Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I'm moving.....

I'm delighted that from now on my reviews, interviews, features, commentary, and blog will all be in one place: Please visit me there and let me know what you think!


Here's the official press release:

Nell Minow, Trusted Advisor to Parents about the Best Kid-Friendly Movies,
TV and Web Entertainment Settles in at a New Online Home

New York, NY – December 10, 2007 – Beliefnet.com, the leading online
community for spirituality and inspiration, today welcomes popular author
and parental entertainment advisor, Nell Minow, to its roster of
contributing bloggers. Blogging as “The Movie Mom,” Ms. Minow will provide
reviews, quizzes, tips and advice about which movies, DVDs, television
programs and Internet sites are most appropriate for children of varying
ages. Originally hosted by Yahoo!, “The Movie Mom” will now take up
residence on Beliefnet’s entertainment channel and will be accessible from
www.beliefnet.com. Visitors to www.moviemom.com will be automatically
Nell Minow, as “The Movie Mom” has been featured in The Chicago Sun-Times,
USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, Parents, Family Fun and other publications.
She has been profiled by The New York Times, The Economist, Forbes, The
Chicago Tribune and Ladies Home Journal. Her book, The Movie Mom’s Guide
to Family Movies, has helped parents from all over present their children
with entertainment that is both safe and fun.
“Beliefnet is the best possible place for me because it allows me to write
about movies and popular culture in the context of family, community,
values and meaning, which is where it belongs,” says Nell Minow. “Movies
are our modern-day myths, our sagas, our dreams made real. They reflect
our history and culture back to us and reinforce and pass on—for better or
worse—those values to our children. I am very happy to have a place to
write about those issues and to enter into conversations with families to
understand how these influences are transmitted and to help them respond.”
In her blog, Nell Minow guides parents through all the hype, and helps them
reach an educated decision before they arrive at the theatre. Ms. Minow
also provides reviews for holiday DVDs to ease the pressure of shopping for
appropriate gifts for children.
“We’re so glad to have Nell’s expertise to offer Beliefnet readers. She’s
recognized, loved and respected by families in every community,” said
Deborah Caldwell, Managing Editor for Beliefnet. “She’s full of wise,
creative and fun advice to help parents navigate the often rocky terrain of
parenting in today’s media-saturated world.”
Beliefnet blogs offer thought-provoking commentary and inspiration from a
variety of spiritual voices, and cover a wide range of topics including
politics, parenting, pop-culture, mental health and more. In addition to
“The Movie Mom,” current offerings include:
Beyond Blue, A Spiritual Journey to Mental Health by Therese J.
Flower Mandalas, A Blog About Mandalas, Art, Healing and
Transformation by David J. Bookbinder
Casting Stones, Beliefnet’s political mashup; A Boistrous Conclave on
Faith and Politics
God-O-Meter, Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates’ use of
Religion in the Race to the White House, in Partnership with TIME
Crunchy Con, Conservative Politics and Religion with Rod Dreher
God’s Politics, by Jim Wallis and Friends, a partnership with
J-Walking, a Christian view of Jesus and Politics with David Kuo
Conversations With God, a Blog with Neale Donald Walsch
Feiler Faster, the Blog of Bestselling Author and Commentator, Bruce
Idol Chatter, Beliefnet’s Pop-Culture and Religion Entertainment Blog
Virtual Talmud, Rabbis Blogging for the Sake of Heaven
In addition, an examination of holiday culture wars is back by popular
demand for 2007’s December Dilemma Watch. Members of the new social
network Beliefnet Community—the world’s largest multi-faith social
network—are adding user generated content and posts around the clock.
About Beliefnet
Beliefnet, winner of the 2007 National Magazine Award for General
Excellence Online, is the largest online community for spirituality and
inspiration. Its mission is to help people find and walk a spiritual path
that instills comfort, hope, clarity, strength and happiness for people who
are exploring their own faith or curious about other spiritual traditions.
Beliefnet offers a wide variety of resources including social networking
tools, articles, quizzes, devotionals, sacred text searches, photo
galleries and intimate interviews with noted politicians, celebrities and
spiritual leaders. Beliefnet has approximately three million unique
visitors each month and a daily email newsletter readership of nearly 11
million subscribers. The company, which is a subsidiary of Fox Digital
Media and Fox Entertainment Group, is not affiliated with any spiritual
organization or movement, and has partnerships with TIME magazine, Yahoo!,
and Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Movies that make you cry (or sob or blubber uncontrollably)

Desson Thomson has a wonderful piece in this Sunday's Washington Post about movies that make us cry, and a list of some examples sent in by readers. The usual suspects are there, from "Dumbo" to "Field of Dreams," but some surprises, including Adam Sandler's "Click" ("Never thought I would cry at an Adam Sandler movie -- I usually don't even admit to even going to one."), "Star Trek: The Search for Spock," and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." I admit to tearing up at the end of that one, too. Some of the other movies that have made me cry: Waterloo Bridge, A Little Princess, Steel Magnolias, the one Thomson refers to as "that Michael Keaton movie" (My Life) and yes, An Affair to Remember.

Be sure to listen to Thomson's graceful audio commentary on his own list, with such classic choices as "Old Yeller" and "Terms of Endearment." I enjoyed the quotes from experts, especially Professor Mary Beth Oliver of Penn State, who said that these movies

cause us to contemplate what it is about human life that's important and meaningful. . . . Those thoughts are associated with a mixture of emotions that can be joyful but also nostalgic and wistful, tender and poignant. Tears aren't just tears of sadness, they're tears of searching for the meaning of our fleeting existence.

Just reading those words made me a little damp-eyed. Sorry, I just need a minute here.

Hot Pick

Thank you Rotten Tomatoes! My "Martian Child" review is their "hot pick" of the week.

Last Lecture of Randy Pausch

The "Last Lecture" is an academic tradition. It is supposed to be theoretical, a sort of intellectual "desert island discs," what the professor would want to say as a summation of his or her life and ideas. In the case of Professor Randy Pausch, it is literally a "last lecture" because he recently learned that his pancreatic cancer prognosis gives him only a few more months to live. The 47-year-old father of three young children talks about what makes life worth living, about achieving his childhood dreams and helping others achieve theirs. The lecture is thrilling, engrossing, inspiring, hilarious, meaningful, unforgettable.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Big Hand for the Little Lady

I'm delighted to see that a neglected gem is out on DVD, A Big Hand for the Little Lady. It has a powerhouse cast including Oscar winners Jason Robards, Henry Fonda, and Joanne Woodward and a bunch of top character actors like Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ford, and Burgess Meredith. And it has one of the best surprise endings ever filmed.

Ansen's list (8000 and counting)

Newsweek critic David Ansen began compiling his list of every movie he saw when he was 12. It is now 146 handwritten pages with almost 8000 movies. The essay is a little list-y but fun to read, a sort of time-lapse photography of the last five decades.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Spoiler Alert: Sad Dads go Bowling and Get Traffic Tickets

Two movies in two weeks feature widower dads learning to move on with (not from) loss. In "Dan in Real Life," Steve Carrell feels that he might be able to love again for the first time since his wife died when he meets life force Juliette Binoche (she laughs, she listens, she cooks, she hugs, and she's great with kids). In "Martian Child," John Cusack feels that he might be able to love again for the first time since his wife died when he takes steps to adopt a child who is either odd or disturbed but qualifies as a life force because he is a child and therefore does not have to cook or hug or anything except for be young and need love.

The movies have some other similarities. Both use bowling(!) as a marker for happy-fun-bonding time (has the bowling association banded together for product placement? Both feature rattled and sheepish dads getting stopped by the police for traffic violations. Both have someone show up at exactly the wrong time, creating consternation and misunderstandings. But that probably happens in more movies than not. Cusack is going to be bereaved again soon. His next film, "Grace is Gone," is about a man whose wife is killed in Iraq.

Even Jar-Jar Binks looks good made of Legos

This clip of the new Star Wars Lego Game is adorable.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Interview with Charles Horak

My MMI colleague Charles Horak interviewed me for his NPR show. It was so much fun to talk to him about family movies -- and family and movies.

Blu-ray must be seen to be believed

I have seen the future and it is in super hi-def with all kinds of great extras. There was a Blu-Ray demo at Tyson's Corner, Virginia this weekend and the quality of the picture was stunning, especially with the digitally created images in the Pixar movies. The extras include some terrific interactive features. I liked the way that kids watching "Cars" could play a game without leaving the movie, helping them with pattern recognition and encouraging active watching. I felt like Tommy Lee Jones in "Men in Black," looking woefully at the new super-small cds made with alien technology: "Now I'm going to have to buy the White Album again."

The rest of the tour: Oct. 26-28 -Burlington Mall, Burlington, Mass. Nov. 9-11 -King of Prussia, King of Prussia, Pa. Nov. 16-18 -Circle Centre, Indianapolis Nov. 23-25 -Lenox Square, Atlanta Nov. 30-Dec. 2 -The Galleria, Houston Dec. 7-9 -Barton Creek Square, Austin Dec. 14-16 -Chandler Fashion Center, Chandler, Ariz. Dec. 21-23