Movie Mom

Movie Mom

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Lucy
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R For strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality
Release Date:
July 25, 2014

 

Noah
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and brief suggestive content
Release Date:
March 28, 2014

And So It Goes
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and drug elements
Release Date:
July 25, 2014

 

Finding Vivian Maier
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
April 11, 2014

Wish I Was Here
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language and some sexual content
Release Date:
July 18, 2014

 

Sabotage
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating:
Rated R For strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some sexuality/nudity and drug use
Release Date:
March 28, 2014

Rudy

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1993
DVD Release Date:1994

In this true story of determination and courage, a young man from a blue collar family wants to play football for Notre Dame, despite the fact he has neither the athletic nor the academic skills. Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger (Sean Astin) is told by his family and his teachers college of any kind is out of the question for him, and he should be content with the good, steady work with his family at a steel mill. Only his best friend, Pete, believes in him, and when Pete is killed in an accident at the mill four years after their high school graduation, Rudy puts on the Notre Dame jacket Pete gave him and takes the bus to South Bend. A sympathetic priest helps him get into nearby Holy Cross Junior College, where, with the help of a shy tutor named D-Bob (John Favreau), he is able to make the grades necessary to be accepted as a transfer to Notre Dame.
The coaches make it clear he will never be good enough to play, but they accept him on the team to act as an opposing team player in practice sessions. His determination and commitment endear him to the team, and he is finally permitted to play for seven seconds of his last game, assuring him a place in the record books as having made it to the Fighting Irish.
With some reservations about the language, this is a good family movie for a discussion of dreams – the importance of having them and the possibility of achieving them through persistence and commitment. Rudy is contrasted not only with the athletes who have far more ability but none of the “heart,” but also with his friend Fortune (Charles S. Dutton), who reveals near the end that he was once a member of the team but quit, and has regretted it every day since.
Rudy’s father is afraid of dreams; his own father lost everything in the Depression by risking all he had to have a dairy farm. He insists Notre Dame is not for people “like us.” Rudy’s older brother, Frank, does not want Rudy to succeed, because then he will have to confront his own failure to try for something more. Rudy’s teammates want him to “tone it down a notch,” not to “play every practice like it was the Super Bowl.” But ultimately, his spirit and his insistence on giving everything he can every single time inspires them. Rudy becomes an indispensable part of the team, and each of his teammates goes to the coach to insist Rudy play in his place.
Parents should know that this movie has very strong language for a PG movie. A man calls another a “pussy,” and there is a reference to “busting your balls.” D-Bob’s girlfriend tells him not to swear anymore. Characters drink beer. Rudy gets a little drunk, with consequences – he makes the mistake of telling the secret he had been trying to keep: he was not enrolled at Notre Dame. There is a scuffle in a bar and a subtext of class issues.
Family discussion: What are some of the things Rudy has to do to be able to be on the team? Which are the hardest? What are some of the things he had to give up? Which do the people who made the movie think is more important, ability or determination? How can you tell? Why didn’t Fortune admit he left Rudy the key? How did Fortune change Rudy’s mind? Why didn’t the quarterback do what the coach said at the end of Rudy’s last game? Why did Pete’s death make Rudy decide not to wait any longer? Do you think determination is a talent you have to have, or can you learn it? Have you ever been determined to make something happen? What did happen?
If you like this, try: Ideally, this movie should be seen as a double feature with Knute Rockne, All-American, that other great movie about Notre Dame football. Pat O’Brien appears in the title role, and Ronald Reagan plays “the Gipper,” whose deathbed request inspired the most famous motivational speech of all time, memorialized on a plaque in the Fighting Irish’s locker room and read aloud by Rudy.
Rudy is played by Sean Astin, son of Patty Duke (The Miracle Worker) and John Astin (West Side Story). In real life, Rudy (who appears in a photo at the end of the movie and as a fan in the stands) had a second dream: to make a movie about his time at Notre Dame. Like the first dream, it seemed impossible, and like the first dream, he made it come true.

A Fresh Tomato for RT’s New Look

posted by Nell Minow

RT_Logo_beta.gif Yes, most critics love to read what our colleagues think about movies. And so I spend time just about every day on the wonderful Rotten Tomatoes website, the best place to read what everyone has to say, from Roger Ebert to Film School Rejects and a wide, provocative, hilarious, and often surprising and insightful range in between. This is the place to go to compare the New York Times review with The Movie Boy (Dustin Putman), Reelview’s James Berardinelli, everyone from Entertainment Weekly to bloggers with more opinions than readers. The RT community does not hesitate to weigh in with their own reviews and rebuttals as well.
RT’s new redesign is a joy to navigate, very fresh and clean, and new editor Matt Atchity promises they will be rolling out more new goodies than a Criterion Collector’s Edition Director’s Cut DVD. Can’t wait.

27 Dresses

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language, some innuendo and sexuality.
Movie Release Date:January 18, 2007

27%20dresses.jpg Jane has a special closet in her apartment filled with 27 dresses so ugly that only two things can be true: (1) they were all bridesmaid’s dresses, and that means (2) all 27 brides assured her that they could be shortened and worn again.
Jane (Katherine Heigl of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Knocked Up”) is a natural caretaker. After her mother died when she was a child, she took care of her sister. She has taken care of 27 different brides, helping out with wedding details that have her over-stuffed day-planner bristling with yellow sticky reminders. In her job, she takes care of her boss, George (Edward Burns), the too-good-to-be-true mountain-climbing CEO of an impeccably politically correct corporation. She makes sure he gets his breakfast burrito and picks up his dry cleaning. In her few spare moments, she sighs with love for George or sighs with hope over the weekly write-ups of the most romantic weddings in the Sunday paper. Her dreams are of white dresses, tossed bouquets, and big cakes with lots of icing. Her reality is…dreams.
Just as she decides to let George know how she feels, urged on by her best friend Casey (the marvelous Judy Greer, wasted in an underwritten role as the movie’s designated sleep-around friend), Jane’s globe-trotting model sister Tess (Malin Akerman) arrives and she and George immediately decide to get married, with guess who taking care of all the cake, flower, and decoration details. All of this is so distracting that Jane barely has time to notice the killer smile of Kevin, a cynical reporter (the marvelous James Marsden, almost-wasted in an under-written role that seems left over from an old Clark Gable character). For no reason except the demands of the increasingly flimsy plot, Kevin is required to keep a couple of obvious secrets.
Heigl is the real deal, with girl-you-wish-lived-next-door imperishable but accessible beauty, appealing, endearing, vulnerable, with understated comic timing. Marsden, too, has charm to spare. Both hold our interest and keep us rooting for them even when the script does its best to get in the way. Do we really need yet another scene with characters letting go by getting tipsy and singing 80′s songs? Akerman (“The Heartbreak Kid”), in her second role in five months as a selfish, irresponsible, and all-around nightmare bombshell who impulsively gets engaged, struggles with an impossible task as she tries to be both over-the-top obnoxious and sympathetic at the same time. What does work is Heigl and the dresses and the fact that, like Jane, most of the audience loves to get misty at weddings. Watching this film is like waiting to catch the bride’s bouquet, more anticipation than fulfillment.

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Darkon interview: Andrew Neel and Luke Meyer

posted by Nell Minow

Andrew Neel and Luke Meyer are the writer-directors of an exceptionally entertaining and engrossing film called “Darkon,” a documentary about LARPers — participants in live action role-playing games. Think of a mash-up between Civil War reenactors, a “Star Trek” convention, and a computer game with elements from “Lord of the Rings” and the Crusades.

darkon2.jpg Every other week, Darkon players meet for battle in the fields around Baltimore wearing armor and carrying shields and swords. No longer at their boring jobs, no longer their boring selves, Darkon gives them scope for their imagination and lets them be epic and heroic. And sometimes they discover things about themselves that carry over into their daily life as well.

The film, a festival award-winner, is sympathetic to its subjects, drawing us into their battles on and off the field.

Previous Posts

Intuition -- A Short Film from Danielle Lurie
I love this short film from Danielle Lurie about a young woman who needs to learn to listen to her heart, with a wonderful performance by Montse Muñoz. [vimeo]https://vimeo.com/101953117[/vimeo]

posted 10:09:01am Jul. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Joseph Nasser of "Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway"
Reserve Police Officer Joseph Nasser produced Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway to help raise awareness of the Amber Alert system. It stars Tom Berenger as a man on the edge, making a dead rush for Mexico and kidnapping two young girls along the way. He is hotly pursued by police chief Martha Geig

posted 8:00:33am Jul. 28, 2014 | read full post »

"Guardian of the Galaxy's" Awesome Mixtape
One of the many pleasures of "Guardians of the Galaxy," opening this week, is the soundtrack featuring some 70's classics from an "Awesome Mixtape" played by Peter "Star Lord" Quill (Chris Pratt).  Here are some of the highlights. "Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Swede [youtube]http://www.youtub

posted 8:00:21am Jul. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Comic-Con 2014: Day 2
Day 2 of Comic-Con included: an interview with "Sharknado" and "Sharknado 2" screenwriter Thunder Levin, a buggy lunch with Boxtrolls, press events with the directors and casts of four films, and appearing on the Rotten Tomatoes panel, where each attendee was given a paddle with a ripe tomato on on

posted 10:04:47pm Jul. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Thank You! This Site is 19 Years Old This Week!
It seems like yesterday, but it was 19 years ago this week that I first began writing reviews online as The Movie Mom®.  Anyone remember Prodigy?  The first appearance of my website was via the Sears-owned online service, so long ago it does not even turn up in Wayback searches.  At the time, we

posted 3:59:49pm Jul. 26, 2014 | read full post »


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