Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Archive for January, 2012

‘Beauty and the Beast’ Reaches Out to You in 3-D

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

BeautyAndTheBeast.jpgSure, you enjoyed the film when Disney’s Buena Vista Pictures released it 20 years ago, but now get ready to enjoy it in a whole new way. Newly tricked out in 3-D, the animated classic that spawned a live musical that took Broadway by storm is hitting the theaters for a fresh run this month as Walt Disney Studios gives it both a theatrical and DVD release. Nine-year-old KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Anthony Aranda, who’s seen Beauty and the Beast in both dimensionalities, shares what the 3-D adds to the experience.

Anthony and his fellow 2011 KIDS FIRST! youth film critics have had a great year reviewing films and interviewing celebrities. Video reviews from all the hopefuls for 2012 are posted on our partner site WonderWorldTV. Be sure to vote – voting ends this weekend, at midnight, Jan. 15.

Beauty and the Beast
Reviewed by Anthony Aranda
(See his full review on video.)

This movie is being re-released in theaters in 3-D! It was very cool to see this in 3-D since I had already seen this movie at home in 2-D. The 3-D effects add a lot to the movie.

The movie is all about Belle, who finds out her father was taken by a Beast and she sets out to save him. She decides to take her father’s place as the Beast’s prisoner so that her father can go free. Belle will have to stay at the castle for the rest of her life. Belle starts to get to know the Beast and realizes he isn’t so bad after all. There is an enchantment on the castle, and if the Beast doesn’t learn to love another and have that person return the love then he will stay a Beast forever and everyone in the castle will also stay the way they are. 

Some of the main characters in the movie are Belle, Belle’s father, the Beast and Gaston. My favorite character is Chip. He is Mrs. Potts’ son and he is a little teacup. I like him because he is super funny and so tiny and cute. At the end, he says a really funny catchphrase to make people laugh. Chip says, “Do I still have to sleep in the cupboard?” even though he already turned back into a boy. I thought that was really funny. 

The re-release of this movie in 3-D is really cool. You can really feel like you can reach out and touch the trees and the castle in the movie. The Beast in 3-D is pretty scary at first (scarier in 3-D than he was in 2-D). Also, when they sing “Be Our Guest,” that whole scene is really cool because all the dishes and silverware are singing and dancing and that looks really cool in 3-D. During the fight scene at the end of the movie when the townspeople break into the castle, the clock is coming down the stairs and it looks like he is flying right at me. They do really good job. AnthonyAranda_190x250.jpg

I recommend this movie for all ages because the scary parts in the movie aren’t that bad. The Beast may scare some younger kids but only for a minute, and throughout the movie they learn that he is really nice after all. It is also really funny. Go out and see the re-release of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in 3-D on January 13.  

Photos: Beauty and the Beast poster (top), Anthony Aranda (bottom)

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Your Mission: Enjoy the Latest ‘Mission: Impossible’

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

MissionImpossible_GhostProtocol.jpgThe latest Mission: Impossible feature film, Paramount Pictures’ release Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, once again puts Tom Cruise leading an elite team of undercover agents (played by Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Paula Patton) in a slick spy thriller. Unlike the capers of this film’s predecessors, this mission is not impossible to follow. While we may be suspending our disbelief that these agents can actually do the feats of skill and precision and daring that move our pulse rate into the danger zone, there are not the questions of why they’re doing them or, more basic, what exactly they’re doing that plagued Cruise’s previous Mission: Impossible forays. Fifteen-year-old KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Gabriella Chu shares why the film kept her on the edge of her seat.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Reviewed by Gabriella Chu
(See her full review on video.)

Are you into action? The latest Mission: Impossible has just been released. The Impossible Missions Force is blamed for the bombing of Kremlin, so Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team try to get back their reputation by preventing a nuclear missile from killing everyone on Earth. Can the team undertake this impossible mission?

Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol is a quick-witted picture fast on its feet. From the beginning, I was on the edge of my seat. Scene after scene, Hunt and his team are on the move. There are so many cool and inventive high-tech gadgets in the movie combined with breathtaking visuals, making it even more intense. GabriellaChu_3_1.jpg

I recommend this film to teens 13 and up. Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol is a wonderful cinematic experience filled with action, and I think almost everyone will enjoy its fast pace.

Photos: Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol poster (top), Gabriella Chu (bottom)

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Help KIDS FIRST! Select the 2012 KIDS FIRST! Youth Film Critics

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

KF_FilmCritics_218x225.jpgA Happy 2012 to all our KIDS FIRST! supporters. To the inevitable list of “New Year’s Resolutions,” let us suggest one more: Add your voice to the votes that will help select the eight kids who will be this year’s KIDS FIRST! youth film critics. Voting is open through midnight Jan. 15.

Videoed reviews from kids ages six to 14 are ready for your viewing on our partner site at WonderWorldTV. Last year, our inaugural year for the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Search, saw 11 million votes cast in this public voting stage of the contest that will land eight lucky kids theopportunities that include reviewing films before their public release, attending red carpet events and interviewing actors and directors about their projects.

Your vote will help narrow the field to 24 finalists. The eight winners will then be chosen from the finalists by our panel of distinguished judges: Thelma Adams, currently a Yahoo contributing editor and author of the “Thelma Adams on Reel Women” column that runs on AMC Filmcritic.com, and who was the film critic at Us Weekly for 11 years following six years at the New York Post; Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theaters and Magnolia Pictures; Ben Lyons, E! film critic and frequent contributor to “Good Morning America”; and George Pennacchio, the entertainment reporter for “ABC7 Eyewitness News” and host of ABC7’s “Evening at the Academy Awards” pre-show and post-show, whose career has been studded with three Emmy Awards, the Publicists Guild of America’s Press Award and the Critics’ Choice Movie Award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, North America’s largest critics group.
Winners will be announced later this month.

Campaign support comes from national nonprofit organizations that include the National Council of Women’s Organizations, with a cumulative 17+ million members, and the National Education Association. And our thanks also to our industry supporters: Amazon.com, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Feature Films for Families, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Warner Home Video and WonderWorld Entertainment.  

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Sherlock Holmes in Action in ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

SherlockHolmesAGameOfShadows.jpgThe iconic Sherlock Holmes has been a favorite of mystery buffs since his introduction to English literature in 1887, earning a knighthood for his creator, the Scottish physician Arthur Conan Doyle. Yet in spite of it being such a perennial favorite with a devoted following, Warner Bros.’ releases Sherlock Holmes, in 2009, and the current Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows are the only major film adaptations since the 1939 film The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The more staid Sherlock Holmes as played by Basil Rathbone has given way to a delightfully eccentric character in Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal. As KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Gabriella Chu (age 15) points out in her review, the British flavor of the story remains strong.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Reviewed by Gabriella Chu
(See her full review on video.)

Are you into action films? The Sherlock Holmes sequel is out in theaters now. Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his sidekick, Dr. Watson (Jude Law), try to kill their foe, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), because Holmes believes he is linked to a number of recent crimes. They discover that Moriarty invests in companies in England owning cotton and other goods. He plans to start a war so that there will be a high demand for the goods, so he can make a fortune. Will Holmes succeed in preventing this war?

The cinematography of the movie was impressive. Several action scenes were filmed in slow motion, making it more thrilling. However, the lighting of the movie is gloomy, and it doesn’t really match the tone of the movie since it is a combination of action and adventure with a dash of comedy.

The storyline of the movie didn’t quite work for me, either. Although the film is like Mission Impossible in the 19th century, it’s a bit hard hearing what the characters are saying since they have a British accent, and the plot gets confusing at some parts. I did enjoy the ending of the film, though. It was interesting watching the director’s comparison of the face-off between Holmes and Professor Moriarty to a chess game. GabriellaChu_3_1.jpg

I recommend this film to teens 13 and up, especially to fans of Sherlock Holmes. If you have a sharp eye and keen hearing, then you might find Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows intriguing.

Photos: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows poster (top), Gabriella Chu (bottom)

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