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Bill Newcott

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

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Bill Newcott'sPosts

Roseanne Raises The Bar For New Comics

Posted on 05/22/2014 by |Movies & TV | Comments

EntertainmentRoseanne Barr, who tonight debuts as a judge on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, would rather be at home on her Hawaii macadamia nut farm, eating food from her garden and seeing her grandkids off to school. Now there’s a sentence you would never have expected to read back in the days when Barr was the hell-raising, tabloid-dominating, reigning queen of the TV sitcom. But here she is, after taking a red-eye flight back to LA to promote the new show, already …

MFG Movie and Video Preview: May 16

Posted on 05/15/2014 by |Movies & TV | Comments

EntertainmentA rampaging monster, a woman in distress, a visionary sports agent and a crusty cowboy codger make this a something-for-everyone weekend at the movies.   Godzilla Two things this re-re-reboot of the 1954 Japanese classic does not have enough of: Bryan Cranston and Godzilla. Unwisely, the star of TV’s Breaking Bad makes an early exit…and inexplicably the title character doesn’t really show up until the second half. Most of the film focuses on two incredibly ugly prehistoric critters that terrorize …

What ‘Godzilla’ Is Really Trying to Say

Posted on 05/14/2014 by |Movies & TV | Comments

EntertainmentWith the new 3-D version starring Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, Godzilla is bigger, badder and louder than ever. From a technical standpoint, there’s no sense in even comparing director Gareth Edwards’ computer-generated monster of today with the Japanese original of 60 years ago —  a lumbering creature that practically screams, “I’m a man in a rubber dragon suit!” Still, like others who have tried to resurrect the monster, Edwards and his writers make a common error:  They mistake the monster …

MFG Movie and Video Preview: May 9

Posted on 05/8/2014 by |Movies & TV | Comments

EntertainmentMother’s Day Weekend beings three fine new films—two based on true stories—that focus on women of all ages and stages of life.     Belle Handsomely filmed, beautifully acted, the true story of a half-African woman raised in an aristocrat’s home at the tail end of slavery in the British Empire takes some of the hard themes studied in 12 Years a Slave and wraps them in Jane Austen finery. The luminous Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays the title role; Tom Wilkinson …

Is Patricia Heaton ‘America’s Mom’?

Posted on 05/7/2014 by |Movies & TV | Comments

EntertainmentYou might call Patricia Heaton “America’s  Mom”: She played the harried mom of three kids (including twins) for nine years on Everybody Loves Raymond. She has starred for five years as the hanging-by-a-thread mom on The Middle. And now she’s on the big screen as the flummoxed mom of a teenage girl in the new comedy Moms’ Night Out. So, Patricia Heaton must really like playing mothers, right? Well, yes, but that comes with a caveat: “Let me clear up …

MFG Movie and Video Preview: April 25

Posted on 04/25/2014 by |Movies & TV | Comments

EntertainmentThis weekend the movies take a breather between the Spring Break crowd pleasers and the big summer blockbusters, offering a mix of small-focus comedy, documenatry, and thriller.   For No Good Reason  You’ll recognize the style of gonzo artist Ralph Steadman right away—his work was long associated with the writing of his pal Hunter Thompson. But this documentary, filmed over the course of the last 15 years, fails at its most basic level: We never really feel like we’re learning …