Funniest “Thor” movie has tons of style, plenty of violence.
“Thor: Ragnarok” is the third chapter in Marvel’s solo-superhero series about the ancient God of thunder, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) — and the first to be directed by cult favorite Taika Waititi (“What We Do in the Shadows”). It’s much less serious and dark than the previous “Thor” installments (especially “The Dark World”); humor/tone-wise, it’s a lot more like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Ant-Man.” Violence will probably be the main issue for most parents: Characters die, and there’s more slashing and stabbing than in other Marvel movies, though it’s still mostly gore-free and non-graphic. You can also expect plenty of big, explosive comic book-style moments. Language includes
“a--” and “s---”, as well as adolescent-humor-style references to masturbation and orgies. One character drinks a lot, but it’s not treated as a serious problem. There’s a theme of facing major, traumatic change that will have ripples throughout future Marvel titles and may have an impact on younger viewers; characters also display positive traits including courage and perseverance. (130 minutes)
Clever animated throwback to ’60s Batman has some violence.
“Batman vs. Two-Face” is similar in tone to the campy 1960s TV “Batman” starring Adam West and Burt Ward, who also provide the voices of Batman and Robin in this animated film. In contrast with the moody, more sobering Batman theatrical movies and dark, violent direct-to-DVD fare from recent years, this one is funny, with exaggerated comic action and word balloons. You’ll see plenty of PLONK!s and ZAP!s and hear lots of intentionally corny dialogue and exclamations like “Holy blind spot!” and “Holy overdue books!” You can also expect the cartoon gunfire, lasers, lightning flashes, explosions, fires and fistfights. Gotham’s usual villains — the Joker, the Riddler, Catwoman (voiced by original actress Julie Newmar) and the Penguin — are all on hand; Harvey Dent (William Shatner) also plays a major part in this story of a human’s capacity for “duality” (or “two faces”). Fun for new fans and nostalgic for older ones, this one is best for kids who are fine with imaginary vs. real violence. It also marks West’s final time playing the iconic Caped Crusader; he died a few months before its release. (72 minutes)
Via Amazon, iTunes and Google Play. Also available on DVD.
Pop star reveals struggles in raw documentary; drug addiction, sex.
“Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated” is a documentary about the Disney child-star-turned-pop-superstar. Early on, Lovato says that the last time she was interviewed, she was high on cocaine. Later, viewers see visuals of cocaine getting cut into lines with a razor blade. Lovato speaks frankly about the intense bullying she suffered as a tween; classmates created a “suicide petition” lobbying her to kill herself. Other topics include mental health, eating disorders and how it was all magnified by the pressures of child stardom. The “it’s lonely at the top” theme is heightened as Lovato discusses the hard work and dedication required to succeed in entertainment. “F---” is bleeped repeatedly; other words include “b----,” “hell,” etc. Lovato says she enjoys casual sex, and there’s talk of how she wants to “close the deal” on a date. While much of the film is devoted to showing how Lovato stays successful after her struggles, it also raises questions of how these struggles are different for people without access to support/resources like rehab programs, personal trainers, chefs, managers and therapy sessions. Some of the “real talk” about Lovato’s problems is overshadowed by her pop-star life of clubbing, dating celebrities, etc. Lovato is shown working in the studio and performing, but there’s not much talk of actual music. At the end, there’s brief mention of her fans and literally one second showing her doing charity work. (78 minutes)
Via YouTube streaming.
Raunchy but sweet animated comedy has sex jokes galore.
“Big Mouth” is an animated comedy series that focuses on a group of teens who are obsessed with sex. They talk constantly about bodies, body parts, different types of sex, masturbation, orgasms and many other sex-related topics. Expect cartoon nudity — including male full-frontal — kissing and sex, as well as a realistic and sympathetic look at sexual development. There’s frequent cursing and language, too, with plenty of sexual words: “f---,”
“s---,” “p----,” “c---,” “a--,” “damn,” “hell,” “j--- off,” “sucks,” “d---s,”
“b----s” and “j---.” Characters tell each other to “shut up” and engage in mild fights where they push each other. A set of married parents overshares graphically, talking about their own sex life, sexual history and desires in a way that embarrasses their son deeply. Some jokes are about drugs and alcohol: A character refers to a friend who died of a heroin overdose. While this show is about young teens, it’s pretty mature and pretty raunchy — older teens who are post-puberty will probably be a better audience. (10 approximately half-hour episodes)
Via Netflix streaming.
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