Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


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Annie
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some mild language and rude humor
Release Date:
December 19, 2014

 

The Maze Runner
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, including some disturbing images
Release Date:
September 19, 2014

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action, some rude humor and brief language
Release Date:
December 19, 2014

 

Magic in the Moonlight
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for a brief suggestive comment, and smoking throughout
Release Date:
August 1, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
Release Date:
December 19, 2014

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Release Date:
August 8, 2014

12 Angry Men

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:July 29, 1957

Twelve jurors, hot and tired after a six-day murder trial, file into the jury room. They begin with a vote — 11 vote for a guilty verdict, but one (Henry Fonda), juror Number 8, votes to acquit. The others are impatient, and there are mutters of “there’s always one.” Number 8 says he is not convinced that the boy, accused of killing his father, is innocent, but that he believes that they owe him more than one quick vote. They should talk about it before they find him guilty, which means an automatic sentence of death.
We never hear the men’s names, but we learn a great deal about them as they deliberate. The boy admitted arguing with his father. He admitted buying a switchblade with a distinctive handle, exactly like the one the man was stabbed with. One witness says she saw the boy stab his father with the knife, in the brief moment when an El train sped by the window. Another witness says he heard a body fall to the floor and then saw the boy run out of the apartment. But the boy says that he wasn’t there, that he went to a movie, though on that night he could not remember the name of the movie or any of the details. He said the knife must have fallen out of his pocket.
After an hour, Number 8 says that they should vote again, and if the 11 are still in favor of a guilty verdict, he will vote with them. But another juror changes his vote, and they continue to debate. They examine each piece of evidence, each word of testimony carefully. And they examine themselves, uncovering prejudices and blind spots that interfere with their ability to be impartial. One by one, each finds a flaw in the evidence to persuade him of the boy’s innocence.
The men are impatient to come to a conclusion not just because they are hot and tired, but also because they are uncomfortable sentencing a boy to death. They want it to be easy and clearcut, and they want it to be quick, so they do not have to think too hard about what they are doing. Juror 8’s most difficult challenge is to get each of them to think independently and objectively about the evidence. One of the last jurors to change his mind is the ultra-logical Number 4 (E.G. Marshall). When a new fact is introduced that calls the logic of his calculations into question, he is willing to change his vote. But for most of the others, the issue is emotional as well as logical. Families should try to identify the way that each juror brings his background, personal or professional, into the deliberations. In some cases, that background provides insight that was helpful, as when Number 5 (Jack Klugman) spoke of his experiences growing up in a slum. In others, the background was an obstacle that had to be overcome, as in the bigotry of Juror Number 10 (Ed Begley) or the displaced anger of Juror Number 3 (Lee J. Cobb).
Notice in particular the way that Number 8 listens to everyone else, even when it does not relate to the case, as when the foreman tells him about the time his big game was rained out. Compare that to the energy Number 3 devotes to refusing to listen, and to Number 7’s (Jack Warden) constant efforts to deflect or push away any engagement, intellectual or emotional, with wisecracks. Number 7’s use of humor is in sharp contrast to some of the others, like Number 11, who use humor to make a point, to take the discussion further, as in the comment about the use of proper English. This is also an outstanding example of different approaches to problem-solving, an especially important subject for family discussion.
Family discussion:
• What would have happened if Juror 8 had not been on the jury?
• Why didn’t they use their names during the deliberation (or in the credits), and why did two of them introduce themselves before they left the courthouse?
• Why do you think Number 3’s son won’t see him? How did that affect his judgement?
• Why do we have juries, instead of just letting the judge decide every case? Why do we have 12, and not fewer or more?
• Does this movie make you feel better or worse about the jury system? How will it affect you when you serve on a jury?
Connections: This film includes outstanding character actors Martin Balsam, Ed Begley (both Oscar-winners for other performances), E. G. Marshall (from television’s “The Defenders”), Jack Klugman (from televison’s “The Odd Couple” and “Quincy”), and Jack Warden (Harry Rosenfeld in “All the President’s Men”). One of the best books ever written about filmmaking is Sidney Lumet’s Making Movies, which includes a fascinating explanation of the making of this, his first feature film. Watch the way that he uses camera angles to create different impressions within the confines of the one-room set.
Activities: Talk to the kids about your own service on a jury, or, if you have not had the chance to serve, see if someone else they know can tell them what it was like. Take them to sit in on a trial, or pick one suitable for them to watch a bit of on Court TV. Ask them how they would handle serving on a jury deciding the outcome of a case currently in the news.

Fonts From Your Favorite Movies and TV Shows

posted by Nell Minow

shrek logo.jpgWant that “S” with the antennae from “Shrek?” Or write in letters from “Spongebob Squarepants” or “The Simpsons?” How about “The Addams Family” or “Bewitched” or “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?” bewitchedlogo.jpg
Maybe the CNN logo typeface would give your office presentation or school report that extra edge of reliability. Typenow.net has fonts based on movies and television shows (also rock bands, for fans of Metallica, The Beatles, or Pink Floyd), games (Atari, PlayStation), and corporate (IBM, Ferrari). There’s even a Harry Potter font, along with Willie Wonka, Hot Wheels, LEGO, Mentos, and MAD Magazine.
ferrari.jpg

Wall?E’s Favorite Movie: Hello Dolly

posted by Nell Minow

Wall∙E’s curiosity about the world and capacity to feel loneliness is part of what makes him such a vivid character in Pixar’s latest hit. And nothing in the film conveys those qualities more effectively than his affection for the 1969 movie musical Hello, Dolly! It may be quaint and stylized but it perfectly suits the storyline, especially the numbers we see Wall∙E watch, with the characters singing about taking chances, trying out new experiences, and falling in love.”Hello Dolly!” was not successful on its original release. It was the victim of poor timing. First, though it was filmed earlier, the release was delayed because by contract it could not be in theaters as long as the play was running on Broadway. Second, it was released in 1969, when audiences were caught up in the political and cultural turmoil of the 60’s, and it felt too big (it is over two hours long) and out of touch. There was also some hostility to the casting of the 20-something Barbra Striesand in the title role, a character who is supposed to be middle-aged, replacing the star of the play, Carol Channing. But today it is easy to be as charmed as Wall∙E is by this story of four different couples taking a chance on love and the character who encourages them all and then has to learn a few lessons herself. Here are his favorite numbers: Continue Reading This Post »

Olivia Thirlby from “The Wackness”

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful Olivia Thirlby, who played Juno‘s best friend and is featured in the current Vanity Fair cover story on the most promising young stars, stopped by for a few seconds when I was interviewing Jonathan Levine, the writer/director of her new film, “The Wackness.”

Levine interview coming soon — stay tuned.

Previous Posts

Smile of the Week: A Boy and a Penguin
This reminds me a little of the depiction of a child's world in The Complete Calvin and Hobbes and Barnaby. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iccscUFY860[/youtube] Many thanks to Slate for this and the others on its list of the year's best ads.

posted 12:06:45pm Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Mel Torme and Judy Garland: Christmas Song
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaEedtRHklg[/youtube] I love it that Judy Garland sings "rainbows" instead of "reindeer."

posted 8:00:57am Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »

What Happened to All the Great Quotable Movie Lines?
Michael Cieply has a fascinating piece in the New York Times about the movie lines we love to quote and why there don't seem to be any new ones. Look through all of the top ten lists of the year, and see if you can think of one quotable line from any of them. That doesn't mean they aren't well wri

posted 3:58:57pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

George Clooney and the Cast of Downton Abbey
You don't have to be a fan of "Downton Abbey" (or "Mr. Selfridge") to love this hilarious spoof, with guest appearances by Jeremy Piven, George Clooney and the Absolutely Fabulous Joanna Lumley. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ryo7fqdmcGQ?rel=0" frameborder="0"] [

posted 1:43:50pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Ask Amy Says: A Book on Every Bed
I love to remind people about Amy Dickinson's wonderful "Book on Every Bed" proposal: Here’s how it happens: You take a book (it can be new or a favorite from your own childhood). You wrap it. On Christmas Eve (or whatever holiday you celebrate), you leave the book in a place where Santa is

posted 12:00:42pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »


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