Felix Assivo


The Croods: Family Tree * So Fun To Watch Because Of Its Humor

Posted by Felix Assivo on
0
Movie Reviews
The Croods: Family Tree * So Fun To Watch Because Of Its Humor

The Croods: Family Tree continues the evolving story of the croods and Bettermans as they learn to live together on the most idle farm in prehistory. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Avalon N. comments, “DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: Family Tree is an amazing and hilarious show. With all the characters from the newest movie, this show is sure to get you laughing.” See her full review below.

croodsfamlytree.a.jpg

The Croods: Family Tree
By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: Family Tree is an amazing and hilarious show. With all the characters from the newest movie, this show is sure to get you laughing.

This show is about the prehistoric Croods living with the Bettermans. While the kids get along, the adults have their fair share of mishaps as they learn how to live together on a farm. In one episode they try to capture the punch monkeys; in another they get Dawn’s Grr back.

This show is so fun to watch because of its humor. No matter how many mishaps the make, they are always back for more and that makes this show engaging. It has an amazing group of voice actors. Tran reprises her role as Dawn; A.J. Locascio reprises his role as Thunk from Dawn of the Croods. The new voice cast features Amy Landecker as Ugga, Kiff VandenHeuvel as Grug, Ally Dixon as Eep, Artemis Pebdani as Gran, Darin Brooks as Guy, Matthew Waterson as Phil, and Amy Rosoff as Hope. All the voice talent excels at making the Croods sound prehistoric and the Bettermans sound “evolved,” as Hope would put it. Another great thing is the design of the farm they live on. It looks so amazing, like something you would want to live in, but if you look closer it is made out of things that were found in prehistoric times. The wall, the house and “The System” are made from bamboo and vines. The house is in a tree; so they live in a tree house. It also credits them with making a lot of things like windows, which are similar to TV and showers.

The message of this show is anyone can get along, no matter how different they are.

I give The Croods: Family Tree 4.5 out of 5 and recommend it for ages 6 to 14, plus adults can watch it with their kids on movie night. This is available on September 23th, 2021 on Hulu and Peacock.

Justin Bieber: Our World * Takes You Backstage, Onstage And Into The Private World Of Justin Bieber

Posted by Felix Assivo on
0
Movie Reviews
Justin Bieber: Our World * Takes You Backstage, Onstage And Into The Private World Of Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber: Our World takes viewers backstage, onstage, and into the private world of the musical icon as he prepares for his unprecedented concert, “T-Mobile Presents New Year’s Eve Live with Justin Bieber.” After a three-year hiatus from a full performance, and with concert venues shut down due to the pandemic, Bieber delivers an electrifying show to close out 2020 on the rooftop of the Beverly Hilton Hotel for 240 invited guests–and millions of fans across the globe watching via livestream. The film follows Bieber and his close-knit team in the month leading up to the show, as they rehearse and construct a monumental stage while adhering to strict health and safety protocols. The film also captures personal, self-shot moments between Bieber and his wife Hailey.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Justin Bieber: Our World is one of the most immersive Belieber experiences out there – the film takes you backstage, onstage and into the private world of Justin Bieber in a beautifully produced 96 minute documentary.” Dominic D., adds, “There are many positive thoughts worth sharing about this film. First, I have a great deal of respect for Justin Bieber and his journey. He entered the industry as a child and dug his heels in to get where he is today. He has overcome many obstacles in his life, including performing for a world overcome by COVID, which is evident in this film.” See his full review below.

justinbieber.c.jpg

Justin Bieber: Our World
By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Justin Bieber: Our World is one of the most immersive Belieber experiences out there – the film takes you backstage, onstage and into the private world of Justin Bieber in a beautifully produced 96 minute documentary. It’s certainly not a film to miss!

Viewers step into the shoes of Bieber and his team as they prepare for a record-breaking New Year’s Eve 2020 concert after a three-year hiatus. Due to pandemic protocols, Bieber plans to deliver his performance on top of the Beverly Hilton Hotel for 240 invited guests and millions of fans watching via live stream. But setting the whole event up is certainly no easy task. Rehearsing, building a massive stage and light setup, and dealing with technology make the experience more than slightly stressful for the crew. The film also captures personal self-shot moments between Bieber and his wife Hailey through his own “vlog camera.” A good part of the film is composed of Bieber performing his songs.

The production quality of Justin Bieber: Our World is quite high, with candid perspectives captured in an organized fashion and organic cuts between songs and scenes. The genuine companionship and love Bieber’s crew has for him (and vice versa) shows on screen. It’s certainly heartwarming to see the small, sweet moments, like how Bieber’s choreographer is welcomed back on set after his quarantine.

Justin Bieber: Our World promotes teamwork, perseverance, patience and the importance of family.

I give Justin Bieber: Our World 5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Justin Bieber: Our World premieres on Prime Video on October 6, 2021. Check it out!

justinbieber.horizontal.jpg

Justin Bieber: Our World (2021)
By Dominic DiGravio, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Last year was a year like no other. Humans across the globe had to adapt while taking a pause due to the pandemic and its lockdowns. For many of us, that was a difficult task. Many events came to a screeching halt including family and friend get togethers, holiday gatherings, and any entertainment outside the home. Life was as abnormal as it gets! We look forward to these events within our lives as they are what keep us laughing, smiling and connected to others. We had to get real creative in staying connected with love ones and that’s exactly what world superstar, Justin Bieber did in 2020 while ringing in the new year. Together with his dedicated team of music professionals, Bieber found a creative way to stay connected and share his talents with the world on a very special evening considering the strict guidelines of the pandemic.

Justin Bieber: Our World, is a new 90 minute documentary which highlights the recording of Bieber’s special evening and the days leading up to the New Year’s Eve concert. The film takes us behind-the-scenes and gives fans a look at the many efforts put forth by the Bieber team to produce an amazing show while following strict COVID health and safety procedures. The film documents a 30 day overview of the hard work and obstacles involved in the production of an event during this uncertain time. With little public entertainment going on during the pandemic, Bieber’s creative team found the perfect way to deliver this artist’s talents to fans globally in celebration of the New Year. Approximately 200 fans were able to view Bieber’s return to the stage from their socially distant balconies, while others around the world were able to watch a live stream of the concert from their homes. Above the rooftop of the Beverly Hilton Hotel, this music artist did not disappoint his fans with his gift of 21 hits shared with the world.

There are many positive thoughts worth sharing about this film. First, I have a great deal of respect for Justin Bieber and his journey. He entered the industry as a child and dug his heels in to get where he is today. He has overcome many obstacles in his life, including performing for a world overcome by COVID, which is evident in this film. The film highlights so many of the moving parts that are put into play to produce entertainment. I appreciated seeing how all the various teams of professionals came together in order to put create such an amazing show. Most notable in this documentary are the choreography and dancers. A big “thumbs up” for Nick DeMoura, the lead choreographer on the Bieber Team, who created masterpiece dance routines for this concert. The dancers stole the show! As I’m more than a casual fan, I had hoped that this documentary would reflect more on the personal life of Bieber, rather than the film being almost entirely about this concert. There’s no doubt that Justin Bieber was born with a true gift and he’s a very talented individual, so whatever he is able of sharing with his fans – we’ll take it!

The message in Justin Bieber: Our World is the importance of teamwork and loyalty. Bieber’s team has been together since he became a super star and it is obvious that they have formed connections that are much more than professional. They work together through challenges and hard times, but always find ways to laugh and to build on their friendships. The message is also about commitment and mutual respect. These are two qualities which are desperately needed within this industry. Justin Bieber makes it very well known through his words and actions in the film that he values his team.

I give Justin Bieber: Our World 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Adults and all Bieber fans will especially enjoy this documentary. Justin Bieber: Our World is streaming now on Amazon Prime.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage * Amazing CGI Graphics, Especially When Building Fall And Titans Fight

Posted by Felix Assivo on
0
Movie Reviews
Venom: Let There Be Carnage * Amazing CGI Graphics, Especially When Building Fall And Titans Fight

Eddie Brock struggles to adjust to his new life as the host of the alien symbiote Venom, which grants him super-human abilities in order to be a lethal vigilante. Brock attempts to reignite his career by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady, who becomes the host of the symbiote Carnage and escapes prison after a failed execution. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like Venom: Let There Be Carnage because it is based on one of my favorite Marvel characters, Venom. I like that Carnage is a product of Venom, so watching these monsters clashing with each other is phenomenal.” Calista B. adds, “There are several things in this film that fall short for me. Its lack of development of Kasady and the way it seems quite biased towards Venom. It’s important to note that I haven’t seen the original Venom, but I had a pretty easy time understanding the characters and the important plot details. As far as I can tell, the first movie didn’t have much of an impact on the story of this film.” Zoe C. adds, “This movie kept me engaged throughout the entire 130 minutes it played on screen. Not only is it concise and to the point, which I love. It is also entertaining throughout the entire thing. I also love the character Venom. I think he is super fascinating and I love the ambiguity of something that is half monster, as well as vulnerable.” See their full reviews below.

venom.b.jpg
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 13

I like Venom: Let There Be Carnage because it is based on one of my favorite Marvel characters, Venom. I like that Carnage is a product of Venom, so watching these monsters clashing with each other is phenomenal.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is about a journalist named Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) who has a dark black, Spiderman looking devil named Venom that lives inside his body. Most of the movie shows Eddie and Venom not getting along, because Eddie is sick and tired of having Venom inside his body and Venom wants to be free to eat people. Venom is very clumsy and destructive and Eddie is frustrated because his apartment is a mess. An assassin named Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) knows Eddie and asks to speak to him before his death sentence is carried out. Eddie visits Cletus in prison, but Cletus antagonizes Eddie with his past and Venom comes out of Eddie’s body to choke Cletus. Cletus bites Eddie’s hand and tastes Venom’s blood. So guess what happens? You have to watch the film to find out.

This film has amazing CGI graphics. The graphics look so real and the buildings falling apart when Venom climbs between them look real as well. The fighting scenes between these two titans are so incredible that it makes you want to see more. I expected there to be more encounters between Venom and Carnage and was disappointed that there weren’t more. The movie has a good combination of comedy and action. The music is appealing in every scene. My favorite part is, of course, the battle between Venom and Carnage in the church. Carnage is huge compared to Venom and looks more powerful than him because Carnage has multiple extremities which Venom does not have.

The moral of this film is to never underestimate yourself no matter your size or strength. You do not know if you can win the war if you don’t go to battle.

I give Venom: Let There Be Carnage 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. This movie is available in theatres Friday, October 1, 2021. Remember, like all Marvel movies, you have to wait until after the credits for a huge bonus. You have to stay seated for this one!

venom.c.jpg
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 18

There are several things in this film that fall short for me. Its lack of development of Kasady and the way it seems quite biased towards Venom. It’s important to note that I haven’t seen the original Venom, but I had a pretty easy time understanding the characters and the important plot details. As far as I can tell, the first movie didn’t have much of an impact on the story of this film.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is the sequel to Venom (2018) and it continues the story of Eddie Brock and the alien symbiote Venom (Tom Hardy). In an attempt to restore his journalism career, Eddie interviews the serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) right before he receives the death penalty. However, Kasady ends up becoming the host of a new symbiote, named Carnage and escapes. Now Eddie and Venom must stop Kasady and Carnage.
My biggest issue with this film is its pacing. The film is 90 minutes long, and it feels like it ends before the climax really starts. If I could make a suggestion, I would have preferred that they spent more time developing Kasady, as well as his childhood love interest, Shriek (Naomie Harris). We see small glimpses of their history with each other, but we never really learn why they’re so attached. Considering that Kasady’s main motive is to be with Shriek, she definitely should have been more developed; she doesn’t really feel like a character her, she feels more like a plot device. Another thing that bothered me about this movie is the way it treats Eddie and Venom. Venom is an interesting character, because he starts as a villain and morphs into an antihero over time, and the movie hints at this duality. However, the movie seems very biased towards Venom. When Eddie calls out Venom for causing problems for the both of them, Eddie later has to apologize to Venom. Meanwhile, Venom is never held accountable for the fact that he does cause a lot of problems. Eddie was completely in the right in that situation. The film wants us to believe Venom is super funny and edgy, but he acts like a spoiled child for most of the film and I felt bad for Eddie the entire time.
The message of this film is that it’s important for people to work together and communicate, so they can come to an understanding. I also would like to warn people that it is quite a violent and loud movie with a lot of action scenes.
I give Venom: Let There Be Carnage 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. It releases in theaters October 1, 2021.

Kudos to Andy Serkis, Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson, because they absolutely carried Venom: Let There Be Carnage. The original Venom came out around in 2018 when I was 10 years old and I never really got a chance to see it, therefore I wasn’t exactly familiar with the storyline. But Venom: Let There Be Carnage definitely makes perfect sense without seeing the original. I will definitely not be comparing the two films in this review, so I can’t exactly say that you’re going to like this one more than the original, but I can say I am definitely a huge fan now. I love this film!
The story is basically about when serial killer Cletus Kasady proposes a threat to humanity and Eddie Brock tries to resolve conflicts in his life and tries to rebuild relationships specifically with his ex and with Venom. Everything collides and you experience the Carnage and you’re just in this huge experience which is action-packed, funny and a hero vs villain.
This movie kept me engaged throughout the entire 130 minutes it played on screen. Not only is it concise and to the point, which I love. It is also entertaining throughout the entire thing. I also love the character Venom. I think he is super fascinating and I love the ambiguity of something that is half monster, as well as vulnerable. His character is, first of all, hilarious and I also love his incredible relationship with his vessel, or host, Eddie. I think Tom Hardy performance as Eddie Brock and his relationship with Venom together beautifully. Fun fact – Hardy is a producer and co-writer of this film and you really see how the deep level of connection he has with his character resonates with the audience. You can definitely feel the level of intensity and the heart that he puts into his performance in the film. Next we have Woody Harrelson who plays Cletus Kasady; he’s perfect for this role. I cannot see anyone else playing him. He is wicked and brilliant at the same time. That leads me to my next topic, which is about the relationships and couples, because first we’ve got Venom and Eddie and their bromance is spectacular. First of all, they’re hilarious together and make a really good team. We’ve got Eddie and Anne who, despite the fact that they’re not, you know, still together and in a relationship. But, they’re still there for each other, which is vital for this film. Finally we have Francis and Claire – they are madly in love with each other and, honestly, their relationship is something I loved. Seeing them be evil, but together, was amazing
One of my favorite parts of this film is when Anne is looking for Eddie and they run into a musician and she completely steals the show. I also love that this film is not pretentious; it is a dark kind of humorous, comic-book type of vibe, with crisp humor and absurd, but very well narrated storyline. I love that this film fulfills its main mission, which is to entertain. We have got to give it to Andy Swerkis for that. He blew it out of the water with this one. He definitely knows how to tame his creatures and how to really deliver his assertive storytelling. If you have seen the trailer or the first Venom you already know that the CGI special effects are on point and the cinematography by Robert Richardson leaves his imprint on this film.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is fun and has strong language and images that may disturb some people.
I give Venom: Let There Be Carnage 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. This movie is available in theatres Friday, October 1, 2021.

Superman & Lois: Complete Season 1 * A Unique Take On Superman As A Husband And Father

Posted by Felix Assivo on
0
Movie Reviews
Superman & Lois: Complete Season 1 * A Unique Take On Superman As A Husband And Father

Superman & Lois: Complete Season 1 * A Unique Take On Superman As A Husband And Father

After years of facing supervillains, monsters, and alien invaders intent on wiping out the human race, the world’s most famous superhero (Tyler Hoechlin) and comic books’ most famous journalist (Elizabeth Tulloch) come face to face with one of their greatest challenges ever – dealing with all the stress, pressures and complexities that come with being working parents in today’s society.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ayden P. comments, “Superman & Lois: Complete Season 1 is a unique take on Superman because it focuses on his life as both a husband and father. There are action sequences like we expect to see from a Superman show. Like a lot of other interpretations, the tone is very light and has a bright and hopeful nature, but it does have some high stakes, because it ventures into a new aspect of the superhero.” See his full review below.

Superman & Lois: Complete Season 1
By Ayden P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Superman & Lois: Complete Season 1 is a unique take on Superman because it focuses on his life as both a husband and father. There are action sequences like we expect to see from a Superman show. Like a lot of other interpretations, the tone is very light and has a bright and hopeful nature, but it does have some high stakes, because it ventures into a new aspect of the superhero.

The story follows Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechilin) and famous journalist Lois Lane ( Bitsie Tulloch) facing a big challenge, which is dealing with the stress, pressures and complexities that come from being working parents in today’s society. This is complicated by Superman’s already daunting job of being a superhero and Lois knowing his big secret.

In Superman & Lois, Clark and Lois return to Smallville where Clark grew up. The first season is about the family dynamics of raising two very different twins, Jordan (Alex Garfin) and Jonathan (Jordan Elsass). Jordan is moody and temperamental; Jonathan is happy and popular. The family experiences another change when the boys discover their father’s secretary identity and again, when one of the boys develops his own superpowers. This all happens as an ominous stranger comes to town. Superman & Lois incorporates everything you would expect from a Superman show. The main difference is adding marriage and kids – the family element. This allows Clark to become more human in a way because he struggles with family issues like we all experience. I can see a bit of my own family in their conflicts. This brings out more of Superman’s human qualities; we see the man just as much as we see the superhero. The show’s CGI is more improved compared to other Arrowverse shows. For example, Superman has an improved suit, which looks good against the CGI. Also, the dynamics between the characters seems true. There is a natural flow to their dialogue, making them believable and more relatable.

The message of the show is that, even though Superman may have all these superpowers, they can’t help him with everything. Despite being Superman, Clark Kent still struggles with the being a “man” and balancing his family life with his superhero persona. Plus the fact that, no matter how different or how many issues a family may have, at the end of the day they still love and support each other.

Superman & Lois: The Complete Season 1 gets 4 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Superman & Lois: The Complete Season 1 releases on DVD October, 19 2021.

Under Wraps * A Spine-Tickling Storyline, With Many Surprises Along The Way

Posted by Felix Assivo on
0
Movie Reviews
Under Wraps * A Spine-Tickling Storyline, With Many Surprises Along The Way

Friends Marshall, Gilbert, and Amy accidentally revive and release a mummy from its sarcophagus in the days leading up to Halloween. At first terrified, they quickly learn that the Mummy who they affectionately name ‘Harold’ is actually very sweet and in dire need of assistance. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ella M. comments, “Are you ready for a remake of a spook-tacular and adventurous mysterious story? Then you have got to check out Disney Channel’s new Under Wraps movie! It’s got everything – action, friendships, mysteries, and a lovable, friendly mummy! It has a spine-tickling storyline, with many surprises along the way. So, buckle up and get ready for a fun, chilling story that is perfect for the whole family!” See her full review below.

underwraps.b.jpg

Under Wraps
By Ella M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10


Are you ready for a remake of a spook-tacular and adventurous mysterious story? Then you have got to check out Disney Channel’s new Under Wraps movie! It’s got everything – action, friendships, mysteries, and a lovable, friendly mummy! It has a spine-tickling storyline, with many surprises along the way. So, buckle up and get ready for a fun, chilling story that is perfect for the whole family!

This storyline follows three friends, Marshall, Gilbert and Amy, who mysteriously find a mummy in their neighbor’s basement. Accidently bringing it to life, they discover he is a kind mummy. Most films describe mummies as horrid, brain-eating, dead monsters. But this movie is special because, its mummy is not like the others. He is a kindhearted, affectionate and friendly mummy, ready to help his friends with anything that may come next. Upon finding out that their new friend Harold, the mummy, will turn to dust if not put back in his sarcophagus by midnight on Halloween, the three friends do everything to save their new mummy friend.

You’ll love the main characters. Marshall (Malachi Bartoh) is a sci-fi, monster enthusiast. Gilbert (Christian J. Simon) is a scared, yet honest friend. He is always trying to help his friends and embraces people for whom they really are throughout the movie. Amy (Sophia Hammons) wants to solve mysteries and get the inside scoop. She dreams of becoming an investigative journalist. Even though she’s the new kid in town, she is bold and is not afraid to stand up for what is right.  Malachi Barton connects with his character, Marshall, in a believable way. Christian J. Simon’s Gilbert is very funny; Christian is funny in real life as well. He makes giving a solid, amazing, thorough performance look easy.  Sophia Hammons gives a dynamic, well thought out performance and shows the variety of ways she can connect with different emotions while portraying Amy.  The costume for Harold is well thought out, with incredible special effects. He looks and seems like an actual mummy. My favorite character is Amy because she is very brave, incredibly smart and she is not afraid to speak her mind.

This message is to embrace people’s differences and to not judge a book by its cover. When Harold is brought back to life after thousands of years, people seem to fear him – when he’s really trying to help them out. You discover that all Harold wants is a friend and our three friends learn to accept him for who he is on the inside, beyond his wrapped-up-mummy-outside.

I give Under Wraps 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. Under Wraps is available now on Disney Channel and Disney plus.  This is a movie you don’t want to miss!

Movie Review: Cat Daddies * Documents Different Cat Adoptions By Men, Each A Heartwarming Story

Posted by Felix Assivo on
0
Categories
Movie Review: Cat Daddies * Documents Different Cat Adoptions By Men, Each A Heartwarming Story

David Giovanni is living on the streets of New York, determined to stay together with his beloved cat Lucky. When he’s finally granted a spot in a transitional housing facility that accepts cats, the COVID-19 pandemic and a devastating medical diagnosis puts his future together with Lucky in doubt. David’s journey is interspersed with portraits of other “cat dads” from all over the country and some who struggle to navigate the unprecedented events of 2020 with their little furry friends. They include a group of firefighters, a stunt man, a truck driver, a Bay Area tech worker, a schoolteacher whose cat becomes a viral sensation, and an actor/Instagram influencer. These men couldn’t be more different, but they share an unconditional love of their beloved pets. Cat Daddies is a refreshing and timely exploration of modern masculinity and the unlikely bond between man and cat. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like the documentary Cat Daddies because it documents different cat adoptions or rescues, especially by men, and each one of their stories is a heartwarming story that touches you. I liked seeing each one of these men and their cats bond and their journey.” See his full review below.

Cat Daddies 

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 13

catdaddies.horizontal.jpg

I like the documentary Cat Daddies because it documents different cat adoptions or rescues, especially by men, and each one of their stories is a heartwarming story that touches you. I liked seeing each one of these men and their cats bond and their journey.

This documentary is about different men or “cat dads” rescuing or adopting kittens from the streets. The film takes place in different states including California, New York, South Carolina and Arizona. You will enjoy different stories of an actor who adopts four cats and becomes an influencer by posting about his cats on social media, a fireman who adopts a cat that now is part of their crew and more. This film also documents the journey of a homeless man named David who suffers from cancer, and his cat Lucky. David became so selfless that it takes him a lot of thinking to go take care of his cancer in order to not leave Lucky unattended. Cats, like dogs, are good companions and can be supportive animals as well. Cats can feel when you are sad and they express their love in different ways from dogs, but that doesn’t mean the love they offer is less. We often see movies or stories of men and their dogs, but have you ever watched a heartwarming movie or film about men and their cats? Well, this is your chance! My favorite story is David’s. His love for his cat, Lucky, is bigger than himself. Before David admits himself to the hospital to take care of his tumor, he makes sure Lucky is in good hands. He misses Lucky terribly while he’s at the hospital. This film is a reminder that if you are looking to adopt a pet, remember there are plenty of adorable cats and dogs in shelters waiting for a warm, cozy and loving home. Why go to pet stores and buy a pet when you can rescue them? At the end of your journey you will ask yourself, “Who rescued whom?”

The message of this film is about how men express their masculinity as they melt with love and compassion over cats.

I give Cat Daddies 5 out of 5 stars and recommended for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It is playing now at select film festivals, so look for it. By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Movie Review: Dune * A Modern Masterpiece – Brilliant Direction, Exceptional Visuals, Incredible Score, Great Cast

Posted by Felix Assivo on
0
Categories
Movie Review: Dune * A Modern Masterpiece – Brilliant Direction, Exceptional Visuals, Incredible Score, Great Cast

A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence-a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential-only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Zoe C., comments, “Dune is an exceptional film directed by Denis Villeneuve and adapted from the original sci-fi novel, written by Frank Herbert. I absolutely love the cast, cinematography, CGI, makeup and many other aspects of this film.” Mikella G. adds, “I absolutely love Dune! It is a thrilling attention-grabbing adventure that creates a connection you would never expect. It opens your mind up to a whole new world that you never knew existed. The director, Denis Villeneuve has created one of the best films I have ever seen.” See their full reviews below.

Dune

By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

I love Dune. This film is almost like an introduction to a great story. When at the end Zendaya’s character says, “This is only the beginning,” the foreshadowing tells me that there will hopefully be a sequel.

Dune is an exceptional film directed by Denis Villeneuve and adapted from the original sci-fi novel, written by Frank Herbert and published in 1965. Fans of the 1984 version directed by David Lynch – and newcomers to Dune — will be fascinated to see Villeneuve’s incarnation. I absolutely love the cast, cinematography, CGI, makeup and many other aspects of this film.

The film takes place on an unfamiliar desert planet, Arrakis – the world of Arrakis is breathtaking. I love the culture of the planet, such as the languages they speak, the homes the characters live in, and, of course, the makeup and costumes have a huge effect on the aesthetic of this planet.  The story centers on a young man named Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) who has an important role: His family is responsible for mining a very valuable and powerful spice, which is the most precious element on Arrakis. As the story unfolds, it’s easy to be captivated and mesmerized into the illusion that you as the audience are with the characters on Arrakis. At times, though, I felt I was almost missing parts of the story. Since this is an adaptation from a book, a lot of information has to be left out, and I left the theater wanting to know more about Arrakis. I also felt that the beginning is a bit slow and most of the action in this film takes place near the end, although that isn’t a huge issue for me.

Now let’s talk about the acting and this great ensemble cast with Timothée Chalamet in the lead role and his peers: Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Oscar Issac and many others. I’ve been a huge fan of Timothée Chalamet for a long time and this is one of his best performances to date. I love his character – you can really see how at the beginning of the movie he is a vulnerable yet strong boy who eventually stands his ground and knows his place. I also love Zendaya’s performance; throughout the entire movie I was waiting to see her appearance. I also love Jason Momoa’s character, another one of my favorites. Finally, Oscar Issac and Rebecca Ferguson work really well together and deliver very engaging performances. 

The costumes are very detailed and intricate which bring out fascinating elements of the planet. And the cinematography (by Greig Fraser) and visual storytelling is so beautifully done and goes in perfect sync with the production design. It’s important to acknowledge Hans Zimmer who composed all the music since his score brings the sci-fi storytelling to life.

The message of the film is we all have a purpose, we should find our own voice and destinies and true empathy is as powerful as blood lineage in our world.

I give Dune 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. Dune opens in theaters, October 22, 2021 and I highly recommend seeing it in IMAX if you can.

Dune

By Mikella G, KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, age 15

I absolutely love Dune! It is a thrilling attention-grabbing adventure that creates a connection you would never expect. It opens your mind up to a whole new world that you never knew existed.

This film follows Paul (Timothee Chalamet), the son of the most noble and respected family on their planet, Arrakis. Forces from all over the galaxy, as well as theirs, are fighting for necessary resources, as well as power, in hope of someday finding the one who can stop time.

The director of Dune, Denis Villeneuve has created one of the best films I have ever seen. The camera work and the angles used are extremely insightful and satisfying. For example, when the actors are climbing up the dunes, it’s almost as if we are following right behind them. The camera doesn’t show us what is at the top until the characters themselves get there. This makes you feel as if you are actually there with them. It creates a suspense that I’ve never experienced before. Also, the digital and visual effects are out of this world. You fully feel as if you are there with them every moment. Every single sword fight and burst of fire encompasses the entire room and fully transforms your experience.  The cast is terrific! For example, the relationship between Paul and his mother (Rebecca Ferguson) shows some of the most raw and real love between a mother and son that I’ve ever seen on screen. They fully embody their characters and their relationship with each other. Furthermore, I love the character Chani (Zendaya), who is mysterious and intriguing. Zendaya’s work never fails to impress me, and I love her role here. I also really enjoyed the bond between Paul and Duncan. They have such a strong friendship that feels so genuine, and gives such a positive effect on the audience. The wardrobe, hair and makeup are all top notch. Every costume is so personalized for each character. All the outfits that Rebecca Ferguson wears are so intricate and unique. She has many wardrobe changes, while still staying true to her character. This is something that was cool to see in such an action packed movie. The hair and makeup are also executed extremely well. They are simple, but intense and give you the feeling that these characters do not live on earth, but they still feel human at the same time. The eye makeup that most of the characters wear, is natural looking and yet created an alien-esc look.

The message of this film is that if you can conquer your fear, then you can conquer anything. This film does include violent scenes, including blood, stabbings and bombs. 

I give Dune 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Dune releases in theaters October 22, 2021.

Keywords: Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Stellan Skarsgard, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Chen Chang, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, Babs Olusanmokun, Benjamin Clementine, Souad Faress, Golda Rosheuvel, Paul Bullion, Denis Vinneneuve, Jon Spaihts, Eric Roth, Frank Herbert, Caie Boyter, Hans Zimmer, Greig Fraser, Joe Walker, Patrice Vermette, Alanna Levy

Lead with Empathy, Now and Always

Posted by Felix Assivo on
0
Empowerment
Lead with Empathy, Now and Always

Be the Reason to smile.jpg

Click to view this email in a browser

2007halloweenHeader01.jpg

MIRACLE MOMENT®

“Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box.”

~ Italian Proverb


A MESSAGE FROM FOUNDER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CYNTHIA BRIAN

cynthia- Halloween garden (1)In the past few years, global warming and climate change have enhanced the number of natural disasters. Since the tragedy of 9/11, 2001, Be the Star You Are!® has shipped books and other resources to shelters and organizations in the United States to support survivors offering hope and healing. In 2021, natural disasters were more violent and deadly causing thousands to flee their homes.

Because we care, we share.

Normally volunteers get together to sort, pack, box, load, and ship resources. Because of the pandemic and the necessity for social distancing, I decided to go it alone this year. Books are heavy.

After shipping over a dozen cases to various states, I was working to load another twenty boxes when something snapped in my back and I fell to my knees in acute pain. I was not able to stand or walk. After two days, crawling became my method to get from my bed to the bathroom. It’s been two weeks since the injury and I am finally more upright like a homo sapien.

I’ve always thought that I’m an empathic individual, but being so extremely debilitated provided another level for understanding the feelings of others. Leading with empathy means we need to walk in someone else’s boots, to see their perspective, and attempt to understand. Divisiveness, racism, misinformation, misogyny, religious differences, conspiracy theories, untruths, and political polarization are leading us down a rabbit-hole of separation. We are the United States of America, not the Divided States of America. The Miracle Moment® quote for today illustrates the power of equality. Whether we are prince or pauper, president or farm laborer, when life is over, we all return to dust.

My entreaty to everyone is to care for yourself and for one another. Be kind. Be inclusive. We never know what struggles another person is facing.

Lifting nearly 3/4 of a ton of books in a few hours alone was not the smart move on my part. I will be more careful in the future and give my back a break. The good news is that all the resources have now been delivered and hopefully will provide happy holidays for a few thousand individuals so that they can lead with empathy.

Thanks for your ongoing support!

Wishing you health and a happy haunted Halloween.

TRICK or TREAT!!!

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504


PEAR FESTIVAL GRATITUDE

2021 Pear Festival-covid-masks downA big round of applause to the Be the Star You Are!® volunteers who worked at the Be the Star You Are!® booth at the Pear and Wine Festival. Although we didn’t garner many donations, we helped children craft and decorate masks to protect them during the pandemic, read them stories, and gave each child a brand new copy of the beautiful 10th anniversary book, The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob. Getting together for the first time since 2019 was a bonus! Everyone wore a mask and adhered to protocols. Thank you to all to visited and to our sponsors: The Lamorinda Weekly Newspaper (www.lamorindaweekly.com), Dr. Brian Sheaff Family Dentistry ( https://www.drsheaffdentistry.com) and MBJesse Painting (www.MBJessee.com) and to Brooks Olbrys author of the book (https://www.blueoceanbob.com).

thank you sponsors 2 mask making

Read about Be the Star You Are!®: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1517/Children-create-crafty-masks-during-annual-Pear–and–Wine-Festival.html

2021 Pear Festival-covid


TAKE TIME TO NOTICE

 
AWESOMEby Karen Kitchel

Has anyone ever told you that you are awesome?  If so, how did it make you feel? Leaving little positive messages, either verbal or written, can turn someone’s day around. No need to wait for a major accomplishment.  Things like making a good cup of coffee can also be awesome.  All it takes is time to notice.

And YOU are awesome!

Karen Kitchel who penned two chapters in the book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, is the Kindness Coordinator volunteer with BTSYA. She serves meals to the homeless and is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. www.scatteringkindness.com


MEET OUR NEWEST EXPRESS YOURSELF TEEN RADIO REPORTER

&
sharanyaphoto-headphonesSharanya Roy is a 7th grader in Gale Ranch Middle School. She loves to swim, play the piano, and make amusing jokes with her friends. Apart from planning her goofy schemes, Sharanya really enjoys writing. She finds that each sentence has a life of its own, and she loves the sound of the keyboard clacking, as well as the scrick of a pencil. In her radio show, Sharanya hopes to change how teens look at writing, as writing doesn’t JUST consist of essays for school, it is a lot more. In Sharanya’s segment, “The Scribble”, she wants to share new methods of writing, and how writing can be a part of every teen’s life. https://www.ExpressTyourselfTeenRadio.com

Listen to her recite an original poem that combines her love of writing with genetics.

https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/133975/biology-and-genetics

Express Yourself orange 72x24 banner-1


DREAMS DO COME TRUE!

Maggie DiGiovannipictureBy Maggie DiGiovanni

Few go from a ten-year-old writing her first story and basking in her mother’s praise to the realization of her life’s dream of writing for a newspaper. I am one of those few. How did it happen?

Writing every day, listening to real authors when they critiqued my work and learning to self-edit helped enormously. In the middle of this learning curve, I opted to enter a contest put out by Cynthia Brian and Be the Star You Are!® charity with a story aimed at young people. The multi-author book, Be the Star You Are for Teens, gave advice from building skills to keeping a good attitude. The chapters wrote in plain, but gentle language reaching out to the hearts and minds of young people.

My offering on Responsibility began with the dubious sentence, ‘Mama was a drug dealer.’ It drew the reader’s attention. An explanation followed that Mama’s drugs included her kids being drug to church, drug into her arms for hugs, drug to the shed if we misbehaved.

Winning that contest lifted my confidence so that when a friend asked my assistance in writing a blog for seniors, I agreed. The initial title of ‘Frugal Florida Seniors,’ drew few readers.  attention, we changed the title to ‘Sexy, Sassy Seniors.’  Readership increased and they stayed.

From there I moved on to offering stories to magazines and writing letters to the editors of newspapers. Magazines like the stories and my letters to the editor appear regularly.

The last step came when a library volunteer told me the Autauga Elmore Newspaper wanted a reporter for our hometown. The owner hired me. It has been a long trek, but without that contest, it might never have come to fruition. Thank you for the encouragement, Cynthia.

Currently Maggie DiGiovanni is an author, newspaper reporter, and blog manager.  Maggie penned the chapter, The Gift of Responsibility in Be the Star You Are!® for Teens. Previously, she was human resources director, purchasing manager and resort office manager. She is the proud mother of two. sexysassyseniors.com (Blog site)https://elmoreautauganews.com/

Be the Star You Are for TEENS 2


HOLIDAYS ARE COMING-GIVE BOOKS AS GIFTS!

Cynthia Brian books bannerIn honor of our 20th anniversary since being on the first New York Times best seller list, first edition, autographed books are discounted in a special sale with proceeds benefitting Be the Star You Are!® You will also receive extra goodies and FREE music CD with your purchase when you buy from the website. Stock up now! http://starstylestore.net


OPERATION DISASTER RELIEF

The 2021 natural disasters continue to climb. Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornados, and fires are more ferocious and deadly causing thousands to flee their homes. Global warming and climate change are causing extreme weather conditions that have never been seen before. Throughout 2020, Be the Star You Are!® concentrated disaster relief on helping individuals who were out of work survive during the pandemic. We now turn our assistance back to helping survivors of these major natural disasters happening throughout the United States. Be the Star You Are!® will be providing books and other materials to shelters and organizations in need. If you’d like to donate, please do so at our website, https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org. If your organization or shelter is in need of our resources to supply to survivors of a disaster, please email us at info@BetheStarYouAre.org.

kind_hearts_kind_words_kinds_thoughts_image


SHOP and GIVE!

We have suggestions for you to shop, save, and stay safe. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials.

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

2020 Amazon smile logo

2. Discounted books at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

Giving Assistant Icon 234x60

3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores :https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

4. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA

2020 IGIVE logo

5. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” black tanks and books at StarStyle® Store: http://www.starstylestore.net/

T-shirts

BTSYA 3 book series

6. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4


EDU_TAINMENT WITH BE THE STAR YOU ARE! RADIO

2021-brian-banner.jpg
LIVE on Wednesdays from 4-5pm PT, be entertained, informed, amused, and educated on StarStyle-Be the Star You Are!. Then be inspired and motivated on

Sundays from 3-4pm PT, it’s Express Yourself! Teen Radio with our Be the Star You Are! star teen hosts and reporters.
 
\u0010\u0010
 
You’ll meet authors, actors, artists, activists, musicians, poets, scientists, educators, and other creatives. Enjoy our upbeat, authentic, and fun radio parties on the Voice America Network Empowerment Channel or wherever you like to listen. 
Visit https://www.StarStyleRadio.com for our line-up of guests.
on air logo


DIRECT LINKS


 Have a safe and fun hallowed eve! Happy Halloween! Thanks for being part of our STAR family!

PumpkinsCarved-Halloween - 3 2

LEAD WITH EMPATHY! CARE ABOUT YOURSELF and OTHERS! 


Contact Information: Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3, PO Box 376, Moraga, Ca. 94556

Is Polo Becoming More Inclusive? Alessandro Bazzoni Believes So

Posted by Felix Assivo on
0
Sports
Is Polo Becoming More Inclusive? Alessandro Bazzoni Believes So

At one time, polo was called “the sport of kings” and was only associated with the rich, and, more specifically, white rich men of “a certain age”. However, over the past few years there has been a drive to make this sport more inclusive, and, as a result, more people from diverse groups have begun to get involved with this exciting game – something that Alessandro Bazzoni is a strong advocate for.

Polo has traditionally been associated with the elites, and players of the sport often come from established wealthy families, and this image has been bolstered with images of the British and European royal families seen playing the sport frequently. Both princes, William and Harry, have long been aficionados of this horseback discipline, and former American president Barack Obama even gifted the young Prince George a polo mallet in recognition of the family’s affinity to polo.

A Diversifying Sport

As the sport builds in popularity, it is becoming more accessible to those who don’t own their own riding stables or horses, by those who do not fit the stereotypical polo player persona of ‘rich white male’ and especially by those whose background, traditions and heritage do not align with this high-end sport.

Kareem Rosser is a typical example of this as part of the Work to Ride scheme where underprivileged African Americans are able to get their feet in the stirrups for a chance to do something they love. Big brand names have also picked up on this emerging trend, and fashion designers such as Polo Ralph Lauren have highlighted the emergence of black players into the once elitist world of polo.

Where Did Polo Begin?

Alessandro Bazzoni will be the first to tell you that polo isn’t a game designed for those who are faint of heart! One of the original extreme sports, polo requires a wealth of speed, skill, agility, and stamina. Yet, despite the challenges this sport presents, it is fascinating for both spectators and sportsmen alike.

It’s believed that polo has its origins in Asia, around two thousand years ago. Originally believed to have started out as a competition between warriors from nomadic tribes, polo was first created to help hone battle skills and grew into a helpful tool for training cavalry officers. Played from Japan to Constantinople through the medieval period, polo competitions were participated in by military officers and princes.

Fast forward to the 19th century and British planters saw polo being played in India and decided to play themselves. Yet the rules weren’t established by the English cavalry until the 1850s. By the 1870s, Polo had found its way to America and after the success of the initial games in New York, clubs began to spring up along the Eastern coast before the establishment of the USPA in 1890.

Now in the 21st century, polo is played across the globe, with 13 clubs having been established in Africa, 42 in Europe, 16 in Asia, and 7 in Australasia, and Argentinians claiming to be the world’s top-ranked players. There are also signs that polo is finally starting to reach the mainstream, and is starting to slowly shed its elitist image.

American College Programs And Scholarships

Bazzoni points to changes in the way the sport is being viewed in America as a key indicator that attitudes are changing. The USPA has taken great pains to grow the game at the youth level, expanding both its middle-school leagues and high school varsity letters program.

Over 30 American colleges are now offering polo as one of their varsity sports and academic scholarships are now even starting to be offered to polo players. This is helping to broaden the field and make it more even for those from different walks of life and of both sexes.

Lowered Cost Of Playing

Not only is polo now trying to attract more young players to its ranks, it is also now targeting a less affluent market. Tired of his favorite sport being viewed as purely for the wealthy, Bazzoni is at pains to stress that more polo clubs around the world are working to lower the costs of getting involved in the game, with more affordable “polo clinics”, lessons and membership opportunities. This is helping to attract sportspeople from a range of backgrounds to try the game for themselves without having to worry about exorbitant costs.

Will Polo Continue To Diversify?

Over the past few years, polo has taken many strides in moving towards a far more inclusive and less-elitist image. Bazzoni believes that, as more people of different demographics become aware of the sport, it will soon become even more mainstream.

Movie Review: Superman & Lois: Complete Season 1 * A Unique Take On Superman As A Husband And Father

Posted by Felix Assivo on
0
Categories
Movie Review: Superman & Lois: Complete Season 1 * A Unique Take On Superman As A Husband And Father

After years of facing supervillains, monsters, and alien invaders intent on wiping out the human race, the world’s most famous superhero (Tyler Hoechlin) and comic books’ most famous journalist (Elizabeth Tulloch) come face to face with one of their greatest challenges ever – dealing with all the stress, pressures and complexities that come with being working parents in today’s society.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ayden P. comments, “Superman & Lois: Complete Season 1 is a unique take on Superman because it focuses on his life as both a husband and father. There are action sequences like we expect to see from a Superman show. Like a lot of other interpretations, the tone is very light and has a bright and hopeful nature, but it does have some high stakes, because it ventures into a new aspect of the superhero.” See his full review below.

Superman & Lois: Complete Season 1

By Ayden P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Superman & Lois: Complete Season 1 is a unique take on Superman because it focuses on his life as both a husband and father. There are action sequences like we expect to see from a Superman show. Like a lot of other interpretations, the tone is very light and has a bright and hopeful nature, but it does have some high stakes, because it ventures into a new aspect of the superhero.

The story follows Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechilin) and famous journalist Lois Lane ( Bitsie Tulloch) facing a big challenge, which is dealing with the stress, pressures and complexities that come from being working parents in today’s society. This is complicated by Superman’s already daunting job of being a superhero and Lois knowing his big secret.

In Superman & Lois, Clark and Lois return to Smallville where Clark grew up. The first season is about the family dynamics of raising two very different twins, Jordan (Alex Garfin) and Jonathan (Jordan Elsass). Jordan is moody and temperamental; Jonathan is happy and popular. The family experiences another change when the boys discover their father’s secretary identity and again, when one of the boys develops his own superpowers. This all happens as an ominous stranger comes to town. Superman & Lois incorporates everything you would expect from a Superman show. The main difference is adding marriage and kids – the family element. This allows Clark to become more human in a way because he struggles with family issues like we all experience. I can see a bit of my own family in their conflicts. This brings out more of Superman’s human qualities; we see the man just as much as we see the superhero. The show’s CGI is more improved compared to other Arrow verse shows. For example, Superman has an improved suit, which looks good against the CGI. Also, the dynamics between the characters seems true. There is a natural flow to their dialogue, making them believable and more relatable.

The message of the show is that, even though Superman may have all these superpowers, they can’t help him with everything. Despite being Superman, Clark Kent still struggles with the being a “man” and  balancing his family life with his superhero persona.  Plus the fact that, no matter how different or how many issues a family may have, at the end of the day they still love and support each other.

Superman & Lois: The Complete Season 1 gets 4 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Superman & Lois: The Complete Season 1 releases on DVD October, 19 2021.

Keywords: Genre, Drama, Superhero, DC Comics, Greg Berlanti, Todd Helbing, Tyler Hoechlin, Elizabeth Tulloch, Jordan Elsass, Alex Garfin, Erik Valdez, Inde Navarrete, Wole Parks, Adam Rayner, Dylan Walsh, Emmanuelle Chiriquí, Bitsy Tulloch

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

RSS
Follow by Email