Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Pixels, Paper Towns, and Paul Blart

by | July 24, 2015 | Comments

In Theaters This Week

Pixels (2015) 16%

Rating: PG-13, for some language and suggestive comments.

Aliens attack the Earth in the form of classic ’80s video games — Pac-Man, Centipede, Donkey Kong — in this quote-unquote comedy starring Adam Sandler. As a former gaming prodigy, Sandler’s character must save the planet, alongside old friends and foes (Kevin James, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage). Michelle Monaghan co-stars as a brilliant lieutenant colonel who devises the technology to defeat these pixelated villains, but she’s also relegated to playing a weak and weepy woman — the worst kind of clichéd stereotype. (Misogyny is rampant elsewhere, as well, with one female video game warrior who literally becomes a trophy for Gad’s character.) Such thematic dilemmas aside, for the most part, this is OK for your kids. Actually, it’s much more for children than it is for adults, despite its lazy efforts to evoke ’80s nostalgia. There’s a bit of language. The alien attack is quite literally cartoonish and never really scary, but several people do disintegrate as they get sucked up into a spaceship. (That’s the only part that freaked out my 5 ½-year-old son.) And at one point, Qbert pees. It’s hilarious.

Paper Towns (2015) 57%

Rating: PG-13, for some language, drinking, sexuality and nudity — all involving teens.

A sweetly geeky high school senior (Nat Wolff) goes on an all-night adventure with his neighbor from across the street (Cara Delevingne), his one-time, childhood pal who’s now the rebellious, cool girl. The next morning, she mysteriously has disappeared, inspiring him and his two best friends to go on a hunt to find her. Paper Towns is based on the novel by John Green (The Fault in Our Stars), so the young-adult crowd probably knows what’s in store. There’s some teen-movie partying, including beer bongs, keg stands and subsequent vomiting. A couple of characters engage in a hot-and-heavy make-out session, and a couple of others ponder the prospect of losing their virginity to each other on prom night. And there’s a bit of language. But this is totally fine for tweens and older. It’s a movie that I really liked — but I would have loved it if I’d seen it at age 13.

New on DVD

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015) 5%

Rating: PG, for some violence.

This movie is terrible. I mean, it’s harmless in terms of its content. There isn’t really anything offensive or racy or objectionable. It’s just painfully unfunny. But if this is the only family-friendly movie available to rent… well, you’ll still be annoyed that you wasted your time and money. Kevin James reprises his title role from the slapsticky and inexplicably successful Paul Blart: Mall Cop from six years ago. This time, his portly and bumbling character travels to Las Vegas for a security guard convention. There, he accidentally thwarts a massive art heist with the help of his college-bound daughter (Raini Rodriguez). She briefly finds herself in peril when she first discovers the scheme, and some of the bad guys carry guns. (Most of the fighting takes place with non-lethal weaponry, however.) But before they ever leave town, Paul’s mother is run over and killed by a milk truck in abrupt fashion at the film’s start. Like the other James movie out this week, Pixels, it’s just hilarious.

Tag Cloud

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