Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Love is Strange
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language
Release Date:
08/22/2014

 

Adventure Planet
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:

The November Man
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong violence including a sexual assault, language, sexuality/nudity and brief drug use
Release Date:
August 27, 2014

 

Blended
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and language.
Release Date:
May 23, 2014

If I Stay
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some sexual material
Release Date:
August 22, 2014

 

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some scary images and mild peril
Release Date:
May 9, 2014

God Bless Anita Renfroe

posted by Nell Minow

I was delighted to see a terrific article about the fabulous Anita Renfroe in the New York Times. It is especially gratifying to see the mainstream media embrace a performer who is frank and upfront about her Christianity. It is a welcome reminder to everyone along the spectrum from believer to skeptic and beyond that humor’s inherently subversive aspects are not inconsistent with sincere faith and religious practice.

One of my first postings on this blog was Ms. Renfroe’s “William Tell Overture” version of everything a mother says in a 24-hour period and I am pleased to have a chance to post it again for those who might have missed it. Check out her home page for her response to the dads who asked for their own version. Check out Good Morning America for her “Estrogen Theater” updates on life’s most crucial issues and confounding questions.

Speed Racer

posted by Nell Minow

Andy and Larry Wachowski, the folks behind the Matrix trilogy, have taken the iconic but decidedly low-tech 1960′s Japanese cartoon character and put the pedal to the metal with dazzling effects and electrifying action. Do what Speed Racer does — put on your red socks and GO!

Even as a child, Speed Racer could only think of one thing, making cars go as fast as possible. Not surprising — he was surrounded by racing. The family business was race cars. His father (John Goodman) built them and his older brother drove them. When his brother is killed in a crash, Speed (Emile Hirsch) takes over. On and off the race track he battles the competition, even when they do not fight fairly. By his side are his parents, his little brother, his and his girlfriend Trixie (Christina Ricci, looking like a real-life version of an anime heroine with her enormous eyes).

The plot is pretty much the same as the cartoon series, meaning light-weight and a little incoherent. Basically, evil forces are trying to stop Speed from winning the race. The sections with the kid brother and his chimp are slow points for everyone over age 9 but it is all great fun, with a hero to believe in and visuals that are both reassuringly retro and stunningly innovative. Every wallpaper and fabric, each car, helmet, and racetrack is meticulously designed to evoke a mash-up between Speed’s Norman Rockwell-style, solidly heartland home and the souped-up super space age world outside. The Wachowskis re-invent the color wheel with reds and yellows that make fire engines and school buses seem pale.

The dialogue is pared down to essentials: “You think you can drive a car and change the world? It doesn’t work like that!” “Maybe not, but it’s the only thing I know how to do and I gotta do something.” The plot is no more significant (or confusing) than in the cartoon originals. All we need to know is that in the world of Speed Racer you can drive a car and change the world — if you drive it very, very fast.

Never Back Down

posted by Nell Minow

never%20back%20down.jpgThere have been a number of very successful films lately that show one or more high school kids participating in some form of ultimate competition, usually involving dance or sports. The form is as predictable as a limerick: Good-hearted but sullen and misunderstood New Kid comes to school with a tragic backstory to overcome. New Kid has natural talent. Snotty Type thinks he/she is all that. New Kid tries to show off and suffers humiliating defeat. New Kid learns important lessons about life (often from Wise Teacher). He/she and begins to develop a romantic relationship with Love Interest and a friendship with Goofy Sidekick, who is there to provide wisecracks and very often additional motivation by being at risk. Just in time for the big show/game, New Kid finds he/she has the nerve, the skills, and the eye of the tiger. And who is in the audience? Not just Love Interest, but PPP — Previously Prohibiting Parent.

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Horton Hears a Who

posted by Nell Minow

horton1.jpgThey finally got Dr. Seuss right in this warm-hearted and heart-warming story of the elephant who is “faithful 100 percent” and the world on a little speck of dust that he rescues.

Jim Carrey provides the voice of Horton, an elephant with a gentle soul who teaches the jungle animal children. When a frail plant is carelessly trampled underfoot, he stops to pat it carefully back into the ground. And when he hears a tiny voice coming from a dust mote, he races after it to tenderly place it on a clover. He finds a way to communicate with the voice, which belongs to the Mayor of Whoville (Steve Carell). Each is surprised to find out that there is a world beyond the one he thought of as everything there was.

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