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The War With Grandpa * Wonderful Family Comedy with Great Cast, Pranks, and Surprises

Friday, October 9th, 2020

Sixth-grader Peter (Oakes Fegley) is pretty much your average kid-he likes gaming, hanging with his friends and his beloved pair of Air Jordans. But when his recently widowed grandfather Ed (Robert De Niro) moves in with Peter’s family, the boy is forced to give up his most prized possession of all, his bedroom. Unwilling to let such an injustice stand, Peter devises a series of increasingly elaborate pranks to drive out the interloper, but Grandpa Ed won’t go without a fight. Soon, the friendly combatants are engaged in an all-out war with side-splitting consequences. 

Based on the award-winning book by Robert Kimmel Smith, The War with Grandpa is a hilarious family comedy featuring an all-star supporting cast: Christopher Walken, Uma Thurman, Rob Riggle, Cheech Marin, Laura Marano and Jane Seymour.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jude A. comments, “Grab your popcorn and sit down for a wild ride because we are talking about the new hit family movie, The War with Grandpa! The War with Grandpa shows off unexpected pranks and comedic scenes, and also displays fantastic character development and a hilarious plot.” Katherine S. adds, “This film is based on the best-selling book, The War With Grandpa, by Robert Kimmel Smith. Thanks to Tre Peart, the executive producer, this movie was made.  When Tre was in the third grade, he came across the book and suggested to his parents that they should make a movie about it. And here it is!” Sara G. wraps it up with, “I thought this would be a good comedy, but it turned out to be even funnier than I thought it would be. At times like these, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we need more movies like this that are enjoyable, funny and interesting.” See their full reviews below.

The War with Grandpa
By Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Grab your popcorn and sit down for a wild ride because we are talking about the new hit family movie, The War with Grandpa! The War with Grandpa shows off unexpected pranks and comedic scenes, and also displays fantastic character development and a hilarious plot. The film provides an amazing cast you just can’t get enough of, and many life lessons/morals presented in unconventional ways. This movie is silly in all the right kinds of ways; however, some dialogue seems a little too immature and completely unnecessary.

The movie starts off by introducing the Decker family, a somewhat crazy family with a daughter who wants to see her boyfriend, a little girl who wants to celebrate Christmas in September, and a middle school boy named Peter (Oakes Fegley) who loves his shoes! When their Grandpa (Robert De Niro) starts to not be able to care for himself, he is forced to move in with his family. There is one problem— he has to take Peter’s room, and Peter is not happy about it. Peter thinks there is only one solution to get his room back…. WAR! Peter and his Grandpa start the ultimate prank battle. You will never see the end coming!

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I was confused. I have such a high standard for Robert De Niro because of all the amazing movies he is in, like Taxi Driver and The Irishman. I initially thought The War with Grandpa would waste talent like his, but I was very wrong. Robert De Niro in this film is outstanding, and it was a breath of fresh air from all the extremely serious movies he has done before. Roe Baker did an outstanding job casting everyone in this movie.

The War with Grandpa really does provide many lessons and morals in unconventional ways. Under all the pranks and silly jokes, this film teaches you that even when you don’t want to give up something up you love, think about who it could help if you did. The War with Grandpa is rated PG, for some rude humor and mild language.

As Peter declared war on his Grandpa, I declare a rating for The War with Grandpa of 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend The War with Grandpa for ages 8 to 12. You can find The War with Grandpa in theaters on October 9, 2020.

The War With Grandpa
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

The War With Grandpa is the perfect film for the whole family! It is funny, has great actors and delivers a feel-good message to all of us.

This movieis about a boy named Peter (Oakes Fegley) who is your average sixth grader. But, that all changes when his Grandpa Ed (Robert De Niro) moves in with his family. Neither Grandpa Ed nor Peter like the new living arrangement, because grandpa loses some of his independence and Peter loses his bedroom.  A secret “prank war” ensues as Grandpa Ed and Peter try to outdo each other until someone gives up.

This film is based on the best-selling book, The War With Grandpa, by Robert Kimmel Smith. Thanks to Tre Peart, the executive producer, this movie was made.  When Tre was in the third grade, he came across the book and suggested to his parents that they should make a movie about it. And here it is!

The script is hysterical and takes many lines directly from the book. Also, the amazing cast includes Robert De Niro (Grandpa Ed), who plays a terrific, immature, but loving father and grandfather. Uma Thurman plays a stern, but wonderfully caring mother (Sally), and Oakes Fegley plays Peter, an excellent prankster protagonist. The supporting cast consists of terrific A-list talent including Rob Riggle, playing a “cool dad.”  Christopher Walken and Cheech Marin team up with Grandpa Ed to make him even more immature.  My favorite part of the movie is all the creative ways Peter and Grandpa Ed find to prank each other, and sometimes other members of the family (sorry Sally).

The messages of the movie are about the importance of communication within a family and respecting your elders. Also – trampoline dodgeball solves everything.  

I give The War with Grandpa 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 13. Adults will also enjoy this movie. This movie is scheduled to come out in theaters on October 9, 2020.

The War With Grandpa
By Sara G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

I just love The War With Grandpa with all the great actors like Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman and others that take it to another level of comedy.  I thought this would be a good comedy, but it turned out to be even funnier than I thought it would be. At times like these, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we need more movies like this that are enjoyable, funny and interesting.

The storyline is about a war between Peter (Oakes Fegley) and his grandpa (Robert De Niro). Peter and his grandpa had a really close friendship, but it is tested when grandpa moves into Peter’s bedroom.  Peter is forced out of his comfy bedroom into the attic, which gives Peter enough of a reason to start a prank war with grandpa. Their pranks are so funny; they had me laughing at the edge of my seat. And the fun part is that Peter’s parents had absolutely no idea this war was going on. I can’t even get started on Peter’s little sister, Jenny (Poppy Gagnon) who is so sweet. She is always so nice to her grandpa. You could say that Jenny is the “Queen of Christmas” because she always wears Christmas shirts and her whole side of the room looks like a Christmas factory.

This film is absolutely amazing. It is definitely a fun family film. Robert  De Niro, Uma Thurman, Rob Riggle make up an impressive cast. The camera work is wonderful and I love the settings.

The primary message of this film is that fighting is never the answer to anything, because you can get yourself hurt or hurt other people. Another massage to not be so attached to your things and learn to share, especially with your grandpa.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters October 9, 2020 so look for it. Reviewed by Sara G., KIDS FIRST!, age 10

For more information or to find a list of theaters visit: www.WarWithGrandpa.com

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Daniel Robey, Founder and CEO, ThinkJam, Shares His Thoughts on Marketing Entertainment

Thursday, September 17th, 2020

Enjoy Eshaan M.’s interview with Daniel Robey, Founder and CEO, ThinkJam. Over the last 20 years, Daniel Robey has built and skillfully steered multiple businesses to great success in the entertainment space. As CEO of Think Jam he has created one of the most agile and pioneering marketing firms in the industry, from scratch and without investment. From a two-person startup it has grown into an international award-winning agency, with a formidable workforce of more than 100 people and offices in London and Los Angeles.

Robey’s skill in forging long, successful relationships with some of the biggest companies in the world has been valuable in an industry characterized by its volatility. That resilience is borne out of his commitment to innovation; this in turn has established him as a technological thought leader, with numerous published articles that outline his bold vision for the future. In 2017 he was asked to join the board of BIFA, and he is also a regular judge of Eurobest (part of Cannes Lions) and the Clio Awards.

His natural entrepreneurial skills were honed at Manchester Metropolitan University (1st class honors) and then at Harvard Business School, where he spent three years on the prestigious Owner/President Management program. His commitment to the disruption of marketing practices has seen him invited to participate in numerous panels and events, including the Youth Marketing Conference, where he has sought to instill his passion for digital innovation in a new generation of entrepreneurs. 

ThinkJam is an award-winning digital creative and PR agency based in central London, serving clients in the UK, US, and internationally. ThinkJam’s clients include 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., TikTok, HBO, Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures.  

Interview by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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Erik Davis, Managing Editor, Fandango, Shares Insights about Entertainment News

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020

Enjoy Nathalia J.’s interview with Erik Davis, Managing Editor, Fandango. Erik is one of the nation’s leading movie commentators, with over a decade of experience writing about movies for Fandango, Movies.com, AOL Moviefone, Cinematical and others, as well as talking about movies on TV, YouTube and radio.

Erik has appeared on The TODAY Show, CBS This Morning, CNN, MSNBC, New York Live, Good Day NY, Bloomberg TV, Fox Business, CNBC, PBS and more, and he has sat on the “Masters of the Web” panel at San Diego Comic-Con three times, as well as hosted panels at SXSW and inside Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con. Erik is also a proud voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

Erik has worked with and edited over 100 different writers, many of whom are now at places like the New York Times, The Daily Beast, MTV News, LA Weekly, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Indiewire, the LA Times, Business Insider, and a bunch of other sites you read daily. Follow Erik on Twitter @erikdavis.

Interviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Nathalia Maria J., age 12. Nathalia lives in southern California and has a younger brother. As an actress, she is known for her roles in South Central Love, Blue Laces (2018) and Burt and the Wall Children (2018). She is an excellent student and plans to attend UCLA majoring in cinematic arts. She also has an interest in fashion and has already launched a clothing line called Naji.

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Michael E. Uslan, The Batman Everything Guy since 1989

Thursday, August 27th, 2020

Enjoy Eshaan M. and Jude A.’s interview with Michael E. Uslan, The Batman Everything Guy. Uslan, a well-known figure in the entertainment industry, is the producer and brand-builder behind every Batman movie since 1989.

Uslan, who famously led a decade-long effort to bring Tim Burton’s Batman to theaters in 1989 will now oversee the development of the Stan Lee Universe across film and TV development for Genius Brands. In 1979, with production partner Ben Melniker, Uslan purchased film rights for the fictional superhero. Tim Burton’s “Batman” made it to theaters a decade later, launching a Caped Crusader empire of 16 feature films generating $7.1 billion in worldwide ticket sales.

For more than 30 years, Uslan has produced every Batman film, including Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Dark Knight Trilogy, Todd Phillips’ Joker, and Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman. He has written for comics and was a close friend of Stan Lee. His son, David Uslan will work on the project with him. Stan Lee Universe is a joint venture between Genius Brands and Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, managed by Genius.

Interviewed by Jude A.(left) and Eshaan M.(right), KIDS FIRST! Film Critics

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Art Bell – Started Comedy Central and “Lost His Sense of Humor”

Friday, August 14th, 2020

This week, we had the pleasure of interviewing Art Bell, author of the memoir “Constant Comedy: How I Started Comedy Central and Lost My Sense of Humor” (Coming September 2020).

With a MBA in Economics from The Wharton School, Bell has applied his skills to television production with some of the leading companies of the world. Bell founded Comedy Channel in 1988 while at HBO, developing initial programming and brand for merged comedy networks (HA! and Comedy Channel) which became Comedy Central. He was President/COO of CourtTV and a founding partner of Scalar Media Partners, a consulting practice handling a range of clients and projects – Panasonic NA, Epix Pay Television Channel, AARP, A&E Television, United Health and The Weinstein Company. The practice developed media strategy, built corporate alliances and the international development of the 3D television industry.

Art Bell may be the funniest guy we’ve talked with about the state of the entertainment business and the constant state of change.

Interviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, age 14

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