Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

The Wrecking Crew
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for language, thematic elements and smoking images
Release Date:
March 27. 2015

 

Unbroken
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for war violence including intense sequences of brutality, and for brief language
Release Date:
December 25, 2014

Home
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Release Date:
March 27, 2015

 

Into the Woods
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for thematic elements, fantasy action and peril, and some suggestive material
Release Date:
December 25, 2014

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
March 20, 2015

 

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

Jim Henson’s ‘Unstable Fables: Tortoise Vs. Hare’

posted by Nell Minow

Set 15 years after the classic Aesop fable about race between the over-confident Hare and the slow-but-steady tortoise, this updated version from The Jim Henson Company out on DVD this week has the two creatures planning a rematch, this time with their children. Voice talents include Danny Glover and Jay Leno and it’s told with spirit and style and there are some nice lessons about things that matter more than winning races, like friendship and trust.

Spore!

posted by Nell Minow

Spore is not just one of the most highly anticipated computer games of the year. It is one of the most highly anticipated works of art and entertainment in any category. Think I’m exaggerating? Sales last year were $9.5 billion. Sixty-five percent of American households play computer or video games. The average game player is 35 years old and has been playing games for 13 years. And forty percent of all game players are women and women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (33 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent). In 2008, 26 percent of Americans over the age of 50 played video games, an increase from nine percent in 1999. Super Mario Brothers has sold over 40 million units. Best-selling video games sell many times more copies than best-selling books and have as many viewers/users as top movies and music.

Games have gone way beyond blowing stuff up and killing bad guys and aliens. Spore comes from the people who did the wildly popular Sims series. It gives players the chance to create entire universes, starting with one-celled creatures who evolve into complex organisms. It allows for an unprecedented level of imagination and interactivity for the participants, even allowing players to exchange creatures and visit each other’s planets. Spore gives players (I think we need a new word here — maybe participants?) the change to be creative while absorbing lessons about logic, programming, and consequences. Executive producer Lucy Bradshaw said in an interview with the Washington Post

Every single planet you go to was going to bring this sense of surprise and awe to the game. That was central and why we made the creation tools the way we did. Not only that we’d made the building blocks and could tap into the creativity of a million players, but the fact that the content is so compressible. The model data for a creature is like 3 kilobytes, the thumbnail picture is about 18 to 20KB. So [that makes] a grand total of 25KB, which means that we can actually share all of this content without bandwidth issues.

And then we did things like the YouTube partnership, the Planetwide Games deal involving a Comic Book Creator, and a make-your-own postcard system that we put in the Creature Creator that allows players to take things outside of just the elemental game play, share it with other players, and see where those players might take it. We even did a Facebook application that ties back to our servers. We really want to see what directions players take all this stuff. We’ve built a really strong tool that lets users share their experiences in different venues, and I can’t wait to see what unravels next.

I love the way that Spore creates a sort of universal Wiki game, with everyone who participates helping to direct it.

And this discussion of games gives me a chance to share one of the funniest video clips I have ever seen, from the wonderful Australian music group, Tripod:

Are Some Words Forbidden No Matter What?

posted by Nell Minow

Should some words be banned entirely? In a debate reminiscent of the battles over The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a coalition of disability rights groups called for a boycott of Tropic Thunder over the use of the term “retard.” The Washington Post published an opinion piece criticizing “Tropic Thunder,” written by the mother of a developmentally disabled child that began with an anecdote about a cruel passer-by who used that term to insult her child.
She failed to understand that the movie used the term exactly the way she did — to demonstrate that the speaker is a misguided and ignorant person.
In discussing this issue on BDK’s radio show, I mentioned that when I reviewed First Sunday, the newspaper that printed the review used N**** instead of spelling out the first word in the name of Ice Cube’s rap group. But that story did not make it on the air. The radio station did not broadcast the word, even though the word was not being used as an epithet but a word chosen by a group of men about themselves as a way of removing the pejorative and diminishing aspects of the term and giving it power instead. I might not agree with that use of the word but I respect the right of people to determine for themselves what they want to be called and to determine whether they want anyone who is not a part of the group to use it.
And I oppose any effort to ban any word. It makes it impossible to have a conversation about the meaning of the word and it gives the word too much power.
Oh, and the very first protests of “Huckleberry Finn,” which began as soon as the book was published, also focused on language that was considered inappropriate and shocking. The objections were not to the n-word but to the use of terms like “sweat” instead of “perspiration.” And yet, like the music of NWA, it is the language Huck and Twain use that is central to the appeal and authenticity of the works.
towelhead1.jpgNow there is a protest over the title of a new film called, as was the book it was based on, “Towelhead.” This is one of several cruel and insulting terms that the main character, the daughter of an American mother and a Lebanese father, is called by racists. The author of the book, Alicia Erian, and the director of the movie, Alan Ball (of “Six Feet Under” and “American Beauty”) have issued very thoughtful and compelling statements about the title and the term that are well worth reading, supported by the studio and by a group of scholars. Here are the statements in full:

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Coming Attractions (September 2008)

posted by Nell Minow

There’s only one movie opening up this week, “Bankok Dangerous” with Nicolas Cage. That’s everything I know about it. It isn’t screening for critics, and that means the studio is pretty sure it won’t even get one good review.

But next week, things really pick up! I am very excited about “Righteous Kill,” starring Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino.

And I am even more excited about “Burn Before Reading,” from the Coen Brothers (“Fargo,” “No Country for Old Men”), starring George Clooney, Frances McDormand, and Brad Pitt.

Stay tuned!

Previous Posts

Actress Speaks Up Against Absurd Hollywood Casting Conventions
Cheers to the understandably anonymous "Miss L," an actress in Hollywood, for her Tumblr posting real-life casting information that shows how limited and misogynistic Hollywood casting is.  Casting Call Woe shows actual casting call notices, most of which require actresses to be hot (no matter what

posted 3:57:54pm Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Paper Towns with Nat Wolff
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/w4olpTxktM4?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:09am Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

The Wrecking Crew
Maybe you like Frank Sinatra and your friend likes the Mamas and Papas. Maybe you've argued about who is better, the Beach Boys or Simon and Garfunkel, or maybe you prefer Elvis. Each of those monumen

posted 9:48:37pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Home
"Home" is a cute and colorful movie about an alien invasion with an important safety tip concerning one of the most destructive forces in the universe, something devastating to every known life form.

posted 5:59:44pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Ebertfest 2015
Passes are on sale for Ebertfest 2015!  I'll be there!  From Chaz Ebert's blog: We are opening with Jean-Luc Godard's silent opus in 3D, "Adieu Au Langage" ("Goodbye To Language"). Some have complained that you were against 3D films, but we know that you were against 3D when it was used onl

posted 3:49:39pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »


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