Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Ghostbusters, Plus Blended and Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return on DVD

We give you what you need to know about the family-friendliness of this week's new releases.

by | August 29, 2014 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:

Ghostbusters

97%

Rating: PG.

The classic ’80s comedy is back in theaters this weekend on the occasion of its 30th anniversary. Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson star as paranormal scientists who run around New York City ridding the place of ghosts. Along the way, Murray’s character falls for the beautiful Dana (Sigourney Weaver), who becomes the unwitting conduit to demons in the netherworld. Some of the ghouls may seem slightly frightening for little kids, but the climax — involving a giant, marauding Stay Puft Marshmallow Man — is just absurdly hilarious. There’s some language, smoking and a bit of sexual innuendo. Fine for kids around age 8 and up — plus, you can enjoy sharing that catchy Ray Parker Jr. theme song with them.

New On DVD:

Blended

15%

Rating: PG-13, for crude and sexual content, and language.

The third teaming of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, following The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates, isn’t exactly good but it’s probably suitable for tweens and older. Sandler and Barrymore co-star as single parents who initially hate each other but (naturally) end up getting together and blending their five combined kids during a luxurious African vacation. Compared to most Sandler comedies, this is pretty low-key in terms of the gross-out factor. There’s no projectile vomit, no messy excrement. There is one joke about urinating outdoors but it’s actually relevant in context. Computer-generated rhinos cavort and a giraffe surprises a teenage boy with a tongue kiss. Speaking of kissing, a couple of newlyweds make out incessantly (and the young wife is especially jiggly). There’s also a running bit about Barrymore’s 13-year-old son’s propensity for masturbation. But hey, it’s never too early to have that conversation.

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

16%

Rating: PG, for some scary images and mild peril.

Creepy-looking and totally lacking in charm, this animated sequel to The Wizard of Oz is an insult to the classic original. But if it’s the only family-friendly movie that’s available to rent — well, you should still avoid it. Still, if your kids want to watch it, they (probably) won’t be scarred for life. Dorothy (voiced by Glee star Lea Michele) returns to Oz at the urging of the Scarecrow (Dan Aykroyd), Tin Man (Kelsey Grammer) and Lion (Jim Belushi). She must defeat the evil and power-hungry Jester (Martin Short), who has taken over and plunged the magical land into ruin. The flying monkeys look more impish than scary this time, but when Jester is projected in full-on, great-and-powerful mode, it might be a bit frightening for the youngest kids. A whole new motley crew joins Dorothy on the yellow brick road, where various dangers and obstacles await. One of these supporting character “dies,” but not really. Please seek out the 1939 Wizard of Oz — or even The Wiz from 1978 — instead.