By Dick Rolfe – CEO, The Dove Foundation
With steady box office declines due in part to a wilting economy, Hollywood should realize that success at the summer box office relies heavily on family films. This summer is no different. If you look at the release schedule for June and July, you quickly realize that the industry believes that one wholesome movie every other week is enough to satisfy the hunger of families who like being entertained in a comfortable, air-conditioned movie theater. Their preference is for movies without exploding heads, naked or severed body parts, and profanities that grate like nails on a chalkboard.
There are four summer movies coming out that are both entertaining and decent. There are also a couple of comic hero films that may meet the family-friendly criteria; but the jury is still out. Unfortunately, X-Men: First Class, released June 3rd, did not pass muster for Dove due to over-the-top sexuality and profanity.
|June 10th brings us Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer, a delightful story about a young girl who is certain her summer plans are ruined by having to stay with her Aunt Opel. But feisty, fearless and ever-funny Judy never gives up! With help from some unexpected sources, she’s headed for a summer full of surprises in this charming and spirited family film.|
|June 17th will be an enjoyable time for family members ages 12 and up. Veteran funnyman, Jim Carrey stars in Mr. Popper’s Penguins as an adventure-loving house painter who contends with the problem of making room for one male and one female penguin. Before he realizes it, his problem is having too many penguins. This fun, “flapstick” comedy is adapted from author Richard Atwater’s beloved children’s book by the same name.|
|June 24th – Cars 2 Walt Disney/Pixar Films takes us back into the lives of racecar, Lightning McQueen and the incomparable tow truck, Mater. This second episode takes their friendship to exciting new places when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix.
|July 15th – Walt Disney Animation Studios releases an all-new feature, Winnie the Pooh. Return to the Hundred Acre Wood and share in the timeless charm, wit and whimsy of the original featurettes. This all-new movie reunites audiences with the philosophical “bear of very little brain” and friends Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo–and last, but certainly not least, Eeyore, who has lost his tail.|
And, rumor has is that little blue creatures will be popping in and out of the movie screen on July 29th when The Smurfs (3D) come out to play.
Super heroes of the comic book type have always been a hit with teenagers and young adults. In recent years, however, sex, violence and profanity have infiltrated these action adventures at an alarming rate. Studios have bought comic book companies outright or purchased the film rights to their characters and turned the stories into darker, adult action flicks.
On June 17th, Warner Bros. is releasing DC Comics’, Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds as a test pilot who is granted a mystical green ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers, as well as membership into an intergalactic squadron tasked with keeping peace within the universe.
Not to be outdone, on July 22nd Paramount Pictures/Marvel Studios debuts Captain America, with Chris Evans as the once meek U.S. soldier during WWII who turns hero and gains strength and agility far beyond that of a normal human being after taking an experimental super-serum.
So, if you’re up for popcorn and a movie this summer; be advised – there are a few safe choices out there compliments of your friends in Hollywoodland.
Note: As of this writing Cars 2, Winnie the Pooh, The Smurfs, Green Lantern and Captain America have not yet been reviewed by Dove. Look up our reviews on opening day at www.dove.org. There is also an iPhone App available. For other mobile and android devices, simply type in www.dove.org/mobile.