system. So a good comfort movie can not only help you get better faster; it is good preventative medicine as well. It is also a nice way to spend a cold and snowy weekend, even if you are perfectly healthy because it will help keep you that way. After all, Proverbs 17:22 tells us that “a merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” And, almost as important, Dr. Netflix does make house calls.

Critic’s Choice Awards

posted by Nell Minow

I was not able to make it to this year’s Critic’s Choice Awards in person, but I really enjoyed casting my votes and watching it on television. Here are the winners and keep in mind they are often a better predictor of the Oscars than the Golden Globes:
Best Picture:
“Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Director:
Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Actor:
Sean Penn, “Milk”
Best Actress:
Meryl Streep, “Doubt” & Anne Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Married” (tie)
Best Supporting Actor:
Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
Best Supporting Actress:
Kate Winslet, “The Reader”
Best Writer:
Simon Beaufoy, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Foreign Language Film:
“Waltz With Bashir”
Best Animated Film:
“WALL-E”
Best Documentary:
“Man On Wire”
Best Acting Ensemble:
“Milk”
Best Young Actor/Actress:
Dev Patel, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Composer:
A.R. Rahman, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Song:
“The Wrestler,” by Bruce Springsteen (“The Wrestler”)
Best Action Film:
“The Dark Knight”
Best Comedy Movie:
“Tropic Thunder”

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Opening this Month: March 2015
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