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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Monkey Kingdom
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
G
Release Date:
April 17, 2015

 

Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating:
NR
Release Date:

Ex Machina
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for graphic nudity, language, sexual references and some violence
Release Date:
April 17, 2015

 

Big Eyes
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language
Release Date:
December 25, 2014

True Story
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language and some disturbing material
Release Date:
April 17, 2015

 

Wild
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for sexual content, nudity, drug use, and language
Release Date:
December 5, 2014

New in Theaters

grade:
B+

Monkey Kingdom

Lowest Recommended Age:
Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
G
Release Date:
April 17, 2015
grade:
A-

Ex Machina

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for graphic nudity, language, sexual references and some violence
Release Date:
April 17, 2015
grade:
B

True Story

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language and some disturbing material
Release Date:
April 17, 2015

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New to DVD

pick of the week
grade:
B+

Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic

Lowest Recommended Age:
All Ages
MPAA Rating:
NR
Release Date:
grade:
B+

Big Eyes

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language
Release Date:
December 25, 2014
grade:
B+

Wild

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for sexual content, nudity, drug use, and language
Release Date:
December 5, 2014

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Lights, Camera, Faith — Inspiration and Meaning in the Movies

posted by Nell Minow

The Lights, Camera … Faith! A Movie Lectionary book series by Peter Malone, MSC with Rose Pacatte, FSP, explores movies that highlight themes or issues emphasized in the Gospel. The books propose practical points for reflection, conversation and personal growth, in addition to insightful film analysis and information about the film and the people who made it. Sr. Rose, FSP director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Culver City, CA, and a fellow Beliefnet spiritual movie award judge, has a blog that includes thoughtful commentary about movies and media literacy.

Beliefnet Movie Awards

posted by Nell Minow

Congratulations to Beliefnet judges and community members for selecting an outstanding group of winners for the Beliefnet movie awards.

Judges

Best Spiritual Film: The Road
Best Inspirational Film: Precious and Up (Tie)
Best Spiritual Documentary: ‘More Than a Game’

People’s Choice
Best Spiritual Film: The Blind Side
Best Inspirational Film: Precious
Best Spiritual Documentary: Earth

And check out the gallery of lessons from Oscar-nominated films, too!

Fanboys

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for pervasive crude and sexual material, language and drug content
Movie Release Date:February 20, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for pervasive crude and sexual material, language and drug content
Movie Release Date: February 20, 2009

“Fanboys” has less of a sense of humor about its subjects than they do about themselves. It is so afraid of offending the demographic that it cannot decide if it is making fun of passionate fans of popular culture or making fan of everyone who is hasn’t spent hours debating the abilities of Boba Fett. Four high school buddies, now estranged, get together for one crazy mission — they want to break into George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch to get a look at the new “Star Wars” movie, “The Phantom Menace,” before anyone else. And the result is just another teen road trip movie, crammed with cameos and many many jokes about body parts and their functions, about mastery of minutiae and saying things like “It’s been parsecs since I’ve seen you” and name-checking things that are oh, so 1998 (Great big Palm Pilots! Chumbawamba!). And isn’t it hilarious that these guys don’t have girlfriends? Yeah, I didn’t think so, either.

The trailer gives away most of the movie’s best surprises including cameos from stars identified with a series of fanboy call signs. Billy Dee Williams is identified as Lando Calrissian, and Carrie Fisher is of course identified as Princess Leia. The real fanboys in the audience will also recognize Ray Park (Darth Maul) and will also appreciate the appearance of the now-indispensable slob comedy utility players Seth Rogan (in three parts), Danny McBride, and Jay and Silent Bob. There are some amusing confrontations between the “Star Wars” geeks and the Trekkers and Kristen Bell (whose brunette bob makes her look like Parker Posey) gives some snap to her lines and wears a Leia harem girl outfit. Someone needs to give the talented Pell James a better job. In her brief and thankless role as a Las Vegas “escort” she lights up the screen with obvious warmth and intelligence.

That is not enough to make up for way we keep getting pulled back to the four bland characters and even blander storylines (you think that conflicts will be addressed? is someone going to find true geek love? will we learn what life is all about?) at what passes for the heart of the movie. It could have been a lot of fun if they hadn’t cheesed it up with a character suffering from Movie Disease — you know, the one where you only have a short time to live but appear and act perfectly healthy — and another character who is struggling with whether he should “grow up” and behave responsibly. It is a shame that a movie about the people who are most passionate about edgy, imaginative stories is itself slipshod and formulaic.

Must Read After My Death

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Not Rated
Movie Release Date:February 20, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Movie Release Date: February 20, 2009

A generation ago the technology first became widely available to allow families to document their lives with home movies and audio recordings. The use of these artifacts has transcended the “can you believe I used to look like that” and “remember that trip” family viewings and provided the materials for extraordinary films like Capturing the Friedmans, Tarnation, exploring the chasm between the sunny footage of birthdays and beach visits and the longing, failure, betrayal, and loss that was going on inside.

Film-maker Morgan Dews is the grand-son of a woman named Allis, who left behind a suitcase of home movies, ten hours of dictaphone letters sent to her husband on his annual four-month business trips to Australia, and tapes recorded for herself or for therapists consulted by the family. And there was a file of tape transcripts and notes labeled Must Read After My Death.

That became the title of a film assembled from these recordings, opening today in New York and Los Angeles and available everywhere via Gigantic Digital. The haunting images of Allis, her husband Charley, and their children, Chuck, Doug, Bruce, and Anne flicker on screen as we hear the recordings. The juxtaposition is artfully done and utterly heart-rending, the cheery footage of children playing as we hear the family fall apart.

At first, the words fit the “Leave it to Beaver” images of life in the tony Connecticut suburbs of the 1950’s and 60’s as Allis and the children make records tell Charley how much they miss him and he responds by telling them he loves them. But then, so matter-of-factly we wonder if we hear it correctly, Charley tells Allis about his involvement with other women and even asks for her help. And by the time the recording device has switched to reel-to-reel magnetic tape, the kids are beginning to reflect the anguish at home. Halfway between a time capsule and a Cheever story, we see the particularly of this family’s dysfunction and disintegration but it is the elements of its era make it so powerful. The suffocating restrictions on Allis as she tries to find a way to hold onto a sense of herself at a time when therapists were handing out tranquilizers and telling her to let her husband be the boss. In one tape we hear her decide that while she would like to work it would be better for her son for her to stay home — for another ten years.

Movies like “Revolutionary Road” and “American Beauty” cannot come close to the art and authenticity of this one in portraying the tragedy behind the manicured lawns and shiny appliances of the suburbs. The urgency of Allis’ message to us — not “please” but “must read” — is most honorably discharged by her grandson and the story she left behind lets us hear the voice that was almost silenced.

If you like this, try: Capturing the Friedmans, Tarnation, Five Wives, Three Secretaries and Me, Tell Them Who You Are, and This American Life’s superb episode of found audio, including tapes found in a thrift store that were recorded by parents to send to their son in medical school. And this interview with Morgan Daws has more information about the film and the family and how they feel about using Allis’ recordings.

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As "Mad Men" is coming to a close, the fans who have found its depth and insights enthralling are creating their own versions of their favorite scenes, and you can watch them online.  Take a look and post your own! [iframe width="560" ...

posted 8:00:05am Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Ebertfest 2015, Part 1
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posted 7:39:39am Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

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