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Movie Mom
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One of the most profound professional honors I have received is the opportunity to vote for the Black Reel Awards. I am especially proud of this year’s nominees:
Outstanding Film
The Book of Eli
Warner Bros. Pictures
Brooklyn’s Finest
Overture Films
For Colored Girls
Lionsgate
Night Catches Us
Magnolia
Just Wright
Fox Searchlight
Outstanding Actress
Thandie Newton – For Colored Girls
Queen Latifah – Just Wright
Kerry Washington – Night Catches Us
Anika Noni Rose – For Colored Girls
Kimberly Elise – For Colored Girls
Outstanding Actor
Don Cheadle – Brooklyn’s Finest
Denzel Washington – The Book of Eli
Jaden Smith – The Karate Kid
Anthony Mackie – Night Catches Us
Denzel Washington – Unstoppable
Outstanding Supporting Actress
Phylicia Rashad – For Colored Girls
Kerry Washington – For Colored Girls
Viola Davis – Eat Pray Love
Janet Jackson – For Colored Girls
Shareeka Epps – Mother and Child
Outstanding Supporting Actor
Wesley Snipes – Brooklyn’s Finest
Sean Combs – Get Him to the Greek
Samuel L. Jackson – Mother and Child
Brandon T. Jackson – Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Laurence Fishburne – Predators
Outstanding Director
Antoine Fuqua – Brooklyn’s Finest
Sanaa Hamri – Just Wright
Tanya Hamilton – Night Catches
Allen and Albert Hughes – The Book of Eli
Tyler Perry – For Colored Girls
Outstanding Screenplay, Original or Adapted
Tanya Hamilton – Night Catches Us
Michael C. Martin – Brooklyn’s Finest
Michael Elliott – Just Wright
Peter Allen, Gabriel Casseus, John Lussenhop and Avery Duff – Takers
Tyler Perry – For Colored Girls
Outstanding Original Score
The Karate Kid
Brooklyn’s Finest
Night Catches Us
The Book of Eli
For Colored Girls
Outstanding Original Song
Shine (John Legend) | Waiting for Superman
Champion (Queen Latifah) | Just Wright
Run This Town (Jay-Z featuring Rihanna and Kayne West) | Brooklyn’s Finest
Never Say Never (Justin Bieber featuring Jaden Smith) | The Karate Kid
I Know Who I Am (Leona Lewis) | For Colored Girls
Outstanding Ensemble
For Colored Girls
Brooklyn’s Finest
Unstoppable
Night Catches Us
Takers
Outstanding Breakthrough Performance
Omari Hardwick – For Colored Girls
Tessa Thompson – For Colored Girls
Amari Cheatom – Night Catches Us
Zoe Kravitz – It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Yaya DaCosta – The Kids Are All Right
Outstanding Feature Documentary
The Lottery
Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy
Waiting on Superman
My Mic Sounds Nice
Outstanding Indie Feature Film
Preacher’s Kid
Warner’s Bros.
Kings of the Evening
Picture Palace Films / Indican Pictures
Toe to Toe
Strand Releasing
Black Venus
MK2 Productions/France 2 Cinéma/CinéCinéma
Finding God in the City of Angels
Flying Limbs Productions
Outstanding Indie Short Film
Cred
Stag and Dow
Katrina’s Son
Outstanding Indie Documentary Film
For the Best and For the Onion
One of These Mornings
Gefilte Fish
Outstanding Television Documentary
If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise
The Black List, Vol. 3
A Small Act

In honor of this week’s release of “Tron: Legacy” I’m giving away a very cool Tron t-shirt to the first person to email me at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Tron” in the subject line — and don’t forget your address!
Good luck!
tron-legacy-lightcycle-4.jpg

The Parents Television Council released a new report today on the portrayal of teenage girls on television.
The report, ??Tinseltown’s New Target: A Study of Teen Female Sexualization on Prime-Time TV, is based on a content analysis of the most popular television shows for viewers ages 12-17 in the 2009-2010 season. “Girls as young as five wanting to be sexy are being robbed of their childhood,” said former model Nicole Clark, whose documentary “Cover Girl Culture” exposes the detrimental influence of media on children’s self-image. She added that she hears parents talk about their fears of sexual predators but they dress their little girls to emphasize their sexuality and allow them to watch unsupervised media “We wonder why America has the highest teen pregnancy rate and teen STD rate of all the developed nations.” It is especially troubling that the influence of these images is apparent on younger and younger children.
Every parent should look at this report and consider carefully how to protect both boys and girls from these media portrayals, how to talk to them to minimize the impact of what they do see, and how to respond to the PTC’s call to action to let broadcasters and advertisers know that this is unacceptable.
The PTC says:
Clearly, there are inherent dangers in having a cultural milieu that accepts and encourages this sexual contradiction of encouraging underage girls to look sexy, yet realizing they know very little about what it means to be sexual.
Of equal concern is the lack of experience teenagers have in making rational and responsible decisions within intimate relationships. For years, scholars have recognized that teens may be particularly vulnerable to media influence. Several studies report the negative impact that frequent exposure to sexualized media images and models of passivity can cause, ranging from eating disorders and depression to sexual risk-taking. There is a chord that is struck with every parent when understanding the devastating impact these sexual images and messages have on the cognitive, emotional, and physical development as well as the self-image of the average young girl well before they reach the stage of exhibiting these more outwardly recognizable disorders. Further, research shows that girls and young women who consume more mainstream media content demonstrate greater acceptance of stereotypes that depict women as sexual objects , and earlier initiation of sexual behaviors.
The impact of teen sexualization in the media is exacerbated by the continual increases in media usage among teens. A recent report revealed that children are spending more time than ever before consuming entertainment media -more than 75 hours a week. These rates indicate that teens are spending nearly twice as much time viewing media than they spend in school and 1/3 more time than they spend sleeping. This increase is due, in large part, to devices that allow children to access media content away from the traditional confines of the television and movie screen.
The report concludes that when underage female characters appear on screen: more sexual content is depicted; the teen girls show next to no negative response to being sexualized; more sexual incidents occur outside of any form of a committed relationship; and there is less accuracy in the TV content rating.
It found:

Underage female characters are shown participating in a higher percentage of sexual depictions compared to adults (47% and 29% respectively).

Only 5% of the underage female characters communicated any form of dislike for being sexualized (excluding scenes depicting healthy sexuality).

Out of all the sexualized female characters depicted in the underage and young adult category for the entire database, 86% were presented as only being of high school age.

Seventy-five percent of shows that included sexualized underage female characters were shows that did not have an “S” descriptor to warn parents about the sexual content.

Based upon a definition established by the American Psychological Association of “healthy” vs. “unhealthy” sexuality, the study findings show that 93% of the sexual incidents involving underage female characters occurred within a context that qualified as “unhealthy.”

The data revealed that 98% of the sexual incidents involving underage female characters occurred outside of any form of a committed relationship.

The data show that 73% of the underage sexualized incidents were presented in a humorous manner or as a punch line to a joke.

I love it when a plan comes together.

And I love it when a summer movie delivers all of the chases, crashes, explosions, wisecracks, and sheer exuberant fun that we have a right to expect when the weather gets warm. “The A-Team,” based on the television series of the mid-1980’s, may be silly but it is purely enjoyable.

We get to see how the fearsome foursome first met. That’s Hannibal (Liam Neeson), the cigar-chomping leader, driver and fighting powerhouse B.A. Baracus (Ultimate Fighting Champion Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson), mentally unstable pilot Murdock (District 9‘s Sharlto Copley), and social engineer (okay, con man) Face (Bradley Cooper). As frustrated Lt. Sosa (Jessica Biel) says, eight years and 80 successful missions later, they specialize in the ridiculous. Characters hang from a helicopter. They slalom down a skyscraper. They crash many vehicles and they blow many things up. This is a movie with a flying tank. Well, technically, as one character says, not flying. It’s actually hurtling to the ground after the plane that was carrying it exploded. Why? Could that really work? Don’t ask. This is not that kind of movie. Just pass the popcorn.

There are some understated shout-outs to the original, including a clever disposition of the beloved van and BA’s knuckle tattoos — “PITY” on one hand and “FOOL” on the other. And be sure to stay to the very end of the credits for one last salute.

After the prologue, we are brought up to date. Our team has completed 80 missions in eight years, all successful. Now, American troops are packing up to leave Iraq. One piece of unfinished business is a briefcase filled with engraving plates for U.S. currency. If they get into the wrong hands, our enemies could print money and destroy our economy. And there are a lot of wrong hands out there, possibly including the mercenaries/government contractors who think they’re all that and who are assigned to the retrieval operation.

This provides opportunities for many stunts, ably directed by Joe Carnahan, who co-wrote. Co-screenwriter Brian Bloom is electrifying as Pike, the leader of the contractor team. Biel does her job: fuming or melting, she is very pretty. And the quartet of actors in the lead roles are an A-Team of their own, bringing their own screen chemistry and sense of fun to the characters they play. Neeson chomps on his cigar with panache. Copley makes Murdoch’s proficiency with accents and languages both evidence of his instability and his mastery. Jackson makes BA’s soul-searching feel real without throwing the entire movie off-kilter by making it too serious. Early on, when Face gets punched in the jaw, Cooper’s eyes widen in delight and he says, “Now it’s a party!” Yes, it is.