The Qualified Endorsement category has 204 titles

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Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - A married couple and indie band duo, who never reached the success that they had always hoped, decides to stop pursuing their dream when a financial opportunity arises for them to perform on a new children's program called "The Rumperbutts." In spite of all the money and newfound success, the two of them are miserable and have spilt up. However, on one magical evening, a mysterious stranger comes into their lives and gives them a second chance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Rumperbutts was interesting and fun to watch, but it's geared for an older audience than me. I did like the storyline a lot and the editing is great. My favorite bit is probably the music. Yeah, definitely the songs - some are a little corny (the Rumperbutts ones), but some are actually really, really beautiful.

Bonnie (Kori Gardner) and Jack (Jason Hammel) met in 2005, formed a band and started dating. Three years later, they became partners on a popular kids' show, The Rumperbutts. The show made them break up and become miserable and they still had another THREE years on their contract! Then, they both are invited to meet with a guy named Richie (Josh Brener) who tricks them into smoking magical pot which sends them on an unexpected journey.

The acting in this is one of the highlights. I especially like the performances of Josh Brener as Richie and Kori Gardner as Bonnie. Kori Gardner has a gorgeous voice and the songs are quite beautiful. Some of the songs have nice messages like "listen to your parents." Josh and Kori really embody their characters in a way that is very fitting. I also really like the costumes. Julia Knapp made the Rumperbutts costumes which are the funniest ones in the movie. The photography and editing are really good and the animation when Richie snaps his fingers and the setting changes is excellent. I like the plot. The storyline is well thought out and well written, planned and directed. It has multiple sets that are all really good.

The message of the film is: you made your bed, now you have to lay in it. You should be aware that there are some curse words in the movie and there is pot smoking.

I rate The Rumperbutts 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 16 to 18, plus adults. The Rumperbutts releases on digital November 19, 2021. Go check it out!

By Alma K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - A rancher on the Arizona border becomes the unlikely defender of a young Mexican boy desperately fleeing the cartel assassins who've pursued him into the U.S.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Marksman is a slower-paced action film set on the road from Texas to Chicago. The film stars Liam Neeson as Jim, a retiree who's seen better days. There is a strong action storyline but those expecting a shoot-em-up adrenaline rush may want to look elsewhere.

Jim's wife has passed away, his finances gutted by the cost of her medical bills, and his decaying ranch adjoining the border to Mexico is under threat since he can't keep up with his rent. Now all he's got is his loyal canine companion and a few days left with his property. On a drive surveying his land, Jim finds a boy named Miguel and his mother Rosa, crossing the border. Members of a drug cartel are hot on their trail, eager to capture the mother and son. A shootout between Jim and their pursuers occurs and Rosa is mortally wounded. As she passes away, Jim makes a promise to get Miguel to their family in Chicago where he'll be safe.

The Marksman is a conundrum as an action movie - as for action, it's sparse, save for a few shootouts here and there where Neeson's character gets a chance to live up to his Marksman moniker. When you hear Liam Neeson and action movie within the same breath, you picture Neeson defiantly doling out revenge to those who have wronged him and the people he cares about, which to some extent is what The Marksman becomes. But it plods along its course, steeping you in the everyday life of Neesons' Jim, before putting into perspective the predicament Miguel faces from the cartel members who killed his mother.

Jim's encounters with the cartel is only mildly suspenseful. So much of The Marksman doesn't fully develop Miguel and Jim's dynamic, either. These characters spend so much time together, but, by the end, they only manage to get each other where they need to go, and nothing more. There's humanity, but there's no spark to it. I don't fault the performances, as much as I do a script with not enough meaningful moments for the central pair's bond to supplant itself deeply in the fabric of the movie.

I give The Marksman 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 for some mild violence and the killing of a dog. The Marksman comes out in theaters on January 15, 2021.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, ages 14
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - They call him the In-and-Out-Bandit because meticulous thief Tom Carter (Liam Neeson) has stolen $9 million from small-town banks while managing to keep his identity a secret. But after he falls in love with the bubbly Annie (Kate Walsh), Tom decides to make a fresh start by coming clean about his criminal past, only to be double-crossed by two ruthless FBI agents.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Honest Thief is the "average Joe" of current film releases. It's a movie with very few characteristics that make it stand out from other action/drama. In the film, Tom Carter (Liam Neeson) tries to give up $9 million in stolen money to live an honest life with the woman he loves. But as he attempts to turn himself in, two corrupt Feds, Ramon (Anthony Ramos) and John (Jai Courtney) take advantage of the stolen money. Now he must clear his name for a murder he never committed all in the name of love.

I feel like I have watched Honest Thief many times before. Many action/drama films have the same feel to the plot, action and dialogue - and the writing here feels a bit lazy. It is as if Honest Thief cut and pasted elements from clich� lines from classic action films and put them into scenes that were supposed to be suspenseful and dramatic. I have heard the lines "I am coming for you" in too many films to count, and the effect of using these lines too much is disappointing.

I like that Honest Thief is fast-paced and scenes don't drag out. There are "good old" car chases, people being knocked out and being swung around like ragdolls. The use of comedy is sparse and feels thrown in the movie for the sake of comedic relief. Honest Thief is serious in tone so the comedy feels awkward and out of place, especially since there is so little of it.

I can usually enjoy any kind of film for what it is, but something rubbed me the wrong way about the character of Annie (Kate Walsh), Tom's wife. Her role, even her designation as a grad student, feels instrumental only for the progression of Tom's character. Tom believes he can turn himself in, delete his past, and that Annie will stay with him even after finding he's a professional bank robber. I am disappointed in the stereotypical and outdated use of women as the motivation for everything a man does --as well as not happy with the lack of female representation here. If we use the Bechdel test for female representation and ask, "Does the film have two named female characters that talk to each other about something other than men?" Unfortunately Honest Thief fails this test.

This film has action, violence and some strong language. I am able to empathize with Ramon as he struggles about whether to go along with John and steal the money for the future or do what is morally right. Even in Tom's case, as we learn about his motivation for robbing banks, we realize that not everyone is what they seem at surface level and good people can do bad things.

I give Honest Thief 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 12 to 18. Honest Thief released in theatres on October 16, 2020.

Reviewed by Anokhi L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson star as female scam artists, one low rent and the other high class, who team up to take down the men who have wronged them.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Hustle is an extremely mixed bag of a movie. On one hand, it's very entertaining and had the entire theatre laughing because of the raunchy humor and continuous jokes, but this is also its weak point. The jokes keep on coming and coming, but they are all so similar that after awhile they get boring. The jokes are either fat jokes or raunchy sexual jokes and easily get stale.

The Hustle is adapted from the film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and it features two huge stars in the lead: Anne Hathaway as Josephine and Rebel Wilson as Penny. The story follows Penny, a con artist who catfishes men and takes their money. She is coincidentally on a train with world-class con artist, Josephine. Josephine overhears Penny's tactic to get money from an old man. She is afraid that Penny is going to "take over the market". So to get Penny out of the city she operates in, Josephine trains her and doesn't pay her, just to make her mad and force her to leave. This causes Penny to retort and purpose a turf war.

The Hustle has two huge stars leading the film. Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson are both predominant stars. Anne Hathaway is an Oscar-winning actress for her works in Les Mis�rables and has gotten praise for her performance as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. Rebel Wilson has been in franchises like Pitch Perfect and Night at the Museum.

My favorite part of this film is when Penny is getting trained by Josephine to be world-class con artist like herself. Josephine shows Penny how to react to any situation by teaching her tricks that are used in a heist and not really to scam a man for money.

The message in this movie is that just because you're a con person trying to steal money from men who have done you wrong doesn't make all men evil. This movie has a lot of swearing and crude sexual remarks, and I strongly advise parents to look into the content before taking their kids. This film is no doubt entertaining, but once the jokes get stale the film does as well. The Hustle is appropriate for children 14 to 18. I give it 2 out of 5 stars. The Hustle hits theatres Friday, May 10, 2019.

Reviewed by Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A group of troublemakers are forced to attend night school in hope that they'll pass the GED exam to finish high school.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Mom always said, stay in school. Well, this cast of troublemakers did not. Night School is their effort to obtain their GED and matriculate back into productive society. I am not going to lie, the sophomoric approach to telling this tale did not light me up. I struggled to stay engaged with the themes of the film, as well as all the female stereotypes, racial stereotypes, schmaltzy, slap-stick and crude behavior.

Kevin Hart wrote and stars in Night School. He plays Teddy Walker, a successful sales man who blows up his one success and returns to night school to better his career choices. At times disjointed, I often felt the multiple story lines and activities of the cast do not coalesce into a coherent film or story. Fans of Kevin Hart's comedy shows will likely love the film, as there are a few good belly laughs.

Tiffany Haddish plays Carrie, the night school teacher and the leader of the pack. She plays a tough teacher, who also adds tough love to the mix as she corrals a ragtag group of students. The character contributes to a theme of second chances, which is the best part of this film. If you loved Tiffany Haddish's role in Girls Trip, do not look for the same comedic success here. She plays a more serious role in Night School and I venture she is much stronger in a pure comedic role.

I give this film of 3 out of 5 stars for lack of consistent story and character development. This is the most disjointed film I have watched in a long time.

This film will appeal to ages 13 to 18 as well as some adults. I caution younger viewing due to sexual references, crude language, drug use and reference, adult themes and violent scenes, which are inappropriate for younger children.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Night School is a mostly enjoyable watch with no shortage of humor and heart. The acting and writing perfectly encapsulate the fast-paced comedic delivery. This is sure to be an enjoyable watch for anyone looking for a serviceably hilarious time.

The story follows street-smart, but academically dull-witted Teddy (Kevin Hart) as he fails to pass his GED college admissions test. Even still, he finds success as a grill salesman with a financially successful, yet unaware fianc� Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke). However, when disaster arises with the accidental destruction of his workplace, Teddy must search elsewhere to support Lisa and hide his school failure from her as the GED is the only way out. With a determined teacher, Carrie (Tiffany Haddish) and a group of misfits by his side, Teddy must test his mental and physical boundaries to power past his setbacks to pass the GED if there is any chance of him supporting himself and Lisa.

Kevin Hart, as Teddy, brings his signature style, as his exaggerated reactions and loud mouth continue to entertain. His character's inspiring attempts to change through hard work and perseverance provide for newfound nuances in his performance. Tiffany Haddish, as Carrie, shines alongside Teddy providing great amounts of sharp banter which truly bring out some of the movie's funniest scenes. Megalyn Echikunwoke, as Lisa, is great in her support of Teddy despite all his misfortunes. Taren Killam, as Stewart, presents a relatable, yet ruthless threat for Teddy as he threatens to damage his relationship with Lisa for the bullying he suffered. Mary Lynn Rajskub, Rob Riggle, Romany Malco, Anne Winters and Al Madrigal round out the all-star cast, as the rest of the night school students, with each providing a uniquely hilarious persona. Romany Malcom shines as my favorite character, with his overdrawn reasoning providing for the movie's best jokes.

Malcolm D. Lee directs the movie with an effective grasp on character and comedic situations as there is never a dull moment. My favorite scene is the heist scene as its parody on heist movies is smartly done and the end gag leaves you breathlessly laughing. However, many of the movie's jokes don't land due to an overreliance on crass bodily humor, which come across as overly done for laughs. At times, much of it comes across as derivative of other school-based comedies, leaving much of the gags feeling unmemorable. Despite this, a good amount of smart deliveries and fun character work help balance it above many comedies that have failed to garner laughs.

The message of the movie to never give up, in spite of any obstacles as with proper rigor, we will succeed and learn the most. Teddy's disabilities and determined attempts to combat that compliment this message with a touching underdog story. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 because of sexual references and language. The movie releases in theaters on September 28, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

Series: DVD, AGES 15-18
Description - The U.S. is the world leader in solitary confinement, with more than 80,000 American prisoners being held in isolation. But in recent years, more than 30 states have begun to experiment with reforms aimed at reducing the use of solitary. Filmed over three years by producers Dan Edge and Lauren Mucciolo, with immersive, unprecedented access to the solitary unit at Maine State Prison, the program portrays -- almost in real-time -- the psychological disintegration of human beings, and the challenge of how to deal with men considered the most dangerous and difficult in the state. It's a haunting portrait of life in solitary, and a unique document of a risky reform experiment. It is a searing program that offers American television's most comprehensive exploration of this controversial practice, and goes inside one state's ambitious attempt to decrease its use.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This documentary offers an inside look at solitary confinement in the U.S. and one prison's efforts to reduce its use. The U.S. is the world leader in solitary confinement, with more than 80,000 American prisoners being held in isolation. In recent years, 30 states have begun to experiment with reforms aimed at reducing the use of solitary. This title was filmed over three years at the Maine State Prison. It follows the story of inmate Adam Brullotte, a 23-year-old serving two years for a non-violent crime and has been in solitary confinement for disciplinary reasons. Scientific studies, even dating back to the 1800s, clearly prove that solitary confinement causes mental deterioration, anxiety, psychosis, violent behaviors and physically and permanently changes the way the brain works. We also know that statistically 80% of inmates who experience time in solitary get released from prison. These inmates ultimately re-offend and return to the revolving door of incarceration. Throughout the film, Brullotte starts his time in "seg" optimistically. He even says "I like Seg. I can handle being locked down 23 hours a day because I can read, write and do push ups. It sucks, but I think I'm doing good." Within 25 days of solitary, Brullotte demonstrates heightened anxiety, floods his cell and shortly after he starts self harming to the point of attempted suicide. After his release, he stays sober and gets a job, but is arrested for unpaid court fines and re-enters the revolving door of incarceration. With intensity, depth and clarity, this film shines a light on a world that is largely hidden from public view. This documentary has graphic footage and hence, I recommend it for ages 16 to 18. I would not say that it meets the KIDS FIRST! criteria for children's viewing. The menu offers English sub-titles and a link to I give it 3 out of 5 stars due to the sensitivity of the topic. Reviewed by Elizabeth B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 15-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99 Media: DVD

Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A United Kingdom is the true story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana (David Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white woman from London, which caused an international uproar when they decided to marry in the late 1940s just as apartheid was being introduced into South Africa. It was a decision that altered the course of African history.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A United Kingdom is a film that is very much in love with its own story. Director Amma Asante is obviously very passionate about the subject of this movie, which is about how a biracial couple in 1940s Africa nearly tears apart an entire village and breaks down the relationship of colonial Britain and Africa. We feel Asante's passion for racial equality, and social justice. We clearly see how adamant she is about doing what is right for a nation, rather than fattening one's own greedy pockets. That's all very evident. However, the one thing Asante fails to do, and a glaring mistake of the film, is that she ignores the core of the relationship between the two main characters involved.

David Oyelowo (Selma) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) play the interracial couple. They are both very invested in their moments and the actors both allow their care for this story to show through their performances. However, their relationship is not at all developed. I found myself caring more for the people of the village than their relationship. The issue as I see it is that Director Amma Asante skipped past all of the expositional development stage of their relationship. About 20 minutes into the movie we are already in Africa and the conflict of the story has already changed. It changes from 40's race relations in Britain, to diplomatic struggles between Africa and Britain. But we never truly get to know these people.

Pike plays Ruth Williams, the white Londoner. And, Oyelowo plays Seretse Khama, the King of Botswana. We quickly see how they meet, how they feel, what their families and friends think and then they're married and are in Africa. But we're missing something very essential when it comes to a successful cinematic relationship and that's relational conflict. Despite the fact that Ruth's family is against their marriage and so is Seretse's, we don't how they're affected by it. There's never a moment of problem between the two of them. Essentially, we never see the events in which their relationship is strengthened by adversity before they're off to Africa. That poses an issue going into the second act because, all of a sudden, we're given new conflicts, characters and situations. And, we have to fill in the blanks and imagine that their relationship is one worth fighting for.

However, once we get to Africa and the colonial conflict starts as well as the conflict within Seretse's family, we're caught up to speed. Asante takes us on a plot of cheer and disappointment and we are never for a moment bored. We're never not entertained and we get sucked into their story and applaud the wars they win amidst the battles they lose. For those reasons, I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It can be seen at a local theaters now.

Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - It feels good to be bad...Assemble a team of the world's most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government's disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do. However, once they realize they weren't picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it's every man for himself?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - With the awesome soundtrack, unbelievable acting, intriguing storyline and perfect cast members, this film is one I definitely recommend seeing. The film is about an assembled team of the most dangerous villains in the world who are sent on a mission to defeat a bigger evil entity. The film's twist on typical superhero movies really stands out as the antagonists take the spotlight for once. The squad is composed of fearless felons with nothing to lose. Their actions, hidden agendas and intentions are absolutely unpredictable.

One of the best aspects of this movie is the cast and their outstanding acting. Margot Robbie's role as Harley Quinn is jaw dropping and Jared Leto deserves lots of credit for his performance as the Joker. They played their roles so amazingly well that it was hard for me to imagine them as people outside of their roles here. Their facial expressions, from scene to scene, is unbelievable. All of the characters' portrayals are amazing. Deadshot, played wonderfully by Will Smith, provides a comedic and emotional aspect as he tries to hold a loving relationship with his daughter throughout the main conflict. What makes the characters so memorable and the film intriguing is that each one has its own twisted story and talent.

The soundtrack is awesome and the film's use of lot of good songs made certain scenes especially memorable. Overall, this film is a fun movie and, if you go in to see it with no specific expectation or comparison with another film, I can't imagine anyone not liking it. The idea may have been typical but the execution was superb. Sure people argue that it is just another superhero movie and make many comparisons to other superhero films, but I think the style this film has, including the acting, music, camera work and visuals puts this film above others.

I recommend this film for people ages 13 to 18 and think adults will enjoy it as well, especially those who like twisted, psychotic and creepy vibes because, although I am not a fan of action movies, the psychotic and creepy feel made it really interesting for me. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Check it out as it is in theaters now.

Reviewed by Harmony M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a very well written movie with very good special effects and it some good humor. But, it is scary and pretty violent and there are some parts that are not really appropriate for young kids. The story is fast paced and I admit that I did not understand some parts. Overall though, it was great and funny.

The film starts as Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) shows someone a file about multiple villains: Deadshot (the amazing Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney ), Diablo (Jay Hernandez ), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and last, but definitely not least, June Moone/Enchantress (Cara Delevingne). As she describes each villain you see clips of how each of them ended up in prison. In June's case, you learn how she became the Enchantress.

June Moone is a human who finds a little statue in an old tomb. It opens and the Enchantress possesses her. She switches between being June and the Enchantress. June falls in love with a soldier, Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) and Amanda Waller gets the Enchantress'/June's heart. Amanda has the Enchantress' heart and June has Rick's, so Amanda has Rick in her control.

Rick Flag gathers up The Suicide Squad, plants a bomb in each of their necks and tells them if they disobey they die. They all put on their costumes and get their weapons. They are joined by the Enchantress and Katana (Karen Fukuyama) and are ready to be bad guys fighting even worse guys.

I love the costumes, makeup and special effects used to make the characters look not exactly like their comic counterparts, but still extremely awesome. For example, I love Killer Croc's costume, makeup and special effects. I love that he looks nothing like the person who plays him. Another example is the Enchantress whose special effects may be my favorite of this film. It looks like there is a shroud of death around her. Even though it is scary, it is also very cool. The cinematography is also great. It stays focused on the characters while they fight and run around. It is outstandingly clear and you can see everything.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars for its great effects, costumes and storyline, not 5 because it is scary and a bit too fast paced. I recommend this for ages 12 to 18 unless, of course, you think you can handle the violence.

Reviewed by Nathaniel B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Red, white and blue with sparkles and she chews pink bubble gum, which sounds all American. What could go wrong? Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is adorable, cute, funny and deadly. The Joker' new girlfriend is all kinds of Kray Kray and I love her. She is the heart and soul of this movie. Without her quirky, quick witted one liners it would just be a dark movie about a bunch of bad guys trying to kill another bunch of bad guy.

Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is her awesome, take control kind of girl we love. This movie has great female characters that have depth and intelligence. That has me giving it thumbs up. I enjoyed this movie and hope that it becomes a franchise that I can see for years to come. It left me wanting more movies just like this.

One of the many exhilarating things about this movie is the giant cast. There are so many characters and actors and I love that. In recent years, we have seen so many movies with only a handful of people in them. This movie spared nothing - big cast, action, drama, scares, comedy and graphics. This is the kind of movie we love to see on the big screen.

The graphics are top notch. The stunt work is impressive. Harley Quinn has some great aerial acrobatics. Swan drives take a lot of trust and she pulled it all off with style. Deadshot (Will Smith) gives his best performance in years. I certainly would not want to be on the other end of his firepower.

Not much scares me, but The Joker (Jared Leto) is frightening. Jared Leto is usually unique and quirky and funny but he goes all out to the other side and is terrifyingly crazy. He transforms into something night mares are made of and his acting is too creepy for words.

The concept of this movie is fabulous. Everyone deserves a second chance, right? The idea of microchipping Super villains with bombs like my dog so I can find him if he gets lost is a good idea. Villains fighting other villains makes sense. They think alike. It gives the villains a chance to see that there is another way. They can fight for good instead of evil.

The Enchantress /June Moone (Cara Delevingne) is a big surprise. The one thing I wish they added is more of a back story for her and her brother.

Depending on kind of movies your kids like, if they like being scared to death and can follow a complicated story line, then you are good to go and see this. It is not a cute kid's movie. I recommend for ages 13 to 18.

I give this film 5 out of 5 sledge hammers with red, white and blue sparkling stares. It is different, fun and scary all in one movie.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Derek and Hansel are lured into modeling again, in Rome, where they find themselves the target of a sinister conspiracy. Directed by Ben Stiller; Starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Penelope Cruz
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This sequel to Zoolander brings back Ben Stiller as Derek joined by Owen Wilson as Hansel who take on the modeling industry again. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Lainey A. comments, "The sequel, Zoolander 2 a live action feature film, sadly does not live up to the standard of its predecessor. The writing is not nearly as funny and the plot rambles." See her full review in youth comments.
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Hail Caesar! Follows a day in the life of Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood fixer for Capitol Pictures in the 1950s, who cleans up and solves problems for big names and stars in the industry. But when studio star Baird Whitlock disappears, Mannix has to deal with more than just the fix. Written by Joel and Ethan Coen. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a very odd movie. It's primary appeal is to filmophiles I believe but event that stretches it a bit. There is very little in this film to hold your interest. In fact, my husband fell asleep during it and I wish I had. The parodies are very simple and just don't draw you in. My favorite part is probably the water ballet which is stunning. The ending is like the rest of the film - disappointing. The whole communist, black-list plot is flat, flat, flat. I say, spend your money elsewhere. However, there's nothing here to disqualify it for a KIDS FIRST! recommendation and, as you will below, our youth reporter enjoyed it.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What happens when you mix legendary actors, an original story, smooth and hilarious script and two of the greatest directors of all time, the Coen Brothers? You get Hail, Caesar! - an absolute hilarious masterpiece that I absolutely adore.

This is a comedy that never bores the audience. It is delightfully smooth and original. There are some elements of romance a few times in the film, but not enough to call this film romantic. It has an exciting and original plot, with just a hint of dramatic turns throughout the story. What can be better than a movie about making movies, beautiful sets and intrigues behind the scenes?

The story starts when Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), a famous actor, disappears right before the filming of his final scenes for the movie, Hail, Caesar, where he plays the main character. Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is rushed to try to get him back before studio loses a lot of money.

Although the comedy makes the whole audience laugh out loud time and time again, the cinematography is what made me fall in love with the film. The Coen brothers who directed the film, execute mastery with every shot, from aerial to 360 degree views, each shot looks so carefully planned it is perfect for the scene and simply breath taking. The acting also excels with mega stars including George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson (DeeAnna Moran) and Channing Tatum. They play their parts as if they are that person and forever have been.

My favorite scene is when we first see Scarlett Johansson. The scene shows her doing a majestic and beautiful swimming show where she and others perform an extravagant number. What I really love about this shot is the camera angles showing everything from the side to the top, showing the scene in a very unexpected and wonderful way. The scene is peaceful and enjoyable and then ends with an abrupt joke (which is perfectly smooth, original and so unexpected).

The comedy is somewhat mature, so I recommend it for kids age thirteen to eighteen. I give it five out of five stars for its excellent comedy, beautiful camera shots and an exciting, yet original story.
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - The Coast Guard makes a daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952. Starring Chris Pine, Holliday Grainger, Casey Affleck. Directed by Craig Gillespie.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Finest Hours is a Walt Disney film that is filled with much determination that captivates your mind on a realistic approach of being in the ocean on a boat wondering if you will survive. This moved me because you have to be a thinker, organizer and strategist in order to achieve the obstacles that you will be encountering. I really loved this movie because it is in 3D which makes everything appear to be coming right at you and you feel like you are a part of the film, especially during the ocean scenes. This film is based on a true story and it is filled with action, drama and history. The director, Craig Gillespie draws you into this film by his realistic portrayal of events.

One of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast struck New England in February 1952. It damaged an oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod and literally ripped it in half. On a small lifeboat faced with frigid temperatures and 70-foot high waves, four members, Bernie Weber (Chris Pine), Ben Foster (Richard Livesey), Andy Fitzgerald (Kyle Gallner) and Ervin Maske (John Magaro) of the Coast Guard set out to rescue the more than 30 stranded sailors trapped aboard the rapidly-sinking vessel. The captain gives the orders and sends them out to accomplish the goal.

My favorite part of this movie is when Bernie Weber and his fellow crew members set out to find the people on the sinking ship. They lose connection with the captain and also lose their compass. The crew members want Bernie to turn back around, but he says, "no point". Bernie just keeps on going to see if he can find any type of vessel. He becomes obstinate and passionate about his Coast Guard duty.

The setting is a 1950s snowy and cold day with distinguished vintage cars the town people drive. The women's dress is classy and stylish and they definitely make a statement upon arrival to any event.

I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 Stars because it is action-packed with some romance and tense moments. Younger audiences may not understand and might be scared. This movie hits theaters Friday, January 29, 2016. Come and check it out. It is a must see!

Reviewed by Tre'ana H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I had good expectations for The Finest Hours, especially in IMAX 3D. It has a great, true-life story about a few men accomplishing the impossible on the high seas. It has a good cast, but no blockbuster stars. And, it has a director, Craig Gillespie, with a great Indie pedigree (Lars and the Real Girl, Million Dollar Arm). Unfortunately, the film is riddled with clich�s, which points to the writer (Scott Silver) and the director. The Finest Hours is an epic rescue story but ultimately a let down.

The Finest Hours is a true story about a rescue mission to save an oil tanker that gets partially destroyed during a big winter storm off the coast of Cape Cod. The Wellfleet Coast Guard is expected to help in the rescue but most of their large craft are out helping other distressed tankers. So, it comes down to four Coast Guarders to go out in a small boat to save the sailors on the tanker. The Coast Guard rescue team is lead by Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) and Richard Livesey (Ben Foster). Bernie is a quiet, inarticulate man who plays by the rules. They have to get past the "bar" to get out on open seas and the first time, they get fully submerged by the waves and lose their compass. It's like an ant trying to save a huge whale in the middle of a storm! Meanwhile, the crew of the tanker is trying to ground themselves on a shoal. They are being led by the head mechanic, Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck), who is an unlikely hero. He is an obsessed mechanic who is not part of the social fabric of the tanker. But because he knows the ship better than anyone, he takes control. He doesn't believe in luck, only hard work and ingenuity.

The beginning of the film is a preamble that sets up the love interest between Bernie and his girl, Miriam (Holliday Grainger) and the other characters in the town of Wellfleet. This part of the film feels rushed and clich�. Bernie is set up as a broken man for some reason, but you don't know why. Other failed rescue missions are hinted at. I feel like I don't know the characters' personalities like I do in other films. The rescue sequences are very exciting and intense, especially in IMAX 3D. The cinematography and graphics are great. The depiction of the roiling water is very realistic. I also liked the fact that both of the men leading each of their crews are unlikely heroes. There's a point in the rescue where they meet and you can see Sybert size up Webber as a similar animal to himself.

I give The Finest Hours 3 out of 5 stars due to the stereotypical and confusing screenplay and direction. It is appropriate for ages 10 through 18.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - In the south of France, former special-ops mercenary Frank Martin enters into a game of chess with a femme-fatale and her three sidekicks who are looking for revenge against a sinister Russian kingpin.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - There are many mixed reviews on this film which opened this weekend. Many people were disappointed that Jason Statham was replaced by newcomer Ed Skrein. The story follows a former special-ops mercenary, Frank Martin, now living a less perilous life - or so he thinks - transporting classified packages for questionable people. When Frank's father (Ray Stevenson) pays him a visit in the south of France, their father-son bonding weekend takes a turn for the worse when Frank is engaged by a cunning femme-fatale, Anna (Loan Chabanol), and her three seductive sidekicks to orchestrate the bank heist of the century. Our reviewers also had mixed reactions. Tre'ana H., age 11 comments, "The Transporter Refueled is an action-packed, thriller and crime film. The director Camille Delamarre delivers this spine-chiller in a way that keeps you in suspense the whole time." Willie J, age 16 adds, "I think this movie is very average. As a person who knows films and has seen plenty of action films, this movie offers nothing special." See their full reviews in our youth review section.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Transporter Refueled is an action-packed, thriller and crime film. The director Camille Delamarre delivers this spine-chiller in a way that keeps you in suspense the whole time. Their fashion is sleek and sophisticated.

This film takes place in the south of France where Frank Martin (Ed Skrein) enters into a world full of trouble. His father Frank Senior (Ray Stevenson) goes to visit his son for a weekend without knowing what he will encounter. Frank is the Uber person that transports you wherever you want to go without any questions being asked. He stumbles upon trouble when he is engaged by a cunning sinister women Anna (Loan Chabanol) and her three seductive sidekicks to orchestrate the bank heist of the century. He must use his courageous skills with his super fast Audi and slick women to outrun a Russian kingpin. But, it is not over because the women want revenge. This is the beginning. That's all I can reveal.

My favorite part is when Frank Martin and Anna and her three side chicks are leaving the club after they terrorized the patrons. Frank gets into an altercation outside and puts all the women in the car and tells them not to touch anything. While he is fighting, the car rolls down the ramp by itself. It is awesome! I really enjoyed that part.

The message of the film is to love your children dearly, no matter how hard it gets and don't ever give up on them for money.

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 and give it 3 out of 5 stars because it did not really keep my interest. Also, I feel this is inappropriate film for children under the age of 13 but people older will appreciate it.

This movie is in theaters now so, if you're over the age of 13, check it out. Reviewed by Tre'ana H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11. I have to start this review off by saying that I have not seen the previous three previous Transporter films. I am reviewing this film as it stands on its own and not as the fourth sequel in the franchise so take my criticism with that in mind, for better or for worse.

With that said, I think this movie is very average. As a person who knows films and has seen plenty of action films, this movie offers nothing special. It has some nice moments, but there are plenty of mistakes that could have, and should have been, been avoided. What I do know from the series is that Jason Statham is replaced in this film so it is like a re-birth for a new era. If that is the case then, it's not off to a great start. But, it's not off to bad one either.

The best parts of the film are the action sequences. They are things of beauty, filled with excitement, vivacity and cool effects. There are good performances for a film of this kind, especially from Ray Stevenson. There's even a nice twist towards the end.

But, there is an awful romantic subplot, with inconsistent characterization. The fact is that this action movie is no different than any other action movie as you'll see. It's entertaining, yet forgettable.

For fans of the series, I'm sorry I can't help you more. I liked it for the most part and I'm not a fan. So perhaps that means you'll like it even more than me. I hope so.

I give it 2 1/2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 15 to 18. Some of the content pushes its rating. Some of which had me question what the original cut looked like. This film is in theaters now. Reviewed by Willie Jones, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-12
Description - We All Shine, is light, soulful, stylish, and unforgettable new album by Play Date. Across the board, the blend of catchy rock and kindie themes is woven seamlessly, making for an exciting music that inspires the imagination.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Play Date's We All Shine CD is awesome! The boy girl duo is really enjoyable and fun to listen to. The songs are catchy and each one offers something to learn. Some of the songs are about healthy foods or being a good friend. I found myself humming several of them throughout the day after listening! Any child that likes music and any adult that wants something they can jam to as well will enjoy this album. The album artwork is really bright and beautiful and there is a great message about the artists and a little about their mission. I found it interesting and unique to see the artists' pictures inside the sleeve as opposed to on the front cover. This collection of infectious melodies and empowering lyrics will get the whole family dancing! The songs have great names like "Ruin Your Appetite", "Ninja Pajamas" and "Hug Hug Hug". I highly recommend this CD!

Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - There are good things and bad things about this CD. First the good things: Some of the lyrics are catchy and the music has a good beat. I think some little kids would like to dance to it - at least a few of the songs. But, that would be little kids ages 4 to 6. I liked a few of the songs the first time I heard them but over all, I really didn't have any favorites. As far as the things I really didn't like - there are three songs about fruits and vegetables which aren't different enough so that was repetitive. I mean - 3 songs on the same CD?! I also don't think the songs would be favorites of most younger kids. I don't know too many kids that would like to listen to songs about this topic. The singers voices are good but the lyrics are very repetitive. I'm referring to songs with lyrics like "No dinner, no lunch, no just want to munch, munch, munch" and it repeats over and over in the song called "Ruin Your Appetite." I wanted to stop listening after hearing the same words over and over so many times. I give this CD 3 out of 5 stars. There is nothing inappropriate for, younger children but it is just really not that fun. I played it for my nephew who is 4 and he liked only two songs out of the 14. He agreed that the fruits and vegetable songs were not any fun. His words were they are yucky but then, keep in mind that he hates vegetables. Over all, the band just repeats too many of their lyrics over and over. It's disappointing.
Runtime: 41 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-6 Suggested Retail Price: $ 12 Media: AUDIO

Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline. Now, Sgt. Reese finds himself in a new and unfamiliar version of the past, where he is faced with unlikely allies, including the Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger), dangerous new enemies, and an unexpected new mission: To reset the future...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - "I'll be back!" and indeed he is. This action packed adventure movie is an all new story about going back and changing the future. I liked this movie but thought that it needed more cyborgs.

Paramount brings this 3D block buster movie out just in time for the 4th of July weekend.

I have seen the other Terminator movies. I was also a fan of the TV show based on the Terminator series. This seems like a movie that follows the franchise brand at times and other times doesn't tie in at all.

Unlike other franchises, with the exception of Arnold Schwarzenegger, there are all new actors. The actors portray their characters in a believable way but I find it difficult to watch a franchise story line when there are different actors. It makes it harder to connect to the characters. Somewhere in the back of your brain you are remembering the original actors.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is entertaining, funny and believable. In the previous movies, he was always the Terminator. Now he is known as the Guardian. There are a few surprises as we learn more information about the cyborgs and their ever changing transformations. We also learn more about how the war started and how it almost ended.

Emilia Clark plays Sarah Conner when she first encounters Arnold Schwarzenegger and learns what her role really is in the world. This time she is teaching Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese what his role in the world is. She is a sweetheart but lethal when she needs to be which makes her my favorite character.

John Connor is a different character then what we are accustomed to. He is all grown up and Sarah meets her adult son when she time travels to see if she can change the future.

J.K. Simmons is a confused cop, O'Brien, who gets caught up in the story as he keeps seeing the same people who have not changed many years later and finally realizes he is not crazy. There are several questionable moments which make you wonder about the ever pesky time rifts.

Kudos to the graphics department which have created incredible sets that make you feel as if you are really in another dimension. I saw the movie in 3D and the screen just pops out at you. The graphics are awesome but they lack the cyborg scare factor.

The age range for this movie is 13 to 18 because it is complicated story line. There is violence but, as long as you do not mind a few dead robots, you will be OK. There's no blood and guts.

I give this movie four out of five cyborg stars. We will see if Arnold ever comes back again.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10.

If you are a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger, especially in his role as The Terminator, you'll be happy to see that "he's back" for the fifth installment, Terminator Genisys. This time, his co-stars are Jai Courtney and Emilia Clarke and the director is Alan Taylor. After having no Arnold in number four, it's a treat to have him back in this one. He delivers a funny and cool performance. Definitely, his performance is the best part of the movie for me.

Now, I must say that I had high hopes for this movie because I loved the first two and was hoping that this one would recapture some of their intense action and emotional drama. Unfortunately, I think this one fell flat. Here are four reasons why.

First, I began to have my doubts when I saw the trailer a few weeks ago. Just as they did in the trailer for the fourth movie, this trailer reveals the biggest plot twist in the entire movie. What a let-down!

My feelings about the cast are mixed. I like how Emilia Clarke plays Sarah Conner. She reminds me of Linda Hamilton's gritty portrayal in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. However, Jai Courtney's portrayal of Kyle Reese is unemotional and bland.

The Terminator series is built on heart-pounding, inventive action scenes, which use a mix of CGI and practical effects. This movie has no detectable practical effects, it's mostly CGI. And, the action is nothing new or creative. There was not one scene where I said to myself, "That's awesome!"

The fourth reason I am disappointed is the story. It's rated pg-13 to get a wider audience, but that means it lacks the edginess and intense action that I enjoy. The plot is all over the place. It's confusing, even if you saw the other movies in the series. If you are a kid, and can't see the other movies because of their "R" rating, I imagine it would be very hard to follow.

I am a big fan of Terminator 1 and 2, so I was very shocked that I did not like this movie. Arnold's scenes are memorable, but they can't overcome the rest of it. Because I suggest that you have to see the previous movies to begin to understand this one and you have to be old enough to watch an "R" rated movie, I would rate Terminator Genisys 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 20.

Reviewed by Will S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Four young outsiders teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe which alters their physical form in shocking ways. The four must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a disappointing film that has a riveting first half but a rushed and forced second half. Four young minds create a machine that transports them into a alternate universe. Once they come back they have acquired unique powers that they need to control.

The first half looks quite promising. The pace, character development and story are very engaging. The darker direction they take with the story makes it enjoyable. My favorite scene is when the four discover their abilities. There is a sense of fear, tragedy and betrayal with the characters. It starts out as another successful origin story, then it feels as if the editors pressed the fast-foreword button once it starts to get interesting. The second half feels as if it is a long sneak peek for the next Fantastic Four film. It has a great head start but it left me wanting more in a negative way. There is enough four, but it lacks "fantastic."

The updated special effects are one of the redeeming qualities of this film. The presentation of each power is stunning. The impressive design of Ben Grimm/The Thing (Jamie Bell) and the fluent stretching effects of Mister Fantastic give this film an updated edge.

At first there is a connection among the characters; both with each other and the audience. The actors pull this off seamlessly and you are sincerely captivated with their goals and struggles. However, they suffer during the second half as all their hard work is painfully rushed.

My favorite character is Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic (Miles Teller). Richards is one of the people who help build the machine. He ends up getting the ability of an elastic body which means he can stretch any part of his anatomy. Miles Teller has been on a roll with his career and for good reasons. He's a talented actor who dives deeply into the characters he plays. This part is no exception.

The moral of the film, though a bit forced, reminds me of Abraham Lincoln's quote, "A house dived against itself cannot stand." The four heroes face Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell) and attack him individually. Soon they realize, that together, they are stronger.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend this to 10 through 18-year-olds. There's some dark material and language that younger audiences may not be able to handle. This film has some saving aspects but sadly, they do not recover the whole film. This film is in theaters August 7th

Keefer C. Blakeslee, Age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

In Marvel's latest reboot, Fantastic Four, they failed miserably in trying to create a flawless superhero movie. And, when I say that, know that the movie is downright disappointing.

The film commences by introducing the young genius Reed Richards going through trials and tribulations with his new teleportation device. No one seems to pay attention or truly care about his work until his soon-to-be best friend Ben Grimm comes along. Reed and Ben thrive together through their years to make someone notice their hard work and make a difference in the world--this is where Franklin Storm comes along and gives them a full ride to Baxter Building for their ingenuity.

In Baxter Building they gain some new co-workers; Victor Domashev, Sue Storm, and Johnny Storm, who all happen to be your ordinary geniuses, and together they figure out what interdimensional travel is all about.

I have so many things to say about this movie that I wish were good ones. For starters, it is so boring. Seriously, it is probably the lamest film Marvel has adapted. Contrary to the other movies, the graphics weren't even breathtaking. The one time we FINALLY change settings and enter a battle scene, it lasts two minutes. They made Doctor Doom seem so weak and vulnerable and also gave him some new powers in this movie which is truly unnecessary when the character is already a perfect villain. Last but certainly not least, the acting was extremely dull. I felt depressed just looking at these monotone, boring "heroes."

Overall, Fantastic Four was a huge letdown. As a die-hard Marvel fan, I was really upset that this movie was so rushed and discouraging considering the original film was pretty great.

Fantastic Four is rated PG-13 for its intense sci-fi action violence and some mature language. I give this film 2 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Michelle C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Marvel's Fantastic Four, fills itself with great action, in depth special effects, and a talented cast. This film held my interest and makes me want to see other Marvel films. It's definitely an exciting film.

After being teleported to a perilous and different universe, the physical form of four young adults, changes in dramatic ways. The four of them are left with the challenge of controlling their new found powers and saving the world from a former friend and colleague who becomes their enemy.

The special effects, clarity and attention to detail is outstanding and I really enjoyed watching it. There is a sense of togetherness that you feel from the four main characters throughout their journey. They are working together for a common goal. Even though I haven't seen most of the other Marvel films, I still understand what's going on and can easily follow along. I also enjoy the different abilities the four main characters possess. If I had to choose out of the four powers to be my favorite, I would definitely pick the ability to become invisible, because there is so much you could do with that. I'm sure it would be a lot of fun. Something that I didn't enjoy is the slowness in the first half of the film. I feel as though the beginning of Fantastic Four ought to be shortened down to the essentials and another part should have more action in it, making it closer to what I'm anticipating from watching the trailer. However, the length of the film is good where it's not too long for you to get bored and not too short where you would want more.

My favorite character would have to be Sue (Kate Mara). She exemplifies traits of intelligence, self-control, and kindness. Also, being the only girl in the group, I relate to her most. My favorite scene is really any scene that the characters are using their powers, because I love when people have special abilities and they show them to others.

A great message in this film is of course team work. Many people working together is much stronger that one person working alone. It also communicates a message of helping others and in doing so, it shows people that you are reliable and that they can trust you.

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 and anyone who loves Marvel films. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Fantastic Four is in theaters now, so please check it out. Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - At the turn of the century, the young lord Vlad Tepes and his young family live a peaceful life ruling over their small kingdom. However, when a ruling rival king with a growing army demands from Vlad the first born male of every family to join his army; Vlad's wife makes a terrible mistake which will change history forever. Vlad's wife, Mirenea travels to visit bloodthirsty witches in the nearby mountains. While there she sells her soul to stop the invading army- the price however is that Vlad will become a blood-thirsty monster that will hunt the ages. Starring Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadson. Directed by Gary Shore. Written by Maatt Sazama, Burk Sharpless.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This classic story is brought back to life in Dracula Untold which presents a whole new take on the tale by explaining the origins of the deadly vampire. This version tells the story of prince Vlad of Transylvania who has to fight the all mighty Turks. His troops are greatly out numbered, therefore he travels to a mystical mountain and asks a devil figure for help. The devil figure offers to give him great strength, keen senses and super speed for his mortal life. Vlad ultimately agrees and ends up drinking blood which makes him become the iconic Dracula.

This movie is very dark in the sense of horror. The characters and battles are very graphic and scary. The plot of the movie was very unique but it lacks fluidity. The plot starts very early in the movie which is a bit of a shocker because it jumps to the middle of all the action. The cinematography, CGI and animations are amazing, but the editing is a bit choppy and, as a result, it lacks a smooth storyline. The script is bit disappointing because it uses a lot of iconic lines such as "let the games begin" which is greatly is overused and lacks creativity.

The actors are all rising stars. Luke Evans is superb as Vlad and provides a new look once he is transformed into Dracula. He definitely fits the role with his very masculine presence as the prince and also by showing a dark side when portraying Dracula.

With a prince comes a princess, portrayed by Sarah Gadon. Her chemistry on screen with Luke Evans is unsteady. They do not seem to be truly in love with each other. Overall the movie is weak when compared to other action movies. The attempt to make a new storyline for Dracula is confusing. All the cuts between scenes make the movie lack fluidity.

II give this movie 4 out of 5 stars because of its confusing plot and weak script. This movie is rated PG-13. The genre of the movie is action / horror due to its violent and dark scenes. I recommend this movie for ages 13 to 18 with parental advice. Dracula Untold releases October 10 at your local theater so, if you're looking for a Halloween themed movie, definitely check it out. Reviewed by Patrick Nguyen, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14.

Dracula Untold is an intense love story that changes everything we know about the world's most famous vampire. Dracula undergoes a complete makeover, trading his creepy castle in for a palace fit for a king. That's right, Dracula better known as "Vlad the Impaler" is a Slavic prince and protector of his people. This movie tries to stay true to some of the history behind the classic story of Dracula which is interesting, but also confusing.

Vlad, played by Luke Evans is a prince who may be brutal on the battlefield, but is adored by his citizens. When war with a neighboring nation seems unavoidable he is forced to do something that will change his life forever. He locates a great evil that will give him super speed, strength, and the ability to fly. He will get these powers and many more for three days if he can resist the urge to drink human blood, but if he gives in he will stay like this for the rest of eternity. The deal seems simple at the time but the safety of Vlad's people and family is at risk. Now it's up to him to protect himself and those he loves from the war.

My favorite thing about this film is definitely the special effects. They make the movie less scary and more action packed and thrilling. I also like how unpredictable the movie is. You never know exactly what was going to next and, it is still fun watching it all play out.

The most entertaining character in the entire movie is the "master vampire" played by Charles Dance. He makes a lasting impression on the audience because of how he makes his character scary, but interesting. He also plays a very important role in the storyline. My favorite part of the movie is when Dracula unleashes his powers on an entire army for the first time. This scene is jaw-dropping due to the animation and special effects. Also, the music adds excitement to the movie.

I recommend Dracula Untold for ages 14 to 18 because of some more mature scenes and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Dracula Untold flies into theaters October 10th so please be sure to check it out. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Simone Sharrieff, age 14.
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

Series: DVD AGES 2-5
Description - Bailey Bee and Jennifer will take you on an amazing journey inside a hive. Once they get inside the hive, Bailey will introduce Jennifer to an important book. The book jumps right into the animated characters of them learning the five B's. The children and Jennifer learn about: Body Parts, Boundaries, how to Be Brave: Yell and Tell, how to Bust Secrets, and to Be Bold and Believe. Throughout the DVD, there are opportunities for the children and Jennifer to earn stickers on their chart. Once the stickers are earned, then they receive Bailey's badge. Also, there is high repetition and wonderful music to engage this age group. For purchase, go to
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD is meant to increase awareness of sexual abuse for young children ages 2 to 6. Kids are taught about the five B's - body parts, boundaries, bravery, bust secrets and be bold and believe. This DVD discusses in a child friendly manner a very sensitive topic.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a very important video and can be very useful for increasing awareness of sexual abuse among very young children. The children themselves enjoyed the cartoon and music. It may be useful to create a girl version and a boy version. At the ages of 2-6, some parents did not want anatomical terms used. In that case, the majority of the video could not be viewed by the children. Those parents did not let their child watch the video starting from 5:19 when the terms "penis" and "vagina" are used. Those children had not heard these terms before. For parents who are comfortable with anatomical terms being used, this works well. Hence our qualitied yes ranking.
Runtime: 33 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ 34.99 Media: DVD

Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill... or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables -- but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables' most personal battle yet.

Starring Sylverster Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson Antonio Banderas, Ronda Rousey. Directed by Patrick Hughes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - We all need the movies that allow us to just sit back and let our mind melt - the kind of movie you can watch without your brain. No thinking, no deciphering, no figuring things out. Just watch and enjoy the explosions.

The Expendables 3 has plenty of that and more. There are enough bullets, deaths, explosions, weapons, punches, kicks and bruises to make any fan of action movies content.

Usually in action film like this, the acting is good enough to believe the characters. Adding Mel Gibson and Antonio Banderas to this third sequel is the best thing this franchise has done. They easily give the finest performances in this film and in the whole trilogy. Antonio gives the film lots of humor and a remarkable monologue, showing his range impeccably. And then there's Mel Gibson, who works with the limitations of his script beautifully - not being too over-the-top, too psycho or too much of a clich�, he creates a villain that doesn't come off crazy or bombastic, but realistic. I appreciated their performances.

As for other aspects of the movie, there isn't really much that struck me as outstanding. The sound is great, the special effects are nice, the script is an action movie script. You have typical character archetypes - tough girl, stubborn prodigy, attempts at humor, one liners and lots of explosions.

To sum up this film, I would quote critic James Berardinelli's (Reelviews) review on The Expendables 2, "Does exactly what it's supposed to do-no more, no less." What does that mean? No deep thinking, more explosions.

Taking into consideration its success and flaws, I give this film 3 out of 5 stars, meaning I recommend you see it. It's a nice film to see if you wish to get a few laughs and relax your brain. Because of the huge amount of violence and the profanity , I recommend this film for kids ages 16 to18. The MPAA seems to be getting more lenient with their ratings but KIDS FIRST! considers excessive profanity inappropriate for younger kids.

Reviewed by Willie Jones, KIDS FIRST! Critic, Age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 14-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Based on the hit video game series, Batman must find a bomb planted by the Joker while dealing with a mysterious team of villains called, The Suicide Squad. Starring Kevin, Neal McDonough and Hynden Walch.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Vigorous! This is your typical entertaining comic book film, only this time you're cheering for, and looking from, the bad guys' point of view.

Amanda Waller (C.C.H. Pounder) assembles a team of six criminals, called The Suicide Squad. Their mission is to break into Arkham and retrieve The Riddler's (Mathew Gray Gubler) cane. However it does not go according to plan.

This film is rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content and language and I admire this film's judgment. Not long ago, I wrote a blog about the rating system and how leisurely the ratings are letting mature content into PG-13 films without forewarnings. I can't complain since this film gives us a clear heads up! I will say, one of the film's characters towards the end says, "Mother..." and then the audio cuts off. I don't believe that counts for using the "F" word.

The characters are dynamic. As much as I love heroes, I adore villains. A protagonist is nothing without an antagonist and these criminals take the cake. Batman villains are unlike your regular, "Want to take over the world" bad guys. They are complex criminals that are assassins, deranged psychologically, destined to kill and maim for fun, and sometimes all of the above at once. What's even better, these characters are lesser known villains such as Killer Shark (John DiMaggio), Captain Boomerang (Greg Ellis) and more - all with their own vendetta both personal and business. This creates engaging conflict between the characters.

The artistry in the animation never ceases to amaze me. Batman's universe is dark and brooding with lots of shadows and dim lights. Colors like red, green and purple are done in darker shades and tones instead of normal bright tones. The characters all have costumes and designs that define them. Joker (Troy Baker)'s bright colored suit stands out from the rest of the characters while still looking like a part of the world he lives in.

My favorite Character is Deadshot (Neal McDonugh). Deadshot is the leader who only wants to be with his daughter. He's cunning, a sharp shooter and deadly. He even manages to get into Joker's mind and outsmart him. That's impressive.

My favorite scene is when the squad is up against Batman (Kevin Conroy). This takes place in a building full of confiscated belongings from the criminals of Arkham. So if you're a comic book fan, like me, see how many different Easter Eggs you can spot. Plus this is one of the rare times you see Batman do what he does best.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommended it to 13- through 18-year-olds. As I mentioned earlier, there is content that is inappropriate for younger kids.

This film is out on DVD and Blue-ray now.

Reviewed by Keefer C. Blakeslee, age 14, KIDSFIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 75 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.98 Media: DVD

Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This sequel to the reboot of the original Planet of the Apes (1968) explores new and uncharted territory. And, it serves as a prequel to the original films in the series. What we see is a growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar that is threatened by a band of human survivors from the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O, age 12 comments, "...this is a sequel and an eighth movie. I expected that it would feel a bit stretching, but it isn't." See his full review in youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What an exciting and thrilling blockbuster! I was worried about this film. This was the 8th add on to the Planet of the Apes series, second to the reboots. So this Is a sequel and an eighth movie. I expected that it would feel a bit stretching, but it isn't. In fact, Dawn of The Planet of The Apes' main purpose Is to show another side of these super apes and to set up the story for the next film in the franchise.

This isn't just about fighting; in fact, fighting scenes, even though they are epic, take very little part of the film. There is romance within humans and apes families, sometimes, the apes can act funny. Dawn of The Planet of The Apes is thrilling and kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time! Also it has a story line no one expects!

The original Planet of the Apes book is about humans that went to a planet ruled by apes. When they come back to Earth, the same thing happened to our planet. The reboots, (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes and Rise of the Planet of the Apes) are pretty much prequels. So, Caesar leaves civilization with his ape friends while the human race almost goes extinct due to a deadly virus. The remaining humans struggle for power. Will they be able to find a new source of power or will it be up to the apes and their leader to decide the humans' fate?

For me, this is a fantastic addition to the series. They don't try too hard to make it too action-packed and cool looking. The apes look extremely realistic and I really like that. They include some scenes from Rise of the Planet of the Apes which helps to pull it all together nicely. The action and fighting even has some stuff from the original 1963 Planet of the Apes book! The director made it a perfect length and, in fact, this is the first time I've seen what I would call a "trailer" movie (a movie that looks like an hour-long trailer for the next one in the series) that is entertaining and includes a surprise ending.

My favorite scene is when we see a small group of humans working on the power station. When they wake up, the youngest is sitting with an ape that acts as a teacher to young apes and is very loyal to Caesar. The kid gives him a book and reads along with him. It shows how well they actually understand each other and how alike humans and apes are. It shows friendship and how two creatures of different species can be friends.

This film has some violence and intensity so I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars for fantastic graphics, a well planned story, excellent cinematography and stupendous acting. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12.
Runtime: 130 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 39.99 Media: DVD

Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - When the powerful Darkseid and his massive, relentless forces invade Earth, a group of previously unaligned super heroes - misunderstood and, in some cases, hunted by the authorities - discover the only way to fend off the attack will be to work together as a cohesive unit. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Shazam and, in his origin story, Cyborg combine their respective talents in an all-out battle to save the planet. Based on the 2012 graphic novel, "Justice League: Origin," by Geoff Johns & Jim Lee, JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR provides a glance into the world before the Justice League was created, and offers the initial animated incarnation of DC Entertainment's "The New 52."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I expected this movie to be about heroes hating each other and becoming a team in a heartwarming story! Right? Wrong! "Justice League War" is a great and action pack animated film many people will adore.

This adventure has much to love! It has action, adventure, comedy, romance (well with Wonder Woman...), suspense, and so much more including, of course, the heroes!

Now, everything is fine on Earth. Heroes are chilling, doing their thing. But, it's all interrupted when each of them is stopped and has to find the others to destroy a horrible alien race that will harvest humans to destroy the planet! Will the group of super heroes be enough force to stop the 'the Dark Side'? You have to watch the film to find out the ending!

The movie is surprising in a couple of ways. For one, I did not expect the adult language! And second, that there would be a couple of other heroes that the Justice League has. Like Aqua Man who is replaced by Shazam. The film is extremely intense for a DC Comic animation. I think that this film has wonderful voices though. The only small flaw is the voice of Wonder woman - for such a wonderful character, her voice sounded a bit fake. The script and animation are also done nicely.

My favorite scene is when they introduce this kid that gets into a football game for free, gets front row seats and also steals one of the players jerseys. It takes you time to realize it but, that scene shows two people that look ordinary, but are not.

I recommend this film to ages 12-18. The movie does have a lot of adult language and intense scenes. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Justice League: War has good animation and action scenes that comic-book fans can devour but for me, it's mediocre. The story is about the origin of the most powerful team in the D.C universe, The Justice League. Aliens place unknown technology around the Earth and heroes such as Batman (Jason O'Mara), Cyborg (Shemar Moore) have to save the Earth from the invasion of Darkseid (Steven Blum).

This film provides great animation through its characters and sets. The animators give these super-heroes, that we've seen time and time again, enough of their own voice to make their personas different. The action scenes are fun to watch. We see all of these individual powers fight together to create impressive fight sequences. When you watch Green Lantern (Justin Kirk) use his ring to manifest weapons and Batman using his gadgets, it gets your blood pumping. The characters' dialog can be corny but that's what the general audience is looking for - comic-book lines and humor. One aspect of the film that bothered me is the unnecessary fowl language. Yes, this film is PG-13 and you would expect some language, however I wouldn't mind it so much if it wasn't in every scene. It's just not needed.

My favorite character is Cyborg (Shemar Moore). Victor Stone's an all-star football player who is injured in an explosion. To save his life, his father makes him half-human, half-computer. thus creating Cyborg. All Victor wants is his father's acceptance but once he's turned into this machine he feels he has no place in this world. However, when he fights he kicks alien butt.

My favorite scene is the big ending battle with Darkseid. I can't help myself, when I see a superhero movie I'm a sucker for the big battle. This one is no exception with the most monumental visuals being all the heroes giving everything they have to defeat this unstoppable force.

The moral of the story is, "When we fight together, we can do anything." These heroes are used to fighting crime by themselves, so at first there's no teamwork. Solo failure forces them to quit bickering and work together.

I give this film 3-5 stars and recommend it to 13 to18 year olds, because this is not a kid's movie. It has fowl language, brief graphic blood and violence. It's well worth checking out on DVD now.

Keefer Blakeslee, KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic

The superheroes are united again in the new movie "Justice League: War." This movie is straight to DVD and offers a unique plot with the combination of Superman, Wonder Woman, The Green Lantern and Flash. Out of all the superheroes, one new icon is introduced. Flying through the darkness to save people, Batman is the new hero in Gotham City. The plot begins with Batman saving a woman from the villain Parademon. Soon the Green Lantern and Superman join Batman in fighting crime. After collaborating, all three visit headquarters at S.T.A.R Labs. Unfortunately, the place is attacked by multiple clones of Parademon. Wonder Woman and Cyborg come to rescue the workers in the lab and discover Parademon's evil secret. With S.T.A.R lab destroyed, Parademon can now terraform the earth. The heroes have a huge mess to clean up ,and they must now work together to conquer the evils of Parademon.

The writers of the movie make the plot thrilling and action packed. The plot is unexpected and will shock audiences. Along with the writers, the artists and the animators have brought each hero to life. Each of the characters are so detailed that the heroes seem to be living humans. For a moment audiences will believe the heroes are presently in our world saving people. The superpowers of each of the heroes are effortlessly animated. The DVD also features a behind-the-scenes look at the animation. Everyone will enjoy the amount of detail in this animated movie and will even think it is a real filmed movie. Since the movie is animated, the voices are very important to portray the characters. The voices of each hero are perfectly matched. Superman's voice is strong and very determined, while Wonder Woman's voice is soft but very strict. Overall the voiceover work of the movie is as superb as the plot.

Although this is a superhero movie, one important lesson can be taken in: "There is no I in Team," because each of the heroes is constantly trying to lead rather than working together. The movie is action packed but the age limit for this movie is about 7 and above due to the dark and violent plot. The rating of this movie is 5 out of 5 because of the exhilarating plot and meticulous animation.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Critic Patrick Nguyen, Age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.98 Media: Video and DVD

Description - Nanna goes on a BIG adventure with Ruby Big Dog and Pauline the Parrot. They're hoping to find their way to the Big Rock in the center of Australia but, they just can't seem to get on. Nanna wants to go left, Ruby wants to go right and Pauline just wants to go her own way. Cha Cha Sam is folk/pop music for big-spirited kids and their grown-ups, designed to encourage families to play and communicate creatively. The songs are made in close collaboration with specialists in children's health, education and disability.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really like this album. The music is terrific and engaging. However, there are lofty goals that fall short. I really don't understand this album and therein lies the rub. It's like walking into a movie after it has started. I have to evaluate on the content that is given. It is very positive and respectful. The sound quality is terrific. The songs rock and are filled with power and talent but the language and colloquialisms rule out an outside Aussie audience. The cover to the album speaks kid-fun but the content has an agenda of its own - follow the story at all costs. With a heavy heart we cannot fully recommend this album. Reviewed by John Wood.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon. See adult comments.
Runtime: 27 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 25 Media: AUDIO

EYE OF THE EAGLE - KIDFLIX GLOBAL Click to purchase directly from the producer
Description - In medieval Denmark, Young Prince Valdemar longs to fight alongside his Father, but instead, the king sends him to safety in a remote monastery under the care of Bishop Eskil. Once there, Valdemar befriends the kitchen boy, Aske, and together they discover that the Bishop Eskil is secretly leading a rebellion against the king. In order to save the king, the two friends must escape the evil bishop and his mercenary, One Eye, who can see through the eyes of his pet eagle. In Danish with English subtitles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a beautifully filmed action/adventure movie probably most appealing to young boys. The young heroes get in and out of many dangerous situations and are quite often clever in the way they solve problems. You should be aware that it is subtitled which may be a deterrent for some. And, there is also profanity and some violence. It has a strong, historical storyline that is entertaining as well as educational. The story appears to depict the medieval times in which it takes place. Children who enjoy books of the genre of Robin Hood or King Arthur would find this appealing. It is the story of a young Danish prince who is sent off to live at the castle of an evil bishop while his father, the king, is off fighting wars. From the outset, the boy is locked in a room to do nothing but study what he is told. Of course, he escapes and thus begins his many adventurers to outwit the bishop and his men who are plotting against the king. Her survives many dangerous situations with the help of a young servant boy and they ultimately triumph and get back together with the King. There is also a back story of an eagle who appears at various points in the film and adds to the magical tone.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is in Swedish with English sub-titles. The plot is about a boy's journey from home and how he becomes a hero by exposing bad forces at work against the throne of his King father. The plot is simple, the events are not very suspenseful or exciting and the emotions expressed by the actors are not that impressive. The feeling after watching this is I wasn't too moved or too entertained. It is what I would call a movie you might watch if you had nothing else to do. I really wanted to be excited for the main character but didn't find him that interesting. The bad guys aren't all that scary and the situations they deal with are not very complex or intriguing. Sometimes the sub-titles are difficult to read.

I think younger kids might find this more engaging. You should be aware there are some curse words but they are spoken in Swedish. Still, they are written in English. They seem pretty unnecessary in the film.

The sound effects are a bit cheesy. I liked the scenery, probably because I saw parts of Sweden and found that interesting. I enjoyed hearing the Swedish words. It was enjoyable being introduced to a new language and accent. Some words seemed familiar such as "nigh" for "no." My favorite part is when the main character is reunited with his father.

Because I am a boy, I like the idea of the father being proud of his son and seeing him recognized as being his father's hero. I would rate this 2 our of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 8 to 10.

Reviewed by Tyler M, age 14.
Runtime: 91 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 11-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.95 Media: DVD

Description - Overloaded: The Autobots must split their forces to battle two different, but both dangerous, Decepticons. While Optimus takes his team to the Artic Circle to face off against Polarclaw, Bumblee and his team must battle against Overload, an ancient Decepticon who has a grudge against Optimus. Decepticon Island: The Autobot teams are reunited, but all is not well as they discover that Steeljaw is leading a Decepticon guerilla army. Though outnumbered, the Autobots will have to defeat Steeljaw's army if they want to keep the world safe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a dark animated film that centers around the Transformers series of toys. The characters are devious and fight each other a lot There is lots of action. Boys between the ages of 5-10 are the primary audience for this, particularly if they are Transformer fans. Those who are praised are great warriors. There are some big vocabulary words that kids may want to learn such as refugee and domination.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Bumblebee (Will Friedle-Voice) and his friends have to save their home once again from Megatron (Frank Welker-Voice) who has been trying to take over their world for some time now. While trying to save his world, Bumblebee encounters some obstacles and problems along the way and needs his friends to help him through these challenging times. Will they be able to save the world?

The animation in "Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Predacons Rising" is outstanding with a variety of colors, big characters and lots of detail. There is a little confusion in the beginning of this film but by the middle, everything is making sense and it makes for a good storyline with lots of action. I like the characters' names because they are very unusual and they are not something I would hear every day. My favorite character is Bumblebee because he knows when to take charge when nobody else wants to, knows how to get down to business when others are afraid, and knows who to look up to that gives him wisdom and guidance. The transitions of the transformations goes very smoothly and you can really see them transforming into their shapes, objects or other things/creatures.

Other voice talent actors are Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) and Steve Blum (Starscream / Darksteel) who do a great job with their voice acting capabilities. They really portray their emotions through their voice, going from happy to sad to angry and back to happy again. It is all so believable and convincing.

One great message in "Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Predacons Rising" is that you should always keep trying, no matter what and never give up. It may get hard sometimes and you feel like you want to quit, but keep trying!

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 15 and people who love The Transformers. There are some violent, intense scenes with robots fighting each, but they are really not too scary to look at.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because it is a little confusing in beginning and I sometimes cannot understand what a few of the voice characters are saying.

Go through a major transformation in "Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Preadacons Rising", it is available now on DVD.

Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 66 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 7-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.98 Media: DVD

Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-12
Description - Narrated by Cheryl Rhoads (Mother Goose), the story is told from the perspective of animals in a small yard world who have always taken care of themselves until a generous "seed woman," moves into the house and starts giving them delightful edibles replacing their efforts with the expected daily delights.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The music is classical and supports the narrative extremely well without being intrusive. It is very appealing. It's difficult to recommend this CD to a child because the concepts are a bit lofty and younger children would lose interest. It was difficult for our adult judges to hang in even though it is well performed. This CD is an allegory using animal characters to demonstrate universal attributes of working for one's food, not taking hand-outs and working in chorus with your neighbor to achieve goals. All good but, the question begs: are these moral messages communicating to the intended audience of elementary school children? The presentation is well conceived, the orchestration beautifully supportive, the narration is solid but, this could have been enhanced with additional character voices. Essentially this CD falls in the cracks between its intended audience and the message. Reviewed by John Wood.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming
Runtime: 53 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 10 Media: AUDIO

Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - A recently slain cop joins a team of undead police officers working for the Rest in Peace Department and tries to find the man who murdered him. Director: Robert Schwentke; Stars: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is only pretty good because it is pretty predictable and isn't totally appropriate for kids. I did like it though because it has a ton of action and suspense. This movie is also 3-D which makes it even cooler because of all the action scenes.

This movie is about a guy named Nick (Ryan Rey6nolds) who has a good wife and works for the police department. He also has a good partner (he thinks) until his partner wants the gold that Nick has so he kills him. Nick then works for the Rest in Peace Department and he is paired with a new partner named Roy (Jeff Bridges) who is a cowboy. Nick and Roy have to save the world from a guy named Hayes (Kevin Bacon) who is going to build something to bring the dead back to life!

The main characters in this movie are Nick, Roy, Hayes and Julia. My favorite character is Roy because he is really cool, good at fighting and hilarious! He is so funny and is just a really weird guy. He does some things you wouldn't think he might do and it makes everyone laugh.

My favorite part in the movie is when a big fat guy gets shot in the butt with a grappling hook by Roy. He was flinging him all around and trying to kill the bad person that's technically already dead. I just thought it was really funny.

I would recommend this movie for ages 10 and up because there is a lot of violence in this movie and it is rated PG-13. It also has some stereotypes that might not be the best message for kids. All in all it was pretty funny as long as you realize that is what it is meant to be - a comedy. Reviewed by Anthony A, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

WE CAN BE HEROES - KIDFLIX GLOBAL Click to purchase directly from the producer
Description - The story of Marcello, a timid Swedish boy with no friends. He is bullied on the playground and misunderstood by his father. He has a secret passion to become a pilot. He makes a friend of tomboy Fatima, who is new to the school. With her help he proves his bravery and courage, and triumphs over his fears.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is the story of a skinny ten-year-old kid who cannot find anything he can do well. His parents have ideas of him being a world class soccer player (Dad) or a priest (Mom). He is bullied by three older boys, makes friends with a Lebanese girl who has just moved to Sweden (where the film takes place) and the two of them go off on adventures to achieve their goals. Hers is to play soccer and his is to fly. The relationship within the film are varied and the characters can appear foolish, mean, smart or loveable. While I found this film humorous and more of a fantasy, I would recommend it for ages 12-15 years and wonder if they would be interested in a film with much younger protagonists. It is very upbeat and the characters continuously go after their goals in spite of numerous setbacks. There is profanity, backside nudity and scenes with weapons which is why I would recommend it for older viewers. The main character is ten. The film is well done with a good story line. It just seems that the age of the main character and the audience aren't quite in synch. This is filmed in Sweden and it is in Swedish with sub-titles. It has a menu for chapter selection which allows you to skip to different parts of the film easily. While entertaining, I'm not sure it addresses the main theme of bullying in a practical of beneficial way.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is not another movie about happy kids holding hands and not bullying and all of that. I am relieved to see that this movie is more realistic. "We Can Be Heroes" is a fantastic story that many people will enjoy and find educational.

This movie has a good amount of things to like. It has romance, action, adventure, thrills and so much more.

The story starts when a young boy in Sweden is getting bullied badly. He thinks he is the most useless thing in the world. Sadly, I can relate to his experience. However, everything changes when a new girl comes to his class. He falls for her and they become best friends or maybe even something more.

This film is wonderful! I have seen not that many Swedish films and, after seeing this one, I think I will. This movie has a mix of adventure and classic styles. The actors are very good and natural. The camera shots are great and realistic.

My favorite scene is when the new girl's brother sees her playing football (or soccer for Americans) and they rush down to stop her. Then, the coach makes them stop trying to get in her way since she is the star player. I like it because it sends a positive message that women should be able to do what they choose, which I support completely. Also, her brothers finally let her do something which I think is also great.

This film has a bit of action and a bit of mature content so I would recommend it for ages 10 to18 and I would give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.
Runtime: 89 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 10-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.95 Media: DVD

Description - The Dark Knight and Robin have finally reclaimed Gotham City. With Batman back in the spotlight, the media coverage has awoken a far worse evil. The Joker! He has a diabolical scheme that may pull Batman down to the darkest levels of insanity. While on the horizon, a global catastrophe races toward Gotham and with it comes The Man of Steel, though this time he has Batman in his sights. Animated film based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I'm a Batman fan and LOVED IT! So in my opinion I give it 5 firecracker flashes out of five flashes! I think they really captured that side and the transition from novel through screen. The death of the joker is epic even more so then the Superman confrontation. However, there is a lot of violence. It is very intense and bloody. But, no cursing.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Mark Twain once said, "Every one 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 faced 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, though 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, at least 13 and up, due to the 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 you are intrigued to continue watching. Graphic novel and DC Comic fans will love this film. Review by Julianna Noone, age 13, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. And remember, there's a storm coming........
Runtime: 78 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 13-17 Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.98 Media: DVD

Description - Tranhopping is the quickest way to get from one planet to another. A person would vanish in a little black box, and reappear in a box across the galaxy. One Christmas, little Jaymee Sky went to visit her grandmother on a distant planet and never made it.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Though odd, the story of the little girl visiting her grandmother has appeal. She cares for her family, and teamwork is exhibited. However, the pace is slow and the production quality is choppy and not particularly well edited. It is a fun idea to imagine how one might travel in the future. Some of the actors are very believable, but others are awkward and hard to watch. It might make a nice cult film for a niche audience. The special effects were very amateur and didn't hold my interest. Older kids might appreciate the cultish quality of the film.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Jaymee is going to visit her grandmother through a teleporting thing. She gets lost and Cortez has to come to her house and find a way home. Her parents are very worried about her. "It seems kind of old, and it's weird that she was supposed to be able to go in a box and get to a different planet." "The house seemed real, but they didn't show much else." "It didn't look real when they traveled in space."
Runtime: 30 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 10 Media: DVD

Description - A ten-year-old boy must save his sister when a ghostly force taps into their imagination, creating a mystical fantasy world with dangerously real consequences.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Interesting story with great dialogue. The main characters are strong and likeable. They all learn that even during hard times that it is better to choose real-life over fantasy. The kids mature and learn to deal with their parent's divorce appropriately. A fun, exciting adventure that encourages siblings to watch out for one another and protect each other. There is some negative adult behavior that could be confusing to younger children. It would be nice to see the adults learn the same maturity as the kids do in this story.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl's father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Possession starring Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick, is a spine tingling thriller about a young girl named Em who becomes possessed by an evil spirit. I really enjoyed this film. It wasn't the scariest I've seen, but that is to be expected because of it's rating, PG-13. I liked the cinematography because the more the plot thickened, the darker and more glooming the visuals got. The special effects were pretty good swell, however some of the effects towards the end of the film were a little disappointing. The acting in this film was good to some extent. Although, some of the interactions between the family members were a bit unrealistic. For instance , the way Em's mother reacted to her child being possessed on the kitchen floor was a little odd. Em was screaming and crying on the floor, stuffing her face with raw meat and her mom just stood there. If that was me in that situation I know my mom would have ran to me and seen what the matter was, so it seemed rather unrealistic. My favorite scene would probably have to be the end. It was just so evil and unexpected, I don't want to give it away, but the reaction that the audience and myself had to it was great. I really through me off guard and I couldn't stop talking about it after the film. I'm not sure if I have a favorite character, because each of the characters had the same amount of enjoyable qualities and flaws. So, it's hard to pick one. One thing that really stood out to me was how subtle and gradual Em transformed from an innocent child to the host of an evil spirit. This film definitely gave me the chills, but like I said it wasn't terrifying. Everyone has a different tolerance level when it comes to horror, but I would recommend this film for ages 13 and up. Overall, The possession deserves 4-5 stars! Check it out in a theater near you. Reviewed by Raven Devanney, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

Description - A Hollywood producer gets his hands on a young boy's school essay and turns it into a movie. The boy, however, is on his way to claim his credit.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Funny, addresses realistic problem about whether or not to lie. Has a little mystery, romance and comedy blended in. HDNet re-release. Originally released in 2002.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a good family film. It teaches a valuable lesson and is really fun to watch. Big Fat Liar is about a 14-year-old boy named, Jason shepherd, (Frankie Muniz) who writes an essay to avoid summer school. His essay mistakenly finds its way into the hands of a well known Hollywood producer, Marty Wolf, (Paul Giamatti), who turns his thoughts into a hit film. Jason travels to Los Angeles, California, with a best friend to claim his credit and to prove he is telling the truth to his parents. My favorite part is when Jason and his friend pour blue colored dye in Marty's pool and put orange dye in his hair shampoo. While Marty takes a shower and washes his hair, he finally realizes that he is a blue man with orange hair. This is really funny to see and he actually goes out in public looking like this. One of the reasons I like this film is because of all the different sets on the movie lots. It goes from a snowy winter scene to a hot desert day and then other good sets as well. I also like the costumes that Jason and his best friend are trying on. Some of them are from different time periods which look very nice. The background music is very upbeat and energetic. Shawn Levy, (Night at the Museum and Date Night) directs this adventurous film. It also stars the talent of Amanda Bynes (Kaylee), Jason's best friend, and also Amanda Detmer, (Monty Kirkham), Marty's main assistant. The talent is doing a great job in portraying their characters and Marty Wolf is playing a great villain. He really makes me not like him. One big message in this film is that the truth is never overrated. It doesn't matter if it is a small lie or big lie; a lie is still a lie so always tell the truth. It is just better in the long run. I recommend Big Fat Liar to ages 5 to 12 and it's a good family film. I give Big Fat Liar 4 out of 5 stars because it has a good message, some comedy, adventurous and is funny to watch. Keep in mind, the truth is never overrated. Please tune in to see Big Fat Liar as it is playing all month on HDNet Movies Kid Scene. Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, age 12, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. This movie is hilarious for children and adults. This is a live action comedy movie about a 14-year-old boy name Jason Shepard (Frankie Muniz), who is known to lie his way out of anything. His sidekick Kaylee (Amanda Bynes), will help him through some tough times. Jason is on his way to school to turn in his English paper, or else he has to attend summer school. He is hit by a limo that has Marty Wolff, a producer from Hollywood, inside. Jason gets a ride from this producer to get to school on time. He accidentally leaves his English paper in the limo. He tells his parents and teacher about what happened but no one believes him. In the meantime, Marty steals Jason's story and makes a movie trailer out of it. Jason sees the trailer and tells his dad about it. But his dad does not believe him because he lies so much. Jason realizes that he needs to get Marty to fess up about who wrote the story, so his parents can trust him again. He and Kaylee go to Hollywood to prove he is not lying. The movie setting is at the back lot of Universal Studio. It's cool to see all the sets for the other movies, while watching this movie. The only part I did not like is the yelling from Marty. He is constantly yelling at somebody. The message is to be truthful and not to get your self in trouble with lies. The lies just get bigger and bigger. I rank this movie 3 out of 5 stars. Kids ages 10-14 will enjoy this fun movie. Look for this classic family film on HDNet Movies KidScene this month! Cheyenne Nguyen, age 8, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. I really like the mood of this story! Big Fat Liar is about a boy named Jason Shepard (Frankie Muniz), who likes getting out of doing things like his homework when he doesn't feel like doing it by lying. Most of the time when he lies he gets caught. Now, Jason has only a few hours to write a thousand-word essay. Jason finally gets it done, but is running late for school. On his way Jason runs into Marty Wolf (Paul Giamatti), a Hollywood producer, and begs Marty to give him a ride to school. Jason gets to school on time, but leaves his homework in the limo with Marty. Marty reads the paper and likes it so much he decides to turn it into a movie and claim it was his idea. Much like in the story of the boy who cried wolf, when Jason tells his parents and teacher the movie was from his essay, no one believes him. Jason decides to travel to LA to find Marty and make him tell the truth. Jason asks his friend Kaylee (Amanda Bynes) to come along and help him. Technically, the film was good overall, but the sound was weak and should have been louder. The acting was quite good. I enjoyed Paul Giamatti's character a lot because he really brought out the humor. I think the story is interesting. My eyes were glued to the screen waiting to see what would happen next. I liked that it played with the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf even naming the villain, Marty Wolf. The moral of the story was really good, telling the truth is not overrated. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and feel anyone will enjoy this movie, but kids over 5 may understand it better than littler kids. Big Fat Liar was originally released in 2002 and it will be playing all month on HDnet Movies kidScene! Hunter Willow, age 11, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV

Description - Join a spectacular dive on a huge seamount, covered with hard and soft corals, and giant sea fans. Divers encounter schools of blue anthias, drums, blackfin barracuda, a hawksbill turtle, an eel, anemone fish, giant trevallies and more.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A deep sea dive filled with coral reefs and exotic fish with classical music set in the background. The shots are beautiful, but the pace is very slow. It's interesting to see the dive from the perspective of the dive. This may be useful in a classroom of toddlers to help them nap, or even for adults looking for relaxation.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The kids are intrigued by the visuals at first, but then are a bit bored. This film might works better when shown in small pieces as a way to help relax. Little kids like the fish and it is appealing to kids especially interested in underwater life.
Runtime: 33 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD

Description - Visit a famous dive resort on a remote island in Indonesia. The diving is spectacular, despite the rough weather. Divers tour the village of sea gypsies who are transitioning from subsistence fishing to an ecotourism-based economy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The underwater scenery and breath-taking views are the most appealing thing about this. The reefs are beautiful and the diving is amazing. There is calming music. Overall it is a bit slow-paced and the lack of narration made it less able to hold my interest. This would be very appealing to those who are interested in, or enjoy, underwater diving. It might spark some interest in Wakatobi and what it would be like to go there.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - They enjoy seeing some of the underwater scenes and all the fish and reefs. Some kids thought they would like to have learned more about Wakatobi from the film. "It was really cool at first." Although they liked many of the scenes, it did not hold their interest overall. "It is more for adults because kids will lose interest after a few minutes."
Runtime: 40 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD

Description - Travel with pilot Carl Foster and friends on a vintage light airplane, as they fly to the Village of Mulege from La Paz, Baja California Sur. The landing at Mulege is thrilling and the views from the air are spectacular.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A short film about an airplane trip to the east coast of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, to the Village of Mulege. It shows all of this from inside the airplane. There are some nice views and a few beautiful shots, especially as they approached landing. Too many of the scenes are of inside the airplane and focus on the pilot, so close sometimes all you see is a single body part. This film shows what a trip in a private plane is like. The pilot, Carl Foster and his wife seem excited about the trip, but it is hard to understand them, given the home movie style quality of the film. The film is non-narrative, but the characters converse among themselves in both English and Spanish.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kids are not engaged and do not understand the home movie style of filming. The landing is everyone's favorite, and the scenes as they approached landing. They like this because you can see more of the great view outside the plane. They had trouble understanding the English dialogue, and did not understand the Spanish which was not subtitled.
Runtime: 19 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD

Description - Stuck in a unhappy rut, a confused Indian-American sixteen-year-old boy finds sudden popularity when his singing talents are recognized by his classmates. Just when he thinks he has the world on a string, his parents discover he has been lying to them, sneaking out and disgracing the family. He must decide to follow the rigid life of academics his parents have chosen for him or embrace his love of arts and accept the consequences that will go with his decision.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The theme of this screenplay is original and touches on a very important issue for many teenagers. Parents often have goals and dreams for their children, and they aren't usually the same as what a teenager has in mind. This shows a nice sneak peak into the culture of India. Bully comments like "singing like a homo," "screw you" and "you're such an ass" would need to be removed or softened in order to garner a higher KIDS FIRST! review.
Juror Recommended Age: 15-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Description - Every kid sees animals in clouds, but Mei-Li hears them. This young girl in China brings her imaginary band to life, wins a contest and saves her poor family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Original and appealing for a girl to use her imaginary cloud band to enter a real contest and literally show her mind to people. Needs more character development and smoothing out of the story. Draws you in and shows good character. Children will be excited by the magical animal clouds and the dancing. Making music creates a fun, happy atmosphere appealing to kids.
Juror Recommended Age: 6-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

Description - In 2011 three children Alice, Charlie and Jim all 15, catch hold of the book and are whisked through various time periods where they must solve the riddle of how they got there and how to get home. Its soon clear that the book is the key and they must complete a quest to move forward
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - An entertaining adventure story with aspects of mystery, in which young and old are put in the position to help others and stop evil from destroying all that is good. Shows children breaking from the constraints of society to show that there is more to people, more to life than meets the eye. Ranking is low because of excessive bad language and violence. The themes of travel, magic powers, and good vs. evil, though not new, are appealing and interesting. The characters are three-dimensional. Though children's films do not benefit from showing prostitutes on the street, or bare chested men rushing into the camera, I liked that the characters paid no attention to the former, and the camera shots of the kids on the latter. For children who are used to being labeled, i.e.. jock, nerd, instead of as a complex individual, this story might help them to cast off their labels, looks past other's labels and unlock their expansive personalities.
Juror Recommended Age: 15-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

Description - In a music-rich, animated environment, children learn strategies for healthy habits, building a strong body and handling stress. Lively Q&A and hit songs engage children in a world of wellness and language arts, learning in a fun radio show format.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The basic premise is great: teach kids and families about being healthy. The content is respectful and the songs are simple. There is a mock panel of experts that receives telephone calls from children on various topics and then the singing begins explaining the basis of the topic being discussed in that particular episode. It seems a little disjointed at times and the menu is cumbersome and not easy to navigate. The production quality is a bit amateurish, with voices not appearing to come from the panelists mouths and a sort of PowerPoint style presentation for parts. There is good information in here.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The kids had trouble staying engaged. The subjects covered clearly need to be facilitated by an adult. Younger kids were confused and older ones weren't interested. Some of the songs were fun and they liked the talk show host concept.
Runtime: 50 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 3-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ 29 Media: DVD ISBN # 9780962413544

Description - In a music-rich, animated environment, children learn strategies for self-esteem, mind-body connection and emotional well-being. Lively Q&A and hit songs engage children in a world of wellness and language arts, learning in a fun radio show format.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The songs are good, format is easy to follow. Lots of good and important information. Touches on behaviors of stress, would not be suitable under age 5. Visually bland and unengaging. Might work well in a therapeutic setting. I like that they give you the words to sing along with the music.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kids learn to talk about their feelings and not be judgmental. This requires adult moderation and questioning to work. It's simple enough for young kids, but deals with issues of older ones (elementary aged.) Kids like seeing the kids on the screen at first, but quickly lose interest. This would hold attention better in a therapeutic setting, but not at home.
Runtime: 50 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 29 Media: DVD ISBN # 978-0-962413551

Description - When three precocious children unlock the mystery of an old haunted house, they discover hidden treasure, green and the ghosts of the neighborhood's racist past. But the real discovery is not about the haunted house, but what makes a neighborhood: working together with acceptance, connection to a communal past and unity of purpose.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This screenplay has some appealing elements, but needs substantial development to achieve an unqualified recommendation. A diverse case, appealing setting (New Orleans, past and present), substantial emotional material and active roles for children. However, the pace lags, many of the characters are two-dimensional and the multiple story lines are confusing. There also needs some clarification about the history of racism (including the Swastika element.) This has the potential to become an entertaining and educational ghost story.
Juror Recommended Age: 7-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

Description - With the North Pole going broke, Santa and his elves are reduced to repossessing toys from naughty kids to fix and repackage for Christmas delivery. But evil elves using Easter Bunny technology secretly steal from nice kids too. Charlie, a nice ten-year-old boy, catches an elf and heads to the North Pole to clear his name. The evil elves try stop him, and Charlie must lead an elf rebellion to convince Santa that it's wrong to promise what you cannot give. Can Charlie defeat the evil elves? Can he convince Santa to stop the repossessions? Will the Easter Bunny stand watching his secret Santa contract revealed? And can Charlie's sister keep all of this from their parents while Charlie is gone?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This story is imaginative and unique, but has a lot of violence. Redeeming qualities include a love of Christmas, good overwhelming bad and kids working together to save the holiday. Puts a completely new twist on Christmas and what it means to be naughty or nice. Mrs. Claus is very aggressive and some people might not appreciate all the dirty underwear references. The characters are very distinct and unique - great characterization. I especially love how the villain uses lofty verbiage and found his own come-uppance in the end - even linguistically.
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Description - Two boys experience an unusual Christmas Eve.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In this short screenplay, two kids have a Santa encounter on Christmas Eve. Time honored theme, but not particularly original. The demeanor of the story is sweet and childlike and very kid-appropriate, it portrays the innocence of childhood well. Very little character development, but the boys are very likeable and the dialogue believable. We are impressed with the ability of this ten-year-old writer, Joey DeCourt, who has excellent grammar and is very adept at telling a story. The screenplay would benefit greatly from more detail. Young Joey has a lot of promise as a writer and it will be exciting to watch him mature in his craft.
Juror Recommended Age: 3-11 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Description - Magical things can happen to anyone, even to a dog. And, that is exactly what happens one late summer morning to Feathers, a purebred Pekinese.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a story of a couple of dogs and their other animal friends who get together after one of the dog's puppy is stolen. The puppy is found by a man who takes it home and his dog and cats care for it. The mom and dad of the puppy set up a network of animals to try to find her. The dad's human makes flyers and puts them up. The puppy's mom makes a wish on the first star she sees one night and just feels her puppy will be returned soon. The man who found the puppy brings home a flyer and the cat eats it. It's Christmas Eve and the man and his animals decide the right thing to do is take the puppy back to her mom and dad. There is a wonderful reunion with mom, dad and puppy. Kids will love the talking animals and the way all the animals work together to solve the mystery of the missing puppy. Not recommended for younger children due to excessive drinking, swearing and abusive behaviors by some of the human characters.
Juror Recommended Age: 6-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

Description - Imagine if you go to bed at night and whatever you dream comes true the next day. That's what happens to a little boy named Chance Elliot. He's 11 years old, a troubled kid -- his mom is dead; his family shattered. But Chance has a secret: Whatever he dreams at night comes true for 24 hours.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The story focuses on Chance, a grief stricken boy who is coping with the sudden death of his mother, while being the target of bullies at school. Fate gifts him with a book of Ultimate Power, but as one could guess, Ultimate Power comes with ultimate consequences. This is a very visual story, possibly best told through animation. Strong characters with a magical story. The ending is not as strong as the beginning and there is too much name-calling and violent bullying, also some minor swearing, which affected the overall rating of the screenplay.
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

Description - A stylish DVD to help young children understand and express their feelings. Featuring a lovable live-action host, art projects, animation, puppet shows, and original songs. With the voice of Mel Brooks and "The Happy Song" by Elizabeth Mitchell.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Ruby offers a friendly and encouraging guide into the tumultuous world of feelings, with visuals from a feelings "dial" to artwork made by kids to give external expression to internal feelings. It dignifies children's' emotions, teaches a process to identify them and offers techniques for responding productively. Slow pace, repetitive, some lack of sincerity, but will nonetheless appeal to many children lacking in other sources of essential instruction in the area of recognizing and responding to their feelings.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - "I liked the part where they played hopscotch." "It was a little boring." Some segments held more interest than others and girls seemed to appreciate more than the boys. One child juror said it made her think about when she is mad. "It was fun to watch, everyone was nice to each other."
Runtime: 45 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-6 Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99 Media: DVD

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Description - When Fanny's sheep go missing, she and her dog Jiggs must rescue them from a huge gourmet cooking coyote who only understands rhymes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Off-beat and original, guaranteed to bring smiles to viewers with it's wry characterization of the infamously treacherous coyote. Anyone who has suffered a loss to coyotes will find the characterization on mark: the coyote is indifferent to the pain he causes, all he cares about is his next meal. Younger children will get a little thrill from his villainy; older ones will be amused by his portrayal as a bustling chef, stuffing sheep slippers in his ears to protect his rhyming sensibilities from poetry gone wrong. This is not an accurate lesson in poetry and would prove too scary for children under 8. It's also slightly violent, with the imagery of knives and the eventual demise of the coyote.
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

MY DAISY DAYS, VOL. 3 - MY DAISY DAYS, INC Click to purchase directly from the producer
Description - Includes 3 episodes: "Daisy Goes to the Zoo" - Daisy learns about the animals; "Daisy Watches Big Trucks" - Daisy discovers the wonders of big trucks; "Daisy's Winter Play date" - On a winter day, Daisy romps with her toddler friend and canine chum.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Non-narrative film with mediocre production levels. The dog, Daisy is cute and the segment at the zoo the most appealing of the three. The audience for this is limited - dog lovers would probably enjoy it most.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kids liked the animals and the trucks. And, of course Daisy was a hit.
Runtime: 41 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.95 Media: DVD

MY DAISY DAYS VOL. 2 - MY DAISY DAYS, INC Click to purchase directly from the producer
Description - Includes 3 episodes: "Daisy Goes to the Fire Station" - Daisy gets a warm welcome at her local fire station; "Daisy Counts to 10" - Daisy learns numbers from 1 to 10; "Daisy Goes to the Park" - Daisy visits her favorite park and sees some friends.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From the adult perspective, this is a bit tough to get into. There is no dialogue; it's just music and watching the dog. Daisy goes to different places - the fire station, the park. And, she counts to 10. Very mediocre production levels.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Most appropriate for the 2-year-olds. It's a bit long even for them. They enjoyed seeing the fire truck, pointed to the squirrel, the ducks. Definitely the kids enjoyed this more than the adults.
Runtime: 33 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 0-3 Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.95 Media: DVD

MY DAISY DAYS VOL. 1 - MY DAISY DAYS, INC Click to purchase directly from the producer
Description - Includes 3 episodes: "Daisy Goes to the County Fair" - Visit the County Fail through Daisy's eyes; "Daisy Learns The ABCs" - Join Daisy as she learns the alphabet; "Daisy Goes on a Boat Ride" - Daisy takes in a host of water activities.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Daisy is cute but even our dog lovers found this a bit slow moving. It can be fun to watch shows like this with very young children as it shows some everyday activities that they might recognize or call out the names for. However, doesn't hold children's attention for long. There is no real story being told. Daisy, the dog visits places and the story evolves from where she goes.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Mixed reactions from kids. "Daisy visits places but there is no real story" Some kids liked the images of balloons, sailboats, and the ABCs. They did enjoy seeing the dog. "It's a happy dog who shows you what happy is." They seemed to like parts of it, especially the dog, Daisy. That is the one thing that holds it together.
Runtime: 34 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 0-3 Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.95 Media: DVD


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