Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

A Will for the Woods
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
August 15, 2014

 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence
Release Date:
May 2, 2014

The Expendables 3
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language
Release Date:
August 15, 2014

 

Bears
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
G
Release Date:
April 19, 2014

Let's Be Cops
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language including sexual references, some graphic nudity, violence and drug use
Release Date:
August 15, 2014

 

Need for Speed
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of reckless street racing, disturbing crash scenes, nudity and crude language
Release Date:
March 14, 2014

Christian Indie Films of 2014

posted by Nell Minow

This year has already seen a remarkable and perhaps unprecedented number of Christian and Biblically-based films, from big-budget epics like “Noah” and “Son of God” to small faith-oriented films like “God’s Not Dead.”  There is an excellent summary of four Christian independent films of 2014 on Indie Outlook from the perspective of a church-going film critic.

In just the last several months, an assortment of independent filmmakers have achieved the success that forever eluded Fox Faith. Numerous grassroots productions have screened in theaters located not in big cities but small towns and suburbs (many of them found in the South). These films don’t have big budgets, big names and are usually not screened for critics. And yet, they have struck a chord with American audiences, proving that there is a hunger for pictures that cater to a spiritually convicted crowd routinely ignored by Hollywood. The target audience is, again, evangelical Christians, only this time, they’re turning out in droves.

Frank: The Real Story of the Singer With the Paper-Mache Mask

posted by Nell Minow

One of the handsomest men alive spends almost the entire movie wearing a huge round paper maché head in “Frank,” a moving film inspired by the real-life story of the late Frank Sidebottom.  Michael Fassbender plays Frank, a sweet-natured but very quirky musician who wears his big head mask even in the shower.

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The film is co-written by journalist Jon Ronson, based on his own experiences playing keyboards for Frank Sidebottom, the stage name/head of the late Chris Sievey.

There was something fantastically warped about the act, which was four men assiduously emulating and fleshing out with real instruments the swing-beat chord sound of a cheap children’s Casio keyboard, with a living, slightly eerie cartoon character prancing around at the front, singing in a nasal Mancunian twang, as if he had a swimming peg attached to his nose. Each song ended with the same words: “You know it is, it really is, thank you.”

In those days, the identity of the man under the head was the subject of great speculation. On many occasions, Sidebottom fans would barge into the dressing room before a show and refuse to leave until the real Frank revealed himself. They’d go around the room: “It’s you, isn’t it? No. You’re Frank, aren’t you?” On most occasions, the only person they wouldn’t bother asking was the unassuming Chris [Sievey], who blended into the wall.

The New York Times writes that the film version of Frank includes attributes of several quirky performers.

Thanks to the head, “Frank” the film functions as a biopic mash-up of multiple artists. “We spent a lot of time together hammering out how this hidden character could contain almost any number of influences and traits,” said the director, Lenny Abrahamson. “And as we went on, it became clear that the most exciting thing for us would be to make him stand for and refract lots of these outsider musicians.”

And so Frank is the eccentric Syd Barrett. Frank is Lee (Scratch) Perry. Frank is Brian Wilson. Frank is Roky Erickson. The deeply troubled but beloved Austin, Tex., singer songwriter Daniel Johnston is under that head as well. And when the fictional band decamps to a remote home in the countryside, “That’s a riff on Captain Beefheart’s recording of ‘Trout Mask Replica,’ ” Mr. Abrahamson said, referring to the 1969 classic.

Eliminating the burden of fact freed the filmmakers to explore the madness involved in creating art itself rather than the minutiae of one particular artist. It’s at heart a slapstick comedy, albeit one about extremely messed-up souls. “You’re just going to have to go with this,” a band mate played by Scoot McNairy explains to the fictional Ronson.

Here’s Frank Sidebottom performing Queen covers.

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The real Sievey’s best-known song was with his earlier group, The Freshies.

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What’s Up With My Family? — App Helps Middle Schoolers Navigate Life

posted by Nell Minow

Middle School Confidential™ 3: What’s Up with My Family? is a new IOS app, the next installment of the series for tweens and teens. The third edition continues the story of Jack, Jen, Chris, Abby, Mateo, and Michelle—a tight-knit group of friends in middle school—who are realizing that growing up often means changes at home. What’s Up with My Family? follows the gang as they each work through some difficult family situations and learn to appreciate the people they live with… even siblings!

What’s Up with My Family? is based on Book 3 of the award-winning Middle School Confidential series from Annie Fox, illustrated by Harvey Award-winner Matt Kindt. Designed for 8–14-year-olds, the app gives readers a look at how their peers handle family rules, resolve conflicts, and deal with common challenges of wanting more independence and more freedom to make their own choices. What’s Up with My Family? puts decision-making power into the hands of readers, with eight interactive quizzes that let them choose how they would handle different family situations.

What’s Up with My Family? is available for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) through the iTunes App Store for $2.99 USD in the Book Apps category. The app will soon be available for Android tablets and phones, including Kindle and NOOK. For more information about the series, visit www.MiddleSchoolConfidential.com where you can download the app icon and hi-res screenshots.

The Simpsons Binge Watch: Every Episode Plus the Movie

posted by Nell Minow

Get your food delivery menus ready.  Unplug your phone.  All 552 Simpsons episodes will be broadcast in order, starting tomorrow. They include scenes cut in syndication that have not been on television since the original broadcast. And of course they include some remarkably prescient moments that predicted the future so accurately we can only watch again to guess what other developments in the series are still ahead of us.

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The new season starts September 28.

Previous Posts

Christian Indie Films of 2014
This year has already seen a remarkable and perhaps unprecedented number of Christian and Biblically-based films, from big-budget epics like "Noah" and "Son of God" to small faith-oriented films like "God's Not Dead."  There is an excellent summary of four Christian independent films of 2014 on In

posted 3:59:03pm Aug. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Frank: The Real Story of the Singer With the Paper-Mache Mask
One of the handsomest men alive spends almost the entire movie wearing a huge round paper maché head in "Frank," a moving film inspired by the real-life story of the late Frank Sidebottom.  Michael Fassbender plays Frank, a sweet-natured but very quirky musician who wears his big head mask even in

posted 9:10:16am Aug. 21, 2014 | read full post »

What's Up With My Family? -- App Helps Middle Schoolers Navigate Life
Middle School Confidential™ 3: What’s Up with My Family? is a new IOS app, the next installment of the series for tweens and teens. The third edition continues the story of Jack, Jen, Chris, Abby, Mateo, and Michelle—a tight-knit group of friends in middle school—who are realizing that growi

posted 3:59:49pm Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

The Simpsons Binge Watch: Every Episode Plus the Movie
Get your food delivery menus ready.  Unplug your phone.  All 552 Simpsons episodes will be broadcast in order, starting tomorrow. They include scenes cut in syndication that have not been on television since the original broadcast. And of course they include some remarkably prescient moments tha

posted 3:59:35pm Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Bo Svenson
Bo Svenson is an actor, writer, director, judo champion, and, as I was lucky enough to find out, an enthralling guy to talk to, turning an interview into a wide-ranging conversation. Svenson was

posted 3:59:35pm Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »


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