Friday, April 20, 2012

In Theaters This Weekend

YAY! We have two movies opening today that are rated G! It's a miracle! Our two G movies this week are documentaries that a definitely family movie fare.

Rated G
Narrated by Tim Allen
Running time: 78 minutes

This Disney documentary follows life of Oscar, an orphaned chimpanzee. So far, Chimpanzee is receiving mixed reviews, but it looks like something I would enjoy, so I plan to see and review this one.

To the Arctic
Rated G
Narrated by Meryl Streep
Running time: 40 minutes

A journey into the lives of a mother polar bear and her two seven-month-old cubs as they navigate the changing Arctic wilderness they call home. (IMDb)

Darling Companion
Rated PG
Starring Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, and Dianne Wiest

I love this cast and director (Lawrence Kasdan), but the description on IMDb makes me wonder: "The story of a woman who loves her dog more than her husband. And then her husband loses the dog."

Hmm. Really? Also, it is not receiving favorable early reviews on IMDb. According to Moviefone, Darling Companion is currently under limited release, so moviegoers may have trouble finding it in their local theaters.

Want to see if any of these movies are playing at your local theater? CLICK HERE for

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence
Starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Paula Patton
Running time: 133 minutes

DISLAIMER: I am a hard-core Mission: Impossible fan. I loved the original TV show and have attended opening night of all four movies. In my mind, there isn't a bad flick in the bunch. Oops! I spoiled the review. Well, a bit maybe. Let's start over . . .

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol released in theaters on December 18th, 2011 and just made its way to DVD on Tuesday, which is why I chose to write the review at this time. In this fourth installment of the MI series, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team (Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Paula Patton) are faced with the responsibility of saving the world from global nuclear war. It's the ultimate mission that is made more "impossible" since they have been disavowed and lack support of their agency or government. Will they succeed? Hey, it's a movie, and we know logically, that the MI team won't let the world be destroyed, but I will say that director, Brad Bird did a stunning job of keeping the audience biting their fingernails to the very bitter end. From the bombing of the Kremlin to the breath-taking, vertigo-inducing scenes atop the world's tallest building in Dubai, to the last-second stop-the-missile-from-exploding as it flies over the San Francisco Bay, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is action-packed, suspenseful, and funny (thanks to the talented Simon Pegg).

The PG-13 rating is very appropriate, and quite honestly, I would even be willing to say that some families may feel comfortable taking children a year or two under the age of 13. The rating is for "sequences of intense action and violence," but I didn't think that the action or violence were too intense. There is a fight scene between two females, but personally, I enjoyed seeing two strong women duke it out in an action movie! Who says women can't fight? There are a couple of curse words, and in one scene, we get to see team member, Jane Carter (Paula Patton) in a bustier, but the moment is brief and the action at that point is more important that what she is or isn't wearing.

Most people are saying that this is the best Mission: Impossible movie yet, and I will readily agree. If you are an action-movie loving family with tweens and/or teens looking for real entertainment, give this one a try. And if you get the DVD with the extra features, be sure to watch them! To see how they filmed the sequences on the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, is . . . well, just watch and see what you think!

Reviewed by Karen Cantwell

Want to rent this movie on DVD? CLICK HERE for Netflix.

Did you see Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol? If so, leave a comment and tell us what you thought. We love to hear from Flixy Mom readers!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Megamind - Soon-to-be Your New Favorite Animated Movie!

Rated PG for action and some language
Starring Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, David Cross, Jonah Hill
Running time: 95 minutes

I say that Megamind will be your new favorite movie because it’s just that good. I believe it’s as good as The Incredibles, Toy Story and a few other fabulously famous animated films. The script is incredibly clever, the cast is phenomenal even the soundtrack rocks! That being said I’m an adult (obviously) and I wonder if my child or other people’s children feel the same way? I’m beginning to believe after participating in Flixy Mom that my new preferred movie genre is animated children’s movies because I’m enjoying myself quite thoroughly.

It starts out with a bang as Megamind’s (Will Ferrell) planet gets sucked into a blackhole but not before his parents send him out in a small spaceship( just like Superman’s Mommy and Daddy once did). He lands in a prison yard to be cared for and raised by the convicts and taught the criminal side of life. He also creates wonderfully clever inventions and ultimately turns into: Incredibly Handsome and Criminal Genius and Master of all Villainy. A twin spaceship that was also sent out from the doomed planet lands in the lap of a wealthy family, and thus the battle between Megamind and his nemesis, Metro Man (Brad Pitt) begins.

Metro Man with his superhero strength frequently wins the fight against his rival while also winning the hearts of the people of Metro City (which Megamind mistakenly pronounces Metrocity like “atrocity”). One day Megamind finally succeeds in defeating Metro Man using nosy reporter, Roxanne Ritchi (Tiny Fey) as bait. She has been used as bait so often she jokes that she has a frequent kidnapping card.

Megamind basks in his victory with Minion (David Cross), who is a fish that has robot body, until he realizes that he’s a villain with no hero. He decides to create a new hero by fashioning Metro Man’s super powers from his dandruff DNA and accidently injects them into Hal, Roxanne’s weirdo slacker cameraman.

Megamind disguises himself as a Marlon Brando-lookalike-mentor (love that nod to Superman’s Dad, Jor-el in the Christopher Reeve flick) to teach Hal to be a hero so that he will have someone to battle once again. But Hal is not good which is a perquisite for most superheroes, and goes rogue and becomes Tighten who wants only one thing…Roxanne.

Roxanne, however, is falling for Bernard who is actually Megamind in disguise. He has invented a ray gun that dehydrates humans into small cubes so that he can then replicate himself into that person. Megamind/Bernard is falling for Roxanne in return, and when Minion tells him, “the bad guy doesn’t get the girl,” Megamind responds, “maybe I don’t want to be the bad guy anymore.” And, that’s the major turning point for him especially when he loses Minion as a friend.

Roxanne and Megamind team up to stop Tighten from ruining Metro City and ultimately he becomes the hero to prove himself to Roxanne. I love that Megamind goes on the greatest hero’s journey of all and turns from evil overload into white knight.

I’m not sure my five-year-old was as enthusiastic about this movie as I was. She did watch it with me twice so I can say that she liked it that much. I think older children will appreciate the humor and the action better than smaller children. As for the rating, for the life of me I cannot think what the questionable language in this film could be?

It’s a great story about a super hero and a super villain with a dream cast. (Will Ferrell is a god!) Go and check it out from the library or your nearest box now.

Want to rent Megamind today? CLICK HERE for Netflix.

Did you see Megamind? Leave a comment with your own mini-review! We love to hear from Flixy Mom readers!

Friday, April 13, 2012

In Theaters This Weekend

I'm sorry to report that this week's movie release line-up is sadly lacking in family-friendly films. Again. Sigh. And looking ahead even through the summer, the pickings look pretty sad for films that both parents and children would enjoy. This is something I don't understand from a business point of view - G rated movies gross big bucks for Hollywood, so why don't they make more of them? I'm still stewing over the fact that The Lorax was rated PG. (growl)

Okay, I will get off my soap box and let you know what MIGHT be interesting this week for families:

The Three Stooges
Rated PG
Starring Sean Hayes, Diamantopoulos, Will Sasso

Left on a nun's doorstep, Larry, Curly and Moe grow up finger-poking, nyuk-nyuking and woo-woo-wooing their way to uncharted levels of knuckleheaded misadventure. Out to save their childhood home, only The Three Stooges could become embroiled in an oddball murder plot...while also stumbling into starring in a phenomenally successful TV reality show. (from

Now, I only post this because it's rated PG. Personally, I have SERIOUS doubts about this movie. But then again, that's because I never liked the original Three Stooges. The only things that The Three Stooges has in its favor are 1) The Farrelly brothers (directors) and 2) Sean Hayes. If anyone sees this and loves it, let me know! I'll eat my words.

Rated PG-13
Starring Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, and Peter Stormare

Falsely convicted ex- government agent Snow (Guy Pearce) must rescue the President’s daughter (Maggie Grace) from an outer space maximum security prison after it is taken over by violent inmates. (from

Lockout is receiving excellent early buzz on IMDb and I like Guy Pearce (LA Confidential), so this could be an interesting entertainment choice for myself and my teen boys. We'll see . . .

Rated PG-13
Starring Kurt Russell, Brian Presley, and Melanie Lynskey

On the game winning play of the biggest game of his life, the best High School Football player in the nation injures his knee and destroys his dreams of a college and professional career. But fifteen years later, he receives the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to go back and change history. (from IMDb)

Touchback is getting some decent early reviews at IMDb, basically confirming what my predictions about this movie: that it would be a well-acted (Kurt Russell always manages good performances), fairly predictable feel-good movie. Evidently though, there is a twist, that bites into that predictability just a bit. Hmmm . . . maybe I'll go see it just to see what that twist might be . . .

Want to get movie times for these (or other) movies? CLICK HERE for

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Green Lantern

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, and Peter Sarsgaard
Running Time: 114 minutes

“In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power... Green Lantern's light.”

This film offers up the message of the power of goodness and courage in the face of adversity, overcoming our fear and believing in ourselves. This is what Hal Jordan, as Green Lantern has to do. I enjoyed this movie a lot, Ryan Reynolds makes a perfect Green Lantern (he looks just like Hal Jordan in the comics). The movie is pretty simple, it's Green Lantern's origin story. He is the first human to become part of the Green Lantern Corps, which is the intergalactic military/police force via DC Comics. He is taken to Oa, the world the corps is located on and goes through training, and then as is apparently the theme of the movie (although I'm not sure if this is true of the comics) he quits, as he's quit every other job or relationship he's ever had because he's afraid. Hal must summon up the courage to defeat an alien enemy (Parallax) who is trying to destroy earth. There is a good blend of action, some humor and romance in the film.

And now for the bad news- it is another superhero movie NOT for a young child. My son was so excited to see Green Lantern when he learned it was coming out, but I'm glad I previewed it first. It had some alien scenes that were a bit dark and scary.

The movie opens with a fight between the Green Lantern Corps and, Parallax, an alien that literally sucks their souls out of their bodies. Later on in the movie we have a man going through a hideous, and painful metamorphosis into a scary, big-headed villain, then an alien blob-monster attacks the earth, upturning a school bus full of children.

There is implied sex at the very beginning, and a couple swear words.

So, to sum up. Thumbs up as a pretty good action superhero film for an adult, absolute NO for a young child.

Reviewed by Dawn McCullough-White

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mirror Mirror

Starring: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer and Nathan Lane
Rated PG for some action and some slightly grownup humor
Running Time: 106 minutes,

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Well, this is definitely the fairest version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves that I’ve seen.

This is very much not a retelling of the traditional story (as told by Disney not Grimm). We get a queen, Snow White’s banishment and hiding with the Seven Dwarves and a Prince. That’s about it. The story diverges and morphs into a tale of girl power. WOO HOO!

As the mom of a 10 year old girl, I am happy to see such movies being made. Disney princesses are lovely, but fairly useless if you want a strong, real role model for your daughter. This movie not only tweeks the notion of the pretty princess in need of rescue but let’s you know they’re doing it with a tongue-in-cheek comment from the prince who sees Snow as an equal. Not a damsel in distress, but at different times an opponent and partner.

This movie is gorgeous. The settings, the clothes, the people are all gorgeous and it’s got several morals wrapped up into the tale. All are mainly different takes on the one of the oldest tropes: Looks can be deceiving.

We enjoyed it and the other moviegoers seemed to as well. The theater was an interesting mix. There was an older couple with no children to young teen girls with their moms to groups of very young children with several moms. We were only one of two families with both the mom and the dad.

The PG rating might be too low. There are several instances in which the handsome prince is divested of his shirt and some romantic innuendo. The innuendo is played carefully so that children my daughter’s age and younger aren’t aware of it but it was a little squirmy for me with stuff akin to daytime soaps playing sitting in front of eight 5 year olds.

At the very end of the movie is a scene with a forest beast that had been mentioned previously in the movie. It seemed like it should be a scary scene but I heard a lot of giggling so clearly the children were not worried about the fate of the characters.

The shirtless scenes, while I found them unnecessary, are less revealing than what a child will see at the pool or the beach. The women are all fully covered even in nightclothes or “undergarments” such as when the queen is being corseted.

At one hour and forty-five minutes it isn’t too long and there was not much of coming and going so clearly it held the interest of even the smaller children.

This is definitely a family friendly film that I recommend and really does provide an excellent heroine who thinks of others, is brave, is kind and follows her heart not just to her Prince but to a purpose.

Reviewed by Aimee Hix

Want to see show times for Mirror Mirror? CLICK HERE for