Archive for May, 2013

LEGO Batman Teaches Us The Importance Of Teamwork

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

legobatman.jpgWant a positive film that portrays teamwork and friendship for your superhero loving or LEGO loving child? Look no further. Just out on DVD and Blu-ray, “LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite” will not let you down. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O., age 11, says this DVD teaches us that “sometimes you can’t do things all by yourself, you need help” and that relationships aren’t always easy. To make this an even more exciting gift for your favorite LEGO kid, it comes with a Clark Kent/Superman LEGO mini-figure!

“LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite”

Reviewed by Gerry O.

Click here to see Gerry’s full video review!

At first I thought this movie would be kind of like “The Avengers.” The movie turns out to be very different! All the Marvel superheroes and everything else are made out of LEGOS. It is more focused on Batman as a man and other heroes like Robin, Wonder Woman, Superman, the Green Lantern and many others.

This move has a mix of comedy which I’ve noticed is in every LEGO movie. It has action, adventure, great actors and even a lifelong lesson – sometimes you can’t do things all by yourself, you need help. There are some pretty cool structures and machines. All these structures are built out of LEGO bricks so you can really build them yourself if you knew how!

The adventure begins when Bruce Wayne wins the “Man of the Year” award. If you don’t know who Bruce Wayne is, he is Batman undercover. Then the Joker commits a crime and Batman and Robin have to capture him once again. As they are trying to achieve their goal, Superman helps him. Batman gets annoyed with Superman but at the end they work together and call in all the superheroes to defeat the Joker

What I love about this funny, action-packed film is how it shows the relationship between Robin and Batman as somewhat difficult. This isn’t very good for a side-kick and a hero. Also, it shows all the heroes’ powers like Superman’s strength and Batman’s throwing skills. The best part for me is how everything is made out of LEGOS. And, as in most LEGO movies, there are cool animations, good action and great voiceover actors.

My favorite scene is when the bat cave gets destroyed. It’s action-packed and shows Joker’s funny side with his strange humor and his pie bombs. Superman helps them. But the Joker and his partner Lex, who is running for president and using Joker to win the election, gets away. Would you like to know how he was able to defeat Superman’s power? Get a copy of this wonderful film and find out!

I recommend this film for ages 3 and up. There’s no violence or harsh language in this movie. “LEGO Batman: the Movie – DC Superheroes Unite” is extremely kid-friendly. I give this movie 5 out 5 stars. You can find it on DVD everywhere now.

“Space Warriors” Is A Fun And Down-To-Earth Film For All Ages

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

spacewarriors_1.jpg“Space Warriors” is a live-action film about kids who attend Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. Though it is a fictional story, it is based on a real place and according to KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O., age 11, it “feels very real and positive.” All of our film critics agree that this is a fun and exciting film that inspired them to want to visit the real Space Camp. Adam C., Age 7, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic tells us that they even fact-checked the story with NASA “and it was plausible that this could have happened in real life.” Proving that it has multi-age and gender appeal, 13-year-old KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Cassandra H. calls this “a fun and unexpectedly down-to-earth film for all ages.”

Airing on May 31, this Hallmark Channel Original Movie is perfect for the whole family. You can hear our discussion about this film on the KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions Radio Show. Check out Cassandra H.’s full review below and many of our Film Critic’s full video reviews as well.

“Space Warriors”

Reviewed by Cassandra H.

See Cassandra’s full video review by visiting www.kidsfirst.org

Space geeks will envy the rip-roaring adventures in the movie, “Space Warriors.” I was pleasantly surprised to see that the plot was simpler than I imagined. Before I watched the movie, the title made me cringe, suggesting that it was about teenagers battling aliens in a cheesy rampage through outer space. Clearly, I was wrong to judge a movie by its poster. “Space Warriors” is a fun and unexpectedly down-to-earth film for all ages.

Jimmy Hawkins (Thomas Horn, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”), the son of a retired NASA astronaut, is a complete astronomy geek. His dream is to go to space, and the opportunity arises in the form of Space Camp, where teams can compete for the chance to go to space. His parents, played by Dermot Mulroney and Mira Sorvino, forbid him to join Space Camp fearing for his safety, but Jimmy joins anyway. At Space Camp he meets the brightest, nerdiest group of astronomy-lovers, called Space Warriors. They have to learn to work together as a team not only to win the competition, but to save the lives of three astronauts along the way as well.

Colonel Manley (Josh Lucas), one of the commanders at Space Camp, is one of my favorite characters – he’s witty and smart with just a touch of dry humor and sarcasm. Sean McNamara (“Soul Surfer”) is the director of “Space Warriors.” Along the same lines of “Soul Surfer,” this movie has many great themes that include teamwork, leadership, overcoming fear, thinking outside the box, making wise choices and most importantly, it shines a positive light on youth. The Space Warriors don’t let anyone look down on them because of their age – they prove to the entire world that age doesn’t matter as long as you have passion, a love of discovering, and an open mind.

The movie incorporates footage from history in outer space and was shot on-location at the Space Camp in Alabama. For science-lovers, this movie is the ultimate “easter egg” hunt, where geeks will want to shout and announce to other viewers, “That’s the actual footage of landing on the moon!” or “I’ve been on a moon-gravity stimulator just like that!” I found myself thinking that if I could go to a Space Camp that looks even half as fun as the one in the movie, it’d be the best summer of my life.

I recommend this movie for all ages, especially for aspiring scientists. I give it four out of five stars. “Space Warriors” will inspire viewers to look up and rekindle an excitement for learning about the unknown universe of space. Learn more about a world outside our own that we’ve barely begun to discover and catch “Space Warriors” on the Hallmark Channel, airing May 31!

Check out our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics full video reviews of Space Warriors!

Adam C.

Keefer B.

Gerry O.

Stacy and Valdi B.

Iron Man 3, The Most Intense And Driven Film In The Series So Far!

Monday, May 6th, 2013

IronMan3.jpg“Iron Man 3” is the newest edition in this exciting superhero series. Rated PG-13 for intense and somewhat violent scenes, this film proves that a sequel can more than live up to it’s predecessors. Age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven D. was extremely impressed with the action and says the “special effects, are outstanding and I absolutely love all of the different suits that Tony has created in this movie.” Equally impressed with the suits and special effects, 12-year-old KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Keefer B. notes “the way they move, attack, fight and look is wonderful” and tells us that the film is funny as well.

Iron Man 3

Reviewed by Keefer B.

See Keefer’s full video review here!

“Iron Man 3” is a blockbuster, serge forward, non-stop action movie with a few surprises, a couple disappointments and wallop of bigger-than-life, special effect-filled screens.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is back, and after fighting with the Avengers, faces a new threat, a terrorist named Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) and a new foe Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce).We also see James Rhodes/Iron Patriot ( Don Cheadle) who helps Tony out in his time of crises. Not only is Tony facing the anxiety of keeping Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) safe, but also learns that it’s the man that makes the suit.

I love the special effects in this flick. The suits get better and better. The way they move, attach, fight and look is wonderful. Robert Downey Jr. continues his character development as Tony Stark and I love every minute he’s on screen. Gwyneth Paltrow is fantastic. She’s not just a damsel in distress. She saves Tony two different times and has a likable, lovable personality. The story is very engaging and the dialogue is great. The one thing I don’t like is the intellectual twist. I have mixed feelings about the turn of events in this film. My inner die-hard, comic book-loving side is disappointed, but my film critic side sees it as genius.

My favorite character is Harley (Ty Simpkins), a boy who befriends Tony and helps repair the Iron Man suit. Harley is bright, independent and a little too much like Tony. When you put the two together, you get non-stop laughter.

The moral of the story is: it’s not the suit that makes the man, it’s the man that makes the suit. Tony can’t sleep because he gets nightmares, so he spends all his time at night making more suits to protect himself and Pepper. The truth is, he saves Pepper without the suit.

My favorite scene is the final battle. The action is larger-than-life. The different suits, the way they fight, make you want to cheer. It gets you to the edge of your seat; it’s intense, fast and action-packed .

I recommend this to 11 year-olds and up. Bad language is low and the action not too intense for this age range. They will love the comedy. I give this 5 stars. Even if the twist is a little disappointing, it’s still amazing.

Also check out Raven D.’s full video review here!

No Matter What You Look Like, You Can Always Be a Hero

Monday, May 6th, 2013

koala_kid.jpg

Journey down under and meet a whole new breed of hero in "Koala Kid," a laugh-filled, action-packed animated adventure with a rare white koala bear who just wants to fit in. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Canela R likes this movie "because it has a funny story and at the same time, action and suspense is thrown in with lots of twists and turns."

Koala Kid by Canela R

See Canela’s full video review here!

“Koala Kid” is a animated film about a white Koala who doesn’t he think he fits in with his community of gray Koalas and comes to believe that he has special talents which he thinks can prove to everyone that he belongs. He does this by going on a miraculous journey to defeat an evil crocodile named Bog.

The Koala Kid’s name is Johnny and he’s voiced by Rob Schneider. As his journey continues he meets Miranda, a gray Koala (Yvonne Strahvoski), Hamish the Tasmanian Devil (Bret McKenzie) and his Monkey Photographer Lokie (Charlie Bewley). They battle with their wits and through action with Bog the villainous Crocodile (Alan Cumming, the Bad Guy from Spy Kids!) and his chief henchman, Blacktooth the Dingo (Tim Curry).

There is one moment that seems to capture the humor and suspense of this movie perfectly. When Bog the evil Croc is sleeping, the tiny wombats take Snorkles into the pond and capture Bog with a net. When Bog awakes, he shrugs them off of him as if it is nothing. I didn’t want to laugh because the Wombats are so cute, but it is funny.

I really like the animation in this film because it feels as if you’re really in the hot outback with all these fun characters.

The colorfulness adds to the fun I experienced. There is also one song in the movie which continues the colorfulness and had both me AND my mom tapping our feet, “Do You Come From a Land Down Under.” I think I’m still tapping my feet.

I think the message of this movie is no matter what you look like, you can always become a hero.

If you like adventurous cartoons as much as I do, then “Koala Kid” is the movie for you. I recommend this to kids ages six to sixteen because as much as it is a lifelong lesson that you can always use. There are some suspenseful moments that could be scary to the younger ones.

I rate this movie five out of five stars because it’s hilarious and colorful which speaks to the mind of kids and teens.

Koala Kid is available now on DVD.

Check out KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O’s Koala Kid interview here!

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