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Movie Mom
New to Theaters
B

Lowest Recommended Age: High School MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief drug content Release Date: May 6, 2016
B+

Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence, action and mayhem Release Date: May 6, 2016
B+

Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief drug content Release Date: April 29, 2016
New to DVD
Pick of the week
B

The Choice

Lowest Recommended Age: High School MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief drug content Release Date: May 6, 2016
B

A Royal Night Out

Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence, action and mayhem Release Date: May 6, 2016
B

Joy

Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief drug content Release Date: April 29, 2016
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Rotten Tomatoes has a character guide for the movie that is setting advance-sale records at Fandango: “Twilight”
Fandango reports that:

  • More than 500 of Thursday’s Twilight midnight showtimes are sold-out in advance online – from Poulsbo, Washington to New York’s Staten Island;
  • 86% of daily ticket sales on Fandango.com are for this single film;
  • 67% of our online survey respondents contend that Twilight’s most appealing element is its “love story”; 18% selected the “vampire lore”; 8% picked the “thriller elements”; 7% chose other elements.

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Be sure to take a look at the excellent Ten Tips for Parenting the Facebook Generation from Beliefnet’s Hesham Hassaballa. Technology has made the risks and humiliations and cliquishness of the early teen years exponentially more treacherous, and these guidelines will help keep kids safe until they can become wise. The most important rule, as always, is loving involvement in your children’s lives, so they know they can talk with you about all of their concerns.

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Thanks to Jeannette Catsoulis for sending me this adorable salute to composer John Williams:

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The Washington Post has a poignant tribute to Leave It to Beaver from a man who found his favorite childhood show unexpectedly comforting when he was struggling with serious illness.

“Leave It to Beaver” rejuvenates me. I need its gentle tone and mild-manneredness, its absence of deep drama and complicated characters, and its simple, predictable, formulaic story lines, in which nothing seems to have lasting consequence. And I need Beaver’s innocence, his youthful ability to trust and believe completely, his state of confused wonderment (“Gee whiz, Dad, has it always been hard on kids being kids?”), and his wholly natural, small-boy approach to life. When my cancer refuses to slow down for sentiment, “Beaver” helps me feel embraced by life, not tossed around by it….

It’s easy to lose one’s perspective in the suffocating web of cancer. I don’t know if watching “Leave It to Beaver” is pathetic or liberating. But for now, I’ve put my faith in the idea that these stories from my childhood — realistic or not — possess the kind of redemptive power referred to by William Maxwell. “Stories,” he wrote, “can save us.” Such is the reality; such is the hope.

Appreciation for one of “Beaver’s” stars comes from an even more surprising place. The Louvre, with one of the world’s great art collections, the place that houses the Mona Lisa, will show a sculpture from Tony Dow, who played Beaver’s older brother, Wally.

“Of course, I’m really proud of ‘Leave It to Beaver’ and my directing career in television,” said Dow. “Those are great accomplishments. I’m really proud of them, but this is interesting because I don’t think they know anything about that at the Louvre.”

Still, I suspect Dow and his fellow castmates will be most fondly remembered for their 1950’s television show. It does hold up remarkably well, not just for the way it evokes a more innocent time, but because it evokes the worldview of a child. Sweet but not sugary, it is a family classic.

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