Movies & TV

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

Cinderella: This Weekend’s Shoe-In

Two new movies feature characters whose lives change when they try on mysterious shoes. A third film treads a well-worn path to mediocrity.     Cinderella Disney has been translating its animated classics into live-action epics for years, with mixed success. This effort, directed by Kenneth Branagh, is the best update yet. About a Boy screenwriter Chris Weitz has kept the most charming elements of Disney’s 1950s damsel-in-distress scenario and transformed the central character into a strong-willed young woman determined …

“Marigold” Not the Freshest Daisy in the Bunch

The guest register at the Exotic Marigold Hotel gets thicker this week, while several Oscar winners — and Oscar-worthy efforts — arrive on home video. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Turns out chemistry isn’t everything. Alhough this sequel reunites virtually all the original stars (including Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy), and though they prove just as delightful this second time around, the script adds precious little to the first installment. Richard Gere is predictably charming as a …

Exclusive: Pacino and Bening Spar in “Danny Collins”

  Al Pacino is a legendary rock star. Annette Bening is a hotel manager who gives him the brush-off. The two have a friendly — but decidedly rocky — first meeting in this exclusive clip from their new movie Danny Collins, opening March 20. Pacino plays the title character, who’s been living off the glory (and royalties) of his greatest hits for decades. But then a collector finds a letter written to Danny by John Lennon in 1971 — a …

Who Will Win Oscars — and Who Really Should

Still on the fence about who should win Oscars this Sunday night? Here’s a little grownup guidance. Best actress: Not even close. Our own Movies for Grownups best actress winner, Julianne Moore, gave the performance of a lifetime as a woman with early-onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice. Reese Witherspoon will get some sentimental votes for going gritty in Wild, but Oscar voters will issue “see-you-next-time” condolences to youngsters Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) and …

Gary Owens: The Voice of ‘Laugh-In’ Signs Off

When longtime Laugh-In announcer Gary Owens died Feb. 13, one of the great voices of the past century was stilled. I was lucky enough to interview Gary in September 2009 about a new documentary featuring his friend Jonathan Winters. Instantly recognizable from his first “hello,” Gary took me on a roller coaster ride of rapid-fire anecdotes, drawing on his 60-some-odd years in show business. From hosting The Gong Show to buying a Quincy Jones album for 11-year-old Michael Jackson, it’s …

Shades of Grey or Gray Romance: Your Choice

Pick your Valentine’s Day poison: An edgy tale of sexual domination, a warm and fuzzy rom-com with the ever-charming Hugh Grant, or an explosion-packed secret-agent spectacle. Choose wisely; the ultimate outcome of your romantic dinner-and-a-movie date depends upon it.   50 Shades of Grey We’re not supposed to laugh out loud at a movie that features beautiful young people having kinky sex, right? Yet that’s precisely what happens almost from the moment we’re introduced to billionaire bondage boy Christian Grey …