Best Video Clips: Singing complaints

Posted on November 13, 2007 at 1:10 pm

Two hilarious You Tube hits put complaints to music.

Complaints Choirs started in Birmingham, England and are popping up all over the world. Here, the Helsinki Complaints Choir combines the universal and the very particular in a hilarious and harmonic tribute to the things that drive people crazy:

(Thanks to Salon’s Broadsheet for the tip.)

And Anita Renfroe became a media sensation with this tribute to mothers set to the tune of the “William Tell Overture” — any mom who has not said everything on this list deserves a whole day without a carpool:

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Comedy Musical Reviews Shorts

List: Best Movie Hitmen (and Hitwomen)

Posted on November 7, 2007 at 4:59 pm

In honor of the release of the Coen brothers’ “No Country for Old Men,” Entertainment Weekly created a list of the greatest hired killer characters in movies. As with all lists, it’s a conversation-starter, not ender. Some good choices, of course, especially Jean Reno in “The Professional” and Travolta and Jackson in Pulp Fiction. The choices are classic, I suppose, but a little obvious. Some of the lesser-known movie hitmen who are well worth a look include William H. Macy in Panic and Lee Marvin’s Oscar-winning performance in Cat Ballou.

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Lists

Lions for Lambs

Posted on November 7, 2007 at 3:21 pm

C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: MPAA Rating: R for some war violence and language
Profanity: Some strong language
Alcohol/ Drugs: None
Violence/ Scariness: Brief graphic battle violence
Diversity Issues: A strength of the movie is strong, loyal relationships between diverse characters
Date Released to Theaters: November 9, 2007

It is more op-ed than movie. “Lions for Lambs” is a well-meaning attempt to encapsulate and move forward one segment of our current political debates. But it is mostly speeches, not stories.
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Drama Genre , Themes, and Features Movies Reviews

2007 Washington Jewish Film Festival

Posted on November 7, 2007 at 1:19 pm

The Washington Jewish Film Festival has announced its 2007 schedule from November 29-December 9.

The Washington Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Washington DCJCC’s Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts, seeks to create multiple dialogues about a variety of issues intersecting the Jewish experience through filmic representations created by Jews and non-Jews with a particular emphasis on debunking stereotypes and seeking unexpected stories. This gives the WJFF’s program an international focus, moving whenever possible beyond the traditional centers of Jewish life in the United States, Israel, and Europe.
To promote the preservation of Jewish culture by providing a forum for films with Jewish themes that would not otherwise find a place in the marketplace for public exhibition in the Washington-area: Many of the films we screen only have a life on the Festival circuit and in specialty DVD-release. In an age of major media consolidation the WJFF remains committed to keeping the public square populated by a diversity of narratives.
To encourage innovation and vitality within Jewish culture by highlighting films that place Jewish themes in new contexts or challenge long-held assumptions: The WJFF has been at the forefront of presenting films that reconsider the place of women and homosexuals in the Jewish tradition; that provide a constructive critique of Jewish identity and reconsider major cultural guideposts such as Zionism, the Holocaust and assimilation.

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Festivals

How to Cook Your Life

Posted on November 7, 2007 at 12:58 pm

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Writer-director Doris Dörrie has made a wonderfully touching and inspiring documentary about zen priest and best-selling cookbook author Edward Espe Brown. It is about food and dignity and touch and mindfulness, sufficiency and abundance, physical, spiritual, and emotional hunger, anger and satisfaction. It is funny and moving and inspiring and even in its own way nourishing. And it has a wonderful score. It is worth seeing just for the scene when Brown recites the poem his mother included in a letter just before she died, about a duck that “reposes in the immediate as if it were infinity — which it is. He has made himself a part of the boundless by easing himself into just where it touches him.”

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Documentary
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