Blast from the Past

  • Review Date: May 2, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Running Time: 112 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Fish-out-of-water comedy with some salty language.
  • Review Date: May 2, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Running Time: 112 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The film consistently celebrates kindness, respect for others, education, and honesty. Even the most cynical characters come to find value in innocence and an open heart.

Positive role models

It's all in fun as role models are magnified and idealized. Parents are super smart, obsessively committed mentors (even paranoia or secret drinking can’t spoil the image); Adam is the perfect child, then a flawlessly responsible and considerate adult. Adam's innocence and enthusiasm rub off on everyone he meets. A gay character is treated with respect.

Violence

A plane crashes into a house: no one is injured; the pilot escapes. A leading character suffers from what seems to be a heart attack, but he soon recovers. Cartoon action includes a brief fist fight, a fall, a car crash, and a chase.

Sex

Scenes set in the 1990s show some sexy TV commercials, girls in bikinis, and the exterior of an adult video porn shop. A prostitute in drag offers services to the innocent Adam -- he's oblivious. There are some gentle, romantic kisses between new lovers. Eve asks Adam, "Have you ever had sex before?"

Language

Lots of swearing and off-color language during the scenes set in the 1990s: "hell," "s--t," "goddamn," "f--k," "d--khead," "get laid," "bitch," "crap," "hooker," "pimp," "butthead," "slut," "screw you," "ass," "pee in pants," "son-of-a-bitch," "slut," "penis."

Consumerism

Dr. Pepper, Holiday Inn, U-Haul, Prince Albert, Ralph Lauren.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In the 1960s, most characters smoke cigarettes; one has a pipe. Social drinking; one character becomes a secret tippler; she's never portrayed as drunk and the scenes are played as comedy. In the 1990s, characters frequently consume alcohol -- there are scenes in a psychedelic bar, a saloon, and a restaurant. There's a brief discussion of Alcoholics Anonymous and some characters appear to be drugged or high during some humorous pseudo-religious scenes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the comedy in this film is based on an exaggerated clash of cultures -- the relative innocence and wholesomeness of the 1960s vs. the disillusionment and jaded materialism of the 1990s. Casual swearing is prominent in the 1990s scenes, where there are also porn shops, sexy TV commercials, a prostitute in drag, and scenes in which characters appear to be high on marijuana or drugs. In the 1960s, almost everyone smokes. And there's lots of drinking in both decades. 

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
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What's the story?

In BLAST FROM THE PAST, Brendan Fraser plays Adam, who was born in 1962, in an elaborate bomb shelter constructed by his eccentric genius of a father (Christopher Walken). His parents, mistakenly believing that a nuclear bomb exploded in Los Angeles, stayed in the shelter for 35 years. Adam comes out in 1997 to get supplies. He meets Eve (Alicia Silverstone) who is at first annoyed and bewildered by his innocence and old-fashioned values, but then charmed by them.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This leisurely comedy has no surprises or special insights, but it does have attractive performers (including Dave Foley as Troy, the gay best friend). It doesn't waste much time on Adam's surprise at the changes of the last 35 years. Instead, it allows us to share his undiluted joy from the simple pleasures he has never had a chance to experience, like the sunrise and the ocean. And it's even poignant as Troy and Eve envy Adam's old-fashioned good manners and love for his family.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the differences between the early 1960s, when Adam was born, and the late 1990s, when he first experiences the world beyond his family's bomb shelter. Families can also learn more about the history of bomb shelters.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 12, 1999
DVD release date:July 27, 1999
Cast:Alicia Silverstone, Brendan Fraser, Christopher Walken
Director:Hugh Wilson
Studio:New Line
Genre:Comedy
Run time:112 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:brief language, sex and drug references

This review of Blast from the Past was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 11 and 16 year old Written byDemidov July 26, 2013
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Strongly suggest "mature" 14+ age limit.

I do not understand why there is a common sense age rating for 12 year olds. The film depicts an adult book store, a male prostitute dressed in drag, the term "getting" laid, and so on. Yes, children probably hear about this sort of thing at school, but viewing as a family film is not a place for my child do be exposed to these sort of things. I strongly suggest 14 and up, if you are a parent who feels these sort of situations are something you would not like exposing your "innocent" children to.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bywonder dove December 28, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Lots of fun! You'll want to buy this one!!!

Blast from the Past is a highly enjoyable movie about a nice young guy named Adam (Brendan Fraser) who grew up with his hilarious parents in a bomb shelter underground that his father built after believing that a nuclear bomb exploded and they are terrified to leave it. The shelter is amazingly built with everything you can possibly want, but food and supplies are getting short and Adam is sent outside in the real world for the first time to collect those supplies for his family to survive another few years. Being clueless about almost everything, Adam meets a beautiful girl for the first time named Eve (Alicia Silverstone) and is instantly attracted to her - and because of his sweet charm you can't resist - Eve finally accepts him into her life and grows more and more in love with him. It's a sweet romantic comedy that's downright hilarious, fun and even heartwarming. There are quite a few sexual references throughout like major flirting on a dance floor when women start coming on to Adam, sexual tension between Adam & Eve, some jokes that Adam doesn't get, kissing, an ex-boyfriend flirts with Eve, Eve asks Adam if he's a virgin, references to a gay character, prostitutes in drag are shown (this is just to show how messed up our world is and that it's not all fluffy bunnies and rainbows like Adam and his family believe). Language is pretty frequent for a PG-13 and includes some "f" words. Violence is mild and includes a fist fight, some crashes in a comedic way, Adams dad has a heart attack but recovers, a car chase. There is smoking, drinking and a bar scene. Lots of good role models throughout. Alright for mature 13 year olds I think.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism

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