Reviews: What's New This Week

Filed under: Media, Toys, New In Pop Culture

Here is a look at what's new this week in family entertainment as adapted from reviews and ratings by Common Sense Media. Click on the links to read the reviews in full.

In Theaters Now: 9
In the world of "9," humanity has been reduced to a band of rag-doll-like beings who must decide whether to fight or flee the evil robots determined to destroy them. Extraordinary animation and a quick pace make for an exciting adventure, but the dark tone and intense machine-on-rag-doll violence may be too frightening for younger viewers. Rated PG-13, OK for Kids 12+

Scooby Doo The Mystery BeginsDVD: Scooby-Doo: The Mystery Begins
A live-action take on the popular cartoon series, "Scooby-Doo: The Mystery Begins" takes viewers back in time to Coolsville High where the sleuthing foursome meet for the first time. High school stereotypes are examined and overcome as the new friends and their canine sidekick Scooby Doo find themselves caught up in their very first mystery. While the creepy ghosts may frighten young viewers, teens and tweens will no doubt love this action-packed and funny film. NR, OK for Kids 7+

TV: The Vampire Diaries
The CW Network hops on the blood-sucking bandwagon with "The Vampire Diaries," a new series based on L.J. Smith's young-adult novels. Although the show is clearly aimed at teens, parents may find the content wholly inappropriate even for high-schoolers. Featuring underage drinking, bloody violence and coarse language, this show is anything but a must-see. Rated TV-14, Iffy for Kids 14-18

The Marshmallow IncidentBooks: The Marshmallow Incident
With only a dotted line to separate them, the neighboring towns of Left and Right have always been happy to keep their distance from one another. But when a misunderstanding leads to "The Marshmallow Incident," the residents of both towns must reconsider their self-imposed separation and find a way to end the feud. Written by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett, it's a fun fable about putting differences aside and resolving conflicts. OK for Kids 5+

Music: Abbey Road
The perfect album for introducing children to The Beatles, "Abbey Road" is a kid-friendly example of some of the Fab Four's best work. In addition to John and Paul's prolific contributions, the group's last album together includes Ringo Starr's "Octopus's Garden" and George Harrison's "Something." With clean lyrics and beautiful music, "Abbey Road" is as entertaining and appropriate as any children's album out there. OK for Kids 7+

Web: Do Ink
If you have a budding technical artist in your house, "Do Ink" is the place for them. Educational and fun, the site contains tutorials and easy-to-use tools for creating art and online animations that can be shared with others or kept private. Closely moderated and supportive, the site allows users to be creative within the parameters of what might be seen in a PG-13 movie. OK for Kids 13+

The Beatles Rock BandGames: The Beatles: Rock Band
At long last, John, Paul, George and Ringo get the rock star treatment in "The Beatles: Rock Band" game for the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3. Featuring 45 remastered tracks, the game puts players on stage with The Beatles as they advance from their humble Liverpool beginnings to their final rooftop performance in London. With lots of cool extras and multi-player options, this is a game the whole family can enjoy together. Rated T, OK for Kids 11+

Commonsense Media

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.