01 July 2013

Quickie Movie Reviews for June 2013

Rated: TV-Y7 (US) / G (Canadian Home Video Rating)
Starring: Drake Bell, Josh Peck, and Miranda Cosgrove
Released: January 6, 2006 (Nickelodeon premiere) / January 31, 2006 (DVD)
Drake and Josh Go Hollywood: Based on the popular Nickelodeon sitcom, this movie pales in comparison to the original show.  Though there are some goofy, funny moments, it still felt a bit lackluster to me.  Even with a running time of merely seventy-four minutes, I still struggled to get through it.  D&J fanatics have likely already watched this a thousand times, but those who are more casual fans of the show should stick to watching reruns on TeenNick, or buying the episodes via iTunes or elsewhere.

Content Concerns: Plenty of slapstick violence, but no blood or gore.  God's name is misused once or twice, and the brothers are referred to as "boobs," though that is crudely misinterpreted in one scene.  Various young ladies, including Megan, wear outfits that show more skin than they should, such as a midriff-baring swimsuit or a short, off-the-shoulder top.  Some parents may have qualms with the fact that MTV gets an endorsement at the film's end.

Score: 2.5/5
Rated: "Intended to be viewed by children ages 5 and up" (manufacturer's advisory)
Starring: Lisa Ann Beley, Doron Bell Jr., and Don S. Davis
Released: September 27, 2003 (VHS/DVD)
G.I. Joe: Spy Troops: The Movie: This is the shortest movie I've seen in a while; I think the last time I watched a film that was less than an hour long was when I saw Wallace and Gromit as a kid.  Length aside, this toy-inspired, computer-animated flick featured plenty of great action sequences and some rather suprisingly slick visuals.  Though intended for young children, older folks who are still "kids at heart" might find this to be an enjoyable diversion; still, a running time of only forty-four minutes makes this only worth a purchase if you're a collector.  Everyone else should just check it out from your local library.

Content Concerns: Though "intended [for] children ages 5 and up," I would stick a "TV-Y7-FV" rating on this, because the fantasy violence might be a bit much for even five-and-six-year-olds.  Right from the get go, there are missile blasts, gun fights, sword fights, hand-to-hand melees, explosions, and pretty much every other kind of non-graphic violence.  There's no profanity or sexual content, but some may feel that this movie's intensity is a bit much for the kiddies.

Score: 3.5/5

Rated: Not Rated (Dove approved for all ages)
Starring: John Risner, Jacob Cherney, and Misty Steele
Released: August 18, 2011 (DVD)
Redemption Ride: I usually like Christian movies, but I found this one hard to get through.  For a movie about a champion bicycle racer, it seemed quite pokey, more like a chess match.  Though the story was decent--nothing special, but passable--the poor acting, dull pacing, and poor soundtrack pretty much ruined this for me.  Unless you're a bike racing fanatic, I would suggest staying away from this, and watching October Baby, Time Changer, or one of the Kendricks' movies instead.  It had promise, but it simply fell flat.

Content Concerns: It is mentioned that the protagonist used steroid-like drugs.  The main character spends quite a bit time in bicycle shorts.  Some emotional scenes might be too much for young kids.

Score: 1.75/5

Rated: PG-13 for some violent content and mature thematic elements
Starring: Lynn Collins, Michael Ealy, and Bruce McGill
Released: September 21, 2012 (theaters) / March 5, 2013 (DVD)
Unconditional: Ever since Mel Gibson's celluloid interpretation of the crucifixion of the Savior of the world, cineplexes and video stores/libraries have been flooded with Christian-themed movies.  Some are amazing: Time Changer and Fireproof are good examples.  Others of them are garbage, such as the horrible C Me DanceUnconditional happens to be in the middle.  Though the story kept me interested and the production values were mostly great, Lynn Collins was an ineffective--though attractive--leading lady.  Much like a made-for-cable TV movie, this is only worth watching once.  If your on demand or streaming service doesn't have this, you should check your local library.  I can't recommend purchasing this, though.

Content Concerns: Like To Save a Life, this is a Christian drama that is not for young children.  Violence abounds: a guy gets shot, two guys get into a brawl that leaves one man's face bloodied, a guy gets a nasty cut on his hand from another man taking a knife to him, a boy gets bit by a snake, etc.  Though not exactly violent, a character's medical issues lead to him losing some blood, which could be rather freaky for kids as well.  The emotional intensity would also be a bit much, too.  This is one case where the "PG-13" rating is appropriate.

Score: 3.5/5

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