Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 and Baggage Claim

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

by | September 27, 2013 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2


Rating: PG, for mild rude humor.

This 3-D animated sequel to the 2009 hit, which made $243 million worldwide, finds the once-tranquil island of Swallow Falls being overtaken by marauding hybrid creatures known as Foodimals. While the original film played on disaster-movie conventions, this one plays with monster-movie motifs, with Shrimpamzees and Tacodiles taking over. It’s big and loud and messy but not terribly scary. The only thing that’s even vaguely inappropriate is flatulence humor — something that makes all kids giggle — and adults are likely to groan at the bad puns.

Baggage Claim


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

This painfully clichéd romantic comedy, which is neither romantic nor funny, finds Paula Patton playing a flight attendant named Montana Moore, who’s desperate to get engaged before her younger sister gets married. Not only does she have a deadline of 30 days to achieve this feat, she also uses her access to flights all over the country to “accidentally” bump into her exes. Moms and dads, this is a terrible message for your young girls to hear. The idea that being someone’s wife is the best way for a woman to define herself is archaic and insulting – and the most offensive part of the entire film. There’s also a cartoonishly romanticized love scene and plenty of sexual innuendo from Jill Scott as Patton’s obligatory saucy best friend.

Muscle Shoals


Rating: PG, for thematic elements, language, smoking and brief partial nudity.

A hugely enjoyable, thoroughly researched documentary about the tiny Alabama town where a ton of classic music from the 1960s and ’70s was recorded. From Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett to the Rolling Stones and Traffic to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bob Seger, a wide range of acts discovered and honed their sounds at a couple of modest studios that nonetheless became legendary. Because these are rock stars we’re talking about here, captured both through archival photos and new interviews, there’s some drinking and smoking but nothing shocking. There’s also a tiny bit of nudity, courtesy of those long-haired hippie rockers the Allman Brothers. Great for older kids who are interested in music beyond insipid Top-40 radio.

New On DVD:

Iron Man 3


Rating: PG-13, for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content.

All the obligatory destruction you’d expect from a massive summer blockbuster — especially a sequel based on a comic-book superhero — is on full display here. It’s the stuff of computer-generated imagery but, you know, still spectacular. A rocket eviscerates Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) cliffside Shangri-La high above the Malibu shore, for example. It’s not exactly frightening stuff, but it can be harrowing. Tony’s main squeeze, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), also finds herself in peril, but finds her inner iron woman eventually. And oh yes, the whole thing is propelled by a terrorist plot, but it’s really more of an idea that provides the opportunity for us to gawk at more cool gadgetry.

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