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INDIANA JONES, Narnia & More

By Jackie Burrell
Thursday, May 29th, 2008 at 6:15 am in Movies.

Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Paramount Pictures/MCT)
With a crack of his bullwhip and a sweep of the fedora, Indiana Jones ushered in summer blockbuster season last weekend with considerable pyrotechnics and plenty of gee-whiz-appeal. So we figure it’s high time we resurrect our aParentlySpeaking movie reviews, a round-up of family-centric movie commentaries inspired by the notion that not all PG-13 movies are created equal.

We caught Dr. Jones and his crystal skull adventures last weekend, of course, and LOVED the thrill-a-minute pace, although those voracious red ants? Shudder. But here’s what critics from our favorite family-centric review sites had to say…

There’s no real nudity in this Indy adventure, and the profanity is mild (3 scatological terms and 13 mild obscenities), but the violence is considerable. Explosions, brawls, zombie-like attackers and oh man, those ants. For blow-by-blow details, click here. And Plugged-In Online adds, “Action/adventure violence is what Indiana Jones films are all about, and ‘Crystal Skull’ doesn’t let its predecessors go it alone. Extras are mowed down with gusto, and sometimes with gruesome flair. The worst way to die here is via those iPod-esque Amazonian ants, which swarm characters and apparently eat them alive. We see one bad ‘un screaming as the ants envelop him, crawling into his mouth and ultimately dragging the struggling man to their massive anthill.” In other words, fantastic fare for the sturdy middle school and up crowd, may cause nightmares for the impressionable younger set.

But Narnia? We need to talk about that one, because most of us grown-ups remember “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” books as grade school favorites…But “Prince Caspian” the movie is not for youngsters, says Plugged-In Online‘s family movie critic: “This isn’t a kids’ movie. Or even a ‘family’ movie. It’s a war movie. From start to finish, battle scenes dominate the landscape… There’s a decapitation. Scores of stabbings. And while the body count may not exceed what’s seen in ‘300’, it’s headed in that direction.” Common Sense Media says there’s very little blood, but the impact is huge – and every main character, except Lucy, is responsible for many enemy deaths.

Coming soon:Kung Fu Panda” – the CGI animation tale of a panda, played by Jack Black, pushed to Shrek-like greatness – opens June 6, as does “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan,” in which Adam Sandler plays an Israeli counter-terrorist -turned-Manhattan-hairdresser. And we’d be rolling our eyes over the very premise except that Judd Apatow helped pen the script.

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