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

Why (and how) do we like to be scared? What do you think is scary?

posted by Nell Minow

Before there were scary movies, there were scary plays. Before there were scary plays, there were scary stories. Scary has been very popular for a very long time. The top twenty box office champs are all scary, from Titanic to the Indiana Jones and of course the first modern blockbuster Jaws, which still has some people afraid to go into the water. Horror and terror have been popular since stories began. Jaws.jpg Did you hear the story about the man who chopped up his enemy’s children into a pie and fed them to him? It was written by the same guy who wrote about suicidal teenagers and murderously ambitious would-be kings — Shakespeare. And then there’s the one about the guy who killed his father and put out his own eyes — written around 429 B.C.

Scary movies are especially popular with teenagers. They serve as a sort of training wheels for social interaction and a way of letting off steam. Teens watch them in groups, grabbing each other and screaming, then talking afterward about the experience.

The two best pieces I have read recently on the subject of scary movies are Desson Thomson’s article in the Washington Post about the difference between what is scary and what is gory and a piece by Grady Hendrix in Slate about the grisly and very popular “Saw” movies.

There Will Be Blood

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:R for some violence
Movie Release Date:January 4, 2008

therewillbeblood.jpgIt opens with a scorching contrast of light and darkness. Alone at the bottom of a dark pit, Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) stubbornly scratches and claws in the mud. High above, a pitiless sun bleaches a remote desert landscape. Plainview goes back and forth between the dark and the light, repeatedly returning to pick away at the earth. He is as flinty and unyielding as the rocky terrain itself, a man of ferocious resolve seeking something of value deep inside the rock. For almost 15 minutes, there is no other person but the resolute miner, no other sound but his relentless attack on the wall of stone. Finally, it begins to yield tiny bits of previous metal. Plainview falls. He is badly injured. But he perseveres, dragging himself to the assay office.
When we see him again, he is just as focused, just as intense, now seeking another kind of treasure. Plainview supervises a small group of men, digging for oil. To make sure there is no doubt about the nature of the forces that have been unleashed on the earth, it all becomes powerfully clear when one of the wells ignites, creating a vivid scene from Dante’s Inferno, belching fire and brimstone into the night, killing one of the men, leaving his infant son an orphan.

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Reminding Oscar voters of great performances of 2007

posted by Nell Minow

Scott Bowles in USA Today quoted me in his story about performances that should not be overlooked by Oscar voters. I’d add Joseph Gordon-Levitt (and the rest of the cast, who were all brilliant) in The Lookout and Irfan Kahn and Tabu of The Namesake, Paul Schneider for Lars and the Real Girl (and he was just as good in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”), and Michelle Pfeiffer in Stardust. Namesake%2C%2BTabu%2Band%2BIrfan1%5B1%5D.jpg

Will Smith — the Hitler flap

posted by Nell Minow

It is a shame that Will Smith’s reasonable comments have been taken out of context and he has been forced to apologize.
Here is what he said:

Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘let me do the most evil thing I can do today.’ I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was ‘good’. Stuff like that just needs reprogramming. I wake up every day full of hope, positive that every day is going to be better than yesterday. And I’m looking to infect people with my positivity. I think I can start an epidemic.

I hope he still thinks so. What he was saying is that even people who inflict great evil on the world usually believe that what they are doing is right. Recognizing that is an essential element of understanding the nature of evil and how to prevent it. No one who understood Smith’s point — or who has ever spent five minutes observing his behavior — could imagine he was in any way endorsing Hitler’s actions. Tim Gordon, as usual, has it right: “this is a situation where an actor gave an opinion and the interviewer twisted the context only after he received an answer that left room for further interpretation.”

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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