Movie Ratings, Family Movie Reviews & More!

Our Expert Studies provide a family guide to the latest information from academic and media-related research.

Articles

Is This App Appropriate? »

During a recent night out with some girlfriends, one woman brought up Pinterest. Most of us in the group have an account—and love it. But this mom raised concern about her 12-year-old daughter getting an account. read more »

Articles

Making Some Great Summer Television »

Television is a tempting distraction during the lazy hazy crazy days of summer… especially when the kids are lounging about with nothing to do. Rather than succumbing to a smorgasbord of reruns intermixed with situation comedies deemed unworthy of the fall schedule, take control and become your own program creator.

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Articles

Alien in This Summer’s Movies (2012) »

It is a sure sign the summer movie season has arrived when aliens attack the box office. In Men In Black III Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones don their shades once again to keep Earth safe from the extraterrestrials that live among us.

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Expert Studies

Too Many Underage Facebook Users »

Consumer Reports recent released the results of a survey that indicate of the 20 million minors who actively used Facebook this past year, more than one-third were younger than 13—the supposed minimum age one must be to use Facebook. Obviously there is a problem, both with the age verification process and parents’ understandings of the… read more »

Articles

Film & History »

Nov 15, 2010: This week in the movies: Mickey Mouse celebrates a birthday on November 18.

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Articles

Celebrating Medical Achievement »

Scottish researcher Sir Alexander Fleming discovered a bacteria-killing mold that would later be developed into penicillin on September 28, 1928.

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Expert Studies

Can We Trust Internet Information Sources? »

Does the Internet influence personal decisions you make about the products you buy, who you spend time with or what medical procedures you may select? According to PR firm Fleishman-Hillard who contracted Harris Interactive to update their ongoing Digital Influence Index, the trust we have in information on the Internet varies depending on where… read more »

Reviewers' Blog

Are 3D Movies and TV Bad For Your Eyes? »

A recent article in the New York Times references research done by Gifu University in Japan that indicates viewing 3D televisions (and… read more »

Expert Studies

Media In The Lives of 8 to 18 Year Olds »

In January 2010, the Kaiser Family Foundation released the third edition in a series of reports covering how children aged 8 to 18 use media in their lives. As usual, this KFF report is eye opening and a must-read for parents and anyone interested in the use of media by children.

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Reviewers' Blog

How do I filter the Internet on my iPhone / iTouch? »

A while back I noticed there was little in the way of filters parents could use on the iPhone or iTouch—and virtually nothing for other phones that aren’t considered smart phones, yet still have web browsers. However, last week I discovered a company that is offering a replacement web browser for Safari on the iPhone/iTouch.

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Articles

Sharing Grief on Facebook »

The movie tribute Michael Jackson’s This Is It made roughly $103.9 million worldwide on opening weekend. read more »

Articles

Little Kids Still Big On TV »

If you think children are doing other things besides watching good ‘ol TV, think again. Yesterday, the TV ratings giant Nielsen released a survey that shows kids are at an eight-year-high for the amount of time they are spending in front of the glowing screen.

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Reviewers' Blog

Video Games Not Recession Proof »

When the big economic unraveling began last fall, I was impressed to see video game figures not only holding steady but actually increasing in sales. However the latest numbers are showing that even this robust industry is losing points in the battle.

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Reviewers' Blog

Apple Yanks Pornographic iPhone App »

After clamping down on the Baby Shaker application that hit iPhones a few months ago (the “game” encouraged you to shake an image of a baby until it died), Apple is continuing to police its popular portable device after telling the creator of an app called Hottest Girls that they were not complying with the Apple iPhone… read more »

Reviewers' Blog

Chinese Government Insists Parents Have Internet Filters »

I know it makes the skin of any card carrying ACLU member crawl, but the Chinese government announced this week that all new computers being sold in the country need to have parental filtering software installed by July 1 of this year.

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Expert Studies

Networked Families »

Parents and spouses are using the internet and cell phones to create a “new connectedness” that builds on remote connections and shared internet experiences.

This study, from the Pew Internet Project and the University of Toronto, discovers the traditional two-parent nuclear family is the type most likely to embrace cell phones… read more »

Articles

Making “News” In Your Classroom »

Teaching students to become critical consumers of news media has always been important, but even more so today with the sound of war looming. Not only is this prospect frightening for many young people, they (along with many adults!) also don’t have the tools required to discover the complete details.

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Articles

What Parents Need to Know TVs in Children’s Bedrooms »

Is bedside television a normal part of your children’s lives? If so, you will no doubt be interested in what two recent studies have revealed about young children watching TV.

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Articles

Teens Talking Drugs—Do You Understand? »

A couple of moths ago, Nielsen BuzzMetrics (the same "Nielsen" that tracks television viewers) released information from a study commissioned by Caron Treatment Centers that looked at what teens were discussing during the hours they spend posting messages on websites. The final document [link: ]http://www.caron.org/content.asp?section=press&cat=pressrelease&PR=478]read more »

Articles

What Is Your Child Packing On Their Phone? »

A couple of weeks ago my son, who is in his freshman year, came home with a troubled look on his face. "Can I talk to you about something?" he asked.

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Articles

Understanding the Risks of Wireless Internet in your Home »

Over the past few years, one particular technology has quickly moved into homes at an amazingly rapid pace. Wireless Internet routers—a small box that can easily distribute your home Internet service anywhere in the house—have become a common addition to any Internet savvy family.

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Articles

Give Your Kids a Chance to Create! »

I spend a great deal of time writing about the problems of media. Study after study linking the affects of violence, quantity of television, and violent sexual content of popular music with real life behaviors have been reported through my keyboard.

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Articles

R.I.P. for the Chip? »

Heralded by many as a parent’s solution to controlling television content, the V-chip was described as "ineffective" by FCC officials in early December 2006. While others have criticized the device’s lack of use by the very people it was built to serve, having the chief regulatory body over broadcasting deem it a failure may… read more »

Articles

Video Games - A Quick Guide to the Latest Systems »

Video games are always a hot commodity at Christmas, and this year it seems the manufacturers have whipped up an unprecedented frenzy. As I’ve spoken with parents, I detect they are more confused than ever about what systems are most suitable for their family, and which will hold the greatest chance of giving them the best virtual bang for… read more »

Articles

Video Games—A Few Fast Picks »

When people complain that they have a difficult time finding movies or television programs suitable for their kids, I usually respond, "Wait ‘till you look for a video game!"

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Articles

A Serving of Research Leftovers »

In the process of looking for new topics about media and how it affects families, I often come across little tidbits of information that aren’t quite enough to fill up a complete page, but are still interesting for parents to know about. So this week, I’m serving up some "leftover" European research about television viewing… read more »

Articles

Why the End of Edited Movies is a Good Thing »

I know this will be a controversial stand to take with my audience, but this week’s judgment by U.S. District Court judge Richard P. Matsch, who declared businesses that edit nasty bits out of Hollywood movies are "illegitimate," is actually a good thing for not only the movie industry, but for the future of family entertainment as… read more »

Articles

Is MySpace the Right Space for Your Children II? »

Carol (not her real name), a twenty something single mom, received a very personal revelation of how the popular social network service MySpace.com is being perceived by the media and those who are not part of the site’s fan club.

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Articles

Is MySpace the Right Space for Your Children? »

It was only three short years ago that MySpace.com began its new life as a "social network service"—the technical term for a website where people can create their own web pages and post virtually anything about themselves and—with obvious legal ramifications—others.

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Articles

Cinemanow or Cinema-no »

In the same way upstart Napster forced music companies to begin taking a hard look at legally offering their artists’ works online, movie pirates are forcing the hands of major studios to consider the same plan.

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Articles

Webcams: Who’s Watching Whom? »

The "future" is often defined by our technology. Only a few decades ago, I remember reading about "picture phones" that would allow us to see the person we were speaking with. Now, with the help of the Internet and computers, that vision is reality… although the craze hasn’t caught on to the point where every phone… read more »

Articles

Is that Email for Real? »

I often write articles informing parents about things that could affect their children, but this week, it seems appropriate to tell both parents and kids to listen up.

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Articles

Falling on Deaf Ears »

If you ride mass transit, you may have had the experience of sharing the music from another passenger’s personal stereo. Recently, I could clearly understand the obnoxious lyrics of a teenaged girl’s music, even though she was sitting many seats away from me.

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Articles

With Enough Time The Truth About TV Violence Becomes Clear »

Your nine-year-old is complaining once again because he has the only parent in the world that won’t let him watch violent television programs. And you find yourself wondering once again if you’re just too picky.

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Articles

Let’s Put Technology to Work! »

It’s been an amazing couple of decades. I can still recall bringing my first VCR in the door shortly after I was married. The Betamax took a prominent place on our econo bookcase, and cost as much as a good quality used car. I promised my wife we would only need two tapes… one to record on and the other to watch.

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Articles

TV Ratings—Time To Change the Program »

The Parent Television Council’s recently released report on television ratings confirms what nearly any parent who watches television already knows: That, in general, the TV ratings system isn’t meeting the needs of the portion of the population it’s designed to assist.

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Articles

Good and Bad Video Games: The Divide Widens »

Have you ever heard of seriousgames.org? No, this isn’t an Internet hangout for hard-core gamers that fit the stereotypical image. Instead, this is an initiative project founded at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington DC.

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Articles

Former Teacher Brings Real Lives to Video Games »

Many parents have bemoaned the time their children spend playing video games. However, there is light at the end of the screen with some of the latest recreational software, which actually have the ability to entertain, as well as <gasp!> teach valuable information to keyboarding kids.

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Articles

The After School TV Blue »

Chances are your children come home from school feeling like they’ve run the 100-meter sprint. Exhausted from a hard day over the books, they want some “R ‘n R” time, and the most likely place they’ll choose to recline is in front of the television.

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Articles

Getting Fat on Television »

San Francisco Bay Area parents don’t want soft drink vending machines in their schools. Nor do they like the idea of having advertisements promoting food and beverages to their children in their educational environments. They are also likely to have their kids involved in organized sports on an annual basis.

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Articles

Media Literacy &ndash; Who&rsquo;s Really Laughing? »

We all have weaknesses, right? As a proponent of family media, there are times when I know I’m wading in muddy waters—especially with my friends Fred and Barney.

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Articles

Family Technology&mdash;MAX Control for the Information Highway »

Has it ever happened to you?

You’re innocently looking up something on the Internet, and the next thing you know you are faced with a page of pornographic sex goddesses emblazoned across your screen. To make matters worse, you try and close the page, which has taken over your entire monitor, but more pages keep popping up.

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Articles

File Swapping: Dangers You May Not Know About »

If you have teens and an Internet connection in your home, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of strange words such as Gnutella, KaZaA, Morpheus, Grokster and the like. These are monikers given to software programs that allow “peer-to-peer” file sharing. In English, that means the ability to swap files between computers.

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Articles

Thanks To The FCC, Your Kids Need To Be Even Smarter »

It’s a clichéd phrase: Our children are the leaders of tomorrow. But if we really believe that, we need to teach them some important media skills today – thanks to changes put forth by the FCC.

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Articles

Searching for the Ultimate BIG Screen »

I settled into my seat for yet another media screening of a new movie – something I do as often as four times a week. But this one had me waiting in rapt anticipation because it was the IMAX movie – MacGillivray Freeman’s Coral Reef Adventure.

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Articles

Family Technology &ndash; The TV Guardian »

“Family Technology” reports feature reviews of various gadgets that can enhance or assist parents with their family media experience.

Chances are good that at some point you have viewed a movie that leaves you saying, “What a great film, but why did they include all that bad language?”

It appears someone heard… read more »

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