Box Office Mom: Life of Pi & Red Dawn

11:36 AM, Nov 26, 2012   |    comments
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Life of Pi

Rating: 4 and 1/2 out of 5 buckets

Release Date: November 21, 2012

MPAA Rating: PG

Best Age Group: 11+

Sexual Content: None

Violent/Disturbing Content: Moderate

Crude or Profane Language: None

Drugs and Alcohol: None

Will Kids Like It? Yes (mature pre-teens and teens)

The day Pi, a 16 year old Indian boy, and his family moved to Canada was the day that changed his life forever. Pi's father was a zoo keeper, so moving from India to Canada was not an easy task, especially since they traveled with the animals from the zoo. As they were on a Japanese Cargo ship heading to Canada, tragedy occurred. The ship sank, and the only survivors were Pi, a hyena, a zebra, a female orangutan and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Based on a best-selling novel, Life of Pi is an adventurous story about faith, hope and survival.

Pi never lost hope, he prayed and surrendered his life to God, and ultimately knew that God would take care of him. Great parent/child discussions.
This was an emotional, heartfelt story. As Pi was shipwrecked in the Pacific, on a life boat with a Bengel tiger, he thanked God. He thanked God for Richard Parker (the tiger), and the hardships he endured. Pi felt that Richard Parker gave him a purpose, kept him alert and alive.
Kids may get a little bored because of the mature subject matter. However mature pre-teens/ teenagers and most adults will like the film, especially those that read the book.
Sexual Content: None
Violent Content: Moderate
• When Pi tried to feed Richard Parker a slab of meat through a set of bars, his father was upset and wanted to teach Pi a lesson. He tied a live goat to the bars and forced his son to watch as the tiger killed and dragged the goat through the bars. We saw a dead animal in Parker's jaw, this was a disturbing scene.
• On the lifeboat there were some disturbing scenes as well. The hyena attacked the tiger, while Pi and the zebra screamed.
• The hyena and orangutan got into a fight, and Richard Parker (the tiger) killed the hyena.
• Pi pounded a fish with a hammer and killed it, he apologized afterward.
• We saw the cargo ship sink, killing many people.

Crude or Profane Language: None
Drugs and Alcohol Content: None

Red Dawn

Rating: 3 out of 5 buckets
Release Date: November 21, 2012
MPAA Rating: PG13
Best Age Group: 14+
Sexual Content: Mild
Violent Content: Excessive
Crude or Profane Language: Excessive
Drugs and Alcohol Content: Mild
Will Kids Like It? Yes

On a bright sunny Saturday morning the U. S had been invaded by North Koreans, and the city of Spokane, Washington was the initial target. The innocent citizens found themselves prisoners, and their town under enemy occupation. It was Jed Eckert (a twenty-something Marine, recently home from Iraq), and his brother Matt (a high school football player), who gathered a group of young men (known as the Wolverines) to defend their country. They hid in the woods and vigorously trained. These men showed courage and strength while sacrificing their lives to fight the invaders for freedom. Red Dawn, a remake of the 1984 original film, is an action packed war movie, one that teenage boys will love!

There were messages about patriotism and teamwork woven through the film. Jed tells the group, "We inherited our freedom, now it's up to all of us to fight for it." My sons and nephews had chills during some of the intense patriotic scenes.
The two brothers, Jed and Matt, were very close. Though they had some issues with each other, they ultimately supported and loved one another.
One boy, who had been implanted with a tracking device, separated himself from the group to protect them from danger.
There were a lot of well known actors, whom teenagers will like. To name a few; Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, from the show Drake and Josh, and Adrianne Palicki from the show, Friday Night Lights.
Parents need to be aware of the excessive, disturbing violent scenes. In the film two boys watched their father die and a boy saw his brother die; the violence never ended.
Sexual Content: Mild
• We saw a couple kissing. The boy began to run his hand up her leg, but she slapped it.
• References were made about "hot, sexy girls."

Violent Content: Excessive
• Numerous people died from explosives, machine guns, pistols and tanks.
• The group of boys attacked the North Korean headquarters, during the raid there were several explosions.
• There were combat-related violent scenes throughout most of the film.
• We saw a character drinking a deer's blood, which was disgusting.
• We saw one character stitching up another character's open wound, the camera zoomed in on the wound.

Crude o Profane Language: Excessive
• The f-word was said once. We heard "sh--," "a--,"h--," and "b--ch," throughout the film. We also heard, "d-ck," "pr--k," and "b--tard,"

Drugs and Alcohol Content: Mild
• Jed was shown drinking beer. He tried to get his teenage brother to drink a one as well.
• We saw character's drinking at a bar.

Will Kids Like It? Yes
• I brought 4 teenage boys who all loved the film.

As I previously mentioned, this is an action packed war movie, one that boys may like. Parents need to be aware of the excessive violence and profane language. Depending on the child, I recommend this for boys ages 14 and up.

Courtesy: Jackie Solberg,


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