Movie Mom

Movie Mom

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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

 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence
Release Date:
May 2, 2014

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

 

Bears
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
G
Release Date:
April 19, 2014

When the Game Stands Tall
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for thematic material, a scene of violence, and brief smoking
Release Date:
August 22, 2014

 

Need for Speed
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of reckless street racing, disturbing crash scenes, nudity and crude language
Release Date:
March 14, 2014

More thoughts on “The Golden Compass”

posted by Nell Minow

goldencompasslyra.jpg
Very worthwhile readings on “The Golden Compass” and the controversy:
In the LA Times, Laura Miller talks about the emailed claims that author Philip Pullman is anti-relgion.

Snopes lists this particular rumor as “true,” presumably because the e-mails use a few genuine, if cherry-picked, quotations from Pullman’s writings and press interviews. But that doesn’t keep the whole thing from being fundamentally ridiculous.
Most preposterous, of course, is the idea that anyone would make a $180-million movie with the purpose of tricking children into reading a seditious book. What self-respecting kid ever needed that much encouragement to ferret out whatever the adults are trying to hide?
Also — whoops! — no one’s been hiding “His Dark Materials.” To date, 15 million copies of Pullman’s books have been sold worldwide. “The Golden Compass” won not only the 1995 Carnegie Medal, a prize awarded by British children’s librarians, but also the “Carnegie of Carnegies,” as the public’s favorite book in the prize’s 70-year history. The final novel in the trilogy, “The Amber Spyglass,” won the Whitbread Book of the Year award in 2001, the first children’s book ever to do so. It’s safe to say that copies of the trilogy reside in every decent children’s library in the nation. If there is indeed a “deceitful stealth campaign” afoot to lure children to Pullman’s books — as William Donohue, spokesman for the Catholic League, insists — it’s remarkably short on stealth….I first met Pullman in England, at an annual lecture sponsored by a trust dedicated to the furthering of religious education. I buttonholed Simon Pettitt, an Anglican priest and the trust’s chairman, to marvel at this; his counterparts in the United States, I said, would never have invited a figure like Pullman to speak at a flagship public event. And yet, Pettitt is no renegade. Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, has enthused about “His Dark Materials” and participated in an onstage discussion with Pullman when a stage version of “His Dark Materials” was produced by the National Theatre in London.
“In America,” I told Pettitt, “religious groups gain political advantage and rally their followers by presenting themselves as embattled. Actually listening to the other side is tantamount to admitting you’re not really being persecuted.” With a look of mild pity, he replied, “In order to come to views, you don’t just listen to people you agree with. Education is a good thing, and, therefore, so is openness to different views.”
Although Pullman has some vehement detractors among Britain’s Christians, the liberal clergy there have more often valued his books for tackling the great questions of existence: life, death, morality and humanity’s role in the universe. They regard his fiction as a springboard for discussion, the kind of discussion that does sometimes lead people to embrace God. They recognize him not as an enemy but as an ally in a society increasingly colonized by the vapid preoccupations of consumer culture.

And the Economist’s UK magazine More Intelligent Life has an interview with Pullman. He talks about his experiences as a teacher of middle-school-age children and how that helped him develop the character of 12-year-old Lyra. And he talks about his reaction to the fundamentalists who call him anti-religious:

Pullman says that people who are tempted to take offence should first see the film or read the books. “They’ll find a story that attacks such things as cruelty, oppression, intolerance, unkindness, narrow-mindedness, and celebrates love, kindness, open-mindedness, tolerance, curiosity, human intelligence. It’s very hard to disagree with those. But people will.”
How will he respond to those attacks? “A soft answer turneth away wrath, as it says in my favourite book.” (Proverbs 15:1.) So he won’t argue back? “It’s a foolish thing for the teller of a story to answer critics. If you’re putting forward an argument, you can argue back and demonstrate why your argument is better than theirs. But if someone doesn’t like a story you’ve written, what are you going to say? ‘Well, you should’?”

And here Jeffrey Overstreet, who reviews movies for Christianity Today Movies, gives his view:

He’s not really undermining Christian belief as he thinks he is; he is undermining the abuse of authority, something altogether contrary to the gospel.
No, don’t be afraid. The gospel will survive the publishing phenomenon of Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials, without so much as a scratch. It’s not worth getting all worked up about it.
If Pullman’s work shakes up people’s faith, then their faith was poorly developed to begin with.

Overstreet also refers readers to two other reviews from Christian critics, Steven D. Greydanus and Peter T. Chattaway.

Welcome from The Movie Mom

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I hope you will check in often and I would be very happy to hear your comments, questions, and suggestions — even your corrections. I’ll be reviewing movies and DVDs every week and I’ll also be blogging nearly every day about media, values, family and community, posting interviews with writers, actors, directors, animators, and others, creating best/worst lists of all kinds, and responding to questions from “what’s a good movie for a 8-year-old’s slumber party?” to “why does my preschooler want to watch the same movie every single day?”, to the ever-popular “I only remember one thing about a movie I saw many years ago — do you know the title?” (Sometimes I do!)
My radio listeners are already familiar with the rarely-invoked “Gothika” rule — if a movie has a truly idiotic ending, I will give it away. Watch this space for the latest on my “Gothika” list.
And watch this space too — that’s my new Beliefnet Community group. Please join me there for a conversation about media, culture, and values. Let me know which movies and television shows you and your family love — and which ones you don’t.
More about my plans, my goals, and my point of view:

Continue Reading This Post »

Best DVD gifts of 2007

posted by Nell Minow

Gift ideas for the whole family:

For the preschooler-2nd grader

Treasury%2520of%2520100%2520Story-NS.jpg
Scholastic’s Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics is my very favorite DVD series ever for 3-8 year olds, with the very best in children’s books. The visuals, narration, and musical accompaniment are perfectly matched with stories that are funny, wise, inspiring, spooky, and always, always, an invitation to reading. Every one in the series is outstanding family entertainment and for the first time they are available as a set as well.

The latest from Veggie Tales is The Wonderful Wizard of Ha’s, inspired by the story of the prodigal son. Like Dorothy, he learns that there’s no place like home.

Dora’s Christmas Everyone’s favorite explorer gives Santa a gift.

For the 3th-8th grader

nakedbros.jpg
The Naked Brothers Band and the companion television series with real-life brothers Nat and Alex Wolff playing superstar versions of themselves is hilarious and charming.

Like Disney superstar Hannah Montana, life is imitating art, with the real-life performers becoming very successful as performing artists. hannahmontana.jpg High School Musical 2 continues the phenomenon that was the surprise hit of 2006.

The 2007 Washington Jewish Film Festival: Highlights

posted by Nell Minow

The 2007 Washington Jewish Film Festival included nearly 60 films. Some highlights:
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox bronner.jpg A documentary telling the story behind the toiletries sold in health food stores and follows Bronner’s son as he carries forth his father’s message of unity and cleanliness.
Arranged Two devout women, one an Orthodox Jew, one a Muslim, meet as teachers in a New York school and find that they have a great deal in common. Very touching and sincere — inspired by a true story.
Bad Faith A French couple does not worry about their religious differences even though he is an Arab Muslim and she is a Jew because they are non-practicing and uncommitted — until she becomes pregnant.
Justice Louis D. Brandeis: The People’s Attorney Documentary about the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice and the originator of our modern legal theories about the right to privacy — now more central than ever in the era of Facebook and The Patriot Act.
Kike Like Me In the tradition of Black Like ME and Gentleman’s Agreement, a Canadian film-maker tells the people he meets that he is Jewish and films their reactions. Lubavitchers invite him to pray, Pat Buchanan bristles at the implication he is anti-Semitic, and some non-Jews admit that they think Jews want to control the world. Often frustrating but always provocative.
Love and Dance Like many of the films in the series, this focuses on a character who is uncertain about his identity because he feels
LoveandDance175.jpg in betweeen two cultures. His mother is Russian and his father is Israeli. Somehow a ballroom dance class featuring the cha-cha and the tango helps him bridge the divide and develop his own identity.
Praying with Lior Documentary about Lior, who has Down Syndrome. He also has a gift for prayer, and for inspiring those around him. And he is preparing for his bar mitzvah.
Sixty-Six
Helena Bonham Carter stars in this nostalgic story set in 1966. A London boy realizes that his bar mitzvah is scheduled for the date of the World Cup. He starts to root for every team playing against England because if England is in the World Cup, no one will come to his bar mitzvah. Meanwhile, his parents’ store may be put out of business by a new supermarket. sixty_six.jpg

Previous Posts

Yes, Another "Happy" Video, But You Will Love This One, I Promise
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3KSKS3TTbc#t=239[/youtube] Produced by a team of Deaf campers & staff from Deaf Film Camp 2014 at Camp Mark Seven.

posted 11:35:09am Aug. 22, 2014 | read full post »

An R Rating for Being Gay?
"Love is Strange," a tender, beautifully written and performed love story about a three decade relationship, stars John Lithgow and Alfred Molina.  The MPAA has given the movie an R rating even though there is nothing in the film that normally triggers an R in the categories of language, violence,

posted 10:00:58am Aug. 22, 2014 | read full post »

If I Stay
Hamlet asked it best. "To be, or not to be: That is the question." We struggle through, worrying about whether someone likes us or whether we will be accepted at the school of our choice

posted 6:00:09pm Aug. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
If you want to not just see but hear an eyeball being pulverized, then see "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For."  If you want to see and hear it in the company of an audience who thinks that's

posted 5:59:27pm Aug. 21, 2014 | read full post »

When the Game Stands Tall
This dreary assemblage of every possible sports cliché has one thing in common with the game it portrays. Every time it seems to be going somewhere, it stops. More frustratingly, it wastes the opportunity to tell a good story by trying to squeeze in too many great ones. There are too many crises

posted 5:59:00pm Aug. 21, 2014 | read full post »


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