Dads Secretly Take Their Sons to See PG-13 Rated Superhero Movies, Like Aquaman (But They Don’t Admit It On Social Media…)

At what age is it socially acceptable for a boy to go see a PG-13 rated superhero movie with his dad?

Follow up question:

At what age is it appropriate or okay for a boy to watch a PG-13 rated movie with his dad?

I think those are difficult questions to answer, and even dangerous to ask, because ultimately, each parent has their own standards on what they perceive as acceptable in raising their children.

And in an age where many people have traded in their fear of God for fear of a social media backlash thanks to ever-potential mob mentality of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, no one wants to have to defend their views to the 10% of the population who passionately disagreed in the comments section; and then have to follow-up with a token social media apology a few days later.

My theory is that many dads do take their sons to watch PG-13 rated superhero movies, they just don’t talk about it on social media because it may not be socially acceptable to broadcast it.

On certain issues, I am undeniably more conservative as a parent. But with other things, I am perhaps more liberal than people might expect.

I recognize that not all PG-13 rated movies are created equal. So to me, the movie rating is a bit arbitrary.

Fortunately, it’s as if there is now an unspoken rule that PG-13 rated superhero movies that have their own toy line have agreed to keep sexual content out of their movies. Instead, the PG-13 rating is earned from stylized action sequences; in other words, violence without blood.

There are also typically a handful of milder profanities thrown in these PG-13 rated superhero movies. Even though my 8 year-old son doesn’t hear his own parents cursing, I’m sure by now he’s learning the “bad words” from other kids at school.

Honestly, what bothers me more is my son hearing the casual use of “oh my God” in PG rated movies and kids’ sitcoms. To me, that phrase is breaking one of the Ten Commandments. Meanwhile, I’m supposed to be worried because my son hears an alternate word for butt or poop?

So as long as he knows which words he’s not allowed to say, as he gradually becomes aware of which words our society has given power of taboo, then I am not too concerned.

However, this is all simply my own parenting style.

This isn’t necessarily what the norm is. Maybe it is. I don’t know. Honestly, I’m not keeping up with what other parents are saying on the subject.

Or maybe they’re like me- they’re not admitting to taking their sons to see PG-13 rated movies; not because it’s inappropriate for the child, but that it’s inappropriate for the parent to admit it on social media?

But if it were socially acceptable for a dad to admit he took his 8 year-old son to see Aquaman this past weekend, I would use this opportunity that say that it was probably my son’s favorite superhero movie so far.

And knowing that he and I had quality time together this weekend doing something we both enjoyed- well, that makes me happy to be a dad.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1- Family Friendly Review

Imagine the people of North Korea realizing that they outnumber their nation’s military in brute force and therefore they decide to overthrow the tyranny they’ve been under for all these decades.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1: Family Friendly Daddy Blog

Consider the unavoidable violence that would occur as the people would sacrifice their bodies as weapons against the armed military forces of the government. Think about how the landscape would be covered with the charred remains of the thousands fought for the cause of dethroning their oppressor.

It would be a grim picture.

I have just described the mood and feel of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, but the setting is not North Korea, it is a future version of America.

The reason I used North Korea as the example is because I feel the newest Hunger Games installment is a realistic glimpse of what really could happen if any oppressed nation turned own their government.

It all goes back to this concept: The people of a nation are only controlled by their government if they allow themselves to be.

And this is one of the many reasons I love The Hunger Games: The Libertarian theme is undeniable.

Amazingly, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 contains no profanity whatsoever; not even what I call a “1950’s cuss word” like “crap” or even something harmless like “dang it”. Nothing.

Unless I missed one… but I’ve always had a talent for hearing profanity in movies, and I can tell you, I didn’t hear even one questionable or potentially offensive word in this movie.

Likewise, it contains no sexual content or nudity whatsoever; as is typical with the Hunger Games movies.

Yes, Hollywood can indeed make an excellent movie without sex or profanity! Who knew?

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1- Family Friendly Review

As for violence, that’s another thing. Though blood is fairly minimal, this is a war movie more than anything.

There are mass deaths and public executions in which the camera pans away just in time before the moment of fatal impact is given.

And as I mentioned earlier, the landscape itself is an open graveyard.

What could have made this movie even darker is if any children were shown being killed. However, it is explained that most children had already died in “an epidemic.”

Therefore, the people who sacrifice their lives as human weapons are all older teens and adults; other than when a hospital is bombed by the Capitol, in which hundreds of injured and dying are instantly wiped out. However, only the bombing of the building from the outside is shown.

With that being said, this movie is for a mature audience. Could a 10 year-old watch this movie?

Ask yourself this: At what age would you be okay with your child watching an edited for TV version of Braveheart or Saving Private Ryan?

This isn’t a kids’ movie. It’s an intelligent, mature film that serves as a political thriller/war movie.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is not a family friendly movie, despite the complete lack of profanity and sexual content.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

However, it’s the best movie I’ve seen all year. It’s the kind of movie that is completely worthy of seeing in the theatre.

I believe the message in this movie validates the necessary amount of violence; because ultimately, it gives opportunity for a hero of hope to lead the people to salvation.

Flawless movie, but not intended or suitable for younger viewers. It’s rated PG-13 for a reason.

Thanks for reading my family friendly review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Come back any time!

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Family Friendly Movie Review By Nick Shell

There is no question that Guardians Of The Galaxy is an excellent, successful movie… not to mention hilarious! But the question I’ve already been asked is this: What age is appropriate for a child to see it?

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Family Friendly Review By Nick Shell

Like what I said in my recent review of X-Men: Days Of Futures Past, the movie follows a certain formula which ensures a PG-13 rating for an action/comedy; which is much more profitable than R, and completely more profitable than PG.

Therefore, the movie contains constant violence and on screen deaths; however, virtually no blood.

As far as profanity, again like X-Men: Days Of Futures Past, they casually use pretty much every word in the book once, except for “the f-word” or “g.d.” or references to female genitalia. The main character also “shoots a bird,” uncensored; unlike in the preview.

Regarding nudity, just like X-Men: Days Of Futures Past, there is a brief shot of a man’s bare butt. But female nudity is not a problem whatsoever.

Rocket-Raccoon-Groot-Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Character-Poster

I assumed that for a science fiction comedy, there would probably be reoccurring shots of scantily clad female aliens, but unless you’re really making a point to scan the background shots of crowds of people, you won’t find that in this movie.

That’s especially opposed to X-Men: Days Of Futures Past, which contained constant coverage of Jennifer Lawrence in a very form-fitting, yet non-explicit, skin suit.

As expected, Guardians Of The Galaxy contains a steady amount of “boy humor.” There is also an ongoing reference to the main character (Peter Quill, played by Chris Pratt) being a playboy with female aliens across the universe, yet nothing explicit is ever mentioned.

So over all, I would project that the youngest safe age for a child to see this movie would be around eleven years old; 6thgrade, which is how old I was when I saw Jurassic Park in the theatre back in 1993.

Russian guardians-of-the-galaxy_international-poster

I want to close by pointing out that Guardians Of The Galaxy is a very well done movie. It’s nostalgic, action-packed, and contains a great script and plot.

Think of it as the underdog version of X-Men: Days Of Futures Past. Unlike the X-Men, the Guardians of the Galaxy were not brought together as an all-star team.

It’s more like they ended together, not even liking each other for most of the movie.

However, they recognize they are all “losers,” all having lost something important in their lives; like their families and homes. That’s what brings them together.

Something else I particularly appreciate about the movie is that it has a perfect and happy ending, yet creatively leaves the door open to make a trilogy of the movie.

Thanks for reading my review today. You’re welcome back anytime!

*Click on “movie reviews” below to see other movies I’ve featured!

Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue- A Family Friendly Review

Today my wife and I took our son (age 3 years, 8 months) to his 2nd movie in a theatre: Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue.

Review Of Disney's Planes: Fire & Rescue

As expected, he loved it. Though, strangely, when I asked him what his favorite part was, he answered that it was when Dusty Crophopper crashes.

I personally definitely enjoyed this sequel more than the original.

Whereas the first Planes movie seemed more like the “plane version” of Cars, Planes: Fire & Rescue actually serves more as a spin-off of the first Planes movie.

I appreciate that Planes: Fire & Rescue picks up with the protagonist Dusty Crophopper moving on in his career. He leaves behind his career as a racer and decides to pursue obtaining his certfication to become a fire and rescue plane; in the majestic setting of the very fire-prone woodlands of northern California.

(As I learned from sitting through the movie’s ending credits, actual fire and rescue officials from Sacramento were consulted for the making of this movie.)

I felt the characters and the plot line in this sequel/spin-off were much interesting and original. It sort of reminds me of the difference between the two Captain America movies.

While the concept of death is not typically addressed in the Disney Cars/Planes universe, it definitely is in this movie.

They don’t shy away from that theme; as heroes of the fire and rescue team, they must be willing to sacrifice their lives for others. Death is not simply alluded to in Planes: Fire & Rescue, it’s very much a present concept throughout.

I believe that part of the reason it is rated PG instead of G is because of the undeniable theme of life and death; even though there are no shown “deaths” throughout the movie; they are only referenced.

Language and sexual content are not an issue. There are of course “vehicle-related” substitutes like “Chevy” being used as a curse word, for example.

Also, one scene features an “oil and gas bar” named Honkers, in which the sign contains the headlights of a car lit up, as to parody Hooters; though there are no “topless” waitresses, as suggested in the original Cars movie in which race fans “flashed” the race cars by turning on their headlights.

But obviously, only adults would even recognize those brief references. I can’t see any of those examples actually being perceived as offensive.

Review of Disney's Planes: Fire & Rescue

So in other words, Disney was clever enough to splice in a few subtle references to make sure that Planes: Fire & Rescue had just enough “oomph” to earn a PG rating.

By now, it should be common knowledge that PG rated kids’ movies make a lot more money than G-rated kids’ movies; likewise, PG-13 rated non-kids’ movies make a lot more money than PG rated non-kids’ movies.

(That explains why nearly every PG-13 rated movie contains its one token “f-word.” It ensures that more profitable PG-13 rating.)

In summary, our family loved seeing Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue on opening weekend. We had a great time! I seriously doubt your family will be disappointed either.

As you can see from the photo collage above, my son and I spent this morning building planes out of Legos in preparation for seeing the movie today. And of course, he had to take his two Planes toys with him to the theatre.

Thanks for reading my family friendly movie review of Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue. About a month from now, I plan to review the new (PG-13 rated) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

Will it be suitable for my son? Let’s find out… next month.

2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie theatre

Movie Guy, at Your Service: The Social Network (Plus, Which Actors are Jewish)

Why this movie guy proclaims it to be “Movie of the Year”.

I am extremely picky when it comes to movies.  Extremely. Very seldom do I finish seeing a movie and say, “There’s nothing they could have done to make that any better.  It was perfect.”  But that’s what I said to my wife as I left the cinema on Saturday afternoon after seeing The Social Network.

For a person who hasn’t seen The Social Network yet, and especially for a person who hasn’t even seen a preview for it either, it would be easy to think of it as Facebook: The Movie, some light-hearted movie about how facebook got started.  Fortunately, the movie’s title doesn’t contain the word “facebook” in it.  “The Social Network” is the best possible title because the film retraces all of the random people it took to invent, expand, sustain, and make a confirmed success out of the website.

I always assumed that Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg himself was the responsible for it all.  Played by Jesse Eisenberg, facebook creator Zuckerberg comes across as an obsessed college student with Aspergers (he’s just extremely intelligent, instead), so consumed with his website idea that despite making facebook about socializing with people, that his last concern in the world is actually having real friends.

It’s interesting to see how Zuckerberg journeys through the entire movie, constantly finding ways to improve facebook, plowing through real-life friends along the way, collecting and adding their ideas to his growing snowball of a website.  I had no idea that Napster creator Sean Parker, cleverly portrayed by Justin Timberlake, at one time played an important part in it all.

A key factor in The Social Network‘s success is its dark and sophisticated tone. It’s not just Trent Reznor’s musical contributions going on in the background.  I can confidently state that the movie can’t be described as “fun” or “trendy”.  It’s not quirky in the ways that made Garden State a comedy as well as a drama.  The Social Network is simply just a drama, but an infectiously interesting one.  I was impressed how they could fit the coolness of an R-rated movie into the limitations of a PG-13 rating.

When the movie ended, I came to terms with the fact there was no real climax or truly resolvable plot… just like facebook.  In the movie, Zuckerberg compares facebook to fashion, in that it never ends.  The Social Network, from start to finish, is an ongoing, constantly evolving entity.  For me, the whole movie was a continual plot line and climax. This offbeat formula captures the idea of facebook so well.

For me to say that The Social Network is the movie of the year is to say that it’s better than Inception.  So just to be clear, for me, it was better than Inception. My guess is that most people who have seen both movies will disagree with me. But the cultural relevance, perfectly executed acting, and snappy pace of The Social Network kept my mind from ever wandering.  And in age where things like facebook only encourage ADHD behavior, a movie that can keep my attention for a solid two hours and one minute deserves a prize for that alone.

Ethnic Backgrounds of the Main Cast

The Real Mark Zuckerberg