Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


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Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language throughout, some sexual content and brief violence
Release Date:
October 24, 2014

 

Moms' Night Out
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action
Release Date:
May 9, 2014

John Wick
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong and bloody violence throughout, language and brief drug use
Release Date:
October 24, 2014

 

Earth to Echo
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some action and peril, and mild language
Release Date:
July 3, 2014

23 Blast
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some teen drinking
Release Date:
October 24, 2014

 

Snowpiercer
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for violence, language and drug content
Release Date:
July 2, 2014

One Hundred and One Dalmatians

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
DVD Release Date:March 4, 2008

“One Hundred and One Dalmatians” is one of the best-loved Disney classics (and the first of its animated films to take place in a contemporary setting). There is nothing more irresistible than 99 frisky spotted puppies and there has never been a more deliciously scary villain than the fur-mad Cruella De Vil. It is a great family movie because it is exciting and funny and because it is all about the importance of family and community and the love parents have for their children. And just because it is a lot of fun.

Like “Lady and the Tramp,” 101 Dalmatians is told from the perspective of dogs, this time two dalmatians, Pongo and Perdita, the cherished pets of Roger and Anita. Anita’s old friend is the aptly named Cruella De Vil. Her henchmen kidnap Perdita’s puppies and eighty-four others so she can make them into a dalmatian fur coat. Pongo and Perdita, with the help of their animal friends, undertake a daring rescue. The puppies are adorable, and the movie is delightful (with a sly poke at television and the kids who watch it). 101%20dalmatians.jpg

Movieline magazine once asked actresses to name the most memorable female villain in the history of the movies — Cruella was at the top of the list. She just might be the most ruthless bad guy of all time. Hannibal Lecter may be “Hannibal the Cannibal” but he never tried to make darling little puppies into a fur coat.

This gorgeous new DVD has wonderful bonus features including a game that lets you adopt your own virtual puppy and a behind-the-scenes making-of feature. This was a transitional film between the hand-painted classical style of the fairy-tale Disney films and a looser, more modern look. It was the then-new invention of the photocopier that made this movie possible. Without that technology, the Disney artists would still be painting all those spots.

Families who enjoy this movie might also like to see the 1997 live-action version, with Glenn Close as Cruella. Close is wonderful, but the movie relies too much on slapstick and the real dogs do not have the personality and range of expression of their animated predecessors. The 2000 sequel, “102 Dalmatians,” also featuring Close, is disappointing, too much silliness and not enough sweetness. The animated original is still the best.

Into the Wild

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some nudity.
Movie Release Date:September 21, 2007
DVD Release Date:March 4, 2008

Every one of us at times hears the call of the wild, to match the wild of the outdoors to the wild that is inside us, to leave behind all of the petty complications of civilization and test ourselves down to the deepest essence, to test our nature, in both senses of the word.
In 1992 Christopher McCandless left behind everything — family, friends, jobs, money, even his name, and went on a journey to find something that felt authentic to him. Actor Sean Penn has written and directed a superb film based on the best-selling book about his journey and its tragic conclusion.IntoTheWildPoster.jpg

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Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:November 16, 2007
DVD Release Date:March 4, 2008

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There’s nothing harder to get right in a movie than whimsy. And there are few clumsier crashes when it goes wrong. What could have been a charmingly whimsical children’s book becomes an arch and sugary movie, its failures of tone and timing hitting its lightweight storyline like a blast of cold air on a fragile souffle. This is one flat souffle.

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Religion in film: characters, themes, resources

posted by Nell Minow

Beliefnet’s Kris Rasmussen has a list of 10 positive Christian characters in recent films. I was pleased to see Amy Adams’ performance in Junebug included, though for me the most spiritually touching moment in the movie was when Alessandro Nivola, as her character’s highly secular brother-in-law surprises his new wife by getting up at a church dinner to sing a hymn. The list is an excellent one, including historical characters like Sophie Scholl and James J. Braddock and fictional characters like Spider-Man‘s Aunt May.

An online film festival called “One Nation, Many Voices” announced the winners of its competition for authentic, non-stereotyped portrayal of Muslim-American characters.

Adherents.com has an excellent spiritual guide to movies that includes the religious affiliations of the most influential film-makers and critics’ lists of the best Catholic and Jewish movies.

Previous Posts

Does PG-13 Mean Anything Anymore?
The Washington Post has an article about a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movies," with some disturbing conclusions about parents' ability to make good decisions about the impact some media may have on their children. This is not

posted 8:00:58am Oct. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Is E-Reading to Kids the Same as Analog Reading?
The New York Times asks, Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time? In a 2013 study, researchers found that children ages 3 to 5 whose parents read to them from an electronic book had lower reading comprehension than children whose parents used traditional books. Part of th

posted 8:00:40am Oct. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Todd and Jedd Wider about the Bullying Documentary "Mentor"
Producers Todd and Jedd Wider generously took time to answer my questions about their documentary, "Mentor," the story of two teenagers who committed suicide following relentless bullying. The film, which received Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival th

posted 3:56:57pm Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Clip: Tinkerbell and the Legend of the NeverBeast
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ApzHJhZz2JQ" frameborder="0"] The latest in Disney's animated Tinkerbell series adds Ginnifer Goodwin to the cast. Coming in March of 2015, it explores the ancient myth of a mysterious creature whose distant roar sparks the curiosity

posted 1:23:59pm Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: "Avatar" Villain Stephen Lang on Playing a Good Guy Coach in "23 Blast"
Stephen Lang is best known for playing the villain in "Avatar." But in "23 Blast," based on the real-life story of Travis Freeman, a high school football player who lost his vision but stayed on the team, Lang plays a good guy, the coach who encouraged and supported him. I talked to Lang about actin

posted 5:56:30am Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »


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