Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


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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

 

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

Exodus: Gods and Kings
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for violence including battle sequences and intense images
Release Date:
December 12, 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

Top Five
Lowest Recommended Age:
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, crude humor, language throughout and some drug use
Release Date:

 

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

Remembering Harvey Korman

posted by Nell Minow

Jim Cheng of USA Today has a lovely tribute to Harvey Korman of The Carol Burnett Show, who died yesterday at age 81. Korman’s best movie role was as the evil Hedley Lamarr in Blazing Saddles, one of four films he made for writer/director Mel Brooks. He was a nimble and versatile performer and an indispensable part of the finest ensemble ever put together for prime-time television. I especially loved him in the affectionate parodies of old Hollywood films. His Rhett Butler was a knock-out. But nothing he did made me laugh as hard as seeing him laugh at Tim Conway. He did his best to stay professional, but all Conway had to do was look at him and it was all over.

Get Ready for Kidzilla

posted by Nell Minow

Maybe it’s just too much exposure to commercials for Bridezilla, a sort of WWE with smackdowns between maniacal brides and their wedding planners, families, and bridesmaids, but I was horrified to read a press release today from MyKidsRegistry.com, a new “social networking” website that allows children to register for the gifts they want for their birthdays and holidays.

When planning her son’s 3rd birthday it went from being a project of joy to a “project”, [founder Yvette] Segal began to think of ways to simplify the process. She didn’t like telling people exactly what to buy for her son and the idea of people trekking to the nearest toy store and standing in line for something her son may already have in his toy box, was something that Segal wanted to avoid as well.

First, if Segal’s son’s 3rd birthday party was a “project,” it was too big and expensive. No 3 year old needs anything more than some balloons, a couple of games lasting about an hour, and 3-4 other children to sing “Happy Birthday” and help blow out candles. What is truly disturbing here is the way this promotes a “gimmee” culture that turns the entire idea of giving upside down. Instead of teaching children to accept what they are given graciously and that it is the thought that counts, it teaches them to think of their milestones as delivery systems for an endless conveyor belt of goodies.
The press release defensively asserts that

MyKidsRegistry.com is not about an over the top party or a “buy my kids this” mentality, but it is about saving time and money for everyone. Its free membership is designed assist parents in planning and shopping for the perfect party.

Baloney.
The next sentence is (literally) where the money is:

MyKidsRegistry.com is affiliated with birthdayinabox.com, Amazon.com, Kbtoys.com, etoys.com, ebeanstalk.com, Kazootoys.com, littletikes.com, babyuniverse.com, Upromise.com, netflix.com, snapfish.com, giggle.com, uncommongoods.com, MiniBoden.com, and LandofNod.com.

DVDs for Father’s Day

posted by Nell Minow

Dad does not need a new tie! Make him some breakfast in bed and a hand-made card and then how about some DVDs the family can share and enjoy together?

flash%20gordon.jpgIf Dad is in his 50’s, he’ll enjoy some of the television shows from his childhood collected in Hiya Kids! A 50’s Saturday Morning Box. It includes “Kukla, Fran And Ollie,” “Howdy Doody,” “Flash Gordon,” “Lassie,” “Annie Oakley,” “Ding Dong School,” “Time For Beany,” “The Paul Winchell Show,” “The Roy Rogers Show,” “Captain Z-RO,” “The Rootie Kazootie Club,” “Winky Dink And You,” “Super Circus,” “Andy’s Gang,” “The Cisco Kid,” “Sky King,” “The Magic Clown,” “Kids And Company,” “Juvenile Jury,” “The Pinky Lee Show,” and “Sheena, Queen Of The Jungle.” At least a couple of them are guaranteed to bring back memories.

If Dad likes spy stories, he’ll love these sets: James Bond Ultimate Edition Vol 1 and Vol. 2 or The Jason Bourne Collection (all with some mature material).James-Bond-007-Photograph-C12149916.jpeg

A Discovery Channel/Animal Planet kind of guy? How about Planet Earth – The Complete BBC Series or Walking with Dinosaurs.

And if he likes to laugh, how about a classic like Marx Brothers Collection or, if the kids are older, something more up-to-date like the Adam Sandler Collection?

A sports fan? Baseball – A Film By Ken Burns , the PBS series, is a great choice. Or, try Unforgivable Blackness – The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, Step into Liquid, or When We Were Kings, the story of the legendary “Rumble in the Jungle” fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

fadetoblack_bigposter.jpgAnd if Dad is a music fan, he might like Bob Dylan – No Direction Home, Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007 or Jay Z – Fade to Black.

Great Movie Teachers, Part 2: High School

posted by Nell Minow

As promised, here is my follow-up to the list of great movie professors, great movie high school teachers. Another list of grade school teachers is in the works so stay tuned.

10. Dead Poets Society Robin Williams inspires his students not just with the thrill of poetry but with the thrill of independent thinking.

9. To Sir, With Love Sidney Poitier stars in this fact-based story of a teacher in a poor neighborhood in the East End of London. He teaches them the importance of respect for themselves and each other, starting with calling him “Sir.” You can also see Poitier as part of an unruly class with a dedicated young teacher in Blackboard Jungle.

8. Coach Carter What makes this fact-based story different from the usual inspiring-coach-shows-underdog-team-how-to-work-hard-and-help-each-other is that all that is just the beginning of the story. The team is undefeated on the court, but Coach Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) benches them all because their academic performance is not up to his standards.

7. Up the Down Staircase Sandy Dennis is the young, idealistic teacher almost swallowed up in an enormous New York high school, based on the fact-based novel by Bel Kaufman.

6. The Trouble with Angels Jane Trahey’s memoir of her experience in a Catholic girls’ boarding school inspired this rollicking story of rebellious students (Hayley Mills and June Harding) and the Mother Superior (Rosalind Russell) who understands them better than they thought. See also: Whoopi Goldberg teaching parochial school students played by future stars Jennifer Love Hewitt and Lauren Hill in “Sister Act 2.” The wonderful Mary Wickes appears as a nun in both movies.

5. Mr. Holland’s Opus Like many of the teachers in these films, Mr. Holland (Richard Dreyfuss) does not let the bureaucracy and his own conflicts about whether he wants to teach prevent him from touching the lives of a generation of students. Watch for Terrance Howard in a small role. And I dare you not to cry in that last scene.

4. Goodbye, Mr. Chips Robert Donat beat Clark Gable’s performance as Rhett Butler for the Best Actor Oscar in his role as “Mr. Chips,” who overcomes his initial shyness and reserve to become an inspiring figure in the lives of three generations of boys.

3. October Sky Another real-life story, this time based on a book by the grateful student who was so inspired by the science teacher (played by Laura Dern) in his tiny mining town school that he became a NASA rocket scientist. Be sure to wait for the clips of the real-life teacher during the ending credit sequence.

2. OT:OUR TOWN. A Famous American Play in an Infamous American Town This is not based on a real-life story — it is a real-life story, a documentary about a teacher who has her inner-city students put on a production of those most venerable (if white-bread) of American plays, Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.” Watching the students really make the story their own makes this a mesmerizing film and as we watch, we, too, become part of the lucky classroom of teacher Catherine Borek. Other great documentaries about real-life teachers include “He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'” and the follow-up Who’s Dancin’ Now?, “Small Wonders,” which inspired the Meryl Streep movie “Music of the Heart,” and the magnificent French film about a one-room schoolhouse, To Be and to Have.

1. Stand and Deliver Edward James Olmos is electrifying as Jaime Escalante, the teacher who insisted that the inner-city students everyone else had given up on could excel in calculus.

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