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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

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New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Tomorrowland
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements, and language
Release Date:
May 22, 2015

 

American Sniper
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references
Release Date:
January 16, 2015

I'll See You in My Dreams
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sexual material, drug use and brief strong language
Release Date:
May 22, 2015

 

Strange Magic
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some action and scary images
Release Date:
January 23, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images
Release Date:
May 15, 2015

 

Mortdecai
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some language and sexual material
Release Date:
January 23, 2015

New in Theaters

grade:
B+

Tomorrowland

Lowest Recommended Age:
4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements, and language
Release Date:
May 22, 2015
grade:
B+

I'll See You in My Dreams

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sexual material, drug use and brief strong language
Release Date:
May 22, 2015
grade:
B+

Mad Max: Fury Road

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images
Release Date:
May 15, 2015

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New to DVD

pick of the week
grade:
B+

American Sniper

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references
Release Date:
January 16, 2015
grade:
C

Strange Magic

Lowest Recommended Age:
Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some action and scary images
Release Date:
January 23, 2015
grade:
D

Mortdecai

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some language and sexual material
Release Date:
January 23, 2015

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‘The Band Wagon’ — on CWB’s Amazon Advent Calendar 2008

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks so much to my dear friend Lilah Lohr for showing me Andy Ihnatko’s wonderful blog Celestial Waste of Bandwidth and especially his Amazon Advent Calendar. I love his tribute to the classic musical “The Band Wagon,” which he bravely asserts is the best ever.

Okay, “The Band Wagon.” You need to know two things about this movie: One, that it is indeed “The Band Wagon” and not “The Bandwagon.” Getting it wrong is a rookie mistake and the true film snobs to whom you were so shabbily attempting to ingratiate yourself will see to it that you’ll never get into a Max Ophuls film festival in this town again.

Secondly, that it is the single greatest musical ever made.

I would not call it the best ever, but “The Band Wagon” is simply sublime and Ihnatko’s commentary is delightful. If you have not seen “The Band Wagon,” take a look — I promise you will say at least three times, “That song is from THIS movie?” It includes standards like “A Shine on Your Shoes,” “Dancing in the Dark,” and, yes, “That’s Entertainment” plus one of the most deliriously silly musical numbers ever filmed, “Triplets” and the song Ihnatko loves, “By Myself.” And it has the wicked and brilliantly danced satire, “Girl Hunt.” It also has a better book than most of the musicals of its era, with a shrewd insider’s take on artistic pretension and a frank acknowledgment of issues of aging and risk-taking in work and in life, and one of the most gorgeously romantic dance numbers ever, with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse dancing in the dark, waltzing in the wonder of why we’re here. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Are Romantic Comedies Bad for Real-Life Romance?

posted by Nell Minow

Do romantic comedies create and foster impossible expectations? Are women doomed to disappointment when no man can possibly measure up to Lloyd Dobbler (Say Anything), William Thacker (Notting Hill) or Joe Fox (You’ve Got Mail) — or Cary Grant in anything?

Researchers at the Family and Personal Relationships Laboratory at Heriot Watt University in Scotland have concluded that may be the problem. In a new paper about the influence of romantic movies on people’s expectations about relationships, the researchers studied 40 films released between 1995 and 2005 and found that they conveyed to those in the audience a sense that the best relationships achieved a level of understanding that did not require the kind of communication that is necessary for real-life relationships.

Dr. Bjarne Holmes, who led the research, said: “We are not being killjoys – we are not saying that people shouldn’t watch these movies. But we are saying that it would be helpful if people were more aware and more critical of the messages in these films. The problem is that while most of us know that the idea of a perfect relationship is unrealistic, some of us are still more influenced by media portrayals than we realize.”

There are related studies on romance novels and one by Holmes on couple-oriented sitcoms (“In search of my “one-and-only”: Romance-oriented media and beliefs in romantic relationship destiny”). And Holmes is now asking for participants for an online follow-up study.

I do not believe anyone takes or should take these studies any more seriously than they take relationship advice from Julia Roberts movies. In other words, both are fun and sometimes provocative and can even offer genuine insights that can help illuminate relationship issues — finding the courage to take a risk, making love the top priority of your life, valuing yourself enough to value others — but by definition, movies have to take short-cuts to indicate important passages in a relationship or we’d be there for weeks. That’s what a montage is all about — we see the couple splashing each other on the beach and marveling over the goodies at an outdoor market while some sprightly pop song plays on the soundtrack and we accept that they are in love; that doesn’t mean we expect that in our own lives. This goes back way before movies. Even Shakespeare had to save time by having his lovers fall for each other at first sight, though he at least had them describe it beautifully.

I would guess that there’s something of a chicken and egg problem here. Those audience members who are attracted to romantic comedies (especially some of the second-rate ones in this study) are likely to have more of a tendency to, well, romanticize. But if they are really paying attention, they will see that one of the most important messages in any romantic film is that the best way to see those movies is while sharing popcorn with someone you love — and that the best part is talking to that person about it afterward.

If you are careful in observing the lessons from movies and other great stories about love in books, plays, operas, songs, and even paintings, you can find a true soulmate who makes all of the relationship ups and downs into life’s greatest adventure, someone who laughs with you, listens to you, and inspires you, and still holds hands when you go to the movies after more than 30 years. I’ve been lucky enough to find someone who is all of that and more.

Contest: Bolt goodies

posted by Nell Minow

Have a “Bolt” fan in your house? The first person to send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Bolt” in the subject line will get some “Bolt” goodies — a wall calendar and playing cards. I will also throw in another dog-movie-related treat. Good luck!

Black Reel Awards

posted by Nell Minow

One of the awards announcements I most look forward to each year is the selections of the Black Reel Awards, given out by the Foundation for the Advancement of African-Americans in Film, a nonprofit organization with a mission to target, identify and prepare candidates who will represent the next generation of filmmakers and potential film executives that will be able to provide a different sensibility to the stories currently told onscreen. I am so pleased to see this acknowledgment of some of the best film-makers and performers in movies today and honored to have been one of the judges.
2008 Black Reel Awards Winners
Best Film – Cadillac Records/TriStar Pictures
Best Actor – Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire)
Best Actress – Queen Latifah (The Secret Life of Bees)
Best Supporting Actor – Jeffrey Wright (Cadillac Records)
Best Supporting Actress – Viola Davis (Doubt)
Best Director – Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees)
Best Screenplay, Original or Adapted – Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees)
Best Breakthrough Performance – Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire)
Best Ensemble – Cadillac Records/TriStar Pictures
Best Soundtrack – Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight)

Previous Posts

Tomorrowland's Inspirations
Brad Bird's gorgeously imagined "Tomorrowland" is not just inspired by an area in the original Disneyland, celebrating its 60th anniversary this week, it is a tribute to the sensationally imaginative work of the "imagineers" and artists who ...

posted 8:03:49am May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Unexpected with Cobie Smulders
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzq7dfZn31k Samantha Abbott ("How I Met Your Mother's" Cobie Smulders) is a dedicated and passionate teacher at an inner-city Chicago high school. Just as she is coming to terms with her school closing, ...

posted 8:00:48am May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Tomorrowland
It begins with an argument. Frank (George Clooney) is trying to tell us the story. But he is repeatedly interrupted by someone we will learn is ...

posted 7:10:31am May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

I'll See You in My Dreams
Blythe Danner gives a performance of exquisite sensitivity in "I'll See You in My Dreams," the story of a lonely widow. She plays Carol, a ...

posted 5:55:53pm May. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Brett Haley, Writer/Director of "I'll See You in My Dreams"
Brett Haley wrote and directed "I'll See You in My Dreams," a bittersweet romance starring the luminous Blythe Danner as Carol, a widow ...

posted 3:12:21pm May. 21, 2015 | read full post »

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