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Family Movie Guide

September 20, 1996



This guide includes "family films," potential blockbusters, and movies that might interest young people. Only films with G ratings are tagged as all-family fare by Hollywood. Most have stronger MPAA ratings that call for extra alertness from parents.

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The Family Movie Guide and the Monitor's more-comprehensive movie guide appear on alternate Fridays.

Our star ratings (see below) indicate the overall quality of movies, not their suitability for children. Ratings from the Monitor film critic appear before a film's credits. Those following the credits are from a panel of at least three Monitor reviewers.

Film Critic Monitor Panel Meaning

o o Forget it

* * Poor

** ** Fair

*** *** Good

**** **** Excellent

KIDS OF SURVIVAL: THE ART AND LIFE OF TIM ROLLINS AND K.O.S. [Not rated]

*** Directed by Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine. With Tim Rollins. Running time: 87 minutes.

PLOT A dedicated inner-city schoolteacher helps disadvantaged high school students develop their artistic talents and show their collaborative works at major museums and galleries.

MESSAGE Artistic creation can help salvage lives in the most difficult modern environments.

SEX, DRUGS/ALCOHOL None.

VIOLENCE Descriptions of violence and illness that touch the lives of group members.

PROFANITY A few four-letter words.

THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO [G]

**** Directed by Steve Barron. With Martin Landau, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Genevieve Bujold, Udo Keir, Bebe Neuwirth. Running time: 96 minutes. ****

PLOT A puppeteer carves a piece of wood into a marionette that comes to life and has many adventures before turning into a real boy.

MESSAGE Being true to yourself and avoiding temptation are the best routes to true happiness.

SEX, PROFANITY None.

VIOLENCE Scenes of fighting between Pinocchio and human beings, a frightening fire scene, a harrowing escape from the belly of the sea monster, and a scary scene where naughty boys turn into animals at a nightmarish amusement park.

DRUGS/ALCOHOL One brief scene with champagne.

ALASKA [PG]

*** Directed by Fraser C. Heston. With Charlton Heston, Thora Birch, Vincent Kartheiser, Dirk Benedict. Running time: 104 minutes. ***

PLOT Two youngsters trek through the Alaskan wilderness in search of their father, whose plane has crashed, and run into trouble with unscrupulous poachers during their journey.

MESSAGE Youngsters can overcome difficult problems if they show courage and tenacity.

SEX, DRUGS/ALCOHOL None.

VIOLENCE A frightening plane crash, a fight with a polar bear, and some hunting.

BOGUS [PG]

*** Directed by Norman Jewison. With Whoopi Goldberg, Gerard Depardieu. Running time: 100 minutes.

PLOT An orphaned boy makes friends with an imaginary Frenchman who brightens his days and helps him adjust to life with his new stepmother.

MESSAGE Life can demand adjustments, but friendship and imagination can smooth the way.

SEX, VIOLENCE, DRUGS/ALCOHOL None.

PROFANITY A few four-letter words.

THE FIRST WIVES CLUB [PG]

*** Directed by Hugh Wilson. With Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, Maggie Smith, Dan Hedaya, Marcia Gay Harden, Bronson Pinchot. Running time: 105 minutes.

PLOT Outraged that their husbands have left them for younger companions, three middle-aged women get together and plot revenge.

MESSAGE Women can fight sexism through solidarity and single-mindedness.

SEX None, but a sensual atmosphere in some scenes.

VIOLENCE A little comic fighting.

PROFANITY A few four-letter words.

DRUGS/ALCOHOL A few drinking scenes, and one main character is a problem drinker.

FLY AWAY HOME [PG]