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Movie Mom

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New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
Release Date:
July 31, 2015

 

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

Best of Enemies
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
July 31, 2015

 

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some language and suggestive comments
Release Date:
March 6, 2015

Vacation
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:

Release Date:
July 29, 2015

 

The Longest Ride
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Release Date:
April 10, 2015

New in Theaters

grade:
B+

Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
Release Date:
July 31, 2015
grade:
B+

Best of Enemies

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
July 31, 2015
grade:
D

Vacation

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Release Date:
July 29, 2015

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New to DVD

pick of the week
grade:
B+

Home

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

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some language and suggestive comments
Release Date:
March 6, 2015
grade:
C

The Longest Ride

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Release Date:
April 10, 2015

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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for adventure violence and scary images
Movie Release Date:May 22, 2008
DVD Release Date:September 2, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for adventure violence and scary images
Movie Release Date: May 22, 2008
DVD Release Date: September 2, 2008

Some things are different. No more Nazis — it is now a Cold War and the guys on the other side are the Soviets. And there may be enemies at home. A harmless-looking professor could be a Red. Or maybe it is the agents of the U.S. government who are the bad guys when they see enemies who are not there. And teenagers are acting wild. Some of them speed by in jalopies and some of them slick back their hair, drop out of school, and ride motorcycles.

But some things are the same. Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford, for the fourth time) still packs a mean punch and carries a bull whip. He still has a way of getting himself into and out of trouble. He still hates snakes. And he is still a lot of fun to watch.

As always, we start right in the midst of the action. A motorcade of soldiers is approaching a “Hanger 51″ Army base in Nevada that is shut down for a test of an atomic bomb. But it turns out not to be what it seems. They are Soviet spies and they want Indiana to find something in storage there (Indy fans will enjoy seeing a familiar item in one of the crates). This time, the artifact everyone wants is a crystal skull from South America that, according to legend, will grant great power to whomever returns it to its home. The Soviets are led by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett, severe in an impeccable uniform and a ruthlessly aerodynamic bob), a specialist in the paranormal.

Instead of being congratulated for escaping from the Soviets, Indy becomes a “person of interest” to the FBI due to “this charged climate” and is suspended from his job. When he gets a message from a young man on a motorcycle who looks like he just rode in from the set of “The Wild One” that his old friend Professor Oxley (John Hurt) has been captured, Indy and the young man (“Transformers'” Shia LeBeouf) set out to rescue them.

Ford brings it. He is vitally and vibrantly present every moment on screen. He gets the a-word issue out of the way early on with a wry response to “we’ve gotten out of worse before” — “We were younger then.” He can still throw a credible punch and he has an even better and deeper sense of who he is as an actor and who Indy is as a character dealing with his own issues of aging. Moving the characters forward in time provides many opportunities for fresh and intriguing details that are instantly evocative of the past and lightly resonant for today’s circumstances as well. LeBeouf, Ford, and Karen Allen, who makes a welcome return as Marian, Indy’s best leading lady, have terrific chemistry. The stunts are thrilling and brilliantly paced, and the script, the first three-quarters of it, anyway, if not up to the level of the first Indiana Jones film, is at or better than the other two. The old-school effects are far better than the brief CGI. The unscripted real-life bug swallowed as an ad lib by Rene Belloq in the first movie was far more effective than an army of man-eating ants made from pixels in this one. John Hurt is underused as the addled Oxley as is Ray Winstone (“Beowulf”) as a fellow traveler in more than one sense of the term. And it is a little too long, but that is understandable. Ford, Allen, producer George Lucas, and director Steven Spielberg enjoy spending time with Indiana Jones and don’t want to say goodbye. We feel the same way.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material, some disturbing images and brief smoking.
Movie Release Date:April 21, 2008
DVD Release Date:October 16, 2008
D
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material, some disturbing images and brief smoking.
Movie Release Date: April 21, 2008
DVD Release Date: October 16, 2008

There may be a good argument to make on behalf of teaching Intelligent Design in science class, but this documentary from Ben Stein does not make it. The movie itself is an example of design by faith and emotion rather than intelligence, defined as rationality grounded in proof. Instead of making a straightforward case for Intelligent Design as a scientific theory, Stein employs misdirection and guilt by very tangential association to try to make his case.

Intelligent Design advocates believe that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected or random or mechanical process such as Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Stein begins by interviewing scientists who lost their jobs for even mentioning the theory, baits some Darwinian scientists in selective clips from interviews, and then visits Dachau and the Hadamar euthanasia center, where the Nazis murdered thousands of disabled people. Stein tells us he is not saying that Darwinism leads to mass murder, but the connection he draws is unmistakable.

Like the tobacco companies once they could no longer question the legitimacy of the scientific evidence connecting cigarettes and disease, Stein quickly shifts the debate from a head-to-head assessment of analysis of data to frame the issue as one of freedom of speech. The movie opens with archival footage not of science labs or the animal life on Galapagos Island, where Darwin first began to develop his theory, but of the construction of the Berlin Wall. Stein tries to draw a parallel between the wall that divided Germany and the impenetrable wall that keeps Intelligent Design out of the science establishment. But he is also associating Darwinian science with Godlessness, communism, and totalitarianism, with detours into Nazi atrocities and atheism so over-the-top that it becomes shrill and irrational.

And irrationality is the opposite of scientific inquiry. Stein says that freedom of speech requires that both Intelligent Design and Darwin’s natural selection should be taught in America’s classrooms. But he never subjects Intelligent Design to the kind of scrutiny required by scientific analysis, which is based on observation and experimentation. Intelligent Design is based the fact that (1) there are questions that natural selection does not answer — which Darwinian scientists admit, and (2) therefore, some intelligent force must be behind creation — which cannot be proven by scientific means and therefore is more appropriately considered within the fields of philosophy or religion.

Science is all about challenging, refining, and refuting established theories, as the movie concedes, with Albert Einstein’s improvement of the theories of Isaac Newton as an example. But both Newton and Einstein agreed on what science was and how to evaluate scientific theories. As presented by Stein, Intelligent Design and Darwinian theory make the same observations, but come to different conclusions. Darwin says that life forms evolved through random mutation and natural selection, the survival of the fittest. Intelligent Design says that life is so complex that it is all the evidence we need to show that some intelligent (conscious, intentional) force must have created it. Stein never shows that Intelligent Design can go from theory to explanation as it must to be considered science. As a lawyer, he should understand that freedom of speech also guarantees the freedom not to have to listen to mangled, manipulative, and disingenuous rhetoric like this.

Being Dad: Inspiration and Information for Dads to Be

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:October 7, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: October 7, 2008

40 dads, 6 experts, 9 months, and 80 minutes.

Being Dad is a sort of “what to expect while SHE’s expecting,” a man-to-man welcome to fatherhood from “a guy’s point of view.” This guys talking to guys about the stuff guys think about, from “that sexy girl I married is turning into what?” to “I have to be, like, responsible now?”

Being Dad isn’t a how-to guide. It doesn’t push an agenda. And it’s not a medical textbook with minute-by-minute explanations of the anatomical changes happening to your baby.

Instead, we blend interviews with new dads from around the country with plain English advice from experts. Much quicker and less painful than the average labor, the 80 minute-DVD offers wisdom, humour and even a few tissue-box moments.

‘Unorthodox’ TV Movie Filming in DC

posted by Nell Minow

The Washington Post reports that a new Hallmark Hall of Fame movie for CBS called “Unorthodox” is currently filming in Washington DC:
Great to see Hollywood getting into spirituality! The crew that set up Wednesday on Georgetown’s Cambridge Place for a one-day shoot was filming “Unorthodox,” a made-for-TV movie about a young D.C. doctor who is pressured to marry the widow of his Hasidic rabbi brother in accordance with ancient levirate law. Neighbors couldn’t help but chuckle, though, that the filming went on well past sunset — and into the start of Yom Kippur, when the observant are supposed to abstain from working. Oh, well!

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Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation
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posted 5:54:06pm Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Best of Enemies
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