‘Fred Had a Lot of Heroes.’ A Conversation with Joanne Rogers, Mister Rogers’ Wife

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Joanne Rogers

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a film about legendary children’s television host Fred Rogers, comes to theaters next week. We’ll publish our full review next Thursday, of course, but for starters it’s not a biopic: We don’t see Rogers (who died in 2003) grow up or his formative years in television. For that, you […]

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What’s Streaming in November 2019 (a.k.a. Disney+ Streams Your Childhood)

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what's streaming pinocchio

The holidays are blowing in quickly—along with snow days, fall breaks and all those outlier relatives who tend to show up for free meals and presents—so your thoughts may have already turned to: How do we keep the kids and my unibrowed Uncle Harry entertained? Well, I’ve got a good news/bad news scenario for you. […]

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Culture Clips: Joker Edition

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joker culture clips

The fictional Arthur Fleck, better known as the Joker in his titular movie, would be pleased that his story has already stirred up so much controversy. And that before it has even hit theaters. Director and screenwriter Todd Phillips unleashes his vision of DC Comics signature super-villain in theaters this weekend. But Phillips’ Joker bears […]

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There For Us? Why Friends Is Still Culturally Relevant

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Friends

The widely beloved 1990’s sitcom Friends will officially celebrate its 25th year anniversary on Sept. 22. That’s right, people. Twenty-five years. That’s a long time. And somehow, more than two decades later, people around the world are still down to chill with the Central Perk gang. In fact, viewers are so adamant about their Friends […]

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“You Have to Be Proactive.” An Interview With VeggieTales Creator Phil Vischer

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Phil Vischer

Thanks to Phil Vischer, kids love their veggies. Not necessarily the vegetables that land on the dinner plate (because, let’s face it, beets are disgusting). But in 1993, he and Mike Nawrocki introduced them to Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber and a bunch of other characters typically found in the produce aisle. Their direct-to-video […]

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Tech Tuesday: What Can You Expect from iOS 13?

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what to expect from ios 13

I’m no Apple expert, but I am one of the many who have been lured by Apple’s marketing techniques and, yes, I have an iPhone. Which is why, as a dedicated/enthralled/sometimes frustrated Apple user, I’m here to tell you about some of the new features you can expect with the anticipated iOS 13 update—especially how […]

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Tech Tuesday: Disney+ Is Coming. Here’s What You Need to Know

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It’s been two years since Disney announced its plans to wade into the increasingly crowded streaming-content marketplace, where it will join the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as single-network offerings such as CBS All Access, HBO Now, Stars and Showtime. And with the recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox and Hulu, Disney […]

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Monsters, Motherhood and The Curse of La Llorona

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curse of la llorona

Horror movies aren’t for everyone. Some aren’t for anyone. But while fright flicks are often freighted with lots of really, really problematic content, some also contain interesting themes, too. Unlike most genres, they have license to deal explicitly with some of the biggest spiritual issues we face: What is evil? What lies in the hereafter? […]

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Why Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old is a Doc Worth Seeing

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shall not grow old

What a Christmas present. My daughter gifted me the other night with tickets to see the five-year passion project of director Peter Jackson. (The Fathom Event played Dec. 17 in about 500 theaters, and it’ll be in theaters again tomorrow, Dec. 27.) And I just had to type out a quick blog to say … […]

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‘Why Watch a Movie That’s Going to Break My Heart?’ A Conversation With Director Dianne Dreyer

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Change in the Air

Plugged In reviews a lot of movies. My cohorts and I probably write about 200 reviews every year, covering just about every movie you’re likely to see in the local multiplex. And we just scratch the surface. More than 730 movies were released in 2017, most of them under-the-radar indie films or special-interest flicks. We […]

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Speaking of Speaking …

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speaking of speaking

In my 2011 book, Plugged-In Parenting, I included a chapter titled, “Ten Things You Can Do to End Fights Over Family Entertainment.” One of those suggestions was to get your pastors involved. Here’s what I said: When your kids hear other people—pastors, parents, teachers—echoing your advice on media, they may be more willing to listen. […]

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