‘Airbender,’ ‘Despicable Me,’ or ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’: Which movie is worth your dough?

As it is very hot outside, I’m thinking it’s a good time to take the kids to a matinee but which one to spend your hard-earned money on?

“Despicable me” got a B plus in the AJC but the AP writer didn’t like it very much. One of my friends reported on Facebook that her kids did like it so I think it’s an option. But do we really need to pay for the 3-D?

Now Walsh would promise to clean the bathroom for a year if I took him to see “The Last Airbender” but I think from the ads it seems too violent. I was surprised to find out it’s only rated PG. They’ve been watching “The Last Airbender” cartoon series (which is actually called “Avatar”) on Netflix but it’s pretty tough to watch with them. So I’m looking for some motherly insight on the violence and tolerability of the subject matter.

And finally there’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” The Boston Herald gave it a B and calls it the American Harry Potter. The review is meaner than the grade would indicate.

So tell me if you’ve seen any of these movies and are they worth my money to go and see them. What’s the best bet for a hot summer afternoon?

On a side note, I just want to mention that the “Grease” Sing Along movie is playing tonight at 7 and 9:35 p.m. at the Regal Atlantic Station Stadium 16. I think it would be tremendous fun! I went to an unofficial “Grease” sing along when we lived in New York City and I had the best time!

(We have two topics today. Please look below for our first topic of the day. Reporter Bo Emerson needs your help: Do you think summer is too short for kids or is August a great time to go back to school?)

30 comments Add your comment


July 15th, 2010
10:23 am

None of them are. I don’t care to see any of the movies you listed. I’d rather watch movies On Demand than sit in a theater.


July 15th, 2010
10:29 am

Do your kids really sit through an entire movie with interest? Seems like the younger two aren’t really old enough and it’s a waste or money. Why not find something that’s more active and can still be done indoors like roller skating or bowling?


July 15th, 2010
10:44 am

Stick with Toy Story 3 if you haven’t seen it already. It’s a wonderful film for kids and adults. The 3 you mentioned don’t sound worth the money.


July 15th, 2010
10:46 am

none of the above


July 15th, 2010
10:48 am

T – I was in support of you and the movies, but my post disappeared…can you pull it out of never, never land?


July 15th, 2010
10:55 am

Toy Story 3 was great!!!! I’d pay to go see it again.


July 15th, 2010
10:57 am

It’s just a movie, and they are pretty benign — although I can’t see the littlest one sitting through Airbender or Apprentice. If any of your friends have older and younger kids near the same age as yours, why not offer to take the older kid to the movie with you in exchange for Lil staying behind? Win-Win!

I’m such a movie junkie that I don’t really care what reviewers think of them — I’ll go and decide for myself. Get movie passes from Costco at a discount and just go have fun! I’d probably hit all three at some point, if my kids were still that age. I love On Demand and Netflicks but there’s just something about a nice movie theatre that I crave – big screen, big sound, plush seats, popcorn . . . ahhhhh!


July 15th, 2010
11:08 am

My comment got caught, I think because of having links in it? Here it is without the links:

Theresa, there are many websites that you can look at that will give you a more in-depth understanding of the content. The one I use the most is www. dove. org. It gives a pretty succinct overview of the movie and gives scores in the categories Sex, Language, Violence, Drugs, Nudity, and Other. If I need more detail to make a decision, I go to www. kids-in-mind. com. On caveat about Dove – the people publishing the reviews are religious and view anything related to magic / sorcery as being unacceptable. For instance, none of the Harry Potter movies are recommended because of this. However, they are very upfront about it, and since they give you all of the information and don’t just do a score, you can make your own decisions.

I can’t help you with the quality of these movies – we haven’t seen any of them, and probably won’t.


July 15th, 2010
11:12 am

I haven’t seen any of these movies, but the boy is dying to go see The Last Airbender..We toook them last weekend to a drive in movie in Blue Ridge to see Toy Story 3 and they loved it..They think a drive in is the way to go:) In fact, we are taking them to a drive in again next weekend near Savannah..

@A..My husband was in shock of all of the adults that were at the movie (without kids) to see it..Most weren’t there to “make out” as they all left when the second movie started..


July 15th, 2010
11:13 am

the last airbender it was good


July 15th, 2010
11:21 am

T-I love watching the Avatar series with my little guy (who is the same age as Walsh I think)! So, while we were on vacation, we went to see The Last Airbender. I was very disappointed. While the “theme” is pretty much the same, there are some differences that I didn’t like. It also ended after the fight at the North Water Tribe, so clearly they are planning more to follow.

I cannot speak for the other two movies. I have heard (repeatedly) that Toy Story 3 is the best! I would find one of those. I think it will be well received by all of them!


July 15th, 2010
11:23 am

I can’t remember how old your youngest is, but my kids have loved going to the theater since age 2. And yes, they paid attention, stayed in their seats, and were able to tell about their favorite parts afterward. How will they ever learn to pay attention if they are never given the chance.

I have not seen any of the movies, but think the Sorcerer’s Apprentice looks interesting from a kid fantasy point of view.

Let us know which one you decide on and what you think.

Also, if you have not seen Toy Story 3 – go there. It is awesome and worth every penny although I did not think the 3-D added much. My teen daughter saw it both ways, loved it, but said the 3-D did not add much.

mother of 6yrold boy

July 15th, 2010
11:47 am

Don’t believe the critics — Airbender is a wonderful film, and very G [I suppose it's PG not because of violence but because of violent themes, ie an entire nation wiped out in the past hundred years]. I found it easier to watch with my little guy than either Up or Wall-E, and in its own way it’s less dark than that scary furnace scene in Toy Story 3. There is ONE actual fighting death — but it’s very muted as a death, taking place in a floating bubble of water [indeed, it's so non-eventful a death that I think most kids owuld assume the guy's unconscious afterwards]. I was very pleased with how non-violent the film was kept, as non-violence is a main theme of the original. — Anyway, my son liked it so much we went to see it twice — and now he’s talking about a third time. As an adult, I found the story a little flat but the scenery and special effects simply breathtaking. As a child, my son found it simply magical.


July 15th, 2010
12:30 pm

We went to see Toy Story 3 last week and it was very good. There is that sad part towards the end, but the kids didn’t see it that way – they loved it.


July 15th, 2010
12:44 pm

All the moms in the theater cried at Toy Story 3, myself and my mom included. I think I saw my brother wipe a tear away also, as his oldest child is leaving for college…..


July 15th, 2010
1:08 pm

Saw “Toy” (in 3d) and “Me” in regular. 3D not worth it in either case but both were great. Toy was a little slower moving.


July 15th, 2010
1:55 pm

Toy 3 –opening weekend worth the $$$
Eclipse — opening weekend worth the $$$
Sourcer’s Apprentice –opening weekend worth the $$$

At the dollar show so worth the money (ie purposely waited but still want the BIG screen effect):
How to Tame a Dragon
Furry Vengance

OnDemand/Rental and so worth the $$$:
Remember Me (Deep drama)
When in Rome (CHICKFLIK I KNOW—but oh so funny)


July 15th, 2010
2:01 pm

Theresa, check out channel 5’s Good Day Atlanta site. Just yesterday they were promoting a new theatre where the movies are $5 and you can order dinner from your seat. I’m not sure of the location but they did say to go to their website for more info.


July 15th, 2010
2:03 pm

OK so the last 2 were grown up not kid movies…no I did not let my 2 watch those either…just thought the parents might want something to watch later, notice they were OnDemand ones.


July 15th, 2010
5:56 pm

Not interested in any of the above movies and probably will not go to see them. We went as a Family to Toy Story and boo hooed! I have less than a month until my daughter moves out!

A Mom

July 15th, 2010
7:36 pm

Avatar, the original Nick cartoon on which the Last Airbender is based, is fantastic. Our whole family watched it together (boy and girl, 5 and 7). It has great themes of friendship, redemption, loyalty, etc, and is a great way to start conversations with your kids about important topics in a way they can understand. Plus, it really preaches non-violence and has strong female characters. For the same money as 4 movie tickets, I’d buy the first season of Avatar on DVD.


July 15th, 2010
8:12 pm

I have not seen any of the movies and probably won’t until they’re on dvd. Movie prices are too high. Not affordable for the family any longer. As for what to do on hot, summer days: we watch something from our netflix que, my older one reads, the younger one does math worksheets (honest), play a game or set up a card table with a more advanced puzzle.

GI Dolly...Henry Hates McBerry

July 15th, 2010
10:03 pm

Grown ups and Toy Story 3

Cynthia M

July 15th, 2010
10:29 pm

I heard Nicholas Cage on a talk show the other day saying he would not his own son watch his new movie. Now that tells a lot.


July 15th, 2010
11:16 pm

I suggest ‘the last Airbender.’ My 10 and 5 year olds enjoyed it. I liked it too. The reviews should be written by its actual audience – kids. Watch the 2D version as I heard the 3D was disappointing.


July 16th, 2010
3:05 am

my 6 yr old boy and 8 yr old girl and I watched the the last airbender 5 times already. We will watch it again when it will be released in Asia next month with our nephews. If you want your children to learn a little about foreign culture, this is a good one to start with. The director made this movie simple and easy to let children understand. My kids learnt a lot from this movie. The special effects are awesome. I am a malaysian chinese and i have watched many chinese movies. Americans have opened up a new boundary to include chinese ancient stories in their movie making. Good jobs Americans. It would be a hit in Asia.

Go watch this movie. it is not violent at all. no bloody scenes. no nudity. What would you lose if you watched this movie. Review this movie yourself. don’t let people direct or influence your choice of movie.


July 16th, 2010
6:31 am

What amazes me even more is not a single move critic in the world realizes that the director changed the pronunciation of Aang for a reason. In this case, Aang is pronounced as “Ang” in Chinese for a common boy name. The director chose Aang to be pronounced not “Ang but “Ung” is not that fact that he is ignorant about the hero’s name pronunciation . On the contrary, he wants the hero to be called “Ung” because he’s wants Aang to represent a Hindu boy and not Chinese. The director afterall speaks Hindi himself. Even all the Chinese movie critics failed to understand this. If my 11 years old questioned me if Aang pronounced “Ung” a Chinese name, why is there not a single movie critic realize this?



July 16th, 2010
8:21 am

We saw The Last Airbender and loved it. We initially saw it opening week in 2D. We are going back to see it in 3D. Your younger ones may be too young for Airbender (unless they already follow the cartoon series).

How to Tame Your Dragon was soooo good! I am sure it is at the $2 movies by now. I don’t plan to see the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.


July 16th, 2010
9:43 am

I loved the Airbender series as well, but the movie was a major disappointment. Standing on its own, the film was slow at times with horrible dialogue. The movie’s story-line might satisfy younger viewers but it does have a lot of violence (fighting).


July 19th, 2010
8:09 am

If you have never watched the Airbender series on television, then the movie is a good movie because it provides the background necessary to understand the movie. Due to this, you have less action when compared to some of the other movies. Watching it in 2D is probably good, however 3D made the graphics more majestic and made the viewer seem as if they were apart of the movie. If I had any children, I would take them if they were at least 5 years old.