Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Black or White
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language, thematic material involving drug use and drinking, and for a fight
Release Date:
January 30, 2015

 

The Book of Life
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action, rude humor, some thematic elements and brief scary images
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

Black Sea
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language throughout, some graphic images and violence
Release Date:
January 30, 2015

 

The Judge
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language including some sexual references
Release Date:
October 10, 2014

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

 

Fury
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

Baby Book Series: Clean-Up Time, Bye-Bye Time

posted by Nell Minow

There are zillions of books to teach children the alphabet, colors, and numbers, but this lovely new series of board books from Free Spirit Publishing helps toddlers learn important skills like listening, going to sleep, saying good-bye, and cleaning up.

Author Elizabeth Verdick and illustrator Marieka Heinlen have created reassuring texts that give children confidence and reinforcement. And each book has tips for parents and care-givers to help preschoolers put what they have learned into practice. The design is inviting, with friendly vintage fabrics used as backrounds and simply-drawn but appealing and diverse characters children will identify with. Veridick says, “During the toddler years, daily routines and transitions are big challenges, and every little success matters. The books are meant to take children and parents through familiar routines in a gentle, positive way.”

The Incredible Hulk

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some frightening sci-fi images, and brief suggestive content
Movie Release Date:June 13, 2008
DVD Release Date:October 21, 2008

incredible-hulk-poster-0.jpgIt begins with a zippy credit sequence that dispatches with the backstory Ang Lee’s lumbering 2003 version took more than an hour to slog through. And we’re off! Who cares what kind of gamma rays turned Bruce Banner into the Hulk? We just want to see stuff blow up and crash!

You need to know that while I am a Comic-Con-attending fangirl, Hulk never did much for me, so keep that in mind when I tell you this is only a pretty good superhero movie. I like a superhero who is smart as well as strong. David Banner is a scientific genius, but when the Hulk is hulkified he’s too beasty. On the other side he mostly fights a lot of soldiers with a lot of guns and artillery, not as interesting as one worthy adversary.

There’s the obligatory cameo by Stan Lee. There are the obligatory cameos from former Hulk portrayers Bill Bixby (glimpsed on television in “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father”) and Lou Ferrigno and a cheeky variation on Hulk’s signature line. As always, Hulk has to deal with the bursting seams problem and find some stretchy pants. And as often happens with Marvel heroes, a cure seems within reach just as a greater evil based on the same transformative power requires him to get his Hulk on.

In movies like these there is usually a moment where the hero and heroine have to consult some scientist and Tim Blake Nelson is terrific as the professor who is “more curious than cautious.” Edward Norton is fine as Banner, who must plot and run while keeping his heart rate down to avoid an untimely Hulkization. Liv Tyler is lovely as the love interest but as is customary in these films she has little to do. There are some terrific action sequences. I particularly liked it when the Hulk used a car broken in two as boxing gloves. But it all seems a little antiseptic and over-CGI’d. There are echoes of current events — a reference to Homeland Security, some anti-government talk, and echoes of stories like “King Kong” and “Beauty and the Beast,” but they seem derivative and uninspired. Overall, it’s a forgettable popcorn flick with a too-brief appearance by Robert Downey, Jr. as a reminder of what a great superhero movie feels like.

Parents should know that the film has a lot of action violence, crashes and explosions, firing of weapons, bombs, brief non-sexual nudity (side view in shower), a brief non-explicit sexual situation, and some strong language.

Family discussion: What are the advantages and disadvantages of being “more curious than cautious?” Should Banner allow himself to be “cured?”

If you like this, try: Iron Man and the Spider-Man trilogy. And the Hulk always makes me think of the classic anger rampage scene from Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories:

HSM3 Music Widget!

posted by Nell Minow

Watch and listen!

Quiz: High School Musicals

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of HSM3, test your memory of musicals with high school settings:

1. What number is on Troy’s basketball uniform?

2. What is the name of the high school musical they perform in the first movie?

3. What 1978 high school movie musical set in the 1950’s featured real-life 50’s star Eve Arden?

4. What 1963 high school musical begins with a song where teenagers calling each other to talk/sing about about a couple going steady?

5. Who was the “Rock and Roll High School” named after?

6. What rock group was the favorite of the kids in “Rock and Roll High School?”

7. Which popular high school musical has been filmed twice?

8. What musical was about teenagers who wanted to have a dance in a town where rock music was banned?

9. Which superstar duo appeared in several different movies as teenagers who put on musical shows?

10. Which movie with a best-selling and Oscar-winning title song was set in a high school where music and dance were at the heart of the curriculum?

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