Family glance at films including newest 'Potter'
A guide to movies from a family perspective:
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
Suitable for: 10 and up, or younger children familiar with the book.
What you should know: The franchise’s sixth movie, based on the sixth book, finds 16-year-old Harry, Ron and Hermione dealing with the evil Lord Voledemort’s legion of Death Eaters, who are becoming brazen in attacks on wizards and Muggles alike. At Hogwarts school, headmaster Dumbledore has a mission for Harry, while the teen wizard and his friends are in the throes of coming-of-age turmoil. Jim Broadbent joins the all-star cast as Professor Horace Slughorn.
Sexual situations and nudity: Love and lust are in the air for the teens at Hogwarts. There’s suggestive talk and one particularly crass boy, but mostly, passion is expressed with silliness (a smothering, lovestruck girl; a potion that renders Ron goofy). There’s also the occasional “snogging” (heavy smooching), and one sweet kiss between Harry and the new girl in his life.
Violence/scary situations: The opening scene shows Death Eaters on the loose, destroying a pedestrian bridge in London. Harry and his nemesis, Draco Malfoy, have a wands-out, bloody encounter; a female student is attacked via a curse; and nasty creatures give the audience and Harry a jolt as he and Dumbledore face a fight for their lives. Voldemort appears in flashbacks as his younger self, the creepy Tom Riddle. A home is destroyed, and a beloved character dies.
Drug or alcohol use: There is the social and medicinal drinking of beer (not to be confused with butterbeer) and wine.
“I Love You, Beth Cooper”Rated: PG-13.
Best for: Mature high-school students (ideally, juniors or seniors) and older moviegoers.
What you should know: This is based on a popular novel about a dorky valedictorian who declares his love for a popular cheerleader during his graduation speech.
Language: One f-word, a couple of uses of profanity and at least a half-dozen mild expletives.
Sexual situations and nudity: A married couple neck in a car and are caught partially clothed. Teen-age girls are shown from behind, naked from the waist up. A boy and two girls share a bed after an (unseen) experimental threesome. A girl blows up a condom, like a balloon, and another trades an extended kiss, also not shown, for beer.
Violence/scary situations: Lots of punches, falls, fights, attempts to choke or stomp someone, and reckless driving.
Alcohol and drug use: A man in the midst of a violent outburst is asked, “Have you been doing coke?,” and teens buy beer and drink it and other alcoholic beverages.
“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”
Best for: Preschoolers who can sit attentively through a movie that’s roughly an hour and a half (and all the previews and commercials before).
What you should know: This is the third movie in the series and the first in 3-D, where available. In addition to revisiting the Ice Age, it introduces a land of dinosaurs with a new cast of characters and voices.
Sexual situations and nudity: Nothing notable, other than some animal flirtation, labor pains and discreet birth of a woolly mammoth.
Violence/scary situations: Cartoon falls, chases and captures, ferocious dinosaurs, animal skeletons and a story about a weasel who lost an eye to a dinosaur and now wears a leafy eye patch, but it’s all pretty mild.
Alcohol and drug use: None.
Best for: Mature high-school students and older.
What you should know: This is light Woody Allen about a crotchety genius (Larry David) who improbably opens his New York apartment to a Southern runaway (Evan Rachel Wood) and, even harder to believe, marries her. When her divorced parents come looking for her, their lives are turned upside down, too.
Language: The language includes brief profanity.
Sexual situations and nudity: A woman shares her bed with two men and exhibits oversize nude photos, and a man realizes late in life that he is attracted to other men. Kisses are exchanged between couples.
Violence/scary situations: Unsuccessful suicide attempts, played for laughs.
Alcohol and drug use: Adults drink wine, beer or shots and sometimes get tipsy, and there is a quickie scene with a bong.
Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.scrippsnews.com.