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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Keanu
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for violence, language throughout, drug use and sexuality/nudity
Release Date:
April 29, 2016

 

Son of Saul
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for disturbing violent content, and some graphic nudity
Release Date:
January 15, 2016

Ratchet & Clank
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
PG for action and some rude humor
Release Date:
April 29, 2016

 

Norm of the North
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild rude humor and action
Release Date:
January 15, 2016

Mother's Day
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for language and some suggestive material
Release Date:
April 29, 2016

 

The Lady in the Van
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for brief unsettling image
Release Date:
January 22, 2016

New in Theaters

grade:
B+

Keanu

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for violence, language throughout, drug use and sexuality/nudity
Release Date:
April 29, 2016
grade:
C

Ratchet & Clank

Lowest Recommended Age:
4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
PG for action and some rude humor
Release Date:
April 29, 2016
grade:
D

Mother's Day

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for language and some suggestive material
Release Date:
April 29, 2016

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New to DVD

pick of the week
grade:
A-

Son of Saul

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for disturbing violent content, and some graphic nudity
Release Date:
January 15, 2016
grade:
C

Norm of the North

Lowest Recommended Age:
Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild rude humor and action
Release Date:
January 15, 2016
grade:
B+

The Lady in the Van

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for brief unsettling image
Release Date:
January 22, 2016

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Trailer: The Magnificent Seven (and the Earlier Versions)

posted by Nell Minow

Denzel Washington, Vincent D’Onofrio, Matt Bomer, Ethan Hawke, Vinnie Jones, Peter Sarsgaard, and Chris Pratt star in the remake of “The Magnificent Seven,” and they’ve released a teaser trailer:

This is a good reminder to catch up on the two earlier versions, both excellent. The 1960 all-star Western with Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, James Coburn, and Charles Bronson has one of the best-remembered scores of all time, by Elmer Bernstein.

It was based on the brilliant “Seven Samurai” from director Akira Kurosawa.

Bono is Making a Film About the Psalms with Pastor Eugene Peterson

posted by Nell Minow

Rock star and humanitarian Bono and retired Presbyterian Pastor Eugene Peterson have teamed up to release a new documentary about the book of Psalms.

Keanu

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, language throughout, drug use and sexuality/nudity
Movie Release Date:April 29, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, language throughout, drug use and sexuality/nudity
Movie Release Date: April 29, 2016

Copyright 2016 Warner Brothers

Copyright 2016 Warner Brothers

I laughed so much and so hard at this movie that by the time it was over I had become of those Key and Peele show parking valets. I just wanted to stand in front of a hotel in my red vest saying over and over, “How about them Keys and Peeles, though! How ABOUT them Keys and Peeles!”

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, with a script co-written by Peele and directed by their series director Peter Atencio, have made one of the smartest and funniest comedies of the year, a film that works at every level from slapstick to sophisticated wit to social commentary and slam-bang action, with even a little romance. Fans of the series will appreciate references like a trip to see a movie starring “Liam Neesons” but even those who have never heard of their Obama anger translator routine or their legendary East-West Bowl player names will immediately understand their characters and their situation.

Clarence (Key) is a happily married father who drives a minivan and listens to George Michael. His cousin Rell (Peele) is a pot-smoking slacker who is devastated following a break-up until he adopts an abandoned kitten he names Keanu. When Keanu is stolen by the 17th Street Blips, a gang made up of gangsters who could not make it in the Bloods or the Crips, Clarence and Rel decide to rescue him. This leads to a strip club called HPV with a two-for-one lap dance special, run by drug dealer known as Cheddar (Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man). Clarence and Rell, trying to look tough, introduce themselves as Shark Tank and Tectonic. Clarence wonders how tough someone named Cheddar could be, but Rell points out that “You only name yourself something adorable if you can back it up.” When they explain to Cheddar that they are in the market for a “gangster pet,” Cheddar tells them they can have the kitten he has dubbed New Jack (complete with do-rag and gold chain) if they lead his gang on the delivery of an ultra-potent new drug. A series of encounters, escalating in peril, violence, and hilarity. It would be wrong to spoil more, so I will leave it at this: there is a very funny surprise guest star and Clarence’s professional team-building skills come in handy.

Key and Peele, both biracial, have always found comedy/commentary gold in their ability to reflect on race and culture. By casting themselves as highly and somewhat self-consciously assimilated black men who assume the media-created image of violent black drug dealers, they have added some sharp meta-commentary to a classic set up: fish-out-of-water, normal characters drawn into abnormal circumstances. Rell’s own weed dealer, played by SNL alum Will Forte, is a white man who is also taking on a stereotyped black persona, including cornrows. Clarence, who tries to order a white wine spritzer in the strip club and who tells Rell he sounds like John Ritter, swings into what he thinks is gangster mode when Chedder’s hostile n-word-spouting henchmen approach him. The transformation is wildly funny, both the specificity of it, and the way it fits so seamlessly into our own media-created notion of that archtype and the porous aspects of his new persona as the “real” Clarence keeps peeking out. Clarence and Rell are as innocent and helpless as the adorable kitty in the midst of druglord shoot-outs. Key and Peele are pretty adorable, too, in a gangster pet sort of way.

Parents should know that this film includes extended peril and violence, many guns, characters injured and killed, drugs and drug dealing, sexual references and nudity, strip club, and very strong and crude language including the n-word.

Family discussion: Where did Rel and Clarence get their ideas of how to behave with the Blips? How did Clarence’s team building training come in handy?

If you like this, try: the Key and Peele television series, “Date Night,” and “Analyze This”

Ratchet & Clank

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG for action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date:April 29, 2016
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG for action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date: April 29, 2016

Copyright 2016 Focus Features

Copyright 2016 Focus Features

Roger Ebert famously declared that a video game could not be art, giving rise to howls of protest. I believe that videogames, like movies, can and will rise to the level of art. But movies like “Ratchet & Clank” will continue to be compelling arguments to the contrary. Video games have striking visual design and some promising characters, though, in my limited experience, they are superficially sketched in to give the player room to inhabit them fully. If most of them don’t have what we might consider a plot, they have as much of a plot premise as many action movies: the world is under attack! And yet, so far no video game has successfully made the leap to a movie with enough of a story to succeed even as mildly entertaining. Playstation’s Ratchet & Clank games, with names like “Full Frontal Assault” and “Tools of Destruction” are renowed for their varieties of weaponry. “With all that hardware at hand, it’s no wonder Ratchet, a wrench-wielding Lombax, and his robot buddy Clank, have itchy trigger fingers. Think about it. You can choose from burning, bombing, exploding or obliterating your enemies. So go ahead, blow it up. Blow it all up. It isn’t the size of your weapons that count. It’s how many you have and better yet… How you use ’em.”

So, not much by way for storyline or character and not exactly child-friendly. So, I am not sure what inspired Focus Features to turn that into a movie that is rated PG (“for action and some rude humor”) and intended for children.

Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor) is a well-meaning but not entirely competent Lombax, a talking fox-like orphan of mysterious origin who works as a mechanic in a garage owned by Grimroth (John Goodman). His heroes are the Rangers, an elite fighting squad led by the preening, jut-jawed Captain Qwark (Jim Ward). When the planet is under attack from the evil Chairman Drek (Paul Giamatti) and mad scientist Dr Nefarious (Armin Shimerman), the Rangers decide to take on another member and Ratchet is determined to be the one to join the team.

That slight framework leads to a lot of shooting scenes with different weapons and some minor plot developments about shifting loyalties as a runt robot created for Drek becomes Ratchet’s partner, Clank (David Kaye), and Qwark, his feelings hurt by Ratchet’s popularity, is lulled by Drek’s promises of support. And then more shooting.

Without the interactive element of a game to make up for the thin characterization and repetitive plotline, the settings and action scene set-ups are generic and under-imagined, only reminding us of how much better original films like “Megamind” and “Monsters vs. Aliens” were in handing similar material.

Parents should know that this movie has a lot of sci-fi, action-style peril and weapons, with the entire galaxy at risk, though the film makes it clear that the planets being blown up are not occupied. There is brief bodily function humor.

Family discussion: Why was Qwark the leader of the Rangers? How many characters changed their loyalties in this movie, and what were their reasons? Why didn’t Qwark listen to Elaris?

If you like this, try: “Monsters vs. Aliens” and “Megamind”

Previous Posts

Trailer: The Magnificent Seven (and the Earlier Versions)
Denzel Washington, Vincent D'Onofrio, Matt Bomer, Ethan Hawke, Vinnie Jones, Peter Sarsgaard, and Chris Pratt star in the remake of "The Magnificent Seven," and they've released a teaser ...

posted 3:10:55pm Apr. 29, 2016 | read full post »

Bono is Making a Film About the Psalms with Pastor Eugene Peterson
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qYx4F3bAc44" frameborder="0"] Rock star and humanitarian Bono and retired Presbyterian Pastor Eugene Peterson have teamed up to release a new documentary about the book of Psalms. ...

posted 8:00:30am Apr. 29, 2016 | read full post »

Keanu
I laughed so much and so hard at this movie that by the time it was over I had become of those Key and Peele show parking valets. I just ...

posted 5:58:07pm Apr. 28, 2016 | read full post »

Ratchet & Clank
Roger Ebert famously declared that a video game could not be art, giving rise to howls of protest. I believe that videogames, like movies, can ...

posted 5:50:17pm Apr. 28, 2016 | read full post »

Mother's Day
I tried, Garry Marshall, I really did, but you finally broke me. I did my best to enjoy Valentine's Day (I called it a tweet of a movie but ...

posted 5:20:09pm Apr. 28, 2016 | read full post »

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