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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 […]

Interview: Writer/Director Noah Baumbach of “While We’re Young”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Noah Baumbach talked to me about his new film, “While We’re Young,” starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a middle-aged couple. They befriend a young couple played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried, and the movie has a […]

Join Me Next Month at the Bentonville Film Festival with Geena Davis, Celebrating Women and Diversity in Film

posted by Nell Minow

Join me next month in Bentonville, Arkansas, for the Bentonville Film Festival with Geena Davis!

April 2015: Movies Opening This Month

posted by Nell Minow

Happy April!  Here’s what I’m looking forward to in theaters this month.  It’s very intriguing that three movies opening in April have themes about eternal youth or transplanting consciousness, while another originally scheduled for this month, Pierce Brosnan’s “The Moon […]

The Woman in Gold

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:April 1, 2015
DVD Release Date:July 6, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: April 1, 2015
DVD Release Date: July 6, 2015

The very title is a form of theft. When Gustav Klimt painted the portrait that gives this film its name, he called it “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer.” She was a warm, vibrant young woman who was a vital part of […]

Interview: The Woman in Gold’s Simon Curtis and E. Randol Schoenberg

posted by Nell Minow

Director Simon Curtis told me, “My last film was My Week with Marilyn, and this one is my century with Maria.”  He is referring to “The Woman in Gold,” with Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, who brought a lawsuit to […]

Faith-Based Movie Picks — The Today Show

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of Easter and Passover, the Today Show has some good suggestions for faith-based movies, from the very serious and respectful to the light-hearted.

Another “Star is Born” Movie? Possibly, with Bradley Cooper as Director and Beyonce to Star!

posted by Nell Minow

A movie that’s already been done three times (at least) may just get yet another remake if the rumors are true that Bradley Cooper will direct and Beyoncé will appear in “A Star is Born.”  The original 1937 version, said […]

Exclusive Clip and Contest: What Would Jesus Do — The Journey Continues

posted by Nell Minow

We are honored to present an exclusive clip from “WWJD (What Would Jesus Do): The Journey Continues,” inspired by the best-selling classic book In His Steps. WWJD: The Journey Continues is available on DVD and Digital HD March 31, 2015. […]

Behind the Scenes: Furious 7

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: Amy S. Weber of the Bullying Movie “A Girl Like Her”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Amy S. Weber first became interested in the problem of bullying when she was producing educational films for young people in 1996, over about a 10 year period. “I was working with mostly teenagers on real life stories documenting […]

Trailer: Adam Sandler and Peter Dinklage in “Pixels,” a Comedy About the Attack of the Aliens Modeled on Classic Video Games

posted by Nell Minow

Actress Speaks Up Against Absurd Hollywood Casting Conventions

posted by Nell Minow

Cheers to the understandably anonymous “Miss L,” an actress in Hollywood, for her Tumblr posting real-life casting information that shows how limited and misogynistic Hollywood casting is.  Casting Call Woe shows actual casting call notices, most of which require actresses […]

Trailer: Paper Towns with Nat Wolff

posted by Nell Minow

The Wrecking Crew

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language, thematic elements and smoking images
Movie Release Date:March 27. 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language, thematic elements and smoking images
Movie Release Date: March 27. 2015

Maybe you like Frank Sinatra and your friend likes the Mamas and Papas. Maybe you’ve argued about who is better, the Beach Boys or Simon and Garfunkel, or maybe you prefer Elvis. Each of those monumentally talented performers had a […]

Home

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date:March 27, 2015
DVD Release Date:July 27, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date: March 27, 2015
DVD Release Date: July 27, 2015

“Home” is a cute and colorful movie about an alien invasion with an important safety tip concerning one of the most destructive forces in the universe, causing utter devastation to every known life form. Yes, it is hitting the dreaded […]

Ebertfest 2015

posted by Nell Minow

Passes are on sale for Ebertfest 2015!  I’ll be there!  From Chaz Ebert’s blog: We are opening with Jean-Luc Godard’s silent opus in 3D, “Adieu Au Langage” (“Goodbye To Language”). Some have complained that you were against 3D films, but […]

Apps for Movie Fans

posted by Nell Minow

Geek Dad has a great list of apps for movie lovers, including MoviePass, which gives you unlimited movie tickets for one set fee.  I’d add Flixter from Rotten Tomatoes and of course my favorite, IMDB.

Pretty Woman — 25 Years Later

posted by Nell Minow

The cast and director of “Pretty Woman” reunited on the Today Show to reminisce about the movie that, improbably, made us root for a predatory finance guy and a prostitute to live happily ever after. They discussed the original script, […]

Supercut: Gangsters

posted by Nell Minow

Movies have been fascinated by gangsters from the beginning, and this stylishly compiled supercut shows us some of the best well worth appreciating not just the art of the actor but also of the director, cinematographer, and production and costume […]

Coming to Spike TV: Jimmy Fallon’s Lip Sync Battle!

posted by Nell Minow

CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS!  Coming to Spike TV on April 2, 2015.

Trailer: Boychoir with Dustin Hoffman, Debra Winger, and Eddie Izzard

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: Simon Pegg and Lake Bell in “Man Up”

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: Costume Designer Colleen Atwood of “Into the Woods”

posted by Nell Minow

Stephen Sondheim’s dark take on fairy tales, Into the Woods, out on DVD/Blu-Ray this week, includes Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, and Chris Pine, but equally important is the contribution from another superstar, three-time Oscar winning costume […]

Interview: Tom Berenger of “Lonesome Dove Church”

posted by Nell Minow

Tom Berenger stars in Lonesome Dove Church, available March 24, 2015 on DVD. He spoke to me about the role and why Westerns have such enduring appeal.  And I have a copy of the DVD to give away!  Send me […]

Trailer — Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

posted by Nell Minow

Smile of the Week: Soul Pancake on the Power of Accepting Compliments

posted by Nell Minow

My very wise mother always says, “If someone pays you a compliment, don’t argue or deflect it.  Just lower your eyes and say, ‘Thank you.’”  This wonderful film from the great folks at Soul Pancake shows exactly how important that […]

How Do Movies Change to Convey Modern Technology?

posted by Nell Minow

I love this exploration of how cinematic storytelling has evolved to reflect the role that technology plays in our lives, especially in the way we absorb and convey information, especially the discussion of the elegant use of text in the […]

Interview: Robert Kenner of “Merchants of Doubt”

posted by Nell Minow

Robert Kenner’s Merchants of Doubt is a deeply unsettling documentary about the way corporations divert money they should be spending on making better products more effectively to spend it instead on undermining science and scientists. By creating fake “public interest” […]

Want to See A Movie With Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and Olaf the Snowman’s Josh Gad?

posted by Nell Minow

I am quite fond of a little film from 2008 called “The Rocker,” starring Rainn Wilson. And it’s even more fun now, as three of its actors have become big stars. Wilson plays a drummer who was let go just […]

A Rare Interview with Bill Watterson of “Calvin and Hobbes”

posted by Nell Minow

I am a huge fan of Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes comic strip and it was a thrill to see so many of the original drawings in the superbly curated show at the Billy Ireland Museum last year.  Now that […]

Trailer: Dial a Prayer

posted by Nell Minow

Brittany Snow (“Pitch Perfect”) and William H. Macy star in “Dial a Prayer,” about a troubled young woman who takes a job praying for and with anyone who calls in.

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2015

Jean-Michel Cousteau begins this dazzling underwater documentary with archival footage of his father’s pioneering work in showing us life in the other two-thirds of the planet. And then he uses the latest technology to bring those flickering monotone images up […]

Insurgent

posted by Nell Minow

This second in the “Divergent” series suffers from sequel-itis. The exuberance of the premise buoyed the first episode, as we and the central character, Tris (Shailene Woodley) explored the post-apocalyptic world that divided all citizens into strictly segregated factions. But […]

Danny Collins

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, drug use and some nudity
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 29, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, drug use and some nudity
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 29, 2015

Movie stories often begin with the hero or heroine having everything and then losing it or having nothing and then finding it. But some of the best combine them both, as Writer/director Dan Fogelman (“Cars,” “Tangled,” “Crazy Stupid Love”) has […]

The Gunman

posted by Nell Minow

Stars too often produce the kind of movie they want to star in, instead of the kind of movie anyone wants to watch. Co-writer/producer/star Sean Penn is clearly trying to make The Gunman a thinking person’s thriller. You can hear […]

Interview: Dan Fogelman, Writer/Director of “Danny Collins”

posted by Nell Minow

Dan Fogelman wrote “Cars,” “Tangled,” and “Crazy Stupid Love,” and now for the first time has directed with “Danny Collins,” starring Al Pacino and Annette Bening.  Fogelman told me he was wasting time on the internet because he did not […]

Watch These Stunning Winners of the Drone Film Festival

posted by Nell Minow

Drones will literally change our view of the world and it is very exciting to see the possibilities in the winners of this year’s New York City Drone Film Festival.  You can get a Superman’s-eye view:  

Interview: Maria Awes of ABC’s New Series “In an Instant”

posted by Nell Minow

A grizzly bear attack; a bridge collapse; a plane crash… It can happen anywhere at any time — in an instant, life can change forever and that moment will define who you are. “In an Instant” does more than just […]

Danny Collins: The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Dan Fogelman (“Cars,” “Tangled,” “Crazy Stupid Love”) saw the headline: musician Steve Tilston received a letter written to him 34 years earlier by John Lennon, including his phone number and an invitation to call. That inspired Fogelman’s new film, […]

Box Office: Cinderella, Run All Night, and New Data on Moviegoers

posted by Nell Minow

You probably were not surprised to learn that not only was Cinderella at the top of the box office last weekend, but it made a whopping $70 million, sure to be one of the highest opening weekend takes of the […]

For St. Patrick’s Day: Opening Scene of “The Quiet Man”

posted by Nell Minow

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Trailer: Alex of Venice

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Derek Luke (“Empire”) star in “Alex of Venice,” about a woman struggling to meet her commitments at home and at work after her husband (director Chris Messina of “The Mindy Project”) leaves her.

The Grandparent Effect: Superb New Resource for Families

posted by Nell Minow

I am a huge fan of Olivia Gentile’s new website, The Grandparent Effect, a warm, wise, and highly informative resource for parents, grandparents, and caregivers. As she explains, Grandparents are healthier, wealthier, and longer-lived than ever before. What does this […]

Trailer: Ride with Helen Hunt and Luke Wilson

posted by Nell Minow

It kind of looks like a reverse “Gidget,” but with Helen Hunt writing and directing as well as starring, there’s reason to hope that it will be pretty good.

Contest: Win a DVD of “Bankstas”

posted by Nell Minow

“Bank$tas” is a wild, raunchy comedy about a couple of guys trying to outsmart the crooks running a corrupt investment bank. Alan Thicke, Laura Vandervoort, and Joe Dinicol star, and I have a copy to give away! To enter, send […]

Would President Frank Underwood’s Plan Be Legal?

posted by Nell Minow

SPOILER ALERT If you’re watching the new season of “House of Cards,” you may wonder whether the trick now-President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) to create jobs and boost the economy has up his sleeve would be allowed in real-life politics. […]

Trailer: Where Hope Grows

posted by Nell Minow

Where Hope Grows is the story of a former professional baseball player sent to an early retirement due to his panic attacks at the plate. Even though he had all the talent for the big leagues, he struggles with the curveballs life […]

If You Miss Downton Abbey: More From Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern

posted by Nell Minow

“Downton Abbey’s” season is ending and it will be months before we get new episodes. Now might be a good time to check out some of the other roles played by your favorite Downton-ites. Maggie Smith (the Dowager Countess) may […]

Cinderella’s Costumes — A Lot of Sewing and A Little Movie Magic

posted by Nell Minow

In Disney’s animated version, Cinderella has some very handy mice to help sew her dress for the ball.  The costumes for this week’s live-action version, designed by Sandy Powell, required the work of many, many humans.  For the wedding dress […]

MPAA Ratings and Community Differences on Sex and Violence

posted by Nell Minow

Joan Graves heads up the MPAA’s ratings board and she is the only member whose name is public. She talked to The Wrap about some intriguing regional difference in views on sex and violence. “The South is concerned about using […]

A New Trailer for “Tomorrowland”

posted by Nell Minow

This is our first real glimpse at “Tomorrowland” from Brad Bird (“The Incredibles” and “The Iron Giant”). I love the way it incorporates the 1950’s aesthetics of what the future would look like. This looks like it’s going to be […]

Trailer: Mr. Holmes

posted by Nell Minow

Do you know which character has been most often portrayed in movies? Hint: there are now two different but both very popular television series about this character as well. Of course it is Sherlock Holmes. Yet another Sherlock Holmes movie […]

Smile of the Week: Tony Stark/Robert Downey Jr. Delivers a Bionic Arm

posted by Nell Minow

Robert Downey Jr. and Albert Manero, a #CollectiveProject student who founded Limbitless, surprised a very special child with a new bionic 3D printed arm at no cost to the family. To learn more about Albert and the #CollectiveProject visit: Microsoft […]

Cinderella

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:March 13, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: March 13, 2015

Here’s what’s magical — a fairy tale told in 2015 that is true to the spirit of the classic story by Charles Perrault but is still fresh and real despite the dozens of re-imaginings and the seismic shifts in culture […]

Run All Night

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use
Movie Release Date:March 13, 2014
DVD Release Date:June 15, 2015
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use
Movie Release Date: March 13, 2014
DVD Release Date: June 15, 2015

Two guys with the understanding of what they have lost and what they have paid to be where they are that only comes with sit opposite each other, drinks on the table between them. They must, at last, reckon with […]

Behind the Scenes: First Look at “Furious 7″

posted by Nell Minow

The last of the “Fast and Furious” series is coming and we have a sneak peek.

Interview: Writer/Director Tom McCarthy of the Adam Sandler Fantasy “The Cobbler”

posted by Nell Minow

I am a huge fan of writer/director Tom McCarthy (Win Win, “The Station Agent,” The Visitor), and was delighted to get a chance to talk to him about his new film, co-written with Paul Sado, “The Cobbler.”  It is a […]

Trailer: Little Boy — WWII Story of a Boy and His Dad

posted by Nell Minow

In “Little Boy,” Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, and Kevin James star in the story of a child who is willing to do whatever it takes to bring his dad home from World War II alive. It was written directed by […]

Interview: Jordan Trovillion of “Horse Camp”

posted by Nell Minow

Horse Camp is a heartwarming story of a young girl’s adventures at summer camp. I really enjoyed talking to Jordan Trovillion, who plays Kathy, a shy girl who goes from having no friends to having one close friend to abandoning […]

Exclusive Clip: Confessions of a Prodigal Son

posted by Nell Minow

We are proud to be able to share an exclusive clip from the new film Confessions of a Prodigal Son, starring Kevin Sorbo. It is a modern retelling of the classic biblical story, premiering on DVD and Digital HD March […]

Trailer: Documentary About Illustrator Hilary Knight of “Eloise” and “Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle”

posted by Nell Minow

I have loved Hilary Knight’s illustrations for as long as I can remember. The words about Eloise, the little girl who lives in New York’s Plaza Hotel, were written by nightclub singer Kay Thompson. But the illustrations were by Hilary […]

Christian Movie Madness Tournament

posted by Nell Minow

ChristianCinema.com is hosting the First Annual Christian “Movie Madness” Tournament. Audiences can vote for their favorite films in a bracket-style tournament competition, based on basketball’s March Madness tournament. ChristianCinema.com hopes to promote great films and create industry-wide buzz about audience-favorite […]

Fashion Week Announcement: Zoolander 2!

posted by Nell Minow

Guess who showed up on the Valentino runway for Paris fashion week! Derek Zoolander and Hansel! And Blue Steel, of course. Derek (Ben Stiller) wears a custom Night Butterflies brocade suit with hand-embroidered overcoat and black Creeper shoes. Hansel (Owen […]

New Trailer: Pixar’s Inside Out

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: David Milchard of Russell Madness — Plus Copies to Give Away!

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Contest: Libera Angels Sing — Libera in America

posted by Nell Minow

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 Real Winner At the Box Office This Week: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

The Sound of Music Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

If You Love Cookie on “Empire” — More From Taraji P. Henson

posted by Nell Minow

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 Lip-Syncs and Dances with Carly Rae Jepsen in “I Really Like You”

posted by Nell Minow

Tom Hanks really, really, really, really, really likes Carly Rae Jepsen!

Contest: Win a Flintstones WWE DVD/Blu-Ray — Stone Age Smackdown!

posted by Nell Minow

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, […]

Trailer: Self/Less with Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds

posted by Nell Minow

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), […]

Leon Wieseltier Loves Turner Classic Movies

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Watch This Year’s Documentary Oscar Winner Free Online: CitizenFour

posted by Nell Minow

“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.

What Movies Do You Watch Over and Over?

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Tribute: Documentary Pioneer Albert Maysles

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Trailer: The Lady in the Van with Maggie Smith

posted by Nell Minow

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

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some strong risque sexual content/graphic nudity, and for language and drug use
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 15, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some strong risque sexual content/graphic nudity, and for language and drug use
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 15, 2015

“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 […]

Chappie

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, language and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 15, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, language and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 15, 2015

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 […]

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some language and suggestive comments
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date:July 14, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some language and suggestive comments
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015
DVD Release Date: July 14, 2015

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 […]

Merchants of Doubt

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015

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 […]

MVP of the Week: Dev Patel

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

A Tribute to Unlikeable Women in the Movies

posted by Nell Minow

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 “Danny Collins” With Al Pacino and Annette Bening

posted by Nell Minow

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) […]

When Boredom Beats Mental Busywork

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Screenwriter Graham Moore on Writing About Smart People

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

YouTube’s New Campaign for Women: #DearMe

posted by Nell Minow

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.

Play the #1 Songs Since 1946

posted by Nell Minow

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.

This Week on USA: “Dig,” Set in Jerusalem

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Contest: Win a PBS Kids Prize Pack! Peg and Cat, Caillou, and WordWorld!

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Trailer: A Royal Night Out

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

posted by Nell Minow

And don’t forget the only live action film written by Dr. Seuss, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T!

Trailer: Going Clear — Documentary About Scientology

posted by Nell Minow

HBO will show Alex Gibney’s new documentary about Scientology on March 29, 2015.

A New Alphabet Book for Women’s History Month: Rad American Women A-Z

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Opening this Month: March 2015

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

A Purim Take on Uptown Funk — Shushan Funk

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Tribute: Leonard Nimoy

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

New from Daniele Watts: Muted

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Smile of the Week: Uptown Funk from Alex Boye and the Dancing Grannies

posted by Nell Minow

“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 […]

Trailer: Like Sunday, Like Rain with Debra Messing and Leighton Meester

posted by Nell Minow

List: The Best Movie Con Games and Grifters

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Trailer: Love & Mercy with Paul Dano and John Cusack as Brian Wilson

posted by Nell Minow

“Love & Mercy” tells the story of Brian Wilson, the brilliant but troubled member of the Beach Boys.

Contest: Win an Insurgent T-Shirt

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Toys That Impair Imagination: The Over-Licensing of Children’s Toys

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Interview: Ryan Potter, Hiro in “Big Hero 6″

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Contest: Win My Little Pony: Adventures of the Cutie Mark Crusaders

posted by Nell Minow

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 moviemom@moviemom.com and tell me your favorite real-life or fictional horse. Don’t forget your address! (US […]

Trailer: A.D. — The Bible Continues

posted by Nell Minow

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 on Modern Family: An Entire Episode Told On a Computer Screen

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Smile of the Week: Disney Shadows at the Mall

posted by Nell Minow

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!

Oscars 2015 — Highlights and Low Points, Plus All the Winners

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Watch for#Askhermore Questions on the Red Carpet

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Clip: Richard Gere in “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Awards: Independent Spirit and Razzies 2015

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

New from PBS: The Italian-Americans

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Mixmaster Baymax: from the “Big Hero 6″ DVD Extras

posted by Nell Minow

Big Hero 6 will be out on DVD/Blu-Ray February 24, 2015. Here’s a cute clip from the DVD extras.

The Most Over-Used Lines in Movies

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Disney’s New Cinderella: Midnight

posted by Nell Minow

A sneak peek at Disney’s new “Cinderella,” opening March 13, 2015.

The Breakfast Club — 30 Years Later

posted by Nell Minow

“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 […]

Tom Shales on SNL and Lorne Michaels

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Black Reel Awards: Selma Ties the Record

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Richie Rich Series: Available Today on Netflix

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

McFarland USA

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic material, some violence and language
Movie Release Date:February 20, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 1, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material, some violence and language
Movie Release Date: February 20, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 1, 2015

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 […]

The DUFF

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual material throughout, some language and teen partying
Movie Release Date:February 20, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 8, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual material throughout, some language and teen partying
Movie Release Date: February 20, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 8, 2015

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 […]

On PBS for Black History Month: American Denial

posted by Nell Minow

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: […]

Coming Attractions: A History of American Movie Trailers

posted by Nell Minow

Julianne Moore and Patricia Arquette — Why We’re Rooting for them on Oscar Night

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Rifftrax Takes on Sharknado — One Week Only

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Behind the Scenes: McFarland USA

posted by Nell Minow

Two New Books About LOVING Movies

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Meryl Streep as The Worst Singer Ever and Why We Love Awful Failures

posted by Nell Minow

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 History of The Odd Couple

posted by Nell Minow

“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 […]

Tribute: Louis Jourdan

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Interview: Jody Lee Lipes of “Ballet 422″

posted by Nell Minow

“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 […]

The Best SNL “Breaks” — The Cast Can’t Stop Laughing

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Happy President’s Day!

posted by Nell Minow

Replacing Jon Stewart — And Why the New Daily Show Host Should Be a Woman

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Trailer: Aloha from Cameron Crowe, with Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, and Bill Murray

posted by Nell Minow

I love Cameron Crowe movies, and this looks like one of the best.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Romantic Movie Moments #4: Shakespeare in Love

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Valentine’s Day! Romantic Movie Moments #3: You’ve Got Mail

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Valentine’s Day! Romantic Movie Moments #2: It’s a Wonderful Life

posted by Nell Minow

My Letter to the Washington Post About Empire’s Costume Designers — And My Appearance on Motley Fool Money About Movies and the Oscars

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Happy Valentine’s Day! Romantic Movie Moments #1: Moonstruck

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: Ali Faulkner of “The Song”

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Sergei Polunin Dances to “Take Me to Church” by Hozier, Directed by David LaChapelle

posted by Nell Minow

This stunning ballet was choreographed by Jade Hale-Christofi

Kingsman: The Secret Service

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:February 13, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 8, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: February 13, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 8, 2015

“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 […]

Fifty Shades of Grey

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language
Movie Release Date:February 13, 2015
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language
Movie Release Date: February 13, 2015
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2015

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 […]

For Lincoln’s Birthday: A New Tribute to the Gettysburg Address

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Trailer: The Man from UNCLE

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Henry Fonda as Young Mr. Lincoln

posted by Nell Minow

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.

Audible’s Free Love Poems for Valentine’s Day

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Interview: Composer Matthew Margeson of “Kingsman: The Secret Service”

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara Reunite in a New TV Sitcom

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

You Can Own A Piece of Disneyland History

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Alternatives to “Fifty Shades of Grey”

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Interview: Dogs on the Inside, Documentary About A Prison Program for Rescue Dogs

posted by Nell Minow

“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. […]

What Messages Do Our Children Get from Reality Television?

posted by Nell Minow

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, […]

101 Dalmatians: Behind the Scenes

posted by Nell Minow

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.

Why “I Am the Walrus” is the Greatest Beatles Song Ever — According to Jon Friedman

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

The Jinx: HBO Series About a Millionaire Murderer

posted by Nell Minow

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, […]

Movies to Reconsider: Rogerebert.com’s “Unloved” Series

posted by Nell Minow

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 — […]

Trailer: Ratchet and Clank

posted by Nell Minow

Don’t mess with the animators! I really enjoyed this trailer for “Ratchet and Clank,” based on the Ratchet & Clank Sony game.

Trailer: “Spy” from “Bridesmaid’s” Paul Feig, Melissa McCarthy, and Rose Byrne

posted by Nell Minow

SNL Turns 40

posted by Nell Minow

“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, […]

Cloudy With a Chance of Love: Hallmark Channel Countdown to Valentine’s Day

posted by Nell Minow

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

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence, sequences of sci-fi action, some suggestive content and partial nudity
Movie Release Date:February 6, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 1, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, sequences of sci-fi action, some suggestive content and partial nudity
Movie Release Date: February 6, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 1, 2015

“Jupiter Ascending” was released in early 2015 but it was originally scheduled for release in the summer of 2014. It does feel like a summer movie. Somehow warm weather makes us more in the mood for explosions and less in […]

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild crude humor
Movie Release Date:February 6, 2015
DVD Release Date:June 1, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild crude humor
Movie Release Date: February 6, 2015
DVD Release Date: June 1, 2015

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 […]

The Rewrite

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
Movie Release Date:February 6, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
Movie Release Date: February 6, 2015

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 […]

Seventh Son

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Every British Actor Appears in Vanity Fair’s Adorable Videos

posted by Nell Minow

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.

Movies for Black History Month 2015

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Why We Love Jimmy Fallon’s Lip Synch Contests: Fallon, Ferrell, and Hart Perform “Drunk in Love,” “Let It Go,” “All of Me” (Plus Drew Barrymore)

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Iconic Movie Moments

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

A Sneak Peek at the Frozen Mini-Sequel

posted by Nell Minow

“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.

Book: Gotta Dance! The Art of the Dance Movie Poster

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

HBO Makes Samples of Programs Available Without a Cable Subscription

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Interview: Rabbi Evan Moffic on What Every Christian Needs to Know About Passover

posted by Nell Minow

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 Groundhog Day!

posted by Nell Minow

Super Bowl Trailer: Tomorrowland

posted by Nell Minow

Coming to Theaters: February 2015

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Uptown Funk from A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School and Teacher Scot Pankey

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

New Web Series: That’s Racist! with Mike Epps

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Three Views on the Challenges Women Face in the Film Industry

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Snickers Wins the Super Bowl!

posted by Nell Minow

The real competition at the Super Bowl is for the commercials, right? This Snickers ad is a hoot.

How Did Ca Plane Pour Moi End Up in So Many Movies?

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

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