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Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax” — The Book and the TV Movie

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This week’s release of “The Lorax,” the Dr. Seuss story about protecting the environment starring Danny DeVito, should inspire families to read the the book and check out the animated television version with Eddie Albert as the narrator.

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“Passion of Mind” — Like Tonight’s Premiere TV Show, “Awake”

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Jason Isaacs (“Harry Potter’s” Lucius Malfoy) stars in “Awake,” a new drama series premiering tonight on NBC.  He plays a man who survived an automobile accident that split his life in two. In one, his wife was killed in the crash but his son survived.  In the other, it is his son who was killed, but his wife survived.  In each, he sees a different therapist (Broadway stars Cherry Jones and BD Wong).  He knows that one must be a dream and one must be real, but he cannot tell which is which.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDbF8b9wkMs

 There’s a Demi Moore film with the same theme called Passion of Mind, and I consider it a guilty pleasure. The plot is “Sliding Doors” crossed with the fairy tale of the dancing princesses with a touch of “Truly Madly Deeply.” Demi Moore plays a woman with two lives: Marty, a successful New York career woman and Marie, an American widow living in the French countryside with her two daughters. Every night, when Marty goes to sleep, she dreams of Maria’s life in France, and when Marie goes to sleep, she becomes Marty in New York. Both wonder which is real, and each is afraid to find out. The two lives echo each other, and each seems to provide something missing in the other. But one thing is missing in both – love. Marty meets Aaron (William Fitchner) and Marie meets William (Stellan Skarsgård). At first, the two storylines provide counterpoint. One relationship becomes physically intimate. The other becomes emotionally intimate because she tells him of her double life. Then both relationships deepen and the two lives begin to provide some resolution for one another. Items from one life begin turning up in the other. She begins to understand that she can take what she needs from her dreams and make it work in real life. It is very schmaltzy. But I found myself beguiled by its unabashed romanticism. There are some nice subtle touches – the clusters of hats, Marty’s relationship with her therapist, Marie’s relationships with her daughters and her confidant – and the resolution has some psychological validity, at least in movie terms. I’m glad to see those themes being explored in this new show.

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After the kids go to bed For Your Netflix Queue Television
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Happy Leap Day!

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Celebrate the day we observe just once every four years with The Pirates of Penzance, the delightful Gilbert and Sullivan musical about a man who thinks he is turning 21 but, because he was born on leap day, has had only five birthdays.  He has been indentured to pirates (his nurse misunderstood when his parents told her to apprentice him to a pilot) and looks forward to coming of age so that he can leave them.  But since he will not have his 21st birthday for decades, he is not legally an adult!

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Based on a play Classic Comedy For the Whole Family Musical Romance Satire

Petition to give “Bully” a PG-13 Rating

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“Bully,” which will be released on March 3o, is a powerful and critically important documentary about the tragic consequences of bullying on children and teenagers.  It can no longer be dismissed as an inevitable part of growing up or something that children should work out for themselves.  This film includes horrifying footage of school bus rides and heartbreaking interviews with children who have been bullied and parents whose children committed suicide after being bullied.  It has received an R rating from the MPAA for language used by teenagers in the film.  The producers appealed, asking for a PG-13 and lost by one vote.  They had a majority, but the rules require a two-thirds vote.

This is another bone-headed decision from the MPAA, which routinely gives PG-13 ratings to feature films with extremely raunchy, violent, and irresponsible content.  The appeal board’s decision eliminates the potential for “Bully” to reach a mass national audience of students through screenings at U.S. middle and high schools, where the film could be used as a starting point for discussions with students, parents, and teachers.  One school district that had planned to have 40,000 students see the film has had to cancel its plans because of the R rating.  It is appalling that a documentary about the real lives of children and teens is considered too “adult” for them to see.

A teenager has gathered more than 75,000 names on a Change.org petition to ask MPAA for a PG-13 rating.

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Parenting Understanding Media and Pop Culture

Dancing with the Stars — and Urkel!

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Dancing with the Stars” has announced its new line-up:

 

Jack Wagner – Actor, “The Bold and the Beautiful”

Melissa Gilbert – “Half Pint” Laura Ingalls from “Little House on the Prairie” and star of many made-for-TV movies

Donald Driver – Green Bay Packer

William Levy – featured in telenovelas and a J.Lo video

Sherri Shepherd – The “View” co-host and actress

Katherine Jenkins – Mezzo-soprano

Gavin DeGraw – Singer/songwriter

Martina Navratilova – Tennis legend

Roshon Fegan –  Ty on Disney Channel’s “Shake It Up.”

Maria Menounos – World Wrestling Entertainment competitor and “Extra” correspondent

Jaleel White – Urkel on “Family Matters”

Gladys Knight – R&B legend with multiple Grammys and platinum albums

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