Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Legends of Oz: Dorothy Returns, Moms' Night Out, Plus Veronica Mars on DVD

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

by | May 9, 2014 | Comments

In Theaters This Week:

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

16%

Rating: PG, for some scary images and mild peril.

This 3-D animated sequel to The Wizard of Oz finds Dorothy (voiced by Glee star Lea Michele) returning to Oz at the behest of the Scarecrow (Dan Aykroyd), Tin Man (Kelsey Grammer) and Lion (Jim Belushi). She must defeat the sadistic and power-hungry Jester (Martin Short), who has taken over and plunged the place into ruin. The flying monkeys look more impish than frightening this time around, but when Jester is projected in full-blown, great-and-powerful mode, it might be a bit frightening for the youngest kids. A whole new motley crew joining Dorothy on the yellow brick road once again runs into various dangers and obstacles along the way. One of these supporting character “dies,” sorta, which upset my 4 ½-year-old son, briefly. Truthfully, though? You should show your kids the original Wizard of Oz instead of this shrill, ugly mess.

Moms’ Night Out

20%

Rating: PG, for mild thematic elements and some action.

This dismally tame comedy follows three harried moms (Sarah Drew, Andrea Logan White and Patricia Heaton) who dare to go out for a much-needed evening of fun. All hell — or rather, all heck — breaks loose, since this movie is aimed at Christian audiences. There’s nothing even vaguely harmful or offensive here: a visit to a tattoo parlor, a chase involving the nicest bikers you’ve ever seen and a trip to jail, eventually, for a wacky stun-gun accident. Something bad happens to a pet bird but it takes place off-screen. No one drinks or even curses. No one has a good time either.

New On DVD:

Veronica Mars

79%

Rating: PG-13, for sexuality including references, drug content, violence and some strong language.

The film version of the cult-favorite TV show is snappy, smart fun for fans and newbies alike. It’s also probably best suited to tween viewers and older. Kristen Bell returns in the role that made her famous as a former girl detective who returns to the wealthy beach town of Neptune, Calif., to solve a mysterious killing. A pop star is found dead in a bathtub, there’s a lot of language and sexual innuendo as well as several references to a sex tape in which Veronica unknowingly starred. There’s also a fistfight, several shootings and a very bloody, serious car accident. And Bell gets the honor of dropping the one, well-placed F-bomb you get with a PG-13 rating.

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