Reviews: What's New This Week

Filed under: Activities: Babies, Toys, Music, Books, Movies, New In Pop Culture

Despicable Me, in theaters now! Credit: Illumination Entertainment, AP

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: Despicable Me
An evil villain with mommy issues adopts three little girls in "Despicable Me," an animated comedy featuring the voice talent of Steve Carell. Some families may take issue with the film's portrayal of the adoption process, which is as unrealistic as it could be. Otherwise, the movie is silly fun with a positive message about the underlying good that can be found in everyone. Rated PG, OK for kids 6+

DVD: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
An average boy turned half-god hero must visit the underworld and save his mother in "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief." The film is dark and violent and Percy's battles with gruesome creatures can be intense. While the language is fairly tame, there are a few sexually suggestive scenes and some reckless behavior by teens and adults. Rated PG, OK for kids 11+

TV: The Choir
A BBC America docuseries, "The Choir" features the trials and tribulations of Gareth Malone as he struggles to create a competitive choir in a school full of apathetic students. Through auditions, selection and practice for the choir Olympics in China, the master and his students are transformed. Rated TV-PG, OK for kids 12+

Books: Kit Feeny Series
A little boy learns to deal with disappointment, losing a friend and other difficulties of life in the "Kit Feeny Series," an illustrated story collection by Michael Townsend. Kit is a wonderful role model who ultimately learns that having a positive attitude can make all the difference in the world. OK for Kids 8+

Music: Round and Round by Selena Gomez
The Disney star grows up a little on her single "Round and Round." While the song is free of explicit lyrics, the subject matter may be too mature for her youngest fans. Heartbroken over a difficult romance, she sings of the emotional turmoil of being unable to break free from a boy who causes her pain. Iffy for kids 10 to 11

Web: Zimmer Twins
Users can create their own animated stories by piecing together short video clips at "Zimmer Twins," a content-sharing site for aspiring filmmakers. Once posted, users can comment on each others' movies and nominate the best to be uploaded on YouTube. OK for kids 8+

Games: Sin & Punishment: Star Successor
For Nintendo Wii, "Sin & Punishment: Star Successor" is a fast-paced, third-person shooter game in which players zip through the skies doing battle with robots and other creatures. The bloodless fantasy violence is relatively mild and the game is easily adaptable to different skill levels. Rated T, OK for kids 13+

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