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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Magic Mike XXL
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong sexual content, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use
Release Date:
July 1, 2015

 

The Woman in Gold
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief strong language
Release Date:
April 1, 2015

Terminator Genisys
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language
Release Date:
July 1, 2015

 

Run All Night
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use
Release Date:
March 13, 2014

Max
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for action violence, peril, brief language and some thematic elements
Release Date:
June 26, 2015

 

Unfinished Business
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some strong risque sexual content/graphic nudity, and for language and drug use
Release Date:
March 6, 2015

New in Theaters

grade:
B

Magic Mike XXL

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong sexual content, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use
Release Date:
July 1, 2015
grade:
B-

Terminator Genisys

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language
Release Date:
July 1, 2015
grade:
B+

Max

Lowest Recommended Age:
4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for action violence, peril, brief language and some thematic elements
Release Date:
June 26, 2015

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New to DVD

pick of the week
grade:
B+

The Woman in Gold

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief strong language
Release Date:
April 1, 2015
grade:
C-

Run All Night

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use
Release Date:
March 13, 2014
grade:
C

Unfinished Business

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some strong risque sexual content/graphic nudity, and for language and drug use
Release Date:
March 6, 2015

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Interview: D.W. Brown, Acting Coach to Stars and Future Stars

posted by Nell Minow

D.W. Brown has trained, directed, and coached hundreds of actors and is co-artistic head of the distinguished and successful Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Studio. His new book, You Can Act!: A Complete Guide for Actors is both practical and inspiring with tips, diagnostics, and reference material that guides newcomers and professional actors to everything from the classics to a shoot-’em up. He took the time to answer my questions about the book and his work.

On “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” I heard Alec Baldwin talk about the difference between an actor and a movie star. What do you think the difference is? Can you be both?

You certainly can be both because the ability to act is actually one of the traits that results in success for an actor. Imagine that. But there truly are other factors involved in being a star. Those would include the type you are, your basic physical attributes and your essential nature and how this present society responds to that type. There have always been femme fatale types like Angelina Jolie (Lauren Bacall), and the decent man like Tom Hanks (Henry Fonda); but we don’t seem to have much use for John Wayne types right now. There’s also the buzz factor. The industry feels a trend for certain people and their fame, a fame not necessarily related to their acting, and then it builds on itself.

I was surprised to see you say that “as long as you’re committing to the truth of your Action, you can pretty much be oblivious to whatever you’re saying and it will come off just fine.” How do you suggest an actor treat the words in the script?

Yes, I know it is heretical in some quarters to discount the text, but I’m only saying that an actor should do their job, trusting the writer has done theirs. It’s Shakespeare’s advice to actors when he said (through Hamlet’s mouth): “Suit the action to the word and the word to the action.” You use the words only as a blueprint to determine what you should be doing and, once that’s decided, you make the words total slaves to the thrust of your Action. Our society makes such a big deal out of the use of language and how you present yourself intelligently, an obligation to the words and their ideas is a curse. All these reasonable minds talking to reasonable minds. An actor needs to aim for gut.

Many actors are fine when they are speaking but get lost when another character is speaking. How do you teach them to maintain concentration?

We train the concentration of an actor so that they put their attention on what’s really going on, not just the words and how they themselves are coming across. The Meisner technique we teach at our school (The Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Studio) is a brilliant method for getting an actor to habituate playing moments and working off their environment, mainly the subtextual interaction with other human beings.

What is the best way to prepare for a role set in another era?

Whatever the environment your character inhabits you have to examined the culture and its values, and then bring that to your performance; it may be by relating to events through the use of particularizations, which is saying to yourself: “This thing is to this character as blank would be if it happened to me.” By this I mean, if your character is discovered to be pregnant out of wedlock in the 60s, it might be for you as if you’d been discovered prostituting yourself. To play something set in a different era you might also have to alter how you carry yourself physically.

What is the best way to think about a character’s past? About the character’s goals?

The past may be hugely influential or barely at all. Although it’s often an interesting plot point, I think well-meaning actors tend to get too hung up on back story, whereas your character might simply have been born a shark or a saint. I do think connecting to a past can be very powerful if you think of the character as motivated for a larger purpose because of it. This might be the case with someone who, because of the sacrifices made by others to get them through college, strives passionately to succeed so as to honor them, or a person having been bullied taking revenge for all who have been bullied. I think a great way to think of a character’s goals is to imagine how it is that they want to be praised. Everyone wants to be praised. If not by the entire population, at least by that certain like-minded soul. Even a self-hater loves themselves as a self-hater.

Actors with Character, Part 1

posted by Nell Minow

You know them. That is, they look familiar, but you might not be sure if that is because you saw them in a movie or because you saw them on a train. These are character actors, the indispensible performers who are there for the leading men and ladies to talk to, fight with, run from, almost marry, rescue, punch, shoot, chase, or watch die so they can learn an important lesson. They provide comic relief and when it is necessary they die onscreen to give the main character a growth experience. And while they get paid a small fraction of those 7-figure salaries that go to the stars, their contribution to the movie’s power to entertain and inspire is often as great or greater.
I’m going to share some of my favorites in this and upcoming posts and you can learn more about them in Hey! It’s That Guy!.

The films of the 1930’s had some classic character actors who appeared over and over. Here we can see two of the best, Edward Everett Horton (specialty: silly upper class types) and Eric Blore (specialty: looking down on silly upper class types). Do their voices sound familiar? They both provided voice talent for the Rocky and Bullwinkle series.

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“Ball of Fire” is one of my all-time favorites, in part because of its wonderful collection of character actors playing Gary Cooper’s professor colleagues. You can see some of them here including Oscar Homolka, Henry Travers (the angel in “It’s a Wonderful Life”) and the hilariously nasal Richard Hayden.

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More character actors in future posts, and of course I’d love to hear about your favorites.

Slate’s Proposed Future Toy-Inspired Blockbusters

posted by Nell Minow

Slate’s movie critic, Dana Stevens, invited readers to propose “Transformers”-like summer blockbusters inspired by action figures and other toys. The result was hilarious. My favorites were “Night of the Cabbage Patch Kids–This Time, Your Vegetables Will Finish You” and “Lego Ship Apocalypse: Menace of the Mom Expecting Company.” And there was a whole category for the Transformers’ downmarket rivals.

The second-banana status of Go-Bots, a cheap Transformers knockoff, was highlighted by several titles: Jeff Ryan’s “Go-Bots: Revenge of the Trademark;” Shawn McKinnon’s “Go-Bots: Waiting for Our Loud Overlong Movie that Critics Hate;” and Joe Trabucco’s heartbreaking “Go-Bots: Revenge of the Poor Kids.”

Check it out yourself for the magnificent double-feature titles that won the top prize.

Michael Jackson: How Will He Be Remembered?

posted by Nell Minow

Michael Jackson was a complex and tragic figure. It seems that his memory is being splintered into a thousand shards. Always a showman and a shrewd manager of his brand, Jackson reputedly insisted that he be referred to on MTV as “The King of Pop,” and in today’s memorial, it is that part of his persona that will be saluted. But it is certain that we are in for an avalanche of sordid, inflammatory, and self-serving revelations from those around him.
I’ve seen two especially thoughtful commentaries that seem to me to be a counterweight to all of the fraught and overwrought media hysteria. The always-insightful Mark Jenkins wrote about the way the media has overplayed Jackson’s impact.

It’s been a long time since Michael Jackson penned a hit song, but he did write one last nationwide sensation: the script the mainstream media has followed since his death. Jackson, we’re told, was the “king of pop,” who had “the biggest selling album of all time,” and “broke MTV’s color line.” Every one of these dubious factoids was devised by Jackson or his agents.

And Stephen M. Weissman, the author of Chaplin: A Life, commented on Jackson’s fascination with Charlie Chaplin. The photo of Jackson dressed up as Chaplin is haunting.

Like Chaplin, Jackson also went on to literally become a world historical figure and iconically beloved to his worshipful fans and admirers. And, like Chaplin, Jackson eventually became enmeshed in scandals that nearly destroyed his career. And also like Chaplin, the nature of those scandals stemmed from their separate cases of arrested emotional development.

Previous Posts

Behind the Scenes: Self/Less
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYkH-1ZmnJg[/youtube] ...

posted 3:50:04pm Jul. 07, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: David Gordon Green, Director of "Manglehorn"
David Gordon Green has directed intimate, natural dramas ("George Washington," "All the Real Girls") and wild comedies ("Pineapple Express," ...

posted 3:32:29pm Jul. 07, 2015 | read full post »

New on DVD: Poldark
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A0U6kQNCN0[/youtube] Winston Graham's Poldark novels about a dashing Revolutionary war veteran inspired a very successful 1977 PBS series, now remade with "Hobbit" star Aiden Turner in the title role. ...

posted 12:00:58pm Jul. 07, 2015 | read full post »

Behind the Scenes: Ant-Man
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbc88Z7IfCw[/youtube] ...

posted 8:00:18am Jul. 07, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Dana Nachman of "Batkid Begins"
Dana Nachman is the director of the heartwarming documentary "Batkid Begins." She talked to me about how one five-year-old cancer ...

posted 3:37:56pm Jul. 06, 2015 | read full post »

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