Trailer: Meryl Strep, Gary Oldman, and Antonio Benderas in “The Laundromat”

Posted on August 28, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Steven Soderbergh’s new film stars Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Sharon Stone, Antonio Banderas, “Big Bang Theory’s” Melissa Rauch, “Friends” star David Schwimmer, James Cromwell, Matthias Schoenaerts, Robert Patrick, Will Forte, and Jeffrey Wright in the story of a massive global fraud revealed in a stunning series of reports from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Coming to Netflix — can’t wait.

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Trailers, Previews, and Clips

Exclusive Clip: Running Wild

Posted on February 3, 2017 at 4:29 pm

Tommy Flanagan​ plays a convict in the equine rehab program at the heart of “Running Wild.” Sharon Stone stars as Stella, who must fight prejudice, greed, bureaucracy and vanity (including her own) to learn that the best way to help yourself is by than helping another living creature. SP Releasing and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release “Running Wild” in select theaters and On Demand February 10, 2017.

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Trailers, Previews, and Clips

Mothers and Daughters

Posted on May 5, 2016 at 5:18 pm

Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief drug content
Profanity: Some strong language
Alcohol/ Drugs: Drinking, drugs
Violence/ Scariness: Tense family confrontations
Diversity Issues: None
Date Released to Theaters: May 6, 2016
Copyright 2016 Screen Media Films
Copyright 2016 Screen Media Films

No one matters more to us than Mom and there is no one we can at the same time want everything and nothing from. We need their unconditional love and approval. We need them to always be glad to see us, always comfort us when we hurt. But we also need to feel that we can do without her, be independent. And then we don’t want to.

Last week’s awful “Mother’s Day” attempted to mine this material. This week, “Mothers and Daughters” does a better job. It still falls into the trap of putting the story in New York City but having all of the characters white and having them keep running into each other and resolving everything too neatly. But it avoids the sit-com vibe and intrusive product placement and has some understated and affecting moments.

In one of the movie’s highlights, Susan Sarandon appears with her real-life daughter, Eva Amurri Martino, who plays Gayle, a woman who is estranged from her family. She insisted on living with her boyfriend, who wants to start a high-end bakery and is sure he will get the loan he needs. But Gayle is getting nervous about the money he is spending and determined not to ask her parents to help them.

Selma Blair plays Rigby, a photographer whose married boyfriend has just — kindly — broken up with her to return to his wife. She is offered her dream job, accompanying a rock star on tour as his official photographer, when she discovers she is pregnant. “How long do I have?” she asks her doctor (“The Blind Side’s” Quinton Aaron). He smiles and tells her it’s a baby, not a terminal disease. She makes an appointment for an abortion, certain that she does not have it in her to care for a child, especially because she feels guilty about not doing more for her own mother, who is in a nursing home.

Sharon Stone is Nina, a fashion mogul whose daughter has dropped out of a prestigious internship and won’t tell her what she is doing instead. Mira Sorvino is Georgina, whose new line of bras is launching, and who has a secret she has not told her very supportive boyfriend. And Courteney Cox is Beth, a wife and mother of a teenage son. Her own mother has just died, leading to the revelation of a family secret that has caused great anger and pain.

There is a quiet sincerity to the film that makes up for some slickness in the screenplay, with its overly convenient twists and rapid progress toward hugs and forgiveness.

Parents should know that this film has mature material including sexual references and discussions of family secrets. There is some alcohol and brief drug use.

Family discussion: Which family had the most difficult problem? Why did Rigby change her mind?

If you like this, try: “The Meddler”

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Drama Family Issues Movies -- format


Posted on December 13, 2002 at 5:16 am

The technological mastery and all-star cast all but obscure the one real problem of this movie — it does not know who its audience is. The computer animation — and the ad campaign — suggest that it is directed toward the audience of its predecessor in this genre, the classic “Toy Story.” That movie focused on themes that touched both children and adults. “Antz,” instead, seems to have spent most of its energy on its astonishing visual effects and outstanding voice performances by some of Hollywood’s top stars, with its theme of individual spirit in a world of conformity an afterthought, and a muddled one at that. The witty script aims its humor at adults who can appreciate the in-jokes. The characters have little kid appeal, and the violence, including the deaths of two characters and the slaughter of thousands of animated “extras,” is much too intense for younger children.

Woody Allen provides the voice of Z, the movie’s hero, and we first see him on the analyst’s couch, complaining about his feelings of inadequacy. A worker ant among millions of others, he longs for some individuality. When he meets the ant princess Bala (voice of Sharon Stone), he longs to see her again. So he persuades his friend Weaver (voice of Sylvester Stallone), a soldier ant, to switch places with him. Weaver enjoys being a worker, but Z finds to his horror that he is being sent into battle by the meglomaniacal General Mandible (voice of Gene Hackman). He is befriended by Barbados (voice of Danny Glover), who is killed, along with all of the other soldiers. Only Z escapes, and it is up to him to rescue the rest of the ant colony from Mandible.

The visual effects are dazzling, and the movie also provides a welcome reminder that performers as inextricably linked to their apearance as Allen, Stallone, and Stone are capable of superb vocal characterization. Parents will want to talk to their children about when to question authority, how to balance individuality with community norms, and how what seems like garbage to us may be “Insectopia” from another perspective.

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