Thursday, January 29, 2009


This 1939 Technicolor classic, starring a very handsome Henry Fonda and a gutsy Claudette Colbert, is a wonderful historical epic (directed by the great John Ford) that will help you and the kids while away a wintry Sunday afternoon. A story of Colonial struggle in the 1700s, your kids will absorb a bit of history, spiced up with a wagonful of nail-biting adventure.

The Revolutionary War was brewing, and the British were luring American Indians to their side, using them to fight a young, upstart America trying to get on its feet. Colbert's character, Lana, comes from a family of comfort and privilege in the city, and marrying Gilbert (Fonda) means moving with him to the wilds of upstate New York, to his small, log cabin outpost. Surviving a rocky transition, she eventually takes to the task with gusto, and after the first tragic run-in with the natives leaves them homeless, she rolls up her sleeves and is ever more determined.

She's a spunky one.

The next hour and a half quite vividly conveys the pain and horror of war in all its shadings. There are British/Indian raids, torched homes and crops, amputations and unpleasant deaths, miscarried babies, and all kinds of other unhappy events.

But, the American spirit triumphs!

(And of course, this being a 1939 movie, the drama is no more intense than that in, say, Gone With The Wind, so you know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen Gone With The Wind, right?)

There is one scene that’s a little tough: when our colonists are under siege, they send a man out under cover of night to seek help from the nearest outpost. After fortifying himself with a few swigs of something or other, he sets off, only to be paraded later in front of us, tied to a haywagon that the Indian warriors intend to torch. It’s a pretty horrific idea for kids, no doubt. They don’t burn him alive, but he’s saved from a long and painful death with a short and merciful one.

That said, there is plenty in this film for kids about courage and strength and determination, about loyalty and integrity. And of course, it’s very entertaining and makes for a great afternoon of movie watching.

(Note: this is available as an Instant View on Netflix until February 28!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

HORATIO'S DRIVE: America's First Road Trip (G)

When K was about eight or nine, I found this documentary at our local library and brought it home. We must have watched it in increments, as it’s apparently 106 minutes long! It seems shorter in my recollecting, so take that as a good sign if you’re rolling your eyes and thinking, “An hour and 45 minute-long documentary? For the kids? Oh, sure. No problem.”

I remember thinking it might not hold K’s attention for long, but it absolutely did. It’s a wonderfully engaging (and, shhh, educational!) documentary by Ken Burns, who employes his favorite tools (archival photos, newspaper clippings, re-enactments and talking heads) to tell the story of the first automotive cross-country trip in 1903. The film captures the excitement felt coast to coast over what seemed such a crazy endeavor for the time, and the adventurous spirit of the man who laid down the gauntlet and said it could be done, one Horatio Nelson Jackson.

The “horseless carriage” was viewed at the time as unreliable, and possibly a fad; most people thought Jackson was nuts. There were millions of roads in the U.S. at the time, but only 150 paved ones (and many not signed). Breakdowns and flats were sheer disaster: the local gas station or highway outpost did not exist, let alone the now ubiquitous Grand Auto or V.I.P. auto parts store. The car had no windshield and no roof, but could reach a whopping speed of 30 m.p.h. Jackson and his co-driver and mechanic Sewall K. Crocker had 90 days to drive from San Francisco to New York.

Did they do it? I won’t spoil the fun. If you’re in for a long, rainy or snowy weekend, get Horatio’s Drive and break it into a couple of viewings. Everyone will love it. And the kids will get a great sense of the time, when the America was young and brash and bold, and events like these united people everywhere. There’s a lot of inspiration in these 106 minutes.

From the PBS site, where you can get more info:

[Horatio's] car, which he christened the Vermont in honor of his home state, splashed through streams, got stuck in buffalo wallows, bounced over railroad trestles to cross major rivers, and frightened horses on the dusty trails. And as he moved eastward, his quest slowly became a national sensation, with huge crowds (tipped off by the telegraph of his approach) lining the streets of town as he whizzed through at 20 miles per hour. "It Startled the Natives," one headline proclaimed; another announced "A Real Live Auto!"

Teachers: this would be a great grade school curriculum item!

For other documentary ideas, see the category listed to the right or go here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

HBO's "JOHN ADAMS" - Again

I’ve had a number of people land here on KidsFlix searching for information on the HBO series, “John Adams,” mostly wondering if it’s “kid friendly.”

After talking to a few people, including my dad, who was completely wowed by the series, I think it’s safe to say this: Paul Giamatti has well earned every award he's taken home for his portrayal of one of our country’s founders and our second president, and it’s an incredible piece of work, but it likely won’t hold the attention of kids under 14 or 15. (One friend’s 14-year old rolled her eyes and whined constantly, so they gave up after the first episode.)

My dad says it should be required watching in high school, and agrees that younger kids would have a hard time staying engaged. Other than some fairly mild, implied "player" behavior on the part of one Ben Franklin, and an intense scene involving breast cancer “surgery” (and a bared breast), it sounds like there’s nothing racy or offensive, it’s just an historical epic, turned out more like a Masterpiece Theater work than a Disney film.

We were going to give this a shot with 11-yr old K, but I think we’ll wait.

Hope this helps those of you coming here hoping for some direction!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


If you haven't seen this cult classic, you've surely heard of it: Plan 9 From Outer Space is often branded the Worst Movie Ever Made. It’s a hilarious spectacle of cheap sets, visual incongruities, bad writing, acting and editing, and... oh, bad directing, of course!

Everything about it is bad.

But it’s so darn fun! It had been years since I’d seen this, and we recently watched with K, who really has been fulfilling his dad’s dream of Saturday nights being classic monster movie nights. I guess we’re really lucky K loves all this sci-fi and ‘50s horror (such as it was); it’s just what husband D had planned for him.

Basically, the story is about some (very human) aliens who come to earth to raise the dead in order to, um, tell living Earthlings that they (the aliens) exist. Or something. So you’ve got hubcaps as flying saucers, cardboard crypts and gravestones, plenty of fog, Vampira (and her disturbingly small waist), Bella Lugosi playing Bella Lagosi, zombies, dumb cops, hysterical women, and a few macho men. And more!

I was surprised to find the film was, at its core, clearly an anti-bomb, anti-war statement. I didn’t remember that from seeing it 20 years ago. The aliens are afraid, now that they’ve seen we have the A-bomb and the H-bomb, that we will discover the next mega-powerful technology (gee, the name escapes me) which will obliterate the sun; they already have the technology, but don’t trust us “small brained Earthlings” with the knowledge, and are certain we’ll destroy more than ourselves. They’re here, really to save the galaxy from our stupidity.

But that comes at the end, and before that, it’s all belly laughs and root beer through the nose. As cheesy as it is, though, I’ll say that for younger kids who’ve not ever seen a zombie or dark, creepy graveyard scenes, or heard women screaming as if they’ve ... seen a zombie, it could be a bit scary. (For the younger ones.) Ok? I dunno if that means 8-year olds in your house, or 10-year olds. You know ‘em best.

If your kids are younger, just get this for yourselves one night, and make it a double feature: watch the 1994 Tim Burton film, Ed Wood, starring a fantastic Johnny Depp as Wood, who not only enthusiastically made awful films, but wore women’s underthings as he did it. (Martin Landau is stellar as Lugosi.) Then go on to Plan 9, you’ll appreciate it more.

(Note: This double feature calls for double martinis.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oscar Nominations

They're here! Ok, they're there (I'm linking you to the site, as I'm too lazy/under the weather today to post even just the Big Ones here).

Sad to see The Wrestler is not nominated, but there were so many good films to contend with ... I'm really, really happy to see Richard Jenkins nominated (The Visitor is a great little film!), and also that Melissa Leo is being recognized for her impressive work in Frozen River (please see this film!). Of course, Heath Ledger has a lock on the Supporting Actor catagory, but it makes me smile big time to see Robert Downey, Jr. nominated as well (for Tropic Thunder). I mean, come on, you have to admit that was a helluva role he played!

Ok, so once again, go here for the full list (go to the Oscar site homepage and you can see this morning's presentation).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Random Act of Self Indulgence .05

So, I was thrilled when Mickey Rourke won the Golden Globe. THRILLED. But is he now going to be in every other movie that comes out? He’s in a Sly Stallone project coming out later this year, The Expendables; a John Madden movie, Killshot (early reports are not very good, I’m afraid), plus something else that escapes me at the moment. Slow down, Rourke. Don’t wear out your welcome! And don’t take crummy roles!

Paris, Je T’aime is a wonderful little celluloid package of hearts and flowers dedicated to the world’s most beautiful city and the people who live there. It’s a multi-culti bundle of surprises, each five-minute film exploring the City of Lights, featuring a variety of directors and actors. Each one is its own small work of art. I just read somewhere that there is a similar project in the works for New York City, and I love that idea! It seems only natural Woody Allen would be involved in something called New York, I Love You, doesn’t it? But I don’t know for sure.

Speaking of Woody, his next film, Whatever Works, is -- sigh -- about a May-December relationship between characters played by Evan Rachel Wood and Larry David (!). Wood’s character has a meddling mother who tries to ruin their relationship by introducing the young, hunky Henry Cavill to her daughter.

I can’t think of a joke or anything pithy to say here.

Kid film news:

The classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is being remade, apparently, by the director McG, who did a couple of Charlie’s Angels movies and the new Terminator film coming later this year. It should be a Disney movie, but we’ll see what kind of rating it ends up with. Do we really need a remake, when the original was so good?

And Karate Kid, which K still hasn’t really seen even though it’s on TV quite often, is being remade with Will Smith’s kid Jaden in the part played originally by Ralph Macchio. Macchio was several years older than Jaden is when he did the original; seems like it might be a pretty loose remake.

Oscar nominations tomorrow!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Just after Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as our 44th President, he signed a proclamation calling for a National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 20, 2009, a National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation, and call upon all of our citizens to serve one another and the common purpose of remaking this Nation for our new century.


(More on, of course.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Here’s another sweet, short, G-rated movie for the young’uns. Paddle to the Sea was recently re-released by Janus films, along with two other kids’ classics, The Red Balloon and White Mane. For some reason, Paddle to the Sea is not available via Netflix, but the other two films are available as a package. If you’ve never seen The Red Balloon, well, you must have grown up in a cave (or maybe Peoria). I think I saw it in grade school at least twice, and maybe again in junior high. It’s a magical, mostly silent film, about a boy and his balloon, set in Paris. It’s completely enchanting, and although a good part of the plot involves other boys bullying him about the balloon, by today’s standards it’s pretty mild stuff.

I haven’t seen White Mane, but reviews on both Netflix and IMDB warn parents of fairly graphic violence (animal cruelty) that won’t sit well with some. You’ll have to figure this one out on your own, unless I get to it first.

Paddle to the Sea is available at our locally owned video store, which is an amazing place for several reasons, but finding this gem on their shelves (with a “recommended by staff!” tag on it) says it all. They rock.

Since you may not find it at your own local purveyor, I’ll point you to buying it at Amazon or some such other outlet, and highly recommend you bundle it with Linnea in Monet’s Garden; what a great gift it would be for a five-or six- or seven-year old (or their parents).

Paddle to the Sea was first released in 1966, a short film from the National Film Board of Canada adapted from the1941 book by the same name. It tells the tale of a young boy in the Canadian woods who spends his winter evenings carving and painting a little canoe, with a stoic Native American Indian sitting upright inside. He decides the best way for this little vessel to live its life is to actually be set out on an adventure, and so he launches it in a nearby stream where it then travels through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, onto the Atlantic Ocean.

The boy painted “Put me back in the water” on the bottom of the boat, so whenever it was discovered by a human, it was put back where it was found, and so continued its journey. There are treacherous waterfalls, big ships, pollution, wildlife, toddlers with sticks and other perilous hurdles for the little wooden Indian and his canoe to overcome.

It’s less than a half hour long, and has that lovely, quietly languid feel shared by many films made for younger kids back in the day. Nothing hurried about it, nothing to get excited or anxious about, just a sweet little adventure unfolding before our eyes.

“Who knows how far you’ll go?”

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I don't generally get too excited -- really excited -- about new kids’ movies (unless they star, say, Will Ferrell or Ben Stiller), but I have to admit to being rather interested in Coraline, the new film directed by Henry Selick (he directed The Nightmare Before Christmas). I believe Coraline may be the first stop-motion animated film shot in 3-D, which should be interesting. It hits theaters on February 6.

In May, DreamWorks Animation will give us Monsters & Aliens, headed up by Shrek and Shark Tales directors, with voices by Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogan, Stephen Colbert and others. Adapted from a comic book series, the story involves a super hero fighting off space aliens who come to earth, and threaten our cable television signals. This one might be too much for some parents to take; imagine, life without Bravo?!

Just to prove I have nothing against Pixar or Disney, I’ll also say that previews for the animated Up look like a lot of fun, too. Up will be released in May.

Also in May (wow, a busy month), we'll get the sequel to Ben Stiller’s Night at the Museum, entitled Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. Look at this cast: Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Hank Azaria, Ed Helms, Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais, Owen Wilson, Christopher Guest, to name a few (many of them in reprised roles). Could it possibly be bad? I think not.

Here’s the trailer for Coraline, followed by one for Night at the Museum (which had me laughing pretty hard; hope it's not all the best bits):

Later in the summer, one of my favorite movie guys, Will Ferrell (yeah, yeah, I know, we’re supposed to be over him by now), stars in Land of the Lost. Here’s the description from Film (they’re linked over on the right side of my page; very helpful site!):

Dr. Rick Marshall, a disgraced paleontologist, his assistant and a macho tour guide find themselves in a strange world inhabited by dinosaurs, monkey people and reptilian Sleestaks.

Hmmm. Disgraced paleontologist, or macho tour guide? Both would be fun for Ferrell. Maybe they let him play both roles.

I don’t see much on the horizon (yet announced, anyway) to get excited about. I guess Where the Wild Things Are (coming in the fall) might be one of the most anticipated family films to come out this year. Fingers crossed they don’t screw it up.

(Notes on a few January releases here.)

The Prisoner Finally Escapes

By now you know of the passing of Patrick McGoohan, star of The Prisoner, which K and husband D so enjoyed watching together last year. I was gently breaking the news to K, when he interrupted me and said, "Yeah, I heard mom. Wasn't he really old though?"

R.I.P. Number Six.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

HBO's John Adams: Your Thoughts

UPDATE: If you came to this page after doing a search for this HBO series as it pertains to kids, note there is a more recent post here on the topic.

A while back, I posted the following:

The HBO miniseries John Adams, starring Paul Giamatti, just won a number of Emmys and has certainly caught my attention. I added it to our Netflix list, even though I noticed its “TV 14” rating (“This program contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years of age.”). After scanning a few pages of reviews (yes, mostly positively glowing), I’ve yet to see anything by a viewer explaining this rating. I had to stop reading after four or five pages, as my brain lost the power to process the actual words, since they were so redundant (“brilliant,” “superb,” “incredible”)

Have you seen John Adams? If so, can you articulate what might make it unsuitable for kids under 14 (or so)?

Ok, so now that it won a Golden Globe or two, I noticed a good number of keyword searches in the last few days bringing people here to KidsFlix involves this HBO series: parents want to know whether it's suitable for the kids or not (keyword search: "HBO John Adams for kids," etc.).

If you have seen this show, please post here and share your thoughts! I hate to see folks landing here with no information, and yes, I should put at the top of my list. I will, I will. (At least searches for the likes of "50s cat fight" and "miniaturizer movie" and "penguin heading in wrong direction" all panned out for my readers!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


"Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!"

There are often many reasons to watch the original versions of well-known films, rather than their remakes. In this case, you might be surprised to know that the original, 1968 version of Planet of the Apes, starring Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowell, is rated G, while the 2001 Tim Burton remake (starring Mark Wahlberg) is rated PG-13.
I haven’t seen the Burton version, but the originals have far too much of their own personality and charm for me to even be interested in checking his out.

We watched the first and the second in the series of five Planet of ... films when K was ten years old. He was fascinated. I was a little hesitant, as I couldn’t remember many of the details from my own first viewings, but these two (the second is 1970’s Beneath the Planet of the Apes, with James Franciscus sent to the rescue) are really pretty innocuous. The hardest scene to watch may be when a hunting party bears down on a group of mute humans (the apes rule, of course; humans are the “lesser species”) and there is a bit of implied brutality and general nastiness). (K says he would think these movies would be rated PG today, and he’s probably right.)

George Taylor:
Doctor, I'd like to kiss you goodbye.
Dr. Zira: All right, but you're so damned ugly.

There is great food for thought in these films for kids, about equality and race and science, to name just a few topics. There were occasional moments in both films where the dialog was so openly directed at the human rights and civil rights movements of the times, that husband D and I said, “Wow!” to each other, and later had to explain to K what they were referring to.

They were really pretty forward thinking movies for the time.
I give both films the go-ahead for kid consumption (sorry, I haven’t seen the others), except for younger ones, naturally, and honestly think -- even with the silly ape costumes -- that most sophisticated video-playing, movie-watching kids of today would still be engaged and enjoy the experience.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Random Act of Self Indulgence .04

Apologies for not really ramping things up here as I'd promised... it's been a bit too busy around here!

For one thing, I'm driving to the nearest "big city" (too often) to see some of the year-end movies, as I love the awards shows and try to see most of the films before the shows air ... Tonight, as you probably know, we have the Golden Globe Awards. I really can't blog and watch at the same time, trust me (and we're off to a pre-show dinner party in a minute), so tomorrow you'll have something new about our real topic here (kids and movies!), promise.

Along with some of the big films everyone is buzzing about (like Milk, Slumdog, Doubt...), I saw a great indie film called Frozen River. It's about hardscrabble life up in the frozen north of New York, right on the Canadian border, and a mom who gets herself into a bit of a pickle with a young Native American woman who's involved in smuggling people across the border. It was beautifully shot, well acted and written, and underplayed in the way good indie films are. Try to see it, or rent it! If you're a parent, it will really break your heart. But in a good way.

Also, I'd wanted to tell you about a little movie I caught on the plane back to the East Coast, I think it deserves a friendly hug and a push: Bottle Shock, with Bill Pullman.

It’s the story of a snobby wine connoisseur (the great and lovable British actor Alan Rickman) living in Paris who goes to Napa Valley in 1976 to discover that the wines being crafted in California are not only drinkable, but damn good. What follows is the tale of the “judgment at Paris,” where a California wine took top honors - to the apparent horror of the French judges - in a blind taste test. The event put California wines on the map.

Maybe I enjoyed Bottle Shock more than I should have as both a wine drinker and a Californian ... but as far as plane films go, I can honestly say the movie more than fulfilled its duty in providing light entertainment. So, if you’re a wine lover or a French hater (nah...) or someone who grew up in the ‘70s and have a secret soft spot for the Doobie Brothers (ok, not me, honestly), get a bottle of California Chardonnay and some nice Humboldt Fog cheese and throw this movie in your DVD player. It’s a nice escape.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


So, how about starting your new year off with a resolution to get more of the true classics for your kids to watch when it’s couch potato time? Here’s a good place to start: Laurel and Hardy.

There is so much to say about their movies that the best thing I can do is just advise you to grab one and go -- your kids will love it! These films have the physicality and charm of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, but their naivety and bumbling lack of sophistication is especially appealing to kids.

I’ll list a few here that we’ve seen and tell you we’ve loved them all. K remembers The Music Box as being silent, but it’s not. It just was so well done, with very little dialogue, that his brain has simply filed it as a silent movie. It's brilliant! (Note: purists will say that pre-1940, Hal Roach L&H films are the best, that when the duo moved to Fox Films, all was lost. Great Guns and Bullfighters are the best of the later lot, and are quite entertaining, but other than those, stick to earlier works and especially the collections that have lots of shorts on them.)

Way Out West - Laurel and Hardy to the rescue of a young lady about to be ripped off by unsavory land grabbers

Flying Deuces - Our boys join the Foreign Legion

March of the Wooden Soldiers (aka Babes in Toyland) - A fantastic journey through Storybook Land

The Music Box - one of many shorts, where our fearless friends attempt to move a piano into a house that sits atop a long flight of stairs

Busy Bodies (short) - Mayhem in a lumber yard (contains some rather rough slapstick, hilarious and yet not very nice at the same time...)

The Bullfighters - It’s as if nobody warned Stan and Ollie that amateur bullfighting was not a good idea!

Blockheads - Oliver reads about his old war pal Stanley walking the trenches 20 years after WWI has ended, somehow not knowing the war is over. Ollie to the rescue!

I feel I must post a discouraging word about one film, A Haunting We Will Go (1942, one of the post-Hal Roach films). We rented it around Halloween, hoping to have a fun Halloween movie to tell you about, but this is a rather tedious exercise in senseless plot-convoluting and rather un-funny scriptwriting. And it doesn’t even fit in with the Halloween spirit, when you get down to it. A real miss, so don’t bother seeking it out.

I know I’m missing some other short films we’ve enjoyed here, but you’ll have fun exploring on your own.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Museum of the Moving Image

New York was fantastic, much fun had by all and the only real complaining from son K was not about all the walking we did, but about food: "Ugh, Indian food? No American kid eats Indian food, you just think they do!" (The rest of the meal was spent pointing out other kids in the restaurant. BTW, we had some of the very best Chinese food ever, at Pearl's [9732 7th Ave. near 48th, in the theater district] - wow! You'd never notice it, a friend tipped us to it. Fantastic dumplings in sesame sauce. Ahhh. I beg the owners: come to Maine, get rich.)

Anyway, we did have a wonderful day at the Natural History Museum, and got there by strolling through a quiet
Central Park early-ish in the morning, and came out of the museum to find it gently snowing. That was nice! But I'd say the highlight for K did end up being the Museum of the Moving Image, which is as much fun for parents as it is for kids. It's a quick subway ride to Astoria/Queens and a two-block walk to the museum, which is undergoing massive renovation and expansion. It will truly be a destination when it's finished.

We did the animation workshop, which was fun, and K really enjoyed the old-school video arcade. There are entertaining and informative displays and hands-on exhibits tracing the history of the moving image, and a small theater where we unfortunately missed an hourly showing of The Red Balloon. (Why did we see this in school as kids, but it no longer seems to be a curriculum item?) There are also stations where you can sit with headphones and watch/listen to directors and actors discussing their experiences on film sets like Raiders of the Lost Ark, or All About Eve, and displays of items such as animatronic pieces from films like The Exorcist and Star Wars, costumes worn by actors like Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger and Robin Williams, and marketing tie-in items for shows like Star Trek and the Simpsons. There was a fascinating display showing how special effects folks designed and used computer software to re-create an early 1930's New York City for Peter Jackson's 2005 remake of King Kong.

It was great fun, and as usual (just ask husband D), I'm going to give the museum some feedback/criticism via email, now that I've thought about it: there are video monitors at children's eye level with scenes from Nightmare on Elm Street, The Exorcist and Wolfen. Why not put these monitors at adult eye level or higher, and let the Star Wars and other innocuous clips remain at the 4-foot level? I saw numerous parents caught off-guard, ushering their kids along hoping to avoid those monitors. Some were not successful.

I lost my charger for my camera, so had to resort to a disposable this trip... I'll post a few shots later here from our visit.

This museum is well worth the small effort it takes to get there, so put it on your to-do list! It's also a pittance to get in. Make a generous donation.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Movies

Happy 2009!

Regarding our trip to NY (oh, the city looks so beautiful decked out for the holidays!) and our interest in the film/TV museums, I just wanted to make clear that son K is a budding filmmaker who is just as interested as I am in these venues. (I realized it sounded like I would be dragging him around since I’m a bit of a
film freak, but he shares my enthusiasm, honestly.) He makes films using my Flip camera and our Macs and has done some pretty cool things. His first piece was a “video” for the Iron and Wine song, “Boy With A Coin.” He put together all kinds of images, using only the camera in the laptop (this was pre-Flip) and special effects available in iMovie; it was rather surprising to us all that it was so good. I think he has auteur blood. If he ever finishes it -- and if you clamor nicely for it -- maybe I’ll post it someday.

Speaking of New York, the Times has a nice list of up and coming movies if you’re wondering what’s next, now that all the big Oscar contenders have hit the screen.

For the kiddies, here's a link for upcoming family films (Hoodwinked 2, Hotel for Dogs and Inkheart are all slated for January). Lisa Kudrow makes for one cute mom in Hotel for Dogs (trailer below)!

I'll give a report later on the Museum of the Moving Image.