Archive for the 'Feature Film Reviews' Category

The Emoji Movie – Exhilarating Storyline, Wonderful Cast, Colorful Animation and More

Friday, July 28th, 2017

The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression – except for Gene, an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and bursts with multiple expressions. Determined to become normal like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak. Together, they embark on an epic app-venture through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Imani B.G. comments, “I love how the world of emojis in the smartphone relates to the human world throughout the film. It gives the audience a way to associate themselves in the plot.” See her full review below.

The Emoji Movie
By Imani B.G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age: 15

The Emoji Movie is a kid-friendly fun and exciting film for people of all ages to enjoy and connect with. I love how the world of emojis in smartphone relates to the human world throughout the film. It gives the audience a way to identify with the characters and the plot. Families will definitely enjoy this amusing motion film and may even learn from it.

Alex’s (Jake T Austin) smartphone is home to all of the emojis. Each has its own facial expression except for Gene (TJ Miller). Gene struggles with being an emoji with multiple expressions and is determined to become normal like all of the other emojis. Gene asks for help from his new best friends, Hi-5 (James Corden) and Jailbreak (Anna Faris), a popular code breaker. During their epic adventure, the three face great danger and conflict with other characters. Join them on their experience.

I enjoyed every aspect of this film, but my favorite scene is when Gene realizes his uniqueness from the other emojis. Alex is having phone troubles and is on the verge of getting it fixed, which means the end for all things emojis. Gene steps in to make sure that doesn’t happen, which is a perk since he recognizes his worth. This scene sends a powerful message for kids to learn about liking themselves and recognizing their importance in the world.

The overall message of the film is to learn to accept who you are, no matter what others think of you. In the beginning, Gene has trouble figuring out who he is and why he isn’t like the rest. That leads him to wanting to be normal. Fortunately, Gene later realizes who he is, with a little help from his friends, and finally accepts himself. Kids and even adults can learn a lesson from this and apply it to their lives by building up their own self confidence.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18. There are scenes that tweens and teens can enjoy, but it also contains some scenes are suitable for 5 to 13 year olds. Adults will most likely enjoy this as well. It really is a film that the whole family will get a kick out of.

I rate The Emoji Movie 4 out of 5 because of its exhilarating storyline, wonderful cast, colorful animation and overall message. The Emoji Movie opens on July 28th, 2017 so, be sure to check it out so you can laugh along with the characters and enjoy it as much as I did.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – Visually Stunning, Wildly Imaginative

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is the new adventure film from Luc Besson, the director of The Professional, The Fifth Element and Lucy, based on the comic book series which inspired a generation of artists, writers and filmmakers. In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha-an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with each other. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tristan T. comments, “From the start, it is visually stimulating. Between the wildly imaginative alien characters and the vivid and breathtaking scenery it captures the audience from beginning to end.” Arjun N. adds, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets fascinated me because of the excellent, ahead of its time special effects. The stunt work is top level. The spectacular direction delivers flair to the story.” See their full reviews below.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
By Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. From the start, it is visually stimulating. Between the wildly imaginative alien characters and the vivid and breathtaking scenery it captures the audience from beginning to end. It is truly a fun and entertaining film to watch.

Based on the comic book series “Valerian and Laureline,” Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, follows two agents Valerian (Dane DeHaan)and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) as they race to capture the villain and save Alpha and the future of the universe. It is both exhilarating and comical to watch their pursuit.

One complaint I have is that there is so much more to be explored in Alpha and the universe you become engrossed in. For instance, there is a virtual reality called The Marketplace that is so amazing. If you visit www.valerianmovie.com, you get a glimpse of it. I am crossing my fingers we will see a sequel from the writers, Pierre Christin, Jean-Claude Mezieres and Luc Besson.

My favorite character is General Okto-Bar (Sam Spruell). I appreciate his character arc and the way he develops throughout the film. He is very relatable and, even though he plays a general, he shows a level of connection with others not often found in that position. The legendary director, Luc Beeson, from The Fifth Element and Lucy, to name a few, made this an extraordinary film to watch.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence, some language and suggestive humor. I recommend it for ages 11 to 18, but I truly think everyone in your family will enjoy it. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It is playing in theaters now so, go check it out.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets fascinated me because of the excellent, ahead of its time special effects. The stunt work is top level. The spectacular direction delivers flair to the story.

The storyline is about Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne), who are operatives that maintain order in the human territories. Under operation from Commander Filitt (Clive Owen), the team embarks on a mission to Alpha, the City of a Thousand Planets. While on the mission, the team meets shapeshifter Bubble (Rihanna), who helps them. However, a mystery at the center of Alpha could threaten the existence of every person in the city. Only Valerian can unlock the secret beneath the threat.

Dane DeHaan as Valerian bravely presents his character who tries to save the universe, while at the same time impress his partner, Laureline. Dane is excellent in his battle scenes, especially in the final showdown. Cara Delevingne, as Laureline, expresses her extreme love and confidence in her effort to rescue Alpha. Clive Owen as Commander Filitt seems heroic, but puzzles Valerian with his classified files. He is my favorite character. Rihanna, as Bubble, can transform into any shape to help the team. She also represents a slave who craves freedom. Sam Spruell as General Octo Bar is noble and firm in how he presents his orders and also tries to solve the mystery of the classified files of Commander Filitt.

The direction by Luc Besson is splendid. Innovative camera techniques are used to present most of the locales, especially in The City of a Thousand Planets. My favorite scene is when Valerian takes a shortcut across the city. It is a treat to watch, due to how the environments switch. My only problem in this film is that it jumps everywhere following various sub-plots, which makes it difficult to follow. Despite that flaw, the special effects make it worthwhile.

The film’s message is that it is sometimes necessary to break conventional rules for a worthy cause. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action and brief language. The movie releases in theaters on July 21st, so check it out for one, ahead of its time sci-fi film.

 

 

Dunkirk – A Visual Masterpiece with a Timely Topic about British Pride

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

Evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between May 26- June 04, 1940, during Battle of France in World War II. Samantha M. comments, “This unique film altered my perspective on daily life. It fascinates me how history has shaped our world. Viewing this film made me appreciate the security that we have in our country today.” Michelle C. adds, “Dunkirk offers the most intense, beach set cinematic experience since the iconic film Jaws. In this new adaptation of such a strong battle, Christopher Nolan’s talent as director and writer shines through, creating a visual masterpiece that leaves you mesmerized.” Lucia F. wraps it up with, “This movie is very timely, considering Brexit, in its subject matter of national British pride…This movie is (Christopher) Nolan’s love letter to England and the men and women who gave their lives to guard and protect her.

Dunkirk
By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

This unique film altered my perspective on daily life. It fascinates me how history has shaped our world. Viewing this film made me appreciate the security that we have in our country today.

Based on the historical account of World War II, Dunkirk highlights the tension within the British Empire, France and Belgium, as the German army begins to make brutal attacks. In hopes of keeping Dunkirk intact, the allied soldiers are evacuated by boats and must fight for their lives at sea.

Fionn Whitehead plays the lead British soldier, Tommy, and his acting is incredible! He doesn’t have many lines, which makes his acting stand out. You can empathize with Tommy just by looking into his eyes and see the pain he’s experiencing as he is fighting for his life. Harry Styles plays Alex, another one of the British soldiers. Styles doesn’t have many lines either, since Dunkirk heavily emphasizes war battle scenes rather than dialogue. When Alex does speak, his words are powerful. In one of the scenes, he tries to convince the other soldiers that Gibson (Aneurin Barnard) is a German spy. Alex’s anger is discernible. You can see how long he has been hiding his emotions and how much the war is taking a toll on him.

Dunkirk is set on the beaches of Northern France. The views are breathtaking, but it is depressing to see such a beautiful place being bombed. However, it does motivate the soldiers to protect their country, which is why the director, Christopher Nolan, emphasizes the soldiers’ surroundings.

My favorite part of the film is when the soldiers are being fed bread with raspberry jam. They look incredibly happy to be eating after days of stress. This scene makes me appreciate how much I have. All I want to do is help these soldiers, get them to safety and thank them for all their hard work.

The message is to never give up and to recognize the impact World War II made on our country. Hard work pays off. We should never forget our fallen soldiers and appreciate how they changed our lives and countries for the better.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Since there is little dialogue, it can be confusing at times, but it is unique. I recommend it to ages 16 to18, and adults will enjoy it too. There are many fatalities, gunshots and dead bodies, so it is not particularly for little kids. It depends on your tolerance level. Check out this film in theaters nationwide when it opens on July 21, 2017. You won’t want to miss it.

Dunkirk
By Michelle C., KIDS FIRST! Critic, Age 19

Dunkirk offers the most intense, beach set cinematic experience since the iconic film Jaws. In this new adaptation of such a strong battle, Christopher Nolan’s talent as director and writer shines through, creating a visual masterpiece that leaves you mesmerized.

The battle of Dunkirk was a short one, May 26 to June 4, 1940. Despite its minimal timeframe, it was deadly. WWII Allied soldiers were hiding, surrounded on all sides by the German Army and had to be evacuated on the beaches of Dunkirk, by way of an operation famously known as Operation Dynamo. On the ground, British Army Privates Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) and Alex (Harry Styles) are two of the men desperately fighting and struggling to remain alive and safely evacuate the beach, by whatever means available. Across the ocean, local sailors Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) and his son Peter (Toms Carney) had been recruited by the Navy to help with the evacuation. From yet another perspective, members of the Royal Air Force including Farrier (Tom Hardy) attempt to shoot down the German bombers, in order to help the stranded troops evacuate the beach and ocean safely.

Let’s talk about the production of the film. The cinematography, as expected from talented director and writer Christopher Nolan, is groundbreaking. Congratulations to Hoyte van Hoyterman for creating a visual masterpiece. Everything looks incredibly realistic and breathtaking, keeping you on your toes throughout the film. The scene that is the most memorable to me, is when one of the Air Force pilots soar through the sunset sky as the troops cheer in victory. I assure you that it will give you goosebumps and make you teary-eyed.

The sound effects and the music by Hans Zimmer make the movie that much more tangible. The bombing begins from the very start of the film, preparing you for an emotional rollercoaster. They are so loud that it sounds as if they’re coming from the back of the theater. If you listen closely, there’s a ticking clock throughout the entire film, (minus the ending, which I will keep under wraps for you to discover) hidden within each song, creating increased tension and suspense. By the end of the film, I was already down to the nub of my fingertips, so prepare to be antsy!

Harry Styles’ performance is quite impressive, particularly since he is a known as a singer, not an actor. It is refreshing to see his excellent performance her, as he is the one with the most lines and delivers them eloquently, equal to an experienced actor. Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy also delivered remarkable performances. Dunkirk relies heavily on emotions since it barely has any dialogue, so it is important to have the story delivered by the visuals and the acting, which they achieved flawlessly.

Dunkirk opens in theaters nationwide on July 21, 2017. It’s 107 minutes long and is Rated PG-13 for intense war experiences and some language. Because of the stunning cinematography and storyline, I rate Dunkirk 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Go check it out, whether you are a history buff or not, this film will remind you how history affects us.

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

This movie is very timely, considering Brexit, in its subject matter of national British pride. Director Christopher Nolan reaches back to one of England’s greatest points of pride before the U.S.A.’s entry into the war, namely, the against-the-odds evacuation from the town of Dunkirk, France to preserve 400,000 British troops.

This movie is Nolan’s love letter to England and the men and women who gave their lives to guard and protect her. Back in England, one representative patriot is a duty-bound father, played by Mark Rylance, whose boat, like many other boats in England, is requisitioned by the Royal Navy evacuate the stranded in Dunkirk. His story connects with that of two RAF pilots sent on a mission to protect the skies while the naval operation is undertaken.

The only drawback of the film is that none of the characters is fleshed out enough to make the audience connect with them on a more emotional level. But this is, after all, war. Nolan’s realistic account is both a visual and auditory masterpiece. The scenery is magnificent. I have never seen a movie in which there are so many scenes without dialogue. One of the most remarkable sequences is the aerial flight sequence. I actually felt as if I was flying! IMAX adds to the already impressive immersive quality of the movie.

I recommend this film for ages 15 to 18 because it gets a bit intense. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because it tells the incredible true story about how all of England came together to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of young soldiers. By the way, teenage girls will agree with me that Harry Styles isn’t too shabby. This is s his first movie and his realistic acting is truly amazing. This film opens in theaters nationwide Friday, July 21, 2017 so, go check it out.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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