Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


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

 

The Book of Life
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action, rude humor, some thematic elements and brief scary images
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

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

 

The Judge
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language including some sexual references
Release Date:
October 10, 2014

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

 

Fury
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

Nothing Like the Holidays

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including some sexual dialogue, and brief drug references
Movie Release Date:December 12, 2008

Natalie Morales of ABC Family’s The Middleman lists her three rules for a movie with Latino characters:

  • Nobody calls anybody Papi.
  • No dancing to salsa music.
  • No gratuitous Spanish.

By that standard, this latest entry in the dysfunctional family holiday movie genre is 0 for 3. And yet, this movie is made by Latinos with a lot of affection for its characters. And so even though it also includes what should be a similar no-no trifecta of family holiday dramadies (sibling rivalry, dramatic revelations, sad news to remind everyone how much they love each other) and even though it does not meet the standard of last year’s fine This Christmas, this family might be worth a holiday visit.

Parents Edy and Anna Rodriguez (Alfred Molina and Elizabeth Pena, both superb), owners of a small bodega, live in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. Their children are coming home for Christmas: Iraqi war veteran Jesse (Freddy Rodriguez, who also produced), aspiring actress Roxanne (Vanessa Ferlito of Grindhouse), and Mauricio (John Leguizamo) with his white, Jewish wife Sarah (Debra Messing), successful professionals. Also waiting for them at home are Jesse’s one-time girlfriend (Melonie Diaz), Edy’s top employee (Jay Hernandez), and a lot of unresolved issues.

We can feel the warmth of the Rodriguez home and the stars quickly create an authentic sense of the rhythms and short-cuts of family communication, the struggle between wanting things to be the way they were and wanting to be seen as they are now. Predictable frustrations as Sarah tries to fit in while maintaining her own boundaries and Jesse and Roxanne try to live up to their parents hopes for them are given enough specificity to hold our attention. Sarah is not an uptight snob; she loves her husband and very much wants his family to accept her. She has a couple of nice moments with Edy, especially when, after Anna pushes yet another thing to eat on her as she is getting ready to go running, Edy quietly reaches for it. We get a sense of their unspoken understanding, which will become more important later on. There’s a dead tree (and metaphor) blocking the view from the house that Anna has been trying to get Edy to cut down for 25 years, and that will play a role as well.

Anna leads off at the family dinner by announcing she plans to get a divorce, catapulting the children into a difficult recalibration of their familial roles. As children, they cannot help feeling abandoned but as adults they have to find a way to see their parents as people who have to make their own choices. Like all families, everyone feels they have a better understanding of what everyone else should do. And like all families, that leads to conflict.

Notwithstanding the Morales concerns, the location settings and “sorta-Rican” culture are nicely evocative. But the real treat is seeing these fine performers, too often relegated to character parts, take center stage to remind us that the reason there is nothing like the holidays because of the way they bring us together.

Delgo

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG for sequences of fantasy action violence
Movie Release Date:December 12, 2008

The good news is that animation software is so widely available these days that just about anyone can make an animated film. That’s also the bad news. It is now too easy to produce a professional-looking film without the same level of care in story-telling, and that is the problem with the new fantasy film “Delgo.”

It has all-star Hollywood voice talent and some delightfully imaginative visuals, but its professional strengths only sharpen the contrast with the amateurish elements of its script – an over-plotted story and under-written characters.

“Delgo” more closely resembles a 1990’s video game than a feature film. Most of today’s games have stronger plots and the advantage of participant involvement. And today most games have mastered physical properties to provide a believable sense of gravity and motion. In this film, individual characters and creatures are well designed and there is a nice fluidity of movement in close-up. But each moves so independently that we get no sense of how they interact and the characters and objects on screen seem to pass by each other without impact or any relationship to the laws of motion. Even creatures without wings occasionally seem to float and the result is disorienting and distracting.

Delgo (voice of Freddie Prinze, Jr.) is an energetic and sometimes impetuous teenager and a member of the Lockni, a reptilian race that maintains an uneasy truce with the winged Nohrin. When Delgo was a child, Sedessa, the sister of the Nohrin King (Anne Bancroft in her last screen role), attempted a sort of ethnic cleansing to get rid of the Lockni and was banished by her brother. Years later, the two groups still do not trust each other and myths and prejudices have grown as their knowledge of each other has faded.

Kyla (voice of Jennifer Love Hewitt), the curious and independent-minded Nohrin princess, finds Delgo about to fall one day and rescues him. Kyla is kidnapped by Sedessa and Delgo is framed and thrown in jail. He escapes with the help of Bogardus (Val Kilmer), a Nohrin General, who grudgingly begins to join forces with Delgo to rescue the princess, defeat Sedessa, and teach the Nohrin and Lockni how to work together.

The look has an impressive flair and attention to detail. Its biggest weakness is too many characters, too many plot diversions, and too much violence for a very young children. Older kids will find it a weak reprise of better films, with a gravelly-voiced master intoning about using feelings, not thinking, to move the mystical fire-rocks.

The most creative aspect of “Delgo” is the way it was made. For its first feature film, Georgia-based Fathom Studios invited its audience behind the scenes over the past few years, allowing visitors to its website to see internal notes and watch as the visuals of the movie evolved. If they had opened up the screenplay to the same sort of Wiki-esque review process, it might have made the the story on screen as engaging as the story of its development.

Golden Globe Nominations: Television

posted by Nell Minow

TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA
* Dexter
* House
* In Treatment
* Mad Men
* True Blood
ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA
* Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
* Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
* January Jones, Mad Men
* Anna Paquin, True Blood
* Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA
* Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
* Michael C. Hall, Dexter
* Jon Hamm, Mad Men
* Hugh Laurie, House
* Jonathan Rhys Meyers, The Tudors
TELEVISION SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
* 30 Rock
* Californication
* Entourage
* The Office
* Weeds
ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
* Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
* America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
* Tina Fey, 30 Rock
* Debra Messing, The Starter Wife
* Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
* Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
* Steve Carell, The Office
* Kevin Connolly, Entourage
* David Duchovny, Californication
* Tony Shalhoub, Monk
MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
* A Raisin in the Sun
* Bernard and Doris
* Cranford
* John Adams
* Recount
ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
* Judi Dench, Cranford
* Catherine Keener, An American Crime
* Laura Linney, John Adams
* Shirley MacLaine, Coco Chanel
* Susan Sarandon, Bernard and Doris
ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
* Ralph Fiennes, Bernard and Doris
* Paul Giamatti, John Adams
* Kevin Spacey, Recount
* Kiefer Sutherland, 24: Redemption
* Tom Wilkinson, Recount
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
* Eileen Atkins, Cranford
* Laura Dern, Recount
* Melissa George, In Treatment
* Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters
* Dianne Wiest, In Treatment
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
* Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
* Denis Leary, Recount
* Jeremy Piven, Entourage
* Blair Underwood, In Treatment
* Tom Wilkinson, John Adams

Golden Globe Nominations: Film

posted by Nell Minow

FILM
BEST MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA
* The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
* Frost/Nixon
* The Reader
* Revolutionary Road
* Slumdog Millionaire
BEST MOTION PICTURE, COMEDY
* Burn After Reading
* Happy-Go-Lucky
* In Bruges
* Mamma Mia!
* Vicky Cristina Barcelona
ACTOR, DRAMA
* Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road
* Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
* Sean Penn, Milk
* Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
* Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
ACTRESS, DRAMA
* Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
* Angelina Jolie, Changeling
* Meryl Streep, Doubt
* Kristin Scott Thomas, I’ve Loved You So Long
* Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road
ACTOR, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
* Javier Bardem, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
* Colin Farrell, In Bruges
* James Franco, Pineapple Express
* Brendan Gleeson, In Bruges
* Dustin Hoffman, Last Chance Harvey
ACTRESS, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
* Rebecca Hall, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
* Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
* Frances McDormand, Burn After Reading
* Meryl Streep, Mamma Mia!
* Emma Thompson, Last Chance Harvey
SUPPORTING ACTOR
* Tom Cruise, Tropic Thunder
* Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
* Ralph Fiennes, The Duchess
* Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
* Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
SUPPORTING ACTRESS
* Amy Adams, Doubt
* Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
* Viola Davis, Doubt
* Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
* Kate Winslet, The Reader
DIRECTOR
* Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
* Stephen Daldry, The Reader
* David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
* Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
* Sam Mendes, Revolutionary Road
SCREENPLAY
* Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
* David Hare, The Reader
* Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon
* Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
* John Patrick Shanley, Doubt
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
* The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany)
* Everlasting Moments (Sweden)
* Gomorrah (Italy)
* I’ve Loved You So Long (France)
* Waltz With Bashir (Israel)
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
* Bolt
* Kung Fu Panda
* WALL-E
ORIGINAL SCORE
* Alexandre Desplat, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
* Clint Eastwood, Changeling
* James Newton Howard, Defiance
* A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
* Hans Zimmer, Frost/Nixon
ORIGINAL SONG
* “Down to Earth,” WALL-E; music by Peter Gabriel, Thomas Newman; lyrics by Peter Gabriel
* “Gran Torino,” Gran Torino; music by Clint Eastwood, Jamie Cullum, Kyle Eastwood, Michael Stevens; lyrics by Kyle Eastwood, Michael Stevens
* “I Thought I Lost You,” Bolt; music & lyrics by Miley Cyrus, Jeffrey Steele
* “Once in a Lifetime,” Cadillac Records; music & lyrics by Beyoncé Knowles, Amanda Ghost, Scott McFarnon, Ian Dench, James Dring, Jody Street
* “The Wrestler,” The Wrestler; music & lyrics by Bruce Springsteen

Previous Posts

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posted 3:55:17pm Jan. 27, 2015 | read full post »

When The Movie Plays With the Studio Logo
I got a big kick out of the post by Matt Singer from Screen Crush about movies that begin before the beginning by amending the studio's opening logo.   Most recently, of course "The LEGO Movie" did the logo in Legos.  But before that, movies like "Scott Pilgrim," "Cat Ballou," "Alien 3," and "Wate

posted 8:00:10am Jan. 27, 2015 | read full post »

From Hermione to Belle: Emma Watson to Star in Live-Action "Beauty and the Beast"
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posted 12:18:20pm Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

SAG Awards 2015
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posted 9:00:38am Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Paddington Music Video: Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani Sing "Shine"
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/E924t_5SGkE?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:22am Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »


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