Movies & TV

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

Susan Sarandon: When Stage Mothers Go Wild

Susan Sarandon plays the Stage Mother from Hell in her new movie, The Last of Robin Hood: Her character turns a blind eye when her 15-year-old daughter (Dakota Fanning) starts an affair with a middle-aged Errol Flynn (Kevin Kline). The movie is set in the late 1950s, but the Oscar-winning Sarandon says Stage Mom Syndrome has, if anything, gotten worse. “There are some crazy moms out there,” Sarandon told me recently. “You see it on the set: Mothers who won’t …

John Lithgow, Bruce Willis Anchor a Men’s Movie Weekend

Is this a trend? Last week’s movies were mostly guy-oriented, and this week’s top films follow suit: There’s a tale of modern love featuring two beloved male stars, a real-life story of true football greatness and a testosterone-laden action spectacle. Shall we chalk it up to male pattern boldness?   Love Is Strange Two of the screen’s finest actors, John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, bring warmth and humor to a modern yet timeless love story. They play a couple who’ve …

Stallone’s in ‘Expendables;’ Bridges is ‘The Giver’

It’s a man’s world this weekend: Jeff Bridges tries to save it, Sly Stallone tries to blow it up, and two very funny friends try to eat their way through it.   The Giver Stern elder Meryl Streep runs a future where older folks and undersized babies get “released” to “Elsewhere” (which is supposed to sound warm and reassuring, but not to those of us who’ve seen Logan’s Run or Soylent Green). Also, the world’s painful history has been erased …

Hollywood Legend Lauren Bacall Dies at 89

Her résumé read “actress,” but Lauren Bacall was first and foremost a Hollywood movie star. Arriving in L.A. with her mother in 1942 and before speaking a line on film, the young New York model perfected the smoky, sexy voice that would become her trademark. On her own, Bacall, who died Aug. 12, figured out how to plant her chin against her long neck, look upward into the camera with those heavy-lidded eyes, and give what became known simply as “The Look.” …

Robin Williams: Our Funny, Troubled Cousin

The report that Robin Williams had died on Aug. 11 of an apparent suicide by asphyxiation came like that dreaded phone call, the bad news regarding a friend or relative about whom you’ve long feared the worst. >> Robin Williams’ 10 Unforgettable Roles If celebrities have become something of an extended family to us, Robin was the cousin we instinctively worried about. We knew of his cocaine addiction in the 1980s; about his hospitalization for alcoholism in 2006. And although we never heard much …

Weekend Preview: Helen Mirren, Twisters and Ninja Turtles

Thank goodness for Helen Mirren; without her there’d be almost nothing new for grown-up movie lovers to see this weekend. Besides Dame Helen’s latest offering (The Hundred-Foot Journey), this looks like a good time to catch up on summer’s best offerings, including Get on Up, Calvary and Boyhood.   The Hundred-Foot Journey Helen Mirren is a snooty French chef; veteran Indian star Om Puri (East Is East) is the immigrant who opens an authentic Mumbai-style restaurant, replete with secret spices …