Family Night at the Movie – August 2014

By Christopher Hill –

Family Night at the Movies used to mean traveling to the theater, but today the expansion of movie formats means that you can watch movies almost anywhere. Since the mid-summer crop of “blockbusters” has been a tad underwhelming, we thought it would be a good time to look at a few films soon to be available for streaming and rental to discover a few perfect for Family Night at the Movies.


Summit Entertainment 2014

Summit Entertainment 2014

Hollywood produces a lot of post apocalyptic futures. Similar to Hunger GamesDivergent is yet another to showcase a bleak future for mankind. Here, Chicago is a walled off city where people are divided into factions featuring shared human traits. For over 100 years, this system has held peace, but for some unexplained reason, one of the factions has decided that a balance of power is not enough. Thrown in the middle is young adult Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley), who must choose her faction and live with her decision. The coming of age theme is present throughout as she fights hard to win approval and respect inside her new faction.

Despite financial success, Divergent seemed to fly under the radar screen. It should not have. It is a solid movie night candidate for those with older teenagers, especially if you have girls. The premise is unique in the genre, more than just a Hunger Games knockoff.  The storyline intrigue will hold your interest, and for a few hours, Divergent serves as an enjoyable escape.

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Release: August 5th


Disneynature 2014

Disneynature 2014

Disneynature brings bears to life in this spectacularly filmed feature. Highlighting a grizzly bear mother in the coastal and mountain ranges of Alaska, the film features her journey with her newborn cubs. While the storyline is cliché and rather vanilla, visually the picture is stellar. Seeing the Alaskan countryside in full panoramic glory definitely invites you to contact your travel agent. Sure, it would have been nice if the film was more educational, but that’s a nit pic. The film moves along at a solid clip, and at only 77 minutes is a perfect film for your younger family members.

MPAA Rating:  G

Release:  August 12th

Disney 2014

Disney 2014

How can you not love the Muppets? At their best, the Muppets are witty, self-deprecating fun. At their worst, they remain solid entertainment. In 2011, they returned to the big screen in what was the best family film of the year. Is the follow up Muppets Most Wanted as good? As the Muppets say in the opening song montage of the film, “The sequel is never as good as the original.”  It may not be as much nostalgic fun, but so what? It is great to have a Muppet film, and this movie is perfect for a night in with the family.  Fantastic performances from Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and scene-stealing work by Ty Burrell all add to a comedy worth “Mana Mahna-ing” about.

MPAA Rating: G

Release:  August 12th