Pokémon Detective Pikachu – Funny With Lots of Twists To Keep You Guessing

May 13th, 2019

The story begins when ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City–a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world–they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I love this movie so much. I couldn’t stop laughing and crying with tears of joy.  Even the adults in the movie theatre laughed and enjoyed this movie.” Damon F. adds, “Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a movie that takes place in a world where people live with Pokémon and catch them in poke balls and battle them. I enjoyed this movie because the storyline is a mystery with a lot of twists that keeps you guessing.” See their full reviews below.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu
By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 10

I love this movie so much. I couldn’t stop laughing and crying with tears of joy.  Even the adults in the movie theatre laughed and enjoyed this movie.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu is about a city named Ryme City where people are living with Pokémon.  A young man named Tim Goodman travels to Ryme City to find out the reason for the mysterious disappearance of his father, Harry Goodman.  In the process, Tim finds a strange, purple substance or gas that makes all the Pokémon act weird. Tim also finds his father’s Pokémon Pikachu. For some reason, Tim can understand Pikachu.  Yes, Pikachu can talk in this movie!

The movie is hilarious because of Ryan Reynolds, even though there are some jokes not suitable for children.  Also, Justice Smith, who plays Tim Goodman, is so good. He is pretty funny, and he makes the audience feel emotional when he has sad moments.  The visual effects are incredible, which make this movie different and better than other Pokémon movies or Pokémon TV shows.

The moral of this film is not to give up. Tim wants to give up on his mission. Instead, he teams up with Pikachu, and together they make a great team. Pikachu saves Tim from going home.  The end has a very twisted mystery that leaves everyone in the audience with their mouths wide open.  If you want to find out why, you’ll need to watch this awesome film before your friends spoil it for you.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, but adults over 18 can enjoy it, too You can watch Pokémon Detective Pikachu in any theater near you starting Friday, May 10, 2019.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu
By Damon F., KIDS FIRST Film Critic, age 11

Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a movie that takes place in a world where people live with Pokémon and catch them in poke balls and battle them. I enjoyed this movie because the storyline is a mystery with a lot of twists that keeps you guessing.

This story is about a boy named Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) whose father, Harry Goodman (Ryan Reynolds) dies in a car crash. Tim goes to Ryme City and meets a Pikachu with a detective hat who says that he is Harry’s Pokémon, and a brilliant detective. Tim and Detective Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) must find out who killed Tim’s father and why.

This movie is great, all the Pokémon in the movie look realistic and lifelike. I found it very fun to search the movie and spot all the different Pokémon that they have in the movie such as Bulbasaur, Jigglypuff, Lickitung, Charmander and many more.

There is also a video game version of the movie called Detective Pikachu where you play in the Pokémon world and join Detective Pikachu in Ryme City to solve mysteries and crimes that Pokémon cause. It has a similar plot to the movie, so it is fun to get to play what you see in the film.

My favorite scene in this movie is one where Pikachu is very sad and starts singing some short pieces of the Pokémon theme song as he walks away from Tim, acting depressed. I like this scene because the way that Pikachu sings it is hilarious. Another good scene is when Tim, Detective Pikachu, Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton) a journalist, and her Psyduck are running away from some Greninjas and Psyduck gets a headache. This is very dangerous because his head could explode. I like this scene because it is full of action and the way Pikachu gives Psyduck a headache is hilarious. My favorite character in this movie is Detective Pikachu because he makes a lot of great jokes about other Pokémon and his obsession with coffee. His humor is sarcastic and dry, but he is also cute and fluffy. This contrast is very amusing.

The message of this movie is that you should stay loyal to your friends and trust them. There is also a strong storyline about the relationships between father and son.

I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to18 because younger children may not understand the storyline. It opens in theaters May 10, 2019 so look for it.

The Biggest Little Farm: Former City-Dwellers Create A Sustainable Farm

May 6th, 2019

A testament to the immense complexity of nature, The Biggest Little Farm follows two dreamers and a dog on an odyssey to bring harmony to both their lives and the land. When the barking of their beloved dog Todd leads to an eviction notice from their tiny LA apartment, John and Molly Chester make a choice that takes them out of the city and onto 200 acres in the foothills of Ventura County, naively endeavoring to build one of the most diverse farms of its kind in complete coexistence with nature. The land they’ve chosen, however, is utterly depleted of nutrients and suffering from a brutal drought. The film chronicles eight years of daunting work and outsize idealism as they attempt to create the utopia they seek, planting 10,000 orchard trees and over 200 different crops, and bringing in animals of every kind- including an unforgettable pig named Emma and her best friend, Greasy the rooster. When the farm’s ecosystem finally begins to reawaken, so does the Chesters’ hope. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Nathalia J. comments, “This interesting and captivating documentary gives you the opportunity to view the experiences and hard work of John Chester and his wife Molly who developed a sustainable farm on 200 acres outside of Los Angeles. Get ready to take in different emotions as you join their personal journey throughout the film.” See her full review below.

The Biggest Little Farm
By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10                                                                                           

This interesting and captivating documentary gives you the opportunity to view the experiences and hard work of John Chester and his wife Molly who developed a sustainable farm on 200 acres outside of Los Angeles. Get ready to take in different emotions as you join their personal journey throughout the film.

The documentary follows two visionaries and a dog on their journey to bring harmony to both their lives and the land. The story all begins with a promise to a dog named Todd; not just any dog, but a very special dog. When the barking of their darling Todd leads to an eviction notice from their tiny L.A. apartment, John and Molly Chester make a choice that takes them out of the city and into the foothills of Ventura County, simply striving to build one of the most diverse farms of its kind in complete co-existence with nature.

The land they’ve chosen is tremendously devoid of nutrients and suffering from a cruel drought. The film records eight years of discouraging and encouraging work as they are challenged to create the ideal farm by planting 10,000 orchard trees and over 200 different crops, and by bringing in animals of every type. Molly and Josh work day and night to build the farm, along with the help of their mentor. As the documentary continues, you’ll see the helpful and kind hearts the animals have for each other. 

The lead characters in The Biggest Little Farm are John Chester and Molly Chester. The writers are John Chester and Mark Monroe.

There are many important messages here, such as: believing that you can grasp your dreams if you work hard to accomplish them. For example, Molly Chester never gives up. She moves an hour north of one of the most polluted cities on earth and pursues her family dream of growing every ingredient she could possibly want to cook. I truly enjoy this true and challenging story of this “power couple.”

The Biggest Little Farm is an educational film , which promotes a deeper understanding of the fundamental joy of farming, family and love. This film delivers an expressive, booming narrative with plenty of cute animals to spare.

I give this film  5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, as well as adults. You can catch this film at your local theaters on May 10, 2019.

The Intruder – A Hair-Raising, Creepy Thriller Movie!

May 6th, 2019

Scott and Annie Russell couldn’t be happier after buying their dream home from a mysterious and lonely widower named Charlie in Napa Valley, Calif. Their newfound paradise soon turns into a living nightmare when Charlie — still strangely attached to the house — begins to show up and interfere in their daily lives. When his erratic behavior turns to obsession, the young couple soon find themselves caught up in a violent confrontation that threatens to destroy everything they hold dear. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ivey H. comments, “The acting scenes and timing are great! The momentum and build up are perfect. I love how it gradually builds up to be more thrilling to scary.  I screamed and jumped out of my seat a couple of times!”  Leire G. adds, “The Intruder has a very intense ending that leaves the audience feeling empowered. This film values the importance of family and what it means to stick together through the hardest times. It emphasizes how there’s nothing as valuable as family for those who are lucky enough to have one, like the married couple in the movie.” See their full reviews below.

The Intruder
By Ivey H, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The Intruder is a hair-raising, creepy thriller movie!

The film was shot in Canada in British Columbia and Vancouver.  The scenes are tranquil, and everything looks crisp and clean on the big screen.

Meagan Good and Michael Ealy star in Screen Gems’ THE INTRUDER.

The Intruder has a great plot. A newly-married happy couple embark on a move out of the city to start a family. The husband receives a promotion at work, so they can finally afford their dream home. The conflict is that the owner of the house loves the home too, and just can’t seem to let go. Which makes you wonder:  why did he sell it? 

The house is the perfect setting for this mystery film. The antagonist homeowner is Charlie Peck played by Dennis Quaid. He is perfect for this role because he is very intimidating and eerie. His home has a long history, and it’s his legacy, so he is not letting go easily.  Meagan Good plays Annie. She is a country girl at heart and wants to raise children in a loving home.  She is really great at portraying the naive young wife who sees the good in people. Mike Ealy plays Scott, the husband. He really brings energy to this role. He is reluctant to move to the country.  At first Scott is very tolerant of Charlie’s intrusions. Then his suspicion grows as to the true motives of Charlie. You totally understand the doubts and fears of these characters.  Is Scott able to protect his wife from Charlie’s secret motives and gain back her trust?

Michael Ealy, Meagan Good and Dennis Quaid star in Screen Gems THE INTRUDER.

The director Dean Taylor does great work in this film.  The acting scenes and timing are great! The momentum and build up are perfect. I love how it gradually builds up to be more thrilling to scary.  I screamed and jumped out of my seat a couple of times!  The writer is David Loughery. Everything really flows very well in this script. I really enjoyed the music and sound track, too.

The moral to this story is when buying a new home do your homework before making such a huge purchase. The couple is too eager and trusting. They ignore all the signs and red flags that lead to the conflict.

I give this film 5 out 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 13 to 18. There are a few vulgar words and heavy romantic scenes. If you love a good mystery thriller with a few screams be sure to check this out. Release date is May 3, 2019.

The Intruder
By Leire G, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The Intruder is very suspenseful. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I watched it, wondering what was going to happen next. I enjoyed the good balance between mystery, horror and romance. There isn’t too much of one genre, so the mix of styles is all spread out evenly.

Dennis Quaid stars in Screen Gems’ THE INTRUDER.

The Intruder tells the story of a young married couple who buys a beautiful house with several acres of land in the middle of a some very lonely woods. They find out that the man they buy the property from refuses to let go of it and, in fact, has an obsession with it. The film shows how emotionally attached the landlord is to what once was his, and also shows the actions the couple takes to protect their new home.

The film was written by David Loughery and directed by Deon Taylor, who sets the film in a very lonely and rural town in modern day. This location is essential to the plot; since it takes place in an old house located in the middle of the woods, the setting helps create a feeling of curiosity and creepiness. The music in this film intensifies the emotions in certain scenes. It adds a lot of eeriness to the more action-based scenes and brings out the horror in them.

Michael Ealy, Dennis Quaid, Director Deon Taylor and Meagan Good on the set of Screen Gems’ THE INTRUDER.

The Intruder has a very intense ending that leaves the audience feeling empowered. This film values the importance of family and what it means to stick together through the hardest times. It emphasizes how there’s nothing as valuable as family for those who are lucky enough to have one, like the married couple in the movie.

I really enjoyed The Intruder!  I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for how creatively this suspenseful film was made. I recommend it for ages 10 through 18, but adults might also enjoy it as well. The Intruder opens in theaters on May 3, 2019.

Tito and the Birds – Deserves To Be Seen By Anyone Who Appreciates The Medium Of Animation

May 6th, 2019

Tito is a shy 10-year-old boy who lives with his mother. When an unusual epidemic starts to spread, making people sick whenever they get scared, Tito quickly discovers that the cure is somehow related to his missing father’s research on bird song. He embarks on a journey with his friends to find the antidote. Tito’s search becomes a quest to find his missing father and save the world from the epidemic. “One of the most memorable films for 2018” – Elvis Mitchell, Film Independent. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Izzy C. comments, “From the moment I saw the artwork on the cover of the packaging for the Brazilian animated film, Tito and The Birds, I knew I had to see it! The animation style is beautiful! I love the look of it.” SaniyaRain F. adds, “Tito and the Birds is about real life problems that people face. Even though it is an animation film, it is serious. Sometimes movies teach kids about real life and that is what Tito and the Birds does.” Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer  wraps it up with, “The BIG selling point of this film is its sensational art!  It is an interesting mesh between digital animation and what appears to be layers of living oil paintings.  It’s hard to accurately describe the visuals in a way that gives credit in which it richly deserves.  I assure you, this film deserves to be seen by anyone who appreciates the medium of animation.” See their full reviews below.

Tito and The Birds
By Izzy Cruz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

From the moment I saw the artwork on the cover of the packaging for the Brazilian animated film, Tito and The Birds, I knew I had to see it! The animation style is beautiful! I love the look of it. Its Brazilian directors Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Bitar and Andre Catoto have made something that looks like a moving painting.

The story is based on a boy named Tito (Pedro Henrique) and his friends working to stop an epidemic from spreading through their town.  It gets pretty intense! Luckily, they have the help of Tito’s dad Rufus (Matheus Nachtergaele), a very smart scientist.  Hopefully this will be enough to save the town.

The supporting characters, besides Tito’s father, include Tito’s mother Rosa (Denise Fraga) and his friends: Sarah (Marina Seritiello), his brave female friend who gives him hope; Buiú (Vinicius Garcia), his best friend, who becomes sick and is the main reason they want to find a cure.  And then there is Téo (Enrico Cardoso), his rival. I relate mostly to the character of Tito because he is brave and wants to help.  He cares about people. The musical score by Ruben Feffer and Gustavo Kurlat brings a lot of emotions to the movie. The music helps tell the story as much as the dialogue does.

Even though this story is from Brazil I think people from everywhere can relate to it, because it is a story  about love and love is universal. There is a good lesson wrapped inside the story of Tito and The Birds: never be afraid, and help when it’s needed. Also, another lesson is to be yourself, and let no one tell you to be anyone else.

I give Tito and The Birds 5 out of 5 stars ! I love it! The animation is amazing! The storyline is told beautifully. I love the voice actors’ performances.

This film is perfect for ages 10 to 18, because the epidemic and sickness storyline could be a bit scary for younger audiences. I also think adults will enjoy this movie, too.  Go and check it out! I recommend it!

Remember you can get Tito and The Birds digitally or anywhere that your favorite DVD’s are sold.

Tito and the Birds
By SaniyaRain Fowler, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Tito and the Birds is about real life problems that people face. Even though it is an animation film, it is serious. Sometimes movies teach kids about real life and that is what Tito and the Birds does. It is a little scary because it is so real.

The first thing I noticed, besides it being a dark film, is the relationship Tito has with his dad. Tito and his dad work together to help their community overcome fear of a disease that is spreading.  Everyone is getting the disease and they do not know why. Everyone is scared to catch this disease because it makes people turn into rocks. The fear that everyone has in the community is so strong that people can’t live their lives. They are panicking and the news makes it worse.

Tito’s friends are awesome because they stick by his side and believe in him. He even makes friends with a boy who wants to beat Tito in a contest. Tito has some good friends, and we all need good friends when we are having a hard time in life. The friends show that they are real friends, not fake.

Tito learns a lot in the movie. He learns not to give up and to believe in himself. He also understands that sometimes things are hard and that everything is not going to be easy in life. He keeps trying to make his dad proud and build the machine right. Tito also learns that even a kid can make a difference.

I recommend this film for ages 8 to 14. It is too scary for little kids  I give this movie  2 out of 5 stars, because it is so frightening.  However, we all can learn about being brave and being different, so check it out if you find this intriguing.

Tito and the Birds
By Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer

Tito and the Birds is an oddly dark tale that is highlighted by its remarkably original art style.  By dark, I don’t mean gritty or vulgar. It is heavier in tone than many young adult films, but anyone that has seen Corpse Bride or Coraline won’t be addled in the slightest by this story about a fear pandemic.  The BIG selling point of this film is its sensational art!  It is an interesting mesh between digital animation and what appears to be layers of living oil paintings.  It’s hard to accurately describe the visuals in a way that gives credit in which it richly deserves.  I assure you, this film deserves to be seen by anyone who appreciates the medium of animation. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18, however, younger and older viewers may enjoy it as well. I certainly did. I give it 5 out if 5 stars because it is so stunning.

UglyDolls – Thrilling Animated Musical Adventure With Great Message

May 5th, 2019

In the adorably different town of Uglyville, weirdness is celebrated, strangeness is special and beauty is embraced as more than meets the eye. After traveling to the other side of a mountain, Moxy and her UglyDoll friends discover Perfection — a town where more conventional dolls receive training before entering the real world to find the love of a child. Soon, the UglyDolls learn what it means to be different — ultimately realizing that they don’t have to be perfect to be amazing. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Nathalia J. comments, “Three words I can say about this film – animated musical adventure. This thrilling, exciting, intriguing and stimulating film had my hooked to the screen.” Lexi G. adds, “UglyDolls is such a cute and feel-good animated movie!  It made me feel happy inside, even as I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next! UglyDolls is an entirely kid-friendly musical  and comedic throughout — all while tackling tough topics.  Throughout the story, there are recurring themes of body positivity, trusting in your friends, and believing in yourself.” Katherine S. wraps it up with, “The message of this movieis that no one is perfect and you should follow your dreams. This movie has no bad language, but it does have a scary robot dog and a dark tunnel. And of course, there is some negative behavior such as calling things ugly.” See their full reviews below.

UglyDolls
By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Three words I can say about this film – animated musical adventure. This thrilling, exciting, intriguing and stimulating film had my hooked to the screen. This film, directed by Kelly Asbury, shares many indispensable and major lessons.

The story follows Moxy who is a brave, independent, free-spirited and inspiring UglyDoll. For her entire life, Moxy has eagerly viewed the real world, hoping she would be good enough to join and find the love of a child. This film is an animated adventure where the free-spirited UglyDolls confront what it means to be different and struggle with their desire to be perfect. As the film develops, you get to see how Moxy and her back-up crew inspire the people of manufacturing and Perfectville to realize what makes them different through multiple catchy, up-beat and thrilling songs.

The lead characters in this film are Moxy (Kelly Clarkson), Ugly Dog (Pitbull), Lou (Nick Jonas), Mandy (Janelle Monae), Ox (Blake Shelton) and complimented by many more. My favorite scene, without giving anything away, is when Moxy proves to everyone that being different Is not something to fear. She proves to everybody that standing out is not harmful and does not make you ugly in any way. In this scene, Moxy is being punished for being who she is. She gets yelled at for trying to make a divergence in Perfectville. Watching this scene shows how some of her peers were “fake friends” to Moxy.

My favorite character is definitely Moxy (Kelly Clarkson), the main protagonist. When she makes a change, she bounces a cause and effect on others which makes them realize that being unique and being yourself are important ways to carry yourself and show who and what you are. She is the glue that sticks for her team and holds hope tighter than any of her team members.

The animation is groundbreaking, amusing and bright. I was amused by all the colors and little details which make it so believable. For example, in one scene there is a dark tunnel and, as you get a clear shot of the tunnel, you see scratches and mold which help identify it as an old tunnel.  

There are many important messages here such as: be true to yourself, be proud of who you are, don’t be afraid to be yourself. You should be aware that this film has some rude humor which makes in inappropriate for younger viewers. Beyond that there are no other bad actions that kids might imitate.

I give this film a 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 16, as well as adults. This film opens in theaters May 3, 2019. Make sure to check it out!

UglyDolls
By Lexi G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

UglyDolls is such a cute and feel-good animated movie!  It made me feel happy inside, even as I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next! UglyDolls is an entirely kid-friendly musical  and comedic throughout — all while tackling tough topics.  Throughout the story, there are recurring themes of body positivity, trusting in your friends, and believing in yourself.

In this heartwarming story, the main character Moxy (Kelly Clarkson) has the dream of becoming a loving doll to a special little girl. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to Moxy, because of the way the doll-making factory works, all of the ugly dolls (or rejects) are thrown into the recycling chute. These dolls end up in a different made-up world called, Uglyville.  If you go to Uglyville, you don’t get to go to the real world and become someone’s special doll.  But Moxy doesn’t know this is how it works.  Moxy and her friends in Uglyville have a pretty special and fun life there together. Every day, Moxy wakes up and dreams that this is the day  she will meet her new friend, a little girl. When that day fails to arrive, Moxy decides, with the help of her friend Lucy Bat (Wang Leehom), that she is going to go on her own to look for a little girl to comfort . So, off she goes, with a group of her ugly doll friends, on a journey to make her own destiny.  Along the way, she runs into many obstacles, such as mean people who send her back to the beginning, and happy occurrences, such as people who encourage her to stay strong and fight for what she wants! Does she end up back in Uglyville? Is she a little girl’s doll? Sorry! No spoilers here!! You’ll have to watch the movie to find out!

In UglyDolls, there are so many cool sound effects, pretty backgrounds, and smirky/funny comments that make it extra fun to watch! I especially loved the backgrounds and settings, which are colorful, bold and just right for whatever is happening in the story. Additionally, the songs (and soundtrack) in this movie are amazing! The songwriters, Christopher Lennertz and Kelly Clarkson, created some very inspiring and catchy tunes.

There are multiple deeper messages in UglyDolls. One of them is to never give up. Another important theme is to love and accept yourself no matter who you are, because Moxy, the whole way through her challenges, never loses confidence in herself and keeps fighting to be accepted.

UglyDolls is an inspiring movie for so many people but especially for kids. I got the chills watching it because it was so good and I really love the messages!   I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to12. If you are into musicals, animation, and loving, heartwarming movies, definitely check it out!. This film opens May 3, 2019.

UglyDolls
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

This animated musical is adorable! The music is outstanding, which is no surprise because it has so many amazing singers. The colorful and lively animation makes you feel as if you are in a wonderful world of dolls.

In the film, we first see how happy everyone is in Uglyville, where the ugly dolls live and actually embrace all of their different appearances.  Even though the protagonist Moxy (voiced by Kelly Clarkson) is happy in Uglyville, she wants to be with a real kid. So Moxy sets out with some friends to find a way to get to the real world. After going through a spooky tunnel, they find themselves in Perfection where dolls try to get a home in the real world. They soon realize that living in “Perfection” is not that easy.

In addition to Kelly Clarkson, there are so many other incredible voice actors including Nick Jonas, Janelle Monae, Blake Shelton and Pitbull. My favorite characters are Ox (voiced by Blake Shelton) and Moxy, because Ox is the absolute nicest mayor of any town and Moxy is always happy and believes in herself.

The message of this movie is that no one is perfect and you should follow your dreams. This movie has no bad language, but it does have a scary robot dog and a dark tunnel. And of course, there is some negative behavior such as calling things ugly.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 10. This movie opens in theaters May 3, 2019. Look for it.

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