Archive for February, 2013

Romance and Unexpected Twists In The New Film Safe Haven

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

SafeHaven.jpgA romance, yes, but with unusual twists and a complex story line. That is what makes the new film Safe Haven so interesting to watch. February 14 is known as a day for romance, and this year at the theater is no exception. Rated PG-13 for sexual and adult content, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Victoria Burns, age 14, recommends this film, even to those who are not fans of the romance genre, because it is “unique and not cliche.”

Safe Haven hits local theaters on February 14, 2013. Tune in next week to KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions Radio Show on Voice America Kids, to hear our Film Critics discuss this film and more.

Safe Haven

Reviewed by Victoria Burns

Safe Haven was surprisingly eerie for a romantic movie. I have never seen Julianne Hough play such an intense role before, and she is honest in her acting. She plays a distrusting woman in a new town looking to have no neighbors, friends or any emotional ties, but she forgets that southerners are strangely friendly. Her goal becomes more difficult.

I love the style that the movie is shot, flashing in and out from the present to the past.  This movie follows a woman named Katie who runs away from home, urgently from her husband who is stalking and trying to find her. She takes a bus in a disguise to any town and when the bus stops for a pit stop, she decides that the sleepy and quaint little town she has stopped in is the one for her.

Katie (played by Julianne Hough) has to start over with a new name, house and people.  First she gets a job at a local seafood shack and buys a new house. She stops at the local store for groceries and meets a charming little girl named Lexi (Mimi Kirkland), followed by her dad, Alex (Josh Duhamel), who coincidentally is the same guy that sold her coffee the first day in town. Neither of them at first admit it, but it is clear that there is an instant attraction. From then on, whenever Katie goes to the store she sees Lexie and meets her brother Josh (Noah Lomax) and flirts with Alex.  Katie tells all of her encounters with Alex to her one neighbor Jo(Cobie Smulders), and Jo encourages the idea of Katie dating Alex. The closer Alex and Katie get, the more dangerous their relationship becomes.

There is a twist when Alex, who is friends with the sheriff, sees a wanted for murder post with Katie’s face on it. He confronts her and tells her to leave. Later find out that Katie’s  husband she is running from, is the police. To find out what happens next, you’ll have to see it for yourself.

I give this movie five out of five stars because this romantic movie is unique and not cliché. I would recommend it for ages 13 and up or mature audiences, for the sexual scenes and for scenes of domestic and substance abuse. I am not a fan of romantic movies, but this one was the best I have seen. It even has an exciting twist that I never saw coming. I love this movie and will see it again.

Introducing The New Faces of KIDS FIRST!

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Amazon_film_critic_banner.jpgKIDS FIRST! is so excited to announce our new KIDS FIRST! Film Critics for 2013! This group of 12 kids did such a wonderful job on their video review, written review and have already been fun to work with.

Drumroll please, in first name order, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… (hint, click on any of the winner’s names to see their video entry review):

The finalists that did not make the final 12 should be congratulated as well. The judges had a very hard time making this decision as every child that entered worked hard and showed that they had the potential to be great film critics. We encourage you to enter again when the contest is re-opened. With the experience and practice you have, your chances will be even greater next time.

KIDS FIRST! is very proud that many of our 2012 Film Critics will be continuing on with us. We welcome back: Raven Devanney, Morgan Bertsch, Cheyenne Nguyen, Camille Bajema, Anthony Aranda, Julianna Noone and Brianna Beaton. They will all continue to do reviews and work on the KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions radio show, and will also serve as advisors and mentors for our new critics.

It’s going to be a great year at KIDS FIRST!

Raven Calls Warm Bodies a Hilarious “Zomedy!”

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

WarmBodies.jpgWhen we imagine a post-apocalyptic world, it usually includes a lot of broken down buildings, stray dogs and a bunch of raggedy and tough survivors, but rarely zombies! Warm Bodies, rated PG-13, is a hilarious look at what could be, a world in which humans are uncommon and zombies roam the land looking for fresh bodies to eat.

This may not sound appealing, but according to 15-year-old KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Raven Devanney, it’s actually quite hilarious. A quirky romance/comedy/horror film, it stands to remind us of the true meaning of humanity and the importance of staying connected with others.

Warm Bodies

Reviewed by Raven Devanney

Click here to see Raven’s full video review!

The newest addition to the Zombie, Romance, Comedy and Horror genre. I call it, a Zombromance, or a Zomedy! It’s set in a post apocalyptic world consisting of zombies, bonies and a small population of humans. When a zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult) meets a Human girl named Julie, he starts to feel like there is more to life than just being the walking dead. He begins to cure himself, retrain himself to talk and become more human. He inspires more zombies to try to cure themselves, and slowly they begin to become more human. Will R and Julie defy the odds and stay together, or will the fact that one of them is a zombie keep them apart?

I absolutely adore this movie. I will definitely see it over and over again. When I think of zombie movies I think of nasty rotting creatures and lots of blood and gore. Naturally the zombies eat people in this movie, but it is filmed in such a way that brought a sense of humor to the whole thing and the blood was very minimal. Even the zombies don’t look that bad. In fact, Nicholas Hoult makes one attractive zombie! I like the lighting and sets in this film a lot. You can definitely tell that it is a post apocalyptic world, but the zombies still try to maintain somewhat consistent routines. I thought it was cool too see zombie security guards and janitors. Although they weren’t doing much, you still got the sense that there was some humanity left in them.

My favorite character is R because he is such a sweetheart. He goes against his urge to eat people to save Julie and he proves that he is more than just a mindless flesh eater. Even though he is relearning how to speak, he is still quite slow so he can only mutter out simple words and phrases. Nicholas Hoult does a fantastic job keeping this character dull and Zombie-like, while still giving glimpses of his emotions and personality. This movie shows that R still has completely normal thoughts, he just can’t express them, as if he is trapped in his own mind. R voiced over most of the movie and it was hilarious to hear what he was thinking, compared to what he was actually able to do. He made me laugh even in more intense situations, making him my absolute favorite character.

I can’t say I have a favorite scene because this whole movie is incredibly well done. I do love all the times that R and his Zombie friend M or “Marcus” interact. They try to communicate and connect and it’s so funny and touching to see their friendship show even though it’s challenging for them to express it. I also really enjoy the seen when Julie (Teresa Palmer) and her friend Nora (Analeigh Tipton) give R a makeover. R is so reluctant to have makeup put on him, which I thought was funny because most teenage boys are. The music in this scene was particularly funny and entertaining and it is a memorable scene.

I think there are so many underlying messages in this film, but the one that stands out to me most is that we need to take the time to connect with our surroundings and the people in our lives. In this film it shows a flashback to the world before the zombie outbreak, and R is saying that back then everyone could connect, but in the flashback everyone is on their phones texting or playing video games. It is a really strong reminder that we are so wired and constantly tuned into technology that we often forget to be with our family and connect with our loved ones

I recommend this film for ages 13 and up because teens and even adults will love this movie, but kids under the age of 13 may find it to be too mature. I give Warm Bodies 10 out of 10 stars so go check it out at a theater near you!

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