Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


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Horrible Bosses 2
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong crude sexual content and language throughout
Release Date:
November 26, 2104

 

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

Penguins of Madagascar
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Release Date:
November 26, 2014

 

The Expendables 3
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language
Release Date:
August 15, 2014

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

 

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

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language and drug use.
Movie Release Date:April 25, 2008

harold%20and%20kumar.jpgLike the effects of the marijuana laced with cocaine smoked by a world leader near the end of this movie, the sequel to Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle combines a literally dopey stoner comedy buzz with an electric sting of sharp satire. The first film was surprisingly popular with audiences and even more surprisingly popular with critics, who found that making the main characters minorities in an otherwise unambitious druggie comedy gave the interactions as the two stoned college students stumbled toward the fabled little square burgers a new freshness, even an edgy, satiric quality.

Plus, it had Neil Patrick Harris in a deliciously demonic role as “himself,” a ‘shroomed-out former child star.

Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) depart for Amsterdam, where Harold hopes to see the girl of his dreams (even though he does not know her last name or where she is staying) and Kumar hopes to enjoy legal marijuana. But on the plane, Kumar lights up, using a smokeless bong he invented for the occasion, and a passenger assumes he is a terrorist. “Bong” sounds like “bomb” and he has brown skin. Before you can say “I just wanted to join the other mile high club,” they are cuffed by air marshals and carted off to face a racist, power-mad, pea-brained US government official (Rob Corddry), who orders them put into orange jump suits and shipped to the prison at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay. This ain’t “Law and Order.” No right to a phone call, no lawyer, no passing Go and no collecting $200.

After some ugly encounters with real terrorists in the adjacent cell and sexually predatory guards, Harold and Kumar escape, get back to the US, and take off for Texas, where they hope to get help from a classmate who is conveniently both connected to the top levels of the Department of Defense and about to marry Kumar’s former girlfriend, the one he still loves.

The racial and political barbs are even more pointed this time as just about everyone’s bigotry is exposed. In one of the highlights, Harold and Kumar are taken in by a redneck who looks like an extra from “Deliverance.” He brings them to his broken-down shack and they go inside to find it decorated like a Manhattan co-op apartment, the redneck’s elegant wife at the computer complaining that the DSL line is not working properly. Just as they readjust their expectations, there is another twist. They also have a run-in with the KKK, who think they are Mexicans. No one seems to know or care what their ethnic backgrounds really are. The government interrogator insists on speaking Chinese to Harold’s parents — and insists that they are speaking some strange dialect he cannot understand, despite the fact that they are (1) Korean, (2) are speaking English, and (3) have lived in New Jersey for 40 years.

Cheerfully offensive, cheekily raunchy, happily outrageous, and often just plain disgusting, the movie avoids the usual sophomore slump by ramping up the political jabs while keeping it all unpretentious and moving quickly. We get a bit of a glimpse of Kumar’s backstory — his first girlfriend and his first joint. It is not for everyone; some audiences will consider it so morally bankrupt that they will not be able to enjoy it. But for its audience what makes this one appealing is that like its heroes, this series is growing up.

Tribeca Film Festival 2008

posted by Nell Minow

I am on my way to the Tribeca Film Festival and will be providing updates about my adventures there. Tribeca is the neighborhood of Manhattan that was literally in the shadow of the World Trade Center. The name stands for “triangle below Canal Street. Local residents Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal founded the festival just after 9/11 to revitalize and boost the morale of the community and it has now become one of the most popular festivals in the world with both audiences and critics. It was my very first festival two years ago and I am looking forward to seeing what they have to offer this year.

Interview: Karen Osborne talks about treating Asperger Syndrome through Second Life

posted by Nell Minow

Karen Osborne is a research clinician at the University of Texas Center for Brain Health. Her background is in speech pathology. She is now coordinating the project that works on social skills and spoke to me about a new project that works with children and adults who have disabilities that impair their understanding of social cues and interactions, including Asperger syndrome, high functioning autism, ADHD, traumatic brain injury, and schizophrenia. They are using the online community Second Life to create an environment that gives these patients a way to test their social skills that gives them better feedback than previous treatments. It has been in development for two years and has been used with patients since last summer.
Tell me a little bit about your program and how it got started.
second-life-topper.jpgIn the past, therapists have worked with autistic children through role playing, stories, and rules. But the brain changes not by learning rules but by engaging in activities. Sandy Chapman had the idea to use virtual reality to immerse the patients in the environments that are similar to real life. It is not really role playing because they become the character. It adds a little more realism to the therapy aspect. In role playing it is hard to get past the fact that you’re playing with the therapist, but in virtual reality it is more like meeting for the first time and building a relationship.
Second Life has some wild corners. How do you control the environment?
Right now we’re using a private and secure island on Second Life with only people we let in. Patients can log in and be part of it. They get to create a character that represents themselves as closely as possible.

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Charlie Wilson’s War

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong language, nudity/sexual content and some drug use.
Movie Release Date:December 21, 2007
DVD Release Date:April 22, 2008

charlie%20wilson.jpg It is not easy to take a wealthy socialite, a powerful Congressman, and a CIA agent, have them played by three Oscar-winners, two who are genuine box office gold, and make them look like the underdogs, but in this “extraordinary story of how the wildest man in Congress and a rogue CIA agent changed the history of our times” (as put in the unusually accurate book subtitle), that is what they are.

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Previous Posts

Johnny Cash's Thanksgiving Song
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuaC6h_4AB8[/youtube]

posted 12:00:11pm Nov. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Happy Thanksgiving 2014!
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NSQLMPUK-8[/youtube] All my best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving to all, and please know how thankful I am for the time you spend here.

posted 7:00:00am Nov. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Claire LaZebnik's Thoughts on Thanks
I can't think of a better way to start Thanksgiving weekend than taking a few minutes to read my friend Claire LaZebnik's wise and inspiring essay on gratitude. This most American of holidays is often accompanied by stress -- from hosting and being hosted, from traveling, from family. Claire write

posted 9:39:41am Nov. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Horrible Bosses 2
Maybe it's just the proximity to the horrible "Dumb and Dumber To," but the cheerily offensive "Horrible Bosses 2" made me laugh. Full warning -- it begins with an elaborate sight gag as our hapless he

posted 5:58:28pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Penguins of Madagascar
The most adorable characters from the first three animated "Madagascar" movies were the penguins, the seldom right but never in doubt leader Skipper (Tom McGrath), the often right but never listened to Kowalski (Chris Miller), the literally explosive Rico (Conrad Vernon), and the ever-loyal Private

posted 5:17:32pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »


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