Movie Mom

Movie Mom

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New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Fury
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

 

Moms' Night Out
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action
Release Date:
May 9, 2014

St. Vincent
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 For mature thematic material including sexual content, alcohol and tobacco use, and for language
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

 

Earth to Echo
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some action and peril, and mild language
Release Date:
July 3, 2014

Dear White People
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language, sexual content and drug use
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

 

Snowpiercer
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for violence, language and drug content
Release Date:
July 2, 2014

Best Movies About Writers

posted by Nell Minow

Flavorwire has put together a great list of the 50 best movies about writers. It’s always tricky to make a writer interesting on film. On one hand, you have the advantage of a character who is likely to be witty and eloquent. Movies are written by writers, so they have some insight and appreciation for what goes into putting words on paper (or screens). And some real-life writers have had interesting, even exciting lives. On the other hand, it is hard to make arresting visuals out of someone typing on a keyboard or scratching with a quill pen.

For depicting the passion and challenges of writing, I recommend Little Women, Harriet The Spy, Shakespeare In Love, Moliere, and Wonder Boys. And don’t forget documentaries like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Writers on Writing, Bukowski – Born Into This, and Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself.

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Great News About Now You See Me 2

posted by Nell Minow

You didn’t think Arthur Tressler was going to let them get away with it, did you? I am very happy that one of the most entertaining films of 2013, Now You See Me is getting a sequel and the stars, including Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Woody Harrelson, are back, along with some fantastic new additions: Daniel Radcliffe (who knows something about magic) and Lizzy Caplan (“Masters of Sex”). And taking over directing duties is John Chu, of the “Step Up” movies. Can’t wait.

In the Footsteps of St. Peter

posted by Nell Minow
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David Suchet (PBS’ Hercule Poirot) is the host of In the Footsteps of St. Peter, out tomorrow on DVD.

Wrong About Critics, Wrong About Movies, Wrong About Faith

posted by Nell Minow

I am not going to give the people behind the idiotic and offensive press release I recently received the recognition of identifying them by name, but the claim that they make is one I have heard often enough I need to respond. The headline: Film Critics Don’t Get Faith Films. This shows no understanding of critics, movies, or faith. It disingenuously uses Rotten Tomatoes’ audience score to “prove” that audiences can like a film even when critics do not, overlooking two key points. First, the audience score will always be higher than the critics score because by definition the people who buy tickets are already interested enough in the film to make a commitment of time and money and once having done so, are even more likely to be fans. Furthermore, the audience score can be influenced by relatively few numbers, especially if the filmmakers get their friends to cast positive votes.

Films like “The Identical” and “Left Behind” do not get bad reviews because critics don’t “get” faith-based films. They get bad reviews because they are awful films. These films are not just decidedly below average by any standard of drama or aesthetics; they are also bad theology. Referring to a couple of Bible verses and omitting sex and bad language is not enough to make a film “faith-based.” And, more important, it is not enough to make a film spiritually challenging or nourishing. “Faith-based” movies should be held to the same standards of critical review as any other film. And it is fair to expect them to meet or exceed those standards.  Note that critics for faith-oriented publications have given bad reviews to these films as well.

I love to see movies that inspire audiences to make a deeper connection with God or to live a more humble and compassionate life. But too many “faith-based” films have the shakiest of theologies and are more interested in perpetuating a narrow, claustrophobic, smug brand of Christianity than they are to exploring the teachings of Christ. I object to the notion that “faith-based” refers to only one segment of Christianity, but, if that is the case, the purpose of “faith-based” films should be to challenge viewers to become better Christians. Unfortunately, instead too many of these films serve only to congratulate the audience for their superiority or promote a culture of victimhood. Instead of inspiring generosity toward others, they increase divisiveness and prejudice.

I have found a lot to admire in some “faith-based” films like Christmas with a Capital C and Brother White.  Other films engage with religious beliefs beyond that covered by the “faith-based” media industry.  And of course many films that do not market themselves as “faith-based” have powerful lessons for both faithful and seekers. I encourage everyone to read the thoughtful essay by Steven D. Greydanus, a longtime critic for Catholic publications, called Do atheists and agnostics make the best religious movies? His excellent list omits my favorite movie about Jesus, however, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, made by an atheist, Pier Paolo Pasolini, beautifully simple and one of the most moving and inspiring religious films I have ever seen.

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“Faith-based” should apply to any movie that seeks to deepen our connection with the divine. And “faith-based” or not, all movies should be evaluated on the quality of their story-telling.

Previous Posts

Best Movies About Writers
Flavorwire has put together a great list of the 50 best movies about writers. It's always tricky to make a writer interesting on film. On one hand, you have the advantage of a character who is likely to be witty and eloquent. Movies are written by writers, so they have some insight and appreciatio

posted 3:37:07pm Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Great News About Now You See Me 2
You didn't think Arthur Tressler was going to let them get away with it, did you? I am very happy that one of the most entertaining films of 2013, Now You See Me is getting a sequel and the stars, including Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Woody Harrelson, are back, alo

posted 8:00:59am Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

In the Footsteps of St. Peter
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4c7qh9hMVY[/youtube] David Suchet (PBS' Hercule Poirot) is the host of In the Footsteps of St. Peter, out tomorrow on DVD.

posted 3:55:57pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Wrong About Critics, Wrong About Movies, Wrong About Faith
I am not going to give the people behind the idiotic and offensive press release I recently received the recognition of identifying them by name, but the claim that they make is one I have heard often enough I need to respond. The headline: Film Critics Don't Get Faith Films. This shows no understan

posted 2:36:30pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Disney Announced a New Animated Film for 2016: Moana
Entertainment Weekly reports that Disney has announced a new animated feature to be released in 2016: "Moana," with a Polynesian heroine in search of a fabled island. With Disney greats Ron Clements

posted 1:59:28pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »


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