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May Movies: Reel Life with Jane

By on April 28, 2015

May always marks the beginning of the big summer tent pole movies, and this year is no exception. “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Tomorrowland,” and “Pitch Perfect 2” are all headed to the big screen. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s new in theaters and on DVD and Blu-ray this month. Note that release dates are subject to change.


Avengers-Age-of-Ultron-2Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 5/1

Ok for Kids 13+ | Disney, Marvel

Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels

This epic follow-up to the biggest superhero movie of all time finds Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) trying to jumpstart a dormant peace-keeping program. But things go awry and Earth’s mightiest heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance.


Far-Madding-Crowd-1PG-13 for some sexuality and violence

In Theaters 5/1 | Ok for Kids 13+

Fox Searchlight

Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

Based on the literary classic by Thomas Hardy, this romantic drama  follows the story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who attracts three very different suitors: a sheep farmer, captivated by her fetching willfulness; a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and a prosperous and mature bachelor. This timeless story of Bathsheba’s choices and passions explores the nature of relationships and love – as well as the ability to overcome hardships through resilience and perseverance.


Pitch-Perfect-2-3PG-13 for innuendo and language

In Theaters 5/15 |

Ok for Kids 13+ |

Universal |

Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels
The Barden Bellas are back in this follow-up to 2012’s smash hit. This time, the collegiate a cappella group is singing in an international competition which no American team has ever won. Directed by Elizabeth Banks, co-star and producer of “Pitch Perfect,” the movie stars Brittany Snow, Anna Kendrick, Katey Sagal, & Anna Camp.


Tomorrowland-3Not yet rated; likely PG-13

In Theaters 5/22 | Ok for Kids 12+


Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

From Disney comes two-time Oscar winner Brad Bird’s riveting adventure starring Academy Award winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world – and them – forever. Also stars Judy Greer, Tim McGraw, Hugh Laurie, and Kathryn Hahn.


San-Andreas-3Not yet rated; likely PG-13

In Theaters 5/29

Ok for Kids 13+

New Line, Warner Bros., Village Roadshow

Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

It’s been a while since we’ve had a good disaster movie, and I love disaster movies! Especially starring Dwayne Johnson! After the infamous San Andreas Fault finally gives, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake in California, a search and rescue helicopter pilot (Johnson) and his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) make their way together from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter (Alexandra Daddario). But their treacherous journey north is only the beginning. Directed by Brad Peyton (“Journey 2: The Mysterious Island”), this action thriller also stars Kylie Minogue, Ioan Gruffudd, Archie Panjabi and Paul Giamatti.



Scooby-Doo-Surfs-UpNot Rated | On DVD 5/5

Ok for Kids 4+

Reel Review: 3.5 of 5 Reels

Buy on Amazon

For Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and the rest of the crime-busting crew, life is never a day at the beach. So when the gang go to a Florida resort for a much-needed vacation, they kick back and enjoy some sun, sand and … a sea monster! When a weird water creature causes trouble in paradise by stealing precious jewels, the Scooby Gang will either sink or swim to solve the case. Also, Scooby makes a splash in 12 more fun-filled summertime episodes full of oceanic oddities, aquatic apparitions and haunted lighthouses.


Elmo-the-Musical-Vol-2Not Rated | On DVD 5/5

Ok for Kids 5+

Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels

Buy on Amazon

Volume 2 of Elmo’s math-filled musicals is packed with seven all-new to DVD episodes. Elmo is “The Count-by-Two Kid” in his own cowboy musical. Will he be able to escort six kitty-cows through a canyon to the Double Double Dude Dude Ranch Ranch? (No, that’s not a typo!) Then Elmo dons a detective hat to investigate the secret behind all the sneezing. With more than two hours of music, adventure, math, friendship and fun, little learners will love to sing along. Includes the bonus full-length video, “Play With Me Sesame: Imagine With Me.”


Minnie's-Pet-SalonNot Rated | On DVD 5/19

Ok for Kids 3+

Reel Review: 3 of 5 Reels

Buy on Amazon

This sweet DVD from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse includes five episodes from the Disney Jr. cartoon: 1) Minnie’s Pet Salon – The friends prepare for Pluto’s All-Star Pet Show; 2) Daisy’s Pet Project – Daisy must choose a pet for the Pet Parade; 3) Pluto’s Puppy-Sitting Adventure – Clarabelle’s puppy, Bella, gets a sitter; 4) Donald’s Ducks – Donald helps some ducks get to the beach; and 5) Pluto Lends a Paw – Minnie’s cat Figaro is missing and Mickey and Pluto help find him.


Maya-the-Bee-MovieRated G | On DVD & Blu-ray 5/19

Ok for Kids 4+

Reel Review: 4.5 of 5 Reels

Buy on Amazon

From the awesome folks at Shout! Factory comes freshly hatched bee Maya (voiced by Coco Jack Gillies), a little whirlwind who simply won’t follow the rules
of the hive, including never trust the hornets who live beyond the meadow. When the Royal Jelly is stolen, the hornets are the prime suspects and Maya is thought to be their accomplice. Now, it’s up to Maya and her good-natured best friend Willy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) to prove her innocence and find the missing Royal Jelly! Also features the voices of Jackie Weaver, Noah Taylor and Richard Roxburgh.


Looney-Tunes-Musical-MasterpiecesNot Rated | On DVD 5/26

Ok for Kids 3+

Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels

Buy on Amazon

No one does cartoon music better than Looney Tunes, and this DVD includes 18 music-themed “Looney Tunes” shorts, including “A Corny Concerto,” “Rabbit Of Seville,” “What’s Opera, Doc?,” “Katnip Kollege,” “Pigs In A Polka,” and more from stars Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and others. Bonus features include “It Hopped One Night: The Story Behind One Froggy Evening” and Wagnerian Rabbit: The Making of What’s Opera, Doc?” Classic stuff for kids to enjoy with the grownups in their lives.


One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.

Jane Boursaw is the film critic and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Contact her at and check out the shop for fresh editorial content. Images used with permission of the studios and distributors.

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