Archive for the 'Feature Film Reviews' Category

The LEGO Ninjago Movie – A Clever Animated Film With Humor For All Ages

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

The battle for NINJAGO City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, also secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu, as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat the evil warlord Garmadon, who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad. Pitting father against son, the epic showdown tests these fierce but undisciplined modern-day ninjas as they learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash the inner power of Spinjitzu. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Benjamin P. comments, “The LEGO Ninjago Movie is a clever animated film that stumbles in its first act but quickly reclaims its footing for a highly enjoyable finish.” Ryan R., adds, “This film is really fun, because it has humor for all ages and the special effects look very interesting and cool.” Calista B. chimes in with, “Of course, I have to start this review by mentioning the visuals. This movie is stop motion animation, made using LEGOs. And, aside from a few live action parts, EVERYTHING is made out of LEGOs. And it looks amazing.” Morgan B. sums it up with, “What do you get when you mix a crazy cat, stealth ninjas and an evil villain? The LEGO Ninjago Movie which is an action packed adventure.” See their full reviews below.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie
By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Surprisingly, I found this movie really enjoyable. I say surprisingly because, I am not a fan of Ninjago. Yet I managed to find it as funny and charming as the previous LEGO Movies.

The movie follows the story of the Green Ninja Lloyd, as he struggles to cope with his father, Garmadon, being an evil villain. This affects how the citizens of Ninjago see him and how they treat him. After Garmadon takes over Ninjago, the ninjas go on a journey to find the ultimate weapon to save Ninjago.

Of course, I have to start this review by mentioning the visuals. This movie is stop motion animation, made using LEGOs. And, aside from a few live action parts, EVERYTHING is made out of LEGOs. And it looks amazing. Like The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie, this movie looks so good. The city of Ninjago, the subtle Japanese atmosphere, the expressions, they all look great. Since this movie has a lot of action as well, it took over four years to make. It is so impressive and I can’t imagine what patience it took to create.

Similar to the other LEGO Movies, this film manages to be both hilarious, yet deep and meaningful. The story is all about a kid’s life being influenced by his dad’s bad choices, which is a heavy subject. It is handled very seriously and maturely. Kudos to the writers, Dan and Kevin Hageman as they’ve made an amazing product. The movie has moments where Garmadon and Lloyd talk about their relationship and their broken family. That is really well done. The voice actors are also really great. Kumail Nanjiani as Jay is a particular stand out to me. For some reason, I found his voice very adorable and energetic. Honestly, all the voice actors show a lot of energy and effort.

Now, as I previously mentioned, I don’t know much about Ninjago. I was nervous I wouldn’t understand this movie because I don’t follow the series. But thankfully I can say that is not the case. I know almost nothing, yet I got the general idea of the story. So, if you’re worried about not understanding the story, you’re in luck. This movie can stand alone. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. As for who I think would enjoy this movie, I recommend it for ages 5 to 18, and remind you that you don’t need to like Ninjago to enjoy it. This movie comes out in theaters on September 22, 2017 so, look for it.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie
By Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

The LEGO Ninjago Movie is a very cool and funny movie that is perfect for the whole family.

In this film, you meet Lloyd (Dave Franco), the green ninja, but outside of his ninja life, his dad is Garmadon (Justin Theroux), an evil ninja trying to rule Ninjago, Lloyd’s homeland. When Lloyd is at school he has to deal with bullying and is treated like an outcast because of his father. After a particular incident (can’t elaborate because it is a spoiler), Garmadon and Lloyd are forced to work together and go on an adventure. Joining them on this adventure to find their inner power are Lloyd’s friends, Kai (Michael Pena), Cole (Fred Armisen), Nya (Abbi Jacobson), and Jay (Kumail Nanjiani). The question is: will they find their inner power?

This film is really fun, because it has humor for all ages and the special effects look very interesting and cool. My favorite scene is when a real-life cat comes to Ninjago and starts terrorizing all the LEGOs. The cat looks like it really is destroying all the ninjas and civilians. I additionally like the water effects they use, instead of the using the traditional LEGOs, like they did in The LEGO Movie. I love the comedy because it has adult humor without making it obvious to kids and it’s not inappropriate. My favorite character is Garmadon because he always says Lloyd’s name wrong throughout the film. He also exaggerates when he tells his flashback story and it made me laugh a lot. It will definitely make you laugh as well. I must say this film doesn’t drag and there are a couple of New York anchors that make surprise cameos in this film. However, there is one thing I would like to point out. There are a few intense scenes, so this a know-your-kid kind of movie. This film also contains mild violence and rude humor.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 5 to 18. I think adults may like this as well. People who like action, adventure, family, children, LEGO and comedy films will also enjoy it. This film comes out September 22, 2017 in theaters nationwide, so go check it out. The LEGO genre is rising and you should go see it, because they are stepping up their game. This is a must-see film.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie
By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Age 12

What do you get when you mix a crazy cat, stealth ninjas and an evil villain? The LEGO Ninjago Movie which is an action packed adventure. I want to watch The LEGO Ninjago Movie again and again because the animation is fantastic and uses real life LEGOs.

This story, told through the eyes of a young boy, captures your heart with friendship, parent controversies and team work. The voiceovers are magnificent. It’s as if you can feel the characters’ emotions from the tone of their voices. This film has terrific characters such as Master Wu (Jackie Chan). I love Master Wu and the way that Jackie Chan portrays this character as someone who knows some amazing karate moves to help their students. My favorite character is Master Wu because he is hilarious and tells some good jokes, even when he doesn’t know that he is making them. Guess what? A crazy fact about Jackie Chan (who has been acting since he was 7-years-old) is that he performs his own stunts and has broken every bone in his body. He is remarkable. I talked with him in person at LEGOLAND California just a few days ago. During our conversation, I discovered that his goal is to introduce children to martial arts and teach them how to find inner peace. Jackie Chan also plays Mr. Liu in The LEGO Ninjago Movie.

Cole (Fred Armisen) is a very kind and musical ninja at heart. When I met Fred Armisen, I discovered that he is very musical and knows how to sing Jingle Bells very well. I love the way that he connects with Cole through music and I love that they both love being ninjas, even when not on camera. Cole is a ninja who is very calm and quiet, yet when it is time to lay a bet no one is better for the task than him.

Lloyd (Dave Franco) is an amazing ninja who tries his best to do what is right and find a way to eradicate the evil Garmadon (Justin Theroux). Lloyd is the kid in school who no one likes because his dad is the evil villain Garmadon. During the daytime, Lloyd deals with bullies. Then at night and when he is needed most, he turns into a ninja with his friends Cole, Jay, Kai, Nya and Zane.

Jay (Kumail Nanjiani) is the anxious, yet adorable kid who I love and, who in real life he thinks that the cat was a pain to shoot with. When they were shooting they used two identical, twin cats and it was very hard to shoot them for technical reasons. Kai (Michael Peña) loved the shoot and thought it was a dream come true because, when he was hired he automatically became a ninja inside and out and he loves that feeling. Zane (Zach Woods) says that he was practically born with a robot voice and that he didn’t have to practice at all for this role. Nya (Abbi Jacobson) told me that we all are ninjas and that we don’t have to worry about not being cool or amazing, as we are all those things at heart.

The best scene in this film is when Garmadon and Master Wu have a gigantic martial arts battle and fight each other for good vs evil. I love this scene because it is spot on with the timing and the ending was quite shocking. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 as well as adults. People will love it because of the adventure. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars.  You can see The LEGO Ninjago Movie on September 22 when it opens in theaters nationwide.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie
By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

The LEGO Ninjago Movie is a clever animated film that stumbles in its first act but quickly reclaims its footing for a highly enjoyable finish.

The storyline follows Lloyd, who on the surface is a typical 16-year-old. It’s Lloyd’s parentage that makes him different. He is the son of a ruthless warlord named Lord Garmadon. You’d think that Lloyd is the man himself considering how his fellow high school students constantly pick on him. Garmadon left when Lloyd was an infant and Lloyd has hated his father ever since. Advised by the noble Master Wu, Lloyd and five of his friends disguise themselves as ninjas in elaborate giant robots to fight against Garmadon’s attacks on their city. Wu sends Lloyd and his friends on a perilous journey to find weapons that can help them defeat a creature that poses an even bigger threat to the fate of Ninjago City than Garmadon and his goons.

My favorite character in this film is Lloyd (Dave Franco). This character has an emotionally rich back story that changes how you see him and made me sympathetic towards his character. Lloyd is surprisingly complex and the film shows how difficult it is for Lloyd to not give in to the negativity going on around him. Despite his evil roots, he comes out good-natured and more aware of the world around him than ever. Justin Theroux is great as Lord Garmadon. He gives the character a big personality. It’s a nice change of pace from his more dramatic work and you can tell he is having a lot of fun voicing this character. The father and son dynamic between Lloyd and Lord Garmadon is an excellent element of the story. The scenes they share are so funny and they do play off one another really well.

The action scenes in this film are very well executed. The fights feel well choreographed and they never lose my interest. The giant robots are cool to look at and fit each of the characters’ personalities and true powers, making them more than just machines.

I recommend this film to ages 4 to 12. Lord Garmadon could be a little frightening to younger children. I also think many adults will enjoy this film because there are some one-liners that are custom built for their amusement. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. You can see it in theaters when it opens September 22, 2017 so, keep your eyes out for it in a theater near you.

 

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Fluttershy – Lively, Cheerful, Exciting Adventures and Lessons About Life

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Not every Pegasus pony in Equestria is the same. Just ask Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. While Rainbow Dash is bold and daring, Fluttershy is quite reserved and caring. But that’s what makes Fluttershy such a wonderful friend to everyone around her, whether they’re her pony friends, like Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack and, yes, even Rainbow Dash , or her non-equestrian friends, like Angel the bunny. Join in for five adventures that feature every pony’s lovably quiet Pegasus, Fluttershy. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Sahiba K. comments, “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Fluttershy… is lively and cheerful! The storylines are well thought out, with plots that relate to real life.” Samantha M. adds, “This delightful animated series brought me back to my childhood. With many comedic jokes, valuable life lessons and exciting adventures, there is something for everyone to enjoy.” See their full review below.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Fluttershy
By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Fluttershy, created by Lauren Faust is lively and cheerful! The storylines are well thought out, with plots that relate to real life. The variety of the personalities of each pony creates a realistic atmosphere where everyone is accepted. Each episode teaches how to deal with certain setbacks and different realistic situations through colorful and merry narratives.

The story follows a pony named Fluttershy (Andrea Libman) who is timid and would do anything for     friendships. She adventures through life with her fellow ponies including Rarity (Tabitha St. Germain) and Rainbow Dash (Ashleigh Ball), facing different challenges and never giving up. They maintain their friendships no matter what.

Andrea Libman is the voice actor for Fluttershy and has a high pitch but soft-toned voice. This builds upon her personality as a shy, timid pony. When she lowers her voice to a light tone, one can tell she is feeling shy and when her voice rises, one can tell she is feeling more confident. Tabitha St. Germain voices Rarity who also has a high pitch voice. However, she uses more inflections in her voice to show how excited Rarity is.

The animation and the sound effects are the highlights of this DVD. There are many different colors used throughout for the skin and hair of the ponies and for the scenic backgrounds. The variety of these colors is very visually appealing. The animation of the ponies’ eyes convey a multitude of emotions. For example, when a pony is excited, its eyes widen. When they are scared, their pupils shrink. And when they are shy, their eyes look down. The sound effects add more emotion to the scenes. Different sound effects emerge as different words are emphasized. When Fluttershy is mad, loud and low sound effects further accentuate these emotions.

My favorite part was seeing how all the ponies in different colors, shapes and sizes. Everyone gets along and nobody cares how their friends or fellow ponies look. It is an analogy for real life.

The messages are about the importance of friendship and about never giving up despite the circumstances. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10. Check out My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Fluttershy when it’s released nationwide on DVD September 12, 2017.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Fluttershy
By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

This delightful animated series brought me back to my childhood. With many comedic jokes, valuable life lessons and exciting adventures, there is something for everyone to enjoy. There are six Pegasus ponies who are unique in every way. You are certainly able to relate to at least one of them. Join Fluttershy and her friends in five enticing adventures to find out which pony you truly are.

Elaborating upon the importance of friendship and self confidence, this series documents Fluttershy’s journey through life. Fluttershy is a timid pony, but she will do anything to stick up for her friends. Watch how Fluttershy discovers who she really is with the help of her friends Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Rarity.

Tabitha St. Germain, who plays Rarity, successfully portrays a teenage girl through Rarity’s desire to shine bright in the fashion world. In the episode, “Green Isn’t Your Color,” Rarity urges Fluttershy (Andrea Libman) to model for Photo Finish, a famous fashion designer. Libman’s sweet voice acting characterizes Fluttershy as a shy pony with a beautiful heart. You can hear the confidence build up in her voice with every new adventure she experiences.

The animation in this series is incredible. Compared to the My Little Pony that I watched as a kid, these Pegasus ponies are depicted as teenagers instead of children. The ponies are older, bigger and more knowledgeable, which makes them very relatable. Even though the ponies are older, their charm and kind hearts continue to grow, yet they still manage to enjoy life just like little kids, with no worries in the world.

My favorite part is when Spike tells Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie that he has a crush on Rarity. I love how Spike completely trusts Rarity’s friends to keep a secret. Friendship is extremely important and Spike is very lucky to have such caring friends.

The message of the series is to value friendships that you make with others. Friends help you become a better person and they always have your back. No matter what happens in your life, as long as you have a good friend when the world seems to turn on you, you’ll be fine. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 6 to 12. Teenagers and adults will love it too, since friendship is applicable to everyone. This DVD is available now, so check it out. It is sure to warm your heart.

 

 

Pup Star: Better2Gether – Fun-Filled Family Film With Adorable Pups

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

The action-packed new season of the franchise continues with the story of Tiny, an adorable Yorkie pup who, after winning the ‘Pup Star’ TV singing competition, is suddenly launched into an adventure when she’s replaced by a street Yorkie, Scrappy, and the two swap lives in a dog-filled, fish-out-of-water tale that ultimately demonstrates life truly is ‘better together.’  KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abigail Zoe L. comments, “I absolutely love the music because it includes rap, pop, country, upbeat and sad songs that draws you in and touches your heart.” Samantha M. adds, “You’re never too young or old to love an animal. I fell in love with the first Pup Star film and seeing the second one made my heart melt. If you love animals as much as I do, this is undoubtedly the film for you.” Calista B. wraps it up with, “I want to acknowledge the really good editing in this movie. Since most of the characters are dogs, you must make their lip movements and actions look convincing. And I must admit, the lip movements and actions actually do look real. That must have taken a lot of time.” See their full reviews below.

Pup Star: Better2Gether
By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Air Bud Entertainment has done it again and created a fun-filled family film with this follow up sequel to Pup Star. I like the movie because the story has a fun adventure and also introduces lots of new characters including the disco dog Shampoo, the perfect pal P.U.P. (Mackenzie Sol) and the “catankerous” Kitty Purry (Madison Pettis).

The story begins when Roland (Jed Rees) and Bark (George Newbern) kidnap Tiny (Kaitlyn Maher); or should I say dognap. Scrappy (Kaitlyn Maher) is put in Tiny’s place for the Pup Star finals because Bark wants revenge on Tiny. My favorite scene is Shampoo’s disco party! It is hilarious because it is quite unusual to see dogs dancing. Wow! He slides all around and spins on the ground like fidget spinner. My next favorite scene is in Kitty Purry’s cat alley. When Roland enters, his clothes are in perfect condition, but when he comes out, his entire outfit is in shreds.

My favorite characters are Tiny, Scrappy and Roland. Tiny is so loveable and a great singer. Scrappy is an awesome rapper with lots of attitude. Roland thinks he is pretty smart but he’s really like a dodo bird. It’s so funny that in almost every scene something bad happens to him which made me laugh like a howling husky.

I absolutely love the music because it includes rap, pop, country, upbeat and sad songs that draws you in and touches your heart. Kaitlyn Mayer has an amazing and versatile voice. She is able to not only sing pop but rap like nobody’s business. I like the special effects because they make the talking dogs and facial expressions look so real and, by the end of the movie, I believed that dogs can really talk and sing. Can’t they?

I don’t want to give away the ending, but you’ll most likely have tears in your eyes. The heartfelt messages of the film are about sticking together and that families are better together. I recommend this to ages 3 to 13. I rate this film 5 out of 5 Pup Stars. I highly encourage you to see this film! It is available on VOD August 29, 2017 so go check it out.

Pup Star: Better2Gether
By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

This wonderful, animated film is one of my all-time favorites. Firstly, it’s about dogs. Secondly, any kind of dog you can imagine is in this film, so you are sure to love at least one. If you don’t love dogs as much as I do, that’s okay, because there are plenty of cats to go around as well.

After Tiny, a Yorkshire terrier, wins the Pup Star finale, her fame begins to flourish. Having multiple interviews and traveling around the country, she’s forced to remain astray from her family. Scrappy, an identical street Yorkshire terrier, switches lives with Tiny and their families and friends are completely unaware. Tiny and Scrappy encounter multiple adventures and learn a valuable life lesson: life is better together.

Kaitlyn Maher, who voices both Tiny and Scrappy, successfully illustrates the differences between the two, through Scrappy’s low-pitched raps and Tiny’s intense singing voice. During the film, there are also times where you aren’t able to tell the difference. Mackenzie Moss, who plays Tiny’s owner Lou, is the perfect dog owner. She loves Tiny more than anything in the world and, even though she’s actually loving Scrappy for a majority of the film, her heart is always with Tiny. You can see it in her smile when it’s Tiny’s birthday. The entire house is decorated. There is a cake – what more could you ask for?

The set is incredible! It looks so similar to the set of America’s Got Talent. The stage is filled with colorful lights, incredible singers and there’s even a real audience. It feels as if you’re a part of the show. My favorite part is when Tiny goes on “Jimmy Kibble Live” and competes with a super-fan. They play a game called “Who Knows Tiny Best?” Jimmy Kimmel Live is one of my favorite talk shows, so it is hilarious to see an imitation of it.

The message of the film is concise, yet extremely powerful: life is better when you’re together. No matter who you may be with, as long as you have a support system, there is nothing that can tear you down. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 6 to18. Adults will love it too. You’re never too young or old to love an animal. I fell in love with the first Pup Star film and seeing the second one made my heart melt. If you love animals as much as I do, this is undoubtedly the film for you. Catch this film on VOD August 29, 2017. I can’t wait to see Pup Star 3.

Pup Stars: Better 2Gether
By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

This film is a perfectly cute kid and family furry-friendly movie. Sorry, there are lots of puns in this film. It is clearly geared to younger kids, but at least I can say there is a very clear effort to make this film watchable for older siblings and even parents.

The story centers around a celebrity pooch named Tiny and a streetwise dog named Scrappy who are forced to switch places after Tiny is dog-napped. Scrappy is coerced to purposely lose The Pup Stars Final competition pretending to be Tiny.

First, I want to acknowledge the really good editing in this movie. Since most of the characters are dogs, you must make their lip movements and actions look convincing. And I must admit, the lip movements and actions actually do look real. That must have taken a lot of time. Kudos to the film’s editor, Jason Dale. All the dogs in the film are likable and you just want to cuddle up with Tiny and Scrappy.

This film has some flaws in terms of its story. First, the humans are incredibly oblivious and bumbling. When Scrappy meets Tiny’s family, she does a terrible job hiding that she isn’t Tiny, yet they completely buy it. No one seems to realize Tiny and Scrappy have switched places. All the human characters are either self-absorbed or really incompetent. I also have an issue with how predictable the storyline is. I knew the big reveal within the first few minutes of the film. Not only that, this type of story has been done before. This movie is pretty much Parent Trap, but with dogs and an American Idol twist.

I have to say that the music is surprisingly really good. The song Tiny sings, “Is This For Real?” is pretty catchy and I even found it stuck in my head after the movie was over. The singing overall is also great. I admit, the movie’s soundtrack is kind of a guilty pleasure for me.

Before the movie starts, it is revealed that they are working on Pup Stars 3 and I am curious how many movies they can make, especially since the first one only came out last year and they go straight to VOD. I wonder what the plot will be for the next movie and hope they don’t depict the humans as totally incompetent next time.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10, as this is a solid family film. It will be released on VOD on August 29, 2017 so, check it out.

Pup Star: Better 2Gether
By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Pup Star: Better 2Gether, the sequel to Pup Star, is an amazing original film that really hits the heart.  The storyline is unique and the ending is so adorable. The film teaches the important messages of honesty and owning up to your mistakes.

The storyline begins when Scrappy gets put up to impersonate Tiny. Bark instructs Scrappy to lose the Pup Star Competition as Tiny so that he can win. Bark kidnaps Tiny and tries to keep him contained. Eventually he escapes and tries to find his owner and reveal the truth.

Kaitlyn Maher voices two completely different characters and personalities well. She voices Tiny’s sweet and affectionate personality and also voices Scrappy’s rough, snarky personality. I also love the voice acting of Steve Valentine as Simon Growl. It is a really good Simon Cowell impression. At first, I thought it was actually Simon Cowell voicing his dog counterpart.

The animation that makes the dogs dance and talk looks so real. It is so cool to see the dogs break-dancing at the disco party. It is also amazing to see the dogs singing and talking. They sound beautiful and angelic.

My favorite character is Scrappy, because she is so courageous and has such a strong personality, even if she seems harsh. She is a great example of “don’t judge a book by its cover.” I don’t want to give any spoilers, but she is very confident and knows what’s right.

The message of this film is to have confidence in yourself and do what’s right. Tiny has confidence that she can find her owner. She doesn’t give up and that helps her greatly. Scrappy knows what’s right and she becomes successful and happy at the end. These things benefit both dogs and the film teaches that it will benefit you as well. They are very important lessons that will help you throughout your life.

This film is very inspirational and super-cute. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 3 to 18. Who doesn’t love puppies?  Definitely check this film out when it comes out on VOD August 29, 2017.

Audience Interviews in NYC by Na’im S., Niles G., Evelyn P., Rohan F. and Damon F.

 

Brigsby Bear – Dramatic comedy with strange, yet fresh approach

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Brigsby Bear Adventures is a children’s TV show produced for an audience of one: James. When the show abruptly ends, James’s life changes forever, and he sets out to finish the story himself. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tristan T. comments, “I expected to be bored, but instead I found this film highly entertaining and moving at times. Although it is definitely odd and had me asking lots of questions at the beginning, it is well done and I will probably go see this film again once it’s released in theaters.” See his full review below.

Brigsby Bear
By Tristan Tierce, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Brigsby Bear is a dramatic comedy with a strange, yet fresh new approach. I expected to be bored, but instead I found this film highly entertaining and moving at times. Although it is definitely odd and had me asking lots of questions at the beginning, it is well done and I will probably go see this film again once it’s released in theaters.

James (Kyle Mooney) lives in an underground bunker with his kidnapper “parents.” We quickly learn of his obsession with “Brigsby,” a television series about a bear and his adventures. Once he is rescued from his capturers, he attempts to survive in this massive new world, only to learn that his treasured show is not real. As he struggles to reinvent “Brigsby Bear,” he ends up not only completing the show’s story, but also finding completion to his own.

Star Wars fans will be interested to see their beloved Mark Hamill in a totally different role here. He plays the kidnapper, Ted Hope. I have to say, he completely nails the character and, with his grungy looking beard, I almost did not recognize him.

My favorite character is James. He plays a very quirky, awkward young man. He is inspiring and makes you feel an immediate connection. I not only found myself intrigued by his story, but cheering for him to achieve his goal. I like how, even though he grows throughout the film, his character never truly changes. Others ultimately accept him for who he is. This is something I would like to see in real life.

This film is rated PG-13 due to a few sexual references and some mature content although nothing is over-the-top. I rate this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 13 to 18. It opens in theaters September 21, 2017. You should definitely go grab some friends and check it out.

Gagetgang in Outer Space – Excellent animation, voice acting and important morals

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Kids from Earth are working on their science fair project when they meet aliens from outer space. The quirky, kind-hearted aliens need help fixing their ships before evil invaders catch them. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jolleen M. comments, “This hilarious animated film teaches so many important morals. I laughed the whole time. The animation is colorful and pleasing to watch.” Arjun N. adds, “Gadgetgang In Outer Space fascinates me because of its excellent animation, top level voice acting and spectacular direction that captures every detail of a space opera.” See their full reviews below.

Gagetgang in Outer Space
By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

This hilarious animated film teaches so many important morals. I laughed the whole time. The animation is colorful and pleasing to watch. Also, the storyline is interesting and really inspiring.

The whole adventure begins when the Inva’s (quirky little green space aliens) spaceship crashes onto planet Earth. When the Gagetgang kids (Gus, Phoebe, Mary Ann, Francesco, Mitsue, Banana and Tank) go to investigate the loud noise they heard, they see the spaceship and the Invas. The Invas tell the Gagetgang that they need help because an evil warlord is holding hostage the Confederation of Planet Leaders and all the planets are in grave danger.

Antony Serlano (Invas) can make his voice high-pitched, which is the perfect sound for an alien. The voice is very strange and fits the characteristics of the Invas. The writer of this story, Ale MacHaddo has interwoven many different morals into the story. I don’t usually see films with multiple morals so prominent in the story. It is cool to see them all and be inspired in so many different ways.

The animation is very detailed and colorful. The different kinds of aliens they come up with look awesome! They are all completely different! They each have their own different characteristics and personalities.

My favorite part is when the Gagetgang offers to help the Invas. This is a perfect example of what you should do for someone in need. It warmed my heart to see the Invas so happy to get help from them.

There are multiple messages in this story. The first is about helping others in need. The Gagetgang help the Invas and the entire universe when they are in need. The second message is about no being defined by the category you are given. The Invas are seen by everyone as a weak, unintelligent species. Even when the Invas are put through a lot of persecution, they prove everyone wrong when they save the universe. The last message is that “no matter how small you are, you can still do big things together.” The Gagetgang, even though they are so small compared to the universe, get together and save everyone.

This film is really inspirational, colorful and detailed. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 5 to 11. Gagetgang in Outer Space is a wonderful movie! You can check it out now on Digital!

Gadgetgang In Outer Space
By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

https://youtu.be/mYoAzJi6CPs

Gadgetgang In Outer Space fascinates me because of its excellent animation, top level voice acting and spectacular direction that captures every detail of a space opera. This is sure to be a crowd-pleaser with the kids.

The story is about a spaceship that crashes to Earth and reveals a group of quirky little space aliens on the run for their lives. The GadgetGang kids – Gregory, Phoebe, Francesco, Mitsue, Mary Ann, Banana and Tank soon discover this won’t be the same old stuff they are accustomed to. Instead it’s an adventure which will heroically test all of their skills as a team. They learn that far away from the galaxy, an evil warlord named Gana Golber has seized control of the Confederation of Planets and now all the whole universe is in danger. Can the GadgetGang stand up to the test, or will all of humanity fall?

Brian Munn, as Gregory, excellently presents his leadership of the team, and relies on his quirky one-liners and street-smart to save the world. Due to this, he is my favorite character. Maisa Silva, as Phoebe, is great in how she shows her love for her brother, Gregory, as well as her adventurous attitude. Marc Thompson, as Francesco, provides a book-smart companion to Gregory. Lisa Adams, as Mitsue, provides exceptional comic relief and gadgets for the team. Alyson Leigh Rosenfield, as Mary Ann, is more concerned about her beauty and appearance as she tags along for the ride. David McDonald, as Gana Golber, is a threat, but his weakness comes beneath his exoskeleton.

The direction by Al McHaddo is splendid. Homage is given to many sci-fi movies, such as Star Wars and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. My favorite scene is the final space battle because there is a mix of spacecraft battles and artillery combat which I found entertaining. The Gadget Gang’s banter only heightens the final battle. My only problem with this film is that it is a little too fast with its explanation of key plot points and kids could have trouble following the story line. However, all of the scenes of the movie are filled with humor and action.

The message of the film is about working as a team, because the GadgetGang would not be able to accomplish their purpose without the teamwork from everyone involved. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10.

 

 

 

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