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Movie Reviews

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Winchester-Kids’ Movie Review

Are haunted houses real? Winchester, set in 1906 San Jose, Ca, follows the life of rifle heiress Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren). After Sarah inherits her husband’s profitable rifle company she’s determined to build a mansion. After all, many people have died by the Winchester guns, so this is her way of dealing with the ghosts of those who have passed. Things get complicated when the board of the Winchester Rifle Co. hires Dr. Eric Price (Jason Clarke) to evaluate Sarah’s psychological state. When Dr. Price interviews Sarah he discovers that’s she’s spunky and clever. Price eventually realizes that Sarah Winchester talks to spirits and that her seven story mansion, filled with hundreds of rooms, are actually built for the victims of the Winchester guns. Price learns that Sarah Winchester’s ghosts are real… and so is her haunted house. Winchester is based on true events.

 


 

 

Rating: 2 and 1/2 out of 5 popcorn buckets
Release Date:
February 2, 2018
MPAA Rating:
PG13
Best Age Group:
13+
Sexual Content:
Mild
Violent/Disturbing Content:
Excessive
Crude or Profane Language:
Mild
Drug and Alcohol Content:
Moderate
Will Kids Like It?
No

 

 

 

Talking Points:

Sexual Content: Mild

  • We see a male character with three women; he’s shown kissing each of them. It’s implied that they might be prostitutes.
  • A woman’s naked back is shown.

Violent/Disturbing Content: Excessive

  • There’s some gun violence. One scene shows a flashback of a mass killing.
  • A child is possessed by a spirit and is shown shooting a woman. He also jumps off a house ledge.
  • A painting appears to bleed.
  • There are several ghosts in creepy scenes.

Crude or Profane Language: Mild

  • We hear “b–ch” said once.

Drug and Alcohol Content: Moderate

  • A main character has a drug and alcohol problem. He frequently ingests drops of laudanum from a glass dropper. He also drinks from a flask, and enjoys drinking whisky at home.

Will Kids Like It? No

  • I interviewed some teens who thought the film wasn’t that scary and even somewhat boring.

Overall this is a horror film based on true events. Parents need to be aware of the violence and drug and alcohol contents.

 

 

 

 

 

Unstoppable Review

Unstoppable is based on a true story, about an unmanned, runaway train filled with explosives and toxins traveling through Pennsylvania. It’s up to a veteran engineer Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington), and a young conductor Will Colson (Chris Pine) to prevent a major catastrophe from happening.


Rating: Four out of five buckets
Release Date: February 15, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG13
Best Age Group: 11+
Sexual Content: Mild
Violent Content: Excessive
Crude or Profane Language: Excessive
Drugs and Alcohol Content: Moderate

See a clip of my review here!

Talking Points:

The premise of the movie is about a runaway train, and that’s it. You may think, how can I watch a ninety-eight minute movie about a runway train? Well, you will be on the edge of your seat the moment that train is loose. This is an entertaining, suspenseful, action packed movie, one that my three kids and I thoroughly enjoyed.

Frank Barnes(Denzel Washington) and Will Colson(Chris Pine), are two very likable characters, and at completely different stages in life. Throughout all the action, we see an emotional side to them. We hear about Frank’s (Denzel Washington) two daughter’s, who work at Hooter’s restaurant, and Will’s (Chris Pine), struggles with his marriage. These are two average guys trying to save thousands of lives.

I brought my 14 year old daughter, and 13 and 11 year old boys. My daughter was not interested in seeing it. She typically likes a good “chic flick,” but she loved this movie. She thought it was very interesting, and was at the edge of her seat as well. My boys loved the action, though after the movie my eleven year old said, “I will never ride on a train.”

Sexual Content: Mild

  • There are no sexual references or scenes. They show a couple scenes at Hooter’s restaurant, which was fine.

Violent Content: Excessive

High-action film, which may frighten younger kids.

  • The train, which is going about 70 mph, crashes through many obstacles on it’s track, there are loud explosions and noises.
  • At one point, the runway train is headed towards another train, which is full of young kids on a field trip. This was a very suspenseful part.

Profanity: Excessive

There were a lot of swear words used throughout the whole movie. I read in a review that, “The crassness only serves to distract, and it derails any fun a family audience might have had.”

Overall this is an entertaining movie. However, with the heavy profanity and high-action intense scenes, I would recommend this movie for kids ages eleven and up.

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Tower Heist Review

Who wouldn’t want to live in The Tower? A beautiful Central Park condominium in New York City, with a building manager that will pamper you to your hearts desire. Yes, Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) takes care of his residents, especially Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda), an investor who lives in the penthouse and keeps a red Ferrari, once owned by Steve McQueen, in his living room. All seems well for the staff and residents at The Tower until the day Josh(building manager) founds out that their investor, and penthouse owner, has stolen their retirement funds. So now Josh, along with some of his staff, and street thug, Slide (Eddie Murphy), plan the ultimate revenge to reclaim their money. Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy lead an all-star cast in this comedy adventure about a group of average Joes who plan a hilarious robbery.

Rating: 4 out of 5 buckets.
Release Date: February 21, 2012
MPAA Rating: PG13
Best Age Group: 13+
Sexual Content: Moderate
Violent Content: Mild
Crude or Profane Language: Excessive
Drugs and Alcohol Content: Mild

 

See a clip of my review here!

Talking Points:

Josh (Ben Stiller) is a good guy, who truly feels bad for his employee’s financial loss. Josh is devastated when the doorman tries to commit suicide, due to his financial struggles. Josh responsible for their loss and will do whatever it takes to help his staff.

There’s not a moral lesson or redeeming quality to this film, in fact it’s just the opposite; none of us want our kids planning a robbery. However, Tower Heist is so unrealistic that it’s funny and entertaining. It’s a suspenseful, fun movie.

The film has an all-star cast, to name a few: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick, and Tea Leoni. They’re a unique group in this comedic film.

Sexual Content: Moderate

  • There are many sexual comments and references; for example Slide (Eddie Murphy), leaves the room and says he’s going to have sex with his girlfriend. When looking at a photo of a chesty women, who’s identified as a lesbian, Slide mentions that he prefers women with big busts.
  • We see an employee reading Playboy.
  • Josh (Ben Stiller), steals panties from Victoria’s Secrets, and shoves them down the front of his pants.
  • There’s a lot of talk about male and female sexual parts.

Violent Content: Mild

  • In one scene Josh is very upset and smashes a car with a golf club.
  • One character is shown hanging from the top of high-rise, over a crowded street.
  • The doorman attempts suicide as he walks towards an oncoming train.

Crude or Profane Language: Excessive

  • We hear a lot of swear words throughout the film; words such as “d–n,” “a–” “h—,” and “b–ch.” There are jokes about “vaginas,” “balls,” and “farts,” that are said numerous times as well.

Drugs and Alcohol Content: Mild

  • Two characters have a lot to drink at a local bar; they get very drunk!

Overall I found Tower Heist to be a funny and entertaining movie. Having said that, it’s a PG13 movie, with an excessive amount of profanity in addition to some sexual references and comments. Parents need to be aware of that before sending their kids. Depending on your child, I recommend this film for kids ages 13 and up.

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The Woman in Black Review

Horror movies always scare me so I decided to bring my mom. Daniel Radcliffe plays a young British lawyer named Arthur Kipps. His wife had passed away in childbirth, which was extremely difficult for Arthur. Before he could completely focus on his son, and get his life back in order, Arthur had a simple work project to finish; he had to take care of a deceased client’s legal papers. However, this client’s papers were crumpled up and hidden all over a creepy old mansion, on an island in the middle of nowhere. The locals warned Arthur of the strange happenings in this house, and advised him not to go there, but Arthur wanted to take of care business, and that’s what Arthur did, and that’s where he met the women in black. The Women in Black, is a mystery/suspense horror film, one that I don’t recommend for children.

Rating: 1 out of 5 buckets
Release Date: May 22, 2012
MPAA Rating: PG13
Best Age Group: 15+
Sexual Content: None
Violent Content: Excessive
Crude or Profane Language: Mild
Drugs and Alcohol Content: Mild

 

See a clip of my review here, along with a review of “Big Miracle”

Talking Points:

Many kids want to see this movie because of Daniel Radcliffe, after all he’s Harry Potter. However, this was a creepy, scary movie one that I don’t recommend for kids. There were many disturbing scenes, as we saw dead children, and very strange, spooky characters throughout the film.

The only positive comment I have to make; Daniel Radcliffe did an amazing job of acting. However, I wish he would have picked another film, especially after playing Harry Potter for so many years.

Sexual Content: None

Violent Content: Excessive

  • A ghost appears and silently tells children to kill themselves.
  • We see a girl set herself of fire.
  • A young boy walks towards an oncoming train.
  • We see a girl spitting up blood.
  • Arthur placed a crucifix on a child’s corpse.

Crude or Profane Language: Mild

  • “H–l,” is said once

Drug and Alcohol Content: Mild

  • Characters drink wine and brandy.

I’m not a big fan of horror films, and I really didn’t like this one for children. In addition to the scary, dark parts, I thought the film was long and boring. Depending on the kid; teenagers that like horror films may find this appealing, though, I doubt it.

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Source Code Review

Captain Steven Colter (Jake Gyllenhaal) gets on a Chicago train, sits across from a cute girl (Michelle Monaghan), the girl gets a phone call from her ex-boyfriend, someone spills coffee on Colter’s shoe, the conductor checks Colter’s ticket, the train stops, the passengers get off the train, and then the train explodes. And, then the same thing happens again, and again, and again. He’s involved in a government experiment known as “Source Code.” This experiment allows him to enter into the body of a male passenger on this Chicago train; eight minutes before the explosion. His mission is to identify the bomber, and prevent another attack from happening. Colter returns on the train several times hoping to get enough clues to complete his mission. This suspenseful drama will keep you at the edge of your seat.

Rating: Four out of five buckets
Release Date: April 1, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG13
Best Age Group: 12+
Sexual Content: Very Mild
Violent Content: Moderate
Crude or Profane Language: Moderate
Drugs and Alcohol Content: Mild

See a clip of my review here!

Talking Points
The goal of Captain Colter, and everyone involved in the mission, is to save lives! A good thing for teenagers to witness.

It was exciting to see Colter with each return train visit; as he got more clues determining who the bomber was. I kept thinking of the board game Clue, a family favorite.

There are many likable characters in this film, I especially liked Carol Goodwin (Vera Famiga, from Up In The Air). She’s Colters main contact at the agency, and they develop a special friendship. Colter also got attached to some of the passengers on the train, especially the cute girl.

The movie got confusing at times, you really had to pay attention, though not as confusing as Inception.

Sexual Content: Very Mild
• There are a couple of kisses, but that’s about it.

Violent Content: Moderate
• We see the train explode several times throughout the movie.
• There are some graphic scenes. Colter gets in a bad fight, he’s beaten and bruised. He also jumps off a moving train, and once again gets pretty bloody.
• Colter is aggressive with some of the passengers while aiming his gun at them; you’re not sure if he’s actually going to kill them.

Crude or Profane Language: Moderate
• “F#@k” is said, but not much, maybe once or twice. Other words such as “s*&t” and “d%n” are used sporadically throughout the film.

Overall this was an intense and exciting movie. I was anxious at times, wondering who the terrorist was, and if Colter could accomplish his mission successfully. I thought the movie had an appropriate rating of PG13. I brought my 13 year-old son, who loved the action and suspense as well. I recommend this for kids (mainly boys), ages 12 and up.

Back to DVD Reviews.