Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

If I Stay
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some sexual material
Release Date:
August 22, 2014

 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence
Release Date:
May 2, 2014

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
August 22, 2014

 

Bears
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
G
Release Date:
April 19, 2014

When the Game Stands Tall
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for thematic material, a scene of violence, and brief smoking
Release Date:
August 22, 2014

 

Need for Speed
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of reckless street racing, disturbing crash scenes, nudity and crude language
Release Date:
March 14, 2014

Interview with Jeff Ma and Jim Sturgess of “21″

posted by Nell Minow

Jim Sturgess (“The Other Boleyn Girl,” “Across the Universe”) stars in “21,” the new movie based on the real-life story of a group of MIT math whizes who won millions of dollars in Las Vegas. The character he plays was inspired by Jeff Ma. I spoke to them both about the movie.

Jim Sturgess

Your American accent in the film is excellent! Was it difficult to learn?

I did not have very much time to prepare for the dialect, two weeks or so, so it was fairly intense. A decision was made not to give him a thick Boston Southie accent so there would be no extremities about who he is as a person. We did not want to be so specific it would be distracting or people would think that’s the points off him.

Your director, Robert Luketic, is well known for “Legally Blonde” and other bright, light-hearted comedies with female leads. Was this a big adjustment for him?

I’m so proud of Robert for this film. He wanted to break away from the genre or the mold he was known for. I hadn’t really seen any of his films and I was nervous, all these romantic comedies, but “Legally Blonde” was an intelligent look at the genre. Once I met him I was completely at ease. He wanted it to be about real people. He didn’t want it to be “Revenge of the Nerds 2.” Put in another person’s hands it could have been completely that way. They were just students. We didn’t look at them as nerds.

Tell me about the character you play. What is it like to play someone who is such a super-brain?

There’s just a confidence and a quickness about what you are thinking. He’s fairly mild in his approach to life but when he talks about anything mathematical that’s his world and where he feels comfortable. And then you put him next to a girl and he’s hopeless!

Had you ever played Blackjack before this movie?

I never had played blackjack. We played it and played it. That is all there really is to do in Vegas, and we were indulging with that as much as possible. We had blackjack camp and that taught us basic strategy. I don’t think it is possible to be a good or bad player unless you are beating the system like these guys did [by counting cards]. It’s a game of luck.

What do the scenes with your character’s mother add to the story?

Ben and his mother brought a conscience to the film. It showed he had somebody to let down who would be disgusted by his behavior. My mother is the same. Your mother’s always slightly in the back of your mind.

What was it like to shoot in Las Vegas?

IMG_3692-1.JPGVegas just kind of blew my mind. We had a great time there but we were there too long, a month and a half. It’s designed for people to come in and spend all their money and have a crazy time and go home to their normal lives. When it becomes your life it is too much and by the end of it we were desperate to get out. Boston was the antidote. It is very similar to England, great when you need a normal pint in a normal pub.

What were the challenges in adapting the real-life story for a movie?

Film has to be its own thing. There are rules of movie making. It’s roughly two hours and the audience has to be engaged. While it was not the case in real life, for the movie, Ben had to have a purpose to earn the money [so the script has him needing it for tuition]. If he was gambling for an idle purpose, just for the money, if he did not have some lesson to learn, it would not work as a movie.

Earlier this week, I saw you in “The Other Boleyn Girl,” a historical drama. What makes you decide that a project is right for you?

It is different each time, different reasons depending on where you’re at in your own life space. For this one it’s like it’s going to be fun and inspired by true events, it reads like an absolute piece of fiction and captures your attention. Your ears really prick up and then I was completely hooked.

What makes you laugh?

Anything tragic is normally pretty funny. The last comedy I saw was “Superbad,” which I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy but there was so much heart to it and so much honesty and it was ridiculous as well. If people are trying to be funny you just sniff it out but if people are going to be honest, it is really funny. “The Cable Guy” is the most warped and tragic film so lonely, but very funny, hilarious.

And what inspires you?

Absolutely everything! Things I’m completely unaware of. Having your ears and eyes as open as you possibly can.

DVD Giveaway: Jimmy Carter documentary

posted by Nell Minow

I have three copies of the outstanding documentary about Jimmy Carter to give to readers. Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme follows Carter as he talks about his controversial book that termed the Israeli occupation of occupied territories “apartheid.” This is a fascinating portrait of a Nobel Prize-winning statesman whose failures as President have been eclipsed by his humanitarian work since leaving office. The DVDs will go to the first three people who email me at moviemom@moviemom.com — good luck! (Be sure to put the title of the DVD you want in the subject line of the email.) man%20from%20plains.jpg

Believer’s annual Film Issue

posted by Nell Minow

My very favorite magazine, The Believer, has an annual issue on one of my very favorite topics: Movies. And this one is their best, yet, with Chuck Klosterman’s essay on what I always say is the single most popular theme in film: the journey, or road movie. It often seems to me that at least 20-30 percent of films have as their theme two or more people who don’t know each other or who know each other and don’t like each other having to accomplish something together, usually involving a trip of some kind. That includes everything from “The Wizard of Oz” to “Toy Story,” “The African Queen,” “Midnight Run,” “North by Northwest,” “From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” “Two for the Road,” “Easy Rider,” and even “College Road Trip.” Rolf Potts writes about the way that international marketing of movies affects their content, dialog, and humor. Two of the most fascinating directors, Werner Herzog and Errol Morris, have a conversation. And the issue includes Part I of the provocatively titled “Pervert’s Guide to the Cinema,” which is not what you think — it is a kaleidoscopic illustrated lecture by Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Zizek, talking about films and what they mean. His passion for his theories and for the films he describes are so intense that he literally enters into them through meticulously re-created sets that place him in Norman Bates’ cellar, Neo’s chair opposite Morpheus, and the hotel bathroom from Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation.” This issue, the DVD included, is bracingly engaged and engaging and a real treat for any cinephile.

DVD Giveaway: Extreme ski documentary “Steep”

posted by Nell Minow

Think triple black diamond times, um, infinity. Steep is a documentary about people who ski down big mountains with sheer descents so steep they are just about perpendicular. I have three copies of the DVD to give away to my readers and they will go to the first three people who email me at moviemom@moviemom.com — good luck! (Be sure to put the title of the DVD you want in the subject line of the email.)

Previous Posts

Taylor Swift Shakes it Off
Taylor Swift, who can be seen in "The Giver," debuts her first pop album with this adorable video. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/nfWlot6h_JM" frameborder="0"] There have been some online discussions about whether Swift is racially insensitive or even racist.  T

posted 3:54:09pm Aug. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Yes, Another "Happy" Video, But You Will Love This One, I Promise
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3KSKS3TTbc#t=239[/youtube] Produced by a team of Deaf campers & staff from Deaf Film Camp 2014 at Camp Mark Seven.

posted 11:35:09am Aug. 22, 2014 | read full post »

An R Rating for Being Gay?
"Love is Strange," a tender, beautifully written and performed love story about a three decade relationship, stars John Lithgow and Alfred Molina.  The MPAA has given the movie an R rating even though there is nothing in the film that normally triggers an R in the categories of language, violence,

posted 10:00:58am Aug. 22, 2014 | read full post »

If I Stay
Hamlet asked it best. "To be, or not to be: That is the question." We struggle through, worrying about whether someone likes us or whether we will be accepted at the school of our choice

posted 6:00:09pm Aug. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
If you want to not just see but hear an eyeball being pulverized, then see "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For."  If you want to see and hear it in the company of an audience who thinks that's

posted 5:59:27pm Aug. 21, 2014 | read full post »


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