Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


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  New to DVD

Fading Gigolo
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some sexual content, language and brief nudity
Release Date:
April 19, 2014

 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some crude comments, language and action violence
Release Date:
December 25, 2013

Transcendence
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, some bloody images, brief strong language and sensuality
Release Date:
April 19, 2014

 

The Nut Job
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action and rude humor
Release Date:
January 17, 2014

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

 

Grudge Match
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sports action violence, sexual content and language
Release Date:
December 25, 2013

Something New

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual references.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006

They are so afraid we won’t get the point that this movie has our heroine literally letting down her hair, literally putting some color into her beige world, and — in case we still don’t get it — literally having her undernourished garden bloom. And yet, we go with it, thanks to a luminous performance by Sanaa Lathan, who has us rooting for her from the beginning.


She plays Kenya, a very successful investment banker who spends Valentine’s Day with her three best girlfriends — a judge, a doctor, and a lawyer — all wishing they could find love.


Kenya thinks she knows what she wants. She has a list. But love has a way of teaching us — often with great discomfort — that we don’t always know what we want. And ever since Jane Austen, romantic comedies are there to let us enjoy that lesson because it is happening to someone else.


Kenya agrees to go on a blind date, but she is so unsettled when she discovers that he is white she abruptly tells him it can’t work and walks out. Later, when she admires a friend’s garden, it turns out he was the landscape architect and she hires him to — metaphor alert — create a beautiful oasis in the neglected back yard of her new house.


Not only is Brian (Simon Baker) missing the attributes on Kenya’s list, he has a few items on her “no” list — like a dog, and a job where he doesn’t have to wear a tie. But he is kind and smart and considerate, and he knows how to make things bloom. He likes Kenya very, very much. And the her that he likes is a her she’d like to be more of the time — maybe.


Kenya has devoted all of her energy to being what her parents wanted her to be. When Brian urges her to remove her long, straight, glossy hair weave, her aristocratic and a bit pretentious mother wails, “But it was your crowning glory!” Kenya gently reminds her that it wasn’t really hers.


It was her mother’s opinion that strong, bright colors are for children, so everything in Kenya’s new house is beige. Soon Brian has her dipping a paint brush into deep, rich colors, and, of course, splashing it around a little, too.


Kenya wants to think of it as a fling, a momentary Lady Chatterly detour from the path of searching for the IBM (Ideal Black Man). That way, she does not have to think about what her parents or her friends think or about her list (which is a reflection of her parents and her friends). And if he’s just a fling, she does not have to think about her own prejudices. Until an IBM (Blair Underwood) shows up, a handsome and successful lawyer who wants commitment. He is everything she ever wanted. Isn’t he?

This is a glossy romantic comedy with an appealing heroine and some bright dialogue and the theme of racial differences, with the black family highly educated and affluent referring to the landscape architect as “the help” adds a little freshness to a traditional when-will-she-realize-he’s-her-true-love storyline. Another bonus is a superb soundtrack by former Prince-ites Wendy and Lisa. If the over-perfect devotion of the boyfriend makes it less of a date movie than a chick flick (he’s not allowed some sympathy for a bad day?), the sweetness of the relationship and the tartness of the wisecracks around it keep it, if not something new, at least, something welcome.

Parents should know that this movie has some strong sexual references for a PG-13 and some non-explicit sexual situations. Characters drink (scenes in a bar) and use some strong language. A strength of the movie is its portrayal of a loving and devoted inter-racial relationship.


Families who see this movie should talk about why it was so hard for Kenya to be honest with herself about what she wanted.

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Love and Basketball and Brown Sugar (also starring Lathan), Annie Hall, and Before Sunrise.

Nanny McPhee

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some rude humor and brief language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006

There are seven children in the Brown family, and they are all very clever and exceedingly naughty. The 16th nanny has just quit because she thought she saw the six older children eating the baby. The nanny agency refuses to send over another candidate. Mr. Brown (Colin Firth) does not know what to do. And rich Aunt Adelaide (Angela Lansbury) says that if he doesn’t get married by the end of the month, she will stop sending the money they need to pay for their house.


Enter Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson). She has two huge warts, a nose like a potato, and a snagletooth. She also has a big, gnarled staff, and when she hits the ground with it, surprising things happen. She tells the children that when she is needed but not wanted, she will stay, but when she is wanted but not needed, she will go.


Thompson, who also wrote the screenplay, clearly enjoys her outlandish get-up and her crisp but understated and dryly humorous delivery is perfectly suited to the part of the un-ruffleable nanny. Firth’s addled but affectionate father and Kelly Macdonald as a sympathetic housemaid add some substance and sweetness. Thomas Sangster (Love Actually with Thompson and Firth) as the oldest of the Brown children, has a light comic touch.

The movie is a little too self-consciously charming, set in a village so twee it would not be out of place in a Christmas display, with owlish children making adorably precocious quips. And some of the humor seems forced or even creepy, as when we see Mr. Brown working in a mortuary. But it is highly entertaining to see the children misbehave — and to see them get their comeuppance, and the happy ending, if unsurprising, is welcome and satisfying.

Parents should know that there is some gruesome humor and comic peril (no one hurt). There is a comic situation involving some accidental but graphic groping and a woman who takes this as evidence of her sexual attractiveness and a brief crude joke with the implication of incest. Some audience members may be disturbed by the (offscreen) death of the children’s mother or the potential wicked stepmother or loss of the family’s home. Mr. Brown works in a mortuary and the film includes shots of dead bodies.


Families who see this movie should talk about why the children were so naughty. What was the most important thing they learned from Nanny McPhee? What do you think about her rules? Why do her looks change? If you were nanny to the Brown children, what would you do? What does it mean to be needed but not wanted or wanted but not needed?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Mary Poppins, the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books, and The Storyteller, the classic story of a man who finds a very clever way to quiet some annoying children. Like the author of the books that inspired this movie, he knows that kids love stories about naughty children.

Underworld: Evolution

posted by jmiller
F+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive strong violence and gore, some sexuality/nudity and language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006

“Is that the same guy that was just sucking the blood out of the dead horse?”


That was my question to the critic sitting next to me in the middle of the movie. I liked the first Underworld. I thought it was comic-book fun and enjoyed its punk-gothic attitude and flashy design. But this sequel is an incoherent mess covered in sticky, goopy blood without one interesting action scene or fresh stunt.


Once again, it’s about the centuries-old battle between the lycans (werewolves) and the vampires. It turns out it all goes back to two brothers, one bitten by a wolf, one bitten by a bat. Selene (Kate Beckinsale, looking very fine in her leather jumpsuit) and mutant/hybrid Michael (Scott Speedman, mostly looking confused) found out at the end of the last movie that Victor (Bill Nighy, whose brief appearance that is the movie’s only bright spot) had lied to her about, well, pretty much everything, and now it is up to them to, I don’t know find something or kill someone or somehow save the world or at least themselves with a bad guy who looks like an anatomical drawing of the muscular system who has wings that act as a sort of impaling truth serum.

The juxtaposition of portentious “my lords,” “so the legend is true” and “you are unwelcome in my presence”-type talk with computers and helicopters is mildly fun. It’s handly to have the kind of fingernails that can pierce a paint can lid, and it’s cute when Selene crisply tells a man who says he isn’t afraid of her, “We’re going to have to work on that.” But it’s all kind of murky and never makes you care enough to figure our whatever it is.


Parents should know that the movie is very violent. A head is sliced off, bodies are burned, and many, many people/creatures are shot, impaled, blown up, and otherwise maimed and killed. Characters use some strong language and there is nudity and explicit sexual situations including a decadent setting with a man and two women.


Families who see this movie might want to find out more about the origins of the legends of vampires and werewolves.


Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Blade and the original Underworld.

The New World

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some intense battle sequences.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006

It is beautiful to look at. Director Terrence Malick knows how to create images of stunning beauty and power. Those images are especially compelling in this story of Captain John Smith and the because they show us what it was like to come
Q’Orianka Kilcher

Parents should know that the movie includes some violence and sad deaths. There is some romantic snuggling between an adult man and a young girl.


Families who see this movie should talk about the myth and the reality of Pocahontas and why her legend has been so enduring. How well does this version present her point of view? They may also want to visit Jamestown.


Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Last of the Mohicans.

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