Archive for January, 2013

If You Like Horror Films And Ghosts, Don’t Miss Mama

Monday, January 28th, 2013

MAMA.JPGJust out in theaters on January 20, 2013, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven Devanney bravely went to see a screening of the new thriller/chiller, Mama. This PG-13 rated movie isn’t for everyone, but if your a fan of horror, and like to be scared silly, you shouldn’t miss it. Though not the most original film, it packs a heavy fear-factor for every ghost-loving movie goer.

Mama

Reviewed by Raven Devanney, age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Click here to see Raven’s full video review!

Mama tells the story of two young sisters, Lily and Victoria, who are abandoned in the woods for five years. When the girls are found and taken into custody by their uncle and his girlfriend Annabelle, everyone begins to wonder how these toddlers could have survived for so long on their own. The girls’ strange behavior leads Annabell to believe that the girls weren’t alone in the woods after all, and in fact, a troubled ghost called Mama was caring for them. But when they leave the forest, they don’t leave Mama.

I really enjoy this movie. It is definitely scary to watch, but when it is over it doesn’t leave you feeling afraid. I’m convinced this movie is a mix between The Woman in Black and The Possession. It has a very similar ghost with the same motives as The Woman in Black, and has the same creepy bugs from The Possession. The ending is especially similar to The Woman in Black. No spoiler alerts or anything, but you think all will be fine but it’s not. I guess you shouldn’t go to a horror film if you’re looking for a happy ending.

I like the cinematography, and the use of lighting and sound track, to set the ominous mood for this film. The dull colors and grey wash of the scenery really helps the spook level of the movie. The one thing I have a real problem with was the animation of Mama’s face in the last few scenes. This is supposed to be the height of the horror, the film’s climax, but Mama’s face was so unrealistic that it pulls me out of my horrified trance and I am no longer scared.

My favorite character is Annabell (Jessica Chastain), because she isn’t too enthusiastic about suddenly having to take on a motherly role, especially since the girls have serious social problems. Her boyfriend, the main caretaker of the kids, gets seriously injured, leaving Annabell in charge. I love watching her relationship develop into love for Lily and Victoria, and when Mama comes to play, she does a wonderful job showing her fear.

My favorite scene is in the very beginning of the movie, when it shows how one-year-old Lily and three-year-old Victoria end up in the woods. It is a very twisted scene, but I like how they show the girls adapting to their new surroundings. They adapt through crayon drawings on the walls, which is very creative.

I give Mama 4 out of 5 stars because it was definitely thrilling, but since it was so similar to some other films in this genre, I have to take a point away for lack of originality. I recommend Mama for ages 13 and up because of it’s intense content. If you’re into anything Horror, Thriller or ghost related, then you’ll love Mama so go check it out!

The Black Stallion As Beautiful And Captivating As Ever

Monday, January 28th, 2013

blackstallion.jpgOriginally released in 1979, The Black Stallion is a classic film sure to please horse lovers and adventure seekers alike. It’s beautiful cinematography and captivating story have stood the test of time. The Black Stallion is perfect for the whole family, and as Brianna Beaton, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic sums it up, it is “appealing to the eye, inspirational and touching.” Don’t miss this exciting tale, playing throughout the month of February 2013, on HDnet Movies – kidScene.

The Black Stallion

Reviewed by Brianna Beaton, age 13, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Click here to see Brianna’s full video review!

This film is very appealing to the eye, inspirational and touching.

Alec Ramsey (Kelly Reno) is on a ship with his father and a very wild black Arabian stallion, which Alec calls Black. A terrible storm happens and only he and Black survive. They end up on a small island and Alec befriends Black. Some travelers stumble across the island and bring them to England, where retired horse trainer, Henry Dailey (Mickey Rooney) helps Alec train Black.

I like this film because of the cinematography and the plot. This is a beautiful story and there are a lot of scenes with great angles and close ups which catches my eye. Black is a very pretty, strong and fast horse. The acting is very believable and I can sometimes feel their emotions. My favorite character is Alex because he is able to earn the trust of Black and this is very hard to do. My favorite scene is when Alec is trying to get Black to like him so he gives him some food and after that he puts some food in his hand and then walks around the beach of the island to get the horse to follow him. After a while this turns into a game. If Black follows Alec then he will get some food.

Carroll Ballard directs The Black Stallion while Melissa Mathison along with Jeanne Rosenberg writes the screen play. Other actors in this film are Clarence Muse (Snoe), Hoyt Axton (Alec’s Father), and Ed McNamara (Jake).

A message in this film is that you can become friends with any person or any animal and it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old. Also, everything that happens happens for a reason.

I recommend, The Black Stallion for ages 7 to 14. Younger ages may be scared at some of the scenes, but if they are watching with this family, it may not be too scary. Of course, if you are a horse lover, this film is for you and you can add this to your collection.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Some of the scenes are a little too short and has too little details, but even with that, this is still a great family film.

See how Alec and Black create their friendship in this 1979 film, The Black Stallion. It plays all month on HDNet movies kidScene.

Announcing our 2013 KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Finalists!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Amazon_film_critic_banner.jpgWe Proudly Announce Our Finalists for the 2013 KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Search. Twelve of these young people will become the face and voice of KIDS FIRST! for the next year. They will be doing video reviews, hosting our Voice America Kids radio show, KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions, attend pre-screenings, red carpet events and more.

The film critics program helps to support our mission of media literacy, proving that SMART KIDS MAKE SMART CONSUMERS. In order to keep our program alive, and make sure that these opportunities are open to all kids, we need your help. Please make your tax-deductible donation in support of these important programs aimed at kids, by kids. Any amount helps, click here now, or contact us to donate by check.

The 2013 Finalist are (in alphabetical order by first name):

  1. Adam Chernick

  2. Canela Roey

  3. Carson Boman

  4. Casey Holmes

  5. Cassandra Hsiao

  6. Charlee Boman

  7. Colin Davies

  8. Cordelia Holland Foist

  9. Gerry Orz

  10. Jaheem Toombs

  11. Jailene Arias

  12. Johntae Lipscomb

  13. Keefer C. Blakeslee

  14. Molly Jackson

  15. Morgaine Sapphire Hunter

  16. Patrick Nguyen

  17. Stacy-Love Belizaire

  18. Talin Polka

  19. Valdi-Agaelle Belizaire

To see the finalists entry videos, click here! Pick your favorites and check back on the KIDS FIRST! website on or around January 31 to see if who won!

Monsters Inc Monsters Come To Life in 3D

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

monstersincPixar Studios has taken one of the favorite films of the past decade and made it even more fun by adding 3D. For kids who haven’t seen the original, and for everyone who would like to see it again, Monsters Inc 3D is still showing in theaters across the country. Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, says adding 3D makes “the monsters seem much bigger, and scarier, and funnier.”

Click here to listen to the KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions Radio Show on Voice America Kids, where our film critics discuss this film and many others.

Monsters Inc 3D
Reveiwed by Morgan Bertsch

Click here to see Morgan’s full video review!

One of Pixar’s all-time favorite movies, Monster Inc. is in theaters now in 3D. Monstropolis is the home to monsters. They get all their electricity from the screams of children. Each child has a different door to their closet and when the monsters go in the children scream and they save these in special containers. The monsters are competing to see who gets the most screams. The monsters are scared of children.

When a child gets out and into the scream factory, craziness happens. Sulley (John Goodman) is to blame for this accident. He has a side kick named Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) who has only one eye. They must hide the child and get her back home. She is a little confused and calls Sully, Kitty and he calls her Boo. A monster named Randall Boggs (James Coburn) is Boo’s monster and he wants to find her and steal all her screams. He not only wants to win the contest, he wants to take over the company. There are others on his side and once you watch it the mystery will be revealed.

My favorite character is Boo because she is so cute, with the sweetest voice and funniest outfit. She thinks scaring is fun. I love the part when Boo runs into the other monster children and fits right in. They were adorable and you cannot say that about many monsters. She is always pulling at your heart strings and you root for her throughout the movie.

The 3D graphics brought the colors out and the monsters in and closer to you. The monsters seem much bigger, and scarier, and funnier. The music is catchy and fits in with all the different scenes and moods of the movie. There are funny, sad, scary and happy times with the music to match.

Watch this 3D version so you will be ready for Monster University coming out next summer. I can hardly wait. The age range is 5 and up because the monster are scary after all. Adults will find it fun and will remember when they first saw this movie.

I give this movie 5 twinkling stars because it was even better with the 3D than the original movie. This movie will stand the test of time. Be sure to watch until the very end for the must see out-takes. Morgan Bertsch, age 8, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

Find Fun and Friendship in Ruby’s Studio

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

RubyStudioFriendship.jpegFollowing up on the success of The Mother Company’s first DVD release, Ruby’s Studio: The Feelings Show, is another exciting addition to their line-up: Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show, featuring a lovable live-action host, art projects, animation, puppet shows, and original songs. With the voice of Mel Brooks and The Happy Song by Elizabeth Mitchell.

Though the overall intent of Ruby’s Studio is to help kids navigate the difficulties of childhood, taking its viewers on a journey of emotional literacy – kids think it’s fun! According to KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Cheyenne Nguyen, Ruby’s Studio shows short clips about friendship so it’s easy for younger kids to understand. This preschool, early childhood content even appealed to our own 13-year-old KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Brianna Hope Beaton, who says the activities are fun and the life lessons invaluable. She rates the DVD for ages 3-7, but word has it, even Brianna was glued to the screen!

Tune into the KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions episode from December 18, 2012 and hear our KIDS FIRST! reporters interview Abbie Schiller, CEO/Founder of The Mother Company, creator of the Ruby’s Studio series. Click here to go directly to this episode.

“Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show” is available on DVD or instant download now on The Mother Company’s website!

Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show
Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton
Click here to see Brianna’s full video review!

This award winning show is a must have for every child and will definitely help with their childhood. In Ruby’s Studio, Ruby tells you everything there is to know about friendship. She tells you how to make friends, keep friends, how to treat your friends and cover real life situations on how to relate to them. She also tells stories that show you what to do if you and your friend have a disagreement. Most importantly, Ruby covers the golden rule; treat others the way you want to be treated.

I like Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show because of the real life scenes, the activities and the songs which teach you valuable lessons. It seems as though the kids on the show are giving real honest answers, not fake at all.  I like that it’s interactive with the kids on the show and the fun they are having with the different activities.

One craft activity I like is the making of a friendship tree. You can place the names of your friends on it with what you think they enjoy or like. I like that this is a show that is very kid friendly. It’s fun with bright colors, upbeat songs, and interesting stories. It provides great tips and gives you a recap of everything.

Kids 3 to 7 well definitely love this show because it is interactive with its viewers, making you feel like you are included. Kids will also like it if they are seeking help for their relationships with their own friends.

I give Ruby’s Studio 5 out of 5 stars. It gives great lessons, it’s interactive and has real life examples of problems that kids may face with their friends. There is not one thing that I dislike about this show. I believe it is a great program. For parents, this show is educational in every way and you will love it with helping to raise your child. Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show is available now on DVD.

Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show
Reviewed by Cheyenne Nguyen
Click here to see Cheyenne’s full video review!

This is a great movie for kids to learn the Golden Rule. Ruby’s Studio has many different shows. This particular one is about Friendship. This movie shows children how to make friends, understand to their friends and how to talk to them. The movie shows real kids feelings and has a lot of colorful displays, arts and crafts to keep children’s attention. It also repeats the messages several times so younger children can remember what the messages of the movie are all about. We need to hear how other kids are feeling so we can understand better. We should try to talk to our friends and see why they are feeling the sadness or not want to play.

My favorite character is Ruby. She is pretty and speaks slowly and make sure that all the children understand the message. The movie is full of fun arts and crafts.

The lesson in this movie is “The Golden Rule”; you treat others like you want to be treated. I rank this movie 5 out of 5 stars. This movie’s age range is 3 -5.

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