Tuesday, March 12, 2013



  Movie Choices for Kids

OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (Running time:   2 hours, 10 minutes)

RATED PG      Starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz
 You’re probably waiting for me to say this is a great movie for kids, but it isn’t. Not for little kids. It’s scary as heck and runs a long two hours and ten minutes. In 3-D, the flying monkeys, which are now baboons, with sharp teeth and hideous claws are in your face. Spears thrown feel like they are coming at you. When you say hideous, imagine a huge, green, horrendous witch face in your face, practically close enough to kiss you, or spit on you! Yikes!

            The story is about a ne’er do well, Oz, a charlatan who not only pulls a fast one on his viewers but it seems on the ladies, and married ladies as well. Though kids probably won’t get that, I did. And when they as you why the strong man was chasing him and Oz had to get out of town fast…well, it’s a conversation I wouldn’t want to have with a six year old.

            The movie was beautifully done. The rebirth of a selfish lowlife into a hero is what fantasies are made of. The cast and the music are great. The effects and colors are dazzling. I loved the story, too, but I could have loved it as much in one and a half hours. Let’s not forget one witch attempting to electrocute the other. Then there are balls of fire thrown at people. Oz is in the Emerald City to do battle with the two bad witches – one who became bad after she seemed to have spent the night with Oz who then dumped her.

            If you remember back to the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, you’ll remember there were lots of scary scenes, none more so than the cackling of Margaret Hamilton. I’m still afraid of tornadoes to this day. This movie is no less scary. There is violence and the threat of violence, no bad language but some sexual innuendo. Oz, The Great and Powerful appears to be best for kids eleven and up or ten year olds who don’t scare easily. But I’d recommend you leave the younger ones at home. 

EMPEROR                (Running time: 98 minutes)

RATED PG-13          Starring Matthew Fox, Tommy Lee Jones

Emperor is inspired by true events. That means the moviemakers take license to create drama and make history a bit more interesting. According to the movie, General Bonner Fellows was in charge of researching whether or not the Emperor of Japan was responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor and the decision whether or not to execute the Emperor. Pretty big responsibility.

            The military story was woven together with a love story begun in 1932 on a college campus between General Fellows and a Japanese young woman. They were separated by war and tradition. Now back in Japan after the surrender, he’s searching for her.

            The movie brought home how daunting was the task of helping rebuild Japan. I applaud the interest this movie may drum up in what happened after World War II and General Douglas MacArthur. It may be a bit dry for some children. The issues are best for kids eleven or twelve and up. See it with your kids.
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