Archive for March, 2015

A Girl Like Her – An Emotional Docu-Drama About Bullying

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

AGirlLikeHer.jpg16-year-old Jessica Burns has a secret that she’s afraid to share with anyone – except her best friend, Brian Slater. For the past year she’s been victimized by another girl – her former friend, Avery Keller, one of South Brookdale High School’s most popular and beautiful students. What can you do when the world sees the image of a person but not the reality? With Brian’s help and a hidden digital camera, the evidence of Avery’s relentless harassment is captured and finally exposed-bringing both girls and their families face to face with the truth. KIDS FIRST! Critic Gerry O. comments, “This film should be seen by everyone over the age of 9. This film shows you that the world isn’t always a happy place with sunshine and smiles.” See his full review below.

A Girl Like Her
By Gerry O, age 12, KIDS FIRST! Critic

This is a film that looks like a real, although its not, bullying story. It concentrates on everybody who is affected by it. It shows who does what about it and why. A Girl Like Her can truly show that something may seem so small, can mess up so many people. This movie isn’t a romance or comedy or an action packed adventure, quite the contrary. It shows a journey, a drama-filled one. It will not make you laugh. However, it may make you cry. It is about bullying which should not be referred to as a joke.

The story is about a girl named Jessica who goes to one of the best public high schools in the nation. However, after refusing to let her ‘friend’ cheat on her test, she starts getting bullied. She makes her best friend tell no one of this. But the friend decides something else. He gives her a hidden camera to wear and this documents all the bullying. Soon, she tries to commit suicide and the movie shows the struggle of not only the victim and her family, but everybody – the bystander, the bully, the administration, everybody.

This movie is truly emotional. It is made to look like it is documenting a real story. I didn’t even know it was fake till the end! That’s how good of a job it is! The acting is truly wonderful. This is the only time I have ever truly hated a character then, felt pity for the character. This is the bully. The director does a wonderful job showing the emotions of characters and proving that bullying isn’t just a normal part of life to deal with. It is a serious matter that has killed hundreds of children.

I cannot choose a favorite scene because I would rather that this movie doesn’t need to tell people about bullying. My least favorite scene is when the school administration denies the need to institute anti-bullying policies and tries to brush it away as nothing. The school acts like it’s nothing and it shows you how quickly a school will put bullying as nothing to be worried for their own benefit.

This film should be seen by everyone over the age of 9. This film shows you that the world isn’t always a happy place with sunshine and smiles. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars because it is a wonderful movie and something we all know is taking place. The only thing I would have liked to have seen in this film is a message at the end or beginning saying that this is WRONG and this is no laughing matter. And, they should recommend resources that kids and parents can go to.

Russell Madness – A Hilarious, Adventurous Film Perfect for Sharing with Younger Kids

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

RussellMadness.jpgThis film tells the story of Russell, an undersized but big-hearted terrier who dreams of having a family of his own. After running away from his pet story, Russell gets taken in by The Ferraros, a family desperate to revive their grandfather’s pro wrestling arena. That’s when they discover their new pet pooch has incredible wrestling skills and the conflicts evolve from there. Starring John Ratzenberger, Mason Vale Cotton and Crystal the Monkey, this PG rated film is something to share with your kids and grandkids. KIDS FIRST! Critics Gerry O., age 12 comments, “Russell Madness has a feel of comedy with a wrap-around of family ties, while still having a core of wrestling and a little sprinkle of suspense.” See his full review and interviews with the cast and crew below.
Russell Madness

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 12

This film is hilarious, adventurous and much more! It will appeal to kids as well as adults and has a very unique idea. Russell Madness is a perfect family story that will be enjoyed by many. Russell Madness has a feel of comedy with a wrap-around of family ties, while still having a core of wrestling and a little sprinkle of suspense.

The story starts when a family moves back to Oregon to take over an old wrestling ring which belonged to the family for a long time. It is a bit run down, but a new generation opens it back up. Then, during a first match, something very interesting happens. A dog named Russell (completely by coincidence) comes into the ring where a big tough and strong wrestler is. What happens next is absolutely unexpected and surprising.

This film is stupendous! Something I really like about it is that Russell’s coach is a monkey named Hunk. And yes, it is a talking monkey, played by a very smart and adorable monkey named Crystal, except for the talking parts of course, which I think is a great and smart idea. The acting is wonderful and the whole film has that perfect amount of cheesiness, cuteness and positivity to make it a wonderful family film. Also, the jokes are original and hilarious.

My favorite scene is about the family’s first encounter with Hunk. Hunk tells them to take in Russell as a family dog and offers to train Russell to be a wrestler. But, his price is many things doing with bananas. It is funny and an important scene in the movie.

I recommend for kids ages 5 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars for fantastic acting, production, directing, and unbelievable animal training. Don’t miss it when it comes on DVD/Blu-ray/Digital March 10.

Enroll Now for KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Boot Camps in Denver, DC, New York City/Brooklyn, Martha’s Vineyard, Santa Fe and Seattle

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Amazon_film_critic_banner.jpgIf you have a 10 to 15-year-old in your life who loves films and dreams of being on the red carpet, KIDS FIRST! has the perfect opportunity. Your tween can participate in the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp during Spring Break spring at Reel Kids in Denver and this summer in New York City/Brooklyn at HITN, Martha’s Vineyard at Martha’s Vineyard Film Center, Santa Fe, NM at Santa Fe Community College, Seattle, WA at B-47 Studios and Silver Spring, MD at Discovery Communications for an experience they will never forget.

Give your child the opportunity to build self confidence and learn more about behind-the-scenes aspects of the film industry as they critique the latest films, learn to write reviews, practice interview techniques, improve on-camera skills, visit with industry professionals and are coached by seasoned professionals. All campers will have the opportunity to join the KIDS FIRST! Film Critic team of reporters.

For more information, go to http://www.kidsfirst.org/become-a-juror/2015.BootCamp.html

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