Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Horrible Bosses 2
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong crude sexual content and language throughout
Release Date:
November 26, 2104

 

The Giver
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for a mature thematic image and some sci-fi action/violence
Release Date:
August 15, 2014

Penguins of Madagascar
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Release Date:
November 26, 2014

 

The Expendables 3
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language
Release Date:
August 15, 2014

Little Hope Was Arson
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Not Rated
Release Date:
November 21, 2014

 

The November Man
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong violence including a sexual assault, language, sexuality/nudity and brief drug use
Release Date:
August 27, 2014

Contest: Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre

posted by Nell Minow

sleeping beautyjpgFrom 1982-1987 actress Shelly Duvall produced and hosted a series of fairy tales on Showtime, starring some of Hollywood’s top performers. Christopher Reeve and Matthew Broderick played very charming princes, and princesses included Bernadette Peters as Sleeping Beauty, Susan Sarandon as Beauty, and “Flashdance’s” Jennifer Beals as Cinderella. The costumes and sets were low-budget but very creative, inspired in part by the classic fairy tale illustrations of Maxfield Parrish and Howard Pyle. Beautyandthebeast.jpg
The series has just been re-released on DVD and I have FOUR copies to give away! This is such a special prize I want to make sure everyone has a chance to participate. So post a comment, telling me which is your family’s favorite fairy tale and why. The most imaginative and creative responses submitted by the end of the day Sept 30 will win the box set of the complete Faerie Tale Theatre series. U.S. addresses only, please. I look forward to hearing from you!
Legal stuff and full details:

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Baby Mama

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language and a drug reference.
Movie Release Date:April 25, 2008

“Baby Mama” is not just smart, warm, funny, and romantic, it is an especially welcome dose of XX chromosome humor in an Apatow-flooded XY era.

Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) plays Kate, a single woman who has achieved a great deal of professional success as an executive in an organic food company but at age 37 finds herself overcome with longing for a baby. When her doctor (John Hodgman, the PC in Mac commercials) tells her that it is almost impossible for her to have a child, she hires a surrogate (“Saturday Night Live’s Amy Poehler as Angie). Shortly after she becomes pregnant, Angie leaves her husband and Kate, worried about Angie’s health and hygiene habits, eager to share the prenatal experience, and something of a micro-manager, invites her to move in. Think The Odd Couple with Lamaze class. We know that as must always happen in movies Kate will teach Angie about responsibility and Angie will teach Kate to loosen up and have a little fun. But it is done with a light touch and a sense of humor about itself, Fey and Poehler have an easy warmth and chemistry, and it feels good to see a buddy comedy about women.

Writer/director Michael McCullers (of “Austin Powers” and neglected gem Undercover Brother) wisely lets the characters lead the story, avoiding the usual wacky plot contrivances. Kate continues to be very successful at her job, and when Angie meets Kate’s boss, there are none of those tiresome and painful mix-ups/inadvertent insults/clumsy accidents that have to be corrected so that everyone can agree how much happier they are. Even better, McCullers fills the screen with top comic talent so that every encounter Kate and Angie have is, well, pregnant with possibilities that, well, deliver. Sigourney Weaver is magnificent as Chaffee Bicknell, the steely operator of the surrogacy company. When Kate expresses surprise at the $100,000 price tag — “It costs more to have someone born than to have someone killed,” Bicknell purrs sympathetically without losing a beat “It takes longer.”

Dax Shepard is unabashedly trashy as Angie’s husband (“common law!”), Maura Tierney adds warmth as Kate’s sister, and the always-impeccable Holland Taylor is right on target as their mother. Two poor choices in character design are saved by two superb choices in casting — Greg Kinnear somehow makes a dumb running joke about how his juice bar is nothing like the nationwide chain sound not all all whiny but somehow slightly mystified in a confident but sensitive way. And Will Forte as Kate’s ex elevates some sub-par dialogue about his perfect life. Other SNL-ers include Siobhan Fallon Hogan as the birthing instructor whose speech impediment just makes her sound even more inclusive and elemental and Fred Armisen as a stroller salesman. The wonderful Romany Malco is a highlight as Kate’s doorman. And I won’t spoil the surprise and give away the name of the star who shows up as Kate’s boss, who says things like “I am going to reward you with five minutes of uninterrupted eye contact.” I’ll just say he’s a great choice and does justice to that gray ponytail.

Fey is terrific; we’re on her side all the way. But it is worth seeing the movie a second time just to watch Poehler. As we first see her nervously dropping a little curtsy to the doorman on her way into Kate’s building, we understand that she is someone who may have had no education or opportunity but who has some sense of a bigger world than the one she has known. In one of her best scenes, she pretends to be Kate’s sister and we can see her mind working as she tries very hard to do what she thinks will be most supportive of Kate but also begins to get a different sense of her own capabilities and possibilities. Like Angie, this movie has some surprising depth and heart.

More on Language from the Las Vegas Review-Journal

posted by Nell Minow

“Language packs a punch in culture,” says a column by Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter John Przybys about the debate over Tropic Thunder.
Przybys and I had a long talk about this subject and he quoted me in the column:

Nell Minow, who writes “Movie Mom,” a column on Beliefnet.com in which she evaluates movies from a parent’s perspective, argues that protesters’ ire is misdirected.
“Tropic Thunder” doesn’t lampoon the disabled, Minow said during a recent phone interview, but, rather, the self-absorption of Hollywood and actors who offer one-dimensional portrayals of the disabled and then congratulate themselves for it.
“As a person with disabled family members and whose first job was working with what we then called the ‘retarded,’ I’ve been appalled at movies that get all kinds of critical praise, like ‘I Am Sam’ and ‘Forrest Gump,’ because I think they’re terrible portrayals of disabled characters,” Minow said.
“Too often in movies, the disabled aspect is the character’s defining trait,” Minow continued, and disabled characters exist only to “inspire people and/or give (other characters) an important lesson about compassion. That’s about it, and this is wrong. Disabled people are interesting human beings who’ve got really interesting stories to tell.”
In “Tropic Thunder,” the word “retard” is used to “show something about the person who said it,” Minow said, and the film makes “a very trenchant and powerful argument in favor of the disabled being treated well by showing that the person who didn’t understand was a nincompoop.”
Similarly, even as Downey plays a white actor who darkens his skin to play a black character, the film is “very intelligent in giving the actual black character the power and moral weight in the movie,” Minow said.

Apostles of Comedy

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:September 9, 2008

Four Christian stand-up comics join forces in this performance film that combines hilarious commentary on all of the absurdities of life with very touching glimpses of the men at home and their fellowship with each other. Anthony Griffith, Brad Stine, Jeff Allen, and Ron Pearson are talented performers who believe that their comedy can be a kind of testimony, bringing people to a place where they are more receptive to God. This is a heart-warming, hilarious, and inspiring film. Be sure to check out my interview with Ron Pearson about what makes him laugh and how he finds a way to be both reverent and irreverent.

A live tour featuring the four stars of “Apostles of Comedy” will begin on November 10 in Northern California and make stops in over 15 cities before Thanksgiving. Venues for the tour will include large churches as well as theaters and auditoriums. Stops will include Phoenix, Tulsa’s Maybee Center, Dallas’ Nokia Theatre, Houston, Orlando, Chattanooga and Knoxville, TN.

Previous Posts

Horrible Bosses 2
Maybe it's just the proximity to the horrible "Dumb and Dumber To," but the cheerily offensive "Horrible Bosses 2" made me laugh. Full warning -- it begins with an elaborate sight gag as our hapless he

posted 5:58:28pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Penguins of Madagascar
The most adorable characters from the first three animated "Madagascar" movies were the penguins, the seldom right but never in doubt leader Skipper (Tom McGrath), the often right but never listened to

posted 5:17:32pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Coming Soon: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, the Miniseries
Susanna Clarke's novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is one of those delicious stories that transports the reader to another world, so enthralling that it is difficult to leave. The setting is historical, England in 1806, as the Napoleonic Wars are being fought on land and at sea. Most peopl

posted 3:58:53pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Jurassic World with Christ Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/RFinNxS5KN4?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 3:53:04pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Listen In as Betty Jo Tucker, A.J. Hakari and I Discuss the December Movie Releases
Thanks to Betty Jo Tucker for inviting me back on her show -- this afternoon we will be discussing the big holiday season releases, including "Unbroken," "Inherent Vice," and "Into the Woods."

posted 6:38:57am Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »


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