Fun, fast-paced sequel has some dark, dizzying violence.
“Spider-Man: Far From Home” is the first post-“Avengers: Endgame” movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; it works as both an epilogue to that saga and as a bridge to future films. Starring Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, the tween-friendly sequel to “Spider-Man: Homecoming” — which takes place on a high school trip to Europe — deals with the aftermath of the Big Snap and other major losses, but it’s also fun and comical. Expect a bit more action violence than in “Homecoming,” even accounting for eventual twists and turns that reveal that not everything (including the violence) is what it seems. And some of the video game-like battle scenes are literally dizzying. Characters are injured and shot at, there’s massive destruction (much caused by superstrong water/fire/air monsters), and Spider-Man is so wounded that he looks battered and requires medical attention. Occasional strong language includes “d---wad,” bulls---,” “b----,” and one cut-off “what the f---.” There’s a jokey reference to a pay-per-view adult movie that many kids will miss, and Peter is shirtless and changes in a few scenes. Romance includes flirting, lots of discussion about liking someone/dating, and some hand-holding and a few brief kisses. The cast is realistically diverse for a New York City high school and includes characters of various backgrounds and sizes. As with all superhero movies, the themes focus on power and responsibility, leadership, courage, confidence, perseverance and rising up to face your destiny. (129 minutes)
Poignant, thrilling tale of groundbreaking female sailors.
“Maiden” is a documentary about the pioneering all-woman crew of sailors, led by Tracy Edwards, who raced the titular boat in the prestigious Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989-1990. Director Alex Holmes (“Stop at Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story”) interviews Edwards and her crew — as well as male competitors, sports journalists and Edwards’s family and friends — to chronicle the groundbreaking story. Expect occasional strong language (“f---,” “s---,” etc.) and sexist comments about the Maiden’s crew, as well as some discussion of storms and dangers at sea (the women recall a sailor from another boat perishing). Drinking is talked about, and people are shown smoking. Ultimately the film has strong messages about teamwork, communication, perseverance and courage. (93 minutes)
Fun quiz show tests adults’ knowledge of elementary topics.
“Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” is a revival of the same-named game show hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. This iteration gives the hosting honors to John Cena, but has a similar premise, posing grade-school-level questions to adult contestants who win increasing amounts of cash with each correct answer — and can ask for help from actual fifth graders when they hit a roadblock. The contests are always friendly, and there’s very little finger-pointing or teasing when either contestants or kids answer incorrectly, which keeps the focus on having fun and learning even from mistakes. This series is a fun pick for families, who can play along at home. (half-hour episodes.)
Mondays at 7 p.m. on Nickelodeon.
Throwback sitcom has lovable characters, some mature humor.
“Mr. Iglesias” is a sitcom about a beloved history teacher named Gabe (comedian Gabriel Iglesias) who’s now working at the school he grew up attending. Positive messages about education and educators are strong and clear: Teachers care about their students and go the extra mile to help them succeed, demonstrating teamwork and communication. And both students and teachers are treated with respect and dignity. That said, some jokes may border on iffy topics or send mixed messages about drugs, alcohol, sex and gender roles. The principal is an older woman whose lack of romantic success is depicted as being funny to others; there are lots of jokes about her dating profile and prospects. Other jokes circle around alcohol (it’s said that the principal will be in a better mood with a “pitcher of appletinis in her”), pot (Gabe jokes that he’ll eat “not real Mexican food” Chipotle because he’s “high”) or sex (Gabe tells another teacher interested in a colleague not to put his “fry in her ketchup”). A few characters, such as the principal and her officious second-in-command, are somewhat stereotyped, but the cast is diverse in terms of age, race, ethnicity, class and body type. Language is infrequent, but expect to hear “hell,” “goddamn,” “damn” and “dumba--.” (10 roughly half-hour episodes)
Available via Netflix streaming.
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