Family Movies News

Film Mom: Why That New Movie Feels Familiar

The Film Mom is a weekly column about family entertainment for parents with kids (and kids with parents) by Tara McNamara, the editor and founder of

Take a look at the hottest directors in Hollywood: J.J. Abrams (46), Joss Whedon (48), even wunderkind Matthew Vaughn is about to turn 43. Yep, the guys making movies that will resonate with Gen Y and Gen Z are solidly middle-age. So, it’s not a surprise that they’re really trying to tell fresh versions of the movies that resonated with them in their youth.

Whedon broke box office records last summer by bringing our favorite superheroes together in The Avengers.  Vaughn’s Kick-Ass franchise is a fresh take on the superhero genre. Abrams is about to extend the mother of all franchises: Star Wars.

Even this Friday’s Jack the Giant Slayer comes from X-Men director Bryan Singer (48). The story is said to be a "re-imagining" of Jack and the Beanstalk. But in this case, it’s re-imagined with more action and violence than anyone thought could be part of this fairy tale.  Next week, moviegoers are off to see the Wizard again with Oz the Great and Powerful in the hands of Sam Raimi (age 53). New chapter of an adored classic! Or, a way to make The Wizard of Oz for today’s youth.


Here are three movies you can see with your family this week:

1.) Jack the Giant Slayer. Jack and the Beanstalk, not as you remember it, but closer to how it was originally written in medieval times: grotesque, gruesome and meant to scare younger kids into following parents' instructions to the letter. In other words, not for kids who cannot read their own bedtime stories.

2.) Escape from Planet Earth. This is your choice for younger kids. Egotistical astronaut Scorch thinks he doesn’t need his nerdy brother, computer whiz Gary. Nothing like being captured in Area 51 to turn sibling rivalry into brotherly love.

3.) Warm Bodies. Boys can appreciate a love story if it’s not lovey-dovey, and that’s possible when one member of the couple is a zombie. Funny, fresh and hopefully a movie that will hallmark THIS generation.

You know how adults are reviewing these films, but what do kids think? Find out at , where all kids are movie critics.


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