Living

Family

As Fortnite blows up, parents need to up their game

Does your kid talk endlessly about Tilted Towers and V-Bucks? Do his shouts of "Revive me! Revive me!" ring throughout your home? Have you considered moving to a remote island without internet access to rid yourself of absolutely anything having to do with Fortnite? Welcome to Fortnite frenzy! You're the parent of one of 125 million players of the enormously popular multiplayer third-person-shooter video game "Fortnite: Battle Royale."

Movie News & Reviews

‘The Christmas Chronicles’: Netflix’s edgy Santa adventure is a fun holiday pick for tweens

Parents need to know that "The Christmas Chronicles" is a holiday adventure movie starring Kurt Russell that has enough edgy content to make it best for tweens and up. Characters do risky things like steal cars and climb telephone poles. Strong language includes a few uses of "damn" and "hell," plus insults like "moron." The main characters are grieving their father, a firefighter who died saving others, during their first Christmas without him. A boy starts to tell his younger sister that there's no Santa but doesn't go through with it. Violence is mostly cartoonish mayhem, with no serious injuries, blood or gore shown, but viewers will see punching, shoving, knocking down and characters brandishing a baseball bat and a chainsaw. Characters are in danger, and Santa's CGI elves are cute but sometimes scary, too. A rock'n'roll musical number has slightly sexualized background singers and some innuendo. Holiday messages are mostly about how it wouldn't be Christmas without presents and Santa Claus, but positive themes include family unity and believing in yourself. The movie also sends the idea that it can be OK to do something naughty (even illegal) if it's for a good cause. Santa is portrayed with a gruff exterior, but he cares about the kids and will do anything to save Christmas.

Family

Game review: BattleTech: Flashpoint gets a 5-star upgrade

Parents need to know that "BattleTech: Flashpoint" is the first paid expansion to Paradox Interactive's BattleTech turn-based sci-fi strategy game for download on Windows- and Mac-based computers. The expansion adds new units, mission types, environments, and story elements to the base game. "Flashpoint" gives players more control over the path of their characters' stories, following choices to their ultimate conclusions. There's plenty of sci-fi violence, including robotic units getting dismembered and human units dying on the battlefield, though there's no blood or gore shown. Some vulgarity (mainly the word "s–t") occasionally appears in the game's dialogue, and multiplayer games have the potential to be exposed to other offensive content via in-game chat.

Travel

Charting our own course on a sailing adventure in the British Virgin Islands

It was like something out of an action movie. Silently and with a sense of urgency I didn't yet understand, I jumped off a dinghy and swam through cold waves up to the beach, squeezed through narrow openings between granite boulders, waded across shallow pools, ducked into caves and gingerly descended a series of makeshift ladders, many of the driftwood steps lost to the surrounding sea a long time ago.

Family

Movie review: The best family movies of the year

From superhero adventures to eagerly anticipated sequels to groundbreaking role models and representations, these movies offer the best of 2018 for kids, teens, and families. They entertained us, made us think and gave us plenty to talk about. At the same time, they offered worthwhile messages, modeled important character strengths and left us oohing and aahing at their big-screen spectacles. All also earned the Common Sense Seal, which means they offer an exceptional media experience to families with kids of all ages.

Home & Garden

Ask Angie’s List: How can I prevent winter pests?

Your relatives aren't the only guests who make themselves at home in your house over the holidays, and the other group is considerably less welcome. People often think rodents and insects go dormant during the winter months. And while many do indeed go into a kind of hibernation, others remain very active and seek to survive and thrive in the climate-controlled bliss of your home. Fortunately, you can keep pests away by taking some basic steps.

How to protect your plants when frost is in the forecast

Is there a cold front in your forecast? Here is how you can protect your plants from the damaging effects of frost.