Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Black or White
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language, thematic material involving drug use and drinking, and for a fight
Release Date:
January 30, 2015

 

The Book of Life
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action, rude humor, some thematic elements and brief scary images
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

Black Sea
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language throughout, some graphic images and violence
Release Date:
January 30, 2015

 

The Judge
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language including some sexual references
Release Date:
October 10, 2014

Strange Magic
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some action and scary images
Release Date:
January 23, 2015

 

Fury
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

Hitch

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2005

“Is Hitch a noun or a verb?” Sarah (Eva Mendes) asks Alex “Hitch” Hitchens (Will Smith). “It depends,” he answers. It’s actually a little of both. Hitch is a “date doctor,” a sort of Straight Eye for the Straight Guy who advises men on how to appeal to the women of their dreams. Hitch as in “stick with him if you want to get hitched.”

He tells his clients that “any man has the chance to sweep a woman off her feet. You just need the right broom.” He advises them on everything from the first look (“Sixty percent of all human communication is non-verbal. Thirty percent is your tone.”) to the first kiss (he advises the men to lean in ninety percent of the way and let her come that last ten percent toward him). He gives them tips on grooming and attire. And he reminds them to listen and respond, to let the women know really get to know them — just maybe not all at once.

Hitch has it all figured out — for other guys. His heart was broken back in college and he’s never risked it again.

And in the other corner, ladies and gentlemen, we have Sarah, a gossip columnist who is cynical about love.

Hitch is advising a nebbishy accountant (Kevin James) who is in love with a beautiful heiress (Amber Valetta). This is the very same heiress whose love life is documented on a daily basis by Sarah, who cannot seem to understand this new relationship. Meanwhile, not knowing what his connection is to the the beast to the heiress’ beauty, Sarah goes on two dates with Hitch, both of which develop serious, uh, hitches along the way.

It’s all familiar romantic comedy territory — evasions, followed by complications, humiliations, the course of true love’s not running smoothly, and then…running a bit more smoothly. And then not smoothly again.

Kevin James is wonderfully funny and just as wonderfully sweet. His joyously dorky dance is sublime, but so is the shyly happy look on his face when he hands the heiress a pen, almost overcome by the thrill of just touching something she will use.

The movie’s biggest asset is Smith, who has everything it takes to be a romantic comedy superstar. He has the timing of an atomic clock and can handle all kinds of comedy — physical and verbal, high and low, along with a dazzling smile and the presence and conviction to carry off the tender moments, too. Plus, no one is better at talking to the camera than he is. Mendes never makes the character sparkle (as she did in Stuck on You) or sizzle (as she did in Out of Time), but that is the fault of the script, which leaves promising set-ups unfinished to pursue ideas that are far less interesting or appealing, especially a joke(?) about a serial killer. If it does not knock it out of the park, it at least qualifies as a triple, a pleasant date movie that delivers several laughs and — harder to find these days — a couple of satisfied smiles.

Parents should know that some of the material in this movie is on the R-edge of a PG-13 with some strong language (one f-word), alcohol (including drinking as a response to a bad day), and sexual situations and references. But parents should also know that this movie comes down very strongly on the side of romance. It takes kissing very seriously. A man and woman who have a one-night stand are both very unhappy with the outcome (for different reasons). There is a character who sexually exploits women whose behavior is portrayed as reprehensible. The focus of this movie is on romance and lasting love. Another strength of the movie is its color-blind casting, with diverse characters sharing friendships and romantic relationships.

Families who see this movie should talk about how it can be nerve-wracking to try to make a good impression on the opposite sex, especially someone who seems very desirable. What do you think of Hitch’s rules and advice? They should talk about the idea that you should “Begin each day as if it were on purpose.” What does it mean to be “all about the short game?”

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy other romantic comedies like Barefoot in the Park, You’ve Got Mail, and French Kiss.

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

posted by rkumar
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005

There are three reasons to see this movie. First: the dazzling martial arts moves of Tony Jaa, whose lightning reflexes and breathtaking gymnastics are both impressive and entertaining. Second is the authenticity. As the tagline says, this film has “no safety nets, no computer graphics, and no strings.” This is not the kind of movie that inspires critics to use words like “balletic” and “graceful.” This is the kind of movie that shows you that everything but the injuries is really happening on screen. The third reason is so that you can see the first leading performance by a man who is set to become the next big action star.

With all of that, the reasons not to see the movie — predictable script (“The fate of the whole village lies in your hands!”), effective but not especially artistic direction, and adequate but not especially impressive movie-making, with a lot of those hiccup-y little instant replays that show you the most exciting stunts a second or even third time.

Jaa plays Ting, who must retrieve the head that has been stolen from the statue of Buddha in his small rural town in Thailand. So for the first time he goes to the big city. Then he has a lot of chase scenes and fights. Then the movie ends.

But the fights are very cool. Ting fights in the street. He fights in a ring. He goes underwater. His legs catch fire. He fights with his hands, with his fists, and with knives.

Jaa is an electrifying performer and the movie is primarily designed to show off what he does best, with what little story there is just there for breathing room and a change of location before the fight scenes start up again. There is a wheelchair-bound bad guy who can only speak through an electronic voicebox (it is really eerie when he laughs) and a female sidekick with an annoying voice that may be intended to be funny but just sounds somewhere between a whine and a screech. But the movie is a showpiece for Jaa, whose talent is well worth showing and viewing.

Parents should know that the movie has constant, intense, and graphic violence with bone-crushing injuries. Some characters are killed. The plot involves drug dealers and drug use and characters smoke and drink. They also use strong and sometimes crude language (as translated in the subtitles).

Families who see this movie should talk about how Ting makes the decision about whether he will fight or not. Why did George change his name? Why was Ong-Bak so important to the village?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy the films of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li.

Pooh’s Heffalump Movie

posted by rkumar
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:2005

Small children will enjoy this gentle story of making friends. Their families will be grateful for the fact that there is a suitable movie for younger kids and they might enjoy the pretty water-color backgrounds and a couple of funny moments. And if they take advantage of the the well-under-90-minute running time for a bit of a snooze, they can be grateful for that, too.

Previous features put Tigger and Piglet in the spotlight, but this time the focus is on Roo, the spirited kangaroo son of sweet-voiced Kanga. When the citizens of the 400 Acre Wood decide to capture a heffalump, they tell Roo he is too young to go along on such a scary expedition. But Roo sneaks out to show the others that he is grown-up enough to capture a heffalump on his own.

Roo finds a heffalump, but is surprised to find that not only is he not at all scary, but he is just as frightened of Roo and his friends as they are of him. Indeed, this heffalump is called Lumpy and he is just a child, like Roo. They quickly forget all about being scared of each other as they play games and enjoy getting to know one another.

But when Roo tries to take his new friend home so that Kanga can help Lumpy find his mother, Rabbit, Pooh, Piglet, and Tigger do not understand. They try to capture Lumpy. But friendship — and mothers — come to the rescue.

Newcomer Kyle Stanger, who provides the voice of Lumpy the heffalump was just five when the movie was made, and he is the highlight of the movie. He gives Lumpy so much personality and charm that every child will want a heffalump playmate of of his own. Brenda Blethyn provides the understanding and loving voice of his mother. And be sure to stay for the credits, as the scenes of Lumpy and Roo playing are among the best in the movie.

Parents should know that the movie has some mild peril that the most sensitive young viewers may find unsettling.

Families who see this movie should talk about how we can make sure we do not let fear of anything that is different prevent us from meeting new friends. And they can talk about how children are sometimes impatient to be allowed to do things that adults tell them they are not old enough to do and what “your own call” means. Parents will want to make sure that children understand, however, that they should not talk to strangers and that they should never let anyone persuade them that they do not have to answer when their mother calls them. They might also want to talk about how Roo and Lumpy will have to clean up the mess that they made in Pooh’s house and Rabbit’s garden.

Every family should read aloud the wonderful works of A.A. Milne, both the poetry and the stories about Winnie the Pooh and his friends. The heffalump” in the book is imaginary. Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy the other Pooh stories available on DVD and video.

Boogeyman

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:2005

With a storyline thinner than the protagonist’s stereotyped rich girlfriend and enough lead-heavy dialogue to sink a movie of twice the caliber, “Boogeyman” is a bloated 86 minutes of overzealous spookiness, to be admired primarily by aspiring sound-effects specialists.

Eight-year old Tim Jenson is scarred for life before the title sequence rolls. He went to bed one night jumping at shadows in his rural, gothic home and watched in horror as his closet violently swallowed his father. Fast-forward fifteen years and Tim (Barry Watson, of TV’s “7th Heaven” mini-fame), now a twitchy lygophobic with a tendency to stand staring at dark closets, has to go back home for a funeral. He alone sees that all dark places — under the bed, in the closet, behind the pantry door — are potential lurking spots for the boogeyman. At the off-hand recommendation of his psychologist and to further the plot, he must face his childhood fears, including that of his supernatural closet. Or did Dad really just run off on the family, leaving Tim to seek a more violent explanation?

The movie cuts to the chase quickly but then wallows in atmospherics. The lengthy character-development scenes ensure plenty of opportunities for Tim to freak himself out, for girlfriend, Jessica, to show how two-dimensional she is, and for childhood friend, Kate, to be sweet and understanding. Guess who the Boogeyman gets? There is not a single scene that director, Stephen Kay (Get Carter), leaves unburdened of ominous portent. The creaking, sighing, screeching house, coupled with unnerving close-ups, quick cuts, and flickering lights might make some audience members seasick and others wish they could TiVo to the final confrontation.

Touches of humor, some genuinely spooky moments, and the occasional flash of decent acting keep this movie a notch above straight-to-video caliber, but do not justify the price of admission. Watching Tim at the child counseling center offers a hint that this movie could be richer, more interesting fare, but then the next scene –a possible boogeyman lurking behind a ceiling tile— tugs us back to the over-the-top forcedness of it all.

Parents should know that this movie tries everything possible to be a scary horror movie but retain its PG-13 rating. Family members disappear violently, animals panic, children are strange, corpses lunge, lights frequently go out for no reason, there is an aural assault of haunting sounds, and no one believes the main character. A character watches as loved ones are tossed around and then taken from him, a child is shut in a closet as a cure for being scared, another child is separated from her family. There are references to sex and a character is naked (non-explicit). Characters drink to drunkenness at a party and there are references to drinking, as well as a jarring product placement.

Families who see this movie might want to talk about the legend of the boogeyman, who appears in many cultures as a warning to misbehaving children. The psychologist discusses how children might turn to supernatural explanations as a coping mechanisms for feelings of loss or powerlessness. How do modern stories use scary characters or the supernatural to guide behavior now? Urban legends often have an element of the supernatural, how might they derive from older tales, like those of the boogeyman?

Families who enjoy watching scary movies together might prefer to watch Poltergeist, The Grudge, The Sixth Sense, or The Shining.

Previous Posts

Snickers Wins the Super Bowl!
The real competition at the Super Bowl is for the commercials, right? This Snickers ad is a hoot. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rqbomTIWCZ8?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:02am Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

How Did Ca Plane Pour Moi End Up in So Many Movies?
How did a 1977 song in French by the Belgian singer Plastic Bertrand become a go-to for 21st century American movie soundtracks, from big studio films to quirky indies? "Ça Plane Pour Moi" has appeared in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" and last week's "We'll Never Have Paris," from

posted 3:40:03pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

The Kitten Bowl 2015: You Can Win A Set of Kitten Cards
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5sO4NoaF89Y?rel=0" frameborder="0"] The most-anticipated sporting event of the weekend -- in some circles anyway, is this year's Kitten Bowl, Su-Purr Sunday, February 1 (12/11c) only on Hallmark Channel! [caption id="attachment_3263

posted 12:00:45pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Una Gran Noticia! Disney's First Latina Princess
The Disney princesses have their first Latina member! Princess Elena of Avalor will make her debut in the Disney Channel series "Sofia the First" before starring in her own series on the Disney channel.

posted 9:19:37am Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Black or White
Writer-director Mike Binder sure likes to get Kevin Costner drunk. As in his uneven but impressive "The Upside of Anger," Binder once again has Costner playing a man who is a little lost and usually

posted 5:58:45pm Jan. 29, 2015 | 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.