Touchback

Posted on September 3, 2012 at 5:00 am

B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic elements
Profanity: Mild language
Alcohol/ Drugs: Some drinking
Violence/ Scariness: Some tense emotional confrontations
Diversity Issues: None
Date Released to Theaters: April 13, 2012
Date Released to DVD: September 3, 2012
Amazon.com ASIN: B005TCL1P2

Haven’t we all wished for a chance to live that one moment over again?

Scott (Brian Presley, who also produced) has that opportunity in “Touchback,” the story of a man who wants to go back to his days as a star high school football player, before a career-ending knee injury on a game-winning goal ended his days as a player.  He gets that chance to see what could have happened in this touching story reminiscent of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  But will he choose his knee over the win?  Will winning the game keep him taking his success for granted and overlooking the girl who isn’t the popular cheerleader but who understands integrity and loyalty?  And would she notice him if he was still the arrogant jock?

(Cue Garth Brooks’ “Unanswered Prayers.”)

Kurt Russell, Marc Blucas, Christine Lahti, and Melanie Lynskey co-star in the film, which is sure to lead to some good family conversations.

 

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Drama DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week Family Issues Spiritual films Sports

Tips for School: Reading Rockets on Reading Fluency

Posted on September 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Happy back to school!  Reading Rockets has some great ideas for parents about improving reading fluency, like “paired reading” (reading together) and rereading favorite books.  The most important thing is for parents to realize that their involvement is critical.  And, as I always recommend, that means that children need to see their parents take pleasure in reading.  Take them to the library and check out books for both of you.  Turn off the TV and computers and iPads and read.  Our family used to have occasional “reading bum” dinners, when we would all read as we ate.  It was a lot of fun to see what everyone was reading.  And my children are still great readers.

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Early Readers

For Labor Day: Movies About Work

Posted on September 2, 2012 at 8:00 am

For Labor Day, some of my favorite movies about the workplace:

The Pajama Game He (John Riatt — Bonnie’s father) is the new boss at the pajama factory.  She (Doris Day) represents the union.  Can this relationship work?  This tuneful treat features classics like “Hey There” and “Steam Heat.”

Norma Rae Sally Field won an Oscar for her performance in this fact-based story about the fight for the rights of textile workers.

9 to 5 Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Dolly Parton star in this story of three women in an office run by an lazy, corrupt, and sexist boss.

Office Space This cult classic about disaffected office workers has some sharp Dilbert-style observations about organizational inefficiency and unfairness.

Working Girl Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford star in this story of a secretary with ambition and her arrogant, selfish boss.  Carly Simon won an Oscar for the theme song, “Let the River Run.”

The Apartment This Best Picture Oscar winner stars Jack Lemmon as an insurance company worker with a chance to advance his career by making his apartment available to executives for their assignations.

Made in Dagenham Sally Hawkins and Miranda Richardson star in this fact-based story of women fighting for equal pay at a Ford plant in England.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Anyone who has worked in an office will tell you that this raucous musical satire of office life is far less exaggerated than it seems.

The Solid Gold Cadillac This witty 1956 comedy about corporate corruption and overpaid executives starring the brilliant Judy Holliday is still valid — if you add three zeroes to all the numbers.

The Closet This French comedy is about a nebbishy numbers guy who is laid off from his job.  He lets the bosses think he is gay so that they will be afraid of a discrimination complaint and the attention it brings him teaches him some important lessons.

 

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Holidays Lists

Melanie Lynskey — Actress Turned Movie Blogger

Posted on September 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm

I am a huge fan of actress Melanie Lynskey.  Most people will recognize her from “Two and a Half Men,” but it is her deft, varied, and utterly natural performances in small, independent films that have made her one of my favorites.  Whether she is playing a damaged and damaging substance abusing mother in Win Win, a heartbroken adoptive mother mourning a miscarriage in “Away We Go,” a not-so-evil stepsister in Ever After, a journalist in “Breaking Glass,” or, in her breakthrough role with Kate Winslet as a teenage murderer in “Heavenly Creatures,” her choices are always fresh, heartfelt, and touching.  She has just been a guest blogger for the The Film Experience and her posts have been thoughtful, creative, and utterly captivating.  In DVDs I Had to Own she charmingly lists classics like the tearjerker Terms of Endearment and Woody Allen’s bittersweet Manhattan but some delightfully oddball choices like the obscure horror film Blue Sunshine, the critical and box office failure Mickey Blue Eyes with Hugh Grant (she says it has her “favourite scene in the history of cinema”), and one of the worst reviewed movies of all time, Gigli.

And I love the post where she asks the actor friends she’d like to write love letters to about their work to tell us the people they think are so good they’d be inspired to write fan letters.  There’s a part 2 as well.  Ms. Lynskey, consider this my love letter to you for your work as an actor, a blogger, and a citizen of the planet.

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Actors

School Movie Quiz: Answers

Posted on September 1, 2012 at 8:00 am

Thanks to all who tried!  Here are the answers:

1.  A tough cop goes undercover as a kindergarten teacher. “Kindergarten Cop”

2. This classic based on a true story is about an English woman who travels to the other side of the world to teach the many children of a king.  “The King and I”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjf2DxGniwo

3. It’s Saturday, but these five kids have to spend the day in the library for detention. “The Breakfast Club”

4. In this touching documentary, a community with very few minorities finds an especially compelling way to teach their children about the Holocaust. “Paper Clips”

5. A book by Roald Dahl is the basis for this movie about a girl from an awful family who is befriended by a kind-hearted teacher. “Matilda”

6. A musician pretends to be a substitute teacher to make money and ends up turning his class into a rock group. “School of Rock”

7. In this body-switching classic, a mother finds out what her daughter’s life is like when she has to spend a day in her daughter’s classes.  “Freaky Friday”

8. Undercover cops pretend to be high school students to catch drug dealers in this movie based on a television series. “21 Jump Street”

9. A high school drama teacher decides his class should put on musical sequel to “Hamlet.” “Hamlet 2”

10. Four high school girls form a witches’ coven and get revenge on the classmates who were mean to them. “The Craft”

 

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Quiz
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