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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Keanu
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for violence, language throughout, drug use and sexuality/nudity
Release Date:
April 29, 2016

 

Son of Saul
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for disturbing violent content, and some graphic nudity
Release Date:
January 15, 2016

Ratchet & Clank
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
PG for action and some rude humor
Release Date:
April 29, 2016

 

Norm of the North
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild rude humor and action
Release Date:
January 15, 2016

Mother's Day
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for language and some suggestive material
Release Date:
April 29, 2016

 

The Lady in the Van
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for brief unsettling image
Release Date:
January 22, 2016

New in Theaters

grade:
B+

Keanu

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for violence, language throughout, drug use and sexuality/nudity
Release Date:
April 29, 2016
grade:
C

Ratchet & Clank

Lowest Recommended Age:
4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
PG for action and some rude humor
Release Date:
April 29, 2016
grade:
D

Mother's Day

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for language and some suggestive material
Release Date:
April 29, 2016

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New to DVD

pick of the week
grade:
A-

Son of Saul

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for disturbing violent content, and some graphic nudity
Release Date:
January 15, 2016
grade:
C

Norm of the North

Lowest Recommended Age:
Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild rude humor and action
Release Date:
January 15, 2016
grade:
B+

The Lady in the Van

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for brief unsettling image
Release Date:
January 22, 2016

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Michael Jackson: How Will He Be Remembered?

posted by Nell Minow

Michael Jackson was a complex and tragic figure. It seems that his memory is being splintered into a thousand shards. Always a showman and a shrewd manager of his brand, Jackson reputedly insisted that he be referred to on MTV as “The King of Pop,” and in today’s memorial, it is that part of his persona that will be saluted. But it is certain that we are in for an avalanche of sordid, inflammatory, and self-serving revelations from those around him.
I’ve seen two especially thoughtful commentaries that seem to me to be a counterweight to all of the fraught and overwrought media hysteria. The always-insightful Mark Jenkins wrote about the way the media has overplayed Jackson’s impact.

It’s been a long time since Michael Jackson penned a hit song, but he did write one last nationwide sensation: the script the mainstream media has followed since his death. Jackson, we’re told, was the “king of pop,” who had “the biggest selling album of all time,” and “broke MTV’s color line.” Every one of these dubious factoids was devised by Jackson or his agents.

And Stephen M. Weissman, the author of Chaplin: A Life, commented on Jackson’s fascination with Charlie Chaplin. The photo of Jackson dressed up as Chaplin is haunting.

Like Chaplin, Jackson also went on to literally become a world historical figure and iconically beloved to his worshipful fans and admirers. And, like Chaplin, Jackson eventually became enmeshed in scandals that nearly destroyed his career. And also like Chaplin, the nature of those scandals stemmed from their separate cases of arrested emotional development.

Knowing

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for disaster sequences, disturbing images and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date:July 7, 2009
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for disaster sequences, disturbing images and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: July 7, 2009

When MIT astrophysics professor John Koestler (Nicolas Cage in one-note mournful mode) looks distracted and thoughtful as he invites his class to debate randomness vs. determinism, you don’t have to be much of a determinist to figure out that as inevitably as night follows day, John is about to be hit with some Evidence of a Greater Plan. This isn’t determinism, the idea that events that may seem random are a part of some greater pattern. This is just predictable hogwash, and it gets even hogwashier until it arrives at an ending that manages to be inevitable, uninspired, and preposterous.

John’s son Caleb (a sincere Chandler Canterbury) attends a school that is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The ceremony involves opening a time capsule filled with drawings from children on its opening day. But the envelope Caleb is given to open does not have a drawing of spaceships. It has an apparently random string of numbers. John notices that one string is 09/11/2001 and the number killed that day. A night-long Google search later, he has assigned many of the numbers to known disasters — and figured out that the final three dates are still in the future.

And then this becomes just another big, dumb, loud, effects-driven movie. Forget determinism; if one character behaved in a rational manner, the movie would be 20 minutes long. Three dates in the future? That of course means that the first one is there to prove the theory. Next, John figures out that the next one will happen in NY. Instead of staying in Cambridge, he heads for the location so that he — and the audience — can be in the middle of a technically impressive but narratively brutal catastrophe. And then we are all headed for the big finish (and I mean FINISH), but first there is a lot of completely pointless racing around in a fruitless attempt to build some tension.

The movie sinks from dumb to offensive first when it devotes so much loving detail to the graphic, even clinical depiction of pointless calamity and second when it ultimately and cynically appropriates signifiers of religious import in an attempt to justify itself. Professor Koestler, in a world of rational determinism, this movie would never have gotten the green light. Case closed.

Remembering Robert McNamera

posted by Nell Minow

Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamera, the architect of the Viet Nam war, died today, still a figure of controversy after nearly half a century. Every family should watch the Oscar-winning documentary The Fog of War for a thought-provoking (and often just provoking) look at the way people of the greatest possible intelligence, experience, and good intentions, can make decisions with terrible consequences. The parallels to contemporary challenges are undeniable.

Washington Post Online Discussion

posted by Nell Minow

The transcript of my online discussion about the Washington Post profile is up on their website. Many thanks to all of you who participated!

Previous Posts

Keanu
I laughed so much and so hard at this movie that by the time it was over I had become of those Key and Peele show parking valets. I just ...

posted 5:58:07pm Apr. 28, 2016 | read full post »

Ratchet & Clank
Roger Ebert famously declared that a video game could not be art, giving rise to howls of protest. I believe that videogames, like movies, can ...

posted 5:50:17pm Apr. 28, 2016 | read full post »

Mother's Day
I tried, Garry Marshall, I really did, but you finally broke me. I did my best to enjoy Valentine's Day (I called it a tweet of a movie but ...

posted 5:20:09pm Apr. 28, 2016 | read full post »

Tale of Tales
Who ever said that fairy tales were for children? "Tale of Tales" is based on three stories from Giambattista Basile that go back a hundred years ...

posted 5:15:20pm Apr. 28, 2016 | read full post »

Trailer: Equals
Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart star in a futuristic story about a time when emotions are outlawed and love is the worst crime of all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW-0wmuNBto ...

posted 8:00:03am Apr. 26, 2016 | read full post »

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