Reviews: What's New This Week

Filed under: New In Pop Culture, Music, Movies, Video Games

Denzel Washington, left, and Chris Pine are shown in a scene from "Unstoppable." Credit: Robert Zuckerman, AP/20th Century Fox

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: "Unstoppable"
A runaway train threatens a Pennsylvania town in "Unstoppable," an action adventure film starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine. Although the film is non-stop suspense and explosions abound, it isn't graphically violent and the body count stops at one. Rated PG-13, OK for kids 13+

DVD: "Ramona and Beezus"
Based on Beverly Cleary's beloved book series, "Ramona and Beezus" is a kid-friendly movie about a mischievous little girl and the family who loves her. The main storyline is taken from "Ramona and Her Father" with secondary elements borrowed from other books in the series. It works beautifully thanks to the casting of Joey King, who perfectly captures the free spirit of Ramona Quimby. Rated G, OK for kids 6+

TV: "Avalon High"
New on the Disney Channel, "Avalon High" brings the legend of King Arthur to high school. Suspecting the football players are reincarnated Knights of the Round Table, the new girl in town sets out to discover the truth about her unusual new friends. Clean language and only very mild flirting make this show appropriate for younger kids. Rated TV-G, OK for kids 7+

Books: "Forge"
Author Laurie Halse Anderson explores the harsh reality of slavery and wartime in "Forge," an historical novel set during the American Revolution. A sequel to "Chains," the story is told from the perspective of a slave and is at times intensely violent. OK for kids 11+

Music: "Firework" by Katy Perry
Pop star Katy Perry sings about believing in yourself when things get tough on "Firework," a single release from her album, "Teenage Dream." With surprisingly clean lyrics and an inspiring message, this one is entirely appropriate for Perry's younger fans. OK for kids 10+

Game: "Monopoly Streets"
For Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, "Monopoly Streets" is the video game version of the classic board game. Fully animated avatars roam around a 3-D city, collecting properties and doing deals. Frantic bidding wars and humorous graphics give this video version a freshness and excitement the board game lacks. Rated E, OK for kids 8+

Web: MiniMonos
A virtual world for eco-minded tweens, "MiniMonos" lets visitors learn how to be green through games, activities and videos. Founded by an environmental advocate and mom, the site encourages responsibility, generosity and friendship. Basic membership is free but paid subscribers can access moderated chat and more goodies. OK for kids 9+


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