Movie Mom

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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

 

The Maze Runner
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, including some disturbing images
Release Date:
September 19, 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for violence including battle sequences and intense images
Release Date:
December 12, 2014

 

Magic in the Moonlight
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for a brief suggestive comment, and smoking throughout
Release Date:
August 1, 2014

Top Five
Lowest Recommended Age:
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, crude humor, language throughout and some drug use
Release Date:

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Release Date:
August 8, 2014

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

posted by Nell Minow

Arrrrrrrrrrr! Avast me hearties, it be Talk Like a Pirate Day! If you have not read the classic Dave Barry tribute to this most wonderfully silly of holidays, you are in for a treat.Captain Hookjpg
And what better way to celebrate than with some great pirate movies!
1. The Pirates of Penzance The classic Gilbert and Sullivan musical is about an apprentice pirate who cannot leave until his 21st birthday — but was born on Feb 29, so that means he has a long, long time to wait. Completely charming and hilarious with wonderful songs that include “Poor Wandering One” and “A Policeman’s Lot is Not a Happy One.” (All ages)
jack_sparrow.jpg2. Pirates of the Caribbean Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom broke the curse of the pirate movie with this smash success — improbably based on a theme park ride — that led to two sequels. (10 and up)
3. Shipwrecked Think “Home Alone” with pirates as a couple of kids have to defend an island from pirate leader Gabriel Byrne. (8 and up)
4. Peter Pan Pirate Captain Hook and his faithful sidekick Smee are no match for Peter, Wendy, and the Lost Boys in this Disney classic. (All ages. Note: Some racist and sexist material as typical for its era)
5. Captain Blood No one swashbuckles like Errol Flynn! In one of his most famous roles he plays a wrongfully convicted doctor who escapes and becomes a pirate. (8 and up)

Interview: Irena Salina of ‘FLOW’

posted by Nell Minow

Director Irena Salina talked to me about her new documentary, “FLOW: For Love of Water,” about the problems of contamination and scarcity in water systems throughout the world.
What kind of water do you drink?
Tap water! We need to get back to fall in love with tap water. If you’re concerned about chemicals, until we put state of the art filtration in place, look at the “get the tap back” information at Food and Water Watch.
What led you to this project?
My first film was “Ghost Bird: The Life and Art of Judith Deim.” She was a painter who lived in a remote village in Mexico and had known John Steinbeck when he was young and lived with gypsies in Spain. She was an inspiration to her daughters and granddaughters. I had been collecting articles about this issue. I heard Robert Kennedy, Jr. speak with Riverkeepers about fighting companies dumping chemicals in the Hudson. I responded to this like a mother, the idea of those chemicals coming into our bodies.
Then I saw an article in The Nation: “Who Owns Water?” by Tony Clarke and Maude Barlow. They asked, “Is water going to be the oil of the 21st century — could it become a monopoly?” Within the article was a small story about New Orleans, the biggest privatization project in the US and I decided to cover it. US Filter and United Water, Mayor Nagan, ACORN, a labor guy — every civil society representative was there. I brought a good friend with a camera. I covered the whole story interviewed everyone — it will be on the DVD extras. I contacted Steven Starr in LA and said, “I want to make a documentary about water.” He immediately believed in it. Then off I was going to Japan and the World Water Council, meeting all the players and the people, doing the sound, camera, everything. Next, Steven was giving me his mileage to go to Bolivia. Five years, on and off, and now it is here.
How do you convey the seriousness of the issue without leaving people in despair?
What was really, really important was to have some characters who really moved me. I thought, “Wow, this man has such an effect on me, what he is doing for the poorest of the poor, maybe there’s a chance he will go through the guts of people.” Scientists talking, I was yawning! If “An Inconvenient Truth” didn’t have Al Gore but some professor, it would not have worked. I tried to find people to be inspired by. Not just boring talking heads, yes this is a serious subject, there are young activists who scream but what I loved about Maude Barlow [author of Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water (New Press)] was she could be your aunt, a middle class grandmother could relate to her. She was very passionate about what she does. We had tears in our eyes listening to Ashok Gadgil.
What resources are you making available to people who want to know/do more?
We are working on our website. We will have maps of the US. And people can also go to Food and Water Watch for more information.
What do you most want people to get from this film?
I love what Peter Gleick from the Pacific Institute says about how the World Bank knows how to spend $100 million but it does not know how to spend $1000 a million times. For me, that is the essence of the problem. That could not describe better what I’ve seen around the world.
What is the best advice you ever got?
Plant the seed little by little, one step at a time, with simplicity but at the same time reaching slowly from one place to another.
What inspires you?
Anything that gets me, deep, on a heart level, on a gut level, whether it’s a little woman who inspired me in Mexico, the story of water, equality, people, justice. My grandfather was in the resistance from Nice. He has an avenue under his name. He was always for the people. He view was: You had to be there, to do it, you did not even ask.
My next project is something that sort of grew on me over the last two years, planted its roots and not letting me cut it, the story of the farmers in India who are in desperate circumstances due to pesticides. I will treat it as a fiction film but explore as a documentary. I don’t know if I was Indian in a past life but there is a connection with the earth. It is not an expose but a love story. It is not “we hate Monsanto” but the story of a grandmother conserving the seeds for the next year and the next generation.

Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material, sexual references and brief violence.
Movie Release Date:September 12, 2008

Tyler Perry’s latest film is more traditional and with a more consistent tone than his “Medea” movies, but it has his trademark trio: sincerity, spirituality, and story. And if he passes on that other “s” — subtlety, that’s all right. Reminiscent of the classic Hollywood melodramas filled with financial, romantic, and family anguish, this is the story of two families, one white and wealthy, one black and poor, and the many ways they interact — in business, in friendship, in love, and in battle.

Both families are headed by strong, determined single mothers. Charlotte (Kathy Bates) is the matriarch of the wealthy Cartwright family and holds the controlling shares in its construction business. Her closest friend is Alice (Alfre Woodard), the owner of a run-down diner who is always willing to give a free meal and clean clothes to someone who needs help. Charlotte’s son William (Cole Hauser) wants to take over the family business, with or without his mother’s approval. Alice has one daughter Pam (Taraji P. Henson) who works in the diner and another one (Sanaa Lathan as Andrea) who has a degree in finance and a lot of ambition. She works directly with William and both sisters’ husbands are construction workers for Cartwright with dreams of starting a firm of their own.

Writer/director/star Perry (he plays only one role this time, Pam’s husband) takes on big themes and big drama: sex, love, death, betrayal, and corporate takeovers, but all presented with heart and sincerity and a firm and genuinely inspiring devotion to God and to doing for others. It is sheer pleasure to watch Bates and Woodward take on these roles. On a road trip (“Like Oprah and Gayle!”) or in a boardroom, tucking bills in the thong of a male stripper, confronting heartbreak, counting blessings, they keep us watching and caring.

Film Ephemera

posted by Nell Minow
No_Greater_Power.jpg

The AV Geeks have an amazing archive of “film ephemera,” of over 20,000 little odds and ends (mostly odds) that have been retrieved from warehouses, garbage dumps, and thrift shops. It’s like seeing our culture through the eyes of an anthropologist. You can find educational and safety films you may have seen in school or Bible study or training films you may remember from work. Take a look at “School Rules: How They Help Us” from 1953.

The AV Geeks have made some DVD compilations available including “Atomic Age Classics Vol 6 : Love & Marriage DVD” (Social-Sex Attitudes in Adolescence, How Do You Know It’s Love?, Are You Ready For Marriage?, Marriage Is A Partnership, Should I Marry Outside My Faith?) and the “I am Joe’s…” series based on the Reader’s Digest articles about the organs of the human body. Also on the site, film Professor Brian Hess shares his paper on the history of Christian educational film pioneers Charles Baptista and James K. Friedrich.

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[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/NoHp2Rq8sMI?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

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