April Reviews // Tech

Pebble Watch

ec‘s grade: A+

The Pebble, one of last year’s biggest crowd-sourcing success stories, has officially started shipping units. It’s a fully digital, smart watch…but this isn’t your father’s wristwatch. Pebble uses e-paper technology (similar to e-readers) that makes the interface completely customizable. Also, since it connects wirelessly to your smart phone, you can check email, texts, caller ID and control your music with a flick of the wrist. Pebble comes with several handy apps too, like a golf range finder, an app for running and cycling, with more on the way. Oh…and they look great too.

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Just Dance 4
Ubisoft

FEATURES: Two modes of play: Just Dance and Sweat, which is basically just an aerobics workout/measurer
PROS: A party in a box, Just Dance 4 is more about getting folks together than it is genuine competition. It’s especially fun on controller-less gaming systems
CONS: As with previous Just Dance releases, some of the on-screen dancing can border on suggestive and there are several lyrical no-nos (in my opinion) for a game rated E10+
Not so much a game as it is a dance party, Just Dance 4 is a genuinely fun time for most get-togethers. However, if younger players are around, some of the songs and moves are slightly “adult.”
ec‘s grade: B-

NCAA Football 13
EA Sports

FEATURES: The ever popular one-button mode, Dynasty mode, and the new Reaction Time feature with allows a few seconds of slow-motion play to make adjustments on the fly
PROS: As with previous versions of NCAA Football, the game is easier to play than the Madden NFL version.
CONS: Some of the audio features have been altered or ditched, not as slick or photo-perfect as Madden
Obviously, after 13 different versions, NCAA Football isn’t new, but with each installation, the guys at EA Sports continue to improve upon the last.
ec‘s grade: B+

 

 

The All-New EC!

EC_coversfanQuestion: When you first heard about having a quiet time, what was the most confusing part?
Answer: “I think the most confusing part was knowing what to do with my quiet time and what kind of devotion to do and how to read and study my Bible.” —Courtney, EC reader

Question: What’s the hardest part about trying to memorize Scripture?
Answer: “Picking a Scripture to read and stick on. I, personally, just read whole pages and go, what did I just read?” —Cassidee, EC reader

Question: What’s the biggest obstacle to having time alone with God and studying His Word each day?
Answer: “The busyness of my day. I allow the day to slip by, and then make excuses as to how busy I was, yet there is always time for God if I choose to make the time. The best time is first thing in the morning when I first wake up.” —Dave, EC reader

Want to have a quiet time, but don’t know where to start?

Want to memorize Scripture but need help?

Want to grow in your relationship with Christ, but don’t know what to do?

Let EC help you.

One of EC’s greatest strengths has always been our emphasis on studying God’s Word and helping students dig into Scripture.

And in June 2013, we’re taking that to a whole new level. In June, Essential Connection will become a devotion-only resource. Each month, you’ll get an interactive, challenging, and deep devotion for each day of the month, with all the tools to help you learn how to study Scripture and respond to it. All of EC’s devotions will be based on God’s character, guiding you to know who He is, understand how His character affects your daily life, and how you can live out those truths in your relationships.

In addition, you’ll also get EC’s plan to read through the Bible in a year, emphasis on spiritual disciplines, prayer prompts, a challenge to memorize Scripture, and a guide to help you take sermon notes and apply what you learn to your life.

 Essential Connection will really become like your spiritual journal. There will be plenty of ways to interact with Scripture and write, sketch, or journal your prayers or thoughts. We’ve designed the “new” EC to be very personal and challenging and can’t wait to hear what you think!

Get a sneak peek at the first week of devotions here: .

Then, help us spread the word!

Use the hashtag #ECdevo on Twitter and stop by our online celebration, An EC Extravaganza, on May 15 from 3-4 p.m (CST) at . We’ll be giving away T-shirts to randomly selected participants along with two 1-year individual subscriptions to Essential Connection! Winners will be notified via email.

April Reviews // Music

Life of Pi (2012)
Fox 2000 Pictures
Starring Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain
ec‘s grade: A+

After young Pi Patel’s father decides to sell his zoo, he and his family – and quite a few of the zoo’s residents – find themselves undertaking the arduous oceanic journey from India to Canada. The ship never makes it, though; when the ship goes down amid a storm, Pi is finds himself in a wooden lifeboat . . . with a tiger, a zebra, an orangutan and a hyena. What unfolds next is a riveting survival story beautifully brought to life by master director Ang Lee, full of discoveries about determination, sacrifice, faith, and God. Based on the award-winning 2001 novel by Yann Martel.
Rated PG for emotional thematic content throughout, and some scary action sequences and peril.

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 Parental Guidance (2012)
20th Century Fox, Walden Media
Starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei
ec‘s grade: C-

Synopsis: Work calls a yuppy couple away for the weekend, and when the grandparents are left with babysitting duty, parenting styles collide.
Pros: Mostly clean comedy about family and raising kids
Cons: Some suggestive jokes; humor appeals more to parents than teens
Rated PG for rude humor.

The Guilt Trip (2012)
Paramount Pictures
Starring Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen
ec‘s grade: C

Synopsis: On an impromptu cross-country road trip, Andy Brewster (Seth Rogen) and his overbearing mother (Barbra Streisand) find humor—and surprises—where they least expect.
Pros: Some positive messages about mother-son relationships, forgiveness and love
Cons: Some crude language and humor taint an otherwise sweet premise
Rated PG-13 for language and risqué material.

Frankenweenie (2012)
Walt Disney Pictures
Voices of Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau
ec‘s grade: B

Synopsis: Director Tim Burton (Nightmare Before Christmas) is up to his stop-motion animation tricks again in this sweet-but-a-little-creepy tale of a boy who reanimates his beloved pooch after he is killed.
Pros: Uniquely stylized visuals and heartfelt messages of love and the tricky ethics of science
Cons: Burton’s signature dreary tone may frighten younger audiences
Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images and action.

Premium Rush (2012)
Pariah
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dania Ramirez, Sean Kennedy
ec‘s grade: C+

Synopsis: Bike courier Wilee finds himself embroiled in a web of treachery and danger when the package he’s carrying turns out to have deadly implications.
Pros: Intense action and some cool chase scenes
Cons: Rough language throughout; some suggestive humor
Rated PG-13 for some violence, intense action sequences and language.

Alex Cross (2012)
QED International, Block
Starring Tyler Perry, Edward Burns, Matthew Fox
ec‘s grade: F

Synopsis: Tyler Perry stars as the title character, a tenacious detective on the trail of a sadistic killer, in this adaptation of the James Patterson novel series.
Pros: Very, very few
Cons: Needlessly excessive content that pushes bounds of PG-13 rating; weak adaptation, even weaker performances
Rated PG-13 for violence including disturbing images, sexual content, language, drug references and nudity.

 

April Music Reviews

RemedyDrive_02

Remedy Drive

Resuscitate

Centricity Music

ec‘s grade: B+

Remedy Drive have been around in various incarnations since 1998 and have racked up some serious road miles along the way.  Singer David Zach is the only remaining member of the four brothers from Lincoln, Neb. who formed the band. The group has also parted ways with their record label. In that sense, Resuscitate is a fitting name for this project which is performed and sung with the urgency of a comeback record. Don’t call it a comeback, but “Lost Cause” and “Better than Life” pack a punch that a prizefighter would relish and speak of faith, loss, and perseverance that only a band in its 30s can express. Read up on the band at .

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ARTIST: Warren Barfield
ALBUM TITLE: Redbird
LABEL: Independent
PROS: Timeless and catchy music. The earthy, mellow, and organic recording style is warm and inviting.
CONS: Barfield doesn’t write to be popular, so don’t expect fist-bumping party music.
TOP SONGS: “The Time is Now,” “Just Let Go,” “Last Try”
THOUGHTS: Barfield, another one of Nashville’s most promising artists, is free from his record deal and has made the album he wants to make.
ec‘s grade: B+

ARTIST: Lifehouse
ALBUM TITLE: Almeria
LABEL: Geffen
PROS: An amazing duet with Natasha Bedingfield, and a generally sunny and happy record.
CONS: In typical Lifehouse style, Wade’s vocal range and melodies can become repetitive
TOP SONGS: “Between the Raindrops” (with Bedingfield), “Only You’re the One”
THOUGHTS: Lifehouse doesn’t make bad records and Almeria is their best project in several years. Hopefully, this will get them back into America’s collective subconscious.
ec‘s grade: A-

ARTIST: PFR
ALBUM TITLE: Minneapolis (Live)
LABEL: Independent
PROS: A live set list that fans will adore, the band still has amazing musicianship and this recording proves it.
CONS: At this point, anyone born after 1995 probably has no idea who PFR are.
TOP SONGS: All of them…but especially “Amsterdam” and “Merry Go Round.”
THOUGHTS: Yeah, yeah…so not many people are lining up to download this record, and that’s a shame. PFR was a great Christian band in the 90s, and this record proves they’re still a great band.
ec‘s grade: A

These reviews were written by Randy Williams for the April 2013 issue of ec. Get your subscription ec here:

March Reviews // Tech

iPad Mini

Apple, Inc.

ec’s grade: A+

When CEO Tim Cook announced the newest member of the Apple family, the iPad Mini, a few months ago, it was met with mixed reactions. However, since it’s release, the new smaller iPad has proved to be another winner for the company. No, it doesn’t do anything different than a standard iPad or iPod Touch, but the size is about 40 percent smaller than an iPad, making it a perfect travel companion but a tad smallish for an E-reader. Typing is faster on the smaller keyboard and the retina display is still the best looking screen among tablets. Like other iOS products, everything feels familiar, fast, and glitch-free and with Apple’s vast selection of native and third party Apps, there’s not much this little guy can’t do.

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 Tap Tap Tap Camera+
Camera+

FEATURES: Vast array of photo-editing, deep integration with social media outlets
PROS: After-the-fact image stabilization and flash simulation
CONS: iOS only, maybe too many features?
The iPhone camera is one of the devices best features, but the native camera app leaves much to be desired. Tap Tap Tap Camera+ takes advantage of  iPhone’s processing power to create professional quality photos that compete with high-end image editing software.
ec’s GRADE: A

Dropbox
by Dropbox

FEATURES: Subscription-based cloud storage for mobile devices.
PROS: Free download, easily syncs between multiple devices,
CONS: poor data reception can temporarily make files inaccessible, pricey ($120/yr for 50GB storage)
Problem: You own a tablet, an E-reader, a laptop, and a smartphone but you want to be able access the same files from each of them yet not all of them have document storage. Solution: Dropbox puts file storage within the app making your docs show up on every device.
ec’s GRADE: A

Rocksmith
Ubisoft

FEATURES: multiple levels, growing number of song/style choices, available on XBOX and Playstation
PROS: “Play” is controlled by an electric guitar (not included), teaches how to actually play the instrument
CONS: Does not include instruction on music theory or technique, tracking can be  glitchy
Rocksmith is a Guitar Hero-inspired video game that is more accurately a visual guitar instructor. Players score points by hitting correct notes and can advance from single note levels to multi-note complexity.
ec’s GRADE: B+

Movie Reviews // March

Wreck-It Ralph

Walt Disney Animation Studios, 2012

Starring John C. Reilly, Jane Lynch

Ralph is the bad guy in an arcade game named for its hero, Fix-It Felix. Day after day, he terrorizes the game’s denizens, while Felix swoops in to repair the wreckage and save the day. Felix returns to his penthouse; Ralph trudges to his “home” on a trash heap. When a discontented Ralph sets out to prove that he, too, can be a hero, he finds himself in over his head in an unfamiliar world of sci-fi soldiers and candy-coated racers. With the help of friends old and new, Ralph must face a heroic task and confront his true identity in this beautiful homage to the pixelated pastime.
Rated PG for some rude humor and mild action/violence.
ec’s grade: A+

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 Red Dawn (2012)

Waking to an invasion by North Korean soldiers, Jed and Matt Eckert act quickly to evade capture; then, with the city on lockdown, they form a motley crew of rebels and set out to take back their hometown.
Pros: Minor nostalgic appeal for older viewers; decent cast, despite weak script
Cons: Hollow, violent, unnecessary remake captures cheesiness of 80’s cult hit …without any of its campy charm
Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense war violence and action, and for language.
ec‘s grade: D-

Fun Size (2012)

Forced to babysit her strange little brother on Halloween, Wren thinks her life cannot possibly get any worse…until she has to track him down when he goes missing.
Pros: A few slightly redeeming themes emerge…but seem forced and incidental
Cons: Sexual crudeness and language abound; Nickelodeon production tag may mislead younger teens
Rated PG-13 for crude and suggestive material, partying, and language.
ec‘s grade: D

 

Pitch Perfect (2012)

When aspiring-diva-turned-reluctant-college-student Beca half-heartedly joins an a cappella group, she discovers friends, challenges and talents in the most unexpected of places.
Pros: Fun, Glee-style musical numbers; positive messages of friendship and acceptance
Cons: Crude language, humor and dancing; several sexually-oriented gags
Rated PG-13 for sexual material, language, and drug references.
ec‘s grade: C+

 

Rise of the Guardians (2012)

To overcome fear-mongering villain Pitch Black, Jack Frost must band together with childhood icons like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy…and he finds answers to his own mysterious past along the way.
Pros: Innovative premise with mass appeal; attractive animation style and effects
Cons: Very few; a few frightening moments
Rated PG for thematic elements and some mildly scary action.
ec‘s grade: A-

 Skyfall (2012)

When a mysterious villain hits a little too close to home, the hopes of England – and the world – rest on the aging shoulders of everyone’s favorite secret agent.
Pros: Perfect blend of new, dark James Bond, with subtle nods to the campy, gadget-laden 007 of years past
Cons: Despite mass appeal, inappropriate for younger teens because of sexual content and action
Rated PG-13 for intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language and smoking.
ec‘s grade: B+

These reviews were written by Bryan Daniel for the March 2013 issue of ec. They are meant to inform. Get your subscription to ec at

March Music Reviews

Matt & Toby

matt&toby

Matt & Toby
Tooth & Nail Records

ec‘s grade: B+

Matt & Toby is a side project from a couple of the guys from Emery. I’ve always enjoyed Emery’s harder stuff, but have always been a bigger fan of their more melodic moments. When I heard rumors that a side project was in the works, I readied myself but was expecting more of the same. Imagine my surprise when I heard the first tracks coming from my earbuds: It was melodic, mellower and—dare I say?—more mature. There are definite rock-ish moments, but none of the rawk that Emery fans might expect. Another big plus is the intentionally transparent and thoughtful lyrics. My personal faves are “What Plays in My Head,” a song about fatherhood, and “You Will Sing.” Hopefully, this side project will become permanent.

 

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ARTIST: Keith and Kristyn Getty
ALBUM TITLE: Hymns for the Christian Life
LABEL: Getty Music
PROS: Beautiful modern hymns, laced with traditional Irish-folk instruments
CONS: Not for the typical teen, which isn’t really a con…just an observation
TOP SONGS: “In Christ Alone” (featuring Alison Krauss), “A Mother’s Prayer”
THOUGHTS: The modern resurgence of folk music isn’t something the Getty’s are chasing because they’ve been playing and writing ancient sounding, Irish folk hymns for years. Thinking teens interested in lyrical theology will wear out this Celtic gem.
ec‘s grade: A

ARTIST: Disciple
ALBUM TITLE: O God Save Us All
LABEL: Fair Trade Services
PROS: When Disciple hits, they hit it out of the park
CONS: For the first time, there seems to be a distinct attempt to write radio-friendly songs
TOP SONGS: “RIP,” “Draw the Line,” “Outlaws”
THOUGHTS: In typical Disciple style, “O God Save Us All” is a rocker through and through. Including a few new industrial turns, the album doesn’t completely stack up to some of their earlier work, but for fans young and old, this is a strong project worth your time.
ec‘s grade: B-

ARTIST: Chris August
ALBUM TITLE: The Upside of Down
LABEL: MCA Nashville
PROS: Perfectly crafted songwriting showcasing August’s ability to turn a phrase
CONS: Much more mellow than anticipated, some may be put off by the many sparse ballads.
TOP SONGS: “Amen,” “This Side of Heaven,” and “Restore”
THOUGHTS: The writer/singer of the deservedly smash his “Starry Sky” is no one-hit-wonder. “The Upside of Down” is both catchy and lyrically weighty. Even the album’s title is a reference to the benefits of partaking in Christ’s sufferings.
ec‘s grade: B+

ARTIST: Capital Kings
ALBUM TITLE: I Feel So Alive EP
LABEL: Gotee
PROS: Dubstep and Electronica are grossly under-represented in Christian music
CONS: Only 3 songs plus one remix? Come on guys.
TOP SONGS: “Be There,” “I Feel So Alive”
THOUGHTS: Lyrically, the album isn’t much more than a Christian pep rally, which isn’t always a bad thing, but the impossibly short EP feels underwhelming.
ec‘s grade: B-

These reviews were written for ec by Randy Williams. Get your copy of the current issue Subscribe at .

February Reviews: Movies

Chasing Mavericks (2012)
ec‘s grade: B+

Young Jay Moriarty doesn’t have much going for him; his father abandoned him, his self-destructive mother can hardly function on most days, and he sees little in life worth pursuing. That is, until he crosses paths with local surf guru Frosty Hesson and his life is changed forever. A young surfer himself, Jay teaches as much as he learns in his relationship with Frosty, and his surfing interest culminates in his desire to tackle the daunting waves at Mavericks, a big-breaking surf hotspot just down the California coast from Moriarty’s hometown of Santa Cruz. Playing out like The Karate Kid on a longboard, Chasing Mavericks is based on a true story of growth and pursuit of passion. The exhilaration of Moriarty’s sport goes hand-in-hand with danger, and teens should be aware of the risky nature of his endeavors; however, the film is exciting, emotional and clean.

Rated PG for thematic elements and some perilous action.

 

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The Way (2010)

Synopsis: When Tom travels to Spain to bring back the body of his son, he finds himself taking up his son’s incomplete journey on “El Camino de Santiago.”
Pros: Positive messages about family, relationships and reconciliation
Cons: Some language and drinking
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, drug use and smoking.
Grade: B

 

Here Comes the Boom (2012)

Synopsis: Galvanized by the news that budget cuts will be destroying much of his school’s extracurriculars, a schoolteacher seeks to raise money in the unlikeliest of ways: by taking to the MMA ring.
Pros: Great themes of sacrifice and the importance of education; clean, upbeat script
Cons: Script is a little weak and cheesy in spots
Rated PG for bouts of MMA sports violence, some rude humor and language.
Grade: B-

 

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Synopsis: Deep in the rural Louisiana Delta, six-year-old Hushpuppy finds herself trying to make sense of a magical world when her surroundings – and her family – begin to fall apart.
Pros: Gorgeous, whimsical cinematography; brilliant acting
Cons: Some scary content; language; poor representation of parenting
Rated PG-13 for thematic material including child imperilment, some disturbing images, language and some sensuality.
Grade: B

 

ParaNorman (2012)

Synopsis: With the help of his friends, young Norman must use his ability to interact with dead people to overcome spooky ghouls and help break a long-lasting curse on his hometown in this stop-motion animated caper.
Pros: Nifty, visually appealing stop-motion animation
Cons: Dark, spooky themes that may frighten younger viewers
Rated PG for scary action and images, thematic elements, some rude humor and language.
Grade: C-

 

Crooked Arrows (2012)

Synopsis: A man with Native American heritage reluctantly agrees to coach a motley crew of lacrosse players to further his business goals and discovers a part of himself and his history for the first time.
Pros: Unique sports film (it’s about lacrosse!); positive cultural messages
Cons: A little cheesiness; some sports-oriented violence
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive references.
Grade: C+

February Reviews: Music

bebo1

Bebo Norman
Lights of Distant Cities
BEC Recordings

ec‘s grade: A

No longer a 20-something troubadour, Bebo Norman has enjoyed a steady career churning out record after record of well-written, earnest songs about an unchanging, unflinching God. Nearing his 40s, Norman isn’t so much concerned anymore about fitting in as he is being present. For Lights of Distant Cities, Norman co-wrote most everything with his long-time friend and musical companion Gabe Scott, who also co-produced the project with their long-time friend and uber-genius Ben Shive (Matt Wertz, Andrew Peterson). The results are one of the most listenable but lyrically dense Bebo Norman records in a decade. Don’t miss the confessional and transparent “Broken” or the near perfect “At the End of Me.”

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ARTIST: Anberlin
ALBUM TITLE: Vital
LABEL: Universal Republic
PROS: New synth-heavy tracks, a ballad even
CONS: The frenzied music can become monotonous, female background vocals seem out-of-place
TOP SONGS: “Self Starter,” “Innocent,” “Orpheum”
ec’s GRADE: A-
With producer Aaron Sprinkle back at the helm, Anberlin returns with some of their most epically heavy music. They also explore deeper spiritual themes within their songs about relationships as a metaphor for faith.

ARTIST: The Wedding
ALBUM TITLE: No Direction
LABEL: Tooth & Nail
PROS: Singable rock anthems that stick in your head like peanut butter on the roof of your mouth
CONS: A tad scattershot stylistically, but most music fans don’t
TOP SONGS: “No Direction,” “In the End,” “The Raconteur”
ec‘s GRADE: A
After nearly 10 years, these lads from Arkansas have made not nearly enough music. Thankfully, with a new label, The Wedding have made their best music yet, as if Jimmy Eat World were from Georgia.

ARTIST: Flyleaf
ALBUM TITLE: New Horizons
LABEL: A&M/Octone Records
PROS: Better than the last, which was better than the last
CONS: Ummm…
TOP SONGS: “Freedom” “New Horizons,” “Call You Out”
ec‘s GRADE: A
Flyleaf was poised to become the next big headlining rock band in Christian music, but before the release of New Horizons, singer Lacey Sturm announced she was no longer in the band. Still, the new record reaches a new pinnacle for the band who is now touring with a new singer.

ARTIST: Third Day
ALBUM TITLE: Miracle
LABEL: Essential Records
PROS: Produced by Brendan O’Brian (Stone Temple Pilots, The Killers, Train), “Miracle” sounds tailor-made for rock and pop radio.
CONS: The band’s trademark Southern and country sounds are minimal here
TOP SONGS: “Hit Me Like a Bomb,” “Kicking and Screaming”
ec‘s GRADE: A-
After 20 years making music, it seems impossible for Third Day to make a bad record. The hyper-sentimental “I Need a Miracle” is a bit cloying, but is the only lowlight on the record.

January Movie Reviews

Won’t Back Down (2012)

Jamie Fitzpatrick is a single mom whose daughter, Malia, attends the local public grade school, whose reputation is one of ineffectiveness and failure. When the school demonstrates no interest in addressing the gaping holes in the system, Jamie and a passionate local teacher take matters into their own hands. The two women take on the school district, the teachers union and the indifference of the local citizens to prove that change is possible. Tackling the flawed American education system is no new tasks, but with its masterful performances by Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, Won’t Back Down is a film that deftly expresses its frustrations with passion rather than bitterness.
Rated PG for thematic elements and language.
Grade: A

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Trouble with the Curve (2012)

When aging baseball scout Gus Lobel’s sight begins to fail, he must rely on estranged daughter Mickey to get him through, and they quickly find just how much they need one another.
Pros: Positive messages about family, relationships and reconciliation
Cons: Some rough language; sexually suggestive scenes.
Rated PG-13 for language, sexual references, some thematic material and smoking.
Grade: C+

Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)

When the world begins to shift around them, everyone’s favorite animated prehistoric pals find themselves on a journey to return home.
Pros: Picks up where previous Ice Age installments leave off; mostly clean humor appropriate for all ages.
Cons: After four rounds of the same humor, a few jokes wear a little thin.
Rated PG for mild rude humor and action/peril.
Grade: B-

The Words (2012)

In this twisting drama, an aspiring novelist finds an old manuscript and passes it off as his own, unaware of what it will cost him.
Pros: Great messages about integrity and the consequences of dishonesty.
Cons: Unfortunately, the objectionable language and implied sexual situations make it a bit too much for younger teens.
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and smoking.
Grade: B+

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

Count Dracula has successfully sheltered himself, his daughter and countless other monsters from humans in his plush hotel haven for years, but chaos breaks out when an unassuming traveler stumbles in looking for a room.
Pros: Effectively addresses preconceived notions and stereotypes; sympathetic take on protective parenting.
Cons: Some crude gags and jokes that will likely go over the heads of younger viewers.
Rated PG for some rude humor, action and scary images.
Grade: B-

The Bourne Legacy (2012)

The fourth installment in the Bourne series shifts the focus from Jason Bourne to Aaron Cross, another rogue agent whose genetically enhanced skill set makes him a target for the covert officials who modified him.
Pros: Engaging, fast-paced action and suspense; very little sexual content.
Cons: Frequent and graphic violence throughout; some language.
Rated PG-13 for violence and intense action sequences.
Grade: C

by Bryan Daniel for the January 2013 issue of essential connection. All rights reserved. Get your subscription here: .