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New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
Release Date:
July 31, 2015

 

Home
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Release Date:
March 27, 2015

Best of Enemies
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
July 31, 2015

 

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some language and suggestive comments
Release Date:
March 6, 2015

Vacation
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:

Release Date:
July 29, 2015

 

The Longest Ride
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Release Date:
April 10, 2015

New in Theaters

grade:
B+

Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
Release Date:
July 31, 2015
grade:
B+

Best of Enemies

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
July 31, 2015
grade:
D

Vacation

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Release Date:
July 29, 2015

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New to DVD

pick of the week
grade:
B+

Home

Lowest Recommended Age:
Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Release Date:
March 27, 2015
grade:
B+

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some language and suggestive comments
Release Date:
March 6, 2015
grade:
C

The Longest Ride

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Release Date:
April 10, 2015

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D.E.B.S.

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2005
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2005

Four top spies are staking out a meeting between a ruthless Russian assassin and the world’s most notorious international criminal mastermind. One of the spies redirects the sound equipment to eavesdrop on the conversation of a fellow spy who is breaking up with her boyfriend. The she peers down at the targets and says, “I have that sweater, but in taupe!”

Yes, in this movie the good guys and the bad guys in this movie are all girls, and when I say girls, I mean knee socks and tiny plaid skirts and consulting about boyfriends while ducking grenades, tucking guns into chic little backpacks, and lip-synching love songs pretending a broomstick is a microphone.

This is Josie and the Pussycats crossed with Charlie’s Angels, Agent Cody Banks, Get Smart and Saturday morning cartoons. Except with lesbians.

It turns out that the SATs have a special extra test embedded within, a test to find those high school seniors most skilled at lying, cheating and killing. Those girls (apparently no boys qualify) are recruited into the top-secret spy school, D.E.B.S. The four top students are after notorious super-criminal Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster). But when Amy (Sara Foster), who achieved the only perfect score in history, confronts her, the confrontation is complicated by some undeniable romantic attraction.

“Why is it I can hold the whole world hostage but I’m scared to go on one stupid blind date?” Diamond asks her sidekick. “Because love is harder than crime. Now go knock ’em dead. But not really.”

This now makes the third bad movie in a row for the delightfully talented Meagan Good and the second for Foster. The talents of the magnificent Holland Taylor and Michael Clarke Duncan are also woefully underused. This could be a cute short film (as it originally was). It runs out of steam and ideas after about 20 minutes and that’s giving it an additional 10 minutes’ grace just because the girls are so fetching in a Britney Spears “Hit Me Baby One More Time” era sort of way.

Parents should know that the movie has some mature material for a PG-13 including same-sex sexual encounters (nothing more explicit than kissing) and action-style violence (no one hurt). Characters drink and smoke and use some strong language.

Families who see this movie should talk about the kinds of movies it parodies.

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Saved! and But I’m a Cheerleader!, both with mature material, and spy spoofs like Our Man Flint and Top Secret.

The Upside of Anger

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2005
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 2005

Parents should know that this movie has central characters who abuse alcohol as a way of coping with — actually as a way of not coping with — their problems. They also smoke, use frequent bad language, and behave in an irresponsible manner. The movie includes teen drug use and a sexual relationship between a teenager and a much older man. A strength of the movie is its sympathetic portrayal of a gay character.

Families who

Millions

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:2005
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 2005

A bag of money literally falls from the sky and lands on Damian (Alex Etel). It’s just the most recent of a series of events that call into question everything he thought he know. He has recently lost his mother, moved into a new house, started a new school, and been visited by saints. He believes the money has come from God, and he knows the money has to be used very quickly because in just a few days England is switching from the old currency to the Euro.

Parents should know that the movie deals with some mature themes, including the loss of a parent. The focus of the plot is stolen money and it raises a number of significent issues that families will want to explore. There is tension and peril and the bad guy threatens the children. Characters smoke (including a saint) and do some social drinking.

Families who see this movie should talk about what they would do if they got a lot of money that didn’t belong to anyone else

Robots

posted by rkumar
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:2005
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 2005

Just like its endearing hero, Rodney Copperbottom (voice of Ewan McGregor), this movie is assembled from hand-me-down parts but it has so much heart that it is transformed into something irresistibly fresh and downright adorable.

One of the hand-me-down parts is the country boy with a dream in the big city. There’s the classic underdog story, too, with the (literally) scrappy outsiders fighting for their rights against the rich and powerful and snobbish. Of course there’s a love story or two. And that real-life special effect Robin Williams. Just as in Aladdin, animation is the only way to give him a physical persona that can keep up with his avalanche of wisecracks and personas. Mel Brooks makes his animation character debut and it is worth seeing the movie just to hear him say the words “titanium tuchas.”

There is humor ranging from groan-worthy visual and verbal puns to low-down slapstick and subtle satire. And some roller-coastery excitement, snappy wisecracks, and music that will make you want to get up and dance. There’s a nice moral that goes beyond the usual “be true to yourself and achieve your dreams” theme of most movies for kids. There’s even a cameo appearance by that greatest of all metal men, the Tin Woodsman. It all comes together in a story that works on every level, with something for every age, with a story that is not just heartwarming but meaningful.

Brilliantly imagined by illustrator William Joyce, this movie takes place in an all-mechanical world where even the pets are robots and even the fire hydrants and mailboxes are “alive.” This movie is going to keep people glued to their DVDs, because every single shot is filled with fabulously imaginative detail, every bit of it adorably witty, wonderfully fantastic, and perfectly logical. If physics doesn’t work this way, it should.

Rodney arrives after 12 hours of labor — that’s how long it takes his robot parents to assemble him from a kit. They are loving and devoted but not wealthy. As Rodney grows up, he is assembled from hand-me-down parts, including one embarrassing year with a torso that once belonged to a teenaged girl cousin. Rodney dreams of being an inventor and making life better and easier. His hero is Bigweld (voice of Mel Brooks), who urges everyone to come up with ideas to solve problems. He welcomes new ideas at his big corporation. His slogan is, “You can shine no matter what you’re made of.”

But by the time Rodney arrives to show his invention, Bigweld is gone, replaced by Ratchet (voice of Greg Kinnear), the new president of Bigweld industries. Ratchet doesn’t want to help anyone. Pressured by his mother (voice of Jim Broadbent), he decides the company will no longer provide parts to fix old robots (“outmodes”). They will make money by making perfectly good robots feel bad about themselves so that they will order unnecessary upgrades. Their slogan will be, “Why be you when you can be new?”

So Rodney and his friends have to find a way to bring back Bigweld and make the world safe for the mutts and oddballs, especially the ones with a dream of making things better.

As often in animation, the actors provide pleasant but not very distinctive voices and the comedians steal the show. Williams, Brooks, and Jennifer Coolidge (as the appropriately-named “Aunt Fanny”) are the highlights. But the star here is the design, as much a part of the story as the plot and the characters.

Parents should know that the movie has cartoon-style peril and violence with some thrill-ride-ish special effects. Characters use some crude school-yard language and there are some potty jokes, including an extended fart joke sequence, and some mild sexual humor, including jokes about cross-dressing and “fixing” a dog.

Families who see this movie should talk about the difference between the two mottos. The “outmodes” are made out of pieces from other machines. Which ones do you recognize? How do Rodney’s and Ratchet’s ideas about helping people differ? Why doesn’t Crank want to try and what changes his mind? What’s the difference between Bigweld’s and Ratchet’s views on what a corporation should do? Why did Rodney say that the most important thing his parents gave him was believing in him? Who can you help by believing in them? If you could be an inventor like Rodney, what would you like to invent? Families might like to learn about the history of inventions and becoming an inventor.

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Monsters, Inc., Ice Age, and A Bug’s Life. They will also enjoy the marvelous books by William Joyce, especially Santa Calls, Dinosaur Bob, A Day with Wilbur Robinson and Rollie Pollie Olie. Older family members might like to read the play “R.U.R” by Karel Capek, who invented the term “robot.”

Previous Posts

Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation
You think you've seen it before? Well, it is a familiar situation. Hitchcock had an assassin waiting in a concert hall for the right moment to ...

posted 5:54:06pm Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Best of Enemies
Once upon a time, network television news was dignified, objective, and delivered in stentorian, voice-of-God tones by white, vaguely Protestant men, ...

posted 5:23:39pm Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Exclusive Premiere Images: Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism
Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism is now a film starring Dominic Monaghan ("The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"), ...

posted 4:57:43pm Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Joshua Oppenheimer of "The Look of Silence"
Joshua Oppenheimer has made "a companion piece" to his stunning documentary about government-sanctioned gangster killings of more than a ...

posted 11:40:16am Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Tom Cruise Tells Kevin McCarthy about the Airplane Stunt in "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation"
My friend Kevin McCarthy asked Tom Cruise how he shot that incredible stunt that has him holding onto the side of a plane while it takes off for "Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation." The 53-year-old actor did the stunt himself, no green ...

posted 8:59:43am Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

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