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

 

Draft Day
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language and sexual references
Release Date:
April 11, 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

 

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

“The Water Horse” — Interview

posted by Nell Minow

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“The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep,” a fantasy set in WWII about a boy who befriends the Loch Ness monster, is one of the best family movies of the year. I spoke with director Jay Russell and stars Ben Chaplin and Alex Etel.
How do you act with a creature who isn’t there but will be filled in later with CGI?
AE: It was really hard to act to a tennis ball on a stick. It was a challenge for me. When it first hatched and was in the teenage stages it was a puppet, so that was easier. But we didn’t film in sequence at all, so we began with my looking at a tennis ball and pretending it was Crusoe (the monster).
JR: Some of the very first things we did the creature was already an adult. Later on when we got to the stage work, the WETA Workshop built these amazingly lifelike puppets and the puppeteer was so great. He would give the creature those quirky moves. When it was an adult, that’s when they had to play make-believe. We did pre-visualization. I would take the storyboards that I did before we started, WETA would bring them to life with animation and we would have living storyboards on the set and that would help them, especially when there’s nothing there.
Why has the legend persisted?
JR: Because there are really two legends. The first goes with any body of water or in the mountains with, Bigfoot, and that kind of thing. The original legend goes back over 1000 years, kelpie or water horse, about a traveler who would come by the loch and this creature would appear to be very friendly and would want to take them across the loch and then get them into the middle and drag them to their death. Then there was the more modern notion from the 1930′s with the famous surgeon’s photo. My feeling about why the legend persists is that we want to believe that there’s something out there that we can’t understand. We have a need for magic and imagination. When I went to Loch Ness for the first time, we pulled up and saw all these tour buses looking out. Then I stood there a while looking for it myself.
BC: It’s a deus ex machina.
JR: We want it, we need it. There always will be a legend of a loch, even as recently as last May, a guy shot a video on his phone of the water and a wave with a big black thing underneath it, and it’s all over the internet.
BC: Because it’s in a loch it’s not as scary as in an ocean.
AE: It’s like it’s in a zoo.

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The Water-Horse

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some action/peril, mild language and brief smoking.
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2007

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In the grand tradition of “he followed me home — can I keep him?” movies, we have seen movies about children who are brought to adventure and understanding through dogs, horses, cats, a whale, a dolphin, dragons, geese, and an extra-terrestrial. But this imaginative family fantasy-adventure is the first movie in my memory about a boy and his very own Loch Ness monster.
Angus (Alex Etel) is a young boy in World War II Scotland, the son of the housekeeper of a large estate. He finds what he thinks is a rock but it turns out to be an egg. He calls the creature who hatches “Crusoe.”

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Persepolis

posted by Nell Minow

pesepolis_poster.jpgMarjane Satrapi brings her award-winning graphic memoir to the screen in a powerful story of growing up in Iran as the Shah was ousted and hopes for democracy were crushed by the rise of the fundamentalists. Named for the legendary ruin Alexander the Great is believed to have burned, the frank portrayal of Satrapi’s coming of age personally and politically is a stunning achievement. Like the books, it is told almost entirely in black and white, with simple, supple, strong lines that beautifully complement and underscore the starkness of the story.

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Interview: Nate Parker, Denzel Whitaker, and Jurnee Smollett of “The Great Debaters”

posted by Nell Minow

The three talented young stars of “The Great Debaters” talked with me about making the film and the teachers who inspired them.

Nate Parker on what makes a great debater:

Denzel Whitaker on why you should see the movie:

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