Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Fantastic Four, Shaun the Sheep, and Ricki and the Flash

by | August 7, 2015 | Comments

In Theaters This Week

Fantastic Four (2015) 9%

Rating: PG-13, for sci-fi action violence, and language.

There’s a great movie to be made out of the Fantastic Four, but sadly this isn’t it.  This film shows us how Reed Richards and his team acquired their superpowers, though we saw essentially the same story in 2005, just with a different cast. In this iteration, the story focuses a little bit more on Reed Richards (Miles Teller), but except for Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), none of the rest the characters are particularly well-developed.  To be fair, the first half of the film isn’t all that bad (if unoriginal), but it’s after the team gets their powers that the film falls apart. There’s too much exposition about what characters are doing off-screen, instead of actually showing us what those characters do, and iconic villain Doctor Doom ends up being pretty cartoonish in execution. This is also a surprisingly gory movie; once Doom comes into power, we see him embark on a rampant killing spree with a fair amount of blood on screen, making this a movie firmly planted on the more mature end of the PG-13 spectrum.  If your kids are begging you to see this movie, distract them with the 2005 version.  It’s a better film and a lot more kid-friendly.


Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) 99%

Rating: PG, for rude humor.

The latest film from Aardman Animation is a sweet and surprisingly smart movie about a mischievous sheep who has an unexpected adventure in the the big city.  You may recognize Shaun; he (and his flock) have been featured in a UK TV series for the last few years, and that series is a spinoff that was created after Shaun made his debut in the Wallace & Gromit movie A Close Shave.  In his first feature, Shaun gets bored with the daily routine of life on the farm, and comes up with a plan to sneak away from the farmer and take a day off.  That leads to an accident that sends the farmer off to the big city, leaving Shaun and his flock to fend for themselves, and chaos ensues.  So Shaun and his flock go to the city to find the now-amnesiac farmer, while avoiding the clutches of an animal control officer.  The entire story is told without any discernible dialogue so it’s pretty easy for the little kids to follow, but the jokes are smart enough that adults should enjoy the film, too.  I’m frankly surprised that this movie didn’t get a G rating; the extent of the “rude humor” is a couple of fart jokes.

Ricki And The Flash (2015) 64%

Rating: PG-13, for thematic material, brief drug content, sexuality and language.

Meryl Streep plays a never-was rock singer who returns home to the midwest to help her daughter and see her estranged children.  There’s a solid supporting cast here, including Kevin Kline as Ricki’s ex-husband, Rick Springfield as Ricki’s guitarist and sometime paramour, and Meryl’s daughter Mamie Gummer as Ricki’s daughter.  This is a decent enough movie, but it’s probably not essential Meryl Streep; she’s certainly having fun as a slightly batty rocker, but the movie never dives very deep.  Ricki’s now-grown kids feel like she abandoned them to pursue her career, and she hasn’t done much to stay in their lives, but the movie doesn’t evoke all that much drama from Ricki’s decisions.  It’s a good bet that younger kids simply won’t be interested this story, and for that matter, it’s hard to imagine many teens will be interested in this one either.  But if your budding Streep completist wants to see this film, you’ll want to be aware that Ricki, her ex-husband, and their adult daughter smoke pot in one scene. Ricki and her guitarist talk about past trysts and you see them in bed under sheets, but there’s no on-screen sex scene.  And there’s a fair amount of swearing too.

  • Júlio de Oliveira

    Hello, world!

  • This article is genius!

    • Ryan

      I mean, it’s pretty good, but I think “genius” is reaching a bit. “Somewhat compelling” feels more appropriate to me.

  • pat

    Shaun the Sheep is one of the funniest

Tag Cloud

based on movie Box Office National Geographic cats Marathons Reality Competition The Witch Video Games 2018 American Society of Cinematographers BBC America true crime mockumentary Summer Grammys ABC Family SXSW Superheroe OWN Writers Guild of America crime drama Trailer anime GIFs Infographic Rock Tomatazos zero dark thirty television Ellie Kemper El Rey Election jamie lee curtis GoT Nat Geo natural history DGA psychological thriller Awards Tour Food Network Crackle Pixar Sneak Peek Sundance Now aliens The CW Schedule Character Guide Rocketman Starz thriller Lionsgate The Arrangement TCA 2017 historical drama SDCC Polls and Games DC streaming service Ovation Warner Bros. theme song docudrama Mary Poppins Returns Pet Sematary 24 frames politics Paramount Network streaming CNN FXX Comedy Nominations period drama SundanceTV Star Trek Awards zombie Esquire PBS Disney Mary Tyler Moore FOX Shudder APB Britbox hist TNT CBS All Access History Fantasy Freeform space Cosplay IFC Spectrum Originals adventure Sony Pictures MCU spider-man A&E Disney Channel 2017 talk show social media Biopics Ghostbusters miniseries Animation LGBT Red Carpet TV Land Teen disaster Chilling Adventures of Sabrina composers 2015 NYCC cooking VH1 Winter TV Interview what to watch Martial Arts Emmys BET transformers political drama Masterpiece Pop Cartoon Network CMT adaptation dramedy nature crossover doctor who 20th Century Fox Hulu TLC Shondaland Fall TV 45 Quiz Podcast FX Comics on TV CW Seed zombies police drama Brie Larson E! Song of Ice and Fire sitcom Action Paramount Thanksgiving technology Black Mirror Marvel TV IFC Films MSNBC New York Comic Con Anna Paquin romance Women's History Month Sundance Pride Month PaleyFest Pirates Acorn TV Extras Certified Fresh cinemax Toys Spike cults Year in Review comic Drama 21st Century Fox Country Sci-Fi Vudu Walt Disney Pictures harry potter CBS TBS Emmy Nominations dragons GLAAD teaser Logo Cannes RT21 Opinion NBC Fox News Lucasfilm Lifetime award winner dceu San Diego Comic-Con festivals cops ESPN Syfy Super Bowl TCM mutant Universal YA vampires Photos witnail Winners blaxploitation serial killer ratings supernatural Countdown Kids & Family Tumblr Stephen King crime thriller Western 2016 diversity 007 Netflix green book Best and Worst LGBTQ TCA golden globes YouTube Red animated Showtime richard e. Grant anthology Mindy Kaling toy story Reality Heroines Valentine's Day biography Music comiccon psycho finale Mary poppins sports VICE Columbia Pictures game show Mudbound travel DC Universe DirecTV science fiction casting ABC singing competition Captain marvel TruTV Musical MTV Film Festival Trivia President 2019 Dark Horse Comics Adult Swim Trophy Talk WGN justice league X-Men discovery TIFF Tarantino HBO dc RT History Chernobyl Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Apple Bravo boxoffice E3 robots Christmas Nickelodeon binge Watching Series crime Comic Book See It Skip It BBC ITV Superheroes Mystery Oscars sequel Musicals strong female leads war Calendar Holidays Premiere Dates USA Rom-Com AMC elevated horror Horror First Look Comedy Central spinoff Star Wars Creative Arts Emmys Spring TV DC Comics YouTube Premium unscripted USA Network spy thriller Set visit Amazon medical drama Elton John Rocky Epix Amazon Prime facebook