Up to date information about children’s entertainment – film, TV, DVD and more…. from founder and president of KIDS FIRST! Ranny Levy

Archive for the 'Feature Film Reviews' Category

The Smurfs Aren’t Just for Little Kids!

Friday, August 19th, 2011

TheSmurfs.jpg14-year-old Gabriella Chu enjoyed this as much as our younger film critics. See her review here and read more below.

Initially, I thought this movie would appeal more to younger kids, but I enjoyed it and found myself laughing in some parts. The movie is based on The Smurfs TV series. In case you have not watched the TV series before, the movie tells the story of the Smurfs coming to the big city, New York, to escape from the evil Gargamel. They end up befriending a couple named Patrick and Grace because they let them stay at their apartment. If you’re wondering how the Smurfs will steer clear of Gargamel and get back to their magical world, watch the movie to find out!

While the Smurfs are in New York, they go on exciting endeavors. The movie depicts the liveliness of the city well. I also like how the storyline of the movie works together smoothly. In addition, the movie delivers many meaningful messages, and at the same time incorporates humorous jokes. The Smurfs learned the importance of teamwork. As for Patrick, he learned to follow his heart and be more confident in his decisions in his job and in his role of becoming a father.

One of the things I found funny include Gargamel’s cat’s facial expressions. The cat’s expressions are hilarious, and very similar to a person’s.

I recommend this movie to children 6 and up. It is a fun family film. Parents will laugh as they reminisce their childhoods, and children will enjoy watching the adorable Smurfs as they go on thrilling adventures.

Reviewed by Gabriella Chu, age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Cowboys & Aliens – Sci – Fi Meets Western – Kids Loved It

Friday, August 12th, 2011

cowboys.aliens.jpg14-year-old Raven Devanney, a KIDS FIRST! Film critic reviewed it this week. Here are her comments:

If you love action packed adventures then ‘Cowboys and Aliens’ is the perfect film for you!

I’m actually pretty impressed with this movie because I think the concept of throwing together two separate genres like westerns and Si-Fi is an interesting idea but I didn’t think there would be much more to the film then explosions and gun fights. However the story line is much more entertaining than I expected.

I think the visual aspects of this film are good because the aliens are relatively creepy and the design of their ship is really cool. If you’re into horror films (like me) then the aliens won’t be that impressive to you, but if you are easily frightened then some scenes may seem a bit intense.

My favorite character is the preacher because he seems a lot more compassionate and caring then most of the other characters.

Something that I think is very unrealistic is in the final battle scene when the humans start defeating the aliens. In the beginning of the scene the humans are totally getting crushed by the aliens (which makes sense since they are practically killing machines) then the humans start winning which is odd considering their weapons are far inferior to the aliens. Obviously there isn’t be much of a movie if the aliens conquer the world; it just seems a bit unrealistic.

This movie is for ages 13 and up because there is some inappropriate language and it is very violent. Overall, I give ‘Cowboys and Aliens’ 3 out of 5 stars because personally I’m not that into Si-Fi, but if you are, you’ll definitely enjoy it!

Credit: Raven Devanney, age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Gleeks Rejoice! It’s Here and It’s Fun.

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Glee.3DMovie.jpgAre you a Gleek? Glee: The 3D Concert Movie is here. I like this movie. Even if you are not familiar with Glee, you will enjoy this movie if you are into musicals or singing and dancing. The movie is a vivacious documentary recounting life-changing experiences from Gleeks combined with Glee cast performances. 
Watching the entire cast of Glee perform is very entertaining and the 3D effect makes the movie so vivid and life-like. I felt like I was there enjoying the concert! The movie is very high-spirited and gives off good vibes and delivers positive messages such as have self-confidence and it is okay to be different. I like how the movie goes behind the scenes of the Glee cast because Gleeks and the rest of the audience can identify themselves with the various personalities of the characters. The movie has several scenes where Gleeks are interviewed about who their favorite character is or tell experiences about how relating to a certain character on the show helped them pull through a tough time.
I recommend this movie to children 7 and up. It does not have inappropriate language, sexual scenes, and is not complicated or difficult to understand for children since there is not much of a storyline. The movie is also rated PG. Glee: The 3D Concert Movie is a fun movie pick to see with friends, but is also an engaging family film connecting both parents and kids through music. The wait is finally over! This movie will be coming out in theaters August 12, 2011.
Credit: Gabriella Chu, age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Wondering Whether to Take Your Child to see Transformers: Dark of the Moon?

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Transformers..jpgYes! Says one of our youth film critics, 13-year-old Raven Devanney. But, ages 13 and older only. Here are Raven’s comments:

“Transformers 3, Dark of the Moon is a non-stop thrill ride. This action packed film is a fantastic addition in the Transformers series. The cinematography and special effects are absolutely breathtaking in 3D! This film has so much action and the sound effects are so intense that it keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire film!

My favorite character is Bumblebee because he is so sweet and he is there to catch Sam when he falls…. Literally! And of course, once again, I love Shia LeBeouf’s performance! I have been a fan of his acting for years, even before Transformers. My favorite scene is in the beginning when it shows actual footage of the moon launch because it is fascinating to see how many people were so eager to witness that back then.

I love this movie so much because it has everything: Action, comedy, suspense and romance.RavenAM.jpg The one thing I think is unnecessary in this movie is that every time the Decepticons are killed, they bleed. It’s weird because that didn’t happen in the first two films and they are machines—they can’t bleed! Also, the blood looks very unrealistic so it seems pointless.

This film is for ages 13 and up because there is a lot of adult humor that is very inappropriate for younger audiences. This film has a lot more violence than the first films. There are also somewhat gruesome deaths throughout the movie.

Reviewed by Raven Devanney, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

X-Men: First Class a Hit with 13-year-olds

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Daniel.JonalMusicSM.jpgOur 13-year-old youth film critics really loved this film. Here’s what they have to say:

X-Men First Class is an epic adventure revealing the origins of the X-Men Saga.  It is set in the 1960s at the beginning of the Space Age and at the height of the Cold War.  Russia and the U.S.A are on the brink of a nuclear war, endangering the whole world.
 
Before they took the names of Professor X and Magneto, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) were two youthful mutant men just discovering their powers. They search for other mutants, like themselves, to recruit so they can band together and stop a very great threat to the world.

X-Men First Class answers a lot of questions that have interested many fans since X-Men came out, such as:  how did Charles get put in a Wheelchair, how they got their names Magneto and Professor X, and how the X-Men got together in the first place. 
 
The acting in this character driven movie is great and was cast really well, especially Kevin Bacon as the evil Sabastian Shaw and Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique. There are a lot of psychological parts during the movie, and it’s not just comic book action. You really can get the emotional depth. This movie had messages in it. Mystique in this movie started out not liking herself at all, trying to cover up who she was, she was ashamed of who she was.  By the end, though, Mystique learns to except herself and before she leaves says, “Mutant, and proud!” This means that you should accept yourself and be who you want to be.
 
The action scenes in this movie were very well set up and suspenseful, you couldn’t have the movie or the storyline without it. This movie was pretty violent, has a lot of fighting, and some traumatic scenes (like when the nazi Schmit shoots Erik’s mom right in front of him.)  It also has a little explicit language and a couple of sexy scenes.  Rated PG-13, I would not recommend it for kids under the age of 13.
 
Over all, I think this movie was the best one yet in the X-Men Saga.

Reviewed by Jonah Menegaz, age 13
 

 

Yogi Bear, On the Big Screen

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

yogi_bear_movie_poster.jpg“I really love this movie. It has a ton of action scenes and is hilarious! The best part of the movie is when the gang goes down the river rapids which is really cool to see in 3D. It feels like you are going to get splashed with the water. 

My favorite characters in the film are Yogi Bear, Boo Boo, and Ranger Smith. I like them because they have a part in saving Yellowstone Park. Yogi Bear and Boo Boo are the funniest characters in the movie. One part in the movie has Yogi Bear water skiing and Boo Boo is guiding the boat. Yogi Bear catches his cape on fire, falls in the water, and sets off the entire fireworks display!  There are also some bad people in this movie. Mayor Brown and his chief of staff are always trying to sabotage Ranger Smith’s efforts to save Yellowstone. They even try to make Ranger Jones turn against Ranger Smith. The actor that plays Ranger Jones is T.J. Miller, who played Tuffnut in “How to Train Your Dragon”, which is one of my favorite movies.

In the movie Yellowstone Park is celebrating its 100 year anniversary however it may be its last because attendance to the park is down and Mayor Brown wants to close the park and use it for something that will make him more money. Yogi Bear, Boo Boo, Ranger Smith, and Rachel team up to save the park. Yogi Bear really proves that he is “smarter than the average bear.”

I would recommend this film for ages seven and up. Parents will really like this movie because Yogi Bear was a tv show that was on when they were growing up. Go out and see it when it premieres in theaters on December 17th. For an extra treat see it in 3D; you will really feel like you are a part of the movie.”

Anthony.jpgReviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Anthony Aranda (age 8)

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