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January Movie Reviews

By on January 3, 2013

Happy New Year! January finds a host of options on the big and small screens, including Jeremy Renner as a witch hunter, Chris Colfer as a high school senior, and Melanie Griffith as an adorable dinosaur. Here’s what’s new in theaters and on DVD this month.

By Jane Louise Boursaw

DINO TIME

PG for some scary action and mild rude humor. In theaters 1/01 (2D, 3D). Ok for kids 6+.

Reel Preview: 3.5 out of 5 Reels.

http://www.dinotimemovie.com/

 

It’s an animated dinosaur movie! With kids who travel back in time! Here’s the scoop: When Ernie (voiced by Pamela Adlon) isn’t hanging out with his best friend Max (Yuri Lowenthal), he’s blasting around town on his rocket powered skateboard. One day while marveling at Max’s dad’s time machine, the boys are transported back in time straight into the nest of a dinosaur mom named Tyra (Melanie Griffith), who adopts them while they try to get back home. Cute for little ones, and we’ll take Melanie Griffith on the big screen in any form.

 

STRUCK BY LIGHTNING

Not yet rated; likely PG-13. In theaters 1/11. Ok for kids 13+.

Reel Preview: 4.5 out of 5 Reels.

http://www.facebook.com/StruckbyLightningMovie

 

Glee’s Chris Colfer moves to the big screen in this movie, which he wrote, executive produced and also stars in. He plays Carson Phillips, a high school senior who’s destined for bigger things than his close-minded small town could ever offer. But his path to greatness is cut short when he’s suddenly killed by a bolt of lightning in his school parking lot. Demonstrating that life really IS what happens while you’re busy planning your future, Carson recounts the last few weeks of his life via witty, insightful flashbacks, including a blackmail scheme targeting the popular kids in school that he concocts with his best friend. Think Perks of Being a Wallflower vibe.

 

HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS

PG-13 for some violence. In theaters 1/25. Ok for kids 14+.

Reel Preview: 4 out of 5 Reels.

http://www.hanselandgretelmovie.com/

 

The classic Brothers Grimm fairytale gets a reboot with this movie where the kids kick it up a notch. Instead of merely outsmarting a cannibalistic old witch, now they’re grown-up bounty hunters with serious weapons who track and kill witches from around the globe. If you like zombie movies, you need to see Dead Snow. Not for kids, though.

 

NEW ON DVD | BLU-RAY:

 

ANGELINA BALLERINA: DANCE AROUND THE WORLD

Rated G. On DVD 1/8. Ok for kids 3+.

Reel Rating: 4 out of 5 Reels.

When life gets tough, turn to adorable mice for comfort. And, oh yeah, this DVD is also fun for little ones. Angelina and her friends explore dances from near and far as they boogie, bop, skip and hop around the world in exciting adventures. In step with a lively Irish Jig, the festive Chinese Dragon Dance, the smooth Cheddar Cheese Slide with a French flair, and more, the mouselings teach each other and themselves about the power of dance and friendship.

 

 

LEAP FROG: ADVENTURES IN SHAPEVILLE PARK

Rated G. On DVD 1/22. Ok for kids 4+.

Reel Rating: 4 out of 5 Reels.

Leap Frog continues to raise the bar when it comes to preschool learning. In this cute DVD, Scout & Friends head over to Shapeville where little ones learn what circles, squares and triangles can really do. A new playground is being built at the park by the Beaver Brothers, and soon the pets have their hands full helping with the construction. With the guidance of “measuring” mice, the pets learn how to measure the various shapes, sizes, and dimensions needed to build the perfect parts of a perfect playground. Sounds like a good refresher course for adults, too.

 

 

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA

PG for some rude humor, action and scary images. On DVD/blu-ray 1/29. Ok for kids 7+. Reel Rating: 4 out of 5 Reels. http://www.welcometohotelt.com/

This cute movie scored big at the box office, and it’s a great addition to your DVD or blu-ray collection. Adam Sandler voices the legendary Dracula, who operates a high-end resort where monsters go to get away from it all. But Drac goes into serious overprotective mode when a human boy (Andy Samberg) discovers the resort and falls for his teenage daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez). Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (Star Wars: Clone Wars, Iron Man 2 and How to Eat Fried Worms ), this movie features great animation, as well as the voice talents of Kevin James, David Space, Fran Drescher, Jon Lovitz, Molly Shannon and Steve Buscemi.

 

JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM

One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.

Jane Boursaw is a syndicated family entertainment writer specializing in movies, TV and celebrities. Visit her at http://www.reellifewithjane.com or email jboursaw@charter.net.

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