I love movies! I love the thrill of being lost in a fantastic story, putting up my feet, digging into a big bowl of popcorn and being swept away into another time or place.
As a Christian family, we try to be discerning and wise in our movie viewing (not an easy thing these days). Here are some resources we use in previewing and monitoring our movie choice:
Plugged In - run by Focus on the Family, this is a Christian review site. Profanity, sexual content, violence, and religious themes are all clearly outlined.
Screen It – another “spoiler” type review website. Unlike Plugged In, this is not a Christian based site. It is geared toward parents, however, and does an excellent job of detailing the specific content of the movie. There is a separate section where the author rates the movie (on a 1 to 10 scale). Although he is not filtering through a Biblical world view, I often find the movie critique to be insightful.
If the children are going to watch a movie they have to pay a “chip.” Daniel and David encourage Sarah to pay as often as possible. They even occasionally let her actually select the movie. That’s big brothers for you.
IMDB (International Movie Database) – the mother of all movie websites. It has every movie, actor, director, etc every made in it’s database. This is the place to research movies, cross reference composers, or just plain track down the answer to that illusive question.
“Who was that guy who played in that movie with the other girl? You know, the one where she kisses him at the end?”
If you can figure out even one little piece of the puzzle – the name of the movie, one of the actors, even the year in which it was made – you can unravel the mystery and connect the movie dots. This has brought much peace in our household. Tim has resigned himself to my OCD need to place actors into proper movie context.
“Tim,” I’ll say in the middle of a movie. “Do you recognize that character? Yes, the cashier. Do you think he’s the same guy who played the teacher in the comedy we saw last week?”
Poor guy. He doesn’t even pause. After all, the “movie itch” isn’t going to go away. I must know.
“Why don’t you go check IMDB and see. I can wait.” Of course, that’s code for ‘I’ll be playing my computer game while you get online. Call me when you’ve figured it out.’
For movie trivia, you can’t get any better than IMDB. You can also find trailers and links to other external reviews.
Yahoo Movie Listings – I keep this site bookmarked because it links automatically to my zip code and will list all the theaters in my area, complete with showing times, movie info and maps.
Coming Soon Trailers – proceed with caution. This site collects the newest trailers as they are released. We don’t have a tv and rarely go to the theater, so if we do see a movie preview, it’s usually online. I ignore all the “junk” or questionable movies, and enjoy the fun ones. Although they do include children’s films as they are released, this is definitely not a site for kids to visit unsupervised.
These buddies stick together.
ClearPlay – a dvd player that offers filtering options. We purchased ours at Target last year but they have since stopped carrying them. Basically you purchase a subscription to the filters (which are accessed online), load them on to a USB stick and then plug the stick into the dvd player. The ClearPlay DVD player recognizes the filter and applies them to your copy of the movie. Profanity, violence and inappropriate sexual scenes are either edited or skipped. Recently we had some trouble with the audio portion of our player (purchased in November 2007), ClearPlay paid for our shipping and is mailing us a new DVD player free of charge.
If you have a movie resource that your family recommends, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear about it.
Visit Rocks in My Dryer for other Works For Me Wednesday tips.
Keep your eyes open for Fireproof, the newest movie produced by the makers of Facing the Giants, coming out in the fall of 2008. Check out the trailer! Looks powerful.
10 thoughts on “WMFW – Movie Info”
Wow, the Fireproof movie does look powerful. Looks like a multi-tissue film for the impressionable sort. ClearPlay was a great idea, but we also have had trouble with our player bought in 2007.
LOL! My husband will LOVE IMDB! He also must know before the movie is over why he recognizes somebody. Thanks for the great resources.
My husband and I watch movies with the computer firmly planted in front of us and the search feature ready to go – we do the same thing when it comes to “who was that guy?” IMDB is a truly valuable tool to our movie watching and I can find the answer so much more quickly than having to wait for a phone call back from my sister (who I used to call “Star Fact Girl”) who knows everything about anyone in the moives.
Thanks for the resources on helping us choose movies wisely.
Have a great day!
One more site for you to check out: Kids in Mind (http://www.kids-in-mind.com/). Like PluggedIn, they detail movies by objectionable material.
Luckily my kids are a little bit older.
Want to see what works for me?
Laane on the World
Enjoy your day.
My husband is addicted to the iTunes movie website – he watches trailers on there all the time. In fact, he’s typed up a movie schedule for the summer. Since there are so many new (and fabulous) movies coming out, he wants to make sure we don’t miss any!
I use Screen It and Kids-In-Mind all the time before considering watching a video or going to the theater. Usually I am convinced just by reading the review on these site that I have no business watching that movie and so I graciously give the video back to the person who so thoughfully “recommended” it to me or happily decline the invitation to accompany them to the theater.
I also check Plugged In Online since it is a Christian site, but have been disappointed that 1) they review movies that Christians truly have no business seeing in the first place and often give them a good review based on the fact that the story is well done, and 2) they don’t seem to mention much of the objectionable content unless it is really bad. I honestly think that a reviewer seeing this many movies, including some that Christians should never see, can become hardened to the sin so blatantly portrayed and simply not notice that the movie is representing things that should cause any Christian to be upset. A good and pure responsive conscience, not seared by constant exposure to sinful behavior, is a treasure all too easily lost.
I would also like to mention the TVGuardian device which is recently available again, after being off the market for a couple of years. This device is capable of filtering objectionable language out of most movies and television (if you should be so bold as to partake of that). You can buy these at Wal-Mart, some Christian books stores, and directly from their web site at http://www.tvguardian.com/ though they are often out of stock and rather hard to find.
You’ve just put me in the mood for a movie! Have you found kidsinmind.com? Also very good; more detailed than plugged in.
How are the traveling kids????
My name is Monique & I’m part of the PR team for Sherwood Pictures–creators of FACING THE GIANTS.
Thank you so much for supporting the movie on your blog! We wanted to keep you informed of their latest project–FIREPROOF.
It’s due to hit theaters this September in theaters nationwide. You can go to http://www.fireproofthemovie.com to view the trailer, read the synopsis, and sign up for updates to stay up to date with all of the FIREPROOF happenings! If you’re interested in learning more or need any resource, pictures, and downloads for your blog please email me at email@example.com and I will be happy to get you what you need.
Again, thanks for blogging!
You do a good job of filtering for your family. I am proud of you.
And I love you!! Aunt Kate
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