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New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Hail, Caesar!
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and smoking
Release Date:
February 5, 2016

 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating:
G
Release Date:
1937

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

 

Freeheld
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, language and sexuality
Release Date:
October 9, 2015

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

 

Bridge of Spies
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language
Release Date:
October 16, 2015

New in Theaters

grade:
B+

Hail, Caesar!

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and smoking
Release Date:
February 5, 2016
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

The Finest Hours

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

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New to DVD

pick of the week
grade:
A-

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Lowest Recommended Age:
All Ages
MPAA Rating:
G
Release Date:
1937
grade:
B

Freeheld

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, language and sexuality
Release Date:
October 9, 2015
grade:
A-

Bridge of Spies

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language
Release Date:
October 16, 2015

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Rediscovered Classic: Strange Cargo

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
DVD Release Date:February 19, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
DVD Release Date: February 19, 2008

strange%20cargo.jpgA 1940 film starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable and set in a penal colony is an improbable candidate for Biblical allegory, but Strange Cargo is a moving film that draws its power from an inspiring, Christ-like figure and its echoes of Biblical themes, spiritual without being preachy. Gable was Crawford’s all-time favorite co-star, and this was their eighth and last film together. Their strong chemistry and the way their characters interact with the mysterious prisoner who gives them a glimpse of their best selves is part of what makes this movie work on many levels. It is beautifully directed by Frank Borzage, who was a master of mood and symbolism. For the first time, the movie is available on DVD, as a part of a new boxed set, The Joan Crawford Collection, Vol. 2, and it is well worth adding to your Netflix queue.

Rendition

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for torture/violence and language.
Movie Release Date:October 18, 2007
DVD Release Date:February 19, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for torture/violence and language.
Movie Release Date: October 18, 2007
DVD Release Date: February 19, 2008

This is America. We do not torture people. But sometimes we send prisoners suspected of ties to terrorism to places where they do torture people. That is what happens to Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally), a chemical engineer who moved to America at age 14, attended NYU, and is now married to Isabella (Reese Witherspoon), who is pregnant with their second child. He calls to tell her that he is on his way home from a conference in South Africa and then he just…disappears. No one will acknowledge that he was even on the plane, but credit card charges for in-flight duty free show that he was there.rendition.jpg

Continue Reading This Post »

Michael Clayton

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual dialogue.
Movie Release Date:January 25, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 19, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual dialogue.
Movie Release Date: January 25, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 19, 2008

Michael Clayton (George Clooney) spends a lot of time facing into the dark midnight of the soul, his own and others’.


Late one night and early the next morning, he does both at once as he gets a call on his cell phone in the middle of a high stakes poker game because a client of his law firm needs some help with a nasty hit and run. The client is the one who hit and ran. In the middle of the night, not knowing what to do, he calls the lawyer who does his business deals. And that lawyer calls Michael Clayton.


Clayton is a lawyer, but he does not appear in court or write wills. He is a fixer, a clean-up guy. When a client petulantly says, “I thought you were a miracle worker,” he explains that he is a janitor. He cleans up messes, the kind that lawyers in their three-piece suits and three-figure ties do not want to know about. Clayton will not break the law, but he will bend it a little. He can make some calls to the right people and say soothing words to the wrong people to smooth out the rough edges. Sometimes, the most powerful thing he can do is tell the truth to people who are used to nothing but soothing words. We see that as he explains to the hit and run driver that he will not be able to get away with trying to pretend that it did not happen.


Afterward, he drives through the quiet suburbs. It is still very early in the morning. Clayton sees some horses and gets out of his car to look at them. They seem so far from his world, so pure and filled with energy. He gazes at them, letting his head clear. And then his car explodes.


We go back a few days and find out that Clayton’s closest friend at the firm, Arthur (Tom Wilkinson) was the lead counsel on a $3 billion class action suit against the firm’s client over a pesticide that allegedly poisoned some of the farmers who used it. Arthur’s increased disgust at defending the huge corporation — and his decision to stop taking his medicine — sends him into a manic spiral. Another mess for Clayton to clean up.


But he also has his own mess to clean up. An ill-advised investment with his brother in a restaurant has left him desperate for cash. All of this makes him think about what his options are and what his priorities are.


George Clooney just keeps getting better and better. His performance here is rich and deep and layered, and seeing him work through his range of reactions is enormously moving. It provides a strong center for the legal thriller swirling around him.

Parents should know that this movie includes some violence, including murder and a reference to suicide. There are references to mental illness (and drugs to treat it), alcoholism, gambling addiction, environmental toxins, and suicide. Characters use some strong language and drink (scenes in a bar).

Michael will bend some rules but not others. How can you tell? What are the factors that guide his decisions? What is the significance to the Conquest story? Why do we see Karen practicing her speech and getting dressed?


Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy the books and films of John Grisham.

List: Five movies about presidents

posted by Nell Minow

PresidentsDay-w.jpg
Why have there been no great films about George Washington? And why are there so many films featuring Abraham Lincoln? From the John Ford classic Young Mr. Lincoln, starring Henry Fonda, to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, there is something about the tall man with the wry sense of humor that is very cinematic.
Five great movies for President’s Day:
1. Young Mr. Lincoln Long before he ran for President, we see Abe Lincoln mourn his first love and defend his first clients.
2. Independence Day Bill Pullman is a former fighter pilot who leads America and the world after an alien attack.
3. Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb This cold-war farce has Peter Sellers in three roles, including President of the United States. His conversation with his counterpart in the USSR is a masterpiece. (Some mature material).
kisses%20for%20my%20president.jpg4. “Kisses for My President” Not available on DVD or video, this all-but forgotten 1964 film features Polly Bergan as the nation’s first female President, but in this pre-feminist era its focus is on the problems faced by her husband, played by Fred McMurray. It is every bit as silly as its title suggests and you will never believe how it all gets resolved. (Guesses welcome)
5. Air Force One Harrison Ford is the President as action hero. When Air Force One is captured by terrorists, it’s a good thing that the man who played Han Solo and Indiana Jones is on hand.

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A Moving Tribute to a Father Through Movies
Jessica Ritchey wrote a touching essay for Rogerebert.com about the movies she watched in the year after her father died, and how watching them helped her to keep him close. I’ve been published several times by the time I see "Crimson ...

posted 8:00:40am Feb. 05, 2016 | read full post »

Hail, Caesar!
The Coen brothers love old movies, and not just the classics. I remember reading an interview where they discussed their affection for ...

posted 5:59:12pm Feb. 04, 2016 | read full post »

The Choice
Nicholas Sparks is one of the rare authors who has become a brand of his own, bigger than any of his movies. One reason is their predicability; ...

posted 5:55:13pm Feb. 04, 2016 | read full post »

Trailer: LAIKA's Kubo and the Two Strings
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4-6qJzeb3A[/youtube] Clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of Game of Thrones) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato (George Takei), ...

posted 8:00:59am Feb. 04, 2016 | read full post »

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