To those unfamiliar with the character, Deadpool may look like another harmless superhero movie, but as Christy explains, it is decidedly not for kids, so leave them at home. Meanwhile, there’s also a comedy sequel in theaters this week, as well as a James Bond movie and a dysfunctional family comedy on DVD. Read on for details.
NEW IN THEATERS
Rating: R, for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity.
OK, so we don’t usually talk about R-rated movies here in the Parental Guidance section. Usually, it’s pretty clear: If it’s an R, it’s an R. But your kids are probably familiar with the Deadpool character and they’re probably begging you to take them to see this. Resist. They may argue that they know Deadpool from previous incarnations, like the Lego Marvel Superheroes video game, and that he’s super funny and cute. Say: “No.” Deadpool is indeed super funny, and even cute at times. But it’s definitely not for kids. Marvel really went for it this time and delivered a hard-R movie based on one of its comic book characters. This is not your typical, PG-13 blockbuster violence here; this is graphic, with real blood and real stakes as the mercenary Deadpool (a hilarious Ryan Reynolds) learns to carve out his new identity and right wrongs. There’s also a ton of language, nudity and sexuality. Fine for teenagers. Everyone younger needs to wait (including my extremely bummed 6-year-old son).
Rating: PG-13, for crude and sexual content, a scene of exaggerated violence, and brief strong language.
This is the sequel to Zoolander, the 2001 comedy starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson as idiotic male models and rivals. And it’s pretty much the exact same movie, only it’s crammed with even more pop culture references, celebrity cameos and jokes about the absurdity of the fashion world. This time, Derek Zoolander (Stiller) and Hansel (Wilson) find themselves reluctantly reteaming in Rome to walk the runway once more and maybe prevent a massive crime the diabolical designer Mugatu (Will Ferrell) is planning. Zoolander also reconnects with his son, Derek Jr. (Cyrus Arnold), a brilliant but chubby kid who’s been living in an orphanage. There’s a running gag involving Hansel’s propensity for orgies, and although we never see any actual sexual activity, it’s implied that he likes to get it on with men, women and animals. As the movie’s director, Stiller has amped-up the action of the story this time. Famous people (including Justin Bieber) are killed for laughs and there’s the climactic possibility of a bomb exploding in a lava pit. This is probably OK for mature pre-teens and older, but it’s also kinda terrible.
NEW ON DVD
Rating: PG-13, for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language.
Car chases, explosions, shootings (including a suicide), mid-air helicopter brawls and a truly punishing fistfight aboard a train — it’s all here, and more, in the 24th James Bond film (and the fourth starring Daniel Craig). One guy gets his eyes gouged out before having his neck snapped. The international intrigue and villainy this time, in case you’re curious: Bond must uncover who’s behind a shadowy organization known as Spectre, a syndicate of bad guys hell-bent on world domination. There’s also an intertwined plot involving the possibility of dismantling the double-0 program in favor of more high-tech surveillance tactics. It’s extremely violent, of course. And Bond gets to bed a couple of gorgeous women, of course. But it’s probably OK for mature tweens and older, especially if they’ve seen any previous Bond pictures.
Rating: PG-13, for thematic elements, language and some sexuality.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, it’s your obligatory wacky Christmas comedy, complete with family dysfunction, shopping mall mishaps, an awkward dinner, and lots of reaction shots of an adorable dog. Matriarch Charlotte Cooper (Diane Keaton) just wants one last perfect Christmas before she and her husband, Sam (John Goodman), tell the family they’re separating after 40 years of marriage. But as it turns out from the various supporting characters’ subplots, everyone else’s life is just as much of a mess. There’s some randy and raunchy humor here (including old-lady flatulence) and a bit of language. Charlotte’s sister (Marisa Tomei) gets arrested for shoplifting. A teenage boy frequently makes out in public with his new girlfriend. The littlest girl comes up with a catch phrase that includes a vulgar word for penis. And the eldest member of the family (Alan Arkin) has a dramatic health scare. This is fine for kids around age 8 and older. I brought my 6-year-old son to the screening and he wasn’t scarred.