Archive for September, 2016

Exciting and Adventurous Kid-Friendly Version of Robinson Crusoe

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

TheWildLife_1.jpgThis kid-friendly version of the book-based classic Robinson Crusoe features Tuesday, an outgoing parrot who lives with his quirky animal friends in paradise. However, Tuesday can’t stop dreaming about discovering the world. After a violent storm, Tuesday and his friends wake up to find a strange creature on the beach: Robinson Crusoe. Tuesday immediately views Crusoe as his ticket off the island to explore new lands. Likewise, Crusoe soon realizes that the key to surviving on the island is through the help of Tuesday and the other animals. It isn’t always easy at first, as the animals don’t speak “human.” Slowly but surely, they all start living together in harmony, until one day their comfortable life is overturned. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kamhai B. comments, “If you compare this movie to the book it is completely different.  Unlike the book, when Robinson Crusoe is shipwrecked on an island, there are no cannibals.” See his full review below.

The Wild Life
By Kamhai Beard, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

I enjoyed this movie because it is exciting and adventurous.  One exciting part is when pirates come to the deserted tropical island and rescue Crusoe.  Another adventurous scene is when the tree house sets on fire after stray cats throw lit lanterns at Crusoe. I enjoyed that movie is narrated by the parrot Mak (David Howard).

If you compare this movie to the book it is completely different.  Unlike the book, wildlife.a.jpgwhen Robinson Crusoe is shipwrecked on an island, there are no cannibals. They do make mention of the cannibals when he and his dog Rufus (B.J Oakie) first get there. The animals make scary noises in reference to the cannibals. So basically, it’s a kid friendly version of the book and now, all of a sudden, there are animals talking, pirates and paradise.  When Robin Crusoe (Matthias Schweighofer) gets shipwrecked on the island, the animals start to make hilarious statements about him.

The story is about an English man named Robinson Crusoe who gets shipwrecked on an island and has to learn how to survive in the wilderness along with his animal friends Kiki (Marieve wildlife.b.jpgHerington), Carmelo (Colin Metzger), Pango (Jeff Doucette), Epi (Sandy Fox) and Scrubby (Joey Camen).  But as easy as that sounds, it takes months to complete it and, by then the stray cats have had hundreds of kittens and that creates problems. When this happens you discover how smart these old animals really are.  They even learn how to fire a musket.

The movie graphics are great. The CGI animations are colorful, alive and very vibrant. When you get to see the whole tropical island paradise, lots of colors just pop out. I recommend this movie to the ages 5 through 13.

I like that they have so many different characters who all love to help sea creatures and find out more about them. It is really great that they are helping young kids learn about the ocean and spark their curiosity about the creatures who live octonauts.a.jpgthere. One of the best features of this collection is that at the end of each episode they have a creature report which reinforces, through song, all the informational things for that episode and includes a clip of what the actual real creatures look like.

Even though there are many different characters which I enjoyed very much, my absolute favorite is Shellington (Keith Wickham). He is goodhearted and very inquisitive about oceanic creatures. The way he voices this character truly adds brilliance and friendliness to it. There is also Tweak (Jo Wyatt), a smart southwestern rabbit, Captain Barnacles (Simon Greenall), a kind polar bear, Dashi (Teresa Gallagher), an adorable dog, Peso (Paul Panting), a goodhearted penguin and Kwazii (Rob Rackstraw), a daredevil cat pirate. There is a wonderful gang of all kinds of animals and vegimals (Michael Murphy) who are just too cute for words. Their different personalities aloctonauts.b.jpgl come together as they help some fascinating creatures of the sea.

My favorite episode is with Marine Iguanas. I loved it because it is fun to watch and I had no idea that these creatures even existed and learning about them was incredible. This episode also involves a bit of a mystery and is very quirky. I learned quite a lot and loved seeing what they looked like in person in the creature report at the end.

I recommend this show for ages 4 through 18. Younger kids will love the animation and will learn about some terrific creatures. Older kids and adults will learn new things about these stupendous creatures and might even learn about a couple they never knew about before. I give this DVD 4.5 out of 5 oceanic starfish.

The Untold Story Behind the Miracle on the Hudson – Sully

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

sully.poster.jpgThis story, based on the real life story that took place on Thursday, January 15th, 2009 when the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” as Captain, Chesley Sullenberger, nicknamed “Sully” glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career. Tom Hanks portrayal as Sully is the heart and soul of this film. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “Out of all the intense films released this year so far, Sully is the best one, hands down. Out of all the nonfiction films released this year, Sully is the greatest. From spectacular directing to emotional acting, Sully is easily one of the best films of 2016.” See his full review below.

Sully

By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Out of all the intense films released this year so far, Sully is the best one, hands down. Out of all the nonfiction films released this year, Sully is the greatest. From spectacular directing to emotional acting, Sully is easily one of the best films of 2016.

Interestingly enough, although this film may have a few action scenes, it shouldn’t be branded as an action movie. It is sully.b.jpgfull-on intense drama, with two or three jokes that are original and funny, but don’t turn the film into a comedy. The story itself can also be considered an emotional and physical dramatic adventure that changes the lives of the characters forever.

Sully begins when U.S. Airways flight 1549 lands in the water in the Hudson river after both engines are destroyed by birds. Luckily, not one passenger is injured and this is due to the skill of both rescue teams and pilot Sully Sullenbrger (Tom Hanks) and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles (Aaron Eckhart). Unfortunately, the nightmare is not over. Even though all passengers are in safety, it is still a major question if Sully should have landed the plane in the water and if he might have had enough speed and altitude to reach the runway sully.a.jpgat an actual airport.

This is a very famous story that happened in 2009, but many people do not know what happened after the plane water landed. Sully truly shows all the events of this flight. Another amazing aspect of the film is the acting. Both Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart do phenomenal portrayals of the pilots. Not only do the two look so much like the actual people, they also got their personalities right too. The two actors excel in the scenes where they keep imagining the crash, and it clearly affects them day after day. Clint Eastwood has directed many wonderful films, but Sully, without doubt, is one of his best. The story does not feel like it lasts 96 minutes and I was surprised when it ended. Sully really does keep you on the edge of your seat using cinematography that makes you feel like you are a part of the movie, acting that is emotional and dramatic and even special effects that make it look sully.f.jpgvery real. Something to note, the film was shot with IMAX cameras so seeing it in IMAX theaters gives you the best possible experience.

My favorite scene is the actual plane crash. From taking off, to the passengers sully.g.jpggetting into rescue boats, this scene keeps your heart beating very fast. I personally suffer from a fear of flying and it pumped me full of adrenaline. I could not blink until I found out what happened next. The special effects of the plane going down in the middle of New York looks very realistic and intense. On top of that, the emotional acting of not only the pilots, but the passengers and the flight attendants brings even more drama to the scene. It is easily the most intense scene in the whole film and, because of cinematography, it makes you feel like you are a part of it, is borderline scary.

Sully is a very mature story. And though it lacks adult content, language or gore, it is geared for a mature audience because of its intense and dramatic scenes. It may be too intense for younger viewers so I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. I definitely give Sully 5 out of 5 stars for its spectacular directing, wonderful cinematography, emotional acting and realistic special effects.

A Romantic Story Certain to Evoke Tears from the Most Reserved Viewer

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

lightbetweenoceans_1.jpgBased on the novel by M.L. Stedman, this film has an unlikely story about a lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia who raise a baby they rescue from an adrift rowboat. Although slow paced, the emotional complexity of the film makes it all worth while. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “When you watch a romantic film, you expect it to achieve skilled levels of drama, acting, entertaining and relatable story to keep the viewer engaged, but still have a realistic romantic plot. The Light Between Oceans is a spectacular romance story that is truly perfect in many ways.” See his full review below.

The Light Between Oceans
By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

When you watch a romantic film, you expect it to achieve skilled levels of drama, acting, entertaining and relatable story to keep the viewer engaged, but still have a realistic romantic plot. The Light Between Oceans is a spectacular romance story that is truly perfect in many ways.

The Light Between Oceans tells a dramatic story with many romantic elements. There are couple of jokes but it should not be considered a comedy in the slightest. The characters do embark on a large and emotional adventure throughout the light.c.jpgstory, so this film can also be considered an adventure.

The story begins when Tom (Michael Fassbender), a WW1 veteran comes back to his home, Australia. After suffering in the War, he takes a job of a lighthouse keeper, living completely alone on a small island. However, he meets a girl named Isabel (Alicia Vikander) and they quickly fall in love. After getting married and moving to the island, they try to start a family but lose two babies prematurely. Everything changes when a baby mysteriously washes up on the shore and they must decide to keep her or report this phenomena to the authorities.

The story is based on a book and the story itself is fantastic. In this film however, many scenes are unnecessary and cause it to feel stretched out. For example, there are flashback scenes about the baby’s father, light.a.jpgwhich would be nice in the book, but in a film are not necessary and drastically increase the run-time. There are also some scenes that seem to be there for no reason and could be cut out to make the film more enjoyable. Despite those issues, the acting is emotional and fits the characters. Michael Fassbender and Alica Vikander truly make you believe their characters, Tom and Isabel, are deeply in love. Another aspect is the film’s heart-wrenching drama, which the entire cast brings to life. From sadness, to anger, to just plain awkwardness, they demonstrate their emotions wonderfully. On top of that, the cinematography is exquisite, especially of the lighthouse, the waves and the beach. It truly shows beautiful parts of Australia not widely known

My favorite scene is when the boat landfalls onto the island with the baby. Isabel is heavilylight.g.jpgtraumatized from losing two babies, so seeing a live baby changes her mood quickly and, it is interesting to see how the characters react to the situation. I also like this scene because it displays the actors’ outstanding performances and is also easily one of the most important scenes in the film.

Although this film lacks any adult language, it still has a considerable amount of adult content so I recommend it to ages 13 to 18. Younger kids may be too young for the content and may not even understand the plot. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars due to its length but still, the acting and beautiful cinematography makes it all worth while.

ABC Monsters: Party in Capital Castle! Starring MNOP

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

ABCMonsters.MNOP.jpgKIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer Ruth A. comments, “Kids ages 3 to 6 will simply love ABC Monsters: Starring MNOP because the episodes are quick paced, entertaining and fun!  Meanwhile, their parents will embrace these video episodes as a tool for helping children increase their pre-reading skills such as letter recognition, letter formation, visual tracking, and vocabulary recall. Learning the letters of the alphabet and developing pre-reading skills is always easier when it feels more like play rather than effort! Watch along as friendly talking monsters in the shape of letters make learning fun by using repetition, word games, brightly colored animation and age appropriate songs.  Throughout these 4 stories, cartoon characters Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry work together to find missing letter monsters and return them to their home in Alphabet Gardens in the Capital Castle.  This DVD, focuses on the letters M, N, O and P. Very enjoyable, but I would have like to seen a more racially diverse group of human characters represented.”  KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Morgan B. comments, “This animated cartoon adventure has the perfect blend of silliness, singing, puzzles, mysteries, exercise and games. I enjoyed the colorful animation and all the different activities that keep your mind entertained. The letters are all adorable.” See her full review below.
ABC Monsters: Starring M N O P

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

What would the world be like without the letters M N O P? Chaos! We use these letters every day and, in this DVD, preschoolers and kindergarteners help solve a mystery to find a different missing letter in every episode. This is a fun filled show containing four episodes, each one about the relationships of letters and how important they all are. Each episode focuses on a specific letter and uses words from that letter throughout the show.abcmonsters.b.jpg

This animated cartoon adventure has the perfect blend of silliness, singing, puzzles, mysteries, exercise and games. I enjoyed the colorful animation and all the different activities that keep your mind entertained. The letters are all adorable. It teaches children how to spell, write, count, directions, phonics and the importance of letting peers know where you are.

My favorite episode to watch is Odd Jobs and Octopuses. I love this episode because it is silly. I like all the fun words that we learn and it is really cute. I love the way that it incorporates many different ways we use the letter O. The letter O is very quirky.  The way he solves the problems with all his odd jobs is original. All the letters get together to help O. This episode also teaches teamwork and that is a very important lesson for children to learn.
The voiceovers are quite believable and easy to listen to.  The voices vary enough to make it easy to see differentiate between the letters. All the character are adorable and make you want to play along with thabcmonsters.a.jpgem, sing the catchy songs, exercise, dance and do the fun games.

My favorite character is Alice because she is so adorable, sweet and helpful. I love the ways she supports her friends Brian and Cherry Berry while they try to find the missing letters. Brian is very funny and just too cute for words. I love how he assists Alice and Cherry Berry by telling them what words mean. Cherry Berry is a magical fairy with a jester stick that is friends with Alice and Brian. She is very helpful and is willing to help Alice and Brian find the missing alphabet letters.

The graphics are bright, silly and colorful. The directors, Au Loong and Cheong Siew Wai have created a fast paced, entertaining show that captures your attention from beginning to end. You are sad to see it end.

I recommend this show for ages 3 to 7. Older kids will likely enjoy watching it too as it reminded me of being younger and reinforced that learning can be fun. Cute, singing Monsters always make people smile. This really is one cute, adorable, quirky and fun learning experience all rolled up into one DVD of four episodes. I give this DVD 4 ½ out of 5 ABC Stars.

Kid movie news & Free DVDs:
Join KIDS FIRST! on Twitter Join KIDS FIRST! on Pinterest Join KIDS FIRST! on Facebook
Loading Search...