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New in Theaters
  New to DVD

How to be Single
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for sexual content and strong language throughout
Release Date:
February 12, 2016

 

Spectre
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and languag
Release Date:
November 6, 2015

Zoolander 2
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, a scene of exaggerated violence, and brief strong language
Release Date:
February 12, 2016

 

Grandma
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language and some drug use
Release Date:
August 21, 2015

Touched With Fire
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
February 12, 2016

 

99 Homes
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language including some sexual references, and a brief violent image
Release Date:
October 2, 2015

New in Theaters

grade:
B-

How to be Single

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for sexual content and strong language throughout
Release Date:
February 12, 2016
grade:
B-

Zoolander 2

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, a scene of exaggerated violence, and brief strong language
Release Date:
February 12, 2016
grade:
B

Touched With Fire

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
February 12, 2016

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New to DVD

pick of the week
grade:
B+

Spectre

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and languag
Release Date:
November 6, 2015
grade:
B+

Grandma

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language and some drug use
Release Date:
August 21, 2015
grade:
B+

99 Homes

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language including some sexual references, and a brief violent image
Release Date:
October 2, 2015

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Celebrate Lincoln’s Birthday With Great Movies About the 16th President

posted by Nell Minow

Happy birthday, Abraham Lincoln!

lincoln photograph

Celebrate the birthday of our 16th President with some of the classic movies about his life. Reportedly, he has been portrayed more on screen than any other real-life character.  I was honored to be invited to participate in the 272-word project from the Abraham Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois.  Each of us was asked to contribute an essay that was, like the Gettysburg Address, just 272 words.  Here’s mine:

Two score and six years after the death of Abraham Lincoln, he was first portrayed in the brand-new medium of film. 102 years and over 300 films later, Lincoln has appeared on screen more than any other historical figure and more than any other character except for Sherlock Holmes. In 2013 alone there were three feature films about Abraham Lincoln, one with an Oscar-winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis, directed by Steven Spielberg. In another one, he was a vampire slayer. He has been portrayed by Henry Fonda (John Ford’s “Young Mr. Lincoln,” Raymond Massey (“Abe Lincoln in Illinois”), Walter Huston (D.W. Griffith’s “Abraham Lincoln”), and Bing Crosby – in blackface (“Holiday Inn”). The movies have shown us Lincoln defending clients, mourning Ann Rutledge, courting Mary Todd, and serving as President. We have also seen him traveling through time with a couple of California teenagers in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and granting amnesty to Shirley Temple’s Confederate family in “The Littlest Rebel.”

Lincoln is appealingly iconic as a movie character, instantly recognizable as a symbol of America’s most cherished notion of ourselves: unpretentious but aspiring for a better world and able to find both the humor and integrity in troubled times. In every film appearance, even the silliest and most outlandish, he reminds us, as he did in The Gettysburg Address, of what is most essential in the American character: the search for justice.

PS My husband and I waited for two hours outdoors on a frozen January 1 to view the Emancipation Proclamation on its 150th anniversary. When I saw it, I wept. A security guard whispered, “I know how you feel.”

The Steven Spielberg epic, Lincoln, based on Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin, with Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis.

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Young Mr. Lincoln Directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda, this is an appealing look at Lincoln’s early law practice and his tragic romance with Ann Rutledge. Particularly exciting and moving are the scenes in the courtroom as Lincoln defends two brothers charged with murder. Both have refused to talk about what happened, each thinking he is protecting the other, and Lincoln has to find a way to prove their innocence.

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Abe Lincoln in Illinois Raymond Massey in his signature role plays Lincoln from his days as a rail-splitter to his law practice and his debates with Stephen Douglas. Ruth Gordon plays his wife, Mary.

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Gore Vidal’s Lincoln Sam Waterston and Mary Tyler Moore star in this miniseries that focuses on Lincoln’s political strategies and personal struggles.

Young_Mr_Lincoln_Henry_Fonda

Sandburg’s Lincoln Hal Holbrook plays Lincoln in this miniseries based on the biography by poet Carl Sandberg.

Rogerebert.com Critics Pay Tribute to Monkey Movies and Argue About Spoilers

posted by Nell Minow

My friends at Rogerebert.com saluted the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Monkey with our favorite monkey movies, and ended up arguing about spoilers!

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

Trailer: “Criminal” with Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, and Ryan Reynolds

posted by Nell Minow
YouTube Preview Image

How to be Single

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content and strong language throughout
Movie Release Date:February 12, 2016
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content and strong language throughout
Movie Release Date: February 12, 2016

Drew Barrymore — you know I love you but how does your Flower Films production company produce a film about female friendship and empowerment that barely passes the Bechdel test? how to be single

And did we really need a thinly disguised remake of “He’s Just Not That Into You?” I know it’s Valentine’s Day and the time feels right for a girls’ night out movie, but despite its entertaining moments, I’d go for “Star Wars” again over this.

Now, on to the entertaining moments. This is one of those “three girls looking for love” or “three girls looking for love or its close equivalent” stories with cute guys, cute clothes, cute apartments, cute problems, and cute pop songs on the soundtrack. Yes, get ready for “Worth It.” Again. It’s the new “I Feel Good.”

Alice (adorable Dakota Johnson) breaks up with her college boyfriend Josh (Nicholas Braun). She loves him, but they’ve been together four years and she does not know who she really is anymore. She needs to be on her own for a while, she tells him. It’s not a break-up; it’s just a break. Her new friend Robin (Rebel Wilson doing her usual shtick) reminds her that “Hey, Season Three Ross, there’s no such thing as being on a break.” Robin encourages her to drink, dance, and have meaningless sex with a cute bartender named Tom (Anders Holm of “The Intern”) who is the master of the one-night stand.

Alice has an older sister, Meg (Leslie Mann), an obstetrician who wants to have a baby. And then there is Lucy (Alison Brie), who lives above Tom’s bar and goes there to use his wi-fi to scroll through endless dating site profiles and complain about how DIFFICULT it is to find a presentable man who will COMMIT. This entire section is pretty much ripped off from the Justin Long/Ginnifer Goodwin part of “He’s Just Not That Into You” by the same screenwriters.

Johnson and Brie are adorable, and up-and-comer Jake Lacy (“Carol,” “Obvious Child”) is very appealing as one of Alice’s co-workers who likes Meg. But it is disappointing that it claims to be about the importance of taking responsibility for your own life and your own dreams, and apparently it is written by and very loosely based on a novel by women who are capable in jobs they find satisfying. But Alice seems to have no interest in her job as a paralegal and is as clueless about what it takes to be a professional as she is about even the most basic of daily tasks. She literally cannot dress herself. And learning to do so is portrayed as a major life achievement. Her romance with a handsome widower (an underused Damon Wayans, Jr.) makes little sense and her BFF relationship with Robin makes even less. In fact, there isn’t one relationship in the movie that makes us think they could have an actual conversation or even have much fun together.

“How to be Single” is more like a series of skits at a sorority slumber party than a story with characters. If Alice, Robin, Meg, and Lucy went out for a girls’ night at the movies, they’d choose something else.

Parents should know that this film includes very strong sexual content with many casual encounters, explicit sexual humor and sexual situations, and brief nudity, very strong and crude language, drinking and drugs.

Family discussion: What was the most important lesson Alice learned from each of the men she dated? Why did she listen to Robin?

If you like this, try: “He’s Just Not That Into You,” “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” and “Think Like a Man”

Previous Posts

Celebrate Lincoln's Birthday With Great Movies About the 16th President
Happy birthday, Abraham Lincoln! Celebrate the birthday of our 16th President with some of the classic movies about his life. Reportedly, he has been portrayed more on screen than any other real-life character.  I was honored to be ...

posted 3:20:05pm Feb. 12, 2016 | read full post »

Rogerebert.com Critics Pay Tribute to Monkey Movies and Argue About Spoilers
My friends at Rogerebert.com saluted the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Monkey with our favorite monkey movies, and ended up arguing about spoilers! ...

posted 11:31:02am Feb. 12, 2016 | read full post »

Trailer: "Criminal" with Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, and Ryan Reynolds
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNfRQ4NBjUU[/youtube] ...

posted 8:01:22am Feb. 12, 2016 | read full post »

How to be Single
Drew Barrymore -- you know I love you but how does your Flower Films production company produce a film about female friendship and empowerment that barely passes the Bechdel test? And did we really need a thinly disguised remake of "He's ...

posted 5:40:06pm Feb. 11, 2016 | read full post »

Zoolander 2
Kind of like fashion itself, we don't really care whether "Zoolander 2" is any good. We go because it is silly fun. The original Zoolander, ...

posted 5:22:04pm Feb. 11, 2016 | read full post »

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