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.

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

John Mayer’s Stupid Mouth

Will his recent humiliation humble him for good?  We keep on waiting.  (Waiting.)  Waiting for John Mayer to change.

In November 2009 when his new album Battle Studies was released, I wrote a review that in essence said the music itself was solid as always, but the man John Mayer himself was becoming increasingly annoying and obnoxious (read it here  But I have the ability to separate the art from the artist.  I believe John Mayer will always make music that I love, but can he ever get over himself?

I remember a simpler time, in college, circa 2002, when I ironically thought to myself as I was in the check out aisle, “How weird would it be if John Mayer was ever on the cover of these tabloid magazines?  What if he dated famous stars like Jennifer Aniston?”  It was such a foreign thought regarding the fresh-on-the-scene musical Wonderboy.

So it obviously was a huge case of déjà vu when this random thought from just a few short years earlier became a reality.  And with his rock star status came a major case of “I’m too sexy for my cat”.  That brings us to the year 2010.

The once funny and personable musician began to realize that the general consensus of him is that he is the current textbook definition of a douchebag, even more so than Spencer Pratt, who held that title for 2008.  Realizing this, and trying to shrug off his undesirable reputation, he acknowledged the public’s perception of himself in the December 2009 issue of Details magazine, yet still ended up saying this:

“I’m in the place of greatest freedom right now- not giving a f—…  I don’t have f— you money… I have ‘that’s my seat’ money’ “

Ultimately, his attitude has seemed to be: “I’m John Mayer.  I’ve got the talent, money, fame, and women that everyone else wants.  Oh yeah, and I’m clever and witty too.  See?”

Here’s the complete article:

It didn’t seem like he really cared or wanted to change.  He just wanted people to stop desecrating his name.

Then came the interview with Playboy magazine.  To sum it up, he’s gives his biggest “kiss and tell” list ever as he sexually degrades the women he’s been romantically involved with, makes a remark about his romantic disinterest in African-American women, and uses the “N-word” in the process.  That’s the PG summary.  Here’s a more detailed recap, not the actual interview:

Not quite the same mindset as his hit song, “Daughters”.

Soon after, he apologized on Twitter.  And last night here in Nashville he broke down on stage in the middle of “Gravity” (appropriate song choice) with the most sincere apology and acknowledgement of his self-centeredness:

It’s one thing to be a rich and famous womanizer, but even worse to acknowledge it, then brag about it while trying to appear sophisticated, in the public eye.

Now only time will tell whether the musical prodigy/media addict will return to the 2002 version of himself.  The guy that knew how to keep his stupid mouth shut.  The guy that seemed to narrate my life the way the TV show The Wonder Years did when I was a kid.  The only other guy I knew who was equally obsessed with the year 1983.

No need for us to collect all of our John Mayer recordings and burn them in the city square like disgruntled fans did with The Beatles when John Lennon said they were bigger than Jesus, or when Natalie Maines of The Dixie Chicks said they were ashamed of President Bush.  I still believe in the guy, as a person, that he can get through this by getting over himself.

Back on his first album, Room for Squares, John asked the question:  “Will you love me when I’m not myself?”

Yes.  Yes, John, I will.  But I hope the real you is the 2002 version, not 2010.

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