Movie Ratings, Family Movie Reviews & More!

Add your input to a growing conversation about media violence, film ratings and other topical discussions that have your family and kids in mind.

Articles

Garry Marshall Defends Family Movies »

When Raising Helen released, I felt it would likely rank as one of the best family films of 2004. As the months have passed, I still hold firm to that opinion.

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Articles

Classroom Matinees »

As a child, whenever I complained about being bored my mother would tell me to, “Go read a good book.” While studies show many children and teens still follow such sound advice, watching television and movies are still far more popular choices for recreational activities.

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Articles

I’ll Have A PG-13 Please… Extra Violence, Hold the Sex »

When you watch as many movies as I do, you begin to see patterns developing—not only in types of movies made, but also how they are fine-tuned to fit into a particular classification. This is especially true of the popular PG-13 slot.

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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

Can Celebrity Problems Affect Your Family? »

It’s not easy living in a fishbowl, especially when you’ve been swimming in the public eye since you were born. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have literally grown up on our television screens. But perhaps the most important role they have unwittingly assumed during their glamorous careers is that of virtual sibling and example for millions… read more »

Articles

Signing Away Your Kids »

Imagine sending your child over to a stranger’s house for two hours. While there, you have a guarantee she will not be physically abused in any way, but the unknown adult with may say or do anything he wants, such as: take his clothes off, have sex with other partners, or perform any kind of violent act, including murder, on other people. Would… read more »

Articles

The Best Shot for Hollywood »

You know you’re getting somewhere when a newspaper writer on the other side of the continent takes his best shot at your cause.

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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

The Faithful Are Still Easy Pickings in Media »

My kids love blonde jokes. And for the most part, I put up with it. But I don’t know that I’m making the best decision. No matter how innocent it may seem, teaching children it’s permissible to make fun of any identifiable group of people, is potentially dangerous.

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Articles

Is it Real or Reel? »

The media has always loved a good hoax. Take a look at this classic segment from 1957 when the serious British news program titled Panorama presented a two-and-a-half minute story covering the annual spaghetti harvest in Switzerland. The clip shows workers… read more »

Articles

Television Contributes to Attention Deficit Problems. Are We Surprised? »

Its been a while since I’ve sat down for a hearty feast of Saturday morning entertainment, and if it wasn’t for a seminar I was asked to present to a large group of teachers, I don’t know that I would have ever gotten around to meeting some of these top quality animated personalities.

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Articles

Selling our Children &ndash; Product Placements »

E.T. – The Extraterrestrial was memorable for many reasons. But for the marketing industry, the film changed media forever.

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Articles

A Porn Hero? In a Teen Comedy? Look Out For “The Girl Next Door” »

When hardened artistic film critics begin calling down studios for poor moral decisions, it’s time to stop and listen.

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Articles

Selling Our Children: Thinking Outside of the Box »

The cold cereal flows with sophisticated 3D animated effects, while the announcer proclaims the multi-colored shapes to be “a part of this good breakfast.” The quick flash of the oversized bowl filled with the star product, sitting prominently in the center of the shot, will likely distract even the sharpest viewer from noticing the glass… read more »

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

Deciding If Your Children Should See The Passion of the Christ »

Countless times I’ve attended film screenings of movies I wouldn’t choose to see for myself, let alone my children. Yet just as often, after finding my seat, the empty chair beside me will be occupied by a child—accompanied by an adult whom I assume is their father or mother.

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Articles

Reading Up on Teen Culture—YM and Seventeen »

Now that we’re up to date with a couple of the teen magazines aimed at the youngest adolescent audiences, it’s time to look at the two kingpins of this genre: YM and Seventeen.

 

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Articles

Reading Up on Teen Culture—J-14 and Teen People »

My last column covered magazines aimed at teen audiences and discussed some of the general themes I found within the covers of four popular teen magazines.

This week we’re looking deep inside two of those magazines that market to the youngest teens—and likely even preadolescents.

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Articles

Reading Up on Teen Culture—J-14 and Teen People »

Teen magazines have been around since the dark ages predating my teen years. You should be able to get a rough grasp on my age if I tell you that the faces of Donny Osmond, David Cassidy, and Leif Garrett were usually plastered on the front pages during my adolescence.

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Articles

Teen Pregnancy Is Down, But Is Morality Up? »

A December 23, 2003 New York Times headline declaring “More Teenagers Say No To Sex” is certainly good news, as is the accompanying article explaining how teen births have dropped to historic lows—as much as 40% over the past decade in the case of African-American youth.

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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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