Family Time: ‘Express’ a good story, but it's not a good film for youngsters

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Family Screening Room

“The Express”

Rated: PG-13 (for thematic material, language involving racism and brief sensuality)

Length: 2:09

Synopsis: Based on a true story, “The Express” follows the life of college football hero Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. His fight for equality and respect forever changed the face of American sports, and his story continues to inspire new generations. Raised in poverty in Pennsylvania coal-mining country, Davis hurdled social and economic obstacles to become one of the greatest running backs in college football history. Under the guidance of legendary Syracuse coach Ben Schwartzwalder (Dennis Quaid), he became a hero who superseded Jim Brown's achievements and set records that stand to this day.

Violence/gore rating: 4

Sexual-content rating: 3

Profanity rating: 4

Scary/tense-moments rating: 4

Drugs/alcohol rating: 2.5

Family Time rating: 4. “The Express” is only for more mature children – the racial themes and violence (on the football field and off) are probably too much for youngsters.

(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)

Tip of the Week: Teach kids good gift card habits

Since good financial education starts at home, what better way to help teach your children the value of their dollar and getting the best deal than with gift cards? Here are some tips:

- Look for deals to stretch that gift card.

- Investigate the toy or item they want to purchase.

- Have a backup plan in case the item your child wants is out of stock.

- Remember to set an example and practice what you preach. (ARA)

Kids Kitchen: Spiderweb Brownies

4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate

3/4 cup butter or margarine

2 cups sugar

3 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme

1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate

In a saucepan over low heat, stir unsweetened chocolate and butter until chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat; stir in sugar. Cool for 10 minutes. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour and nuts. Pour into a greased foil-lined 13x9x2 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Immediately drop marshmallow cream by spoonfuls over hot brownies; spread evenly. Cool on a wire rack. Lift out of the pan; remove foil. Place on a serving tray. For web decoration, melt semisweet chocolate and pour into a small resealable plastic bag. Cut a small hole in one corner of the bag; drizzle chocolate over creme in a spiderweb design. (

Book Report

“If I Ran For President,” by Catherine Stier (author) and Lynne Avril (illustrator)

Ages: 4 to 8

Pages: 24

This book invites the child to imagine himself or herself as a presidential candidate. Step-by-step, the child follows his peers (girls and boys of multi-ethnic backgrounds) from the moment they make their announcement to run, to campaigns, participation in primaries, debates with other presidential contenders, party conventions and Election Day. It provides succinct explanations of the voting process, the popular vote versus the electoral vote, and political parties. The book provides a child's view of the hard work involved in campaigning and debating key issues, but also the fun of meeting people from all over the United States. The imaginative and informative illustrations complement the straightforward narrative. (Barnes and Noble)

Pet Tip

If you have a bird – or any other pet, for that matter – be extra careful with nonstick pans. If these pans get too hot, they release chemicals that can kill birds and harm other pets.

GateHouse News Service