Movies & TV

Bill Newcott is host of AARP's Movies for Grownups. He blogs about movies, television and all things entertainment.

Fonda, Neeson, Cinderella Make Your Weekend

In theaters, Jane Fonda is the best (and biggest!) thing in a convoluted family comedy, while Liam Neeson does his bang-bang-you’re-dead thing again. On your home screen, meet The Roosevelts, dance with Lesley Ann Warren’s Cinderella, and get totally creeped out by David Lynch’s indelible Eraserhead.   This Is Where I Leave You Jane Fonda is radiant as the newly widowed mother who summons her four grown children to sit shiva at her house following the death of their father. …

Best Grownup Flicks at Toronto Film Festival

Every September, the center of the movie world shifts from Hollywood to Toronto, where the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) showcases films ranging from small indie flicks looking for distributors to studio blockbusters making a big splash before they arrive in theaters. Crowds mob the streets of the city, jockeying for glimpses of their favorite stars and directors. Movie lovers line up for hours, hoping to nab one of the few remaining tickets for a new film. And show-biz writers …

Last Call at James Gandolfini’s Brooklyn Bar

Two first-rate grownup films are well worth separate trips to the multiplex this weekend. If you’re in a stay-at-home mood, catch up with a classic 1960s musical or a 1970s music-concert series on DVD.   The Drop More than a year after James Gandolfini’s death, his final film (based on the Dennis Lehane short story “Animal Rescue”) presents the star in the type of role that defined his career: a crusty, dangerous, yet somehow lovable thug. He plays Marv, who …

A Musical Month for Documentaries

Who says the movie musical is dead? Inspiring music makers — both the legendary and the little-known — dominate the documentary landscape this September.   Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity In the distinctive work of 65-year-old American choreographer Elizabeth Streb, dancers swing from harnesses, dodge cinderblock pendulums and hurl themselves from platforms onto cushions — and occasionally into each other. (No one should be surprised to learn that Streb has studied advanced physics.) Streb’s work must be witnessed …

An Elvis Clone (or Two) Get All Shook Up

After a busy summer, Hollywood takes a breather this weekend by releasing just a few small-scale indie flicks. So this could be the best chance you’ll have all fall to catch the movies you missed while at the beach. (Or simply stay home and rediscover a classic monster on Blu-ray disc from the safety of your couch!)   Frontera Ed Harris stars as an Arizona rancher whose wife was supposedly murdered by a Mexican man (Michael Peña) making an illegal …

Pierce Brosnan: Back in Bond-age

Why is Labor Day at the movies such a cinematic Sahara? Because the movie studios clearly expect you to be out grillin’, not inside chillin’, all weekend long. Despite the slim pickings, you’ll still find an action flick that stars a familiar face and a film bio of the biggest movie star you’ve never heard of.   Cantinflas There’s no more beloved figure in the history of Latin American cinema than the Mexican comedian Cantinflas – known to U.S. audiences, …