Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: How Family-Friendly Are Hotel Transylvania 2, The Intern, and A Brave Heart?

by | September 25, 2015 | Comments

This week, Christy talks about an animated sequel, the latest Nancy Meyers film, starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, and an inspiring documentary. Plus, she also covers a recent sequel to a hit musical movie you might have heard of, new on DVD. Read on for details.



Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015) 55%

Rating: PG, for some scary images, action and rude humor.

The sequel to the 2012 animated hit Hotel Transylvania finds Dracula (voiced once again by Adam Sandler) coaxing out the latent vampire tendencies in his sweet, 4-year-old grandson, Dennis, the only child of his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), and her human husband, Jonathan (Andy Samberg). He also has a hotel to run with the help of his monster friends (Steve Buscemi, Kevin James, Keegan-Michael Key, David Spade). It’s got the same snappy pacing, silly sight gags and clever pop culture references as the original, only now it also features more characters and more adventures. The monsters are so cute and goofy, they won’t be the slightest bit frightening to your children. But: There’s a vampire character who enters toward the end – the right-hand man of Drac’s dad, Vlad (Mel Brooks) — who is scarier than the rest and puts some of the little-kid characters in danger. That’s the only part of the movie that bothered my son, who’s almost 6. Otherwise, this is fine for viewers of all ages.

The Intern (2015) 60%

Rating: PG-13, for some suggestive content and brief strong language.

Robert De Niro stars as Ben Whittaker, a 70-year-old widower and retiree who takes an internship at a burgeoning fashion website to pass the time. He’s assigned to work with the site’s founder, Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), an impatient, workaholic wife and mom. Magically, they make each other’s lives better – and they do it all in great clothes within impeccably decorated homes and offices. (This is a Nancy Meyers movie, after all.) There’s a bit of language here and a mature subplot involving Jules’ husband (Anders Holm). Otherwise, this movie is fine for tweens and up –as long as you explain to them that nobody actually lives this way in Brooklyn.

A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story (2015) 93%

Rating: PG-13, for thematic elements involving bullying, and for brief strong language.

Lizzie Velasquez, a young woman from Austin, Texas, was born with a rare syndrome that left her with striking facial features and an inability to gain weight. After suffering harsh attacks online, she fought back by launching her own YouTube channel to spread positivity. Now, at 26, she’s an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker and anti-bullying activist. Director Sara Hirsh Bordo’s documentary rarely digs below the surface to reveal how she really feels about the cruelty she’s endured or her health concerns. But Velasquez is so radiantly sweet and funny – and her message of kindness is so pure – she’s hard to resist. There’s a bit of strong language here, and the online comments directed at Velasquez’s appearance can be startling. But this is a great film for young people to see to open their eyes to the importance of being generous toward others, and to understand the damage bullying can cause.



Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) 66%

Rating: PG-13, for innuendo and language.

The sequel to the 2012 surprise smash Pitch Perfect finds the college a cappella group the Barden Bellas fighting to maintain their national championship status after an on-stage wardrobe malfunction in front of President Obama and the first lady. (We don’t actually see the embarrassing costume split Rebel Wilson’s Fat Amy suffers, but other characters discuss it in vivid detail.) As in the first film, John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks (who also directs this time) provide a running commentary on the various singing competitions, which includes plenty of satirically inappropriate racist and sexist remarks. There is the implication that some characters have had sex, some heavy-duty (but broadly comic) make-out sessions as well as some language and general mean-girl trash talk. Still, Pitch Perfect 2, like its extremely similar predecessor, ultimately is about female solidarity and finding your own voice. Fine for tweens and older.

Tag Cloud

ESPN thriller Esquire Musicals Endgame Paramount Network Paramount Winter TV BBC America Best and Worst YouTube Adult Swim PBS 21st Century Fox WGN Captain marvel 45 Mudbound space Countdown Tubi romantic comedy screen actors guild Peacock Apple TV Plus CNN Britbox what to watch mockumentary Crunchyroll YouTube Red Animation Rom-Com RT21 Thanksgiving 24 frames HBO toy story ITV Heroines Certified Fresh game show screenings HBO Max Freeform directors series Comic Book VH1 Brie Larson sag awards Syfy Sundance Now spy thriller justice league Disney Channel Netflix Christmas movies teaser DC Universe Calendar TV Land Arrowverse boxoffice children's TV spinoff Cosplay Toys Pirates GIFs Christmas Mary Tyler Moore disaster science fiction Cartoon Network mutant true crime nature romance The Witch canceled travel E3 batman stand-up comedy Turner quibi Sci-Fi Sundance TV MSNBC singing competition dceu Box Office cooking television tv talk Video Games indie Lucasfilm Pet Sematary Netflix Nickelodeon See It Skip It Mary poppins CW Seed theme song social media YA slashers Fall TV Pop Disney streaming service facebook Western TCA 2017 CBS golden globes politics DGA Mary Poppins Returns Mindy Kaling sequel dc 2018 El Rey revenge game of thrones Anna Paquin USA Comedy spain spider-man renewed TV shows Walt Disney Pictures biography talk show Logo Sony Pictures joker Amazon Prime Video unscripted First Reviews Awards Tour blaxploitation BET IFC Films Country Valentine's Day Opinion Apple Spike DC streaming service Sneak Peek diversity Disney Warner Bros. Tarantino PaleyFest Binge Guide Universal Chernobyl RT History SundanceTV The CW DirecTV NYCC Starz jamie lee curtis dramedy FXX Set visit Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt book Pride Month Sundance 2016 Holiday IFC Spectrum Originals Turner Classic Movies TLC zero dark thirty History Song of Ice and Fire Reality Competition Summer Amazon Prime VICE CBS All Access anthology Tomatazos SXSW docudrama Drama National Geographic name the review crime drama crime thriller Polls and Games Chilling Adventures of Sabrina MTV APB zombie kids CMT Comedy Central Cannes Action TCM 2020 Star Wars Epix Ovation Kids & Family natural history cops Hallmark SDCC robots ghosts Extras aliens adventure Discovery Channel halloween DC Comics war comic technology Biopics ABC Family sitcom period drama police drama BBC Fox News Women's History Month Fantasy strong female leads Mystery Family GLAAD vampires Stephen King spanish language Ellie Kemper OWN Pixar FOX Emmys Comics on TV ratings Lionsgate Lifetime Christmas movies Writers Guild of America cancelled TV shows First Look Marvel Studios Schedule Bravo Star Trek The Arrangement hist Apple TV+ Trivia crime Infographic LGBT 2017 adaptation TV Podcast A24 Avengers serial killer Marvel cinemax richard e. Grant Emmy Nominations cancelled television Marathons Grammys versus OneApp Acorn TV Crackle 007 Election elevated horror Musical President NBC Year in Review zombies 2015 psycho breaking bad Watching Series Holidays green book WarnerMedia 20th Century Fox based on movie Dark Horse Comics Showtime supernatural cats Columbia Pictures Nominations Academy Awards Trophy Talk Trailer The Walking Dead TCA Hulu Disney+ Disney Plus rotten movies we love Vudu TBS TCA Winter 2020 animated Black Mirror Nat Geo comiccon video cancelled binge cartoon south america 71st Emmy Awards cancelled TV series Superheroes transformers ABC hispanic Disney Plus Film foreign psychological thriller Quiz Rock independent Awards Winners discovery Music Marvel Television Masterpiece Classic Film Photos finale Elton John San Diego Comic-Con E! crossover dragons political drama free movies Creative Arts Emmys TIFF Horror Teen The Purge historical drama Food Network comics Reality cars witnail casting canceled TV shows award winner Film Festival Super Bowl cults reboot Rocketman composers medical drama latino X-Men anime TNT Premiere Dates GoT Oscars MCU Shondaland American Society of Cinematographers Television Academy Shudder doctor who Ghostbusters Hallmark Christmas movies streaming LGBTQ YouTube Premium Baby Yoda Martial Arts FX Rocky USA Network Amazon TruTV TV renewals 2019 Tumblr Character Guide blockbuster Superheroe A&E christmas movies sports movies Lifetime werewolf Spring TV harry potter Red Carpet Interview AMC New York Comic Con miniseries festivals