Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Archive for August, 2011

Make ‘Game Time’ Family Time on Sept. 3

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

GameTime.jpgSettle in Saturday night for some heartwarming family fare as NBC screens the made-for-TV movie Game Time: Tackling the Past. The movie is part of Walmart’s Family Entertainment Initiative, and was featured in an episode of KIDS FIRST!’s Coming Attractions radio show. Check that out at your leisure, as the shows are streamed on the VoiceAmerica Kids Channel, and read on for a review of the movie from 14-year-old KF film critic Raven Devanney.

Game Time: Tackling the Past
Reviewed by Raven Devanney
(see her full review on video)

Game Time: Tackling the Past is a made-for-TV film by Walmart and P&G Family entertainment Initiative. This film is a touching story about a family with two brothers – one is a professional football player and the other is an assistant coach for his old high school football team. When a near-tragedy strikes the family, the two brothers have to come together to rebuild their family.  RavenDevanney_180x250.jpg

I think this movie is very good. The cinematography is wonderful because it is done in a documentary style, which makes it seem more realistic.

My favorite character is Mica because he really pulls Jake to his senses and helps him along the way.

My favorite scene is when the football players do cheerleading warm-ups to help improve their grace and agility on the field, because it was really funny.

I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars because it was good, but I did lose interest a little.

I recommend this movie for 13 and up because younger children will get bored.

Be sure to catch Game Time on NBC on Sept 3.

Photos: Game Time (top), Raven Devanney (bottom)

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Now a Treat in 3-D: ‘Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas’

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

NightMareBeforeChristmas3D.jpgAs of today, the general public can start purchasing Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas on Blu-ray and DVD – in 3-D. It’s a viewing experience the kids at this summer’s KIDS FIRST! boot camp were able to enjoy earlier – and with added appreciation, as the boot camp was held at Disney Studios and KF coupled the screening with an informative presentation on how the movie was made and how the effects were created. “This film … is pretty much great for anyone,” says KF film critic Jonah Menegaz. “I know many adults who love this movie and many kids who love it, too.”

Jonah and a couple of his fellow Boot Campers share their impressions:

Tiarra (age 9) enthuses, The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D is great! Don’t expect so many things to pop out at you, but the 3-D aspect of the film makes it better than the 2-D version. It makes the film seem so alive. I love it especially because it was created by Tim Burton and I think every film Tim Burton is involved in is GREAT! I think the age range for this is everyone over age 5. This is a great family film. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars. I love it!!”

Kate (age 10) started off with a little more skepticism: “Before I saw the movie, I said to myself, ‘Don’t get your hopes up, it is just another presentation that is as good as any regular 2-D movie. Why bother?'” But that attitude got a quick readjustment: “But by the end of the movie, I didn’t want it to end. Everything seemed too real. The snowflakes were surrounding me and the Oogie Boogie man was going to kill me. I noticed things that I had never seen before, like the graveyard has texture and when Sally burns something, the embers stay lit. Then, I got a glimpse of just how long it took to make Nightmare Before Christmas when I read that Jack Skellington and Sally had over 200 faces each for talking and expressions. Wow! This pack is definitely worth getting. I give this additional feature 4 out of 5 stars.”

And the review from KF film critic Jonah Menegaz (age 13): The Nightmare Before Christmas. The name pretty much spells out the story. Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king, and all of his friends in Halloween Town like to scare people on Halloween. But Jack is getting tired of all the shrieks and then he finds Christmas Town.

This is an AMAZING MOVIE. The claymation, or stop-motion animation, is incredible. Everything moves smoothly and has a certain style to it that I just love. It is also great because the film was made in the ’70s which makes it even [more amazing] considering that the technology is so much better today than it was back then.

The movie is coming out on Blu-ray / 3-D. The 3-D home experience is good 3-D, except since the movie wasn’t made for 3-D (because 3-D wasn’t invented when they were making the movie) nothing really pops out at you. It just adds depth.

This film, I would say, is for ages 5 and up. It is pretty much great for anyone. I know many adults who love this movie and many kids who love it, too. Overall, I would give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because it is so amazing.”

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It’s ‘Game Time’ and More on KIDS FIRST! Radio

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

KF_FilmCritics_218x225.jpgIt’s Game Time on KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions as the radio show welcomes Ben Simon to the Aug. 30 episode to join KF film critics and hosts Sam Connan and Raven Devanney. Simon heads up Walmart’s Family Entertainment Initiative, a program through which the company suits action to its mission of bringing family films back to television. He will share some insights on the company’s latest film, Game Time: Tackling the Past, set to premiere on NBC on Saturday, Sept. 3. Then, Raven and Sam (both age 13) will add the teen-aged perspective on the movie about a small-town boy who makes it to the NFL and ten steps away from the game to come back home when his father suffers a heart attack. (View trailer here.)

Rounding out this episode, Raven and Sam will talk about three films that will be available on Blu-ray and DVD this month (direct-to-video Marley & Me: The Puppy Years (exclusively through Walmart and Sam’s Club as of Aug. 16) and two recent theatrical releases, PROM and The 5th Quarter (both out on Aug. 30).  Seasoned KF film critics, the two teens are among the seven lucky kids who been reviewing films and interviewing talent since winning last year’s KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Search in November 2010 – and now, sharing some of the limelight themselves as they take turns hosting the weekly radio show, KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions.  Streaming on the VoiceAmerica Kids Channel, episodes can be enjoyed, shared with friends, and re-enjoyed again.SamConnan_RavenDevanney.jpg

SPECIAL NOTICE: Please take a couple of minutes to answer a survey to help us learn more about our KIDS FIRST! families. Along with our thanks, we’re pleased to offer you a chance to win $100 – so check back to see if you’ve won and to claim your prize. Be sure to enter by Sept. 30; winning names posted by Oct. 3.
Photos: Sam Connan (left), Raven Devanney (right) 

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‘Prom’ Hits its Niche and the Home Entertainment Market

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Prom.jpgSome movies are best suited to a niche audience, and KIDS FIRST! film critics find Disney’s Prom – about high school teens getting ready for that titular big occasion – one that will be best enjoyed by kids not quite into their high school years. Nine-year-old Makai Colvin singels out her favorite part (“I really like the music …”) and 13-year-old Raven Devanney shares why the music struck a chord with her, too (“… awesome because it really shows the emotions of the scenes.”). Prom is as much comedy as it is drama, and eight-year-old Anthony Aranda shares how his favorite character, Lloyd, plays to both genres (Lloyd uses rose petals to ask a girl to the prom, but puts them on the wrong car. “So he was kind of embarrassed.”).

With the film set for Blu-ray and DVD release on Aug. 30, here are Makai’s, Raven’s and Anthony’s full reviews, and be sure to catch them also on video.

Reviewed by Makai ColvinMakaiColvin_180x250.jpg
(and see her review on video)

I just saw the movie Prom starred by Aimee Teegarden and Thomas McDonell. The movie Prom is about five different love stories. Some of them stay together, some of them grow apart, and some of them are together for the first time.

I really like the music except for some didn’t fit into the plot. I think it could have been a little bit more realistic.

I give this movie three out of five stars. I think the age limit for this movie is nine, maybe up to 15.

Reviewed by Raven DelanneyRavenDevanney_180x250.jpg
(and see her review on video)

Disney’s Prom is the story of average teenagers dealing with the challenges of preparing for their big prom night. This movie was entertaining although it’s not my favorite. I thought the cinematography was wonderful, and the soundtrack was awesome because it really shows the emotions of the scenes.

My favorite character is Lloyd because he can never find a date and the worst is always happening to his very creative ways of asking girls to the prom.

I give this movie four out of five stars. I also think it’s for ages 8-12 because younger kids will get bored by all the high school drama and I think older teens might get bored also by the storyline.

Reviewed by Anthony ArandaAnthonyAranda_190x250.jpg
(and see his review on video)

This movie was great. I liked it. My favorite character in the movie would have to be Lloyd because he couldn’t a date for prom and he was really funny. My favorite part in the movie is when Lloyd thought he was putting some flower petals on a girl’s car but he really put it on the principal’s car, and that said “prom.” So he was kind of embarrassed.

I would recommend this movie for [ages] 8-12 because this movie was great but not all 8- to 12-year-olds might like it.

Go out and see this movie when it premieres in theaters.

Due out this month on Blu-ray and DVD, Prom is also one of the films featured on the Aug. 30 episode of KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions hosted by Raven Devanney and fellow KIDS FIRST! film critic Sam Connan. Check it out here.

Photos (top to bottom): Prom poster, Makai Colvin, Raven Devanney and Anthony Aranda

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NAPPA Competition for DVDs Extended a Few More Days

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

NAPPA_logo.JPGThis year’s chance to win the coveted National Parenting Publications Awards has been extended to Aug. 15 for DVDs in the Children’s Products Competition. Recognized for 20 years as a valued “seal of approval” by parents seeking quality children’s products, a NAPPA win conveys merit – and gains the product tremendous exposure in coverage that is both free and easily accessible to consumers. Gold Winners are prominently featured in the special NAPPA Winners November/December Issues of over 30 parenting publications in the top metro markets across the United States and as well as online on parenting websites and mom blogs. Gold and Honors winners are guaranteed a full year of ongoing online coverage on the NAPPA pages of Parenthood.com, the most content-rich site for parents on the Web.

KIDS FIRST!’s own Ranny Levy is a judge for the DVD category. Like Ranny, all the judges are experts in their fields, and the DVDs are also tested by parents and children. So when parents see the NAPPA-winning seal, they know they are getting a great quality product of high educational and entertainment value.

Winners come from major companies as well as small independents, and NAPPA’s website is populated with their testimonials to the power of the exposure, brand recognition and credibility, and increased opportunities in addition to bottom-line sales.

Enter your DVD by Aug. 15 in this competition that could win you print coverage that reaches more than 4 million parents and Web coverage that gets a quarter-million unique visitors each month.

Please email [email protected] or call 818.846.0400, ext. 122 for more information.

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