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

 

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

Remembering Heath Ledger

posted by Nell Minow

Heath Ledger’s death is a terrible loss. He was an actor of great sensitivity and commitment. Most of the appreciations and obituaries focus on his Oscar-nominated performance in Brokeback Mountain

Dana Stevens of Slate has a beautiful tribute that emphasizes Ledger’s willingness to take risks in character roles. In the best of his performances, he played young men who were struggling with their feelings and struggling even more with their inability to express them. His brief appearance in Monster’s Ball was the foundation of everything that followed. Not many people saw his superb performance in the Australian film Candy, as a drug addict.

Today, though, I want to think of him in his lighter films. He made the silly but irresistible rock-jousting movie A Knight’s Tale a delight. He was proud that the director used his suggestion of David Bowie’s “Golden Years” song for the dance number. And he was a spirited modern-day Petruccio in 10 Things I Hate About You, strutting the tiers of the school’s football stadium as he sang “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.” Cat (Julie Stiles) realized she could not resist him at that moment and audiences felt the same way.

The Hunting Party

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:September 7, 2007
DVD Release Date:January 22, 2008

Crazy times require crazy tactics. And so just because the UN can’t seem to find Bosnia’s most notorious war criminal does not mean that a gonzo journalist shouldn’t track him down for an interview.
Based on a 2002 Esquire Magazine story called What I Did on My Summer Vacation by Scott Anderson, the movie starts off with a snarky advisory: “Only the most ridiculous parts of this story are true.” The snark deepens to anger and outrage but performances of great sensitivity and heart keep it from getting shrill.
Simon Hunt (Richard Gere) is a television war correspondent equally strung out from the madness of war and from the lack of interest in the stories he sends back home. He has spent his entire career living on adrenaline and alcohol, chasing stories all over the world about people trying to wipe each other out. One night during a live broadcast on network television he had a meltdown, and since then he has been relegated to scrambling for freelance piecework for any global television service he can get to pay him enough to cover his bar tab. But the market for his stories is getting smaller and the bar tab is getting larger.
The network anchorman arrives (James Brolin, sleek and satisfied as a Siamese cat), accompanied by his cameraman (Terrence Howard as Duck), formerly Simon’s closest colleague, and Benjamin (“The Squid and the Whale’s” Jesse Eisenberg), a young kid just out of school whose father is a network executive.

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The Game Plan

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:September 28, 2007
DVD Release Date:January 22, 2008

There is undeniable little girl appeal in this story of a big, selfish meanie of a quarterback who is tamed by the 8-year-old daughter he never knew he had. Some audiences will find it as sugary as a fruit-scented princess pony sticker book, but its intended viewers will be delighted to see a story with a little girl who is smarter and more responsible than many of the adults around her and is adored by every one of them, especially her big, tough daddy.
game%20plan.jpg

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Interview: John Sayles of “Honeydripper”

posted by Nell Minow

honeydripper2.jpg Writer-director-editor-actor John Sayles has made some of the most consistently literate, subtle, and engaging films of the last three decades, including The Secret of Roan Inish, Lone Star, Casa de los Babys, Passion Fish, and Eight Men Out. I spoke to him about his new movie, “Honeydripper,” the story of Tyrone (Danny Glover), who has a bar in 1950 Harmony, Alabama. His only hope for keeping it going is an appearance by recording star Guitar Sam. When Sam does not show up, Tyrone substitutes a young performer named Sonny, counting on the fact that no one in Harmony has any idea what Guitar Sam looks like.
Would you say there is one theme in your movies, one idea that you like to explore?
The ones that are set in the US, a lot of them are about that tension between the American dream, what we think of as our ideal, and the reality. I like to show people who think they have nothing to do with each other listening to each other. Music is the way people pay attention to each other first, listening to and borrowing from each other’s music, before they are willing to share ideas.
Your last few films have been contemporary. What is different about doing a film set in another time?
Period films are more fun for the art dept. They read a lot of books and look at a lot of pictures, looking at cars, guitars, everything that appears in the film. I am thinking through the characters, how did they think back then, what did they accept, what did they question. This takes place in 1950, before the media started calling it the Civil Rights Movement. Southern towns were not on the alert yet that there was going to be a movement. They were still saying, “We thought all our colored people were happy.” You have to get yourself back into that head. I read autobiographies and biographies, to just get the vibe of the time. It’s within my lifetime, but we’re talking to people who are younger. Our audience is adults who were born years after Martin Luther King was assassinated. He’s somebody on the history channel to them and they do not have that personal experience of how radical he was.
For me the heaviest line in the movie is when the sheriff says “Take your hat off,” not because he’s the sheriff, it’s not a question of his legal authority. It is just because he is white. Unlearning what we know, every character you have to kind of work that equation in. The political activist in the film is the Pullman porter [from the railroad]. They were the guys who got around and delivered the message. They had the most radical union. That was the era of [Pullman porter labor organizer] A. Philip Randolph.

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Previous Posts

Thursdays in September on Turner Classic Movies: The Jewish Experience on Film
This month, TCM has an excellent series of films about the Jewish experience, every Thursday. TCM proudly presents The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film, a weekly showcase of movies focusing on Jewish history and heritage as portrayed onscreen. Co-hosting the films each Thursday is D

posted 9:21:56pm Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Start the School Year With a No-Screen Week
A new study shows another good reason to detox from all screen time now and then, especially for kids.  Children who take a five-day break from all screens are better at reading real-life facial expressions to understand the emotions of the people around them.  Psyblog described the study, which s

posted 3:56:33pm Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

COMING THIS MONTH: September 2014 Movies
Happy September!  There isn't much new in theaters this Friday, but next week things start to pick up. Here's the best of what's coming in theaters this month: September 12: "Dolphin Tale 2"  This sequel to the endearing fact-based "Dolphin Tale" brings back stars Harry Connick, Jr., Morgan Fr

posted 8:00:52am Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Labor Day 2014: Movies About Unions
Today we pay tribute to workers, especially those who worked for better conditions for everyone. Sally Field won an Oscar for this real-life story about a courageous woman who helped mill workers form a union. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45CX8W9peTs[/youtube] Doris Day plays

posted 7:00:42am Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Summer Summer-y: The Summer Movies of 2014
A few concluding thoughts on the summer movies of 2014: A good summer for food movies: "The Chef," "The 100-Foot Journey," and "The Trip to Italy" had some big-time actors but the real stars were the luscious meals. Special mention of the delicious French comedy "Le Chef," starring Jean Reno, as

posted 3:46:47pm Aug. 31, 2014 | read full post »


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