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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

The Meddler
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for brief drug content
Release Date:
April 29, 2016

 

The Choice
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some thematic issues
Release Date:
February 5, 2016

Keanu
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for violence, language throughout, drug use and sexuality/nudity
Release Date:
April 29, 2016

 

A Royal Night Out
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and brief drug elements
Release Date:
December 4, 2015

Ratchet & Clank
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
PG for action and some rude humor
Release Date:
April 29, 2016

 

Joy
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Release Date:
December 25, 2015

New in Theaters

grade:
B+

The Meddler

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for brief drug content
Release Date:
April 29, 2016
grade:
B+

Keanu

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for violence, language throughout, drug use and sexuality/nudity
Release Date:
April 29, 2016
grade:
C

Ratchet & Clank

Lowest Recommended Age:
4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
PG for action and some rude humor
Release Date:
April 29, 2016

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New to DVD

pick of the week
grade:
B

The Choice

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some thematic issues
Release Date:
February 5, 2016
grade:
B

A Royal Night Out

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and brief drug elements
Release Date:
December 4, 2015
grade:
B

Joy

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Release Date:
December 25, 2015

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Wall Street Bonuses — Re-calibrating My Outrage

posted by Nell Minow

When I’m not being the Movie Mom, I am editor and chair of a small company based in Portland, Maine that evaluates corporate behavior and performance. I’ve had a lot to say recently about the billions of dollars paid out in bonuses to employees at the bailout companies on Wall Street.
On Friday, I appeared on the Lehrer Newshour on PBS, debating the wall street bonuses with a lawyer who specializes in executive compensation. The transcript and video clip are available online.
On Saturday, I was quoted in a Washington Post article about the reaction to the bonuses.
And I was also quoted in an Orange County Register article about the prospects for getting some of the Wall Street bonus money back.
Today I will moderate a panel discussion about the future of financial regulation at the Russell Senate Office Building and I am sure the issue of the bonuses will provoke an especially lively conversation.

The Secret Life of Bees

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material and some violence
Movie Release Date:October 17, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 2, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material and some violence
Movie Release Date: October 17, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 2, 2009

The beloved best-seller by Sue Monk Kidd has been brought to screen with great care, deep sincerity, and a perfect cast. Unfortunately, it is so careful, so lovingly burnished, so deliberate that it becomes sluggish, never finding the distinctive voice of the book’s narrator. Dakota Fanning, coltishly adolescent, plays Lily, who runs away from her abusive father T-Ray (Paul Bettany), after their housekeeper Rosaleen (Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson) is beaten and arrested for trying to register to vote following the 1964 passage of the Civil Rights Act.

They are taken in by three sisters named after months: August (Queen Latifah), May (Sophie Okonedo), and June (Alicia Keys). They live in a bright pink house and keep bees for their Black Madonna honey. August is strong, patient, and wise. June is impatient and angry. May is sweet and so easily brought to tears that she has a special wall for crying, like the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. She writes down what worries her or makes her sad and folds the paper up to slip it between the rocks in the wall.

The three sisters have managed to create a quiet life of dignity, independence, and culture in part because they keep to themselves. They know that taking in a white child who has run away could give the bigots in their community an opportunity to make their lives difficult, but like Rosaleen, they believe that giving in to racism in order to get along is “just a different way of dying.” And Lily and a new friend explore some personal and societal boundaries that involve some serious risks.

Lovingly made, the film is beautifully performed, especially by Queen Latifah and singer Keys. It gently but honestly addresses the difficulty of relationships made more complex by mingling the ultimate equality achieved through selfless love and the ultimate inequality of pervasive bigotry. But it is too neatly constructed. The hair of the three sisters telegraphs their roles on the continuum of feeling and of where they are in time, May with her little-girl braids rooted to the past and June with her Afro and NAACP t-shirt reaching for the future. August is the bridge between them. T-Ray will come back for Lily, who will find that there is a reason she feels so much at home with the sisters. Everything falls into place, but it all takes just a little bit too long — do we really need three separate transitional montages? A little less respect would have opened it up for the livelier sensibility of the novel. It would have been less pretty, perhaps, but more fully engaging.

House and Cuddy — Should they get together?

posted by Nell Minow

In the words of Entertainment Weekly, House and Cuddy will “do the deed” this season. The popular television series is about the irascible doctor who is a master diagnostician but who constantly battles with his frustrated supervisor about his disregard of rules, risks, and social conventions. As often happens in fiction and sometimes happens in real life, this friction sets off some romantic sparks and after years of dancing around their mutual attraction they are going to act on it.house-cuddy.jpg
This may be satisfying for the characters, but it is unlikely to be satisfying for the viewers, at least not for long. Can you think of a time when resolving the romantic tension between lead characters has made a television show better? I’m thinking of “Cheers,” “Rhoda,” “I Dream of Jeannie” — any others? “That Girl” ended before the wedding of Ann and Don. Is getting together another form of Jumping the Shark?
House at LocateTV.com

Super Bowl Ads — Not Family Friendly?

posted by Nell Minow

Many families have Super Bowl traditions as the generations gather around the television to watch the biggest football game of the year. It gives families a wonderful opportunity to share their interests and histories and to talk about the skill, determination, teamwork, practice, and courage that go into competing at that level. super-bowl-2009.gif
Unfortunately, the ads, which have generated almost as much press as the game itself, can lead to a whole other kind of family conversation and not one many parents welcome. Every year, I hear complaints from parents who find themselves getting questions about ED or who find their children imitating the silly or hyper-sexed behavior from alcohol ads.
Common Sense Media has a new report based on a review of the ads in over 50 games with more than 160 hours and more than 5000 commercials.
They found:

  • 1 out of every 6 commercials shown contained messages and images that were inappropriate for young kids.
  • 40% of the games included advertisements for erectile-dysfunction drugs (Viagra® and Cialis®)
  • More than 500 of the ads involved significant levels of violence, including gun fights, explosions and murders.
  • 300 of the ads were for alcohol.
  • 80 of the ads included significant levels of sexuality, including scenes about prostitution and strippers.
  • Nearly half (44.7%) of the violent and sexual ads were promotions by the networks for their own programs.

94% of the mothers polled said that they were concerned about inappropriate television commercials during pro football games. And at least one father agrees:

“I wasn’t too happy with ads for erectile-dysfunction drugs popping up every 15 minutes whenever I watched a football game with my daughters in the room.”

President Barack Obama,
The Audacity of Hope, 2006

The report, called Broadcast Dysfunction: Sex, Violence, Alcohol, and the NFL is well worth reading. And Common Sense Media’s site has something even more important — a direct link to send the NFL a complaint using their draft text or your own words. If this is a concern for you and your family, I urge you to let Commissioner Roger Goodell know how you feel.

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posted 3:40:09pm May. 02, 2016 | read full post »

Janis Joplin on PBS American Masters
The two most dazzling life performances I have ever seen or will ever see were both by Janis Joplin. This week, the PBS American Masters series is her story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BecO7FgQnEc Here she is at the Monterey music ...

posted 1:58:52pm May. 02, 2016 | read full post »

Trailer: Snowden
There's a new movie coming out about Edward Snowden, directed by Oliver Stone, a master of paranoic drama with a historical focus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KyltHXrxVk If you're interested in the issue of government spying, national ...

posted 8:00:00am May. 02, 2016 | read full post »

The Meddler
Marnie (Susan Sarandon) is the irresistible force who, just before this movie starts, meets the immovable object: devastating grief in ...

posted 11:42:17am May. 01, 2016 | read full post »

May 2016: Movies This Month
Happy May! The blockbuster movie season officially starts this week with the latest superhero movie from Marvel, and the month will end with another superhero movie as well. But we'll get some good smaller movies, too. Here's what I'm looking ...

posted 12:18:04am May. 01, 2016 | read full post »

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