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What to know: Entertaining with a positive feel and a good message regarding good versus bad behavior.
GAMEBOY is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 10-18
7 minutes
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GAMEBOY cover image
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The story line of this film is about a boy, who has no other goal than playing a video game. It portrays the struggles of his mother and sibling to encourage him to treat his school work seriously. It has a comedic ending to complete the tale.

I found myself instantly engaged in this short film. The story is straight to the point, with very clear context right from the start. It is well told, especially in the time frame.

I like the story as a whole as it is so engaging. I was disappointed that it ends so quickly, despite the fact I knew it was a short film, which is clear indication of a story well told. There is one scene of cross words between an adult and child, but without this context, the story would not make sense. So from the story's point of view it is justified. The overall cinematography is quite good. The images are clear and easy to watch. I also like the outtakes played during credits. All the costumes are suitable for the story. Having the main character wear a game branded t-shirt which is also worn by the girl who ends up being his gaming buddy, is a clever idea. The single location of the house of the family is ideal.

The music helps bring the story to life with some upbeat exciting music at the start to engage the viewer and a very catchy song at the end. Also the game boy game effects before the picture starts evokes thoughts of playing a video game. There are no other specific effects, other than the gaming noises which are exactly as you would expect the game to sound.

There are three main characters. The mother who is played realistically by Kay Tierney comes across as a normal, everyday person. The brother who helps his younger sibling is well played by Calvin Olson who gives a standout performance with well delivered lines and expressions. Portrayal of the gaming brother by Andrew Olson is also performed well.

The message is it's okay to have fun, but performing well in education can also feel rewarding if the two things are balanced correctly.

It shows children they should accept help from others (in this case their sibling) if they find a task difficult. I also believe it make any parent think about their own reactions to their children playing video games. I certainly thought how I would handle that situation. I really liked the song at the end of the film. It is very catchy and entertaining musically. The writer/director is recognizable, Stephen Burhoe. He also wrote and directed Diva's Perfect Posse, The Gandydancer and Blackmail. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults Its entertaining and provides a very positive feel whilst still sending a good message on good versus bad behavior. I think it definitely is well suited for a youth and family film festival. Reviewed by Richard L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.

Jason must talk his video game obsessed brother out of running away from home, by showing him the futility of his position.
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