Archive for February, 2016

Eddie the Eagle – Based on a True “Never Give Up” Story

Saturday, February 27th, 2016

Eddie_the_Eagle.jpgInspired by true events, Eddie the Eagle is a feel-good story about Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton), an unlikely but courageous British ski jumper who never stopped believing in himself – even as an entire nation was counting him out. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach (played by Hugh Jackman), Eddie takes on the establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world by making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ryan R. comments, “I was truly delighted to watch the new film, Eddie the Eagle because it is an astoundingly energizing and powerful film.” Mia A. adds, “I absolutely love Eddie the Eagle!  This… is an inspiring movie because Eddie is just a regular guy who does amazing things.  It makes people like me who watch this movie feel like they could do anything!” See their full reviews below.

Eddie the Eagle
By Mia A, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I absolutely love Eddie the Eagle!  This film, directed by Dexter Fletcher, is an inspiring movie because Eddie is just a regular guy who does amazing things.  It makes people like me who watch this movie feel like they could do anything!

Eddie the Eagle is based on a true story about a boy named Michael Edwards, known as Eddie (Taron Egerton) EddieEagle.b.jpgwho grew up in Great Britain in the 1960s. Eddie always wanted to be in the Olympics, but he had weak knees so all his doctors said not to do sports and to give up. Regardless of his doctor’s advice, he tried lots of sports, but never successfully did any of them right. When he goes to his dad’s work after giving up on this dream he sees a ski slope. From then on, Eddie is determined to get into the Winter Olympics. When he fails to get on the Great Britain downhill ski team for the Olympics, he learns about ski jumping. As there are no ski jumping locations in Great Britain, he travels to Germany. There he tries to learn ski jumping in order to get into the Olympics. He meets a former Olympic ski jumper, Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman) and tries to get Bronson to coach him. Will Eddie get to the Olympics, get Bronson to coach or win the Olympics?

My favorite scene is when Eddie sets a new distance jumping record and he flaps around like an eagle aEddieeagle.a.jpgnd has the best time of his life. This scene is uplifting and funny.

The cinematography in Eddie the Eagle is really intense and makes you feel as if you are right there!  Whenever someone gets ready to go down the ski jump ramp and lands, you feel like cheering!  

There are lots of morals in this movie including: follow your dreams, winning isn’t always achieving, never give up on your dreams, when you love what you do giving up is never the answer, and many more.

I rate this movie a 5 out of 5 stars because it is inspiring and has a gripping story. I recommend it for ages 8 to 18 because there are some sexual references, like when Bronson makes an imitation of making love with a celebrity. There are also some injuries, like when someone tries to ski jump they fall and hurt themselves badly they can’t move.

If you love adventure, and rooting for the underdog, go see Eddie the Eagle in theatres near you!

Eddie the Eagle
Reviewed by Ryan R., age 12

I was truly delighted to watch the new film, Eddie the Eagle because it is an astoundingly energizing and powerful film. I lEddieEagle.d.jpgove to watch films based on true stories and this is an unquestionably good one. In this film, you will see the story of Michael “Eddie” Edwards, an Olympic British ski jumper and learn how his determination enabled him to participate in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.

This movie tells the story of Eddie the Eagle (Taron Egerton) and shows the tough obstacles that Eddie overcame to achieve his dream of participating in the Olympics.

 

I love how this movie doesn’t feel rushed. I love the casting.  Taron Egerton looks identical to real Eddie and plays him with conviction. Hugh Jackman also gives a great performance.  Jo Hartley, who plays Eddie’s mom, gives a stunning performance of a mother who supports her child’s dreams no matter what.  The 80s soundtrack also plays an important role in the movie, since it is the type of music that was around when Eddie made his jump. This year is the 28th anniversary of when he made his ski jump in the 1988 Winter Olympics.EddieEagle.c.jpg

 

The moral of this movie is never give up no matter what. We see that when individuals don’t have faith in Eddie and think his fantasy of setting off to the Olympics is an exercise in senselessness that he would never be capable of achieving.  We see how Eddie never gives up. He is persistent, even though people think he is crazy. Eddie never gives up on what he believes in and does his best. Throughout this movie you see Eddie overcome obstacles and he never gives up. This is definitely a good movie for kids to see, especially if they have been put down, taunted, bullied or told they can’t do something they love to do.  They can benefit from seeing this film.


I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 5 to 18. I think adults will like this film as well. Those who like docudramas and family movies will particularly enjoy it. Look for the story of Eddie the Eagle wh
​ich is in theaters now.​

The Good Dinosaur – Finding Your Roar!

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

The Good Dinosaur, which will be released on Blu-ray/Digital HD on February 23, 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.” Gerry O. adds, “The whole plot is a large and exciting adventure which allows for some mild action. There is a bigger moral to the story which is “discover your voice.” See their full reviews below.

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

I really enjoy watching the new Blu-ray of The Good Dinosaur. One thing I loved about this Blu-ray is the deleted scenes. I love how the director explains why certain scenes didn’t make it in the final cut. I enjoyed the Dino bites, which is a short showing the characters goofing off. I also enjoyed watching the trailers of The Good Dinosaur in different languages. It was interesting knowing that there are different names for this movie in other places. There was nothing to dislike about this Blu-ray.

This 3D, computer-animated, adventure, dramatic comedy is very emotional and funny, a perfect movie for the family. The story 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 until he is able to find his roar! 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?

TheGoodDinosaur.3.jpgI enjoyed this movie. 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. I love the action scenes that involve the water. It kept me on the edge of my seat.

My favorite character is Arlo. He is a very ecstatic, extremely compassionate dinosaur who 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. I love how he changes throughout the story.

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 as he “finds his roar.” On the Blu-ray, there are bonus features, deleted scenes and shorts. The shorts include Sanjay Super Team, Dino Bites and Hide and Seek.  It also tells you facts about dinosaurs and many more. Another feature are trailers of the movie. My favorite short would be Sanjay’s Super Team, TheGoodDinosaur.4_1.jpgbecause this short told its story without any dialogue and delivered an important message about dealing with old family traditions and the modern world.

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. Check out the Blu-ray when it comes out on February 23.

The Good Dinosaur
By Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

What if? That’s the beginning of this film with its spectacular scenery, a beautiful soundtrack, an exciting story and so much more. What I really love about this film is the animation. A good 20 minutes of the film is dedicated to looking at the scenery, which is incredible. The design of the landscape, with its hills, valleys, mountains and rivers is truly breathtaking.TheGoodDinosaur.6.jpg

This movie is not all comedy, there is quite a bit of drama. In many scenes you feel touched by the characters and even pity them. The whole plot is a large and exciting adventure which allows for some mild action. There is a bigger moral to the story which is “discover your voice.”  Disney has focused on that in its “Find Your Roar” campaign, encouraging kids everywhere to “find your own voice or ‘your roar!’”
The story starts when an infamous meteor hits the Earth. Millions of years later, a dinosaur named Arlo is separated from his family and home. He goes on a huge adventure to get back home, which involves enemies, friends and more.

The story is dramatic and takes turns that surprise the audience multiple times. The voice acting is excellent in every role, making characters sound alive, personable and full of energy. One of my favorites is Butch (Sam Elliot). Butch is a T-Rex and a pretty cool one too. Sam makes him seem menacing and dramatic, but still friendly, even a bit funny at times.TheGoodDinosaur.5.jpg

In the Blu-ray version, there are a dozen special features, including an option to listen to commentary throughout the film from some of the creators, including storyboard artists and editors talking about the process they used to make the film. A perfect example of this is when they discuss how they based the terrain on the western United States. The special features also include deleted scenes and some cool interviews.

My favorite scene is when Arlo meets the T-Rexes. He and his companion, Spot, are running away from scavenger birds. They see a dinosaur in the distance and plea for help. It turns out they find two powerful T-Rexes and the T-Rexes assist Arlo and Spot to get to safety and on with their journey. The staging in this scene is intense and dramatic, especially when you don’t know if these giant carnivores will be more dangerous than the birds.

This film is most suitable for ages 6 to 18. Younger kids may find the more intense and dramatic scenes way too frightening. I give it five out of five stars for its beautiful animation, emotional voice acting, an intense story and smooth editing. The Good Dinosaur is being released on Blu-ray and Digital HD February 23 so, keep a lookout for it.

More reviews by

Benjamin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0YvOYUeAiw
Samantha: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS9FRu50XVU
Nathaniel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxjUEU6H09o
Kayla: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA-vkaUd0Po
Willie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA-vkaUd0Po
Kayla, interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Weq4EpzsiQ
Nathaniel, interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4giz2mEq4Gk

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Musical On Tour!

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast features the animated film’s Academy Award®-winning score with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman, with additional songs with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice. The book is written by Linda Woolverton.

The original creators of the Broadway production are together again for this new touring production!  Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tre’ana H. comments, “Beauty And The Beast is a phenomenal musical based on the original classic story. It draws you in and makes you a part of the scene.” See her full review below.

 

For a full tour schedule, sheck out http://www.beautyandthebeastontour.com.

 

Beauty and The Beast, The Musical

By Tre’ana H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Beauty And The Beast is a phenomenal musical based on the original classic story. It draws you in and makes you a part of the scene. I enjoyed this because it is filled with drama, thrills, romance and some action. The rose is symbolic with its blue, gloomy background and the transformation is great. Will the rose be back with love or sadness?  This musical touched my heart because of its message – you should treat people the way you want to be treated. The director, Rob Roth takes you through turns and twists but the outcome is grand. I appreciated this musical because it is hilarious and interesting.

 

The beast (Sam Hartley) is a prince who is spoiled, selfish and lonely. When the spell is cast upon him he becomes a mean man. Belle’s father goes into the forest trying to attend the inventor’s competition and gets lost in the forest. The wolves try to eat him but he stumbles upon a castle where the servants let him in. The beast are very cruel to Belle’s father and put him in the dungeon. Belle (Brooke Quintana) tracks down her father to the horrible beast castle and he agrees to let her father go if she will take his place as a hostage. What an amazing thing to do? Will he kill her or let her survive?

 

The beast costume is gothic and eerie.  The townspeople and servant costumes are illuminating with bright colors that captivate you. The lighting design by Natasha Katz excels in every scene. The set designs by Stanley A. Meyer are mysterious, colorful and gloomy. The music by Kevin Francis Finn is truly breathtaking.

 

The message of the musical is to treat people fairly and, if you can help someone, extend that extra hand and you will be blessed.

 

My favorite scene is when the beast turns into a human and floats above the stage and transforms into a young man. This is fantastic! You will not believe it!

 

I recommend this play for ages 8 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 Stars because it is full of excitement. I really enjoyed it and you will too, so put this astonishing musical on your todo list.  You will not be disappointed.

 

Snowtime – Beautifully Animated Film With Great Characters and a Serious Message

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

snowtime.jpgThis animated film seems a bit slow at times and honestly, at first it seems that the film is simply about a bunch of kids entertaining themselves on winter school break by having a major snowball fight. But, it is packed with some very powerful life lessons and messages. The characters are entertaining and their resourcefulness quite amazing. The film starts out on a frivolous note but takes a serious turn and has some consequences. However, this is when the characters learn about friendship and even more important messages. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ryan R. comments, “I appreciate this film because I love how it shows a beautiful, snowy village and the kids in this village having fun in the snow.” Morgan B adds, “…there is a message and everyone will get it. It is one, which we should all know.” See their full reviews below.

Snowtime
By Ryan R. KIDS First Film Critic, Age 12

I love watching the new film Snowtime. This film is one to watch.  In this film, it is winter break and Luke (voiced by Angela Galuppo) and his friends prepare for an epic snowball fight. They divide themselves into two teams. One team builds an amazing snow fort and the other team wants to win the snowball fight to claim ownership of the fort. Watch these two teams go head to head in this snowball fight to see who gets to win and claim the snow fort. Who will win? Who will lose?

I appreciate this film because I love how it shows a beautiful, snowy village and the kids in this village having fun in the snow.  I also like the fort the kids make in this movie. I love the characters. They are silly, quirky and sometimes bashful.  I also liked their appearance and how they are drawn. The jokes are also funny; this is another great film for kids. I really enjoyed the scenery too.

The moral theme in this film is an important one.  Basically, there are no winners when it comes to war.  The kids end up learning this lesson.  Their friendly snowball fight soon takes an ugly turn which leads to some serious conflicts and a surprise.  I think there are other life lessons in this film but that is the main one that stands out for me.

snowtime.a.jpgMy favorite character is Nicky (voiced by Liz MacRae). When Nicky shares his ideas with his friends, they underestimate him and knock his ideas down.  I love that he doesn’t allow what they say to discourage him and he continues on his own and accomplishes his idea. I respect his persistence and how he collaborates so well with his friends. I enjoyed how he makes things and they turn out well. I appreciate his imagination. I can relate to him because people sometimes knock down some of my ideas too.   But I continue to go forward with my ideas and prove them wrong.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars because the animation is great and it has an important message. I recommend this to kids ages 3 to 18.  I think adults might like this as well. I also recommend this to people who like family, comedy, adventure and action movies. Mark your calendars for February 19, 2016 when Snowtime opens in theaters.

Snowtime
By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

It is 90 degrees in Los Angeles California and 48 degrees in Colorado and it is winter for another month, with snow falling in other states. What is a group of kids to do over winter break? Have a snowball fight, of course. The group splits into two teams and away we go. The story line is great. We got a glimpse of the backstory of characters and learn what motivates them and makes them who they are.

 

I have two favorite characters. The first is Sophie voiced by Luchina Paris. She is the older sister and is always coming up with a plan to defeat the other team. My second is four eyes because of his crazy glasses. Many of the best parts of the movie are due to his ingenious inventions he makes to keep the fort in his team’s control. They are creative and awesome. I would have picked his team just to see the inventions he made - slides, escape hatches, automated snowball throws and traps to keep the other team on their toes. The story line has a bit of a love story angle but seems to fizzle out and is not completed. If they make a part two I hope they continue this story line and leave it with a better conclusion.

 

The hardest part of having two teams is the fact that they are all really good friends. There are many moments when you see them struggle because they are fighting their friends. It is all in fun but still there is a goal, which is to take the fort from the other team

 

I loved the graphics and animation. It is believable and easy to watch. You forget the characters are animated and look at them as if they are real people. The fort, well let’s say it is the most awesome snow castle ever and I would love to play in it.

 

Most children’s movies are fun, cute and quirky and leave you feeling upbeat. This movie left me feeling sad. I loved the movie but I did not like the ending. No spoilers, but I wish they had added more to the ending of the movie. But, there is a message and everyone will get it. It is one, which we should all know.

 

I recommend this movie for ages 6 and up. Younger kids might not totally grasp the story line but they will love the graphics and a good snowball fight.

 

I give this movie 4 1/2 out of 5 shooting snowballs. This movie is brought to you by Shout! Factory and opens in theaters March 29th. The DVD will be out in the fall of 2016 just in time for the next winter snow fun.

Hail, Caesar – Brilliant Comedy about the Entertainment Biz from the Coen Bros.

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

HailCaesar.jpgHail, Caesar! follows a day in the life of Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood fixer for Capitol Pictures in the 1950s, who cleans up and solves problems for big names and stars in the industry. But when studio star Baird Whitlock disappears, Mannix has to deal with more than just the fix. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “What happens when you mix legendary actors, an original story, smooth and hilarious script and two of the greatest directors of all time, the Coen Brothers? You get Hail, Caesar! – an absolute hilarious masterpiece that I absolutely adore.” See his full review below.

Hail, Caesar!

By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

What happens when you mix legendary actors, an original story, smooth and hilarious script and two of the greatest directors of all time, the Coen Brothers? You get Hail, Caesar! - an absolute hilarious masterpiece that I absolutely adore.

This is a comedy that never bores the audience. It is delightfully smooth and original. There are some elements of romance a few times in the film, but not enough to call this film romantic. It has an exciting and original plot, with just a hint of dramatic turns throughout the story. What can be better than a movie about making movies, beautiful sets and intrigues behind the scenes?

The story starts when Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), a famous actor, disappears right before the filming of his final scenes for the movie, Hail, Caesar, where he plays the main character. Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is rushed to try to get him back before studio loses a lot of money.

 

Although the comedy makes the whole audience laugh out loud time and time again, the cinematography is what made me fall in love with the film. The Coen brothers who directed the film, execute mastery with every shot, from aerial to 360 degree views, each shot looks so carefully planned it is perfect for the scene and simply breath taking. The acting also excels with mega stars including George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson (DeeAnna Moran) and Channing Tatum. They play their parts as if they are that person and forever have been.

 

My favorite scene is when we first see Scarlett Johansson. The scene shows her doing a majestic and beautiful swimming show where she and others perform an extravagant number. What I really love about this shot is the camera angles showing everything from the side to the top, showing the scene in a very unexpected and wonderful way. The scene is peaceful and enjoyable and then ends with an abrupt joke (which is perfectly smooth, original and so unexpected). 

 

The comedy is somewhat mature, so I recommend it for kids age thirteen to eighteen. I give it five out of five stars for its excellent comedy, beautiful camera shots and an exciting, yet original story. Check it out when it opens in theaters February 5, 2016.

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