20 February 2014

Quickie Movie Review: "Adventures in Appletown"

Rated: PG for violence, thematic elements, and language
Starring: Cole Sprouse, Dylan Sprouse, and Victoria Justice
Released: March 19, 2013 (DVD)
Synopsis: When the fair comes to rural Appletown, cousins Will and Clay (Dylan and Cole Sprouse, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody) hear a tale of a boy who died on the Ferris wheel, and whose ghost still roams the fair's haunted house.  The two cousins investigate it, only to witness a murder.  They decide to just keep it between themselves...when their friend Betsy's (Victoria Justice, VICTORiOUS) father is wrongly accused of pulling the trigger.  Will and Clay know that he is innocent...but they've already denied that they know anything about it! Can they prove who the real perpetrator is?
Also starring Charlie Stewart (The Word of Promise: Next Generation).

My Review: I have to say, this film did not get off to a very good start.  It's not really realistic for kids to stay up all night and still be alert during daylight hours, and the haunted house scene was freaky.  It got better after a while...but only somewhat.  As much as I like Victoria Justice, her character of Betsy was a jerk, as she didn't act like much of a friend to Clay or Will, even when they did the right thing.  I don't imagine even big mystery fans will watch this more than once; like a telefilm, it's one of those you see one time and never bother with again.  I spent years waiting for this one with baited breath, and can't help but feel a bit disappointed.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: A husband and wife kiss. 4.5/5
  • Nudity: Part of a guy's back is seen. 4.5/5
  • Language: The d-word and h-word are used two or three times each; one b-word is used about as often.  God's name is misused about four or five times, and crude terms such as "suck" are sprinkled in a bit. 2.5/5
  • Violence: A man is murdered, though nothing graphic is seen.  A blind woman shoots a gun at a boy, but she misses every time.  Betsy slaps one of the guys in the face.  A guy is hit with an axe, but no blood is seen.  3/5
  • Drugs: It is said that the accused has a drinking problem.  (Spoiler: He shows signs of recovery towards the end.) A woman is seen drinking liquor two or three times. 3.5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Along with what was listed under "Violence," the haunted house scene is rather freaky.  One scene involves a boy holding his breath while under water, and he is feared to be dead.  (Spoiler: He pops up unharmed.) 3/5
  • Other: The haunted house scene references Lizzie Borden, which may prompt uncomfortable questions from kids about who she is. 4/5
Final Score: 2/5

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