Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

McFarland USA
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for thematic material, some violence and language
Release Date:
February 20, 2015

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images and thematic material
Release Date:
November 21, 2014

The DUFF
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual material throughout, some language and teen partying
Release Date:
February 20, 2015

 

Foxcatcher
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some drug use and a scene of violence
Release Date:
November 21, 2014

Kingsman: The Secret Service
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual content
Release Date:
February 13, 2015

 

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

What Kids Learn from ‘Silly’ Media

posted by Nell Minow

FlowTV, the always-interesting scholarly online publication about media, has a thoughtful article by Aaron Delwiche of Trinity University called “‘What we me worry?’ What the new media literacy movement can learn from Mad Magazine and Wacky Packages.”What-me-worry-715605.jpg
Delwiche makes some good points about the legitimacy of video games as a subject for serious cultural and cognitive study and as a form of media that can be on a par with books, music, and movies. But I thought the more interesting part of the article was his discussion of Wacky Packages (the 1980’s trading cards with gross-out parodies of consumer products) and Mad Magazine and the way that the inherently rude and subversive nature of humor helps children begin to question assumptions, think more actively and creatively, and want to learn more about the world so that they can understand the jokes.

As we revamp the media literacy curriculum for the 21st century, Mad Magazine and Wacky Packages have something to teach us about the importance of humor, the value of simplicity, and — above all else — the importance of questioning the man behind the curtain.

The Spiderwick Chronicles

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for scary creature action and violence, peril and some thematic elements.
Movie Release Date:February 14, 2008
DVD Release Date:June 24, 2008

spiderwick%20poster.jpgThe best-selling series of books about children who find their mysterious old house surrounded by magical creatures has been turned into a visually sumptuous treat for fans of fantasy and imagination.
Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) plays twins Jared and Simon Grace, who with their sister Mallory (Sara Bolger of In America) and mother (Mary-Louise Parker) move into a spooky old mansion that once belonged to their great-uncle. Mallory and Simon have accepted the move but Jared is furious about their parents’ split and unhappy about the new home.

Continue Reading This Post »

Why is TV So White? (Entertainment Weekly)

posted by Nell Minow

Entertainment Weekly has a very important article that asks a very important question. Why is it that the only minority character to anchor a new series is Cleveland Brown — an animated character voiced by a white guy?
The show is a Family Guy spin-off called “The Cleveland Show.”
After a period of making a public effort to focus on diversity in their casting — kickstarted by an NAACP outcry over the white TV landscape in 1999 — the networks have clearly started to lose that focus, and not just when it comes to African-Americans. Today the current prime-time lineup, including fall’s 14 new scripted shows, is looking alarmingly pale. According to an Entertainment Weekly study of scripted-programming casts for the upcoming fall 2008 season, each of the five major broadcast networks is whiter than the Caucasian percentage (66.2 percent) of the United States population, as per the 2007 census estimate. And all of the networks are representing considerably lower than the Latino population percentage of 15.2 percent, with The CW — whose only lead Latina star, JoAnna Garcia, will be playing a white character named Megan Smith on Surviving the Filthy Rich — registering just 3.8 percent. After the quiet and unceremonious departure this winter of eight-season hit Girlfriends (the No. 15 show in all prime time among African-American audiences), The CW’s black comedy block (inherited from predecessor UPN) has shrunk to just two sitcoms: critical darling Everybody Hates Chris (No. 29 among African-Americans) and The Game (No. 7 among African-Americans), which have both been relegated to the dead zone known as Friday nights this fall.
***
“Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes sees progress in her diverse cast and those of other established hits — namely Lost and Heroes. But she still cites room for improvement: ”Do I want to see any more shows where someone has a sassy black friend? No, because I’m nobody’s sassy black friend. I just want to see shows in which people get to be people and that look like the world we live in. The world is changing, and television will have to follow.” True enough: It feels downright regressive to have to point out that minorities can be stars too, at a time when Will Smith continues to dominate box offices, Oprah is the most powerful woman on television, and Barack Obama is running for the ultimate leading role (you know, of the free world).
The article ends on a note of hope:
[C]olor-blind casting is something teen-focused networks seem to have down pat: Nary a show has passed through ABC Family or The N without an interracial coupling or a naturally integrated cast. (ABC Family’s Greek even has an interracial gay couple.) Those networks’ execs say it’s a simple matter of economics, that their Gen-Y viewers accept — nay, expect and demand — such a reflection of their multi-cultural lives. ”They’re completely color-blind,” ABC Family president Paul Lee says of younger viewers. ”We’ve done a lot of things wrong as a nation, but we’ve clearly done something right here. They embrace other cultures.”

Summer Reading for Kids and Their Families

posted by Nell Minow

Happy longest day of the year! And happy summer.

Long summer days are a wonderful time to rediscover the pleasures of reading. Families should make sure that everyone age 7 and older has a library card and make a point of visiting at least 2-3 times a month during the summer. Make friends with the librarians who run the children’s room and see what they recommend. The American Library Association’s website has wonderful resources for finding good books for children and teenagers.

bl mom girl reading.jpg

The Child Literacy Center has some good hints for parents on ways to encourage a love of reading in your children. Keep reading to them even when they are old enough to read for themselves. It is a wonderful way to bring the family together.

In addition to giving children a chance to explore all of the imagination and adventure in books, reading will stretch their attention spans and their vocabularies — essential for getting the most out of school and developing communication skills that are the primary predictor of satisfaction and success in the workplace. Giving your children the love of reading is one of the most important gifts a parent can bestow. That means not just encouraging them to read but demonstrating your own love of reading. Let them see you enjoying a great book. When our extended family goes on vacation, we each bring a book we love and one night we all sit down for a swap. It is one of the highlights of our time together and I have found some great reads that way.

Here are some of our family’s read-aloud favorites:

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