Children may already be getting antsy for summer fun to begin, but at the nation’s multiplexes, school is still very much in session as high schoolers practice black magic (The Craft) and shoot hoops (Sunset Park). Kids with more tony tastes can learn about class from Mrs. Winterbourne. But the safest extracurricular option by far is a refreshing romp with the bouncing bottlenose Flipper.
What It’s About: Enraged after their team loses game 6 of the NBA finals to the Utah Jazz, rabid Boston Celtics fans Jimmy (Dan Aykroyd) and Mike (Daniel Stern) teach the Jazz’s arrogant star Lewis Scott (Damon Wayans) about sportsmanship by kidnapping him before game 7.
Will Kids Want to Watch It? Though retired Celtics Larry Bird and Bob Cousy and onetime SuperSonic Gus Williams cameo, there are no NBA young guns to make the kids choose Pride over the real NBA finals on TV. And Jimmy and Mike’s pathetic obsession may offend sports fans.
Drugs/Alcohol: Jimmy and Mike get drunk with Lewis; Mike has a beer with his family and with Jimmy in a bar.
Violence/Scariness: Mostly cartoonish — Jimmy holds Lewis at gunpoint, and Lewis later turns the gun on Jimmy and Mike; Lewis douses Mike with gasoline and threatens to set him on fire.
Objectionable Words/Phrases: About 70.
Lesson to Extract: One player does not a team make.
Appropriate Ages: 13 and up.
What It’s About: Once high school sorceresses (Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Rachel True) start practicing their spelling on those who’ve scorned them, their magical mischief turns deadly.
Will Kids Want to Watch It? Older kids will be intrigued by the girls’ empowerment. So keep an eye on your daughter the next time she invites her pals over for a slumber party.
Sex/Nudity: Two teens clinch on a bed fully clothed and talk about lovemaking.
Drugs/Alcohol: The witches sip beer, hard liquor, and blood-laced wine; guests imbibe at a party; an adult has a cocktail.
Violence/Scariness: A man is hit by a car and killed; a girl slits her wrists in a flashback and then gets them slit for her; a teen falls out a window to his death; a graphic scene involving an operation; an attempted date rape; a plague of rats and snakes.
Objectionable Words/Phrases: About 40.
Lesson to Extract: Be careful what you wish for — you may get it.
Appropriate Ages: 17 and up.
What It’s About: 14-year-old city kid Sandy (Elijah Wood) befriends a dolphin when he summers on a Florida island with his uncle (Paul Hogan).
Will Kids Want to Watch It? They’ll flip over the magnificent mammal of TV fame but experience deja vu if they’ve seen Free Willy.
Drugs/Alcohol: Beers are gulped by the uncle, fishermen, the sheriff, and a bird.
Violence/Scariness: A fisherman tries to capture Flipper; a shark chases Sandy; Flipper gets sick; a dolphin gets shot.
Objectionable Words/Phrases: About 10.
Lesson to Extract: If we take care of nature, it will return the favor.
Appropriate Ages: 8 and up.