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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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The Snowman

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Not Rated
Movie Release Date:1982
DVD Release Date:1982
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Movie Release Date: 1982
DVD Release Date: 1982

Cold winter days are just right for curling up with some hot cocoa to watch DVDs filled with the pleasures of winter. And it is always wise to have some on hand for those days when it is too cold or snowy to go outside. One movie every family should watch is The Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, a wordless lyrical fantasy about a boy whose snowman comes to life. The exquisite illustrations and score perfectly complement the story, evoking the simple joy and childhood magic of playing in snow. The boy first brings the snowman into his world, showing him his home — unsurprisingly, the snowman does not like the fireplace but does like the ice cubes. Then, in a moment that still makes even grown-ups catch their breath, the snowman shows the boy his world, flying with him through the night sky to the ice lands, where they meet the snowman’s friends, including Santa Claus.

Some children may be upset when they see that the next morning, the snowman has melted. But even small children can understand that the boy will always cherish his time with his special friend. This movie can inspire children to build their own snow friends, and should lead families to talk about how what is most familiar to us (like a light switch) can seem interesting or strange or even scary to others. And what is familiar to others (like the Northern Lights) can seem exotic and thrilling to us.

Do Holocaust Movies Help Or Hinder Our Understanding?

posted by Nell Minow

Stuart Klawans, movie critic for The Nation for 20 years, has written a provocative essay about Holocaust movies for the website Nextbook.
Like so many other Jews, I have made my contribution toward the multiplication of Holocaust films. On New Year’s Eve 1985, I chose to spend my money at a movie theater, watching Part One of Shoah. A few years later, when asked in the wake of Schindler’s List how many more Holocaust films the world needed, I snapped, “We can stop at six million.”
But now, some dozen years and perhaps hundreds of movies later–in a season swollen with no fewer than six such releases–I respectfully request a moratorium on Holocaust films. By continually replaying and reframing and reinventing the past, these movies are starting to cloud the very history they claim to commemorate. Call it the law of diminishing returns–or call it a paradox that mirrors the Torah’s famously self-contradictory commandment at the end of Parshat Ki Tetze, concerning the people who were the prototype of Nazi Germany: “Thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget.” Very soon, with Holocaust movies, we’ll need to forget if we want to remember.
This issue has been on my mind as well. While others on Beliefnet have written approvingly about the recent film “The Boy in Striped Pajamas,” I found it to be superficial and manipulative. A lot of WWII movies are. As our world is increasingly troubling and complex, it is too easy to return to the Holocaust and portray Nazis as the last unambiguously evil villains, and just as important, unambiguously defeated. And yet, the very magnitude of the Holocaust requires a mosaic of stories for us to understand it even imperfectly.
According to Klawans, the number of Holocaust-related films is increasing as the few left who were there to witness it are dying out. He describes a recent screening of the upcoming film “Defiance,” based on the true story of The Bielski Partisans, three brothers who hid more than 1000 Jews from the Nazis. But it seems to me he makes a powerful point against his argument when he describes the reaction of the audience.
This audience, with its special moral authority, clearly did not care that the true story of the Bielski brothers was being filtered through calculated performances, invented speeches, dramatic conventions, and cinematographic effects. What mattered to them, as people irrevocably claimed by these events, was that their past was real, and so was the movie that acknowledged it.
This alone is a valid enough reason to make movies about the Holocaust, to reassure the survivors who saw so many stories lost forever that at least their stories will be told. We will not ever know all the more than six million stories of the Holocaust, but each succeeding generation has something to learn from the moral failings and moral triumphs of the era. That may not always mean dramatic re-enactments, however. The Holocaust movie I have found most insightful and affecting in recent years is Paper Clips, a touching documentary about a Holocaust curriculum in an almost all-white, all-Christian elementary school.

Tribute: Eartha Kitt

posted by Nell Minow

Eartha Kitt, who died this week, was an electrifying performer. The warm reminiscences about her incendiary performances on and off-stage are as entertaining as the legendary actress/singer was herself. The Washington Post had Will Haygood’s hilarious recounting of the most expensive — and mesmerizing — lunch of his life. Entertainment Weekly has a piece about a recent cabaret performance by the still-flirty octogenarian .

The obituaries mentioned the spirited attack on our involvement in Viet Nam at a White House luncheon that led to controversy, headlines, and years of difficulty in getting booked. The highlights of her performing career that were most often mentioned were her appearances in nightclubs, her performance as Catwoman in the “Batman” television show, and her unforgettable recording of “Santa Baby.” But today I am remembering her perfect casting as the villain in one of Disney’s most under-appreciated films, The Emperor’s New Groove.

Neglected films of 2008

posted by Nell Minow

Before the year is out I’d like to mention some independent films that did not get much attention in 2008 but are worth a look. These are not easy to summarize because they don’t follow the usual formulas. Some of their messiness comes from a more authentic and complicated sense of the world, some comes from having a tiny budget and some comes from being new at the process of telling stories with film. But they include some of my favorite moments on screen this year.

Kabluey is the story of a hapless loser (writer/director Scott Prendergast) sent to help his over-stressed sister-in-law while his brother is stationed in Iraq. He gets a job of soul-crushing absurd pointlessness, standing on an all-but-deserted road in a suffocating costume, the logo of a failing business, handing out fliers that no one wants. The costume gets some unexpected reactions from the people he meets and he begins to think differently about the effect he has on people. This is not one of those heart-warming cuddle-fests but it has moments of piercing sweetness and unexpected hilarity.

Grace Is Gone John Cusack usually plays a hyper-verbal, high-strung character. But here, as a former soldier whose wife is killed in Iraq, he is someone who is so internal he cannot find the words to tell their two daughters what happened. He impulsively takes them on a road trip to a theme park. The two young actresses Shélan O’Keefe and Gracie Bednarczyk, give beautifully sensitive performances and there is an evocative score written by Clint Eastwood.

“Lifelines” One of the most exquisite images on screen this year was the lovely face of the brilliantly talented Jane Adams, who plays Nancy, the mother of a profoundly dysfunctional family in this film from first-time writer-director Rob Margolies (and originally titled “Wherever You Are”). Nancy and Ira (Josh Pais) bring their three angry and bitter children to a therapist (the always-marvelous Joe Morton) for a big announcement. In private meetings with each of the children, there are revelations that in another film might seem showy or melodramatic but a sure hand from Margolies and some exceptional acting from talented performers keep us involved and caring. The final twist is a bit too much but it is the mistake of a talented beginner and I very much look forward to seeing what Margolies does next.

And thanks to Dustin Putman for introducing me to “Kabluey” and “Lifelines.”

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posted 8:00:30am Apr. 29, 2016 | read full post »

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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 »

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

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