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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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Nim’s Island

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild adventure action and brief language.
Movie Release Date:April 4, 2008
DVD Release Date:August 4, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild adventure action and brief language.
Movie Release Date: April 4, 2008
DVD Release Date: August 4, 2008

nimsisland1_large.jpgA pair of heroines on opposite sides of the world team up in an eye-filling and heart-warming story from Walden Media, the latest in its series of fine films based on popular children’s literature.
Eleven year old Nim (Abigail Breslin of “Little Miss Sunshine”) and her marine biologist father, Jack (Gerard Butler), are the only human residents of a remote but idyllic South Pacific island. While Jack studies nanoplankton, Nim makes the entire island her school, with the animals as her teachers and her friends. Every few months, a supply boat brings another book by her favorite author, Alex Rover, an international man of adventure.
But Alex is really Alexandra (Jodie Foster), a writer so terrified of just about everything that she lives on canned soup, constantly sanitizes her hands, and cannot get far enough outside her front door to retrieve the mail. Alexandra has created a hero who is everything she is not – fearless and always eager to go where he has never been and try what he has never tried.
To get information for her new book, Alexandra emails Jack for details about a volcano he described in an article for National Geographic. But he is away for two days obtaining plankton samples, so Nim answers, thinking she is corresponding with the dashing Alex (also played by Butler , as envisioned by both Alexandra and Nim). By the time Alexandra realizes she is writing to an eleven-year-old, Jack is missing and Nim is alone on the island. And the woman who was terrified to walk four feet to the mailbox must go halfway around the world to help her new friend.
Husband and wife directors Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin, seamlessly combine adventure, drama, comedy, and fantasy as Jack, Nim, and Alexandra have to confront their separate but often parallel fears and challenges. As Nim tightens the rope around her waist so that she can climb the volcano, Alexandra is tightening the belt of her robe and gathering her resolve to walk out the front door. All three of them find their determination tested and creativity challenged. And all find assistance from unexpected friends.

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Pineapple Express

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language, drug use, sexual references and violence.
Movie Release Date:August 8, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, drug use, sexual references and violence.
Movie Release Date: August 8, 2008

Another week, another Apatow movie. Another Apatow movie, another story of lame, pot-smoking slackers up to all kinds of hijinks and discovering the true meaning of friendship.

Sigh.

Comedy is often grounded in the pleasure of seeing someone get away with bad behavior we are not allowed to enjoy or seeing someone safely other than ourselves squirm through a nightmare scenario of humiliation and failure. This kind of comedy has an essential and revelatory childishness that reminds us, sitting comfortably in our stadium seating, how fine the line is between how we try to appear and what we are really thinking.

But whether that is slapstick like the Three Stooges bashing each other or outrageous behavior like Howard Stern’s radio show, there has to be something that keeps us on the side of the anti-heroes and this movie runs out of goodwill long before the finish. In The 40-Year-Old Virgin the leading man was a decent guy who just somehow missed one of the essential off-ramps to adulthood. In Superbad we get to witness one of those efforts to make it to the off-ramp as it happens. Adolescent behavior is expected when the characters are actual adolescents. But in this movie, most of the characters are unappealing, generic, and just too skeezy.

Except for James Franco. Casting directors take one look at those cheekbones and assign Franco to the brooding category. One of his early break-out roles was the broodiest of them all, the lead in a made-for-television biopic about James Dean. More recently, he smoldered his way through the “Spider-Man” movies as best friend/rival/nemesis Harry Osborn. Only Apatow saw Franco’s gifts as a comic actor and cast him in “Freaks and Geeks.”

As Saul, a sweetly stoned dealer who just wants to take care of his Bubbe, watch some television, and make some friends, he turns in one of the choicest comic performances of the year, making every moment about more than just being dim or baked. When he says that smoking the super-potent strain of marijuana that gives the film its name is almost like “killing a unicorn” or is happily reminded, when he says he’d like a job that involved hanging around and getting stoned all day that that is exactly the job he has, or when he unexpectedly finds the mental capacity to come up with an astounding list of possible ways that the bad guys might track them down, he gives us a character who is enchantingly caught up in a world of perpetual possibilities.

Seth Rogan, who co-wrote the script, is far less interesting as Dale, a 25-year-old process server with a high school girlfriend who is vastly more mature than he is. He can see that even through the constant cloud of marijuana smoke, and that only makes him more insecure and needy — and juvenile.

A vicious drug dealer (Gary Cole) and a corrupt cop (Rosie Perez) come after Dale and Saul, and various other people get caught up in the chase, including a fellow dealer whose loyalties are rather fluid (a funny Danny R. McBride). Extreme and graphic violence is interspersed with various stoner riffs and random encounters, including Bubbe’s assisted living facility and a surreal suburban family dinner with the parents of the high school girlfriend. Franco continues to find fresh ways to engage us but Perez and Cole are drastically underused and Rogan is as stale as last week’s bong water. It’s not outrageous enough, it’s not audacious enough, and it’s just not funny enough.

Parents Television Council Report on Sex on TV

posted by Nell Minow

The Parents Television Council released a new report on the way sex and marriage are portrayed on prime time television this afternoon.
Today’s prime-time television programming is
not merely indifferent to the institution of marriage
and the stabilizing role it plays in our society, it seems
to be actively seeking to undermine marriage by
consistently painting it in a negative light. Nowhere is
this more readily apparent than in the treatment of sex
on television. Sex in the context of marriage is either
non-existent on prime-time broadcast television, or is
depicted as a burdensome rather than as an expression
of love and commitment. By contrast, extra-marital
or adulterous sexual relationships are depicted with
greater frequency and overwhelmingly, as a positive
experience. Across the broadcast networks, verbal
references to non-marital sex outnumbered references
to sex in the context of marriage by nearly 3 to 1;
and scenes depicting or implying sex between nonmarried
partners outnumbered scenes depicting or
implying sex between married partners by a ratio of
nearly 4 to 1.
(emphasis in the original)
Most likely due to the competition from cable, DVDs and online media, broadcast television is spending more time on edgy, exotic, transgressive, and disturbing depictions of sexual behavior for the purposes of entertainment, not on a sympathetic or illuminating manner but usually as the source of humor or in the context of law enforcement dramas.
…Even more troubling than the marginalization
of marriage and glorification of non-marital sex on
television is TV’s recent obsession with outré sexual
expression. Today more than ever teens are exposed
to a host of once-taboo sexual behaviors including
threesomes, partner swapping, pedophilia, necrophilia,
bestiality, and sex with prostitutes, to say nothing of
the now-common depictions of strippers, references
to masturbation, pornography, sex toys, and kinky or
fetishistic behaviors. Behaviors that were once seen
as fringe, immoral, or socially destructive have been
given the imprimatur of acceptability by the television
industry — and children are absorbing those messages
and in many cases, imitating that behavior.

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Interview: Matthew Goode

posted by Nell Minow

Matthew Goode was in Washington to talk about his role in the new version of “Brideshead Revisited,” on his way to Comic-Con to talk about his next role in “The Watchmen.” He pointed out that while they are very different in theme and tone, both are based on books that appeared on “top 100″ lists of the 20th century. Goode, one of the friendliest people I have ever met, talked to me about “re-visiting” Brideshead following the award-winning BBC miniseries version that many thought of as the definitive version. By necessity shorter and sharper, this version is more explicitly focused on the relationship between Goode’s character, Charles Ryder, and Sebastian and Jula Flyte, the children of a wealthy Catholic family who live in the magnificent estate called Brideshead.

What were some of the concerns you had about taking on this role?

Ryder is almost mute in this in some respects. He observes and reacts much of the time. One of my slight trepidations when I finally saw the adaptation we were going to do, was the way we had to truncate the story down as opposed to the original [miniseries] which is practically verbatim. When setting out to do the role I wasn’t thinking, “Well, I have to do something different from Jeremy Irons.” It’s a different cast, a different script, a different time. Yes, we’re both middle-classy, tall, thin, streaks of piss playing the same part. But this is a different take on it. Jeremy Brock did a tremendous job adapting the book. It is told via this future voice of Charles, a voice that’s been let down by life, struggling to grapple with his relationships. He still doesn’t understand what love is, where does he fit in. My way into him was to peel back those layers of his psyche. He may be the loneliest person that’s ever lived on the planet, particularly with our version.

Is there a different emphasis in this version, which necessarily has to pare down or even excerpt the novel?

The focus here is more on ambiguity of his sexuality, his faith, and how much of a social climber Charles was, how he was looking for a place where he could fit in and feel at home. We had to eliminate some things and bring the character of Julia in earlier, too. We got permission from the Waugh estate. It has to be done; you only have two hours.

What is the connection between Charles and his friend Sebastian, who first takes him to Brideshead?

The only time Sebastian was happy at Brideshead was with Charles. That idyllic summer is his real childhood. It’s the only place Charles has ever been happy, too, It’s not about class; it is about being accepted. Sebastian is definitively gay, that is more directly portrayed. Sebastian is a petulant drunk. His unhappiness, like Charles’, is as much about bad parenting as anything.

Like the miniseries, the movie was filmed on location at Castle Howard. What are some of the differences?

I like our version of Rex [the ambitious and vulgar man who marries Sebastian’s sister, Julia] more. If you take out the buffoonery, he wins. We see that Charles is a sponge for life and art, and any kind of belonging, the way he is looking for a place for himself, what drew Charles, Sebastian, and Julia together. They have comparable loveless childhoods, apart form the faith and class.

How do you handle the aging of your character in a story that stretches over so much time?

It’s nice that I’m in the intermediary point of being 30 and can just about pass for 20. As Charles gets older you slow down the rhythm and he becomes a bit colder. You don’t age things like the salute because even when he is older he is still trying to fit in, still picking up mannerisms from those around him. He doesn’t snap to, he doesn’t keep the thumb down, as he might if he was expressing his own personality. That’s the element to Charles. It’s not social climbing — it’s fitting in. But he’s liked by everyone. You wouldn’t have that if there wasn’t something sparkly in his eyes.

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