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Film

Family Movie Guide

By STEVE PERSALL
Published March 25, 2004

The Family Movie Guide should be used along with the Motion Picture Association of America rating system for selecting movies suitable for children. Only films rated G, PG or PG-13 are included in this weekly listing, along with occasional R-rated films that may have entertainment or educational value for older children with parental guidance. Compiled by St. Petersburg Times film critic Steve Persall.

RECOMMENDED

Agent Cody Banks: Destination London

(PG) - Sequel to last year's adventure of a teenage secret agent (Frankie Muniz) and his James Bond-style gadgets. Mild action violence a la Spy Kids, plus the bit of crude humor today's youth market demands.

Miracle B-

(PG) - The fact-based story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team is inspiring, patriotic and, for sports fans, the quintessential underdog saga. Salty language in the heat of competition and rough-and-tumble hockey violence shouldn't keep children away from this rousing film.

NASCAR 3-D: The IMAX Experience A

(PG) - Nothing objectionable about this tribute to the popular auto-racing sport except perhaps a few glimpses of beer being guzzled by fans on the infield. A few crash sequences are intense, but nobody gets seriously hurt. Parents are cautioned that the IMAX sound system amplifies these 800-horsepower engines to a degree that could be damaging to the delicate ears of children. Ear plugs are suggested.

RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS

50 First Dates C+

(PG-13) - Adam Sandler's brand of sexual humor, crude gags and drug references is popular with young audiences and tame by Farrelly brothers standards. He teams again with The Wedding Singer co-star Drew Barrymore for a romantic comedy about a man wooing a women with short-term memory loss. Recommended for ages 13 and older.

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights

(PG-13) - While it isn't likely to be as fondly remembered as 1987's original Dirty Dancing, this prequel with pretty people and peppy music will attract young viewers. The MPAA rating is due to "sensuality," mostly in the steamy salsa dance numbers.

Hidalgo B

(PG-13) - The Return of the King star Viggo Mortensen plays a Pony Express rider taking his trusty horse, Hidalgo, to Saudi Arabia for a high-stakes desert race. The MPAA rating is the result of action violence and mild sexual innuendo.

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed C

(PG) - The creatures are creepier than 2002's original Scooby-Doo, creating Ghostbusters-style havoc that could induce nightmares in young viewers. Mild profanity and rude humor aimed at grownups who loved the cartoon series in the 1970s are included.

NOT RECOMMENDED

Barbershop 2: Back in Business B-

(PG-13) - Expect the same profanity, sexual material and drug references from this sequel to the 2002 hit Barbershop.

Jersey Girl B

(PG-13) - Kevin Smith's first movie without an R rating still contains some of his bawdy humor. Moderate profanity, crude jokes and sexual tension between Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler were slightly toned down from the film's original R rating.

Starsky & Hutch D

(PG-13) - Comical remake of the 1970s television series is aimed at audiences who are grownups now. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson lampoon the detective duo in a film loaded with drug content, sexual situations, partial nudity, profanity and violence.

Welcome to Mooseport C+

(PG-13) - A hardware store owner (Ray Romano) and a former U.S. president (Gene Hackman) vie to become mayor of a tiny town in Maine and for the affections of a local woman. Profanity, sexual situations and brief nudity.

[Last modified March 24, 2004, 10:11:18]


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