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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Grandma
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language and some drug use
Release Date:
August 21, 2015

 

Iris
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Release Date:
May 1, 2015

We Are Your Friends
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language throughout, drug use, sexual content and some nudity
Release Date:
August 28, 2015

 

Aloha
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some language including suggestive comments
Release Date:
May 30, 2015

Gurukulam
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
August 22, 2015

 

Big Game
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some language
Release Date:
June 26, 2015

New in Theaters

grade:
B+

Grandma

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language and some drug use
Release Date:
August 21, 2015
grade:
B-

We Are Your Friends

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language throughout, drug use, sexual content and some nudity
Release Date:
August 28, 2015
grade:
B

Gurukulam

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
August 22, 2015

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New to DVD

pick of the week
grade:
B+

Iris

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Release Date:
May 1, 2015
grade:
B

Aloha

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some language including suggestive comments
Release Date:
May 30, 2015
grade:
B

Big Game

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some language
Release Date:
June 26, 2015

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Connie and Carla

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual humor and drug references
Movie Release Date:2004
DVD Release Date:2005
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual humor and drug references
Movie Release Date: 2004
DVD Release Date: 2005

Nia Vardalos captivated audiences with the unstoppably successful My Big Fat Greek Wedding and her next film opens up in a few weeks. So it is a good time to take a look at her last film, which never got the audience it deserved. It is very entertaining, if less broadly appealing than her blockbuster debut. What made her first film a hit was its fresh and unassuming presentation of a universal theme — families drive everyone a little crazy. This one is a more traditional farce with the always-reliable gender-switching theme. It worked for Shakespeare and it worked for “Charlie’s Aunt,” “Some Like it Hot,” and “Tootsie,” and if this movie doesn’t hit that level, it avoids the mistakes of flops like “Sorority Boys” and “Juwanna Mann.”

Vardalos and Toni Collette (“The Sixth Sense” and “Muriel’s Wedding”) play best friends who dream of starring in dinner theater productions of Broadway shows. Instead, they are waitresses at an O’Hare airport restaurant who get to belt out tunes to stranded travellers in between taking orders. One night bad guys shoot their boss over a drug deal and, when they see Connie and Carla watching, they try to kill them, too. So Connie and Carla have got fo find a place to hide. Cue “Born to be Wild” and point the station wagon to Los Angeles.

And then before you can say “Queer Eye on the Girls from the Heartland,” Connie and Carla disguise themselves as drag queens and get a job performing in a nightclub. And they are wildly successful because they finally found an audience that appreciates Broadway show tunes! Connie starts to fall for the handsome brother (David Duchovney) of one of the drag queens, Carla misses her boyfriend, and those bad guys are still trying to find them….but these are girls who know how to deliver a happy ending.

This is a bright and colorful door-slamming farce directed by Michael Lembeck, whose experience with “Friends” keeps the pace so brisk that there isn’t much time to notice the parts that don’t work. The plot is nothing new — Lucy and Ethel would be right at home — but there are some good lines given maximum punch by a strong cast.

Duchovney’s low-key charm works well in the midst of all of the over-the-top emoting, but it is a shame that the plot requires him to be so squeamish about his brother’s lifestyle. The movie’s biggest weakness is its attempt to be just too, too good to the last drop, sprinkling self-esteem over every person who comes on screen like, well, fairy dust. This movie is going to make sure you get the message. Like the two main characters, it throws everything at you it can think of, from shameless power ballads to a real old-time movie star. The song and dance routines really are a hoot, delivered with such affectionate sincerity that I dare you not to be entertained. Yet what it does best is what it does most quietly, with some understated humor about how everyone, even a hitman for the mob, is just one showtune away from discovering the transcendent power of dinner theater.

Parents should know that many of the characters in this movie are drag queens, although as is typical in movies of this kind, they are portrayed as non-sexual. Parents should also know that characters use some strong language and there are some double entrendre sexual references and crude jokes involving tampons and a “sit on my face” insult. Characters respond to a stressful situation by deciding to get drunk and much of the action takes place in a bar. A character is a drug dealer and the response to accidental use of cocaine is portrayed as humorous. A character is a hitman and there is one murder (off camera). There are fights, mostly comic. A strength of the movie is that prejudice against drag queens and anyone who is different is an important theme.

Many families may find this movie a good starting point for discussions of how we know who we are and how we treat those who are different. They might want to talk about why it is easier for the drag queens to feel good about the way they look than it is for the women that Connie and Carla see.

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy some of the other classic cross-dressing comedies including Tootsie and Some Like It Hot and drag queen comedies like The Birdcage, Victor/Victoria, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Outrageous!, and To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar (all with some mature material).

‘Angels & Demons’ — radio debate

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to Kevin McCarthy of the BDK Movie Show for having me on the show to debate “Angels & Demons” — whether it is or should be considered insulting to the Church and discuss many different portrayals of religion and Jesus on film.

Zuzu from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to my pal Kathy Deane for alerting me to this website from the actress who played Zuzu in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” She was the little girl who asked her dad, played by Jimmy Stewart, to fix the petals on her flower. That movie, so dear to the hearts of so many people, has inspired her to share her memories and to keep the movie’s message alive. Like the movie’s hero, George Bailey, she has had to struggle with some of life’s most difficult and painful challenges. But she has been sustained by her faith in the difference each of us can make in the lives of others. On her website, she invites fans of the movie and anyone who feels their lives have been touched by angels to write in with their stories.

‘Night at the Museum 2′ Press Conference, Part 2

posted by Nell Minow

IMG_7469-1.JPG More from the “NatM: Battle of the Smithsonian” press conference:
Ricky Gervais, creator and star of the original British version of The Office returns as the director of New York’s Museum of Natural History. He said that he loves to play an “awkward putz” and that “the most fun for a comedian is to play a man without a sense of humor.”
Robin Williams, who returns as Theodore Roosevelt, looked around the historic Smithsonian Castle and said he felt like he was at Michael Jackson’s garage sale. As expected, he kept up a running commentary on everyone else’s answers. Amy Adams answered a question about how her success had changed her life with a joke: “I’ve invested in shoes.” (She was wearing some very fetching Christian Louboutins.) Williams said, “Ah, the Imelda fund.” And he described co-star Hank Azaria’s muscular biceps: “He’s got guns that make Michelle Obama look like an anorexic.”
IMG_7472-1.JPGOwen Wilson answered my question about the special challenges of his role as the tiny-in-stature but big-hearted cowboy Jedediah. He shot most of his scenes in a separate set to make it look as though he was only a few inches tall. “I never saw Hank or Ben, but [Steve] Coogan was there. Jed doesn’t see himself as a miniature little cowboy. He is larger than life. You never had to worry about Shawn [Levy] saying, ‘Do less.'”
They were all big fans of the Smithsonian and the other Washington sights. Adams said the Lincoln Memorial, where she and Stiller have a conversation with the huge marble President was “just gorgeous” at night, with a full moon. And Levy said that he loved exploring the Air and Space Museum at night with Stiller, when they had it all to themselves.
Levy said his biggest challenge in making the film was not the effects but his talented cast, who improvised constantly. “Almost every day we would throw out a plan.” Co-screenwriter Garant talked about how much he and Lennon enjoyed bringing all of the historical characters to life. “All of the characters are such archetypes they represent a giant idea.” And so they were able to include a couple sweet “would have been nice” moments in the film that allowed real-life characters to have conversations and experiences that never happened, but should have, as when the Tuskeegee Airmen got to thank Amelia Earhart for helping pave the way for their own unprecedented achievements.
IMG_7524.JPGDirector Levy commented on the Castle setting, too. He said that it wasn’t until they toured the Smithsonian and saw the original building that he knew where the bad guys’ hide-out in the movie had to be located. “We were inspired by the Gothic moodiness of the Castle,” he said. And so, with life imitating art, the Castle now houses the huge pile of Smithsonian treasures that appear in the film as the loot stored there by Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon, and Al Capone. Does that chair on the top of the pile look familiar? It is the chair used by Archie Bunker on the classic television show, “All in the Family.” The one in the movie is a replica, of course. The original is on display in the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History, now with a special new plaque:
IMG_4579.JPG

Previous Posts

Grandma
Lily Tomlin is cranky, feisty, tough, and utterly irresistible in this story of a grandmother who has to visit past decisions about her own life in order ...

posted 5:50:55pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

We Are Your Friends
Director Max Joseph brings some of the "Catfish" sensibility to "We Are Your Friends," with an intimate, documentary feel and a storyline ...

posted 5:35:22pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Being Evel
Evel Knievel was an international celebrity in the 1960's-70's, known for three things: showmanship, stunts that succeeded, and stunts that failed. He was recognized for jumping over 19 cars in his motorcycle, for crash-landing after trying to ...

posted 5:13:51pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Rosenwald
Aviva Kempner, the director of the acclaimed documentaries about baseball star Hank Greenberg and television pioneer Gertrude Berg, has a new film about early 20th century Chicago businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald. Like the prior ...

posted 12:10:06pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Possibly the Greatest Pairing Since Lennon and McCartney: Lawrence and Shumer
Jennifer Lawrence told the New York Times that she and Amy Schumer are writing a screenplay together! It's about two sisters, to be played by Lawrence and Schumer themselves. “Amy and I were creatively made for each other. We have ...

posted 10:49:12pm Aug. 26, 2015 | read full post »

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