Contest: Blackjack tip cards from “21”

Posted on March 24, 2008 at 8:00 am

21jim.jpgThink you can beat the house in Blackjack? That’s what a group of MIT students did. By counting cards, which is perfectly legal, they won very big in Las Vegas. Their story was told in a book called Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, now retitled “21” to tie in with this week’s release of the movie it inspired.

For those of us who are not MIT math geniuses, there is a playing card-size cheat sheet to guide your betting. Want one? I’ll send one to the first three people to send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com. Stay tuned — later this week I will post my interviews with star Jim Sturgess and the MIT math whiz who inspired both the book and the movie, Jeff Ma.

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Contests and Giveaways

DVD giveaway: for children under age 6

Posted on March 1, 2008 at 7:32 am

clifford.jpgThis time, I have free DVDs for ages 2-5 for the first five readers who email me at moviemom@moviemom.com. You do not need to send your address until I let you know that you have won. As always, I love hearing from you about your families and the movies you enjoy together (or those you did not enjoy) and any questions or additional information I can provide.
Remember — send an email to moviemom@moviemom.com, if you want a DVD. Comments below are always welcome, but only those who send emails will be eligible.
And keep checking, as the next giveaway will be mystery and thriller DVDs for adults! Coming up after that will be a promotional item from the new Indiana Jones movie, so stay tuned.

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Contests and Giveaways

DVDs for kids and their families — enter now!

Posted on February 7, 2008 at 11:06 am

I have family-friendly DVDs to give away to the first ten people who send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com and identify themselves as Beliefnet readers. If you let me know the ages and genders of your children, I’ll try to keep that in mind as I decide who gets what, but I can’t promise, especially for the last few who qualify. No need to send your address yet; I will notify all who win and get the info then. But as long as you are writing me anyway, let me know a little bit about the movies your families enjoy and what I can do to make this site more useful and entertaining for you. Thanks for visiting and I hope you win!

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Contests and Giveaways

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Posted on December 13, 2002 at 5:17 am

A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language and mild thematic elements
Profanity: Brief but very strong language for a PG
Alcohol/ Drugs: E.T. gets tipsy
Violence/ Scariness: Characters in peril, apparent death
Diversity Issues: All characters white
Date Released to Theaters: 1982
Date Released to DVD: October 8, 2012
Amazon.com ASIN: B003UESJLK

“E.T’s” 30th anniversary is being celebrated with a gorgeous new re-issue and I have one to give away.  To enter, send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with E.T in the subject line and tell me your favorite movie alien.  Don’t forget your address!  (US addresses only.)  I’ll pick one winner at random on October 14.  Good luck!

A young boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas) finds an extraterrestrial who has been left behind when his expedition of alien botanists had to depart quickly to avoid detection. He brings E.T. home, finding through their connection a way to begin to heal his sense of loss at his father’s absence.

E.T. loves Elliott, but begins to weaken in the Earth’s atmosphere and needs to go home. With the help of Elliott and the neighborhood children, he sends a message to his friends. But before they can come for him, he is captured by government scientists. E.T.’s connection with Elliott is so strong Elliott becomes very ill, too. But both recover, and the children return E.T. to the spaceship, after E.T. reminds Elliott that they will always be together in their hearts.

This is an outstanding family movie, with themes of loyalty, friendship, trust, and caring. One of the most purely magical scenes in the history of film is when Elliott’s bicycle lifts off up into the sky.

Parents should know that the movie has scenes of peril that may be too intense for younger children. An apparent death is also upsetting. There is brief very strong language for a PG movie. This film was justifiably criticized for its almost complete absence of non-white characters.

DVD extras: Making of documentary, cast reunion, archives, trailer, behind-the-scenes footage, etc. Families who see this movie should talk about the way that the adults and the kids see things differently, and have a hard time understanding each other’s perspective. One reason is that they don’t try to share their feelings with each other. Could Elliott have talked to his mother about E.T.?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” and they should try some Reese’s Pieces! They might also want to check out the classic movie E.T. catches a glimpse of, “The Quiet Man.”

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