Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Archive for December, 2012

Parental Guidance Spans The Generations

Monday, December 31st, 2012

pg.jpgParental Guidance, rated PG, is truly a film for the whole family. A hilarious vision of how families relate to one another, kids, parents and grandparents. Starring the fabulous talents of Bette Midler and Billy Crystal, this film has a long range appeal.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 8-year-old Morgan Bertsch, says this story has an important moral: “if everyone works together things will come out all right” and Victoria Burns, 14-year-old KIDS FIRST! Film Critic says that people will like this film because they “can relate to the differences between parents and grandparents.”

Our very own Cheyenne Nguyen, 9-year old KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, was able to interview some of the talent on this film. Click here to see her wonderful video interviews!

Parental Guidance
Reviewed by Victoria Burns
Click here to see Victoria’s full video review!

This is an experience! It was interesting to see different styles of parenting, from generation to generation. This movie gives an unusual perspective on parenting, whether it be by using a smart house, or screaming at teachers; this movie is enlightening.

When I stepped in the theater to see the movie, I did not know what to expect. It is hilarious! I can relate to the strange transition from what parents would let a children do and grandparents that let children do anything. This movie follows the Simmons family who believe in a more, “I’ll let you consider the consequences and make the right choice” type of parenting; and the parents that never get to have time alone together. So when the inventor father: Phil Simmons (Tom Everett Scott) is nominated for an award out of state, he and his wife Alice (Marisa Tomei) decide to take this trip for some much needed alone time. They call Phil’s parents to watch them, but they are away on vacation; Alice dreads to ask her judgmental parents, but they say yes. Let the games begin.

Meet Artie Decker (Billy Crystal) a newly fired baseball announcer and his wife Diane (Bette Midler), a retired weather girl. These grandparents’ main goal is to make their grandchildren love them, and to no longer be the “other grandparents.” They are being entrusted to care for three children: Harper (Bailee Madison), 12 going on 50 and an aspiring violinist; Turner (Joshua Rush), a shy boy with a stutter; and Barker (Kyle Harrison Breitkopf), the youngest with a hard time making real friends, so he has an imaginary one. This is a new type of environment for Artie and Diane, who try their best to do a good job, but cannot because their daughter will not release her hold and go with her husband. We see how Diane and Artie form a relationship with their grandchildren, and Artie and Alice rekindle theirs also.

Personally, I would probably only watch this movie once because these types of movies are entertaining but become tiring quickly. I think that children and most adults would enjoy it because of the comedy aspect. This movie also is not too long so younger children will not get restless. I recommend this movie for ages six and up because they can relate to the differences between parents and grandparents. I give this movie four and a half stars out of five because I do not usually favor quirky family comedies. This is a good movie and a great movie to watch with your family. Victoria Burns, age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

Parental Guidance
Reviewed by Morgan Bertsch
Click here to see Morgan’s full video review!

The preview of this movie was very cute. It is a story about a mom and dad who want to go on a vacation together. The question is, who will watch the three children. They decide to ask the grandparents. The favorite grandparents are busy and cannot come so they have to call the other grandparents. “RI” is a new house that is all computerized and the dad’s project. The technology is very confusing to the grandparents. It is a very cool house that everyone will want to own.

Marisa Tomei is a mother, trying to juggle a family and a job. She is trying to do the best job she can but there are many choices of how to raise your children. Tom Everett Scott plays dad, who just wants his wife to be proud of him and misses spending time with her alone. The kids are adorable. I love the kangaroo. Barker has a strong grip and doesn’t want his mother to leave. This will have you laughing. Harper is an amazing violist and the perfect big sister. Turner has issues but learns to overcome them. The old grandparents do not always understand the way their daughter is raising her children. They do not follow her rules. When they find out they are not the favorites they decide it is time to take action and make the children love them. Even I know sugar makes kids crazy. Cake any one?

My favorite scene was when they play kick the can. Playing in the rain is always fun; add a game and it is funtastic. My favorite character was the grandmother because Bette Midler stood up for her granddaughter. She was funny and even had a scene with her famous singing voice. The grandfather, Billy Crystal, would be great to hang out with because he loves baseball and so do I. He believes in this movie so much that he also signed on as a producer.

The moral is, if everyone works together things will come out all right. Sometimes it takes a little time to understand someone else’s ways. All ages will love this movie from the young 5 to the elder 105. It is about different ages all trying to understand each other, learn from each other and getting to place of being a happy family. I give this movie 5 twinkling stars. It was cute, funny and made for everyone. Morgan Bertsch, age 8, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

Want more? Click here for video reviews of Parental Guidance from Cheyenne Nguyen and Julia Chestnut!

Share this page on:

Les Miserables Hits All The Right Notes

Monday, December 31st, 2012


True to the original Broadway story, Les Miserables will have fans singing out loud in their seats. If you’ve never seen the original you are in for a real treat, but if you know every song like many fans do, you may find yourself wishing you had the theater to yourself. According to KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven Devanney, “it stays so true to the play it is unbelievable,” however, the one change is “they made the movie easier to understand and follow.”

Les Miserables is about a very dark time in history and not recommended for young children. Rated PG-13, Raven recommends it for everyone over age 13 “because of the dark period it is set in and the violence and cruelty that occurs.” Go see Les Miserables in theaters now, but beware, someone in the seat next to you just may burst into song!

Les Miserable
Reviewed by Raven Devanney
Click here to see Raven’s full video review!

The epic musical, Les Miserables (Les Mis), tells the story of a man named Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) set during the dawn of the French Revolution. After serving 19 years as a slave, because he stole a loaf of bread, he breaks parole and spends years reinventing himself as a new man. Jean is being hunted by officer Javert played by Russell Crowe, who swears he will not rest until Jean is behind bars. While running from Javert, Jean Valjean finds himself caring for a factory worker’s young daughter, Cosette. The young child changes his life forever.

Les Miserables is honestly one of the greatest films I have ever seen. This film is almost three hours long, and I still wanted it to go on longer. A very well known Broadway musical and it stays so true to the play it is unbelievable. Not a single word is off. The one thing that changes for the better though, is they made the movie easier to understand and follow. I have been a huge fan of Les Mis for a long time and I know almost every single song by heart. I was trying so hard not to start singing along with the film, the musical score was amazing. The whole film is better than I could have ever hoped for and seeing this tale up on the big screen was phenomenal!

The visuals and special effects are truly breathtaking. Set in France at the beginning of the French Revolution, when life for the poor was awful and life for the rich was grand. They capture the hard times of the streets perfectly by using dark colors and wonderful lighting contrasts. I love seeing the world of Les Mis on a grand scale and it is exactly as I imagined it. I love this entire movie so much that when it was over I immediately wanted to see it again. I’m definitely going to see it again when it comes out in theaters. I have so many scenes that I love so much, but my favorites are the Lovely Ladies and the Master of the House. I like the Lovely Ladies scene because that’s where Fantine, Cosette’s mother, turns to the streets as a home after losing her job at the factory. It is a wonderful musical number and Anne Hathaway’s performance is amazing! It is so historically accurate showing how people would do anything to make a quick penny from selling their teeth, to chopping off their hair, it was hard for everyone. I also love the Master of the House scene because it is so hilarious. It has Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the innkeeper and his wife. They con people into staying the night at their inn, then trick them into never leaving. They are so crafty and hilarious and they rob everyone blind. This scene is so clever and hilarious. Sacha and Helena make an amazing duo.

I love all of the characters equally, but I’ll only pick a few to talk about. Jean Valjean is a truly amazing character and Hugh Jackman brings him to life so well. Hugh’s talents are really shown off during this film and I am very impressed by him. Fantine, played by the remarkable Anne Hathaway, is a very memorable character. Anne is perfect as Fantine and this is, in my opinion, her best role. The last character that I really enjoyed is Eponine played by Samantha Barks. Eponine sings all of my favorite Les Mis songs and her incredible duo of A Little Fall of Rain with Eddie Redmayne. A little fun fact is that Samantha Marks played Eponine in the Broadway version of Les Mis.

I give Les Miserables 5 out of 5 stars because it is truly the most amazing film I’ve seen in a long time and it far surpasses my expectations. This film is definitely for ages 13 and up because of the dark period it is set in and the violence and cruelty that occurs. Raven Devanney, age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

Share this page on:

Happy Holidays From All Of Us At KIDS FIRST!

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Share this page on:

Share A Little Love With KIDS FIRST! This Holiday Season

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Amazon_film_critic_banner.jpgAs you are planning your Holiday giving, we would really appreciate it if you would consider a tax deductible contribution to KIDS FIRST!

We took a hit this year in revenue and, for the first time every, we are reaching out to our network of friends, colleagues, and friends of friends to ask for a little something to help support our very viable Film Critics program.

Our goal is to raise $30K in the next 90 days and we have one donor who will match the first $10K we raise.

Click here to visit our fundraising page. It’s easy. You can use any major credit card.

Every donation counts. Whether you donate $5 or $5000, it will make a difference. Every dollar goes to support our media literacy programs.

So please – tweet it, FB it, email it! According to our social media expert, our network reaches 450,000 people so if we can get everyone to do something, we shouldn’t have difficulty reaching our goal.

Our motto for this campaign is, “Smart Kids Make Smart Consumers.”
It’s not just about media, it’s really about making kids conscientious consumers.

Share this page on:

If You Love Lord of the Rings, You’ll Love The Hobbit!

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Hobbit.jpgPeter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opened last weekend, breaking records around the globe. Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence and frightening images, you might want to think twice before taking your tweens or teens. Filled with battle scenes, decapitation, amputation, and repeated stabbing and slashing with swords, it’s not for the squeamish.

**If you would like to be a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic for 2013, and attend screenings, write reviews, appear on our KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions radio show and much more, the time to enter is now! Time is running out. Click here to find out more about how to enter your audition video, or just go on and vote for your favorite critics for next year!**

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
is the prequel to the epic trilogy, Lord of the Rings. This story follows the simple Hobbit Bilbo Baggins who is recruited by a group of Dwarves and Gandalf the Grey to be a burglar on their journey to the Lonely Mountain. They must make it to the Mountain to reclaim their treasure and home stolen by the Dragon Smaug.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Raven Devanney (age 15) found the cinematography to be outstanding but the movie’s length a bit much to handle. Anthony Aranda (age 10), KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, says, “this movie is awesome, adventurous, and I guess scary for some people”, and though he loved the film, he also admits that it has “a lot of violence and killing and stuff.”

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Reviewed by Raven Devanney, age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

I thought this movie was okay, but I only think that’s because I watched the Lord of the Rings when I was 5 and can hardly remember anything about it at all. Plus fantasy films aren’t my thing. However my mother who happens to be a huge Lord of the Rings fan loves the movie.

I have to give the movie props for the cinematography. I mean, oh my God, the visuals are beautiful!! All of the images are so clear and crisp, I literally felt like I was right there with Bilbo. I especially love the Elf kingdom and the graphics for that are amazing. I can’t even explain with words how beautiful the imagery and 3D are in this film, you just have to see it for yourself. There are a few things that bothered me about the visuals though. Some of it is almost too perfect and too clear. You can see every piece of grass in the field and every pore or drop of sweat on the Dwarves. It is a bit too much. The other thing that pulled me away from the movie is how the Orcs look. They look like videogame characters and they don’t have the same quality of the rest of the CGI in the film.

My favorite character is, by far, Gollum. Even though he is only in one scene of this movie, he is really funny in a creepy way. I really want to go back and re-watch the Lord of the Rings just to see more of him! I also like Bilbo Baggins because everyone doubts him, but he never gives up or turns back. My favorite scene is a toss up between when Bilbo meets Gollum and when the Dwarves are in the underground world of the Goblins. I love when Bilbo meets Gollum because the two of them have a very funny interaction of riddling each other. I also like when the Dwarves are escaping the Goblins because their world is underground and very rickety.

I think the biggest downside of this movie is the length. It is way too long in my opinion, but then again, all of the Lord of the Rings films have been very long as well. If you enjoy the Lord of the Rings then you will love The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but will I see it again? No. The cinematography deserves 5 out of 5 stars but, the overall film only gets 3.5 out of 5 from me.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Reviewed by Anthony Aranda, age 10, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Click here to see Anthony’s full video review!

This movie is awesome, adventurous, and I guess scary for some people. It is also really funny. I just love it. This movie was really good; it has really good graphics and lots of action, and some parts that could creep you out but with all of it together, it is perfect.

This movie is all about a guy named Bilbo Baggins who is chosen to go on a huge adventure. The best thing is, there is going to be a second movie. All the action is really cool with the dragon, the Orcs, the weapons and their enemies. It is a really cool movie that I love.

The main characters in the movie are Bilbo and Gandalf. My favorite character is Bilbo Baggins because he isn’t sure he wants to accept Gandalf’s instruction but then he realizes it would be fun to go on an adventure. There are a couple twists and turns but everything turns out okay, or does it?

My favorite part of the movie is when they find out the mountain monsters are real. They throw big chunks of mountains at each other which is really cool. The most exciting thing is when they find out they are standing on a giant’s knee. It was a little crazy, but they all survive. This is the best part of the movie and really cool to see in 3D. It really feels like they are standing right in front of me.

I recommend this movie for ages 8 and up. Kids seven and under will probably get scared of some things. There is a lot of violence and killing and stuff that could encourage kids to smash plates and cups trying to do a scene in the movie. Kids older than seven should see this movie because they would like all the things they do in the movie. I mean lots of kids like adventures movies and would probably like this one too. Go out and see this movie in theaters now.

Share this page on:
Entertainment News for Kids:
Join KIDS FIRST! on Twitter Join KIDS FIRST! on YouTube Join KIDS FIRST! on Instagram Join KIDS FIRST! on Tik Tok Join KIDS FIRST! on Facebook