Movie Mom

Movie Mom

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New in Theaters
  New to DVD

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
Release Date:
December 19, 2014

 

The Maze Runner
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, including some disturbing images
Release Date:
September 19, 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for violence including battle sequences and intense images
Release Date:
December 12, 2014

 

Magic in the Moonlight
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for a brief suggestive comment, and smoking throughout
Release Date:
August 1, 2014

Top Five
Lowest Recommended Age:
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, crude humor, language throughout and some drug use
Release Date:

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Release Date:
August 8, 2014

Comic-Con 2008, Part 2 (Spaced, MAD, and Lynda Barry)

posted by Nell Minow

More highlights, observations and pictures from Comic-Con 2008
Most of the presenters mentioned that their name cards had a cautionary note on the back reminding them that they should be careful about what they said because there would likely be children in the audience. And then they ignored it. If there is an overall theme of Comic-Con it is, as Jack Black said in “School of Rock,” sticking it to The Man. Even if The Man is Comic-Con itself.
Like connoisseurs of all kinds, whether wine, art, movies (we should say “cinema”), or sports, there is a specialized and a little pretentious vocabulary for talking about comics. I heard a lot of great terms, including “orchestral” and “meta-paneled.” IMG_5828.JPG
In addition to the people listed previously and below, Comic-Con appearances included Deepak Chopra, Paris Hilton, Triumph the insulting dog puppet, Robert Culp and William Katt of “The Greatest American Hero,” Dan Ackroyd (there’s a new “Ghostbusters” computer game), the new Aston Martin from the forthcoming James Bond movie, and cast members from “Lost,” “Chuck,” “Knight Rider,” the new HBO vampire series “True Blood,” created by Alan Ball of “Six Feet Under” and “American Beauty,” and, speaking of vampires, the much-anticipated upcoming film, “Twilight.”
I hardly think that coming as Silent Bob qualifies as a costume. Same with Hancock. But for some very impressive costumes, you can see my photos here. And I also wrote a piece for the Association of Women Film Journalists about Comic-Con posted on their site.

  • I interviewed Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, and Jessica Stevenson about the DVD release of their first project together, a British television show called Spaced. Wright and Pegg went on to make “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” and Pegg will play Scotty in the new film version of “Star Trek.” Jen Chaney of The Washington Post reported that they were actually filming, too — “Daytrippers” director Greg Mottola is making a movie featuring Pegg and frequent co-star Nick Frost that begins and ends at Comic-Con.
    Wright spoke about his American influences, including “Arrested Development,” the plotting of “Seinfeld,” “Flight of the Conchords,” and “The Larry Sanders Show.” “‘Larry Sanders’ was not all that popular but it was one of the most influential series. It led directly to the UK ‘The Office.’ And we wanted to make an associative, clever, original comedy show like ‘Arrested Development.'” They were also influenced by the British sit-com “The Young Ones.” “It changed the lives of the people of our generation. It spoke to us so personally. It was punk for comedy. It helped give us permission to share experiences like our lives. Like us, the characters sat around, procrastinated, played PlayStation, smoked weed, and had adventures. It was a message for the geek community throughout the world: ‘We are taking over the world.'”
    Wright also described getting the commentary tracks together for the DVD. “It all came together at the last minute and we did it all in one day in LA. Kevin Smith, Diablo Cody, Matt Stone, and Quentin Tarantino did it all for free, driving themselves. I did have to get Kevin Smith out of bed, though.”
    Stevenson talked about her “strong and unique female character. She is different but equal to the male. She’s not intended to be any sort of archetype of stereotype — just an original and authentic character and that was the interesting perspective and because I am female it was strong. The fan base is equally strong in both genders,” she noted. ” That is because it is not escaping into a fantasy world of no gender boundaries; it’s a real world of real people.”
  • Swamp_Thing_v.2_6.jpgOne of the highlights of a panel discussion on comics in the 1970’s was the raucous recollections of the struggles with the censors. Like the movies, comics had been subject to a code that covered (literally in some cases) what could be depicted. Bernie Wrightson recalled that after six issues of “Swamp Thing,” the censors noticed that he wasn’t wearing any pants. Wrightson explained that (a) no one had objected in the first six issues, (b) this was a creature who emerged from the swamp, where pants are not easily obtained, and (c) he is a plant.
    IMG_5860.JPGAnother great panel was the reminiscences from the MAD Magazine editor and staff about their experiences in the 1960’s. They had especially fond memories of the annual vacation trips the staff would take together to locations all over the world. One year, they went to Haiti and found out ahead of time that MAD had only one subscriber on the island, an American teenager. The entire staff went over to his house and rang the doorbell to ask him to renew.
  • It was fun to run into the crew from Rotten Tomatoes — here interviewing Bender the robot from “Futurama”

IMG_5918.JPG

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Mistakes!

posted by Nell Minow

I think one reason I became a critic is that I am fascinated by mistakes. I don’t mind seeing bad movies (most of the time) because I like to think about what it is that makes them so bad. And of course it is a lot of fun to find mistakes in movies. One of my favorites is the bunch of flowers that Katharine Hepburn carries in “Desk Set.” They are one color when she enters the elevator and another when she gets out! There are great compilation of movie mistakes on, Nitpickers.com, Movie Goofs, and, of course, movie mistakes.com.
Here are the top five from Moviemistakes.com. I’d love to hear your favorites:
1 Commando After chasing down Sully, the yellow Porsche is totally wrecked on the left side, until Arnie drives it away, and it’s fine.
2 Star Wars When the stormtroopers break into the control room, the stormtrooper on the right of the screen hits his head on the door frame. On the DVD release they’ve added a thump when he hits it.
3 The Rocky Horror Picture Show The criminologist describes the events of the movie as taking place “on a late November evening”. In the very next scene, Brad and Janet are driving in Brad’s car, and President Richard Nixon’s resignation speech is playing on the radio. Nixon resigned in August of 1974.
4 Charlie’s Angels When the Angels are fighting the “Creepy Thin Man,” right before Drew Barrymore lifts up Lucy Liu to spin her around and kick the thin man, to get Lucy’s attention, Drew hollers out “Lucy!” even though Lucy Liu’s character’s name is “Alex.”
5 Gladiator In the “Battle of Carthage” in the Colosseum, one of the chariots is turned over. Once the dust settles you can see a gas cylinder in the back of the chariot.
And don’t forget — anyone who finds 10 of my mistakes on this site gets a free copy of my book!

The Del Coronado and the Jeff and Jer Show

posted by Nell Minow

While we were in San Diego for Comic-Con we had a chance to visit the legendary Hotel Del Coronado, where Some Like It Hot and The Stunt Man were filmed. We had breakfast overlooking the water and imagined Marilyn Monroe and Peter O’Toole getting ready to go on their sets. IMG_5683.JPG
And I loved going to the studio to do my weekly movie reviews in person on the Jeff and Jer Show on Star 94.1. I look forward every week to talking to them about what’s going on in theaters and on DVD and they are every bit as charming and delightful — and handsome — as I expected. (Yes, that’s me with the black eye — car accident, I was rear-ended, everyone is all right and my eye is now much, much better.)
IMG_5668.JPGIMG_5670.JPG
Jeff and Jer and Little Tommy treated us to a dinner at Trattioria Fantastica that lived up to its name. Many, many thanks for your graciousness and hospitality and for the great fun I have every week being on your show.

Corduroy…and More Stories About Caring

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:July 29, 2008
corduroy.jpg

My very favorite DVD series for kids is saluting the 40th anniversary of the classic book Corduroy with a beautiful new DVD version. It is the story of a toy bear who goes off in search of his missing button and finds a caring friend. Has there ever been a better last line in a book?

This DVD also includes some of the series very best, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel and the one that really made my children laugh, Smile for Auntie. This is a gem.

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