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 on Chivalry Today

posted by Nell Minow

Scott Farrell of Chivalry Today interviewed me about the portrayal of chivalry in movies, and the podcast is available on the website (you can skip the intro and start about halfway through). We talked about some of the Hollywood greats, like The Adventures of Robin Hood and Ivanhoe and some recent knight-related stories for kids like “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything.” And we talked about how movies about knights and chivalry can give families a chance to talk about the way the ideals of that era continue to inspire us.

We Own the Night

posted by Nell Minow

This is a curious hybrid combining contemporary language and violence with a retro set-up right out of a 1930’s James Cagney/Pat O’Brien movie and pulsating undercover law enforcement action of 1970’s films like Serpico and The French Connection.
The story is simple: two brothers find themselves on opposite sides of the war on drugs. Bobby (Joaquin Phoenix), is a nightclub manager with a gorgeous girlfriend (Eva Mendes as Amada). He loves the nightlife, he loves to feel important and respected, and he loves to feel that he is something of a rule-breaker. He loves to feel far away from his law enforcement relatives and has changed his last name to Green so no one will know he has cops in his family. His brother Joseph Grusinsky (Mark Wahlberg) hates anyone who breaks the law, especially drug dealers. his father Burt (Robert Duvall) wants to be proud of both of his sons.


Bobby and Amada show up at Joseph’s promotion ceremony, high and giggling. Joseph, Burt, and some of the other officers take Bobby upstairs to the church sanctuary to ask him to help them capture a drug dealer named Vadim (electrifying newcomer Alex Veadov), nephew of the club’s owner. The owner and his wife have treated Bobby like a member of the family. Bobby refuses — until catastrophe occurs and he has to think about who really is family and whose side he will be on.


Despite a powerful chase scene and some affecting performances, the movie’s retro slant makes it simplistic and superficial. Instead of commenting on the conventions of the past, it awkwardly tries to pretend that they are still in effect.

Parents should know that this movie has intense and graphic peril and violence, including a lot of gunfire. Many characters are wounded and killed. The plot concerns drug dealers and narcotics officers, and characters use and sell drugs, drink, and smoke. They also use strong language. A strength of the movie is its diverse characters, but there are some racial epithets.

Families who see this movie should talk about what made Bobby and Joseph alike and what made them different.

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy The Departed and classic crime dramas of the 1930’s like Angels With Dirty Faces.

The Martian Child

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements and mild language.
Movie Release Date:November 2, 2007
DVD Release Date:February 12, 2008

There’s nothing wrong with a little fakery now and then if it smooths out some rough spots and eliminates some distractions. But this film goes past fakery into condescending phoniness that knocks the story off its tracks. What is frustrating is that it is so unnecessary and intrusive. We start out on the side of the characters, John Cusack as David, the grieving widower, a successful writer of science fiction, and Bobby Coleman as Dennis, a troubled orphan who spends all day in a cardboard box and says he comes from Mars. We want them to find a way to connect to each other. But every time the movie has a choice between what might really happen and ramping up the dramatic tension to raise the emotional stakes, it chooses the latter, until we begin to feel less engaged than resentful. My heart was ready to be warmed. But it never got above room temperature.matianchildbig.jpg
David and his wife had planned to adopt a child. After her death, he intends to cancel, but something about the boy in the box reminds him of his own time as a misfit kid. He knows that most people labeled “weird” as children never eradicate the weirdness; they just find a way to push it inside. In a sense, every adult who fits in lives in a kind of a box. Except that Dennis’ box is not only literally labled “Fragile — Handle with Care,” but someone has to point that out, in case we miss the point.
When Dennis says he is afraid of the sun, some ultra-strength sunblock and a gentle game of catch help to coax him out of the box. Dennis says that he is afraid that he will float up into the sky because “Earth’s gravity is weak. Mars is constantly pulling me back,” David creates a weight belt to anchor him to the ground. When he comes to live in David’s house, he tells Dennis to “think of it as a bigger box.”

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No Reservations

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:July 27, 2007
DVD Release Date:February 12, 2008

It may be a three-star movie about a four-star chef, but it is still a sweet summer treat and a great date night hors d’oeuvre.
Kate (Catherine Zeta Jones) just does not understand what everyone’s problem is. All she wants is to have every single detail in her kitchen meet her uncompromising standards. And for every single detail in her life to be as easy for her as coming up with an exquisite new recipe to enchant her foodie groupies. Is that too much to ask?
Apparently, it is, because the owner of the restaurant where Kate presides (one could never say “is employed”) has insisted that she get therapy if she would like to continue to preside. It is not good for business if Kate insults customers who fail to appreciate the subtle flavors and delicate complexities and just want undercooked steak. So, Kate goes to therapy, where she recounts the details of her food preparation in terms so swoonably delectable that for a moment both patient and therapist get a glimpse of a perfectible world. But that would mean a world in which we could be in control. And Kate is reminded of just how little control she has when her adored sister is killed in an automobile accident, leaving Kate as guardian for her young niece, Zoe (Little Miss Sunshine’s Abigail Breslin).

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Previous Posts

Great News About Now You See Me 2
You didn't think Arthur Tressler was going to let them get away with it, did you? I am very happy that one of the most entertaining films of 2013, Now You See Me is getting a sequel and the stars, including Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Woody Harrelson, are back, alo

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 »

Manners at the Movie Theater
Here's a cute reminder on movie theater manners. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Dz5Qwd93VpE?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:38am Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »


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