Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

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

 

Adventure Planet
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:

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

A Fresh Tomato for RT’s New Look

posted by Nell Minow

RT_Logo_beta.gif Yes, most critics love to read what our colleagues think about movies. And so I spend time just about every day on the wonderful Rotten Tomatoes website, the best place to read what everyone has to say, from Roger Ebert to Film School Rejects and a wide, provocative, hilarious, and often surprising and insightful range in between. This is the place to go to compare the New York Times review with The Movie Boy (Dustin Putman), Reelview’s James Berardinelli, everyone from Entertainment Weekly to bloggers with more opinions than readers. The RT community does not hesitate to weigh in with their own reviews and rebuttals as well.
RT’s new redesign is a joy to navigate, very fresh and clean, and new editor Matt Atchity promises they will be rolling out more new goodies than a Criterion Collector’s Edition Director’s Cut DVD. Can’t wait.

27 Dresses

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language, some innuendo and sexuality.
Movie Release Date:January 18, 2007

27%20dresses.jpg Jane has a special closet in her apartment filled with 27 dresses so ugly that only two things can be true: (1) they were all bridesmaid’s dresses, and that means (2) all 27 brides assured her that they could be shortened and worn again.
Jane (Katherine Heigl of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Knocked Up”) is a natural caretaker. After her mother died when she was a child, she took care of her sister. She has taken care of 27 different brides, helping out with wedding details that have her over-stuffed day-planner bristling with yellow sticky reminders. In her job, she takes care of her boss, George (Edward Burns), the too-good-to-be-true mountain-climbing CEO of an impeccably politically correct corporation. She makes sure he gets his breakfast burrito and picks up his dry cleaning. In her few spare moments, she sighs with love for George or sighs with hope over the weekly write-ups of the most romantic weddings in the Sunday paper. Her dreams are of white dresses, tossed bouquets, and big cakes with lots of icing. Her reality is…dreams.
Just as she decides to let George know how she feels, urged on by her best friend Casey (the marvelous Judy Greer, wasted in an underwritten role as the movie’s designated sleep-around friend), Jane’s globe-trotting model sister Tess (Malin Akerman) arrives and she and George immediately decide to get married, with guess who taking care of all the cake, flower, and decoration details. All of this is so distracting that Jane barely has time to notice the killer smile of Kevin, a cynical reporter (the marvelous James Marsden, almost-wasted in an under-written role that seems left over from an old Clark Gable character). For no reason except the demands of the increasingly flimsy plot, Kevin is required to keep a couple of obvious secrets.
Heigl is the real deal, with girl-you-wish-lived-next-door imperishable but accessible beauty, appealing, endearing, vulnerable, with understated comic timing. Marsden, too, has charm to spare. Both hold our interest and keep us rooting for them even when the script does its best to get in the way. Do we really need yet another scene with characters letting go by getting tipsy and singing 80′s songs? Akerman (“The Heartbreak Kid”), in her second role in five months as a selfish, irresponsible, and all-around nightmare bombshell who impulsively gets engaged, struggles with an impossible task as she tries to be both over-the-top obnoxious and sympathetic at the same time. What does work is Heigl and the dresses and the fact that, like Jane, most of the audience loves to get misty at weddings. Watching this film is like waiting to catch the bride’s bouquet, more anticipation than fulfillment.

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Darkon interview: Andrew Neel and Luke Meyer

posted by Nell Minow

Andrew Neel and Luke Meyer are the writer-directors of an exceptionally entertaining and engrossing film called “Darkon,” a documentary about LARPers — participants in live action role-playing games. Think of a mash-up between Civil War reenactors, a “Star Trek” convention, and a computer game with elements from “Lord of the Rings” and the Crusades.

darkon2.jpg Every other week, Darkon players meet for battle in the fields around Baltimore wearing armor and carrying shields and swords. No longer at their boring jobs, no longer their boring selves, Darkon gives them scope for their imagination and lets them be epic and heroic. And sometimes they discover things about themselves that carry over into their daily life as well.

The film, a festival award-winner, is sympathetic to its subjects, drawing us into their battles on and off the field.

Mr. Woodcock

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, thematic material, language and a mild drug reference.
Movie Release Date:September 11, 20007
DVD Release Date:January 15, 2008

If Sophocles knew that this would be the result, he would never have allowed “Oedipus” to see the light of day. “Mr. Woodcock” is an Oedipal comedy about a man who loves his mother and who becomes very, very upset when she falls for the man who terrorized his childhood, his middle school PE teacher.


John Farley (Seann William Scott) is now a very successful author with a self-help book about letting go of the past. When his Nebraska home town wants to give him its highest honor, he cancels his book tour obligations and flies home.


That’s when he finds out that his mother is now in love with the PE teacher whose pedagogical technique consisted of humiliation and harassment. Or, maybe he was just a bully.


John comes home to accept an award and instantly all of his carefully-built confidence and maturity evaporate and the idea of breaking up his mother’s engagement to Mr. Woodcock becomes all-consuming.


And so we go from a brief opening scene showing John being humiliated by Mr. Woodcock in gym class to an entire movie that humiliates him in just about every possible context from being stuck under the bed as Mr. Woodcock and his mother make loud, passionate love to having a chunk of hair shaved off at Mr. Woodcock’s barber, dunking Mr. Woodcock’s whistle in the toilet, and being a bad sport in cute county fair competitions. Or, rather, cornpetitions — this movie’s idea of witty wordplay is to substitute the word “corn” for every possible syllable.


Thornton and Scott have nothing to work with here. Thornton carries over the mean thing that was already not funny in “The Bad News Bears” and “The School for Scoundrels,” and Scott has to do his best with a character whose characteristics shift from one scene to the next. Poor Sarandon is limited to 50′s sit-com lines like “Isn’t that sweet?” and “Can’t you two try to get along?”

The pacing is slack and slapdash, the comedy based primarily on cruelty, injury, intimidation, and humiliation. It also throws in some irresponsibility, selfishness, alcoholism, and general skankiness. Then, instead of ending, it all just gives up with a sort of “never mind” ending that even Mr. Woodcock would have to call a foul on. Indeed, that is the best possible assessment of the movie as a whole.

Parents should know that this film has extremely strong material for a PG-13, right up at the edge of an R. It includes very crude and insulting epithets and very vulgar sexual humor and situations, including John hiding under the bed as his mother and Jasper have loud sex. Woodcock humiliates his students and others by calling them “ladies” and impugning their manhood. Characters drink (including jokes about alcoholism and scenes in bars), smoke, and use very strong and crude language include a vulgar word for sexual organs used as an insult and a joke about child molesting. There is a good deal of comic violence, with many characters getting hit on the head and crotch by various blunt instruments.


Families who see this movie should talk about why John and his mother saw Mr. Woodcock so differently.

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Anchorman – The Legend Of Ron Burgundy and Old School (both with mature material).

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