Movie Mom

Movie Mom

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  New to DVD

Fury
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

 

Moms' Night Out
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action
Release Date:
May 9, 2014

St. Vincent
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 For mature thematic material including sexual content, alcohol and tobacco use, and for language
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

 

Earth to Echo
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some action and peril, and mild language
Release Date:
July 3, 2014

Dear White People
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language, sexual content and drug use
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

 

Snowpiercer
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for violence, language and drug content
Release Date:
July 2, 2014

Classic Movie Scenes in Legos

posted by Nell Minow

From Morgan Spence

Rio Director and Pixar Artist Collaborate on a New Film: Timeless

posted by Nell Minow

Copyright 2014 Armand Baltazar

Copyright 2014 Armand Baltazar

Pixar artist Armand Baltazar has a forthcoming three-book children’s series called Timeless, about a world in which all time periods come together, and all nows are at the same time. A boy and friends from different time periods must rescue his father And it’s going to be a movie, too, directed by “Rio’s” Carlos Saldanha. Sounds wonderful!

Contest: Scholastic’s Halloween DVD

posted by Nell Minow
Copyright Scholastic 2012

Copyright Scholastic 2012

Get ready for Halloween with Scholastic’s “Day of the Dead” DVD, featuring four spooky (but not too scary) tales. In the title story, by Bob Barner and narrated by Rita Moreno, two children celebrate their ancestors on this Latin American holiday. A kitten has a wild adventure in “Kitten’s First Moon,” by Kevin Henkes. “Fletcher and the Falling Leaves,” by Tiphanie Beeke, celebrates autumn. And in “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything,” by Linda Williams, some creepy noises give the title character the first scare of her life.

I have one copy to give away! Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with Halloween in the subject line and tell me your favorite thing about this time of year. Don’t forget your address! (US addresses only.) I’ll pick a winner at random on October 21, 2014. Good luck!

Fury

posted by Nell Minow

fury brad pittHistory, Winston Churchill reminds us, is written by the victors. But sometimes those victors have some second thoughts, more complex thoughts, about the nature of heroism, patriotism, and the spoils (in both senses) of war. And sometimes people want to comment on contemporary conflicts but find that it is more compelling in an historical framework. That is how we get “Fury,” a fictional story set in the last days of WWII, with Brad Pitt as “Wardaddy” (everyone gets a “war name”), the leader of a tank team pushing through an increasingly desperate Germany.

“Fury” is what is painted on the gun barrel of the tank. Death, both German and Allied Forces, is everywhere. Our forces, we are told at the beginning, are “outgunned and out-armored,” with “staggering losses.”

The first person we see looks like a cowboy hero, a lone figure on a horse, silhouetted against the sun.  He is not a cowboy and he is not a hero.  He is about to be killed, and not in a Hollywood, glamorized, bang bang way.

“It will end, soon,” Wardaddy tells Norman (Logan Lerman), his fresh-faced and terrified new driver, a kid fresh from the typing pool who has never been in a tank or fired a gun in combat. “But before it does, a lot more people have to die.”

I’m in favor of movies that show war as brutal, morally compromised, and horrific. Ultimately, though, it has to have more to say than that.  It is a movie, a work of drama, and if it is not going to be about something bigger than how terrible war is, it runs the risk of making the very horrors it depicts turn into entertainment and have exactly the opposite impact from the original intention.  Steven Spielberg did it with “Saving Private Ryan,” making both the personal story of the individual characters and the larger story about sacrifice and honor compelling and meaningful.  But writer/director David Ayer, whose previous films included the pulpish law-and-order “SWAT,” “Sabotage,” and “End of Watch,” is no Spielberg (though this film borrows a lot from “Saving Private Ryan”).  This film tells us very little about history, war, or the human experience.

Parents should know that this film includes very intense and graphic wartime violence with many characters injured and killed, executions, disturbing images, sexual assault, looting, constant very strong and crude language, drinking, smoking

Family discussion: How does this differ from other portrayals of WWII combat? What are the different ways the men in this movie cope with the moral compromises of war? Why did the men choose “war names” and what did they signify?

If you like this, try: WWII dramas “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Big Red One” and the Israeli film “Beaufort”

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