Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Believe Me
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:

Release Date:
September 26, 2014

 

The Fault in Our Stars
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexuality and brief strong language
Release Date:
June 6, 2014

Tracks
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some partial nudity, disturbing images and brief strong language
Release Date:
September 26, 2014

 

Transformers: Age of Extinction
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language and brief innuendo
Release Date:
June 27, 2014

The Boxtrolls
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for action, some peril and mild rude humor
Release Date:
September 26, 2014

 

Neighbors
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for pervasive language, strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use throughout
Release Date:
May 9, 2014

Salon asks for the Best Family Films

posted by Nell Minow

I like Salon movie critic Andrew O’Hehir very much. He covers the less mainstream films, independent, foreign, and festival fare and I always enjoy his take on what he sees. He is on vacation this week and in something of a turnabout he has asked Salon readers for their suggestions for DVDs for his family to share. A lot of great choices are on the list already, from known classics like “My Neighbor Totoro,” “The Secret of Roan Inish,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Fantasia,” “The Court Jester,” “The Princess Bride,” “Time Bandits,’ and “The Music Man” to some more unusual choices like “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” “The Sven Faces of Dr. Lao,” “The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T” (the only movie ever written by Dr. Seuss), and “The Point.” Take a look at the list to get some great ideas for summer family viewing and add your own favorites!

Women and Spirituality: The Goddess Trilogy

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:NR

Women & Spirituality is a three-part series about the power of the sacred feminine in mythological, historical and cultural contexts. Part 1, Goddess Remembered, examines goddess-based pre-historic societies, linking the loss of goddess-centered societies to environmental degradation. The second, The Burning Times, looks at the witch-hunts of the Middle Ages and the third, Full Circle, concludes with manifestations of contemporary women’s spirituality in the Western world. “Drawing on the customs, rites and knowledge of the past, Full Circle envisions a sustainable future where domination is replaced with respect.

This is an inspiring examination of the spiritual lives of women in ancient and modern times.

Turner Classic Movies for Families

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite childhood memories was a weekly television series in my home town of Chicago called Family Classics, hosted by local children’s TV star Frazier Thomas. My family watched it together each week, and that made it extra special. It was the beginning of my interest in old movies.
I thought of that series when I heard that Turner Classic Movies has announced Essentials Jr., a family-friendly companion piece to its superb “Essentials” series of classic films. Starting just as school lets out for the summer, this is a wonderful opportunity for families to sit down together with Blackberrys, iPods, cell phones and everything else turned off and enjoy the films together.

TCM Essentials Jr. will offer parents the perfect opportunity to introduce their kids to such classics as National Velvet (1944 – airing June 1), The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1963 – June 15), Harvey (1950 – June 29) and Meet Me in St. Louis (1944 – July 13). The new showcase demonstrates TCM’s ongoing commitment to cultivating the next generation of classic movie fans. Like the network’s popular Essentials franchise, TCM Essentials Jr. will provide background on the movies and what makes them a must-see for people of all ages.

It is co-hosted by Chris O’Donnell (“Scent of a Woman”) and Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine,” “Nim’s Island”), who both appear in the new film, “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl.” national%20velvet%203.jpg
It opens tonight with one of my very favorite films for families, “National Velvet,” starring Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney. Enjoy!

Interview: Nina Paley of “Sita Sings the Blues”

posted by Nell Minow

Nina Paley, who bills herself as “America’s best-loved unknown cartoonist” is the artist/writer/director behind a smart, funny, visually stunning new animated film called “Sita Sings the Blues.” Paley’s cartoons include “Fluff” (Universal Press Syndicate), “The Hots” (King Features), and her own alternative weekly “Nina’s Adventures.” She animated and produced “Sita Sings the Blues” single-handedly on a home computer. Nina teaches at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan and is a 2006 Guggenheim Fellow.
“Sita Sings the Blues” is a multi-level presentation of the traditional Indian Ramayana saga that includes three different artistic styles, a modern-day parallel based on Paley’s own life, and the songs of 1920′s-30′s nightclub singer Annette Hanshaw. I met Paley two years ago at a reception for women film-makers. We talked briefly about her work on this film and she gave me a business card with a small drawing of Sita. I was delighted to see the film at Tribeca this year and glad to have a chance to interview Paley via email.

What first interested you in the Ramayana saga?

I was living in Triuavndrum, India, where I read it for the first time.
There are at least four different graphic styles in the way the characters in your film are
presented. How would you describe them and what does each one add to the story?

[The styles are] the smooth cartoony style for the Hanshaw numbers, the shadow puppets with collage characters in the background, during the unscripted dialog, the fake miniature Mughal paintings, during the scripted dialog, the expressionistic rotoscoped scene just after the
“intermission.” Each style refers to a different art tradition associated with the Ramayana, and lends itself to the shifting narrative styles as well
05.RamSitaGods.jpg
The narration of the Ramayana story feels very improvised — how did that come about?
It was improvised.
Who are the narrators?
Friends from India, see here.
Is their contradiction of each other and refinement of each other’s versions intended to match the mix of artistic styles in the visuals?
It’s very natural. They’re all from different regions of India and speak different mother tongues, and grew up on different versions of the story. So naturally they remember “the” Ramayana differently from one another. There is no one Ramayana. Their discussion makes this clear.
Why combine the Ramayana story with the modern-day parallel? In some ways, the stories are very different.
Yes, my story doesn’t involve demons, magic arrows, palace intrigue, or purity. But both stories are about heartbreak, and a peculiar relationship dynamic between a man and a woman, and that’s the aspect of both I emphasized. It’s also what they have in common with the Blues.
How did you select 1920′s chanteuse Annette Hanshaw as the singing voice of Sita?
See here.
Do you think that women directors bring a distinctive perspective and if so, how would you describe it? How would this story be different if told by a man? Or would a man not tell this story?
This story was told by me as an individual. An individual brings their individual characteristics and experience to a story. I happen to be a woman, but I’m a specific woman, not womankind in general. I can’t tell you how other women would direct a particular film, or other men. We’re all unique.
I will say that there are distinctive womens’ tellings of the Ramayana that differ greatly from mainstream (men’s) versions.
In the novel “Heartburn,” Nora Ephron said that she wrote it even though it had some material that embarrassed her because it allowed her to control the story. Would you say that is true for you with this movie? Did you find it validating or vindicating?
I found it therapeutic.
What are you working on next? More animation or will you do live-action as well?
The Muse hasn’t given me my next orders yet, which is good, because I have to be a fulltime producer for “Sita” right now.
What are the distribution plans for the film? Where can people see it?
Watch “Sita Sings the Blues” for free online.
Who are some of your influences in animation and in comics?
Everything I’ve ever seen!

Previous Posts

Trailer -- Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Story of Moses with Christian Bale
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posted 8:00:26pm Oct. 01, 2014 | read full post »

October 2014: Movies This Month
Happy October! This month is when we start to get the big, award-hopeful fall releases. Some of the highlights of what's ahead this month include: October 3: "Gone Girl," with Ben Affle

posted 3:42:45pm Oct. 01, 2014 | read full post »

The Inside Story of "The Princess Bride" by Cary Elwes: As You Wish
Fans of The Princess Bride, which means pretty much everyone, will love the new book from Cary Elwes (Wesley), who takes us behind the scenes for the inside story of the making of the film, from his nervous audition (his imitation of Fat Albert saved the day) to the most dedicated fans (one had "As

posted 8:00:44am Oct. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Believe Me
Will Bakke has followed his two thought-provoking documentaries on faith with a remarkably smart, funny, brave, and heartfelt first feature film that explores religion and values without ever falling

posted 11:06:16am Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Gone Girl's Rosamund Pike
Rosamund Pike delivers a stunning breakthrough performance in this week's "Gone Girl." She's been a favorite of mine for a long time, for her elegant voice and precise acting choices. It's a good

posted 8:00:23am Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »


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