Win a Winner!
Writers & Photographers
Berlitz Summer Camp
It’s up to Santa and his legendary pals help to save civilization in Rise of the Guardians. PHOTO COURTESY OF DREAMWORKS ANIMATION
by Michael Berick
With holiday vacations fast approaching, the cinema is a great place for the family to gather. This holiday season holds a number of movies for families (or about families).
Families looking for laughs will find some with a pair of Disney animated films. Wreck-It Ralph (Nov. 2) boasts a wonderfully clever idea of an arcade game villain – Wreck-It Ralph – who grows tired of being the bad guy. Ralph’s attempts to be a hero, however, wreak havoc in the world of arcade game characters. The film is directed by Emmy-winner Rich Moore with John C. Reilly voicing the title character.
Monsters, Inc, meanwhile, returns to the big screen Dec. 19, looking quite dandy in Disney Digital 3D. It is a chance for old and young fans to reacquaint themselves with Sulley and Mike and prepare for next year’s release of the Monsters Inc. prequel.
What happens when Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and Jack Frost have to team up to save the world? You can find out in Rise of the Guardians, which Paramount/Dreamworks brings to movie screens Nov. 21. This highly unique, marvelously imaginative film, based on William Joyce’s The Guardians of Childhood books, features the voices of Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Chris Pine and Jude Law.
Another magical world will be revealed in Cirque du Soliel: Worlds Away (Paramount, Dec. 21). This 3D adventure produced by James Cameron combines Cirque acrobatics and wizardry to tell the story of a couple’s trek to reunite with each other.
One of the holiday season’s most anticipated movies is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (New Line/Warner Brothers/MGM, Dec. 14). Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson has transformed J.R.R. Tolkin’s beloved book into an epic film (although parents beware, it will probably carry a PG-13 rating). Other upcoming films geared for tweens and older folks include the Steven Spielberg-directed bio-pic Lincoln (Disney, Nov. 9), Les Miserables (a big screen adaption of the long-popular musical and Victor Hugo novel), and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, the final installment in the hugely successful series.
Among other upcoming movies that focus on families, the one that probably needs the least parental guidance is the new Billy Crystal/Bette Midler comedy Parental Guidance (Fox, Dec. 25). Parents themselves are the audience for The Guilt Trip (Paramount, Dec. 25), where Barbara Streisand stars as Seth Rogan’s mom, and This Is 40, (Universal, Dec. 21) an R-rated Judd Apatow comedy in which Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann reprise their roles from Knocked Up.
DVD Extra: Say “Hola” to new bilingual DVDs|
Hispanic Heritage Month continues into October, which makes it an appropriate time to introduce Spanish to your youngsters. One entertaining way to do this is through DVDs, and a trio of bilingual titles can help kids learn a second language.
The Perfect Game|
With the World Series happening this month, it’s a nice time to check out a baseball movie that’s good for the whole family.
Make Believe makes for a magical viewing experience.
Winnie the Pooh|
Oh bother. Eeyore has once again lost his tail and the quest to find it continues in Disney’s all new, “Winnie the Pooh,” now available on 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack, 2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD.
CD Reviews: Kids|
Kids *** Keller Williams SCI Fidelity, $14.99 Keller Williams is a name that’s been familiar to jam band fans and guitar aficionados, but with his 16th disc he’ll become well known to family music audiences as well. With Kids, Williams showcases his
DVD Reviews: A Charlie Brown Valentine|
There’s nothing like sharing a holiday with the Peanuts gang, from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving to A Charlie Brown Christmas, or animated specials celebrating Easter, New Year’s or even Arbor Day.
CD Review: Sing-a-Ling With Friends|
From “Pop Goes The Weasel” to “Old McDonald Had A Farm," this may not appear like the most exciting set of tunes, but Dan Crow brings a freshness to his renditions of these family favorites.
Movie Review: Arthur And The Invisibles 2&3: The New Minomoys Adventures|
These films are follow-ups to the not well-known 2007 Arthur and the Invisibles. Like the original movie, these sequels are directed by French filmmaker Luc Besson.