Movies & TV

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

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 …

What to See This Weekend: Guardians Rule, Funk King Boogies

The best movie weekend of the summer is upon us! So buy yourself a day pass to the multiplex and relish the rousing biography of a music legend, a new sci-fi classic and an intimately focused drama with a devastating punch.   Get on Up Chadwick Boseman (Jackie Robinson in 42) makes playing The Hardest-Working Man in Show Business seem easy in this spectacular, funk-driven biography of James Brown. The soundtrack is the genuine Brown, but Boseman nails his Mashed …

This Weekend: Get Away With Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton

Rob Reiner returns with a warm-hearted grownup romance; Woody Allen introduces us to a beautiful seer who might be a fake; and Morgan Freeman frets as Scarlett Johansson kicks some serious bad-guy butt.     And So It Goes Twenty-five years after he arranged for Harry to meet Sally, director Rob Reiner proves that his take on grownup love has grown richer with time. A sharp comedy with an ear tuned to the bittersweet cadences of mature romance, And So …

‘Alive Inside’: Music + Alzheimer’s = Miracle

  When you speak, you’re mainly using the left hemisphere of your brain. When you look at a painting, it’s the rear of your brain that perceives what you’re seeing. But the brain has no precise center for music. When you listen to music you love, all your gray matter gets into the act: Do a scan of a brain listening to music and virtually the entire thing starts to glow, like embers in a warm hearth. That brain-wide embrace of music …

Zach Braff and ‘Boyhood’ Top This Weekend’s Movies

Parents and children do their eternal dance of mutual misunderstanding in two of this week’s best films; the rest range from a gentle romantic fantasy to a cautionary apocalyptic tale.     Boyhood In 2002, writer-director Richard Linklater wrote a script about a young boy’s life from age 6 to his late teens. He filmed it over the ensuing 12 years, letting his actors literally grow into their parts. Sure, the nearly three-hour Boyhood could stand some trimming, but it’s …