A gimmicky thriller without much of a gimmick or many thrills, “Vantage Point” suffers, too, from being out of synch with its time. Its premise may be current — an assassination attempt at an anti-terrorism summit — but its tone is off. A good thriller — or even a good episode of “Law and Order” — uncovers our underlying fears, recognizes that they are closely tied to curiosity, and pushes them to the point of pleasurable fear and cathartic release. This film clumsily builds on the headlines with a simplistic story that, even told in mosaic bits and pieces is obvious and clunky, with big logical gaps. It would be more intriguing to see the same story told several times from different perspectives, each one adding another layer of information, if the underlying story was worthwhile. But this story of a terrorist attack at an anti-terrorism summit, is too thin to withstand the repetition. Instead of making it deeper and more complex, the retellings get tiresome and overblown.
PalTalk has a site where you can put in any name — yours or a friend’s — and it will create a remarkably real-looking news broadcast about how the name you type in has become a massive nationwide political phenomenon and could just be elected the next President. Very clever! And very funny.
Get ready for the upcoming release of the first American Girls feature film, “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl,” starring Abigail Breslin, with the DVD series, The American Girl Movie Collection, including “Samantha – An American Girl Holiday,” “Felicity – An American Girl Adventure,” and “Molly – An American Girl on the Home Front.” These are fine introductions to history for children and fine stories of brave young girls dealing with challenges at home and in the greater world.
Just after the Children’s Television Workshop realized that if children could memorize advertising jingles they could learn the alphabet and numbers and other important lessons through lively short films for PBS, a group of advertisers and educators got together to create “Schoolhouse Rock,” a series of fifty-two short films with irresistibly catchy songs about history, grammar, math, science, and economics shown on ABC in the 70’s and 80’s.
Schoolhouse Rock was discontinued because for technical reasons it did not count toward the network’s obligation for educational programming. But the films are delightful and the content is valuable. They are available today on DVD and YouTube. Here is one to help children understand why we celebrate Independence Day.
Families will also enjoy Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks with covers of “Schoolhouse Rock” songs by indie all-stars like Blind Melon, Moby, and Daniel Johnston.
Does PG-13 Mean Anything Anymore? The Washington Post has an article about a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movies," with some disturbing conclusions about parents' ability to make good decisions about the impact some media may have on their children. This is not
Is E-Reading to Kids the Same as Analog Reading? The New York Times asks, Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time?
In a 2013 study, researchers found that children ages 3 to 5 whose parents read to them from an electronic book had lower reading comprehension than children whose parents used traditional books. Part of th
Interview: Todd and Jedd Wider about the Bullying Documentary "Mentor" Producers Todd and Jedd Wider generously took time to answer my questions about their documentary, "Mentor," the story of two teenagers who committed suicide following relentless bullying. The film, which received Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival th
Clip: Tinkerbell and the Legend of the NeverBeast [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ApzHJhZz2JQ" frameborder="0"]
The latest in Disney's animated Tinkerbell series adds Ginnifer Goodwin to the cast. Coming in March of 2015, it explores the ancient myth of a mysterious creature whose distant roar sparks the curiosity
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