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Movie Mom

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New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Magic Mike XXL
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong sexual content, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use
Release Date:
July 1, 2015

 

The Woman in Gold
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief strong language
Release Date:
April 1, 2015

Terminator Genisys
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language
Release Date:
July 1, 2015

 

Run All Night
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use
Release Date:
March 13, 2014

Max
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for action violence, peril, brief language and some thematic elements
Release Date:
June 26, 2015

 

Unfinished Business
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some strong risque sexual content/graphic nudity, and for language and drug use
Release Date:
March 6, 2015

New in Theaters

grade:
B

Magic Mike XXL

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong sexual content, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use
Release Date:
July 1, 2015
grade:
B-

Terminator Genisys

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language
Release Date:
July 1, 2015
grade:
B+

Max

Lowest Recommended Age:
4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for action violence, peril, brief language and some thematic elements
Release Date:
June 26, 2015

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New to DVD

pick of the week
grade:
B+

The Woman in Gold

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief strong language
Release Date:
April 1, 2015
grade:
C-

Run All Night

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use
Release Date:
March 13, 2014
grade:
C

Unfinished Business

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some strong risque sexual content/graphic nudity, and for language and drug use
Release Date:
March 6, 2015

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Interview: David Gordon Green, Director of “Manglehorn”

posted by Nell Minow
Copyright IFC Films 2015

Copyright IFC Films 2015

David Gordon Green has directed intimate, natural dramas (“George Washington,” “All the Real Girls”) and wild comedies (“Pineapple Express,” “Eastbound and Down”). His new film, “Manglehorn,” is a gentle story with magical realism elements, starring Al Pacino as the title character, a lonely small-town locksmith who is still mourning a long-lost love. Holly Hunter plays a sympathetic bank teller and Chris Messina is his estranged son. I spoke to Green about

It seems to me that in all of your movies I have seen, the characters are most themselves and freest when they are outdoors.

Yeah that would be me in a nutshell. It’s nice to start with a character you know in a suit. For me it’s always interesting to take a step back and see where they are in their environment and open the cameras a little bit.

What is the significant of Manglehorn’s profession?

Actually, the movie was originally going to be a children’s movie and I kind of started with the idea of thinking of him as some sort of fairytale character. Make him like a toy maker a wood cutter. But then I was getting the locks changed on my house and there was this locksmith shop about two blocks away that was kind of an amazing wonderful place. Watching them at work, I thought, ‘Why don’t we just shoot it here and have it take place here?’ Now the story that we’re going to sell is about a kind of unlikely character to follow with an old school profession, an old school craftsman and then the location is really spoke to me, so I thought we should get out there to do a little training on the keys and it worked out really nicely for us.

Chris Messina is always excellent and I really liked his performance in this film.

Well, I created it for him. He and Al had worked together years before and knew each other and there was a time when there was a little friction between them. And so when Chris told me the story and I thought he would be perfect for the son. I could use that. So they hadn’t seen each other in years when we were filming the dining room scene. I made sure that we hadn’t rehearsed. I just wanted them to jump right in and use this strange dynamic they had in their personal life. Since then they have become great friends again. It was just nice to have a sense of history between two really talented actors that I could use as a another layer within the context of the film.

Three of your actors are also directors: Messina, Pacino, and Harmony Korine. What was that like?

It couldn’t be a more pleasurable, creative, and inspiring environment on set. Usually, I like to work fast and shoot quick and I don’t like a lot of standing around but on this movie between lighting sets and things like that it was just amazing to just be able to sit around with those guys and hear the stories of their careers and professional lives.  When they had ideas, they would say that we could do the movie this way and challenge each other to not make it fall into a formula. There’s nothing standard about the way we shot the movie and edited the movie. We tried to be organic to its own strange, organic beast.
What do the costumes tell us about the characters?

Jill Newell is the costume designer that I use on most of my films.  She had the great idea of basically Al’s character as a black and white character in a very colorful world. Holly Hunter or even some of the production design were in turquoise and pastels and pinks and then we have Al in heavy fabrics, outfits of brown and grey, black and white. Try to keep him as monochromatic as possible.  And then, on occasion, bring out the purple pants, but in couple scenes of kind of emotional significance where he’ll be wearing purple and I thought that was really cool way to design these characters.

Holly Hunter is lovely in the film, warm and vulnerable.

I always loved Holly as an actress.  I guess she first got on my radar with “Raising Arizona.”  She always brightens up a movie. She has that voice and that smile. Actually, it’s not really her smile it’s the way she tries to hide her smile I find really endearing.  I sat down and talked to her about the character and she got insane ideas. I mean I loved that she was adding these details. Like she brought these pictures of her holding her pets when she was pregnant and we ended up putting them in our movie. Al goes into her bathroom when he is visiting her in the home and he goes into the bathroom and he picks up these pictures and I just thought, “What an interesting choice that an actress would have that there was this point in this lonely character’s life when she was pregnant.”   We don’t hear about her children or any other relationship and she went on a date with this guy and I was like, “So Holly, what does this mean?” And she’s like, “It means everything.” I just thought that there’s strange sadness and beauty in those type of ideas. And so if I could find somebody that brings that animated physicality and positivity with the expression on her face I know creatively she is going to be very challenging, bringing a layered, emotional depth. It was a great opportunity to work with one of my favourites.

Both of those characters really had experiences loss and a sense of isolation both of them really bonded with their pets and yet they reacted in very different ways. 

Pets are the elements of our life that don’t hold a grudge. They are forgiving. They’re there at the door for us, if we had a good day or a bad day. They’re not bringing us down. They’re there to lift us up and they don’t need much from us.  I think Manglehorn, whether it’s his granddaughter or his cat, they are these creatures of the world that challenge him.  They don’t get a vote but at the same time create who we are and how we look at our day.

Tell me about Manglehorn.

I’m sure that you know people who you love more than anyone and sometimes they’re the ones that are most challenging but are also the most rewarding. And I have a couple of friends that I have to justify that if I was going to introduce them to other circles of friends I would be like, “Just so you know guys, he tells it like he sees it. Don’t actually listen to him. He comes across as harsh; there is no polite laughter at your jokes.” But when you get to know them you find very rich, rewarding emotion inside them and so I think that’s what Manglehorn is. He’s the guy that lives down the street that weirdo man that ignores you. But there is an incredible heart.  If you’re willing to do the work, you’re going to find something within him that you can’t find in everyday love.

Letting Al loose was a amazing. He is a great technician so he shows up to set in character and if the character is going to have a difficult day, he shows up and he’s feeling the rock in his shoes you know as he’s coming in the set. I think that is an amazing attribute.  You’re connecting to the reality of the person rather than someone who just snaps into character. And we rehearsed a lot and worked out the script for months beforehand, every nuance of it. So there is always a sense of control but after three takes we always say, “Throw the script away and do whatever you want. As long as it feels right.”  We get a lot pretty inspiring elements that you can bring to the table when it wasn’t still engineered, when it was just left to the raw emotional instinct.

Like that story he tells.  That’s a real story. It came from the writer and we wrote it down and Al said, “I want to read that story in the morning and I don’t want to be worried about the technicality of it because I feel it very closely, so let me just know the storyline.”  For me it’s about finding something real, with naturalistic nuances and imperfections.

You included a very graphic scene of veterinary surgery.

I just wanted to show how difficult these types of operations are.  They are very gruesome illustrations of love. Like intercutting the very awkward, hard to watch connection between two people flirting over a bank teller counter. At the same time we’re showing veteran’s commitment to the life and wellbeing of an animal.  Both of which are hard to watch for very different reasons. And the surgery wasn’t even in the script. It was our technical consultant veterinarian, Dr. McLeod. His warmth and obsession with animals’ wellbeing and health was actually so powerful, it was funny.  When he told me about it he just showed me such joy, I saw the love of medicine and the love of science that was exuberant in this guy.  There is nothing we can do more powerful than actually hearing the joy and seeing the difficulty that people not in the medical field turn away from or shut our eyes to but know this is a miracle. I think it’s cool to challenge the viewer and challenge myself.

New on DVD: Poldark

posted by Nell Minow
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Winston Graham’s Poldark novels about a dashing Revolutionary war veteran inspired a very successful 1977 PBS series, now remade with “Hobbit” star Aiden Turner in the title role. It is available today on DVD.

Behind the Scenes: Ant-Man

posted by Nell Minow
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Interview: Dana Nachman of “Batkid Begins”

posted by Nell Minow
Copyright 2015 Warner Brothers

Copyright 2015 Warner Brothers

Dana Nachman is the director of the heartwarming documentary “Batkid Begins.” She talked to me about how one five-year-old cancer survivor’s Make a Wish story captivated the entire world.

At the screening I attended there was audible weeping.

I also hear there is a lot of laughter also and cheering sometimes when people see the film. So I hope that was all there too.

It definitely was, especially when the families is asked if this is what they expected and the parents are stunned and the kid casually says yes.

I love that.

Me, too. So tell me how you got involved.

I had heard about it actually after the fact and I was lucky enough to get a meeting with the Make A Wish Foundation and we actually meet for two and a half hours. We totally hit it off. But my main question I had for them was what they intended to happen.
They said they wanted about 200 people to show up. I thought that that was such an amazing thing that like something could balloon really out of nowhere. They wanted 200 people to come support a child and then 25,000 people showed up and 2 billion people followed it online. So I really wanted to tell that story of how that happened, basically a memento forever for San Francisco and everybody else.

Do you think that this story is very specific to San Francisco?

Certainly I consider San Francisco one of the main characters of the movie because I think there is something about the whimsicality of San Francisco that enables this to happen. But I think it’s a very human story that any community can relate to. I think there is something a little different about San Francisco, but I think it’s a universal story for sure.

San Francisco does seem to be the kind of city where if you need a superhero costume it would be easy to find.

The people I interviewed from the San Francisco Chronicles said Halloween is kind of a city-wide holiday. So if you ask people to dress up in costume, they’re there.

Those thousands of people — were they showing up for Miles or for themselves?

I’m speaking from my own personal perspective. Whether I work at a food bank and whatever else we do and you think you’re going into benefit others but really when you leave there usually you feel better about yourself you know. And so I think that this day was very emblematic of that concept of that volunteerism and community service really does end up helping you as much as if not more than the person you’re trying to help. There are many people that said it was the best day of their lives, like bar none the best day of their lives. I think just the concept of going out there for no other reason than just trying to cheer a little boy on was enough for people to just feel good.

What is the fascination with superheroes?

The concept of a superhero is something that everybody relates to. Most of us wanted to be some kind of superhero when we were little. At some point you lose track of those fantasies that you had as a young person. This enabled adults to come out and experience that childlike wonder and excitement for Miles but then also for themselves.

How is Miles doing?

He’s great. He’s in remission. He just got through with Little League and he’s a great kid. He’s home for the summer. He’s going to have a nice relaxing summer. His family just bought their first house. He’s awesome.

You had some amazing characters in this movie and I wanted to ask you about Eric, who plays Batman and organized the feats. He is really extraordinary.

You know I had a list of people to call to see if they wanted to participate in the film and I actually called him last because I was a little intimidated by him which is funny because he is actually the most amazing person and you never should be intimidated by him. But he does do everything. You know my son was talking to him about trying to, my son wanted to invent a hovercraft or something and he was like you can invent anything you want, anytime you want you just have to say you want to do it. And that’s I think the way that he goes about the world. He’s this magnetic personality that just wants to do good, live life to the fullest. He an amazing person, really. I think you could relate to Nick, Miles’ dad as a father what he went through and Natalie as a mother and what she went through. And then you can relate to Eric, who is like an older brother to Miles now. And I think it’s probably his human connections we can make as the audience that draws us into the story more. And he’s so infatuated with his wife. It’s so cute.

How do you as a filmmaker tell the story in a way that is going to still surprise people and not repeat what they already know?

I definitely thought about that. But I also realized that what people had in terms of information on the day was really like 140 characters on Twitter or a Facebook post or a photo here and there. Or you know something on the news that was probably 90 seconds. As I came to it I realized that not one of the people that participated in the day of knew everything else that was happening at the same time they were so busy making this happen. For instance nobody had ever met the couple that flew from Akron Ohio or LA for the day. Nobody met them, nobody had, we unearthed the Uber driver that saved Lou Seal before he even got kidnapped by the Penguin. The circus center scene which I think is one of the funniest scenes of the film — there were no cameras there except for the family shot home video of it and that was when he trained to become a superhero. I think also the 25,000 people who were there was such a mob scene. Most people only went to one or maybe two of the capers. So nobody really saw the whole thing. So you have to realize and kind of put it together what exactly happened on that day. I realized that there wasn’t anybody except EJ and Miles who had been at everything. So I thought that it actually is good whenever the people in the film watch and say oh I didn’t know that person, I didn’t know that happened. I’m really like pleased about that.

How did the Make a Wish people feel when it got world attention?

Their goal is just to make the wish the best it could possibly be. So all the hoopla that was around that kid that day wasn’t what they were intending. They just wanted to make sure it was a good day for Miles. They kind of figured that 200 people really was the same in terms of Miles’ eyes and his perspective. So they just wanted it to be a great day for Miles. You know I’ve heard a lot of Interviewers ask Patricia at Make A Wish if this has changed what kids want. And she said not really because most of the kids, a vast majority of the wishers are private wishes. They don’t ask for things that are public at all. They do more than 370 wishes a year. So I think when there is one that kind of lends itself to creativity they kind of jump on it because they are just those kind of people who make it cooler. They have these amazing volunteers just like EJ and all the rest of them who go in there just wanting you know literally to be the wish of a lifetime for every kid.

Why did it go viral?

My opinion on it is there was kind of this perfect storm and the main element of it was that it was so authentic. They weren’t trying to make it go viral. I think so many people try to make things go viral and that doesn’t really work. It has to hit a nerve and that’s what really happened with this. They weren’t asking for donations. They weren’t really asking for anything other than come cheer on this little boy either virtually or in person, and just experience the wonder of his wish.

Previous Posts

Interview: David Gordon Green, Director of "Manglehorn"
David Gordon Green has directed intimate, natural dramas ("George Washington," "All the Real Girls") and wild comedies ("Pineapple Express," ...

posted 3:32:29pm Jul. 07, 2015 | read full post »

New on DVD: Poldark
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A0U6kQNCN0[/youtube] Winston Graham's Poldark novels about a dashing Revolutionary war veteran inspired a very successful 1977 PBS series, now remade with "Hobbit" star Aiden Turner in the title role. ...

posted 12:00:58pm Jul. 07, 2015 | read full post »

Behind the Scenes: Ant-Man
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbc88Z7IfCw[/youtube] ...

posted 8:00:18am Jul. 07, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Dana Nachman of "Batkid Begins"
Dana Nachman is the director of the heartwarming documentary "Batkid Begins." She talked to me about how one five-year-old cancer ...

posted 3:37:56pm Jul. 06, 2015 | read full post »

Inside "Inside Out" -- Takes on Pixar's Hit Movie About Feelings
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posted 3:35:36pm Jul. 06, 2015 | read full post »

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