Reviews: What's New This Week

Filed under: Toys, Music, Movies, 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: Marmaduke
Potty humor and doggy romance are the hallmarks of "Marmaduke," a live-action film featuring the famously large comic strip character. In this dog-out-of-water film, the mutts act like like teenagers and the dog park takes the place of the cliquish world of high school. Occasionally funny and never offensive, it's sure to be a hit with fans of the talking animal genre. Rated PG, OK for kids 8+


DVD: Alice in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll's classic tale gets the Tim Burton treatment in "Alice in Wonderland." Alice is older now but her new adventure is just as trippy as the old one. Despite the family-friendly rating, the 3-D film is dark and includes enough violence, scary creatures and intense scenes to make it too much for younger kids. Rated PG, iffy for kids 10-11

TV: Dad Camp
Dads-to-be are schooled about the responsibilities of fatherhood in "Dad Camp," a new reality series on VH1. None of the young men profiled on the show are married and most are ill-prepared for what lies ahead. While the lesson about the importance of stepping up and being a real father is a good one, the message is lost amid the screaming, cursing and general bad behavior caught on camera. Rated TV-14, iffy for kids 14-17

Books: Farm
The rhythm of rural living is examined in "Farm," a beautifully illustrated story that takes readers through the seasons on a working farm. Educational and entertaining, the book presents a realistic look at the life of a farm family as they care for their animals and crops throughout the year. A glossary is included for looking up unfamiliar words. OK for kids 5+

Music: It's On by Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato
The first single release from Disney's upcoming "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam," "It's On" features the movie's stars getting pumped for the big battle of the bands. The song is a high energy rocker with squeaky clean lyrics about trying your best and giving it your all. OK for kids 7+

Web: Mother Goose Club
A noncommercial site for preschoolers, "Mother Goose Club" features nursery rhyme videos starring costumed characters straight out of a book. The short videos encourage little ones to get up and move while subtly promoting literacy through screen captions. An offshoot of a local Nashville television show, the clips are produced by mother and educator Sona Jho. OK for kids 2+

Games: Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers
For Nintendo DS, DSi, Wii, Windows and Xbox 360, "Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers" is the latest release in the "Backyard Sports" series. As the new kid in town, players must form a new team and take over the baseball diamond by defeating all the other teams. Weapons include flaming bats and balls that never actually hurt anyone. Rated E, OK for kids 7+

Related: Best New Family Road Trip Music

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