Jury Coordination and Notes

Archive for March, 2013

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Not For Young Audiences

Monday, March 25th, 2013

IncredibleBurt.jpgThis new release tells the story of a Las Vegas magician named Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and his sidekick Anton (Steve Buscemi). Be forewarned that this film is rated PG-13 for a good reason. There are sexual situations, rude humor and some disturbing acts that I would not to expose younger kids to. 15-year-old KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven Devanney was a bit disappointed, saying the film is “entertaining and has a few hilarious moments, but it isn’t what I expected from a film with so much hype.”

“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone”

Reviewed by Raven Devanney

Click here to see Raven’s full video review!

I’m actually not that impressed with this movie. When you think of Steve Carell and Jim Carrey (stars of this film) you think of all-out humor, but this movie is lacking in laughs. I feel like they put most of the funny parts of the film into the trailer and left nothing for the movie. I had such high expectations for this film and they were let down. Don’t get me wrong, the movie is entertaining and has a few hilarious moments, but it isn’t what I expected from a film with so much hype.

There is nothing special about the cinematography, it is a quality picture, just like any other 2D film you would see in a theater today. However, I do like the use of colors when it comes to costume and set design by Dayna Pink and Andrea Fenton because they show the more cheesy side of Las Vegas entertainment.

My favorite scene is the very end of the film when Burt and Anton pull their biggest stunt. It’s so funny when you see the “behind the scenes” work that goes into their trick because it seems so ridiculous and over-the-top-funny.

My favorite character is Rance Holloway played by Alan Arkin because he is such a witty character. Rance is the old magician who inspired Burt to become a magician and when Burt meets Rance later in life, it is very comical. Not only are their interactions funny, but also touching. Burt had lost touch with the wonder and amazement that magic brings and Rance is able to re-teach Burt a few old tricks that help him rediscover why he first became a magician.

Overall I give The Incredible Burt Wonderstone 3.5 out of 5 stars because it isn’t as incredible as I expected, but it does have an entertaining quality to it. I recommend this film for ages 13 and up.”

Beautiful, Original Take on Oz But Not for Your Youngest

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Oz.Great.jpgThe evergreen classic, Wizard of Oz gets a fresh new look in Disney’s new version, Oz The Great and Powerful starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams. Here, we have the tall tale about a circus magician, Oscar Diggs (James Franco), who dreams of becoming a great wizard. He sets off in a hot air balloon only to encounter a tornado that sweeps him away to the brilliantly enchanting 3D world of Oz. Seeing this as an opportunity to make something of himself, Oscar (aka Oz) convinces the good people that he is the great wizard they have been waiting for. Once he realizes that being the king of this great land is more work and less play, he has to decide whether or not to stay and protect the people that look up to him most, or continue in his ways of being a scammer.

Our KIDS FIRST! Film critic, 15-year-old Raven Devanney recently attended an advance screening and shares her review below.

Oz the Great and Powerful

by Raven Devanney (age 15)

Click here to see Raven’s full video review!

This movie is beautiful! The CGI is breathtakingly clear and crisp and the 3D pops. I especially love the opening credits which are done in black and white and look like vintage pop-up books. I also love that when it shows dusty Kansas it is in black and white and the screen is small, but as soon as you reach Oz, the images morphs into vivid colors and the screen widens to reveal Oz in all its splendor.

The musical score in this film is wonderful. The composer, Danny Elfman, keeps it lively and whimsical, while diming the mood of the music when the moment is right.

My favorite characters are Oz, played by James Franco and Finley, voiced by Zach Braff. I like Oz because he is so cheesy and such a con man. He always plays girls and lies his way through every possible opportunity. But, Franco does it in a tasteful way that brings cleverness and humor to the film.

I also like Finley who is Oz’s assistant, an adorable little flying monkey. He is always making the funniest comments and is so honest. There is one scene when he is trying to distract someone, and he does the funniest things.

I like how original this plot is because there have been countless numbers of films, plays and stories based on the Wizard of Oz, but I haven’t seen one like this. It is a predictable story line which is usually a thumbs down for me, but this film is so good that it works. The land of Oz is so beautiful and uniquely designed, it is very visually pleasing.  There are definitely some jump scares in this film because of the wicked witches, baboons and the evil forest. So, parents taking children, be advised that they may get frightened.

I give Oz: The Great and Powerful 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 and up.

Check out other great video reviews from our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Anthony Aranda and Cheyenne Nguyen!

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