Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Strange Magic
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some action and scary images
Release Date:
January 23, 2015

 

The Boxtrolls
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for action, some peril and mild rude humor
Release Date:
September 26, 2014

Mortdecai
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some language and sexual material
Release Date:
January 23, 2015

 

The Drop
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some strong violence and pervasive language
Release Date:
September 12, 2014

Cake
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language, substance abuse and brief sexuality
Release Date:
January 24, 2015

 

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

Movie Mom Media Appearances

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks so much to the Acalanes Blueprint student newspaper for interviewing me about “The Dark Knight!”
“Adolescents have always been drawn to stories of transformation and duality,” said Minow in a Blueprint interview. “It’s a very well-written, acted, and directed movie that engages some ambitious plot elements about morality, compromise, and whether the ends justify the means.”
And thanks to the Wichita Eagle for letting people know about my upcoming appearance at the Tallgrass Film Festival.
My recent Congressional testimony on Lehman and AIG got some press coverage, too.

Alan Klavan’s ‘Liberal Myths’ in and About Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Writer Alan Klavan calls Hollywood movies liberal propaganda in a provocative opinion piece in the Washington Post.
For the past 30 years or so, Hollywood storytelling has been guided by a liberal mythos in which, for example, blacklisting communist screenwriters during the ’50s was somehow morally worse than fellow-traveling with the Stalinist murderers of tens of millions (“Trumbo”); Che Guevara was a dashing, romantic liberator instead of a charismatic killer (“The Motorcycle Diaries”); and the worldwide violence currently being waged by Islamo-fascists is either a figment of our bigoted imaginations or the product of our evil deeds (“V for Vendetta“).

Hollywood moviemakers, in other words, have been telling lies — loudly, constantly and almost always in support of a left-wing point of view. And these lies are most prolific and tenacious when the Hollywood left is lying about itself.

This seems over the top to me. “The Motorcyle Diaries” was about Che Guevara’s early, idealistic years, as though it was a prequel to “The Godfather” that just focused on the time between the night Michael enlisted and the wedding scene that begins the film. Unless Klavan wants to insist that Guevara was intentionally and inherently evil in his twenties, it seems to me part of what makes the movie so intriguing is our knowledge of what he became when the injustice that troubles him so deeply in this film persuades him that the ends justify the means and he loses his ability to resist the corruption of power. And “V for Vendetta” is an allegory that is intended to be open-ended so that it can be interpreted in several ways. The movie begins with a reference to Guy Fawkes, whose foiled 1605 attempt to bomb Parliament is still celebrated every year. And it specifically raises the questions about whether the main characters can be seen as terrorists or as revolutionaries — or both — and how to respond to fascism without becoming fascistic.
He does make some good points:
But Hollywood supports unions, a stalwart Democratic cause, right? Well, yeah, if you watch “Norma Rae” or “Hoffa.” But in real life, filmmakers routinely outsource their productions to places such as Vancouver and Budapest, where they can avoid paying union premiums. And when the Writers Guild struck last year, we saw studio liberals turn into corporate hard-guys in the blink of an eye.
I would not say that “Hoffa” is a valentine to unions, but Klavan’s accusation of hypocrisy is well-founded, especially when it comes to the writer’s strike, and I am delighted to see someone who is politically conservative speak out on behalf of unions.
However, he makes an enormous mistake by characterizing the new Oliver Stone movie about President Bush, “W.,” without having seen it, based only on the trailers and advance work. A screenwriter should know better.
And his accusation that liberals are not patriotic is hogwash. He says,
The meaning of the word patriotism is “love of country.” If you don’t love your country, you’re not a patriot.
Liberals love America every bit as much as conservatives do, and it is shameful of Klevan to suggest otherwise. Loving America means wanting it to live up to its ideals, ideal of democracy and freedom that transformed the world. The first principle of the founding fathers was their commitment to challenge, even revolution, to keep the country vibrant and constantly renewing itself. In a moment when opposing political candidates are both running on a platform of change, Klavan should realize that we can best show our love for our country by renewing its commitment to the values at its foundation, those same values of freedom of speech that gave him his space in a “liberal” newspaper.

Thoughts on ‘W’ as Movie, History, and Politics

posted by Nell Minow

Movie review from Dana Stevens of Slate:
Neither satire nor biopic, the film is a kind of secular pageant, enacting with dogged literality the well-known stations of the cross of Bush’s life: the 40th-birthday hangover-turned-religious-conversion! The near-asphyxiation by pretzel! Mission accomplished! “Is our children learning?” The moments scroll up the screen like the song titles on one of those greatest-hits collections advertised on TV. The movie is done in the broad strokes and primary colors that are Stone’s trademark–lest you’ve forgotten JFK, this is not a filmmaker of nuance–but the net effect is both satisfying and strangely cathartic to watch.W-poster-sml.jpg
My enjoyment of this film hovered perilously close to camp at times. Stone’s musical choices lay it on particularly thick: He accompanies a party scene during Bush’s drinking years with the Freddy Fender song “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” and scores the fall of Baghdad to the marchlike rhythm of “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” But if Stone’s portrait of George Bush is laid on with a trowel, maybe it’s because God seems to have engineered the real Bush’s life with a similarly crude sense of irony. W. is a case of biographer and subject being perfectly matched: You really don’t want a Bush biopic directed by Jean-Luc Godard (though Robert Altman could have done something interesting with it if he were still around). Like Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin, Stone’s George Bush gets his best lines straight from the source. This movie was scripted by screenwriter Stanley Weiser (Wall Street) but was ghostwritten by history itself.
Slate political columnist Timothy Noah talks about what they left out:
W. is the rare Oliver Stone film that had to tone down the historical record because the truth was too lurid. How the hell do you tell the uncensored story of a guy like George W. Bush? No one would believe it.
Stevens and Noah have a great conversation about the movie on the weekly “spoiler special,” which can be accessed via iTunes.

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The Most (Unexpectedly) Spiritual Film of the Week

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s releases include some very spiritual themes. W. shows us the 43rd President’s decision to let his life be guided by God, his lessons from a spiritual advisor, and his participation in Bible study. The Secret Life of Bees portrays three sisters who conduct Christian religious services in their home and call their brand of honey “Black Madonna.” But it just might be the based-on-a-videogame “Max Payne” that has the most spiritual themes of the week. Along with a lot of guns, chases, and explosions, it finds time to consider its title character’s thoughts about angels, Satan, Judgment Day, and the afterlife. Not just grafted on, these themes are central to the character’s decisions and ability to find meaning in life following the murder of his wife and child.

Previous Posts

Before They Were Stars: Television Commercials With Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, and More
Phil Hall has a delightful collection of "before they were stars" television ads featuring Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, James Dean, Morgan Freeman, Matt LeBlanc, Steve Carell, and more. Here's one I love that he left out, with pre-"Laverne and Shirley" Penny Marshall and pre-"Charlie's Angels" Farr

posted 8:00:34am Jan. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Alan Menken Plays His Hits
[iframe width="416" height="234" src="http://abc.go.com/embed/VDKA0_i2msn1gc" frameborder="0"] Alan Menken, currently composing the songs for "Galavant," here sings some of his greatest hits, including songs from "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," "The Little Mermaid," "Enchanted," "Pocahontas,"

posted 8:00:02am Jan. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Strange Magic
Despite the big names behind it, including George Lucas, who came up with the story and produced, it feels like a straight-to-DVD, about the level of Disney's Tinkerbell series. It's bright,

posted 5:25:48pm Jan. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Bad Movies Inspire Great Critics: Mortdecai
Johnny Depp's "Mortdecai" is sure of a place of dishonor on the end of the year worst lists.  Business Insider and Huffington Post have some choice quotes from some of the movie's best bad reviews, and I've found some good ones, too, including: David Edelstein, New York Magazine Having combed

posted 3:35:40pm Jan. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Four Disney Artists Paint a Tree
Pure pleasure: Four great Disney artists, Marc Davis, Eyvind Earle, Josh Meador, and Walt Peregoy, paint a tree. There's a reason they call them actors with pencils. Or, just call them geniuses. [iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/9JK9uQNBDxQ?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:31am Jan. 24, 2015 | read full post »


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