Movie Mom

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Little Hope Was Arson
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Not Rated
Release Date:
November 21, 2014

 

The Giver
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for a mature thematic image and some sci-fi action/violence
Release Date:
August 15, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images and thematic material
Release Date:
November 21, 2014

 

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
August 22, 2014

Foxcatcher
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some drug use and a scene of violence
Release Date:
November 21, 2014

 

Into the Storm
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense destruction and peril, and language including some sexual references
Release Date:
August 8, 2014

Definitely, Maybe

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, including some frank dialogue, language and smoking.
Movie Release Date:February 14, 2008
DVD Release Date:June 24, 2008

definitely%20maybe.jpg“Definitely, Maybe” is the story of the three great loves of a man’s life. That’s “story” in the literal sense, as in the bedtime story he tells his young daughter, who wants to know how he met her mother and, implicitly, why they are getting divorced.
Ryan Reynolds plays the idealistic Will Hayes, who relives his romantic life after receiving his final divorce papers, trying to figure out how he got where he is and what to do next. His daughter Maya (Little Miss Sunshine‘s Abigail Breslin), just out of her first sex education class, asks him how he met her mother, and he answers by telling her about all three of the women he loved, making her guess which one became his wife. Both of them realize that it is not really how they met but a better understanding of what went wrong that matters.

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Quiz: How Well Do you Know Your Robot Movies?

posted by Nell Minow

Wall*E, the new Pixar release, was inspired in part by one of the most loveable robots in movie history, R2D2 from “Star Wars.” Wall*E, an adorable garbage drone, inspired me to create this quiz about other memorable robots from movies and television. How many can you answer?
1. What film features three little robots who tend a garden and cheat at cards?
2. In what movie set in the future does a famous writer/director play a character who pretends to be a robot?
3. What robot’s most famous line was “Danger, Will Robinson!”
4. Robin Williams played robots in two movies. Can you name them?
5. This Disney Channel special had a scientist father who created a robot son.
6. Klaatu barada nikto were the special code words to stop which robot from destroying Washington?
7. This robot from one of the first big-budget science fiction movies was inspired by a character from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”
8. This sit-com was about a little girl robot who lived in a suburban family.
9. Another short-lived sit-com featured a beautiful female robot named Rhonda.
10. This gold-colored robot who appears in many movies has an English accent. What is his name? (bonus: Who built him?)
11. Robots were the stars of an animated film based on famous Shakespeare love story.
12. This robot wore an apron and carried a feather-duster in an animated sit-com.
13. A little boy robot becomes very attached to his human mother in this movie that was a collaboration of two of the world’s greatest directors.
14. Killer female robots attacked the hero of this comedy spy spoof.
15. His name means “information” but this beloved character from a long-running television series is almost human.
16. Is a replicant a robot or a human? Name three characters concerned with this question in “Blade Runner.”

The Sword in the Stone

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1963
DVD Release Date:June 17, 2008

Based on the book by T.H. White, this is the story of the early years of King Arthur. Nicknamed “Wart,” the future King Arthur is squire to a knight when he meets Merlin the magician, who promises to take on his education. Merlin turns him into a fish, a bird, and a squirrel to teach him lessons like the importance of brains over brawn. He gets to see this in action when Madame Mim, Merlin’s enemy, challenges Merlin to a duel by magic, and, though she cheats, Merlin is able to defeat her.

Wart still has his duties as a squire, and, having forgotten the sword for a jousting match, he runs to get it. He sees a sword stuck in a stone and pulls it out, not knowing the legend that whoever will pull the sword out of the stone will be the rightful king. He becomes King Arthur, and listens when Merlin reminds him that knowledge is the real power.

Discussion: The Arthur legend has fascinated people for centuries, and this story about Arthur’s childhood as special appeal for children. Aside from the fun of seeing what it is like to be a bird, a squirrel, or a fish, and from having your very own wizard as a teacher, there is the highly satisfying aspect of having one’s worth, unappreciated by everyone, affirmed so unequivocally.

Questions for Kids:

· What made Arthur the one who could pull the sword out of the stone?

· What did he learn from his adventures with Merlin?

· How will what he learned help him to be a good king?

· How did Madame Mim cheat?

· How did Merlin fight back when she did?

Connections: Older kids may like to see “Camelot,” the musical by Lerner and Lowe (of “My Fair Lady”), to find out some of what happened to Arthur later (WARNING: the focus of that movie is on Guinevere’s infidelity with Lancelot). Mature teenagers might like the rather gory “Excalibur,” which has some stunning images.

What Kids Learn from ‘Silly’ Media

posted by Nell Minow

FlowTV, the always-interesting scholarly online publication about media, has a thoughtful article by Aaron Delwiche of Trinity University called “‘What we me worry?’ What the new media literacy movement can learn from Mad Magazine and Wacky Packages.”What-me-worry-715605.jpg
Delwiche makes some good points about the legitimacy of video games as a subject for serious cultural and cognitive study and as a form of media that can be on a par with books, music, and movies. But I thought the more interesting part of the article was his discussion of Wacky Packages (the 1980’s trading cards with gross-out parodies of consumer products) and Mad Magazine and the way that the inherently rude and subversive nature of humor helps children begin to question assumptions, think more actively and creatively, and want to learn more about the world so that they can understand the jokes.

As we revamp the media literacy curriculum for the 21st century, Mad Magazine and Wacky Packages have something to teach us about the importance of humor, the value of simplicity, and — above all else — the importance of questioning the man behind the curtain.

Previous Posts

List: YA Books About Coming Out and Same-Sex Relationships
My good friend Sandie is my go-to for YA literature as she is not only very knowledgeable but also very insightful, with superb taste. As a part of her series of books that explore issues of diversity, understanding, and identity, she has put together a list of the best YA books that explore LGBT i

posted 4:41:34pm Nov. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Gortimer Gibbons: Life on Normal Street
Amazon Prime's new series for families is a delight. Gortimer Gibbons: Life on Normal Street is the story of three middle school-age friends and the mysteries they investigate on Normal Street are anything but normal. It has fun and fantasy but mostly it has friendship. It's a perfect choice for

posted 3:58:21pm Nov. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Auction Tomorrow from Bonhams/TCM
Bonhams and Turner Classic Movies have joined together again for another auction of classic Hollywood memorabilia, with treasures from the golden age of movie-making, including the piano Sam plays "As

posted 8:00:36am Nov. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Little Hope Was Arson
In a small East Texas community "with a church on every corner," 10 churches were burned. One church showed the Christian film "Fireproof" one night and showed that it was far from fireproof itself

posted 8:40:04pm Nov. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Docudrama about Handel's Messiah on BYUtv November 27, 2014
BYUtv has produced a new docudrama, Handel’s Messiah, premiering November 27, 2014, about the world’s most popular and renowned choral work by one of the leading composers of the Baroque era, George Frideric Handel. The docudrama, narrated by Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning actress Jane Seymo

posted 8:00:38am Nov. 22, 2014 | read full post »


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