A guide to decide what new releases to let your kids watch Memorial Day weekend

By Lois Alter Mark
Updated June 03, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Memorial Day weekend ushers in the much-anticipated summer movie season, with releases traditionally targeted toward a young audience. Which films, if any, will reach blockbuster status remains to be seen. But as far as kid appeal is concerned, this week’s The Flintstones and Beverly Hills Cop III both fall short of the hype. It seems the entry with the best shot at hitdom — The Lion King — is still to come.

Being Human
*What It’s About: The whole history of humankind, as experienced by one man named Hector (Robin Williams).
*Will Kids Want to Watch It? Doubtful, despite their affection for Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin. The movie’s five stories take place over the course of hundreds of centuries, and you feel like you’re sitting through every second. Even Williams seems tired.
*MPAA: PG-13.
*Sex/Nudity: Hector and a medieval woman (Anna Galiena) make love with their clothes on in the woods.
*Drugs/ Alcohol: Hector’s master in ancient Rome, Lucinnius (John Turturro), takes a drink before killing himself.
*Violence/Scariness: A long look at the knife in Lucinnius’ stomach; Hector finds a dead boy in the woods; two young men are hanged.
*Objectionable Words/Phrases: About 10.
*Mature Themes: One day can change everything, while years change nothing.
*Appropriate Ages: 12 and up.

Beverly Hills Cop III
*What It’s About: Detroit police detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) goes to California again, this time to investigate a crime ring at WonderWorld amusement park.
*Will Kids Want to Watch It? Probably, but you shouldn’t let them. The movie is one big shoot-out and an irresponsible glorification of violence (one cop grins after shooting two men; Foley and his police buddies laugh about the fact that they all got shot).
*Sex/ Nudity: None.
*Drugs/Alcohol: Foley, Rosewood (Judge Reinhold), and Flint (Hector Elizondo) have a drink together.
*Violence/Scariness: Constant shooting.
*Objectionable Words/ Phrases: About 80.
*Mature Themes: Amusement- park rides aren’t nearly as scary as real life — at least as it’s depicted in films like this.
*Appropriate Ages: 12 and up.

Clean Slate
*What It’s About: In this variation on Groundhog Day, private eye Pogue (Dana Carvey) suffers from a rare type of amnesia that wipes out his entire memory whenever he falls asleep.
*Will Kids Want to Watch It? Forget it — the convoluted story will leave them feeling as disoriented as Pogue. The only character they’ll vaguely be interested in is Pogue’s eye-patch-wearing pooch (Barkley).
*MPAA: PG-13.
*Sex/Nudity: Pogue and girlfriend Beth (Valeria Golino) go under the covers.
*Drugs/Alcohol: None.
*Violence/Scariness: A car bomb explodes; bullets fly through Pogue’s window.
*Objectionable Words/ Phrases: About 15.
*Mature Themes: You can’t make sense of the present without an understanding of the past.
*Appropriate Ages: 10 and up.

*What It’s About: A Troy (Zelda Harris) grows in Brooklyn.
*Will Kids Want to Watch It? You bet. For the first time, the ‘hood Spike Lee captures on film is childhood, and this story of a 10-year-old black girl coming of age in the ’70s is filled with warm family moments and a greatest-soul-hits soundtrack.
*MPAA: PG-13.
*Sex/ Nudity: None.
*Drugs/Alcohol: Snuffy (Lee) and another guy from the neighborhood sniff glue.
*Violence/Scariness: Troy’s mother (Alfre Woodard) gets cancer; her aunt’s dog has a freak accident.
*Objectionable Words/ Phrases: About 45.
*Mature Themes: Growing up means learning to be independent, even when you’d rather be holding on to your mom.
*Appropriate Ages: 10 and up.