Jury Coordination and Notes

Archive for June, 2022

Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion * Excellent New Show Merging Culture And Crime Fighting & Will Leave You Wanting To Become A Superhero Yourself

Monday, June 20th, 2022

Violet Rodriguez, an everyday Mexican American teen, who is chosen by a magical luchador mask which transforms her into Ultra Violet, a superhero fighting crime alongside her luchador uncle, Cruz, also known as Black Scorpion. Although Cruz takes Violet under his wing to teach her the responsibilities of her special powers, she doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with him when it comes to his methods for capturing crooks.  In the meantime, she must keep her superhero identity secret from her parents and her older brother Santiago (“Tiago”), as well as her friends and schoolmates. However, she does lean on one close confidante: her best friend Maya Miller-Martinez, who provides advice and assists with documenting Ultra Violet’s adventures on social media.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Heather S. comments, “Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion is an excellent new show! Merging culture and crime fighting, this series gives us two new characters to love. This series will leave you wanting to become a superhero yourself.” See her full review and talent interviews below.

Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion 
By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion is an excellent new show! Merging culture and crime fighting, this series gives us two new characters to love. This series will leave you wanting to become a superhero yourself. 

Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion follows Violet (Scarlet Estevez), a teenaged girl who is gifted with the power of super speed. She finds a luchador mask, and it chooses her to become a superhero by giving her powers. When Violet takes on the alter ego of Ultra Violet, soon she finds out that her Uncle Cruz (J.R. Villarreal) is a famous superhero, as well, named Black Scorpion. They team up and soon they’re family by day and crime fighters by night. 

This show is super exciting. The creators of the show merge Mexican culture and super heroes perfectly. Both heroes don their own luchador masks, and their costumes resemble those of professional luchadores.

Throughout the show there’s so much representation for Mexican families, not only in their foods and customs, but in their familial values as well. Scarlet struggles to shine in her own family and often feels like she can’t do anything right. She represents so many teens who don’t know how to find their place in the world. She grows into her own and learns how to fight villains, take control of her new powers, and how to take control of her own life. One of the spectacular things about this show is the relationship between Uncle Cruz and Violet. He cares for her and tries to keep her out of the superhero world, but she’s determined to be her own hero. As they train together, they remind so many of us of our own family members and relationships with our uncles or nieces. Both actors make it seem as though they really are family.

The message of Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion is demonstrated through its themes. Throughout the course of the show Violet not only proves to her family but also to herself that she’s capable of being a superhero. She learns to be more confident and also learns that when you stumble you pick yourself up and move on. She realizes the power of family and what it truly means to be a hero responsible for saving lives. 

I give Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 13. It premieres on Disney Channel June 3, 2022 and on Disney+ June 22

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Super PupZ * Lighthearted, Fun, Family Friendly Series With The Cutest Dogs Imaginable 

Sunday, June 12th, 2022

Four superpowered pups work as a pack to help their new kid pals – and a furry alien friend – in a cute and cuddly cosmic adventure. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Mikella G. comments, “Super PupZ is a lighthearted, fun series. The quality of the content in this series really stands out to me. Each episode grabs my attention, and goes by pretty quickly. Another thing I enjoy about this show is its strong concept which is interesting.” See her full review below.

Super PupZ
By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Super PupZ is a lighthearted, fun series. It’s family friendly, and gives you a laugh here and there. Overall it’s an enjoyable show that is nice to relax to.

The show highlights four main dogs who each have extreme, unique abilities. They come from a company that wants to test on them, but luckily they are able to escape. However, the 5th smallest puppy is still stuck there. With the help of their newfound owners the four “pupz” must help the trapped puppy escape, and hopefully end the wrong-doings of these people in the meantime.

The quality of the content in this series really stands out to me. Each episode grabs my attention, and goes by pretty quickly. Another thing I enjoy about this show is its strong concept which is interesting. It is also something I have never seen done before, as far as the structure. In addition, the visuals are top-notch. The picture quality is very clear, and feels very fresh, and the storyline is engaging. Lastly, even though the series is very kid friendly, it’s still very entertaining for all ages. This is important because it exposes young minds to good entertainment. Plus, it creates a strong family dynamic because parents are more likely to want to watch TV with their kids when it’s about something that could also interest them.

The message of Super PupZ is that doing the right thing will always win in the end.

I give Super PupZ 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 12. You can watch Super Pupz now on Netflix.

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Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story * So Much Talent And Extraordinary Culture That Brings This Wonderful Event To Life

Friday, June 10th, 2022

Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story weaves together live performances and interviews from the 50th anniversary of the iconic festival, featuring some of the biggest names in the music industry, along with a wealth of archival documentary footage from the past half century. This film not only captures the Festival in all of its beauty and glory, but also delves deep into the rich culture of The Big Easy.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ava C., comments, “There is so much talent and extraordinary culture that brings this wonderful event to life. Clips shown of the different jazz performances and cultural dancing all display the beauty behind it all. It’s wonderful to see how they can keep the traditions and cultural aspects of Jazz Fest alive.” See her full review below.

Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story
By Ava C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story is a one-hour-and-a-half documentary about the history of the annual Jazz Fest in New Orleans. A Jazz Fest documentary would not have been my first choice to watch, but I did I learn something new and would like to visit the Jazz Fest in New Orleans one day. And, if you are a person who is interested in jazz music and the history behind it, this is absolutely the movie for you.

This film is about one of America’s greatest festivals held in Louisiana, New Orleans. Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story takes a deep dive into the meaningful history and culture behind the iconic jazz fest. Furthermore, the movie shows the celebration of the music and the food of Louisiana.

There is so much talent and extraordinary culture that brings this wonderful event to life. Clips shown of the different jazz performances and cultural dancing all display the beauty behind it all. It’s wonderful to see how they can keep the traditions and cultural aspects of Jazz Fest alive.

From this documentary you will learn why the festival has a deeper meaning than just a fun festival that happens every year. It brings a positive and warm feeling to the people who attend Jazz Fest, while making the culture known and bringing awareness. Additionally, there were inspirational dance acts with beautiful clothing. The dance portrayed the meaning of the music while being played. This was my favorite part and very cool to watch.

I give Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It is available in theaters June 10, 2022.

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The Villains of Valley View * Exciting And Hilarious New Sitcom With Super Powered Villains Taking Center Stage

Friday, June 3rd, 2022

When teenage supervillain Havoc stands up to the head of the League of Villains, her family is forced to change their identities and relocate to a sleepy Texas suburb.  With the help of her effervescent new neighbor Hartley, Havoc – going incognito as “Amy” – must somehow hide her superpowers and quell her villainous nature in favor of something she and the rest of her family have fought against all their lives: being normal.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Heather S., comments, “The Villains of Valley View is an exciting and hilarious new sitcom. Super powered villains take center stage in this show, sure to be a fan favorite. There is so much to love about The Villains of Valley View. This is the first sitcom to follow a family of villains instead of heroes. Every character is extremely complex and chaotic; however, the family balances each other out.” See her full review and talent interviews below.

The Villains of Valley View 
By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The Villains of Valley View is an exciting and hilarious new sitcom. Super powered villains take center stage in this show, sure to be a fan favorite.

The series follows the Madden family, a group of ex-super villains who are in hiding from other villains and superheroes. The family tries to blend in but the task proves to be harder than they expected. 

There is so much to love about The Villains of Valley View. This is the first sitcom to follow a family of villains instead of heroes. Every character is extremely complex and chaotic; however, the family balances each other out. Jake (Reed Hortsmann) is hilarious in the way that he’s the only family member who wants to be normal. Amy (Isabella Pappas) is a headstrong powerful girl who works for what she wants. She and Jake balance each other so well, considering they’re as opposite as possible. Amy’s friendship with next-door neighbor Hartley steals the show. Audiences can see themselves in both Amy and Hartley, and we’re left wanting more of their friendship. The chemistry between parents Eva and Vic is strong. We don’t know much about their history together but every so often there’s a heartwarming scene that gives insight about the relationship between them. Eva and Vic are the most unlikely couple the Disney Channel has ever had, and they’re quite possibly the best, too. There’s never a dull moment in The Villains of Valley View. 

Some of the messages in this series include things such as Amy teaching her friends and family that it’s okay to be yourself and that you don’t have to fit in to society’s norms. Amy owns who she is, her style and her villain background, and is completely unapologetic. Meanwhile, Hartley shows Amy that there’s always good in the world and to have a positive outlook on life. 

I give The Villains of Valley View 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 14. It premieres only on Disney Channel June 3, 2022. 

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