Movie Mom

Movie Mom

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The Wrecking Crew
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for language, thematic elements and smoking images
Release Date:
March 27. 2015

 

Unbroken
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for war violence including intense sequences of brutality, and for brief language
Release Date:
December 25, 2014

Home
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Release Date:
March 27, 2015

 

Into the Woods
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for thematic elements, fantasy action and peril, and some suggestive material
Release Date:
December 25, 2014

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
March 20, 2015

 

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

Beliefnet Spiritual Film Awards: We Want Your Vote

posted by Nell Minow

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Be sure to check out the nominees for Beliefnet’s Spiritual Film Awards and vote for your favorites.

Chick Flick Cliches that are NOT in ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’

posted by Nell Minow

Justin Long, Bradley Cooper, and Kevin Connelly, the male stars of “He’s Just Not That Into You,” made a very funny short film explaining to men that it is all right for them to see the movie because it does not contain the top 10 chick flick cliches. How many can you guess? Can you name a movie for each item on their list?

‘Haunting’ Movie Moments from Idol Chatter

posted by Nell Minow

On Idol Chatter, Kris Rasmussen has come up with a two-part list of haunting moments in movies that is well worth exploring and every one of the films and those added by the commenters is a worthy addition to your Netflix queue.

I like her definition of “haunting” — “cinematic points in time that bring revelation to our souls in some big or small way.”

The moments that haunt me tend to involve extraordinary kindness or devotion. Some that I would add:

1. The last moment in Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights. He has sacrificed everything to pay for an operation to restore the sight of a young woman who believed he was wealthy. In the last moment of the film, she touches his hand and realizes the tattered and almost broken man before her is her benefactor.

2. “Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passin.'” In To Kill a Mockingbird the children of Atticus Finch are sitting in the balcony of the courthouse with members of the African-American community and learn from the way they respond to him how important and meaningful his integrity is.

3. Helen Keller learns about language in The Miracle Worker. Teacher Annie Sullivan shows the blind and deaf girl that she can communicate.

4. A family farewell in A Man for All Seasons. Sir Thomas More’s family comes to say goodbye to him in prison after he has chosen almost certain death rather than compromise his principles.

5. Erin Brockovich visits the families. At one home she smiles at a terribly sick little girl and gently teases her about how she is so pretty she must be driving the boys crazy. For one moment the girl and her family get a glimpse of a life in which they have the luxury of worrying about boys instead of worrying about chemo.

Is ‘Coraline’ Too Scary for Kids?

posted by Nell Minow

It is always a challenge to guide parents about how scary a movie is, but it is especially difficult with this week’s release of “Coraline,” the 3D stop-motion animated film based on a popular book for children by Neil Gaiman. By coincidence, Gaiman was just awarded this year’s top prize for children’s literature, the Newberry award, for The Graveyard Book, the story of a boy raised by ghosts.
SPOILER ALERT: There are ghosts in “Coraline,” too, plus a very scary insect-like predator who likes to replace children’s eyes with sewn-on black buttons and many other macabre and grotesque images. But is that scarier than “A Series of Unfortunate Events” or “The Wizard of Oz” or the Narnia movies? Is it scarier than Disney movies like “Bambi” or “The Lion King” (both feature the death of a parent) or fairy tales like “Hansel and Gretel” or “Snow White?”
Some of the commenters on this blog think so, and have noted sharply that they think this movie is too scary for younger children. The Motion Picture Association’s ratings board gave it a PG. I originally recommended it for 4th grade and up but on reflection have changed it to middle school and up, though when I saw the film again last night there were younger children in the audience who seemed to be doing fine with it.
There are many kinds of scary material and every kid reacts differently to every one of them. Some are disturbed by tension and peril but don’t mind battle scenes. Some get very upset when an animal is injured but don’t blink an eye when a human character is killed. Some kids react because they are sensitive about events going on in their own lives, loss of a grandparent or a pet, a move, or divorce.
In “Coraline,” some kids may be rattled by the images in this film like the skeletal designs of one (good) character’s helmet and gloves or the increasingly spidery appearance of the villain. Some may be upset by the themes of the film that includes the ghosts of three eyeless and devoured children. Some will be very reassured by the brave and resilient heroine, finding it exciting but not disturbing.
The New York Times’ A. O. Scott led off his review of “Coraline” with some thoughts on its capacity to scare its young audience:

There are many scenes and images in “Coraline” that are likely to scare children. This is not a warning but rather a recommendation, since the cultivation of fright can be one of the great pleasures of youthful moviegoing. As long as it doesn’t go too far toward violence or mortal dread, a film that elicits a tingle of unease or a tremor of spookiness can be a tonic to sensibilities dulled by wholesome, anodyne, school-approved entertainments.

This brings us back to the enduring appeal of scary stories. Children have read millions of scary books from R.L. Stine and Lemony Snicket and teenagers have bought millions of tickets to the “Halloween,” “Friday the 13th,” “Nightmare on Elm Street,” and “Saw” series. The top box office films of all time include scary stories like “Jaws,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and “Silence of the Lambs.” Even family-friendly G-rated films like “Finding Nemo,” “Babe,” and “The Sound of Music” have scary parts. That is because one of the reasons we tell and read and watch stories is because they give us a way to understand and conquer our fears. It will always be difficult for parents to determine what will be too scary for their children. I will do my best to describe what I see and provide some guidance but ultimately the decision can only be made by the ones who know the child best. And ultimately, parents must realize that sometimes a part of seeing a movie is being unsettled and learning to resolve those feelings.
P.S. “Coraline” also has a burlesque performance with two fat, elderly ladies in tiny little costumes that turn out to zip off, revealing younger, lither performers inside. How should a parent evaluate that on a scale of nudity or sexual material? Because it was comic and because it turned out not to be “real,” but a humorous fat suit, I described it as “brief comic nudity (skimpy costume).” I welcome other suggestions and reactions.

Previous Posts

Actress Speaks Up Against Absurd Hollywood Casting Conventions
Cheers to the understandably anonymous "Miss L," an actress in Hollywood, for her Tumblr posting real-life casting information that shows how limited and misogynistic Hollywood casting is.  Casting Call Woe shows actual casting call notices, most of which require actresses to be hot (no matter what

posted 3:57:54pm Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Paper Towns with Nat Wolff
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/w4olpTxktM4?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:09am Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

The Wrecking Crew
Maybe you like Frank Sinatra and your friend likes the Mamas and Papas. Maybe you've argued about who is better, the Beach Boys or Simon and Garfunkel, or maybe you prefer Elvis. Each of those monumen

posted 9:48:37pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Home
"Home" is a cute and colorful movie about an alien invasion with an important safety tip concerning one of the most destructive forces in the universe, something devastating to every known life form.

posted 5:59:44pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Ebertfest 2015
Passes are on sale for Ebertfest 2015!  I'll be there!  From Chaz Ebert's blog: We are opening with Jean-Luc Godard's silent opus in 3D, "Adieu Au Langage" ("Goodbye To Language"). Some have complained that you were against 3D films, but we know that you were against 3D when it was used onl

posted 3:49:39pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »


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