Archive for June, 2017

Cars 3 – Best in the Cars Series!

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet, and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage! Benjamin P. comments, “The animation in Cars 3 is great. No other film succeeds in making everyday objects feel truly human as well as this franchise does. This gives it a sense of realism and puts me more in tune with characters’ emotions and makes me care more about them in the process.” Jolleen M. adds, “This film is really unique and well made! I really enjoyed watching it. The storyline is well thought out and original. I also love the animation which is very detailed.” Lucia F. wraps it up with, “As a teenage girl who did not see the first two Cars films, I had serious doubts about this movie. Imagine my surprise when I found myself enjoying Cars 3 from beginning to end.” See their full reviews below.

Cars 3
By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Cars 3 is a great new chapter in the Cars series. While it doesn’t soar to the heights of other Pixar films, it still is the best Cars film yet.

Cars 3 sees Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) undergo a series of losses and then a near fatal crash. His fellow racers are dropping out and being replaced by new, high tech cars like his rival Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). McQueen realizes during his recovery that the game has changed and he’s not the sharp rookie he used to be. He knows he needs to train harder than he ever has to keep doing what he loves. With the help of trainer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), McQueen plans to beat Storm at an upcoming race in Florida to start off the season. This is his last chance to prove his worth to his fans and his new corporate sponsor (Nathan Fillion) and McQueen is not going down without a fight.

My favorite character in Cars 3 is Cruz Ramirez. The reveal of a new car being added to Lightning’s crew is exciting. This character’s glowing positivity is a nice contrast to McQueen’s snarky pessimism. Cristela Alonzo brings a lot of enthusiasm, but also plays the deeper sides of this character very well too and engages you in the evolution of Cruz Ramirez throughout the movie.

The animation in Cars 3 is great. No other film succeeds in making everyday objects feel truly human as well as this franchise does. This gives it a sense of realism and puts me more in tune with characters’ emotions and makes me care more about them in the process. The backgrounds in this film are gorgeous. They’re detailed, picturesque and really reflect the quality of Pixar’s animation. The total effect makes me envy the characters and wish I could visit them in their rich, colorful world.

Preceding Cars 3 is the short film Lou about a creature made out of objects from a school lost-and-found bin. It’s an interesting concept and carries an important message. It’s one of my favorite Pixar shorts to date. I recommend Cars 3 for ages 5 to 12. The scene where Lightning McQueen crashes is quite intense and could scare younger children. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Cars 3 opens in theaters June 16 so be sure to go check it out.

Cars 3
By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

This film is really unique and well made! I really enjoyed watching it. The storyline is well thought out and original. I also love the animation which is very detailed. I especially love the facial expressions of the cars which show a lot of emotions.

Cars 3 is about the famous racer, Lightning Macqueen. He is usually the winner of every race until a rookie racer comes along. The rookie, Jackson Storm, is younger, sleeker and faster than Lightning Macqueen and his “old-school” friends. Eventually, his friends retire, leaving room for more rookies to join the races. And Lightning McQueen goes on an adventure to figure out if his racing days must come to an end.

Owen Wilson, the voice of Lightning McQueen, perfectly performs Lightning McQueen’s rage scenes. He makes McQueen sound desperate, frustrated and on the edge of breaking at times, but can make him also sound determined and hopeful. Armie Hammer, the voice of Jackson Storm, voices Jackson as an arrogant character. The voice fits very well because Storm always makes fun of Lightning McQueen.

The animation of this film is very pleasing to look at, is 3D, and even though they are cars, you can see their facial expressions. Their voices and facial expressions indirectly show their emotions which was really pleasing to watch.

My favorite part is when Lightning McQueen goes back to visit the hometown of his late crew chief and former racer Doc Hudson. McQueen sees all of the letters that Hudson sent back home about him. McQueen starts feeling emotional and begins to really miss Hudson. I really like this scene because it warmed my heart to see McQueen realize that he made Hudson happy till his last days. Lightning McQueen was like a son to Doc Hudson.

The message of this film is about persevering and empowering women. Cruz Ramirez, a female car with the dream of being a racer, is told by everyone that she can’t be a racer, even though she works extremely hard every day to become one. Lightning McQueen gives her a chance to become a racer and she takes it no matter what anyone says.

Cars 3 is a great movie and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 6 to 14. This film is very positive and has a different storyline. It’s awesome for car lovers. Check it out when it opens in theaters June 16, 2017.

Cars 3
By Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 18

As a teenage girl who did not see the first two Cars films, I had serious doubts about this movie. Imagine my surprise when I found myself enjoying Cars 3 from beginning to end. Although this movie is clearly an action movie, it is also hilarious! I am a huge Larry the Cable Guy fan and, as Mater the Tow Truck, he provides plenty of comic relief. I also love how loyal and heartwarming Mater is as a friend to the protagonist, Lightning McQueen. Of course, his is not the only remarkable performance. Owen Wilson, as Lightning McQueen, is a very effective leading man. His performance is pure genius.

The movie is intense. A new race car character, Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) is introduced as competition to our hero, Lightning McQueen. Unfortunately, Storm steals Lightning’s thunder (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Viewers will find the many racing sequences extremely exciting. I actually jumped during the nighttime race through the forest with no headlights. Parents should know that there is another scene that might be disturbing to younger viewers which occurs during the Crazy 8’s demolition derby race at Thunder Hollow. Since all the characters are cars, the destruction could be considered quite violent.

There are three messages in this film. The first is a message of girl power when a plot twist involving Lightning’s female trainer provides a completely unexpected result. Another message is to value and honor the old-timers who succeeded before you and paved the way for your success. We see this when an older lady racer talks about the days when she was not allowed to have a number, so she stole one. The third message, which provides yet another surprise, is that those who support actual heroes are indeed, heroes themselves.

What really stands out for me throughout this film is the music and the animation. I love how the music, usually heavy-metal guitars, suits each race so perfectly. The images are of two types – absolutely breathtaking scenery, such as the trip to the Rusteeze Racing Center, and the appealing, animated car characters. It is also very interesting that Lightning McQueen keeps changing his look throughout the film .

I give this film 5 out  of 5 stars. It very effectively tells a story about doing what you love to do regardless of public opinion.  I recommend this film for girls and boys ages 7 to 18.  Cars 3 races into theaters on Friday, June 16, 2017 so go check it out.  You will absolutely enjoy the ride.

 

 

 

 

Alisa Knows What To Do! Season One

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

 Alisa Knows What to Do! is based on the extremely popular Russian science-fiction novels by famous Russian author Kir Bulychiov about a young girl from the future, Alisa Salazar. This animated series weaves a tale about the adventures of a group of teenagers living at the end of the 21st century. The world has changed yet the burning questions that occupied people at the beginning of the century are still pertinent today. Alisa and her friends not only battle evil and injustice but they are also concerned with global problems like the natural balance, both on the planet and in space. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Lucia F. comments, “I like the animation because the special effects are very cool. Young children will enjoy this because it is filled with adventure and action.” Gerry O. adds, “There are not many animated kid shows that can teach important life lessons, entertain and spark the viewer’s imagination. Alisa Knows What to Do: Season One accomplishes all of this and more.” Calista B. wraps it up with, “This series is really enjoyable. I was honestly surprised by how much I was invested in the story and the characters. It is surprisingly solid.” See their full reviews below.

Alisa Knows What To Do! Season One
By Lucia Funaro, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 18

What I find appealing is that Alisa is everyone’s boss and, as the title says, she obviously knows what to do. I like the animation because the special effects are very cool. Young children will enjoy this because it is filled with adventure and action. One part I don’t care for is how strict the  teacher is. I wish he was nicer to the young teens. At first I was bothered by the audio which is not in sync with the mouth movements and then I realized that the original language is Russian and this version is dubbed in English.

This DVD is a compilation of episodes from the TV show. Based on a popular Russian science fiction novel by Kir Bulychiov, the show follows a group of teens in the future who learn to solve problems with help from their leader Alisa. Alisa and her friends face many difficulties and they have to figure out how to fight the villains that are trying to defeat them. They are also concerned about the environment and how the earth will survive. They live near the end of the 21st century, so there is lots of advanced technology included in this show.

There are two messages in this show – every problem has a solution and teamwork is the key.  I love that the person who usually comes up with the right answer is a girl. I also love how everyone helps each other out in complicated situations.

What really stands in this show is that each episode is self-contained. It has a beginning, middle and end. The animation and audio quality are also amazing. It took me a while to realize that this show takes place at the end of the 21st Century. Most episodes start out showing the kids at school doing class work or something funny. Then someone tells Alisa about a problem and she usually finds the situation. Her friends are her sidekicks so they help her when she needs them. Alisa and her friends are very concerned about the earth, the environment and how to protect it. They are constantly trying to save the universe. Everyone will want to root for Alisa and her friends!

I recommend this show to ages 5 to 10 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. I believe children will enjoy the action, adventure and problem-solving. It is fun and also educational. It is available June 13, 2019 on DVD so, go check it out.

Alisa Knows What to Do: Season One
By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

There are not many animated kid shows that can teach important life lessons, entertain and spark the viewer’s imagination. Alisa Knows What to Do: Season One accomplishes all of this and more. Even though it is meant for kids, this animated series is perfect for the entire family.

The show has a core of a futuristic adventure with many different elements for viewers to enjoy. Throughout the episodes, viewers will find plenty of comedy that makes everyone laugh. It also includes quite a few of child-friendly action sequences and even some slight young romance between the characters.

Even though each episode has a different plot, the series follows the story of five teenagers living in the year 2090, where there are aliens, robots, spaceships and many advanced pieces of technology. Alisa is always there to save the day with her skills and quick wit to stop evil monsters and evil scientists, rescue her friends and preserve endangered inter-galactical animals.

Overall, this DVD offers a very entertaining collection of episodes with unique stories that always have surprise endings. I also love the interesting perspective of the future. It feels possible but still makes you dream about endless possibilities. The animation itself is a quite different style than what is generally seen on TV, due to being produced in Moscow.  One small issue that is very apparent throughout the show is the dubbing. Due to being converted from Russian to English, there are many times when the characters’ lips do not match the audio perfectly. The problem isn’t too noticeable most of the time, but there are scenes where it is distracting.

My favorite episode is Games without Rules. In this episode, a new museum about the history of the galaxy opens on Pluto. The top scientists, including Alisa’s father, attend the opening. Disaster strikes when an eclipse by a Pluto moon causes the release of “Zye” waves, which turns people into statues.  Luckily Alisa and her friend find out about this and destroy a crystal to rescue the people. The animation of the museum and the dwarf planet is beautiful and the plot has unexpected and entertaining twists.

The show is meant for kids, but there are some darker aspects of some episodes. For that reason, I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. I give the DVD 4.5 out of 5 stars because there of the small issue with the dubbing, but other than that, the show is entertaining, has strong messages and is perfect for the whole family.

Alisa Knows What To Do! Season One
By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

This series is really enjoyable. I was honestly surprised by how much I was invested in the story and the characters. It is surprisingly solid. This is a show based on the popular series of Russian books by Kir Bulychlov. The story is about a young girl named Alisa and her friends who live in the future, in the year 2093. They go on adventures throughout the galaxy fighting crime and protecting the environment.

First, I want to talk about the main group of kids. To be honest, Alisa takes center stage a lot. But this isn’t a bad thing, because they switch the spotlight to the other kids every once in a while. And they try to develop the characters of the other kids, which I like. In terms of personality, the characters are pretty stereotyped. There’s The Jock, The Nerd, The Girly Girl who only cares about her looks and similar. As much as I disapprove of stereotyping in general, these are probably some of the best stereotypes I’ve seen. However, I will say that I found the girls way more likeable than the boys.

The most important aspect in any sci-fi story is how you use the futuristic setting to your advantage. The world you create has to be as impactful as the story and characters. And the sci-fi world in this series is really super cool! The other planets and environments the creators made up are really creative. The city where they live is very well designed as are the gadgets they use. This is one of the best instances of edutainment that I’ve ever seen.

In terms of the animation, it’s actually quite good. It is definitely clear that the creators put a lot of effort into the visuals. However, the close-up shots of the characters are a bit weird looking. It makes them look like weirdly made plastic dolls.

The voice-overs are also well done. IMDB only lists Laurie Hymes who voices Alisa and Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld who voices Natalie. Both of them are excellent in their voice-over roles.

I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. I can see some older kids enjoying this show as well. It is great for future environmentalists and scientists. This DVD is available now so, go check it out.

 

 

 

The Mummy – Adventure, Action, Fantasy and Horror Combined

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Though safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess, whose destiny was unjustly taken from her, is awakened in our current day bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Arjun N. comments, “The Mummy impressed me with its spooky horror, top level stunt work spectacular direction. “ KIDS FIRST! Juror Juanita L. adds, “The story is not a new – disturbing an ancient evil which comes back to wreak havoc on everyone. However, the visuals are very exciting and explosive with a hint of suspense.” See their full reviews below.

The Mummy
By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The Mummy impressed me with its spooky horror, top level stunt work spectacular direction.

The storyline follows Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), who finds the crypt of Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) and flies her crypt via airplane when things go amuck. She is awakened and then controls Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) to crashes the plane. He crashes the plane to curse Nick who wakes up despite the plane crash.  Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) then hunts down Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) who is also looking for Princess Ahmanet and is the only who can cure Nick. However, when Ahmanet is fully formed, Nick needs to stop her from destroying London and goes to extreme levels to defeat Ahmanet and save Jenny (Annabelle Wallis).

Tom Cruise is versatile in his presentation of Nick Morton who cheats people because of his own selfishness. In the battle scenes, Cruise excels in his stunt work. Sofia Boutella as Princess Ahmanet is creepy, especially as The Mummy. She really suits the character of a princess relentless seeking power. Jake Johnson as Chris Vail provides comedic relief. Annabelle Wallis as Jenny Halsey clearly presents determination in tracking down Princess Ahmanet. However, she still falls to the trope of damsel in distress. Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll is my favorite character because he impressively presents the transition of his character.

The direction by Alex Kurtzman is splendid. The pace from scene to scene is superb and kept me at the edge of my seat. My favorite scene is when Ahmanet attacks London. The special effects are outrageously impactful. My only problem is that the movie’s finale is quite anti-climactic. Despite this flaw, Tom Cruise fans will rejoice at this movie.

The movie’s message is,  even if you cheat others, you can always change to be selfless. Nick, though a thief, finds himself in the ultimate selfless sacrifice to save mankind. I give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 because of its intense horror. The movie releases in theaters on June 9, so check it out for one fast-paced thriller.

The Mummy
By Juanita Seon Leary, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

I enjoyed watching this updated version of the classic 1932 film, wearing 3D glasses and starring one of my favorite actors, Tom Cruise. The film combines adventure and action with a sprinkling of fantasy and horror.

Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), along with his partner Chris Vale (Jake Johnson) are soldiers of fortune who steal timeless artifacts from ancient sites and sell them to the highest bidders. While in the Middle East, the duo accidently uncover Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), an ancient princess awakened from her crypt beneath the desert after thousands of years. She uses her powers which evolve throughout the film to bring her revenge and furious rampage to the streets of London.

The story is not a new – disturbing an ancient evil which comes back to wreak havoc on everyone. However, the visuals are very exciting and explosive with a hint of suspense. My favorite scene is when Ahmanet is held captive by chains, ropes and other devices to keep her from escaping. It shows her strength and power and, is the first time we’ve seen The Mummy as a woman.

You can expect strong, very loud fantasy action and violence with some blood spatters, guns and shooting, stabbings, fighting and punching, crashes and explosions, jump scares, zombies and a lab full of gross things. There are several mildly suggestive sexual references as well, including partly naked and somewhat obscured male and female bodies, kissing, a couple in bed together and other sensuality.

I recommend it for ages 13 to18 as well as some adults. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars.  It opens nationwide June 9, 2017 so, be sure to go see it and enjoy the action!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super 4: Welcome to Enchanted Island – Where fantasy and creativity reign supreme!

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Welcome to Enchanted Island, an island covered with a mysterious enchanted forest, which is home to every form of magical creature you could ever imagine – fairies, mischievous boy sprites, unicorns, sirens, ancient tree spirits and magic wishing wells. Visitors to Enchanted Isle must beware for nothing is ever quite what it seems, and dreams and reality quickly become one. At the center of the forest is the palace of the capricious Fairy Queen, who is in a constant temper due to being turned into a frog by a talented young fairy who overdid herself and, in an attempt to grant the ultimate favor to the queen by making her even more pretty, she cast a spell that gave her the head of a frog! Unfortunately, that talented young fairy is our friend, Twinkle. Twinkle has great potential as a fairy but she must learn to master her wand and its magic. Join Twinkle along with her Super 4 friends as they band together to fight villains and save their worlds from chaos. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Alejandra G. comments, “I love that this DVD is filled with creativity and fantasy, factors that truly draw children’s attention. Each story has witches, fairies, enchanted worlds and many other fanciful things.” See her full review below.

Super 4: Welcome to Enchanted Island
By Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

I love that this DVD is filled with creativity and fantasy, factors that truly draw children’s attention. Each story has witches, fairies, enchanted worlds and many other fanciful things. Since young children have big imaginations and tend to be extremely creative, they are automatically drawn to the show since they can relate to the fantasies in each episode. Their open imagination allows them to dream about these unique and special creatures. I understand why kids love the series so much.

In this show, the characters go on adventure after adventure to help their friends solve problems or situations they are in on the Enchanted Island. They get into very funny and odd situations that children will relate to as something that is actually possible. Of course, using magic to help them adds to the intrigue.

My favorite scene from this collection is when the queen’s head turns into a frog as she attempts to make herself more beautiful. She wants to try, but fails and has to deal with the consequences. This scene demonstrates how the shows’ makers incorporate things that children will easily be drawn into. It’s typical of young children dream of and imagine. Also, it is quite funny to see how they manage to make this funny scene part of the story.

The episodes truly excels at entertaining children and making them have a great time while watching. It offers positive role models and a theme of friendship. The Super 4 friends band together to fight villains and save their worlds from chaos. I can honestly commend the makers of this show on their smart and intelligent writing. While at first look, it appears as a length infomercial for Playmobil toys, it is more than that. The stories are unique and special and geared appropriate for its young audience. It’s highly entertaining and fun. I wish the females were more engaging. I rate this DVD 3 out of 5 and recommend it for ages 3 to 8.

Super 4: Welcome to Enchanted Island
By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

Super 4: Welcome To Enchanted Island is eye catching and entertaining. The lessons are perfect for kids       and the animation is terrific. Kids will love this DVD for so many reasons and they will talk about for years to come. The animation in this DVD is one of my favorite things about it. I adore it. The characters all look like toys from a Playmobil toy set and, that is one of my favorite things about this series. Everything that is in this imaginary world is built with Playmobil blocks. Also the animation is very colorful and joyous and makes me fell all giddy whenever I watch it. 

The morals and life lessons in this DVD are terrific and can be very valuable for everyone. Some of the lessons included are be courteous to everyone no matter who they are or what they have done to you, use everyone’s talents not just your own, look to the future and not the past, and look before you leap.

The characters are all quirky and energetic. I like Alex (Damien Farrette) who is the knight in shining armor to call when you need help. He is also always there for you and ready to lead a helping hand. Rudy (Laetitia Lefebvre) is another goodhearted, but mischievous character for she is a pirate at heart. Even though she is trying to get rid of some of her flaws, she stills has a few. Gene (Frank Lorrair) is a sci-fi futuristic kind of guy who likes to use gadgets, which some might say are magical because of how stupendous they are. He also loves to use logic to solve all kinds of problems, such as how to wrestle with a troll and so many more life lessons. I know I will use them in the future. My favorite character is Twinkle (Sara Natochenny). I love her for her kind heart and her shyness. She wants to make things right by turning the fairy queen back from a frog into a fairy so she can make amends. Also, she wants to do no wrong even though she needs to learn how to use her wand correctly since she accidentally turned the fairy queen into a frog in the first place. Twinkle always looks to the future and always has a good attitude unless her fairy friends are sad. When the furious elf turns all the colors into black and white and makes the fairies all sad and unhappy, Twinkle is there to help them out and look to the future. Twinkle is a fairy full of determination!

I recommend this DVD for ages 6 to 12. Kids will love the quirky characters, fun learning experiences with Twinkle, Alex, Rudy and Gene. They will also love the factor that it is inspired by Playmobil and brings all kinds of worlds together into one big, huge, wondrous universe.  I give this magical DVD 5 out of 5 Golden Wands. This DVD is in stores now so, if you want fun adventure and excitement in your home, go check it out.

 

Wonder Woman – Lives Up to Its Hype

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Calista B., comments, “I can say that it is absolutely amazing! It definitely lives up to its potential.” Miles T. adds, “Wonder Woman caught me off guard. I thought it would be a girly movie about her trying to go against gender issues. But that is not the case.” Benjamin P. wraps it up with, “Wonder Woman is a defining example of a great superhero movie. While the movie struggles in its final act, it still delivers compelling action, great directing and good performances.” See their full reviews below.

Wonder Woman
By Calista Bess, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

When this movie was announced, I was super excited, but at the same time, skeptical. Because all the recent DC Movies didn’t live up to all the hype. However, once I sat down in the theatre, all comfortable with my popcorn and icee and watched the film, I can say that it is absolutely amazing! It definitely lives up to its potential. Once the movie was over, I started clapping and, after I left the theatre, I realized my hands were red because I had clapped so hard.

The story of this film starts on Themyscira, an island cloaked from society and home to the Amazons. Diana, Princess of the Amazons, finds an allied spy who washed on shore named Steve Trevor. He tells her about the horrors of World War l and she decides to join him to stop The War to End All Wars.

Gal Gadot plays Wonder Woman and, oh my gosh, she is awesome! She is courageous and fierce, but also intelligent and empathetic. She is the perfect role model for every little girl. She is the iconic Wonder Woman! But in all seriousness, all the actors are awesome and really likeable. One particular character that didn’t get enough screen time was Steve’s secretary, Eta Candy, played by Lucy Davis. She is really funny and has some great one liners. She really deserved more time to shine.

The special effects and fight scenes are also extraordinary. During most of the action scenes, I found myself leaning forward, wide-eyed and gripping my seat. Unlike Batman V Superman or Suicide Squad, I could actually SEE what was happening! To me, the best scene in the movie is when Diana, Steve and his crew lead an invasion of a German controlled town and liberate it. The action is so exciting and, when the Wonder Woman theme starts playing, I literally started smiling until the scene was over.

Surprisingly, this film is also extremely hilarious. I was laughing for a good chunk of time. The humor mainly comes from Diana’s lack of knowledge of our civilization. There’s a really funny scene where Eta tries to give Diana a normal outfit and she kicks and rips the skirt.

I definitely give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. This movie opens in theatres on June 2, 2017. I could say I recommend this movie for comic book fans, but honestly everyone should see this movie. Wonder Woman is an iconic role model and Gal Gadot definitely lives up to the part. Director Patty Jenkins lassoed this hit film and I love that a woman directed it – Girl Power! That’s the truth.

Wonder Woman
By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Wonder Woman is a defining example of a great superhero movie. While the movie struggles in its final act, it still delivers compelling action, great directing and good performances.

Gal Gadot plays Diana, the princess of an island called Themiscyra, inhabited by Amazon warriors. As a child, she is taught to be a fierce warrior. One day, a plane crashes just offshore. The pilot is a spy named Steve Trevor, who is trying to escape the German army after stealing their secrets. Diana saves him from the wreckage. Soon, German troops besiege the island in search of Steve. After a clash between the Amazons and the troops, Steve warns Diana and her people of a war in the outside world. Her strong urge to help others leads her to follow Steve to the frontlines to end the conflict. As her journey continues, she must embrace her destiny and become the hero she was born to be.

Gal Gadot is very good as Diana a.k.a. Wonder Woman. There is something very generous and kind about her character. Gadot is convincing as a strong female heroine who cares deeply about the lives of others and is willing to risk her own to save them. This character make a great role model, someone ready to spring into action to fight for things such as justice and freedom, but also some who cares about other people. Gadot studied a lot of martial arts and other training to prepare for this film and it certainly pays off in the thrilling action scenes. She carries the movie very well and I hope to see her in more DC films.

Diana’s fish-out-of-water dynamic is explored to great effect for some good laughs. She has little knowledge of life beyond the island. Her reactions and conversations in the outside world are very funny. She also has enjoyable banter with Steve Trevor.

Director Patty Jenkins had a very clear vision of what she wanted the film to look like and it translates to the screen very well. She shot it on a very epic scale and used techniques like shooting on film instead of digital to get the grainy feel of the World War I era. This makes for a more real cinematic experience.

One of my main criticisms of the film is its third act. The first two thirds are near perfect. The final act almost descends into a dumb, explosion-filled mess, but redeems itself in a way that doesn’t ruin the first two acts for me. I recommend Wonder Woman for ages 12 to 18 due to some violence and language and give it . It opens in theaters June 2 so, go check it out.

Wonder Woman
By Miles T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Wonder Woman caught me off guard. I thought it would be a girly movie about her trying to go against gender issues. But that is not the case. It fits right in with the other superhero movies. This movie starts off with the characteristic young kid that has a burning fire within them. She grows up and becomes strong. Then she goes out into the real world. It, along with the other origin story films, is a great example of a really good movie.

Wonder Woman instantly became one of my favorite superhero movies because, when there is action, you can actually follow it. Let me explain. Some movies (James Bond) are really difficult to follow when there is action. Because of constant quick editing and constant changes in shots and angles, it becomes really hard to understand the action or see what you are looking at. That is not the case with this film. However complicated the fight scenes are, you can understand what she does and follow her movements. In order to do this, the movie utilized slow motion. It’s not annoying. I kind of liked it, but it happens a lot.

Not only does action dominate the movie, but every second of the movie has a well placed shot. What I’m saying is that the camera angles are amazing throughout and the whole movie looks fantastic. In this way, thankfully, the movie does not follow the usual way of things. There is, let’s just say it, a totally boss battle where they could have easily taken a wide angle shot. And they do, but only for a second. And, the rest is fabulous to watch.

Wonder Woman is played by Gal Gadot. Sir Patrick Morgan (David Thewlis), Steve (Chris Pine) and basically all the other actors are amazing. Every character is necessary and the movie would be poorer without any one of them. Not that I didn’t hate any of the characters. Of course there are ones that the movie wants me to hate. But they are all well built and quite lively. They seem to fit like gloves to the time and place of when the film takes place. This brings me to the sets. Every set looks like they just barged into real and existing buildings and started filming. This realism is especially challenging since it’s set during WW I. The locations and sets make sense and the way the filming is done made me want to visit them. The green screen work is especially amazing because they did not scream “look at me!” Instead, they are just backgrounds and are very believable. So much so that, if I hadn’t known these settings exist I would not think anything was fishy about the backgrounds.

My favorite part of the film is the scene when Wonder Woman jumps out of the trenches and single handedly fights the opposing side. My second favorite is when she completely demolishes an entire building. Yeah, she does not kid around.

This movie also explores working with the obvious feminist issues. After all, this is a female superhero! They depict a very strong character, just like all other superheroes, and they are able to add some humor as well. Throughout the movie everyone underestimates and doubts her because she is a girl. Ha! She creams everyone else. Unfortunately, at the very end, the movie pops the great feministic bubble they created by getting sappy and making Wonder Woman say that love is the answer. *POP*

I recommend this movie for ages 7 to 18 and adults will love it too. I say age 7 because, what kid above 5 doesn’t see action movies these days? But if you are one of those parents who doesn’t let their kids see these types of superhero movies, this one has is rated PG-13. I caught no cursing. There is one sexual statement that will go unnoticed by kids who aren’t already knowledgeable about that. I this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars, because the ending is girlish. Everything is great besides that though. It opens nationwide in theaters June 2, 2017 so, go check it out.

 

 

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