Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Archive for February, 2013

Bring The Ocean Home With Chasing Mavericks

Thursday, February 28th, 2013


If you missed Chasing Mavericks when it was recently in the theater, or just can’t get enough of those awesome surfing scenes, you are in luck. Released to DVD and Blu-ray on February 26, 2013 by Twentieth Century Fox, you can now bring the excitement and inspiration – not to mention a bit of the beach – to your own living room!

Enter our KIDS FIRST! Critics Go Local Campaign, by submitting your review of Chasing Mavericks and win free movie tickets or a free skin for your favorite mobile device. Go here for details.

Chasing Mavericks

Reviewed by Cheyenne Nguyen

Click here to see Cheyenne’s full video review!

This movie is based on a true story that will inspire the audience. Jay Moriarity (Jonny Weston) is raised by a single mom (Elizabeth Shue) who is never around. He almost died of drowning when he was younger and Frosty Hesson (the local surfing legend) saved him.

Since that day, Jay follows Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler) and notices that Frosty often goes out very early in the morning. One day, Jay follow Frosty to see what he’s doing out so early in the morning. On this trip Jay discovers the secret place where some of the local surfer legends surf. Frosty tells him that the biggest wave will come to this spot one day. He asks Frosty to help him train to ride the biggest waves. During the training process many life events happen and it turns out that Jay is helping Frosty as much as Frosty is helping him. They build a father and son bond.

This movie has so many different emotions. There are the relationships between a Jay and his mom, Jay and his first crush, Jay and his best friend and Jay and his father-figure neighbor. There is so much awesome footage of the waves and the surfing culture that the audience can really enjoy watching while learning. The music is so perfect for all the scenes, especially with the skateboarders and surfers. The sceneries of the 80’s and the small town lifestyle is awesome to see. The special effects in this movie are above average. The big wipe out captured is like no other picture I’ve seen.

The message in this movie is never give up. Sometimes it is so much work to achieve your goals, but if you practice everyday, you will be better than yesterday. My favorite characters are Jay and Frosty. Jay is so friendly and never hold grudges; he always forgives. Frosty is a great surfer with a big heart.

I rank this movie 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this for ages 7 and up.

Listen to the KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions Radio Show on Voice America Kids. Airing soon, our film critics interview the real Frosty Hesson,  who is played by Gerard Butler in the film.

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Batman Returns Again To Save Gotham City!

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Take heart DC Comics and Graphic Novel fans, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 is out on DVD and Blu-ray. Released on January 29, 2013, this graphic and violent PG-13 film packs a real punch with its realistic animation style and twists on the classic Batman theme. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Juliana Noone, who doesn’t much care for violent films, found herself on the edge of her seat, “intrigued to continue watching.”

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2

Reviewed by Julianna Noone

Click here to see Julianna’s full video review!

Mark Twain once said, “Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” Well, this rings true in the animated move, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 which is adapted from the graphic novel written by Frank Miller. Let me just say, this film is very graphic and mature in its presentation. This film has voice overs by Arielle Winter as Robin, Michael Emerson as The Joker, Mark Valley as Superman and Peter Weller as Batman.

This film is about Batman’s return from his self-imposed exile and how he is forced to deal with the Joker and his robot children. He also must face his greatest opponent yet, Superman himself. This film picks up where part 1 left off and Gotham City is in very dark time where crime is rampant and the city is in fear of the criminals. The Joker has been locked up for many years and while he seems lost and harmless, he is biding his time to make his escape and take control of Gotham. Batman’s quest is none other than to save Gotham and once again make the city a safe place to live at any and all costs.

My favorite character is Robin, as I like the spin of Robin being female in this film. I like how, although she is a girl, she is still very tough and courageous. My favorite scene is the ending but you’ll have to watch the movie to see what happens then. Is Batman gone for good? Time will only tell.

The animation in this film is very good and so well done that it seems very real. As I stated earlier – for an animated film, this is extremely graphic with many violent and bloody scenes that you don’t normally expect in an animated file.

This is a film geared towards teenage boys, ages 13 and up, due to violence and graphic details. Because of this, I rate this movie 3 out of 5 stars. However, the visual presentation is done well, and the music matches so well with the scenes that you are intrigued to continue watching. Graphic novel and DC Comic fans will love this film.

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View, Review and Get Rewards!

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Amazon_film_critic_banner.jpgKIDS FIRST! wants to hear from you!

Does your child love movies and love to talk about them? Do you love free stuff?

In our KIDS FIRST! Critics Go Local campaign, your child can be a film critic too. Send us your child’s video review of Chasing Mavericks, Life of Pi or Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon and you will receive free movie tickets or a free skin for your favorite mobile device from Zing Revolution (while supplies last) – just for sending us your review!

Chasing Mavericks and Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon are out on DVD and Blu-ray on February 26, 2013 and Life of Pi is available on DVD, Blu-ray, HD and 3D on March 12, 2013. You can purchase any of these movies on Amazon.com, or at your favorite retailer.

Click here to visit our KIDS FIRST! Critics Go Local website and see the details and instructions for participating. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Because of Winn-Dixie Appearing This Month On HDNet Movies – kidScene

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
BecauseWinnDixie.jpgEveryone loves a dog story, but Because of Winn-Dixie is no ordinary take on cute pets. Instead, it is a story of love, hope, friendship and community that takes us beyond appearances and digs deeply into the characters that make up this heart-warming film. Winn-Dixie isn’t just a dog, he is a symbol of hope, a reminder that we are all responsible for one another.

Originally released in 2005, this timeless family film is appearing throughout this month, February 2013, on HDNet Movies – kidScene.

Because of Winn-Dixie

Reviewed by Raven Devanney

Click here for Raven’s full video review!

Because of Winn-Dixie is a fantastic adaptation from the bestselling novel Winn-Dixie. I think this movie is absolutely adorable. The cinematography is so perfect because it’s exactly how I imagined it would be when I read the novel. The colors and feel of the story are captured beautifully.

My favorite character is Gloria because she doesn’t hold any harsh judgment over anyone and is a great friend to Opal. I also like Ana Sophia’s character, Opal, because she is very kind and strong even when she is sad. I like the scene when Opal first finds Winn-Dixie because it is a chaotic and funny scene. I also enjoy watching the relationship grow between Opal and the preacher (her father.)

This movie is for all ages because it’s a cute, funny family film that deserves 5 out of 5 stars. Because of Winn-Dixie is one of the many classic films brought to your home by HDNet Movies – kidScene.

Because of Winn-Dixie

Reviewed by Camille Bajema

Click here for Camille’s full video review!

I love this film because it has a great message: Friendship. This film is an adaptation of the book Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo and is about a girl named Opal (Anna-Sophia Robb) and her dad, the Preacher (Jeff Daniels), who just moved to a completely new town.

When Opal is sent to the Winn-Dixie grocery store to get macaroni and cheese, some white rice and two tomatoes, she finds a dog running wild through the store and names him Winn-Dixie, after the place she found him in. Opal befriends him and takes him home. Opal doesn’t have any friends yet and Winn-Dixie helps her fit into the new town, just like a true friend would.

My favorite scene in this film is when Opal makes friends with an old woman named Gloria (Cicely Tyson), and they have lunch together. I really like this scene because there’s a very nice bond between the two and this is when Opal meets her first human friend in Naomi. My favorite character is another one of Opal’s adult friends, Miss Franny, the town librarian. I like Miss Franny because she’s a kid at heart.

Because of Winn-Dixie is directed by Wayne Wang and produced by Kathleen Courtney.

I recommend this film to people of all ages because everyone can enjoy it, it has a great message, and in my opinion, this movie is just fantastic! I give this film five out of five stars because it’s an absolutely enthralling tale! Look for this classic family film on HDNet movies – kidScene this month!

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Beautiful Creatures, Not Just Another Teen Flick

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013


Young love, sacrifice and the battle between good and evil all come together in Beautiful Creatures. In theaters just in time for Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013, this PG-13 film is more than just a teen love story. The humor, depth of character, mystery, sets and costume designs offer something for every movie-goer. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Raven Devanney, age 15, got to see an advance screening of Beautiful Creatures and was pleasantly surprised by the art of the film.

Beautiful Creatures

Reviewed by Raven Devanney

Click her to see Raven’s full video review!

Beautiful Creatures is a refreshing twist of the age old tale of young love, sacrifice and the battle between good and evil. When Ethan Wate, played by Alden Ehrenreich, meets a mysterious girl named Lena, he immediately falls for her. But Lena and her family have a secret. They are all Casters and when Lena turns 16 her powers will be claimed for the light or the dark. Will Lena be strong enough to change her fate, and will Ethan be strong enough to deal with what happens if she goes dark?

I absolutely love Beautiful Creatures. It is so aesthetically pleasing and the sets and costume design are beautiful. This is a far better film than I expected. It isn’t just another teen romance, I believe it has something for everyone. There is quite a bit of humor in this film that is an unexpected bonus, as well as political and religious quips that I found quite entertaining. One thing that really makes this film stand out from the rest is that the main characters aren’t visually perfect. They don’t look like cut-outs from magazines. I found it extremely pleasing to see that there is more than looks to film stars. I love all the emotion in this film, it is definitely a tear-jerker and it pulled at my heartstrings. I love that the acting in this movie. It really made me feel something beyond pure entertainment.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Lena and Ethan because it feels very real and natural. My favorite character is Link, played by Thomas Mann, is by far the funniest character. He is Ethan’s right hand man and is always cracking clever remarks and causing laughable moments. I love Thomas Mann from other films such as “Hansel and Gretel,” “Project X,” “Fun Sized” and other films, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw him in this. He has a way of making an audience laugh at awkward moments which is perfect for this movie.

My favorite scene is when Ridley Duchannes comes to town. She is Lena’s cousin who has become a dark Caster and is trying to assist her aunt in making sure Lena goes dark and she is quite the character. She pretty much does whatever she wants, whenever she wants and she brings an edgy quality to the quiet town where this movie takes place.

I recommend Beautiful Creatures for ages 13 and up. It is a bit mature for younger audiences but it is perfect for teens and adults. It will make you laugh, cry and want to fall in love. I give Beautiful Creatures 5 out of 5 stars so go check it out. It releases theatrically on February 14, 2013.

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