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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Tomorrowland
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements, and language
Release Date:
May 22, 2015

 

American Sniper
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references
Release Date:
January 16, 2015

I'll See You in My Dreams
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sexual material, drug use and brief strong language
Release Date:
May 22, 2015

 

Strange Magic
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some action and scary images
Release Date:
January 23, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images
Release Date:
May 15, 2015

 

Mortdecai
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some language and sexual material
Release Date:
January 23, 2015

New in Theaters

grade:
B+

Tomorrowland

Lowest Recommended Age:
4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements, and language
Release Date:
May 22, 2015
grade:
B+

I'll See You in My Dreams

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sexual material, drug use and brief strong language
Release Date:
May 22, 2015
grade:
B+

Mad Max: Fury Road

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images
Release Date:
May 15, 2015

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New to DVD

pick of the week
grade:
B+

American Sniper

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references
Release Date:
January 16, 2015
grade:
C

Strange Magic

Lowest Recommended Age:
Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some action and scary images
Release Date:
January 23, 2015
grade:
D

Mortdecai

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some language and sexual material
Release Date:
January 23, 2015

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Tribute: Ricardo Montalban

posted by Nell Minow

Mexican-born leading man Ricardo Montalban died this morning at age 88. He may be best remembered now for his commercials for the Chrysler Cordoba (with the “rich Corinthian leather) and for Maxwell House coffee, but that is because even at the end of his career, his warm, inviting voice was unforgettable.

Montalban had a remarkable and varied career that included musicals (“On an Island With You”), silly comedy (The Naked Gun – From the Files of Police Squad!), drama , family movies (Spy Kids 2 – The Island of Lost Dreams and The Ant Bully), television (Fantasy Island), and of course the title role in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Back in the days when Hollywood figured that any non-Anglo-Saxon ethnic group could substitute for any other, Montalban was cast as a Japanese actor in Sayonara and a Native American in movies like “Across the Wide Missouri” and on television Westerns like “Bonanza.” He performed these roles with dignity and grace. He was one of the last of the great leading men of the 1940’s-70’s and we are lucky to have so many of his magnificent performances to watch again.

Interview: Director Ed Zwick of ‘Defiance’

posted by Nell Minow

Edward Zwick, the director of the new Holocaust movie “Defiance,” is well-known for both historical dramas (“Glory”) and intimate personal stories (the television series “Thirtysomething”) – and for finding the small moments in big stories and the big emotions in small ones. This is the ideal sensibility for the new Holocaust drama “Defiance,” the true story of The Bielski Brothers, who hid and protected 1200 Jews from the Nazis and the Russians in the Belarussian forest.

I spoke to him in Washington, D.C., where we quickly discovered that we graduated from different campuses of the same high school in the same year and have a friend in common and that lead off a lively exchange about the movie’s themes and what went into getting it made.

What are some of the movies that influenced and inspired you when you were still in school?

“The Guns of Navarone and “Lawrence of Arabia when I was young, but I was a real addict of “The Late Show” and watched everything, especially anything from John Huston, Howard Hawks, and George Stevens.

Is there one theme or thruline that is a part of all the projects that interest you?

You’re the critic — that’s for you to pick out. If I try to think objectively about myself and my work, I would say I want to be intuitive and distinctive. You can’t help but reveal your bias, and you can’t but invest personally in any story that you tell. I like to reveal people with some of the niceties of social behavior stripped away and the moral, ethical, and political issues are revealed.

One of the questions that drew me to this project was the question of how Jewish culture has survived. The Passover Seder is about telling the story of the exodus. Stories are one of the means by which a culture preserves its identity. There is a perverse irony in commemoration of the dead in the Holocaust with little attention to the survivors and the resistance, especially the Jewish resistance. Its immensity can’t be underestimated and it is a story that needs to be told. We all know these iconic images of Jews in the Holocaust and those are important but we have come to accept them as the only images and that needs revision.

It came to our attention through Tuvia’s obituary. We found our way to the family and they were very generous with anecdotes, pictures, videotape, and Tuvia’s unpublished autobiography. The comment at the end of the film underscores the rising to the occasion aspect of what they did. They took off the mantle of responsibility and the burden of doing certain things they were not proud to revisit. They had a hard-won normalcy. Having done things that were very extreme and had to do with survival, they preferred that it was not better known.

You had three actors, two British and an American, playing brothers. How did you create that sense of connection and history between them?

I did some of it and they did some of it. They created this lovely kind of rough-housing sibling regressive behavior that they developed on the set and it was an approximation of their boyhood. Liev Schreiber and Daniel Craig got into this very competitive sibling thing that was important for the relationship of their characters. We also had an extraordinary dialect coach, because we wanted a consistent sound, that commonality.

And we worked with Jenny Beavan, one of the goddesses of the costume design field. Her gift was to find the real pieces, to find in each character that silhouette and watch that silhouette change, to subtly watch characters become more assimilated, losing and picking up pieces. At one point Liev steals the coat from the milkman, and then we see Daniel’s wearing the coat and then he gives it to Alexa and then we see it covering them in bed. There were no new things but everything had multiple uses and that, too, helps to tell the story.

Tell me about working with James Bond – Daniel Craig has been working in a very different genre.

He is a character actor, real protean, and he is very determined not to be only one thing. He reminds me of Anthony Hopkins who is also a working class classically trained British actor and there’s nothing like that. He is very internal. And he wanted Liev’s character to seem more dominant; he is very generous that way.

What were some of the issues presented in telling this story?

defiance-poster-craig.jpg

It is a complex subject, but it is important to understand the difference between passivity and powerlessness. These people were stateless. They had no access to weapons. The police were hostile. But they had this urban natural setting. Everywhere there was a forest, a part of the natural world, there were Jews who hid in it. There was God in the forest – denoted, in the juxtaposition of the natural world, the forest as a place of sanctuary. It embraced and sheltered them.

It was important for me not to describe this group as a monolith, all of them like each other and acting as one force. That objectification leads to prejudice and genocide. There were many divides: religious and secular, class, sexuality, aggression — all ways to individuate it. I think of the W.H. Auden poem “September 1, 1939,” when he says “I and the public know/What all schoolchildren learn,/Those to whom evil is done/Do evil in return.” In the interest of survival they may cross lines even into the emulation of their tormentor. For me, that made it more heroic because it made it more believable.

It also happened to be true.

Kids’ Inauguration Info

posted by Nell Minow
obama-family-3.jpg

Celebrate the inauguration of the nation’s 44th president with the help of the fabulously rich and engaging resources of Our White House.

The non-profit, non-partisan National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance has created a free online presidential inauguration activity guide for parents, teachers, librarians, and community leaders so that young people all across the country can participate in this exciting historic event.

The site is lively, colorful, and engaging and it features:

• an interview with professional speech writer Thomas LaFauci
• the oath of office
• the inaugural ceremony
• inaugural parades
• the White House transition of presidents

Activity projects and discussion question topics about the inauguration include:

• creating your own kids’ inaugural ball
• writing inaugural poetry
• creating parade floats
• designing a new oval office, and more

NatureTech from the Smithsonian

posted by Nell Minow

NatureTech is a terrific new DVD series from the Smithsonian Network that shows us some of the best ideas about energy, flight, and building materials technology come from observing nature. Biomimetics is the new science of looking to nature for answers to modern challenges. Flies improve search and rescue and cockroaches inspire space engineers. Fish become cars and airplane design mimics birds. Gorgeously photographed, each episode is like a cross between CSI and McGuyver.

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posted 7:00:43am May. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: "Mike and Molly's" Billy Gardell on "Dancer and the Dame"
Billy Gardell, star of television's Mike & Molly, talked to me about his new film, Dancer & The Dame. He plays Rick Dancer. "He was once like a ...

posted 3:31:07pm May. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: The Search for Freedom
[iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/121174641" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"] This new documentary tells the stories of the athletes who seek the freedom that comes from living in the moment and doing what makes us feel the ...

posted 12:19:02pm May. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Win a Daniel Tiger Book and DVD!
Daniel Tiger loves being outside and spending time with his family and friends. In these eight stories, he learns about swimming ...

posted 8:00:48am May. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Behind the Scenes: Jurassic World
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EEmOyR33-Uk" frameborder="0"] Here's a great sneak peek inside "Jurassic World," coming to theaters on June 12, 2015. ...

posted 4:10:08pm May. 25, 2015 | read full post »

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