My kids and I loved the first Happy Death Day and were eagerly awaiting Part 2. It might sound strange that a family was excited about a scary Blumhouse flick, but Happy Death Day wasn’t your typical slasher fare. The Groundhog Day-meets-Scream concept-film managed to be scary (but not too scary) and funny. It was also rated PG-13 and therefore tame enough to share with older kids. We’ve watched it every time it’s been on cable since and have been counting the weeks to Happy Death Day 2U. We never expected it to be as good as the first and had no idea how they’d justify more repeated days, but we were still completely blindsided by the fact that Happy Death Day 2U Continue reading →
Isn’t it Romantic stars Rebel Wilson as a woman who loathes Romantic Comedies, then conks her head and wakes up in one. There she finds a New York City that’s been coated in candy shell, and that men who previously didn’t notice her are suddenly smitten. She’s been given an updated version of everything, from her job to her clothes to apartment, and she now has a previously non-existent gay best-friend. She distrusts this alternate universe though, and tries desperately to return to the meaner, smellier New York of her home. Continue reading →
Director James Wan was not going to let Aquaman be another gazillion-dollar disappointment for DC, so he threw everything he could at this movie.
It has mermaids, not-quite-as-pretty mermen, talking fish-people and a sea-princess who looks almost too much like Ariel. There are also dinosaurs, battle-sharks, a drum-playing octopus, the Kaiju monster from Pacific Rim (for some reason) and I haven’t even gotten to the main characters, yet. You’re left with a mish-mash of every super-hero movie you’ve seen in the past five-years (except this one is underwater), with a little Raiders of the Lost Ark and Flash Gordon thrown in for good measure. It makes for a fun, but cluttered movie that sometimes leaves you wanting just a little more of Aquaman‘s biggest asset: Jason Momoa.
His special quality of winking, let’s-get-a-beer charm is on constant display here, but it gets diluted in the process of turning Momoa into a HERO. He’s the reason I’m giving Aquaman a B-, but you’re probably just wondering what your kids will get from it. Continue reading →
It was some random night in 1978, when my sister came home in what you could call an agitated state. She’d just seen the movie Halloween and was so excited, she had to tell my Mom and I all about it. Lesley described, in graphic detail, everything she’d seen onscreen. She then went to the living room and picked out the theme-song on our piano.
I was in elementary school at the time and was so freaked out by Lesley’s detailed story, I couldn’t sleep for a week. I didn’t SEE Halloween until it played on HBO much later, but it was somehow even more horrible (meaning AWESOME) than I’d imagined.
It’s hard for me to write an objective review of this new Halloween because the original made such an impact on me. Seeing the title sequence and hearing that famous song last night was my Chewie, We’re Home moment. Continue reading →
Be honest. You were going to see A Star is Born no matter WHAT the critics said, weren’t you? The fact that I’m giving Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut an A+ means diddly because you probably purchased tickets last week.
We all know that YOU are going to see A Star is Born, but the real question is
can you take your kids?
Well, I’ve seen this Bradley Cooper-Lady Gaga love-story and I can tell you that the Motion Picture Association of America has once again jumped-the-gun with an R-rating. A Star is Born is an appropriate movie for SOME kids, but certainly not all of them. Continue reading →
My 14-year-old tells me almost everything. I say almost because she keeps the juicier tidbits private, unless the guilt sets in or the story’s too good not to share. I don’t kid myself into thinking I know everything that’s happening in her life, but one thing’s for sure:
She and her friends are talking about sex.
Yes, most 14-year-olds are thinking about sex and they have a TON of questions. If they can’t get answers to those questions from their parents, they usually crowdsource among themselves or head straight to the internet, where they learn far more than necessary.
The life of your average 14-year-old is more R-rated than the PG-13 their parents are hoping for, but that doesn’t mean they’re troubled or at risk. It’s just part of the growing-up process.
I mention all of this because the critically acclaimed film about young-adulthood, Eighth Grade opens nationwide July 27th and many of us (including me) were shocked to find out it’s rated R.
Why would anyone make a film about eighth graders that they can’t even see?
Well, probably because kids that age don’t live PG-13 lives. If Eighth Grade is going to speak to the real eighth grade experience, it needs to include the sex-talk and profanity that peppers your average thirteen-year-old’s day.
Profanity and sex-talk isn’t new to my own 14-year-old, so I decided to see Eighth Grade with her. Continue reading →
There are 3 kinds of parents in the world:
Those who let their kids watch anything, those who won’t let their kids watch anything, and parents like me who fall in the middle. We tend to stress over the sex and violence our youngsters will see onscreen, but we still want to watch great movies with them. The MPAA rating system only works so much for Moms and Dads like us because we might not mind violence and profanity, but we still aren’t ready to sit through heated sex scenes with our older kids. So, what do parents like US do with a movie like Deadpool 2? Continue reading →
If your kids are fans of the Marvel universe, they’re probably begging to see the new Avengers: Infinity War. This latest addition to the series is rated PG-13, like most Marvel films, and offers the same amount of violence and profanity we’ve come to expect from them. If your kids have seen any of the other Avengers films, nothing in this one will be new to them.
There is ONE THING about Avengers: Infinity War though, that sets it apart from the others.
It’s not a big spoiler and doesn’t give away any plot points, but if you don’t want to know ANYTHING about the movie in any way, don’t read any further. Continue reading →
Many parents wouldn’t consider taking their kids to a film that’s been called “the best horror movie in a couple of decades,” because they don’t want to traumatize their offspring.
Then there are people like me, whose children laugh at the scary movies of their youth. My oldest daughter rolled her eyes all the way through the first Poltergeist and wouldn’t even finish The Omen because it was “so dumb.” She shrugged at The Ring, describing it as “more weird than scary,” and decided The Sixth Sense was “too sad to be a proper horror film.”
Kids like HER simply deserve films like A Quiet Place. Continue reading →
I took my 13-year-old daughter to a screening of Love, Simon last night. We both laughed and cried our way through this tale of a high-school senior (an adorable Nick Robinson) who is struggling to come out to his friends and family. It’s a sweet, if not entirely realistic story about the desire for love and acceptance, but when the lights came up, I could tell it meant much more to my daughter.
“Oh WOW,” she gushed. “I just want to watch it all over again, right now!”
Emma related to Love, Simon the same way I did to my favorite John Hughes’ movies, like Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club. She also appreciated it’s messages of empathy and courage, which go beyond the question of coming out to one’s family. Kids drop truth-bombs on their parents regularly, so they know that even little disclosures, like bad grades or big mistakes, take their own type of courage. Love, Simon shows kids that families can weather disclosures, big and small, and still love and support each other.
I encourage parents to see Love, Simon with their older kids (it’s rated PG-13 for profanity, some sexual references, and images of kids drinking alcohol) to help open the door to those types of conversations. I also suspect that this film will inspire kids to “come out” about all sorts of things, from sexual preference and gender identity, to depression issues or even eating disorders. Love, Simon has the potential to motivate kids in a positive way and, if they are inspired to bravery, we as parents and care-givers should rise to the occasion, as well. Continue reading →