Movie Mom

Movie Mom

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
Release Date:
December 19, 2014

 

The Maze Runner
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, including some disturbing images
Release Date:
September 19, 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for violence including battle sequences and intense images
Release Date:
December 12, 2014

 

Magic in the Moonlight
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for a brief suggestive comment, and smoking throughout
Release Date:
August 1, 2014

Top Five
Lowest Recommended Age:
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, crude humor, language throughout and some drug use
Release Date:

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Release Date:
August 8, 2014

Andre

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1994

“Plot: A shy little girl from Maine makes friends with a seal in this fact-based story about a seal that swam from Boston to Maine every summer for 24 years. Toni (Tina Majorino) is more comfortable with animals than with kids. Her father, Harry (Keith Carridine), is not very responsible, but he has a real gift for animals, and his wife manages to cope with the chaos and be “”the only grown-up in the house.””

Analyze That

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:2002

Robert DeNiro loves comedy. Who knew?

After decades as America’s most respected dramatic actor, DeNiro discovered that he enjoyed making people laugh in “Analyze This,” where he tweaked his most famous roles to create mob boss Paul Vitti, who was in therapy with psychiatrist Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal). In a typical therapy session, Sobel would suggest that Vitti was not used to hearing the word “no,” and Vitti would respond that he often heard people say, “No! Don’t kill me!”

In the sequel, “Analyze That,” Vitti pretends to be crazy in order to get out of jail (it is worth the price of admission to see him stand on a prison dining table belting out a ballad from “West Side Story”), and he is released into the custody of Dr. Sobel. After some unfortunate attempts at a job that does not involve any felonies, he ends up as an expert advisor to a “Sopranos”-like television show. Meanwhile, he has to figure out how to survive a war between two rival mob families.

There are some slow patches, and Lisa Kudrow as Sobel’s wife is badly misused. The plot doesn’t go anywhere and the attempt to make the pretentious producer of the television show funny does not work at all. But it is sheer joy to see DeNiro give everything he’s got (which is plenty) to the pure pleasure of comic madness, and every time he comes on screen, the movie takes off like a rocket. There is also a special pleasure for fans of “Raging Bull” in seeing DeNiro onscreen with the woman who played Vicki LaMotta, Cathy Moriarty. They still have great chemistry. It is fun to see the talented Anthony LaPaglia, who usually plays Italian-Americans in movies like “Frank Nitti” and “The Client,” using his original Australian accent. And be sure to stay for the outtakes at the end. I know they have become a cliché, but these are worth the wait.

Parents should know that the movie has very strong language (lots of f-words) and a lot of violence. It may be comic, but it is bloody and in some cases fatal. There are also sexual references and situations, including adultery, some graphic.

Families who see this movie should talk about what determines whether people can change. And they should discuss the way that both Vitti and Sobel are still so tied up in (and by) what their fathers thought of them. If you were going to write a third movie about these characters, what would you have them do?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy “Analyze This” and “Married to the Mob.”

Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Movie Release Date:2002

“8 Crazy Nights” is a bit of an enigma. In the Venn diagram of movie goers, Adam Sandler fans are not an easy overlap with those who cherish holiday musicals. This lame attempt at comedy is more likely to appeal to the former than the latter.

Families looking for something to watch together should steer well clear, unless appreciation of outhouse humor is a family tradition. Clearly, this movie, with its taunting mockery of the physically challenged, its very graphic port-o-potty jokes and its drunken binges, is also not for animation fans seeking Disney’s sweet concoctions or Pixar’s wry wit. Older teens looking for the extreme edge of South Park will not be appeased by the suburban softness of fart jokes. All of which probably narrows the circle of appreciative audience members to those who want to see a feature length movie along the lines of skits from Spike & Mike’s Sick & Twisted Animation Festival.

Davey Stone (Adam Sandler) at 33 is an angry drunk living alone and hating the community, the holidays and himself. When his destructive behavior lands him in front of the judge and a jail sentence, Whitey Duvall (also Adam Sandler), the endlessly good hearted youth basketball coach, intervenes to help Davey find his inner-adult. Through flashbacks, Davey (Adam Uhler) at 12-years old is revealed to be a sweet and thoughtful kid with loving parents, a best friend/girlfriend, Jennifer, and a talent for basketball. It was his inability to come to terms with the loss of his parents that took Davey down the path to becoming the heavy-drinking town miscreant. Whitey’s attempts to put Davey on the straight and narrow path are aided by Eleanor Duvall (also Adam Sandler), Whitey’s twin sister, and the reappearance of Jennifer (Jackie Titone). However, it is a surreal intervention by product placements(!) at the mall that cracks Davey’s defenses, allowing him to finally accept his grief and find the spirit of the holidays.

Unleashed by the medium of animation, Sandler’s raging little boy humor takes on an aura of threatening menace, tempered only by Davey’s 11th hour revelation, which does little to heal the wounds inflicted along the way. Unlike his personas in “The Waterboy”, “Little Nicky”, “Happy Gilmore”, or numerous Saturday Night Live skits, Davey – Adam Sandler’s proxy — is seldom the object of the comical abuse, but it is instead the diminutive and furry, Whitey, who is the town’s whipping boy. While Davey’s equal opportunity hatred is (somewhat) explained, the treatment of the physically challenged Duvall twins by the town rings of a darker, crueler humor.

To soften the edges of jokes made at Whitey’s expense, a reappearing herd of deer (also voiced by Sandler) provide a comical tenderness (and some more excrement “humor”) in the movie’s most callow moments. In the end, it is only in the musical numbers that allow the lighter touch of Sandler’s humor to shine through and the audience can relax for a moment, remembering why they thought he was funny in the first place.

So who is the audience? This movie is aimed at Adam Sandler fans, who will chuckle at cameos by Jon Lovitz and Kevin Nealon, and sit happily through the credits to listen to version three of the Hanukah Song. Not only does the song lend the movie a title from its lyrics, but it showcases Sandler’s gentler irreverence, thus providing the palate cleansing mint after a mediocre meal.

Parents should know that this movie is not for young children or those who might find Davey’s actions worth imitating. The movie has extremely vulgar humor and strong language for a PG-13. The gross-out factor of this movie is quite high so some parents may not wish to watch the movie themselves.

Families who see this film might discuss Davey’s method of coping with the loss of his parents and his difficulties in accepting sympathy from people. Families may wish to discuss the treatment of different characters by the community, starting with the Duvall twins.

Families who enjoy this movie might enjoy other Adam Sandler movies such as “The Wedding Singer” and “Big Daddy.” Those looking for movies about the transforming powers of the holidays might wish to watch “Miracle on 34th Street”, “or “What a Wonderful Life.” For musicals, families might prefer the warmth of “White Christmas.” For potty humor and holidays, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. For entertaining and animated holiday entertainment, “The Nightmare before Christmas” or “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Funny Hanukah movies are harder to find and while Adam Sandler might just be the one to change that someday, it will not be today.

About Schmidt

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R
Movie Release Date:2002

Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) sits at his desk as though he was standing at attention during a full-dress inspection. As he watches the clock move from 4:58 to 5:00, he is as clenched as a fist.

It is Warren’s last day on the job as an actuary for the appropriately-named Woodman insurance company. He has coped with a life of disappointment and emptiness through rigidity. He is stingy with words, money, and emotion. He does not confide in anyone but us, the audience and a little boy in Africa he “adopted” by agreeing to send him $22 a month. When Schmidt tells us that he looks over at his wife and wonders who that old woman is, we know that when he looks in the mirror he wonders who that old man is, too.

Schmidt’s daughter Jeannie (Hope Davis) is getting married to Randall, a man with a mullet who sells waterbeds (Dermot Mulroney), and this is just one more in a series of disappointments. When Schmidt’s wife dies, and then when he finds out that she was keeping a secret from him, he becomes completely unstuck from his moorings. He may have hated his life before, but at least he knew what he was supposed to do and had the luxury of blaming someone else for everything he did not like. His only satisfaction – that of playing by a set of rules he understood and supported in theory – now seems foolish. He takes the huge motor home his wife made him buy and sets off in it toward his daughter’s house. And in the grandest tradition of story-telling, it is a journey that is both physical and psychological.

He plans to try to stop the wedding, but after a lifetime of going along with other people’s rules, he has no idea of how to proceed. The best he can do is make a weak protest to his daughter, who lets him know that his support is much more valuable to her than his advice.

Nicholson is mesmerizing. His Schmidt is funny, irritating, pitiable, and utterly heartbreaking. Kathy Bates, as Randall’s mother, is magnificent in a performance that is full-bodied (in both senses of the word). The details of middle American ceremonies – the retirement party, the funeral, the wedding – are all just right, sharply observed but affectionate.

Parents should know that the movie includes very strong language and sexual references and situations, including adultery. Characters drink and smoke. There are tense and sad family scenes that may upset some viewers.

Families who see this movie should talk about why Schmidt confided in a little boy he had never met instead of any of his friends or family. What do you think he will do next? What should he do? What should he have done that would have made him happier?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Harry and Tonto with an Oscar-winning performance by Art Carney.

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[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/NoHp2Rq8sMI?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

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