Incredibles 2 – Great Sequel! Worth the Fourteen Year Wait!

June 14th, 2018

Elastigirl springs into action to save the day, while Mr. Incredible faces his greatest challenge yet — taking care of the problems of his three children. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Calista B. comments, “Fourteen years after the first film was released, we finally have the continuation of the Pixar animated hit and I would dare say, every year of waiting was worth it because this film is truly incredible.” Sahiba K. adds, “Although bound to be compared to the original, Incredibles 2 creates a legacy and masterpiece in itself with a myriad of creativity and uniqueness. The story takes me back to my childhood and into the future with the retro, but futuristic feel created by integrating new superhero technology and vintage technology.” Rohan F. wraps it up with, “The Incredibles 2 is a great sequel to an amazing movie. The animation is brilliant, plus, the two main plots balance out well to create a well-rounded film.” See their full reviews below.

Incredibles 2
By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Fourteen years after the first film was released, we finally have the continuation of the Pixar animated hit and I would dare say, every year of waiting was worth it because this film is truly incredible.

The story follows the Parr Family, as it looks like being super heroes (Supers) is against the law, but then an opportunity for Elastigirl to change people’s view of Supers occurs, while Mr. Incredible stays at home with the kids.

I always talk about the animation first, so let’s do that. The animation in the first movie was pretty good by 2004 standards. What I find interesting is that this movie looks really similar to the first. It feels as if it’s the same animation, just updated. That isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I actually like it. I love how you can actually see such small details such as the fabric textures on the clothes. You can see the sleep deprivation on the characters’ faces and not just in bags under the eyes. I really like seeing all these details.

Since the main characters are all super heroes, there’s lots of action. I feel like this movie is really creative with all the different powers, particularly those for Violet and Elastigirl. There’s lots of cool stuff they do with Violet’s force fields and Elastigirl’s stretching. They also introduce a group of new Supers who are very creative. From the design, to the powers, I think the group is a cool addition to the story.

Of course the elephant in the room is Jack-Jack. In the first movie, they show that Jack-Jack has powers. They never specify what powers he has. An important plot point in the movie is about Jack-Jack’s powers. However, now I’m even more confused. Off the top of my head, he has 11 powers and I may have forgotten some. The movie also has slight implications that this isn’t normal and now I’m incredibly curious. Hopefully it won’t take 14 years for an answer. Yes, I am ready for Incredibles 3!

This movie also excels in character development. Since the typical parent roles are switched, with the mom working and the dad staying at home watching the kids, it very subtly shows off both Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl’s character and motivations. It genuinely feels like a continuation, as it does address Mr. Incredible’s desire to be a super hero again. It also shows how raising a family is team work.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as the movie is kind of dark at times. The movie opens in theaters June 15m 2018 so check it out!

Incredibles 2
By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

Incredibles 2, directed by the legendary Brad Bird is a timeless classic that has been reborn fourteen years after The Incredibles! Although bound to be compared to the original, Incredibles 2 creates a legacy and masterpiece in itself with a myriad of creativity and uniqueness. The story takes me back to my childhood and into the future with the retro, but futuristic feel created by integrating new superhero technology and vintage technology.

The story picks off from where the Incredibles ends, when the Underminer threatens the city and superheroes are still illegal. To try and bring the superheroes back into business, a rich entrepreneur by the name of Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) enlists the help of Helen Parr, also known as Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) to win the people’s hearts once again. Bob Parr, also known as Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) stays at home to take care of his three super children.

The same voice actors play the same characters in The Incredibles and Incredibles 2 except Dash Parr, played by Huck Milner. It made me feel as though no time has passed since I was a young child watching The Incredibles. When I was watching this film, I didn’t realize the actor was different for Dash.

He has the same childish innocence and humor in his voice, as well as Dash’s famous sarcasm. Due to the fact that the same cast plays the same characters fourteen years later, Craig T. Nelson’s voice is more raspy, but it adds an element that elevates Bob Parr’s character. Bob is a lot more exhausted throughout the film and the raspy addition makes the character feel realistic and relatable.

The animation uses many of the features from the first film, while adding new perspectives and elements of modern filmmaking. The animated camera angles are a special component. During a variety of fight scenes and other relaxed scenes, the perspective switches from third person to first person quite often. This engaged me as a viewer and adds to the intensity and excitement of a superhero chase and being in a world with superheroes. The fight scenes are memorable with each one becoming better and more innovative than the last. The director, Brad Bird makes sure each of the superhero’s powers are used to the best of their ability. For example, Elastigirl acquires a new motorbike that can split apart while she provides the bridge keeping it intact, allowing for easy mobility in difficult situations.

The message of this film is that parents are heroes, whether or not they wear super suits. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Be sure to check out this long-awaited sequel in theatres nationwide June 15, 2018.

The Incredibles 2
By Rohan F., Age thirteen, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The Incredibles 2 is a great sequel to an amazing movie. The animation is brilliant, plus, the two main plots balance out well to create a well-rounded film.

The Incredibles 2 continues the story of the Parrs, a super hero family that had to go into hiding because of a law banning supers. This film focuses on Elastigirl as she tries to end the anti-super laws that stop her from being a superhero. Meanwhile, Mr. Incredible struggles to keep the kids in check.

My favorite part is when Jack-Jack uses his powers to fight a raccoon because he thinks it’s a criminal. This scene is hilarious. I really enjoyed how Mr. Incredible is sleeping in the foreground, while all the action happens in the back. I also like the scene when Elastigirl chases after the new hover train. This scene is fast paced and funny.

The animation in this film is great. I specifically like the glass breaking, the water features of the house and Frozone’s ice. The glass and the water are both super realistic and I really like how they kept the same style as the original film for Frozone’s ice. I felt they underused Dash in this film though. His only part in this film is needing help with math. I feel this wastes Dash, because I really enjoy him as a character.

The Incredibles 2 has some very topical morals in it. It asks the question of whether a law should be followed if it is unlawful. It also focuses on the concept of “when enough people have the same idea and they fight for it, that things will change”.

 

The voice acting is quite good. You can hear the emotion in the actors’ voices, so you can really connect to their characters. The music in this film is truly brilliant. They wrote theme songs for Frozone, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl that are written like 60s super hero themes. These are scattered around the movie and really make a major comedic effect.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars because, while it’s not as good as the original, it is still an incredible film. I recommend it for ages 7 through 18 because it’s really a film a huge variety of different people will enjoy. I believe adults will really enjoy watching this film as well. It opens in theaters nationwide June 15, 2018 so, check it out.

Images ©2017 Disney•Pixar. and ©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – The Best Documentary I’ve Ever Seen! I Still Hear Its Catchy Theme Song In My Head.

June 11th, 2018

Filmmaker Morgan Neville examines the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, the beloved host of the popular children’s TV show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Dariana A. comments, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is the best documentary I’ve ever seen! I still hear its catchy theme song in my head.” See her full review below.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
By Dariana A., KIDS FIRST Film Critics, age 12

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is the best documentary I’ve ever seen! I still hear its catchy theme song in my head. I usually don’t like documentaries because they are very slow paced. But this one has jokes throughout that makes it so much more interesting to watch. I not only learned a lot about Fred Rogers’ life and career, but also about how television shows were made and produced back in the 1960s.

This documentary is about Mr. Rogers and his television show for young children “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Produced by  Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville, we learn about Mr. Rogers’ ideas on how important it is to talk to children about every aspect of life and how television can be used as a positive influence. During his show, Mr. Rogers sings songs about specific topics so that kids, as young as pre-school age, can understand the topic of the day.

The film shows scenes from the actual show as well as behind the scenes. I really enjoyed the interviews with the crew from the show. Those parts made me belly laugh. The film brings back the original lessons of the show and re-promotes them. For adults, this film might make them remember watching the show as a child and they might find some episodes to share with their own kids. For children, this film might spark an interest in the show and make them want to watch it, just like I did. The film gives everybody something. One thing I love about the film is that it really goes in depth about Mr. Rogers’ sunny disposition and how he truly was like that in real life, even through all his struggles. It shows us that there are still kind people in the world. My favorite scene is when Mr. Rogers goes to Congress to try to get the funding to save PBS. That scene shows who Mr. Rogers really is, his personality and love for children. By the time he finishes his speech, I was tearing up and could hear the audience sniffing.

The message of this film is to love yourself as you are, just like Mr. Rogers says in his song. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 because it talks about topics such as divorce and war, in a serious way, which is not appropriate for very young children. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars because of its amazing message and all the cool inside facts about Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. This film opens nationwide June 8, 2018 so check it out. Reviewed by Dariana A., KIDS FIRST Film Critic. For more reviews by youth, visit kidsfirst dot org.

 

Ocean’s 8 – Best Comedic Action Movie Ever! Love Female Cast of Thieves…

June 11th, 2018

Danny Ocean’s estranged sister Debbie attempts to pull off the heist of the century at New York City’s star-studded annual Met Gala. Her first stop is to assemble the perfect all-female crew: Lou, Rose, Daphne Kluger, Nine Ball, Tammy, Amita and Constance. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kamryn B. comments, “

Ocean’s 8 is the best comedic action movie ever! I enjoyed the way the movie flows, as if it’s a normal day stealing a billion dollar necklace.” Abraham F. adds, “I have never seen any other Ocean films and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised.  The dialogue is realistic and it is really funny.” See their full reviews below.

Ocean’s 8
By Kamryn B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Ocean’s 8 is the best comedic action movie ever! I like it because of the fantastic animation and storyline. I enjoyed the way the movie flows, as if it’s a normal day stealing a billion dollar necklace. The comedy is the icing on a cake. It makes the movie sweet and enticing to watch.

The movie’s main character is Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock). In the beginning, we see her being released from jail after five years. During that time, she has planned the greatest heist with hidden intentions. Debbie Ocean’s team includes one of her old friends, Lou (Cate Blanchett). Lou and other highly intelligent cheaters are all part of the team, Ocean’s Eight. As the heist unfolds, it exposes the twists and turns behind the storyline to the audience. Sandra Bullock’s charisma in this role draws you to love her even more. The beautiful Rihanna is also in the film as “9-Ball”, the Jamaican hacker. The amazing actress from 12 Years a Slave, Sarah Paulson plays a caring mother who loves to shop for home goods. In the mix of the film celebrities pop up everywhere. You just have to pay attention to notice them.

What I love about the film is the all women cast planning on doing something not good. Most heist movies are about men robbing banks, planning their moves and then executing them. Ocean’s 8 has the same idea, but without the men. The costumes at the Met Gala for each of them are simply amazing and match each character’s personality and abilities.

My favorite part is the ending when everything is pulled together, from Debbie Ocean’s release to the creation of Ocean’s Eight. My favorite character is Constance who is played by Awkwafina, because of her funny attitude throughout the film. Also, her pick-pocketing skills blew my mind.

Ocean’s 8 is a movie to enjoy just because it’s an amazing film. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Some jokes are questionable and there is some mild profanity, but nothing is extreme. I recommend it for ages 14 to 18 because of some language, alcohol and drug usage. It opens in theaters June 8, 2018 so check it out.

Ocean’s 8
By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

I have never seen any other Ocean films and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised.  The dialogue is realistic and it is really funny. There are some flaws. It does feel like a lot of other heist films. For example, it has a recruiting phase where one character is the hacker and another is talented at stealing things. Also Debbie Ocean has been in prison for five years plotting her plan, but her plan doesn’t take into account that technology changes.

Ocean’s 8 follows Debbie Ocean and her plan to steal a 150 million dollar necklace at the Met Gala. She has spent five years in prison and goes to her friend Lou, who helped her in past crimes and asks her to recruit people for the job. Her plan is to get Daphne Kluger, a world famous model, to wear the Cartier necklace and then they will create a fake one to replace it. After that, she would place one of the gems on the person that framed her with the intent of framing him and making it seem as if he stole it.

My favorite part is Rose’s character. She is entertaining and realistic when she tries to comfort Anne Hathaway’s character when her dress isn’t turning out the way she wanted. In another scene, she acts as if she isn’t interested in her and that makes her want Rose to be her designer.

There are a lot of big names in this film such as Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok, Lord of the Rings, Cinderella), Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar, Colossal). The director is also a really big name too, Gary Ross who wrote Seabiscuit and the Hunger Games.

 There is some mild profanity but nothing too extreme. It is a heist movie, so there are lots of risky actions such as hanging from rafters and escaping prison. I recommend this movie to anyone who enjoyed any of the previous Ocean films or other heist movies. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters June 8, 2018 so check it out.

 

KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp Miami – June 18 through 22

June 4th, 2018

Coming soon! The One and Only KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp June, July and August in 8 Cities Nationwide! Coming to Miami June 18-22!

Tweens and teens watch and critique films, interview celebrities as entertainment reporters at KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camps where learning and fun are one!

The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp is coming to eight cities this summer, enabling kids to learn how to become entertainment reporters after spending a week practicing their on- and off-camera skills. Taught by leading producers, directors and filmmakers, children ages 11 to 17 truly have the opportunity of a lifetime in this unique star-making program. The camp comes to Miami June 18-22 at the Doral Academy, then travels to Philadelphia, Old Bridge (NJ), Seattle, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington DC.

My eldest son, Rohan participated in the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp in 2016 and has been a part of the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics national  team since. It has been amazing watching his confidence grow over the last two years. His teachers have also noticed a huge improvement in his writing ability. He attended the advanced camp in 2017 and learned a lot about video editing and improved his interviewing skills. Jennifer Foxe, New York City

The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp is designed to offer young people the opportunity to learn the skills they need to critique and review films, present their reviews on-camera and interview celebrities. “Children will learn a variety of behind-the-scenes film industry skills as they watch and critique the latest films, write reviews, develop on-camera reporting and interviewing techniques and meet working film critics, celebrities, directors and producers of some of their favorite films,” said Ranny Levy, KIDS FIRST! Founder and President.

“It made me improve my vocabulary and write even more because I didn’t use to like writing,” said Angel David Gonzales who participated in the 2017 camp in Brooklyn, NY last summer. The normally shy Gonzalez’s teacher, Madeline Rodriguez commented that participating in the camp boosted his confidence as well.  “It’s really nice to see him open up from his shell, to really embrace this experience and opportunity,” she said.

Following the camp, campers will have the opportunity to join the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics team of reporters.

Reviews by KIDS FIRST! Film Critics reach more than seven million viewers every month through affiliations with broadcast, print and online publications including Huffington Post, Kidzworld.com, GRAND Magazine, Kidsville News, Working Woman and many more. Take a look at  ABC News Entertainment Reporter Sandy Kenyon’s story on one of our previous camps:  https://7ny.tv/2KvqYMt

 KIDS FIRST! FIRM CRITICS BOOT CAMP DETAILS:

June 18 – 22: Miami, FL ImaginaUS, 7291 NW 74th St., Miami, FL 33166

July 9 – 14: KiDz HuB National Headquarters, 2685 County Rd 516, Old Bridge, NJ 08857

July 13 – 15: Young Media Critics, 225 E. City Line Ave, Suite 16, Bala Cynwyd, PA 

July 23 – 27: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

July 30 – Aug. 3: Rainier Arts Center, 3515 S. Alaska St., Seattle, WA 98118

Aug. 6 – 10: Breather Space, 36 E. 23rd, New York, NY 10013

Aug. 10 – 12: IN3, 2301 D Georgia Ave., NW, Washington DC 20011

Learn more and register at:  http://www.kidsfirst.org/become-a-juror/2018.BootCamp.html

Check out our coverage by Sandy Kenyon, Entertainment Reporter for ABC Eyewitness News of 2017 New York City camp.

Dino Dan: Trek’s Adventures: The Complete Series – Lots of Excitement, Adventures and Learning

June 4th, 2018

In this complete series set, enjoy 50 dino-filled adventures with junior dinosaur expert, Trek Henderson, as he imagines dinosaurs in the real world! While Trek’s brother, Dan, is away helping his dad, it’s time for Trek to get his own dino time. Trek is going to finish some of the experiments in Dino Dan’s Field Guide including seeing at least eighteen dinosaurs that Dan has never seen before! Trek will even meet marine reptiles for the very first time! It’s time to join Trek Henderson as he embarks on one dino adventure after another and all in his very own way. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Imani G. comments, “Kids will love this series if they have a big imagination and of course, have a love of dinosaurs.” Abraham F. adds, “This series is great for keeping younglings entertained over the summer. With over 500 minutes in its 50 episodes, this will keep them busy and will keep them interested.

Dino Dan: Trek’s Adventures: The Complete Series
By Imani B. G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

Dino Dan: Trek’s Adventures: The Complete Series is a series for young kids with a lot of excitement, and fun adventures to go on! Kids will love this series if they have a big imagination and of course, have a love of dinosaurs.

On this DVD, there are 50 dino-filled adventures with the dinosaur expert, Trek Henderson. Trek imagines different types of dinosaurs in the real world throughout all of his experiences! While Trek’s brother, Dan is away helping his dad with something, Trek takes over and entertains himself with his dinosaur world. The goal is to finish up some of the experiments that Dan has started. Trek even meets some new dinosaurs and marine reptiles that he hasn’t seen before! Join Trek on his wonderful adventures throughout the world of dinosaurs!

One reason I really like this show is how they incorporate educational lessons into it. It’s not everyday that you see a kids TV show that includes all kinds of educational facts within the story line. This is exactly what this series does. For example, in the episode “Trek Rex,” Trek is having trouble figuring out what dinosaur he wants to dress up as for a party. Throughout the episode, he has various encounters with several dinosaurs to help him make his final decision. Trek and the dinosaurs’ encounters happen in the real world, in front of real people, so he is imagining it. I believe that creates a connection between Trek and kids in the real world, since many have big imaginations.

The overall message in this series is that it’s okay to have an imagination and even share it with others! Trek has no problem sharing his findings out loud for everyone to see and has no shame about doing that. This is what kids should feel. And, sharing their findings throughout their childhood is a cool thing to do.

I rate this show 4 out of 5 stars for its playful storyline, exciting cast, imagination and much more. I would love to see the storyline develop more, but it’s perfect for younger kids. I recommend it for ages 5 through 10 . This is available on DVD now, so check it out.

Dino Dan Trek’s Adventure: The Complete Series
By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 13

This series is great for keeping younglings entertained over the summer. With over 500 minutes in its 50 episodes, this will keep them busy and will keep them interested.  I found Trek talking to an imaginary dinosaur somewhat strange but hey, it doesn’t seem to bother his mom.

The storyline is about when Trek’s brother who goes away to dig up fossils and Trek misses him. Then, one day a package arrives in the mail with a message from Dan asking Trek to help him do some dinosaur experiments. In later episodes, he gets better and better at conducting these experiments. One of his tasks is to find out if albertosaurus hunt in packs. For this, he gets a ham sandwich and gets the albertosaurus to chase him.

Trek is played by Trek Buccino who lives in Toronto, Ontario and attended Claude Watson School for the Arts. He has also been in Pacific Rim and PJ Masks. Trek’s mom is played by Allana Harkin who has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy award for Full Frontal which she produced.

What I like about the show is that it is enjoyable to watch while you learn some facts along the way. I recommend it for ages 3 to  8 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. It is available now on Digital and DVD/Blu-ray so, check it out.

 

 

 

 

 

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