Archive for December, 2015

The Good Dinosaur – Fantastically Funny Family Film, Perfect for Sharing

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

TheGoodDinosaur.poster.jpgThe Good Dinosaur, which opens this weekend, asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In this epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend and learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ryan R. (age 11) comments, “I like how it touches our emotions and admit that it made me cry in some parts. I also liked the jokes because they are really funny.” Willie J. (age 16) adds, “It is some of the most beautiful animation I’ve seen with a story so familiar that its heartwarming qualities hit home.” See their full reviews below.

The Good Dinosaur
By Ryan R., KIDS First Film Critic, Age 11

I enjoyed watching this 3D, computer-animated, adventure, dramatic comedy. The Good Dinosaur is very emotional and funny, a perfect movie for the family. This movie is about what would happen if an asteroid missed the Earth and never killed the dinosaurs. In the movie you meet Arlo (Raymond Ochoa), who is a very insecure, scared dinosaur. He meets a human kid named Spot. Something happens.  Arlo chases Spot and falls into the water taking Arlo very far away from his family. Will Arlo make it back to his family or will he be lost?

I enjoyed this movie. I like how it touches our emotions and admit that it made me cry in some parts.RyanRivera.sm.jpg I also liked the jokes because they are really funny. I love the action scenes that involve the water. It kept me on the edge of my seat.

My favorite character is Arlo who is very ecstatic, extremely compassionate and learns to face his fears. Arlo is very relatable because everyone has fears and people think it is silly but it isn’t. I love that he is very motivated.

The moral lesson in this movie is you can discover what you’re truly capable of if you are willing to face your fears.  Arlo proves that in this movie.

I give this film 5 out of 5 amazing stars and recommend it for kids ages 5 to 18. Adults might like this as well. I also recommend this to kids who like family, action, adventure, drama, comedies, dinosaurs and Disney movies. This movie comes out November 25 so, mark your calendar!

The Good Dinosaur
Willie Jones, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

I find it strange that Pixar has released two films in the same year. Especially considering that Inside Out has been locked for every Animated Feature award since it was released. It’s almost unfair because,The Good Dinosaur is a very good film that, I’m afraid will get lost in the shadow of its all too recent predecessor. Despite such lofty competition, The Good Dinosaur, in just about any other year, would be a great candidate for Best Animated Feature. It is some of the most beautiful animation I’ve seen with a story so familiar that its heartwarming qualities hit home.

The story is something we’ve seen many times before in both animated films and live action ones. It is the story of the young boy who’s too afraid to live life and has to be shown the world to overcome his fears. Throw in some family death and comic relief friends and you could write the rest yourself. Luckily, this movie features great relational bonding between our protagonist, Arlo, and his young friend Spot. They start out not liking each other and, by the end they’re nearly inseparable. It is a relationship that develops with humor and a sweetness that brings tears to the eye.Willie1.jpg

That young boy, Spot, is portrayed as a dog actually. That is a part of an interesting dynamic with this movie. The dinosaurs are like people, and the young caveboy plays the pet. He even has a pet name. It adds to the humor of the film and it is full of humor. The opening joke, in which the film plays with the audience and threatens a meteor strike on earth, sets the tone of the film. There are other laughs and, they are laugh out loud laughs at that.

The most impressive part of the movie is the animation. I’d almost call it cinematography, that’s how beautiful it was. There is actually a point in the movie I thought J.J Abrams was directing, because there are some beautiful lens flares in there. Lens flares. That’s how intricate the animation is and how true to its environment it is. Very good direction!

Unfortunately, the familiar story limits how good this film really can be. Considering that, there isn’t anything groundbreaking. There is even an homage to The Lion King included.

For these reasons, I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. It is a fantastic family film and one I highly recommend. Kids ages 7 to 18 should really enjoy this.

Creed – An extraordinary sequel to Rocky that fans will love

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Creed_1.jpgFrom start to finish, this film does homage to Rocky Balboa in a masterful execution. Adonis Johnson is the son of the famous boxing champion Apollo Creed, who died in a boxing match in Rocky IV (1985). Adonis wasn’t born until after his father’s death and wants to follow his fathers footsteps in boxing. He seeks a mentor who is the former heavyweight boxing champion and former friend of Apollo Creed, the retired Rocky Balboa. Rocky eventually agrees to mentor Adonis and the rest is history. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Harmony M. comments, “Creed is delightfully entertaining and beautifully developed…The film starts out amazingly entertaining and engaging within the first few minutes.” See her full review below.

Creed
By Harmony M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Creed is delightfully entertaining and beautifully developed. The film brings the iconic Rocky Balboa back to life after about 40 years. The film is about the son of famous boxer Apollo Creed whose path leads him to a passionate desire to box. Upon finding out that he actually had a father who is, in fact, Apollo Creed, he goes to the only person that can help train him to live up to his father’s name. That person is Rocky Balboa.

The film starts out amazingly entertaining and engaging within the first few minutes. The movie starts by showing us the kid’s moral background which is really refreshing considering that most movies overstretch the beginning and bore their audience with “when is the movie really going to start?” That alone really establishes the film’s great quality because it develops by showing, not telling and captures the audience immediately with the background information without needing a long introduction to describe it.

Spin-off movies are quite risky. The original film has already set expectations and often, spin-offs can ruin the original film for people. Director Ryan Coogler directs this spin-off of Rocky, leaving all the fans content with the continued legacy. Ryan Coogler beautifully creates a funny, emotional and inspiring film full of amazing qualities.

The acting by Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan is brilliant and natural, making me feel connected to their characters fairly quickly. The makeup department includes special effects makeup artist Leo Corey Castellano who creates amazingly realistic boxing wounds. It is so realistic that it is the first vivid visual that comes to my mind when I think about that film.
I am personally not a fan of sports movies but I definitely recommend this film to people of all interests because the story is so touching. The story and moral messages revolve around the idea that “your legacy is more than your name.” The movie demonstrates how hard work and determination to fulfill your passion can create exactly the legacy you so desire. You can be the legend you want to be.

I recommend this film for kids age 13 to 18. I do not recommend this for children under the age of 13 due to disturbing visuals, sexual actions and violent behavior. I give this film a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is in theaters now so, be sure to check it out.

Creed
By Tre’ana H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Creed is a film that sucks you right in, especially when you see a young child in the justice system. It makes you wonder why? Where is the parent? I like this film because Adonis Johnson, the protagonist (Michael B. Jordan) is self determined to fulfill his dream. I connected with him because I can relate to his desire to fulfill and accomplish a goal. The film is a blend of drama, thriller, sports and romance. The director, Ryan Coogler ties this film to Philadelphia which is known as the City of Brotherly Love and known as the home of the other Rocky Balboa movies. I like the how he draws in Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) in this film and the relationship he develops with Adonis throughout all the twists and turns in the script. He creates a suspenseful filled film that leads up to the ending.

This film takes place in Philadelphia where former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson. He is the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed. His step-mother Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad) visits him in the juvenile detention center and offers him a prominent life to with a promising future. Does Adonis Johnson disappoint her? I can’t say any more. It is a must see and I promise that you will not be disappointed.

My favorite part of this film is when Rocky is writing down the notes for Adonis to improve his training. When he finishes the notes Adonis takes a picture of it on his phone and as he walks away, Rocky points out that he left the notes. He tells Rocky that he’s got it on his phone and Rocky asks, “What if your phone breaks?” Adonis says, “It’s saved in the cloud!” Rocky really thinks he means a real cloud in the sky and looks up. It is so hilarious because Adonis is, of course, talking about the cyber cloud. The whole entire audience laughs out loud.

The message of the film is stay determined to fulfill your dreams and don’t never give up.

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars because it is an excellent film to watch and you will definitely find it entertaining, especially those peo9ple from my hometown city of Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love.

This movie is in theaters now so, go check it out.