Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Fury
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout
Release Date:
October 17, 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

St. Vincent
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 For mature thematic material including sexual content, alcohol and tobacco use, and for language
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

 

Earth to Echo
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some action and peril, and mild language
Release Date:
July 3, 2014

Dear White People
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language, sexual content and drug use
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

 

Snowpiercer
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for violence, language and drug content
Release Date:
July 2, 2014

Interview with Jeff Ma and Jim Sturgess of “21”

posted by Nell Minow

Jim Sturgess (“The Other Boleyn Girl,” “Across the Universe”) stars in “21,” the new movie based on the real-life story of a group of MIT math whizes who won millions of dollars in Las Vegas. The character he plays was inspired by Jeff Ma. I spoke to them both about the movie.

Jim Sturgess

Your American accent in the film is excellent! Was it difficult to learn?

I did not have very much time to prepare for the dialect, two weeks or so, so it was fairly intense. A decision was made not to give him a thick Boston Southie accent so there would be no extremities about who he is as a person. We did not want to be so specific it would be distracting or people would think that’s the points off him.

Your director, Robert Luketic, is well known for “Legally Blonde” and other bright, light-hearted comedies with female leads. Was this a big adjustment for him?

I’m so proud of Robert for this film. He wanted to break away from the genre or the mold he was known for. I hadn’t really seen any of his films and I was nervous, all these romantic comedies, but “Legally Blonde” was an intelligent look at the genre. Once I met him I was completely at ease. He wanted it to be about real people. He didn’t want it to be “Revenge of the Nerds 2.” Put in another person’s hands it could have been completely that way. They were just students. We didn’t look at them as nerds.

Tell me about the character you play. What is it like to play someone who is such a super-brain?

There’s just a confidence and a quickness about what you are thinking. He’s fairly mild in his approach to life but when he talks about anything mathematical that’s his world and where he feels comfortable. And then you put him next to a girl and he’s hopeless!

Had you ever played Blackjack before this movie?

I never had played blackjack. We played it and played it. That is all there really is to do in Vegas, and we were indulging with that as much as possible. We had blackjack camp and that taught us basic strategy. I don’t think it is possible to be a good or bad player unless you are beating the system like these guys did [by counting cards]. It’s a game of luck.

What do the scenes with your character’s mother add to the story?

Ben and his mother brought a conscience to the film. It showed he had somebody to let down who would be disgusted by his behavior. My mother is the same. Your mother’s always slightly in the back of your mind.

What was it like to shoot in Las Vegas?

IMG_3692-1.JPGVegas just kind of blew my mind. We had a great time there but we were there too long, a month and a half. It’s designed for people to come in and spend all their money and have a crazy time and go home to their normal lives. When it becomes your life it is too much and by the end of it we were desperate to get out. Boston was the antidote. It is very similar to England, great when you need a normal pint in a normal pub.

What were the challenges in adapting the real-life story for a movie?

Film has to be its own thing. There are rules of movie making. It’s roughly two hours and the audience has to be engaged. While it was not the case in real life, for the movie, Ben had to have a purpose to earn the money [so the script has him needing it for tuition]. If he was gambling for an idle purpose, just for the money, if he did not have some lesson to learn, it would not work as a movie.

Earlier this week, I saw you in “The Other Boleyn Girl,” a historical drama. What makes you decide that a project is right for you?

It is different each time, different reasons depending on where you’re at in your own life space. For this one it’s like it’s going to be fun and inspired by true events, it reads like an absolute piece of fiction and captures your attention. Your ears really prick up and then I was completely hooked.

What makes you laugh?

Anything tragic is normally pretty funny. The last comedy I saw was “Superbad,” which I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy but there was so much heart to it and so much honesty and it was ridiculous as well. If people are trying to be funny you just sniff it out but if people are going to be honest, it is really funny. “The Cable Guy” is the most warped and tragic film so lonely, but very funny, hilarious.

And what inspires you?

Absolutely everything! Things I’m completely unaware of. Having your ears and eyes as open as you possibly can.

DVD Giveaway: Jimmy Carter documentary

posted by Nell Minow

I have three copies of the outstanding documentary about Jimmy Carter to give to readers. Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme follows Carter as he talks about his controversial book that termed the Israeli occupation of occupied territories “apartheid.” This is a fascinating portrait of a Nobel Prize-winning statesman whose failures as President have been eclipsed by his humanitarian work since leaving office. The DVDs will go to the first three people who email me at moviemom@moviemom.com — good luck! (Be sure to put the title of the DVD you want in the subject line of the email.) man%20from%20plains.jpg

Believer’s annual Film Issue

posted by Nell Minow

My very favorite magazine, The Believer, has an annual issue on one of my very favorite topics: Movies. And this one is their best, yet, with Chuck Klosterman’s essay on what I always say is the single most popular theme in film: the journey, or road movie. It often seems to me that at least 20-30 percent of films have as their theme two or more people who don’t know each other or who know each other and don’t like each other having to accomplish something together, usually involving a trip of some kind. That includes everything from “The Wizard of Oz” to “Toy Story,” “The African Queen,” “Midnight Run,” “North by Northwest,” “From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” “Two for the Road,” “Easy Rider,” and even “College Road Trip.” Rolf Potts writes about the way that international marketing of movies affects their content, dialog, and humor. Two of the most fascinating directors, Werner Herzog and Errol Morris, have a conversation. And the issue includes Part I of the provocatively titled “Pervert’s Guide to the Cinema,” which is not what you think — it is a kaleidoscopic illustrated lecture by Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Zizek, talking about films and what they mean. His passion for his theories and for the films he describes are so intense that he literally enters into them through meticulously re-created sets that place him in Norman Bates’ cellar, Neo’s chair opposite Morpheus, and the hotel bathroom from Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation.” This issue, the DVD included, is bracingly engaged and engaging and a real treat for any cinephile.

DVD Giveaway: Extreme ski documentary “Steep”

posted by Nell Minow

Think triple black diamond times, um, infinity. Steep is a documentary about people who ski down big mountains with sheer descents so steep they are just about perpendicular. I have three copies of the DVD to give away to my readers and they will go to the first three people who email me at moviemom@moviemom.com — good luck! (Be sure to put the title of the DVD you want in the subject line of the email.)

Previous Posts

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posted 3:37:07pm Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Great News About Now You See Me 2
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posted 8:00:59am Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

In the Footsteps of St. Peter
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4c7qh9hMVY[/youtube] David Suchet (PBS' Hercule Poirot) is the host of In the Footsteps of St. Peter, out tomorrow on DVD.

posted 3:55:57pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Wrong About Critics, Wrong About Movies, Wrong About Faith
I am not going to give the people behind the idiotic and offensive press release I recently received the recognition of identifying them by name, but the claim that they make is one I have heard often enough I need to respond. The headline: Film Critics Don't Get Faith Films. This shows no understan

posted 2:36:30pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Disney Announced a New Animated Film for 2016: Moana
Entertainment Weekly reports that Disney has announced a new animated feature to be released in 2016: "Moana," with a Polynesian heroine in search of a fabled island. With Disney greats Ron Clements

posted 1:59:28pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »


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