Movie News & Reviews

Movie review: ‘Isn’t It Romantic,’ lots of laughs and positive messages in charming rom-com satire

Parents need to know that "Isn't It Romantic" satirizes romantic comedies, following a woman named Natalie (Rebel Wilson) who gets trapped in a rom-com world after suffering a head injury. The content is largely appropriate for teens. Violence is confined to cartoonish interludes in which Nat is struck by a car and hit in the head, both of which played for laughs. Though Nat is interested in sex and talks about it, all she can do with her suitors is kiss – after which the camera cuts repeatedly to a morning-after scene with her love interest (Liam Hemsworth) shirtless in a towel. Nat estimates a man's penis size as "pepper grinder" (the kind the waiter has to bring out to you). Characters drink in bars; Nat downs two shots of liquor to get courage to sing karaoke. Characters say "s--t" and "bitch," but all except one instance of "f--k" are drowned out by noise, ironically. Stereotyped characters (competitive women, shallow men, a flamboyant gay man) are used to make points about cliched characterizations in other movies. Mocking the rom-com genre's conventions will make viewers consider what such movies tend to say about women and romance and may spark conversations about the way women are depicted. Themes of courage and self-control are also clear.


7 family-friendly totally Oscar-worthy Latino films

As awards season leads up to this year's Oscars celebration – the 91st Academy Awards – we can't help but reflect on the list of family-friendly Latino films, characters, and actors that have been recognized by the Academy. Sadly, the list is not too long. While it is encouraging to see high acclaim for the work of the three Mexican filmmakers Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron, the hope is that the visibility will trickle to more on-screen faces – actors and characters – that can serve as quality role models for the Latinx movie audience.


Game review: ‘Apex Legends,’ fantastic free-to-play battle royale shooter is already a blockbuster

Parents need to know that "Apex Legends" is a free-to-play battle royale first-person shooter available for download on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC. Teams of up to three compete in matches with up to sixty players to be the last team standing. Gameplay's easy to pick up for first-person shooter fans and has a heavy focus on teamwork and communication. Violence is persistent with some blood shown onscreen, but it isn't overly graphic and there's no onscreen gore. While there's no profanity in the game's dialogue, online play could still open players up to offensive language in party chat. And while the game is free-to-play, there are microtransactions available which allow players to unlock cosmetic items and characters immediately with real-world money, as opposed to over time through gameplay. This game is also part of the "Titanfall" universe, which is a popular shooter franchise.


App review: Who Was? Adventure, fun quiz game teaches kids about presidents and other historical figures

Parents need to know that Who Was? Adventure is a quiz game based on the popular biographical "Who Was" book series and TV show for kids. New people are introduced with a historical timeline as the game progresses, but kids may find questions about people they aren't familiar with. While they may be able to make educated guesses as to the right answer, some kids might find this frustrating. The portraits of the characters are more like caricatures than real photos; this may make it difficult for kids to identify the right answers. There's room for multiple profiles, so several family members can enjoy their own game progress. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

Personal Finance

Social Security: Social security AND America saves week

Planning and saving are core elements to a successful retirement. For over 80 years, Social Security has helped Americans achieve that goal. And each year, the American Savings Education Council and America Saves coordinate America Saves Week. The week is an opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior; it is also a great time for people to assess their own saving status.

Entertainment & Life

Game review: How to take and share photos with Pok–mon Go Snapshot

Snapshot is the latest feature added to Niantic's AR-based mobile sensation Pokemon Go, and it allows players to take and share photographs of their favorite Pokemon. The Snapshot feature seems like a direct callback to the days of Pokemon Snap, the on-rails candid monster photography simulator for the Nintendo 64, albeit reworked for the modern generation. The new Snapshot features are simple to use, though taking and sharing photos does have a few steps worth learning more about. Here's how to take and share photos using Pokemon Go Snapshot.


Parents @ Play: The City of Brotherly Love has a lot to see and do

If you've never been to Philadelphia, you need to add it to your list of must-visit cities. Famous as the City of Brotherly Love, Philly seamlessly blends the historic, the modern, and everything in between. The locals are friendly, the city itself is wonderful to explore on foot, and the subway/bus system (SEPTA) is easy to navigate. On our visit, we spent some time on the beaten track, but also found plenty of time to get off it. Here are some of our recommendations. For more, or to plan your trip, check out Visit Philadelphia,


Living with Children: Public education forecast

I receive a steady stream of missives from teachers, ex-teachers, and other folks who have insider knowledge of America's schools. They all say the same thing – classroom discipline is falling apart and has been for some time – and ask the same question: What can be done?

Watch couple get engaged at Disney on Ice at Golden 1 Center

A couple got engaged at Disney on Ice at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 2019.