Reviews: What's New This Week

Filed under: New In Pop Culture, Movies

Black Swan

Natalie Portman stars in "Black Swan." Credit: Niko Tavernise, Fox Searchlight/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: "Black Swan"
After scoring the role of a lifetime, a beautiful and dedicated ballerina descends into madness in "Black Swan," a macabre thriller starring Natalie Portman. Dark and intense, the film features scenes of emotional and physical violence, disturbing sexual situations and lots of drinking and drugging. Rated R, iffy for kids 16-18

DVD: "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
With a mix of comedy, mythology, drama and romance, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" has a little something for everyone. Partly inspired by the Disney classic "Fantasia," the film puts a fantastical spin on the classic good-against-evil story. There are some violent scenes, but they are mostly bloodless and the romance is limited to a few kisses. Rated PG, OK for kids 9+

TV: "G.I. Joe Renegades"
A remake of the classic '80s cartoon, "G.I. Joe Renegades" is as weapon-filled and aggressive as the original, but with one big twist: The good guys are now taking orders from a woman. Gender equality aside, the series is meant to appeal to those who like the rough and tumble and aren't put off by intense animated violence. Rated TV-Y7-FV

Books: "Mockingbird"
Winner of the 2010 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, "Mockingbird" is written from the point of view of a 10 year-old girl with Asperger's Syndrome. As she learns to overcome her own limitations, she helps her family and community recover after a violent act takes the lives of two students. OK for kids 10+

Music: "Pink Friday" by Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj's "Pink Friday" follows the tried-and-true formula for hip hop success with lyrics that are vulgar, cocky and violent. With some drugs and alcohol references thrown in for good measure, these 13 tracks truly earned that parental advisory label. Iffy for kids 16-18

Games: "Epic Mickey"
For Nintendo Wii, "Epic Mickey" is not just a game -- it's a grand adventure with an emotional climax. Players take on the role of Mickey, himself, as he gets sucked into a dark world where he must restore color and life. With lots of passages to explore and twists and turns along the way, it's sure to be a hit this Christmas. Rated E, OK for kids 8+

Web: Elf Yourself
For some silly holiday fun, check out "Elf Yourself," a site where visitors can upload images of their own faces to create personalized dancing elves. The site is free to use, but if you want to save your work on your own computer you'll have to fork over $4.99. OK for kids 14+


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