Thinking about hitting the theatres this weekend with your kids? Here’s some advice from our friends at Common Sense Media. If you are regularly checking their site for reviews and helpful advice about age appropriate content, and the types of content itself, you should. They review movies, tv shows, video games and more to help us parents make educated decisions about what we’re exposing our kids to. The rating tool on the left of every review lets you know how positive the entertainment is, and how much sex, violence, drugs and drinking are in what your kids are watching. You can also read comments and reviews from other parents. Its an all-around helpful tool!
Alice Through the Looking Glass is out in theatres this weekend. If you haven’t seen Tim Burtons’ first version of this story, Alice in Wonderland, we suggest you rent it and watch it at home. In fact, Common Sense Media has this handy little tool where you can rent the movie on Amazon right from their review page.
Parents need to know that Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland might be rated PG, but it’s pretty intense and scary at times for younger kids, especially because it’s in 3-D. This trippy adaptation — in which Alice is a young adult — includes some fantasy violence with scary monsters that attack people, a cruel Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) who frequently sentences people to death, and a climactic battle scene between sword-brandishing humans, animals, and beasts. Some parents might want to know that a caterpillar (played by Alan Rickman) smokes a hookah, but this is as Lewis Carroll depicted the character. The language includes taunting insults like “stupid,” “imbecile,” “idiot,” “bloody,” and the like, and the sexuality is limited to one kiss between a married man and another woman and some aggressive flirting. – Common Sense Media
Now having read about the first installation of Tim Burton’s Alice series – I’m on the fence about taking my 8 year old to see the 2nd one. But my gut is telling me that the 2nd one is milder. Lets see what Common Sense Media has to say.
Uneven, less-violent sequel has girl-empowerment theme. – Common Sense Media
“Less violent sequel”….well we are off to a good start. After reading below I feel better about the second film, because I remember watching the first one and being a little shocked myself at parts. It definitely didn’t feel like a movie for kids. This version will hopefully be better. Especially after all the ads they ran on Disney Channel, I hope its more targeted to kids.
Parents need to know that Alice Through the Looking Glass is the less-violent sequel to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, based on Lewis Carroll’s classic tales. Although Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, and other main characters reprise their roles, Tim Burton isn’t the director this time. While there are certainly moments of peril and fantasy violence — including some close calls when key characters seem on the verge of death — the sequel is actually less scary/bloodthirsty than its predecessor. There’s one comical death (someone’s time is literally up) and tense moments when it seems like the past, present, and future have been destroyed. Alice’s courage and determination make her a force to be reckoned with, even though she’s considered “hysterical” back in 19th-century England. Expect some insults along the lines of “imbecile” and “stupid.” – Common Sense Media
The other movie out in theatres this weekend is X Men: Apocalypse. Just the name makes me want to hold off until her teen years. There’s violence, cussing and overly sexy costumes. The movie does have a good overall quality review and the acting is supposed to be great. That said, this one can wait.
Parents need to know that X-Men: Apocalypse (the third film in the X-Men: First Class reboot series), pits the super-powered heroes against a mighty foe who’s bent on nothing less than laying waste to the whole world. Expect plenty of superhero-style action violence; aside from one sequence with some disturbing slashing, it’s not particularly gory, but it does involve lots of combat, destruction, and weapons. There’s also some swearing (mostly “piss,” “damn,” etc., but there’s one use of “f–k”), a couple of scantily clad characters, and a few intense scenes centering around one character’s loss of his family. Most of the popular X-Men from the prior movies are back, and there are a few new ones, too; overall, they’re a pretty diverse bunch, with several strong women. And in the end, the story showcases the value of teamwork. – Common Sense Media
See you all at the movies this weekend! Save us some popcorn!
LAURA NIX GERSON is the CEO of Nix|Gerson Media and the Founder of MomAngeles a site she launched because she was planning a lot of playdates and her friends kept asking her where to go and what to do. So it seemed easier just to put it all online in one place. In a past life Laura was a publicist, event marketer and web producer….oh wait, she still is. Laura has contributed to Modern Mom, CBS Local and Babble. Her greatest joy is story telling, sharing local finds and connecting people. Follow her @MomAngeles.