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Finding Entertainment Appropriate for Kids: New Years Edition

By Germain Lussier on January 1st, 2010

Sherlock-1“Finding Entertainment Appropriate for Kids,” or FEAK, runs every Friday and discusses places – mainly the movie theaters – where parents can look to find things for their kids to watch over the weekend.

Happy New Year. It’s the first day of 2010. It’s also a Friday, which under normal circumstances would mean new movies. But because it is a holiday and because last week so many movies opened, Hollywood doesn’t think you have had the chance to see everything that is out right now so there isn’t anything new. (And they are probably right even though last week was a record setter at the box office.)

So even if you were one of those Americans that made last weekend such a successful one, chances are there are still films out there you haven’t seen. Here, once again, is the list of all your family film choices, with some amendments under the first film, which I had the chance to see this weekend.

“Sherlock Holmes” – The PG-13 rating description of “Sherlock Holmes” is spot on: “Intense sequences of violence and action, some startling images and a scene of suggestive material.” The film really doesn’t have anything TOO objectionable, it’s mostly about action and solving crime. So if you are okay with the things listed in the rating, then feel free to take your family to see “Sherlock Holmes.”

However, if you are on the fence about it, here’s what the rating DOESN’T tell you.

Holmes and everyone in the film (mostly) speak with British accents. So even for the average adult, much of the dialogue is a bit difficult to understand. For your child, who probably doesn’t hear many British accents unless you’ve let them watch “The Office,” it will be doubly difficult. Also, under those British accents are many $2 words that took my friends and I a few seconds to process. So, chances are, your kids might be leaning over towards you and asking, “Mommy, what just happened? What did that man say?” a lot.

“Sherlock” also deals heavily with the occult and resurrection – both of which aren’t really topics most parents would want to describe to their kids. Sure, in the end, (MINOR SPOILER ALERT) these things get logical descriptions but, until then, it will have your kid wondering if they too can “come back from the grave.”

The movie as a whole is fairly entertaining with some very cool action scenes, fantastic Sherlock Holmes moments (mostly of him figuring things out) and cool plot twists. It’s just a lot smaller than one would expect from a movie like this. It doesn’t feel like a huge blockbuster, just a general, nice, crowd-pleaser.

So – take all of those things into consideration and, probably, just heed the PG-13 rating.

And don’t worry, there is still plenty more for your family to see at the movies. Here are some of the films.

“Avatar” – Rated PG-13, “Avatar” is for the whole family…if your family is a bit older. The film, while supremely entertaining and visually stunning, does have some violence and religious undertones. However, if your kids are 10 and up and enjoy action, romance and 3D? You really can’t beat it.

“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” - This blend of computer graphics and real life is very family friendly, especially if your kids are fans of the first film. Unfortunately, this “squeakquel” isn’t anywhere near as good as the first film, but that’s not going to matter to your kids now, is it?

“Did You Hear About the Morgans?” – If we are going to write about “Avatar” with its PG-13 rating, we have to include this holiday offering starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant as an estranged couple on the run. Though the film is sure to have some adult themes of love, and loss, etc., if your family likes simple romantic comedy without all the bells and whistles, this film is your only bet. Just know that the reviews have been pretty awful so try at your own risk.

“The Princess and the Frog” – Disney’s 2D animated film has been covered all over this site. Click here for all the coverage but know that this is fantastic option this holiday season.

Also, still in some theaters are “The Blind Side,” “Old Dogs,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Planet 51″ and “New Moon.” Click on each title to find out more about the film.

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