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KUU KUU HARAJUKU: MUSIC BABY

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KUU KUU HARAJUKU: MUSIC BABY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - From the mind of Gwen Stefani comes the world of Kuu Kuu Harajuku! Say hello to HJ5! A super cool band made of five super cool girls! Love, Angel, Music, Baby and their inspirational leader G love to sing, dance and sport the latest kawaii fashions (Kawaii is "cute " in Harajuku speak)! With help from their loveably incompetent manager Rudie, HJ5 travels all over to put on shows for their fans! Although they are totally talented, every time they start a gig, something wild and crazy happens before they finish the first bar! I mean, it's not easy performing while you are being attacked by space aliens, adorable (and ravenous) monster pets OR hunger (you don't want to mess with Baby when she's hangry). No matter what challenges come their way, they always work together to save the day!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This program was ?co-?created by Gwen Stephani (No Doubt) and you can really tell. It's extremely girly and stylistic and the music is fantastic. It's about a band called HJ5?. It has a real cutesy Spice Girls meets My Little Pony feel to it. The girls are always running into problems while trying to do a gig. Nothing seems to go their way, but because they are such great friends they always find a way to salvage the day. There is an adorable episode called Baby's Birthday. Baby is on the girls in the band and it's fun watching the other members scrambling to make this day worthwhile for Baby. This is definitely not a program that I ?think? boys would ?particularly enjoy. There are ?no action moments?. It is all heavily focused towards girls?,? which is fine.? The music is great and ?it ?has a fun pop sound. The animation is ?quite ?good and ?the storyline flows well. I ?recommend this for ages 4 through 11 and give it 5 out 5 stars for really teaching girls to be tough and stay positive! Reviewed by Rachael Vickers, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The adventures on this DVD are crazy and humorous! The perfect animation colors and style make this concoction a work of art that is pure genius. This is an adorable fun world full of fashion, original songs and five smart girls with problem solving skills and teamwork.

I adore the likable, optimistic characters including G (Maggie Chretien), the leader of the band HJ5 who is ready for a challenge at all times. She believes nothing is impossible. This is why she is my favorite character. Fun fact: G is supposed to be represent Gwen Stefani in encouraging young girls to become themselves and to have faith in each other as well. Baby (Charlotte Nicdao) loves everything and just wants to give everyone a hug and talk things out. Love (Daisy Masterman) is the Brainiac. She knows her technology and her brain is big and chocked full of knowledge. She is one smart cookie. Music (Sally Taylor-Isherwood) is the sarcastic, sassy one who knows what to do and when to do it. Angle (Emma Taylor-Isherwood) is the girl to call on when you need an outfit for an event. She loves fashion and shopping. They all want the best for each other while they try to make it as a girl band. They are true to themselves and believe every problem has a solution.

The voiceover talent is fantastic. They know how to bring out the perfect tones for each character. Gwen Stefani is the executive producer and along with her, many other wonderful actresses are a part of this crew. Lessons to be learned from the show are inspirational and helpful. HJ5 helps kids learn to be themselves and accept who they are. That is what makes this show so special. People are all different and have a unique quality about them. The world would be boring if everyone was the same. We should accept each other's differences. It is okay to be different. Embrace our differences and have fun with it. That is what makes you who you are and what makes you special and unique.

Phony ponies is the cutest episode. It reminds me of the Kentucky Derby because of the hats that they wear, like the actual Kentucky Derby. My mom and I always wear crazy hats and watch the horse races. Team work is a great theme for this show. The music is originally and catchy. It makes you feel good and you want to sing along. The animation is perfect as are the colors and style. All the colors are eye catching and fun. On the other hand, the style is perfect. I love the complex shapes and details and the way that they make it all work together.

I recommend this funtastic DVD for ages 4 to 12. For kids who love music, fashion and adorableness, this fabulous DVD will be a hit. I give it 5 out of 5 "Kawaii" (Japanese for cute) singing stars. This DVD comes out on June 13, 2017 so, keep your eye out for it.

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

Kuu Kuu Harajuku is a jamming new TV series that is now available on DVD. This show is filled with humor and adventurous episodes. The vibrant colors make the show even more "Kawaii," the Japanese term for cute. The characters Music, Baby, Love, Angel and G experience different puzzling situations together as they sing to their accumulating fan base. Their unorganized manager Rudie and General No Fun are always trying to ruin the band's plans.

This show was created by Gwen Stephanie based on her Harajuku Lovers brand. Steve Aranguren, Gillian Carr and Madellaine Paxson are credited as co-developers. The cast includes Charlotte Nicdao as Baby, Emma Taylor-Isherwood as Angel, Daisy Masterman as Love, Danny Smith as Rudie and Sally Taylor-Isherwood as Music. I commend the voice actors for the way they make the characters' emotions seem real.

The animation is quite unique, compared to other animated shows. The show has multiple shades of purple and pink that would make any girl squeal. The characters are all quite unique and well defined. G, the leader of the band, helps the group focus on the task at hand. Whenever General No Fun gets in the way of fun, she helps figure out a way to have fun despite his intentions. Since their manager Rudie isn't much help, G has an important role to play. Baby is childish and knows what's cute and what isn't. Love has all the smarts to create a formula of success. Angel is the fashionista who wears all the newest looks and styles. And Music is my favorite character because of her sense of humor and a hint of sass.

My favorite scene involved Music in one of the episodes when she suspects something fishy is going on that would negatively affect the band. Music does her best to protect her friends. The different episodes evoke a different message. One that I resonate with is the idea of teamwork and working together as a group. It also emphasizes that people should not be ashamed of who they are or what they love to do.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars. The animation is great, the characters are lovable and enjoyable. I recommend this DVD to kids age 5 to 10. This DVD comes out on June 13, 2017 so, be sure to check it out. By Kamryn Bouyett, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98
Media: DVD


AMERICAN EPIC

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
AMERICAN EPIC
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - From executive producers T Bone Burnett, Robert Redford and Jack White, this is the story of early American recorded music when the musical strands of a nation first combined to spark a cultural renaissance that forever transformed the future of music and the world. Also includes a feature-length film of in-studio sessions, with leading contemporary artists recording early American music on a restored 1920s recording machine.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - American Epic, a 2-disc documentary series, grants viewers a window into the recording industry of the 1920s. During this time, the voices and sounds of the American people were first heard through songs played on phonograph records. These musical compositions ranged from mountain folk music to gospel songs. With this series, viewers connect with artists of the 1920s through secondhand accounts, while also learning about struggles many artists endured, such as poverty and segregation. This series is a resource for anyone interested in American music of the 20th century. American Epic is an introduction to the music of artists who paved the way and shaped modern music. American Epic Sessions (disc 2) is composed of performances by musicians using equipment from the 1920s. In fact, this series is suitable for children from ages 12 to 18. I highly recommend this series and give it 4 out of 5 stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 330 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 34.99
Media: DVD
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EMISSARY, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
EMISSARY, THE
NIGHT SKY VENTURES, INC
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Jim, a curious engineer and scientist, is beginning to learn mindfulness mediation, and drags two of his friends into the woods for a sunset "awareness" walk. They accidentally meet a mysterious spaceman named Koyper, who has travelled to Earth from a secret alien-built colony of humans living on the edge of the solar system. His mission: deactivate a worn-out alien power generator, lost decades before during the shipwreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald...but get in a round of mini-golf, eat ice-cream for the first time and drive go-karts while he's at it.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Emissary is a different and enjoyable space story. It has several points that make you think 1) You are who you associate with, 2) Is there a difference between a jack-ass and a regular ass?, 3) Everyone can experience the 3 Legs on the Chair of Happiness - Love Relationship, Meaningful Work and Physical Challenge. In the beginning, the film moves a bit slow and it's a challenge to understand the characters. As it progresses, the story becomes clearer. It refers to events surrounding the lost ship, the Edmund Fitzgerald and the recovery of a generator that might cause damage. It makes you think about other universes and space exploration. The visual are excellent with beautiful scenes of Wisconsin's state parks, lakes and surrounding towns. Excellent renditions of a space craft makes it believable. I recommend this for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival because it is filled with adventure, drama and some comedy. We follow the four main characters as they set out on their mission. A child who interested in space, aliens and science fiction will enjoy this. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Reviewed by Juanita L. and Julia S. KIDS FIRST! Jurors
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 99 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


CARS 3

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CARS 3       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY ANIMATED STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 4-18
Topic - Family
Description - Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet, and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn't through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing's biggest stage!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Cars 3 is a great new chapter in the Cars series. While it doesn't soar to the heights of other Pixar films, it still is the best Cars film yet.

Cars 3 sees Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) undergo a series of losses and then a near fatal crash. His fellow racers are dropping out and being replaced by new, high tech cars like his rival Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). McQueen realizes during his recovery that the game has changed and he's not the sharp rookie he used to be. He knows he needs to train harder than he ever has to keep doing what he loves. With the help of trainer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), McQueen plans to beat Storm at an upcoming race in Florida to start off the season. This is his last chance to prove his worth to his fans and his new corporate sponsor (Nathan Fillion) and McQueen is not going down without a fight.

My favorite character in Cars 3 is Cruz Ramirez. The reveal of a new car being added to Lightning's crew is exciting. This character's glowing positivity is a nice contrast to McQueen's snarky pessimism. Cristela Alonzo brings a lot of enthusiasm, but also plays the deeper sides of this character very well too and engages you in the evolution of Cruz Ramirez throughout the movie.

The animation in Cars 3 is great. No other film succeeds in making everyday objects feel truly human as well as this franchise does. This gives it a sense of realism and puts me more in tune with characters' emotions and makes me care more about them in the process. The backgrounds in this film are gorgeous. They're detailed, picturesque and really reflect the quality of Pixar's animation. The total effect makes me envy the characters and wish I could visit them in their rich, colorful world.

Preceding Cars 3 is the short film Lou about a creature made out of objects from a school lost-and-found bin. It's an interesting concept and carries an important message. It's one of my favorite Pixar shorts to date. I recommend Cars 3 for ages 5 to 12. The scene where Lightning McQueen crashes is quite intense and could scare younger children. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Cars 3 opens in theaters June 16 so be sure to go check it out.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

This film is really unique and well made! I really enjoyed watching it. The storyline is well thought out and original. I also love the animation which is very detailed. I especially love the facial expressions of the cars which show a lot of emotions.

Cars 3 is about the famous racer, Lightning Macqueen. He is usually the winner of every race until a rookie racer comes along. The rookie, Jackson Storm, is younger, sleeker and faster than Lightning Macqueen and his "old-school" friends. Eventually, his friends retire, leaving room for more rookies to join the races. And Lightning McQueen goes on an adventure to figure out if his racing days must come to an end.

Owen Wilson, the voice of Lightning McQueen, perfectly performs Lightning McQueen's rage scenes. He makes McQueen sound desperate, frustrated and on the edge of breaking at times, but can make him also sound determined and hopeful. Armie Hammer, the voice of Jackson Storm, voices Jackson as an arrogant character. The voice fits very well because Storm always makes fun of Lightning McQueen.

The animation of this film is very pleasing to look at, is 3D, and even though they are cars, you can see their facial expressions. Their voices and facial expressions indirectly show their emotions which was really pleasing to watch.

My favorite part is when Lightning McQueen goes back to visit the hometown of his late crew chief and former racer Doc Hudson. McQueen sees all of the letters that Hudson sent back home about him. McQueen starts feeling emotional and begins to really miss Hudson. I really like this scene because it warmed my heart to see McQueen realize that he made Hudson happy till his last days. Lightning McQueen was like a son to Doc Hudson.

The message of this film is about persevering and empowering women. Cruz Ramirez, a female car with the dream of being a racer, is told by everyone that she can't be a racer, even though she works extremely hard every day to become one. Lightning McQueen gives her a chance to become a racer and she takes it no matter what anyone says.

Cars 3 is a great movie and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 6 to 14. This film is very positive and has a different storyline. It's awesome for car lovers. Check it out when it opens in theaters June 16, 2017.

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

As a teenage girl who did not see the first two Cars films, I had serious doubts about this movie. Imagine my surprise when I found myself enjoying Cars 3 from beginning to end. Although this movie is clearly an action movie, it is also hilarious! I am a huge Larry the Cable Guy fan and, as Mater the Tow Truck, he provides plenty of comic relief. I also love how loyal and heartwarming Mater is as a friend to the protagonist, Lightning McQueen. Of course, his is not the only remarkable performance. Owen Wilson, as Lightning McQueen, is a very effective leading man. His performance is pure genius.

The movie is intense. A new race car character, Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) is introduced as competition to our hero, Lightning McQueen. Unfortunately, Storm steals Lightning's thunder (sorry, I couldn't resist). Viewers will find the many racing sequences extremely exciting. I actually jumped during the nighttime race through the forest with no headlights. Parents should know that there is another scene that might be disturbing to younger viewers which occurs during the Crazy 8's demolition derby race at Thunder Hollow. Since all the characters are cars, the destruction could be considered quite violent.

There are three messages in this film. The first is a message of girl power when a plot twist involving Lightning's female trainer provides a completely unexpected result. Another message is to value and honor the old-timers who succeeded before you and paved the way for your success. We see this when an older lady racer talks about the days when she was not allowed to have a number, so she stole one. The third message, which provides yet another surprise, is that those who support actual heroes are indeed, heroes themselves.

What really stands out for me throughout this film is the music and the animation. I love how the music, usually heavy-metal guitars, suits each race so perfectly. The images are of two types - absolutely breathtaking scenery, such as the trip to the Rusteeze Racing Center, and the appealing, animated car characters. It is also very interesting that Lightning McQueen keeps changing his look throughout the film.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It very effectively tells a story about doing what you love to do regardless of public opinion. I recommend this film for girls and boys ages 7 to 18. Cars 3 races into theaters on Friday, June 16, 2017 so go check it out. You will absolutely enjoy the ride.

By Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 18

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


REJECTED/ACCEPTED

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
REJECTED/ACCEPTED
SANTA FE SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS & SCIENCES MOVING IMAGES PROGRAM
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 7 TO 18
Topic - Family
Description - Getting accepted into High School is always stressful- especially when you're competing against your best friend! Alex and Jerry find out that sometimes, what you want and what's best for you are not the same thing.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Rejection is a very relatable situation for teens. Kids will relate to this because it gives a view that is realistic. It takes off a bit slowly but, in general it flows well. The camera is a bit shaky at times and the sound mix is inconsistent, but you can tell that a lot of love and work went into creating this short film. The topic is excellent and well presented. The story is about two high school friends applying to the same school and, when things don't work out, you see the disappointment and the hardship associated with competing with your best friend. Things work out in the end and it's very cute and bittersweet. I like seeing work that reminds you that problems occur, but they don't always stay. I believe children can benefit from the way this topic is handled. Good sets, good acting, relatable topic. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


CUDDLEFISH

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CUDDLEFISH
CHERYL BRIGGS
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 5 TO 18
Topic - Family
Description - Cuddlefish is the story of Viktor, a daring Viking on the adventure of a lifetime. His travels come to a grinding halt when he meets the adorable love-sick kraken, Kaimana, who falls in love with the anchor on Viktor's mighty ship. The two face off in an epic conflict of wit which teaches both of them that love is blind as far as the eye can "sea."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Highly recommended. This is a beautiful piece of animation filled with vibrant colors and wonderful imagery. It's very funny, but there is no dialogue. Child will enjoy this because it's clever and funny. It flows very well. It takes place on and in the water. The filmmakers based the location on beautiful Palau and they truly nailed the vivid colors, gorgeous aquatic life and stunning landscapes. It would be a pleasure to watch on the big screen. It's funny and child-appropriate. It would make a great addition to any film festival, particularly if you have any a theme of oceans, marine life or similar. The animation is clever and cute and manages tell the story without dialogue. It has a funny twist at the end. Recommended for ages 5 to 18. 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DREAMWEAVER

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DREAMWEAVER
CHERYL BRIGGS
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 5 TO 18
Topic - Family
Description - The Chippewa tribe believes that Asibikaashi, the spider woman, protects children from bad dreams at night by weaving dream catchers to hang above their heads while they sleep. In Dreamweaver, she teaches Namid, a scared eight year old Chippewa girl who suffers from nightmares, to overcome her fears.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really enjoyed the storyline, message and the animation. With the exception of the introduction, it is a non-narrative film so, the images tell its story about overcoming your fears of nightmares and being strong. The images are strinkingly beautiful and would appeal to children as well as adults. The film flows beautifully and, shows us how the young girl gains her strength and power. I have to say that I love films such as this, filled with imagination, creativity and beauty. I highly recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for ages 5 to 12. Older teen who have an interest in the arts and adults will appreciate it as well. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SENTIMENT

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SENTIMENT
HARRISON FULLER
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 12 TO 18
Topic - Family
Description - This is a 2 minute short film depicting the courage of a young man realizing that too often, we don't appreciate important people in our lives until it is too late.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a student film about loss with powerful visuals and message. I believe a child would relate to it. Its theme is all too familiar. It flows well and makes sense. It features a teen, the content is emotional and appropriate. A good chunk of this takes place in a home, which adds to the overall emotional feeling. This will do well on the big screen. I recommend this for a youth and family film festival because it has a great deal of meaning about loss. The actors, sets and music express such a tremendous emotional feelings. It is quite amazing that you get such a deep feeling in a short, two minute film. I recommend for ages 12 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. I look forward to seeing what the filmmaker, Harrison does next. He has a future in this business. Reviewed by Rachael V. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments
Runtime: 2 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


WHAT DO WE WISH FOR THE WORLD?

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WHAT DO WE WISH FOR THE WORLD?
0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Luzia, also called Luz, is a shy young girl who has a very creative and good-humored imagination. Due to a school project, she is faced with the challenge of interacting with her classmates to create a music project. From then on, Luz expands her creativity and materializes her ideas.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Wonderful film. It promotes creativity, hope, love, teamwork and love. The characters, Bela and Lua start as bullies but become friends with the main character. I feel this is very important as that doesn't happen a lot in media. All four of the main girls are likeable and relatable. There are also segments of this film that are animated in an origami fashion. They are used to show off Luz's creativity and I think they succeed. The music and the vocals at the end are very pleasant and the song is very unique. This film is creative, imaginative and inspiring. The pacing works quite well. I like how the main character believes in a Japanese legend. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 as well as adults. Reviewed by Calista B. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Juror. It is from Brazil with dialogue in Portuguese and sub-titled in English
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
(STOP) CYBER BULLYING!
KELLI GAUTREAU
Series: SHORT, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - (Stop Cyber Bullying! is a silent film that uses dance as the medium to tell the story of the negative effects cyber bullying has on children and /teens.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Well executed, good dancing and sets, excellent message. This topic is important for all children to know about and know how to address. Seeing kids suffer is unappealing. This video has no spoken words, but conveys feelings and emotions through acting and dance. The actors display their emotions quite well, showing how what seems like benign words and actions can have profound effects. Children need to be exposed to videos like this, which are non-threatening, yet, get the message across. The ending is very positive and strong. The language is suitable for older kids. At times, the dancing doesn't blend with the rest of the story. A child may not necessarily enjoy this but it gives a strong message. Recommended for ages 8 to 18. Reviewed by Hannah M. KIDS FIRST! Juror. Impressive dance theater piece that takes on an issue of our times - cyberbullying. It sensitively shows how thoughtless comments can negatively impact a young person. Throughout the piece we are shown a group of young people dancing an emotional dance that shows us their inner troubled feelings. I really really recommend this. It is beautifully shot and edited and I give credit to the young dancers who perform in this. This would make a wonderful addition to any film festival. Recommended for ages 8 to 18. Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-16
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


WHO STOLE FIFI'S FRUIT-EATING GENE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WHO STOLE FIFI'S FRUIT-EATING GENE
PUBLIC TELEVISION SERVICE, TAIWAN
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 7 TO 12
Topic - Family
Description - Fifi doesn't like to eat fruit but her twin brother loves all kinds of fruit. The grownups wonder why the twin are so different and whisper "the brother must have eaten up her fruit-eating gene." Wondering what "fruit-eating gene" is, the brother comes up with an operational plan to save his sister's "fruit-eating gene."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Very enjoyable student film from Taiwan. The most appealing feature of this film is its unique animation which reminds me of appliqu� in the way the characters and scenes appear to be sewn onto the background. I believe children will enjoy this film because of its message which says, before you say you do not like something, give it a try. It is presented in a simple and fun way. The visuals and sounds are unique and entertaining. The film opens introducing us to Fifi and, as it moves along, we see how she rejects eating fruit without any concrete reason. Fifi dislikes eating fruit, while her twin brother is a fruit-eating monster. One of the relatives says "Someone stole Fifi's fruit-eating gene." As the story develops, Fifi's brother tries several ways to get Fifi to at least try eating fruit. The visuals are quite appealing. And the story shows many family members, Fifi's brother, grandmother and cousin try different says to get Fifi to eat fruit. I like when it shows Fifi's introduction to fruit, one at a time and then making a smoothie. I recommend this student short to be included in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for ages 6 to 12. Reviewed by Juanita S. L. KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


HORACIO QUIROGA, STORYTELLER

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
HORACIO QUIROGA, STORYTELLER
IRENE BLEI
Series: STUDENT DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A journey through the life and work of the writer Horacio Quiroga: his stories, passions and time. Collaboratively developed by children and adults - parents and teachers included - at "El Mate" Cinema Workshop, a film school for children in Argentina. The film is a profuse narrative and visual "collage" that seamlessly brings together fiction, documentary material and animated sequences transiting cities of Uruguay and Argentina.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Horacio Quiroga, Storyteller is a visually endearing film that mixes elements of animation and the advantages of a documentary to craft an all around gem of a film. Ths film chronicles the life of Horacio Quiroga, a genius of his time who wrote short stories and poems throughout his entire life. This film encompasses his achievements into a film presented by the students and teachers from El Mate Film School in Argentina. I enjoyed the various visual tools used to enhance the interest and understanding of what was going on onscreen. This gives every scene a new color scheme to experiment with and gave me a better idea of what to expect. The animation makes it more unique and more interesting. It has several different animated segments featuring dazzling colors and different animals. Quiroga was a person full of ideas; a movie about him should be the same. I found this film hard to get into at first. The first ten to fifteen minutes were confusing. The styles of animation and nuances of documentaries didn't blend well together and weren't represented well onscreen. As the film continued, it found its calling and sharply improved. It becomes more of a tribute to Quiroga and I appreciated this. You should know that there are some unsettling subjects explored in the film that could lead to conversations at home. I'm not talking about anything too edgy, but I think suicide is a difficult topic for younger kids. Also most of the segments don't seem like they were made for younger audiences. I recommend this film for ages 7 to 18. I think adults and fans of Quiroga's work will particularly enjoy this film. Horacio Quiroga, Storyteller should be screened at KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


PROBABILITY OF LOVE, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PROBABILITY OF LOVE, THE
GAYLA GOEHI
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 8 TO 13
Topic - Family
Description - A Saturday pool party at the multi-million dollar home of the school's prettiest and most popular girl. A young mathlete who only recently learned to shave and just recently stopped wearing white socks with most of his outfits. What is the probability of love?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is about two groups of kids that don't usually talk to each other coming together at a house party and realizing they have a lot in common. During this, a girl who's been in love with the guy who was invited by the popular girl gets scared that the popular girl will steal him away. She confesses her love for him and realizes that he likes her too. The camerawork is crystal clear and the acting is pretty good. It's a film the whole family will enjoy. I rate this a 4 out of 5 and recommend this to ages 8 to 13.
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-13
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


CHATTER GROUP OF MOMS AND GRANDMAS, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CHATTER GROUP OF MOMS AND GRANDMAS, THE
PUBLIC TELEVISION SERVICE, TAIWAN
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 7 TO 12
Topic - Family
Description - There's a spring fountain besides the Land Good Temple (Tudigong) in Yilan. The spring is a unique place to rest with the waters warm in winter and chill in summer. Many women, young and old alike, start gathering around here when the dawn breaks everyday. What's the magic of the spring fountain that attracts the moms and grandmas all year round?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The most appealing thing to me about this film is the opening scenes of the beauty of nature and country side of the Spring Pool at Longtan Villas of Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County - Taiwan . Children will enjoy The Chatter Group of Moms and Grandmas because it is a great example of moms, grandmothers and children working together and having fun doing the laundry. The Chatter Group of Moms and Grandmas begins with beautiful images of the water of the spring pool, animals and foliage. You get to experience the gathering of the women of the city at the spring pool to do the laundry and chat about what is going on in the community. The material is suitable for intended age group It shows how other cultures live, especially how laundry is done. There are no automatic washing machines or dryers. Good visual showing the flowing water of the spring and the aquatic life in the spring pool, the shrimp and clams and green foliage. You can experience the washing of the clothes and feel the hard work exercised by the women. Yes, The Chatter Group of Moms and Grandmas production values are high enough to meet big screen standards. There are very moving images of the children who decide to do the laundry and they discover the work is not easy, but fun and the water is freezing. Yes, I recommend this film to play at a film festival. Good example of a community working together to support and care for everyone. I give in 4 out of 5 stars Again, the most appealing thing to me about this film is the beautiful scenes of nature and country side of The Spring Pool of Longtan Villas of Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County. You can feel the care and unity of the community of the Moms and Grandmas who gather to do the laundry.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


NANHI NEEND (MOM)

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
NANHI NEEND (MOM)
JIENDRA RAI
Series: SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Nanhi Neend' is a film I have made with the intent of highlighting the role that our mothers play in our lives. It is some times easy to take our mothers for granted because of their selfless love towards us, and this is what I've tried to bring out with this short film. I find this is the right time to pay my humble tribute to mothers everywhere - just a little 'thank you' for everything they've done for us.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed this very much. It is a sweet story that kids will easily relate to. A child will enjoy the nice ending and the characters in it are very positive characters. The only thing that concerns me is that there are a lot of words to read, so a child has to be able to read fast enough to keep up. It has several important messages for children - taking care of your parents and family, showing generosity and picking up on social cues. The characters are easy to relate to. This is a family life, multi generational topic. The costuming is appropriate. The vocabulary is appropriate. The story flows well and can easily be followed. Recommended for ages 8 to 18. Reviewed by Hanna M., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I absolutely love this film! It is an ode to mothers - young and old - and the importance they play in our lives. All of the actors in this film are compelling and tell this story well. The ending is particularly touching. A great addition to any family or children's film festival. Recommended for ages 7 to 18. Reviewed by Julie S. KIDS FIRST! Juror.
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


STUCK

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
STUCK
SHAELYN KOOPS
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 8 TO 14
Topic - Family
Description - What can go wrong with true love's first kiss?

Director Biography: Samuel Parker can be seen this summer in the Paramount movie Transformers 5: The Last Knight. He recently shared the small screen with Conan O'Brien, and with Elizabeth Banks for realtor.com. Other TV work includes NCIS: Los Angeles, Married, and numerous commercials. His feature films include Nosferatu, City of Dogs, and Vermin Town. He also served as the lead host of the popular YouTube series LEGO: The Build Zone (2015). Sam is a SoCal native and an avid skateboarder, video gamer, and writer.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short film directed by young actor Samuel Parker is pretty funny. Some of the methods used to get the young couple unstuck are not exactly safe or recommend, but I think kids understand that. It is entertaining and makes sense. It has a good soundtrack and visual appeal. This offers an entertaining look at a young couple whose braces get stuck as they are having their first kiss. A younger sister helps them figure out how to get unstuck and she steals the show. I give kudos to the directing, camerawork and editing. All are well executed. I can't wait to see what Samuel Parker does next! I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 14. Reviewed by Denise B. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GEEZ LOUISE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GEEZ LOUISE
MARY KERRIGAN
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A rollerblading 9 year old, has a knack for creative danger. Her kooky Grandma and brothers spend the day searching for the family's escaped pet bird but Louise has other plans inside the neighborhood construction site. While innocently swinging from the beams of a half built home Louise manages to make the biggest mistake of her life. She must confront her crazed community and the realities of messing up. A family film.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I highly recommend this film for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. It's fun and has a great lesson. It meets all the KIDS FIRST! Criteria. I loved watching this creative, but mischievous little girl creating her own fun and watching her funny aunt join her. The kooky family chemistry is amazing. The only thing I disliked was the musical number. However, it does fit right in with the goofy feel of the whole film. I believe children will really like the main character Louise because of her mischievous adventures. This film flows well. This is very suitable and relatable for young children. There is a scene where Louise is gathering supplies to make herself a swing and it's fantastic watching this creative little girl. The camera work is very well done, as is the audio. The storyline is age appropriate and, of course, something goes wrong and it has to be made it right, no matter how reluctant Louise might be. I really appreciate that, by the end, Louise has paid for her mistakes and but there is not a feeling of doom. Instead there is a feeling of a lesson learned and hope for the future. I recommend this for ages 5 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments
Runtime: 19 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SHORT SILENT SCENES

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SHORT SILENT SCENES
THIAGO MONTELLI
Series: FOREIGN INDI SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Short Silent Scenes is an animated series with puppets and cinematographic language inspired by silent movies. Each episode is a different story, mixing the most divers styles of live action animation: puppets, shadows, toy theatre and "th�atre noir". From Sao Paulo, Brazil.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love the puppet work, but I am concerned that it is so dark on screen. A child would enjoy this for its fun puppets. It flows well and is age appropriate. There is a scene where the man interacts with his dog and it's one of the most sound filled parts with kissing sounds and it works well. This scene is also the most well lit. I love the whole thing, except for the darkness. I'm not sure how well it will hold up on the big screen. It was a pleasure to watch and reminded me of works by Jim Henson and Tim Burton. It is funny. I am a fan of silent films and this has all of the spirit of a silent film, with more sound effects. Children would really like the creativity. I wanted to see more episodes. This meets the KIDS FIRST! criteria. I think this series has a great deal of potential. I had fun watching the puppet cook! Recommended for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a very unique and creative series. It is also very humorous and entertaining with charming storylines. There is a certain limitation since it is without dialogue. Today's viewers are so accustomed to noisy entertainment that they might be put off by the quietness of the series. The stories make sense and flow well. The films use a unique and different type of puppet animation that I am not used to. It reminds me a lot of Nick Parks' Wallace and Gromit films, although that series is claymation. I personally enjoy silent films and these shorts work well. A child would highly enjoy then because of the funny and surprising scenes. I feel that these shorts could be very addicting for young viewers. One of my favorite scenes is when the puppet cooks pancakes. I recommend this for ages 4 to 11 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 11 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


HOLDEN ON

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOLDEN ON       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
GRANGER PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Topic - Family
Description - No longer your average boy-next-door, Holden Layfield weaves audiences through his harrowing tale in this film set in the early 1990s. After succumbing to a secret battle with mental illness, Holden evolves from a beloved, small town Georgia football player to a lost, self-medicating prophet.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This exceptional film brought out all of my emotions, which is why it is one of my new favorites. I don't remember the last time I laughed and cried within minutes of each other. I'm glad I was able to express my emotions, because that is what makes me relate to a film. This film helped y heart grow bigger and make me more empathetic towards others.

Based on a true story, Holden On is about a 17-year-old boy named Holden Layfield, who lives in a small town in Georgia and is a star athlete. Playing football like a professional, Layfield receives multiple college scholarships and is ready to begin a new chapter in his life. But, he has a big secret: he is battling a mental illness. Over a two year period, Layfield tries to keep his illness to himself and transforms from a fantastic football player to a prophet who believes he can save the world.

Matthew Fahey portrays Holden in a remarkable fashion. He acts very humble, which illustrates how kind-hearted Holden truly is. However, because of his humility, it is difficult for Holden's family to decipher his thoughts. Fahey makes you believe that Holden is completely fine and, because he isn't, it makes the plot even more intriguing. Steve Ellis' portrayal of Zinte, Holden's best friend, is humorous. Zinte truly cares about Holden and it is evident through their five year friendship. Ellis characterizes Zinte as comical, joking around with him to cheer him up. But, he is unaware of Holden's issue. These lead actors left me on the edge of my seat for the entire film.

I love the music in this film because which is from the 80s, opening with "It's the End of the World" by R.E.M. The film is set in the 90s, but the music is from an older era and includes bands such as Suzie Rose and Tommy McCarthy. My favorite parts of the film are when Holden is in a situation and the camera shifts towards his point of view. For example, Holden tackles another team player on the football field before the game begins. The camera cuts to Holden's thoughts, displaying a visual of what is going on in his brain. I enjoyed how Holden narrates his thoughts when this occurs, because I could empathize more with him.

The message of this film is that you are not alone, even if you're battling mental illness. Talk to your friends, family or a professional about your feelings, because there is someone who is always willing to help. Mental illness is common and not many people are aware of the help available to those who are suffering. That a movie has been created to address the issue touches my heart.

Be forewarned that Holden resorts to drugs to cope with his illness yet, this film has such an impactful message that I wish every kid could see it. We can all help those who are dealing with mental illness. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 16 to 18 as well as adults. Go to Iamholdenon.org to read about the nationwide movement supporting treating mental illness through artistic expression. Also, catch this film when it comes out June 7, 2017. It is one that you don't want to miss.

By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

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


MUMMY, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MUMMY, THE       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 - Though safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess, whose destiny was unjustly taken from her, is awakened in our current day bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching this updated version of the classic 1932 film, wearing 3D glasses and starring one of my favorite actors, Tom Cruise. The film combines adventure and action with a sprinkling of fantasy and horror.

Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), along with his partner Chris Vale (Jake Johnson) are soldiers of fortune who steal timeless artifacts from ancient sites and sell them to the highest bidders. While in the Middle East, the duo accidently uncover Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), an ancient princess awakened from her crypt beneath the desert after thousands of years. She uses her powers which evolve throughout the film to bring her revenge and furious rampage to the streets of London.

The story is not a new - disturbing an ancient evil which comes back to wreak havoc on everyone. However, the visuals are very exciting and explosive with a hint of suspense. My favorite scene is when Ahmanet is held captive by chains, ropes and other devices to keep her from escaping. It shows her strength and power and, is the first time we've seen The Mummy as a woman.

You can expect strong, very loud fantasy action and violence with some blood spatters, guns and shooting, stabbings, fighting and punching, crashes and explosions, jump scares, zombies and a lab full of gross things. There are several mildly suggestive sexual references as well, including partly naked and somewhat obscured male and female bodies, kissing, a couple in bed together and other sensuality.

I recommend it for ages 13 to18 as well as some adults. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It opens nationwide June 9, 2017 so, be sure to go see it and enjoy the action!

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Mummy impressed me with its spooky horror, top level stunt work spectacular direction.

The storyline follows Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), who finds the crypt of Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) and flies her crypt via airplane when things go amuck. She is awakened and then controls Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) to crashes the plane. He crashes the plane to curse Nick who wakes up despite the plane crash. Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) then hunts down Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) who is also looking for Princess Ahmanet and is the only who can cure Nick. However, when Ahmanet is fully formed, Nick needs to stop her from destroying London and goes to extreme levels to defeat Ahmanet and save Jenny (Annabelle Wallis).

Tom Cruise is versatile in his presentation of Nick Morton who cheats people because of his own selfishness. In the battle scenes, Cruise excels in his stunt work. Sofia Boutella as Princess Ahmanet is creepy, especially as The Mummy. She really suits the character of a princess relentless seeking power. Jake Johnson as Chris Vail provides comedic relief. Annabelle Wallis as Jenny Halsey clearly presents determination in tracking down Princess Ahmanet. However, she still falls to the trope of damsel in distress. Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll is my favorite character because he impressively presents the transition of his character.

The direction by Alex Kurtzman is splendid. The pace from scene to scene is superb and kept me at the edge of my seat. My favorite scene is when Ahmanet attacks London. The special effects are outrageously impactful. My only problem is that the movie's finale is quite anti-climactic. Despite this flaw, Tom Cruise fans will rejoice at this movie.

The movie's message is, even if you cheat others, you can always change to be selfless. Nick, though a thief, finds himself in the ultimate selfless sacrifice to save mankind. I give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 because of its intense horror. The movie releases in theaters on June 9, so check it out for one fast-paced thriller.

Reviewed by Arjun N. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


WONDER WOMAN

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
WONDER WOMAN       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURES, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when a pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - When this movie was announced, I was super excited, but at the same time, skeptical. Because all the recent DC Movies didn't live up to all the hype. However, once I sat down in the theatre, all comfortable with my popcorn and icee and watched the film, I can say that it is absolutely amazing! It definitely lives up to its potential. Once the movie was over, I started clapping and, after I left the theatre, I realized my hands were red because I had clapped so hard.

The story of this film starts on Themyscira, an island cloaked from society and home to the Amazons. Diana, Princess of the Amazons, finds an allied spy who washed on shore named Steve Trevor. He tells her about the horrors of World War l and she decides to join him to stop The War to End All Wars.

Gal Gadot plays Wonder Woman and, oh my gosh, she is awesome! She is courageous and fierce, but also intelligent and empathetic. She is the perfect role model for every little girl. She is the iconic Wonder Woman! But in all seriousness, all the actors are awesome and really likeable. One particular character that didn't get enough screen time was Steve's secretary, Eta Candy, played by Lucy Davis. She is really funny and has some great one liners. She really deserved more time to shine.

The special effects and fight scenes are also extraordinary. During most of the action scenes, I found myself leaning forward, wide-eyed and gripping my seat. Unlike Batman V Superman or Suicide Squad, I could actually SEE what was happening! To me, the best scene in the movie is when Diana, Steve and his crew lead an invasion of a German controlled town and liberate it. The action is so exciting and, when the Wonder Woman theme starts playing, I literally started smiling until the scene was over.

Surprisingly, this film is also extremely hilarious. I was laughing for a good chunk of time. The humor mainly comes from Diana's lack of knowledge of our civilization. There's a really funny scene where Eta tries to give Diana a normal outfit and she kicks and rips the skirt.

I definitely give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. This movie opens in theatres on June 2, 2017. I could say I recommend this movie for comic book fans, but honestly everyone should see this movie. Wonder Woman is an iconic role model and Gal Gadot definitely lives up to the part. Director Patty Jenkins lassoed this hit film and I love that a woman directed it - Girl Power! That's the truth.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Wonder Woman is a defining example of a great superhero movie. While the movie struggles in its final act, it still delivers compelling action, great directing and good performances.

Gal Gadot plays Diana, the princess of an island called Themiscyra, inhabited by Amazon warriors. As a child, she is taught to be a fierce warrior. One day, a plane crashes just offshore. The pilot is a spy named Steve Trevor, who is trying to escape the German army after stealing their secrets. Diana saves him from the wreckage. Soon, German troops besiege the island in search of Steve. After a clash between the Amazons and the troops, Steve warns Diana and her people of a war in the outside world. Her strong urge to help others leads her to follow Steve to the frontlines to end the conflict. As her journey continues, she must embrace her destiny and become the hero she was born to be.

Gal Gadot is very good as Diana a.k.a. Wonder Woman. There is something very generous and kind about her character. Gadot is convincing as a strong female heroine who cares deeply about the lives of others and is willing to risk her own to save them. This character make a great role model, someone ready to spring into action to fight for things such as justice and freedom, but also some who cares about other people. Gadot studied a lot of martial arts and other training to prepare for this film and it certainly pays off in the thrilling action scenes. She carries the movie very well and I hope to see her in more DC films.

Diana's fish-out-of-water dynamic is explored to great effect for some good laughs. She has little knowledge of life beyond the island. Her reactions and conversations in the outside world are very funny. She also has enjoyable banter with Steve Trevor.

Director Patty Jenkins had a very clear vision of what she wanted the film to look like and it translates to the screen very well. She shot it on a very epic scale and used techniques like shooting on film instead of digital to get the grainy feel of the World War I era. This makes for a more real cinematic experience.

One of my main criticisms of the film is its third act. The first two thirds are near perfect. The final act almost descends into a dumb, explosion-filled mess, but redeems itself in a way that doesn't ruin the first two acts for me. I recommend Wonder Woman for ages 12 to 18 due to some violence and language and give it . It opens in theaters June 2 so, go check it out.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Wonder Woman caught me off guard. I thought it would be a girly movie about her trying to go against gender issues. But that is not the case. It fits right in with the other superhero movies. This movie starts off with the characteristic young kid that has a burning fire within them. She grows up and becomes strong. Then she goes out into the real world. It, along with the other origin story films, is a great example of a really good movie.

Wonder Woman instantly became one of my favorite superhero movies because, when there is action, you can actually follow it. Let me explain. Some movies (James Bond) are really difficult to follow when there is action. Because of constant quick editing and constant changes in shots and angles, it becomes really hard to understand the action or see what you are looking at. That is not the case with this film. However complicated the fight scenes are, you can understand what she does and follow her movements. In order to do this, the movie utilized slow motion. It's not annoying. I kind of liked it, but it happens a lot.

Not only does action dominate the movie, but every second of the movie has a well placed shot. What I'm saying is that the camera angles are amazing throughout and the whole movie looks fantastic. In this way, thankfully, the movie does not follow the usual way of things. There is, let's just say it, a totally boss battle where they could have easily taken a wide angle shot. And they do, but only for a second. And, the rest is fabulous to watch.

Wonder Woman is played by Gal Gadot. Sir Patrick Morgan (David Thewlis), Steve (Chris Pine) and basically all the other actors are amazing. Every character is necessary and the movie would be poorer without any one of them. Not that I didn't hate any of the characters. Of course there are ones that the movie wants me to hate. But they are all well built and quite lively. They seem to fit like gloves to the time and place of when the film takes place. This brings me to the sets. Every set looks like they just barged into real and existing buildings and started filming. This realism is especially challenging since it's set during WW I. The locations and sets make sense and the way the filming is done made me want to visit them. The green screen work is especially amazing because they did not scream "look at me!" Instead, they are just backgrounds and are very believable. So much so that, if I hadn't known these settings exist I would not think anything was fishy about the backgrounds.

My favorite part of the film is the scene when Wonder Woman jumps out of the trenches and single handedly fights the opposing side. My second favorite is when she completely demolishes an entire building. Yeah, she does not kid around.

This movie also explores working with the obvious feminist issues. After all, this is a female superhero! They depict a very strong character, just like all other superheroes, and they are able to add some humor as well. Throughout the movie everyone underestimates and doubts her because she is a girl. Ha! She creams everyone else. Unfortunately, at the very end, the movie pops the great feministic bubble they created by getting sappy and making Wonder Woman say that love is the answer. *POP*

I recommend this movie for ages 7 to 18 and adults will love it too. I say age 7 because, what kid above 5 doesn't see action movies these days? But if you are one of those parents who doesn't let their kids see these types of superhero movies, this one has is rated PG-13. I caught no cursing. There is one sexual statement that will go unnoticed by kids who aren't already knowledgeable about that. I this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars, because the ending is girlish. Everything is great besides that though. It opens nationwide in theaters June 2, 2017 so, go check it out.

By Miles T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE       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 - George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two overly imaginative pranksters who spend hours in a treehouse creating comic books. When their mean principal threatens to separate them into different classes, the mischievous boys accidentally hypnotize him into thinking that he's a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is hilarious! I really enjoyed this film. It is an animated comedy with plenty of action based on a series of books by author Dav Pilkey. It gives us a chance to experience the genius of two fourth grade smart pranksters, George Beard (Kevin Hart) and Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch) as they bring to life their comic book character Captain Underpants, a silly, dimwitted superhero wearing his underwear and a cape. Captain Underpants and his side-kicks George and Harold are fighting against the evil Professor Poopy-Pants (Nick Kroll) who wants to rid the world of happiness.

The animation and visual images of the film are exciting and colorful. Since the book series is known for its action sequences and gross, potty humor, expect plenty of rude language and cartoonish violence. The music makes you sing along and tap your feet. There is a message about friendship. For kids, it's a reminder that friendship does not mean you must be in the same class to remain friends.

My favorite scene is when George and Harold discover that they can hypnotize the mean-hearted school principal Mr. Krugg (Ed Helms) and turn him into their comic book super hero, Captain Underpants. They realize a snap of the finger gives them Captain Underpants and water changes him back to Principal Krugg. To hide his identity, the duo is challenged with keeping him as Principal Krugg when needed and bringing out Captain Underpants to fight bad guys.

I recommend this for ages 7 to 18 as well as some adults. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It opens nationwide June 2, 2017 so, be sure to go check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita L. KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is sure to kick off many kids' summer breaks with lots of laughs (especially if potty jokes are funny to you). I was never a fan of the Captain Underpants books, so I have to say I am not a big fan of this film. I feel it lacks plot and humor.

What I do appreciate about this film is the ongoing theme of friendship and the fun of using your imagination. Best friends, Harold and George grow a strong friendship through making comic books and pulling pranks at their "boring" elementary school. Through some odd force, their comic book hero, Captain Underpants, comes to life. He soon helps the boys rid the school of an even greater threat than their school principal, Professor Poopypants.

This feature animation from DreamWorks has a great voice-over cast. This, by the way, is my favorite part of the film. Kevin Hart plays one of the main characters, George Beard. But, my favorite character is his partner in prank-playing crime, Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch). This character is very relatable, funny and true. And, since I like drawing and illustrating, I found an instant connection with him.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is written by Nicholas Stoller, although it is based on the Epic Novels by Dav Pilkey. You might remember Nicholas Stoller from previous screenplays he has written, including Storks, The Muppets and Gulliver's Travels - to name a few. The movie is right in line with the books and gives you insight into the concept origin.

My favorite part is Harold and George's tree-house. This is where the friends spend so much time developing their comic books. It is such a cool tree house with so many moving parts. It made me want to go home and add to my own.

This film is rated PG for mild rude humor. If you are a fan of the Captain Underpants books, you will enjoy this film. I recommend it for ages 4 to 11 and I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars. Catch it in theaters everywhere, June 2.

By Tristan Tierce, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil's Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea...including him. Captain Jack's only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and has the most other-worldly visual effects of any recent movie. The CGI is the most mesmerizing piece of treasure throughout the film. Johnny Depp again stars as Jack Sparrow and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa. It also stars the terrific Javier Bardem as the new villain, Captain Salazar. Brenton Thwaites plays Henry Turner and Kaya Scodelario plays Carina Smyth. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley have cameos as Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, respectively. Full disclosure: I am a huge Johnny Depp fan and I have loved the Pirates of the Caribbean movies since I was 5 years old!

At the beginning of the film, Captain Jack Sparrow is presumed dead. He resurfaces in a most humorous way. Captain Salazar is Jack Sparrow's oldest nemesis. He takes revenge on Sparrow by unleashing the vicious ghost pirates of Devil's Triangle. The ghost pirates are hell-bent on killing Sparrow and destroy multiple pirate ships in the process. The only way to break the curse is to find and destroy the Trident of Poseidon. Along the way, we learn the background of Will Turner's son, Henry Turner. He's looking for Sparrow and also trying to find the Trident in order to save his father who is trapped in Davy Jones Locker. Carina Smyth is a young astronomer who is also searching for the Trident. What ensues is a humorous, action packed adventure on the high seas.

The special effects and CGI are astoundingly lifelike. The most stunning visual effects in the film are the CGI animated ghost sharks, which are sent to hunt down Jack Sparrow. The movements of the ghost pirates and sharks are hyper-realistic. Out of all the Pirates of The Caribbean films, this one utilizes the most mythological elements. Johnny Depp again aces his performance as Captain Jack Sparrow. His interpretation of Jack Sparrow is one of the most entertaining and memorable characters in recent film history. The inimitable Geoffrey Rush is again terrific as Captain Barbossa and Javier Bardem, an acclaimed actor from art house and independent films, is riveting as the vicious Captain Salazar.

One flaw of the film is how Keira Knightley suddenly appears for one minute during the movie. It's the one false note because it seems gratuitous. However, it doesn't distract from the impact and excitement of the film. Compared to other movie sequels, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales flows surprisingly well and moves along at an exciting pace. The film is appropriate for 10 to18 year olds. I give Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 5 out of 5 stars. It opens May 26, 2017 in theaters nationwide so be sure to check it out.

By Clayton Pickard, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is the fifth movie in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise which impressed me due to its plot. The special effects are full of wonder and the fabulous direction adds charm.

The movie is about Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), who is in pursuit by Captain Salazar (Javiar Bardem). He wants payback for when Jack left Captain Salazar to rot in the Devil's Triangle, where he became cursed. Jack's way out is to find the Trident of Poseidon. Meanwhile, Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) also wants the Trident to remove the curse on his father, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom). Henry follows Jack's crew to the Trident. The crew is filled out by Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario). On top of that, Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) is forced by Salazar to track Jack.

Johnny Depp is impressive in his charisma as Jack Sparrow, a funny yet intelligent pirate and he is always my favorite. Javiar Bardem as Captain Salazar excellently presents his pain from his cursed life. Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner represents determination in his quest to save his father. Orlando Bloom as Will Turner appears as a protective father. Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth is feisty in the struggles faced by women who believed in science. Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa nicely displays his efforts to rescue his crew from Captain Salazar's cursed army.

The directors (Joachim Ronnining, Espen Sandberg) stage the movie in exceptionally scenic locales. The close up shots impressed me, especially the detail of the cursed sharks around the island. My favorite scene is when Jack is trialed to execution. Inventive ways of dark comedy make the scene quite funny. My only problem with the film is that the story only begins to unfold after the first hour. Until then, it is mostly exposition to preface the plot. However, the characters keep the movie entertaining.

The movie's message is that "where there is determination, there is a way." Despite being told not to search for the Trident by his father, Henry pursues this adventurous expedition in spite of lots of complications. He also teams up with Carina and Jack Sparrow and the crew's teamwork pays off. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action. The movie releases in theaters on May 26th, so check it out if you want a Caribbean treat.

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


NATURE: VIVA PUERTO RICO

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NATURE: VIVA PUERTO RICO
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Puerto Rico is a tropical island infused with unique natural wonders - from the deepest sea-trench to the longest underground cave system; from a startlingly bright bioluminescent bay to vast rain forests that sometimes really do rain frogs.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Spectacular photography highlights this nature episode from PBS which talks about the protection and conservation of several endangered species of animals in Puerto Rico. The 60 minute video details efforts of scientists and animal behavior specialists to save and encourage the breeding of endangered parrots, manatees and Leatherback turtles. The often stunning filming includes scenes of a Leatherback turtle, which can grow to six feet long, giving birth to some 80 eggs and a minor surgical procedure on a manatee weighing well over 600 pounds by a group of about 13 scientists, interns and a vet struggling to control the animal as they treat it. A negligible amount of history of the island is provided along with a few panoramic shots of the coastline and inner forest, with the bulk of the program focused squarely on the animals and their caretakers. I recommend this for kids ages 12 to 18 and adults will enjoy it as well. The minor surgery might cause some to feel squeamish but there's no real blood to speak of. No special features or bonuses accompany the DVD.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 16.47
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


LASER TAG PRINCESS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LASER TAG PRINCESS
NI-COLA ENTERTAINMENT, LLC
Series: SCREENPLAY FOR AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Starflake is a Cosmic Pixie, who can live in outer space without any life support. A Deep Space Ranger enlists Starflake's help because kids have been vanishing from a Laser Tag Arena. Star flake discovers they are being taken to a distant planet where they are forced to work in the mines of Spelunk. Using her wits, she frees the kids and captures the villain, Sync.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Laser Tag Princess from the Starflake, the Cosmic Sprite series is a kind, unique and positive character who is kind and helps others. The comic book is engaging, entertaining and the illustrations really bring the story to life. This is a great start to a series of many adventures. Its storyline flows well from beginning to end and leaves you with the feeling of wanting to read more about Starflake's adventures. It is engaging and fun to read. The illustrations are colorful, detailed and catch your attention. Starflake is very likable character and quite unique. There is plenty of action to capture the attention of young viewers. Kids will like the characters and find the story refreshing and different. It is primarily entertaining, but there is some social appeal since Starflake helps others and is a positive role model. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review

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


EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING       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 - A 17 year old girl named Madeline Whittier has a rare disease that causes her to have to stay indoors 24/7 with her filtered air. Her whole life is basically books, her mom, and Carla(her nurse). One day, a moving truck pulls in next door. There she sees Olly. Olly Bright is Maddy's new neighbor. They get to know each other through emails. The more they get to know each other, the more they fall in love. Olly starts to make Maddy realize that she isn't really living. This starts the adventures of Maddy's new life.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I have nothing but positive things to say about this affectionate and sensational picture. The film incorporates the use of strong chemistry with its talented actors to tell a story about understanding, acceptance, life and love. Everything, Everything is a dramatic, romantic film that the teenage and young adult audience will definitely enjoy.

Maddy (Amadla Stenberg) is an imaginative and creative 18-year-old girl who has an illness which prohibits her from going outside. A new boy, Olly (Nick Robinson) moves to town and the two instantly share feelings for one another. He won't let anything keep them from being together. Maddy and Olly develop an online relationship which progresses throughout the film, leading to them risking everything to be together, even if that means losing everything. We join the two lovebirds on a romantic unforgettable adventure.

My favorite scene is when Maddy and Olly first meet. I can safely say that the audience and I were all screaming (silently of course) with joy and excitement when the two exchange smiles and when Olly constantly flirts with Maddy. The chemistry between the two actors is extremely well executed and seems so realistic. I also love the diverse cast because we need that in our society today. The director really respected and developed the interracial relationship very powerfully and wonderfully. I applaud the crew and cast for making the movie so enjoyable to watch and understand.

The theme is about acceptance and growing from the obstacles that you face. Maddy has stayed inside for the majority of her life, but when she meets Olly, she is finally able to take risks and enjoy what life has to offer step by step. Teens will definitely relate to the storyline in terms of growing and experiencing what life has to offer. Both Maddy and Olly send a message to not let people drag you down or stop doing what makes you happy and helps you become a better person.

I recommend this film to ages 13 to 18 because of its teenage love scenes. I also encourage parents to see this with their adolescents because they will definitely find themselves smiling and feeling happy throughout the whole film. I rate this film 5 out of 5 due to its impeccable cast and crew, intriguing storyline, vibrant colors, soothing music and much more. Everything, Everything is in theaters now so, please go and enjoy this movie as much as I did.

Reviewed by Imani B.G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

I fell in love with this exquisite film in the first 5 minutes! I love how it follows the life of Maddy, a girl who has never left her house her entire life and her take on the world as she knows it. The romance, comedy, drama and mystery all come together and make a perfect film filled with a roller coaster ride of emotions. I found myself crying, laughing, falling in love and questioning things and the way I know them. I credit the director Stella Meghie and the writer of the book, Nicola Yoon, that this film is based on. The fact that a women director was given the reigns is a bonus.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to never leave your house or what it would be like to have a disease such as severe combined immunodeficiency - also known as "bubble baby disease"? With this disease, you are allergic to the whole world and you can't go outside or be with anybody you don't know very well because anything and everything can make you sick or kill you. This disease is the one that the protagonist, Maddy (Amandla Stenberg) has. Maddy is taken care of by Pauline (Anika Noni Rose), her mom and also a nurse named Carla (Ana De La Reguera).

Things change when she sees a very cute new boy, her new neighbor Nick Robinson (Olly Bright) through her window. They have an instant connection. The problem is that, because Maddy has this disease, they can't meet, so the adventure begins between them and their bond grows stronger and stronger. I cannot give away the ending but it is a shocking surprise.

The acting is low key and believable. Teenagers do quirky things without thinking of the consequences. It is trial by error and Maddy and Olly take drastic measures to be together.

The scenes that stood out to me are when a crazy astronaut appears throughout the film. They are both symbolic and humorous. The cinematography of their island adventure is beautiful and perfect for a summer movie. I love how the wardrobe department added vibrant colors to the island scenes since most of their other outfits are pale, white and black.

I recommend this to ages 10 to 18 who will love all the romance, comedy, drama and mystery. On the other hand, they will also love the fantastic actors and the tiny bits of animation. Teenagers and kids who feel like they are trapped and need some help to find their way through life, this is the film for you to see in theaters. I give this terrific film 5 out of 5 astronauts floating in space. This romantic movie is in theaters now, so check it out in a theater near you. The book Everything Everything is available as well. It is on the best sellers list so check it out and read it. I know I will read it and can't wait to get started.

By Morgan B. Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

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


DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-14
Topic - Family
Description - A Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw's 90th birthday party goes hilariously off course thanks to Greg's newest scheme to get to a video gaming convention. This family cross-country adventure turns into an experience the Heffleys will never forget.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul has the same wonderful entertaining impact as the rest of the series. For those who don't know, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a fiction comedy novel for children and teenagers written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney. Over the years, these books have been brought to life in films that have the same well-liked effect on the audience as the original books. I was and still am a huge fan of the Wimpy Kid series and I recall always being excited for the new book or the new film to come out.

This film follows the Heffley's taking a road trip to attend Meemaw's (their grandmother's) 90th birthday party. But of course, this trip goes off course thanks to Greg's newest strategy to get to a video gaming convention. They flee from their parents, drive themselves to the convention, violate the no technology rule and many events take place that will make this not-so-family trip unforgettably crazy. Their family adventure turns into an experience filled with different funny moments you don't get in a normal family vacation.

My favorite scene of is when they are entering the grandmother's house. Greg gets into a boat that is outside and he goes inside the house with it. Somehow, he slides into the house and makes it to the pool, thereby making a special entrance. This is a very funny scene because it shows how Greg's delirious mind operates.

The message that I get from this film is to never give up on what you want and don't let anyone stop you. The film teaches this message in a funny and comical way. Gregory sees himself in a position that he doesn't like due to something he does wrong so, he does what he can to clear his image. His way of doing it is to go to the video gaming convention and become famous. This is how Greg thinks he can fix this, by doing all these crazy things. But that's not the important part. The point is that he goes out of his way to achieve his goal and he never stops until he gets it. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 15. This opens in theaters on May 19th, 2017 so go check it out.

Reviewed by Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is an upbeat, fun and humorous movie based on the books by the same name. It has an entertaining script with interesting relationships between characters. This movie also has moments where I burst out laughing. However, although it is delightful, this film falls flat in many areas.

The film follows twelve-year-old Greg Heffley (Jason Drucker), his brothers Rodrick (Charlie Wright) and Manny (Dylan Walters) and their parents (Tom Everett Scott and Alicia Silverstone). The family takes a road trip to attend Meemaw's 90th birthday in Indiana. However, Greg has plans to go to a video game convention that land him (and his family) in some hot water.

This film has many positive qualities. One i the clever writing. I really like the scene where Rodrick gets "shot," when Greg and Beardo remake the scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Also, the scene where Manny and the pig are reunited is absolutely adorable. I applaud the writers for their brilliant writing. Another positive quality that quite impressed me is the story line. The chain of events had me on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next. Mischief and misfortune seems to follow the Heffley family wherever they go! It is clear that the writing and the physical humor in this film are quite outstanding.

However, although the script is quite good, the direction is not. The shots don't feel quite right all the time. For example, throughout the movie, the camera is often focused on Alicia Silverstone's teeth. The scene transition is also choppy and disorganized. It just is not smooth. I feel as though there could be more music underneath the dialogue. The acting falls flat as well. I am quite disappointed by these aspects.

I rate this film 3 out of 5 stars. The excessive potty humor throughout the film may appeal to younger kids, so I recommend it for ages 7 to 13. This film is funny and entertaining, yet it lacks several essential components. It opens in theatres on May 19, so if you're looking for some family-friendly fun, go check it out.

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This family friendly film will have you laughing as you join the Heffley's in their first summer road trip. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is a fun entertaining film that I highly enjoyed with its funny scenes, unique character personalities and the different adventures the Heffley's take on.

As the Heffley's embark on their summer road trip to rural Indiana for their grandmother's 90th birthday, young and witty Greg Heffley (Jason Drucker) will do whatever it takes to get to a video game convention and meet his favorite gamer. To everyone's surprise, technology will be restricted on the trip since Greg's mother, Susan (Alicia Silverstone) wishes to grow closer to her son and create unforgettable memories. Throughout the trip the whole Heffley family faces numerous adventures and trials as the trip goes hilariously off course and becomes a mission.

I really enjoyed the personality of each character in this film. Their different charisma contributes greatly to tone the film. My favorite character is Rodrick, the older but not so wise brother. His humor, style and spirit brings laughter to the screen. Although he is not the brightest, he is highly funny. One of my favorite scenes is when Rodrick orders an Uber and believes that the ride is free, although the destination is an hour away and it's charged to his parents' credit card. Also hysterical is the scene where Rodrick eats one too many fried butter sticks and regrets it later when riding the roller coasters.

Young and witty Greg Heffley is played by Jason Drucker of Barely Lethal, Every Witch Way and many commercials. Lead rock singer of Loaded Diper and Greg's sixteen-year-old brother Rodrick is played by Charlie Wright, known for Ingrid Goes West and Better Things. Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott play the parents of Greg and Rodrick.

Although this film is hilariously funny, it is filled with several life lessons for the viewer to learn from such as, disconnect from technology and connect with those around you. Today, everyone seems to be so attached to technology and social media that they loose the concept of socializing. This film grasps the importance of family values and disconnecting from technology to spend quality family time.

I highly enjoyed watching this fun, summer movie and recommend it to families and children between the ages of 5 and 10. This is a great film for kids to watch over summer break and remember the value of family. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because of its many funny scenes, unique story line and unique characters. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul opens in theaters May 29, 2017 so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Maria G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


ALISA KNOWS WHAT TO DO SEASON 1

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ALISA KNOWS WHAT TO DO SEASON 1       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Alisa Knows What to Do! is based on the extremely popular Russian science-fiction novels by famous Russian author Kir Bulychiov about a young girl from the future, Alisa Salazar. This animated series weaves a tale about the adventures of a group of teenagers living at the end of the 21st century. The world has changed yet the burning questions that occupied people at the beginning of the century are still pertinent today. Alisa and her friends not only battle evil and injustice but they are also concerned with global problems like the natural balance, both on the planet and in space.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What's most appealing about this title is that it's an animated science-fiction series that shows life at the end of the 21st century. During this time, humans learn to co-exist with different life forms. Each episode takes children on a journey of exploration as a group of teens fight for justice while also dealing with global problems on their planet as well as in space. I believe a child between the ages of 5 to12 would enjoy this series because it's entertaining, has futuristic technology, great visuals and graphics and includes vocabulary and concepts that are suitable for this age group. In fact, each episode flows well, the sound is clear and it has a clear beginning, middle and end. Furthermore, season one of Alisa Knows What to Do! is a 3-disc set that runs approximately 630 minutes. I highly recommend this series and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Geanice G., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What I find appealing is that Alisa is everyone's boss and, as the title says, she obviously knows what to do. I like the animation because the special effects are very cool. Young children will enjoy this because it is filled with adventure and action. One part I don't care for is how strict the teacher is. I wish he was nicer to the young teens. At first I was bothered by the audio which is not in sync with the mouth movements and then I realized that the original language is Russian and this version is dubbed in English.

This DVD is a compilation of episodes from the TV show. Based on a popular Russian science fiction novel by Kir Bulychiov, the show follows a group of teens in the future who learn to solve problems with help from their leader Alisa. Alisa and her friends face many difficulties and they have to figure out how to fight the villains that are trying to defeat them. They are also concerned about the environment and how the earth will survive. They live near the end of the 21st century, so there is lots of advanced technology included in this show.

There are two messages in this show - every problem has a solution and teamwork is the key. I love that the person who usually comes up with the right answer is a girl. I also love how everyone helps each other out in complicated situations.

What really stands in this show is that each episode is self-contained. It has a beginning, middle and end. The animation and audio quality are also amazing. It took me a while to realize that this show takes place at the end of the 21st Century. Most episodes start out showing the kids at school doing class work or something funny. Then someone tells Alisa about a problem and she usually finds the situation. Her friends are her sidekicks so they help her when she needs them. Alisa and her friends are very concerned about the earth, the environment and how to protect it. They are constantly trying to save the universe. Everyone will want to root for Alisa and her friends!

I recommend this show to ages 5 to 10 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. I believe children will enjoy the action, adventure and problem-solving. It is fun and also educational. It is available June 13, 2019 on DVD so, go check it out.

By Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

There are not many animated kid shows that can teach important life lessons, entertain and spark the viewer's imagination. Alisa Knows What to Do: Season One accomplishes all of this and more. Even though it is meant for kids, this animated series is perfect for the entire family.

The show has a core of a futuristic adventure with many different elements for viewers to enjoy. Throughout the episodes, viewers will find plenty of comedy that makes everyone laugh. It also includes quite a few of child-friendly action sequences and even some slight young romance between the characters.

Even though each episode has a different plot, the series follows the story of five teenagers living in the year 2090, where there are aliens, robots, spaceships and many advanced pieces of technology. Alisa is always there to save the day with her skills and quick wit to stop evil monsters and evil scientists, rescue her friends and preserve endangered inter-galactical animals.

Overall, this DVD offers a very entertaining collection of episodes with unique stories that always have surprise endings. I also love the interesting perspective of the future. It feels possible but still makes you dream about endless possibilities. The animation itself is a quite different style than what is generally seen on TV, due to being produced in Moscow. One small issue that is very apparent throughout the show is the dubbing. Due to being converted from Russian to English, there are many times when the characters' lips do not match the audio perfectly. The problem isn't too noticeable most of the time, but there are scenes where it is distracting.

My favorite episode is Games without Rules. In this episode, a new museum about the history of the galaxy opens on Pluto. The top scientists, including Alisa's father, attend the opening. Disaster strikes when an eclipse by a Pluto moon causes the release of "Zye" waves, which turns people into statues. Luckily Alisa and her friend find out about this and destroy a crystal to rescue the people. The animation of the museum and the dwarf planet is beautiful and the plot has unexpected and entertaining twists.

The show is meant for kids, but there are some darker aspects of some episodes. For that reason, I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. I give the DVD 4.5 out of 5 stars because there of the small issue with the dubbing, but other than that, the show is entertaining, has strong messages and is perfect for the whole family.

By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15
Runtime: 630 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 8.99
Media: DVD


THOMAS EDISON'S SECRET LAB: IT'S ALWAYS SHARKEST

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
THOMAS EDISON'S SECRET LAB: IT'S ALWAYS SHARKEST
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-11
Topic - Family
Description - Unknown to the world, Thomas Edison built a secret lab where he invented a virtual version of himself and a steampunk robot named Von Bolt. Years later, Angie, a twelve-year-old science prodigy, discovers the lab. While visiting one of Kent's relatives, the kids come up with a great idea for attracting more tourists to his restaurant - the only catch is that it also attracts a very big shark with very big teeth! What will the Secret Lab Kids do? Guided by fun-loving Edison, Angie and friends will show just how fun science can be
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I've been lucky enough to review two of the Thomas Edison's Secret Lab DVDs and I just love them. As a kid I always loved science class, but I know that not everyone did. There were lessons that appealed to me less than others and I was lucky enough to have ?shows such as Bill Nye the Science Guy and The Magic School Bus? to inspire me?. ?This collection is called "?It's Always Sharkest" because it features an episode regarding a shark?'?s sense of smell. Thinking about subjects ?such as?? DNA and ?radioactive ?decay? doesn't ?seem to be very appealing to younger ?kids, but these episodes change that. It gives a very hands on, kid friendly approach to not just learning about these subjects, but enjoying the adventure along the way. One of my favorite things about this program is meeting the creators take on other scientists like Darwin and Watson. The animation is phenomenal and the lessons learned are even better. I? recommend this to kids ages ?5? to 12, but ?make no mistake, ?I greatly enjoyed learning new things and relearning things I had long forgotten. If I could ?rate this higher than 5 stars I would, but since I can't?, I give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: It's Always Sharkest because it is an educational show, has very unique features and really good animation.

This show is about a group of kids and with a few robots that do scientific research. They do it in a secret lab that Thomas Edison left behind with a digital version of himself. They do research about a shark's sense of smell. When the group gets into situations where they mess up on a project or experiment, they always find a way to fix it. And, they have adventures with famous scientists such as Charles Darwin.

The show has cool features that I've rarely seen on a TV show. At the end of every episode, they have a music video recapping what they learned in that episode. I've only seen this once before on Bill Nye's old TV series. The only thing different between Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: It's Always Sharkest and Bill Nye's music video is that Bill Nye's was a parody of popular songs while the songs on this show are all original songs.

The animation reminds me somewhat of the TV show The Fairly Odd Parents. Both have similar animation styles. They both look sort of like paper cutouts. Furthermore, I like how the robot's actions are animated. In the first episode, one of the robots is almost eaten by a shark so he spins out of control to try to get away from the shark's mouth. I thought that was hilarious, seeing him spin out of control.

The message of the show is to find ways to fix problems and it encourages kids to appreciate and learn more science. In the first episode, the group tries to make a slide but fails because there was too much friction. The whole series is based around science and boosts kids' interest in science. The program shows how science can be fun. I rate this show 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 6 to 9. It is available now on DVD so, go check it out.

By Carla Paz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


AFRICA'S GREAT CIVILIZATIONS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AFRICA'S GREAT CIVILIZATIONS
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes a look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. This is a journey through two hundred thousand years of history, from the origins, on the African continent, of art, writing, and civilization itself, through the millennia in which Africa and Africans shaped not only their own rich civilizations, but also the wider world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In this six part series made for PBS, Harvard University Professor Henry Gates, Jr. provides an in-depth look at many of the major events that define African civilization, beginning with humankind's origins in Africa and the subsequent development of culture, religion, and society on the continent. Focusing on debunking myths, the hour-long episodes delve into the topics of the origins of mankind; the spread of Christianity and Islam; the emergence of art, culture and writing; the thriving coastline cities during the Middle Ages; contact between Africa and Europeans; and the tumultuous 19th Century with the expansion of the slave trade and gold, ivory and diamond trading. Special emphasis is placed on art and architecture, shining a welcome light on aspects of African culture that young people may not be aware of. As usual for PBS, the production is excellent, although one might wish for more for detail on daily life and many topics are barely touched upon. Overall, Prof. Gates makes for an engaging host and the detail covered is impressive and enlightening. The program is suitable for all children ages 12 to 18. The DVDs include chapter headings but no special features. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is an educational and interesting way to learn about the history of Africa. It is also told from an African perspective, which I really enjoyed and found most enlightening. You learn about its history, starting from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. I wish that it actually went into a little more of modern times but maybe that could be the next six-part series. The visuals and interviews make this very interesting to watch and there are also some really great maps. I enjoyed the narration and the way the entire DVD flows from beginning to end. I also enjoyed the different scenes that bring this DVD to life! I recommend it for ages 11 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B..
Runtime: 360 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 20.79
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2       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 - Set to the backdrop of 'Awesome Mixtape #2,' Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Set to "Awesome Mixtape #2", Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. #2 is more thrilling and hilarious than its predecessor. It is an action packed, sci-fi adventure about a group of intergalactic criminals who are tasked to work together to save the universe. Chris Pratt again stars as Peter Quill, aka Star Lord. The rest of the cast follows suit - Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket.

The film starts out with the classic 70s song "Brandi" by Looking Glass as we see two young people driving down the highway, very much in love. We later learn that this is the back story of Peter's conception and is foreshadowing the main storyline of the film. The movie jumps 34 years and Peter is now Star Lord, captain of a band of reformed outlaws. The group is hired to guard the uber batteries of the Sovereign planet. Upon leaving, Rocket steals some of the batteries and a space battle ensues. Star Lord and his crew are shot down and make an emergency landing on a nearby planet. Before landing, they notice a mysterious spaceship, which takes out the entire Sovereign fleet pursuing them. The rest of the film is an emotional, action-packed adventure, having to do with this mysterious personage. There are lots of battles between different factions in this crazy sci-fi, fantasy universe.

The movie has lots of lively and entertaining scenes. My favorite is when Rocket Raccoon uses traps to his advantage to defeat an incoming horde of ravagers. Every scene with Drax is terrific because he has a different philosophy of life and has the most infectious laugh of any character in any movie, ever. I also love how Peter is obsessed with 80s pop culture. He references them all the time, but his companions never understand them, because they didn't grow up on Earth. I especially love how 80s music is used to evoke nostalgia from Peter's childhood, making for a terrific oldies soundtrack.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is phenomenal and full of whimsical jokes that don't get old. It is a perfect family adventure that is suitable for ages 10 to 18. Parents and grandparents will even get a kick out of it. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars for its engaging humor and captivating action. It opens in theaters on May 5 so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Clayton P.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 exceeded my expectations by a landslide. This film is one of my favorites I have seen all year. The CGI is magical, characters are hilarious and I did not dislike one second of the movie!

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 follows up with our beloved team of intergalactic space heroes. The team consists of a humorous guy named Star Lord aka Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), former assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), sarcastic raccoon thief named Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), muscular brute who goes by Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) lastly, a baby talking tree named Groot (Vin Diesel). Though they are a bunch of rebels who have broken the law numerous times, they might just be what the galaxy needs.

I came into the movie theater knowing that, when I walked out I would have absolutely loved it and that went according to plan. I still can't believe it has been three years since Guardians of the Galaxy came out. I thought nothing could top that film, but this one certainly does. I must say that there is definitely a new feel to this film. It seems to be a bit naughtier than the last one. There is much more swearing in this film. However it is appropriate within the context of jokes. This is one of the funniest Marvel films I have ever seen. I actually burst into tears laughing. The funniest character is Groot. He adds silliness when scenes get serious. He truly steals the show when he says his award winning line, "I am Groot."

In Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 we were introduced to these peculiar characters, but in Volume 2 it's almost as if they are our best friends. You laugh, cry and feel their frustrations. Star Lord (Chris Pratt) delivers another stellar performance. You can really see how he is connected to his character. Chris Pratt was born to play this role. This film goes into Peter Quill's past and we learn more about Peter's hardships, which are gloomy. This is a much different feel than the first film. Hopefully he will keep on developing this character in future movies.

No words explain how absolutely beautiful the CGI is. I got transported straight into the world where the characters live. Something they incorporated, that we saw in Star Wars: Force Awakens, is transforming an older actor to make them appear younger. In this film, they completely transform Kurt Russell, who plays Ego the Living Planet, into a rockin' 80s version of himself. At first I thought he was a young actor which they made appear older, but it is the complete opposite!

The main theme in this film is family dynamics. We get a zoomed in view of how the team is trying to fix some unresolved family wounds while trying to save the galaxy. We were left off after the first film with Gamora and her sister Nebula wanting to kill each other. In this film, we see how they have evolved as sisters and the layers of their relationship which make this film very relatable for anyone with siblings. The biggest question answered in this film (who is Peter's dad?) is resolved in a huge way.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is a must-see blockbuster of 2017. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18. There is mild cursing and lots of action scenes that might frighten younger children. Adult Marvel fans will adore this film as well. I give this 5 out of 5 intergalactic planets. I am excited for what will come next in this amazing franchise! This film is in theaters now so go check it out!

By Talia Jacnuk, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


SUPER 4: WELCOME TO ENCHANTED ISLAND

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SUPER 4: WELCOME TO ENCHANTED ISLAND       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-10
Topic - Family
Description - Inspired by the world of Playmobil� toys, embark on a series of adventures with the Super 4 as they travel throughout the wider Playmobil� universes. Whether it be a sci-fi futuristic world, a magical fairy world, a world of pirates, or a world of medieval knights, the adventures are never ending! Welcome to Enchanted Island, an island covered with a mysterious enchanted forest, which is home to every form of magical creature you could ever imagine fairies, mischievous boy sprites, unicorns, sirens, ancient tree spirits, and magic wishing wells. Visitors to Enchanted Isle must beware for nothing is ever quite what it seems, and dreams and reality quickly become one. At the center of the forest is the palace of the capricious Fairy Queen, who is in a constant temper due to being turned into a frog by a talented young fairy who overdid herself and, in an attempt to grant the ultimate favor to the queen by making her even more pretty , she cast a spell that in fact gave her the head of a frog! Unfortunately, that talented young fairy is our friend, Twinkle. Twinkle has great potential as a fairy but she must learn to master her wand and its magic. Join Twinkle along with her Super 4 friends as they band together to fight villains and save their worlds from chaos.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is an exciting series of adventures with the Super4 gang - Alex, Gene, Ruby and Twinkle. Enchanted Island is home to many magical creatures, trolls, witches, sirens, knights and just about anything your imagination can conjure up! The main story line revolves around a hot tempered Fairy Queen who has been turned into a frog. This spell was accidentally cast by Twinkle while practicing her fairy charms and she enlists the help of her friends to reverse the spell and bring order back to the Island. The animation is beautiful. The continuity and overall structure are comparable to similar animated shows currently available in children's entertainment. There are lots of changes of scenery and storyline, which can be a bit confusing, but actually kept my interest. I especially like that the characters are unique and diverse. They share their feelings and help each other work through difficult emotions and situations. One thing I did not like is the use of negative language such as when the characters call each other stupid, loser or greasy witch. The characters also use magic, cheating and manipulation to get what they want. This DVD is entertaining, but may be unsuitable for a child who is sensitive to violence, scary encounters, unsavory language or over stimulation. The menu offers a "play all" feature or the option to play the episodes individually. The episodes vary in length from 10 to 15 minutes. This DVD may prompt children to ask questions about magic and spells and whether they are real. I rate this DVD 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it to children between the ages to 8 and 12. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love that this DVD is filled with creativity and fantasy, factors that truly draw children's attention. Each story has witches, fairies, enchanted worlds and many other fanciful things. Since young children have big imaginations and tend to be extremely creative, they are automatically drawn to the show since they can relate to the fantasies in each episode. Their open imagination allows them to dream about these unique and special creatures. I understand why kids love the series so much.

In this show, the characters go on adventure after adventure to help their friends solve problems or situations they are in on the Enchanted Island. They get into very funny and odd situations that children will relate to as something that is actually possible. Of course, using magic to help them adds to the intrigue.

My favorite scene from this collection is when the queen's head turns into a frog as she attempts to make herself more beautiful. She wants to try, but fails and has to deal with the consequences. This scene demonstrates how the shows' makers incorporate things that children will easily be drawn into. It's typical of young children dream of and imagine. Also, it is quite funny to see how they manage to make this funny scene part of the story.

The episodes truly excels at entertaining children and making them have a great time while watching. It offers positive role models and a theme of friendship. The Super 4 friends band together to fight villains and save their worlds from chaos. I can honestly commend the makers of this show on their smart and intelligent writing. While at first look, it appears as a length infomercial for Playmobil toys, it is more than that. The stories are unique and special and geared appropriate for its young audience. It's highly entertaining and fun. I wish the females were more engaging. I rate this DVD 3 out of 5 and recommend it for ages 3 to 8.

By Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 80 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI: REUNION

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI: REUNION       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - It's been six years since that summer adventure when Taichi and the rest of the DigiDestined crossed over to the Digital World and nearly three years since the final battle between Hikari's group and BelialVamdemon. And, at some point, while the peaceful days went by, the gate to the Digital World mysteriously closed. But when a Kuwagamon suddenly appears in Odaiba, its rampage leaves the town in ruins, and the people there in turmoil. Taichi chases after it, in an effort to halt its rampage. But there's nothing he can do against a Kuwagamon. Not by himself. And that's where a new adventure begins.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This story takes place six years after the events of the original Digimon Series. New threats to the real world from the digital world occur and it's up our reunited heroes to save us. It's really neat seeing the Digi-destin (heroes) grown up. They are so different from when they were kids. The animation, despite being digitally animated, is quite nice. The sound track is great and really gives you the feel of the older show. I believe this is suitable for ages 6 to 18, but I really enjoyed it as well. I give this great revamp of a classic 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - While I am not a big fan of Digimon (I prefer Pok�mon), I have to say that the animation in this DVD is really well executed. It is very colorful, vivid and very realistic. After a slow start, the plot picks up and brings fans right back into the Digital World full of adventure and battles.

If you were a fan of the Digimon series in the 1990s and early 2000s, then this is the movie for you. Toei Animation and Shout! Factory have reunited the original characters to produce its first animated feature film. It has been six years since Tai and the rest of the "DigiDestined" crossed over into the Digital World. The gate remains closed but new adventures await.

There is a DVD combo pack option that includes both Japanese and English language versions as well as bonus content. The English dubbing is highly professional. Joshua Seth returns as the voice artist for Tayi Kamiya. He is a well-known voice-over artist, not just for his work on the Digimon series, but multiple other anime and video game projects. My favorite character is Angemon (Dave Mallow). I really enjoy the way he voices this character, making him sound creative and quirky.

Digimon Adventure Tri. - Reunion would not be a good place to start if you are new to Digimon, as it picks up where the series left off many years ago. It is best to have at least some understanding of the back story of the characters and storyline or you will not be able to really grasp what is going on. But the message of working together to achieve a common goal is easy to understand. My favorite scene is when Tai and Angemon stand looking over the cliff. This scene is dramatic and relatable and changes the tone of the film.

This is a dramatic, yet lighthearted film reuniting all of the Digimon characters from the original series. I recommend this film for ages 10 to 16 and give this film 3 out of 5 stars. It is available on DVD, March 16, 2017 so be sure to check it out.

By Tristan Tierce, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 14 years old

Digimon Adventure Tri.: Reunion is a fun return to the world of Digimon's Digital Monsters with epic battles and powerful Digimon that should definitely appeal to fans of the original series.

Many years have passed since the original show and the characters are now in high school. Tai encounters a strange Digimon that jeopardizes the reputation of the rest of the magical creatures. Tai is reunited with the rest of the Digidestined and they come together with their Digimon to fight against the destructive monsters that Tai encounters. As this threat becomes more hostile, the Digidestined must work together to fight against it.

My favorite part of this film is the climactic final battle. Seeing the Digidestined fight against one common evil is very epic. This scene feels like it has real stakes to it. I honestly was unsure of what would happen next. It is a nice pay-off for what the film has been building up to the whole time. The Digimon really let loose and you finally really get to see the grand scale of their powers onscreen in a rewarding way.

I do not like the ending to this film. It might catch you off guard with an ending that feels abrupt. You could argue that they chose to end it this way because this film has two other sequels, but I think they could have at least added one more scene.

This film is a little confusing. I know little of the Digimon mythos and there is some exposition that I don't understand. However, this series' welcoming nature though makes up for that. Even though I do not know the characters, they interact in a way that made me feel as if I knew them already. I mostly credit the voice cast for this. They have never played these characters before or worked together, but it feels as if they've known each other for a long time and their chemistry feels very much believable.

I give this DVD an age rating of 5 to 14. It's pretty much for all ages and, if you're a fan of Digimon, I highly recommend it. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Fans of Digimon will really enjoy it. You can find it now on DVD so, go check it out.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Runtime: 96 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 21.97
Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DISGUISE COLLECTION: OVERLOADED & DECEPTION ISLAND       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Overloaded: The Autobots must split their forces to battle two different, but both dangerous, Decepticons. While Optimus takes his team to the Artic Circle to face off against Polarclaw, Bumblee and his team must battle against Overload, an ancient Decepticon who has a grudge against Optimus. Decepticon Island: The Autobot teams are reunited, but all is not well as they discover that Steeljaw is leading a Decepticon guerilla army. Though outnumbered, the Autobots will have to defeat Steeljaw's army if they want to keep the world safe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD is a double feature with two episodes, approximately 40 minutes each. Because I have never been interested in Transformers, it was hard to keep my attention on the story line. Kids will most likely not have that problem and will find it entertaining. There are robots and bottles between good and evil. There is a message about teamwork and working together to solve problems. The episodes do not have any negative language or inappropriate behavior so this is suitable for them. By all means let kids watch it. They might question how robots work. The animation is good as is the sound quality and the overall quality of production. The DVD is very easy to navigate, there are only two episode options and there are no previews or ads, which I like. There was not a chapter feature to navigate. I recommend it for kids ages 5 to 12 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Amanda M. KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie has great animations! The battle scenes are very detailed and it is pleasing to see that there are diverse types of conflict. In this film, the conflict isn't always good vs. bad. Sometimes it is conflict within the team about who should lead, or even who loves conflicts. The plotline is awesome as well. It really helps move the story forward.

This is a film where the autobots (Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Strongarm, Sideswipe, Fixit) fight against the Decepticons. The goal of the Decepticons is to take over Earth and inhabit the planet for themselves. The autobots protect the humans and try to prevent any damage that the Decepticons might make.

Bumblebee (Will Friedle) is the leader of the autobots. Will Friedle's voice sounds strong and makes you think that he knows what he's doing. Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) is the mentor of Bumblebee and was the leader before Bumblebee. Peter Cullen's voice sounds old, making Optimus Prime seem wise and experienced. The casting director really found great voice talent for these roles!

The animation is spot on. All the movements are easy to follow, the quality of the movie is great and the backdrops are nicely done as well. Everything is very detailed and looks quite realistic. My favorite part is when the whole autobot team works together and comes up with a strategy to defeat the polar bear Decepticon. It is amazing to see them planning and then actually following through with their plan until it works out in the end. I loved seeing the autobots accomplish something together.

The message of this film is to stay strong, focused and remember that teamwork is important. Bumblebee and Optimus prime fight over something so small, but it almost tears apart their friendship. It almost costs the lives of their comrades. But they stay focused, work together and are successful in their mission. The autobots are very moral characters who fight for the greater good. The film tries to influence people to be like the autobots and teaches people how to react in times of trouble.

This film is well thought out. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for the ages 5 to 12. It has a positive message that everyone should hear. I recommend that parents watch it with together with their child. This is available on DVD May 30, 2017 so, go check it out.

By Jolleen Mejia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 88 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.98
Media: DVD


BORN IN CHINA

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BORN IN CHINA
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 4-18
Topic - Family
Description - Narrated by John Krasinski, Disneynature's new True Life Adventure film "Born In China" takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film. A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden snub-nosed monkey who feels displaced by his new baby sister joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard-an elusive animal rarely caught on camera-faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet. Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China's vast terrain-from the frigid mountains.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Born in China is a beautifully shot documentary with fun narration, excellent cinematography and an inspiring story. I love the visual splendor of this film and I am still in awe from some of the shots of the vast Chinese landscape.

Narrated by John Krasinski (NBC's The Office, Amazon's Jack Ryan), Born in China chronicles the lives of three animals: Ya Ya, a giant panda who lives surrounded by bamboo and peace with her growing cub, the mischievous monkey Tao Tao who yearns for attention after the birth of his baby sister and later joins a group of outcasts, and the snow leopard Dawa struggling to protect her cubs from predators in harsh conditions. The film also follows the journey of a herd of chiru as they migrate to give birth to their young.

Born in China is one of the rare films that perfectly captures the magic and excitement of nature on screen. Not only does it have footage of some of the cutest animals on earth, but you really get to know some of the animals and their personalities. Also it has great shots of the stunning landscape of China that you're not going to find in any other movie.

John Krasinski is very versatile in his role as narrator. He knows his young audience well and adds some fun dialogue to make it more appealing to them. His narration also goes very well with what is going on onscreen and is key in helping you understand the animals. One flaw is that the subplot with the chiru feels unneeded. Unlike other storylines, there is no main character to gravitate toward or follow. It feels like extra baggage that overcrowds the movie.

One of the best parts is that it demonstrates the animals showcasing basic values we see in society today. The lesson I took away is that the importance of family outweighs everything else, no matter what situation you're in. Tao Tao goes to roam with The Lost Boys because he can't find attention at home but later he learns that those who care for you will be there when you need them.

I recommend this film for ages 4 to 18. It's pretty much suited for all ages, but some animal violence makes it a unsuitable for very young children. It also will be very much enjoyed by adults. I give Born in China 3.5 out of 5 stars. It arrives in theaters just in time for Earth Day, April 22, 2017. Don't forget to stay for the credits for a series of bloopers and outtakes.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11.

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


WHALE RIDER

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WHALE RIDER
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - On the east coast of New Zealand, the Whangara people believe their presence there dates back a thousand years or more to a single ancestor, Paikea, who escaped death when his canoe capsized by riding to shore on the back of a whale. From then on, Whangara chiefs, always the first-born, always male, have been considered Paikea's direct descendants. Pai, an 11-year-old girl in a patriarchal New Zealand tribe, believes she is destined to be the new chief. But her grandfather Koro is bound by tradition to pick a male leader. Pai loves Koro more than anyone in the world, but she must fight him and a thousand years of tradition to fulfill her destiny.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - One of the beautiful and touching films I have ever seen. This 15th anniversary edition will be welcomed everywhere as it brings this film to new audiences. The story, based on the book by Witi Ihimaera delivers an uplifting story that has its moments of sadness. The cast is entirely indigenous New Zealanders and they all deliver stunning performances. needless to say, this is an all time favorite of mine. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - COMING SOON
Runtime: 101 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD


ADVENTURES OF TRACY & FELT, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ADVENTURES OF TRACY & FELT, THE
ELIZABETH SCHIFFLER
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGE 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - A mini-web series following two explorers learning the magic of science. Director Statement: The Adventures of Tracy & Felt was born out of a desire to work with talented young Washington filmmakers, writers, and artists to ground work in the location we love and learn from. Developed on Whidbey Island, WA we challenged ourselves to create a story full of laughs (mostly our own) and exploring the magical and not-to-distant world of science and nature.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Highly recommended. This short film is very simple, but funny. One moment in particular made me laugh out loud. Obviously this is a low budget production and it is very cleverly done The production quality isn't great, but it has a certain style that is very compelling. With a bigger budget, it has potential as a sitcom on maybe Disney or Nickelodeon. The two main characters, a boy and an octopus, are not that bright. They are very immature and na�ve, but quite likable. The background music doesn't stand out or add much. This mini web-series is definitely is aimed at a younger demographic who will appreciate its silliness. There are more episodes on their YouTube Channel by the same name. I enjoyed it enough to subscribe. I recommend this for ages 8 to 15, particularly those who want to watch a simple, silly and fun series. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


WEDDING PLAN, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
WEDDING PLAN, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-16
Topic - Family
Description - After her fianc� calls off their wedding a month before the ceremony, a woman decides to keep the reservation and trusts God will provide her with a husband.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Many people say that they have faith, but how many are willing to give it 100 % and put their family, money, beliefs and trust into the hands of God. This is a fabulous tale of faith and how things can be rough, but you need to buckle down, be kind and try your best to have faith in God and in yourself, no matter what happens. The writing and the acting is brilliant and will have you on the edge of your seat throughout this humorous story.

It is a common human belief that, as we grow up, everyone's goal is to find a mate or someone to spend the rest of their lives with. While Michal (Noa Kooler) is planning her big wedding, she finds out the man she plans to marry does not love her.

Exhausted by dating and trying to find the perfect mate, she puts her faith in God and plans an entire wedding with the faith that a groom will show up by her wedding day. This leads to a string of matchmakers, blind dates, rock stars and many other possible grooms before the wedding day.

The acting is superb and Michal (Noa Kooler) tells her story in the most believable way, showing how difficult it can be to find the perfect mate. I love how Noa Kooler portrays her character with such passion and poise. Her facial expressions are fantastic she really makes you relate to Michal and the way she feels. Kooler deserves an award for her wonderfully portrayal of such a hard-working, honest and opinionated person. Michal is very quirky and honest with everyone she meets. Yos (Oz Zshavi) is a super-cute rock star who Michal meets. Although she wants a groom, it cannot be just anyone. She wants to marry someone for life.

You can see the shock in people faces when she tells them that she is getting married on the eighth day of Hanukah but has no idea who the groom will be. This is why I was fascinated by this movie because you never know until the end whether she will be married or if she will be single forever. I like the music. Adding the lyrics to the screen is a great idea.

One of my favorite things about this story is that Michal travels with a petting zoo. Her job is introducing the animals to the children and letting them hold and pet them. The van that she drives which holds all the animals, adds to the charm of this film. It made me laugh. One of my favorite scenes is Michal's introduction of a snake at a little girl's birthday party when she tries to get them to pet a snake.

The dialogue of the story, set in Jerusalem, Israel is Hebrew and subtitled in English. After a while I didn't even notice that I was reading subtitles because the story is so intriguing and interesting. Every once in a while there were a few points where the subtitles went a little too fast for me. This movie is fascinating and thought provoking. It made me think and laugh at the same time.

I give this 5 out of 5 gigantic wedding bouquets and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because, in order to read the sub-titles, you must know how to read. Also, it is a very intense story and teaches good values such as don't give up, always give 100% or more, always believe in one another, especially God and, even when you think you can't succeed, you need to have faith. It is full of cute outfits, great acting, a stunning cast and an adorable story. It opens in theaters May 12, 2017 so, put it on your to see list.

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


ALBEDO ABSOLUTE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ALBEDO ABSOLUTE
TATIANA CHKHOVA
Series: SHORT AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - This film is a fairytale adventure of Violet and Savannah, two sisters who disobey their parent's warning by venturing into a brooding forest. There, they discover a large plug wedged into the forest floor. What lurks beneath the plug? The girls cannot resist finding out. Their curiosity sends them down a kaleidoscopic drain pipe and into a strange and startling journey of no return.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film has a very artistic feeling to it. It's exceptionally well produced and the young actors are quite engaging. It's intriguing to watch because, while it's not overtly suspenseful, you're on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. The colors in the film are all so vibrant and wonderfully eye catching. So much that I did not want to look away from the screen for even a second. The story is about two young girls who venture outside against their parents' warnings and find a large bathtub plug in the ground. When they pull the plug, they find something they would have never thought they would find, and they end up wishing they would've listened to their parents. The film leaves us with a cliffhanger. I wanted to know what happened but, you don't find out. I suppose we'll have to wait for its sequel. The film flows well and has a very mysterious feel to it. The cinematography is quite wonderful. The camera work and sound quality are excellent. The animation adds to the film and is appropriately used. The storyline is intriguing and suspenseful. I think that adults would enjoy watching it with their middle and high school aged children. I recommend it for ages 8 to 15 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Perhaps the only hiccup with it is that the girls venture into the woods against their parents' warnings. Reviewed by Kelsey M and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


BONECA DE ATAURO: SEARCHING FOR THE LOST LOVE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BONECA DE ATAURO: SEARCHING FOR THE LOST LOVE
DAVID PALAZ�N
Series: FOREIGN ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - 'Boneca de Ata�ro: Searching for the Lost Love' is the first stop-motion film coming out the young nation of Timor-Leste. On this non-stop laughter and action-packed film, the main character--a handmade rag doll called Ataurina--while looking for her abducted partner, takes us into an adventurous journey through some of the most beautiful locations in Ata�ro island (a new eco-tourism paradise destination in South East Asia). During the trip, Ataurina travels by all means encountering unexpected dangers and meeting curious characters across the island in a mission to get her loved one back. The Boneca de Ata�ro (Ata�ro's Doll--in Portuguese) is a well-established women cooperative producing for the last 10 years the most well-known handicraft brand in the young nation of Timor-Leste. The cooperative produces intricately handmade embroidery dolls, handbags, toys, housewares and educational products. Based in Ata�ro island--25km north off the coast of Dili--it is one of those projects truly born out of love, passion and hard work, providing income to over 60 families in the island. The film was made totally pro-bono by award-winning filmmaker David Palaz�n, co-written by Karen Reidy and Swiss artist Ester Piera Zuercher (the founder) and co-produced in collaboration with the women at the cooperative.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This lovely short film is about a doll who goes on an exciting and adventurous journey to find her boyfriend. She travels all over this island before she finds him, meeting many different walks of life along the way. This film is very cute and, somewhat educational because we learn how the dolls are made, which is interesting and exciting. A child would enjoy this because its fun and lighthearted and the story about a doll's adventure is silly at times but we get to meet a lot of fun, colorful characters along the way. I love the dolls. They're sort of like a rag doll and, when they come to life, they're absolutely charming. The voice over for them is also quite charming. And then, the characters they meet are also rag doll type characters of different sorts. The film flows nicely and is quite watchable. I believe it would make a lovely addition to a children's or family film festival, especially if there was a focus on international culture. The film's dialogue is in Tetun, the local language, with English subtitles. They move slowly enough that it is easy to follow along. The sound quality is wonderful. It is crisp and easy to understand. At times, it is so realistic, while at other times - quite hilarious. All the sound effects really add to the film and make it amazing. The cinematography is impeccable as well. The picture is very clear and only unsteady when it is required. I recommend it for ages 8 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars because it's really funny and cute and I think just about anyone would love it! Reviewed by Kelsey M. and Julie S.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 20 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


PROMISE, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PROMISE, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
OPEN ROAD PRODUCTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, The Promise follows a love triangle between Michael, a brilliant medical student, the beautiful and sophisticated Ana, and Chris - a renowned American journalist based in Paris.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I am definitely going to watch this film again. It is so exotic because it is based on the Ottoman Empire, which not every kid is entirely aware of. The school subject I dislike most is history, but after seeing this film, my mind is forever changed because I am fascinated about how much goes on in the world.

The Promise is set in the Ottoman Empire, in Armenia, the eastern part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. Mikael Pogosian (Oscar Isaac) is a young, Armenian medical student who recently married in order to receive an endowment to pay for medical school. He leaves for Istanbul to further his studies. In the midst of his medical endeavors World War 1 breaks out and Armenia is deeply involved in it. When he travels to Istanbul, a mass Armenian genocide is initiated and he has to overcome these obstacles with Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), a woman he begins to fall in love with. Since her husband, Chris Myers (Christian Bale) is not too happy, a love triangle begins to form. Pogosian and Le Bon work together to keep everyone safe and try to leave Turkey and go to the United States.

Oscar Isaac (Mikael Pogosian), the protagonist, puts others first and acts solely on instinct, which is a great quality to possess. Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) has a kind heart and desires to save all of the Armenian children. Chris Myers (Christian Bale) is a reporter for the Armenian genocide and takes great pride in his work. The budget for this film must have been very large because there are hundreds of weapons utilized, many explosions and gunshots and many buildings destroyed. I love that the men ride on horses because horses are one of my favorite animals. It reminds me of history class because, in the past, soldiers rode on horseback.

My favorite part of the film when Ana is teaching Pogosian how to dance with her cousins and Pogosian's cousin walks in. There is complete silence. Not many men dance, so it is entertaining to watch. The message of this film is to be informed about the past and to appreciate all that you have. Living in America, I feel fortunate to be safe and could not imagine what people in countries such as Armenia and Turkey have gone through.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. Since there are many casualties and gory scenes, I recommend this film to children ages 16 to 18 and think adults will enjoy it too. This movie changes how I think. I learned so much from it. If you can watch intense scenes, then you should see it because it will change your life. This film opens in theaters on April 21, 2017. It is a movie that you truly do not want to miss.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

The Promise, directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Terry George, is a moving love story based in Turkey and Armenia during World War I.

Mikael Pogosan (Oscar Isaac) was born into a simple family, but had dreams of attending medical school in Constantinople. Once there he fell in love with a fellow Armenian, Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), but she was already in a relationship with American Journalist, Chris Meyers (Christian Bale). While The Promise focuses on the relationships between Mikael, Maral (Angela Sarafyan), Ana and Chris, it dives deep into the chaos and destruction of World War I.

The Promise was shot on location in various parts of Spain witch provides a very picturesque backdrop. I feel that the cinematography matches the very deep and compelling nature of this film. It is a period piece from 1914 and the costumes, hair and makeup are very fitting.

My favorite character is Chris Myers. At first he appears abrasive and hardened, but he wins the audience in the end with his selfless acts and overwhelming display of love toward Ana and compassion toward Mikael and all the Armenian people. I was fascinated by his character development. He continually faces struggles, but his burden for sharing the story of the Armenian people is what keeps him strong.

My favorite scene is when Oscar, narrowly escapes from the Turks and ends up hitching a ride on a moving train, only to learn that it is crammed full of Armenians. Even though he struggles to stay alive, he attempts to rescue them, but unfortunately fails.

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars. The Promise is way more than a love story. It is a fascinating history lesson that shows the realities of war through raw human emotions. Because of the graphic nature of this film, along with a few love scenes, it is appropriately rated PG-13 and, therefore I recommend it for ages 13 to 18, and I know most adults will enjoy it as well. This film opens in theaters on April 21 so, be sure to check it out.

By Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


POWER RANGERS (2017)

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
POWER RANGERS (2017)       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 - High school outcasts stumble upon an old alien ship, where they acquire superpowers and are dubbed the Power Rangers. Learning that an old enemy of the previous generation has returned to exact vengeance, the group must harness their powers and use them to work together and save the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - There have been many movies, shows and stories related to the Power Rangers series, but by far, Power Rangers (2017) beats all other installments in the series. This doesn't mean Power Rangers (2017) is perfect. The film has a fair share of flaws that could have been fixed, but for the most part, it leaves a pleasant and positive impression.

This film has plenty of action, with lots of comedic scenes to illicit frequent giggles from the viewers. Some romance blossoms between the characters and it is filled with a dramatic feel throughout the entire film. The story begins when five kids, despite having no previous connection with each other, all end up at a gold mine, where a strange rock with even stranger coins is revealed. Each of them take one coin and attempt to escape from the mine's security. Sadly, while escaping, they get hit by a train in what would be a lethal crash. Yet, all five wake up the next day completely alive. More important, now they all share super hero strength, can jump really high and more. Soon the five learn that they are the Power Rangers and need to defend a crystal in Earth's crust that allows life to exist on the planet, from an evil woman named Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks).

Power Rangers (2017) has entertainment value and fans of the brand will especially enjoy it. There are many aspects that come out perfectly. My favorite aspect, by far, is the cinematography. Every single shot in the 120 minute run time is wonderful, from twisting shots that give the viewer a first-person perspective, to shots flying through the air to give a sense of scale. Another aspect that the crew achieved successfully are the costumes. The Power Rangers look epic and the reveal of their costumes were cheered by viewers in the theater because of how iconic the designs are. The plot also has many good aspects. They don't give the characters' super powers and super suits at the beginning. For most of the film, you have five teenagers who are clearly mortal. This gives the viewer time to bond and connect with the characters and allows a sense of realism.

The plot does have its downsides. Even to people who have no idea who Power Rangers are, the story is quite predictable. From the first time they give information about the conflict in the story, I knew exactly how the adventure would turn out. One aspect that surprised me was the special effects. The designs of the monsters and robots all look very real and impressive, but their placements in the real world look forced and somewhat fake, and there are many times where it's especially obvious to the viewer. Despite all these flaws, the acting is quite phenomenal. I love the way every character comes to life, and how the actors are able to transform. One character that I thought could be improved is the villain, Rita. The back story in Power Rangers (2017) is very vague, and turns her into another "good guy turned evil and now she is insane" example. This has been overused in movies, especially when it comes to stories about super-heroes. I do appreciate how diverse the background stories of these characters are and how in tune with today's world they are as well.

My favorite scene has to be the compilation of clips where the five realize their powers. Of course, they wake up thinking that the previous night's deadly train crash was simply a bad dream, but they soon start realizing something is very wrong. Not only are the stones from the previous night still in their pockets, but throughout the day, it becomes very clear that their strength has exponentially grown, and they are now stronger and more fit then the strongest people on Earth. I chose this scene because the acting and cinematography work together very well in these clips to show the true confusion on the characters' faces. You really feel like you are part of the scene, instead of simply watching it.

This film has one major change from the older films. It is no longer appropriate for younger kids. They portray Rita in an almost horror-like way (which comes out stunningly) and, there are some scenes with adult language and slightly adult references. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars because of its many flaws, like the special effects, storyline and some of the characters. However, Power Rangers (2017) is still enjoyable to watch and really does justice to the series. It is in theaters now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Saban's Power Rangers is a great romp of Power Rangers' fan service. I found the acting and special effects to be incredible throughout this movie. This will appeal to all Power Rangers' fans. This film is about five teenagers, Jason (Dacre Montgomery), Kimberly (Naomi Scott), Billy (RJ Cyler), Zach (Ludi Lin) and Trini (Becky G.), who are all misfits. The five come across stones of the Power Rangers, an order of people who protect Earth, and they take these stones. The next day they wake up with superpowers. They go back to find an underground lair with a robot Alpha 5 (Bill Hader) and a former Power Ranger in the form of a talking wall, Zordon (Bryan Cranston). Zordon warns them of an imposing threat, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks), who has the power to destroy Earth. This group of misfits must learn to overcome their problems to become the Power Rangers and defeat Rita Repulsa.

Dacre Montgomery presents leadership yet also being a troublemaker in his role as Jason (Red Ranger), and instead of falling to the stereotypes of being the bland leader who gives rules, he presents a charisma in his character. Naomi Scott as Kimberly (Pink Ranger) is fantastic in presenting a fierce yet caring Power Ranger. RJ Cyler as Billy (Blue Ranger) is my favorite character in the movie due to his comic relief. Ludi Lin as Zach (Black Ranger) presents a careless, yet quick Power Ranger. Becky G as Trini (Yellow Ranger) completes the team of Power Rangers. Elizabeth Banks can be a little bit too over-the-top with her villainous Rita Repulsa, who is horrifying most of the time but funny in the most unintentional parts.

The direction of the movie by Dean Israelite is fast paced with every character and especially during the action scenes. The special effects by Zoilo Abad are exceptional with the details on the costumes taking the highlight. My favorite scene is the final battle with Rita Repulsa in the Power Rangers' mech suits due to the breathtaking special effects. The movie's message is about teamwork being the solution to the problem because the team is only able to defeat Rita Repulsa by working together as a team and using tactics they learn together. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 due to the intense action and language. This film opens is in theaters now, so go and check it out, if you want a mighty morphing time.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 1

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


FATE OF THE FURIOUS, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FATE OF THE FURIOUS, THE       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 - Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game-and the rest of the crew has been exonerated-the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of crime he can't seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, the elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world's stage... and to bring home the man who made them a family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - As a fan of the Fast & Furious series, I really enjoyed the excitement of the fast cars, beautiful scenery and spectacular action sequences in this film.

The opening scene gives a glimpse of the streets of Cuba, in which Dom (Vin Diesel) races an old, raggedy car that belongs to his cousin who is behind in his payments to the loan shark Raldo (Celestino Cornielle) and gets us ready for all the extravagant stunts to come. The stakes are high. The winner takes the opponent's car! Dom shows his expertise and experience as he races the burning car in reverse to victory. He does not take Raldo's car and gives his cousin his car. This is the beginning of the underlying theme of "family" and "loyalty".

All the characters are now older and family and loyalty resonates with them now. The villain, Ciper (Charlize Theron) is a threat to the team's family. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, the elite force crisscross the globe to stop Cipher from unleashing chaos on the world's stage.

There are several scenes that demonstrate ingenuity. For example, the street lights are all green. Cars start without a driver and they chase of a submarine in icy cold water. My favorite part is when the team hooks up Dom's car with the determination to save Dom from his rogue actions.

I recommend the film for ages 14 to 18 because of the violence and how scantily clad women are objectified, looked up and down by the camera and there are scenes of a married couple in bed together kissing and being close to each other. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It opens in your local theater on Friday, April 14, 2017 so, go check it out.

By Juanita Seon L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Buckle your seatbelt for the new movie The Fate Of The Furious, an action-packed, block-buster sequel to The Fast and the Furious. I have never watched any of the Fast and the Furious movies and I really enjoyed this. This film seems like it is the beginning of a story and it brings you up to speed on what happened in the past very quickly. So even if you have never seen any of the Fast and the Furious movies, you will know what's happening and be very interested. The tone of this movie is very intense because the action keeps you wondering what is going to happen next.

This movie is about a guy named Dom (Vin Diesel) who betrays his team and goes and fights for another team that does evil things. Dom's old team, led by Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock), has to go fight not only for themselves but also for the world. You have to watch this movie to the end to find out how Dom feels about betraying his team.

The special effects absolutely blew my mind and, I must say, I have never seen better special effects than what's in this film. The cars drive themselves and the action scenes could never happen in real life. They are pure genius. I would have loved see it in 3D because all of the cars and action scenes would have made been that much more intense. If you like funny movies with a lot of action you will definitely love this movie.

The message of this film is to not betray your friends. When Dom goes rogue, his friends start to change and hate him. In real life, this same thing would happen. One thing that bothered me about this movie is that, even though Dom is one of the main characters, he doesn't talk a lot and looks sad most of the time. I didn't really like that and I think the audience would have understood his character better if he had more lines. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 gold stars and recommend this movie for ages 10 to 18 because of some profanity, humor and violence. Adults will also love this movie. It opens in theaters April 14, 2017 so go check it out.

by Na'im S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The Fate of the Furious is an enjoyable entry into the Fast and Furious franchise that brings exactly what fans want to see: ridiculous action sequences, fun characters and slick new cars.

Directed by F. Gary Gray, The Fate of the Furious opens with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) on their honeymoon in Cuba when his team is called to assist Luke Hobbs (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) with a mission in Berlin. Dom ruins the mission by going rogue and leaving Hobbs injured on the side of the road. The team soon figures out that Dom is working with a cyber terrorist by the name of Cipher (Charlize Theron). To take down Dom and figure out why he has changed sides, they must enlist the help of old friends as well as new ones.

My favorite part of this film is the jailbreak scene where Hobbs has to stop an old enemy named Deckard (Jason Statham) from escaping prison and wreaking havoc. Seeing two action heroes fighting their way out of prison and preparing to duke it out is exhilarating and had me pumping my fists in the air with excitement. This scene is over-the-top and outrageous but I was having too much fun to care.

I am an outsider to this franchise, having never before seen a Fast and Furious film. I really enjoyed this movie. As this franchise has evolved, it has learned what the fans want to see. By not taking itself too seriously, the cheesy dialogue and slow-mo feel a little more fitting with its lighter tone. The way this film works is that it knows it's absurd and has fun with it.

I don't love the story because it tries to do too much, a common thing in blockbuster movies today. The opening sequence in Cuba is unnecessary. It barely has anything to do with the plot but it does establish the mood and tone. By upping the ante with ridiculous action from the very start, it prepares the audience for what's to come. There are also a lot of characters to follow and sometimes the plot gets a little too ridiculous for comfort. But if you're going to see this film, it's not for a strong story.

Some performances in this film are very funny. Tyrese Gibson is hilarious as Roman. He has a lot of fun with this role and is very energetic. Dwayne Johnson is another standout who delivers an amusing performance. He maintains his action hero persona while also exercising his comedic chops.

The lesson of this film is that you should never turn your back on family. Even when Dom goes rogue, his team never gives up on him. I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18 for its mild language and violence.

I give The Fate of the Furious 4 out of 5 stars. Overall, The Fate of the Furious is a film that should be appealing for outsiders to this franchise as well as those who have been on this ride since the very beginning. This film opens in theaters on April 14th, so be sure to check it out.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

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


TOMMY'S HONOUR

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TOMMY'S HONOUR       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Set against the early days of the sport and stunning landscape of Scotland, TOMMY'S HONOUR is based on the intimate and powerfully moving true story of the challenging relationship between "Old" Tom Morris (Peter Mullan) and "Young" Tommy Morris (Jack Lowden), the dynamic father-son team who ushered in the modern game of golf. As their fame grew exponentially, Tom and Tommy, Scotland's Golf Royalty, were touched by drama and personal tragedy. At first matching his father's success, Tommy's talent and fame grew to outshine his father's accomplishments as founder of the Open Championship in 1860, his stellar playing record, and his reputation as the local caddie master, greenskeeper and club & ball maker. In contrast to his public persona, Tommy's inner turmoil ultimately led him to rebel against the aristocracy who gave him opportunity, led by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews chief Alexander Boothby (Sam Neill), and the parents who shunned his passionate relationship with his girlfriend-then-wife Meg Drinnen (Ophelia Lovibond).
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed this film. It reminds me that golf isn't as easy as it looks. In fact, the sport is rigorous and difficult and, at times, unpleasant and uncomfortable. In the film, players are forced to play through all kinds of weather, including heavy rain and harsh snow. Going into this movie, I wasn't a great fan of golf. However, you don't need to be in order to enjoy the film. The movie combines elements of romance and allure along with a superb storyline which kept my mind stimulated and thinking as I watched the film.

Tommy's Honour tells a story about a father and son who both love the game of golf. Tommy Morris Sr. is considered the game's founding father and Tommy Jr. was the best golfer in the nineteenth century.

One thing that surprised me is how interesting Tommy Jr.'s character is. He is loyal, chivalrous, intelligent and determined. He always perseveres, no matter what obstacles stand in his way. I especially like the scene in which young Tommy chops down the tree. Although heartbreaking to watch, it really showcases his vulnerability.

Also jaw-dropping are the scenery and the locations. Tommy's Honour was filmed in Scotland where the actual story took place. The wide, open oceans and the vast greenery along with the architecture and culture absolutely blew me away. I've always wanted to travel to Scotland, but now, I am driven to go and experience the culture for myself. Scotland seems like an incredible country, with both natural and manmade artifacts and geography that are gorgeous.

The background music also keeps it stimulating and interesting. The music suits the tone of each scene and also puts a very Scottish spin on the movie. Another thing I like is the subtle humor. Although this film is not a comedy, the writers manage to sneak in a few laughs.

I would rate this film 5 out of 5 stars for its incredible storyline and enchanting cinematography and recommend it for kids ages 8 to 18. Adults will enjoy it as well. You should know there are some intense scenes. This film comes out in theaters on April 14 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGE 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a roller-coaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Smurfs: The Lost Village is a fun family film full of creativity and good animation. The movie takes kids into a vibrant new world with a new crew of Smurfs. Unfortunately, some bland characters and stale laughs don't live up to the visual achievement of this movie.

Based on the works of Belgian cartoonist Peyo, this film follows Smurfette as she struggles to discover her identity. Smurfette was a lump of clay created by the evil wizard, Gargamel, who is the Smurfs' sworn foe. Whenever she tries to forget the terrible notion that she is not a true Smurf, something happens that reaffirms her of it. One day, while playing with a group of Smurfs, she sees something that may lead to the uncovering of a new faction of Smurfs. Smurfette, Hefty, Brainy and Clumsy set out on a journey together. With Gargamel on their heels, what they find could change the world around them forever.

The animation in this film is vibrant. The creatures in the forest surrounding the Lost Village are colorful and creative. The look and feel of the film overall pays homage to the original comics but also exploits the nuance and richness of modern computer animation techniques.

I don't care for the story in this film. Other than the addition of the Lost Village and its inhabitants, it feels pretty formulaic. The story has a lot of the tropes of the original cartoon and that isn't a bad thing, but the plot is predictable and the antics between Gargamel and the Smurfs in a full-length feature film grow old very fast. I would have liked to see this film take a different path than the adaptations before it, but it plays it safe.

The voice cast of this film includes a broad range of actors from Julia Roberts to Jack McBrayer. The film never really uses these actors to their full potential, sidelining many to bit cameos rather than real roles. Mandy Patinkin is a standout in this film as Papa Smurf, a wise guy who helps the Smurfs when they seek guidance. Patinkin is the perfect choice to play this role. His voice is both soothing and authoritative. Patinkin also has the right amount of charisma to voice this character.

The lesson of this film is that you will not be remembered for what you were good at, but the kindness in your heart. Smurfette has trouble finding a skill that will define her personality unlike her other Smurf pals. But that is not what is important in life. The way people will remember your legacy is by how you treated others. I recommend this film for ages 4 to 10 and you should be aware there is some crude humor. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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

I enjoyed the film Smurfs: The Lost Village because it teaches girls to be strong and confident within themselves. This movie also teaches kids that working together is better than working alone. I don't like that the movie implies there is a relationship between Papa Smurf and Smurfwillow or that it pushes a relationship between Smurfette and Hefty Smurf. This is not needed. I found this movie to not be as funny as the live action ones, which is weird since most children's animated films have a lot of funny moments.

The story is about Smurfette feeling lost and alone because she is the only girl in the village. She also feels like she isn't a real Smurf because she was made by Gargamel, who wants to take all the Smurfs to steal their magic. To save another Smurf Village from evil, Gargamel, Hefty, Clumsy, Nerdy and Smurfette work together to find the lost village and warn them about Gargamel. On this journey they discover the biggest secret in Smurf history and help Smurfette realize the power inside of her, that she is strong and fits in.

The animation in this movie is very detailed. It reminds me of a lot of the claymation in The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is much better than The Smurfs 2 (2013). It seems more animated and not as realistic which adds to the fantasy of being in the Smurf world. The backgrounds are quite pretty and mystical, especially when The Smurfs go to the Forbidden Forest.

The star-studded cast includes Demi Lovato, Julia Roberts, Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello and many, many more. Their voice acting is one of the best parts of the film, especially Demi Lovato's voice as Smurfetts. She acts in such a docile manner but still projects the strength of girl power.

My favorite character is Clumsy (Jack McBrayer) who is the funniest characters. I can relate to Clumsy in that I too am very clumsy. I always manage to trip over some object. I also really enjoyed the character Brainy (Danny Pudi) who is another funny character. I admire how he relies on his books for most of the movie, but gets over listening to how things should be and just cherishes living in the moment.

The message of this movie is all about team work and how girls are powerful. I recommend this movie to ages 5 to 7 and give this a 3 out of 5 stars. This film comes out April 7, 2017 in theaters nationwide so, check it out.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


GOING IN STYLE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GOING IN STYLE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A reboot of the 1979 movie that was directed by Martin Brest and featured George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg. Three seniors, who are living social security check to check and even reduced to eating dog food at times, decide they have had enough. So, they plan to rob a bank...problem is, they don't even know how to handle a gun! A social commentary on growing old in America and what we are sometimes driven to, due to circumstances.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I was really looking forward to seeing this film because of its stellar cast and the heist theme, which I'm particularly fond of. And, I must say, I was not disappointed in the least. Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, Michael Caine and Ann-Margaret all deliver credible and mildly hysterical performances. It's an absolute hoot whether you are 60, 40, 20 or younger. The line: It's a culture's duty to take care of its elderly" makes a poignant statement. The underlying theme, about robbing a bank because the bank and the company that you slaved away for 40 years, touches an all too true scenario in today's retiree experience. I'm not saying you should go rob a bank but seriously, seniors are being robbed of what is due them in ever expanding numbers and it's not a good thing. Nice to laugh about the situation. Highly recommended. 5 out of 5 stars, recommended for ages 10 to 18.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Out of all of the movies that I have seen this year, this movie is by far the funniest. Within five minutes, my stomach hurt because I was laughing so much.

I love a comedic plot and Going In Style is exactly that - three older men try to rob a bank to obtain a better life. These lifelong friends, Willie, Al and Joe, are having personal struggles. Willie (Morgan Freeman) desperately needs a new kidney. Joe (Michael Caine) is losing his home. And, Al (Alan Arkin) is just pressured into robbing a bank. Joe thinks of making the idea a reality once their pensions are cancelled. Inspired by a robbery the men witnessed, Willie, Joe and Al are optimistic they can steal their deserved pension money, but are going to need help.

Morgan Freeman's portrayal of Willie is incredible. Given that Willie needs a new kidney to better his life, Freeman's despair is heart-wrenching and he connects with the audience in a unique way, because he remains hopeful that he will feel better in the near future. Michael Caine really suits the role of Joe whose fearless personality helps accelerate the success of the robbery. Alan Arkin plays Al who acts innocent at first, but once the robbery becomes a reality, you see his wild side emerge and it is quite hilarious.

The costumes worn by Willie, Joe and Al are extremely entertaining. They wear masks that resemble famous people! In addition to this, the bank they plan to rob is very fancy. Seeing famous people walk into an elegant bank with guns and large bags is humorous to watch. My favorite part is when Joe and Willie are watching television and The Bachelorette comes on. This scene had me laughing the entire time because I am a such a Bachelorette fan. Seeing these older men discuss Kaitlyn Bristowe's final pick was unexpected, but gave me a good laugh.

The message of this film is to chase after your dreams, no matter how old you are. If 70 year old men can rob a bank, then you can too. All humor aside, the film illustrates that nothing is impossible and you can better your life if you want to. Hands down, this film deserves 5 out of 5 stars. There are a multitude of jokes, action scenes and the motivation that these three men possess to reunite with their families and better their lives is so strong. It motivates me to jump over any obstacle in my way and complete any task I need to. I recommend this film to kids ages 13 to 18, because it leaves you with a smile on your face. Even though it is about robbing a bank, kids know to not replicate that, so I'm not concerned about them heading out to rob their neighborhood bank. There are a few shooting scenes, so please be mindful about who goes to see this film. Adults will love this film as well, because they can relate to the personal issues these men face. This film opens nationwide on April 7th, 2017. It has something for everyone and if you have never seen three older men rob a bank, you definitely should.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Going in Style is a good remake of the 1979 movie of the same name. I found the acting and humor to be funny and it will definitely appeal to all heist movie fans.

This movie is about three elderly people, Willie (Morgan Freeman), Joe (Michael Caine) and Albert (Alan Arkin), whose pensions have been frozen by a corrupt bank. Joe has an idea to rob the corrupt bank. Despite initially disagreeing, Willie and Albert agree to the plan. However, the three have a long way to go and they must face training to pull off the heist.

Morgan Freeman as Willy presents a supportive friend with health ailments and expresses his love for his granddaughter with whom he communicates by internet. Michael Cane as Joe is the one who comes up with the plan and is very impressive because of his willpower to not lose his home. Alan Arkin as Albert is my favorite character as he steals the show with his charm and wit. Matt Dillon as Hamer portrays an intelligent cop who wants to track down these bank robbers.

The direction by Zach Braff is slow paced in the beginning and becomes fast paced towards the end. The movie seems to the drag a lot in the beginning but it comes around. My favorite scene is the chase after they rob a local convenience store. It is very hilarious and comedic.

The movie's message is to never underestimate a person by their age or looks because the three friends are able to pull out an impossible heist in spite of their age and health issues. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 due to some scenes involving drugs and some language. This film opens in theaters on April 7th, so go and check it out.

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


GIFTED

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GIFTED       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) in a coastal town in Florida. Frank's plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old's mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank's formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary's landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary's teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Gifted is a story with not a lot of surprise elements, but it wins the audience over with its powerful statement, outstanding acting and stunning cinematography. Mainly, Gifted has a very dramatic storyline. However, Gifted offers much more then that. Viewers also get a subplot of romance, friendship and strong family values as well as some comedy here and there to keep a dramatic movie light.

The plot begins when Mary Adler (Mckenna Grace) starts first grade. She isn't like the other kids in her class. Her teacher, Bonnie (Jenny Slate) soon learns that Mary turns out to be a genius in mathematics. She can easily do equations higher than high school level. Despite her clear giftedness, Mary's uncle, Frank (Chris Evans) refuses to put Mary in a school for gifted children, trying to keep the girl's life normal. Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), Mary's grandmother insists on making her do mathematics around the clock and training her to be a math prodigy. What follows is a custody battle between the two for Mary.

My favorite scene really stands out due to remarkable lighting and camera work. The scene really doesn't contribute to the plot, but the cinematography makes it one of the most excellent in the film. The scene shows Mary riding on Frank's shoulders. Behind them, a giant sunset completely fills the sky. The lighting from the setting sun comes out stunningly dazzling. Even though it doesn't add to the complexity of the story, the scene is very impressive and demonstrates the closeness of the uncle and his niece.

One of Gifted's weak points waters down to the story. Even though the film is unique from other stories about genius kids, by focusing on the family values and relationships instead of Mary's exceptional mathematical skills, it still comes out very predictable and rather simple. The main conflict never really feels like a major issue but rather, just a side story. Despite those issues, Gifted still entertains through the acting. All the actors deliver outstanding performances. Mckenna Grace, despite being only 10-years-old, completely steals the show. Never does the acting feel forced and the actors seem to authentically connect with their characters and have a true bond on-screen.

There are a few adult references in the film, but nothing too worry about. I recommend this for ages 8 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars because, although the story needs work, the acting and cinematography make Gifted a very entertaining and memorable film. This opens in theaters April 14 so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The time is 1939 and the place is Poland, homeland of Antonina Zabinski and her husband, Dr. Jan Zabinski. The Warsaw Zoo flourishes under Jan's stewardship and Antonina's care. When their country is invaded by the Nazis, Jan and Antonina are forced to report to the Reich's newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck. The Zabinskis covertly begin working with the Resistance and put into action plans to save the lives of hundreds from what has become the Warsaw Ghetto.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is truly incredible because it shows how kind hearted people are. Given that the movie takes place in Poland during World War II, there is a lot of tension among the Jewish and German residents because the Jewish Holocaust is occurring. But, the main characters, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, still manage to take care of their zoo and try to keep the animals safe.

In the midst of World War II, Adolf Hitler's power permeates in Poland, specifically in the Warsaw ghetto, where there are many Jewish inhabitants. Living in Warsaw is Antonina Zabinski (Jessica Chastain), her husband Jan Zabinski (Johan Heldenbergh) and their son. They are in charge of the Warsaw Zoo, where any animal you can imagine lives. Bombs are hitting the Warsaw Zoo, killing many of the animals. The zoo is almost completely destroyed, and the Zabinski's decide to use it as a Jewish sanctuary.

Jessica Chastain's portrayal of Antonina is quite believable. Antonina is a beautiful woman who loves animals more than she loves herself and she does her best to ensure that everything goes as planned. Johan Heldenbergh, who plays Jan, is very brave. He acts as an assistant to a German soldier and looks for creative ways to transport the Jews to safety. They put their lives on the line to save others, which truly is remarkable.

The Warsaw Zoo looks astonishing. It is huge! There are so many beautiful trees, and there are animals walking around with Antonina. I want to now have my own zoo someday!

My favorite part of the movie is when Antonina is riding her bicycle and she calls her camel to walk alongside her. This camel is hilarious because he makes strange noises and he hops so quickly. He acts as a police patrol for the zoo, which I think is extremely funny.

The message of this film is to help others. Antonina and Jan Zabinski try to help hundreds of Jews stay safe and do not put themselves first. Antonina and Jan live in imminent danger themselves and all they can focus on is making a difference, which I admire greatly.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. It is so inspiring and there are animals in it, for which I have a great soft spot. Given that there are many casualties among animals and people, I recommend this film to ages 14 to 18 as well as adults. This film is not afraid to depict historical reality, so it may be difficult to watch some scenes, but this movie is now one of my favorites. Watch this film if you enjoy history and films that are based on true stories. It comes out on March 31, 2017 in theaters so, make sure to keep your eyes open for it. It is a movie you certainly don't want to miss.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

I really enjoyed The Zookeeper's Wife. It is a real-life story about love and caring under extreme conditions in the midst of war. Antonina Zabinska and her husband, Dr. Jan Zabinski, are so brave and generous. They saved the lives of almost 300 Jewish people by hiding them in their basement under their zoo during the German invasion in Poland in WWII. This movie was moving and beautifully done, but there are some scenes that were a little too intense for me.

The plot is a true story that occurred during the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany in 1939 to1945. The Warsaw Zoo, owned by the main characters, is bombed and so many animals unnecessarily slaughtered. The brave owners rescued and protected hundreds of local Jewish people from the Nazis. The main character is Antonina Zabinska (Jessica Chastain). She is the leader of this establishment and comes up with the idea to hide the Jewish people. The film tells a wonderful true story about this modest woman who accomplished an amazing feat.

The message is that an unassuming woman was able to save many human lives even though she would have been killed instantly by the Nazis if they knew she had sheltered these people. She does everything in her power to ensure almost everyone's safety. I love how Jessica Chastain portrays Antonina. She remains calm about the situation and believes it is going to work out okay for everyone. Even though she is nervous about the advances of the Nazi zoologist Heck, she still tries to manage her nervousness when in front of the children. She has tremendous strength of character.

What really stood out for me was the opening scene when you see two cute lion cubs sleeping with a young child and her mother watching lovingly over them. Juxtaposed with that adorableness is a scene later where many of the animals are killed by the Nazis. It is extremely shocking and sad to see these beautiful animals so needlessly slaughtered. Another very intense, but effective scene is when two Nazi soldiers are flirting with a young teenage girl and then, you see the girl beaten up and blood running down her leg. Even though the attack on the girl is not shown, the aftermath of the rape shows the cruelty of the Nazis.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars because it effectively tells a beautiful, true story about the power one woman's loving heart. This movie contains intense scenes, so I recommended it for kids 13 to 18. This film is in theaters now so, check it out.

Reviewed by Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

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


4 TO 5

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
4 TO 5
CRAIG KNOWLES
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 4-18
Topic - Family
Description - On the eve of his 5th birthday, a young boy discusses his last day of being 4.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Charming. This short documentary is about a little boy who talks about not being four years old anymore the day before he turns five. It very sweetly portrays an adorable young boy whom we see a little bit of what goes on inside his head. The sound quality is crisp and easy to understand. The camera work is clear and steady. I believe it will project well onto a big screen. This film flows well with a beginning, middle and an end. It makes perfect sense and is completely watchable without any hiccups. We don't often get the chance to listen to what a four or five year old thinks so this is refreshing. I think children will enjoy this, especially those close to his age, because they can relate to him. Older kids and adults can relate to him in their own way, as the child they used to be or perhaps a child of their own when they were younger. For the most part, I think many children and adults alike will really enjoy this film and hence, recommend it for ages 4 to 18 and adults as well. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kelsey M. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


INTERROGATION, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
INTERROGATION, THE
ALEXANDER SMITH
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A spy is captured by his arch enemy, but has a few tricks up his sleeve that befuddle his captor.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This student film has a lot going for it, clever idea, writing and decent execution. The villain is about to torture a spy but gets offended and the spy lectures him on how to be a professional villain. In the end, the villain is quite incompetent. The sound, visuals, cinematography and performances are suitable for a student production by high school students. The performances may be a bit overacted but, it's within an acceptable range and I think other high school students will enjoy it. I particularly enjoyed the lighting which gives a sense of an interrogation room. The writing is pretty well done. I recommend this for ages 13 to 18 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 14-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO



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