Summary

FROM DIRECTOR CAMERON CROWE COMES THE UPLIFTING TALE BASED ON A TRUE STORY ‘WE BOUGHT A ZOO’

Featuring Family Friendly Audio Track The Whole Family Will Go Wild for this Heartwarming Adventure Starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson On Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download April 3

 This Easter, be unpredictable, do something crazy and embrace your wild side! Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents an inspiring adventure based on a true story of one man who brought a zoo back to life and family back together in WE BOUGHT A ZOO, arriving on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download April 3. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire) and starring Matt Damon (Contagion, True Grit), Scarlett Johansson (Iron Man 2, Vicky Cristina Barcelona) and Thomas Haden Church (Easy A, Sideways), WE BOUGHT A ZOO is “a sweet-natured tale…that you’ll want to see with your kids” (Liz Braun, Jam! Movies).

Benjamin Mee (Damon) is a Los Angeles newspaper columnist and adventure writer who, as a single father, faces the challenges of raising his two young children.  Hoping that a fresh start and a new life will restore their family spirit, Mee quits his job and buys an old rural house outside the city with a unique bonus feature: a zoo named the Rosemoor Animal Park, where dozens of animals reside under the care of head zookeeper Kelly Foster (Johansson) and her dedicated team.  With no experience, limited time and a shoestring budget, Mee sets out with the support of his family and the local community to reopen the zoo.  Now, Benjamin is no longer reporting an adventure story; he’s living it in his own backyard.

Featuring an incredible musical score composed by Jónsi of the band Sigur Rós, the WE BOUGHT A ZOO Blu-ray is loaded with over 2½ hours of special features including 20 deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, four behind-the-scenes featurettes, commentary with Director Cameron Crowe, star J.B. Smoove (The Sitter, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Editor Mark Livolsi, and more. The film also features an English Family Friendly Audio Track that earned the Dove Seal of Approval.  The Blu-ray and DVD will be available for an average retail price of $24.99 and $19.99 respectively.

Procurement

Screener DVD received from 20th Century Fox via ThinkJam.

Review

I had wanted to see We Bought A Zoo while it was in theatres but we never made it there. I was SO thrilled to receive a review copy and made it a point to watch it with my husband that very weekend. We had planned on letting our 7 year old watch it with us but decided to watch it first to see if it was indeed appropriate for her. As I knew there was some romance in it I didn’t want to subject her to too much sexual content. I’ll come back to whether it’s appropriate for little eyes later.

First, I just loved the cast! Matt Damon made a great newly single dad due to his wife passing away. His children were great characters and the little girl was just adorable! Her name is Maggie Elizabeth Jones and I’ll be looking for her in other movies for sure! And of course, the lovely Scarlett Johansson played a down to earth zookeeper.

The story was what initially peaked my interest. The trailer sucked me right in and I just had to see it. I would have loved to own a zoo as a child! Even now I think it would be an amazing adventure.

I did not know that the movie was based on a book by the main character of the movie, Benjamin Mee. I wish I would have known so I could have read the book first! I am really not a fan of seeing the movie first and then reading the book.

We Bought A Zoo is rated PG for “language and some thematic elements “. There are several scenes when Damon shoots off a few choice curse words (6 uses of s**t, 1 or 2 uses of bulls**t, 4 uses of d**n, 4 uses of hell, 1 use of b*tch, 2 uses of a**hole, 1 use of d**k.), some that I would never say in front of my children, and granted the children are not around in the movie when they are said. Also, the young boy is having issues at school and lashes out by drawing disturbing images, one of which is shown very clearly of a decapitated person with spraying blood stream and icky looking in general. That is the main reason why we decided not to let our daughter watch this. It could easily have not been included and would not have impacted the story what so ever.

In addition to the language and violent drawings there’s the issue of an aging tiger, Spar. In zoo keeping philosophy, it’s common to dispose of aging animals before their treatment becomes too expensive or their livelihood is too painful for them. It is a very touchy subject and many scenes of upset people. It would require a child that understands death or at the very least an explanation afterwards.

To see more parental content explanations go HERE.

Overall, I really enjoyed this movie and would recommend it for a date night.

Book

 

Giveaway

20th Century Fox has graciously provided a DVD of We Bought A Zoo as well as the book!

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Banished to Boarding School

 Experience the Heartbreak and Humor When the Academy Award® and Golden Globe® Winner Comes to Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD March 13

 During the film, we find out that Alex, the oldest King daughter, has been sent away to boarding school for acting out – but she sure isn’t the first difficult child that has been banished to boarding school on film! This Top 10 list will illustrate some other films where boarding school plays a role in the plot, including Flirting, Rushmore and Dead Poet’s Society.

 Based on the best-selling novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings and set in Hawaii, THE DESCENDANTS is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family’s land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries.

 if….

 if…. is a 1968 drama about a British boarding school that is known for its severe punishments and the mistreatment of younger students by the older students (the Whips). The film focuses on three “outcast” students who are punished particularly severely at the hands of the Whips, and their eventual plan to retaliate on their oppressors. The films ends in a bloody battle between the outcasts and the rest of the school. The film won the Palme d’Or at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival.

 .Au Revoir Les Enfants

 Au Revoir Les Enfants is a 1987 French film that is based on actual events experienced by writer/director Loius Malle. The film takes place at a French boarding school in 1943. The school’s headmaster has introduced three Jewish students who must hide their true identities in order to evade the Gestapo. The film follows the friendship of one of the Jewish students, Jean Bonnet and another student, Julien Quentin. Eventually, the three Jewish students and the headmaster are captured and taken to concentration camps.

 Dead Poet’s Society

Dead Poet’s Society is a 1989 film set in a conservative prep school in Vermont in 1959. John Keating (Robin Williams) is the radical new English teacher at the uptight Welton Academy Prep School. Through his unorthodox teaching methods, like standing on desks and tearing pages out of books, Keating is able to help his students discover and explore their true passions in life, like writing and acting, instead of succumbing to the lives their parents have prescribed for them.

 Flirting

 Flirting is a 1991 Australian film set in two different boarding schools in 1965. The film stars Noah Taylor, Thandie Newton and Nicole Kidman as students attending boarding schools across the lake from each one another. Danny (Taylor) meets and falls in love with Thandiwe (Newton), a Ugandan-Kenyan-British girl. The couple is faced with racism and political turmoil, and must meet secretly in order to develop their relationship. Eventually, the couple is forced to separate, with letter writing as their only remaining connection.

 School Ties

School Ties is a 1992 film starring Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon and Chris O’Donnell. Set in the 1950s, this film is the story of David Greene (Fraser), a Jewish student from Pittsburgh who is given a football scholarship to attend a prestigious prep school in New England. After it is revealed that he is Jewish, David is ostracized from his former friends and anti-Semitism begins to plague the school. 

 Scent of a Woman

 Scent of a Woman is a 1992 drama starring Al Pacino and Chris O’Donnell. The film is about a preparatory student (Charlie Simms) who takes a job as an assistant to a cantankerous, blind retired Army officer (Frank Slade).  Frank takes Charlie on an extravagant trip to New York City with the intention of committing suicide once the trip has concluded. Charlie convinces Frank not to kill himself, and Frank helps Charlie win a disciplinary hearing at his school. Al Pacino won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance.

 Rushmore

 1998’s Rushmore is the story of Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman), a precocious 15 year-old student at the prestigious Rushmore Academy. Max befriends Herman Blume (Bill Murray), a wealthy industrialist who has two children in school with Max. After Max’s unauthorized and failed attempt to construct an aquarium at the school, he is expelled and forced to attend public school. Following his expulsion, Max and Blume begin battling each other for the affections of first grade teacher Rosemary Cross.

 The Emperor’s Club

 2002’s The Emperor’s Club stars Kevin Kline, Emile Hirsch, Jesse Eisenberg and Paul Dano. The film focuses on the fictional men’s prep school, St. Benedict’s Academy, in Andover, MA in the mid 1970s. The film tells the story of a passionate Classic professor who encounters a difficult and corrupt student. The film picks up 25 years after the group’s graduation, and shows that the boys continue to learn lessons from their old teacher even into adulthood.  

Les Choristes

Les Choristes is a 2004 French film that is set in a boarding school for troubled boys in 1949. The film focuses on a new teacher at the school who starts a choir, and helps the boys become happier, better behaved, and find hidden talents. The new teacher also helps expose the atrocities of the cruel headmaster, while nurturing Morhange, a young boy with an amazing voice and a true talent for music.

 The Harry Potter Series

 As much as we Muggles don’t want to admit it, Hogwarts is, at its core, a boarding school. The film adaptations of the wildly successful series of novels focuses on the titular boy wizard who travels to school to develop his wizarding skills. In the process, Harry and his friends embark on exciting adventures and face many obstacles and dangers, including some not-so-abnormal teen moments, such as asking a girl to a dance, and navigating a new (or in their case ever-changing) building on your first day of classes.

Giveaway

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Disclosure: Amazon.com Associate. If you click on my links and purchase anything a very small percentage of the purchase price will be awarded to The Cozy Reader.

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