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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


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

Vacation
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:

Release Date:
July 29, 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

Southpaw
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language throughout, and some violence
Release Date:
July 25, 2105

 

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:
D

Vacation

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

Southpaw

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language throughout, and some violence
Release Date:
July 25, 2105

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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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Five Movie Computers

posted by Nell Minow

Computers can sometimes be full characters in movies — they play an important part in stories of all kinds — adventure, science-fiction, even romance. The one thing movie portrayals of computers seldom are is accurate and people who actually work with computers sometimes find that annoying. But these five movie computers and the movies that feature them are great family viewing.

1. War Gameswargames.jpg Matthew Broderick plays a high school kid who is trying to hack into some unreleased computer games when he connects to the Defense Department’s super-secret missile launch program instead. Made in 1983, the real-life computers available to the film-makers were not up to the task of creating the massive computer system required by the screenplay. So, the set (at the time, the most expensive single movie set ever built) used old-fashioned animation for the computer screens. Today, it would be the other way around, with the real-life computers creating special effects that will look “real” on screen.

2. Desk Set The first color film featuring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy is a clever romantic comedy about a television network research department (headed by Hepburn) disrupted by the installation of a new computer called EMERAC (installed by Tracy). The computer looks as antiquated today as a horse and buggy — it takes up much of the room and uses punch cards — but the screenplay and performances hold up beautifully and the issues of automation vs. the human touch are still very relevant.

3. Galaxy Quest One of the funniest films of the last 10 years is this hilarious story of a “Star Trek” like television series that turns out to be the real thing when a group of aliens replicate it in outer space. Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, and Tony Shaloub are the washed-up television stars relegated to fanfests and store openings who find themselves in the midst of an intergalactic battle with a tyrannical alien who looks like a big lizard in an eye-patch (and of course has the obligatory attribute for a movie villain — an English accent). One of my favorite lines is when Sigourney Weaver explains that she only has one job on the ship — to repeat everything the computer says!

You_ve_got_mail_Varese%29VSD_6015.jpg4. You’ve Got Mail This third version of the classic story about a man and a woman who feud during the day, not realizing that they are exchanging tender anonymous love letters, updates the story to the era of email and takes its title from AOL’s memorable notification. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks communicate via their laptops in this charming love story. (The delightful pre-computer versions of the story were “The Shop Around the Corner” with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan and “In the Good Old Summertime” with Judy Garland and Van Johnson.) NOTE: Screenwriter Nora Ephron is the daughter of “Desk Set” screenwriters Phoebe and Henry Ephron.

5. 2001: A Space Odyssey Probably the most famous computer in movie history is HAL, voiced by Canadian actor Douglas Rain, which greets astronaut David Bowan with a smooth, “Good morning, Dave” (there’s a sly tribute to that moment in “Independence Day”). Its name comes from Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic Computer, and not, as often speculated, because HAL’s letters are each one away from computer giant IBM. We should guess as soon as HAL explains, “The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made. No 9000 computer has ever made a mistake or distorted information. We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error” that even a computer can be guilty of hubris.

Kmart commercial encourages under-age kids to go to “Indiana Jones”

posted by Nell Minow

Kmart has a new promotion urging children to participate in its “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” giveaway. The movie is rated PG-13 “for adventure violence and scary images.” PG-13 means that parents should be aware that it is unlikely to be suitable for anyone under age 13. The movie features guns, an atomic blast, knives, a whip, swords, punches, car chases, insects, and, of course, a snake, and some grisly images, including zombies, corpses, and skeletons. And yet the voice in Kmart’s commercial, urging kids to come into the store and make the purchase that qualifies for a free ticket to the movie, is clearly a child well under age 13. Yes, it is up to the parents to decide what is appropriate for their children to see. But this mixed signals from merchandisers imply to both parents and children that the movie is appropriate and that makes it harder than it should be.

J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Speech

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite authors spoke about one of my favorite subjects when Harry Potter author Joanne Rowling addressed the graduating class at Harvard University. rowlingspeech.jpg Many commencement speakers urge the new graduates departing from the ivory tower to succeed in the real world, but Rowling encouraged them to fail and not to neglect the importance of fantasy.

I have wracked my mind and heart for what I ought to say to you today. I have asked myself what I wish I had known at my own graduation, and what important lessons I have learned in the 21 years that has expired between that day and this.

I have come up with two answers. On this wonderful day when we are gathered together to celebrate your academic success, I have decided to talk to you about the benefits of failure. And as you stand on the threshold of what is sometimes called ‘real life’, I want to extol the crucial importance of imagination.

Graduates are usually applauded for their achievements, but Rowling advised the hyper-performing graduates that it is a mistake to measure success or failure based on grades and awards. She was frank about the pain of her own failures and about what she learned from them.

Continue Reading This Post »

Movie Mom on The Takeaway

posted by Nell Minow

My brief podcast review of “Sex and the City” appears on The Takeaway, a co-production of WNYC Radio and Public Radio International, in collaboration with The BBC World Service, New York Times Radio and WGBH Boston.

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Trailer: "Risen," with Cliff Curtis as Jesus
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