Family Film Guide
This week’s guide to current cinematic releases and their appropriateness for children under the age of 17.
Turn Back the Clock
Marvin (Jerry Stiller) and Harriet (Kathy Bates) are husband and wife in this idiotic romantic comedy about regaining lost youth and discovering the enduring power of love. After Marvin and Harriet argue about who would have scored more in high school had they not gone steady with each other, a magical toaster sends the couple back to 1958 when their grandson (Ashton Kutcher) inserts a low-fat blueberry-frosted Pop-Tart into it. In the end, both Marvin and Harriet (played in their youth by Haley Joel Osment and Amanda Bynes) spurn their suitors (Macaulay Culkin, and an Olsen twin) to go steady with each other, just as the first time around.
Rated PG-13 for scenes involving semi-topless making out; use of inappropriate word to refer to Jewish individual; greasy-cheeseburger eating; seatbelt non-use; swimming within thirty minutes of eating lunch; depressing themes implying life is no bowl of cherries; and an inexplicable farting joke that extends for many horrible, excruciating minutes.
Confused by ambiguous English-language terminology, an army of space aliens led by Emperor Zoltar (Ted Danson) takes over the Department of Justice and changes American immigration policy in this retarded Adam Sandler vehicle. Sandler plays David, a custodian who escapes the aliens by hiding in a dumpster during the takeover. As the only remaining human employee in the entire Justice Department, Sandler must single-handedly find a way to destroy the aliens, restore the banished human souls to their now alien-occupied bodies, and defend current immigration policies, including newly enacted restrictive visa regulations. The film takes a downward turn when David convinces a four-star general (Sherman Helmsley) to use mustard gas on the aliens.
Rated PG for depiction of highly advanced alien civilization (suggesting mankind may not be God’s favored creation); a scene showing the Attorney General straining on toilet that may undermine respect for rule of law; occasional profanity.
Risky Business 2: Still Riskin’
It has been 21 years since Joel Goodson was admitted to Princeton despite running a weekend bordello out of his parents’ suburban Chicago home. Now Joel (Steve Buscemi) is nearing 40 and facing divorce for the second time in Sofia Coppola’s offbeat black-and-white sequel. Drowning his sorrows in a local watering hole, whom should Joel meet but Lana (Rosie O’Donnell), the prostitute who turned Joel’s life upside-down so many years ago? The two rekindle their romance (and relive their famous sex-on-the-train scene, with somewhat more jiggling), but the inconveniences of Lana’s profession along with a persistent case of Hepatitis C threaten to drive the couple apart forever. The bleak tone of this quirky art film is punctured only by occasional appearances of Joel’s old friend Miles (Will Ferrell) whose juvenile sense of humor persists despite making a fortune during the late 90s Internet boom.
Rated R for a joke involving a flaming bag of dog crap; train-sex; and graphic depiction of a gory liver-transplant operation gone terribly, terribly wrong.
Death with Beth
Quentin Tarantino’s new film stars Jim Carrey as Harry Harrison, a New York-based serial killer with too much time on his hands. When Harrison makes a visit to Chicago, he meets like-minded serial killer Elizabeth (Julia Roberts) who has slaughtered her way through several Great Plains states. Together, the new couple embarks on a killing spree of unparalleled magnitude and depravity. Using a selection of power tools purchased at a local hardware store (whose owner is played to hilarious perfection by Ed Begley Jr.), Harry and Elizabeth maim, torture, and kill over one hundred innocent victims until a local sheriff (Shaquille O’Neal) outsmarts them, and puts an end to the gruesome killing spree.
Rated PG for mild sexual innuendo; vomit joke.
In this hard-core porn spoof of Pixar’s recent animated hit, young Nemo (voiced by Freddie Muniz) finds himself lost in a sketchy undersea neighborhood populated by thieves, whores, corporate executives, and other scoundrels. When Nemo is captured by the neighborhood’s “King Pimp” (Chevy Chase), Nemo’s agoraphobic dad (Billy Bob Thornton) must fulfill the sexual fantasies of everyone in the neighborhood if he is ever to see his son again. Probably keep the kids away from this one!
Rated G, despite extended, graphic depiction of vigorous oral, vaginal, and anal sex; a scene involving a monstrous strap-on sexual aid; gratuitous “ass-to-ass action”; toilet humor; implied smoking of hashish pipe.