Movie Mom
New to Theaters

Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School MPAA Rating: Rated PG for fantasy action/peril and some language Release Date: May 27, 2016

Lowest Recommended Age: High School MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some sexual material Release Date: May 27, 2016

Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images Release Date: May 27, 2016
New to DVD
Pick of the week

The Finest Hours

Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of peril Release Date: January 29, 2016


Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for Biblical violence including some disturbing images Release Date: February 19, 2016

How to be Single

Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content and strong language throughout Release Date: February 12, 2016
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Thanks to Cinematical for posting this trailer from the new documentary about movie critics. Can’t wait to see it.


Thanks to all who wrote!Q: Nell, i am really hoping you can help me with the name of this movie, unfortunately i don’t have a lot of info to give you, all i can remember is that it was set in the 50’s-60’s in a small American town where a lady either inherits or owns a cafe and decides to sell it but because of the location and lack of prospective buyers she advertises in city paper but it is the way she advertises that is unique. Instead of asking for a price for the property she asks anyone who is interested in having the property to send a letter explaining why they would want to own this shop, along with the letter they are to pay a fee of say $1 or $5 (i can’t exactly remember), the owner then reads all the letters and chooses who she thinks is best suited to take over – not only does she makes some money but the new owner only pays a small amount. I remember thinking what a fantastic idea but unfortunately my memory has failed me on the name! I do remember seeing it in the 90’s on TV so possibly was only made for TV. My lovely children think i am going batty. Can you help! Thanks heaps A: That lovely movie is “The Spitfire Grill.” Tell your children that you were right! Thanks for writing.Q: It stars Robin Williams. He has children in the film. I think they are going into a painting, lots of color. I think he has to save his child. A: I believe you are thinking of “What Dreams May Come.”Q: It is an older movie – a comedy about a couple that buys a house in the country (white picket fence) they have a niece that lives with them. An uncle comes to visit that they think is wealthy but it ends up that he has no money at all. There is a road that goes through their property and I think they want to close it but cannot. They do not have a deed to the house that proves they own up to the road – A dog finds the deed in a boot that was buried in a ditch. A: That is one of my favorites! “George Washington Slept Here” with Jack BennyQ: What was the name of the movie that had two brothers terrorizing a family in the family’s home? I believe the brothers had an English accent. A: That sounds like “Funny Games.” There is an English language version remake by writer/director Michael Haneke of his own 1997 Austrian film.Q: Recently I saw a very beautiful movie of John Cusack when in the most memorable scene he is carrying a big stereo out and a song begins to play. He wants the girl to forgive him. What is the movie? A: Thanks for asking! That wonderful movie is “Say Anything.” Q: I remember seeing a film many years ago a couple of times. I remember a scene early on in the film where the father and son are sitting watching trains and having a great conversation. Then later the father gets an automobile and ends up dying in a wreck. The boy suddenly finds himself alone as his mother gets caught up in her grief and people from the minister to neighbors are down right rude to the boy. Anyway long story short the film is about the boy finding himself lost and all alone with no one to turn to as his father was his best friend. Eventually the boy runs away and goes to the place where he and his father would watch the trains which is where his mother finds him and they begin their road of healing and coming to terms with life without the father. I hope you can help me on this one as most of the time I have a pretty good memory about old films but this one escapes me. A: That is “All the Way Home,” based on the classic James Agee book “A Death in the Family.” It stars Robert Preston and Jean Simmons.Q: I was wondering if you would be able to help me find a movie I saw on the Family Channel a while ago. The movie is about a girl high school student who cuts her hair and dresses up as a boy to find information for an article she’s writing for her school newspaper. She transfers to a new school and ends up falling in love with the school’s outcast somewhat-bad-boy. That’s pretty much all i can remember, but it would be great if you knew what i was talking about! A: That’s “Just One of the Guys” (1985).Q: I can’t recall the name of this movie. All I remember is that some teens trash this town and the judge sentences them to community service over the summer. The lead male is a rich kid and he ends up falling in love with the local diner owners daughter. It seems like she is really sick. I also remember that lovers write their name on a certain wall in the diner. There is also a scene where he takes her to his home and they have this amazing green house. Sound familiar? A: That movie is “Here on Earth” with Chris Klein, Josh Hartnett, and Leelee Sobieski.


Social network sites risk infantilizing the mid-21st century mind, leaving it characterized by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathize and a shaky sense of identity, according to a leading neuroscientist.
The UK paper The Guardian reports that Lady Greenfield, professor of synaptic pharmacology at Lincoln college, Oxford, has found that teen laptop.jpg
children’s experiences on social networking sites “are devoid of cohesive narrative and long-term significance. As a consequence, the mid-21st century mind might almost be infantilized, characterised by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathize and a shaky sense of identity”.

Social networking sites can provide a “constant reassurance – that you are listened to, recognized, and important”. Greenfield continued. This was coupled with a distancing from the stress of face-to-face, real-life conversation, which were “far more perilous … occur in real time, with no opportunity to think up clever or witty responses” and “require a sensitivity to voice tone, body language and perhaps even to pheromones, those sneaky molecules that we release and which others smell subconsciously”.
She said she feared “real conversation in real time may eventually give way to these sanitized and easier screen dialogues, in much the same way as killing, skinning and butchering an animal to eat has been replaced by the convenience of packages of meat on the supermarket shelf. Perhaps future generations will recoil with similar horror at the messiness, unpredictability and immediate personal involvement of a three-dimensional, real-time interaction.”
This seems a bit of an over-reaction to me. Young people will make a lot of mistakes on Facebook and other social networks as they do in other aspects of their relationships. This time of life always has been and always will be a stage characterized by intense feelings and difficult lessons. Social networking has its disadvantages — the ability to hide behind partial or full anonymity, the capacity for almost-instant escalation and distribution, the invasions of privacy. But it also has its advantages as a form of training wheels for the difficult relationship navigational connections. Adam Gopnick writes in a touching essay included in Through the Children’s Gate about how his 11-year-old could not answer the question “How was school today?” in person but was happy to communicate with him via instant messaging. They would even IM each other while sitting together watching a game on TV. Gopnick, initially thrilled by this mode of communications, ran into his own failure of understanding, but it all ended sweetly, with love and laughter.
In the New York Times, Peggy Orenstein reports Growing Up With Facebook about the way the past is not prologue but present on Facebook. Orenstein, like Slate’s Brian Braiker, was disconcerted to find herself tagged in pictures from her past that went from being tucked away in shoe boxes to being available to everyone. She wonders about the effect this will have on young people who no longer will have the freedom to cast off old roles and relationships when they go away to college.

There’s some evidence that college students have mixed feelings about being guinea pigs for the faux-friendship age. One student interviewed for a study of why and how college students use Facebook, which was published last year in The Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, admitted that being privy to the personal details of “friends” who she had not seen in years made her uncomfortable. “Someone from earlier in her life had broken up with a boyfriend,” an author of the article, Sandra L. Calvert, a professor and chairwoman of the psychology department at Georgetown University, told me. “She felt she knew all these intimate details about this person, yet they hadn’t actually been in touch for five years.” On the other hand, a study published in 2007 in The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication suggested that hanging onto old friends via Facebook may alleviate feelings of isolation for students whose transition to campus life had proved rocky.

It could be that my generation was the anomalous one, that Facebook marks a return to the time when people remained embedded in their communities for life, with connections that ran deep, peers who reined them in if they strayed too far from the norm, parents who expected them to live at home until marriage (adult children are already reclaiming their childhood rooms in droves). More likely, though, the very thing that attracts us oldsters to Facebook — the lure of auld lang syne — will be its undoing. Kids, who will inevitably want to drive a stake into the heart of former lives, may simply abandon the service (remember Friendster?) and find something new: something still unformed, yet to be invented — much like themselves.

Or, perhaps they will evolve with Facebook and it will evolve with them. Instead of swapping pictures of friends behaving badly at keggers, perhaps they will post baby pictures and cupcake recipes. It is likely that some future Facebook group will be a place for the parents of young children in 2025 to talk about how to cope with whatever impact the latest technological innovation is having on their school-age children.
In the meantime, parents need to remind their children that middle school and high school friendships are tough enough without broadcasting their most humiliating aspects to the world. Parents should, of course, talk to kids about being respectful and responsible in relationships online and in RL (real life) and most of all make sure that they demonstrate the behavior they want to encourage. The more parents do to show kids that the greatest satisfaction comes from in-person communication in a context of trust and kindness, the more likely that social networking will be an adjunct to and not a replacement for the real thing.


It is in no way disrespectful to this movie to say that I enjoyed the audience reaction as much as I enjoyed what was on the screen. In a theater filled with fans who had patiently waited for over an hour, it was possible to hear some lines softly recited along with the characters, some squeals of joy at seeing favorite moments depicted, and, in a few quiet scenes, some happily sad sniffs.

“Twilight,” the first in the Stephanie Meyer series of books about a high school romance where the boy happens to be a vampire, has become “Twilight” the movie and it has been brought to life with respectful diligence for the source material and a warm understanding of its characters and target audience. Catherine Hardwicke has developed something of a speciality in stories about teenagers with “13,” “The Nativity Story,” and “The Lords of Dogtown,” and one of the pleasures of the film is the way she shows us the rhythms of teenage interaction.

Bella (a perfectly cast Kristen Stewart) has left sunny Phoenix for the rainiest town in America, Forks, Washington, to live with her father. The students at her new school welcome her warmly but the boy who dazzles her is handsome Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). At first, he seems to dislike her, but it turns out that he has just been trying to hide from her and from himself how much he is attracted to her.

These days, it is increasingly difficult to find a reason for a couple not to get together so fast there is no time for a story to happen and Meyer specifically created Edward and Bella with a permanent dilemma to give her characters and her readers some breathing room to explore the relationship. Part of the appeal of the story is an almost-Victorian sense of repression, sacrifice, and longing, all so sincerely depicted it just might single-handedly bring back the swoon. Young girls can enjoy this story because of Bella’s sense of power — loving her so devotedly all but un-mans a creature designed to be “the world’s most dangerous predator.” Edward has the attributes of the adolescent ideal for romance since before the days of “Romeo and Juliet,” “Wuthering Heights” and “Titanic” — unconditional love, parental disapproval, and ultimate impossibility.

The film falters a little in the portrayal of the vampires, who seem, even by fantasy standards, unnaturally pasty-faced, and some of the special effects are a little cheesy. It’s hard to make someone super-fast without looking cartoony. But it benefits from some deft and easy humor and sly twists on both vampire lore (let’s just say that mirrors and sunlight are different for these vampires than for the traditional Bram Stoker variety, with subtle hints to crosses and garlic) and high school (giving it up on prom night takes on a new meaning). Hardwicke, originally a production designer, also lets the settings help tell the story, from the lush greens of the opening shots to the Cullen’s sun-filled home. But the movie belongs to Bella and Edward and Stewart and Pattinson show us a tenderness and devotion that makes them one of this year’s most romantic couples.

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