Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Tusk
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some disturbing violence/gore, language and sexual content
Release Date:
September 19, 2014

 

The Fault in Our Stars
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexuality and brief strong language
Release Date:
June 6, 2014

This is Where I Leave You
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language, sexual content and some drug use
Release Date:
September 19, 2014

 

Neighbors
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for pervasive language, strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use throughout
Release Date:
May 9, 2014

The Maze Runner
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, including some disturbing images
Release Date:
September 19, 2014

 

Think Like a Man Too
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for crude sexual content including references, partial nudity, language and drug material
Release Date:
June 20, 2014

Unexpectedly Spiritual Films: ‘Hamlet 2′ and ‘Henry Poole is Here’

posted by Nell Minow

August is usually the time of the movie year for silly gross-out comedies, cheaply-made slasher films, and studio inventory they never found the right time to release. And Hollywood is usually very uncomfortable dealing with spiritual themes or religion as anything other than a sham. That makes two of this year’s August releases especially refreshing.

“Henry Poole is Here” is the story of a man who thinks there is nothing left for him. He finds that what he sees as a bad stucco job appears to his neighbor (whose name is Esperanza, which means “hope”) and to the check-out girl at the grocery story (whose name is Patience) like the face of Jesus. And then what looks like a drop of blood appears on the wall. The movie is surprisingly respectful of faith — and doubt — and the clergyman, played by George Lopez, is a thoughtful and compassionate man. The story is a bit reminiscent of the underseen Tortilla Heaven.

And then there’s last year’s Sundance hit, “Hamlet 2.” It is very raunchy and profane. In part, the plot deals with an outrageous high school production of an original play that has Hamlet going back in time to prevent tragedy. Yes, there is a musical number called “Rock Me Sexy Jesus.” Unquestionably, it will offend some in the audience. But in the film, the believers who come to the play to protest end up applauding because, the Jesus character is the one who inspires everyone else to be better and more forgiving. I found it unexpectedly sweet, sincere, and even reverent.

Remembering the Hays Code — Movie Censorship from 1930-1968

posted by Nell Minow

NPR’s Bob Mondello has an excellent essay on the Hays Code, which governed Hollywood films from 1930-1968, when it was replaced by the MPAA rating system.
A reaction to some provocative films in the days of the early talkies, the code was named for the former Postmaster Will Hays, who created it at the request of the movie studios.

Among those considerations: that no picture should ever “lower the moral standards of those who see it” and that “the sympathy of the audience shall never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin.” There was an updated, much-expanded list of “don’ts” and “be carefuls,” with bans on nudity, suggestive dancing and lustful kissing. The mocking of religion and the depiction of illegal drug use were prohibited, as were interracial romance, revenge plots and the showing of a crime method clearly enough that it might be imitated.

There was very little about violence in the Code but there were restrictions that seem quaint today in other areas — for example, it prohibited portrayals of clergy that made them appear corrupt or foolish. There are legendary stories of battles over whether Rhett Butler would be allowed to say “I don’t give a damn” in “Gone With the Wind” (he was) or whether Bette Davis could get away with murder in “The Letter” (she wasn’t). And writer-directors like Ernst Lubitsch and Preston Sturges prided themselves on getting past the censors with subtle double entendres.
The Code was abandoned 40 years ago in favor of the ratings system. While it is very far from perfect, it does have the advantage of making it possible for movies to cover a wider range of subjects and characters.

Boxboarders!

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language, crude and sexual content, some teen partying and reckless behavior.
Movie Release Date:NA
DVD Release Date:July 29, 2008

The writer of the delightful Clockstoppers has written and directed an unpretentious little comedy about a crazy “sport” — racing boxes on wheels. It makes the most of its low budget with an easy-going good humor in this goofy but sweet story about two teens who accidentally invent the “boxboarding” and end up in a big race against their nemesis. And of course it also involves getting a little bit closer to the girls they like.
The young cast performs with gusto, ably assisted by top adult character actors like Stephen Tobolowsky as the ever-patient psychologist dad and “The Office’s” Melora Hardin as a litigator always eager to go to court. Clearly, everyone had a blast making the film. One of the DVD’s highlights is an entertaining making-of featurette that I hope will inspire those who watch it not to try taping a refrigerator box to a skateboard but to pick up a camera and make a movie.
Parents should know that in addition to the completely idiotic and very dangerous “sport” in the film, it also has some bad language, teen partying, and sexual references.

List: the Hendricks’ Top Relationship Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Authors and consultants Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks (Conscious Loving, Attracting Genuine Love, Five Wishes, and The Corporate Mystic) teach seminars in conscious relationships and “bodymind vibrance.” They have complied a list of their top relationship movies, movies that combine “artistic merit with the ability of the movie to shed light on the inner workings of relationships and how to maximize their potential. In addition, all the movies we selected share that elusive quality known as heart.” moonstruck.jpg
All of the films on their list are worth watching and discussing. Here’s their list, with my comments. Their discussion appears in two parts on their Huffington Post column. Here are the first five:
1. Moonstruck This is one of the most romantic movies ever made. The Henricks picked it for Nicolas Cage’s speech about victimhood and responsibility, but I’d pick it for its acknowledgment that true love does not always make you happy but it always makes you feel alive.
2. The Holiday I like this movie in spite of myself. It is not very clever or witty but I love the love stories, not just Kate Winslet and Jack Black and Cameron Diaz and Jude Law but also Kate Winslet and Eli Wallach as her neighbor, a screenwriter from Hollywood’s golden era.
3. The January Man This was a surprising choice because it is a little-known thriller. The Hendricks picked it for just one scene at the beginning and they are right that it is a good model about how to talk honestly about relationships.
4. Truly, Madly, Deeply One of the wisest and most touching love stories ever made, this is about loving and letting go as a young widow (Juliet Stevenson, utterly luminous) must choose life for herself after a great loss. It has a rare romantic lead performance by the magnificent Alan Rickman and there is a magical scene when the two of them are reunited.
5. Monsoon Wedding Every possible variation of family relationships is lovingly explored in this wonderful story of the importance of honesty and loyalty.

Previous Posts

Christopher Orr on the Coen Brothers' "Miller's Crossing"
One of my favorite critics writes about one of his favorite movies in The Atlantic: the highlight of Christopher Orr's outstanding series on the Coen Brothers' films is his essay on Miller's Crossing. Whether you're a fan of the Coens or of this film or not, Orr's essay is a pleasure to read for it

posted 3:53:09pm Sep. 23, 2014 | read full post »

New on ABC: Black-ish
One of the best new shows of the year is Anthony Anderson's "Black-ish."  Anderson plays Andre "Dre" Johnson has a great job, a beautiful mixed-race doctor wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), four kids, and a colonial home in the mostly-white suburbs.  But now that he has given his children a bett

posted 10:20:50pm Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

The Real Story: Tracks and Robyn Davidson's Long Walk Across Australia
Mia Wasikowska plays real-life adventurer Robyn Davidson in "Tracks," based on the 1980 international best-seller about her 1700-mile walk across Australia with four camels. A thoughtful interview with Davidson in The Australian describes her: Davidson is an enigma. With her patrician air, prim

posted 3:51:08pm Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Smile of the Week: The Dancing Traffic Light
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB_0vRnkeOk[/youtube]

posted 8:00:15am Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

TrueSpark: Teaching Children and Teens About Character With Quality Films
I am honored to serve on the advisory committee for TrueSpark, which provides quality films and curricula for schools at no cost to use in teaching character. [iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/akEWIRfjnxk?rel=0" frameborder="0"] Parents and teachers who want to lear

posted 8:22:33pm Sep. 21, 2014 | read full post »


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