Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


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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 Thomas Crown Affair

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:1999

This is the movie equivalent of a beach book, a glossy story about beautiful, wealthy, people that not only doesn’t require much thinking but actually repels it. Think too much (They allow briefcases and food in the galleries of a major museum? You can get a search warrent for a hunch? Have any business negotiations ever included such ridiculous posturing? What are these thrill seekers going to find to thrill them if they do make their getaway? You can do that to a painting? What is the purpose of that last fake-out?) and you’ll miss the slight but real pleasures of this remake of the 1968 version starring Steve McQueen as a wealthy but bored businessman who robs a bank and Faye Dunaway as the insurance company investigator hired to solve it.

In this version, Pierce Brosnan (who also produced) plays Crown, now a wealthy but bored businessman who robs the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Rene Russo as the investigator. Faye Dunaway appears briefly as Crown’s therapist, to let us know that all of this is just acting out due to his fear of, guess what, intimacy. That is just one example of the movie’s biggest failure — more clever than smart, it tells us instead of showing us such major points as the main characters’ fear of trusting someone else and the fact that they find each other uniquely not boring. But in late summer we are willing to let movies like this one carry us along in exchange for some steamy moments, some crafty twists, and some beautiful scenery — Brosnan and Russo included.

Parents should know that the R rating comes from some swear words, nudity (Russo appears topless and Brosnan appears bottomless), and a steamy but not very explicit sex scene. Families should discuss what makes people afraid to trust others, and the consequences of that fear, and what people do to make themselves feel alive and involved.

The Tao of Steve

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2000

Dex (Donal Logue) is a fat, irresponsible, pot-smoking slacker with no ambition. But he is so charming that women cannot resist him. And neither can the viewers. Dex may have no ambition, but he has no pretention, either. He has a wonderful command of repartee covering everything from Lao Tzu to Josie and the Pussycats. And he has a system for seducing women that is just about foolproof. As he explains to his friend Dave, there are three rules. First, “Eliminate your desire.” Women cannot let down their defenses as long as they sense that a man is trying to get them into bed. Second, “Do something excellent in their presence, thus demonstrating your sexual worthiness.” Third, “Retreat.” This is the titular “Tao of Steve,” named for Dex’s three polar stars, $6 million man Steve Austin, Hawaii 5-0 cop Steve McGarrett and the greatest Steve of them all, Steve McQueen. Channeling these Steves allows Dex to feel cool. And smoking marijuana every morning and having a lot of one-night stands allows him to feel less purposeless, or maybe it just allows him not to feel very much at all.

Then, he attends his 10th college reunion, where he has sex with a classmate’s wife, makes a date with a student tending the bar, and is re-introduced to Syd (co-screenwriter Greer Goodman). She has come to town to design sets for a production of “Don Giovanni” (Don Juan). Dex begins to think that he might be a little like Don Giovanni, who “slept with thousands of women because he was afraid he wouldn’t be loved by one.” He tells Dave to ignore all of his advice: “I’ve been trying to turn you into me and I’m not sure even I want to be me anymore.”

This is a classic “the love of a good woman inspires a man to grow up at last,” but it is a sweet, funny romantic comedy with appealing characters and witty dialogue. Logue, a character actor in movies like “Steal this Movie,” “The Runaway Bride,” and “The Patriot,” is wonderful. According to the credits, the screenplay is “Based on a story by Duncan North” which is “Based on an idea by Duncan North,” which is “Based on Duncan North.” North appears on the movie’s website answering questions about love and relationships.

Parents should know that the movie has drug use and a lot of drinking and smoking. Dex has an affair with a married woman, the wife of a good friend. Although the resolution of the movie has Dex becoming more mature, the movie makes immaturity (to the point of hedonism) seem very appealing. Dex cites St. Augustine’s famous, “Lord make me chaste — but not yet.” Although it is clear that Dex’s behavior does not make him very happy or proud of himself and it hurts the woman he seduces, teen-agers may come away with the same conclusion.

Families who see this movie should talk about why Dex went from the brilliant and promising student his classmates remember to a philosophy that “doing stuff is overrated.” Talk about his quote: “the sage, because he never does anything, never ruins anything,” and ask whether that is possible. Why is it that Dex’s behavior does not make him happy, and why doesn’t he change? What is he afraid of? Why does he feel differently about Syd? Why does she put up with him? Is Dex right when he says that romance is our national religion?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy “Next Stop Wonderland.”

The Sword in the Stone

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:1963

Plot: Based on the book by T.H. White, this is the story of the early years of King Arthur. Nicknamed “Wart,” the future King Arthur is squire to a knight when he meets Merlin the magician, who promises to take on his education. Merlin turns him into a fish, a bird, and a squirrel to teach him lessons like the importance of brains over brawn. He gets to see this in action when Madame Mim, Merlin’s enemy, challenges Merlin to a duel by magic, and, though she cheats, Merlin is able to defeat her.

Wart still has his duties as a squire, and, having forgotten the sword for a jousting match, he runs to get it. He sees a sword stuck in a stone and pulls it out, not knowing the legend that whoever will pull the sword out of the stone will be the rightful king. He becomes King Arthur, and listens when Merlin reminds him that knowledge is the real power.

Discussion: The Arthur legend has fascinated people for centuries, and this story about Arthur’s childhood as special appeal for children. Aside from the fun of seeing what it is like to be a bird, a squirrel, or a fish, and from having your very own wizard as a teacher, there is the highly satisfying aspect of having one’s worth, unappreciated by everyone, affirmed so unequivocally.

Questions for Kids:

· What made Arthur the one who could pull the sword out of the stone?

· What did he learn from his adventures with Merlin?

· How will what he learned help him to be a good king?

· How did Madame Mim cheat?

· How did Merlin fight back when she did?

Connections: Older kids may like to see “Camelot,” the musical by Lerner and Lowe (of “My Fair Lady”), to find out some of what happened to Arthur later (WARNING: the focus of that movie is on Guinevere’s infidelity with Lancelot). Mature teenagers might like the rather gory “Excalibur,” which has some stunning images.

The Sweetest Thing

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

None of the men at the screening I attended liked this movie. Some of them even came out of the theater looking a little shell-shocked. But many of the women walked out smiling.

This movie’s audience may break down along gender lines, but believe me, this isn’t your mother’s chick flick. That is, unless your mother is an Adam Sandler fan, because what this is is an Adam Sandler movie from the girl’s point of view.

Written by Nancy Pimental (of “South Park” and “Win Ben Stein’s Money”), this is a cheerfully obscene tribute to girlfriends and of course to true love.

Cameron Diaz is Christina, an advertising executive and full-time heartbreaker and party girl. She lives with gal pals divorce lawyer Courtney (Christina Applegate deglamorized into sidekick mode) and salesgirl Jane (Selma Blair). They aren’t waiting for Mr. Right. They are perfectly happy with Mr. Right Now. At least that’s what they tell themselves. But what they do, just like male characters in many, many movies of the past, is put up barriers to genuine intimacy in their romantic relationships, keeping genuine closeness for each other. Christina enjoys using the power of her beauty and freshness (in both senses of the word) to control men so that she can have the fun of dropping them quickly to run back and share the dish.

Then Christina meets Peter at a disco. He piques her interest by not being dazzled by her and by sizing her up right away. He mentions that he is going to a wedding the next day. So, when she can’t put him out of her mind, she and Courtney decide to track him down anc crash the wedding. They’re off on a road trip.

All of this is just a thin excuse for a series of extremely raunchy and explicit jokes and situations, any of which would have earned an immediate NC-17 rating if this hadn’t been a comedy and, more important, if not for the indestructible sweetness of Cameron Diaz, who acts as something between Teflon and a disinfectant.

The three leads are so bright and even endearing that somehow the fact that they behave like complete skanks does not compute. Their loyalty and high spirits and the fact that no one is taking this movie very seriously (they announce that there will be a clothes-trying on montage and then appear as Julia Roberts, Madonna, and Olivia Newton-John) make this a guilty almost-pleasure.

Parents should know that this movie has some of the most explicit sexual references and situations ever included in a mainstream film. There are extensive and graphic jokes about oral sex (including a humiliating visit to the dry cleaner and a medical emergency involving a very personal piercing). Parents should exercise the strongest caution in exposing kids or teens to the language and behavior in this movie.

Families who see this movie should talk about why Christina was afraid to get close to a man and why she was so concerned about having the power in her relationships. They should also talk about the way the friends showed loyalty and unconditional acceptance to each other.

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy “American Pie” and “There’s Something About Mary.”

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


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