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BIG HERO 6

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BIG HERO 6
WALT DISNEY ANIMATED STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - The special bond that develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes. Starring voice talent of Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit and Jamie Chung. Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams. Written by Don Hall, Jordan Roberts and 7 others.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The movie Big Hero 6 is adorable, funny, and downright enjoyable. The movie is about a young, intelligent, robotics fanatic named Hiro Hamada, voiced by Ryan Potter, who spends his days hustling adults in "bot fights" until his brother, Tadashi, voiced by Daniel Henney, introduces him to his college and friends. Hiro then spends his days trying to get accepted into his brother's school to apply his knowledge of robotics to a greater cause. Hiro later develops a loveable bond between himself and an inflatable robot named Baymax, voiced by Scott Adsit. After Hiro encounters a dangerous force that threatens his future and safety of the city, he turns to Baymax and his friends to make a heroic group called "Big Hero 6" to fight evil. The movie takes us through an action-packed adventure that provides laughter, tears, tension and relief.

The unpredictable plot makes the movie very exciting and hilarious. The movie is funny within the first few minutes which is really delightful because it avoids a slow beginning. Even though this movie is about superheroes fighting evil with intense superhero gear, it does not follow the typical superhero expectations because the heroes handle situations differently than expected. The movie provides realism and surprisingly does not sugar coat certain scenarios. There a certain times where one would think "wow, I'm surprised Disney did that" but that surprise is good because it makes the movie stand out from the rest in a new and different way.

The characters are so lovable, especially Baymax, an adorable robot whose only purpose is to make others feel better. Because of this, it is easy for the audience to get attached to the characters and engage with the movie emotionally. The movie is phenomenal and appeals to adults as much as children which is a very special aspect.

Not only does Big Hero 6 have clever dialogue, great special effects, lovable characters and nice music, but it also pays attention to little details and messages about education and friendship that contribute to an amazing movie as a whole. I will definitely watch this movie multiple times and recommend it ages 5 to 18. Be sure to check it out in theaters on November 7th. Reviewed by Harmony M, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

This film is a fun and hilarious adventure with a very unique story that the whole family will love.

The story starts when a technology genius, Hiro, is accepted into a technology university but, at the same time, something bad happens to his older brother. While he grieves, he finds his brother's medical robot, Baymax. Together they discover a deep and dark secret and they team up with four friends to get to the bottom of it.

This film is wonderful! The humor is unique and not boring, making the audience always roar with laughter. They don't concentrate on one theme. Instead, they surprise us with many different things to spice up the story. However, in many ways, I feel the story is a bit too complicated. It takes the film about 30 minutes just to finish the back story which makes the climax and conflict a bit rushed. Otherwise, its a great film!

My favorite scene is when Hiro first discovers Baymax. Hiro stubs his toe which activates Baymax. First, Baymax squeezes around a bed and the way he does it makes the audience laugh to tears. Then Hiro trips, gets stuck and things fall on him. The entire scene is just pure comedy which makes it a very memorable scene and sets the tone for their relationship as the story unfolds.

I recommend this for ages 9 to 18 and give it 4.5 out 5 stars its amazing, unique animation, humor and interesting storyline.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12.

Big Hero 6 is a really fun movie! It is suspenseful, funny and creative. The writers, Don Hall and Jordan Roberts, wrote an awesome script. Each character has a different ability and a distinct personality. Yet, they all work very well together. I really enjoyed learning about each character!

Big Hero 6 is an animated film about a boy genius named Hiro (Ryan Potter) whose parents have died and he spends all his time "bot" fighting with robots he creates. When Hiro's brother, Tadashi, (Daniel Henney) dies, he discovers a robot named Baymax (Scott Adsit) that his brother designed as a personal health care assistant. When a villain steals one of Hiro's inventions, Hiro must use his brain and technology to change Baymax into a robot superhero and, along with some friends, must stop the villain.

Big Hero 6 is a really incredible movie. This movie has a great mix of comedy, suspense and even a little bit of sadness. There is a lot of comedy from beginning to end. All of the characters are funny and face some tough challenges. Another thing I like about this film is that it kept me guessing what would happen next throughout the whole movie. I was completely surprised by some of the things that happened because I had a different idea in my head of what to expect. The 3D effect is also great! The animation makes it seem as if I could reach out and touch objects and jump right in with them. My favorite part is when Baymax learns karate. It is so funny because he looks like a giant marshmallow and looks so cuddly you want to hug him instead of fight him.

Big Hero 6 has a really great message. It teaches us to make great friends and to always put your friends first! The characters have to trust in their friendship and stop arguing to defeat the villain.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because it is funny, adventurous and really creative. Kids and adults will love it, especially those who like comedy and science experiments. I recommend this film for children ages 4 to 18. This is a movie that the whole family will enjoy. Reviewed by Jeremy Badour, age 7, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic



KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Thunder, an abandoned young cat seeking shelter from a storm, stumbles into the strangest house imaginable, owned by an old magician and inhabited by a dazzling array of automatons and gizmos. Starring the voice talent of Cinda Adams, George Babbit, Murray Blue. Directed by Jeremy Degruson and Ben Stassen.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The animated film, Thunder and the House of Magic is directed by Ben Stassen Jeremy Degruson. The story is about a small, orange cat named, Thunder, who is abandoned by his owners. While wandering the neighborhood, he happens upon a supposedly haunted house, which is full of magical toys and an old magician.

Although, Thunder is quickly accepted into the house by the elder performer, he is not immediately approved of by the rest of the group. Through several adventures and troubles arising with the magician's not-so-nice nephew, who is trying to sell the house against the magician's wishes, the group begins to bond.

My favorite scene is when the old magician does a magic show for children in a local hospital. The magic is funny, imaginative and it is sweet that he does a show for kids in need.

Parents should know that this film is not for little kids! In the beginning, Thunder is chased by a scary dog, almost gets hit by cars and nearly falls out of a tree. In the end, he is thought to be dead for a short period of time. There is also a bit of bad language.

Therefore, I recommend this movie for ages 9 to 14. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars for loveable characters and an original storyline. It is available now on DVD! Reviewed by Katie G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13.
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 15.99
Media: DVD


PUMP

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PUMP       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
XXX
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A documentary that tells the story of America's addiction to oil, from its corporate conspiracy beginnings to its current monopoly today, and explains clearly and simply how we can end it - and finally win choice at the pump. Directors: Joshua Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell. Write: Johnny O'Hara. Starring Adhemar Altieri, Dr. Greg Anderson, Edwin Black, John Hofmeister, Elon Musk and Luiz In�cio da Silva.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - PUMP is an eye-opening documentary that tells the story of America's addiction to oil, from its corporate conspiracy beginnings to its current monopoly today, and explains clearly and simply how we can end it and finally win choice at the pump. This film is well researched and easy to understand. The directors, Joshua and Rebecca Tickell won a Sundance award for their 2008 documentary Fuel. They have honed their skills and come across stronger than ever. This film is a wake up call offering alternatives that you can implement today and help break the oil monopoly. Appearances are made by John Hofmeister, Elon Musk and Luiz In�cio da Silva. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Keefer Blakeslee comments, "The purpose of this film is to spread the word that oil is not the only source of fuel for the U.S." Gerry Orz adds, "This film should be seen by everyone who thinks we pay too much for gas and appreciates how it negatively affects all aspects of our lives." See their comments in the youth comment section.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Riveting! This film examines the story of oil addiction in America. The question is, do we have a choice of fuel?

The purpose of this film is to spread the word that oil is not the only source of fuel for the U.S. I'm guessing parents out there love their cars and know that gas prices are the highest they've been in years. In order to take your child to school, you need to pay and pump expensive gasoline. Or, do you? This film shows that we can have a choice about fuel. Fuel is available that is safer, better for the air and cheaper. Pump proves these ideas with intriguing facts and mind-boggling statistics.

This movie's focus is not about which fuel is better. This documentary provides information about alternative fuels such as ethanol, methanol, natural gas and even electric. Each one has its pros and cons, but just being able to have the ability to choose is what moves this production along.

We hear extremely intellectual interviews with people who are strong about the subject. My only criticism is that the audience for this film is not young kids. Teens who are driving or those starting driver's education will find this important enough to watch. While I found the subject interesting, I do not think kids from 7 to 13 care about the big oil epidemic.

My favorite part is when we see the comparison of air pollution with regular gasoline and methanol, also known as "Wood Alcohol." Dr. Robert Zubrin conducts an experiment where he ignites both fuels. We see that methanol is clean and leaves no residue while gasoline is the opposite. It made me realize what we put in the air every time we run a gasoline engine.

My favorite person interviewed is Luiz Inacio Da Sliva, 35th president of Brazil. The movie states, "under Da Sliva's leadership, Brazil's economy grew by the trillions." He did something that no other country has ever done, achieve complete independence from foreign oil. He gave Brazil the choice of gasoline and ethanol. Da Sliva is what you might call a dreamer. He states, "I believe we will conquer this. I believe the world will learn to live without oil."

This film wants to expose U.S. citizens to the idea of having a choice. We know that there are other forms of fuel and you might think we would use them. This idea was introduced in 2006 with the "Open Fuel Standard Act." Sadly, it never left a committee for a vote. The reason being, that members of the Congress receive 32 million dollars in campaign contribution from big oil.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 14 to 18-year-olds. This film shows a great message and an even more amazing vision. This film was released September 12 so check your local theaters.

Reviewed by Keefer Blakeslee, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

This movie shows you the real, untold story behind oil usage, what we can do about it and how it affects real people. Pump is a film that shows the truth about the current oil crisis and the start of an oil movement.

This film has intensity wrapped together with a side of history and, of course, an educational aspect. All that while still presenting an entertaining documentary.

This examines our love for oil since the first automobile - our highs and our lows in oil history, the people who it affects and the people who are happily profiting from it. We see the businesses that have fallen and others that rose. Most importantly, this movie shows what we can do to stop this oil epidemic and make things better in U.S. as well as around the world.

I believe this film has a great message. We also see a story and a timeline based of the history of oil usage. The part where they describe how to adapt your car for healthier and cheaper fuel by just clicking on the computer is very exciting. But then, 20 minutes later, they mention it is illegal. I wish they pointed out this little detail right in the initial scene.

My favorite part which shows people trying to stop oil-dependency is when they talk about all these electric cars and natural gas cars and how hundreds of cars today can run on multiple fuels, if not all the cars. You know if you are using more than fuel in your car RIGHT NOW if you check your fuel tank cap. If it is orange, you have one of those special cars.

This film should be seen by everyone who thinks we pay too much for gas and appreciates how it negatively affects all aspects of our lives. There is a little bit of action, so I recommend it for ages 8 to 18. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars for its message and desire to make things better. I always admire those that stand by what is right.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Videogame


BOOK OF LIFE, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BOOK OF LIFE, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - THE BOOK OF LIFE, a vibrant fantasy-adventure, tells the legend of Manolo, a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to rescue his one true love and defend his village.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Just in time for Halloween comes this new animated feature by producer Guillermo del Toro and director Jorge Gutierrez. In an unique visual style, The Book of Life reveals the journey of Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds where he must face his greatest fears. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Morgan Bertsch comments, "This animated feature is set in South America. It is colorful and festive and I enjoyed learning about all the different cultural beliefs of South America." See her full review in youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this movie. It's a terrific, animated family film full of adventure. It's a visual spectacular with fantastic sets, costumes and intriguing characters. And, it has a great positive message.

The movie begins with a museum tour-guide telling her field trip students about The Book of Life. Her voice is played by Christina Applegate who serves as narrator throughout, which is especially helpful with all the flashback and flash-forward scenes. In the book, it starts with a flashback to three children. Maria, Manolo and Joaquin are childhood best friends, living in San Angel, the 'center of the world' in Mexico, in the Land of the Living (aka Earth). As they grow up, we see the two grown men compete for Maria's affection. The story revolves around the celebration of the Day of the Dead, when Mexicans celebrate their loved ones who have passed away. As legend has it, as long as they are beloved, they live in the Land of the Remembered. For those not remembered well, they live in the Land of the Forgotten. The two rulers of these two lands, Meurta and Xibalba make a wager on which boy will marry Maria. The winner gets to rule the Land of the Remembered.

Great adventure and drama ensues as Manolo and Joaquin, voiced by Diego Luna and Tatum Channing, compete to win Maria's heart, and fend off the pressures from their families' expectations, while saving their home town. Joaquin's father was a war hero and Manolo comes from a long line of Bull Fighters, though he prefers to sing and play guitar.

My favorite part is when Manolo visits the Land of the Remembered and is reunited with his mother, grandfather and great grandfather, both matador heroes, who were killed. He learns of their common musical interests too, and what mother really wanted him to be.

This film has a terrific message: To never stop fighting for what you believe in, to follow your own dreams and be true to your heart.

The music throughout the movie is awesome and helps tell Manolo's story, especially with the songs "I Will Wait" and "The Apology Song."

The three sets are very distinctive and perfect for each of the three realms: San Angel is a beautiful town in the present day. The Land of Remembered is a colorful, vibrant, happy place and the Land of the Forgotten is dull, grey and has spiky architecture.

I really enjoyed the animation. The characters are wood-like with joints like Pinocchio. The boys have broad shoulders and super skinny legs. Maria and the other girls have skinny waists, full Mexican skirts and dramatic hair and eyes. While I love it in 3D, the animation is so good, it would be great in 2D also.

This is an all-around great family film. I recommend it for families with kids ages 7 to 18. There are some intense bull fighting scenes, slightly scary music and fights in the Land of the Forgotten. I give this film a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. Be sure to check out The Book of Life which is in theaters now. Reviewed by Katherine Starr, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9.

On October 17th Twentieth Century Fox brings a new Halloween movie to the big screen. This is sure to become a must-see for everyone at Halloween time!

This animated feature is set in South America. It is colorful and festive and I enjoyed learning about all the different cultural beliefs of South America. On the day that we celebrate Halloween, they celebrate Mexican Day of the Dead. This movie is funny, cute and the story keeps your attention from beginning to the end.

Many of the movies we see today seem like the same story or theme told in different ways. This movie is truly an original. There are many hints of movies you have seen before but overall, it is truly a different movie. The animators' attention to detail is mind boggling.

The characters are made of wood but, after the first five minutes you see them as real people. The intercut details are astonishing. The unique personalities and different characters will keep you entertained. Animals, people, spirits - this movie has it all.

Maria is my favorite because she is a little girl with cute pig tails. She is fun, bubbly, tough and adventurous. Her independence gets her in trouble but at the same time it is her greatest asset. We watch her grow from a child to a young lady. She keeps the same spirit and kind heart. She must choose who to marry between her two best friends. Zoe Saldana voices the character and really brings her to life.

The candlestick maker, voiced by Ice Cube, is laugh-out-loud funny. Even though he is not in the movie for very much time, you will leave with a smile on your face just thinking about him.

Gabriel Iglesias, Cheech Marin, Hector Elizondo are three amigos who try to help one of our heroes win Maria's hand in marriage. The singing group is hilarious. The song choices are great and made me giggle.

There are many messages in this film. The two heroes follow in their father footsteps. We see how it is important to remember your ancestors but also know that you are your own person and should follow your own path. Although it has been a long-standing tradition, bull fighting is beginning to be thought of as wrong. The bulls should be allowed to live. We see how it takes a whole village of people to protect and look out for each other and how everyone needs to be on the same team helping everyone else.

I recommend this movie ages 7 to 18. It is about Halloween and the Mexican Day of the Dead. Although it is entertaining it is still about death and there is violence. I give this movie 5 out of 5 twinkling stars. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Morgan Bertsch, age 9.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


DRACULA UNTOLD

KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
DRACULA UNTOLD       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - At the turn of the century, the young lord Vlad Tepes and his young family live a peaceful life ruling over their small kingdom. However, when a ruling rival king with a growing army demands from Vlad the first born male of every family to join his army; Vlad's wife makes a terrible mistake which will change history forever. Vlad's wife, Mirenea travels to visit bloodthirsty witches in the nearby mountains. While there she sells her soul to stop the invading army- the price however is that Vlad will become a blood-thirsty monster that will hunt the ages. Starring Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadson. Directed by Gary Shore. Written by Maatt Sazama, Burk Sharpless.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This classic story is brought back to life in Dracula Untold which presents a whole new take on the tale by explaining the origins of the deadly vampire. This version tells the story of prince Vlad of Transylvania who has to fight the all mighty Turks. His troops are greatly out numbered, therefore he travels to a mystical mountain and asks a devil figure for help. The devil figure offers to give him great strength, keen senses and super speed for his mortal life. Vlad ultimately agrees and ends up drinking blood which makes him become the iconic Dracula.

This movie is very dark in the sense of horror. The characters and battles are very graphic and scary. The plot of the movie was very unique but it lacks fluidity. The plot starts very early in the movie which is a bit of a shocker because it jumps to the middle of all the action. The cinematography, CGI and animations are amazing, but the editing is a bit choppy and, as a result, it lacks a smooth storyline. The script is bit disappointing because it uses a lot of iconic lines such as "let the games begin" which is greatly is overused and lacks creativity.

The actors are all rising stars. Luke Evans is superb as Vlad and provides a new look once he is transformed into Dracula. He definitely fits the role with his very masculine presence as the prince and also by showing a dark side when portraying Dracula.

With a prince comes a princess, portrayed by Sarah Gadon. Her chemistry on screen with Luke Evans is unsteady. They do not seem to be truly in love with each other. Overall the movie is weak when compared to other action movies. The attempt to make a new storyline for Dracula is confusing. All the cuts between scenes make the movie lack fluidity.

II give this movie 4 out of 5 stars because of its confusing plot and weak script. This movie is rated PG-13. The genre of the movie is action / horror due to its violent and dark scenes. I recommend this movie for ages 13 to 18 with parental advice. Dracula Untold releases October 10 at your local theater so, if you're looking for a Halloween themed movie, definitely check it out. Reviewed by Patrick Nguyen, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14.

Dracula Untold is an intense love story that changes everything we know about the world's most famous vampire. Dracula undergoes a complete makeover, trading his creepy castle in for a palace fit for a king. That's right, Dracula better known as "Vlad the Impaler" is a Slavic prince and protector of his people. This movie tries to stay true to some of the history behind the classic story of Dracula which is interesting, but also confusing.

Vlad, played by Luke Evans is a prince who may be brutal on the battlefield, but is adored by his citizens. When war with a neighboring nation seems unavoidable he is forced to do something that will change his life forever. He locates a great evil that will give him super speed, strength, and the ability to fly. He will get these powers and many more for three days if he can resist the urge to drink human blood, but if he gives in he will stay like this for the rest of eternity. The deal seems simple at the time but the safety of Vlad's people and family is at risk. Now it's up to him to protect himself and those he loves from the war.

My favorite thing about this film is definitely the special effects. They make the movie less scary and more action packed and thrilling. I also like how unpredictable the movie is. You never know exactly what was going to next and, it is still fun watching it all play out.

The most entertaining character in the entire movie is the "master vampire" played by Charles Dance. He makes a lasting impression on the audience because of how he makes his character scary, but interesting. He also plays a very important role in the storyline. My favorite part of the movie is when Dracula unleashes his powers on an entire army for the first time. This scene is jaw-dropping due to the animation and special effects. Also, the music adds excitement to the movie.

I recommend Dracula Untold for ages 14 to 18 because of some more mature scenes and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Dracula Untold flies into theaters October 10th so please be sure to check it out. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Simone Sharrieff, age 14.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Alexander's day begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by more calamities. Though he finds little sympathy from his family and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him, his mom, dad, brother, and sister all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Starring Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner and Ed Oxenbould as Alexander.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What a hilarious adventure! Something I like about this film is that although it's a comedy, at the same time, the directors have created a story so it doesn't feel as if it's just one big joke. In my estimation, it is just perfect. This film has a bubble of unique comedy that sends the audience laughing out loud. And, it has a sprinkle of romance packaged with it which makes it a unique story.

The story starts out showing an eleven-(soon to be twelve)-year-old kid who always has bad days while everyone else in his entire family always has perfect days. On the very early morning of his 12th birthday he wishes that his family members would have a bad day. Well they do! And, phew, is it bad!

This film has comedy that isn't just little jokes or things that are commonly seen in lots of normal comedies but, unique and creative comedy that is really funny. The actors are all well suited to their roles and, something I love about this film is that the ending is not easily predictable. Also, the story is created in such a way that the comedy is just a part of the story. The creators managed to get a very important message through to the audience.

My favorite scene is when the sister is under the weather with a common cold but has a play that day. She decides to drink a whole bunch of cough medicine and gets drunk during the play. This part is absolutely hilarious. The entire audience, including me, could not stop laughing during this scene.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a young kid film but not too young. I would recommend for ages 9 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars for a great story, fantastic acting and unbelievable comedy!

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good Very Bad Day is an amazingly funny comedy for the whole family to enjoy. This movie is full of very humorous moments.

This film is about a boy named Alexander who always has awful days but other members of his family have great days; some of those days are even perfect, according to Alexander. On his 12th birthday, he decides to make a birthday sundae and he makes a wish that his family would know and understand the horrible conditions that he has to endure. Unfortunately, the next morning another horrible day begins. Everyone wakes up late, Anthony (Alexander's older brother) wakes up to a pimple and his girlfriend breaks up with him the morning before prom. Emily (Alexander's older sister) gets sick before her play and Trevor (Alexander's baby brother) runs out of diapers. It continues to get worse from there.

The message of this film is everyone will experience bad days; though the bad days will not last long. It is important to really enjoy the good days when they come.

My favorite character is Trevor, Alexander's baby brother. He is simply adorable. He has the cutest and funniest facial expressions at the right moment.

My favorite part is when Trevor starts to eat the ink from the marker. It is funny because no one notices him. Once the adults realize Trevor is eating the marker it is funny watching them try to wash it off and unfortunately, they learn it's a bit of a challenge to get the marker off.

The actors Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner and Ed Oxenbaould are all simply phenomenal in bringing humor to the film.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good Very Bad Day is a fantastic movie for the whole family. I highly recommend it for boys and girls ages 9-18 and I give it 5 out of 5 shinning stars. You can watch Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day in a movie theater near you, October 10, 2014.

Reviewed by Kendyl Powell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


FORGOTTEN FOUR: THE INTEGRATION OF PRO FOOTBALL

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FORGOTTEN FOUR: THE INTEGRATION OF PRO FOOTBALL
XXX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - The EPIX Original Documentary, Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football tells the little-known story of four outstanding and brave African American men - Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Marion Motley and Bill Willis - who broke the color barrier in pro football in 1946, one year before Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey were credited with integrating Major League Baseball.

The hardships and triumphs of the Forgotten Four are told through the recollections of their families and those who have researched these remarkable pioneers.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football, an EPIX Original Documentary, will make its World Premiere on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, at 8PM ET. The 60-minute documentary, narrated by Jeffrey Wright tells the little-known story of four outstanding and brave African American men - Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Marion Motley and Bill Willis - who broke the color barrier in pro football in 1946, one year before Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey were credited with integrating Major League Baseball. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Keefer B. comments, "This proves the impact that these four football players had on history and I thank this film for bringing this information to an audience." See his full review in the youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Unforgettable! This documentary literally tackles the history of the first four African- American pro football players during the time of segregation.

Most people know that Jackie Robinson was the first African-American baseball player on an all white team. However you may not know that Kenny Washington, Marion Motley, Bill Willis and Woody Strode were the first African-American football players on major teams. Branch Rickey, who signed Jackie to the Dodgers, was part owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers football team and once told Marion Motley, "Had I not had the experience of seeing you and Bill Willis play in a contact sport, without incidence, I might not have had the courage to bring Jackie Robinson up into the majors." This proves the impact that these four football players had on history and I thank this film for bringing this information to an audience.

The film expresses the passion and philosophy of playing football in an honorable matter. I'm not much of a football fan or sports fanatic in general, but this film swayed me into believing how important football is to sports enthusiasts. The film teaches audiences that football is not just men running back and forth tackling each other, it is a way of life for the people who are good at it.

There were hard times for people like Kenny Washington and the film does not hide this. It provides pictures of African Americans being hanged or even burned and footage of African slaves working in plantations. After slavery ended, the world turned into a segregated society. Coloreds and whites were separated from each other. They couldn't even use the same drinking fountain. You're thinking to yourself, "I already know this,". Most of you do, but I give regards to the film for reminding us of that. If they didn't begin the film this way, the story of Kenny Washington or Bill Willis wouldn't be as remarkable. When Marion Motley and the rest of the African players stepped onto the field, they are not only representing themselves, but their whole race. Just imagine the weight of that responsibility.

This film not only recognizes the players, but Paul Brown, coach for the Cleveland Browns - the man who brought them together in the first place. I admire this man not just for his determination and teaching skills but, for his desire to win with the best players no matter the color of their skin. That belief, during that time, was unthinkable and courageous. That is why he is my favorite person in this film.

My favorite part is when Jim Hardy, one of the white players for the Los Angeles Rams, talks about the abuse Kenny Washington took from his own team mates. While playing a game one of the players "knocked down Kenny flatter than a mackerel." After the game, Jim placed his arm on Kenny's shoulder and said, "We got beat today but, I've never seen anybody play as good a football game as you played today." Kenny responds, his eye watering, "Jim, it's hell to be black" Hearing Kenny's emotional words made me melancholy.

The moral of this documentary echoes words from the Declaration of Independence, "All men are created equal." These four pioneers were all great at what they did and because of the color of their skin they were rejected. This tarnished everything our country stands for.

If you're amazing at what you do, you should do it, despite what you look like.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. And, I recommend it to 12 through 18-year-olds. There are images and language that might not be appropriate for younger audiences. Although I do believe that kids need to watch this film and learn about the four men who opened the door to a brig

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


DOLPHIN TALE 2

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DOLPHIN TALE 2       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - The team of people who saved Winter's life reassemble in the wake of her surrogate mother's passing in order to find her a companion so she can remain at the Clearwater Marine Hospital. Starring Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Nathan Gamble.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What an inspirational continuation to the first Dolphin Tail film. When I saw that they were making a sequel, I couldn't wait to see what was next in store for Winter and her friends. When I saw it, I laughed, cried and was overall inspired to see more. This is a fantastic film that everyone will love and re-watch time after time.

This is a huge mixture of hilarious and unique jokes sprinkled over a fantastic and entertaining story wrapped up in one huge adventure taco and all based on true events.

The story starts when Winter has been at the hospital (or, should I say a full blown aquarium now) for 7 years and Sawyer and Hazel, still doing the same things, have both grown a lot and Sawyer is not so shy anymore - even a littlie bossy at times, However, when Winter's best friend, an older dolphin, passes away from old age, they have a challenging task. They need to pair Winter with another female dolphin or she will be deported from the aquarium.

This film is pretty awesome. The cast returned and does a wonderful job again and they make the story so it has five sub stories which makes it so ever interesting. The only negative thing is that most of the storyline is predictable.

My favorite scene is when Hazel feels like she is not treated like an adult by her father. She decides to ask for a health record for one of the dolphins, but does it wearing very professional attire and also talks very adult-like and sassy. I love this scene because it is funny, entertaining and shows how mature Hazel has become.

The only thing parents have to be worried about is a few thrilling scenes that show damage to some of the animals. I recommend this to ages 4 to 18 since younger kids may not completely understand the situation. I also give it 4.5 out of 5 stars for a good cast, a great director and fantastic cinematography. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Web Series


BOXTROLLS, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BOXTROLLS, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - THE BOXTROLLS are a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who have lovingly raised an orphaned human boy named Eggs in the amazing cavernous home they've built beneath the streets of a city called Cheesebridge. The story is about a young orphaned boy raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors who tries to save his friends from an evil exterminator, the town's villain, Archibald Snatcher. When Snatcher comes up with a plot to get rid of the Boxtrolls. Eggs decides to venture above ground and "into the light," where he meets and teams up with fabulously feisty Winnie. Together, they devise a daring plan to save The BoxTrolls family. The film is based upon the children's novel 'Here Be Monsters' by Alan Snow.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Splendid! The Boxtrolls is another fantastic stop motion film by Laika. In the city of Cheesebridge's a human boy named Eggs ( Isaac Hempstead- Wright) is raised by Boxtrolls, creatures that rummage the streets at night and live under the city. Mr. Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) intends to exterminate every last Boxtroll, all for the love of cheese and a white hat. Eggs needs to teach his family to stop hiding.

Stop motion dates back to Wallace and Gromit, Gumby and many of our favorite Christmas specials. Laika has created movies I adore such as Coraline. This film is another success with its fast pace stop-motion. The way the boxes fold, stack and bend are impressive to watch. The designs of the characters are distinct and detailed. From the trolls who are dirty with glowing eyes and pale blue skin, to the proper humans who are clean with fancy clothes and perfect hair.

The small scale sets are marvelous. The film transports you into two opposite worlds. Once is the view from above the city where we see buildings and streets of stones. At night it's dark with only lamp posts to light the way. The Boxtrolls' under ground lair is a whole other picture. The ground is covered in boxes and tin cans for the characters to slide around on. The room is lit with light bulbs they find and is filled with inventions that they have made.

The writing is witty. The comedy comes through in a very playful manner with its shock humor and, at times, straight-forward jokes. There is even a scene with a rim shot. The trolls, even though they speak gibberish, bring a lot of emotion into their delivery. Speaking of which, the voice talents are sensational. The villain Archibald Snatcher, who is my favorite, uses his amazing voice talents to create this mean, eccentric character. He fits the image that we see on screen. Same goes for the rest of the cast, particularly Elle Fanning who plays Winnie, a snobbish brat that befriends Eggs.

My favorite scene is in the middle of the credits. When the credits roll, please stay in your seat! What you will see is one of the funniest fourth wall jokes to be seen on-screen.

The moral of this story is you can change your nature. The Boxtrolls are used to sneaking around and hiding. Even when they are in danger, they don't fight back. They learn that they can change.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this to 7 through 18-year-olds. This movie gives the audience jokes, engaging characters and beautiful visuals which make it a great film.

Reviewed by Keefer C. Blakeslee, Age 14, KIDSFIRST! Film Critic

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


MY LITTLE PONY: EQUESTRIA GIRLS - RAINBOW ROCKS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY LITTLE PONY: EQUESTRIA GIRLS - RAINBOW ROCKS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Music rules and rainbows rock as Twilight Sparkle and pals complete for the top spot in the Canterlot High "Mane Event" talent show. The girls must rock their way to the top, and outshine rival Adagio Dazzle and her band The Dazzlings, to restore harmony back to Canterlot High.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This movie Music rules and rainbows rock as Twilight Sparkle and her pals compete for the top spot in the Canterlot High "Mane Event" talent show. This latest installment of the My Little Pony franchise does not disappoint and is perfect for your younger set as well as the die hard Brony fans. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O, age 12 comments, "It is definitely a combination of adventure with a cr�me of comedy and a sprinkle of excitement all rapped up in a friendship sandwich." Samantha A adds, "This movie teaches kids that friendship is stronger than any powers or spells. See their full reviews in the youth comment's section and catch Gerry and Haley's interviews with Tara Strong, Andrea Libman, Will Anderson, Jamie Foxx and more at the premiere below.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What an addition to the "My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic" franchise! This film has references to the first movie, a bit of story from the last season of the show and even all the little extra characters that My Little Pony fans love!

It is definitely a combination of adventure with a cr�me of comedy and a sprinkle of excitement all rapped up in a friendship sandwich.

The adventure starts when a band performance is planned at Canterlot High where the kids can make bands and raise funds and three very unusual girls turn it into a super competitive battle of the bands. When they run out of things to do, Twilight's friends from that world call to another world where Twilight is. Will they be able to come there and save them or will evil prevail?

This film is just fantastic! Hasbro was smart to include a lot of little fun things from the shows that fans adore including the beloved Derby Hooves pony who is really never part of the story, just in the background for fun. The songs are great as well. We hear not just the classic My Little Pony songs from the TV show. Instead, the music is very pop like which suits the story well. I imagine that sing-along coming to the fans shortly and being a smash hit. The show's creators also connected to the first Equestria Girls movie which I thought was perfect.

My favorite scene is when girls are having a sleep-over at Pinkie Pie's house. When Twilight gets out of bed and walks to the kitchen she finds Pinkie's older sister feeding her pet boulder. I love this scene because, in the show, there is an episode where we meet this sister. So, I thought having her in the movie is a great idea and so unexpected.

This film does not have anything parents should be worried about and for extremely little kids who do not understand the ponies, they will enjoy the bright colors. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for its original story, fantastic songs and those little characters that fans and Bronies love so much! If you want to see "My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks," it comes out in theaters, near you, September 27th 2014.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

My Little Pony, Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks is a movie about a group of friends (Twilight Sparkle, Apple Jack, Rainbow Dash, Pinky Pie, Flutter Shy, and Rarity) who battle three girls (new to the school) who use their dark magic to turn people against each other and then feed off of their negative energy. This movie teaches kids that friendship is stronger than any powers or spells.

I think that this movie is PERFECT for any little girl because it has singing, you get to see all of your favorite ponies (and even some new characters) AND it has a few great messages. There are three that come to mind: 1) there is no power greater than friendship, 2) never let anybody put you down and 3) always keep your head up.

Some of my favorite movies are animated movies because I think that it's AMAZING how people can change their voices to sound like their characters. Sometimes they don't even change their voices but still change the way they sound to match the characters' expressions. Tara Strong does a great job with that when she plays the voice of Twilight Sparkle. Ashleigh Ball plays the voice of two characters, Apple Jack and Rainbow Dash. And, Andrea Libman also plays two characters, Pinkie Pie and Flutter Shy. They all are fantastic will give you yet ANOTHER reason to like this movie.

While this movie doesn't teach any subjects like math, it teaches kids about teamwork, forgiveness and especially friendship. I think that this is one of the few kid's movies that I have seen with actual role models and these role models would be all of the ponies. Even though they all have their little flaws (for example Rainbow Dash has a huge ego), they all show great personalities and each pony has a good quality that shows throughout the movie like Twilight Sparkle's leadership skills.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 4 to 7 because it is a movie that has singing, and a lot of little jokes that kids will love. And, the best part is that it doesn't have any bad scenes so it is completely kid friendly. This is also a movie that most kids over the age of 7 or 8 will probably not enjoy as much as those younger than that. Unless, of course you are a "My Little Pony" fan. This movie will have you singing songs and laughing all day long!

Reviewed by Samantha Alexander, age 11, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


BULLY

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BULLY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PBS KIDS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - This year, over 13 million American kids will be bullied at school, online, on the bus, at home, through their cell phones and on the streets of their towns, making it the most common form of violence young people in this country experience. BULLY is the first feature documentary film to show how we've all been affected by bullying, whether we've been victims, perpetrators or stood silent witness. The world we inhabit as adults begins on the playground. BULLY opens on the first day of school. For the more than 13 million kids who'll be bullied this year in the United States, it's a day filled with more anxiety and foreboding than excitement. As the sun rises and school busses across the country overflow with backpacks, brass instruments and the rambunctious sounds of raging hormones, this is a ride into the unknown. For a lot of kids, the only thing that's certain is that this year, like every other, bullying will be a big part of whatever meets them at their school's front doors. ...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a film that really shows what's going on and what educators are doing about it. Kids are bullied too much and this documentary shows the sad reality. This also shows the much sadder truth that the educators (who are supposed to be protecting kids at school) are doing nothing but making them shake hands. Bully is all of this and more.

Bully has true drama with a lot of messages behind it. This film is not funny so, if you are looking for a good laugh this is not it. This is not reality TV but a true look into the lives of real people.

This film follows multiple kids and families with kids who did something to them or to others due to bullying. It shows each of their stories and what real kids experienced. Let me tell you, nothing in this film is made up. The horror these families, their friends and their children go through is real. To add to all of this, the school administration is not much help.

I am happy that there is a film that shows what really is going on. The creators also do a very good job at making it as real as possible and they don't fake any emotions. I also like how they include more than one story in this. There is one thing I did not like. As a very active anti-bullying advocate myself, I agree with them. Yes, there is a lot of bullying and it is somewhat of a global epidemic. Yes, we know educators are not helping much and their hands are tied for many reasons. But now what? At the end, this film left me feeling that there is no POSITIVE message. It is definitely helpful to see that all these real stories and, hopefully it will be an eye opener for many people that will see it. But now what? What should we do? What is the right thing for these families to do? I also didn't think it was necessary to make a family show where the son hangs himself. They have been though so much. In my opinion, they could have told their story without going through this once again.

My favorite part and least favorite story is about the boy who grew up happy and energetic but over time became quite and alone. He was bullied and harassed and eventually he committed suicide. To add to the sadness, even though the father was extremely devastated, he had to give the exact amount of love to his other children, which is one of the hardest things to do after something so terrible. There is such a huge dose of reality when I think that it could have been me and my parents who could have experienced something similar to this.

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 18. T0here are bad words and intense scenes but, if you want to educate children about bullying, then they have to see it what could happen if they remain silent bystanders, bullies or victims. It is not about rainbows and sunshine and holding hands. It's about actions that we can take to save lives. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for its good message. It's a great film but I felt like it wasn't quite finished. Perhaps, Part II is in order?

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


EQUATION OF LIFE, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
EQUATION OF LIFE, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
GERRY ORZ
Series: SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Seven-year-old Nathan is a lively and sweet child who wants nothing else but to please his mother, but getting constantly emotionally abused at home. Five years later, 10-year-old Adam moves to a new city where he meets Nathan who has become a violent bully and abuser himself due to the torment he continues to experience at home. Adam's sister, Miranda, encourages Adam to ask for help but fails to convince him. After 111 days of suffering, Adam makes a mistake and takes matters in his own hands. The tragedy that follows will captivate viewers hearts, show how one act of kindness could have changed the lives of many people and impacted future generations. It stresses how important it is to educate youth about how to take proper safety measures when faced with bullying.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film is about a young boy who moves to a new school and is bullied on the way home from school every day by an older boy. In the beginning, we see the bully being verbally abused by his mother, which leads him to bullying himself. The younger boy tells his feelings while videotaping himself and, on occasion, talks to his older sister who tries to suggest solutions. Ultimately, in the process of fighting back, the younger boy has a tragic accident and the older ones goes to prison. The boy's family disintegrates. One mom loses her job and is depressed. His sister runs away from home. There are number of issues presented in this film besides bullying. Among them are the issues of child abuse, gay parents and life as a runaway. This film ends on a hopeful note about what could have happened had the characters grown up differently or handled the situation differently. This is a student production by an elementary student who deserves commendation for the intelligent way this film is produced and the authenticity of its story.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Genuinely spectacular! This is a well done story about the truth and tragedy of bullying. Directed, written and starring 10-year-old Gerry Orz, he portrays Adam Syder, the new kid in the neighborhood. Adam's being bullied by Nathan (Zane Paul), a boy who has a mother (Willow Hale) that treats him like garbage. Day after day Adam is beaten up and called names by Nathan and soon Adam takes enough.

One of the many reasons this film shines is the message it's stressing- Speak up! Bullying is problem in society. Whether it's physical, verbal, or cyber-bullying, it needs to stop and the message is addressed in a passionate way by the filmmaker. Orz shows the reality of what happens to many children who suffer through bullying. He doesn't take the easy route where someone is picked on and the teacher comes in and fixes the problem. He tells us the truth.

Everyone's point of view is examined including the bully Nathan, which I love. The bully is not the villain. He wants to be friends with Adam, but his mother says otherwise. Whenever someone picks on me, my mom always tells me, "You don't know what happened behind closed doors." She's right, I don't. The bully could be going through abuse or they might be jealous and bullying is the only way they know how to express it. My hats off to Zane for an outstanding performance. We also have a heartbreaking story with Adam's sister Miranda (Kaitlin Morgan). She knows Adam is being bullied, but she doesn't tell anyone. She thinks Adam will take care or it, which he does, in the wrong way.

By far, my favorite character is Adam's mom (Kate Orz). Let's just say something tragic happens and we see this emotional scene between her and Miranda. It's hard to sit through because both Kate's and Kaitlin's performances make this film even more powerful. It shows the struggle of not only the person being bullied, but the family's side of the grief.

All these aspects of the film are amazing and what makes it truly phenomenal is that it's done by a ten-year-old. Gerry Orz, tells a story in a mature manor that allows all ages to comprehends the dangers of bullying. Gerry's introduction to the film explains why he made it and what he wants you to learn from it. Just this introduction is worth the price for this film. He doesn't want anyone else to go through the pain of being bullied and this proves the power of film making. This is a film for adults and kids, especially.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 8- to 18-year-olds. This film has one word in it that is not terrible, in fact it's appropriate, but parents may not want their kids to hear it. Even with that I still highly recommend this film to kids so they can know to speak and STOP bullying. This film comes out on DVD October 14, 2014.

Reviewed by Keefer C. Blakeslee, age 14, KIDSFIRST! Film Critic

Independent cinema nowadays is not what it used to be. Indie films used to be the unique ones, the ones with low budgets yet they still entertained. These films could get away with a lackadaisical script or acting in return for a fun or a good message. Keep in mind that films like Cloud Atlas, with a budget of over 100 million, are considered also independent films. What the young Gerry Orz has created is truly a throwback to true indie films.

The Equation of Life, directed, produced, written by and starring Gerry Orz, is a moving film that needs to be seen by anyone going to school. It is a film that is not just about bullying, but about understanding. It is about tolerance and guilt and reasoning. The Equation of Life is a unique anti-bullying film not because its message is different or because it presents the message in a different way, it is different because it doesn't rush to judge. That is the key to any film trying to get to the foundation of a problem - to make sure all the characters and their situations are considered in order to give the audience true, unbiased understanding.

As I stated earlier, a lot of independent films lack something due to having smaller budgets and little resources. The acting in this movie is tolerable. There are some truly moving moments from the cast and a few cast members are pretty good and, for the most part, the characters are believable. I promise you, their performances do not get in the way of the experience.

And the experience is quite moving. In a script like this that tries to teach and explain, both problems and solutions are offered. The Equation of Life offers problems and solutions so real, and so probable, that it comes off as a documentary at times. There aren't any crowd-pleasing cop-outs in order to make the film prettier. The movie is direct. Take this from a guy who has also done what Gerry has done. It is a difficult task to make a movie by yourself, with little financial support. But with a fine idea, support from family and friends and artistic know-how, any movie can be good. The Equation of Life, for that reason, gets 4 out of 5 stars from me. I recommend it for 6 to 18. Kids at the younger end here may not understand it but I believe they can get the concept. This film deserves to be shown to every student from elementary school until they graduate high school. It relates to any adolescent. It certainly does to me.

Congratulations Gerry, you did a very good job. Here's to a fine career! Reviewed by Willie Jones, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 32 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


POSTMAN PAT, THE MOVIE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
POSTMAN PAT, THE MOVIE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A veteran postman finds his beliefs challenged after he enters a TV talent show competition. Starring Jim Broadbent, Jane Carr and Robin Atkin Downes. Directed by Mike Disa. Based on the book by the same name.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This animation has tons of color that burst all over the screen with music that will make you want to dance. Pat, (Stephen Mangan-Voice), a small town postman finds his priority system challenged after he enters a popular TV talent show competition. Meanwhile Mr. Carbunkle, (Peter Woodward-Voice), plans to take over the SDS postal company with robots.

I really enjoy this film. The part that I like the most is that every character has their own personality. Not one person has the same feelings and attitudes as any other character which makes it really great to feed off of each other. The music has an upbeat tone and keeps you energized throughout the film but the opening song makes you feel really good. It literally gets you in the mood to dance and I was snapping my fingers to it. You can understand the plot and the little ones will have no problem in comprehending it. Pat's Cat, Jess, tops with being my favorite character. He has a humorous personality and is very cute. He makes the most adorable facial expressions and actions. My favorite scene is when Jess accidently pops the soccer ball that Pat is playing with. The air escapes the ball; Jess launches airborne and flies all around into the sky. Being jerked around by a soccer ball and hitting many different things in his path is definitely not what he wants to happen. When he finally gets shoved in the car by the ball, no one even notices what's happening. It's my favorite scene because it's funny to see and no one seems to notice Jess's struggle.

Postman Pat: The Movie also stars Jim Broadbent (CEO-Voice), Jane Carr (Mrs. Goggins-Voice) and Robin Atkin Downes (Simon Cowbell-Voice)

When you meet people, you should treat them nice. It's just the right thing to do and one of the main messages in this film.

Little kids, girls and boys, will enjoy this film and I recommend it for ages 7 to 13.

I give this film 4 out of 5 five stars because of the message, the beautiful colors and of course the wonderful music with its upbeat tone.

Postman Pat: The Movie is available on DVD and Blu-Ray. So please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 88 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-10
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99
Media: DVD

Buy Here (from PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT)


25 DAYS TO A TROPICAL CHRISTMAS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
25 DAYS TO A TROPICAL CHRISTMAS
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC
Series: BOOK, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - The e-book, 25 Days of a Tropical Christmas is a celebration of the holiday season incorporating beautiful illustrations with a variation of a classic melody. Similar to the 12 days of Christmas but extended with a tropical theme, this is a fun and entertaining read with beautiful beach- themed illustrations. Written by D.G. Stern and Illustrated by Susan Lane.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Similar to the 12 days of Christmas but extended with a beach / tropical theme, this is a fun and entertaining read with beautiful tropical beach themed illustrations. It makes me think of a warm Christmas instead of the traditional snow covered Christmas (which I have personally only seen once) and it will be easy for children to relate to that live in warmer climate places. Being a native of SoCal, I can relate to the reality of a sunny warm Christmas and so I really enjoyed this book. It is simple and easy to read and the illustrations remind you of beautiful water color beach images. I would recommend for all ages but is best for ages 5-18. 5 stars!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 1.99
Media: Book


MAZE RUNNER, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MAZE RUNNER, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in "The Glade" for two years, trying to find a way to escape through the Maze that surrounds their living space. They have begun to give up hope. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change. There are some great, fast-paced action scenes, particularly those involving the nightmarish Grievers who plague the boys. Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, and Ami Ameen.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This stunning film's theme is not dissimilar to that of The Hunger Games and Divergent. It features children charged with handling a world and its issues that are far more complex than their young minds should have to handle. The film begins when a young man is plunked down in an enclosed village of other young men. He has amnesia, as do all the others. He has no idea why he is there, who put him there, or how to escape. For a moment I thought it was a revised Lord of the Flies story but it's not. The complexity of the situation is multiplied by the mysterious opening in their enclosure to a maze that seems to have no way out and the gates to it are closed off every night. The others who have been there, some as long as three years, have tried to escape. They have failed. Kids have perished when left outside the gates at night. Most of the kids have given up any hope of escaping and have acquiesced to their situation. Not the newcomer who tackles the situation head on. And then, oddly enough, the first girl appears along with a note that she is the "last one." What does that mean? It's an exciting, action packed film with complicated interpersonal relationships and the ending certainly lends itself to a sequel. The teens in my life have all gone to see multiple screenings. It does hold a compelling mystery and is well written, directed and acted. Check it out. Watch out youth reviews.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Maze Runner is an action packed, visually stunning new film that made hold my breath and kept me on the edge of my seat till the very end. The Maze Runner tells the story of Thomas, played by Dylan O'Brien, who wakes up in a giant crate with no memory of his passed. He is taken to "The Glade," a place full of boys who were taken and had their memories erased as well. Thomas soon learns that they are trapped in a giant maze, and once you're stuck inside, you never make it out alive. Everything begins to change when a girl is brought to the Glade and so Thomas decides it is time to face the maze and find the whole truth about the people who placed them there. But the truth they find might be even more horrible than the maze itself.

I absolutely love this film. It is so intense and visually stunning. It kept me on the edge of my seat and made my heart race through the entire the film. Every time Thomas is inside the maze, I felt as if I was there with him, running for my life. But this isn't just an adrenaline packed adventure. The Maze Runner also moved me to tears and made me think about the way we can work together when we are truly faced with a challenge. The visuals are incredible as well. The maze is so complex and ever changing and it's so cool to be able to "explore" it in a sense and see all of the detail put into the CGI.

The entire cast is incredible. All the characters are so unique and have their own personality and quirks, but they work together in such a seamless way. My favorite character is Thomas played by Dylan O'Brien. He is the main character in this film and really makes the whole thing come to life. The boys that live in the Glade have been there for three years and, of course, they have tried to find a way out. But, most of them have essentially decided that they will live out the rest of their days there. When Thomas shows up, he tests the system and refuses to accept his fate of being stuck in the maze. I admire his character because he thinks outside of the box and finds his own way. He looks past his fear and is a strong leader despite the doubts people may have in him.

It's been very interesting seeing the theme of films that have been coming out recently. Hunger Games, Divergent, Enders Game, The Giver and now The Maze Runner all have something in common. They tell the story of young adults, children really, who have to group together and take on some very serious situations, sometimes things even adults can't handle. It shows youth questioning authority, standing up for what's right and making their own way. These strong themes send out a message of empowerment to the youth of our generation, but this can also be a bit overwhelming. I know it's difficult watching adults fight for their lives, kill and be killed, and have their worlds torn apart. But it's even more shocking to see children go through these trials.

Because of this, I recommend The Maze Runner for ages 13+ because of the intense situations and violence. It kept me on the edge of my seat and made me hold my breath during the intense situations, and I love when a film gets me so involved, but that may be too much for some to handle. I give The Maze Runner 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to see it again. Catch it in theaters near you now! Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven Devanney, age 17.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CHRIS
THE SEVEN BRIDGES GROUP LLC (REPRESENTING TEREZIA KONTOVA)
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Chris, the ugliest boy in the World, is, however, the most likable and most successful wherever he moves in. His best friend Caroline is a poor disabled girl without a leg. In the first part Chris becomes a super-model. How will Caroline influence his star career?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film is a short one but packs a couple of powerful messages that would be helpful for kids ages 12-18 to learn such as "Looks are not everything, Fame and Fortune also isn't everything and true friendship is the most important thing of all." This wasn't your typical most popular, good-looking guy becomes friend with the most unpopular girl because there is a twist which makes it creative and unique with humorous undertones.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Screenplay


WHAT IF

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WHAT IF       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
ENTERTAINMENT ONE
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - WHAT IF is the story of medical school dropout Wallace, who's been repeatedly burned by bad relationships. So while everyone around him, including his roommate Allan seems to be finding the perfect partner, Wallace decides to put his love life on hold. It is then that he meets Chantry an animator who lives with her longtime boyfriend Ben. Wallace and Chantry form an instant connection, striking up a close friendship. Still, there is no denying the chemistry between them, leading the pair to wonder, what if the love of your life is actually your best friend? Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Meg Park. Directed by Michael Dowse.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed this film. I wasn't sure if I'd like it, but the plot is wonderful, the cast is amazing and the story is very touching and funny. The cinematography is great. I especially love the fact that there are some whimsical elements added to the visuals to help tell the story. Chantry is an animator, and occasionally her drawings come to life in the movie, adding a really cool multi-media element to the film.

My favorite character is Chantry played by Zoe Kazan. Chantry is a very fun character and Zoe is perfect for the role. I am a big fan of Zoe Kazan and love her work in Ruby Sparks and The Pretty One. She never fails to entertain me. One thing I love about Chantry is that even though you can tell she starts to grow romantic feelings for Wallace, she never crosses the boundaries from platonic to romantic while she's in another relationship which is very cool. I've seen a lot of films where two friends have feelings for each other and they act on it even though one of them is in a relationship with someone else. In this film, it is stated many times that Wallace and Chantry are very against cheating, especially since Wallace's ex cheated on him. I really admire that even though these characters are fictional, they still have solid moral standards.

Daniel Radcliffe also does a wonderful job in this film. His character, Wallace is very witty and cynical, adding a lot of comic relief to more intense interactions. He works wonderfully with Zoe Kazan and you can really see the chemistry between their characters. Daniel also pairs perfectly with Adam Driver, who plays his best friend Allan. The two of them make a hilarious combo and any scene with them together is sure to make you laugh.

What If is a heartfelt, genuine, feel-good film that I really enjoyed. It is definitely geared more towards adults, in my opinion and I believe 20-year-olds will probably enjoy it the most. My mom loved it and was even brought to tears because it is so sweet. However, I love it as well, so I recommend it for ages 15 to 18. I give it 5 out of 5 stars, so make sure you don't miss this gem in theaters now! Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven Devanney, age 17.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm

Buy Here (from ENTERTAINMENT ONE)


IF I STAY

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
IF I STAY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If I Stay is a beautiful, moving film about a teenage girl and the life or death decision she must make. Mia is a teenage girl that has a wonderful, quirky family, a boyfriend who loves her to pieces, and a bright, ambitious future. But, all of that changes when she and her family are in a fatal car accident. While Mia's body is in a coma, her mind journeys back to all of her memories, triumphs, heart breaks and future. She has to make the decision on whether or not to fight and stay alive, or let go and leave this world. Will Mia stay?

I love this movie. It made me laugh, cry and it helped me to see all of the good in my own life that I should cherish, because you never know when it could all change. The cinematography is beautiful. Most of the film is filled with memories that Mia has and the way they are portrayed is very neat. The music is also beautiful. Mia is a cellist and a lot of the film focuses on her dreams of becoming a successful musician, so the film is filled with beautiful classical music.

My Favorite character is Mia played by Chloe Moretz. This film shows so many aspects of Mia's life, so it's easy to find something to relate to. She has a great passion for playing the cello and dedicates most of her life to it. She has difficulties relating to her parents and even her boyfriend since their musicals tastes are far more edgy than hers. She has to face her insane loss and she has to choose between many different things in life. There's something about her life that I think anyone can relate to, so she's a wonderful character. Chloe does a wonderful job portraying everything she's going through and she moved me to tears many times.

This film makes me think about my own family and everything I would do for them. It makes me think of my life and all the joys and sorrows I've faced. There was not a dry eye in the audience because this film provokes unique memories for every individual. I felt especially connected to Mia's family because I too have a younger brother and am very close with my parents, so I was very touched by Mia's situation.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 because of the intense emotions and mature content. Make sure you check out If I Stay in theaters August 22nd. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven Devanney, age 17.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


SLUGTERRA: RETURN OF THE ELEMENTALS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SLUGTERRA: RETURN OF THE ELEMENTALS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A new member has joined Eli and the Shane Gang! Junjie, once the protector of the Eastern Caverns, is a master of the slugslinging art of Slug Fu! But even with the power of five slingers, the Shane Gang find themselves in over their heads as they race across the 99 caverns in search of the legendary Elemental Slugs. The five Elementals are ancient slugs of great power, and the forbearers of all slugs found in Slugterra today. In the wrong hands, they could bring Slugterra to the brink of destruction. So when an evil alliance starts hunting down the Elementals, Eli and his friends -- old and new -- take off in pursuit of the greatest threat their world has ever faced! Starrng the voice talent of Sam Vincent and Shannon Chankent.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This animation is adventurous with specks of comedy and laughter throughout the film. It's an enjoyable film to watch.

The Shane Gang is back and they now have the power and talents of five Slugslingers. With new member Junjie, they discover that they and their world are in deep trouble. The Elemental Slugs are being corrupted by an evil force and the only way to stop them is to gather up all of the 5 elementals, before it's too late.

Surprisingly, I really enjoy this movie with having all the Elementals coming together for a common cause. The aspect of the film that I love the most is that you never know what's going to happen next and it keeps you guessing. The action and anticipation makes it great especially when watching the fighting scenes. The film keeps moving at a good pace. It has lots of colors, but it is dark at times. The comedy keeps the film light and it never stays very serious for too long. Speaking of comedy, my favorite character is Pronto (Lee Tockar, voice), because he's funny and he's definitely the goof of the group. He is doing things that you wouldn't think that he would do.

Other voice actors include Sam Vincent (Eli Shane), Shannon Chan-Kent (Trixie) and Andrew Francis (Kord Zane). They all have high energy and are true to their on screen characters. The interaction between all of the slugs is great. Director, Johnny Darrel, is no stranger to adventurous animations, he also directed Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5 (2009), Spider-Man (2003) and Heavy Gear: The Animated Series (2001).

Trust people who have proven they can be trusted and who's good for you is one great message in this film. Trust is earned and not just given away.

I recommend Slugterra: Return of the Elementals for ages 8 to 14. It's a film that's perfect for a family movie night. Kids who love being courage and animation, this is your film. I give this film 4 out of 5 five stars because it interests me, it's adventurous and funny at times. I love the message about trusting. Slugterra: Return of the Elementals is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray. So please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 70 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.97
Media: DVD


-

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
-       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER HOME VIDEO
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Your favorite cat and mouse are back with song, sorcery and slapstick in this enchanted tale with two bonus cartoons. The adventure begins when Tom and Jerry happen upon a mysterious glowing egg. Little do they know, this egg was stolen from a very large fire breathing dragon! In short time, baby Puffy hatches from his egg and takes Tom as his mommy. The angry mama dragon wants her baby back, but she's not the only one...a powerful witch named Drizelda captures the baby dragon for her own wicked plans! With the help of powerful allies and animal friends, Tom and Jerry must fight tooth and claw to stop the witch and get the baby dragon back to its mother. The action takes flight in a climactic ending filled with might, magic, and cartoon mayhem of course! Starring the voice talent of Kelly Stables, Vicki Lewis, Jim Cummings, Laraine Newman and Wayne Knight. Directed by Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone. Writer: Brian Swenlin.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I loved watching this film with my ten-year-old son because we are BIG Tom & Jerry fans. This film does not disappoint! It still has the classic Tom & Jerry humor and is filled with a fun family story and grand adventure! It really is a film for the whole family! Tom & Jerry find a mystery egg that hatches into a lost baby dragon who thinks Tom is his Mama. Tom & Jerry face some bad evil characters but, of course, good wins over bad as the duo save the day! 5 stars!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a classic Tom and Jerry film with all the goodness included! I thought Tom and Jerry would find a lost dragon in their normal house, but no! Tom And Jerry: The Lost Dragon is a hilarious family friendly adventure with a lot of unexpected turns.

This is a story with a lot packed in it - adventure to start with covered in Tom and Jerry classic humor, with a sprinkle of thrilling and all topped with family wrapped in one huge delicious story sandwich.

The story begins with a girl who owns an animal-care shop but, it is going out of business. Then, they find a dragon egg and a whole bunch of stuff happens including the girl facing her evil Aunty Witch! Of course, the girl's two little helpers are a cat named Tom and a mouse named Jerry!

What a fantastic Tom and Jerry film! This has everything right about it. Tom and Jerry don't talk, but imitate talking. The slapstick humor makes you crack up throughout the entire film and much, much more! They cover all of it! The voices of the talking characters are fantastic and they also make it so that Tom and Jerry are very close to main characters but are not in every scene. I like this because it lets the story develop much smoother and takes it much further.

My favorite scene is probably in the very beginning when Jerry is awake and running around doing chores while Tom is lazily chilling on his pillow not doing anything - the classic Tom and Jerry scene. As usual, Jerry gets upset and teaches Tom a lesson. I love it because it's such a classic moment for these favorite characters.

This film is extremely family friendly. Even kids who don't understand the characters will enjoy the bright colors, so a good age rating is 4 to18. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars for just an overall fantastic Tom and Jerry adventure. Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.
Runtime: 57 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.98
Media: DVD


WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - The journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur, who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport. Stars Jim Caviezel, Alexander Ludwig and Michael Chiklis. Directed by Thomas Carter
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - When The Game Stands Tall is a movie inspired by the true story of high school football coach, Bob Ladouceur. It tells the story of the longest high school football winning streak. The winning streak of 151 games is not just the longest for high school football but it the third most in all sports - ever!

Actor Jim Caviezel portrays Coach Bob Ladouceur. Coach Ladouceur or "Coach Lad" as team calls him is the head football coach of California high school De La Salle aka the Spartans. He is not like typical big time high school coaches. He doesn't yell much or get too excited on the sidelines. To Coach Lad the streak didn't matter that much, it is the life lessons the team members learn that are important to him. Coach Lad is also a Life Skills teacher at De La Salle High School.

The movie begins by showing events that led up the Spartan's 151st win. It shows how being a high school coach has affected Coach Lad's personal life. Coach Lad's wife, Bev (Laura Dern), wants him to spend more time at home. She is frustrated that Coach Lad would rather coach high school where he is not making a lot of money instead of considering offers to coach at a college. Coach Lad's son Danny (Matthew Daddario) feels neglected by his father and later, he feels neglected by his father as a coach. Danny is a junior who is excited about becoming a senior and having his own time to shine. He is a good athlete but not the best. Some of teammates feel that he gets playing time because the coach is his father.

Senior, Terrance "TK" Kelly (Stephan James Born), is a standout outside linebacker and tight end. He is being raised by his father and grandmother. Many college teams want him to commit to going to their school. With the assistance of his father he finally decides on a college. His father and grandmother are very proud that he is going to make it out the tough neighborhood where he currently lives. Senior, Cameron "Cam" Colvin (Ser'Darius Blain), is a starting wide receiver. He is dealing with a lot of personal tragedies, including the death of his father and his mother's terminal cancer. He and TK are best friends and, after some hesitation, they pledge to attend the same college. Junior running back, Chris Ryan (Alexander Ludwig), is on the verge of breaking the state records for touch downs. The movie shows him being bullied by his father to get the record.

I really like this movie. My favorite part is when Coach Lad makes the team visit a veteran's hospital. The visit humbles the players and changes many of their attitudes.

When The Game Stands Tall shows how to deal with and overcome adversities on and off the field.

Reviewed by Brooklyn W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LUNAR RHYTHM       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
DIANE RANDOLPH
Series: SHORT AGES 12-18
Topic - Nature
Description - The impact of the two principal moon phases, the new and full moons, on our ocean's inhabitants is very noticeable for those of us that care to observe. Many scholars and scientists have devoted their life's work to the study of the moon and its impact on marine creature behavior. The increased activity in marine life around these two lunar phases is fascinating to encounter and could be due to many factors such as higher than average tide changes causing stronger currents which would make this an ideal time to release eggs, or better than normal night lighting giving predators an added advantage when hunting, or perhaps the brighter than normal moon provides a time cue for synchronized events such as spawning. This film shows just a few captured moments of this amazing behavior as the marine creatures react to the rhythm of the moon.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Beautiful cinematography, comparing the moon and the ocean. Brilliant.
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - When world-famous air racer Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his team, a bunch of all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire, and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero. Starring the voice talent of Dane Cook, Ed Harris and Julie Bowen. Directed by Roberts Gannaway. Written by Jeffrey M. Howard.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Disney's sequel to its successful Planes film and in this one, world-famous air racer Dusty finds a new career as a fire fighting plane. This anthropomorphic character charms us once again in a tame adventure that you can feel comfortable taking your preschoolers to. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O, age 12, comments, "What a great add-on to the series... there are a lot of great messages and a lot of references to things in real life." Haley P, age 11, adds, "Planes: Fire & Rescue is not what I expected at all. It's even better! Although this is a kid movie, it has a message comparing real life situations even adults can relate to." Adam C, age 8 says, "If you enjoy fun, thrilling action scenes then Planes: Fire and Rescue is the movie for you." See their full reviews in youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What a funny and entertaining film! I did not know what to expect, this is the fourth film in this vehicle's universe with the two Cars movies and then the first Planes movie. I was wondering if maybe Disney pushed it a little bit. However, Planes: Fire and Rescue is an entertaining film that is a fantastic sequel in this magical franchise.

The story isn't about just one topic. This is a little bit of humorous romance and also a lot of action. They make some pretty funny jokes while adding a little sprinkle of drama and a great message for the kids as well.

The story starts when Dusty sadly learns that a key component in him is broken and he thinks he will never race again. When a fire breaks out in his airport, they realize the town needs a second firefighter. Dusty steps up to the plate and goes into training. If you want to find out what happens and if he becomes a firefighter, you have got to watch the film.

What a great add-on to the series; the jokes are perfect. Julie Bowen (Lil' Dipper) is funny through the end. Also, there are a lot of great messages and a lot of references to things in real life. However, this film is very predictable. Ten minutes in, I knew the ending, so it probably would be more captivating for a younger audience. Also, Planes: Fire and Rescue is very similar to the last three films. There is a challenge, a serious character and some comedy. Other than that, the voices are well done and they even changed a Native American folk tale into the version of vehicles just for this film! Very clever! My favorite scene is when Dusty first arrives at the firefighting station for his training. He is introduced to some Smoke Jumpers, cars that parachute into the fire to tackle fallen trees and save wildlife. One nearly takes off his head and the other two introduce themselves. Once they all get acquainted, the first fire breaks out and cars and planes all get into action in a well-choreographed manner!

This is a kid's film and nothing really is here that parents should be worried about. I recommend it for ages 3 to18. Even kids that don't understand it will enjoy the bright colors. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for great jokes and a fantastic story line, even though a bit predictable.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Gerry Orz, age 12.

Planes: Fire & Rescue is not what I expected at all. It's even better! Although this is a kid movie, it has a message comparing real life situations even adults can relate to.

Dusty Crophopper (Dan Cook) is a famous racing plane. While enjoying some fun and flying full speed, Dusty hears a sound he never heard before..."CRACK!" He looses control but is able to land safely. When his crew checks him out, they find Dusty's gear-box is broken - a part in his engine that has been discontinued. His crew promises to search everywhere for a replacement but in the mean time, he can no longer race. Feeling sorry for himself, Dusty gets angry and goes on a flying frenzy. His wing accidentally clips a building that bursts into fire. Inspectors shut down the town runway because the fire safety plan was totally outdated, especially the fire truck in charge. Dusty feels bad and decides to get certified as a firefighter to help get the town runway reopened. In the process, he realizes it means more to put other people first and he risks his engine to save the life of someone else.

My favorite scene is when the whole forest is on fire. It's the largest wildfire the smoke jumpers ever have to deal with. The crew springs into action to contain the wildfire and save everyone's life.

I just loved Dotty (Teri Hatcher) the most. It is hysterical the way she has a crush on Dusty. She doesn't' leave his side. Blade (Ed Harris) is also a great leader. He risks his own life to protect Dusty in the wildfire. The 3D animation makes the story come alive. It's like being in the middle of a real forest fire. The whole movie is action packed. The moral of this story is if life throws you lemons, make lemonade and never give up on your dreams in the process.

This movie is a good fit for ages 5 through 18. Boys, girls and even adults will enjoy Planes because it has many life lessons. I rate this movie a 5 out of 5 "dazzling" stars! Planes: Fire & Rescue is in theaters now.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Haley P, age 11.

If you enjoy fun, thrilling action scenes then Planes: Fire and Rescue is the movie for you. This is a sequel to the Disney movie Planes where Dusty Crophopper becomes a famous racing star. Dusty's engine is damaged and he may never race again due to his equipment failing. The local airport is closed due to safety concerns and the only way to save it is for Dusty to become a certified firefighter. Dusty decides to go to learn to be a firefighter with Blade Ranger and his team in a gorgeous National Park so he can be a certified firefighter.

My favorite character or should I say plane is Dusty Crophopper (voiced by Dane Cook). He portrays a wide range of emotions in the movie from sad to happy. I can relate to Dusty wanting to help the forest out when Blade Ranger was not able to do it.

The scenery is beautiful in this film. The national park is gorgeous and pristine. The animation is thrilling with the planes flying over the majestic national park and dropping fire retardant on the fires.

My favorite part of the movie is when Dusty and the team fight a huge fire without their leader Blaze Ranger. Dusty is brave to go out without his mentor and earns his certification as a firefighter. The firefighting scenes are beautiful and exciting to watch especially for boys my age.

The film's positive message can apply to all age ranges. Sometimes in life things do not go as we plan them to be and we have to have a positive attitude and not give up. Dusty provides a good role model for this as he takes on the brave role of fire fighter when he cannot race anymore.

I give this movie five out of five stars. I am eight-year-old boy and I loved it. It is geared more to young boys who will love it and want to buy the merchandise. I recommend it to ages four to ten, especially boys. The movie is in theaters now.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Adam C., age 8

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Light years from Earth, 26 years after being abducted, Peter Quill finds himself the prime target of a manhunt after discovering an orb wanted by Ronan the Accuser. Starring Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper and Karen Gillan. Directed by James Gunn. Written by James Gunn, Nicole Perlman. Based on the comic books by Dan Abnet and Andy Lanning.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In the vein of mythological-based films comes Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy featuring Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana. After stealing a mysterious orb in the far reaches of outer space, Peter Quill, a half human/half alien is now the main target of a manhunt led by the villain known as Ronan the Accuser. To help fight Ronan and his team and save the galaxy from his power, Quill creates a team known as the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' to save the world. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Gerry O, age 12, comments, "The film has something interesting for everyone - a sense of adventure with a side of romance and perfectly timed jokes as well as can't-beat action all rolled up in one film." Willie J, age 15, adds, "The finest thing about this movie is the comedy that goes with it. Writer James Gunn really does a fine job of using the archetypical characters (tough female, dumb big guy, sassy little guy) and gives them attributes that add to their farce." Shelby R, age 14, concludes, "Marvel has created a 3D futuristic adventure-comedy that explores the true meaning friendship." See their full reviews in the youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - It's predictable, clich� and often times cartoonish...yet, Guardians of the Galaxy is still one of the most entertaining blockbusters you'll see this summer. Boasting beautiful special effects and constant humor, Guardians of the Galaxy may not be a groundbreaking entry into its genre, but it certainly is a welcome addition.

The finest thing about this movie is the comedy that goes with it. Writer James Gunn really does a fine job of using the archetypical characters (tough female, dumb big guy, sassy little guy) and gives them attributes that add to their farce. Really, the comedy is the film's saving grace, as its predictability sucks away any suspense. Remember, with a film such as this, it's not where the path ends that matters, it's how much fun you have along the way.

I give my utmost respect to Bradley Cooper for his sensational, and hilarious voice-over work. Between his pre-recorded deliveries and the wonderful editing of Fred Raskin, Hughes Winborne and Craig Wood, the character of Rocket becomes an instant fan favorite. I also enjoyed his lovable sidekick, Groot who tells you his name a ton of times in the film in comedic fashion. If you're a film and acting nerd like me, I think you might find more excitement in seeing Glenn Close and Benicio Del Toro in their fine supporting roles. They don't do much but their presence alone is enough.

I find it interesting that Groot, who has the least amount of lines, is the best-written character in the whole film. Groot says so much without saying anything and is easily the most lovable and the most human character in the film. Despite the fine characterization and portrayals of the "good guys" in the film, the villains are terrible. They are probably the worst thing about the movie. They are overly cartoonish and come off as B-movie caricatures. From the overly dramatic, yet beautiful, score accompanying the villains, to their hammy portrayals, they are just hard to watch. It's funny how films of this nature (action, comic book based) spell out everything, as if you wouldn't get it on your own.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this film I also found it to be a bit frustrating. Like Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, The Guardians of the Galaxy actually has a deep and darker meaning. Beneath the explosions and punch-lines, the film is about the loss of loved ones. I'm not going to give the movie away for you but be aware that the film is about losing family and friends and how that affects your motivations and loves. If the film wasn't quite so formulaic, it would be one of the greatest films of its genre. Easily. The characters are deep enough and their motivations and loves are justified enough through rational traumas, that this film could have been Marvel's Dark Night. Unfortunately, for me, it's too predictable to hit that mark.

I rate this film 3.5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. You can see this film in 3-D or 2-D at your local theater. Guardians of the Galaxy is a fun, entertaining romp that offers a lot of laughs, has a great soundtrack and is a guaranteed good time. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Willie J, age 15.

The sweet sounds of 80's music, amazing stunts, hilarious one liners, a talking raccoon and a loving, giving tree named Groot are some of the highlights I like most about this film. Marvel has created a 3D futuristic adventure-comedy that explores the true meaning friendship. Chris Pratt plays Star-Lord who is a really good at making enemies and finds himself in trouble when Gamora, Rocket and Groot are after him for stealing the most powerful orb in the galaxy.

One of my favorite scenes is when Star-Lord distracts Ronan from destroying the universe by singing Sweet Child and dancing. Everyone asks him what is he doing and he explains that this is what people do on Earth and he challenges Ronan to a dance off. A memorable moment is when Ronan comes charging toward the guardians and he says "Star-Lord." Star-Lord replies finally because everyone is always calling him by his real name, Peter Quill and he wants a cool superhero. It is funny that he is excited by people calling him his alias when he should be worried about getting blown to pieces.

Alexandra Byrne, (known for designing costumes for Thor, The Avengers and Finding Neverland) has changed the look of costumes for Sci-Fi and adventure movies. Every costume has more depth for each character especially that of Star-Lord. In the opening scene, you see Star-Lord with a dark maroon cape and metal mask and then, when the aliens try to kill him he escapes by flying via his built-in rocket shoes. The cinematographer, Ben Davis, creates a galaxy never seen before. Throughout the movie I felt as if I was sucked into another galaxy filled with unique aliens and different landscapes.

The moral of this film is that friendship is more important than anything. James Gunn shows how desperate all of the characters are to get 4 billion units and then get rid of each other. But, they are meant to do something greater together and that is to protect the galaxy and learn how to love others. I recommend this film for kids 12 to 18 and I give this five stars out of five stars.

Reviewed by Shelby R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14.

This is a funny and action packed adventure that fans of Marvel will adore! When I heard about this film, I thought this will be another add on to the series of films based of super hero comic books, and well, maybe it was time for something fresh, but Guardians of the Galaxy pleasantly surprised me - it is a fantastic adventure that many people will enjoy.

The film has something interesting for everyone - a sense of adventure with a side of romance and perfectly timed jokes as well as can't-beat action all rolled up in one film.

The story starts with a young boy who just experienced a tragic loss and has been abducted by aliens. What do you think they do to him? Train the boy to be an outlaw. Twenty years later, he finds a powerful object and teams with other outlaws to make sure it doesn't get in the wrong hands. Can they succeed or would he switch to the "dark side?" You have to watch the movie to find out.

This movie is stupendous. The jokes aren't everyday flat jokes, they are one-of-a-kind, ironic humor all the way. The special effects are crystal clear and pretty amazing and, to add to all that, the story is nicely done and plays smoothly. However, even though the jokes are a bit more unique, the rest is rather normal. One item I craved for and didn't get was to see something unique that would separate this film from the rest of the comic book-based films. However, I still greatly enjoyed it. My favorite scene is when StarLord (as he calls himself) is about to face a huge enemy that may destroy billions of lives. What does he do? He starts a dance off! The villain is very confused which gives enough time for the crew to plan something to save everyone!

This movie has some gore and a lot of very intense scenes so I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. I also give it 4.5 out of 5 star for over all a good film, but not much different from a lot of others. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - The Kadam family clashes with Madame Mallory, proprietress of a celebrated French restaurant, after they open their own nearby eatery, until undeniable chemistry causes the Madame to take gifted young chef Hassan under her wing. Produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake. Based on the book by Richard C. Morais. Starring Helem Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon, Amit Shah and more.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey have partnered with Juliet Blake to produce this remarkable film starring Helen Mirren in a role perfectly suited for her as Madame Mallory, proprietress of a celebrated French restaurant. An Indian family opens their own restaurant across the street much to her chagrin and leads to confrontations that are hilarious and awkward. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, "This has a lot of cooking with a bit of love spiced in with the cooking, there are some fantastic one-liners that make the audience roar with laughter and this is all included in a fantastic adventure."
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What a fantastic way to wrap up the summer! I am not the biggest fan of romance films, which is what I expected from this film initially. However, The 100 Foot Journey is a funny, inspirational and delicious adventure that everyone will love.

This isn't just a romance film. This has a lot of cooking with a bit of love spiced in with the cooking, there are some fantastic one-liners that make the audience roar with laughter and this is all included in a fantastic adventure.

The story starts when an Indian family that cooks at a school, has to leave the school for very sad reasons. They end up in France where they start a restaurant. However, across a 100 foot wide road, there is another, very different restaurant. A huge adventure starts with the chefs, the owners, and some other people too. If you want to find out what happens you got to watch the film!

This film is produced by a great partnership of Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey based on a famous novel, so it was bound to be a masterpiece, and it is! The actors are funny. They are very much in touch with their characters and they all fit their parts perfectly! The directing is very precise and it makes me want to read the book that the movie is based on!

My favorite scene is when they are a bit competing and there is a montage of different cooks/chefs from the two restaurants cooking pretty and yummy looking food. It shows you that, even though both restaurants are very different, both can make excellent food! It made me hungry and I swear I could smell it at times.

This movie has some adult oriented references and also some scenes little children won't understand so a good age rating is 8 to 18. I also give it a solid 5 out of 5 stars for fantastic directing, cast, editing, ideas, and of course producing!

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12.

Lasse Hallstrom, the director of Dear John, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Safe Haven and What's Eating Gilbert Grape, makes a heartfelt comedy about the struggles of an Indian cook trying to become a successful chef in France that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Om Puri plays Papa, one of my favorite characters, because he is stubborn, loveable and cares deeply for the well-being of his children and tries to make the best decisions for them. In the beginning, he and his children are in the middle of nowhere and a stranger takes the family under her wing. Papa finds a place for them to start a restaurant and Hassan thinks he is crazy for making an Indian restaurant hundred feet away from a popular French restaurant. Papa proves them wrong by making the restaurant very popular.

Hallstrom explores the different flavors and spices that educate the senses by showing the audience that the sacred culinary traditions being perfected by adding Indian spices and unusual ingredients. A memorable scene is when Hassan asks Madame Mallory to make an omelet with him. Madame Mallory has rejected his ability as a chef in the past and she questions him every time he adds something unusual to the omelet. With one bite she can no longer deny that Hassan is a gifted chef and tries to give him an offer he can't refuse.

Music adds the extra spice to the movie. When watching Hassan and his family makes their traditional meals the audience feels like they are in the middle of a family party but it is different because when Madame Mallory expects nothing less than perfection, which makes the audience feel like they are at a very classy and fancy restaurant. One of my favorite scenes is when Madame Mallory yells at Papa for having his Indian music up too loud and instead of Papa turning down his music, he turns it up louder just to make her even more upset.

This film is about only about food and competition it is about how a commonality can bring others together do something extraordinary. One lesson from this film is that you should always follow your dreams even when the people closest to you might not agree with your dream. Everyone will enjoy firework displays, colorful Indian costumes and the beautiful countryside of Paris, mouthwatering cuisines.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. The Hundred-Foot Journey is playing now in theaters nationwide.

Reviewed by Shelby R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


EXPENDABLES 3, THE

KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
EXPENDABLES 3, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill... or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables -- but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables' most personal battle yet.

Starring Sylverster Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson Antonio Banderas, Ronda Rousey. Directed by Patrick Hughes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - We all need the movies that allow us to just sit back and let our mind melt - the kind of movie you can watch without your brain. No thinking, no deciphering, no figuring things out. Just watch and enjoy the explosions.

The Expendables 3 has plenty of that and more. There are enough bullets, deaths, explosions, weapons, punches, kicks and bruises to make any fan of action movies content.

Usually in action film like this, the acting is good enough to believe the characters. Adding Mel Gibson and Antonio Banderas to this third sequel is the best thing this franchise has done. They easily give the finest performances in this film and in the whole trilogy. Antonio gives the film lots of humor and a remarkable monologue, showing his range impeccably. And then there's Mel Gibson, who works with the limitations of his script beautifully - not being too over-the-top, too psycho or too much of a clich�, he creates a villain that doesn't come off crazy or bombastic, but realistic. I appreciated their performances.

As for other aspects of the movie, there isn't really much that struck me as outstanding. The sound is great, the special effects are nice, the script is an action movie script. You have typical character archetypes - tough girl, stubborn prodigy, attempts at humor, one liners and lots of explosions.

To sum up this film, I would quote critic James Berardinelli's (Reelviews) review on The Expendables 2, "Does exactly what it's supposed to do-no more, no less." What does that mean? No deep thinking, more explosions.

Taking into consideration its success and flaws, I give this film 3 out of 5 stars, meaning I recommend you see it. It's a nice film to see if you wish to get a few laughs and relax your brain. Because of the huge amount of violence and the profanity , I recommend this film for kids ages 16 to18. The MPAA seems to be getting more lenient with their ratings but KIDS FIRST! considers excessive profanity inappropriate for younger kids.

Reviewed by Willie Jones, KIDS FIRST! Critic, Age 15

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 14-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


GIVER, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GIVER, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WEINSTEIN CO, THE
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the "real" world. Starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaits, Katie Holmes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Full of pretense, theories on life and enough ideas to cause you to rethink your own ideas, The Giver is an intense film about the effects of accepting the good and bad things memories of life.

Being a huge Meryl Streep fan (Chief Elder), I was very excited to see her performance and, I was not disappointed. Jeff Bridges' (The Giver) performance gives this film a veteran presence that adds to the wisdom their characters possess. As for Brenton Thwaites (Jonas) and Odeya Rush (Fiona), their performances show great promise for their careers. Their youth and lack of experience add a sense of na�vet� to their characters that beautifully contradicts with the characters played by both Streep and Bridges.

I find the script a bit pretentious but necessarily so. The premise itself is very complex but suitable for the subject matter. What could have 90 minutes of melodrama turns into brilliant and intelligent conversations thanks to the skills of the ensemble. I give an Oscar nod for both Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges.

There is a scene towards the end of the film where The Giver and Chief Elder debate on the pros and cons of memories and allowing people to make decisions. That is one of the very best acted scenes I've seen this year. The dialogue is so poetic that we're drawn into the fantasy instead of repulsed by its theatrical nature.

My favorite part of the film, second to Meryl's performance, is the beautiful cinematography by Ross Emery. Mr. Emery and Editor Barry Alexander Brown really come together wonderfully to create awesome moments of visual storytelling. The mixture of black and white with color, and the short shots of real life events give this film a certain vivacity the book is unable to give.

This film is really quite an achievement. To bring such a loved and popular book, with tons of deep ideas and themes, and execute as wonderfully as Director Philip Noyce and company do, is great. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and really hope you see it. It opens theatrically on August 15. Due to the mature themes and ideas, I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18. Reviewed by Willie J.

The Giver is based the book by Louis Lowry. It tells the story of what seems like a perfect community where there is no pain or suffering - a simple, secluded world where there are no differences and no choices. A young boy named Jonas is selected to become the receiver of memories and he learns from an elderly man about the pain and suffrage, from the outside world, that has been kept from everyone. Jonas soon figures out that his whole life has been a lie and tries to change the way his secluded community is governed.

This movie is very captivating. I had my eyes glued to the screen the whole time, not wanting to miss a second of the story. I was so excited to see this movie because The Giver is one of my favorite books and I think the movie is just as good, although a bit different.

Like most movies that are based on books, there are some big parts of the storyline that the movie misses that I feel would have helped people who hadn't read the book understand the story better. Although at certain points in the movie it doesn't matter that parts are missed, because the missed parts are replaced with something equally as great. Then sometimes, the missed parts aren't replaced and it takes the movie in a whole other direction. That's why even if you read the book some parts in the movie will be a total surprise. I enjoyed watching the movie and seeing which parts of the book are included and what surprises are added by the movie's producers.

The actors and actresses in this film are fantastic. Brenton Twaites (Jonas) was born for this role. I really like how bold and brave his character is throughout the whole movie. Meryl Streep fits the role of the chief elder perfectly. Odeya Rush is great as Fiona. I love the fact that she stands with Jonas through thick and thin. Lastly is Jeff Bridges who plays the role of The Giver, he is phenomenal. His character isn't very outspoken but has a strong on-screen presence and he says a lot just using body language and facial expressions. He has true acting talent.

I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars because of its great acting, a great story line and definitely worth seeing in theaters with a best friend. I recommend it for 10 to 13-year-olds because the storyline is a bit mature and I don't think kids under age 10 would understand the story. Reviewed by Samantha A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


BLUE MAGIC

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BLUE MAGIC       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
BLUEWAVEFILMS
Series: FOREIGN INDEPENDENT DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Topic - Nature
Description - Blue Magic is an underwater movie featuring the beauty of the Red Sea near Egypt. We discover coral reefs, dive through light-flooded canyons and search for big and small creatures. Even some wild dolphins pay us a visit.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Beautiful underwater cinematography showing the marine life of the Red Sea near Egypt. Stunningly beautiful.
Runtime: 12 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


AMAZING WIZARD OF PAWS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
AMAZING WIZARD OF PAWS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
BRYAN MICHAEL STOILLER
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - What happens when you find out the family dog is actually six-hundred years old and was once owned by a great and powerful wizard? In this charming and magical adventure, young Bobby Spade and his faithful therapy dog, Ozzy, stumble upon an ancient wizard's mystical book of spells. The once shy boy and loveable canine are unprepared for what comes next as the two find themselves suddenly graced with extraordinary magical powers. Through this amazing miracle, Bobby is now inspired to become the world's most famous magician, accompanied by his enchanted talking dog Ozzy who inherits universal wisdom and is eager to share it. With their newly acquired supernatural talents, these great and powerful little magicians embark on a series of wondrous spellbinding adventures. With some amazing and breathtaking illusions, the two amaze and astound everyone they encounter. Bobby's magnificent skills also come in handy at school, and help him and Ozzy to escape the local bullies by showing them a supernatural thing or two they'll never forget! To save the family home from foreclosure, Bobby and Ozzy enter the National Million Dollar Talent Show in hopes of winning the grand prize. It seems a cinch to nab the Million Dollars with their inherited new powers-- until the evil Wizard, Lord Gragheon who fought for, and lost the book of spells centuries ago -- time travels to claim it back through a spectacular dual against the young magician and his mystical talking dog.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I have to admit that I wasn't too sure about this movie in the beginning. It seemed a tad dark and sad. It does touch on some emotional issues of loss, being bullied and social anxiety. But, this quickly turns into a mystical and magical movie that is very entertaining. There is a whole theme of bad magic and good magic and, although good magic is much more powerful, something more meaningful is portrayed in the film. It shows how real magic comes from within oneself and, in this case, a young boy named Bobby who has to deal with the loss of his dad at a young age. With the help of a magical dog, Ozzie, who becomes his best friend, he learns to deal with social anxiety and learns that magic doesn't solve problems.

This films had me on the edge of my seat at times and I enjoyed the happy twist at the end. The actors portray the characters really well. I would rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. It is entertaining and is quite magical. It is much more than just a bad vs. good kind of movie.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is a really good movie and one you just want to share with everyone. I think a lot of people would like it because it is family friendly and really cute.

This story is about a boy named Bobby who has a dream of becoming the greatest magician ever. He got a dog named Ozzie when he was young because he was so depressed after his dad died and he needed Ozzie to come with him everywhere he went. One day, he went to a store to buy a magic book with $20 dollars that he found. He buys a magic book that gives him powers to do a lot of things.

The main characters in this movie are Bobby, Ozzie, his mom and two wizards. My favorite character is Ozzie because, he may be a dog but, he is actually a magic dog. He has lived for centuries and can talk. He can also do a few magic powers. He is also a really cool dog.

My favorite part in this movie is when Bobby is at a school talent show and he and Ozzie do a lot of cool magic tricks. They make Ozzie disappear and do a lot more tricks. He does some elusions and the dog helps him with a few things. One time, Ozzie goes into one box and comes out another. It is really cool and a quick hint he wasn't teleporting.

I recommend this movie for ages 5 to 12 because all of the magic tricks are cool. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Anthon A., age 11.
Runtime: 96 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
B-TV / BOURNE EXCHANGE, THE: FRIENDS FOREVER       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
LORA BATCHELOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
Series: STUDENT DOCUMENTARY, MIDDLE SCHOOL
Topic - Family
Description - This is a documentary produced by middle school students about their partnership with a middle school in Southern England, and an exchange visit the American students made to spend a week in the British school. This video concentrates on the friendships that were made and what the students learned.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This title is shot in the style of a home video. There are a lot of kid interviewers and interviewees. It is easy to watch and makes sense to the viewer. The audio and picture in this title is clear. The editing is done well and it appears that the kids involved had a lot of fun. It is set in the UK and shows lots of interesting venues in and around London. Reviewed by Ely B.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - For educators and students who want to propose giving this type of learning experience a try at their school, it shows how kids make friends easily in many places. Definitely worth a view.

I found the connection between the students to be genuine. The film gives abundant time to show the students playing, comparing their worlds and creating friendships. We also learn interesting information about their country.

We are given the reason why the students are in England, what they do there and their final thoughts about their trip. It's everyday teenage communication that we listen to. They also comment on how different American accents are and how we use different words for the same thing. i.e. "candy" vs. "sweets" The sound quality waivers a bit but you can usually hear the conversations.

I enjoyed seeing students traveling to a different country and gaining a wider knowledge base of the world. It's not highly entertaining but it is informative.
Runtime: 12 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


HANK THOMAS: FREEDOM RIDER

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
HANK THOMAS: FREEDOM RIDER       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
LORA BATCHELOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
Series: STUDENT DOCUMENTARY, MIDDLE SCHOOL
Topic - Family
Description - This is a documentary produced by middle school students about Freedom Rider Hank Thomas and why he is an unsung hero of the civil rights movement. The video includes interview clips with Hank Thomas.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short title tells the story of Hank Thomas, a Freedom Rider in the 1960's and his heroic and often dangerous experiences during the Civil Rights movement. It is inspirational and an important part of our nations history. The material is very accurate. Especially since you get a first hand account from Hank Thomas and others who survived and made a positive difference during the Civil Rights Movement. The concepts approached are often uncomfortable, but the overall message was very positive and inspirational. Reviewed by Ely B.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I found the subject intriguing. Learning about a person who does not receive much recognition for his/her acts is inspirational. The presentation by Phoebe Rensink is like an oral presentation - stating the facts, but emotionally flat. The footage is mixed with symbolic photos that show the brutality of segregation.

Kids are eager to learn. To show them what happened during this time of hardship is important. They may get bored because its history and it looks like something your teacher would put on in the classroom. No matter, this title sends out a great message that addresses our differences in color or religion and how we can all live in peace. I believe kids want to experience that.

The title has a three act structure showing a brief history, going into the life of Hank Thomas, and brings you to a close. This is done well. When we witness Hank publicly telling his story it shows promise for continued peace.

It has appropriate language for this period in time. Including the "N" word which is a quote by Hank Thomas that is only used once. This is an accurate representation of the events that Thomas experienced.

The audio is choppy. It sounds as if Phoebe recorded in different surroundings which makes it inconstant. Even the recordings of Hank have some background noise but this shows the quality of sound back when it was recorded.

African American History is an interesting topic, especially when seen on film. We all know the obvious heroes of the movement - Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson. It is refreshing to learn different stories and about different people as portrayed on the big screen.

This makes a great addition to any youth film festival, particularly during Black History Week.
Runtime: 12 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


FIRST T-REX THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FIRST T-REX THE
LUISA PARNES
Series: SCREENPLAY FOR AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Tee is the first T-Rex ever to walk the face of the Earth and is treated by everyone with unease. When his mom marries the mayor, he moves into town after years of homeschooling and the timing couldn't be worse. The mayor has just signed a deal allowing raptors to come into town and destroy the local forest to build cheap housing. When the town looks to Tee for help, he must learn to overcome his insecurities and defeat the raptors.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The First T-Rex is about the first T-Rex but it is much more than that because it has important messages for kids about standing up for what you believe in, being different and not being a bully. The characters make this script fun, entertaining and bring this script to life. It is appropriate for children ages 7+ but children ages 7-12 will relate to it more because of the fantasy aspect of it. The characters dialogue is humorous and will be easy for children to relate to. The tone is its strength, also important messages. The characters' personalities shine in this screenplay. They make the story. There is a strong message that it's okay to be different and it's not okay to be a bully. The dialogue is suitable for a youth audience.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult evaluation

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Screenplay


ICE DANCER THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ICE DANCER THE
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC
Series: SCREENPLAY FOR AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - The Ice Dancer is an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen classic with a twist. Set in rural New England, this tale weaves a web of romance adventure and fantasy featuring Max, a troll-like character, who becomes good. All his friends try to rescue him and keep him bad. The beauty and grace of figure skating sets the theme for this timeless piece.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Ice Dancer is quite interesting and will appeal to children ages 8-14. As an adult, even I enjoyed reading it and could see commercial potential. I could imagine the beautiful snow-filled scenery and the characters bringing this story to life. It is based on the Hans Christian Andersen classic and does have a slight familiar ring to it but there is quite a modern-day twist with a lesson to be learned. Good wins over bad in this delightful story of friendship and teenage romance and it is engaging from beginning to the end.

The characters' dialogue is a strength of this script. The characters are very strong. It is easy to find Andrew and Sarah quite likable. Even though Maximillian is not very likable, the author does a great job at making the reader go from not liking him to liking him. The story structure is also another strength. It is easy to follow along with the story line and the scenes and characters are described quite well.

I do think this script has commercial potential. I think there could be beautiful scenes with the snow and ice and the characters could have real appeal. It's an interesting story line and I like that it isn't too predictable. It's like a classic fairy tale story with a modern day magical twist.

I would rate this 8 because I am not completely sure of the time frame. I am assuming it is pretty modern time but it would be helpful what the time frame is. What year does the story take place? I think children today could understand the story and I felt the magic wizard twist really gives it a more modern day feel. I feel children today would be more interested in this story than the classic fairy tale it is based on.

The story line is an absolute strength to the script and the conflict and resolution is appropriate. It's typically good and bad evil and magic and typically good wins over evil. But, this isn't so predictable and I think that the twist is very clever on the writer's part.

The characters are one of my favorite things about the script. The teenagers are easy to relate to and you can actually picture them in your mind. I think the writer describes them quite well and I like how he actually makes me feel sorry for the evil Maxmillian who really is more misunderstood than evil and turns good at the end. The dialogue seems very natural and fits right into the story line.

The lesson or moral simply is that good wins over bad and is portrayed very well in the script. I like that bad actually turns good in Maxmillian's case. A child will get this because the lesson shines through in the script. Other than that, it is very entertaining and kept my interest from beginning to ending.

I would likes to know the year this takes place but I am not quite sure if it is necessary. I do not think that I would make any changes because it is entertaining and teaches a moral lesson. I would have liked to know who the woman was that Maxmillian ends up with at the end. She is just brought up at the end but, then again, it is the end and I'm not sure if that is necessary. I feel that the writer does a superb job in writing this story.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Screenplay


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: SPOOKTACULAR PONY TALES       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Join your favorite residents of Ponyville (Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie Pie and, of course, Spike) as they take on some of the spookiest adventures Equestria's ever seen! Time to gather around and hold on tight, because these six exciting tales are a chillingly good romp! Starring Tara Strong, Ashleigh Ball. Directed by Jayson Thiessen.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - cominig soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales is a clever and amusing collection. This exciting and adventurous DVD is comprised of six episodes and a bonus sing-along. When you watch this DVD it surely makes you smile with great delight.

This series is a Halloween/spooky edition, but don't worry it is not scary at all, but there are a few really great lessons in each series.

My favorite episode is Boast Buster. It is really interesting and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The Boast Buster episode teaches you a really impressive lesson, which is do not boast or brag instead remain humble. If you have a special talent or, if you learned how to do a really cool trick, do not use your talent to make others feel bad. Another lesson you will glean from this particular episode is to have an admirable spirit and use your special talents for good and not just to show off or brag that you are better than others.

My favorite character is Apple Jack, who is very enthusiastic, gracious and good-natured. Everyone loves her. She has a very unique southern accent that brings a new style to the My Little Pony series.

The voiceover actors Tara Strong, Ashleigh Ball and Andr�a Libman are simply stupendous at making each pony unique and special.

My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales is definitely an entertaining series that you will not want to miss. I recommend this DVD series for ages 5 to 12, probably more to girls than boys but, who knows. And, I give it 5 out of 5 shining stars. This DVD will be in stores September 9, 2014 so go check it out.

Reviewed by Kendyl Powell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 132 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.97
Media: DVD


BATMAN: ASSAULT ON ARKHAM

KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
BATMAN: ASSAULT ON ARKHAM       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER HOME VIDEO
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Based on the hit video game series, Batman must find a bomb planted by the Joker while dealing with a mysterious team of villains called, The Suicide Squad. Starring Kevin, Neal McDonough and Hynden Walch.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Vigorous! This is your typical entertaining comic book film, only this time you're cheering for, and looking from, the bad guys' point of view.

Amanda Waller (C.C.H. Pounder) assembles a team of six criminals, called The Suicide Squad. Their mission is to break into Arkham and retrieve The Riddler's (Mathew Gray Gubler) cane. However it does not go according to plan.

This film is rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content and language and I admire this film's judgment. Not long ago, I wrote a blog about the rating system and how leisurely the ratings are letting mature content into PG-13 films without forewarnings. I can't complain since this film gives us a clear heads up! I will say, one of the film's characters towards the end says, "Mother..." and then the audio cuts off. I don't believe that counts for using the "F" word.

The characters are dynamic. As much as I love heroes, I adore villains. A protagonist is nothing without an antagonist and these criminals take the cake. Batman villains are unlike your regular, "Want to take over the world" bad guys. They are complex criminals that are assassins, deranged psychologically, destined to kill and maim for fun, and sometimes all of the above at once. What's even better, these characters are lesser known villains such as Killer Shark (John DiMaggio), Captain Boomerang (Greg Ellis) and more - all with their own vendetta both personal and business. This creates engaging conflict between the characters.

The artistry in the animation never ceases to amaze me. Batman's universe is dark and brooding with lots of shadows and dim lights. Colors like red, green and purple are done in darker shades and tones instead of normal bright tones. The characters all have costumes and designs that define them. Joker (Troy Baker)'s bright colored suit stands out from the rest of the characters while still looking like a part of the world he lives in.

My favorite Character is Deadshot (Neal McDonugh). Deadshot is the leader who only wants to be with his daughter. He's cunning, a sharp shooter and deadly. He even manages to get into Joker's mind and outsmart him. That's impressive.

My favorite scene is when the squad is up against Batman (Kevin Conroy). This takes place in a building full of confiscated belongings from the criminals of Arkham. So if you're a comic book fan, like me, see how many different Easter Eggs you can spot. Plus this is one of the rare times you see Batman do what he does best.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommended it to 13- through 18-year-olds. As I mentioned earlier, there is content that is inappropriate for younger kids.

This film is out on DVD and Blue-ray now.

Reviewed by Keefer C. Blakeslee, age 14, KIDSFIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 75 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.98
Media: DVD


DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This sequel to the reboot of the original Planet of the Apes (1968) explores new and uncharted territory. And, it serves as a prequel to the original films in the series. What we see is a growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar that is threatened by a band of human survivors from the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O, age 12 comments, "...this is a sequel and an eighth movie. I expected that it would feel a bit stretching, but it isn't." See his full review in youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What an exciting and thrilling blockbuster! I was worried about this film. This was the 8th add on to the Planet of the Apes series, second to the reboots. So this Is a sequel and an eighth movie. I expected that it would feel a bit stretching, but it isn't. In fact, Dawn of The Planet of The Apes' main purpose Is to show another side of these super apes and to set up the story for the next film in the franchise.

This isn't just about fighting; in fact, fighting scenes, even though they are epic, take very little part of the film. There is romance within humans and apes families, sometimes, the apes can act funny. Dawn of The Planet of The Apes is thrilling and kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time! Also it has a story line no one expects!

The original Planet of the Apes book is about humans that went to a planet ruled by apes. When they come back to Earth, the same thing happened to our planet. The reboots, (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes and Rise of the Planet of the Apes) are pretty much prequels. So, Caesar leaves civilization with his ape friends while the human race almost goes extinct due to a deadly virus. The remaining humans struggle for power. Will they be able to find a new source of power or will it be up to the apes and their leader to decide the humans' fate?

For me, this is a fantastic addition to the series. They don't try too hard to make it too action-packed and cool looking. The apes look extremely realistic and I really like that. They include some scenes from Rise of the Planet of the Apes which helps to pull it all together nicely. The action and fighting even has some stuff from the original 1963 Planet of the Apes book! The director made it a perfect length and, in fact, this is the first time I've seen what I would call a "trailer" movie (a movie that looks like an hour-long trailer for the next one in the series) that is entertaining and includes a surprise ending.

My favorite scene is when we see a small group of humans working on the power station. When they wake up, the youngest is sitting with an ape that acts as a teacher to young apes and is very loyal to Caesar. The kid gives him a book and reads along with him. It shows how well they actually understand each other and how alike humans and apes are. It shows friendship and how two creatures of different species can be friends.

This film has some violence and intensity so I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars for fantastic graphics, a well planned story, excellent cinematography and stupendous acting. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12.
Runtime: 130 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 39.99
Media: DVD


DAWN OF PLANET OF THE APES

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DAWN OF PLANET OF THE APES       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What an exciting and thrilling blockbuster! I was worried about this film. This was the 8th add on to the Planet of the Apes series, second to the reboots. So this Is a sequel and an eighth movie. I expected that it would feel a bit stretching, but it isn't. In fact, Dawn of The Planet of The Apes' main purpose Is to show another side of these super apes and to set up the story for the next film in the franchise.

This isn't just about fighting; in fact, fighting scenes, even though they are epic, take very little part of the film. There is romance within humans and apes families, sometimes, the apes can act funny. Dawn of The Planet of The Apes is thrilling and kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time! Also it has a story line no one expects!

The original Planet of the Apes book is about humans that went to a planet ruled by apes. When they come back to Earth, the same thing happened to our planet. The reboots, (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes and Rise of the Planet of the Apes) are pretty much prequels. So, Caesar leaves civilization with his ape friends while the human race almost goes extinct due to a deadly virus. The remaining humans struggle for power. Will they be able to find a new source of power or will it be up to the apes and their leader to decide the humans' fate?

For me, this is a fantastic addition to the series. They don't try too hard to make it too action-packed and cool looking. The apes look extremely realistic and I really like that. They include some scenes from Rise of the Planet of the Apes which helps to pull it all together nicely. The action and fighting even has some stuff from the original 1963 Planet of the Apes book! The director made it a perfect length and, in fact, this is the first time I've seen what I would call a "trailer" movie (a movie that looks like an hour-long trailer for the next one in the series) that is entertaining and includes a surprise ending.

My favorite scene is when we see a small group of humans working on the power station. When they wake up, the youngest is sitting with an ape that acts as a teacher to young apes and is very loyal to Caesar. The kid gives him a book and reads along with him. It shows how well they actually understand each other and how alike humans and apes are. It shows friendship and how two creatures of different species can be friends.

This film has some violence and intensity so I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars for fantastic graphics, a well planned story, excellent cinematography and stupendous acting. Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - After the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons that leveled Chicago, humanity thinks that all alien robots are a threat. So Harold Attinger, a CIA agent, establishes a unit whose sole purpose is to hunt down all of them. But it turns out that they are aided by another alien robot who is searching for Optimus Prime. Cade Yeager, a "robotics expert", buys an old truck and upon examining it, he thinks it's a Transformer. When he powers it up, he discovers it's Optimus. Later, men from the unit show up looking for Optimus. He helps Yeager and his daughter escape but are pursued by the hunter. They escape and Yeager learns from technology he took from the men that a technology magnate and defense contractor named Joshua Joyce is part of what's going on, so they go to find out what's going on.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Set five years after Dark of the Moon, this sequel sets out to continue the franchise and take a new pathway to hold our interest. It's a technical extravaganza, to be sure and, if it wasn't for being way too long, sure to be a hit with summer theater-goers. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O comments, "I think t this is a fantastic part of the series. They do an extremely impressive job since it is the first action feature film to use ONLY IMAX 3D HD cameras, which is hard to do with these types of shots." Raven D, age 16 adds, "This film is entertaining and visually very well done. Director Michael Bay uses the first IMAX Digital 3D camera, making the images more immersive and stunning than anything that's been seen on the big screen so far." Their full reviews are under youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is the most action packed film I've seen in a while! I was worried that it won't be as good as the original, but boy was I wrong. Transformers: Age of Extinction is an action packed adventure that all Transformer fans will love! They are definitely back!

This is not just about fighting between bad and good guys (which there is plenty of). Transformers: Age of Extinction has a good mixture of romance, humor and action. It's all related to a main adventure and, of course, who can forget, stupendous looking Transformers!

The story starts when humans are killing Transformers because they think they are attracting aliens. That's when a young dad, who is in kind of a pickle with his finances, starts fixing up an old truck and discovers that it is an Autobot and, not just a regular one at that. So, they go on an adventure to stop something extremely powerful from being made.

I think t this is a fantastic part of the series. They do an extremely impressive job since it is the first action feature film to use ONLY IMAX 3D HD cameras, which is hard to do with these types of shots. In the theater, it looks like you are in the movie and is definitely the right choice. There are a lot of exciting moments such as when the Transformers get their favorite car models back and also, the battles and story line are a lot like the first one. This, in my opinion, is a perfect approach. However, this film is about three hours long and I felt it could have been made shorter. By the second hour, you could guess what the ending is going to be. As much as I love the special effects, when you have too much of a good thing - it's too much.

My favorite moment is when the main character sees his 17-year-old daughter with her boyfriend. When he starts talking about teenage problems, Optimums Prime responds with, "Yeah, I experienced that with Bumble Bee." The timing is perfect and it also fits perfectly and shows that even though they're 90% robotic, they still love their families. I also thought it is awesome how the director portrays Bumble Bee as an unruly teenager.

This film has a lot of action and intense moments so I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. I also give it 4.5 out of 5 stars because I believe the movie should have been a bit shorter. Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

It's been years since the Decepticons and the Autobots battled for the fate of the humans in Chicago and human defenses against alien forces are at an all-time high. A government branch of humans is targeting all Transformers, Autobots and Decepticons alike, with the help of a menacing assassin. While all of this is going on, Cade Yeager, a struggling inventor from Texas tries to make enough means to keep his property and put his daughter Tessa through college. While looking for parts to help his inventions, he stumbles upon a broken down, rusted truck and decides to fix it up. To his surprise, the truck turns out to the mighty Optimus Prime. Cade fixes him and decides to help him defeat the forces coming for Earth yet, again once he realizes what the government is doing to Transformers. Now, the fate of the entire human race lies in the hands of Optimus and this family of humans and, without them, we might just face extinction.

This film is entertaining and visually very well done. Director Michael Bay uses the first IMAX Digital 3D camera, making the images more immersive and stunning than anything that's been seen on the big screen so far. It's very intense to be sitting in the IMAX Theater seeing these 50 ft. robots captured in such a realistic way. If you've seen any of the previous films from this franchise you know that they are nothing short of action packed. The cinematography and CGI is able to show the intense battle scenes and large scale attacks in a breathtaking, edge-of-your-seat way. One thing that I don't like about the visuals is the inconsistency of the Transformers from film to film. The main characters look the same but some of the Autobots that are introduced in this film are designed completely different than in any of the previous films. Their faces are constructed to have features that look extremely humanesque and it is strange to see them next to Optimus and BumbleBee who still have the classic Transformer look. Another inconsistency is that, in the last film, every time a Transformer was hit they would spill a blood-like-liquid, but in this film, if they are injured, the liquid that comes from the wounds is bright green.

It is very strange to see a Transformer film without Shia Labeouf but, I am quite impressed with Mark Wahlberg and the way he tackles this role. I think he's a fantastic actor and really grounds the film. I'm also a fan of Nicola Peltz and think she is decent in this film. However, I am really sick of the way girls are portrayed in this franchise. Every single leading lady looks like a Victoria's Secret model, is completely helpless about 75% of the movie, can never figure out how to help them self and has to be told to run before they do. Near the end, they have one moment of courage and that's pretty much all. It's a formula that is completely predictable in all of the Transformer films, but alas, it's what sells.

Like I said before, this film is entertaining and it enjoyable. It kept me engaged, concerned for the characters, shocked and, I'll admit, I did almost cry near the end. However this film is peppered with extremely clich� and honestly annoying lines and interactions. From the very beginning, Tessa is introduced as a stereotypical film version of a teenage girl. She rolls up with her friends screaming and giggling about how excited they are to party and be crazy. The whole interaction is cheesy and unnecessary and sets her up to look like a bimbo. After that, her boyfriend, who looks suspiciously similar to the Hemsworth brothers, comes to save the day and the rude, inappropriate and just plain stupid things he says to Tessa's father drove me insane. There are several lines in the film that prompted me to say to myself, "Really? Was that really necessary?" The last irritating thing is the fact that they really drove the whole "American Way" and patriotism to the ground. In every seen at Cade's ranch there are at least two American flags shown and it is constantly mentioned that they're just good ole' Texas folk, protecting America with cries of: "Don't mess with our country!" "Think of your country!" "Fight for your country!" Previous films were less centered on our nation and more about the human race as a whole.

Despite my qualms regarding this movie, it is entertaining and the visuals are extremely well done. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 due to the violence and language. However, if you have seen the previous films and are under 13, then this film should be suitable for you. If you're a fan of Transformers, action or just want to experience the first film to ever use the million dollar IMAX Digital 3D camera, be sure to check out Transformer: Age of Extinction in theaters now.

Reviewed by Raven Devanney, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


WIZARD OF OZCAR, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WIZARD OF OZCAR, THE
VARTANOUSH TOROSSIAN
Series: ANIMATED COLLEGE STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - This is a magical story which takes place in a gypsy camp where nobody knows how to read. But one day, a little gypsy boy, Knicknack finds a book, The Wizard of Oz, and that book changes his life forever.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is an interesting take on the original movie "The Wizard of Oz."

It is about a young boy named Knicknack, played by Barry James Montoya II, who finds a book, "The Wizard of Oz," but, he doesn't know how to read. He lives in a gypsy camp with his uncle Ozcar, played by Eliezer Ortiz, who tells people's fortunes for a living.

The opening of the film starts with the flipping of pages in an old parchment like book. The illustrations are interesting and draw the viewer into the characters and story line. There are two narrators reading the pages of the book aloud to us and the narrators also talk to each other on the side, which is amusing. At various times, the pages stop and the illustrations fade into color film. This is a great technique and interlaces the story with live action, which made me want to see more.

My favorite scene is shot outdoors in the gypsy camp. The camera travels through the camp and shows us all the interesting and colorful gypsies from Knicknack's point-of-view. We see dancers, jugglers and musicians as Knicknack walks through the camp lined with gypsy tents.

I also love the original music in this film, especially the theme song, "No Other Place" performed by Epilome the One. I think the music goes well with the setting of the story and it changes with different scenes.

In the film, Knicknack learns to accept and appreciate his lot in life. He has to come to terms with the realization that his mother has left him and he needs to help his uncle by earning some money to help support them. However, Knicknack finds this difficult, because he does not want to tell lies like his uncle does.

I recommend this short film for ages 9 to 18. Knicknack learns that he doesn't want to lie but, more importantly, he learns to appreciate his family even when they are not the best role models. It's a tricky lesson and younger kids probably would not grasp it.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for great costumes, good music and an interesting twist on an old tale. You can find it at the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Katie G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.
Runtime: 21 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BOXCAR CHILDREN, THE
HAMMERHEAD PRODUCTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - Based on the best selling book, a touching tale of family togetherness that explores themes of personal integrity, generosity and kindness. Four orphaned siblings mysteriously appear in a small town on a warm summer night. No one knows who these young wanderers are or where they have come from. They make a home for themselves in an abandoned boxcar they discover in the woods. Ambitious and resourceful, the plucky children make a happy life for themselves. Time passes and they discover the struggles and rewards of independence as well as the joys of family until one day, Violet gets too sick for the others to care for her. They must take Violet to a doctor and risk discovery and the loss of their secret forest home.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film based on the best-selling book by the same name is unique and entertaining. The story is uplifting and the characters are lovable. The music is wonderful and really brings the story to life. Although, not always full of action, the characters use creative thinking to turn ordinary situations into something exciting and fun to watch. The animations are really cool and there are a lot of scenery changes and interesting scenarios that unfold.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Boxcar Children is a thrilling and exciting film that makes you want to go on a adventure, it tells you a good lesson about don't be scared of something you have ever seen, and the whole family would like it. The production did a good job with smooth scripts and a good story. It is no too special, but not a everyday normal Hollywood film.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


NEXT STEP, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NEXT STEP, THE
HULU, LLC
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18 ANIM
Topic - Family
Description - As the A-Troupe dancers prepare for the regional dance competition, relationships and loyalties are put to the test at the Next Step studio. Created by Frank Van Keeken. Starring Victoria Galdesarra, Isaac Lupien and Trevor Tordjman
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The pilot episode of this TV show was full of so many amazing dance moves that it was hard to keep my eyes off of the screen. The drama that occurs within a group or a team was conveyed perfectly, and every dancer on the show performed flawlessly.

This first episode basically provides the background as to what the season will be about. The Next Step is a dance studio in Canada, and in the first episode, teenage dancers whose lives are devoted to dance compete for a spot on the coveted A-Troupe. Auditions took place, and each teen dancer showed off his or her moves to the adults who would decide on the members of the groups. There is a sort of "queen bee" of the teens named Emily, who heads the A-Troupe and is the studio's best dancer. The episode made it clear that drama and tension will certainly sprout from her.

The audition portion of the episode was very interesting. Some of the girls who spoke about themselves very highly and as if a spot on the A-Troupe was guaranteed failed to dance as impressively as some of the more humble ones. It was also interesting when the new girl, Michelle came along, and seemed to put all the cocky dancers in their places when she danced. The dancers, especially the girls, spoke about Michelle as if she were inferior, so I found it nice how Michelle rose up like a dark horse and performed ten notches above the other dancers.

Tiffany, who is played by Tamina Pollack-Paris, is shown to be a standout actress in the show. Her personality is very bubbly and optimistic, yet it doesn't seem artificial or forced at all; she seems like a genuine person. Brittany Raymond's portrayal of Riley, Emily's younger sister, also stood out. While Emily seems like a diva who simply wants to hold her tiara as the head of A-Troupe, Riley seems much more down to earth. She doesn't say anything rude about others, and seems to be a complete foil to her older sister.

Since it was merely a pilot episode, the general moral of the show cannot be said. However, it could be said that we should throw words to the side and simply let our actions do the talking. Words are merely words, while actions actually prove our abilities and what we have to offer the world.

The talent and the genuine passion that the teenagers have is a nuance that stands out. Without the abilities of the teenagers, the concept of a dance competition and drama show would not appear realistic. Although some of the teens dance more impressively than others, all of them clearly have the skills. They are all truly passionate about dance, and it is nice to see that while they perform.

The episode meets the KIDS FIRST! criteria and would suit kids the ages of 9-15. Girls would enjoy it more because of the typical drama that females tend to endure, although boys would like it as well. This first episode would receive a 3.5/5 star ranking from me, and the rest of the episodes of the season would be interesting as well. Reviewed by Carissa Payongayong, age 15

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 9-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: THE KEYS OF FRIENDSHIP

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: THE KEYS OF FRIENDSHIP       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Since her arrival in Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle has learned the true meaning and value of friendship. With her very best friends -- Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Fluttershy and, of course, Spike -- Twilight goes on the greatest of adventures and comes back with even more lessons. All of this has earned Twilight her wings and the crown of a Princess and now you can learn what Princess Twilight Sparkle has learned and take with you The Keys Of Friendship. from Shout! Factory Kids in collaboration with Hasbro Studios. The 5 episodes include "Rarity Takes Manhattan," "Pinkie Apple Pie," "It Ain't Easy Being Breezies," "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 1," and "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 2." A fun sing-along is included as a bonus feature. http://www.amazon.com/My-Little-Pony-Friendship-Magic/dp/B00JJOY4FU
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - My Little Pony is a perennial favorite with kids of a certain age and adults as well, as I discovered last year at the premiere of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls. A huge following of 20 and 30-year-olds arrived in costume to celebrate the feature film debut of this iconic series. About this DVD Gerry O, age 12, a self-proclaimed fan comments, "This collection has more than just favorite characters - there are a lot of family matters, some good lessons, a lot of comedy and some pretty thrilling moments as well as great and catchy music." Kendyl P, age 12, adds, "(This DVD) is an adorable collection of episodes complied on one DVD! While watching the different episodes it reminds me of the fun times my sister and I shared when we were younger watching My Little Pony on television." Their full reviews are in the youth comment section.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a fantastic collection of My Little Pony episodes. My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Keys of Friendship is a collection of the best episodes from My little Pony including a sing-along. If you are as big of a fan as I am, you will be very entertained by this collection.

This collection has more than just favorite characters - there are a lot of family matters, some good lessons, a lot of comedy and some pretty thrilling moments as well as great and catchy music.

The episodes show, as usual, the pony friends learning about friendship. However, Twilight, who recently became an alicorn (unicorn and Pegasus) doesn't feel like she is doing enough of her job as a princess. However, she will become more important than ever when an ancient beast comes back from his prison to rain chaos in Equestria! (The country where ponies live.)

I thought this was a very smart choice of episodes since the DVD contains about half of the full season. These episodes really are exciting and, even though some people may not know it, pretty funny and really show some good lessons. For example, in one episode about family, ponies argue a lot but at the end they are still just a family.

My favorite episode is when one of them learns that she is a cousin of another friend. When they realize there may be an error, they go on a road trip to find out the truth. On the way there, the family argues and feels bad that they may look like a dysfunctional family. At the end, they see that even though they argue, they are still a great family. I like it because so many families in real life feel like that and we all need to understand that it happens with everyone. Nobody is perfect.

There is nothing parents should worry about and even infants will like the bright colors of the show and its wonderful sounds. I give this DVD an age rating of one to 18. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12.

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: The Keys to Friendship is an adorable collection of episodes complied on one DVD! While watching the different episodes it reminds me of the fun times my sister and I shared when we were younger watching My Little Pony on television.

This DVD includes four different episodes and each one offers a different friendship lesson. The DVD is filled with beautiful music, great family lessons, a bonus sing along and wonderful comedy!

My favorite character is Rarity; she is a beautiful pony! Rarity and I have some similarities - she likes fashion, enjoys working with her friends and working hard to get the job done - just like me!

My favorite episodes are Twilight Kingdom, Parts 1 and 2 when Twilight has to defeat the evil monster but has to find her own special power! I enjoyed watching the ponies work together to help Twilight discover her special gift.

The message of this series is everyone has a special talent or character trait that makes him or her unique and important. After each episode, one of the ponies does something brave and commendable by putting its friend first. The pony then receives a little object, as a reminder, and it is very useful at the end of the show.

I love the voices of actors, Tara Strong, Ashleigh Ball and Andrea Libmar in this DVD Their voices are perfect for their characters.

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: The Keys to Friendship is the perfect show for little girls. I highly recommend this movie for girl's ages 2 to11. They would love this movie! I give it 5 out of 5 shining stars. You can purchase this DVD in stores near you July 29, 2014.
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.97
Media: DVD


MY LITTLE PONY - FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: SPOOKTACULAR PONY TALES

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY LITTLE PONY - FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: SPOOKTACULAR PONY TALES       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Everypony loves Halloween... the candy, the pumpkins, the costumes, the friends! Join your favorite residents of Ponyville -- Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie Pie and, of course, Spike -- as they take on some of the spookiest adventures Equestria's ever seen! Time to gather around and hold on tight, because these six exciting tales are a chillingly good romp. Episodes Include: Boast Busters, Stare Master Luna Eclipsed, Sleepless In Ponyville, Castle Mane-ia, Bats!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a fantastic grouping of episodes from the "My little Pony Friendship is Magic series!" I saw the episodes that are listed and I have to say that it is a wonderful selection for the chosen theme.

These episodes are mainly around being spooky and a little bit scary even though each one has a different story. From a Halloween special to an episode about a haunted castle, the episodes make you laugh, be entertained and learn good lessons from our pony friends.

These episodes are fantastic, each shows a different side of a specific character. There is even an episode where they bring back the very first villain in My Little Pony! All episodes have unique jokes, songs, heartfelt meaning behind each and every one and, of course, demonstrate unbreakable friendship.

My favorite episode would be when six ponies go camping and three of them are kids. One of the filly looks up to a older Pegasus named Rainbowdash (my favorite character by the way) and when she has nightmares, she is too scared to tell Rainbowdash but has to forget her fears and do it. I like the episode because it shows a fantastic lesson and is pretty funny.

This famous series really has nothing parents should worry about and kids of any age will enjoy the bright colors. I recommend it for ages 2 to18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars because of the good stories, fantastic voices and unique jokes.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O, age 12.
Runtime: 132 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.97
Media: DVD


SIGNAL, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SIGNAL, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
ENTERTAINMENT ONE
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - On a road trip, Nic and two friends are drawn to an isolated area by a computer genius. When everything suddenly goes dark, Nic regains consciousness - only to find himself in a waking nightmare. Starring Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke and Beau Knapp. Directed by William Eubank.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Best friends Nic and Jonah embark on a road trip with their close friend Haley to help her move to California. Along the way, Nic and Jonah continue corresponding with a computer genius known to them as Nomad. Nomad previously hacked into their college's computer system and, being computer programmers themselves, they aim to one-up this mysterious hacker. They trace the IP address from the emails they've been receiving and intend to confront who ever is "messing" with them. But when they are lead to a small abandoned home in a desolate area, things take an unexpected turn. When Nic awakes from unconsciousness he finds himself in a government testing facility and what he learns is more shocking than anything he could have ever imagined.

This is one of the weirdest films I have ever seen but, I love it. The cinematography is absolutely incredible. Most of the film is centered more around the visuals than the dialogue. This film shows a lot of flashbacks and memories throughout that are shown mostly in slow motion and the film work is very artistic and thoughtful. The soundtrack is incredible. Since there is little to no dialogue, at times the music often carries the emotion and intent of the film. The music contains quite a bit of ambient noise and definitely has a spooky sci-fi feel to it. Not only is the music a vital part to the film, but there are almost always strange, off-setting, whirring sounds that play in the background. It gives the feel that something is about to happen which is a nice way to add some edge and unease.

The reason I say this is one of the weirdest movies I have ever seen is because I can honestly say there were very few moments when I completely knew what was going on in the film. This movie does not explain what is happening throughout the whole thing, it gives no real background info on the characters, what happened to them, where they really are, nothing. Throughout the movie I kept thinking that there would be a big reveal and everyone would say "Oh, I get it now!." But, that came in a very surprising way. There is a big reveal at the very last minute of the film but honestly, it left my friend and I with more questions than before. Although I spent the 95 minutes of this film terribly confused, it isn't a bad thing at all. In fact, it's brilliant. Director William Eubank only gives the audience as much information as the character Nic has in this film. And, after suffering major head trauma and being told very little, Nic has barely any information to work off of or any idea what is going on. So in a sense, the audience is being forced to feel what Nic is feeling complete with his frustration and confusion. It's a very immersive movie experience and, like I said, it's brilliant.

Unfortunately I can't share my favorite scene, or any scene really without taking away from actually watching the film. But I can talk about the incredible cast and characters. There are very few speaking roles in the film, only six actually. But these six characters are fantastic. Of course there is the main trio, Nic, played by Brenton Thwaites, Haley, played by Olivia Cooke and Jonah, played by Beau Knapp.

Nic is an interesting character and also the main one. I'm assuming he suffers from MS or some degenerative disease because in the beginning of the film he is walking around with forearm crutches and mentions that he'll need a wheelchair but, in flashbacks you see him running and walking around freely. However this is never explained. He is such a great character because as I mentioned before, he is confused about what is going on throughout 95% of the film. Brenton does a phenomenal job portraying this sense of panic and frustration at being so lost. His actions and reactions seem so authentic to his character and he has a wonderful way that invites the audience to join him in his ups and downs. Jonah is also a really great character. He is very quirky but also crazy intelligent and, although he is not in a large portion of the film, he is able to shed some light on what is potentially happening to them. I love Haley because Olivia Cooke plays my favorite character on "Bates Motel" so it is really cool to see her playing a more mature role. Haley is what drives Nic to do pretty much everything he does in the film because the two of them are in a relationship. It is very nice to have such sentimental and caring interactions throughout this film since everything else is quite intense. I can't discuss the rest of the characters without, again, taking away from your movie watching experience.

I wholeheartedly recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 because of the difficulties around following the plot, some very intense and violent situations and also, there is a lack of dialogue. You're just viewing images from the past and present which may be confusing and not very entertaining for a younger audience. At first, I was very hesitant about this film because it starts off a bit slow and is, as you know, confusing as heck, but after watching it all the way through I give The Signal 5 out of 5 stars and am eager to see it again. If you're into sci-fi film, aliens or just want a mind-bending experience, then check out The Signal in theaters now.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven Devanney, age 16.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm

Buy Here (from ENTERTAINMENT ONE)


HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - It's been five years since Hiccup and Toothless successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. While Astrid, Snotlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island's new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. Now, Hiccup and Toothless must unite to stand up for what they believe while recognizing that only together do they have the power to change the future of both men and dragons. Starring the voices of Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett and Gerard Butler. Directed by Dean DeBlois.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - How to Train Your Dragon 2 is an awesome animation! It is adventurous, funny, and suspenseful. The producer (Bonnie Arnold) does a great job keeping everyone on the edge of their seats throughout the whole film.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is an incredible sequel to the first movie. It is a 3D animation about a boy named Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon, Toothless (Randy Thom), who are trying to stop a bad Viking named Drago (Djimon Hounsou) from capturing all the dragons and making an army out of them. Hiccup and his friends must work together in a battle to protect the peace.

This movie has you feeling many different emotions throughout the film. It is suspenseful, funny and even a little bit sad. The amount of thrilling scenes in this film is incredible. I kept wondering if Hiccup and his friends were going to get caught when they went on all their adventures. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is also very funny. All the characters and the dragons have a good sense of humor. The characters scripts are hilarious and the dragons have very comical body language. The animation in this film is also amazing. The 3D animators do a great job with the special effects. The dragons look like they are popping out right in front of you! My favorite part of the movie is when the two alpha dragons fight with each other. I like it because the special effects make it look like it is happening right in front of me. Like I could reach out and touch them!

How To Train Your Dragon 2 has a great message. It shares with us that you have to believe in yourself if you want to accomplish big goals or dreams. This message is used a couple times with a couple different characters throughout the film.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because it is suspenseful and funny. Kids and adults will love it, especially those who love fantasies with dragons and Vikings. I recommend How To Train Your Dragon 2 for children ages 8 and up. This is a movie the whole family can enjoy.

Reviewed by Jeremy Badour, age 7, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

The movie How to Train Your Dragon 2 is absolutely spectacular and even more improved than the first one. It is a battle between peace and dragon domination or in today's world, as I see it, the battle between good and evil. This movie is definitely a mind blowing journey and I love it.

The plot begins when Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless (Randy Thom) go exploring. They find an old city that looks like an ice explosion and run into unfriendly dragon trappers who try to attack them and steal Toothless. They claim that a man named Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou) is going to overcome all the dragons and achieve world domination. Bludvist is a very evil man. However, Hiccup has some peace making he wants to do with Drago instead. The good in Hiccup makes him want to restore peace in the land. Hiccup's determination for peace costs him both happiness and disappointment. However, in the end Hiccup finds out what his true destiny is.

My favorite part is when Hiccup runs into his long lost mother, Valka (Cate Blanchett). Everything immediately falls right into place. It turns out that Hiccup receives his peace making personality and love for dragons from his mother. They have a lot of things in common with each other.

All the dragons, I mean characters do a fabulous job and play each part well. My favorite human character is Hiccup because he is determined to make peace and show that dragons can be as loyal as humans. My favorite dragon character is Toothless. He proves his loyalty and stands up for Hiccup no matter what it may cost. The moral of this story is not to judge someone negatively before you get to really know him.

This movie is a good fit for ages 8 through 18. Both boys and girls will enjoy this action packed movie because it includes emotion as well as adventure with many unexpected turn of events. Therefore, I rate this movie a five out of five "dazzling" stars! How to Train your Dragon 2 is playing in theaters now. Reviewed by Haley Powell, age 11, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


FAULT IN OUR STARS, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FAULT IN OUR STARS, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel's other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group. Starring Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort and Nat Wolff. Directoted by Josh Boone.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Every summer film line up should have a heart-warming love story, right? Well, this one suits the bill but isn't quite like the usual fare that comes out this time of year. Based on the novel by John Green, the story follows two teens that meet and fall in love at a cancer support group. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven D., age 16 comments, "I was very hesitant when I saw that they were making a film based off of the novel by John Green because the book is so amazing and I wasn't sure if a movie would do it justice. But this film goes above and beyond." Jailene A., age 13 adds, "This movie shows the hardships of being in love and fighting for your life in such a beautiful but realistic manner. I absolutely love this film." See their full reviews in our youth comments section.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Never have I seen a movie so heart wrenching as this one. The Fault In Our Stars is an exceptional movie that will have you crying, laughing and anxious all at the same time. It is based on the amazing novel written by John Green. In this movie, Shailene Woodley plays Hazel Grace, a girl diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. Ansel Elgort plays Gus Waters who is diagnosed with cancer as well. They fell in love with each other the way we fall asleep, slowly and then all at once. Their journey goes from meeting their favorite author in Amsterdam to rushing to the hospital for immediate chemotherapy. This movie shows the hardships of being in love and fighting for your life in such a beautiful but realistic manner. I absolutely love this film.

There are so many great aspects about this movie that it's hard to highlight a few. However, one of my favorite things is the whole plot and its meaning. It creatively captures a teenager's perspective of love but also of dealing with cancer. It reaches out to a younger audience but still allows an older audience to enjoy it. John Green knows how to grab the audience's attention by intertwining the two most heart-wrenching aspects of life - love and death. Another thing I really love about the movie is how well it depicts the book it is based on. I read the book a few months ago and I loved how the director put in just enough of the details to keep its authenticity. I didn't feel like there was anything missing. Overall, this movie is extremely great and I want everyone to enjoy it as I did.

My favorite character is Hazel Grace Lancaster. Hazel is witty and smart but also strong and understands things. She teaches Gus a lot about books and how not to be afraid of oblivion. Hazel knows she's going to die but she accepts that and she wants her parents to accept that too. I think a lot of teens going through love or even pain can relate to Hazel Grace.

My favorite scene is when Hazel, Gus and Isaac go to Isaac's ex-girlfriend's house. Isaac's ex-girlfriend, Monica, dumped Isaac because he was going to have eye surgery which would leave him blind. Right before the surgery, Monica dumped Isaac and never even asked if he was okay. Hazel, Gus and Isaac want revenge so they go to egg her house. This part is so funny because Isaac is blind and he can't see where he's throwing the eggs. This struck me as so funny because he's throwing the eggs in the bushes and at the trees but Hazel and Gus try to keep his spirit up by giving him encouragement. It is just a funny scene.

I recommend this movie for ages 12 to 18 because it is a lot to comprehend and some of the information about death may be too much for young children. I am 14 and have never cried so much in two hours. This is an amazing movie and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. This is a great movie for teens to go out and watch with friends. It comes out this weekend so make sure you get to watch this movie, you won't regret it! Reviewed by Jailene Arias, age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

The Fault in Our Stars based on the best-selling novel by John Green is a beautiful, refreshing and witty love story about two teenagers and the remarkable love they share. Hazel, played by Shailene Woodley, is a teen girl living with cancer. Accompanied by her oxygen tank, she attends support groups in the hopes that it will ease her parents worry for her. One day at a group gathering, she meets a boy unlike any she has ever met before. Augustus Waters is a cancer patient with a prosthetic leg and a heart of gold. The two of them bond immediately over their shared sense of humor and disdain for ordinary things. The two of them go through incredible ups and downs dealing with their illnesses while taking a beautiful journey of love places the never thought they'd go.

This film is incredible. I was very hesitant when I saw that they were making a film based off of the novel by John Green because the book is so amazing and I wasn't sure if a movie would do it justice. But this film goes above and beyond. It stays so true to the characters and their personalities. The feel of the book is captured perfectly in the film and I cannot wait to see it again. The sets and locations are great because it really shows everything as I imagined it in the book. I feel like everything is as it should be. They even captured Hazel's depressing and run down swing set exactly as I imagined it. The musical score by Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott fits the film amazingly well. It really helps carry the emotions throughout the film and is wonderful to listen to.

I'm very pleased with the actors chosen for this film. I honestly did not imagine Shailene Woodley when I thought of actresses to play Hazel Grace but, she does an incredible job portraying her. Hazel is such a wonderful character. She looks at the world in such a unique and honest way and is such a genuine person. She has a very interesting, witty personality and even though her life seems very bleak at times, she is a very positive. John Green created such a complex character while also keeping her extremely real and I think Shailene was the perfect choice to play such an imperfect role.

I think what makes this film so amazing is its uniqueness. You don't hear many stories about two teenagers with cancer meeting and falling so deeply in love at a support group. Yet, even though this film is so unique, it sends a universal message about love and loss that everyone can relate to in some way. This film is so refreshingly real and authentic and I think it's been a while since I've seen that in theaters. We get so caught up with all the explosions and fantasy and unrealistic scenarios that big blockbuster films bombard us with that it's really nice to finally see a film like this. These two individuals are able to share such a deep connection and love each other for all of their flaws and quirks, which is something that everyone deserves to have in their life. This film shows love on such a real level in so many ways, from romantic love to the love of parents and children. But it also shows loss and heartbreak just the same. I can't accurately describe everything I felt while watching this movie, but I can say that it is epic.

The entire audience was sobbing by the end and this film does look at life and death in a very blunt and real fashion. There are also a few moments with mature language and some sexual situations so I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18. I think this is a must see and definitely a wonderful summer film, whether or not you're a teen. This is a wonderful love story that everyone in their teens and older should experience. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars so make sure you see this remarkable film in theaters June 6th!

Reviewed by Raven Devanney, age 16, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


EARTH TO ECHO

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
EARTH TO ECHO       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - After receiving a bizarre series of encrypted messages, a group of kids embark on an adventure with an alien who needs their help. Starring Teo Halm, Astro and Reese Hartwig. Rated PG for some action, peril and mild language.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - For those of use who hold a special place in our hearts for the sci-fi films of our youth such as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, this film may seem like a blast from the past, only with new and fun twists. The story follows a group of kids who embark on an adventure with an alien who needs their help. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, "This movie brings the old sci-fi feel of the 80s back to life. It has the same style, which is my favorite." Kendyl P. adds, "Earth to Echo is a mind blowing movie. If you are a fan of movies like E.T. or discovering aliens from space, this movie is perfect for you." Kayla P has one last thought, "The actors are spectacular. They make the film come alive and make you feel like you are on the journey with them. Earth to Echo is the perfect summertime movie for the entire family." See their full reviews in kid comments and video reviews and interviews with cast and creators are in the video links below.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is an adventure Hollywood has been waiting for. This is not just another story about helping an alien to get to its home planet, Earth to Echo is an emotional and fun adventure that many kids will love and cherish for generations.

The story has a little sprinkle of romance, displays a true friendship, thrills when they discover Echo, and, of course, will pump you up with adrenaline. If you are the type of person that likes action - this film has plenty of it since there are also BAD guys chasing after them.

The adventure starts when four young kids have to move out of their homes because a highway project is going to demolish them. On their last day together, they follow maps that randomly appeared on their phones. What they find is greater than any of them anticipated. Now, if you want all the juicy details - you have to watch the film.

This movie brings the old sci-fi feel of the 80s back to life. It has the same style, which is my favorite. It relates a lot to the legendary film, E.T and I see Echo as a sort of E.T. Jr. character. However, the story starts rather abruptly. It feels like there is no well-defined beginning. Otherwise this is great adventure that kids will love and perhaps even look for their own Echo's in the neighborhoods.

The directing, I think, is very unique since it seems as if the movie is shot from the kid's prospective. There is a lot of complexity around this type of technique but I believe the end result is well worth the time and the effort that was put into the movie.

My favorite scene is when they are escaping BAD guys. The thing they find, which they name Echo is in danger because of those bad guys. They are about to crash into a truck, but Echo takes the truck apart in midair and puts it back together behind them! The special effects are amazing and it also shows that Echo is very protective of her friends.

I recommend this movie for ages 6 to 18. Younger kids may not understand the full complexity of the film. I also give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Earth to Echo is a mind blowing movie. If you are a fan of movies like E.T. or discovering aliens from space, this movie is perfect for you. Earth to Echo is about a group of friends, Tuck (Astro), Alex (Teo Halm), Munch (Resse Heartwig) and Emma (Ella Wahlesedt) who are forced to move because of the construction of a big freeway near their houses. Before they move, their cell phones start acting up. It turns out to be a map and they follow it. It leads them to an alien that is trying to get back home but can't go. It's up to Tuck, Munch, Alex and Emma to save the day.

My favorite character is Alex because he is very helpful and cool. He sticks by the alien's side and he really cares about him. He is like the alien's best friend. My favorite part is when small parts of the space ship fly in from all over the neighborhood to form a really large spaceship and the main part of the ship is in Alex's backyard. I really enjoyed watching that.

The actors, Astro, Teo Halm, Resse Heartwig and Ella Wahlesedt do a great job expressing different emotions in the film. The message of this film is "true friendships can last a lifetime." The friendship the boys have continues long after they go their separate ways.

This is a great film. I recommend this film for kids age 9 to 16 and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kendyl Powell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Earth to Echo is a fantastic family movie to watch this summer. This film is about three boys, Tuck, Alex and Munch who have a very close friendship. Unfortunately, their homes are being demolished because there are plans to build a major highway right through the middle of their community. As the boys prepare to pack up and leave their community, their cell phones began receiving strange pictures, which they learn is a map. The boys decide to follow the map and discover a robot named Echo. After communicating with Echo, the boys learn he is trying to build a key to unlock his space ship to go home. While the boys are helping Echo, they learn the real reason why their homes are being demolished. They may be able to save the community from being destroyed.

Tuck and his friends are told to stop trying to help Echo. They learn that by helping Echo they are also helping the families in their community. The message of the film is "do the right thing." You might face some opposition by some people, but you still have to do the right thing that will benefit all people.

My favorite scene is when Tuck, Alex and Munch discover Echo. At first they think he is a beeping machine. Every time Echo beeps Munch starts running for his life and acts crazy. He is my favorite character because he brings a lot of the humor to this film.

The actors are spectacular. They make the film come alive and make you feel like you are on the journey with them. Earth to Echo is the perfect summertime movie for the entire family. I recommend this film for kids ages 7 through 18. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars. Earth to Echo will be in theatres July 2, 2014, don't miss it.

Reviewed by Kendyl Powell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


THE NEXT STEP       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
HULU, LLC
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18 ANIM
Topic - Family
Description - Follow the lives of a group of elite dancers at The Next Step Dance Studio as they train hard, rehearse and hang out. With the regional championships coming up, the A-Troupe needs to come together if they want to win and qualify for the national title. The Next Step is a Canadian teen drama series shot in a reality television style. The show was created by Frank van Keeken.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Next Step is a great drama TV show. What I like about the show is watching actors dance.

The show is about is the dancers of A-Troupe preparing for the regional dance competition. While they prepare, relationships and loyalties are put to the test. My favorite part of Episode 1, which I watched, is watching the dancers audition to be on A-Troupe.

The main characters in the show are Michelle (Victoria Baldesarra), Eldon (Issac Lupien), James (Trevor Tordjman), Kate (Bree Wasylenko), Riley (Brittany Raymond), Giselle (Jordan Clark), West (Lamar Johnson), Chloe (Jennifer Pappas), Emily (Alexandra Beaton), Stephanie (Samantha Grecchi), Daniel (Brennan Clost) and Chris (Shamier Anderson). The acting is okay but the dancing is fab.

After watching the show, something that stuck in my head is wanting to find out what happens next in the next episode. This show does a good job of leaving cliff hangers.

I recommended this show to kids age 6 to 18. Younger kids will enjoy watching the dancers dance and older kids will be hooked on the drama as well as the dancing. I would give this show 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Tiffany Richard.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


SLUGTERRA: GHOUL FROM BEYOND

SLUGTERRA: GHOUL FROM BEYOND       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Just when the evil Dr. Blakk has been defeated and it seems like Eli Shane's duties as protector of Slugterra are getting easier, a new danger emerges from beyond the 99 caverns. Eli and the Shane Gang rush to the rescue, but nothing can prepare them for what they encounter: a slug that can do something no one in Slugterra has ever seen, or heard, a slug do before! Traditional slugslinging no longer applies. Eli will have to engage in a very different kind of duel to save Slugterra...and himself!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - SlugTerra: Ghoul From Beyond is an entertaining, action-packed animated film. This movie brings a new face to the slug. Instead of being creepy crawlers, they are warriors that can save the world. This makes the movie even more humorous to watch because these cute creatures are nothing like the slugs we find on earth.

Eli and the "Shane Gang" has defeated the evil Doctor Black from corrupting all of the slugs in SlugTerra but evil still runs rampant in the 99 caverns. For a short time Eli and the gang are able to stop the villains from doing any real damage, but nothing can prepare them for what they encounter: a Slug that can do something no one in SlugTerra has ever seen or heard. The gang must find a way to help win the battle against a great evil. Eli on the other hand must engage in a very different type of duel to save the slugs, his friends and himself.

This movie is perfect for the SlugTerra fan. There is more action and humor than ever before. I love how each slug has a unique power that helps them in combat. For example, Hoverbug has the power to fly, while Frost Crawler can protect itself by forming a sheet of ice around itself. Some slugs have "safe" powers like Boon Doc who can heal both humans and slugs. Other slugs can be harmful like Tazerling who zaps his opponents. My favorite character is a slug named Burpy because even though he is small he is a huge help in the battle.

Sam Vincent does a great job driving the story as his character Eli Shane. Lee Tockar adds amazing humor to the movie as his character, Pronto aka "Pronto the Magnificent." The message of this movie of this movie is "don't lose hope, always keep trying."

There are many things that come to mind when I think of this movie. The eye-popping animation is one of them. When the slugs are launched into the air, it looks as if they are coming right at you!

SlugTerra is best for boys ages 8 to 11 and I give it four out of five dazzling stars. SlugTerra: Ghoul from Beyond is available online and comes to stores June 10th so to check it out.

Reviewed by Simone S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-15
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.97
Media: DVD


MALEFICENT

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MALEFICENT       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land's fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal - an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces a battle with the invading king's successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom - and perhaps to Maleficent's true happiness as well. Starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning and Sharlto Copley.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Maleficent is a remake of the Disney classic "Sleeping Beauty." I assumed that I knew what it was going to be about but, it turned out to be a totally unpredictable and amazing movie. Maleficent is about a betrayed fairy (Angelina Jolie) that curses the king's infant daughter Aurora as revenge. She soon discovers that when Aurora grows up, she is the only one who can restore the peace and happiness that everyone needs to get them out of the depression caused by revenge and war. This movie takes "Sleeping Beauty" and turns it into a completely different movie.

By far, this is the best Disney movie I've seen and one of the best movies I've seen in a while. Everything is just right. For example, the music sets the right mood in every scene. It is strong and loud when it needs to be and quite and shy at other times and, at certain points, it is playful and happy. It really pulls the whole movie together. Along with the jaw-dropping music, this movie has amazing actors starting with Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning (Aurora). They fit each role perfectly almost as if they were born for these roles.

This movie is very interesting to watch because it isn't entirely based on "Sleeping Beauty" so you get to see a completely different side of Maleficent before she becomes the villain that she is known as. Throughout the movie I found myself wanting the movie to go quicker to see what would happen next but not wanting it to end anytime soon. I think that the director Robert Stromberg and the writers Linda Woolverton and Charles Perrault really outdo themselves with this movie because I cannot stop obsessing about how great it is.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 perfect stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18. To be honest, this movie is a movie that you should be sure not to miss because IT IS THAT GOOD! Reviewed by Samantha Alexander, age 11, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 97 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD



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