Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Fading Gigolo
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for some sexual content, language and brief nudity
Release Date:
April 19, 2014

 

Philomena
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 on appeal for some strong language, thematic elements and sexual references
Release Date:
November 22, 2013

Transcendence
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, some bloody images, brief strong language and sensuality
Release Date:
April 19, 2014

 

The Nut Job
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action and rude humor
Release Date:
January 17, 2014

Bears
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
G
Release Date:
April 19, 2014

 

Grudge Match
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sports action violence, sexual content and language
Release Date:
December 25, 2013

The King’s Guard

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:2000

This very uneven film has a strong cast and an ambitious story, but it falters in execution.

Top actors Eric Roberts, Ron Perlman, and Lesley-Anne Down appear in supporting roles, while the leads are taken by young unknowns. The story seems directed at younger audiences, but there is much more violence than movies for that age group. The costumes and settings are fine, but the sound and cinematography show the limited budget.

Princess Gwendolyn (Ashley Jones) is being escorted by the King’s guards to meet the man she has promised to marry. At first, she is not impresswed with handsome Captain Jim Reynolds (Trevor St. John), but when they are attacked by traitors and thieves, she learns to respect and then love him.

Female characters are strong and capable, a nice change from the usual damsel in distress. There are some clever plot twists and some exciting swordfights. But the violence is surprisingly brutal, which may be upsetting for younger viewers.

The Kid Stays in the Picture

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2002

The Kid Stays in the Picture is a fascinating True Hollywood Story-esque look on the tumultuous life of Robert Evans, a prolific Hollywood producer who had it all, lost it all, regained most of, all while living a life filled with sex, drugs, and movie stars.

This film is based on Robert Evans’ autobiography, so he narrates in the first person, starting by being discovered by Norma Shearer to play a bit role in James Cagney’s Man of a Thousand Faces. He take parts in some minor films, including a hilariously campy horror flick, but what sticks out to him is when after a take on the set of The Sun Also Rises, film legend Daryl F. Zanuck states, “The kid (Evans) stays in the picture!” Evans works his way up to becoming head of production of Paramount Pictures during the making of hits like Rosemary’s Baby and Love Story, but the studio really takes off with the making of The Godfather. Evans gives us an intimate look at the making of now classic movies, as well as his marriages and dates with beautiful women, and his struggles to stay on top before his cocaine bust and downfall.

It’s truly a gripping story, and Evans is very lucky to have gotten his career back on track. Film fans are going to have a field day with this one with the clips of classic films and the stories about Hollywood legends.

Parents should know that there’s some very strong language, including slurs about Roman Polanski, who is Polish. There’s some non-graphic sexual references and drug use, which is amended by an amusing all-star sing-a-long called Get High on Yourself! arranged by Evans. And of course, there are some violent clips of the R-rated movies Evans produced, including the most famous scene in Chinatown.

Families should ask what significance the title has, other than what Daryl Zanuck said years ago. They can also discuss what would happen if certain events that almost didn’t work out actually failed; can anyone imagine Francis Ford Coppola not directing The Godfather? Anyone who sees this film should enjoy seeing the aforementioned modern-day classics that Evans worked on.

The Jungle Book

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1942

Plot: Based on Rudyard Kipling’s book about a boy raised by wolves, this version concentrates on Mowgli’s return to his family’s village and the challenges he faces as he tries to adjust to “civilized” life. When Mowgli’s father is killed by Shere Kahn (the tiger), the toddler wanders off into the jungle, and is raised by wolves. He finds the village again when he is about fourteen (played by Sabu). His mother, who does not recognize him at first, teaches him how to speak their language and how people in the village behave.

Mowgli wants to buy a “tooth” (knife) to kill Shere Kahn. He buys one from Buldeo (Joseph Calleia) a hunter who hunts for reasons of pride instead of need. Though Buldeo tells his daughter Mahala not to talk to Mowgli, she goes with him into the jungle, where he shows her an abandoned palace, filled with gold and jewels. In the palace, a cobra warns them that the jewels are deadly, especially a ruby-embedded ax. Mowgli allows Mahala to take one coin. When her father finds it, he wants Mowgli to show him how to get more. He accidentally drops the coin, so that a barber and his customer see it, and they want to find the palace, too. They all find the palace, but fight over the treasure. When the barber and his customer are killed, Buldeo lights a fire in the jungle. Mowgli saves his mother, and goes back to live in the jungle.

Discussion: Visually lush and striking (produced by some of the same people who made “Thief of Bagdad”), this version is in sharp contrast with the Disney animated movie, and has a real sense of the danger in the jungle and the different kinds of dangers in the “civilized” village.

Like other “fish out of water” stories, this movie provides an opportunity to deconstruct “civilization” a bit by looking at it from the perspective of an outsider. Mowgli compares of the values of the “wolf-pack” and the “man-pack,” and finds it hard to understand why someone would take something of no inherent value (money) in exchange for something of value (a “tooth” to help him kill Shere Kahn), or why someone would kill an animal to display its hide. Children will enjoy Mowgli’s ability to talk to animals, and the way he treats them with respect and affection. He is clearly more at home with the animals than he is with the humans.

The Four Feathers

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:2002

In what is at least the fifth filmed version of this story, a soldier ordered to war resigns his commission. He has just become engaged to a girl he adores and the concerns of a battle on the other side of the world do not seem important to him. His friends and his fiancée send him four white feathers, accusing him of cowardice, and he fears they may be right. So he disguises himself as a native and follows his former regiment to the Sudan. He will not risk his life for the honor of his country, but he will risk it to protect his friends and to prove that they were wrong about him.

This time, Heath Ledger plays Harry Faversham, the reluctant soldier, with Wes Bentley (of “American Beauty”) as his best friend, Jack, and Kate Hudson as Ethne, the woman they both love.

Director Shekhar Kapur (“Elizabeth”) stages the pageantry very well, from the scenes of red-coated officers swirling their ladies around the dance floor to the marches, battles, and prison scenes. He does fairly well by his young stars. Their British accents may falter, but he knows how to work around their weaknesses and play to their strengths, especially Ledger’s athletic charm, Hudson’s delicate dignity, and Bentley’s ability to combine strength and sensitivity. Kapur is less sure of himself in handling the very traditional structure of the story and there are some oddly disjointed transitions that undermine what should be the most dramatic moments.

Parents should know that the movie has intense battle violence with graphic injuries. Characters are wounded and killed. There is brief nudity in a locker room and a non-explicit sexual situation. The portrayal of non-whites is less offensive than in previous versions of the story, but still reflects the prejudices of the era. The enemy is referred to as “an army of Mohammedan fanatics” and “heathens” and the English think they must win because they have “nobler souls.”

Families who see this movie should talk about how it relates to current concerns about terrorism and the possibility of war. Both sides think that they are doing what God wants them to do. Is there any way to prevent war under those conditions? The director is originally from India. How do you think that affects his portrayal of an era in which British officers referred to non-whites as “wogs” and “heathens?”

Families who enjoy this movie will enjoy the 1939 Zoltan Korda version , the most thrilling of the many efforts to film this story. They will also enjoy a parody of this genre, The Last Remake of Beau Geste. Other movies raising similar themes about what can and should inspire soldiers to risk their lives are The Americanization of Emily , The Red Badge of Courage, and We Were Soldiers. Families may also want to try Khartoum, a slightly more fact-based movie about the battles in the Sudan.

Previous Posts

A Dramatic Commercial for TNT
I love this commercial for TNT! [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIkPeZKP-d4[/youtube]

posted 8:33:40am Apr. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Movie Stingers: Scenes After the Credits
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRJ38y4Jn6k[/youtube] Ferris Bueller had one.  Marvel superhero movies sometimes have two.  When did it become a thing to have a scene after the credits (sometimes called a stinger)? New York Magazine's Vulture column has the history of these extended

posted 8:00:47am Apr. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Fading Gigolo
John Turturro wrote, directed, and stars in "Fading Gigolo," a bittersweet meditation on the ways we seek and hide from intimacy, sometimes at the same time. Turturro plays Fioravante, a florist who works part-time for Murray (Woody Allen), the third-generation proprietor of a used and rare books

posted 9:24:32pm Apr. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Transcendence
Think of it as "Her 2: The Revenge of Him." Or Samantha infected by Heartbleed. Just as in last holiday season's Her, "Transcendence" is the story of an artificial intelligence contained in a computer program that becomes or is seen as human consciousness.  Instead of the warm, affectionate voic

posted 6:00:39pm Apr. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Bears
This year's Disney Nature release for Earth Day is "Bears," the story of an Alaskan bear named Sky and her twin cubs, Scout and Amber, their trek from the den where they've hibernated all winter t

posted 6:00:05pm Apr. 17, 2014 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.