Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


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Love is Strange
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language
Release Date:
08/22/2014

 

Moms' Night Out
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action
Release Date:
May 9, 2014

The November Man
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong violence including a sexual assault, language, sexuality/nudity and brief drug use
Release Date:
August 27, 2014

 

Blended
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and language.
Release Date:
May 23, 2014

If I Stay
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some sexual material
Release Date:
August 22, 2014

 

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some scary images and mild peril
Release Date:
May 9, 2014

The Martian Child

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements and mild language.
Movie Release Date:November 2, 2007
DVD Release Date:February 12, 2008

There’s nothing wrong with a little fakery now and then if it smooths out some rough spots and eliminates some distractions. But this film goes past fakery into condescending phoniness that knocks the story off its tracks. What is frustrating is that it is so unnecessary and intrusive. We start out on the side of the characters, John Cusack as David, the grieving widower, a successful writer of science fiction, and Bobby Coleman as Dennis, a troubled orphan who spends all day in a cardboard box and says he comes from Mars. We want them to find a way to connect to each other. But every time the movie has a choice between what might really happen and ramping up the dramatic tension to raise the emotional stakes, it chooses the latter, until we begin to feel less engaged than resentful. My heart was ready to be warmed. But it never got above room temperature.matianchildbig.jpg
David and his wife had planned to adopt a child. After her death, he intends to cancel, but something about the boy in the box reminds him of his own time as a misfit kid. He knows that most people labeled “weird” as children never eradicate the weirdness; they just find a way to push it inside. In a sense, every adult who fits in lives in a kind of a box. Except that Dennis’ box is not only literally labled “Fragile — Handle with Care,” but someone has to point that out, in case we miss the point.
When Dennis says he is afraid of the sun, some ultra-strength sunblock and a gentle game of catch help to coax him out of the box. Dennis says that he is afraid that he will float up into the sky because “Earth’s gravity is weak. Mars is constantly pulling me back,” David creates a weight belt to anchor him to the ground. When he comes to live in David’s house, he tells Dennis to “think of it as a bigger box.”

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No Reservations

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:July 27, 2007
DVD Release Date:February 12, 2008

It may be a three-star movie about a four-star chef, but it is still a sweet summer treat and a great date night hors d’oeuvre.
Kate (Catherine Zeta Jones) just does not understand what everyone’s problem is. All she wants is to have every single detail in her kitchen meet her uncompromising standards. And for every single detail in her life to be as easy for her as coming up with an exquisite new recipe to enchant her foodie groupies. Is that too much to ask?
Apparently, it is, because the owner of the restaurant where Kate presides (one could never say “is employed”) has insisted that she get therapy if she would like to continue to preside. It is not good for business if Kate insults customers who fail to appreciate the subtle flavors and delicate complexities and just want undercooked steak. So, Kate goes to therapy, where she recounts the details of her food preparation in terms so swoonably delectable that for a moment both patient and therapist get a glimpse of a perfectible world. But that would mean a world in which we could be in control. And Kate is reminded of just how little control she has when her adored sister is killed in an automobile accident, leaving Kate as guardian for her young niece, Zoe (Little Miss Sunshine’s Abigail Breslin).

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Interview: Eran Kolirin, writer-director of “The Band’s Visit”

posted by Nell Minow

“The Band’s Visit” is a bittersweet story about isolation and connections. Israeli writer-director Eran Kolirin talked to me about the movie, his first feature film, which follows an Egyptian police band on their way to perform at an Arab cultural center in Israel who mistakenly end up in the wrong city, an isolated outpost where they have to spend the night.

Was there a true story that inspired this movie?

No, not at all. It began with the image of the main character, dressed in a very strict police uniform singing an Arabic song.

A very strict police uniform? That’s a good way to describe it. The image of those pale blue dress uniforms is so striking.

It was an aestheic decision. It is a movie of contraction most of the time. In the frame, in the picture, there is all this monochromatic scenery, and then there is a man who is totally the opposite.

Are the Egyptians in the movies played by Egyptian actors?

All of the actors are Israelis, but two are Israeli-Palestinian and one is descended from Iraqi Jews. Identity in Israel is very complex. My own family is seven generations in Jerusalem. Sasson Gabai, who plays the Lieutenant-colonel, the leader of the band is Jewish by religion, Israeli from his ID card, but comes from an Arab country so he has an Arab background. Saleh Bakri, who plays one of the other Egyptians is Israeli by nationality, Palestinian from his cultural identify, Arab also, and Muslim from religion.

Were there problems of communication or cultural or political clashes between the actors?

You get along fine when you work together.

band%27s%20visit.jpg

Andy’s Airplanes: Interview with John Pierre Francia

posted by Nell Minow

I spoke to producer/creater John Pierre Francia, who was inspired by his experience as a flight instructor to create a new DVD series about a boy who flies a different airplane to a new place every week, learning about geography, history, science and culture, and making new friends.

Andy’s Airplanes is a show and a company centered around a 8-year-old little boy. He is a sweet, loving character with a thirst for adventure and learning and he is kind. Everyone knows and loves Andy because he is interested in the places and people he finds. Most shows have the rude kid. We don’t have the kid with the bad attitude. Though we were told to have more conflict, we believe there’s enough natural conflict, in the logistical challenges he faces. It is enough to see him learn and have adventures. His best friend is Yaygrr, a black-footed ferret. He loves Andy and he’s the pratfall character, the one gets into trouble when he eats too much at the luau. Every time he’s on screen the kids light up.

In Episode 1, Andy flies to the USS Ronald Reagan and learns about aircraft carriers. He participates in a simulated dogfight. He loses pretty quickly to Angel, the admiral’s daughter, and they quickly become friends. Andy is not bothered by being beaten or by a strong girl. In another episode, Andy learns about Polynesian culture and volcanoes and meets Akele and teaches her how to fly. The series has very strong girl characters and there will be recurring roles. Andy might see Angel when he goes to other cities.

Each episiode ends with real kids from the place Andy goes. Our core audience is 2-8 but older kids love the real kids part.

We have a big reading and learning agenda for the series. Kids will learn true aviation principles. We will teach kids about navigation, and that will give them some strong math and science skills. Microsoft is creating a flight simulator plug-in for kids and it will be narrated, so they can fly Andy’s plane.

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