Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Strange Magic
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some action and scary images
Release Date:
January 23, 2015

 

The Boxtrolls
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for action, some peril and mild rude humor
Release Date:
September 26, 2014

Mortdecai
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some language and sexual material
Release Date:
January 23, 2015

 

The Drop
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some strong violence and pervasive language
Release Date:
September 12, 2014

Cake
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language, substance abuse and brief sexuality
Release Date:
January 24, 2015

 

Lucy
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R For strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality
Release Date:
July 25, 2014

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sci-fi action violence throughout, brief language and momentary smoking.
Movie Release Date:August 13, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 11, 2008


Oh, George Lucas. Please stop diluting the franchise.

This latest all-animated iteration of “Star Wars” has a relationship to the original somewhere along the lines of the relationship of a homeopathic ingredient to the ultimate concoction. It has been diluted so that its atoms are barely detectable. The saga suffers in part because so many have taken what Lucas did in the 1970’s and 80’s and taken it further in terms of technology as well as story. All that remains here is from the weakest part of the original trilogy, especially the cardboard dialogue, without the screen charisma and acting ability of Harrison Ford and some of the others to make it work. The animation is below the level of most video games.

Worst of all, the movie diminishes the story arc of the original trilogies by taking the key character of Anakin Skywalker in a direction unrelated to everything we knew about him. What should enrich and expand on the stories just erodes further our sense of the original characters.

New Chaplin Bio from Stephen M. Weissman

posted by Nell Minow

Chaplin: A Life is a splendid new biography of one of the most brilliant performers of the 20th century by psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Stephen M. Weissman.

chaplin.gif

It has received glowing reviews from both of the most prestigious publishing journals:

“A fresh entry in the evergreen field of works devoted to Charlie Chaplin. If ever an artist’s life lent itself to psychoanalysis, it’s Chaplin’s. . . . Weissman lends dimension to the classics . . . and demonstrates Chaplin’s ability to transform family heartbreak into film comedies. . . . With lean, energetic prose, Weissman brings this colorful theatrical period to life. . . . He offers vivid sketches . . .and carefully follows the confluence of several artists that lead to the creation of the Chaplin’s iconic Little Tramp. Throughout the book,the author caps exhaustive sourcing with an overlay of insightful observations about Chaplin’s creative process. Find space on the crowded Chaplin shelf for this perceptive, literate take on the great screen clown.”
-Kirkus Reviews

“Weissman uncovers the source for the “shabby gentility” of the Little Tramp, as well as the development of that extraordinary character. En route, he paints an engaging…portrait of how a cinema artist is created and how he practices his craft.”
-Publishers Weekly

But its most important review comes from Chaplin’s daughter Geraldine, who contributed an introduction that reads in part:

It is unlike anything that has ever been written about my father. Weissman weaves a psychologically astute narrative of Chaplin’s life and art, brilliantly exploring the relationships between experience and creativity….Weissman probes into the psychological explanation of the closest human bonds. It is uncanny how intuitively correct a trained outside investigator’s conclusions can turn out to be. This book, always provocative and at times heart-wrenching, is an enlightening read, an important addition to an understanding of my father’s genius and art, and a unique meditation on the mystery of creativity.

The book beautifully illuminates the sources and influences that inspired Chaplin’s unique combination of grace, humor, and poignancy. And Weissman has created a website about Chaplin that, like the book, is an extraordinary and insightful resource for fans and scholars. Its video clips, photo essays, and links enrich our understanding of an appreciation for this treasured icon.

Teach With Movies: Resource for Teachers and Parents

posted by Nell Minow

Teach With Movies is a subscription-based website with teaching materials for over 200 movies, to help teachers and parents use films to begin discussions with children and teenagers about everything from understanding emotions and improving communication to making choices and recognizing narrative themes and symbols.
Their free samples include a guide to October Sky, one of my favorite films, based on the real-life story of a young boy from a West Virginia mining town who dreams of becoming a rocket scientist. And their guide to Finding Nemo has some great ideas for talking to children about friendship and responsibility. It has good advice that applies to any movie or television show kids watch, a good reminder that media is most valuable when it is used to awaken ideas and start conversations.
Just talking with your child fosters verbal, social and emotional learning. You can talk about a movie at any time: right after it is over, in the car on the way to school, during quiet time, or before bed. — Ask about the story, the characters, and the plot. Keep it light and fun. — Always encourage your child to form opinions and to share them. — Exercise memory skills by asking about plot details. — Open-ended questions will help get a discussion going.

The Perfect Holiday

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG for language and some suggestive humor.
Movie Release Date:December 12, 2007
DVD Release Date:November 11, 2008

perfect%20holiday.jpg
This sugarplum of a movie is held together with good intentions and paperclips, but its appealing cast and seasonal sweetness make it — if not the perfect holiday treat, a pleasantly enjoyable one, especially welcome because there are so few Christmas stories about African-American families.

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Previous Posts

Before They Were Stars: Television Commercials With Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, and More
Phil Hall has a delightful collection of "before they were stars" television ads featuring Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, James Dean, Morgan Freeman, Matt LeBlanc, Steve Carell, and more. Here's one I love that he left out, with pre-"Laverne and Shirley" Penny Marshall and pre-"Charlie's Angels" Farr

posted 8:00:34am Jan. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Alan Menken Plays His Hits
[iframe width="416" height="234" src="http://abc.go.com/embed/VDKA0_i2msn1gc" frameborder="0"] Alan Menken, currently composing the songs for "Galavant," here sings some of his greatest hits, including songs from "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," "The Little Mermaid," "Enchanted," "Pocahontas,"

posted 8:00:02am Jan. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Strange Magic
Despite the big names behind it, including George Lucas, who came up with the story and produced, it feels like a straight-to-DVD, about the level of Disney's Tinkerbell series. It's bright,

posted 5:25:48pm Jan. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Bad Movies Inspire Great Critics: Mortdecai
Johnny Depp's "Mortdecai" is sure of a place of dishonor on the end of the year worst lists.  Business Insider and Huffington Post have some choice quotes from some of the movie's best bad reviews, and I've found some good ones, too, including: David Edelstein, New York Magazine Having combed

posted 3:35:40pm Jan. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Four Disney Artists Paint a Tree
Pure pleasure: Four great Disney artists, Marc Davis, Eyvind Earle, Josh Meador, and Walt Peregoy, paint a tree. There's a reason they call them actors with pencils. Or, just call them geniuses. [iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/9JK9uQNBDxQ?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:31am Jan. 24, 2015 | read full post »


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