Reel Life

. January 9, 2013.

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, violence and disturbing content. In theaters
01/07/11. Ok for kids 14+. 3 out of 5 Reels.
It’s difficult to peg Nicolas Cage in any one role, because he chooses such a varied assortment of characters to play. This film finds him as a medieval knight named Behman who undertakes a mission against an ancient and dark force. Yes, it sounds a lot like ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,’ but in this case, Behman, who’s spent years fighting as a crusader, returns to central Europe to find his homeland decimated by the Black Plague. While searching for food and supplies at the Palace in Marburg, he and trusted companion Felson (Ron Perlman) are ordered by a dying cardinal (Christopher Lee) to deliver a peasant girl to a remote abbey where her powers can be destroyed – she’s believed to be the witch responsible for the Plague. But as he and five others set off on the dangerous journey, they realize that this girl is no ordinary human and evil is afoot. Don’t expect a cute Disney film here. It’s a supernatural thriller that’s a cross between The CW’s ‘Supernatural’ and Ridley Scott’s 2005 film ‘Kingdom of Heaven.’ For that reason, I don’t recommend it for kids younger than 14. 

Not yet rated; likely PG-13. In theaters 01/14/11. Ok for kids 13+.
3.5 out of 5 Reels.
I never in a million years would have pegged Seth Rogen as a comic book superhero, but seeing him as The Green Hornet has set my mind at ease. In fact, because he’s not really superhero material is precisely why he works so well in this role. He’s introduced to us as party-hearty Britt Reid, a guy who’s done basically nothing worthwhile in his life. But when his dad (Tom Wilkinson) is found dead, Britt finds himself in charge of his dad’s newspaper publishing empire – as well as fighting crime at night as a masked superhero known as The Green Hornet. Britt gets some coaching by martial arts expert Kato, played by Jay Chou. Filling out the cast are Edward James Olmos, Edward Furlong, Christoph Waltz and Cameron Diaz. Evan Goldberg (‘Pineapple Express’ and ‘Superbad’) wrote the screenplay along with Rogen, and the director is Michel Gondry, whose directing credits include ‘The Science of Sleep’ and ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.’Interesting mix of cast and crew!

Rated G. On DVD 01/04/11. Ok for kids 5+. 3.5 out of 5 Reels. On
Jacob Hays is hilarious on the Disney Channel’s ‘Really Short Report,’ where he reviews new Disney DVDs. Now he gets to bring his humor to the role of Sam Steele, Jr., a 13-year-old who forms his own detective agency to emulate his father, Des Moines detective Sam Steele, Sr. (Darren Kennedy). Katherine McNamara, M. Emmet Walsh and Luke Perry round out the cast in this cute family comedy that scored big at the St. Louis
International Film Festival.

Not Rated (but G material). On DVD 01/18/11. Ok for kids 4+. 4 out of 5
Reels. On
Isn’t it time your kids discovered the magic of Sid and Marty Krofft? Not only that, but you get to re-live the Saturday mornings of your youth with this first series from the legendary producers. When a boy named Jimmy (Jack Wild) finds himself stranded on Living Island with his magic gold flute Freddy, he’s taken in by a talking dragon named H.R. Pufnstuf, who also happens to be the mayor of the island. Pufnstuf tries to help Jimmy escape, while at the same time avoid the evil Witchiepoo (Billie Hayes) who wants the magic flute all to herself!