Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


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  New to DVD

Strange Magic
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some action and scary images
Release Date:
January 23, 2015

 

The Boxtrolls
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for action, some peril and mild rude humor
Release Date:
September 26, 2014

Mortdecai
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some language and sexual material
Release Date:
January 23, 2015

 

The Drop
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some strong violence and pervasive language
Release Date:
September 12, 2014

Cake
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language, substance abuse and brief sexuality
Release Date:
January 24, 2015

 

Lucy
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R For strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality
Release Date:
July 25, 2014

Critic’s Choice Awards

posted by Nell Minow

I was not able to make it to this year’s Critic’s Choice Awards in person, but I really enjoyed casting my votes and watching it on television. Here are the winners and keep in mind they are often a better predictor of the Oscars than the Golden Globes:
Best Picture:
“Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Director:
Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Actor:
Sean Penn, “Milk”
Best Actress:
Meryl Streep, “Doubt” & Anne Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Married” (tie)
Best Supporting Actor:
Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
Best Supporting Actress:
Kate Winslet, “The Reader”
Best Writer:
Simon Beaufoy, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Foreign Language Film:
“Waltz With Bashir”
Best Animated Film:
“WALL-E”
Best Documentary:
“Man On Wire”
Best Acting Ensemble:
“Milk”
Best Young Actor/Actress:
Dev Patel, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Composer:
A.R. Rahman, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Song:
“The Wrestler,” by Bruce Springsteen (“The Wrestler”)
Best Action Film:
“The Dark Knight”
Best Comedy Movie:
“Tropic Thunder”

Special Effects: Best and Worst

posted by Nell Minow

Den of Geek has made a list of the best movie special effects shots of all time — and the worst.
Special effects go back to the very beginning of film. The first great genius of special effects was George Melies, a stage magician. He was the one who figured out that he could make people appear and disappear by stopping the camera. His film “A Trip to the Moon” is still filled with charm. The rocket ship smashes into the face of the man in the moon. His moon creatures are delightfully acrobatic. The explorers come back to earth by just jumping off!
I visited the German museum of film in Frankfurt and learned that the German word for special effects is “filmtricks.” It has little to do with resources or technology — the special effects in the original 1933 “King Kong” hold up well more than 80 years later, and I think the best special effects of 2008 were in “Iron Man,” where they were almost entirely mechanical and not computer-generated. Just like everything else about the movies, it is the humans who make the difference, not the machines or the money.
Thanks to iorek for the excellent link!

2009’s Family Movie Coming Attractions: Harry, Miley, and More

posted by Nell Minow

The movie slate for 2009 has some upcoming family-friendly releases that look very promising.

“Inkheart,” based on the book by Cornelia Funke and opening January 23, stars Brendan Fraser as a man who has the power to bring the characters from books to life.

In March we have “Race to Witch Mountain,” not a remake but a sort of semi-sequel to the Disney classics Escape to Witch Mountain and Return from Witch Mountain. Duane “The Rock” Johnson plays a man who has to protect two children with mysterious powers from the bad guys who want to capture them.

I am really looking forward to the April release of the new Hannah Montana movie!

And of course we’re already counting the moments until Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, coming out in July.

Swing Vote

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language
Movie Release Date:August 1, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 6, 2009

Kevin Costner the producer severely underestimates the ability of Kevin Costner the actor to win over the audience in this tepid satire of electoral politics. Through a technical and mechanical glitch, Costner’s character, an affable loser named Bud, finds himself about to cast the single vote that will determine the outcome of a Presidential election. The incumbent Republican (Kelsey Grammer) and the challenging Democrat (Dennis Hopper) and all of their flacks descend on Bud’s small New Mexico town, followed of course, by international media outlets shoving cameras and microphones at anyone they can find, all of which creates opportunities for some tweaks at American complacency and avarice, which are not too bad and some syrupy personal growth moments, which are not too good.

This idea could make a good low-budget independent film but as an expensive studio release it can’t afford to offend anyone. The result is too generic and too safe, and too easy. There are mild enjoyments along the way but ultimately Bud — and his movie — fail to have the redeeming qualities necessary to provide a satisfactory conclusion.

It is fun to see the politicians squirm and their handlers scheme as the candidates grab onto any inkling of Bud’s views and then jettison any position they’ve ever taken in order to get his vote. The problem — for the candidates and for the movie — is that Bud does not really care about anything. Not only did he not know it was election day; he didn’t know know who was running. He says the only thing he cares about is his daughter Molly (Madeline Carroll) but the only focus of his energy and attention is his beer buzz. Movies often are able to make heroes out of lovably irresponsible characters, but this shambling slacker is worse than irresponsible. He is so downright neglectful that he seems not just immature but selfish. The movie can’t make its mind up about whether these characters are smart or foolish, honest or corrupt. In trying to have it both ways, it undercuts any force or momentum.

Carroll is a charming screen presence, but Molly is a construct, not a character. It’s cute when she says her ambition is to be the Chairman of the Fed but it’s Hollywood cute. And the lovely Paula Patton is stuck with a yawn-inducing role as an ambitious television journalist who resolves her ethical crisis in a way that is unlikely to strike viewers as an exemplar of integrity. Like the rest of this movie, that choice is a bubble or two off prime, a disconnect between the reaction the movie expects and the reaction the audience will have.

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posted 8:00:02am Jan. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Strange Magic
Despite the big names behind it, including George Lucas, who came up with the story and produced, it feels like a straight-to-DVD, about the level of Disney's Tinkerbell series. It's bright,

posted 5:25:48pm Jan. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Bad Movies Inspire Great Critics: Mortdecai
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posted 3:35:40pm Jan. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Four Disney Artists Paint a Tree
Pure pleasure: Four great Disney artists, Marc Davis, Eyvind Earle, Josh Meador, and Walt Peregoy, paint a tree. There's a reason they call them actors with pencils. Or, just call them geniuses. [iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/9JK9uQNBDxQ?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:31am Jan. 24, 2015 | read full post »


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