Got Teens? Boulder Teen Film Nexus Offers Fun Teen Night Out!

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 12.08.21 PM“I’m Bored!” – Ever heard that from your teen? Well here is a great option for your teen Tuesday nights throughout the summer! The Boulder Teen Advisory Board presents a series of 10 films appropriate for teens in middle and high school. The evening includes pizza and snacks before the films. All the films are chosen by teens for teens, so this should be a good run! This is a free event happening every Tuesday night throughout the summer – starting June 3, 2014.

Here is the line up:

  • Frozen
  • Oz the Great and Powerful
  • Ender’s Game
  • It’s Kind of a Funny Story
  • Life of Pi
  • Scott Pilgrim vs the World
  • The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
  • Flipped
  • Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Coraline

Of course if your teen doesn’t want to go to the films you can always use this as a guide to good teen films to watch together at home!

Want more detail on this film series line up click here. Or contact Crystal Niedzwiadek or 303-441-4398

#Boulder #Free #Film #Teens

Common Sense Media Helps Parents Make Informed Movie Choices!

Today my 9 year old and I sat down to find an appropriate movie for him to download for our upcoming trip. We headed to Common Sense Media because it is tough to determine what shows are acceptable for him AND that he will enjoy. I was amazed. I was able to search for movies, then his age, and up popped a list of options. Not only do they have a great list, but the list includes trailers, Common Sense Media’s take on the show, and a rating of appropriateness. Just what we needed!

Want the scoop on age appropriate movies? Head to and click on “Reviews” in the left corner.

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Add your criteria such as age, genre, etc…

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And you get some great suggestions with detail on what you are watching, what is good about the movie, what to watch out for, and what you may want to discuss with your child after or before watching the movie. Common Sense Media is opinionated! I like it!

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I am so thankful that we have Common Sense Media to help us make tough decisions about movie watching!

Teen Movie Series at the Boulder Public Library Looks Great!

theaterThe Boulder Public Library never ceases to amaze me! Their programming for our community is exemplary and they certainly do not leave out Boulder Families. I am so excited to see that they are offering Teen Movie Screenings including pizza! So if you have a child going into middle or high school this is the place to be. Drop them off to see movies like:

  • Skyfall: June 18, 2013
  • Lincoln: June 25, 2013
  • Princess Bride: July 2, 2013
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower: July 16, 2013
  • The King of California: July 23, 2013
  • Edward Scissorhands: July 30, 2013

Now that’s a great line up! And one even your teen will enjoy. So have them grab a friend and head over for these free movie and pizza nights. Can’t beat this! Thanks, Boulder Public Library!

More details on teen programming and these movie nights click here.

Family Movie Nights [Not the ones in the movie theater!]


My family loves a good movie night! We often have a tough time finding a movie we agree upon. Recently we have tried to find some good oldies and it’s worked. The kids actually like them. And they tend to be free or cheap to watch.

home-aloneYou don’t have to pay [or pay much] to watch some wonderful movies! To get them free or almost free you have to stick to the older movies. Most kids won’t jump up and down for joy when you tell them you are going to play Princess Bride, but they usually end up loving them despite themselves. Head to the library, use Amazon Prime Instant Video [if you’ve got it already], or check your cable company’s free On Demand movie section. Babble has an interesting Top 10 List of free or almost free movies: 10 Picks for Cheap [or free!] Family Movie Nights.

In Boulder you can check out the Boulder Outdoor Cinema’s showings too. Some are better for the family than others! For 2013 it looks like Despicable Me & Princess Bride are the family-friendly winners in the line up.

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You cannot always count on movie ratings, especially with older movies, to tell you all you want to know about the movie you are considering watching with your family. To check out the appropriateness of a movie you can head to Common Sense Media where you can look into the movie themes and appropriateness for your kids’ age group. This is a fantastic resource since it really is tough to know what is appropriate for your family!

Enjoy family movie night without the huge expense of taking the family to the movie theater! The oldies really are goodies when it comes to watching movies with your kids!

Any other movie recommendations? What are your family’s favorite movies?

Kid’s Movie Review: From Up On Poppy Hill

The newest installation of brilliant anime from the Miyazaki family is finally here. From Up On Poppy Hill is written by Hayao Miyazaki, but directed by his son, Goro Miyazaki. I trust this collaboration will lead to the same quality movie as my family has grown to love. Time to rejoice because here is a great movie for your kids that and you will enjoy too! Rated PG and appropriate for age 9 and up [based on a review by Common Sense Media]. And it is playing in at Century Theaters in Boulder. Show times and tickets here.

My kids love Miyazaki movies and have seen all of them [I think]. If you are not familiar with Miyazaki movies you are missing out. They are stunning, positive, creative, magical, and beautifully done animated [anime] movies. Some our family’s favorite Miyazaki movies:

These movies appeal to kids based on the anime, content and themes. They appeal to parents because they are really positive in nature and capture the imagination of children without resorting to violence. Consider renting the older movies which I think can be shown to much younger kids [6 and up for some of them].

The review of From Up On Poppy Hill from Common Sense Media:

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Does your family love Miyazaki movies? If you saw From Up On Poppy Hill, did you like it? Did your kids like it? Would you recommend it to other Boulder Families?

Movies for Kids: How Does a Parent Decide?

hollywood signRecently I have had a lot of discussions with other parents about movies what movies are appropriate for our kids. This is but a mere portion of the larger discussion on media and technology that we must address as parents. What is a parent to do? How do we make good decisions? We have to use Common Sense!

I will never forget the moment when I let my child who was WAY TOO YOUNG watch The Green Hornet. I let myself get swept away by another parent’s enthusiasm–and my son’s too. I did go with him and not a minute went by that I didn’t want to scoop him up and leave the theater. Maybe I should have. But I didn’t, and it did lead to some good discussions. But I vowed never [this word needs a loose interpretation] to go into another media situation without a better compass.

What I always find most confusing about movies is that the ratings don’t always make csm-logo-apr12sense. They especially don’t make sense if you are comparing a current movie rating with that of an older film. We have a general rule to not let our 3rd and 5th graders watch rated R movies, but some older ones are exempt and make it in the mix. We came to this rule because without a rule we were floating out there in media-land without any compass. Our kids fight it. But it just makes sense to us.

How do we make decisions about what movies our kids can watch? We use discussion with other parents we know we share values. We also lean heavily on Common Sense Media. This is a nonprofit organization that rates movies in a way that I can understand the content and underlying tone. They break things down so that I can ensure my kids aren’t getting the stuff we don’t want and get to watch shows with themes we can live with or are looking for. The break down includes rating by parents and kids in terms of how old kids should be to watch the film, the quality of the film, the overall message, positive role models, sex, violence, language, consumerism, & finally, drinking/drugs/smoking.

Here is an example from the movie, Chasing Mavericks, that we watched on our last family movie night:

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Common Sense Media gives us an opportunity to preview the movie and think about how we will talk about themes in the show that come up. Sometimes we do. Sometimes we just let the message speak for itself.

Where do you get the scoop on what to let your kids watch?