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

Edison, the Man

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1940

“Plot: The movie begins with a dinner in 1929 honoring the “”Golden Jubilee of Light,”” the anniversary of the invention of the electric light bulb. But the guest of honor has not yet left home. He is being interviewed by two high school students, telling them that success is ninety-nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration, and that the most valuable thing in the world is time, because all the money in the world won’t buy one minute of it.

East is East

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2000

George (Om Puri), who is Pakistani, marries Ella (Linda Bassett) and they settle down in Manchester to have seven children and run a fish and chips shop called George’s English Chippy.

As the movie opens in 1971, George returns unexpectedly from the mosque just as Ella and the children are marching in a church parade. George stops to watch, not seeing his family scurry down a side street. It is important to George that his children adopt the religion and customs of Pakistan, and it becomes even more urgent for him as events make him feel helpless and threatened. First, his oldest son, Nazir objects to an arranged marriage and bolts in the middle of the wedding ceremony. Second, it seems that in all the family chaos, they have neglected to have their youngest son circumcised. They belatedly take care of that, and the pain and humiliation lead the child to hide inside his parka, the hood covering his head and much of his face 24 hours a day. Third, India is at war with Pakistan, and George’s fear of the loss of his homeland and culture makes him even more concerned about passing on that culture to his children.

Ella will not let the children criticize their father. They go to the mosque, grudgingly, but they feel like Brits and only one of the seven wants to live according to Pakistani traditions. The others want the freedom of Western culture — to go to discos, study art, play soccer, eat pork sausage, and date whomever they want. They may feel English, but they look Pakistani, and George fears that the culture they want will never accept them. His neighbors support a politician named Enoch Powell who is calling for repatriation of foreigners. But George and the neighbor do not know that their children are romantically involved.

George becomes more rigid. He arranges marriages for two other sons, without consulting his wife. Finally, he becomes abusive, his frustration exploding into violence against his family.

This award-winning movie is based on the experiences of its author. The family moments, beautifully performed by the entire cast, have a tragi-comic authenticity. When George’s rage finally shatters the family’s fragile compromises, the movie struggles to recover.

Parents should know that the movie has very strong language, bathroom scenes, explicit sexual references, including depiction of male and female genitals, sexual situations, and severe wife and child abuse.

Families who see the movie should talk about the cultural heritages that are important to them and how they balance that with the pressure to assimilate. They should also talk about how husbands and wives from different backgrounds create a home that respects both of them, and how people sometimes live with compromises that may seem intolerable to others. Families who like this movie will also like “Mississippi Masala,” about a romance between an Indian woman and a black man.

Dumbo

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1941

The stork delivers babies to the circus animals, including Mrs. Jumbo’s baby, an elephant with enormous ears. The other elephants laugh at him and call him Dumbo, but Mrs. Jumbo loves him very much. When Dumbo is mistreated, she is furious and raises such a fuss that she is locked up. Dumbo is made part of the clown act, which embarasses him very much. He is a big hit and, celebrating his good fortune, accidentally drinks champagne and becomes tipsy. The next morning, he wakes up in a tree, with no idea how he got there. It turns out that he flew! He becomes the star of the circus, with his proud mother beside him.

The themes in this movie include tolerance of differences and the importance of believing in yourself. It also provides a good opportunity to encourage empathy by asking kids how they would feel if everyone laughed at them the way the animals laugh at Dumbo, and how important it is to Dumbo to have a friend like Timothy.

Parents should note that while respecting individual differences is a theme of the movie, the crows who sing “When I See an Elephant Fly” would be considered racist by today’s standards. One of them is named “Jim Crow” and they speak with “Amos ‘n Andy”-style accents, but clearly they are not intended to be insulting. Families who see this movie should talk about that depiction, as well as these questions: Why does Timothy tell Dumbo he needs the feather to fly? How does he learn that he does not need it? Why do the other elephants laugh at Dumbo’s ears? How does that make him feel? Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy some stories with related themes. The circus train, Casey, Jr., puffs “I think I can” as it goes up the hill, just like “The Little Engine That Could.” Compare this story to “How the Elephant Got Its Trunk,” by Rudyard Kipling (read by Jack Nicholson in the wonderful Rabbit Ears production), in which another elephant finds his larger-than expected feature first ridiculed and then envied by the other elephants. Kids may also enjoy comparing this to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “The Ugly Duckling,” and other stories about differences that make characters special.

Dr. T and The Women

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2000

This doctor knows what ails you. Sully Travis (Richard Gere) is known as “Dr. T” to the adoring upper-class women of Dallas. He is a popular gynecologist, and why not? No trying to cover your nudity with embarassing paper “gowns” that rip when you sit on the examining table for Dr. T. His patients, still attired in their jewelry and even hats, are draped in heavy linen that matches the elegant uniforms of the staff. The patients rest their feet in the mink covers that protect them from the chill of the stirrups. His busy office feels more like a pricey beauty salon than a doctor’s office, with a constant hum of murmured assurances and air kisses. One impatient patient returns over and over again because it is the only place where people tell her she is beautiful.

And Dr. T does think they are all beautiful. He loves them all, telling his shooting buddies that “by nature they are saints — they are sacred and should be treated that way.” This includes not only his patients but also the many, many women in his own life, including his wife Kate (Farrah Fawcett), his two daughters, Dee dee (Kate Hudson) and Connie (Tara Reid), and his wife’s sister Peggy (Laura Dern), who has moved in to his house with her three small daughters.

Dr. T loves to surround his women with love and care, listening to them, adoring them, and protecting them from any kind of worry. But his women are having problems he cannot solve. Kate is having a mental breakdown that appears to be caused by not having enough problems. She has retreated into childhood and must be sent to a mental hospital. Connie drives a car with a JFK license plate and conducts conspiracy theory “Grassy Knoll” tours of Dallas. Dee Dee is preparing for her wedding, but the person she is really in love with may be her maid of honor. And Peggy barely hides her sense of desperation behind slightly shrill “Love you more’s” and secret snorts of liquor.

Dr. T is attracted to a golf pro named Bree (Helen Hunt). He tries to take care of her, too, but she is very independent. She drives the golf cart — and she leads him to her bedroom. When he tells her that he wants to make sure she never has to do anything or worry about anything ever again, she says, “Why would I want that?” Dr. T must relinquish the illusion of control and remember what really matters.

It is a great pleasure to watch director Robert Altman (“M*A*S*H,” “Nashville,” and many other classic films) and his team do their stuff and the movie is richly enjoyable. The production design is spectacular, perfectly creating the world of wealthy Dallas. The acting is marvelous. Richard Gere is more relaxed and vulerable than he has ever been, and Laura Dern is sensational as the desperate divorcee in outfits that would be considered outrageous anywhere outside of Dallas. The movie raises some thoughtful questions about what we can and can’t — and should and shouldn’t — control, with some mystical overtones as Dr. T is told that a wet woman is back luck, and then has to deal with a succession of drenched females. Some will find the ending abrupt, some misogynistic, and some just mistifying. It may be all three — but it is also moving, and even fitting.

Parents should know that the movie includes a same-sex kiss, brief nudity, and a very explicit childbirth scene. A character commits adultery. A character abuses alcohol. There are several hunting scenes, but no animals are shot. There is some strong language.

Families who see this movie should talk about why Dr. T wants so badly to take care of the women in his life, and what effect that has on them. They should talk about why Dee Dee is planning her wedding when the groom seems superfluous (we never even see him or hear about him until the wedding scene). What is it that Dee Dee and Connie and Peggy want, and how will they get it? How are they different from Bree? What do you think about Bree’s reason for changing jobs? What does that mean to Dr. T?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy “Nashville.”

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