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Men in Black: International – Hilarious Sci-Fi Adventure Filled with Laughs and Great Visuals

Monday, June 17th, 2019

Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson star as Agent H and Agent M, who employ high-tech weaponry to battle mischievous aliens on Earth. However, the pair also discover a major threat within their own ranks. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Will C. comments, “Men in Black: International is a hilarious sci-fi adventure that had me both laughing and on the edge of my seat! … My favorite thing about this movie is the character of Steve the pawn. He’s a little computer animated alien who gets all the best jokes in the film.” Arjun N. adds, “Men in Black is bolstered by its talented two leads and visuals, but ultimately it remains an occasionally underwhelming installment in the franchise. Still, there are enough entertaining action sequences and humor to satisfy general moviegoers. Fans of the MIB franchise must check this out, but preferably on a matinee.” See their full reviews below.

Men in Black: International
By Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Men in Black: International is a hilarious sci-fi adventure that had me both laughing and on the edge of my seat! You can enjoy Men in Black: International without having seen any of the previous movies, because there are all-new characters and adventures. The story goes from Paris to Morocco to London and New York, as the heroes chase aliens around the globe.

The movie starts by introducing two different sets of aliens that both want the same weapon. One set of aliens is very creepy, because it can shape shift into people, and an even creepier kind of alien called the Hive has tentacles and can eat your face off! Both want to take over the world, of course! The Men in Black organization steps in to save the world with their superior firepower.

My favorite thing about this movie is the character of Steve the pawn. He’s a little computer animated alien who gets all the best jokes in the film. I love the scene when he pushes the red button to take everyone into hyper-speed. The main characters are played by Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, both from Thor: Ragnarok. The filmmakers sneak a really funny Thor joke into the movie that got a lot of laughs!

Parents should know that there is some profanity and action violence, although not really any blood. There’s not a big message to this film. It’s mostly just a big fun summer blockbuster, but I guess you could say that you should never give up when you’re protecting the world! I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Adults who like sci-fi comedies should enjoy it too. Men in Black: International opens in theaters everywhere Friday June 14, 2019.

Men in Black: International
By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Men in Black is bolstered by its talented two leads and visuals, but ultimately it remains an occasionally underwhelming installment in the franchise. Still, there are enough entertaining action sequences and humor to satisfy general moviegoers. Fans of the MIB franchise must check this out, but preferably on a matinee.

The film follows Men in Black 3 as London has a branch of Men in Black. After investigating and finding the MIB base, Molly (Tessa Thompson) joins them. The head of the branch, High T (Liam Neeson), pairs her up with the dashing hot-shot Agent H (Chris Hemsworth). Molly, now Agent M, and Agent H become involved in a series of alien attacks that send them traveling around the globe, while a mole lurks among the MIB.

Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, as Agents M and H, are the main highlights here as their chemistry still impresses ever since their collaborations in Thor: Ragnarok. This really is just a big excuse to watch another Thor and Valkyrie buddy cop, and it’s honestly a great one. I quite enjoyed Agent M’s deadpan reactions to anything Agent H does. They really do fill the void that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones left behind from the previous three films. Liam Neeson, as High T, has some interesting contributions to the plot and, as always, brings out the veteran actor in himself. Kumail Nanjiani, as Pawny, is another highlight, being the new alien sidekick here. He has some of the funniest lines, and even serves as a good replacement for Frank the Pug. As always, it is nice to see Emma Thompson reprise her role as Agent O.

Director F. Gary Gray brings new life to the franchise taking over for Barry Sonnenfeld who directed the previous three. This marks the first director departure, and Gray’s hipster influences reach out to a broader audience. He really has a grasp on style and elegance. My favorite scene is when Agent M and H first discover Pawny, because it’s just one gag after another with all sticking the landing. Pawny’s dry humor adds to the overall vibe, and at this point, I wouldn’t mind getting a MIB spinoff about Pawny. While the comedy delivers, the overall story does not. It runs around in circles, and the only redeeming quality to this is the density of the characters and settings. It is rather directionless at times and, after a while, it becomes like every other globe-trotting movie. Also, the mole subplot goes nowhere, and resolves itself quickly. This a huge disappointment, as someone who really admires insider plots.

The message of this film is that teamwork is essential. This is shown in the partnership of Agent M and H as they fight and try to peacefully resolve with the aliens. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, due to some intense action, suggestive references and language. The movie releases in theaters June 14,  2019, so check it out.

Toy Story 4 – Funny, Colorful, Joyful and Impeccably Made

Friday, June 14th, 2019

Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip with Bonnie and a new toy named Forky. The adventurous journey turns into an unexpected reunion as Woody’s slight detour leads him to his long-lost friend Bo Peep. As Woody and Bo discuss the old days, they soon start to realize that they’re two worlds apart when it comes to what they want from life as a toy. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Zoe C. comments, “I absolutely love this film! It is funny, colorful, joyful and impeccably made. This sequel to Toy Story is not like the other ones.” Nathalia J. adds, “Do you ever look back at your first day of kindergarten? Well, that’s how Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the whole gang set off on their extremely enjoyable and wowing adventure.” Katherine S. adds, “It is so amazing that the Toy Story saga has been going on for 24 years and that so many of the main characters are voiced by the same actors as the previous movies including Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Annie Potts.  The voices behind some of the new characters include Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks and Tony Hale.  We all thought that Toy Story 3 had the perfect ending, but this movie is even better.” Jada P. wraps it up with, “My favorite part of Toy Story 4 is definitely when Woody and Forky find their friendship through many changes of plans and difficulties… The plot, characters, and voice acting are all groundbreaking.” See their full reviews below.

Toy Story 4
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

My biggest shock of all was getting photo bombed by Tom Hanks while shooting my stand-up. I have to say that he is truly a very nice man.

This movie is the best Toy Story film yet! It has our favorite old characters, very funny new characters, a fun and emotional story line and a fantastic new director.

Toy Story 4 begins with Bonnie making a new friend in her kindergarten orientation and bringing it home. His name is Forky and, when he comes alive, all he knows is how to be trash.  Forky spends most of his time trying to escape and eventually does so from a moving RV when his family is on vacation. Our hero Woody is forced to go after Forky to make sure Bonnie is happy and to convince Forky that he is Bonnie’s toy.  During their travels they encounter several new toys and a few old ones as well.

Featuring Ally Maki as the voice of Giggle, “Toy Story 4” opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019. ©2019 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

It is so amazing that the Toy Story saga has been going on for 24 years and that so many of the main characters are voiced by the same actors from the previous movies including Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Annie Potts.  The voices behind some of the new characters include Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks and Tony Hale.  We all thought that Toy Story 3 had the perfect ending, but this movie is even better. The director, Josh Cooley, is brilliant as he is able to pull out the best performance from all of the actors, to the point that you think that the toys are real people, not just animated characters. My favorite part is when Buzz finds his inner voice.

Featuring the voice of Annie Potts as Bo Peep, “Toy Story 4” opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019. ©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

The message of Toy Story 4 is about transitioning from one situation to another through bravery, perseverance and friendship. You should know that there are a few risky things that kids might try to imitate such as jumping out of a RV, messing with a car and going under a carousel.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 15. Adults will love this movie as well.  This movie opens nationwide in theaters on June 20, 2019.

Toy Story 4
By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

I absolutely love this film! It is funny, colorful, joyful and impeccably made. The animation is a lot better too! This sequel to Toy Story is not like the other ones, which I like; so it does not repeat the first three. Toy Story 4 goes one step forward and closes the circle, sort of.  There will be always room for more toy adventures.

PICK ME! — Funny men Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele provide the voices of Ducky and Bunny, respectively. Directed by Josh Cooley and produced by Jonas Rivera and Mark Nielsen (associate producer)  ventures to U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019. ©2018 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

In this new film there are some awesome new and unique characters. And there is a transformation of an old character, but you need to see the movie to find out which one I mean!

The story is basically about a little girl, Bonnie, who gets all of Andy’s toys because he goes to university. Bonnie loves all her new (at least new for her) toys, but she doesn’t play with Woody often. He feels sad but doesn’t want to show it. Then one day comes, and it’s Bonnie’s first day of kindergarten. In class she feels lonely but Woody, breaking all laws (toys don’t go to school because they can get lost) comes in her backpack. Woody gets some material and Bonnie makes, literally, a new best friend: Forky. But there’s one problem: Forky thinks he’s made out of trash and consequently he has issues. When Bonnie’s family goes on a road trip, Forky feels he doesn’t belong—he gets lost, and from there the toys have to face multiple obstacles to rescue Forky.

The story is mainly focused on Forky and Woody and some new characters that you meet. What is interesting is that you don’t really see the the other group of old toys that much. Like every Toy Story film, the toys work together to help fix a conflict. But this film focuses on a completely different character, Bonnie, and not on Andy. Woody will go to infinity and beyond to rescue Forky. His sense of loyalty is contagious, and Forky is so funny with his issues. Completely different characters, brand new conflict and new frontiers make this film unique. 

Featuring Annie Potts, Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key as the voices of Bo Peep, Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bunny and Ducky, “Toy Story 4” opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019. ©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

I also love the colors which are beautiful. Something I find very interesting is that the animation is so well done that you sometimes forget that you’re watching an animated movie. I loved the new characters like Duke Caboom, and I think Keanu Reeves is the only person who could bring life to Caboom with a distinctive voice. I also like the character of Gabby Gabby; she was very interesting, intriguing and the more you find out about her the more you want to know.

The message of this film is be loyal, be the best you can be and listen to your inner voice, so that you can decide your own destiny.

I recommend watching other Toy Story movies before this one if you haven’t already. I love this film so I would give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5-10 and adults as well.  Toy Story 4 opens in theatres June 21, 2019

Toy Story 4
By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

The toys are back on the big screen with an all-new adventure in Toy Story 4. Do you ever look back at your first day of kindergarten? Well, that’s how Woody(Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the whole gang set off on their extremely enjoyable and wowing adventure. That’s right, the whole gang is back with some new friendly faces. This animated, adventurous, fresh and amusing film is directed by Josh Cooley. Get ready for a treat, as it is nothing short of magical.

Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Joan Cusack return as the voices of Woody, Buzz and Jessie, and comedian Tony Hale lends his voice to Forky. Directed by Josh Cooley and produced by Jonas Rivera and Mark Nielsen, “Toy Story 4” ventures to U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019. ©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Toy Story 4 is a computer-animated comedy produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures. The story follows Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang as they embark on a road trip with Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw) and a new toy named Forky (Tony Hale). The adventurous journey turns into an unexpected reunion as Woody’s slight detour leads him to his long-lost friend Bo Peep (Annie Potts). As Woody and Bo discuss the old days, they soon realize that they’re worlds apart when it comes to what they want from life as a toy. Get ready as the old and new friends reveal how big the world can be for a toy.

The lead characters in the film welcome both veteran and new voices, including Woody, Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves), Forky, Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks), Bo Peep, Buzz Lightyear, Rex (Wallace Shawn) and many more talented actors.  The animation is groundbreaking, bright and beautiful. I was taken back by all the colors and little details which make it so believable. For example, in one scene the gang is at an actual carnival. The rides and games seem to so real, I definitely felt as if I was part of the joy ride. 

My favorite character is undeniably Forky, because he brings excitement and laughter to the film. I love how Forky creates a plan and fails in a hilarious way, because Woody saves the day for Bonnie. If I could give Forky two character traits, it would be outrageous and funny.

My favorite scene from Toy Story 4 is when Woody encounters Bo Peep after ten years and he introduces himself to her new friends. When he tries to give her a hug, a motorized car skunk comes through with Bo Peep’s sheep controlling the car. Woody’s reaction is priceless. His eyebrows are up and his eyes are wide open.

(L-R) Trixie, Buttercup, Mr. Pricklepants, Dolly, Buzz Lightyear, Hamm, Rex, Aliens, Jessie, Slinky Dog, Bullseye and Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. ©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

There is some risky actions in this film that younger children might try to imitate, such as jumping out of a moving vehicle, popping the tires, going into a store when it’s closed and jumping across shelves. This film shares many important messages about friendship, helping others, love and most importantly, never leave a friend stranded.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 16, as well adults. Toy Story 4 opens in  theaters nationwide June 21, 2019. Make sure to check it out!

Toy Story 4
By Jada Pace, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Featuring Keanu Reeves as the voice of Duke, “Toy Story 4” opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019. ©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

I absolutely LOVE this film! Not only does Toy Story 4 contain hilarious humor, but also emotional scenes, which make the film well balanced with seriousness and laughter throughout and make an interesting storyline. I love the way the characters use their feelings and gut to help lead themselves throughout the story.

In the film, Bonnie makes a new toy out of recycled materials in kindergarten and instantly falls in love with it. But her new toy, Forky, feels like he is not meant to be a toy.  Instead, his heart’s desire is to belong to the trash. This results in Forky trying to escape to the trash at every chance he is given. Fortunately, Bonnie’s other toy, Woody, stops Forky from running away, but then the toys find themselves lost on the search for their beloved Bonnie. Will they fine Bonnie or stay lost in the woods for good? You will have to see the film to find out!

Christina Hendricks lends her voice to Gabby Gabby. “Toy Story 4” opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019…©2019 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

My favorite part of Toy Story 4 is definitely when Woody and Forky find their friendship through many changes of plans and difficulties. Their journey shows how things can change over time. I also really enjoyed the animation and how clear the voice actors voices are during the movie. The plot, characters, and voice acting are all groundbreaking.

The message of this film is to always follow your heart and do what your heart desires. It is always important to do what you feel is better for you.  I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12.  Toy Story 4 releases in theaters, June 21, 2019. Be sure to look for it!

The Secret Life of Pets 2 – Love, love love this movie! Everything about it is Dog-tastic!

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

Max the terrier must cope with some major life changes when his owner gets married and has a baby. When the family takes a trip to the countryside, nervous Max has numerous run-ins with canine-intolerant cows, hostile foxes and a scary turkey. Luckily for Max, he soon catches a break when he meets Rooster, a gruff farm dog who tries to cure the lovable pooch of his neuroses. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Selene W. comments, “Love, love, love this movie!  Can’t wait to see it again this Friday.  This film is absolutely hysterical. Both the audience and I laughed throughout the screening.  Everything about this film is dog-tastic, from the screenwriting to the art, animation, sound, special effects and characters.” KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. adds, “I absolutely love this family-friendly animated sequel. It has so many superstar voice actors and the animation is dramatic and ingenious. The creators introduce new zany and lovable characters.” Kendall M. wraps it up with, “The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a phenomenal, all-around fantastic movie. The film is enjoyable and puts a smile on your face. It’s a movie for everyone to enjoy with their friends and families. The movie has different aspects to it. It is also cool to see how the pets interact with each other and seeing how they work together as a team.” See their full reviews below.

The Secret Life of Pets 2
By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Love, love, love this movie!  Can’t wait to see it again this Friday.  This film is absolutely hysterical. Both the audience and I laughed throughout the screening.  Everything about this film is dog-tastic, from the screenwriting to the art, animation, sound, special effects and characters.

(from left) Duke (Eric Stonestreet), Liam and Max (Patton Oswalt) in Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” directed by Chris Renaud.

Secret Life of Pets 2 continues with the story of Max and Duke, but this time Katie gets married and has a son named Liam. At first, Max doesn’t really like having Liam around, because he never leaves him alone. Then they start to bond. Max starts to really care about Liam and vows to protect him. Katie decides to take a family trip to a farm and this introduces a whole new cast of characters and funny situations on the farm.  Max meets Rooster, a brave dog who rules the farm and teaches Max how to handle a lot of his issues.  Meanwhile, back in New York City, all of Max and Duke’s pet friends continue with their crazy antics, including rescuing a white tiger from the circus and Chloe helps transforming Gidget into a cat, to get out of a messy situation.  My favorite character is Snowball, the white rabbit. His superhero scenes rescuing the tiger with his new pal Daisy are hysterical. 

Max’s voice is portrayed by Patton Oswalt and Duke is, once again, performed by Eric Stonestreet. The introduction of Rooster, voiced by Harrison Ford, adds a lot of depth and meaning to Max’s outlook and the film.  The animation is breathtaking, from the first scenes in Central Park, to the various scenes around the farm. The cast are all very talented portraying their various vocal roles. Brian Lynch’s screenplay pulls it all together, with amazing humor for every character.

(from left) Chloe (Lake Bell) and her owner in Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” directed by Chris Renaud.

The message of this film is to be brave and embrace change.  Max worries about the changes a baby will bring to his family, but learns to love Liam and become his best friend. Max continues to learn about changes at the farm and how to deal with them, as Rooster advises, “Some stuff happens and then it’s over.”  Accept and move on, because change can be positive.

I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, but adults will enjoy it as well as evidenced by all of the audience laughter.  This movie opens in theaters June 7, 2019. Look for it!

The Secret Life of Pets 2
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I absolutely love this family-friendly animated sequel. It has so many superstar voice actors and the animation is dramatic and ingenious. The creators introduce new zany and lovable characters.

Max (Patton Oswalt) grapples with some pre-exam anxiety at the veterinarian in Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” directed by Chris Renaud.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is about a bunch of New York city pets and their daily adventures – from parks to farms and more – while their owners are away at work. The writers are very creative.  They are successful intertwining different stories throughout the entire movie. For example, when Max and Duke get a new kid named Liam, they take a trip out to a farm where they meet a new character named Rooster. Snowball meets a darling new friend named Daisy and the two of them save a white tiger named Hu.  My favorite part is when Pops is doing puppy school.

The best thing about this film is that you don’t have to see the previous movie to enjoy the sequel. I think The Secret Life of Pets 2 blows The Secret Life of Pets out of the water with its incredible music and star-studded cast. The voice actors include Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Harrison Ford and Eric Stonestreet.

Snowball (Kevin Hart) in Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets 2, directed by Chris Renaud.

The messages in The Secret Life of Pets 2 are: It is okay to be afraid and 2. Teamwork is important. Note that it does have some mild violence, a couple fight scenes and some chase scenes. There are a few risky things that kids might try to imitate such as running into forests unsupervised, fighting wolfs and saving a wild animal. But, really, it’s pretty tame.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 15, as well as adults. I highly recommend this to all pet lovers. This film opens in theaters June 7, 2019 so look for it.

The Secret Life of Pets 2
By Kendall M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a phenomenal, all-around fantastic movie. The film is enjoyable and puts a smile on your face. It’s a movie for everyone to enjoy with their friends and families. The movie has different aspects to it. It is also cool to see how the pets interact with each other and seeing how they work together as a team.

(from left) Max (Patton Oswalt), Duke (Eric Stonestreet) and Liam in Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” directed by Chris Renaud.

The storyline is about different pets going on adventures and exploring New York City. The protagonist Max goes through changes in his life, when his owner gets married and has a child. On the other hand, a cute bunny named Snowball and a puppy Daisy go on a crazy adventure saving a tiger from an evil circus owner. The movie has crazy, funny jaw-dropping moments that you don’t want to miss.

(from left) Hu, Max (Patton Oswalt), Daisy (Tiffany Haddish) and Snowball (Kevin Hart) in Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” directed by Chris Renaud.

Some of the highlights of this are the cast and storyline. Big ups to writer Brian Lynch for a great screenplay. The message of the film is to always look out for each other, not just family and friends, but others we may not know. In this movie, these pets always have each others’ backs and really look out for one another. As human beings, we should do a better job of that, especially in our society. It would make the world a better place.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to18, as well as adults. Note that it  has some rude humor. It opens in theaters nationwide June 7, 2019.

Raven Calls Warm Bodies a Hilarious “Zomedy!”

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

WarmBodies.jpgWhen we imagine a post-apocalyptic world, it usually includes a lot of broken down buildings, stray dogs and a bunch of raggedy and tough survivors, but rarely zombies! Warm Bodies, rated PG-13, is a hilarious look at what could be, a world in which humans are uncommon and zombies roam the land looking for fresh bodies to eat.

This may not sound appealing, but according to 15-year-old KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Raven Devanney, it’s actually quite hilarious. A quirky romance/comedy/horror film, it stands to remind us of the true meaning of humanity and the importance of staying connected with others.

Warm Bodies

Reviewed by Raven Devanney

Click here to see Raven’s full video review!

The newest addition to the Zombie, Romance, Comedy and Horror genre. I call it, a Zombromance, or a Zomedy! It’s set in a post apocalyptic world consisting of zombies, bonies and a small population of humans. When a zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult) meets a Human girl named Julie, he starts to feel like there is more to life than just being the walking dead. He begins to cure himself, retrain himself to talk and become more human. He inspires more zombies to try to cure themselves, and slowly they begin to become more human. Will R and Julie defy the odds and stay together, or will the fact that one of them is a zombie keep them apart?

I absolutely adore this movie. I will definitely see it over and over again. When I think of zombie movies I think of nasty rotting creatures and lots of blood and gore. Naturally the zombies eat people in this movie, but it is filmed in such a way that brought a sense of humor to the whole thing and the blood was very minimal. Even the zombies don’t look that bad. In fact, Nicholas Hoult makes one attractive zombie! I like the lighting and sets in this film a lot. You can definitely tell that it is a post apocalyptic world, but the zombies still try to maintain somewhat consistent routines. I thought it was cool too see zombie security guards and janitors. Although they weren’t doing much, you still got the sense that there was some humanity left in them.

My favorite character is R because he is such a sweetheart. He goes against his urge to eat people to save Julie and he proves that he is more than just a mindless flesh eater. Even though he is relearning how to speak, he is still quite slow so he can only mutter out simple words and phrases. Nicholas Hoult does a fantastic job keeping this character dull and Zombie-like, while still giving glimpses of his emotions and personality. This movie shows that R still has completely normal thoughts, he just can’t express them, as if he is trapped in his own mind. R voiced over most of the movie and it was hilarious to hear what he was thinking, compared to what he was actually able to do. He made me laugh even in more intense situations, making him my absolute favorite character.

I can’t say I have a favorite scene because this whole movie is incredibly well done. I do love all the times that R and his Zombie friend M or “Marcus” interact. They try to communicate and connect and it’s so funny and touching to see their friendship show even though it’s challenging for them to express it. I also really enjoy the seen when Julie (Teresa Palmer) and her friend Nora (Analeigh Tipton) give R a makeover. R is so reluctant to have makeup put on him, which I thought was funny because most teenage boys are. The music in this scene was particularly funny and entertaining and it is a memorable scene.

I think there are so many underlying messages in this film, but the one that stands out to me most is that we need to take the time to connect with our surroundings and the people in our lives. In this film it shows a flashback to the world before the zombie outbreak, and R is saying that back then everyone could connect, but in the flashback everyone is on their phones texting or playing video games. It is a really strong reminder that we are so wired and constantly tuned into technology that we often forget to be with our family and connect with our loved ones

I recommend this film for ages 13 and up because teens and even adults will love this movie, but kids under the age of 13 may find it to be too mature. I give Warm Bodies 10 out of 10 stars so go check it out at a theater near you!

If You Like Horror Films And Ghosts, Don’t Miss Mama

Monday, January 28th, 2013

MAMA.JPGJust out in theaters on January 20, 2013, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven Devanney bravely went to see a screening of the new thriller/chiller, Mama. This PG-13 rated movie isn’t for everyone, but if your a fan of horror, and like to be scared silly, you shouldn’t miss it. Though not the most original film, it packs a heavy fear-factor for every ghost-loving movie goer.

Mama

Reviewed by Raven Devanney, age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Click here to see Raven’s full video review!

Mama tells the story of two young sisters, Lily and Victoria, who are abandoned in the woods for five years. When the girls are found and taken into custody by their uncle and his girlfriend Annabelle, everyone begins to wonder how these toddlers could have survived for so long on their own. The girls’ strange behavior leads Annabell to believe that the girls weren’t alone in the woods after all, and in fact, a troubled ghost called Mama was caring for them. But when they leave the forest, they don’t leave Mama.

I really enjoy this movie. It is definitely scary to watch, but when it is over it doesn’t leave you feeling afraid. I’m convinced this movie is a mix between The Woman in Black and The Possession. It has a very similar ghost with the same motives as The Woman in Black, and has the same creepy bugs from The Possession. The ending is especially similar to The Woman in Black. No spoiler alerts or anything, but you think all will be fine but it’s not. I guess you shouldn’t go to a horror film if you’re looking for a happy ending.

I like the cinematography, and the use of lighting and sound track, to set the ominous mood for this film. The dull colors and grey wash of the scenery really helps the spook level of the movie. The one thing I have a real problem with was the animation of Mama’s face in the last few scenes. This is supposed to be the height of the horror, the film’s climax, but Mama’s face was so unrealistic that it pulls me out of my horrified trance and I am no longer scared.

My favorite character is Annabell (Jessica Chastain), because she isn’t too enthusiastic about suddenly having to take on a motherly role, especially since the girls have serious social problems. Her boyfriend, the main caretaker of the kids, gets seriously injured, leaving Annabell in charge. I love watching her relationship develop into love for Lily and Victoria, and when Mama comes to play, she does a wonderful job showing her fear.

My favorite scene is in the very beginning of the movie, when it shows how one-year-old Lily and three-year-old Victoria end up in the woods. It is a very twisted scene, but I like how they show the girls adapting to their new surroundings. They adapt through crayon drawings on the walls, which is very creative.

I give Mama 4 out of 5 stars because it was definitely thrilling, but since it was so similar to some other films in this genre, I have to take a point away for lack of originality. I recommend Mama for ages 13 and up because of it’s intense content. If you’re into anything Horror, Thriller or ghost related, then you’ll love Mama so go check it out!

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