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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Hail, Caesar!
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and smoking
Release Date:
February 5, 2016

 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating:
G
Release Date:
1937

The Choice
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some thematic issues
Release Date:
February 5, 2016

 

Freeheld
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, language and sexuality
Release Date:
October 9, 2015

The Finest Hours
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of peril
Release Date:
January 29, 2016

 

Bridge of Spies
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language
Release Date:
October 16, 2015

New in Theaters

grade:
B+

Hail, Caesar!

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and smoking
Release Date:
February 5, 2016
grade:
B

The Choice

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some thematic issues
Release Date:
February 5, 2016
grade:
B

The Finest Hours

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of peril
Release Date:
January 29, 2016

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New to DVD

pick of the week
grade:
A-

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Lowest Recommended Age:
All Ages
MPAA Rating:
G
Release Date:
1937
grade:
B

Freeheld

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, language and sexuality
Release Date:
October 9, 2015
grade:
A-

Bridge of Spies

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language
Release Date:
October 16, 2015

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TV Show Theme Songs (Part 1)

posted by Nell Minow

ScreenRant has a sensational list of the best TV show theme songs of the 2000’s, including . I especially enjoyed it because so many of today’s shows have all but jettisoned the idea of an opening theme. I still love some of the classics.

The theme from “Gilligan’s Island” sets the scene perfectly, giving us the background and introducing us to the characters. (Later season versions mentioned the professor and Mary Ann, too.)

Of course, I have a special attachment to that one!

As I have explained before, “The Dick Van Dyke Show” was the only opening credit sequence to have two variations — you never knew if he was going to trip over the ottoman or not.

The whistled theme music and the father and son walking to the fishin’ hole immediately transport us to Mayberry.

This theme song became a top 40 hit for the Rembrandts.

If a junkyard played music, this is what it would sound like. In an episode of “Will and Grace,” Will and Jack do a funny little dance number to this song.

Some shows were not as memorable as their theme songs. Valerie Bertinelli’s then-husband Eddie Van Halen composed the theme for her short-lived series, “Sydney.” David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat, and Tears performed the theme song for the Saturday morning series, “Mugsy.” I love Sammy Davis, Jr.’s theme song for “Baretta.”

More coming soon — and I’d love to hear your favorites.

Soap Box Derby — Life Imitates Art

posted by Nell Minow

Derby-Soap-Box.jpgIt bills itself as “The Greatest Amateur Racing Event in the World!” But the Soap Box Derby, once a popular event with racers, spectators, and sponsors, has, well, gone downhill. It began during the Depression and now has races across the country. Children from 8-17 build their cars, which operate through gravity only, no engines. They compete locally and the champions come to Akron, Ohio to compete for prizes and scholarships.
The Wall Street Journal reports that

kids today are more likely to play video games than to tinker in the garage with power tools. And audiences have other distractions. The annual race, held in July, once drew crowds of more than 50,000; last year it attracted only 15,000 people paying $5 at the gate.

The erosion of corporate support, however, has been crippling. In the heyday of the derby, in the 1960s, Chevrolet sponsored and promoted the race. Over the years, big corporate backers brought celebrities, including Ronald Reagan, Rock Hudson, Evel Knievel, and O.J. Simpson. The late actor Jimmy Stewart attended six times.

With the last corporate sponsor pulling out, the Derby was in trouble. It was sued by its bank. There was a temporary reprieve when its home town of Akron guaranteed the debt. And then, just like in a movie, a hero arrived. And just like in a movie, it was not the hero you’d expect. It was Corbin Bernsen, the actor best known for playing sleazy litigator Arnie Becker on “L.A. Law.” Bernsen wanted to help, and decided to make a movie about the Soap Box Derby, with a part for himself as a one-time champ who steps into to help a boy whose father was killed in Afghanistan. In the movie, called “25 Hill” and scheduled for release next year, the boy finds a sponsor. In real life, GEICO, the sponsor signed up by Bernsen for the movie has signed on to sponsor the race as well. Soap_Box_Derby_Racer.jpg

Teach Kids About Advertising

posted by Nell Minow

The Federal Trade Commission has a terrific new online game for kids that will teach them to understand the difference between someone trying to tell them something and someone trying to sell them something. It’s called Admongo.
The FTC’s message to parents:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, has created the Admongo campaign to help teach kids about advertising. The campaign has four parts:

* a game-based website at Admongo.gov;
* sample ads that can be used in the classroom;
* a free curriculum for use in the 5th and 6th grades, developed with Scholastic, Inc. and
* teacher training videos.

Together, these tools can help teach kids basic ad literacy skills.

As a parent, you can be a valuable partner in this campaign to help equip your kids with the critical thinking skills they need to be smarter consumers. With your help, kids can learn to ask three key “critical thinking” questions when they encounter advertising:

* Who’s responsible for the ad?
* What is the ad actually saying?
* What does it want you to buy, do, or think?

By applying the information they learn through this campaign, your kids will be able to recognize ads, understand them, and make smarter decisions as they navigate the commercial world.

The site also has resources for teachers to help them include media literacy in the curriculum.
The game is not enough to teach kids the difference between genuine opinion and advertising, but if it inspires conversations with parents that are reinforced throughout the week as we model our own responses to the messages in the media, that will remind not only kids but the rest of the family of how insidious these messages can be.
Many thanks to Pat Goslee for showing me this site.

What’s the Worst Toy of the Year?

posted by Nell Minow

TOADY_HaloWars.jpgThe Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has announced its nominees for the TOADY award (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children). Anyone can vote to select the worst from candidates that include a Halo toy for children promoting a violent M-rated video game. Visit the website to vote — you may win one of four un-TOADY toys.

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Be sure to take time during Black History month to watch movies the Civil Rights movement, ("Eyes on the Prize," "Selma," "Boycott"), and movies that are themselves a part of black history and film history (add to that list: "Killer of Sheep," ...

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Jessica Ritchey wrote a touching essay for Rogerebert.com about the movies she watched in the year after her father died, and how watching them helped her to keep him close. I’ve been published several times by the time I see "Crimson ...

posted 8:00:40am Feb. 05, 2016 | read full post »

Hail, Caesar!
The Coen brothers love old movies, and not just the classics. I remember reading an interview where they discussed their affection for ...

posted 5:59:12pm Feb. 04, 2016 | read full post »

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