Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: How Family-Friendly Are Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2?

by | March 24, 2016 | Comments

This week, Christy reports back on a superhero spectacle that happens to be one of the most anticipated films of the year, as well as a sequel to a surprise hit from 2002 and, on DVD, the final chapter of the Hunger Games franchise. Read on for details.


NEW IN THEATERS

 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) 28%

Rating: PG-13, for intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality.

Director Zack Snyder’s follow-up to his 2013 film Man of Steel finds Superman (Henry Cavill) battling Batman (Ben Affleck) basically for the amusement of crazed industrialist Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). Mass urban destruction ensues. Theoretically, there’s more to it than that, and it involves Batman’s fear that Superman is dangerous following the climactic events of the previous movie. But really, any semblance of plot is just a thin excuse to set up a pantheon of films based on DC Comics characters, similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that’s firmly in place. All your usual action-movie elements are here: brutal fistfights, perilous car chases, enormous explosions and deadly gunfire. As in so many other Batman films, BvS replays the moment when young Bruce Wayne watches his parents get shot to death during a robbery outside a movie theater. Plus — without spoiling anything — a new monster arrives on the scene who’s seemingly indestructible. There’s also a disturbing dream sequence. It’s all very noisy and numbing. It’s CGI-inflated comic-book violence. But it’s probably OK for mature tweens and older.


My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016) 28%

Rating: PG-13, for some suggestive material.

The sequel to the 2002 surprise smash hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding revisits the wacky Portokalos family in all their overbearing, obnoxious glory. And yes, there is indeed another big, fat, Greek wedding. This time, Toula (writer and star Nia Vardalos) must help orchestrate the event when it turns out that her parents (Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan) never were married officially 50 years ago in Greece because the priest didn’t sign the certificate. Madcap hilarity (and lots of Windex spritzing) ensue. The only possibly offensive part of this movie is the thoroughly inappropriate sex talk from Toula’s outspoken Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin). She also buys Toula a racy, red negligee to help her spice things up with Ian (John Corbett), the WASPy dude she married in the first film. But for the most part, this is probably fine for kids around age 9 or 10 and up. (Although I brought my movie-savvy 6 ½-year-old with me to the screening and he complained afterward that it gave him a headache.)


NEW ON DVD

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015) 70%

Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action and for some thematic material.

The final Hunger Games film comes with all the massive carnage and destruction you’ve come to expect from the series — and from any movie within the post-apocalyptic, dystopian-future Young Adult genre. So if you’ve seen any of the three previous films, you know what’s in store for you. There is the threat of all-out war in Panem. Additionally, diabolical President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and his gamesmakers have scattered deadly obstacles — or pods — throughout the capitol to keep Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and her fellow rebels from storming in and killing him. These are devastating, ranging from a giant, ferocious wave of black ooze to an army of ravenous, reptilian lizard mutts in the sewers. (The latter scene had me curled up in a ball, watching through splayed fingers.) There’s also a disturbing sequence involving the death of many young children. This is just extremely violent for a PG-13 movie. It’s probably OK for mature, older tweens and up — but if your kids are fans of the book, they know what’s in the movie, and they’ll probably want to see it all unfold for themselves.

  • Keiran S-C

    she sounds like she doesnt like action in superhero movies? as if the comics, novels, audiobooks, animated movies and films have not always been 75% action with 2 factions fighting each other… that is the grounds for almost every superhero story ever made. critics giving this film 30% and marvel films high marks are just prooving how bias and poor critics they are, unable to appreciate a film without looking past their personal intrests and judging the film for what it is.
    I am a masssive DC fanboy and i can respect the success of marvels movies even if i dont like anything about the films but i dont go around rating their movies 1 star because im bias towards another franchise.

    and who complains about a superhero movie beeing packed with action :S why would you go watch a film from this genre and not expect exactly what that genre is famous for that makes no sense, itd be like me going to see the notebook and complaining their was too much cheesey love scenes and no enough epic battles.

    Poor critic

    • Michael Crosby

      exactly brother i hate people who dont like action in movies especially superhero movies its like not expecting jokes in a comedy movie thease critics are biased

    • Jake Shepard

      I generally prefer DC to Marvel, but the reason for that is the same reason I think Batman v Superman was a steaming pile of shit. It’s a fucking comic book movie, and Zack Snyder decided to take the long-running history of some of the most good and sincere fictional characters in all of media and make it a grimdark mess of bullshit. The parental guidance woman might not be the best judge of a superhero movie, but she’s not the one giving the film the negative reviews it’s getting. And the reason why the Marvel movies are getting higher marks isn’t bias, it’s because Marvel is actually making their movies feel like they’re comicbook superhero movies, not superhero movies warped and twisted by cynical marketers for edgy 14 year olds.

      • Keiran S-C

        I cant take ppl seriously who call a film bad while it makes half a billion inits first working week, dark and gritty superhero films is what we need more of it allows them to tell more emotional engaging stories instead of light hearted comedies which dont change the tone through out. i cant see any marvel character dealing with their sidekicks being beaten to death age 14 with a crow bar or being driven to kill a foe to save innocent lives, they never touch upon the impact of superheros and gods on scoriety or show their personal lives being affected by it, not to mention the 0 amount of chemistry between any love intrest.

        Im sure marvels characters each have unique personalities in the comics but in the movies they are just clones of tony stark… all of them are cocky, self absorbed, comedians trying to get as many one liners in before the movie ends and it takes away from any emotion in their preformance or good story telling. It underminds how threatening the villians could be when they cant take a single scene seriously, in my opinion, the villians themselves all have rather weak motivations and come across as bufoons with looney tunes personalities like ultron.
        The avengers seem to find any reason to punch each other even when it could be solved by thor simply saying something like “lokis a god no prison you have will hold him” but that wouldnt make the kwl fight scenes so fans like to look over the plot holes and inconsisdencies. Im still confused on why thanos is giving out infinite stones to characters like loki when hes meant to be collecting them for a guantlet, i mean loki has prooven himself to be usless at defeating anyone and is renouned as a dicetful trickster :S:S
        all in all id say marvel have done a poor job of representing their characters in all ways but visuals and costume. i would rate most of the avengers and their standalones as on par with green lantern and superman returns, BVS is much more along the lines of guardians of the galaxy, xmen DoFP, blade trillogy, standard.

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