Movie News & Reviews

Family reviews: 'Ponyo,' 'Bandslam'

A parents' guide to select new movies:


Rating: G.

What it's about: A boy saves a goldfish that turns into an adoring little girl in this anime fantasy.

The Kid Attractor Factor: Animated action aimed at a very young audience.

Good lessons/bad lessons: Mom's a reckless driver who leaves her kid home alone during a typhoon. But kids are more resourceful than you think, is the implication.

Violence: Dangerous situations face the kids.

Language: Translated into dialogue that's Disney clean

Sex: None.

Drugs and alcohol: Mom likes her beer.

Parents' advisory: An environmentally aware message tucked into a story that even small children can follow, this is the most family friendly anime ever.


Rating: PG for some thematic elements and mild language.

What it's about: A teen tries to fit in at his new school and takes up with a band whose members might or might not help him with that.

The Kid Attractor Factor: Teenagers learning about life and love, and learning the Cheap Trick songbook

Good lessons/bad lessons: If you let other people make you miserable, "they win."

Violence: More the threat of it.

Language: PG-level profanity and not much of it.

Sex: An innocent smooch, here and there, a teen flirts with another teen's mom.

Drugs and alcohol: None.

Parents' advisory: Parents will know this formula but might be pleasantly surprised at the sophistication and the positive messages this Camp Rock-meets-School of Rock carries.

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