Friday, May 22, 2015

Playing Today: “Tomorrowland”

Movie Review by Jack Silbert
If a family trip to Tomorrowland at Disney World or Disneyland isn’t in the cards this Memorial Day weekend, will a visit to Tomorrowland at the multiplex suffice? Well, there is a lot of good stuff in it, but some not-so-good stuff too. I suppose in the end, it will depend on how much your kids appreciate a convoluted storyline.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It’s Sponge-Worthy, “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water”

Movie Review by Jack Silbert
OK, OK, I was two weeks late seeing this, I apologize, the weather has been rough and maybe, just maybe, I was catching up on grown-up movies from 2014 that weren’t actually released until 2015. (That is totally cheating in my book, and you filmmakers are very lucky that I don’t get a vote in the Academy Awards.)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

All This and Middle Earth, Too—“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

Movie Review by Jack Silbert
First off, kudos to Peter Jackson for getting the word “the” into his movie title three times. That’s only two fewer “the”s than armies!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Raccoon's On Our Side: “Guardians of the Galaxy”

Movie Review by Jack Silbert
I’ll admit it: I was a little skeptical. Was Marvel scraping the bottom of the barrel, looking for even more superheroes to build a movie franchise around? Who the heck were the “Guardians of the Galaxy”? (Turns out the name has been kicking around the Marvel Universe since 1969, but the current team debuted in a 2008 comic book.) And then there was the stunt-casting: Bradley Cooper as a talking raccoon! Vin Diesel as a… uh… tree! Not to mention that August releases are not always your absolute top-quality films.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Books We Love: “When We Became Three: A Memory Book for the Modern Family” by Jill Caryl Weiner

Author Interview by Jack Silbert
The old-fashioned memory book is having a hard time keeping up with the 64GB memory on your smartphone. So what is the modern parent to do, when it comes to recording baby’s big moments? Author Jill Caryl Weiner has the answer in her delightful When We Became Three: A Memory Book for the Modern Family. It’s funny, smart, sweet, and truly helpful (not to mention the perfect Father’s Day gift for the new or soon-to-be dad). We spoke to Jill about our 21st-century parenting landscape, oversharing on Facebook, and all those bunnies on standard baby books.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Not Too Big to Fail: Disney’s “Maleficent”

This film is aptly named. You get a whole lot of the character Maleficent in the film of the same name. Directed by near-legendary special effects man but first-time director Robert Stromberg, we meet the title character as a charming, giggly winged forest fairy-child. Maleficent has got a pair of curly horns, a rather literal interpretation of what I figured for an elaborate hat on the animated Maleficent in the 1959 classic, Sleeping Beauty. Young Maleficent meets a human boy in the forest who just happens to be named Stefan and a friendship forms. For fans of the original animated tale, that’s a touchstone we can appreciate. We’re off to the races.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Cozy Up To a Good Book

I’m in heaven. My pal Cynthia introduced me to a marvelous series of board books that foster earliest literacy while planting a seed that will bloom years later. I’m talking about Cozy Classics. This series reinterprets the titans of literature—Pride and Prejudice, Moby Dick, Les Misérables, War and Peace, Jane Eyre, Oliver Twist, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer—as simple sight words (twelve words in all) juxtaposed against twelve stunningly crafted and photographed illustrations. The illustrations feature the art of felting to create characters that are placed in miniature environments. The sumptuous photographs of these tableaus invite children to enter the worlds of the stories.