Popcorn Parents - Family Movie Reviews

Family Movie Review: Independence Day: Resurgence (PG-13)

IndependenceDay2Resurgence ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole popcorn kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 120 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. This sequel to the ‘90s action movie is more of the same, but less original or fun this time. Some occasional cursing; various violence, including a fistfight, lots of destruction in space and on Earth, causing millions of people to die, and gunfire against aliens on the ground and a gigantic queen; some kissing and sexually themed humor; and some gross-out moments when the slimy, dying aliens crawl out of their body armor.

Why is ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ even happening? This totally uncreative cash grab copies much of the original ‘90s action film but with practically no fun—an almost irredeemable waste.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Genius (PG-13)

Genius ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernalhalf popcorn kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 104 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 14+. This drama about the professional relationship and personal friendship between the American novelist Thomas Wolfe and his editor Max Perkins focuses on the dynamic between them and their connection to the American literary scene during the Great Depression. This is pretty academic stuff, so teenagers interested in the humanities are the core target. Some cursing, talk about prostitution and mental illness, everyone drinks to excess (and almost to ruin for a few characters), Wolfe is carrying on an extramarital affair, and a character dies.

Great American novelist Thomas Wolfe gets the biographical treatment in ‘Genius,’ which poses the question of how writing and editing work together. For teens interested in literature and the arts, this is a solid, if by-the-numbers, period drama.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Finding Dory (PG)

FindingDory ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernal

MPAA Rating: PG          Length: 104 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 8+. This sequel to Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” focuses on the Dory character, who suffers from short-term memory loss; her difficulty remembering her past is initially played for laughs. Some scenes may be frightening for young children, including a memory of a character being swept away by undertow current and a chase scene with a giant squid; a sexually themed joke; some bullying that is meant to be humorous; and themes about loneliness, familial abandonment, and parental separation, which could be stressful for children.

Pixar follows up ‘Finding Nemo’ with ‘Finding Dory,’ which unravels the history of the friendly, memory-impaired Blue Tang. There are moments of great emotional power here, even if the story feels a little derivative.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Quackerz (PG)

Quackerz ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernal

MPAA Rating: PG         Length: 82 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 6+. This animated tale about two groups of ducks almost going into war but underestimating a human enemy includes some scenes of implied violence, like a human using a knife to threaten to chop up, kill, and cook a duck; lots of name-calling and insults; a prophecy that suggests a main character’s death; a crush between two young duck characters; a theme that technology is good (a character’s tablet ends up helping to save the day, whereas a book is mocked); an attempted kiss; and a female villain who is somewhat sexualized, wearing a corset and tight pants, and who is featured in various shots with an emphasis on her behind.

The animated film ‘Quackerz’ wants to tell a story about acceptance and partnership, but it is shot through with lazy moments in character and plot development. It will be good enough for very young audiences, but this is at-home viewing.

By Roxana Hadadi

Family Movie Review: Now You See Me 2 (PG-13)

NowYouSeeMe2 ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole popcorn kernalwhole popcorn kernalhalf popcorn kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 129 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. Some cursing and lewd jokes, including one about spousal abuse; some implied sexual tension between a few of the main characters; a character who dies in a magic-related accident (drowning in a safe); a scene where characters are searched and the female protagonist is forced to take off her bra; a bloody gross-out moment where a magician fakes her arm being cut off by an electrical steak knife; and some played-for-laughs photos of someone pranking and posing inappropriately with unconscious bodies.

‘Now You See Me 2’ is marginally better than its underwhelming 2013 predecessor thanks to new cast additions and a lighter tone. But this narrative of Robin Hood-like magicians still over-explains and under-delivers.

By Roxana Hadadi

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Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
Garden Fair & Plant Sale, Washington, D.C
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
A Raisin in the Sun, Washington D.C
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, Glen Echo
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
Johns Hopkins Spring Fair, Baltimore
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
Marley Station Mall Carnival, Glen Burnie
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
Muddy Creek Artist Guild’s Spring Art Show, Edgewater
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
Pygmalion, Annapolis
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
Sailboat Show, Annapolis
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
Sugarloaf Crafts Festival, Timonium
Sat Apr 29, 2017 @12:00AM
The Play of Love, Washington D.C