Archive for November, 2016

Arrival: Extremely High Wow Factor – A Must Go for any Sci-Fi Fan

Friday, November 11th, 2016

Arrival.poster.jpgWhen mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team is brought together to investigate, led by expert linguist Louise Banks. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers and, to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “This movie can only be described as something that starts out with a very simple idea and ends up turning into a complex and exciting story. Arrival is a truly sci-fi movie that you watch with your mouth open in amazement that gets better by the minute with an unforgettable and unpredictable ending.” See his full review below.

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

This movie can only be described as something that starts out with a very simple idea and ends up turning into a complex and exciting story. Arrival is a truly sci-fi movie that you watch with your mouth open in amazement that gets better by the minute with an unforgettable and unpredictable ending.

Arrival begins when twelve UFOs touch down in random places on Earth. The whole world is panicking and the United Arrival.a.jpgStates looks to a talented linguist named Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and a gifted Theoretical Physicist named Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) to help translate what the aliens really want from us and what their purpose on Earth is. Once the new team starts uncovering the information about the mysterious species, they find very surprising things that go against everything we once knew.

The movie is great overall but the ending is what really makes Arrival so legendary. The special effects are spectacular and the acting is extraordinary. Amy Adams excels in her role of Dr. Banks. What I most liked about the movie is how it all comes together. Without spoiling anything, I will say that the ending is mysterious and can be interpreted in hundreds of different ways depending on what angle you look at it from. The only other movies that have arrival.c.jpgsuch perfect endings and make you actually think deeply about  what exactly is happening are Interstellar and Inception. Another thing about this film that blew me away is the cinematography. From giant aerial shots of 1500 foot UFOs to a fleet of battleships about to start an attack, the cinematography truly adds to the intensity and amazement of the film. My one small criticism has to do with the last few minutes. The creators stretch it out about five minutes too long in their attempt to show in very deep detail what exactly happens at the end. I feel like they could have shortened it and explained the ending instead of stretching it out, but that only lasts a couple of minutes and is hardly noticeable. Another huge perk is the sound editing and the soundtrack. The sounds of the UFOs and the aliens are intense and the music perfectly suits the story. This combination makes your heart thump and works wonders with surround sound.
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My favorite scene is when the aliens first start writing in their language. They write using something that resembles ink that stays in the air. It is truly beautiful and unique. It is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen before in a sci-fi movie with aliens. I also like this scene because it is when they start talking about their language and how they talk backward and forward at the same time. If they think like this, they can write and create a complex sentence in a split of a second, which amazed me. I also admired how the story treats their language almost like an art form and not just a way of communication.

There is a presence of some mature language in a few scenes as well as very intense and dramatic moments, so I recommend it for ages 13 to 18. I give it 5 out of 5 stars despite one small hiccup because of just how it makes you think about life and the future and gets your adrenaline pumping. This film opens in theaters November 11, 2016 so be sure to go check it out, especially if you are a sci-fi fan like me.

Mech X4: Fun-filled adventure show with an amazing cast, great graphics and a fascinating storyline

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

mechX4.jpgMech-X4 is an American comedy television series created by Steve Marmel. The series stars Nathaniel James Potvin, Kamran Lucas, Pearce Joza and Raymond Cham. The series is scheduled to premiere on November 12, 2016, on Disney XD. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Morgan B. comments, “I … was pleasantly surprised because this is not your typical Disney TV show. It made me feel like I was watching a movie with its wonderful storyline, graphics and acting. In this incredible show, there is an amazing cast, graphics and an awesome story line – all of which are quite believable.” See her full review below.

Mech-X4
By Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Amazing! I got a sneak peek of the first episode of Mech-X4 and was pleasantly surprised because this is not your typical Disney TV show. It made me feel like I was watching a movie with its wonderful storyline, graphics and acting. In this incredible show, there is an amazing cast, graphics and an awesome storyline – all of which are quite believable. This fun-filled adventure show airs on Disney and Disney XD Saturday, November 12 so be sure to check it out.

This show stars Ryan Walker (Nathaniel James Potvin). With his dreamy eyes, he is a typical teenage boy who finds outmechx4.a.jpg that he is a technopath.  While chit chatting with Nathaniel, I discovered that he loves his super power which is being the master of all technology.  His personality matches his character perfectly as he is fun and easy to talk to. His new-found superpower awakens a 150 foot robot called Mech-X4 and its job is to protect the city from crazy monsters.

Ryan Walker then recruits his friends to help. Harris (Kamran Lucas) is the brains of the group. In real life, he has been doing Martial arts since he was 5 years old and he does most of his own stunts. Harris is cautious and protective of his friends and the new-found robot.  Harris is a geek who wants to make sure that everyone has their facts straight before they jump into things. He is amazing at martial arts and play his character quite believingly.

Spyder (Pearce Joza) is adventurous and ready for anything. I also met him and found his easy going nature quite mechx4.b.jpgenjoyable. In real life, he loves snowboarding. He provides the comedic relief for the group and is extremely funny. He loves all the gadgets for the robot and, since this is all new for them, sometimes things don’t work out as planned.

Ryan also recruits his brother Mark (Raymond Cham) to help. He is not a mechanic in real life, like his character and the two of them are exact opposites. Mark’s main job is to be the mechanic and fix everything. Mark is usually the leader in his family so he has to get used to the fact that he needs to let his brother shine and he has to stand back a bit. Raymond loves the idea of mixing two animals together to get cool and creative monsters for the show. He wishes he had the super power to see free movies at the box office. Skateboarding is his thing.

I was lucky enough to be able to meet all these fantastic actors and visit with them about their roles in this show. They are all so grateful to be a part of this magnificent show. The one thing that is missing is girl power. Disney already gave the green on Season 2 before Season 1 even airs. WOW ! And, the guys told me to keep a look out for girl power coming soon.Morgan.SM.jpg

The graphics of this show are spectacular. I love the way the robot and monsters all seem so realistic. It feels like you really are there and as if you are going on this adventure with Ryan and his friends while protecting the world. I love all the amazing places they shot in Canada, the wonderful acting and the insight into each character.

My favorite scene in this episode is when Ryan, Spyder, Mark and Harris are fighting a gigantic snake/octopus monster with the robot. It is filled with action, adventure and a little comedy. Plus the graphics are incredible and realistic.

I recommend this series for ages 8 to 18 because the action and comedy. I also think adults will enjoy it, especially the story line and the characters. According to Steve Marmel and Anupam Nigam, Executive Producers of the show, their target audience is a wide range. They want parents to enjoy watching this TV show with their kids. Be sure to check out my amazing interviews and learn more about the cast on our YouTube Channel. I give this TV show 5 out of 5 gigantic robot stars.

Doctor Strange Will Confuse You, Make You Ponder Time Itself and Is Easily the Greatest Superhero Film Ever Made

Monday, November 7th, 2016

DoctorS.Poster.jpgMarvel’s Doctor Strange follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange acts as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel Cinematic Universe. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “This superhero movie will disorient you, confuse you, make you ponder time itself and is easily the greatest superhero film ever made.” Benjamin P. adds, “Doctor Strange is an excellent introduction to magic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with mind-bending visuals and a great performance from Benedict Cumberbatch, who perfectly embodies the character of Dr. Stephen Strange.”  Miles T. wraps it up with, “This is one of my favorite Marvel movies because it might have the best animation in the world.” See their full reviews below.

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

This superhero movie will disorient you, confuse you, make you ponder time itself and is easily the greatest superhero film ever made. Doctor Strange combines humor, action and science fiction to make a legendary film unlike any other.

There are dozens of elements that make Doctor Strange so great. One of the main parts of this film is the action. The action is highly supported by the dramatic interactions between characters. There is also a large amount of perfectly timed humor. It’s so light and enjoyable that it makes you laugh every time. On top of that, there is even a small element of DoctorS.a.jpgromance in Doctor Strange.

Doctor Strange begins when a very talented neurosurgeon, Steven Strange, (Benedict Cumberbatch) gets in a bad car accident and gets injured. His injuries make it impossible for him to continue practice medicine and he desperately looks for a cure. His search takes him to India where he meets a group of people that do magical things. He joins their group to be healed, but as he trains in their art, he learns there is much more then what meets the eye in the reality he lives in.

Perfect. That is the only word that can describe Doctor Strange. Easily the most breathtaking part is the special effects. There are scenes where they warp and distort the world around them in such elegant and spectacular ways that it makes you feel slightly disoriented. That is not where the special effects end though. The powers they have look magical and so realistic, you won’t think it is done by CGI. The DoctorS.aa.jpgacting is another perk for the film. Benedict Cumberbatch excels as Doctor Strange, not only in the intense action scenes but also in the comedy scenes. He truly makes the character come to life and the entire cast portrays the story perfectly. On top of that, the costume design and makeup is another huge achievement in the movie. There are parts where even slight details on a character’s face or costume add huge additional meaning to the story. The costumes in general are beautiful and amazingly well constructed.

My favorite scene is when Doctor Strange discovers how to warp and twist time. He tries it on an apple he is eating and you watch the apple turn from half eaten to ripe and new, to fully eaten and slowly decaying. I love this scene for so many DoctorS.aaa.jpgreasons, primarily the extraordinary special effects. This is an example of how well they integrate set design, the live footage and the CGI. This is not the only scene where they integrate these so well. On top of that, just looking at how Doctor Strange discovers this power is very entertaining and enjoyable to watch.

Although Doctor Strange is a great movie, it is clearly not meant for young kids. There are lots of scenes containing gore and violence and scenes that are dark in general. For that reason, I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. I also absolutely give it 5 out of 5 stars for its phenomenal special effects, beautiful costumes and sets, breathtaking acting and exciting story.

Doctor Strange
By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Doctor Strange is an excellent introduction to magic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with mind-bending visuals and a great performance from Benedict Cumberbatch, who perfectly embodies the character of Dr. Stephen Strange.DoctorS.b.jpg

This film centers on an egotistical neurosurgeon named Stephen Strange. After a terrible car accident ruins his hands, he searches for treatment that can help him heal and return to the operating room. He ends up in Nepal and meets Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who saves him from being robbed and shows him to Kamar-Taj, a place where healing is done through spirit.

At first, Stephen thinks it is all a hoax, but The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), a teacher of the mystic arts shows him what he’s capable of. When the world’s sanctums are under threat from Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), a former student of The Ancient One, Stephen must step up and become the sorcerer supreme.

My favorite part of this film is when the New York sanctum is under attack. This scene is rewarding as a comic book fan, as you finally get to see DoctorDoctorS.c.jpg Strange don the Cloak of Levitation, a trademark for the character.

My favorite character in this film is The Ancient One. This character is very wise and helps Stephen become Doctor Strange. Benedict Cumberbatch excellently captures the arrogant personality of Stephen Strange at the beginning of the film as well as the changes the character undergoes throughout the movie.

The special effects in this film are crazy, at times psychedelic. This makes the action scenes all the more captivating. I recommend you see this in IMAX 3D. It’s worth the extra money for the visuals. In fact, there is more than an hour of IMAX footage in this film. Michael Giacchino’s almost gothic score captures the trippy nature of this film.DoctorS.g.jpg

I like that this film doesn’t take itself too seriously and has a sense of humor. My only problem with this film is I feel there is a little too much going on plot-wise. I give Doctor Strange an age rating of 12 to 18 because of its fantasy violence and language and a scene involving a car crash.

I give Doctor Strange 4 out of 5 stars. Make sure to stay after the credits for not one, but two post-credit scenes.

Doctor Strange
By Miles T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

This movie is filled with the type of CGI everybody wants in every movie. I was trying to turn my head around it the whole movie since it is so detailed. 160 million dollars went into this film making the Marvel Universe much wider a possibility. DoctorS.d_1.jpgDoctor Strange makes the mind confused and entertained at the same time. Along with the fact that it is in IMax 3D, which makes it that much better, the settings are something you would imagine in a Harry Potter property.

In this movie, Doctor Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is hurt in a car accident and wants to get healed but his hands are too damaged. He asks the one and only recovered person who had the same medical condition how he relieved it and goes to the place he refers him to and discovers a place of magic and wisdom.

This is one of my favorite Marvel movies because it might have the best animation in the world. Yes, this movie takes place around the world. I really cannot explain the amazingness of this animation. It is so detailed that it looks totally real. DoctorS.f.jpgHowever, the music does not compare with Guardians of the Galaxy. If it did, this movie would be my favorite movie. The acting is impeccable. The animation is stunning. And the plot is enjoyably complicated. Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams deliver incredible performances as they show struggle, heartbreak and wisdom. One of the biggest holes in this movie is the characters. Doctor Strange is deep and well defined, but all the other characters come out of nowhere. It would have been better had they made the characters deeper and more profound.

The moral of this story is that no matter what anybody else does, you can always do what you want to do. That’s my take away. You might have a different message that you get from the film.

I recommend this movie for kids ages 7 to 18 and adults will love it too. If you are one of those parents who don’t let their kids see Marvel movies, you should know that I caught no cursing. I give this movie 4 ½ out of stars because the characters aren’t so deep and the music could be better. But, everything else is spot on! Even the post-credit scenes have really interesting things that set new things up for more future movies.

Trolls – Virtually Impossible Not To Like! Entertaining, Good Message And Incredible Music

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Trolls216275.jpgFrom the creators of Shrek comes the most smart, funny, irreverent animated comedy of the year, DreamWorks’ Trolls. Featuring original music from Justin Timberlake, and soon-to-be classic mash-ups of songs from other popular artists, Trolls is a fresh, broad comedy filled with music, heart and hair-raising adventures. From the beginning, Trolls takes you on a vivid colorful, musical journey including the magic of the Trolls and the roughness of the Bergens. The Trolls daily routines –  hugging every hour, singing and dancing and living everyday partying is endearing and the messages are life-affirming. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ryan R. comments, “If you didn’t know, this movie is a musical.  It is fantastic! I love how they turn well-known songs into their own new version of the song by changing the arrangement.” Morgan B. adds, “The animation is very vivid, extraordinarily colorful and detailed which is perfect for little ones who will love the colors and the fun characters in this film. The way everything so detailed, realistic and whimsical makes this film really stand out in a way that appeals to both kids and adults.” See their full reviews below.

Trolls
By Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

I love the new Dreamworks film, Trolls because it is entertaining, has a good message, has a great soundtrack filled with trolls.a.jpgincredible music and is virtually impossible not to like.  In this movie, it is 20 years since the Trolls escaped from the Bergens. Bergens are giants compared to Trolls. Meet Poppy (Anna Kendrick) who is going to be queen of the Trolls. She decides to have a party, but Branch (Justin Timberlake) warns them not to make a bunch of noise or their enemies, the Bergens will find them. Poppy doesn’t listen and, because of that, the Bergens, capture some of the Trolls. Poppy decides to find and rescue them. Will she save the Trolls or will the Bergens do something to them before she does? You have to see the movie to find out.

I enjoyed watching this movie because I love the music.  If you didn’t know, this movie is a musical.  It is fantastic! I love how they turn well-known songs into their own new version of the song by changing the arrangement. Another reason why I love this movie is because of its cast. The cast’s chemistry is evident as you watch the interaction between the characters throughout the film. Anna Kendrick’s and Justin Timberlake’s performances are fantastic because they take you on an emotional journey and make you feel it. I love how Justin Timberlake’s character goes through changes throughout the film and Anna Kendrick’s character Poppy is hilarious. She mtrolls.b.jpgade me laugh a lot.

The supporting cast members are superb as well and their characters, in some scenes, steal the show. For instance, Biggie (James Corden) is so hilarious in one scene, but I can’t say which one because it would spoil the movie. Also the performances of Gwen Stefani, Russell Brand, Zooey Deschanel and many others will have you laughing as they deliver a bunch of jokes as well.

This film is amazing and has a positive message – “You don’t need things or people to be happy.  Your happiness lies within yourself and you should be proud of who you are.”

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 6 to 18. I think adults may like this as well. The Bergens may be a bit scary looking so kids under age 6 might find it too intense. I also recommend this to people who like action, adventure, musicals and family movies. This film comes out November 4, 2016 in theaters nationwide. Make sure to see this movie, because it is worth seeing.

Trolls
By Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

This is a terrific film. The small, adorable and fun Troll dolls are making a comeback in the new feature film Trolls. The ctrolls.h.jpgutest ever Trolls play opposite the pessimistic Bergens. These are fun, energetic characters as well as grumpy characters who blend together to make this film perfectly engaging. There are also stupendous songs that make you just get up and out of your seat, singing and dancing.

The animation is very vivid, extraordinarily colorful and detailed which is perfect for the little ones who will love the colors and the fun characters in this film. The way everything so detailed, realistic and whimsical makes this film really stand out in a way that appeals to both kids and adults.

The cast is brilliant especially Poppy (Anna Kendrick) who is the happiest, kindest, sweetest troll of them all. She always see trolls.i.jpgthe bright side of things and reminds me of myself when I was younger. Maybe that’s why she is my favorite character. Plus, Poppy is an amazing singer just like Branch (Justin Timberlake).

Branch the grumpy, sad troll is also very sarcastic and funny. He is a favorite because of how his smart remarks add a lot of humor to this film. Justin Timberlake, who I recently met, is nothing like his character in real life. He is an absolute sweet heart in person. I got to talk with him recently on the rainbow carpet for Trolls and learned that htrolls.g.jpge loves to sing and dance and he had a splendid time working on this film. He is also the executive music producer for this movie.

Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) is an unhappy scullery maid who is in love with someone. She needs a little help to get him to notice her and hence, the matchmaking begins. Last, there is Chef (Christine Baranski), the villain we all love to hate. She is crazy and frightful.  She likes to eat trolls and that keeps the story interesting and intriguing for older kids.

My favorite scene is when Poppy is singing a fun song called “Get Back up Again” while she is almost eaten, stepped on and everything painful and horrible happens. I love this scene because it made me laugh so hard.  It makes you want to get out of your seat and sing along with her. I also love the way that she gets back up no matter what, thinks positive and tries her best to help everyone, no matter what happens to her along the way.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18 because younger kids will love the fun songs, colorful animation and the silly adorable characters and older kids will love the scary villain and the story line. This is a feel good family friendly movie that parents will enjoy as well. I give this film 5 out of 5 rainbow troll stars. Be sure to check my interviews on the rainbow carpet where you can meet actors who play these characters and learn more secrets. This film comes out November 4 in theaters nationwide so, go check it out.

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