Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

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

 

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

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

 

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

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
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

Washington Area Film Critics pick Coen Brothers movie

posted by Nell Minow

The Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) today announced its selection of the gritty thriller No Country for Old Men as Best Film of 2007. In total, the Miramax/Paramount Vantage film won four awards including Best Director for Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Best Acting Ensemble and Best Supporting Actor for Javier Bardem.
Earning his first accolade from WAFCA, George Clooney was named Best Actor for his intense portrayal of an ethically challenged lawyer in Warner Brothers’ Michael Clayton, while Julie Christie was awarded Best Actress for her heartbreaking turn as an Alzheimer’s patient in Lionsgate’s Away From Her.
“In the year of the big-budget sequel, The Coen Brothers, Clooney and Christie proved a well-written, expertly directed and amazingly acted movie is just as important to filmgoers as special effects and loud explosions,” said Tim Gordon, president of WAFCA.
In other categories, Disney/Pixar’s uproarious and inspiring Ratatouille was named Best Animated Feature, and Paramount’s macabre tale of vengeance, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, was honored for Best Art Direction.
Amy Ryan walked away with Best Supporting Actress kudos for her show-stopping performance in Gone Baby Gone. Meanwhile, Juno’s Ellen Page was awarded Best Breakthrough Performance for her acerbic portrayal of a pregnant teen in Juno.
The Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association is comprised of thirty-nine DC-based film critics from television, radio, print and the internet. Voting was conducted from December 8 – 9, 2007.
Best Film: No Country for Old Men/Miramax & Paramount Vantage
Best Director: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men)
Best Actor: George Clooney (Michael Clayton)
Best Actress: Julie Christie (Away From Her)
Best Ensemble: No Country for Old Men/Miramax & Paramount Vantage
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
Best Breakthrough Performance: Ellen Page (Juno)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin (Charlie Wilson’s War)
Best Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody (Juno)
Best Animated Feature: Ratatouille/Disney & Pixar
Best Foreign Language Film: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly/Miramax
Best Documentary: SiCKO/The Weinstein Company
Best Art Direction: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street/Paramount

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.

Previous Posts

Interview: Daniel Schechter, Writer/Director of "Life of Crime"
Newcomer Daniel Schechter, who wrote one of my favorite neglected gems, The Big Bad Swim, worked with an all-star cast in "Life of Crime," which he adapted from The Switch by Elmore Leonard and directed.  It is set in 1970's Detroit and it is the story of a woman played by Jennifer Aniston who i

posted 3:59:35pm Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

The November Man
Pierce Brosnan knows what it is like to play a spy in a big-budget, glamorous, blockbuster. He was the most urbane of Bonds in four movies. He knows what it is to play a seedier spy in a prestige, mildly meta movie, the 2001 film "The Tailor of Panama" (with Daniel Radcliffe in a pre-Potter role). S

posted 10:57:58am Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Thunder and the House of Magic
"Thunder and the House of Magic" opens September 5, 2014. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6VKG3lZEIg[/youtube]

posted 8:00:02am Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Anatomy of Every Movie Ever
This is hilarious and, I have to say, accurate.  Thank you, John Atkinson of Wrong Hands!

posted 3:59:37pm Aug. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Cozi Zuehlsdorff's New Song for "Dolphin Tale 2" -- "Brave Souls"
I'm really looking forward to "Dolphin Tale 2," even more so after seeing this music video by Cozi Zuehlsdorff, the young actress who reprises her role as Hazel from the original film. Cozi’s song, which she wrote and performs herself, is called “Brave Souls” and in this video she explains how

posted 12:23:08pm Aug. 26, 2014 | read full post »


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