Archive for February, 2015

The Duff – Hilarious, Yet Deep. Worthy Of A Second Viewing

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

TheDuff.jpgBullying takes all forms in high school. This film shows Mae Whitman as a high school senior whose world is shattered when she learns the student body knows her at “The DUFF” (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier, more popular friends. Despite the words of caution from her favorite teacher, she puts aside the potential distraction of her crush, Toby and enlists Wesley, a slick but charming jock, to help reinvent herself. KIDS FIRST! Critic Harmony M. comments, “Being a high school student myself, I was really surprised at how relatable the movie is, especially to today’s generation of teenagers.” Read her full review below.

The Duff
by Harmony M., KIDS FIRST! Critic

The comedic movie, The Duff, is hilarious, relatable and worth watching. The film is about high-school senior Bianca, played by Mae Whitman, who finds out that she is the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) of her attractive group of friends. Determined to change her DUFF image and impress her crush Toby, she turns to her popular neighbor Wesley Rush, played by Robbie Amell, to give her a complete makeover. Through her journey of transformation, she gains self confidence and shows the school that everybody is a DUFF.

Not only do I enjoy that the movie starts off fast, but I really like that it starts with a cool, graphic newspaper clip that explains high school and the different types of people in high school. Being a high school student myself, I was really surprised at how relatable the movie is, especially to today’s generation of teenagers. It doesn’t just portray the generic, stereotypical high school student that is so outdated. The movie has a lot of familiar celebrity stars that I enjoyed seeing. The performances by Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, Allison Janney and Ken Jeong are especially hilarious and very entertaining.

The movie is hilarious, yet deep. Most comedy movies are really funny, yet pointless or lack an overall message. I laughed so often and even shed a tear in a heartfelt scene. The facial expressions are priceless and memorable. I respect this film for being extremely funny while also having a deep, motivational moral lesson and theme. I enjoyed the plot and moral of the story as much the comedy. The movie has a lot of references that are very comical. One example is an episode of the Simpsons that the movie shows. The movie also has really entertaining graphics that make the movie even more unique, some of this include labels and an interactive screen effect.

This film is one I will watch multiple times and tell my friends to watch, yet I do not recommend it as a family movie. The film may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13 due to inappropriate language and actions. I definitely recommend the movie for teenagers in high school, especially girls. I recommend the movie to ages between 13 and 18. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. Check it out as it is in theater now.

Alexander and the **** Bad Day – Now on DVD/Blu-Ray, Perfect for Family Viewing

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

AlexanderBlurayCombo.LR.jpgThis comedy is based on the best-selling book by Judith Viorst and is about young Alexander and his horrible day. Alexander only thinks these bad days happen to him but, he learns he is not so alone. This is an entertaining family movie and had my whole family laughing out loud. It actually makes you smile and there are quite a few meaningful lessons in this fun movie. It shows that when things go wrong, you should have courage and should try your best to turn them around. Maybe you won’t fix it perfectly but, with courage, you can be proud of who you are.  It also shows that there will be some bad days and you don’t always have to be positive. The two most meaningful lessons are that family is important especially at the worst of times and as young Alexander states in the movie “You have to have the bad days so you love the good days even more.” (Adult juror) See what one of our youth critics has to say about it below.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Reviewed by Katie G., KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 13

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Is an amazing, laugh-filled experience for the whole family. This Disney movie is based on the book written by Judith Viorst, directed by Miguel Arteta and stars Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner and Ed Oxenbould as Alexander.

Alexander is a boy who has endless bad days. After a particularly bad day, he is feeling like the rest of his family never has any bad days, so he makes a birthday wish that they will all have a no good, very bad day. He wants them to feel what he feels, so that they might understand him.

My favorite scene is when Alexander’s sister, who is starring as Peter Pan in her school play, wakes up with a cold and then drinks way too much cough syrup. The result of this over-medication happens on stage and is hilarious.

Parents should know that there is some rude humor, with a bit of bad language and reckless behavior. But, this film is brought to you by Disney, so you can be pretty certain that is appropriate for the whole family.

I loved ‘Alexander’s Very-Good Bonus Content’ which is available on the Blu-Ray version of the film. It includes the very funny blooper reel and outtakes as well as a behind-the-scenes adventure filmed by Alexander, himself.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18, as well as parents. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for brilliant acting and a hilarious story. Be sure to check out this great, fun family film on Blu-Ray and DVD. It is available in stores and available for digital downloads now.

More youth reviews below.

More about the extras: The DVD/Blu-ray includes some great extras. We found them interesting and enjoyable to watch. There are quotes from the actors and the author of the book in “Alexander in Real Life.” Both kids and adults will enjoy the “Delightful, Magnificent Bloopers” because they are really funny! There is also a short video called Snappy Crocs and Punchy Roos which is about how Alexander is into the Australian outback. Very enjoyable is the “Walk About Diary” where you learn that the actor who plays Alexander is actually really from Australia. Last of all, there is a music video of the Vamps performing the song from the movie “Hurricane.” A Must-See! We give this one 5 stars.