Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

We Got You * Giving A Voice To Every Kid Who Doesn’t Have Anyone Else To Go To

April 9th, 2021

We Got You is a podcast that gives a voice to every kid out there who doesn’t have anyone to go to, with advice straight from teens who’ve been there before. We Got You is a weekly advice podcast where teens answer questions from middle schoolers across the country on life, loneliness and an uncertain future. We Got You is produced by Sonic Union. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Have you ever felt like you are experiencing something negative that no one else is? Well, We Got You reassures you that there is someone who has been there and done that before, sharing the perspectives of kids on growing up, thriving and surviving in an uncertain world, and dealing with the darker aspects of life.” Avery P. comments, “The We Got You podcast is an amazing outlet for kids and teens that don’t have a voice or need extra inspiration to help cope with their challenges. This podcast is all about helping others hold onto hope. The podcast covers such topics as dyslexia, anxiety, depression, PTSD, social media, bullying and lots more.” Apurva S. wraps it up with, “In the words of Dumbledore, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, when only one remembers to turn on the light.” This describes the message of the podcast (even though it’s not said in that way), that you should never lose hope.” See their full reviews below.

We Got You
By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

A candid and honest look at modern teens’ lives with incisive commentary on mental illness, coping with conflict and other timely topics, We Got You is a great listen for kids looking for answers.

Have you ever felt like you are experiencing something negative that no one else is? Well, We Got You reassures you that there is someone who has been there and done that before, sharing the perspectives of kids on growing up, thriving and surviving in an uncertain world, and dealing with the darker aspects of life. Each episode has two parts. First, a kid speaks about their experiences. For example, one episode centers around a girl named Asha and her experiences with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Second, the floor is opened up for questions about the subject, which are submitted through the show’s Twitter account, and the main speaker is joined by one or two other kids who share their personal experiences and thoughts. The show is hosted by actress Samantha Logan, but she takes a backseat in the podcasts, and it feels like each episode is really hosted by the kid who’s sharing their thoughts.

The kids on the show are truly skilled raconteurs, presenting their experiences in an engaging way that makes you feel for them. Many of the speakers bore their hearts on the podcast, especially in the episodes about mental health, and it is heartwarming to see that they feel confident to share their experiences and thoughts so openly. The podcast is full of earnest perspectives and the roundtable segment features lots of great questions that I would definitely have asked. The sound designer Rob Ballingall also beautifully blends together sound bites with some sound effects and background music to make the podcast even more intricate.

The message of We Got You is quite simple: you don’t have to go through anything alone. It’s a podcast with a purpose, a beautiful one at that, and it’s executed wonderfully.

I would give We Got You 5 stars out of 5, and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. You can listen to We Got You on TRAX at https://www.trax.fm/we-got-you

We Got You
By Avery P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The We Got You podcast is an amazing outlet for kids and teens that don’t have a voice or need extra inspiration to help cope with their challenges. This podcast is all about helping others hold onto hope.

Writer / creator (Halle Petro) and producer (Sonic Union) proudly presents We Got You. Many episodes have guest speakers that talk about their conflicts. The podcast covers such topics as dyslexia, anxiety, depression, PTSD, social media, bullying and lots more.

I love this podcast series, because it includes so many inspirational stories. I got a sense of thankfulness while listening to the first couple of episodes. Although the podcast is audio only, it makes you take the time to settle down and listen.  The guest speakers are so strong in their ability to speak out and spread awareness. Each episode is about 15 to 20 minutes long. They are full of amazing stories and a Q and A. The Q and A at the end of each episode includes middle-schoolers from around the country that get their questions answered by teens that have been there before. Especially during these tough times due to COVID-19, taking care of our physical and mental health is important. The weekly advice in these podcasts encourages kids and teens to come of age in the world around us. In each episode the real life example is accompanied by music that transports the listener to that space. Listening to these stories can give anyone hope, courage and gratitude.

I got lots of messages from this podcast, although the one that stood out the most is to hold onto hope. Never give up; have courage!

I give the podcast series We Got You series 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 16. The We Got You podcast is currently available on TRAX podcast page at https://www.trax.fm/we-got-you.

We Got You
By Apurva S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

We Got You is such an inspirational podcast. I love it. It shares stories from teens all over the country that have gone through hard times and makes them feel heard. This podcast also makes you feel lots of emotions and is almost as entertaining as a regular TV show.

For example, one of the episodes talks about Jaelin, an 18-year-old boy who lost both of his parents before the age of nine, and went through childhood being abused by his stepfather. His journey continues as Jaelin finds hope through his brothers and friends.

One of the best things about this podcast is the emotions. You can really feel all that Jaelin’s been through, from the death of his first parent to losing his second. His enlightening speech gives you hope that there is always a way out, no matter how much you have been through. Many movies, TV shows and podcasts use music to convey emotions. However, We Got You doesn’t need music to show what these kids are feeling; you only need to hear their stories. To be able to show emotion without music is pretty hard, so that really intrigued me.

In the words of Dumbledore, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, when only one remembers to turn on the light.” This describes the message of the podcast (even though it’s not said in that way), that you should never lose hope. There are no foul words or concepts, but there is some mention of aggressive behavior. An example is Jaelin speaking of his father both verbally and physically abusing him.

I give We Got You 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 and anyone who is going through a hard time. We Got You can be found on Trax at https://www.trax.fm/we-got-you.

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Country Comfort, Season 1 * Katharine Mcphee Shines In This, From Her Voice To Her Stage Presence

April 8th, 2021

When her career and personal life get derailed, an aspiring young country singer named Bailey takes a job as a nanny for a rugged cowboy named Beau and his five children. With a never-give up attitude and loads of Southern charm, this newbie-nanny is able to navigate the family dynamics and be the mother figure they’ve been missing. To her surprise, Bailey also gets the band she’s been missing in this musically talented family who help get her back on the road to stardom.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “This show is very funny. The cast is very talented, especially the kids, who are multi-talented. There is lots of music. Almost every episode has either Bailey or one of the other children playing the guitar and singing.” Allison B. adds, “Watching Country Comfort, Season 1 was an absolute treat. This wonderful new series will leave you in tears from laughing and crying, while giving you a warm feeling of family, love and music. Be prepared to fall in love with every character in this new heartwarming show.” See their full reviews below.

Country Comfort, Season 1
Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 12

I like Country Comfort, Season 1, because this family comedy show has drama, romance and family situations filled with comedy. I like that this show brings realistic family events to the table. If Season 1 is this great, I cannot imagine how Season 2 will be.

This show is about a widower cowboy named Beau (Eddie Cibrian) who has five kids, a girlfriend and a nanny. This show reminded me of an old show named The Nanny.  In every episode the nanny, named Bailey (Katharine McPhee), worries about not getting fired. The kids are somewhat mischievous and very talented. Each one sings and plays a different instrument. The young boy, Dylan is a manager or wants to become a celebrity manager and plays the piano and the drums. The 15-year-old boy, Brody is a singer, a dancer and plays guitar. The oldest boy, Tuck plays guitar and sings too. The older girl, Cassidy misses her mom the most. She is a strong and stubborn little girl. The youngest girl, Chloe, who is five is really funny and mature for her age. The dad’s girlfriend, Summer is jealous of how Bailey takes better care of the kids than she does and of how much the children love Bailey.

My favorite episode is when famous singer, LeAnn Rimes, comes to their house and surprises Cassidy. Cassidy has a recording of her mom singing a LeAnn Rimes song on her phone and when she plays the song, LeAnn sings along. This show is very funny. The cast is very talented, especially the kids, who are multi-talented. There is lots of music. Almost every episode has either Bailey or one of the other children playing the guitar and singing. Each episode is approximately 25 minutes long. The show takes place inside their southern home and outside at their barn.

There are many morals in this show. Telling the truth is the most important one. In one episode the dad lies and so do the kids, but in the end everyone learns not to lie.

I give Country Comfort 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Remember to mark your calendars as this premieres March 19, 2021 on Netflix.

Country Comfort, Season 1
By Allison Buck, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Watching Country Comfort, Season 1 was an absolute treat. This wonderful new series will leave you in tears from laughing and crying, while giving you a warm feeling of family, love and music. Be prepared to fall in love with every character in this new heartwarming show. 

Country Comfort is a new Netflix series premiering this spring. It is filled with entertaining episodes such as Crazy, Teardrops on My Guitar, Sign, Sign, Everywhere a sign, My Girl, Blue and Summer Lovin’. Each episode follows the story of how a failing country singer, Bailey, is taken in by a large family, only to learn to love each and every one of them. The music, laughter and spirit of the show will make you root for love, togetherness and success for our clumsy protagonist. This is a show I highly recommend.

While watching Country Comfort, Season 1 a few things really caught my eye (and ear!). To start, the actress who plays Bailey, Katharine McPhee, has both an amazing voice and a fantastic stage presence. When she sings, she is unlike many country singers. She really got me into her songs, especially when she sings for her audition for the CMA concert. I also absolutely love her comedic timing. Shows may be written as comedies, but it is up to the actors to make their lines funny and make audience laugh. That she does. I found myself laughing out loud many times when she gets into one sticky situation after the other. This show is a comedy, but it has something different than many other family sitcoms on TV today – a country setting. It is very refreshing to see a change of location.  

The message of this show is: when you don’t at first succeed, try, try, again. Bailey has many situations thrown at her, such as dealing with a breakup, losing something very important to one of the children, and finding feelings for new love. She always overcomes these obstacles with a little more spunk each time. She sets an example that, even when life shoves things in your way, you will make it through. 

I give Country Comfort, Season 1, 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 15. This series premieres on Netflix March 19, 2021.

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Godzilla vs. Kong * Best Action Movie of 2021 So Far! Amazing Graphics

April 2nd, 2021

Legends collide as Godzilla and Kong, the two most powerful forces of nature, clash on the big screen in a spectacular battle for the ages. As a squadron embarks on a perilous mission into fantastic uncharted terrain, unearthing clues to the Titans’ very origins and mankind’s survival, a conspiracy threatens to wipe the creatures, both good and bad, from the face of the earth forever. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like Godzilla vs. Kong and rate it as the best action movie of 2021 so far. It keeps you sitting on the edge of your seat. I really like the amazing graphics and the computer generated image effects.” Benjamin P. adds, “Godzilla Vs. Kongpits two cinematic titans against each other in a fight for the ages but one that relegates its undercooked human characters to the sidelines, as it should, in favor of spectacular clashes, monster to monster, in all their big-budget glory.” See their full reviews below.

Godzilla vs. Kong
Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 12

I like Godzilla vs. Kong and rate it as the best action movie of 2021 so far. It keeps you sitting on the edge of your seat. I really like the amazing graphics and the computer generated image effects.

This movie is about two strong titans who won’t back down from their throne. It happens that Godzilla’s and Kong’s ancestors were enemies centuries ago. While Kong is captive in a semi-artificial environment dome, Godzilla comes out of the ocean and walks in the city destroying everything that crosses his path. This is not the heroic Godzilla we watched from his last movie. No one understands why Godzilla is so angry. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), who takes care of Kong and Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard) helps Kong find a safe place to live, which is the core of the Earth. While Kong is being transported on a huge ship, Godzilla senses Kong in the ocean. That’s when the first extraordinary and intense battle of these two titans begins.

This film has amazing CGI. Godzilla’s rough skin and red eyes make it look like he is real. Kong looks like an actual gigantic ape. You can sense his soul in his eyes. He surprises the audience by having a special bond with an orphan named Jia (Kaylee Hottle), the only person able to communicate with him. The sound effects are amazing. The cast are all outstanding including a more mature Millie Bobby Brown who plays Madison Russell and a funny Julian Dennison who plays Maddie’s friend Josh.

The moral of this movie is that greed and excessive pride lead to an unnecessary rivalry situation. We need to leave the past in the past and start fresh. Unity is the key in this film.

I give Godzilla vs. Kong 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. Godzilla vs. Kong opens March 31, 2021 on HBO Max and in theatres. 

Godzilla Vs. Kong
By Benjamin P., Kids First! Film Critic, Age 15

Godzilla Vs. Kongpits two cinematic titans against each other in a fight for the ages but one that relegates its undercooked human characters to the sidelines, as it should, in favor of spectacular clashes, monster to monster, in all their big-budget glory.

Following the events of 2017’s Kong: Skull Islandand 2019’sGodzilla: King of the Monsters, Godzilla has become the alpha to the similarly-powered titans roaming the earth. Meanwhile, Kong has left his island home with one of its natives, a little girl named Jia (Newcomer Kaylee Hottle), as he is monitored and researched by a team of specialists trying to keep him from Godzilla’s grasp. Well, you read that title, so you know that’s not happening, and indeed it doesn’t! Godzilla begins attacking after years of stability between humanity and skyscraper-sized creatures. Kong’s greatest champion among the researchers, Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), is approached by an old colleague (Alexander Skarsgård) and is convinced to take Kong to an underground world called Hollow Earth. Hopefully, in this habitat he can thrive and find more of his kind, free of the threat of Godzilla and others like him. It’s not before long on this journey that Godzilla senses his primate competitor and arrives to dispatch Kong.

There have been several Kong/Godzilla solo efforts in recent years in the lead-up to this face-off, and somehow it is all worth it. Although there are flaws—the two main plot lines feel disconnected and previous story developments abandoned—they don’t compare to the immense joy it is to watch these titans go at it. That would be enough: a mildly enjoyable large-scale romp, the cinematic equivalent of smashing two well-loved action figures together. However, Adam Wingard’s direction elevates the action sequences. Consistently satisfying and, better yet, consistently surprising—watching Kong leap from building to building, dodging Godzilla’s atomic breath, or Godzilla getting Kong’s ax launched at him doesn’t grow stale.

Godzilla Vs. Kong humanizes Kong as someone who’s lost his family and now the home he protected. I didn’t expect to feel emotionally attached to a 400-foot ape, but there you go. Whether you’re team Godzilla or team Kong, I have no doubt, you’ll find some enjoyment in the shenanigans they unleash. I was entertained—and if this match-up means anything to you, I think you will be too!

I give Godzilla Vs. Kong3 out of 5 stars and an age rating of 12 to 18 for mass—and I mean, mass—destruction, some mild language, and the injuries each of the titular creatures sustain. Godzilla Vs. Kong is out March 31, 2021, simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.

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Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure * Eventful and Distinctive, Great Plot and Amazing Animation

April 1st, 2021

When a mysterious and dangerous whirlpool appears in the tropics of the Atlantic Ocean, astronauts Belka and Strelka are sent to investigate. With the help of their good friends, Belka and Strelka must once again act heroically and complete a daring mission to save the planet along with the distant home of their new alien friends.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Maica N. comments, “Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure is the final film in the Space Dogs trilogy. It’s an eventful and distinctive movie! When I watched it, what I expected to happen didn’t happen, but it has a great plot that definitely works well. Space Dogs:  Tropical Adventure also represents diversity and has a great message.” Katie F. adds, “Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure is the third film of the Space Dogs franchise which includes Space Dogs, and Space Dogs: Return to Earth. This is a fun and up-beat film with amazing animation and catchy songs! The cast are incredible and the story is great. The characters are unique, all in their own way.” See their full reviews below.

Space Dogs:  Tropical Adventure
Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure is the final film in the Space Dogs trilogy. It’s an eventful and distinctive movie! When I watched it, what I expected to happen didn’t happen, but it has a great plot that definitely works well. Space Dogs:  Tropical Adventure also represents diversity and has a great message.

Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure is about two astronaut dogs named Belka (Maria Antonieta Monge) and Strelka (Mauriett Chayeb-Mendez) who are sent to Earth on a mission to investigate a suspicious anomaly in the Atlantic Ocean. Belka always takes control and is the leader of the missions. But with that, she is constantly getting blamed by the General when things go wrong and is always at fault. Now, both Belka and Strelka have to step up and work together with their friends to solve this mysterious case and save the planet.

One of the factors that makes Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure special is the diversity in the characters. Even though this film is about animated animals, there are many different types of animals that all play a major role. For example, besides the two main dog characters are a rat and a fly. The settings are well detailed. Everything that surrounds the characters emphasizes and gives context to each situation. So when Belka, and Strelka are trapped in the underwater dump, around them you can see pieces of wood, skeletons and trash.

My favorite character is Belka because she reminds me of myself. She loves to be the leader, and always ensures that everything goes according to plan. The voice acting was done very well because it suits the characters. However, sometimes the words don’t align with the movement of the characters’ mouths. Also, if you aren’t paying close enough attention, this movie can be a little hard to follow. Aside from these things, Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure is pretty fun.

The message of Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure is that teamwork can solve any problem. Belka and Strelka repeatedly attempt to complete assignments their own way, with one trying to take control from the other. But this approach never works. When their friends assist them, they finally realize that the only way they will succeed is if they work together. This movie is totally kid-friendly, and there are no red flags.

Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure is an interesting movie. I rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10.  Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure releases in theaters on April 2, 2021, and on video on demand on April 6, 2021. If you’re having a family movie night, pop some popcorn and check this out!

Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure
By Katie Francis, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure is the third film of the Space Dogs franchise which includes Space Dogs, and Space Dogs: Return to Earth. This is a fun and up-beat film with amazing animation and catchy songs! The cast are incredible and the story is great. The characters are unique, all in their own way.

When the water from the Atlantic Ocean suddenly starts disappearing, Space Dogs Belka and Strelka are sent to investigate. With help from their friends they try to discover the cause of this. Will they figure out where all the water is going? Watch Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure to find out.

Written by Mike Disa and directed by Inna Evlannikove, the characters and cast of this film are incredible. Belka (Katerina Shpitsa, Breakfast at Dad’s, Brothel Spites) is the more sensible of the pair of dogs. Belka is very smart and looks before jumping. She always has great plans to get Strelka and herself out of situations. Strelka (Irina Pegova, The Stroll, Super Bobrovs) is a very lovable character. She is funny and definitely jumps before looking. The rat Yenya (Yevgeny Mironov, The Spacewalker, The Idiot) is a very dramatic and funny character. We watch him go on a rollercoaster of emotions, but still come through to help his friends. My favourite character is Thomas the Cricket (Rómulo Bernal). He is Yenya’s assistant and is very lovable and brave. He is my favourite for those reasons. He is also smart and has lots of great ideas. My favourite part of the film is when Yenya is expecting his uncle to be a famous sailor, but he turns out just to be a photographer that takes pictures of famous sailors and famous boats. The animation in the film is amazing and the music is very catchy. 

The message of the story is that sometimes to find the truth it just takes a little leap of faith.

I give Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure  5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12, plus adults.  It comes out in theatres on April 2, 2021, and on VOD April 6, 2021.

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Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American * Niche Comedy Perfect for Family Viewing

March 28th, 2021

Tennessee-born comedian, actor, and podcast host Nate Bargatze is back with his second hour-long Netflix original comedy special, Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American. Nate reflects on being part of the Oregon Trail generation, meeting his wife while working at Applebee’s and the hilariously relatable moments of being a father and husband. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American stars the great Nate Bargatze, one of the few comedians with G-rated humor these days. His jokes tend to play on situations he’s been in, which tend to fit an older audience, and some of the setups for his jokes are a bit clunky, but overall, Bargatze’s comic timing and delivery help smooth things over.” See his full review below.

Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average America
By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Fans of comedian Nate Bargatze and non-fans alike will have tons of fun watching Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American. As the name suggests, it’s a bit of a niche comedy special, meant for older teens and adults of Bargatze’s generation, mostly from the US. But it is truly a rip-roaring, enjoyable Netflix special for all.

This one-hour comedy special centers around the crazy year we’ve come out of, Zoom comedy shows, losing your phone, hotel breakfast fails, llama golf caddies, new Common Core math that just doesn’t make sense to Bargatze, and much more! It’s a taped show that was filmed outdoors at Universal Studios in October 2020, with a live audience, and some helicopters making a cameo appearance.

Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American stars the great Nate Bargatze, one of the few comedians with G-rated humor these days. His jokes tend to play on situations he’s been in, which tend to fit an older audience, and some of the setups for his jokes are a bit clunky, but overall, Bargatze’s comic timing and delivery help smooth things over. I liked his on-the-spot jokes the best, especially when helicopter flyovers interrupt his prepared spiel and he has to riff off of the situation to keep the show’s momentum going.

Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American promotes messages of friendship, community, and laughing at yourself, three things Bargatze’s special is chock-full of. It’s a great family watch, as one of the few family-friendly comedy specials out there.

I give Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American releases on Netflix on March 18, 2021.

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