Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

The Drop
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some strong violence and pervasive language
Release Date:
September 12, 2014

 

The Fault in Our Stars
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexuality and brief strong language
Release Date:
June 6, 2014

Dolphin Tale 2
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some mild thematic elements
Release Date:
September 12, 2014

 

Think Like a Man Too
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for crude sexual content including references, partial nudity, language and drug material
Release Date:
June 20, 2014

The One I Love
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language, some sexuality and drug use
Release Date:
September 5, 2014

 

Godzilla
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence
Release Date:
May 16, 2014

Undercover Brother

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2002

“Undercover Brother” combines broad comedy with clever satire to happily skewer blacks, whites, men, women, the “blaxploitation” movies of the 1970′s, O.J. Simpson, and just about everything else that comes within range. Selected by the Washington Film Critics as the guilty pleasure of 2002, it is worth a look.

Comedian Eddie Griffin plays Undercover Brother, a guy with the tallest Afro, the highest platform shoes, and the coolest attitude on earth. He drives a gold-colored Cadillac with an 8-track tape player and a license plate that says, “Solid.”

Undercover Brother works on his own to fight injustice (he’s the “Robin Hood of the ‘hood”), but he is not aware of the seriousness of the threat. It seems that a mysterious bad guy known only as “The Man,” operating out of a remote island command center, is responsible for discrediting black public figures. Come to think of it, that explanation for Urkel and Dennis Rodman makes more sense than the real one.

A popular black general (Billy Dee Williams) is about to declare his candidacy for President. The Man is furious at the prospect of a possible black President (“Let’s keep the White House white!”). So, he directs his henchman (“Saturday Night Live’s” Chris Kattan) to stop him. Somehow, the general’s announcement turns out to be the opening of a chain of fried chiicken restaurants featuring the “nappy meal.”

An organization called The Brotherhood” asks Undercover Brother to join them in fighting The Man. With their top agent, Sistah Girl (Anjnue Ellis), Undercover Brother infiltrates The Man’s world, disguised as a Rastafarian caddy, a preppy office worker and someone I will just describe as a performing artist.

But the Man fights back with “black man’s Kryptonite” in the form of Denise Richards. For a moment, it seems that Undercover Brother will even eat tuna with extra mayonnaise. But Sistah Girl comes to his rescue, and they are soon off for the final confrontation.

The movie is filled with such high spirits and good humor that the jokes are pointed but not barbed. Director Malcolm Lee (a cousin of Spike Lee) has a marvelous eye for telling details (the re-creation of a 1970′s-style credit sequence is hilarious) and Eddie Griffin gives the title character some heart along with a lot of attitude.

Parents should know that the movie has very strong material for a PG-13 — as usual, the MPAA is much more lax with a comedy than they would be if the same material appeared in a drama. The movie has sexual references and situations, smoking, drinking, and drug humor, and comic violence.

Families who see this movie should talk about the stereotypes that the movie uses for humor and to make its points. How can some issues be addressed more effectively through comedy than through drama? Parents might find that they have to explain some of the humor to teenagers who are too young to remember some of the outfits and expressions satirized in the movie.

Families who enjoy this movie should take a look at some of the movies that inspired it, the “blaxploitation” movies of the 1970′s. Some of the best are included in the Pam Grier Collection and Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song. Note: both have very mature material.

Tuck Everlasting

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:2002

Disney has made a lovely film version of the book that is a perennial middle-school favorite.

Angus Tuck (William Hurt) tells rich, overprotected Winnie Foster (“Gilmore Girls’” Alexis Bledel) that he feels like a rock by the side of a stream, life rushing past him. She feels that way, too. Her proud and proper mother (Amy Irving) laces her into a tight corset, fences her inside manicured lawns, and pins her inside dozens of rules intended to demonstrate refinement and superiority.

Winnie’s days stretch bleakly and endlessly until her mother tells her that she is going to be sent away to an even more restrictive environment, a very strict finishing school. Winnie goes outside the fence and the perfectly landscaped grounds of the house to run into the untamed woods, not knowing if she is running away from something or to something.

She gets lost. And then she sees a boy (Jonathan Jackson as Jesse), drinking from a secret spring. And he and his brother kidnap her and take her to their family’s hidden cabin. They treat her with an odd mixture of hospitality and intimidation, making it clear that she is not free to go. Her prim lessons in manners have given her no way to respond but acquiescence. And she is drawn to Jesse and comes to love her life with the Tucks and with their sense of timelessness.

In the Tuck home, there is no time. Or, there is too much time, which turns out to be pretty much the same thing. They drank from the secret spring not realizing that its water had special power. Then they slowly began to realize that they can never be hurt or killed. They will never grow older. They will stay as they are forever.

More unsettling, though, is another growing realization, that this one difference moves them so far from the core reality of human existence that they can no longer have anything in common with other people. Indeed, they present such a challenge to the most fundamental assumptions that people are either terrified or overcome with greed. The Tucks must do anything necessary to make sure no one knows their secret.

Parents should know that the movie includes tense scenes, peril, and a murder. There are some mild teen romantic encounters, including a swim in underwear. The themes of the movie may be too melancholy for younger children.

Families who see this movie should talk about what they would do if they had the choice presented to Winnie. They should also compare it to the book. Why make Winnie a teenager in the movie when she is only 10 in the book? How does that change the story?

Families who enjoy this movie will enjoy the book and other books by the same author, Bub or the Very Best Thing or my favorite, The Search for Delicious. They might like to compare this movie to the earlier version. Parents and teachers may also want to look at this guide for teachers or this discussion guide.

Treasure Planet

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for adventure action and peril
Movie Release Date:2002
DVD Release Date:July 3, 2012

If “Treasure Planet” is not Disney at its best, it is still Disney at its still-pretty-much-better-than-anyone else, and well worth a look with this 10th anniversary re-release. It is based on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson story “Treasure Island,” filmed many times before. This version is set in outer space, but it is not the galaxy NASA or even “Star Wars” ever dreamed of. It is a dazzling vision that has masted schooners sailing past stars and planets. Computer and hand animation are brilliantly combined, using the best of both worlds so that the characters have a full range of expressions while the vistas are magnificently three-dimensional. This is exactly what animation should be about, presenting us with a thrillingly imaginative adventure that is utterly liberated from trivialities like the laws of physics and possibility.

YouTube Preview Image

Jim Hawkins (voice of “Third Rock” star Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a spirited kid who worries his single mother by getting into trouble with a contraption that is like a flying skateboard. A dying man gives him a map that can lead him to the planet where the greatest pirate in history hid all of his treasure. Dr. Doppler (voice of David Hyde Pierce), a family friend, finances an expedition to go in search of the treasure.

Doppler and Jim set off on a huge ship led by Captain Amelia (voice of Emma Thompson), with a crew that are better described as creatures than sailors. Jim is assigned to work with the ship’s cook, John Silver, a cyborg who is part human, part machine. John has a gruff manner with everyone but his shape-shifting pet. Jim thinks John is his friend until he overhears him talking to the crew about plans to take over and steal the treasure for themselves.

Once on the planet where the treasure is hidden, Jim meets BEN, an oddball robot with half his memory missing (voice of Martin Short). Jim, John, and the others race each other and the pirate’s booby-traps to get the treasure.

The movie is wonderfully visually inventive, with dozens of witty details. John Silver is a marvel of animation integration and form tied to content, his mechanical parts created by computer and his human parts created by hand. The voice talent is marvelous, especially Thompson, playing the captain as a sort of starchy governess who happens to be extremely brave and have a wicked sense of humor, and Short, who was born to be animated.

Parents should know that the movie has some scary moments, with extreme peril. A character is killed by being cast adrift. There is some potty humor, including a character whose language is called “Flatula.”

Families who see this movie should talk about why it was hard for Jim to behave before the trip and what will be different for him afterward. If you had all that treasure, what would you do with it?

Families who enjoy this film will also enjoy some of the movies based on Stevenson’s Treasure Island, especially Disney’s own 1950 version, starring Robert Newton as Long John Silver. And they will also enjoy Disney’s “The Emperor’s New Groove” and “The Rescuers.”

The Witches

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1990

Plot: Luke hears about witches from his grandmother (Mai Zetterling). She says they have to wear gloves to hide their claw-like hands and shoes that fit their square feet without toes, and that they are bald and scratch under their wigs. They have a purple gleam in their eyes. They are evil and they steal children, who are never seen again.

Luke’s parents are killed, and his grandmother takes him to England. When she is diagnosed with mild diabetes, the doctor advises a vacation, so they go to Cornwall. As it happens, a convention of all the witches in England is staying in the same hotel, posing as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Their leader is slinky, black-clad Eva Ernst (Anjelica Huston). Luke overhears her telling the witches to wipe out all the children in England by turning them into mice, and he watches as she demonstrates by giving a potion to a greedy child named Bruno, transforming him into a mouse. The witches find Luke, and after a chase, capture him and turn him into a mouse. With the help of his grandmother, he steals some of the potion, and puts it into the soup to be served to the witches, who are all turned to mice, except for Eva’s assistant. Luke manages to get Eva’s trunkful of money, along with her notebook listing the addresses of all the witches in America, and he and his grandmother plan to go after them.

Discussion: This story has a genuinely twisted flavor that some children will love and others will find disturbing. Luke is exceptionally brave and enjoys being a mouse (in the movie, he is changed back, but in the book, he stays a mouse). Children may be upset not only by the witches, but by the death (offscreen) of Luke’s parents, and by his seeming indifference to it.

Questions for Kids:

Previous Posts

Trailer: Days and Nights With Katie Holmes and Allison Janney
Inspired by Chekhov's "The Seagull," this is the story of a weekend at a country house that includes a famous actress, her discontented son, and people who love the wrong people and are angry at each other -- sometimes at the same time. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEs6vXztmBM[/youtub

posted 8:00:41am Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in "Serena"
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence re-team in "Serena," which looks very intriguing but does not yet have a US release date. Stay tuned. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-wFHiZHZVaU?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:35am Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Contest: Win a DVD of Ella the Elephant
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PL7Eup7JXScZz_ZAyJKN2XMIdAVp-n3iCW" frameborder="0"] Join Ella the Elephant and her kindhearted friends in this all-new animated series from Disney Junior featuring 8 charming episodes. Elephant Island is home to many

posted 3:37:58pm Sep. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Kellie Pickler Joins the Veggie Tales in Beauty and the Beet
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h9mcbvBvE0[/youtube] Country star Kellie Pickler joins the cast in "Beauty and the Beet," from the Veggie Tales folks, coming out October 14, 2014. (With a name like that, it was just a question of time!) BEAUTY AND THE BEET, a brand-new VeggieTales mus

posted 3:30:42pm Sep. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Smile of the Week: Baby Got Class
A great video for Back to School from the hilarious Holderness family! [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/s56-Ta35JRk?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:33:19am Sep. 15, 2014 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.