parental guidance

discs natalie portman

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Beautiful Girls Willie Conway (Timothy Hutton) has returned home for his high school reunion at a very confused time in his life. His long time girlfriend (Annabeth Gish) joins him on the trip as he visits with friends, strikes up a purely platonic relationship with a 15-year-old neighbor girl (Natalie Portman) and decides if he’s ready to settle down and get married. The late Ted Demme has a few fine films to his name including The Ref and Blow, but this sweet, honest and funny movie remains his high point. Portman’s perfect encapsulation of the untouchable teen is fantastic in every regard, but to be fair her storyline is only a small part of the whole. Willie’s friends (Matt Dillon, Noah Emmerich, Max Perlich, Michael Rapaport, Rosie O’Donnell and more) run the gamut of emotional stages as some are satisfied with their lives and others are not, but all of them feel authentic. The story threads fold together so effortlessly, the performances feel so real and the Blu-ray debut is long overdue. Also, Natalie Portman. [Blu-ray extras: None]

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Film Jockeys 2 - Snob Who Stole Christmas

Check out Derek’s porfolio His other webcomic “Northern Empires” And/Or the Film Jockeys Archive

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Parental Guidance

Well, hmm. At the very least (like, bare minimum here), Andy Fickman‘s Parental Guidance looks inoffensive. The family film stars Billy Crystal and Bette Midler as a set of grandparents finally getting their big shot with their three grandkiddos, thanks to their daughter (played by Marisa Tomei) and her urgent need to have someone (possibly anyone) look after them for a few days. Suddenly, the “old school” parents must take care of some new wave munchkins who’ve been raised in a sugar-free environment that’s big on feelings and such. Hijinks, misunderstandings, and apparently some sort of overdose on sheet cake ensue. It all seems relatively harmless (and certainly less embarrassing than something like Robert DeNiro’s fall from respectability at the hands of his own family series, the nosedive-y endeavor that is the Meet the Parents franchise), and Parental Guidance will likely be a solid choice come the holidays – at least, when you need to please everyone in your family when it comes to movie-going. Check out a new Parental Guidance trailer after the break, and ponder if Crystal is the new Robert DeNiro.

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Today is Grandparents Day. So where are all the movies aimed at Americans celebrating the holiday? Is it that we still don’t honor the occasion the way we do with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, even after 35 years of its existence? Or, is it that, in spite of always being proven wrong by movies such as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Hollywood still thinks seniors don’t go to the movies? It might be a combination, though I did take notice the other day that the trailer for Parental Guidance arrived appropriately this very weekend. The comedy stars Billy Crystal and Bette Midler as a couple who have to watch their grandchildren while their daughter (Marisa Tomei) goes on a business trip. And the humor apparently comes from the elder duo’s generational disconnect from kids today. First question: Are Billy Crystal and Bette Midler are old enough to play grandparents now? Well, they’re in their mid-60s, which seems about right looking at it as someone who feels late to the parenting game myself. My mom and dad are in that age group, and though my kid is an infant, there are some people from my high school class already seeing theirs off to high school this year.

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