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AFI Docs 2015: The World’s Best Documentary Film Festival Begins Tonight in Washington DC

posted by Nell Minow

AFI Docs (formerly SilverDocs) begins tonight in Washington, D.C. with another spectacular slate of documentary films. The opening night festivities feature “The Best of Enemies,” a terrific film about the battle of the upper-class, socially connected, classically educated, hyperverbal writers […]

Clip: LeBron James and Bill Hader in “Trainwreck”

posted by Nell Minow

LeBron James talks about how much he loves Cleveland in this clip from Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck,” with Bill Hader.

Lisa Rosman Looks Back at “Rosemary’s Baby”

posted by Nell Minow

I am a big fan of critic Lisa Rosman, and her appreciation of “Rosemary’s Baby” for Word & Film is one of her best. On the surface, an Australian import about a mother and child haunted by a children’s book […]

Susan Wloszczyna Interviews Pete Docter about “Inside Out”

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Susan Wloszczyna interviewed “Inside Out’s” co-writer/director Pete Docter for IndieWire. The film takes place primarily inside the mind and emotions of an 11-year-old girl who has just moved to a new home and a new city with her […]

Two New Books About Creativity From Filmmakers: Judd Apatow and Brian Grazer

posted by Nell Minow

Two of Hollywood’s top filmmakers have new books out, and both, unusually, are compilations of interviews with creative people. Judd Apatow, one of the most influential writer/director/producers of the last twenty years, has written Sick in the Head: Conversations About […]

Trailer: “The Program” — The Lance Armstrong Story, Starring Ben Foster and Chris O’Dowd

posted by Nell Minow

Ben Foster plays Lance Armstrong and Chris O’Dowd plays David Walsh, the Irish journalist who uncovered the story about Armstrong’s use of dope and his lies. Walsh’s book is Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong.

Happy Flag Day 2015!

posted by Nell Minow

Jimmy Cagney plays George M. Cohan in “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”  Happy Flag Day!

Trailer: The End of the Tour

posted by Nell Minow

In 1996, David Lipsky was assigned by Rolling Stone to write a profile of author David Foster Wallace, and so they spent five days together while Wallace was finishing his promotional tour for his book, Infinite Jest. After Wallace committed […]

Where You’ve Seen Them Before: The Cast of “Jurassic World”

posted by Nell Minow

Of course the dinosaurs and the geniuses at ILM who created them are the real stars of “Jurassic World.”  But the highest compliment we can pay the human performers is that they can hold their own next to the CGI […]

AMC’s New All-Horror Movie Streaming Service

posted by Nell Minow

Uproxx reports that AMC has a new all-horror movie streaming service called Shudder with over 200 titles from the classics to international spook-fests, slashers, urban dread, supernatural scares, and more. You’ve been warned, but if you’re ready to be disturbed, […]

New on DVD: Biblical Archeology of Israel

posted by Nell Minow

Alden Films presents “Biblical Archeology of Israel,” including:  ANCIENT ROOTS  — a compilation of recent discoveries in archaeological research in Israel   THE BOOK AND THE IDOL — Israel through the ages, from the stone age to biblical times   EXPLORERS […]

What Book Would You Like To See Made Into a Movie?

posted by Nell Minow

The Chicago Tribune asked actors and filmmakers what books they would like to see adapted for the screen.  “Selma” director Ava DuVernay picked Octavia Butler’s time travel story Kindred. Ethan Hawke picked the provocative Story of the Eye by Georges […]

The Farewell Party

posted by Nell Minow

Israeli filmmaker Sharon Mayman says that the idea for “The Farewell Party” came from the time that his boyfriend’s grandmother, age 92, was dying, and paramedics prolonged her suffering by “fighting for her life like she was 16 years old.” […]

Interview: Thomas Miller of Limited Partnership

posted by Nell Minow

In 1975, a Boulder, Colorado county clerk issued six marriage licenses to gay couples, including Filipino-American Richard Adams and his Australian husband, Tony Sullivan.  Richard immediately filed for a green card for Tony based on their marriage. But unlike most […]

Trailer: Pass the Light

posted by Nell Minow

“Pass the Light” follows 17-year-old high school student Steve Bellafiore (Cameron Palatas) as he decides to stand up against a congressional candidate’s use of religion to spread hatred and intolerance.  Steve runs for Congress on a campaign of uniting the […]

Jurassic World

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril.
Movie Release Date:June 11, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril.
Movie Release Date: June 11, 2015

One problem is that we really do not know very much about dinosaurs, especially live ones, and especially genetically tweaked live ones. A bigger problem is that we keep ignoring what we do know about humans. Over and over again […]

Women Rule the Box Office

posted by Nell Minow

“Spy” beat “Entourage” last weekend in the battle of the two R-rated raunchy comedies.  The one featuring women in all the lead roles was first at the box office with a robust $29.1 million, and the one featuring men in […]

Check out the Website for Jurassic World — the (fictional, so far) Theme Park

posted by Nell Minow

What if there really was a Jurassic World theme park? It would have a Jurassic World website just like this one. It has attraction wait times, fun facts, scheduled special events, and even some warnings not to tap on the […]

Interview: Director Peter Cousens of “Freedom”

posted by Nell Minow

“Freedom” interweaves two stories of slavery. In one, an enslaved family led by Samuel (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) escapes via the Underground Railroad. In the other, set a century earlier, John Newton, the captain of a slave trader sails from Africa […]

Trailer: Matt Damon in “The Martian”

posted by Nell Minow

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only […]

“Jurassic World’s” Resident Paleontologist

posted by Nell Minow

Working with real-life paleontologist Jack Horner to create a very scary new dinosaur!

Joseph Finder’s Favorite Heist Stories

posted by Nell Minow

Best-selling author Joseph Finder knows thrillers, and his list of the best heist stories is a great one. His newest book is The Fixer. It is the story of former investigative reporter Rick Hoffman who loses his job, his fiancée, […]

Trailer: Bridge of Spies

posted by Nell Minow

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks team up again in “Bridge of Spies,” with a screenplay by Joel and Ethan Coen. It is based on the real-life story of an American lawyer recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to […]

New on Lifetime: Preach, About Four Charismatic Women

posted by Nell Minow

Lifetime’s new reality series is “Preach,” following four powerful female leaders who believe God has given them the ability to heal the sick, see the future and rid people of their addictions. Known as “Prophetesses,” these women say that they […]

Trailer: Sharknado 3

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: Pastor Steven Earp of “Where Was God?”

posted by Nell Minow

“Where Was God?” is a documentary about “stories of hope after the storm,” the impact on the community of Moore, Oklahoma of an E5 storm with destructive power eight times that of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. I spoke to […]

Trailer: Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in “Macbeth”

posted by Nell Minow

Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard star in “Macbeth,” Shakespeare’s story of ambition, murder, ghosts, witches, and madness.

Spy

posted by Nell Minow

It is time to celebrate. Melissa McCarthy finally has the movie role she deserves. Writer/director Paul Feig, who directed her in “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat” has wisely given her center stage and allowed her to be quirky and awkward, which […]

This Week in Theaters: Boys vs. Girls in One-Word-Title, R-Rated Comedies

posted by Nell Minow

They both have one-word titles. They are both very raunchy R-rated comedies. And this week they square off against each other for domination of the box office. “Entourage” continues the adventures of movie star Vince (Adrian Grenier) and his home-town […]

Trailer: Suffragette

posted by Nell Minow

Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan star in this film based on the fight to give women the right to vote in the UK.  I wish it had been called “Suffragist,” the term the women themselves preferred (“suffragette” was used by […]

Trailer: The Good Dinosaur

posted by Nell Minow

Entourage

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:June 3, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: June 3, 2015

I sometimes muse that it might be nice to have a rule that I spend no more time writing a review of a film than the screenwriter spent writing the script.  If I had, this review could end right here, with […]

Trailer: Results with Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders

posted by Nell Minow

Smile of the Week: Wells Fargo — Learning Sign Language

posted by Nell Minow

In this ad from Wells Fargo, a couple learns sign language to welcome their new daughter.

Clip: Dreamworks Dragons — Race to the Edge

posted by Nell Minow

We are delighted to be able to share a clip from Dreamwork Dragons: Race to the Edge, coming from Netflix on June 26, 2015. Hiccup stumbles upon a mysterious, ancient treasure while exploring an abandoned, booby-trapped ship.  

Opening This Month: June 2015

posted by Nell Minow

Summer movies are here! Raunchy comedies, blockbuster sequels, and even some documentaries and indie gems. Here’s what’s ahead this month. June 3 Entourage: Vince and his pals are back as the hit HBO series about a Hollywood star and his friends, and […]

Critics Choice Television Awards 2015

posted by Nell Minow

WINNERS OF THE 2015 CRITICS’ CHOICE TELEVISION AWARDS · Best Drama Series: The Americans (FX) · Best Actor in a Drama Series: Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul (AMC) · Best Actress in a Drama Series: Taraji P. Henson, Empire (FOX) […]

Interview: Martha Williamson on the Expanded “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” Movie Series

posted by Nell Minow

It was just over a year ago that I first spoke to “Touched by an Angel” creator Martha Williamson about her dead letter detective series for Hallmark, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” She is one of my all-time favorite interviews, making me […]

Trailer: Jem and the Holograms

posted by Nell Minow

The 1980’s cartoon series “Jem and the Holograms” is now a movie! It stars that Aubrey Peeples as Jem, Stefanie Scott as Kimber, Hayley Kiyoko as Aja, Aurora Perrineau as Shana, and Ryan Guzman as Rio, and it is scheduled […]

Trailer: Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro in “The Intern”

posted by Nell Minow

This new film from Nancy Meyers (“It’s Complicated,” “Something’s Got to Give”) stars Anne Hathaway as a young executive with a new intern played by Robert De Niro.

Contest: Reading Rainbow DVD — If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

posted by Nell Minow

Levar Burton and Reading Rainbow present four classic episodes on this new DVD from PBS Kids. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie read by Beth Howland, Owen read by Matthew Broderick, Two OId Potatoes and Me read by Jordan […]

The New Yorker’s Actress Profiles: Tilda Swinton, Angela Bassett, Katharine Hepburn, and More

posted by Nell Minow

The New Yorker has created a section with some of its best profiles of actresses, including Angela Bassett, Julia Roberts, Diane Keaton, Tilda Swinton, and Katharine Hepburn. They are a treat to read and will inspire you to check out […]

San Andreas

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense disaster action and mayhem throughout, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: May 30, 2015

Another summer blockbuster-by-the-numbers, another dad who needs redemption and re-connection with his family, and the only way he can get it is via massive, catastrophic disasters lovingly created via CGI that feels more real than the emotions, characters, or dialog. […]

Aloha

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some language including suggestive comments
Movie Release Date:May 30, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 23, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language including suggestive comments
Movie Release Date: May 30, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 23, 2015

Writer/director Cameron Crowe presents us with an attractive and talented but messy and compromised hero in “Aloha,” and asks us to root for him. The problem is that the film itself is attractive, talent-filled, messy, and compromised, and harder to […]

Trailer: Eva — Yet Another AI Robot Movie

posted by Nell Minow

This is certainly turning out to be the year of the AI robot.  This one stars Daniel Brühl and this time the robot is a child named EVA.

Today on TCM: Go Back in Time With Time Travel Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Tonight Turner Classic Movies has some time travel treats, including George Pal’s classic version of H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine,” starring Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimieux. Also on the schedule is “Time After Time,” with Malcolm McDowell as Wells himself, […]

Contest: Win a DVD of Minnie’s Pet Salon!

posted by Nell Minow

Minnie Mouse has a new business — a pet salon!  And I have a copy to give away. All the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse friends are bringing their pets in for beauty treatments so they can participate in Pluto’s All-Star Pet […]

Ashley Judd Movie, “Big Stone Gap,” Coming This Fall

posted by Nell Minow

Picturehouse will be releasing “Big Stone Gap” this fall. It was filmed on location in Virginia and stars Ashley Judd as Ave Maria Mulligan, who lives a simple life with her mother, runs the pharmacy, directs the real-life tourist attraction […]

Illuminate Film Festival

posted by Nell Minow

The Illuminate Film Festival opens today in Sedona, Arizona. Its mission is to be the premier film festival for “conscious cinema.” Dedicated to spreading enlightened ideas and pushing humanity forward, Illuminate is poised to become a landmark destination event and […]

Interview: “Mike and Molly’s” Billy Gardell on “Dancer and the Dame”

posted by Nell Minow

Billy Gardell, star of television’s Mike & Molly, talked to me about his new film, Dancer & The Dame. He plays Rick Dancer. “He was once like a super detective and he kind of got obsessed chasing this bad guy […]

Trailer: The Search for Freedom

posted by Nell Minow

This new documentary tells the stories of the athletes who seek the freedom that comes from living in the moment and doing what makes us feel the most alive. This documentary written and directed by Jon Long (IMAX® Extreme) is […]

Win a Daniel Tiger Book and DVD!

posted by Nell Minow

Daniel Tiger loves being outside and spending time with his family and friends. In these eight stories, he learns about swimming safely and visits the Enchanted Garden to pick strawberries. When a windstorm makes a mess of the playground, Daniel […]

Behind the Scenes: Jurassic World

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s a great sneak peek inside “Jurassic World,” coming to theaters on June 12, 2015.

Tribute: Anne Meara

posted by Nell Minow

Today we mourn the loss of actress/comedian Anne Meara, wife of Jerry Stiller and mother of actor/director Ben Stiller. Stiller and Meara were a comedy team who appeared frequently on the Ed Sullivan show. Their humor often focused on their […]

History of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier — Arlington National Cemetery

posted by Nell Minow

Memorial Day 2015

posted by Nell Minow

Tonight on PBS: Memorial Day Concert

posted by Nell Minow

On the eve of Memorial Day, PBS will broadcast a star-studded lineup for the annual Memorial Day concert and tribute to the military. For over 25 years, this multiple-award-winning television event has honored the military service and sacrifice of all […]

Movies for Memorial Day

posted by Nell Minow

I’ve already written about great documentaries and feature films about the military to watch on Memorial Day.  These recent documentaries about our 21st century conflicts give the military a chance to tell their own story.  They are not pro-war or […]

Trailer: Batkid Begins

posted by Nell Minow

The amazing Make-a-Wish story that captivated the world is now a movie, and I’ve been looking forward to it since I attended the event at last year’s Comic-Con. Can’t wait.

A Clip from A.D. The Bible Continues — Jesus Appears to Saul

posted by Nell Minow

Jesus appears to Saul to turn him towards righteousness in this clip from Episode 8 of “A.D. The Bible Continues,” premiering Sunday, May 24, 2015, at 9/8c on NBC.

Tomorrowland’s Inspirations

posted by Nell Minow

Brad Bird’s gorgeously imagined “Tomorrowland” is not just inspired by an area in the original Disneyland, celebrating its 60th anniversary this week, it is a tribute to the sensationally imaginative work of the “imagineers” and artists who created it and […]

Trailer: Unexpected with Cobie Smulders

posted by Nell Minow

Samantha Abbott (“How I Met Your Mother’s” Cobie Smulders) is a dedicated and passionate teacher at an inner-city Chicago high school. Just as she is coming to terms with her school closing, Samantha faces some life-changing and unexpected news: she […]

Tomorrowland

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements, and language
Movie Release Date: May 22, 2015

It begins with an argument. Frank (George Clooney) is trying to tell us the story. But he is repeatedly interrupted by someone we will learn is Casey (Britt Robertson). “Try to be a little more upbeat,” she urges him. The […]

I’ll See You in My Dreams

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual material, drug use and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:May 22, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual material, drug use and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: May 22, 2015

Blythe Danner gives a performance of exquisite sensitivity in “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” the story of a lonely widow. She plays Carol, a singer-turned teacher who retired 20 years ago after her husband died. Her friends in a […]

Interview: Brett Haley, Writer/Director of “I’ll See You in My Dreams”

posted by Nell Minow

Brett Haley wrote and directed “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” a bittersweet romance starring the luminous Blythe Danner as Carol, a widow taking some tentative steps toward love with Bill, a handsome new neighbor played by Sam Elliott. Haley […]

Friar’s Club Documentary — Tonight on WNET and Online

posted by Nell Minow

Tonight on New York PBS station WNET, “Treasures of New York: Friars Club” will explore the rich history of the exclusive private club through never-before-seen footage of Frairs roasts and interviews with some of the club’s most prominent members. Larry […]

Alamo Drafthouse Tells Audience Members to Turn Off Their Cell Phones with Lewis Black of “Inside Out”

posted by Nell Minow

Lewis Black plays Anger in Pixar’s new film, “Inside Out.” So who better to remind the audience to TURN OFF THEIR CELL PHONES!

Interview: Claire LaZebnik, Author of Wrong About the Guy

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful Claire LaZebnik has written another terrific YA book.  This one is Wrong About the Guy, the story of Ellie, a high school senior who lives with her mother, her musician stepfather, who has become unexpectedly famous as the […]

Reading Rainbow’s New Skybrary

posted by Nell Minow

Reading Rainbow’s Kickstarter project has announced that its “Skybrary,” a subscription-based online library for kids, is here. Families can get access to more than 500 carefully selected books that children can read on smartphones or tablets, with new content added […]

For Red Nose Day: Peter Dinklage and Coldplay

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s a clip from a fabulous musical number featuring Coldplay and Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage. Turn in to NBC tomorrow at 8 to see the Red Nose Day show!

More Problems with YouTube Kids

posted by Nell Minow

The public interest and child advocacy groups that have charged Google and YouTube Kids with failing to meet their promise to screen videos and ensure that there is no material inappropriate for young children has come back to add new […]

Interview: Junkie XL, Composer of “Mad Max: Fury Road”

posted by Nell Minow

It was a treat to talk to Junkie XL (aka Tom Holkenborg), the award-winning, multi-platinum producer/composer who created the sensational soundtrack for Mad Max: Fury Road, ranging from orchestral to heavy metal, and now available for purchase. Coming up next, he […]

Interview: Sandy McLeod on “Seeds of Time”

posted by Nell Minow

Seeds of Time is a documentary that seems like a terrifying science fiction story. It is about the efforts of Cary Fowler, funded by Bill Gates, to find, preserve, and store seeds from plants necessary for all life forms on […]

Trailer: We Are Your Friends

posted by Nell Minow

Zac Efron stars in “We Are Your Friends,” opening in August 2015.

Trailer: Al Pacino in “Manglehorn”

posted by Nell Minow

A strange and lonely man tries to come to terms with a past crime that cost him the love of his life in this film, opening June 19, 2015.

Exclusive Clip: Richie Rich — Coming 5/22 on Netflix

posted by Nell Minow

We are delighted to have a sneak peek at Netflix’s new Richie Rich series, premiering May 22, 2015.

Blythe Danner Talks to Susan Wloszczyna About “I’ll See You In My Dreams”

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite critics interviewed one of my favorite actresses — Susan Wloszczyna spoke to Blythe Danner about her role in the bittersweet romance, “I’ll See You in My Dreams.” Paltrow talks about introducing her daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow, to […]

Tonight on PBS — 1971, Documentary About The Robbery that Exposed FBI Abuses

posted by Nell Minow

Tonight on PBS, the brilliant documentary “1971” will be shown on the Independent Lens series. In 1971, a group of ordinary citizens broke into a small FBI office in Pennsylvania and shared with the world their findings on COINTELPRO, the […]

American Sniper

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:January 16, 2015
DVD Release Date:May 18, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: January 16, 2015
DVD Release Date: May 18, 2015

The highest-grossing movie of 2014 is also one of the most controversial. Director Clint Eastwood and producer-star Bradley Cooper have made a more subtle and nuanced film than either the people who loved it or the people who hated it […]

Great Films with Philosophical Themes

posted by Nell Minow

Even the least ambitious films often include some philosophical questions about identity, meaning, and free will. But I enjoyed this list of philosophical films from The Guardian. All of them are worth seeing and all of the questions they raise […]

Interview: Carlos Pratts of “McFarland USA”

posted by Nell Minow

Carlos Pratt plays a real-life high school championship athlete in McFarland, USA, available on DVD and Blu-Ray June 2, 2015. Kevin Costner plays Coach Jim White, who has never coached running before when he helped a group of boys from […]

Smile of the Week: Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus Sing “Don’t Dream It’s Over”

posted by Nell Minow

Miley Cyrus has founded a new nonprofit called Happy Hippies “to rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBT youth and other vulnerable populations.” To help get the word out and help raise money, she is inviting her […]

Would You Like to Win a Movie Theater With an Essay?

posted by Nell Minow

250 words and a $99 entry fee can win you a movie theater.  The Cape Ann Cinema is holding an essay contest to select the next owner.  Owner Rob Newton says: I opened the living-room-style Cape Ann Community Cinema in […]

Trailer: Supergirl

posted by Nell Minow

The new “Supergirl” series on CBS stars Melissa Benoist (“Glee,” “Whiplash,” “Danny Collins”) as Superman’s Kryptonian cousin, with Calista Flockhart as her “Devil Wears Prada”-style boss.  Former Superman (“Clark and Lois” Dean Cain and former Supergirl Helen Slater play her adoptive […]

Interview: Dude Perfect’s Tyler Toney

posted by Nell Minow

Dude Perfect is the second largest sports channel on YouTube, with over 4.5 million subscribers and more than 556 million views.  They are a group of five best friends (plus a panda) from Texas who love sports, comedy and living […]

Trailer: Absolutely Anything with Simon Pegg and the Monty Python Guys

posted by Nell Minow

This looks a bit too much like “Bruce Almighty,” but with the Monty Python guys playing aliens, I can’t help but be intrigued.

Mad Max: Fury Road

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images
Movie Release Date:May 15, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images
Movie Release Date: May 15, 2015

Mad Max (Tom Hardy, taking over from Mel Gibson) stamps on a two-headed lizard and then chews its head off. And that’s just in the first minute. That master of apocalyptic junkyard anarchy, George Miller, is back, bigger, wilder, madder […]

Pitch Perfect 2

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for innuendo and language
Movie Release Date:May 15, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for innuendo and language
Movie Release Date: May 15, 2015

“Pitch Perfect 2″ is — bear with me — the musical comedy variation on the “Furious 7″ recipe for success.  The sequel jettisons any pretense of seriousness of purpose, structural logic, or psychological authenticity, joyfully tosses off any pretense of […]

Get Roger Ebert’s Great Movies eBook for $1.99 Until May 24, 2015

posted by Nell Minow

Roger Ebert’s Great Movies ebook is on sale through May 24 for only $1.99. Whether you are a long-time film fan or just looking for something new on Netflix, you will want to have Ebert’s wise and witty appreciations of […]

Trailer: Queen Latifah Plays Bessie Smith on HBO

posted by Nell Minow

Queen Latifah plays blues singer Bessie Smith in a new movie premiering on HBO May 16, 2015.  Monique co-stars as Ma Rainey. Here is the real Bessie Smith.

Trailer: The New Muppet Show Coming This Fall on ABC

posted by Nell Minow

Red Nose Day USA — Coming on NBC May 21, 2015

posted by Nell Minow

Red Nose Day is a campaign dedicated to raising money for children and young people living in poverty by simply having fun and making people laugh. Already established in the UK, the inaugural US Red Nose Day will be held […]

A Better Movie with Sofia Vergara

posted by Nell Minow

Do you want to see a wild comedy with Sofia Vergara? Don’t waste your time with the dreary Hot Pursuit. Take a look at a much better film, Big Trouble, made in 2002, with Tim Allen and Rene Russo, based […]

Interview: Tom Salta, Composer for HALO Spartan Strike

posted by Nell Minow

It’s one thing to create a soundtrack for one story. But Tom Salta had to create one consistent theme for multiple potential storylines and outcomes for the latest version of HALO, called Spartan Strike. The game is available on Windows […]

Amazon Will No Longer Sell “Boys Toys” and “Girls Toys” — Just “Toys”

posted by Nell Minow

There is only one person who should decide which toy is fun — the person who plays with it. Not the manufacturers or the retailers. President Obama wisely pointed this out by refusing to accept the labels on toys at […]

Great Movie Moms for Mother’s Day 2015

posted by Nell Minow

Some of my favorites from 50 Must-See Movies: Mothers (free this weekend!):

Tomorrowland: Clues

posted by Nell Minow

Disney’s “Tomorrowland” is coming soon!  Here are some clues…

A Lovely Tribute to Movie Mothers

posted by Nell Minow

Rachel Apatoff on NPR

posted by Nell Minow

My beautiful and brilliant daughter, Rachel Apatoff, is a costume designer in Hollywood and she was interviewed on NPR today. A woman who worked with costume legends Edith Head and Bob Mackie was selling some of her possessions in a […]

Newton Minow and the Vast Wasteland Speech, May 9, 1961

posted by Nell Minow

Here is my wonderful dad, Newton Minow, on his famous “vast wasteland” speech, delivered to the National Association of Broadcasters on May 9, 1961, 54 years ago today. On Tuesday night, Chicago PBS station WTTW celebrated its 60th anniversary and […]

Orson Welles: Happy First Century

posted by Nell Minow

Happy 100th birthday to the writer/director/star of one of the greatest films of all time, Citizen Kane. Everyone should see that movie, and then everyone should see it again, listening to Roger Ebert’s shot-by-shot commentary, a master illuminating a master […]

50 Must-See Movies: Mothers — Free This Weekend for Mother’s Day!

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of Mother’s Day, my ebook 50 Must-See Movies: Mothers will be free on Amazon through Monday, May 8-11, 2015. No relationship is more primal, more fraught, more influential, more worried over, more nourishing when good and more devastating […]

Noble

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, including some violent and sexual situations
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, including some violent and sexual situations
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015

Christina Noble is an Irish woman known as “Mama Tina” to thousands of Vietnamese children and their families. Her own childhood was one of poverty, abandonment, loss, and hardship, but her resilience and determination led her to give children half […]

Hot Pursuit

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, violence, language and some drug material
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 10, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, violence, language and some drug material
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 10, 2015

Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon are both talented, beautiful actresses with savvy business acumen and strong entrepreneurial energy. Witherspoon’s accolades in 2014 included more than a Best Actress Oscar nomination for “Wild.” She also produced it, and another Oscar-nominated film, […]

Bravetown

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language, drug use and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language, drug use and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015

If only salutory intentions and one good performance could save a film so fundamentally wrongly conceived. “Bravetown” starts out as “Footloose,” veers into “Ordinary People,” and ends up as “Swing Kids,” with jaw-dropping shifts in tone and focus and total […]

The D Train

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Unrated
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015

Comedies, especially dark ones, have a lot of freedom when it comes to narrative logic, but the emotional logic still has to ring true. No matter how crazy the storyline gets, the way the characters respond to it has to […]

Ride

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some drug use
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 17, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some drug use
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 17, 2015

A surf bum named Ian (Luke Wilson) is explaining the physics of the interaction between surfboard and wave: it’s an inanimate object in an ever-changing environment. One doesn’t move. One never stops moving in powerful and highly unpredictable ways. And […]

Interview: Brenton Thwaites of “Ride”

posted by Nell Minow

Australian actor Brenton Thwaites (“Maleficent,” “The Giver”) stars in “Ride,” a new film written, directed, and starring Oscar-winner Helen Hunt. She plays Jackie, an overprotective mother whose son Angelo (Thwaites) is about to start college and move into a dorm […]

Interview: Jonny Campbell, Director of J.K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy”

posted by Nell Minow

J.K. Rowling’s first book for adults was the dark, sometimes savage story of small town politics, The Casual Vacancy. The title refers to an elected office that is vacated before the term is up, which in this story occurs in […]

Indiana Jones Exhibit at the National Geographic Museum

posted by Nell Minow

On May 14, 2015, an Indiana Jones exhibit comes to Washington, D.C.’s National Geographic Museum. It is an immersive experience, exploring the science and history of field archeology, featuring iconic props and behind-the-scenes production materials, including: * A vast and […]

Behind the Scenes: Pitch Perfect 2

posted by Nell Minow

Clip: Spare Parts DVD Extra With Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega Talk Robots and SPARE PARTS

posted by Nell Minow

Real-life spouses Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega talk about robots for the “Spare Parts” DVD/Blu-Ray, available today.

Tomorrowland: Meet Casey

posted by Nell Minow

Disney’s “Tomorrowland” opens Memorial Day weekend.  Britt Robertson (“The Longest Ride”) plays Casey.

MVP of the Month: Matthias Schoenaerts of “A Little Chaos” and “Far from the Madding Crowd”

posted by Nell Minow

Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts is this month’s MVP and best screen boyfriend, playing patient, decent, devoted, outdoorsy lovers in two different costume dramas. In “Far from the Madding Crowd” he plays farmer Gabriel Oak and in “A Little Chaos” he […]

Interview: Brian Bonnick Explains the Stunning New Technology of IMAX Laser Projection

posted by Nell Minow

The Smithsonian calls it a “reimagination of the movie-theater experience.” Its Arbus IMAX Theater at the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum is one of only four theaters in the United States and the only one on the East coast to […]

May the 4th Be With You — Happy Star Wars Day!

posted by Nell Minow

Celebrate Star Wars Day (“May the 4th Be With You”) by checking out the Star Wars Instagram photos. One of the highlights is Darth Vader’s selfie.

Native Americans Refuse to Work on Adam Sandler’s New Film

posted by Nell Minow

Adam Sandler is currently filming “The Ridiculous Six,” reportedly a comic version of the classic Western “The Magnificent Seven.” According to Indian Country Today Media, a group of Native American actors walked off the set because they were offended by […]

Trailer: Woody Allen’s “Irrational Man”

posted by Nell Minow

Woody Allen’s new movie has Joaquin Phoenix as a depressed middle-aged professor who finds new joy and meaning in the love a beautiful young student. This is a recurring theme in Allen’s films, but this trailer suggests that it may […]

Wit and Wisdom in The Jottery by Andy Selsberg

posted by Nell Minow

I really enjoyed The Jottery: Thought Experiments for Everyday Philosophers and Part-Time Geniuses by Andy Selsberg. Each page has a question or mental challenge — think of it as something between a really high-end fortune cookie, a profound zen koan, […]

Trailer: What Happened, Miss Simone? — Nina Simone Documentary

posted by Nell Minow

I was privileged to hear Nina Simone perform in concert and can’t wait to see this film.

Tomorrowland Contest: The Museum of Science Fiction Wants Your Ideas About Tomorrow

posted by Nell Minow

The Museum of Science Fiction today announced the launch of an online contest to celebrate the opening of Disney’s new film “Tomorrowland.” Fans can submit their vision of tomorrow for a chance to win a prize pack including promotional items […]

Interview: Alex Garland of “Ex Machina”

posted by Nell Minow

Alex Garland is the screenwriter of thought-provoking sci-fi films like “28 Days Later” and “Never Let Me Go.”  He wrote and for the first time directed “Ex Machina,” a fascinating story about Caleb, a computer programmer (Domhnall Gleeson), invited to […]

Marvel/Disney — Where are the Natasha Dolls?

posted by Nell Minow

Jenna Busch and the wonderful folks of Legion of Leia and Heroic Girls are asking an important question: #wheresnatasha? Remember last year when the #WheresGamora hashtag called out the lack of Gamora toys in the Guardians of the Galaxy toy […]

Trailer: “Risen” — A Non-Believer Witnesses Christ’s Resurrection

posted by Nell Minow

Coming January 2016, starring Joseph Fiennes.

May 2015 — Movies Opening This Month

posted by Nell Minow

Fasten your seatbelts!  Summer movies are here.  Tonight “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will explode into theaters.  It’s already a blockbuster overseas. And for those of you who are looking for something more literary, “Far from the Madding Crowd” opens today […]

Far from the Madding Crowd

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 3, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 3, 2015

It may be a British costume drama based on a classic novel, but Thomas Hardy’s saga of a headstrong woman and the three marriage proposals from very different men is not the usual corsets and teacups. Far from the Madding […]

Avengers: Age of Ultron

posted by Nell Minow

Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) sums it up best. Speaking pretty much to himself but also to us in the audience, he notes that he is on a floating city trying to fight off a robot army with arrows. “It doesn’t make […]

Welcome to Me

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, some graphic nudity, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, some graphic nudity, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2015

In “Welcome to Me,” Kristen Wiig plays Alice, a depressed woman diagnosed with borderline personality disorder who wins $86 million in the lottery. She uses much of it to create a one-woman television series that feature monologues about her life […]

Iris

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 23, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 23, 2015

Fashion icon nonagenarian Iris Apfel is renowned for her taste and style. But people who see this movie, the last from documentary legend Albert Maysles, will remember her for her fearlessness and life force. Along with the signature big, round, […]

Puss in Boots “Hosts” a Jeopardy Category

posted by Nell Minow

Tonight on Jeopardy Puss in Boots becomes the first CG-animated character to host an entire category of answers. Puss “recorded” clues for an entire category called “Not as Great as Puss In Boots.” On May 8, The Adventures of Puss […]

Original Version: Far from the Madding Crowd

posted by Nell Minow

Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Far from the Madding Crowd is the story of headstrong Bathsheba Everdene, who inherits a farm and who receives marriage proposals from three very different men. A new version starring Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge, […]

Meryl Streep Supports Women Screenwriters

posted by Nell Minow

Meryl Streep has made a contribution to a lab program for women over 40 who write movies. The only program of its kind, The Writers Lab evolved in recognition of the absence of the female voice in narrative film, along […]

Tony Nominations 2015

posted by Nell Minow

The Tony nominations are out! I was delighted to see “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” get several nominations, including best play, best actor Alex Sharp, and best director Marianne Elliott. It is one of the most […]

Trailer: Disney’s Descendants With the Next Generation of Villains

posted by Nell Minow

Coming to the Disney Channel this summer:

Men in Suits: Costume Designers Talk about “Scandal,” “Mad Men,” and More Suit-Wearing Characters on TV

posted by Nell Minow

The women’s clothes get all the attention, but for a costume designer — and for the actor — a suit is just as important. Indiewire spoke to costume designers about what the suits worn on “Mad Men,” “Scandal,” “Better Call […]

Interview: Matt Mamula of Celebrity Impersonator Documentary “Just About Famous”

posted by Nell Minow

Matt Mamula co-directed “Just About Famous,” the very entertaining new documentary about celebrity impersonators. He generously took time to talk to me about the unexpected opportunities that open up when someone looks like someone who becomes famous, and it seemed […]

Interview: Barak Goodman of “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies”

posted by Nell Minow

Director Barak Goodman talked to me about his superb series for PBS, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, now available on DVD. The series is produced by Ken Burns, based on the book by book by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Everybody who […]

Creativity Conference 2015: Nancy Pelosi, Snoopy, and Drones with GoPros

posted by Nell Minow

I had so much fun at last year’s Creativity Conference that I could not imagine how they could top it this year, but they succeeded. This is the third time the MPAA has teamed up with media and technology partners […]

Trailer: The Little Prince

posted by Nell Minow

The beloved book The Little Prince has been gorgeously animated, with voices including Jeff Bridges, James Franco, and Rachel McAdams.  I love this trailer.

Trailer: Samuel L. Jackson is the President in “Big Game”

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: Song from the Forest

posted by Nell Minow

I was delighted to see that there is a documentary about Louis Sarno, whose work I have admired since I saw the wonderful film Oka! directed by Lavinia Currier.

The Age of Adaline

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for a suggestive comment
Movie Release Date:April 24, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for a suggestive comment
Movie Release Date: April 24, 2015

Be careful what you wish for.  You think it would be great to stay 29 forever?  Adaline (Blake Lively) finds out that it is not great to become unstuck from time, to watch everyone you love grow old and die, […]

The Water Diviner

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for war violence including some disturbing images
Movie Release Date:April 24, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for war violence including some disturbing images
Movie Release Date: April 24, 2015

Before it detours into not one, not two, but at least three preposterous Hollywood twists, “The Water Diviner” is an absorbing drama about Joshua Connor, an Australian farmer (Russell Crowe, making his directing debut as well) who travels to Turkey […]

Critics Write About Our First Encounters with Star Wars

posted by Nell Minow

The latest Criticwire survey asks for our first encounters with “Star Wars.” I had a lot of fun writing about mine: A long, long time ago in a galaxy far away, or at least that’s how it seems now, my […]

Behind the Scenes with Avengers: Age of Ultron

posted by Nell Minow

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” opens May 1, 2015.

Trailer: Aurora

posted by Nell Minow

When will humans (at least those in movies) figure out that putting machines in charge is never a good idea?

Movies for Earth Day 2015

posted by Nell Minow

Celebrate Earth Day with some of these great films about our planet, its beauties and its challenges: 1. An Inconvenient Truth Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary makes a powerful case for the dire effects of climate change — and an even […]

Former Disney Head Dick Cook Has a New Studio to Make Family Movies

posted by Nell Minow

I am a big fan of former Disney studio head Dick Cook, and was delighted to hear that he will be heading up a new $150 million studio to make family movies.  “Our mission will always be to provide the […]

Fandango’s New “We Love Movies” Program

posted by Nell Minow

Fandango, the nation’s leading digital destination for moviegoers with 36 million unique visitors per month, announced today the May 6 launch of “We Love Movies,” celebrating the joys of moviegoing. The summer-long program will feature celebrity events, VIP movie screenings, […]

Exclusive Clip: Maya the Bee

posted by Nell Minow

The Adventures of Maya the Bee is a classic children’s book from Germany, originally published more than 100 years ago, about a brave little bee who breaks the rules by leaving the hive but saves the day when she warns […]

Dick Van Dyke to Guest Star on “The Middle”

posted by Nell Minow

My all-time favorite sitcom is “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”  Though I’ve seen every episode many times, I still watch them on Hulu.  And some of the best were the ones featuring Van Dyke’s real-life brother Jerry as Rob Petrie’s […]

The Hobbit: The Definitive Movie Posters

posted by Nell Minow

The Hobbit: The Definitive Movie Posters is a gorgeous new book and a must-have for all would-be denizens of Middle Earth.

Ebertfest #3 — The “Ida” Panel

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to Matt Zoller Seitz, Sheila O’Malley, and Todd Rendleman for our superb discussion about this year’s Oscar winner for best foreign language movie, “Ida.”

Movies vs. Science — The Worst Science Mistakes on Film

posted by Nell Minow

The Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum used to have a great little video with a claymation Albert Einstein shaking his head over the many mistakes in sci-fi movies. “They’re breaking my rule!” he exclaimed. As the animated genius went on […]

Trailer: Ant-Man

posted by Nell Minow

Okay, I admit I was skeptical. I was thinking along the lines of Teeny Little Super Guy from Sesame Street. But I love Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Corey Stoll and this trailer has me sold.

Movie Scenes in Grocery Stores — Featuring Macaulay Culkin, Michael Keaton, Natalie Portman, Steve Martin, Ryan Gosling, and More

posted by Nell Minow

Check out Slate’s compilation of movie scenes set in grocery stores.  It has a lot of my favorites, but leaves out this classic with Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball, from the fact-based “Yours, Mine, and Ours.”

Ebertfest 2015, Part 2

posted by Nell Minow

It was a great honor to be included on today’s panel of movie critics, along with superstars Godfrey Cheshire, Scott Foundas, Matt Zoller Seitz, Rebecca Theodore Vachon, Richard Roeper, Susan Wloszczyna, Michael Phillips, Brian Tallarico, and Sam Fragoso.

GI Film Festival — Coming to DC May 18-24

posted by Nell Minow

I was very lucky to be able to attend a preview of the upcoming 9th annual GI Film Festival, coming to Washington, D.C. and Fairfax, Virginia May 18-24, 2015.  Brandon Millett and Laura Law-Millett started the festival, the first ever […]

Trailer — Star Wars: The Force Awakens

posted by Nell Minow

Mad Men Fan Cuts

posted by Nell Minow

As “Mad Men” is coming to a close, the fans who have found its depth and insights enthralling are creating their own versions of their favorite scenes, and you can watch them online.  Take a look and post your own!

Ebertfest 2015, Part 1

posted by Nell Minow

Greetings from the campus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where the 17th annual Roger Ebert Film Festival is underway. I am delighted to be appearing on a panel of very distinguished film critics this morning and will post […]

Monkey Kingdom

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2015

Disneynature’s annual wild kingdom-style nature documentary is predictably adorable but surprisingly absorbing. The toque macaque monkeys of Sri Lanka live in the 12th century ruins of Polonnaruwa in a society as rigidly structured and ruthlessly enforced as a high school […]

Ex Machina

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for graphic nudity, language, sexual references and some violence
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2015
DVD Release Date:July 14, 2015
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for graphic nudity, language, sexual references and some violence
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2015
DVD Release Date: July 14, 2015

Movies about artificial intelligence or computers achieving consciousness are, of course, really about what it means to be human. When software and hardware combine to mimic or exceed human qualities in “Her,” “Chappie,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Terminator,” or the […]

True Story

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some disturbing material
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2015
DVD Release Date:August 3, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some disturbing material
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2015
DVD Release Date: August 3, 2015

A reporter in disgrace for fabricating details of a story sits across the table from an orange-jumpsuited prisoner, accused of murdering his wife and three children. They have more in common than either of them expected. They are both outcasts. […]

Dove’s New Campaign: #Choosebeautiful

posted by Nell Minow

The Real Story: True Story with Jonah Hill and James Franco

posted by Nell Minow

“True Story” opens this week, starring Jonah Hill and James Franco. It is based on the real-life experiences of a disgraced journalist and the murderer who took his name. The movie is about a reporter fired by the New York […]

Exclusive Clip: Paddington

posted by Nell Minow

We are delighted to present an exclusive clip from the adorable “Paddington,” available on DVD/Blu-Ray April 28, 2015.

Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC 2015

posted by Nell Minow

I visited the cherry blossoms at the Jefferson Memorial! All images copyright 2015 Nell Minow

Other Space — New Comedy Series on Yahoo from Paul Feig

posted by Nell Minow

Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids,” “Freaks and Geeks”) has a new comedy sci-fi series called “Other Space” premiering today on Yahoo. There is a fascinating article by Stephan Rodrick in the New Yorker about one of the people who played a key […]

VeggieTales in the House — A New Series on Netflix

posted by Nell Minow

Bob, Larry and the Veggie crew are back in five all-new, 22-minute episodes of the Netflix original series VeggieTales In the House! The brand-new episodes will be available for Netflix members to watch instantly this Friday, April 17. We are delighted to be […]

Trailer: Misery Loves Comedy

posted by Nell Minow

I love comedy and stand-up and can’t wait to see this documentary. Jimmy Fallon, Tom Hanks, Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan, Judd Apatow, Lisa Kudrow, Larry David, and Jon Favreau are among over 60 famous funny people featured in this hilarious […]

Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:April 14, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: April 14, 2015

PBS’s Wild Kratts is one of my favorite series for families. I love the relationship between the two real-life Kratt brothers and their enthusiasm and sense of adventure. The episodes have a nice balance between adventure, humor, and information about […]

Interview: Georgie Henley of “Sisterhood of Night”

posted by Nell Minow

Georgie Henley stars in “Sisterhood of the Night,” a story of intense teenage girl friendships and bullying, based on a story by Steven Millhauser. I have been a big fan since she played Lucy in the Narnia movies, and it […]

Google’s YouTube Kids is Saturated with Stealth Ads

posted by Nell Minow

In February of this year, Google launched the YouTube Kids app, specially designed for “little thumbs” to get kids hooked on devices and videos as soon as they can hold an iPhone. They assured parents that the app was completely […]

Trailer: The Road Within Starring Dev Patel and Zoe Kravitz

posted by Nell Minow

The Famous Families of the Longest Ride Cast

posted by Nell Minow

The cast of this week’s big release, the Nicholas Sparks movie “The Longest Ride,” includes three actors with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars in their family trees. It’s a good reminder to check out some of their best films. Scott […]

Behind the Scenes — Avengers: Age of Ultron

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: I’ll See You in My Dreams with Blythe Danner

posted by Nell Minow

Blythe Danner is the American equivalent to Helen Mirren — endlessly elegant, witty, radiant. I can’t wait to see this film, which shares its name with the Gus Kahn song and the biopic about Gus Kahn starring Danny Thomas and […]

The Longest Ride

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Movie Release Date:April 10, 2015
DVD Release Date:July 14, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Movie Release Date: April 10, 2015
DVD Release Date: July 14, 2015

Another spring, another Nicholas Sparks movie. I don’t mind (much) that they are so rigidly formulaic. Every one of them centers on (1) water, (2) letters, and (3) somebody dying. All genre films follow some sort of formula, and we […]

Game of Chairs — Sesame Street Adorably Takes on Game of Thrones

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: Cecilia De Mille Presley on Her Grandfather Cecil B. De Mille

posted by Nell Minow

The great director Cecil B. De Mille, known for his grand, lavish epics like Claudette Colbert’s sizzling Cleopatra and the Biblical epics The Ten Commandments and Samson & Delilah, and Best Picture Oscar winner The Greatest Show on Earth deserves […]

Josh Gad and Billy Crystal in a New Comedy Series: The Comedians

posted by Nell Minow

I love meta, so I’m looking forward to seeing Josh Gad and Billy Crystal in their new series, “The Comedians,” where they play versions of themselves, Josh Gad and Billy Crystal (ish), starring in a new series.  It premieres tomorrow […]

Cinderella-Thon Podcast: Movie Addict Headquarters

posted by Nell Minow

I had a blast talking all things Cinderella on Movie Addict Headquarters with Betty Jo Tucker, Mack Bates, and A.J. Hakari. Who’s the best evil stepmother? What little-known versions of the story should you be sure to see? And who’s […]

Tribute: Stan Freberg

posted by Nell Minow

The world lost one of the funniest and most creative men in broadcasting, Stan Freberg, who died today at age 88. One of the great thrills of my life was seeing Mr. Freberg at Comic-Con, and seeing the wildly enthusiastic […]

What Makes Your Hometown Special?

posted by Nell Minow

I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s HitRecord site, where he invites collaboration on music and films from everyone.  His latest is an invitation to tell him — and the audience — about what it is that only the locals know in your […]

Trailer: Max

posted by Nell Minow

A dog that helped US Marines in Afghanistan returns to the U.S. and is adopted by his handler’s family after suffering a traumatic experience in “Max,” with Lauren Graham, Thomas Haden Church, and Jay Hernandez, scheduled for June 26, 2015.

Mad Men: The Last Episodes

posted by Nell Minow

Tonight begins the last half of the final season of “Mad Men” on AMC. Don is a fascinating character, but the one to keep your eye on is Peggy.

Happy Easter!

posted by Nell Minow

Enjoy this lovely Easter hymn, and a blessed Easter to all who celebrate it.

A.D. The Bible Continues Begins Tonight on NBC

posted by Nell Minow

Roma Downey and Mark Burnett (“The Bible”) have a new series based on the later chapters of biblical history. “A.D. The Bible Continues” picks up where “The Bible” left off, exploring the events that followed the Crucifixion of Christ.  Beginning […]

Furious 7

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:April 3, 2015
DVD Release Date:September 14, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: April 3, 2015
DVD Release Date: September 14, 2015

Who would have picked the Fast & Furious series as the one that would defy the odds and just keep getting better? In part that is because the first one was not very good. And the second wasn’t either. It […]

Tomorrow on NBC: “BIBLE STORIES: The New Blockbusters”

posted by Nell Minow

“BIBLE STORIES: The New Blockbusters” Airs Sunday, April 5 at 8pm/7c On NBC Dateline, Natalie Morales sits down with producers Mark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey, for an in-depth interview about NBC’s “A.D. The Bible Continues.” Following the enormous […]

Sutton Foster is Back in “Younger”

posted by Nell Minow

The glorious Sutton Foster is back on television! She’s starring in TVLand’s “Younger,” as a divorced woman with a grown daughter who lies about her age to get a job. As in saying she is in her 20’s. Co-stars include […]

#Notamovie on Slate’s The Gist — You Can Inspire a TMBG Song!

posted by Nell Minow

Wouldn’t you like to be immortalized with a song title for one of the coolest bands ever, They Might Be Giants? You have two more days to tweet titles of imaginary movies to @slategist using the hashtag #NotAMovie — the […]

Trailer — Hillsong: Let Hope Rise

posted by Nell Minow

“Hillsong: Let Hope Rise” chronicles the Australia-based Christian band, Hillsong UNITED. Directed by Michael John Warren, the film follows the band as they record their next album and explores the history of Hillsong, a 30-year journey from a tiny church […]

AISH and Six13 Uptown Funk Up Passover

posted by Nell Minow

AISH made an Uptown Funk parody in honor of Passover: And so did Six13: Hag sameach!

Own a Piece of “Gone With the Wind”

posted by Nell Minow

Costumes, props, and memorabilia from one of the greatest films of all time will be sold at Heritage Auction’s “Gone With the Wind” sale, April 18-19, 2015.

Happy Passover!

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s a great Rube Goldberg-style contraption tribute to Passover from the folks at Technion. And here’s a glimpse of how they put it together.

While We’re Young

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:March 27, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: March 27, 2015

“While We’re Young” opens with an exchange from Ibsen’s “The Master Builder” about what happens when the young come knocking at the door. But it might just as well begin with the wry Amish aphorism, “We grow too soon old […]

Interview: Jean-Michel Cousteau of “Secret Ocean 3D”

posted by Nell Minow

Jean-Michel Cousteau has carried on the legacy of his famous father, Jacques Cousteau, who first allowed the world to see the creatures that live in the water, through deep-sea diving and his pioneering underwater photography. Now his son has used […]

The Woman in Gold — The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s “The Woman in Gold” stars Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, who fought to get the portrait of her aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer returned to her family. The painting, considered an Austrian national treasure, was taken from Bloch-Bauer’s family by […]

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