Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

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

 

Moms' Night Out
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action
Release Date:
May 9, 2014

St. Vincent
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 For mature thematic material including sexual content, alcohol and tobacco use, and for language
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

 

Earth to Echo
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some action and peril, and mild language
Release Date:
July 3, 2014

Dear White People
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language, sexual content and drug use
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

 

Snowpiercer
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for violence, language and drug content
Release Date:
July 2, 2014

Comic-Con 2008 (Red Sonja, The Rock, Spike’s Scream Queens)

posted by Nell Minow

IMG_5765.JPGAn Elvis impersonator in a “Star Wars” storm trooper outfit with a lot of bling (think “This is Elvis” vintage) was about to introduce Superman surrounded by a bevy of Princess Leias in the harem girl outfit. I love Comic-Con. It is
a thrilling and hilarious place to be. The sensibility is completely endearing — a mastery of arcania with the wicked but not snarky humor, self-deprecating and ironic but always generous and confident and enthusiastic. It is, above all a very, very happy crowd. Even these Klingons were friendly. IMG_5780.JPG
“This is the week I live for all year,” a woman sitting behind me confided to someone she had just met. We were waiting for a panel discussion of the forthcoming “Red Sonja” movie that should erase all memory of the 80’s version. “No mullet!” promised star Rose McGowan, in an emerald green strapless Dolce and Gabbana dress designed to make fanboys’ knees melt away. Also on the panel, “producer” Robert Rodriguez (no longer a DGA member so not the director of record) and director Douglas Aarniokoski. Rodriguez re-enacted the spit-take he did when McGowan told him she had been sent the script. Robert E. Howard had been one of his favorites since he bought his first Conan book at age 10.
I also went to a panel about the new “Race to Witch Mountain” with Duane “The Rock” Johnson and director Andy Fickman who, like many who appear here, was happy to authenticate his fanboy cred — “This is my 10th Comic-Con and the first one where I didn’t have to buy a ticket. I was here when I was a kid and spent $300 for what I was assured was a mint copy of the Roger Corman ‘Fantastic Four’ but when I got it home it was Dolph Lundgren’s ‘The Punisher!'” Needless to say, with this crowd, this was a line that killed.
I also attended a panel on the forthcoming “Quantum Quest,” a NASA-affiliated sci-fi movie for kids with the voices of everyone from old and new Captains Kirk William Shatner and Chris Pine to Neil Armstrong, Mark Hamill, and the guy who does the voice of SpongeBob (and boy, was he a hit). And long-time Comic-Con enthusiast Kevin Smith moderated (if that term can be used) a Spike TV panel on women in action/horror/fantasy/sci-fi with Jamie King (whose mother named her after the Bionic Woman), Lucy Lawless, “Terminator” co-writer/producer Gale Anne Hurd, and comic book artist Pia Guerra.
At any given moment there are a dozen different panel discussions with everyone from “the world’s greatest zombie expert” to comic book legends, scholars, screenwriters, performers, and just plain cool and interesting people. More details coming soon from your faithful Comic-Con correspondent including an interview with the director of the upcoming animated film “Igor” starring Jon Cusack. Stay tuned.

List: The Top 25 Law Movies

posted by Nell Minow

The magazine published by the American Bar Association has assembled a list of the 25 best movies about the law, with another 25 on the list of runners-up. I am a lawyer from a family of lawyers and we all love movies about the law. Just about every lawyer I know would agree with the ABA’s assessment that “To Kill a Mockingbird” is the all-time best.

I’d like to say that it is because I am a lawyer that I have such a passion for courtroom dramas, but I think it is more accurate to say that I became a lawyer because I was so inspired by films like To Kill a Mockingbird and Anatomy of a Murder.  I even wrote a law review article about two of my favorites, Miracle on 34th Street and Inherit the Wind.

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I am partial to the movies based on real-life cases like “Philadelphia,” “Amistad,” and “Erin Brocovich.” Another of my favorites, “Inherit the Wind,” includes dialogue lifted straight from the court transcripts. “Anatomy of a Murder has the additional distinction of being based on a book by a judge and having a real-life judge and American hero playing the part of the judge on screen. And it is the only law movie I can think of where one of the highlights is a lawyer finding the right precedent in the law library.

I know it is a popular movie, but I was surprised to find “The Verdict” on the ABA’s list, even with Paul Newman’s Oscar-winning performance. It is wrong on so many points of law that my law professor sister said she could ask her students to find all the errors as an exam for her Civil Procedure class. All of the movies on the full list, including the honorable mentions, are worth watching. There is something inherently gripping about a courtroom drama, as “Law and Order” shows several nights a week.

Interestingly, though, one of the most widely seen and highly regarded of the films takes place entirely outside the courtroom: 12 Angry Men. A friend recently gave me a copy of a a special issue of the Chicago-Kent Law Review dedicated to the 50th anniversary of that classic movie.

In , all but a few moments of the film take place in one room as a dozen men deliberate in a murder case. A teenager has been charged with stabbing his father to death. In the initial vote, all but one (Henry Fonda as Juror #8) vote “guilty.” I go on jury duty myself for the first time after Labor Day and will keep this movie very much in mind as I try to live up to one of society’s most important responsibilities.

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Lists: Great Sports Documentaries

posted by Nell Minow

10. The Heart of the Game A dedicated girls’ basketball coach and a talented player with some daunting challenges make this an unforgettable story.

9. 16 Days of Glory Bud Greenspan’s documentary series about the Olympics give you a front-row seat and a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the stories behind the competition.

8. “Freedom’s Fury” In 1956, the Russians were fighting in Hungary. And that year the battle moved to the sports arena in the most brutal water polo competition of all time, the one still referred to as “blood in the water.”

7. The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg Aviva Kempner’s labor of love biography of the first Jewish major league baseball star is heartwarming and inspiring.

6. Step into Liquid (and don’t forget The Endless Summer) These brilliant films about surfing will make you feel like you are inside the waves — and introduce you to a range of wonderfully colorful characters.

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5. Baseball – A Film By Ken Burns Nine episodes — one for each inning of a ball game — brilliantly illuminate the history of America’s pastime.

4. When We Were Kings This Oscar-winning documentary about the “Rumble in the Jungle,” the famous1974 heavyweight championship bout in Zaire between champion George Foreman and underdog challenger Muhammad Ali, is mesmerizing.

3. Dogtown and Z-Boys In the 1970’s, a rag-tag group of kids invented modern-day skateboarding and the era of extreme sports began. This engaging documentary includes vintage footage and superb narration by Sean Penn.


2. Murderball Wheelchair basketball turns out to be one of the most brutally hard-fought, all-out competitions on earth.

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1. Hoop Dreams “People always say to me, ‘when you get to the NBA, don’t forget about me.’ Well, I should’ve said back, ‘if I don’t make it to the NBA, don’t you forget about me.'” This unforgettable movie follows two talented young basketball players from one of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods and their dreams of using their skill to change their lives.

Interview: Tannishtha Chatterjee and Sarah Gavron of ‘Brick Lane’

posted by Nell Minow

Sarah Gavron is the director and Tannishtha Chatterjee is the star of the new British film “Brick Lane,” based on the best-selling novel by Monica Ali. While the book covers three decades in the life of its heroine Nazneen, a Bangladeshi girl who comes to London for an arranged marriage, the movie shows us just one transitional year. I spoke with Gavron and Chatterjee in Washington D.C.

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In the US, everyone but the Native Americans is very aware of his connection to the immigrant experience, though that does not necessarily translate into being welcoming of newcomers. How is it different in the UK, which had a very homogeneous and colonialist way of looking at the world for so long?

SG: London is now a fascinating place to live because it has so many cultures, even if you’re a born and bred Londoner, you’re growing up around people who have been displaced, so you get it once removed. Sometimes you have to wait quite a long time to hear English being spoken.

Naznnen is homesick for much of the movie and yet when she has a chance to go back, she does not. Why not?

TC: There is an image she has of Bangladesh, but that Bangladesh is gone, it’s changed. The image they have in their minds is not what it was.

Do women and men find different challenges in navigating a path between assimilation and identity?

TC: In certain ways yes, especially women like Nazneen who are homemakers and don’t have an outlet outside their home or make friends through work or get to know the culture from outside. Creating a home is a bit claustrophobic because they don’t connect to anyone outside. Men in some ways have a connection but in other ways face the harsh reality of the outer world, and feel more like an outsider. Nazneen does not even know their world.

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