Category Archives: Movie Reviews and Features

Bubba Ho-Tep

Directed by: Don Coscarelli Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Bob Ivy Rated: R for language, some sexual content and brief violent images. Parental Notes: This is a strange film. Teens who love Campbell’s work will doubtless enjoy it, but those without an odd sense of humor and a strong appreciation of adult themes will find it disappointing.


Directed by: Danny DeVito Starring: Ben Stiller, Drew Barrymore, Eileen Essel, Harvey Fierstein, Robert Wisdom Rated: PG-13 for sexual content, language and some violence. Parental Notes: Plenty of slapstick comedy and some dark themes, but little objectionable material for teens or mature preteens.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez Starring: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Willem Dafoe, Mickey Rourke, Enrique Iglesias Rated: Rated R for strong violence, and for language. Parental Notes: Teens who loved “Desperado” may find “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” a bit of a disappointment but it’s a fine film for teens and above. Numerous blood-spattering gunfights and some disturbing special effects make it too intense for younger children.


Directed by: Len Wiseman Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Shane Brolly, Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy Rated: R for strong violence/gore and some language. Parental Notes: Although “Underworld” is neither as violent nor as gory as it could be, it is still likely too intense for preteens. Teenagers who like vampire and werewolf stories will probably love it.

The Medallion

Directed by: Gordon Chan Starring: Jackie Chan, Claire Forlani, Julian Sands, Lee Evans Rated: PG-13 for action violence and some sexual humor. Parental Notes: The content of “The Medallion” is fine for preteens and above, provided they can endure the mediocre fight scenes and atrocious dialog and acting.


Directed by: Dan Ireland Starring: Jason Isaacs, Sofia Milos, Emmy Rossum, Lupe Ontiveros, Seymour Cassel, Theresa Russell Rated: PG-13 Running Time: 108 min. Parental Notes: Although this movie contains nothing objectionable for preteens beyond some passionate kissing and implied sexual activity, it may bore them with its sly humor and slow, thoughtful romance.

Freaky Friday

Directed by: Mark S. Waters Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan, Mark Harmon, Harold Gould, Chad Murray Rated: PG for mild thematic elements and some language. Running Time: 93 min. Parental Notes: This is a great film for all ages, especially for those who live with a teenager. The film’s message – that life isn’t easy, no matter what your age, and that your family really does love you, no matter how lame they can be at times – is a good one, and the acting is a delight.

Spy Kids 3d: Game Over

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez Starring: Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Ricardo Montalban, Robert Vito, Ryan Pinkston, Bobby Edner, Courtney Jines Rated: PG for action sequences and peril. Running Time: 89 min. Parental Notes: Although some sequences may frighten very young children or kids afraid of heights, this film is harmless for kids under 10. Teens and adults, however, may find the cliches, lack of plot, and general incoherence tiresome.

Cookin’ at the Cookery

Written, directed, and choreographed by: Marion J. Caffey Starring: Ann Duquesnay, Janice Lorraine Showing at: San Jose Repertory Theatre through August 3rd. Parental Notes: Although this production is not rated, it might qualify as a PG for some language and sexual innuendo. This is an inspiring show, especially for any child who wants to sing. Alberta Hunter followed her dreams and had a long, rich life in which she did everything she’d dreamed of doing, and more.