Archive for March, 2016

Miracles from Heaven – An Inspiring Film That Will Bring You Joy!

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

miracles.216114_1.jpgBased on the incredible true story of the Beam family, this film truly inspires you and makes you think about the miracles in your own life. When Christy (Jennifer Garner) discovers her 10-year-old daughter Anna (Kylie Rogers) has a rare, incurable disease, she becomes a ferocious advocate for her daughter’s healing as she searches for a solution. After Anna has a freak accident, an extraordinary miracle unfolds in the wake of her dramatic rescue that leaves medical specialists mystified, her family restored and their community inspired. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Mia A. comments, “I love this movie!  Miracles from Heaven is very inspirational, very religious and all about miracles.” See her full review below.

Miracles from Heaven
By Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
I love this movie!  Miracles from Heaven is very inspirational, very religious and all about miracles.  It really makes you think about all the miracles that are happening in your life.

Miracles from Heaven is about a young girl named Anna Beam (Kylie Rogers) who has a very rare stomach disorder.  Her family pulled out all the stops to help her.  When an amazing event happens it changes everything.

This is a real story and it is very heartwarming.  The Beam family’s faith in God is undeniable.  They are very religious and go to church every Sunday.  Even if you are not really religious, I still think that you would enjoy this movie.

All of the characters in Miracles from Heaven are likable, but especially Christy Beam (Jennifer Garner).  She is very believable and makes you feel really sad when she is sad and happy when she is happy.  She is a mom that a lot of people would want to have as their own, because she would never give up and she works very hard.  The dad, Kevin Beam (Martin Henderson) is a very good dad and cares a lot about his kids.
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My favorite character is Dr. Nurko (Eugenio Derbez).  He is very funny and he works very hard to make all the kids in the hospital happy.  And if I was ever really sick I would want a doctor like him.

My favorite scene is at the end of the movie where it is showing all the miracles that happen in their lives. This scene really makes you think about what miracles could be happening to you and it makes you feel great about other people around you.

The moral of the story is never to give up on hope.  Even though Anna struggles and she ends up in the hospital many times, her family never gives up and tries to help her.  You learn to love Anna and root for her along the way. This movie made a lot of people in the audience cry and tear up.

I rate Miracles from Heaven five out of five stars because it is very inspirational and it makes you really think about what miracles you could be having in your life.  I recommend the ages 7 to 18 because there are some surgical procedures, but they’re not that graphic. Go see this movie which is playing in theaters now.

Batman v Superman – Do We Really Need Warring Superheroes?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

BatmanVSuper.jpgThis very odd movie has drawn a lot of negative criticism from critics and fans alike. The storyline puts two of our beloved superheroes in direct conflict with one another. What is the point of that? It’s almost as if studio heads took a side track when they approved this story and the rest fell out of whack along with it. Certainly, our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics did not love this film and were, in fact, pretty disappointed. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Nathaniel B. comments, “This movie is a disgrace to DC comics because there is almost no point. I will explain as best as I can why without spoiling it. First, I will answer a big question, “Why are two legendary heroes battling?” I don’t even know.” See the rest of his review below.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
By Nathaniel B, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Straight up, I say I did not enjoy this movie. It is confusing and the title is misleading. This movie starts off with Batman, otherwise known as Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), at his parents’ funeral. Then it switches scenes and shows his parents being murdered, then back to the funeral. This is probably the least confusBatmanvsuper.a.jpging part. And then, Bruce falls into a hole and is saved by a swarm of bats, yeah a bit more confusing, but now we know what inspired him!

Many years later, Superman (Henry Cavill) flies through the building that is Bruce’s adopted father’s office while battling some random alien invasion that is never explained and destroys the rest of the building with his laser vision. I think this might be part of why they fight, but I don’t know. That was unclear. By this point in the movie, my brain started to not understand what is going on at all. I asked my dad what was going on and he told me that it would make sense soon, but it never does.batmanv.super.b.jpg

This movie is a disgrace to DC comics because there is almost no point. I will explain as best as I can why without spoiling it. First, I will answer a big question, “Why are two legendary heroes battling?” I don’t even know. You might better understand why this movie is so completely confusing. Another reason that this movie’s title is very misleading is the battle has no meaning. It is only what happens next that matters.

This movie left me with a bad taste in  my mouth, but these are my favorites parts of this film: My favorite character was Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). Even though his lines were not so good, he made everything sound like the good, well bad, Lex Luthor that I know. My favorite costume and props are most definitely Batman’s subatmanv.super.c.jpgper armor and his gadgets. But, Batman and Superman do something confusing just because they have a super random connection! Some of you may have seen the famous Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) in the trailer, but she practically has 2% as much of a role as she does in the trailer.

I recommend this movie for ages 15 to 18 due to the jump scares, blood, screaming, death, guns and bullets, and many more horrible and violent things. I give it 2 and a half stars out of five stars because it is confusing, has no moral lesson and does not even match its title. This film is in theaters now if you wish to check it out.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 – Fun Sequel, Filled with Humor and Love

Friday, March 25th, 2016

MyBigFatGW.2.jpgThis timely sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding had a difficult task to measure up to the original. Unlike the first film, it doesn’t feel quite so Greek but, it definitely will entertain you and your family with its sweet comedy and romance. The storyline follows Toula who still works in her parents’ Greek restaurant and her daughter Paris, now a teen.  As she prepares to graduate high school, Toula and Ian experience marital issues. They discover a glitch in their marriage certificate and chaos results. Can this big, fat, Greek event help to bring the family together? You’ll have to see it to find out. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “Although it doesn’t live up to the first one, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 kept me laughing and wondering what was going to happen next. It felt like I visited with my own family!” See his full review below.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Although it doesn’t live up to the first one, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 kept me laughing and wondering what was going to happen next. It felt like I visited with my own family! Many fans of the original movie felt worried that Part 2 would be a forced sequel with stereotypical jokes. But rest assured it turned out into a sweet, hilarious and heartwarming tale.

The film defiantly belongs to a comedy genre, but contains quite a bit of romance. Another huge element the film represents – coming together of a family, which fits nicely with the other two genres.MyBigFatGW.a.jpg

The film follows Toula, (Nia Vardalos), the main character from the previous film, a happily married middle aged woman and a 17-year-old daughter, Paris, nearing the end of high school. Just like with Toula, her family tries to find a Greek boyfriend for Paris, but everything changes when they discover an issue with Toula’s parent’s marriage certificate. Because of this, the family tries to get them married in a real ceremony and hits surprising roadblocks right and left.

I have to say that some scenes felt forced and not necessary in the film and thus, made it a bit boring and it dragged somewhat. It connects to the first film extremely well, which I enjoyed greatly. Original jokes had perfect timing and a great sense of humor. Spot on acting benefited the film and, seeing the same actors play these roles as they did 14 years ago MyBigFatGW.b.jpgcame as a welcome treat. The storyline surprised me and took completely unexpected turns. The soundtrack resembled the music in the previous movie and fit perfectly with the style of the film.

My favorite scene happens when Paris attends a college fair at school. Her parents come with her but stay out of her way. However, the rest of the family finds out about the fair and close to 20 family members come running in. As you might imagine, it gets a little chaotic, with some university representatives getting a few surprise visits along the way. The acting impressed me in this scene. Dealing with so many people on set, actors didn’t lose their energy and kept it heartfelt and really funny.

The film seems rather mature in terms of jokes and the story itself so I recommend it for kids ages 14 to 18. I give it 4 out of 5 stars because this film made the audience laugh again and again, has an unexpected stoMyBigFatGW.c.jpgry and fantastic acting.  However, several scenes make it feel stretched out at times and, once or twice, it gets a bit boring.

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The Adventures of Gumby: The Complete 60s Series – A Step Back in Time

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

Gumby.60s.jpgThis 1960s Gumby claymation series is perfect fun for young children. Through its cute lessons and humor, this collectible box set brings enjoyment through short adventures of fun characters. Gumby, Pokey and new friends such as Professor Kapp go on fun adventures through different stages of history, often invoking trouble and learning lessons along the way. This series will appeal to the oldest, die-hard fans as well as new kids who will find joy in these classic stories.  KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Benjamin P. comments, “I am a big fan of Claymation and this is a collection of the classic clay animation series from the 1960s. The DVD has a ton of episodes and you get to watch the technical aspects of the animation and the characters evolve over time.” Samantha A., adds, “Something I immediately noticed about this series is that the animation isn’t like any film series you’ll see made today. It is a clay animated show. This type of animation is particularly interesting because it is made by taking pictures of each movement the characters take.” See their full reviews below.

The Adventures of Gumby: The Complete 60s series
Samantha A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Gumby is a very enjoyable and fun claymation series that is about a green humanoid character named Gumby and his side-kick and best friend Pokey. They go on wacky adventures that we see a lot while watching this series of episodes. Some of my favorite episodes were “ the zoops” “the glob” “Santa witch” and “hidden valley”. They are lots of other great episodes in this series as well, but these really stand out.

gumby.c.jpgSomething I immediately noticed about this series is that the animation isn’t like any film series you’ll see made today. It is a clay animated show. This type of animation is particularly interesting because it is made by taking pictures of each movement the characters take. The way the makers behind the animation create the claymation is included in the of the bonus features.

This show is also very creative. I watched the episodes and was amazed and often wondered about how they came up with these ideas. From the punch lines to the plot lines of each and every episode.

The bonus features on this DVD disc are something special. Included are behind the scene footage, a photo gallery of gumby.d.jpgphotos from making this film, the first aired pilot episode with sound and a very rare episode called “space ball”. I love that they include photos because it gives you an inside look on what was happening when they created the animation and it makes you feel connected to the show even more. Also, getting an exclusive look at never before seen special  episodes is very cool because, while watching them I kept thinking about how rare they are.

I recommend this series for ages 5 to 18 as well as adults. They are classic films that anyone can enjoy and they first aired over 60 years ago so, this disc is perfect for anyone who grew up with Gumby and would like to see him in action again. This series  also gets 5 out of 5 stars from me because these were such fun episodes that anyone can enjoy and the animation is interesting. Also, seeing the bonus features on the disc makes it much more enjoyable because I now have an appreciation for what went into making such this animated series.

The Adventures of Gumby: The 60s Series, Volume One
By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

The Adventures of Gumby: The 60s Series is a very good DVD collection with some very creative animation for its time. I am a big fan of Claymation and this is a collection of the classic clay animation series from the 1960s. The DVD has a ton of episodes and you get to watch the technical aspects of the animation and the characters evolve over time.

The Adventures of Gumby: The 60s Series follows the title character – an enthusiastic green clay-boy – and his friend gumby.b.jpgPokey, a horse, as they go on fantastic adventures from battling in a joust to keeping a king in power to saving a princess from a knight and even a high-speed chase from a sculpture come to life.

As the series goes on you meet several new characters, like the mopey yellow dragon Prickle and a blue flying mermaid named Goo. My favorite characters are Rodgy the bird and Henry the bear. Rodgy and Henry make an excellent duo. There is a great episode on Rodgy’s origin story called Who’s What. Henry is molding clay and he makes a bird that comes to life. While Rodgy may not always agree with Henry, they always stick together.

My favorite episode in this collection is Even Steven, which follows Gumby and Pokey on a road trip but the trip goes haywire because of some con artists trying to take their money. This cat and mouse chase is funny and unpredictable.

Another episode I enjoy is Treasure For Henry. It follows Rodgy and Henry as they find some treasure that turns out to belong to pirates. This is one of several episodes in this series that is very creative with the use of real life objects in the animation.

I recommend that you watch all the episodes in this collection as well as the special features, especially for Gumby fanatics. The DVD includes the original TV pilot and some behind-the-scenes footage on how they do the Claymation. I’m amazed by how they use clay and I like watching the animation grow more sophisticated and complex over time.

I recommend The Adventures of Gumby for ages 5 to 12. It’s colorful and a fun show to watch and the jokes are meant for all ages. I give this DVD 3 stars out of 5 stars.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Interview with Joe Clokey, son of Art Clokey, the creator of Gumby. Joe is the producer of the new compilations and new Gumby shows which are soon to be released. Listen to his interview on our radio show, KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions here:  http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/91099/zootopia-beauty-and-the-beast-the-musical-joe-clokey-the-adventures-of-gumby-the-60s-series