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“The Hunters” Puts An Exciting Spin On The Classic “Snow White” Story (Airs Oct 25 on Hallmark Channel)

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

HuntersBanner2_400X200.jpg“The Hunters” is a modern day fairy tale adventure, based on the magical mirror from “Snow White,” and follows the brothers Flynn as they embark on an international quest to find their parents and save the world from the clutches of evil.  KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. says, “The Hunters” is a great and thrilling movie for everyone! There is comedy, romance, action, adventure, thrilling scenes, a great and engaging story line and, of course, a puzzle to solve!” “The Hunters” is the fifth world premier film in Hallmark Channel’s new Friday night movie series, “Walden Family Theatre,” airing this Friday, October 25th at 8/7c on Hallmark Channel. See Gerry’s full review below.

“The Hunters”
Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Video Review available here.

From the title, it’s really hard to predict what the movie will be about. Based on the title, I had an open mind. I only have one thing to say, I was pleasantly surprised! “The Hunters” is a great and thrilling movie for everyone!
I absolutely love how many things there is in this film! There is comedy, romance, action, adventure, thrilling scenes, a great and engaging story line and, of course, a puzzle to solve!

The adventure begins when three people are looking for some artifacts to build together a legendary item. When one turns on the others, everything goes wrong. The two kids of the couple who are searching for this item and their friend, go on a epic adventure to save the world and their parents!  If you want to find out if their parents are ok and if they were successful in this quest, you have to watch the film!

This film brings so many perks! It has especially great actors and the directing is also very good. The camerawork will impress you for sure – there are so many actions –  climbing and jumping and even some scary stuff. But, the picture if very clear and the storyline easy to follow!

I have to say that my favorite scene is when the older brother discovers his little brother has skipped school and he is very mad at him. I can greatly appreciate this scene. It has brotherly “love” or as I call it “bromance.” It’s extremely funny and will hit home with many viewers.

I recommend this movie to ages 8-18, because it is a very intense film. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars and wouldn’t be surprised if they eventually turn this movie into series. I know I will be watching out for that.

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“Space Warriors” Is A Fun And Down-To-Earth Film For All Ages

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

spacewarriors_1.jpg“Space Warriors” is a live-action film about kids who attend Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. Though it is a fictional story, it is based on a real place and according to KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O., age 11, it “feels very real and positive.” All of our film critics agree that this is a fun and exciting film that inspired them to want to visit the real Space Camp. Adam C., Age 7, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic tells us that they even fact-checked the story with NASA “and it was plausible that this could have happened in real life.” Proving that it has multi-age and gender appeal, 13-year-old KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Cassandra H. calls this “a fun and unexpectedly down-to-earth film for all ages.”

Airing on May 31, this Hallmark Channel Original Movie is perfect for the whole family. You can hear our discussion about this film on the KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions Radio Show. Check out Cassandra H.’s full review below and many of our Film Critic’s full video reviews as well.

“Space Warriors”

Reviewed by Cassandra H.

See Cassandra’s full video review by visiting www.kidsfirst.org

Space geeks will envy the rip-roaring adventures in the movie, “Space Warriors.” I was pleasantly surprised to see that the plot was simpler than I imagined. Before I watched the movie, the title made me cringe, suggesting that it was about teenagers battling aliens in a cheesy rampage through outer space. Clearly, I was wrong to judge a movie by its poster. “Space Warriors” is a fun and unexpectedly down-to-earth film for all ages.

Jimmy Hawkins (Thomas Horn, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”), the son of a retired NASA astronaut, is a complete astronomy geek. His dream is to go to space, and the opportunity arises in the form of Space Camp, where teams can compete for the chance to go to space. His parents, played by Dermot Mulroney and Mira Sorvino, forbid him to join Space Camp fearing for his safety, but Jimmy joins anyway. At Space Camp he meets the brightest, nerdiest group of astronomy-lovers, called Space Warriors. They have to learn to work together as a team not only to win the competition, but to save the lives of three astronauts along the way as well.

Colonel Manley (Josh Lucas), one of the commanders at Space Camp, is one of my favorite characters – he’s witty and smart with just a touch of dry humor and sarcasm. Sean McNamara (“Soul Surfer”) is the director of “Space Warriors.” Along the same lines of “Soul Surfer,” this movie has many great themes that include teamwork, leadership, overcoming fear, thinking outside the box, making wise choices and most importantly, it shines a positive light on youth. The Space Warriors don’t let anyone look down on them because of their age – they prove to the entire world that age doesn’t matter as long as you have passion, a love of discovering, and an open mind.

The movie incorporates footage from history in outer space and was shot on-location at the Space Camp in Alabama. For science-lovers, this movie is the ultimate “easter egg” hunt, where geeks will want to shout and announce to other viewers, “That’s the actual footage of landing on the moon!” or “I’ve been on a moon-gravity stimulator just like that!” I found myself thinking that if I could go to a Space Camp that looks even half as fun as the one in the movie, it’d be the best summer of my life.

I recommend this movie for all ages, especially for aspiring scientists. I give it four out of five stars. “Space Warriors” will inspire viewers to look up and rekindle an excitement for learning about the unknown universe of space. Learn more about a world outside our own that we’ve barely begun to discover and catch “Space Warriors” on the Hallmark Channel, airing May 31!

Check out our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics full video reviews of Space Warriors!

Adam C.

Keefer B.

Gerry O.

Stacy and Valdi B.

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Bindi Irwin Returns to Nim’s Island on the Hallmark Channel on March 15

Monday, March 11th, 2013

ReturnNimsIsland.jpgReturn To Nim’s Island, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie, premieres on the Hallmark Channel on Friday, March 15, 2013. Following up on the success of Nim’s Island, this sequel  is a great platform for Bindi Irwin, through her portrayal of Nim, to introduce young people to the importance of protecting our earth and its fragile species.

According to Brianna Hope Beaton KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Nim teaches us “that you should do everything you can to help the marine and wildlife.” New KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Cassandra Hsiao, “Return to Nim’s Island will take families on a spectacular expedition underwater, into dark mysterious caves, and up awfully steep cliffs.” And new KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jailene Arias agrees with the others that the main message in the film is “don’t give up!”

Check out these great video reviews from two of our new KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Cassandra Hsiao and Jailene Arias!

Return to Nim’s Island

Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton

Click here to see Brianna’s full video review!

This film has lots of action, very funny and is definitely great for the whole family to see.

Let’s return to Nim’s Island to see how things are going with Nim (Bindi Irwin) and her Father (Matthew Lillard). One day they get a message that some people will be buying the island to build an attraction there, but Nim will not stand for it and comes up with some things to do to save what she calls home. She will do almost anything to protect the island and the animals that she loves so well. Everything is going fine until Edmund, (Toby Wallace), comes along to help but brings trouble. Will Nim get to keep and stay living at her personal resort or will she have to pack up and leave?

I really love this film. It’s the sequel to Nim’s Island. I love the underwater shoots and the humor. The cast does an incredible job in interacting with the animals and making it all believable. My favorite character is Nim because she is not afraid to speak her mind, and will not let anyone push her around. My favorite scene is when Nim is going on the zip line. It looks really cool to ride and I would love to do it. I love the music as it fits in perfectly with the scenes.

Brendan Maher directs Nim’s Island. Author of the Nim’s Island series, Wendy Orr, is the inspiration behind this film. Everyone does an amazing job – from the animals to all the cast – it makes an impact with an environmental message. The big message is that you should do everything you can to help the marine and wildlife, if you cannot, please do not harm it. Additionally, it emphasizes the idea to “never give up on what you want to do.”

I recommend, Return to Nim’s Island for ages 7 to 14. Parents will enjoy it as much as their kids. If you love the wild you will love this film.

I give this film an overwhelming 5 out of 5 stars. I love the adventure, cinematography, action and, of course, the humor.

Tune in to see the Return to Nim’s Island on March 15 on the Hallmark Channel 8pm EST / 7PM CT.

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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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The Black Stallion As Beautiful And Captivating As Ever

Monday, January 28th, 2013

blackstallion.jpgOriginally released in 1979, The Black Stallion is a classic film sure to please horse lovers and adventure seekers alike. It’s beautiful cinematography and captivating story have stood the test of time. The Black Stallion is perfect for the whole family, and as Brianna Beaton, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic sums it up, it is “appealing to the eye, inspirational and touching.” Don’t miss this exciting tale, playing throughout the month of February 2013, on HDnet Movies – kidScene.

The Black Stallion

Reviewed by Brianna Beaton, age 13, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Click here to see Brianna’s full video review!

This film is very appealing to the eye, inspirational and touching.

Alec Ramsey (Kelly Reno) is on a ship with his father and a very wild black Arabian stallion, which Alec calls Black. A terrible storm happens and only he and Black survive. They end up on a small island and Alec befriends Black. Some travelers stumble across the island and bring them to England, where retired horse trainer, Henry Dailey (Mickey Rooney) helps Alec train Black.

I like this film because of the cinematography and the plot. This is a beautiful story and there are a lot of scenes with great angles and close ups which catches my eye. Black is a very pretty, strong and fast horse. The acting is very believable and I can sometimes feel their emotions. My favorite character is Alex because he is able to earn the trust of Black and this is very hard to do. My favorite scene is when Alec is trying to get Black to like him so he gives him some food and after that he puts some food in his hand and then walks around the beach of the island to get the horse to follow him. After a while this turns into a game. If Black follows Alec then he will get some food.

Carroll Ballard directs The Black Stallion while Melissa Mathison along with Jeanne Rosenberg writes the screen play. Other actors in this film are Clarence Muse (Snoe), Hoyt Axton (Alec’s Father), and Ed McNamara (Jake).

A message in this film is that you can become friends with any person or any animal and it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old. Also, everything that happens happens for a reason.

I recommend, The Black Stallion for ages 7 to 14. Younger ages may be scared at some of the scenes, but if they are watching with this family, it may not be too scary. Of course, if you are a horse lover, this film is for you and you can add this to your collection.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Some of the scenes are a little too short and has too little details, but even with that, this is still a great family film.

See how Alec and Black create their friendship in this 1979 film, The Black Stallion. It plays all month on HDNet movies kidScene.

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