Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


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  New to DVD

Annie
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some mild language and rude humor
Release Date:
December 19, 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

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action, some rude humor and brief language
Release Date:
December 19, 2014

 

Magic in the Moonlight
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for a brief suggestive comment, and smoking throughout
Release Date:
August 1, 2014

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

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Release Date:
August 8, 2014

Director Andrew Stanton on ‘Wall?E’

posted by Nell Minow

Disney provided this interview with writer-director Andrew Stanton (of “Finding Nemo“) about the ideas and experiences behind Wall?E:
QUESTION: What inspired you to make Wall?E?
ANDREW STANTON: It was a love letter to all the movies that really affected me in my formative movie going years…from 1968 to 1982…embracing sci fi movies but some of the love stories too. These ere films like 2001, Star Wars, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Alien, Blade Runner and Silent Running. It is an amalgamation of the effect it had on me to go into the theatre and be transported
by any of those.
QUESTION: What are the origins of the idea to the realization of a film that may come to be regarded as a masterpiece.
ANDREW STANTON: Well I never thought that, at the end, but it did have a long journey. It was this one sentence out of a lunch in 1994, we were in the middle of making Toy Story and we said simply ‘what if mankind left Earth and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off?’. The idea of something doing the same thing forever was, to me, the ultimate definition of futility. I just thought that was the saddest character I’d ever heard of, and we said it should speak in the manner that it was built, much like R2D2 did. And wouldn’t it be cool to see a whole movie with a character like that. For us as filmgoers, we thought that would be great, but we immediately said nobody would ever give us money to do something like that. We hadn’t even finished Toy Story, we hadn’t proved that we could make any movie so that where it sort of lived and died. It took for us to make, I think, five or six more movies for me to get more confident as a filmmaker and for the technology to improve. And so about seven years later I’m in the middle of Nemo and I find my brain drifting to this little lonely robot, wondering who he is, what the story should be, what it should be about. By then I knew a lot more and I realized it was the loneliness that appealed to me, and the opposite of loneliness is love, and so it should be a love story. And then the idea of a love story combined with the sci-fi genre, then I was just hooked. I found myself, even at my busiest schedules, hiding in my office, starting
to write this. That’s always a good sign; I was pretty much hooked after that. By then I had more confidence that the audience trusted Pixar that we could go a little more out on a limb, and people might follow us then.
01_AndrewStanton.JPGQUESTION: Can you recall what was on the menu of the famous lunch when so many ideas were born for Pixar films?
ANDREW STANTON: Knowing me I probably had a cheeseburger and fries!
QUESTION: Apart from being great entertainment is WALL?E quite profound?
ANDREW STANTON: To be honest we try to do that to all the films. I was trying – through this little robot – to answer the question of what is the point of living. I did not have an environmental agenda or an obesity agenda…or any of those things. But I am not stupid; I saw that as the movie was finishing that in a very eerie, prophetic way it was matching the headline. But it was all more metaphorical. It was all about loving the idea of telling the point of living through two programmed machines and that got me thinking that humans can be more robotic than machines, depending on how they choose to live their life. So I ended up on a premise of irrational love defeats life’s programming. That it takes a random act of kindness and love – whether it is in a one on one relationship or on a global scale – to kick us out of our habits and routines that unconsciously keep us from connecting with one another. So everything else is just abstract or fictional devices used to support that premise.

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Vote for Your Favorite Holiday Movie

posted by Nell Minow

New York’s Paley Center for Media is asking visitors to select their favorites from a list of classic Christmas television specials. The top five vote-getters will be screened at the Paley Center in New York and Los Angeles between December 10 and 24, 2008.

Interview: Philippe Claudel of ‘I’ve Loved You So Long’

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most beautiful images on screen this year is the beginning of a French film called “I’ve Loved You So Long,” the story of sisters reunited after a long absence. As the movie opens, there is a close-up on the face of Juliette, played by Kristen Scott Thomas, who appears without any make-up, utterly vulnerable. Her stillness is eloquent and deeply moving and it orients us to the story that is about to unfold.

The title comes from a French children’s song. And we find out that Juliette has been in prison for a shocking crime. She barely knows her much younger sister, Léa (Elsa Zylberstein), who has come to pick up Juliette and bring her to her home with Léa’s husband, daughters, and father-in-law.

I spoke with writer-director Phillippe Claudel, best known as a novelist, about the movie, and began by asking him about that opening shot.

PC: It was very important for me to begin this story with shock, to give the audience the face of a destroyed woman, a dead woman, to take the time with my camera, to take my time to give the time to the audience to explore and enter deep inside this character. I chose a very classic style without a lot of camera movement, to work with the audience, to create a connection, space for the audience. I wanted to start with a simple and tragic picture with the face of Juliette.

My first question for Kristen when we spoke about the movie was one condition. I told her, “I want to destroy your beauty, to compose with you, the real character of Juliette, to read 15 years of prison just with your face.” Many actresses would accept that in pre-production but be different in shooting, but not Kristen. She was very professional. She understood the truth of this character needed this dirty face.

NM Your previous stories were all novels. What made you decide to tell this story as a movie?

PC: You need human experience for work. The novels I wrote before age 34 were constantly bad. The beginning of the true writing requires pain, love, experience of life, to became a man. After age 34, my novels suddenly were a little bit more good. It’s the same thing for the movie process. I wrote screenplays but didn’t feel ready to direct for 10 years. By then I had magined the story so that it was very clear in my mind. I was not afraid. I was very cool and knew exactly what i wanted.

NM: The movie has a lot of stillness, especially for a first-time film-maker. What made you decide to present the story that way?

PC: When I finished the writing of the screenplay, i thought about the style and it was important to adopt a very pure and simple and classic style for the story. It is a very strong and powerful story. I want the audience to forget the camera and director, the movie-making. I want the audience just to be with the characters.

NM: Even though as the movie begins Juliette has been released from prison, emotionally she is still a prisoner through her emotional isolation. And other characters are dealing with other forms of imprisonment, like Léa’s father-in-law, who is mute as the result of a stroke, and the sisters’ mother, who has dementia.

PC: I wanted to give different variations of the topic, a true prison and a metaphoric prison, the lonely life, the secrets, the little adopted girl, who has the secret of her birth, the illness of the mother. There are many many prisons in our lives. Maybe the lesson of the movie is to show the importance of others and they way they can help you to break the walls.

NM: One of the characters in the film speaks of his work with prisoners. Is that based on your experience?

PC: I worked 11 years in prison, teaching, starting when I was very young 22 or 23. when we are young like that we are too sure. We believe we know everything. It was a shock for me, a necessary shock, to discover another face of humanity. Nothing is simple, nothing is basic, all life and all people are very complex. It is impossible to have a basic judgment of good/bad, right/wrong. This experience changed me totally, i was not the same after. Many novels I wrote after this experience were very inspired by it. They were not about prison but about tragedy of our condition and the impossibility to know deeply the other people.

When Michel said the border between good and bad is very thin, it was a very personal, autobiographical scene.

When I stopped in 2000, I was always obsessed by this special universe. It was difficult to escape. I wrote a text like therapy, with sounds of music of the prison’s keys. It was an essay just different scenes of prison. It was very cinemagraphic and a French producer asked me to adapt it for the screen, but it was impossible.

NM: How is making a movie different from writing a book?

PC: I knew immediately this story was a movie and not a novel. I imagined to write a story about a woman, a desire to show this woman with pictures. Also, I wanted to work with real people. I like to write but it is a solitary and comfortable pleasure. To tell a story in a novel, you don’t need money and you don’t need people. But sometimes it is good to work with an artistic team. And my novels are about men, but when I imagine movies, it’s often with female faces.

NM: Kristen Scott Thomas is an English actress who lives in France. In the US, she is better known for her roles in films like “The English Patient.” Does she make many films in French?

PC: It is a very curious paradox. She lives in France but is constantly under-employed. It was very exciting to propose the real first lead for her in a French film. I liked having both Kristen Scott Thomas and Elsa Zylberstein do something different. Kristen is beautiful, a little bit cold, aristocratic. I wanted to give her a very complex character and a very mute character. It is wonderful to play with an amazing expressive face, a pleasure to observe her. I told her to explore the first take and after that I would direct her. And Elsa, who is known for fashion and glamour, I cut her hair and put her in very basic clothes.

NM: What makes you laugh?

PC: Many many things, maybe in this moment, the President of Italy. Often the people who govern us are very comic; maybe that’s their role. And my daughter, every day.

Movie Alphabet Soup

posted by Nell Minow

Christian Toto’s participation in the movie blog alphabet soup meme started by blogcabins inspired me to create my own alphabetical list of movie titles. My theme is “the second 200″ — these are movies that may not be in my top 100 list, but would all find a place just below it. And they’re all wonderful choices for family movie nights.

Amistad This underrated historical drama about the trial of a rebellious slave is a brilliant exploration of America’s most fundamental principles and its most tragic compromises.

Ball of Fire One of the wittiest romantic comedies ever made, with a sizzling performance from Barbara Stanwyck.

Charade One of the glossiest romantic thrillers ever made with Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, and a swooningly romantic score by Henry Mancini.

The Defiant Ones Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis are escaped prisoners manacled together in an early Civil Rights-era drama.

The Emperor’s New Groove A refreshingly unpretentious animated film about a spoiled prince.

Fly Away Home A young girl goes to live with a father she barely knows and finds herself responsible for teaching a flock of geese to flow south for the winter in this beautiful film inspired by a true story.

Gregory’s Girl A sweet Scottish high school romance filled with adorably quirky characters and some quiet insights.

Holiday Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn star in this bittersweet romance about a wealthy girl who falls for her sister’s fiancee.

I Love You Again William Powell and Myrna Loy star in this hilarious comedy about a con man from the city who awakes from amnesia to find himself married to a beautiful small-town woman.

Jezebel Bette Davis plays the fiery Civil War-era Southern belle shocks her community by wearing a red dress to a ball where unmarried ladies always wear white.

Kiss Me Kate Brush up your Shakespeare with this musical version of “Kiss Me Kate” with dances by Bob Fosse and music by Cole Porter. In a word: Wunderbar

Ladyhawke This medieval romance has a heroic couple under a terrible enchantment. Michelle Pfeiffer is Lady Isabeau, who becomes a hawk by night. Rutger Hauer is the handsome captain who becomes a wolf by day.

Magnificent Obsession Rock Hudson is the reckless playboy carelessly causes the death of a beloved doctor abd discovers that the meaning of life is what one gives to others.

Ninotchka Greta Garbo laughs in this lovely romantic comedy about a stern Soviet who meets a dashing Parisian.

October Sky This true story of a boy from a small town who dreams of becoming a rocket scientist is one of the best films ever made about the thrill and hard work of science and a great family movie.

The Pirate Gene Kelly plays an actor who masquerades as a dreaded pirate to woo Judy Garland. It’s sly humor was lost on many audiences when it was first released but it is a treasure.

The Quiet Man Technicolor was invented for the green of the Irish hills and the red of Maureen O’Hara’s hair in this tempestuous love story starring John Wayne, with one of the greatest fight scenes in movie history.

Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles A Japanese man estranged from his dying son makes one last gesture to show how much he cares when he goes to China to complete his son’s promise to film an opera and fathers and sons connections resonate through the quietly powerful story.

Stranger Than Fiction In this witty meta-movie, Will Ferrell is terrific in a quiet role of an IRS investigator who may be a character in a novel. Co-stars Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman are magnificent and there is a sweet love story to boot.

The Thief And The Cobbler This neglected gem with stunning visuals and a sweet story was the life’s work of a brilliant animator named Richard Williams.

Up the Down Staircase Sandy Dennis plays an idealistic teacher in this film based on the autobiographical novel.

The Visitor One of this year’s loveliest films (with four of this year’s most beautiful performances) is the story of a lonely professor who tries to help some illegal immigrants. It raises many questions, not the least of which is which character is referred to by the title.

The World of Henry Orient There is no more evocative version of middle school friendships and other passions than this 1960’s story of two girls in New York. It has wonderful supporting work from Peter Sellers, Angela Lansbury, Phyllis Kirk, and Tom Bosley, but the stars are the girls, the city, and the sparkling score.


X-Men
Marvel heroes come to life in this super-charged super-hero story of mutants who must fight prejudice as well as super-villains.

Yellow Submarine The Beatles rescue the gentle citizens of Pepperland from the Blue Meanies and remind everyone that “All You Need is Love.”

Z Costa-Gavras political thriller would be gripping as fiction but it is all true.

Be sure to check out Christian Toto’s list and the lists from the other participants collected by Blogcabin.

Previous Posts

What Happened to All the Great Quotable Movie Lines?
Michael Cieply has a fascinating piece in the New York Times about the movie lines we love to quote and why there don't seem to be any new ones. Look through all of the top ten lists of the year, and see if you can think of one quotable line from any of them. That doesn't mean they aren't well wri

posted 3:58:57pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

George Clooney and the Cast of Downton Abbey
You don't have to be a fan of "Downton Abbey" (or "Mr. Selfridge") to love this hilarious spoof, with guest appearances by Jeremy Piven, George Clooney and the Absolutely Fabulous Joanna Lumley. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ryo7fqdmcGQ?rel=0" frameborder="0"] [

posted 1:43:50pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Ask Amy Says: A Book on Every Bed
I love to remind people about Amy Dickinson's wonderful "Book on Every Bed" proposal: Here’s how it happens: You take a book (it can be new or a favorite from your own childhood). You wrap it. On Christmas Eve (or whatever holiday you celebrate), you leave the book in a place where Santa is

posted 12:00:42pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Matthew Llewellyn, Composer for Wally Lamb's "Wishin' and Hopin'"
Wishin' and Hopin' is Lifetime movie airing December 21, 2014, based on the novel by Wally Lamb. It stars Molly Ringwald and Meat Loaf with narration by Chevy Chase. Composer Matthew Llewellyn was kind enough to answer my questions about creating a score for this nostalgic holiday story. How d

posted 9:40:56am Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Wild's Cheryl Strayed Has a New Advice Podcast
Before Wild, Cheryl Strayed was the pseudonymous "Dear Sugar" advice columnist for The Rumpus. Her columns were collected in Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar. Writer Steve Almond (Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America) also wrote as Dear Su

posted 3:59:40pm Dec. 19, 2014 | read full post »


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