Heather Boerner

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Freelance Writer Heather Boerner writes reviews of videos and documentaries on families, pop culture and other topics for magazine and web.

Movie Review: “Dan in Real Life”
Common Sense Media, 10.26.07
DAN IN REAL LIFE is kind of like 8 Simple Rules ... for Dating My Teenage Daughter on vacation. There's the same father-daughter dynamic and the same hapless-but-loving dad. And, overall, the film is just as family-friendly and cute as the John Ritter TV show -- with a few notable exceptions.
Download a PDF of this review here.

Movie Review: “The Final Season”
Common Sense Media, 10.11.07
The makers of THE FINAL SEASON were smart when they decided to release it during Major League Baseball playoffs. It's almost like they're extending the season, providing fast cuts, lots of field action, and a heartwarming underdog tale (which is even based on a true story).
Download a PDF of this review here.

Movie Review: “The Game Plan”
Common Sense Media, 09.27.07
THE GAME PLAN isn't Baby Boom, but it's close. For years, Hollywood has been making movies in which anti-maternal women are saddled with kids and become better people. Well, switch the driven career woman for a football player, throw him in some ballet tights, and you've got THE GAME PLAN -- an adorable, if predictable, family movie from Disney.
Download a PDF of this review here.

Movie Review: “Hot Rod”
Common Sense Media, 09.03.07
If Jackass, Napoleon Dynamite, and the Saturday Night Live viral video "Lazy Sunday" had a love child, HOT ROD would be it, in all its dumb, dirty glory. And like any completely gratifying summer comedy, Hot Rod is far better than the sum of its parts.
Somehow Andy Samberg, the co-writer and SNL castmember, manages to soften up the extreme violence of Jackass, capture the doofus anti-hero of Napoleon Dynamite, and liberally apply the nerdy awesomeness of "Lazy Sunday." There's a reason he's an "Interweb" superstar.
Download a PDF of this review here.

Movie Review: “Gracie”
Common Sense Media,
Before girls could bend it like Beckham on their own soccer teams, there was no place for them to play or be taken seriously. GRACIE is a story about how all that changed, and it's a fast-paced sports movie to boot.
Download a PDF of this review here.

Movie Review: “Lucky You”
Common Sense Media, 05.04.07
You know televised poker showdowns have truly saturated pop culture when one is the central theme of a Hollywood movie starring America's sweetheart Drew Barrymore and great actors like Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. Unfortunately, LUCKY YOU is a bad bet, full of saccharine platitudes, endless poker scenes, and almost no chemistry between any of the characters.
Download a PDF of this review here.

Classic video review: “The Adventures of Robin Hood”
Common Sense Media, 05.11.07
What's fascinating about this Robin Hood is that it's less a sweet and cartoonish fairy tale than it is a thinly veiled attack on American capitalism and an absentee leader.
Politics aside, it's a rare action movie that doesn't take itself too seriously, and that definitely adds to the fun here. Even during fight scenes, the music is light and upbeat. Compared to other man-against-his-government films like the dour Shooter, Robin Hood is refreshing. And don't forget to enjoy the costumes. It's delightful that in Medieval England, Marion still manages to float through Sherwood Forest in a collection of silk, lame, satin, and chiffon ball gowns. You have to admire that in a girl.
Download a PDF of this review here.

Video Review: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”
Common Sense Media, 05.15.07
Complete with bad fashions (neon fingerless gloves, anyone?), bad hair, and even worse dancing, Girls Just Want to Have Fun features some of today's most popular actors doing some of the cheesiest things you've ever seen. See a pre-Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker as Janey, the Catholic school girl Army brat who dreams of dancing on Dance TV. Watch her doing back flips and practicing dance lifts a la Dirty Dancing. Witness the august and Oscar-winning actress Helen Hunt hamming it up as Lynn, the wild-child best friend in some of the most absurd -- but actually worn -- '80s ensembles and big, ratted-out hair. It's Totally Awesome without the irony. And if you love the '80s, it is totally awesome.
Download a PDF of this review here.

Video Review: “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts”
Common Sense Media, 03.01.07
When a tragedy like the attacks on the World Trade Center or Hurricane Katrina happens, what story gets told? Is it the official story, passed down in history books, full of the numbers killed and the cost? Director Spike Lee's exhaustive and brilliant WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE: A REQUIEM IN FOUR ACTS answers with a resounding "no."
Download a PDF of this review here.

Video Review: “American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile"
Common Sense Media, 12.06
Strip away the raunchy dressing of THE NAKED MILE -- if you can -- and you have an oddly sweet love story of two teens in a committed relationship trying to figure out when and if they're ready to have sex. Though the extremely explicit presentation of the subject matter may make parents uncomfortable, it can give older teens a chance to talk about what messages they get from their friends about sex and how they can make smart sexual decisions for themselves.
Download the PDF of this review here.

Video Review: “All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise”
Common Sense Media, 09.06
Before she became the crass one on The View, Rosie O'Donnell was a talk show host who flung squishy balls into the audience, crushed on now-certifiable Tom Cruise and supported Broadway musicals. After coming out of the closet, O'Donnell became famous for advocating gay adoption rights. In All Aboard! O'Donnell charters a cruise liner and invites gay families and their straight parents and children for a vacation. Along the way, there are two gay weddings, lots of singing, and lots of loving shots of families at play.
Download the PDF of this review here.

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