Reviews: What's New This Week

Filed under: Activities: Babies, Toys, That's Entertainment


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: Shutter Island
Set in a 1950's asylum for the criminally insane, "Shutter Island" stars Leonardo DiCaprio as federal marshal hunting for an escaped murderess. Based on Dennis Lehane's novel of the same name, the film is a nightmarish thriller filled with dark and disturbing imagery. With scenes of drowned children, Nazi concentration camps and piles of dead bodies, the movie is far too scary for kids. Rated R, Iffy for Kids 17-18

DVD: Alice Through the Looking Glass
A 1966 NBC special, "Alice Through the Looking Glass" is a family-friendly musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll's beloved book. Featuring live-action performances by such old-school actors as Ricardo Montalban and the Smothers Brothers, the movie will likely appeal to grandparents as well as grade-schoolers. Although a few characters might be a bit frightening for very young kids, the film is pure 1960's innocence. Not Rated, OK for Kids 6+

TV: SciGirls
Intended to empower young girls, "SciGirls" is a new PBS show that features real tweens solving science-related problems. With an emphasis on teamwork and cooperation, the show hopes to inspire females to consider careers in such male-dominated fields as science, engineering and technology. A companion Web site allows science-minded girls to interact with one another and continue the learning online. Not Rated, OK for Kids 7+

Books: Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11
An introduction to space exploration for young kids, "Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11" is an illustrated history of man's journey to the moon. From launch to splashdown, author Brian Floca captures the excitement and wonder through engaging narrative and wonderfully detailed illustrations. OK for Kids 4+

Music: We Are the World (Various Artists)
Originally recorded in 1985 to benefit starving African nations, "We Are the World" gets a modern update to help victims of the January 2010 Haitian earthquake. As with the original, the new recording includes a diverse roster of artists that will appeal to all ages. Originally written by Michael Jackson, the 2010 version includes samples of his 1985 performance as well as some new rap verses. OK for Kids 8+

Web: Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Official Site
A companion site for the televised games, the "Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Official Site" provides a wealth of current information on the games. In addition to real-time reporting, the site includes a section on the history of the games, cultural information and, of course, the opportunity to shop in the Olympic store. Other than some beer ads, the site is family-friendly and a great way to keep track of the goings on in Vancouver. OK for Kids 8+


Games: Shiren the Wanderer
A role-playing game for Nintendo Wii, "Shiren the Wanderer" takes players through ancient Japan as they make their way to a mysterious mansion. While using strategy and logic to advance, players meet interesting characters and even learn a little history. In addition to some strong language and bloodless battles, the game is somewhat sexually suggestive and has many references to drinking alcohol. Rated T, OK for Kids 13+

Related: Olympic Sculpture is Berry Good

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