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Reel Life with Jane: June Movies

By on June 2, 2012

Fierce female warriors, familiar zoo animals, and loveable whales are heading to screens this month. Here’s a look at what’s new in theaters and on DVD in June.

By Jane Louise Boursaw


PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief sensuality.

In theaters 6/01. Ok for kids 13+.

Reel Preview: 4 out of 5 Reels.

This retelling of the classic fairytale takes a dark turn with scary Charlize Theron playing the soul-sucking evil queen who decides that Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is by no means the fairest of them all. So the queen sends a handsome huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to kill the innocent girl, but instead he ends up training her to become a fierce warrior capable of bringing down the queen. Director Rupert Sanders has no major credits to his name, but no matter, because the female warrior storyline is epic. Also epic? The dwarves: Ian McShane, Johnny Harris, Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Brian Gleeson, Ray Winstone, and Nick Frost.


PG for some mild action and rude humor.

In theaters 6/08 (2D, 3D). Ok for kids 6+.

Reel Preview: 3.5 out of 5 Reels.

That quartet of loveable animals is back, and they’re still trying to get home to their beloved Central Park Zoo in New York City. But first, Alex (voiced by Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman (David Schwimmer) need to find those misbehavin’ penguins. So they travel to Monte Carlo where they crash a party and get in trouble with Animal Control. They’re soon joined by the penguins, King Julian (Sacha Baron Cohen), Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer), the monkeys, and a performing llama. But how does this rag-tag group travel through Europe without attracting attention? They join a traveling circus – the perfect cover. Jessica Chastain, Martin Short, Bryan Cranston, Andy Richter, and Frances McDormand also voice characters in this cute installment to the Madagascar franchise. While not as entertaining as the original movie, this is still a fun flick for little ones.


Not yet rated; likely PG. In theaters 6/22.

Ok for kids 7+.

Reel Preview: 5 out of 5 Reels!

Female warriors are rocking the big screen this month, and this one sets the Disney Princess theme on its head, causing brave moms everywhere to fall to their knees and thank the film gods. Set in Scotland during mythical times, Princess Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) is an aspiring archer who makes a reckless choice that goes against all the customs in her kingdom. The resulting chaos and peril forces her to spring into action and set things right. But as the title says, she’s Brave with a capital B, so here’s a note to whatever beastly curse is out there: Be afraid. Be very afraid. The sublime voice cast features Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Robbie Coltrane, Billy Connolly, Craig Ferguson and Julie Walters.


PG-13 for some mature and suggestive content. In theaters 6/27.

Ok for kids 13+.

Reel Preview: 2.5 out of 5 Reels.

Designed to bring Miley Cyrus into the grownup world, this movie finds the pop star playing a street-smart, gun-toting private eye who’s hired by the FBI to go undercover and protect a mobster’s daughter in a college sorority. I know, it seems unlikely, doesn’t it? But we’ll go with it, as will her many fans. Directed by Tom Vaughn, perhaps best known for What Happens in Vegas, this movie also stars Jeremy Piven, Joshua Bowman, Alexis Knapp, Autumn Reeser, Kelly Osbourne and Megan Park.


PG-13 for language, some drug use and brief sexuality.

In theaters 6/29. Ok for kids 13+.

Reel Preview: 4 out of 5 Reels.

You would think that a movie from Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci would have a sci-fi bent to it, but the helmers of Star Trek, Transformers and Fringe are dipping into the family drama pool. People Like Us stars Chris Pine as Sam, a 20-something, fast-talking salesman whose latest deal collapses on the day he learns of his father’s sudden death. Against his wishes, Sam is called home to put his father’s estate in order, reconnect with his estranged family and … learn that he has a 30-year-old sister named Frankie (Elizabeth Banks) he never knew about. Olivia Wilde, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jon Favreau, Mark Duplass, and Michael Hall D’Addario also star in this movie about family, relationships and priorities.



Rated G. On DVD 6/05. Ok for kids 3+.

Reel Rating: 4 out of 5 Reels.

Inspired by the Jean de Brunhoff books in the 1930s, this 2-disc DVD finds Babar the elephant growing up, being crowned king of the elephants, marrying Celeste, and having kids. One of the best lessons Babar learns is that despite life’s challenges, great things are always possible – a philosophy with which every parent can identify.


PG for some adventure action and brief mild language. On DVD/blu-ray 6/05. Ok for kids 8+.
Reel Rating: 4 out of 5 Reels.

This sequel to 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth finds Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) embarking on a mission to find his grandfather, whom he believes is living on the “mysterious island” featured in Jules Verne’s classic novel. It’s a great family movie that blends science into the story, doesn’t shirk on special effects, and pays homage to the original story. There are also nice family bonding moments, strong role models, and a fearless teenage girl (Vanessa Hudgens) who can take care of herself. You also get to see former pro wrestler Dwayne Johnson sing What a Wonderful World while accompanying himself on the ukulele.


Not rated. On DVD 6/12. Ok for kids 3+.

Reel Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

These Scholastic Storybook Treasures are a great way to introduce little ones to the familiar tales their parents grew up with, as well as some new stories. This 3-disc set features twelve stories, including Chicken Little, Scaredy Squirrel and Katie Loves the Kittens. With narration by Sean Hayes, John Lithgow and others, it’s a set sure to leave kids happy, inspired and encouraged.


PG for mild violence. On blu-ray 6/19. Ok for kids 8+

Reel Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Extra! Extra! Disney proudly presents the 20th anniversary of the classic family musical, starring Oscar winners Christian Bale and Robert Duvall and screen favorite Ann-Margaret. Based on the true-life New York City newsboy strike of 1899, the story follows a courageous group of newsboys who set out to change things and are met by ruthless businessmen. Kenny Ortega’s sublime dance sequences are not to be missed.


PG for language. On DVD/blu-ray 6/19.

Ok for kids 8+.

Reel Rating: 4 out of 5 Reels.

I loved this whale movie so much and couldn’t wait for the DVD release. Based on the true-life book Freeing the Whales by Thomas Rose, the story takes place in 1988 in the tiny town of Barrow, Alaska. When news reporter Adam Carlson (John Krasinski) discovers a family of three gray whales trapped in the icy waters off shore, it isn’t long before his ex-girlfriend (Drew Barrymore) and a bevy of reporters and environmentalists head north to help the whales reach open water. Fun, family-friendly and educational, both kids and grownups will find something to love about this movie.

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