Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
Release Date:
July 31, 2015

 

Home
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Release Date:
March 27, 2015

Best of Enemies
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
July 31, 2015

 

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some language and suggestive comments
Release Date:
March 6, 2015

Vacation
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:

Release Date:
July 29, 2015

 

The Longest Ride
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Release Date:
April 10, 2015

New in Theaters

grade:
B+

Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
Release Date:
July 31, 2015
grade:
B+

Best of Enemies

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
July 31, 2015
grade:
D

Vacation

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Release Date:
July 29, 2015

Advertisement

New to DVD

pick of the week
grade:
B+

Home

Lowest Recommended Age:
Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Release Date:
March 27, 2015
grade:
B+

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some language and suggestive comments
Release Date:
March 6, 2015
grade:
C

The Longest Ride

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Release Date:
April 10, 2015

Advertisement

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)

Mamma Mia!

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sex-related comments.
Movie Release Date:July 18, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 16, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sex-related comments.
Movie Release Date: July 18, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 16, 2008
mamma mia.jpg

Go ahead, admit it. We won’t judge you. You, in the car, with the Ramones t-shirt, singing along to “Fernando” when it comes on the radio. And you, in the shower, singing “Dancing Queen” into the shampoo bottle. You, over there, pretending you don’t have the Greatest Hits CD on your shelf. Say it loud. You’re a fan. You can’t resist ABBA. Like the Borg, resistance is futile. Those songs are not just stuck in your head; they are a part of your DNA. Yes, ABBA’s platform-shod, glitter and spandex-wearing, unforgettable (even when you want to) music may be ear candy but it is high quality ear candy and I dare you not to sing along and smile about it.

ABBA (the name comes from the first letters in the first names of its four members) was one of the top pop groups in the world from 1972-1982 with sales of almost 400 million records (as we used to call them back then). In April of 1999 the musical “Mamma Mia!” opened in London and like the songs that inspired it, it quickly became an international phenomenon. It had just enough of a story to link the songs together as something more than a revue or what today is called a “jukebox musical.” And now, more than a quarter century since their last hit song, the movie version of the musical has been released or rather unleashed, powerful enough to make the most hard-hearted indie rock absolutist clap along.

ABBA songs are like helium balloons — lighter than air but irresistible fun. This musical featuring the songs of the uber-pop Swedish group who at one point exceeded Volvo as the greatest revenue-producing enterprise in the country is as bubbly as a glass of champagne and almost as intoxicating.

Donna (Meryl Streep, enjoying herself enormously) is a one-time girl-group singer who now runs a ramshackle resort in Greece. Her daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried of HBO’s “Big Love”) is about to get married. And without telling her mother she has invited three men she has never met who could be her father: businessman Sam (Pierce Brosnan), author/sailor Bill (Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd), and decidedly un-spontaneous banker Harry (Colin Firth). They arrive just as the other alumnae from Donna’s group show up, multi-married and very well-preserved Tanya (Christine Baranski) and best-selling cookbook author Rosie (Julie Walters). Various slamming-door near-misses, some combustible confrontations, and many musical numbers later, everyone is ready for the platform-shoes and spangled bell-bottoms encore.

The light-weight story line is just enough to provide momentum between the songs but it gives them some surprising heft as well. At times it seems a little stunt-ish and there were some hoots from the audience for the opening notes of songs that we thought we knew too well. But we end up hearing them differently separated from the crystalline harmonies of Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad and the lyrics fit surprisingly well into the storyline. But what adds real resonance is the way they are performed. Director Phyllida Lloyd cast actors in the roles. Their singing may not be perfect but they deliver the songs with gusto and sincerity. A couple of times there were snorts from the audience at recognizing the opening bars of a song they’d heard a hundred times, thinking it had been cheesily shoehorned into the plot. But within the first eight bars it seemed as though the song had been written for just that moment, especially Streep’s “Winner Takes it All.”

But the highlight of the movie is the dance numbers which make great use of the geographic and narrative settings. Broadway veteran Baranski does a fabulous job with “Does Your Mother Know” and Walters is charming with “Take a Chance on Me.” A literal Greek chorus joins in, at one point with swimming flippers. Take a chance on this one; in no time you’ll be a dancing queen.

Previous Posts

Tom Cruise Runs -- Supercut
I love this supercut of Tom Cruise's best running scenes, first because it shows the range of films he's worked in over the decades, and the different ways different directors and cinematographers shoot the scenes (and some similarities), and ...

posted 10:17:54pm Aug. 01, 2015 | read full post »

You Can Help Support This new Ed Asner Film on Indiegogo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAY_sMucKl4 Ed Asner stars in this new film about a young man who finds a book at his grandmother’s memorial, with a series of fantastical tales that his grandfather wrote for his grandmother. Each is a ...

posted 4:18:09pm Aug. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Opening this Month: August 2015
August is usually one of the slowest months of the year for major movie releases, but this year we have some prospects that could include both ...

posted 3:15:47pm Aug. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: On Beauty
[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/110407707[/vimeo] ...

posted 8:00:06am Aug. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Rent This Instead: A Better Ed Helms Raunchy Comedy (that isn't "Hangover")
"Vacation" is a gross, dumb disappointment. If you want to see Ed Helms in a much better raunchy comedy, try the neglected gem Cedar Rapids. Helms plays a mild-mannered, small town insurance guy who is tapped at the last minute to go to the ...

posted 3:05:56pm Jul. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.