Movies & TV

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

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, …

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 …