Archive for the 'Film Screenings' Category

Special One-Day Theatrical Screening of ‘The Secret of Moonacre’

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

The Secret of MoonacreIf The Secret of Moonacre is the film you’ve chosen to review for the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics’ Search competition – or if you just want to enjoy it on the big screen before buying the DVD for your home collection – you may be in luck. On Aug. 12, Screenvision is presenting it in select theaters throughout the United States. The special screening is currently planned for 150 markets, with more possibly coming online.

For a complete list of locations and to order tickets, please visit

The film, adapted from Elizabeth Goudge’s novel The Little White Horse, follows the fantastical adventures of a newly orphaned 13-year-old who discovers a magical, moonlit world when she goes to live with her eccentric uncle at his aptly named Moonacre Manor. The mysterious environs are a huge change from the luxury she’d known in London, but Maria Merryweather (played by Dakota Blue Richards, The Golden Compass) suffers a bigger shock when she learns that the task of saving Moonacre Manor from an ancient curse rests on her young shoulders.

The story offers a safe context for parents to discuss with their children (8-12 is the ideal age for this film) several topics that may otherwise be too hard or scary to express: Who would take care of you if something happened to your parents? What would you do if, instead of your family taking care of you, you found it was you who had to save your family? And in the story, Maria’s uncle (played by the wonderful Ioan Gruffudd, whose film credits include Fantastic Four) treats her dreadfully – opening up the question of why a tragedy can affect someone’s behavior. These are among the talking points developed in the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Discussion Guide.

KIDS FIRST! has developed a specific discussion guide for each of the seven films that are part of the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics’ Search for kids aged six to 15. The first step to enter is to send in a written review by October 10, and KIDS FIRST! will send the applicants instructions for creating a videotaped review that will then be posted on for public vote. We encourage everyone to vote!

Winners of the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics’ Search will be announced the weekend of Nov. 12 – 14, with festivities that will include the excitement of KIDS FIRST!’s attempt to set a world’s record of one million kids “viewing and reviewing” a single film (The Velveteen Rabbit) with a caring adult.

Teen Heartthrob Zac Efron Powers ‘Charlie St. Cloud’

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Charlie St. CloudCharlie St. Cloud (rated PG-13) is a sweet story about love – familial and romantic – and commitment. Charlie is a champion sailor whose prowess has won him a scholarship to Stanford. He shares a loving relationship with his kid brother, Sam, and his single-parent mom, and seems to have the respect of his teachers and fellow students when we see him at his high school graduation early in the movie. Charlie’s future seems rosy until he and Sam die in a car accident, Charlie promises Sam he will never leave him, and then an EMT brings Charlie back to life. Charlie gives up all other plans in order to meet his dead brother every evening in a nearby mountain clearing to play baseball, which had been Sam’s passion in life. Conflict enters the story when Tess, a former classmate and aspiring globe-circumnavigating sailor, pierces Charlie’s shell.

Although no one but Charlie can see Sam, there is internal evidence in the movie to suggest his visions are more supernatural than psychological. Whichever way the viewer chooses to interpret it, however, Sam serves as the foil against which Charlie must test his strength to move beyond the protected familiar of life and risk a relationship with another person.

The movie features mild language (“He’s a dick,” Charlie says to Tess about another young man in their small Northwestern seacoast town) and one satisfying fight scene in which Charlie asks his tormentor if he has dental insurance before punching his lights out. In spite of lingering kisses and a scene suggestive of Charlie and Tess having spent the night together, romance stays on a fairy-tale level.

Zac Efron is the teen heartthrob around which this movie is built; indeed, the film seems to be primarily a vehicle to show off his handsome visage and buff physique, from facial close-ups with his eyes in deep introspection to long shots of him standing, engagingly forlorn, in a forest clearing. Kudos also to the cinematography, capturing emotion from the sense of small-town quietude of streets and hillsides to the excitement of storm-tossed seas.

KIDS FIRST! Hosts Special Preview Screenings of ‘Flipped’

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010


KIDS FIRST! flipped over Oscar®-nominee Rob Reiner’s new movie, “Flipped” from Castle Rock Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures. So much so that we’re working with two of our film festival partners to host special preview screenings and inviting you to see the movie for FREE. Be sure to RSVP early — advance reservation is required, and it’s first come, first served — but we expect more people than there will be seats for, so please plan to arrive early.

While the movie will hit theaters in two weeks on Aug. 6, you can see it prior to the release date in Austin, Texas, or Newport Beach, Calif. KIDS FIRST! and the Austin Film Festival will screen “Flipped” on Sunday, July 25, at noon at the Regal Arbor 8 Theater; KIDS FIRST! and the Newport Beach Film Festival/Orange County Film Society will screen the movie on Wednesday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m. at the Regency Lido Theater. To register for reservations at either city, go to or and click on the banner for “Flipped” reservations.

The 90-minute coming-of-age film, rated PG by the MPAA for language and some thematic material, follows Bryce and Juli from second grade — he, girl-shy; she, sure that it’s love — to junior high. We share their triumphs and disasters as they navigate family drama and first love, making the discoveries that will define not only who they are, but who they are to each other.

“Flipped” stars Madeline Carroll as Juli, and Callan McAuliffe as Bryce. Rebecca De Mornay and Anthony Edwards star as Bryce’s parents, Patsy and Steven Loski; and Emmy®-nominee John Mahoney as his grandfather, Chet Duncan. Penelope Ann Miller and Emmy®-nominee Aidan Quinn star as Juli’s parents, Trina and Richard Baker; and Kevin Weisman as her Uncle Daniel.
“Flipped” is directed by Oscar®-nominee Rob Reiner and produced by Reiner and Alan Greisman, who most recently collaborated on “The Bucket List.” The screenplay is by Rob Reiner & Andrew Scheinman, based on the novel by renowned author Wendelin Van Draanen. Martin Shafer, Liz Glotzer and David Siegel serve as executive producers. The creative team includes Emmy®-winning director of photography Thomas Del Ruth, production designer Bill Brzeski and Oscar®-nominated editor Robert. The music is by five-time Oscar®-nominee Marc Shaiman. The costumes are designed by Durinda Wood.

KIDS FIRST! juror Lauren Boxer (age 12) has this to say about “Flipped”:
“Flipped” is a movie showing how, when you like a guy (or girl), make sure you see them as the whole self. A quote I loved from the movie is, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” I do not know exactly what it means, but it touched my heart. Rob Reiner (director) really showed the viewers what “flipped” means — showing the same situation from both the girl’s side and the boy’s side. I would recommend it to everyone that has ever had a crush. Hold on tight because “Flipped” is coming soon to theaters.”        

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