The Golden Compass

Posted on December 4, 2007 at 11:38 am

B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence.
Profanity: None
Alcohol/ Drugs: None
Violence/ Scariness: Children and adults in peril, shooting, arrows, explosions, battle scenes, badly injured child (not graphic), some disturbing themes
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters
Date Released to Theaters: December 5, 2007

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Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards) is disobedient, obstinate, crafty, and skeptical. In other words, she challenges authority, she is is a creative thinker, and she is in the grand tradition of the heroes of classic adventure stories. And this is a grand adventure indeed, sweeping, imaginative, epic, thrilling.
Lyra lives in an alternate world that looks like 19th century Oxford. She is an orphan essentially being raised through the benign neglect of a group of academics, with occasional visits from her uncle, Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig), an explorer-scientist. She runs wild much of the time, playing with the servant’s children rather than sitting in classrooms. In her world, “souls walk beside our bodies” in the form of “daemons,” animal spirits that are invisibly connected to their humans. The daemons of children shift from one species to another as the circumstances inspire — or require. But daemons assume one form at puberty and retain it.
Lord Asriel arrives with news of “dust,” a mystical force he has been studying at the top of the world. There are mysterious rumors of children being snatched up and taken away. An imposing and mysterious woman named Mrs. Coulter invites Lyra to stay with her. And one of the scholars gives Lyra an important gift called an althiometer, a kind of compass with mysterious symbols that when read correctly — or rather, when read by the person who knows how to use it — tells the truth. All of these developments come together as Lyra goes on a journey in search of her captured friend, a journey that requires the assistance of a cowboy (gravel-voiced Sam Elliott), a witch (Eva Green), and an armored bear (voice of Ian McKellan).

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Action/Adventure Based on a book Fantasy Genre , Themes, and Features Movies Reviews

Superbad

Posted on December 4, 2007 at 8:00 am

Cheerfully outrageous and unabashedly offensive, this saga of three high school seniors in search of sex and liquor works because the vulgarity is in the context of a very sweet story about growing up and leaving home. It centers on the themes and people from the previous work by Judd Apatow (who produced) and Seth Rogan (co-screenwriter).
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The Nanny Diaries

Posted on December 3, 2007 at 10:17 pm

C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language
Profanity: Some strong language
Alcohol/ Drugs: Drinking, smoking
Violence/ Scariness: Emotional turmoil and confrontations
Diversity Issues: Economic, racial, and cultural diversity
Date Released to Theaters: August 24, 2007
Date Released to DVD: December 4, 2007
Amazon.com ASIN: B000VKL6T8

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Oh, we all love to feel superior to rich people, don’t we? It makes us feel so nice and smug. They may have the fancy apartments and couture, but we have a lock on authenticity and unpretentiousness, right? That’s what “The Nanny Diaries” wants to tell us, anyway. Its talented cast and some inspired visuals cannot enliven a superficial story.

Annie (Scarlett Johansson) has just graduated from college with a degree in business. Her mother, a nurse, wants her to get a job on Wall Street. But she bungles the interview. Later, in Central Park, a wealthy woman referred to only as Mrs. X (Laura Linney) from Manhattan’s tony East Side offers her a job as a nanny. No one on Wall Street may be interested in her, but she learns she is “the Chanel bag of nannies,” the ultimate accessory, because she is white, single, and has a college education.

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Arctic Tale

Posted on December 3, 2007 at 9:51 pm

B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
Profanity: None
Alcohol/ Drugs: None
Violence/ Scariness: Nature-style violence, some graphic footage of animals killing and eating each other, some disturbing images of the effects of climate change
Diversity Issues: Diverse species
Date Released to Theaters: July 30, 2007
Date Released to DVD: December 4, 2007
Amazon.com ASIN: B000WZAE0O

The people behind “March of the Penguins” have put together another endearing story of life in the coldest place on earth. This time, it is the story of two newborns, a polar bear called Nanu and a walrus named Seela. “What seems forbidding to us is home to them,” says narrator Queen Latifah, whose affectionate tone brings warmth to the frozen landscape. The story is not as linear or involving as “Penguins,” and it is overcast with more forboding, as the effects of climate change pose a greater threat to these new lives than temperature or predators.
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Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas

Posted on December 2, 2007 at 5:21 pm

Judy Barber wrote a wonderful comment about this neglected gem:

One of THE sweetest movie or video is Emmet Otter Jugband Christmas, a muppet video. I make everyone watch it at Christmas. And the funnest thing about it is the bloopers with these muppets. You swear you are watching little people in costume. Hard to find the video to buy but soooo worth it. The “sell the hair to buy the watch” to “sell the watch to buy the hair ornament” theme.

The movie is available on Amazon — to find out more, click on the picture above.

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