The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
Release Date: December 19, 2014
I am delighted to report that the animated version of Peter S. Beagle’s classic fairy tale has been re-mastered and re-issued — and that you can get a personalized autographed copy from the author himself. The beloved family classic, with music by Jimmy Webb (of “Up, Up, and Away in My Beautiful Balloon” fame) is the story of a unicorn (voice of Mia Farrow) who believes she is the last of her kind. On a journey with a wizard named Schmendrick (voice of Alan Arkin), she is captured and then enchanted and turned into a human. She becomes more and more human on the inside, experiencing the emotions of love and regret, before she is reunited with her herd.
If you’re in the DC area on May 19, come to the fabulous Rock Creek restaurant in Mazza Gallerie for a “Beauty and the Beach” fund-raiser for juvenile diabetes. For $35 ($40 at the door), you will get hors d’oeuvres, wine, and some great beauty tips and treats. There will also be a silent auction featuring goodies including the chance to attend a critics’ screening with me. It’s a great cause and it will be a lot of fun.
My friend Tim Gordon salutes five of of the all-time great movie mothers on his blog, FilmGordon. I was especially glad to see that he mentioned “Claudine,” a neglected gem that is very dear to my heart. I love that bath scene! The glorious Diana Sands was supposed to have the title role but she died tragically and was replaced by Diahann Carroll, who was thought to be too glamorous for the role of a woman from the projects. But her performance was superb, winning her an Oscar nomination.
And Cinematical’s list of the “most awesomest” movie moms reminds us that some mother mothers are pretty good in a fight, some with weapons and hand-to-hand combat. Linda Hamilton in “Terminator 2″ and Holy Hunter as Elastigirl in “The Incredibles” are two more of my favorites and I was glad to see them on this list.
Thanks to Shawn Levy for pointing me to this piece from “Smart Money” about movie critics’ secrets. I enjoyed #5: “I could say a film’s ‘about a lovable misfit,’ but I’ll go with ‘it limns alterity.'” But I don’t think anyone will be surprised by #8. “Sure, I’m a bellwether of taste–my own.” Um, that’s what critic means. I warn my readers and radio audience all the time about the dregs of February and August. And I have no problem with top 10 lists filled with titles no one has seen — the critic’s most important job is bringing the audience’s attention to films they would otherwise have missed. I’m happy to give “Star Trek” a good review, but have no illusions it will affect ticket sales. But when someone tells me they saw — and loved — “Once” or “I Could Never Be Your Woman” because I suggested it, that makes my day.
Actress Speaks Up Against Absurd Hollywood Casting Conventions 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 to be hot (no matter what
The Wrecking Crew
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 monumen
"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, something devastating to every known life form.
Ebertfest 2015 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 we know that you were against 3D when it was used onl
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