Archive for July, 2017

War For the Planet of the Apes – Brutal But Breathtaking Special Effects And A Sincere, From The Heart Message

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Willie J. comments, “We’ve come a long way in the world of cinema since Charlton Heston told those darn dirty apes to get their stinkin’ paws off of him.” Alejandra G. adds, “This science fiction film had me fascinated with the breathtaking special effects and the animation from the get go. It’s impressive how much technology has improved and the differences of the effects in the previous Planet of the Apes films compared to this new one is incredible.” Talia J. wraps it up with, “War for the Planet of the Apes is an action-packed, thrilling movie that will both pull on your heartstrings and intrigue you to the very last second.” See their full reviews below.

War for the Planet of the Apes
By Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

This science fiction film had me fascinated with the breathtaking special effects and the animation from the get go. It’s impressive how much technology has improved and the differences of the effects in the previous Planet of the Apes films compared to this new one is incredible. It’s insane how today, everything looks so realistic. I also like this film because of its sincere, from-the-heart message.

War for the Planet of the Apes is about Caesar and his apes who are forced into deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a cruel Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both of their species and the future of the planet.

My favorite scene from this film is when all the apes are attacked by the military and lots of them are killed. Their leader Caesar, of course, becomes furious and wants to do something about it. He decides to go off to fight the soldiers that attacked his family while defending themselves. I love this scene because it shows how the leader of the apes really cares for his family. Also, the apes that look up to him see him as a role model and can follow in his footsteps and morals.

The important message of this film is that no family is perfect. Unpleasant things can happen that make their relationships worse. Family members can go through tough times, but in the end, family is family and love will always be there. So if there’s fighting and family members are struggling through something, they will figure things out and help each other sort things out. In this film, the apes are all there for each other all the time. If someone needs help, they all help. If someone is fighting or arguing, they all help figure it out. They support each other. I think it’s an amazing idea that this message is taught by the apes because lots of people can learn from this and apply it to their own lives.

War for the Planet of the Apes
By Talia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

War for the Planet of the Apes is an action-packed, thrilling movie that will both pull on your heartstrings and intrigue you to the very last second.

This film is about an ape, Caesar (Andy Serkis) who embarks on a journey to avenge his loved ones. He is joined by other apes including Maurice (Karin Konoval), who is wise beyond his years, Rocket (Terry Notary) who is full of strength and many others. Caesar struggles as he deals with the chaos left by his old friend Koba, making sure he does not turn into the monster he was.

One thing that I thoroughly enjoyed is how this movie explains, at the onset, what happened in past films. I have not seen that in many films. For those who do not know, War for the Planet of the Apes is the third film in the brilliant Planet of the Apes franchise. The first film introduces Caesar and we hear the back story about the virus that caused apes to become smart and killed humans. The second movie shows what happened when Apes and humans tried to figure out how to live together peacefully, but this ended badly. If someone has not yet watched those two films, it is described in the beginning of this movie and sets the stage for what is going on.

This film is a war movie, so if you do not like gruesome moments and lots of blood, this is not your film. The first two films are much lighter than this one. The director, Matt Reeves, wanted a whole new feel. There is a lot more fighting, murder, suicide and blood than in the previous films. It is also quite depressing. The director not only wanted this last movie to end with a bang, but he wanted the audience to realize something about humanity.

Although this is a war movie, there is lots of unexpected humor. There is one very important character that had every single audience member holding their stomach because everyone was laughing so hard. This character is an Ape and he calls himself “Bad Ape” (Steve Zahn). He absolutely steals the show. Up until this Bad Ape comes into view, the movie is very dark and serious, but when he is introduced, the feel of the movie gets much happier. He is definitely the comedy relief the film needs.

The motion capture technology is out of this world. They completely transported me into the world these apes lived in. There is so much detail and emotion in the apes’ facial features. Andy Serkis, who plays Caesar, truly brings his character to life, filled with emotion.

The music is also incredible. Composer Michael Giacchino wrote an incredibly beautiful score. If not for his beautiful music, the movie would have lacked the emotion it has. At one point, the combination of music and acting brought me to tears. It is truly special.

There are many lessons in this film. The most important one is that you are stronger together. The apes have a motto that states “apes together strong.” In the past films, Caesar made it very clear that he believed that apes are weaker alone and they need to be together to survive. Another lesson that is offered in this film is to not give into your dark side. This goes back to the idea of vengeance. Caesar has to deal with being the leader of his group, while at the same time fighting his own battles.

I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18 and adults will love it as well. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because of the extreme violence. This film comes out on July 14th so go check it out.

War For the Planet of the Apes
By Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

We’ve come a long way in the world of cinema since Charlton Heston told those darn dirty apes to get their stinkin’ paws off of him. That actor in a costume has since become an actor in a suit that’s digitally modified. In terms of effects, there has been a lot of advancement from the first film in this series. But in terms of quality, I’m afraid there’s been inconsistency. The first entry of this century’s “Ape” trilogy was a solid film, the second not as good but mildly entertaining and now, we have this one. War For the Planet of the Apes is a mediocre end to this trilogy.

I’ll admit I am not a fan of this series, not even the original. I don’t quite like the concept. However, I give every film its fair shake. With this one, there are some moments I genuinely feel are fantastic, but those don’t make up for the rather strenuous over-direction in certain times. Director Matt Reeves tends to heighten moments to a point of climactic musicality where it just doesn’t fit. As an audience it’s rather confusing and feels forced. Every important or emotional moment doesn’t need to be accompanied by a dramatic score or emphasized with perfectly framed cinematography. More times than not, less is more.

There are parts of the script that make no sense and throw away logical progression or sensory  moments for the sentimental. There are moments that are too unbelievable and elements that are unnecessary. A plot element about a disease that plagues earth could have been done away with, yet it is used to cover up an illogical plot hole.

The acting is fine with Andy Serkis leading the way. Woody Harrelson does not ham it up too much for which I’m very grateful. Most of the cast is enhanced by beautiful animation which fills in many facial expressions and reactions that are very realistic. Although the acting is credible. It isn’t the best thing, the score is. Michael Giacchino’s beautiful score evokes both suspense and a sense of calm. His music is the main source of catharsis. He also composed the scores for both the films Inside Out and Up. His familiar quiet piano keys are also featured in this score.

With that said, I give the movie 2.5 out of 5 stars, because it does have moments of grand entertainment and intrigue, however it can be overdramatic with unnecessary moments. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. It opens nationwide in theaters on July 14, 2017 so be sure to check it out if you are a fan of the series, or not.

 

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming – Greatest Reboot Ever in Marvel Cinematic Universe

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May, under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark, Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.  KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “Marvel has made over a dozen films in the last decade, each beating the previous one in quality. Spider-Man: Homecoming amazingly continues this trend by stumping all previous Marvel films in almost every category.” Ryan R. adds, “Spider-Man Homecoming is the greatest reboot that ever happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is a clever and incredibly funny film.” Sahiba R. sums it up with, “Spider-Man: Homecoming is a rollercoaster ride! At one moment I laughed so hard my stomach hurt and next, I was clenching my jaws while my heart raced… From the start, Peter Parker’s attitude as a young, curious teenager makes him a relatable and hilarious superhero.” See their full reviews below.

Spider-Man: Homecoming
By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

Marvel has made over a dozen films in the last decade, each beating the previous one in quality. Spider-Man: Homecoming amazingly continues this trend by stumping all previous Marvel films in almost every category.

The main focus of the movie varies. A major part, which the film shares with all other Marvel installments, is comedy. It doesn’t stand alone and drama also has an equally important role in the story. Deeper into the plot, there are small hints of romance and of course a background of action and intensity which never ceases to amaze and excite the viewer.

The film uniquely does not start with an average kid who gets bit by a radioactive spider. Instead, Spider-Man: Homecoming starts literally right after Captain America: Civil War. At this point, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has already gained his spectacular spider-like abilities. As young 15-year-old Peter gets more comfortable in his role as Spider-Man, the superhero. He discovers a group of criminals fabricating weapons from alien technology and attempts to take them down. This isn’t the main conflict for Peter, though. Since he is a teen, the Avengers, specifically Iron Man aka Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) don’t trust him to go out fighting crime with a super suit that allows Peter to do almost anything. Spider-Man must not only deal with attempting to prove himself and taking down a dangerous organization, he also faces the challenge of balancing his normal teenage life in Queens with his role as a crime-fighting superhero.

I love the approach that Spider-Man: Homecoming takes with the story. So many Spider-Man books and films focus on his back story and many never even portray him as 15-year-old Peter Parker, just Spider-Man. This adaptation of the classic hero chooses differently and focuses mostly on Peter himself. This not only gives a very interesting perspective of having all this power and only being a kid, but also offers an interesting look into the private life of someone from the world of superheroes. This gives a very refreshing experience to what has become almost repetitive in the superhero genre and plays out very nicely throughout the film.

One important part that really sticks out is the acting. Tom Holland is not 15; he’s  21. Yes, he delivers a phenomenal performance as Peter and really comes across as a very relatable and likable kid. The classic Spider-Man theme sounds spectacular in this cinematic score. Music composer Michael Giacchino really creates an exhilarating soundtrack that fits the film’s pace perfectly. One small issue the film has many times is the comedy. The jokes themselves are perfect, but their timing leaves a bit to be desired. Many times, in very exciting and thrilling scenes there is a joke that would be funny elsewhere, but it comes across as inappropriate and destroys the mood at times. This makes the film seem like a parody when it’s far from that.

My favorite scene is one of the first scenes or sequence of scenes when the audience has the perspective of Parker’s phone videos. In the videos, he flies to Berlin and joins Tony Stark to help fight Captain America. These are the exact same sce              nes that take place in Captain America: Civil War, but from a completely different perspective. That is not only hilarious, but very unique and enjoyable.

Even though Peter himself really is just a kid, this film is not meant for young children. There are many dark action scenes and an equal amount of mature comedy. For that reason, I recommend this for  ages 14 to 18. I give Spider-Man: Homecoming 4 out of 5 stars for being an overall fantastic and enjoyable film with some bad timing in the comedic placement.

Spider-Man: Homecoming
By Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Spider-Man Homecoming is the greatest reboot that ever happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is a clever and incredibly funny film. It takes place two months after Captain America: Civil War. Spider-Man wants to become part of the Avengers, however Tony Stark thinks he isn’t ready because he is a child and still needs to learn from his mistakes. Peter Parker tries to juggles being a high school kid with being a hero. Also in this film, Peter tries to stop a group of men from selling dangerous weapons to people.

I love this film for the characters and their banter. Tom Holland makes Spider-Man, the teenager, very loveable and relatable. I like how they show Spider-Man as a bit immature and relaxed, unlike other films where Peter is too serious and the films feel pretty dark and grim. My favorite character is Ned (Jacob Batalon) because he asks Peter so many questions about Spider-Man and that makes it really funny to watch. Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Iron Man mentoring  Peter is quite wonderful. Iron Man helps him but he doesn’t take the focus away from Spider-Man. Spider-Man’s constant banter in this film is also quite amusing. This film makes certain that Spider-Man can stand on his own in another sequel.

There is one thing I did not like about this film and that is the storyline about his crush.  It really doesn’t develop and it seems that it is only there as filler. Besides that the film is great.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 18. I think adults might like this as well. This film does contain intense scenes and some inappropriate language, making it unsuitable for younger viewers. This is a “know your kid” movie. I recommend it  to people who like action, adventure, comedy, films based on books and family movies. Make sure to see Spider-Man: Homecoming which arrives in theaters 7/7/2017. This is a movie worth seeing and I guarantee you will not only like this film, you will love it.

Spider-Man: Homecoming
By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

Spider-Man: Homecoming is a roller-coaster ride! At one moment I laughed so hard my stomach hurt and next, I was clenching my jaws while my heart raced. The first time Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland) is introduced, the entire theater radiated with smiles and laughter. From the start, Peter Parker’s attitude as a young, curious teenager makes him a relatable and hilarious superhero.

The story focuses on fifteen-year-old high school boy Peter Parker who recently fought with and against the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War. He is eager to work with his mentor and friend Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) again, but finds himself rejected and treated as a child. Therefore, Peter Parker takes matters into his own hands when faced against a formidable foe.

Tom Holland effortlessly portrays a carefree teen who is very relatable for young adults. His actions and demeanor are innocent. Even when he is in his Spider-Man costume, Holland’s movements convey Peter Parker’s thoughts. The villain, Vulture is played by Michael Keaton whose acting sent chills down my spine. He gives the character a humane side and, with or without his Vulture suit on, he is terrifying. All the lead actors and supporting actors such as Zendaya and Jacob Batalon create a realistic high school experience combined with the thrills of a superhero movie.

The cinematography adds to the adrenaline rush when Spider-Man swings from web to web. Salvatore Totino, the cinematographer, has the camera right in front or by Spider-Man’s side while he is fighting. This allows you to become engrossed in these scenes and imagine how it might feel to swing across the streets and fight crime like Spider-Man. The graphics make the experience more realistic and futuristic. For example, the eyes on Spider-Man’s suit move with the expressions that he has underneath the suit. The special effects when Spider-Man is crawling up the sides of walls and swinging through the air made me feel as if I was next to him watching him with my own eyes. My favorite part is Peter Parker’s innocent humor because it makes him unique.

The message of the film is that even when no one believes in you, you can achieve great things if you follow your heart. I give Spider-Man: Homecoming 4.5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. Check out Spider-Man: Homecoming in theaters which opens nationwide on July 7, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

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