Archive for June, 2013

“Man of Steel” Is Not Your Typical Superhero Flick

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

ManofSteel.jpg“Man of Steel” is a story about more than just good guys and bad guys, like most superhero films. In fact, it’s very different from Superman stories of the past. Yes, Superman is still trying to save Earth, but “Man of Steel” also tells the story behind the hero. This addition of a more personal storyline adds a more human touch to the superhero we have come to know and love through the years. “Man of Steel” is rated PG-13 for intense and violent scenes.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Gerry O., age 11, says, “the events, the story line and amazing effects will blow your mind” and Anthony A., 10-year-old KIDS FIRST! Film Critic also likes the special effects saying that Superman, “has cool powers such as superhuman strength, x-ray vision, ability to shoot lasers from his eyes and of course, he can fly!” You won’t want to miss this new film after reading and watching Gerry’s review below.

“Man of Steel”

Reveiwed by Gerry O.

Click here to see Gerry’s full video review!

If you have seen the Superman films and read the comics, you will hear about this film and think to yourself – another Superman movie?! My moms are big fans of Superman so I was positive I knew what to expect. Well, I was in for a huge surprise.

This movie is not at all like other movies about famous superheroes. It starts by showing where Superman is born on another planet and what happens to his home. It touches your heart to see what sacrifice his real parents go through in order to save his life.

The movie shows Superman’s life from a little kid to a grown man; how he has to adjust to Earth’s atmosphere and learn to control his powers. Other kids think he is weird and pick on him, but his earth parents teach him to be patient and not to attract too much attention so he can grow up and fulfill his destiny. You probably would like to know what his destiny is, but you have to watch the movie to find out. The events, the storyline and amazing effects will blow your mind, especially if you get chance to see it in 3D.

I like this film for number of reasons. The graphics and storyline are very engaging. I also think they couldn’t have done a better job with the cast. The funny and courageous reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams), proud warrior and real father of our famous superhero Jor-El (Russell Crowe), Clark’s earth father (Kevin Costner) and a new face on the Hollywood horizon, Henry Cavill, who plays Superman.

My favorite scene is when Clark surrenders to FBI so he can save the Earth and while he is there, FBI agents observe him through a one-way mirror window. Superman has super powers so he can see through the glass. He starts making funny comments and shocks the FBI agents with his skills. But best of all is the reaction of the agents on the other side of the glass. You can see that they struggle to believe that this is real and they are also amazed and fascinated by Superman.

I recommend this great movie to ages 10 and up. It has elements of violence and a bit of harsh language. The graphic depiction may be too intense for a younger audience. I love the film and would definitely enjoy watching it again, though it does get a little predictable in the last 15-20 minutes. You can catch this film in theaters everywhere starting Friday, June 14, 2013!

You can also see Anthony A.’s full video review here.

“Monsters University”: A Refreshing Prequel From Pixar

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

MonstersU.jpg

Everyone’s favorite monsters from “Monsters Inc.”, plus a few more, are back in “Monsters University.” This time, instead of telling the story of what happened next, they’ve created a prequel to show us how the monsters first became friends and give us more insight into the characters. Mike, Sulley and the gang bring a ton of laughs to the screen as they learn how to become “scarers” and become best buddies in the process. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jailene A., age 13 especially loves the animation in this film, “every character has its own personality and special features, as none of the monsters look exactly the same.” She was excited to see an advance screening of “Monsters University” and shares her thoughts below.

“Monsters University”

Reviewed by Jailene A.

Click here to see Jailene's full video review!

I just watched “Monsters University” and it is an amazing prequel to Disney Pixar’s classic “Monster Inc.” “Monsters University” is the back-story of how Sully and Mike Wazowski became the best friends they were in “Monsters Inc.” It all starts in college, from day one Mike has been a perfect student ever since he decided he wanted to be a top scarer when he grows up. That is his dream and he works hard to accomplish it. Sully, on the other hand thinks everything is going to be handed to him because he’s a Sullivan and his father is the ultimate top scarer. Everything changes when both of them get kicked out of the scare program. This is when Mike and Sully must work together to prove they can be worthy of scaring. There’s a surprise plot twist at the end that you’d have to watch to see what happens.

I like the concept of “Monsters University” just as the original “Monsters Inc.” touched the hearts of many in 2001. However, no one really knew how they became best friends in the beginning. This is what makes the concept of this movie so interesting because of the fact that normally you would see the movie of how they met first and then see them continue their life in a sequel. I also like the animation in this movie. Every character has its own personality and special features, as none of the monsters look exactly the same.  Some have tentacles, some have more than two eyes and some monsters are scarier than others, but everyone has something in common: they all want to be a scarer.

All the characters are very amazing but my favorite character is Mike Wazowski. When Mike was little, everyone always made fun of him for being too small and no one thought he would accomplish anything in life. He works hard to get into Monsters University because he is determined to succeed and in the end, he may not get what he wants but he is still happy, and that’s what is important.

My favorite scene is when Mike and Sully are in the first round of the scare games and they have to race through a dark tunnel with spiky balls on the floor that make you blow up like a marshmallow. Both of them come out of the race with a puffy lip and swollen legs because they touched the spiky balls and they could barely talk. It made me laugh a lot.

I recommend “Monsters University” for ages 6-14. It is an amazing family movie and kids will love it. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars so go check it out. Make sure you get to see this amazing movie when it releases in theaters on June 21, 2013.

“After Earth” Is An Action-Packed Look At Post-Apocolyptic Earth

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

AfterEarth.jpg“After Earth” is a glimpse of post-apocalyptic earth, showing us what it might look like years after humans no longer live on our blue planet. Will and Jaden Smith bring their own brand of humor to this dramatic story of father and son working together to save mankind. Including a genre for almost every movie-goer, this PG-13 movie provides us with drama, “adventure, comedy and Sci-fi all in one!” Gerry O., 11-year-old KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, warns us that this film may be a bit intense for younger viewers, but claims, “if you like adventure and action you will adore this movie!”

Listen to the KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions Radio Show episode where our film critics discuss the film. Read Gerry O.’s full review below and visit www.kidsfirst.org to see our other critic’s reviews of the film.

“After Earth”

Reviewed by Gerry O.

Click here for Gerry’s full video review!

“After Earth” is a combination of adventure, comedy and Sci-fi all in one! If you love adventures, you would love this movie. It begins one thousand years after humans are forced to leave Earth because they destroyed it. They reach a new planet. Humans think they are safe until they find an alien species that are putting humans in danger. General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) has to find a way to defeat the aliens. The General’s son, Kitia Raige, (Jaden Smith) goes on a trip with his father and the ship crash-lands on Earth! Cypher’s legs are broken and Kitia has to go far away to retrieve an emergency beacon! Can he do it? Would they be able to survive in this dangerous environment?

I loved “After Earth!” This film is a mixture of everything! It shows what can possibly happen to humans. I personally adore Will and Jaden Smith. Any movie where they are together makes it a fantastic and funny movie. What makes the movie better is that they play father and son, when in real life they are just that! Father and son.

Also interesting is how many birds, animals and whales were in the movie, clearly showing what our planet would be like without human interference.

There are a few scenes with Cypher and his wife, Faia (Sophie Okoneda) where they have a very cute and adorable conversations showing General’s soft side. My favorite character is Kitia. He is scared and frightened a lot. He is alone at a young age, on unfamiliar Earth, one thousand years after humans left. It would be scary! Kitia grows quickly and learns many things on this hunt for the beacon.

My favorite scene is when Kitia does not listen when his father orders him to come back, and instead jumps off a very tall cliff and tries to make it to the beacon without proper gear. He is chased and caught by a giant eagle that decides to adopt Kitia, and even helps him along the way. Kitia’s camera, that Cypher is using to see what’s going on, is destroyed and he must continue his journey without his father’s guidance.

I recommend “After Earth” to ages twelve and up. This movie is very graphic and may be a bit too intense for younger kids. If you like adventure and action you will adore this movie! I give “After Earth” five out of five starts because it was so great in many ways. This movie comes out in theaters everywhere May 31, 2013.

Check out these other great video reviews from KIDS FIRST! Film Critics

Anthony A., age 10

Keefer B., age 12

Raven D., age 15

“Now You See Me” Is Full Of Magic, Laughs And Crime

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

NowYouSeeMe.jpgTeens and adults will love “Now You See Me” a hilarious and entertaining story about street magicians turned crooks. With an all-star cast and unending surprises, twists and turn that KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven D. likens to a “pretzel” there isn’t a dull moment in this new film. As 15-year-old Raven D. tells us, “it keeps the audience guessing the whole time and hits you with major shock factor.” Rated PG-13 for violence and mature language, “Now You See Me” is a unique and entertaining story that is not to be missed. Enjoy Raven’s full review of the film below.

“Now You See Me”

Reviewed by Raven D.

Click here to see Raven’s full video review!

I absolutely love this film. “Now You See Me” is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It tells the story of a group of magicians called The Four Horsemen who use their skills to pull off some of the greatest international robberies of their generation. Featuring Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKenny (Woody Harrelson), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), the Four Horsemen make a dream team of street magicians. Since they have made their stunts public, allowing the world to “witness” the robberies, authorities are in hot pursuit of the four wanted criminals. Detective Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) is accompanied in his search for the illusive magicians by Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) and French Detective Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent.) Will the Four Horsemen be able to pull of their final act without being caught or will it be curtains for the criminal performers?

The plot is so original and full of fresh ideas and witty comedy. I love how fast paced this film is, there isn’t a dull moment from beginning to end. The plot itself has so many twists and turns like a pretzel, but it keeps the audience guessing the whole time and hits you with major shock factor. The acting in this film is incredible. It features a group of incredible actors – Morgan Freeman, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Woody Harrelson and many others. I love how each character has a unique quirk and personality that you can really see, but they all work together so well. The cinematography and special effects in this film are phenomenal. It is bursting with rich colors and textures, drawing you into the magic and making the illusions appear real. The soundtrack is also amazing. It is suits each scene very well, while keeping a consistent theme and feel throughout the movie. “Now You See Me” is definitely not one to miss.

It’s hard for me to pick a favorite character because I love all of the Horsemen, but when it comes down to it I have to say I like the characters Daniel Atlas and Jack Wilder. Daniel (Jesse Eisenberg) often tries to assert himself as the head of the Four Horsemen. He is controlling, very specific and difficult to deal with, but he is also the funniest character, which is attributed to all of his demanding qualities. I love every film Jesse Eisenberg is in and I think he is perfect for the role of Daniel Atlas. I also like Jack Wilder, played by Dave Franco, because he is the craftiest of the magicians. He isn’t the “card trick” or “read your mind” type; he’s just a good old-fashioned pickpocket for whom no door is ever locked. He is sort of the “muscle” to the operation because he is able to help the horsemen get out of tight situations and is also very funny.

My favorite scene is when the Four Horsemen have to escape from the FBI after their second robbery. Jack Wilder has to stay behind to burn secret files. When he has an unexpected run-in with Detective Rhodes, an action filled fight sequence and high-speed chase follow. This scene is filled with suspense, action and incredible stunts and it shows that the Horsemen are always two steps ahead.

I recommend this film for ages 12 and up because of violence and mild mature language. Overall I give “Now You See Me” 5 out of 5 stars, so be sure to catch the magic in a theater near you when it takes over the big screen on May 31, 2013!

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