David Milchard stars in “Russell Madness” as the father of a family who inherits a wrestling arena. But I think he would agree that the real stars of the film are the talking monkey and dog. He took the time […]
The Libera boys choir performed at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. and it was recorded for a PBS special. I am thrilled to have a copy of this glorious performance on DVD, […]
The headlines about the box office over the weekend are misleading. “Chappie” was number one in overall revenue, but still disappointing. The top box office winner in a given week is usually in the $20-40 million range, with special-effects films […]
A glorious new 50th anniversary Blu-Ray edition of Sound of Music is out this week, featuring commentary, behind the scenes footage, and all kinds of extras — sure to be one of your “favorite things.” This box-office champ is one […]
The breakout hit of the television season is the steamy, soapy, musical melodrama “Empire,” and the breakout star (long overdue) is the fabulous Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon, just out of prison after 17 years and determined to get […]
Tom Hanks really, really, really, really, really likes Carly Rae Jepsen!
When Fred Flintstone has an idea to make money that involves putting Barney in the ring with the Stone Age WWE all-stars, what can possibly go wrong? This week, we find out in The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown, […]
Actors love body-switching roles. In “Self/Less,” Ryan Reynolds takes on his second (after the disappointing “The Change-Up”), one of four films he will appear in this year. In this film, as in the Steve Martin/Lily Tomlin comedy All of Me), […]
When I turn on the television, unless there is some specific program I am planning to watch I always start with Turner Classic Movies to see what’s on there. And much of the time, that’s where I stop. It’s also […]
“CitizenFour,” the Oscar-winning documentary about Edward Snowden, is free online. Whether you consider him a hero or a traitor, it is well worth watching, and considering the fragile balance between privacy and national security — and who decides.
A couple of weeks ago, “The Best Years of Our Lives” was on TCM and I decided to watch the first few moments to enjoy again scenes I have enjoyed many, many times. I promised myself I would go to […]
We mourn the loss of film visionary Albert Maysles, who with his brother David, showed us a new way to see film and a new way to see the world. They were the first Americans to create intimate, unstructured documentary […]
Writer Alan Bennett (“The Madness of King George”) was not sure about the right way to respond when a near-homeless woman in a fragile mental state moved her dilapidated van in front of his house. He did not want her […]
“Unfinished Business” is a story about three renegade renegades from bureaucracy going up against The Man and the importance of the individual in an era of soul-grinding corporatism. But the movie itself is clearly the product of institutional over-management, as […]
So, basically, no one here saw “Terminator.” Or “Frankenstein.” But maybe they did see “Robocop?” Or “Short Circuit?” Writer/director Neill Blomkamp likes sci-fi allegories of social and political conflicts, as we saw in “District 9″ and “Elysium.” Here he imagines […]
A documentary called “Young @ Heart” had a choir of singers in their 80’s performing contemporary rock songs. The very fact of their age and experience gave an unexpectedly profound meaning to the words. And in “The Second Best Exotic […]
Do you remember the tobacco executives standing up before a Congressional Committee, their right hands raised, each of them swearing that they did not believe that tobacco caused cancer? That was in 1994, three decades after the US Surgeon General’s […]
British-born actor Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, The Newsroom) is competing with himself this week as the star of two big releases. In the sequel “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” he returns as Sonny Kapoor, the ever-optimistic proprietor of the […]
I really enjoyed the recent series on “Unlikeable Women” from the folks at Bitch Flicks. I remember a panel of women filmmakers at Comic-Con all agreeing that the code word for making female characters meek and pliable (and giving all […]
WIN tickets to a free showing of Al Pacino’s new film, “Danny Collins,” in Washington D.C. on March 11, 2015. Inspired by a true story, Al Pacino stars as aging 1970’s rocker Danny Collins. But when his manager (Christopher Plummer) […]
I love this tribute to boredom on car trips with children. I well remember being in the back seat with my sisters, alternating games of GHOST and Botticelli with highway bingo and, yes, arguing with each other about who had […]
One of the most touching moments of the 2015 Oscars broadcast was from Graham Moore, a 28-year-old screenwriter who won the Best Adapted Screenplay award for “The Imitation Game,” based on mathematician Alan Turing’s word to solve the Enigma code […]
What advice would you give your younger self? In celebration of International Women’s Day, take part in YouTube’s global #DearMe initiative to inspire and empower young girls everywhere.
Playback.fm has all the top pop songs since 1946, with a clever app that lets you check out what was #1 the day you were born or on any other special day in your life.
I’ve been looking forward to this since I got a sneak peek last year at Comic-Con: “Dig” premieres on USA March 5, 2015 at 10 pm (9 Central), starring Jason Isaac and Anne Heche in a mystery miniseries filmed in […]
PBS Kids has three magnificent new DVDs, and I have two prize packs to give away! Peg + Cat: Peg Rocks features seven stories from PBS KIDS’ popular PEG + CAT series. Solving problems is even more AWESOME when music […]
It’s like a real-life “Roman Holiday.” According to this film, on the night victory was declared in WWII, Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) and her sister, Princess Margaret were given permission by their father (the “King’s Speech” guy) for […]
And don’t forget the only live action film written by Dr. Seuss, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T!
HBO will show Alex Gibney’s new documentary about Scientology on March 29, 2015.
Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! is a wonderful new alphabet book to teach girls, boys, and their families about sounds and letters and stories about women who […]
Happy March! Looking forward to warmer days and better movies. Some of what we’re looking forward to this month: March 6 “Chappie,” from “District 9’s” Neill Blomkamp, is the story of a robot whose artificial intelligence may just rise to […]
Happy Purim! May this be a year when all the Hamens of the world are vanquished. This tale, was once told In the days of Achashverosh This one needs a new girl Needs a good girl A straight masterpiece! So […]
We mourn the loss of Leonard Nimoy, who created one of the most iconic characters of all time, “Star Trek’s” half-Vulcan, half-human Mr. Spock, with pointed ears and angled eyebrows perfectly designed to convey a wry sense of irony. The […]
Actress Daniele Watts stars as missing teenager Crystal Gladwell in Muted, winner of the 18th annual American Black Film Festival short film competition, showing on HBO throughout March 2015. Muted follows Lena Gladwell, played by Chandra Wilson (Grey’s Anatomy), a mother […]
“Uptown Funk,” from Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, is covered in a sensational new video from longtime Mormon Tabernacle Choir member Alex Boyé and back-up performers ranging in age from 65-92. According to the Choir’s website, Between all of his […]
In honor of this week’s release of “Focus,” here are some of my favorite movies about con games and grifters. Remember that “con” comes from “confidence.” A con man (or woman) makes you believe in them and have confidence in […]
“Love & Mercy” tells the story of Brian Wilson, the brilliant but troubled member of the Beach Boys.
Getting ready for the second film in the “Divergent” series? Not sure you have just the right thing to wear? I’m here to solve your problem! I have an “Insurgent” t-shirt (Size L) to give away! Send me an email […]
It’s always tempting to give children toys from the movies and television programs they love, and some of them are high-quality or even educational. But Melissa Atkins Wardy has a very good argument that the licensing of media tie-ins has […]
Ryan Potter provided the voice for Hiro in this week’s DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week, the Oscar-winning Big Hero 6. Talking to him on the phone, it was easy to imagine I was talking to Hiro himself. Other than a […]
Win a copy of this week’s release of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Adventures Of The Cutie Mark Crusaders! Send me an email at email@example.com and tell me your favorite real-life or fictional horse. Don’t forget your address! (US […]
This Easter Sunday, April 5th, 2015, A.D. The Bible Continues will premiere on NBC and continue on a 12-week journey through the rise of the Christian Church. Executive producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett continues where there The Bible series left off. […]
This week’s episode of “Modern Family” will be entirely shown the way many of our family interactions increasingly occur — on a computer screen. Claire (Julie Bowen) is about to get on a plane when she realizes she does not […]
See what happens when Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Ana, Elsa, Olaf, Cinderella, Buzz Lightyear and other Disney Characters magically surprise unsuspecting shoppers with their “Disney Side.” Smooth moves, Mickey!
It’s kind of unfair that Neil Patrick Harris is so good at so many things, but it sure does make him the ideal Oscar host. Showing the same grace, wit, charm, and star power he brought to the Tony and […]
The Representation Project, using the hashtag #askhermore, is urging reporters on the red carpet to ask women about more than their clothes, jewelry, and manicures. They’ll be live-tweeting tonight, and encourage everyone to tweet the questions we want to hear […]
Now that The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is full up with its long-term residents, co-managers Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith) and Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) have a dream of expansion, and they’ve found just the place: The Second Best Exotic Marigold […]
Tonight’s the big night. The Oscars. And that means that yesterday two of the other most significant movie awards were announced. The Independent Spirit awards are given to the people who make movies outside the studio system. These are passion […]
The PBS series Italian Americans is available this week on DVD. The documentary reveals the unique and distinctive qualities of one immigrant group’s experience, and how these qualities, over time, have shaped and challenged America. Unlike other immigrant groups, many […]
Big Hero 6 will be out on DVD/Blu-Ray February 24, 2015. Here’s a cute clip from the DVD extras.
The wonderful screenwriters’ blog Go Into the Story has assembled a terrific list of the most over-used lines of dialog we have heard far too often in movies. The lines usually mentioned as the most frequent: “Let’s get out of […]
A sneak peek at Disney’s new “Cinderella,” opening March 13, 2015.
“The Breakfast Club,” is one of the best of the John Hughes films about teenagers. No American filmmaker portrayed the lives of contemporary teenagers with as much affection, sensitivity, and understanding as Hughes, with Molly Ringwald the very best of […]
Of all the tributes and critiques of “Saturday Night Live” as it starts its fifth decade, none is more astute than Tom Shales’ for Daily Beast. Shales is the co-author of Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday […]
It is a great honor to be one of the voters for the Black Reel Awards and I am so proud of our winners this year, with “Selma” deservedly tying the record set by “Precious” with eight awards. Outstanding Motion […]
This new series on Netflix is inspired by the popular comic book but looks a little more like “Silver Spoons” than like the movie version with Macauley Culkin or the cartoon series. Interesting that this one-percenter fantasy, Richie made the […]
In 1987, Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), who had never coached or even run cross country, took a team of kids from one of the poorest communities in California to a state championship. Of course that would have to become […]
A haiku has 17 syllables. A limerick has five lines. An omelet is made from eggs. And a teen romantic comedy will have our characters visit the mall, a locker room, a classroom, and the school bathroom. There will be […]
Next Monday, PBS’ Independent Lens series will show “American Denial,” a documentary about where racism comes from and why it is so difficult to overcome. Follow the story of Swedish researcher Gunnar Myrdal, whose landmark 1944 study, An American Dilemma: […]
No one is smarter about actors and Oscars than Susan Wloszczyna, and I was honored to be included in her latest Big O piece about front-runners Julianne Moore and Patricia Arquette, and why wins for the two of them will […]
It’s a perfect combination. Rifftrax, the funniest movie commentary creators of all time, have brought their genius to “Sharknado.” And it is online for just a week. The stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 give us their thoughts on the […]
Actor/comedian Patton Oswalt (“Ratatouille”) has written a memoir about immersing himself in old movies. Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film is not just about the hundreds of movies he watched; it is about how he […]
Why is complete artistic failure so fascinating? I’m a huge fan of Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever by Mark O’Connell, who pays tribute to the “sort of accidental surrealism” of bad […]
“The Odd Couple” is coming back to television, starring “Friends’” Matthew Perry as the slob and writer/actor Thomas Lennon as the neatnik. The long-running television series starred Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. There have also been versions with a black […]
We mourn the loss of French movie star Louis Jourdan, who has died at age 93. Best remembered as the handsome, elegant, bored Gaston who lost his heart to Gigi (Leslie Caron), he appeared in a variety of roles opposite […]
“Ballet 422″ is a new documentary directed by cinematographer Jody Lee Lipes (Lena Dunham’s breakthrough “Tiny Furniture,” Judd Apatow’s upcoming “Trainwreck,” written by Amy Schumer). It is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a new dance number for […]
One of the highlights of last night’s 40th anniversary celebration of “Saturday Night Live” was the short with Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler singing about all the times members of the cast could not stop laughing and broke character. Here’s […]
My friend Nell Scovell has an excellent piece in the New York Times about why the “host of possibilities” that Jon Stewart’s departure from “The Daily Show” opens up should focus on a woman as his replacement. [I]t will be […]
I love Cameron Crowe movies, and this looks like one of the best.
I’m delighted that the Washington Post printed my letter about the costumes in the terrific Fox series “Empire.” Robin Givhan’s article about the way the show’s costumes define the characters was outstanding, but it omitted one important detail: I was […]
Ali Faulkner is in every way the heart of the new faith-based film, “The Song.” She plays Rose, who inspires the title song and marries the musician who wrote it for her. Unlike most films, this one does not end […]
This stunning ballet was choreographed by Jade Hale-Christofi
“James Bond? Jason Bourne?” Our hero is being asked for the inspiration for naming his dog JB. “No,” he explains, “Jack Bauer.” This is a cheeky, nasty, meta, po-mo update of the spy genre, self-aware enough to name-check not just […]
The Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy by E.L. James became an international blockbuster best-seller because it satisfies the deepest, most passionate, most secret longing of the female spirit. It has nothing to do with being tied up or spanked, but […]
I am very proud to be included along with Presidents, judges, historians, filmmakers, poets, actors, and, best of all, my dad, Newton Minow, in a new book called Gettysburg Replies: The World Responds to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, from The Abraham […]
Oh, how I loved The Man from U.N.C.L.E. when I was a kid. And this trailer for the new Guy Ritchie movie with “Superman’s” Henry Cavill and “The Social Network’s” Armie Hammer (plus Hugh Grant in the Leo G. Carroll […]
It may not be the most accurate of the more than 200 movies featuring Abraham Lincoln, but this quiet John Ford film is still one of my favorites, especially in the depiction of his tragic love for Anne Rutledge.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Audible Studios is releasing a free collection of classic love poems narrated by the wonderful Richard Armitage (“The Hobbit” series). There’s nothing more romantic than love poetry, and Armitage reads exquisite works by poets […]
Matthew Margeson and Henry Jackman composed the score for Matthew Vaughn’s new spy movie, “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” Margeson told me that “Henry and I had composed the film score to ‘Kick Ass 2′ together. And that kind of went well […]
Comedy stars Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, who have worked together for decades in SCTV and the Christopher Guest films “Waiting for Guffman,” “For Your Consideration,” and “A Mighty Wind,” are back together again in a new series for the […]
The Story of Disneyland Collection will be auctioned on February 28th and March 1st 2015 at Van Eaton Galleries, 13613 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA. With over 1000 pieces of memorabilia dating from the very beginning of Walt’s planning to […]
A lot of people will go see “Fifty Shades of Grey” this weekend. But if a story of bondage and submission is not to your taste, there are some alternatives. 50 Dollars Not 50 Shades is asking people to send the […]
“Dogs on the Inside” is a profoundly moving documentary about a program that teaches prisoners how to care for rescue dogs. Seeing the dogs and the men in prison learn patience and trust from each other is touching and inspiring. […]
Janelle Harris has a thoughtful essay called “How Reality TV Has Changed Our Daughters” on The Root. Far, far away from network storyboarding and big-money business decisions—but not beyond their reaches—I am raising a 16-year-old daughter. She’s a good girl, […]
The Pick of the Week is a Disney animation classic: 101 Dalmatians, which has a gorgeous new Diamond edition. For some behind-the scenes info about the film, check this out.
My publishing company, Miniver Press, is delighted to announce our newest ebook for Kindle, Goo Goo Ga Joob: Why “I Am the Walrus” is the Greatest Beatles Song of All Time, by Jon Friedman. Each of us has our favorite […]
Robert Durst, heir to a vast fortune from New York real estate, has had a life has been punctuated by tragedy. When he was seven years old, his mother was killed when she fell off the roof of their home, […]
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan make a great romantic movie team, don’t they? “You’ve Got Mail” and “Sleepless in Seattle” are two of the most popular romantic comedies of the 90’s. But hardly anyone loves — or even remembers — […]
Don’t mess with the animators! I really enjoyed this trailer for “Ratchet and Clank,” based on the Ratchet & Clank Sony game.
“Saturday Night Live,” once the brash upstart whose cast billed themselves as the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players” is now an established institution. Performers like John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Al Franken, Eddie Murphy, […]
Hallmark Channel’s countdown to Valentine’s Day features some old favorites and some new stories like “Cloudy With a Chance of Love,” premiering on February 8, 2015, at 8 pm (7 central). “Switched at Birth’s” Katie Leclerc stars with Michael Rady, […]
“Jupiter Ascending” was originally scheduled for release last summer and it does feel like a summer movie. Somehow warm weather makes us more in the mood for explosions and less in need of superfluities like plot, character, and dialogue that […]
Our friends from Bikini Bottom are back in another deliriously silly story, so tender-hearted and cheery that there is no way to resist it. Plus, it has superheroes, a pirate played by Antonio Banderas, existential metaphysics, the guitarist from Guns […]
Sometimes all we want from a movie is Hugh Grant delivering witty, self-deprecating lines about his empty life and bad choices as he learns to find his heart and soul. You know, the cinematic equivalent to eating a pint of […]
If “The Big Lebowski” fans ever imagined a re-teaming of Jeff “The Dude” Bridges and Julianne “Maude” Moore, it is unlikely that they would have come up with the idea of this sword-and-sorcery epic based on the first of the […]
Vanity Fair has cajoled all of the top British actors into re-creating classic American movie lines, featuring everyone from Dame Judi Dench to Benedict Cumberbatch, in this adorable video series. Here’s a sample.
Every family should observe Black History Month and movies like these are a good way to begin discussions and further study. Start with “Selma,” the brilliant film now in theaters, about Dr. Martin Luther King and the march for voting […]
I always enjoy Jimmy Fallon’s lip synch competitions and this is one of the best, with Will Ferrell performing “Drunk in Love” and ‘Let it Go,” Kevin Hart going all out with “All of Me” and “Roar,” and Fallon rocking […]
Beliefnet’s Mandi Fornes has created a gallery of iconic movie moments, from “We’ll always have Paris” (“Casablanca”) to “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” (“Jaws”). And of course there’s this one: And this one: Be sure to check out the […]
“Frozen” fans have a treat in store! A short “Frozen” sequel will be in theaters next month, shown before Disney’s new live-action “Cinderella,” opening March 13, 2015. You can get a glimpse of it here.
Fans of classic movie musicals will love Gotta Dance! The Art of the Movie Poster, a gorgeous new book from Lagoon Press. It is available both in spiral bound and spine and coil formats. The book is based on the […]
The new HBO Sampler feature allows consumers with an internet-connected Blu-ray device to watch full episodes of four different shows by simply loading their Blu-ray disc into the device and selecting “HBO Sampler” from the menu. Studios have long used […]
Rabbi Evan Moffic’s latest book is What Every Christian Needs to Know about Passover: What It Means and Why It Matters, a guide for Christians to the celebration observed by Jesus at the Last Supper. It will be published tomorrow, […]
Happy February! Here’s some of what we’ll be seeing in theaters this month: February 6 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Everyone’s favorite residents of Bikini Bottom are back on the big screen with a 3D adventure, co-starring Antonio Banderas […]
High school teacher Scot Pankey brings the funk to the entire school in this joyous dubstep video. I love its spirit and its inclusiveness; everyone is just there to have fun. It has become a viral sensation, tweeted by Michelle […]
I’m a big fan of Mike Epps, and am excited about “That’s Racist!,” his new web series on AOL. It is a provocative look at racism and stereotypes. Are Asians bad drivers? Are Jews cheap? Do African-Americans all like fried […]
It is wonderful that directors like Ava DuVernay, Angelina Jolie, and Gina Prince-Bythewood gave us superb films in 2014. But it is an indicator of the challenges still faced by women filmmakers that none of them was nominated for a […]
The real competition at the Super Bowl is for the commercials, right? This Snickers ad is a hoot.
How did a 1977 song in French by the Belgian singer Plastic Bertrand become a go-to for 21st century American movie soundtracks, from big studio films to quirky indies? “Ça Plane Pour Moi” has appeared in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf […]
The most-anticipated sporting event of the weekend — in some circles anyway, is this year’s Kitten Bowl, Su-Purr Sunday, February 1 (12/11c) only on Hallmark Channel! You can win a set of adorable Kitten Bowl player cards! Send me an […]
The Disney princesses have their first Latina member! Princess Elena of Avalor will make her debut in the Disney Channel series “Sofia the First” before starring in her own series on the Disney channel. Disney says she is “a confident […]
Writer-director Mike Binder sure likes to get Kevin Costner drunk. As in his uneven but impressive “The Upside of Anger,” Binder once again has Costner playing a man who is a little lost and usually shnockered, a role well suited […]
Two comments made by characters in this film summarize what it is that makes submarine stories so instantly compelling. “Outside is just dark, cold, and death,” says one. “We all live together or we all die together,” says another. Submarines […]
“Boyhood” writer/director Richard Linkater and star Ellar Coltrane talk to “This American Life’s” Ira Glass about making the film over a twelve year period that began when Coltrane was six years old.
Which one are you looking forward to?
The acclaimed Sundance Film Festival, where ground-breaking films and indie favorites often premiere, will have its first-ever panel discussion of faith and films this week. “Hollywood reflects society, society reflects Hollywood, and each needs the other,” Tim Gray, founder and […]
In 1948, a group of World War II pilots volunteered to fight for Israel in the War of Independence. As members of “Machal” (volunteers from abroad), they not only turned the tide of the war, they also laid the groundwork […]
The New York Times talked to women in Hollywood about making movies. Some of the highlights: “What’s wrong with bossy? It’s O.K. for a man.” Barbra Streisand, Director (“The Prince of Tides”) It’s a conundrum: We can’t change it ourselves, […]
I got a big kick out of the post by Matt Singer from Screen Crush about movies that begin before the beginning by amending the studio’s opening logo. Most recently, of course “The LEGO Movie” did the logo in […]
Disney is working on a new live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” a follow to the upcoming “Cinderella,” and they have announced that “Harry Potter’s” Emma Watson will star as Belle. It will be directed by Bill Condon (“Dreamgirls,” “Kinsey”). Watson […]
The Screen Actors Guild awards for television and movies in 2014 are in and it looks like Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore, and J.K. Simmons are in line to bring home Oscars on February 22. The tough one to call right […]
Mortdecai is a simply terrible movie. Don’t go see it. But its very terribleness just might be a reason to look super-cool in a Mortdecai t-shirt and socks! I have them and you can win them! Send an email to […]
Phil Hall has a delightful collection of “before they were stars” television ads featuring Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, James Dean, Morgan Freeman, Matt LeBlanc, Steve Carell, and more. Here’s one I love that he left out, with pre-“Laverne and Shirley” […]
Alan Menken, currently composing the songs for “Galavant,” here sings some of his greatest hits, including songs from “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Enchanted,” “Pocahontas,” “Tangled,” and “Newsies.”
Despite the big names behind it, including George Lucas, who came up with the story and produced, it feels like a straight-to-DVD, about the level of Disney’s Tinkerbell series. It’s bright, colorful, self-affirming, and bouncy. And, likely to be appreciated […]
Johnny Depp’s “Mortdecai” is sure of a place of dishonor on the end of the year worst lists. Business Insider and Huffington Post have some choice quotes from some of the movie’s best bad reviews, and I’ve found some good ones, too, […]
Pure pleasure: Four great Disney artists, Marc Davis, Eyvind Earle, Josh Meador, and Walt Peregoy, paint a tree. There’s a reason they call them actors with pencils. Or, just call them geniuses.
There’s a lot of noise in “Mortdecai” but what I remember most is the silences where everything pauses for a moment to allow the audience to laugh without drowning out the next witty riposte. Nope, just crickets, as there was […]
This looks adorable. In theaters February 6, 2015.
Two shrewdly-chosen elements separate this film from the typical Lifetime saga of a middle class white woman struggling to overcome a dire challenge. First is the way writer Patrick Tobin and director Daniel Barnz (the underrated “Beastly”) trust the audience, […]
Even by the very low standards of January movies, “The Boy Next Door” still manages to be a disappointment. It even manages to disappoint beyond the very dim expectations for director Rob Cohen, His “Alex Cross” and “Stealth” were both […]
Amazon’s sexy and provocative “Mozart in the Jungle” series stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Lola Kirke, and Malcolm McDowell in a story set in the intensely competitive world of a big city orchestra. It is based on the tell-all tale by […]
Spare Parts is based on the true story of four undocumented high school students who entered a robotics competition and beat the team from MIT. I was lucky enough to get a chance to talk to George Lopez, who produced the film […]
I’m delighted to have three copies of the heartwarming and inspiring “23 Blast” to give away. 23 Blast is the name of a football play, and “23 Blast” is based on the real story of Travis Freeman, a high school […]
Meredith Anne Bull stars in this week’s release “Strange Magic,” an animated musical fairy tale based on a story by George Lucas. She plays Dawn the “young, naive, unaffected and thrilled with life” younger sister of the heroine, Marianne, played […]
Two of the movies opening this week are about women named Claire, played by women named Jennifer. And both are the kind of stories we often see in Lifetime movies. In “Cake,” Jennifer Aniston plays the survivor of a tragic […]
When his sons text at the dinner table, a father responds. This film from Matthew Abeler won the Best Comedy Award at the 2014 Five16 Film Festival. In less than two minutes, it makes its point and makes us smile.
Ten years ago, would anyone have believed there would be popular fairy-tale-inspired television series both serious (Once Upon a Time, Grimm), and comic/musical (Galavant)? Why do fantasy and fairy tales mean so much to us? I asked one of my […]
Debbie Reynolds, who will receive a well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award at the SAG Awards this Sunday, appeared on Movie Addict Headquarters to talk about her career in the Golden Age of Hollywood with Betty Jo Tucker. Be sure to tune […]
I love this ad! What an invigorating, empowering, life-affirming video. Thank you Sports England.
Two U.S. military heroes wrote books about their lives that became movies released in the last few weeks. Both men wrote movingly about the way faith anchored their lives and guided their actions. And yet there was little mention of […]
Oscar winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer star as grandparents battling each other for custody of a child in “Black or White,” opening this week.
Ostracized at her posh new uptown school and shaken by the death of her beloved grandmother, a 10 year-old downtown girl finds an unlikely mentor in the form of an irascible chess-master, who uses the game to teach Max lessons […]
Imagine they were beta-testing Samantha in “Her,” or one of the replicants in “Blade Runner” and you were brought in to try out the latest model. That’s the idea behind “Ex Machina,” with two of today’s most fascinating actors, Oscar […]
Thanks to Sam Adams and Indiewire for including me in a thoughtful discussion of “offensive art” in light of the attack on the satiric magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. My response: I don’t have a favorite example of offensive art, […]
The rules governing which songs are eligible for the Oscar are out of date and out of whack. Okay, it’s fine with me if “Everything is Awesome” from “The LEGO Movie” wins this year, first because I love the song […]
Saturday, January 17, 2015 on Lifetime: the story of Whitney Houston, directed by Angela Bassett, who starred as Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With It”
Sweetest moment of the Critics Choice Awards last night: when Emily Blunt was accepting her award for Best Actress in an Action/Sci-Fi Movie, her husband John Krasinski ran out from backstage, where he was waiting to present an award, to […]
All her life Kathy has wanted to ride a horse. Her dreams finally come true when her parents send her to a prestigious horse camp. Most of the girls at camp could see that Kathy is a natural with the […]
After three very different movies, we know two things about writer/director J.C. Chandor. First, he is already one of today’s most original, thought-provoking directors, with a remarkably mature and insightful eye, and second, he is vitally interested in the survival […]
It really happened. Four undocumented high school kids from the poorest of communities took on the most brilliant engineering students from the country’s top colleges in a robotics competition and won. The contest results were one in a million, but […]
Michael Bond’s gentle, charming stories about the Peruvian bear named for a London train station has been brought to the screen almost as gently and charmingly, and certainly far more so than the slapsticky trailer suggested. A generation ago, a […]
This year’s Oscar nominations are out! Most of the expected nominees made it, but there were some surprises and disappointments, especially the omission of the Roger Ebert documentary “Life Itself” and the animated mega-hit “The LEGO Movie,” both of which […]
David Heyman was selected by Entertainment Weekly as one of the smartest people in Hollywood. It may be because he grabbed the rights to a children’s book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I enjoyed his latest movie, “Paddington,” […]
If it did not actually happen, no one would believe it. Four undocumented high school students with no money entered an underwater robotics competition, decided to compete against the college teams instead of the other high schools, and won, triumphing […]
Until a few years ago, the movie critics you read were determined by geography. There were a few critics in national publications, like Pauline Kael in the New Yorker and the critics for Time and Newsweek. If you lived in […]
I love oddball collections and exhibits, so many thanks to Augustine of Atlas Obscura for letting us know about the Toy and Action Figure Museum. If you can’t make it to Oklahoma just yet, check out this very cool 360 […]
“Little Accidents” is a tense drama with Elizabeth Banks, Boyd Holbrook (“The Skeleton Twins,” “Gone Girl”), Josh Lucas, Chloë Sevigny, and Jacob Lofland (Mud, FX’s “Justified”). It opens Friday, January 16th in select theaters nationwide, VOD Platforms and iTunes. In […]
Happy Paddington day! In honor of this week’s release of the Paddington movie, I have some completely adorable little Paddington Bears to give away. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with Paddington in the subject line and tell me your […]
Premier On 5th, at 417 5th Avenue between 37th & 38th Streets has announced the first in a series of blockbuster exhibitions, in partnership with Broadway Video Enterprises. “Saturday Night Live: The Exhibition,” celebrates the NBC program’s 40-year history. In […]
Amazon, which got its first Golden Globe wins (can we still call this category “television?”) Sunday night for “Transparent,” has announced that Woody Allen will write and direct a new series to be made available through their Prime streaming platform […]
Tim Burton’s “Big Eyes” is based on the real-life case of Walter Keane, who said he was responsible for the hugely successful “big eye” paintings of children in the 1960’s, and his wife Margaret Keane, who, as determined in a […]
Did you know there was not one major romantic comedy release last year? What happened to all the Jennifers and Jessicas? All the meet-cutes and misunderstandings? All the quippy best friends and quirky roommates? All the cute pajamas and strolls […]
I am so proud to be a member of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, and of our 2015 awards. AWFJ EDA ‘BEST OF’ AWARDS These awards are presented to females and/or males. Best Film BOYHOOD Best Director (Female or […]
Thoughts on the 2015 Golden Globes: Amy Poehler and Tina Fey were marvelous as always. We knew they’d take on the Sony hack and “The Interview” and they got right to it. “North Korea referred to The Interview as ‘absolutely […]
This is the week when we start seeing things come together as we get ready for the biggest awards night in the world of movies, the Oscars, coming up on February 22, 2015. Tonight is the Golden Globes. Amy Poehler […]
Take a look at these gorgeous cinemagraphs by Tech Noir (Floris Kloet). Just watch for a moment and see how he uses the most subtle movement to create a mood. Beautifully done, and illuminating about the way we are touched […]
LAIKA Studios is making some of the items from its brilliant stop-motion films “Coraline,” “ParaNorman,” and “Boxtrolls” available for sale for the first time through the Heritage auction house. They include: ● From Coraline * Coraline production puppet in her […]
When I was watching one of this year’s most-admired films, “Boyhood,” there was an appreciative laugh through the audience when we got a glimpse of the computer game “Oregon Trail.” The movie was filmed over a 12-year period, and so […]
Today we mourn the loss of the Australian actor Rod Taylor, star of classic films including The Time Machine and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. He was an affable leading man with the confident physicality of an athlete, comfortable in light […]
Would you like to stay young forever? Maybe not.
We love mystery stories because they reassure us that questions have answers and justice is possible. But some mystery stories are there to remind us that life is complicated and messy, and sometimes answers are just more questions. This is […]
Today we pay tribute to Elvis Presley, who was born on this day 80 years ago. Here he is with Ann-Margret in my favorite of his movies, Viva Las Vegas. This is the only dance number he choreographed personally. Here […]
James Franco and Jonah Hill star in “True Story,” a title with layers of meaning. It is based on the real life story of reporter Michael Finkel (Hill), who was fired because he fabricated and altered facts in a “true […]
New York’s public television station WNET, ran this terrific “Open Mind” interview with my dad, Newton Minow, about his experiences at the FCC during the Kennedy Administration and the early days of PBS.
I’m glad that we are seeing more spirited, strong female characters, especially in movies for kids, really I am. But we still have a long way to go, as discussed in an excellent analysis on Tor.com from Emily Asher-Perrin. She […]
Sacred Journeys With Bruce Feiler comes out this week on DVD. If you missed it on PBS, here is your chance to travel along with pilgrims and worshippers around the world. 200 million people go on a pilgrimage each year. […]
Each year, Mark Zuckerberg shares his new year’s resolution. I was a big fan of his 2014 resolution to write a thank you note every day, a practice I highly recommend to all. This year, he is inviting the world […]
One of the most exciting new televisions shows of the season is “Empire,” premiering on January 7, 2015 on Fox. It is part “King Lear,” part “Godfather,” part “Lion in Winter,” part soap opera, and set in the world of […]
Lacey Schwartz grew up as the much-loved only child of warm, loving parents in a close-knit middle-class Jewish family. She did not resemble her parents, but they reassured her that she had a Sicilian grandparent who was the genetic source […]
The movies have included some memorable snowmen. Here are some of my favorites. The Snowman This exquisite wordless story about a boy and a snowman is bittersweet (their time together is limited) but exhilarating. Frozen Olaf is the most adorable […]
You will never see a better movie than the documentary “Life Itself,” the story of an extraordinary life. Roger used to say, “‘Rocky’” is not about boxing. It is about Rocky.” And this movie is not about movies or movie […]
Susan Wloszczyna’s terrific series on women filmmakers for the Alliance of Women Film Journalists continues with a profile of Gail Anne Hurd, producer of films like “The Terminator,” “Aliens,” and television like “The Walking Dead.” Hurd has appeared on some […]
The world’s youngest citizens, the first babies of 2015, star in this new ad from Fisher-Price.
Oscar Isaac (“Inside Llewyn Davis”) is one of my favorite actors. In “A Most Violent Year” he plays an immigrant in 1981 New York trying to keep his very successful home heating oil business both legitimate and competitive in a […]
This looks like a lot of fun! Coming this spring on the Disney Channel, starring Laura Marano and Leigh-Allyn Baker, it’s “Bad Hair Day.”
What does “based on a true story” really mean? The Washington Post had a front-page story titled, “‘Selma’ sets off a controversy amid Oscar buzz,” describing the objections by Lyndon Johnson administration insiders to the way he was portrayed. They […]