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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

A Walk in the Woods
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language and some sexual references
Release Date:
September 2, 2015

 

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

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

 

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

 

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+

A Walk in the Woods

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language and some sexual references
Release Date:
September 2, 2015
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

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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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Thoughts on ‘W’ as Movie, History, and Politics

posted by Nell Minow

Movie review from Dana Stevens of Slate:
Neither satire nor biopic, the film is a kind of secular pageant, enacting with dogged literality the well-known stations of the cross of Bush’s life: the 40th-birthday hangover-turned-religious-conversion! The near-asphyxiation by pretzel! Mission accomplished! “Is our children learning?” The moments scroll up the screen like the song titles on one of those greatest-hits collections advertised on TV. The movie is done in the broad strokes and primary colors that are Stone’s trademark–lest you’ve forgotten JFK, this is not a filmmaker of nuance–but the net effect is both satisfying and strangely cathartic to watch.W-poster-sml.jpg
My enjoyment of this film hovered perilously close to camp at times. Stone’s musical choices lay it on particularly thick: He accompanies a party scene during Bush’s drinking years with the Freddy Fender song “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” and scores the fall of Baghdad to the marchlike rhythm of “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” But if Stone’s portrait of George Bush is laid on with a trowel, maybe it’s because God seems to have engineered the real Bush’s life with a similarly crude sense of irony. W. is a case of biographer and subject being perfectly matched: You really don’t want a Bush biopic directed by Jean-Luc Godard (though Robert Altman could have done something interesting with it if he were still around). Like Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin, Stone’s George Bush gets his best lines straight from the source. This movie was scripted by screenwriter Stanley Weiser (Wall Street) but was ghostwritten by history itself.
Slate political columnist Timothy Noah talks about what they left out:
W. is the rare Oliver Stone film that had to tone down the historical record because the truth was too lurid. How the hell do you tell the uncensored story of a guy like George W. Bush? No one would believe it.
Stevens and Noah have a great conversation about the movie on the weekly “spoiler special,” which can be accessed via iTunes.

Continue Reading This Post »

The Most (Unexpectedly) Spiritual Film of the Week

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s releases include some very spiritual themes. W. shows us the 43rd President’s decision to let his life be guided by God, his lessons from a spiritual advisor, and his participation in Bible study. The Secret Life of Bees portrays three sisters who conduct Christian religious services in their home and call their brand of honey “Black Madonna.” But it just might be the based-on-a-videogame “Max Payne” that has the most spiritual themes of the week. Along with a lot of guns, chases, and explosions, it finds time to consider its title character’s thoughts about angels, Satan, Judgment Day, and the afterlife. Not just grafted on, these themes are central to the character’s decisions and ability to find meaning in life following the murder of his wife and child.

Creationism vs. Atheism at the Box Office

posted by Nell Minow

As the pro-intelligent design film Expelled comes out in DVD this week, the ads crow that it is the top-grossing documentary of the year. But its record has been eclipsed by the anti-religion film Religulous after only two weeks in fewer than half the theaters “Expelled” was shown in.
According to the LA Times:

“Expelled,” hosted by commentator and character actor Ben Stein, opened April 18 at a whopping 1,052 theaters and grossed a total of $7.7 million at the domestic box office during its full run, according to data tracker Box Office Mojo.


That was nothing like the breakout blockbusters “Fahrenheit 9/11″ ($119.2 million), “March of the Penguins” ($77.4 million) or even “An Inconvenient Truth” ($24.1 million), but nothing to sneeze at either: It was the 12th-highest gross ever for a documentary….

“Religulous,” playing at 568 theaters, is benefiting from positive word of mouth. The controversial documentary, hosted by comedian Maher (“Politically Incorrect”) and directed by Charles (“Borat”), dropped only 35% in its second weekend, compared with the industry average of about 51%. By Monday it had topped $7 million, on pace to surpass $7.7 million by Friday and ultimately to a spot in the all-time top 10 for the documentary genre.
Both are unabashed advocacy films starring popular television figures who have appeared both as comics and commentators. “Expelled” urges schools to add the religiously-based intelligent design theory to biology classes and argues that excluding it is a form of harassment. “Religulous” argues that religion is responsible for anti-intellectual, fundamentalist behavior that is a serious threat to human survival.
Imperfect as these films are, the good news is that there is an audience for this kind of provocative material that challenges assumptions on all sides and gets people talking about faith, science, and politics. I look forward to seeing what comes next.

Morning Light

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some language
Movie Release Date:October 17, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some language
Movie Release Date: October 17, 2008

This sunny documentary about a sailboat race across the Pacific Ocean is a bit of a throwback to the days when a night at the movies included some cartoons, a newsreel, and a travelogue. It has a lot of postcard-pretty pictures of glorious sunsets and fresh-faced kids. But for a movie about a lot of hard work leading up to an attempt to beat the world champs, it is rather laid back.

Roy Disney, nephew of Walt Disney, is the man behind the documentary and its title ship and at times it feels like a reality-show version of “The Mickey Mouse Club Goes to Sea.” Fifteen young sailors are selected from a range of competitors and they are brought to Hawaii for sailing boot camp. Then eleven are selected for the team and they choose a captain and assign positions for the race from California to Hawaii.

The kids, all in late teens or early twenties, are all high-spirited and wholesome. But despite a few “up close and personal” tidbits, it is hard to keep them all straight, in part because while they have a range of accents, they don’t have much variety of vocabulary. If you eat a handful of popcorn every time one of them says “awesome” or “rad,” you’ll be at the bottom of the bucket long before they reach Hawaii. The training scenes do not tell us enough about what skills they will need onboard and the racing scenes lack momentum because we — like the crew — go for days without knowing where they are in relation to the competition. Like the ship, the movie gets becalmed.

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