Friday, September 30, 2011

The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week's movies with ratings and trailers

‘Popcorn’ photo by Petr Kratochvil

It’s time to make weekend family entertainment plans and see if this week’s current crop of films will be part of your schedule. The following report covers motion picture theatrical releases opening nationwide beginning Friday, September 30, 2011.

The movies listed below have a rating, which has been established by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and have been provided with an italicized commentary from the Classification and Ratings Administration (CARA).

If a film has not been provided with an official rating, additional information may, or may not be provided.

If a film is designated NC-17, very limited information will be furnished.

For your convenience, each film title links directly to the Internet Movie Data Base, which provides the most comprehensive listing about the movie’s storyline, and includes a trailer, cast and crew information, initial audience reaction (if prior screenings have taken place) and parent advisories when available.

As always, you are the single best judge for determining your child’s choice of entertainment.

FILMS OPENING THIS WEEK

Opened September 30, 2011 50/50 – Comedy, Drama-R- because of “language throughout, sexual content and some drug use.”

Opened September 30, 2011 Courageous – Drama- PG-13- because of “some violence and drug content.”

Opened September 30, 2011 Dream House – Drama, Mystery, Thriller - PG-13- because of “violence, terror, some sexuality and brief strong language.”

Opened September 30, 2011 Margaret – Drama- R- because of “strong language, sexuality, some drug use and disturbing images.” NOTE: In limited release.

Opened September 30, 2011 Sarah Palin: You Betcha – Documentary - NOT RATED- NOTE: Los Angeles and New York City only.

Opened September 30, 2011 Take Shelter – Drama- R-because of “some language. NOTE: In limited release.

Opened September 30, 2011 Tucker & Dale vs. Evil – Comedy, Horror- R-because of “bloody horror violence, language and brief nudity.” NOTE: In limited release.

Opened September 30, 2011 What's Your Number? – Comedy- R- because of “sexual content and language.”

For information on films that opened September 23, 2011, which included:    Abduction;    Dolphin Tale;    Killer Elite;    Machine Gun Preacher;    Moneyball;    Pearl Jam Twenty;    Puncture, and Thunder Soul, please click on the link below.
The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week’s movies

For information on films that opened September 16, 2011, which included:    Drive;    I Don’t Know How She Does It;    The Lion King 3D;    Restless;    Straw Dogs,  and  The Whale, please click on the link below.
The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week’s movies

For information on films that opened September 9, 2011, which included:    The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975;    Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star;    Contagion;    Creature;    Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain;    Main Street;    Shaolin;    Tanner Halland  Warrior, please click on the link below.
The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week’s movies

For information on films that opened September 2, 2011, which included:    A Good Old Fashioned Orgy;    Apollo 18;    Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame;    Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life;     Salvando al Soldado Perez (Saving Private Perez);    Seven Days in Utopia, and  Shark Night 3D, please click on the link below.
For information on films that opened August 26, 2011, which included:    Chasing Madoff;    Circumstance;    Colombiana;    The Debt;    Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark;    The Family Tree;    Higher Ground;    Our Idiot Brother, and  Swinging with the Finkels, please click on the link below.
The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week’s movies

For information on films that opened August 19, 2011, which included:    Amigo;    5 Days of War;    Conan the Barbarian;    Flypaper;    Fright Night;    Griff the Invisible;    One Day, and  Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D, please click on the link below.
The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week’s movies

For information on films that opened June 24, 2011 to August 12, 2011.

For information on films that opened May 20 to June 17, 2011, please click on the link below.

For information on films that opened April 1 to May 13, 2011, please click on the link below.

For information on films that opened the weeks of Friday, February 4 to Friday March 25, 2011 please click on the link below, where you will also find previous listings and links for prior weeks in January, as well as films that opened in 2010:
G GENERAL AUDIENCES (All Ages Admitted) PG PARENTAL GUIDANCE SUGGESTED (Some Material May Not Be Suitable for Children) PG-13 PARENTS STRONGLY CAUTIONED (Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Children Under 13) R RESTRICTED (Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian) NC-17 NO ONE 17 AND UNDER ADMITTED – As determined by the Rating Board/Motion Picture Association of America.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Eric Carle’s ‘The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse’: Fun creative inspiration

"The Artist Who Painted the Blue Horse" by Eric Carle

Beloved children’s author/illustrator Eric Carle’s newest book, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse is set for simultaneous release here in the United States and United Kingdom on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011.

Courtesy Eric Carle Museum
Carle’s distinctive artistic style, a combination of vibrant colors applied to hand-painted paper and formed into expertly crafted collages, has garnered him a worldwide following over the past four-plus decades.

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse continues this artistic tradition, which has served to delight countless children, and in his latest offering, he provides children a good dose of creative inspiration and permission to think outside of the box.

Many of Carle’s books are best-sellers and are considered evergreen children’s classics that have been translated into more than 50 languages, selling over 100 million copies around the globe. The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse is sure to be embraced in that same rarefied category.

Inspiration for this latest book came from the Expressionist period of painting and in particular the German artist, Franz Marc. In the video below, Carle discusses this, and demonstrates his creative technique in addition to sharing some of the story.

If you’ll be visiting New England from now until March 20, 2012, be sure to check out the special exhibition, The Art of Eric Carle: The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 

The exhibition includes almost all of the original artwork from the book, plus three “dummies” (working mock-ups for the final product). Also on-hand is a poster of one of Marc’s blue horses as well as several of Carle’s conventionally drawn horses, and a few other animals – a terrific way to compare Carle’s range of media and variety of technique.

For further information regarding the exhibit along with address and hours of the Museum, visit online at: http://www.carlemuseum.org/

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shel Silverstein: Timeless entertaining children's author

'Everything On It' by Shel Silverstein

On September 25, 1930, Shel Silverstein, the witty and entertaining children’s author was born in Chicago, Illinois, and during his 68 years of life, he produced some of the finest evergreen classic children’s books that are still cherished today by new generations of fans both young and old.

Admired for his ability to wed and rhyme hilarious word choices, which were born from conscious deliberation, Silverstein produced some of the most delightful books of poetry that capture the carefree silliness of childhood.

Children gravitate to his distinctive style and grasp his works quite easily. His simple line drawings are the perfect adjunct to his text and help add focus as well as promote imagination and discussion.

Early last week, HarperCollins posthumously published a new title of Silverstein’s poems and drawings, Everything On It, which had been compiled from Silverstein’s archives and selected by his family for publication.

Everything On It, is an outstanding collection of more than 130 never-before-released poems and line drawings, and is already garnering five-star reviews on Amazon.com.

Silverstein wore many other hats in addition to being a children’s poet/author and illustrator, he was also an accomplished playwright, screenwriter, recording artist, composer, and lyricist whose music has been performed by such legends as:  Kris Kristoffersonthe Irish Rovers; the late Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash. In fact, it was Silverstein’s song, “A Boy Named Sue,” which was performed by Cash that won Silverstein a coveted GRAMMY in 1970.

If you’re not familiar with the writings of Shel Silverstein, his “Official” website, ShelSilverstein.com is a wonderful place to start, and is presented in a choice of “high” or “low” bandwidth for custom navigation.

The site is geared to children, parents and educators. For kids there are free and entertaining games, puzzles, downloads, animations and e-cards. For parents/educators there are complimentary lessons and activities, event kits, drawing and activity booklets along with a list of all of his books, which includes sample excerpts and on-line buying resources.

If you are interested in reading the multitude of four and mostly five star reviews his other books elicit, Amazon.com has a special Silverstein author page, or check with your local library for recommendations.

In 1964, Silverstein opted for a change of writing pace and created one of his most memorable works, The Giving Tree, a parable about giving from the heart without expectation, a lesson that is as fresh today as when it was first penned.

Over the years, The Giving Tree’s sage and simple message has been translated into more than 30 languages.

Below, for your enjoyment is an animated video of Giving Tree that was produced and narrated by Shel Silverstein in 1973.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week's movies with ratings and trailers

‘Popcorn’ photo by Petr Kratochvil

It’s time to make weekend family entertainment plans and see if this week’s current crop of films will be part of your schedule. The following report covers motion picture theatrical releases opening nationwide beginning Friday, September 23, 2011 along with current film industry news.


The movies listed below have a rating, which has been established by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and have been provided with an italicized commentary from the Classification and Ratings Administration (CARA).

If a film has not been provided with an official rating, additional information may, or may not be provided.

If a film is designated NC-17, very limited information will be furnished.

For your convenience, each film title links directly to the Internet Movie Data Base, which provides the most comprehensive listing about the movie’s storyline, and includes a trailer, cast and crew information, initial audience reaction (if prior screenings have taken place) and parent advisories when available.

As always, you are the single best judge for determining your child’s choice of entertainment.

NEWS

Disney’s The Lion King REIGNS ONCE AGAIN
3D Release Takes Top Spot With $30 Million Domestic Gross; Beloved Tale Continues to Captivate Global Audiences on Screen and Stage    

The Circle of Life continues as The Walt Disney Studios’ The Lion King 3D opened at #1 in theaters last weekend with an estimated gross of $30 million. The Lion King is now the third highest-grossing animated film of all time at the domestic box office. This release of The Lion King marks the fifth biggest September opening in industry history, the second biggest September opening in Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures history, and the first reissue to open #1 in 14 years. The film will remain in theaters for a limited engagement ahead of its Blu-ray™ and Blu-ray 3D™ premiere on October 4.
Meanwhile, the London production of the hugely popular stage show recently celebrated its 5000th performance on September 13. The award-winning musical is also preparing to launch its Spanish premiere in Madrid, the largest stage musical ever presented in Spain. Opening October 21 at Lope de Vega Theatre, it is the first time the musical has been performed in the Spanish language. Since opening in 1997, The Lion King has been performing to sold-out crowds on Broadway with a remarkable 5,757 shows thus far. 
The Lion King has proven again and again the transcendent power of great stories and characters,” said Rich Ross, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “From the screen to the stage, this timeless classic continues to touch the hearts of audiences of all ages around the world.”
Notable Facts:
  • First released in 1994, The Lion King is the third highest-grossing animated film of all time with $358.6 at the domestic box office (includes all releases), the highest-grossing traditional hand-drawn animated film of all time, and the highest-grossing film from Walt Disney Animation Studios.
  • The Lion King is the top-performing home entertainment release ever. The Blu-ray™ debut marks the first time it has been available in any form since 2004.
  • The Lion King is Disney’s best-selling soundtrack. It received Diamond certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (10x platinum). Only four other soundtracks in history have been certified Diamond.
  • Best of The Lion King, a collection of songs from and inspired by the films and the show, is currently the #3 soundtrack on iTunes.
  • The Lion King has won 2 Academy Awards®, 3 Golden Globes®, 6 Tony Awards® and 3 Grammys®, among other accolades, including over 70 major theatrical honors worldwide.
  • The stage show has been seen by more than 60 million people worldwide, grossing over $4.6 billion in 18 productions across 14 countries, spanning 5 continents and 8 languages.
  • Current productions include Broadway, North American Tour, Las Vegas, London, Hamburg, Tokyo and Singapore.
  • The Lion King opened on Broadway in 1997 and in January 2011 became its seventh longest-running show ever; it continues to be one of the highest-grossing on a weekly basis. 
  • The North American tour recently completed a record-breaking, sold-out, 32-show premiere engagement at the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier in Montreal, grossing more than $7 million – the highest-grossing theatrical production in the venue’s history.
ABOUT “THE LION KING”

An unforgettable story, breathtaking animation, beloved characters and award-winning music sets the stage for The Lion King, a Disney classic that follows the adventures of Simba, the feisty lion cub who “just can't wait to be king.” But his envious Uncle Scar has plans for his own ascent to the throne, and he forces Simba’s exile from the kingdom. 

Alone and adrift, Simba soon joins the escapades of a hilarious meerkat named Timon and his warmhearted warthog pal, Pumbaa. Adopting their carefree lifestyle of “Hakuna Matata,” Simba ignores his real responsibilities until he realizes his destiny and returns to the Pride Lands to claim his place in the “Circle of Life.” 

The all-star vocal talents—including Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Ernie Sabella, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Robert Guillaume, Cheech Marin and Moira Kelly—rip-roaring comedy and uplifting messages of courage, loyalty and hope make this a timeless tale for all ages. Produced by Don Hahn and directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff from a script by Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts and Linda Woolverton, The Lion King is rated G by the MPAA
NEW TRAILERS FOR THE MOST ANTICIPATED UPCOMING FILMS




Below for your enjoyment the newly released parody trailer “The Pig with the Froggy Tattoo” for  
THE MUPPETS.



THE MUPPETS opens nationwide November 23, 2011.

FILMS OPENING THIS WEEK

Opened September 23, 2011 Abduction – Action, Drama, Mystery-PG-13- because of “sequences of intense violence and action, brief language, some sexual content and teen partying.”

Opened September 23, 2011 Dolphin Tale – Drama, Family- PG- because of “some mild thematic elements.”

Opened September 23, 2011 Killer Elite – Action, Thriller- R- because of “strong violence, language and some sexuality/nudity.”

Opened September 23, 2011 Machine Gun Preacher– Action, Crime- R-because of “violent content including disturbing images, language, some drug use and a scene of sexuality. “ NOTE: Los Angeles and New York City only.

Opened September 23, 2011 Moneyball – Biography, Drama, Sport- PG-13-because of “some strong language.”

Opened September 20, 2011 Pearl Jam Twenty – Documentary, Music- NOT RATED- NOTE: In limited release.

Opened September 23, 2011 Puncture – Drama- R- because of “drug use, language, some nudity and a sexual reference.” NOTE: In limited release.

Opened September 23, 2011 Thunder Soul – Documentary, Music- PG-because of “brief language and momentary historical smoking.” NOTE: In limited release.

For information on films that opened September 16, 2011, which included:    Drive;    I Don’t Know How She Does It;    The Lion King 3D;    Restless;    Straw Dogs,  and  The Whale, please click on the link below.
The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week’s movies

For information on films that opened September 9, 2011, which included:    The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975;    Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star;    Contagion;    Creature;    Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain;    Main Street;    Shaolin;    Tanner Halland  Warrior, please click on the link below.
The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week’s movies

For information on films that opened September 2, 2011, which included:    A Good Old Fashioned Orgy;    Apollo 18;    Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame;    Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life;     Salvando al Soldado Perez (Saving Private Perez);    Seven Days in Utopia, and  Shark Night 3D, please click on the link below.

For information on films that opened August 26, 2011, which included:    Chasing Madoff;    Circumstance;    Colombiana;    The Debt;    Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark;    The Family Tree;    Higher Ground;    Our Idiot Brother, and  Swinging with the Finkels, please click on the link below.
The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week’s movies

For information on films that opened August 19, 2011, which included:    Amigo;    5 Days of War;    Conan the Barbarian;    Flypaper;    Fright Night;    Griff the Invisiible;    One Day, and  Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D, please click on the link below.
The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week’s movies

For information on films that opened June 24, 2011 to August 12, 2011.

For information on films that opened May 20 to June 17, 2011, please click on the link below.

For information on films that opened April 1 to May 13, 2011, please click on the link below.

For information on films that opened the weeks of Friday, February 4 to Friday March 25, 2011 please click on the link below, where you will also find previous listings and links for prior weeks in January, as well as films that opened in 2010:
The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week’s movies

G GENERAL AUDIENCES (All Ages Admitted) PG PARENTAL GUIDANCE SUGGESTED (Some Material May Not Be Suitable for Children) PG-13 PARENTS STRONGLY CAUTIONED (Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Children Under 13) R RESTRICTED (Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian) NC-17 NO ONE 17 AND UNDER ADMITTED – As determined by the Rating Board/Motion Picture Association of America.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New release: Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVD ‘Chrysanthemum... and More Whimsical Stories'

New Kideo release
Today is the official nationwide DVD release of Kevin Henkes’ award-winning perennial classic, CHRYSANTHEMUM, which headlines the value-priced collection of Scholastic Storybook Treasures,’ CHRYSANTHEMUM…AND MORE WHIMSICAL STORIES’ compiled for the first time by New Kideo

A perfect choice for toddlers and kids, CHRYSANTHEMUM…AND MORE WHIMSICAL STORIES provides over three hours of entertaining content featuring some of the most memorable critters originally created for the pages of  picture books.

Positive story themes abound in this collection that supports important developmental tracks such as self-esteem, growth and change. 

The three individual DVDs include: CHRYSANTHEMUM…AND MORE MOUSE MAYHEM,  IS YOUR MAMA A LLAMA?...AND MORE CLASSIC CHILDREN’S STORIES, and RAPUNZEL…AND MORE CLASSIC FAIRY TALES, – all total these DVDs feature 17 endearing stories that have been honored with more than 25 prestigious awards, including the Caldecott Honor and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children’s Video. 

 The 180-minutes of entertainment (plus extras) feature storybook classics that include not only  Chrysanthemum,” but “Make Way for Ducklings”, “Owen”, “Is Your Mama a Llama?” “Noisy Nora”, “A Weekend with Wendell”,“Princess Furball” ,“The Caterpillar and the Polliwog”, “Hondo and Fabian”, “Lon Po Po,” “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”, “Read to Your Bunny” “The Little Red Hen”, and more – all expertly narrated by noted actors including Danny Glover, Meryl Streep, and Sarah Jessica Parker to name a few.

As always, Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVDs encourage a love for reading for pre and early readers with a special embedded read-along function.

Bonuses include Spanish versions of “The Caterpillar and the Polliwog”, “Is Your Mama a Llama?”, “Owen” “Noisy Nora”, and the featurette, “A Visit with Rosemary Wells”

List price for CHRYSANTHEMUM…AND MORE WHIMSICAL STORIES’ is $24.95 with current best available price from CD Universe for $18.10.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Ted Jacobs’ CD ‘Back to the Garden’: A lyrical reflection of childhood

Ted Jacobs' Back to the Garden

Earlier today, multiple award-winning musician/composer Ted Jacobs released his newest CD, Back to the Garden - a pure lyrical and melodious gem that marries the beloved poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic, “A Child’s Garden of Verses” with Jacobs’ gentle, reflective and contemporary Celtic-influenced compositions.

Back to the Garden is a natural extension of Jacobs' first two albums, A Child’s Garden Of Songs (1999), which was honored with a Parents’ Choice® Silver Honor Award, and The Days Gone By (2000), which received the prestigious Parent’s Choice® Gold Award, and was additionally honored by Parents’ Choice® as one of their “25 Best Albums of the Last 25 Years.” Both albums also received NAPPA (National Parenting Publications) Gold Awards. 

Ted Jacobs photo by Dina Douglass
Inspiration for Back to the Garden as well as A Child’s Garden of Songs began a dozen years ago when Jacobs was looking for a new musical project, something he could do purely for his own enjoyment. Jacobs explains, “A friend suggested I consider “A Child’s Garden of Verses” by Robert Louis Stevenson, with an eye toward adapting the poems into songs.” Jacobs was familiar with Stevenson’s novels “Treasure Island” and “Kidnapped” but had never read his poetry. He says, “I immediately went to a bookstore and purchased a copy. I opened the book, and what I saw was pure magic. The poems transported me back to my childhood – they were a treasure trove of simple joys, unlimited imagination, and the curiosity of our world seen through the eyes of a small person.”

The poems of Stevenson are sung either as solo or ensemble, and are presented exactly as the poet wrote them – nothing is repeated or deleted. Jacobs says, “I felt that if I were to undertake this album, I had a significant responsibility to these words and especially to their author.”  He adds, “A Child’s Garden of Verses” took hold of my heart, and I heard the music instantly.”

Jacobs’ melodies in Back to the Garden fit like a well-tailored glove and embrace everything from waltz-time and sea chantey, to jig and nocturne. The unique and contemporary relevance of the music served to reunite all of the original recording artists and instrumentalists who had contributed their top notch talents to A Child’s Garden of Songs.

The sounds of dulcimer, uillean pipes, mandolin, fiddle, penny whistles, accordion, and other acoustic instruments provide the perfect translation of Jacobs’ tunes and Stevenson’s words. Jacobs sums it up best by saying, “Now, twelve years later, it is an honor to play in Stevenson’s garden again. His poems are the best lyrics a composer could ever ask for.”

Preview sound samples of Back to the Garden, along with Stevenson’s poetry and Jacobs’ previous CDs are available through http://houseatthecorner.com

Back to the Garden retails for $14.00 and is packaged in an environmentally-friendly Eco-DigiPak and comes with a full color 8-page booklet so you can sing along with the poems.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Debbie and Friends Presents: ‘Learning to Play Piano for the Very Young’

'Learning to Play the Piano for the Very Young'

Debbie Cavalier is one of those rare multi-talented music industry hyphenates: Her performances with her award-winning kids/family band Debbie and Friends rank her as one of the top children’s music artists in the nation; she is an educator and Dean of Continuing Education at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston; a seasoned producer of DVDs, and a prolific author who has penned more than one hundred music education publications and arrangements. Cavalier’s latest project, Learning to Play Music for the Very Young is a wonderful and entertaining method for introducing the joys of music making to a child.

Geared to be the perfect pre-primer for preschoolers, Cavalier created Learning to Play Piano for the Very Young with her grandfather, noted arranger/composer Marty Gold, who was an A & R man for RCA in the ‘50s and ‘60s and recorded dozens of records with the Marty Gold Orchestra. Gold was also Cavalier’s first music teacher when taught her how to play piano.

Cavalier says, “Learning To Play Piano is a readiness method for the parent and child to experience together. It prepares kids for further study with a piano teacher using any of the commercially-available methods.”

The pre-primer method book is filled with active participatory activities: writing in note names, tracing hands, writing in finger numbers, clapping, singing and playing melodies.

There is a pullout “Keyboard Tent” that is included, which provides a fun visual reference to associate notes on the page to keys on the piano.

Children learn to play familiar melodies such as “Twinkle, Twinkle” and “Jingle Bells” with their right hand and gain the readiness skills needed to graduate to any commercially available piano method.

The full-color book is filled with words of encouragement and praise from familiar Debbie and Friends cartoon characters.

Cavalier says, “The melodies are familiar, so there’s immediate satisfaction as kids learn to play songs they know.” She adds, “Parents don’t have to be trained musicians to enjoy working through the material with their child from start to finish.” 

Learning To Play Piano for the Very Young is available from  Debbie and Friends Music ($9.95) and from various retailers.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week's movies with ratings and trailers

‘Popcorn’ photo by Petr Kratochvil

It’s time to make weekend family entertainment plans and see if this week’s current crop of films will be part of your schedule. The following report covers motion picture theatrical releases opening nationwide beginning Friday, September 16, 2011

The movies listed below have a rating, which has been established by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and have been provided with an italicized commentary from the Classification and Ratings Administration (CARA).

If a film has not been provided with an official rating, additional information may, or may not be provided.

If a film is designated NC-17, very limited information will be furnished.

For your convenience, each film title links directly to the Internet Movie Data Base, which provides the most comprehensive listing about the movie’s storyline, and includes a trailer, cast and crew information, initial audience reaction (if prior screenings have taken place) and parent advisories when available.

As always, you are the single best judge for determining your child’s choice of entertainment.

FILMS OPENING THIS WEEK

Opened September 16, 2011 Drive – Action, Crime, Drama- R- because of “strong brutal bloody violence, language and some nudity.”

Opened September 16, 2011 I Don't Know How She Does It – Comedy- PG-13- because of “sexual references throughout.”

Opened September 16, 2011 The Lion King 3D – Animation, Adventure, Comedy- G- suitable for all audiences. NOTE: 3D re-release.

Opened September 16, 2011 Restless– Drama- PG-13-because of “thematic elements and brief nudity.” NOTE: Los Angeles and New York City only.

Opened September 16, 2011 Straw Dogs – Thriller- R-- because of “strong brutal violence including a sexual attack, menace, some sexual content, and pervasive language.”

Opened September 16, 2011 The Whale – Documentary- G- suitable for all audiences. NOTE: In limited release.

For information on films that opened September 9, 2011, which included:    The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975;    Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star;    Contagion;    Creature;    Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain;    Main Street;    Shaolin;    Tanner Halland  Warrior, please click on the link below.
The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week’s movies

For information on films that opened September 2, 2011, which included:    A Good Old Fashioned Orgy;    Apollo 18;    Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame;    Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life;     Salvando al Soldado Perez (Saving Private Perez);    Seven Days in Utopia, and  Shark Night 3D, please click on the link below.

For information on films that opened August 26, 2011, which included:    Chasing Madoff;    Circumstance;    Colombiana;    The Debt;    Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark;    The Family Tree;    Higher Ground;    Our Idiot Brother, and  Swinging with the Finkels, please click on the link below.
The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week’s movies

For information on films that opened August 19, 2011, which included:    Amigo;    5 Days of War;    Conan the Barbarian;    Flypaper;    Fright Night;    Griff the Invisiible;    One Day, and  Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D, please click on the link below.
The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week’s movies


For information on films that opened June 24, 2011 to August 12, 2011.

For information on films that opened May 20 to June 17, 2011, please click on the link below.

For information on films that opened April 1 to May 13, 2011, please click on the link below.

For information on films that opened the weeks of Friday, February 4 to Friday March 25, 2011 please click on the link below, where you will also find previous listings and links for prior weeks in January, as well as films that opened in 2010:

G GENERAL AUDIENCES (All Ages Admitted) PG PARENTAL GUIDANCE SUGGESTED (Some Material May Not Be Suitable for Children) PG-13 PARENTS STRONGLY CAUTIONED (Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Children Under 13) R RESTRICTED (Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian) NC-17 NO ONE 17 AND UNDER ADMITTED – As determined by the Rating Board/Motion Picture Association of America.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Federal Trade Commission seeks to strengthen online safety for children

For parents who are concerned with their children’s online safety, in a statement to the press earlier today the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (COPPA), which was created to protect the personal information of children under 13.

“In this era of rapid technological change, kids are often tech savvy but judgment poor. We want to ensure that the COPPA Rule is effective in helping parents protect their children online, without unnecessarily burdening online businesses,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.

The proposed changes cover the following areas: Definitions; parental notice; parental consent mechanisms; confidentiality and security requirements, and oversight of self-regulatory “safe harbor programs.”

From now, until November 28, 2011, the FTC is seeking public comments on the proposed revisions. Lieibowitz adds, “We look forward to the continuing thoughtful input from industry, children’s advocates, and other stakeholders as we work to update the Rule.”

Written comments must be received on or before November 28, 2011.

Write “COPPA Rule Review, 16 CFR Part 312, Project No. P-104503” on comments, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/2011copparulereview by following the instructions on the web-based form. 

To file comments on paper, mail or deliver comments to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-113 (Annex E) 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

‘Oz’ in Indiana: A 30-year festival celebration in Chesterton

The Wizard of Oz, 1939, Starring Judy Garland

If you have a Festival – they will come, and the public has come in droves for the Wizard of Oz Festival in Chesterton, Indiana, which this year celebrates its 30th year of connecting families and “Ozphiles” with all things Wizard of Oz on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16, 17, and 18, 2011.

Situated practically in the center of the Midwest, Chesterton, Indiana (about 50 miles south of downtown Chicago) has annually hosted this unique Festival that includes a plethora of family-friendly events, lots of celebrities and fun activities.

The three-day Festival takes place on Broadway between Calumet Road and 4th Street in Chesterton, with kick-off festivities, the Emerald City Party in the Park, beginning Friday, Sept. 16 at 2:00 p.m. and running until 6:00 p.m. at Thomas Centennial Park, then followed by other planned evening events. 

Saturday’s Festival schedule runs from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Festival attendees will be treated to many entertaining options that include: 
Celebrities; A parade; Oz 5K race, Silent auction; Drive-in showings of the original WIZARD OF OZ feature film; A birthday party for ‘Dorothy’; "Authors in the Park"; Contests; Kids Zone that includes puppets, magic singing and characters; Autograph party with celebrities; Special American Legion event; Quilt raffle; Oz artwork; Oz books; Oz  t-shirts, and all manner of Oz memorabilia and souvenirs, and a “Brunchkin” – lunch with the Munchkins.

Celebrities who will be on-hand include: 
Festival Founder - Jean Nelson;Original Munchkins from the MGM movie –“Flower Pot Lady” - Margaret Pellegrini and “Trumpeter” - Karl Slover; Munchkins by marriage - Mary Ellen St. Aubin, and Myrna Swenson; Judy Garland’s Stand-in - Caren Marsh-Doll; L. Frank Baum’s Great Grandsons - .Robert Baum and his wife Clare, and author, Roger Baum and his wife Charlene; Emmy Award-winning Judy Garland Historian/ Author, John Fricke; Miss Indiana, Jackie Jerlecki; Judy Garland Curator, Michael Siewert; Artist, Joe Shipbaugh and noted award-winning Oz Illustrator, Rick Ewigleben, plus all the lovable “official” Oz characters.

For complete information on the Chesterton Wizard of Oz Festival, as well as local overnight accommodations, visit the event’s comprehensive online website at: http://www.ozfestivalchesterton.com/

Over the years, there have been numerous restorations and generations of MGM’s THE WIZARD OF OZ, graduating from theater, to television, to video, to DVD and finally Blu Ray, but below for your enjoyment, the original 1939 movie trailer.