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Movie Review: 80 For Brady * A Perfect Movie To Remind Us That Happiness Has No Age Limit

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Movie Review: 80 For Brady * A Perfect Movie To Remind Us That Happiness Has No Age Limit

80 For Brady is inspired by the true story of four best friends and New England Patriots fans who take a life-changing trip to Super Bowl LI to see their hero Tom Brady play, and the chaos that ensues as they navigate the wilds of the biggest sporting event in the country.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Keila V. comments, “80 for Brady is a perfect movie to watch with a best friend, family member and sports fan. What I love about this movie is that it successfully connects the importance of being courageous, while trusting those closest to you to overcome your biggest obstacles in both sports and in life.” Kendall B. adds, “Along with an all-star cast, this movie has hilarious jokes throughout. All of the shenanigans the girls get into are unbelievably crazy and insanely fun to watch. I love when Betty signs up for Guy Fieri’s hot wings contest because she ends up winning and, after it’s over, she tells them that her taste buds aren’t very good so she can barely taste anything.” Nathalia J. wraps it up with, “This film provides a significant message: It is never too late to discover the wonders and experiences of life you may have missed. Happiness has no age limit—it is never too late to discover new interests and act on them.” See their full reviews below.

80 For Brady By Keila V., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

80 for Brady is a perfect movie to watch with a best friend, family member and sports fan. What I love about this movie is that it successfully connects the importance of being courageous, while trusting those closest to you to overcome your biggest obstacles in both sports and in life. Also, what else would you expect from Tom Brady (producer), but an inspiring movie about the power of attitude and belief to pull off miracles.

The story follows four best friends, Lou (Lily Tomlin), Trish (Jane Fonda), Betty (Sally Field) and Maura (Rita Moreno) who, for 16 straight years, loyally followed Tom Brady’s career. After watching the Patriots’ 2017 AFC Playoff win, Lou asks her friends to join her for an unforgettable adventure – “Let’s go to the Super Bowl LI.”

The movie is hilarious with scenes of dancing, funny sports superstitions and includes live action and original sound from the Super Bowl LI experience. Several scenes include live audio of player commentary on the field that you’ve likely never heard before. One of my favorite scenes is when Lou finally has the chance to talk to Tom Brady in an emotional speech, which inspires us to never give up. The game brings us back to the greatest comeback, both in Patriots history, and in Tom Brady’s incredible sports career. The love of football connects us as Americans and the true story of four loyal women, who followed Tom’s career for 16 years to finally make it to the Super Bowl, is inspiring for us all – even if you’re not a Tom Brady fan. To see Lou, Trish, Betty and Maura having a great time attending exclusive parties, dancing with Gugu’s (Billy Porter) dance crew, eating in Guy Fieri’s spicy hot wing contest and gambling with high rollers really brings one hilarious scene to another. This film shows that both your age and life challenges can’t stop you if you believe you’ve still got it. I can’t wait to have the chance to go to a Super Bowl myself someday with my best friends and family. What an adventure.

The message of the movie is about the importance of friendship and courage to overcome obstacles and embrace the unknown together. The film reminds us to trust in our loved ones; never let fear stop us; and live life to the fullest.

I give 80 For Brady 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It is available in theaters beginning February 3, 2023.

80 for Brady By Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

80 for Brady is a hilarious movie. It has amazing acting and an amazing cast. Funny moments are around every corner with its hysterical plot.

The storyline follows four women all around age 80 who all idolize legendary football quarterback, Tom Brady. After Lou (Lily Tomlin) wins tickets to the 2017 Super Bowl, the girls are off on a crazy trip to Houston. Along with her best friends Betty (Sally Field), Trish (Jane Fonda) and Maura (Rita Moreno) they fly to Houston to watch their favorite team, the Patriots, on the trip of their lives. Nothing goes as planned and when Betty loses the tickets during a hot wings contest, the girls don’t know how they’ll ever make it into the game.

Along with an all-star cast, this movie has hilarious jokes throughout. All of the shenanigans the girls get into are unbelievably crazy and insanely fun to watch. I love when Betty signs up for Guy Fieri’s hot wings contest because she ends up winning and, after it’s over, she tells them that her taste buds aren’t very good so she can barely taste anything. The scenes from the Super Bowl are amazingly. Everything seems so real, like you’re actually there watching it. My favorite character is Betty because she’s so sweet and wants to do something exciting for once in her life. The funniest scene is when Maura is kind of out of it and stumbles into a poker game and wins lots of money thinking she can buy more tickets after Betty loses them, but after she cashes out she finds out it was a charity game.

The message of 80 for Brady is that you’re never too old to have fun. These women are all over 75 and think they’re destined for a life of sitting at home until this one great adventure. Parents should know that there are a couple of things to be wary of. They accidentally take some drugs at a party and there’s some profanity.

I give 80 for Brady 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. It releases in theaters February 3, 2023.

80 for Brady By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The film, 80 for Brady, directed by Kyle Marvin, is amusing, engaging and fresh. This film equally balances the elements of comedy and drama while still maintaining real life situations and grounded characters. Not only does this film include familiar celebrities, such as actress Rita Moreno, this film is produced by 7-time Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady.

The story follows best friends in their 80’s, Trish (Jane Fonda), Betty (Sally Field), Moura (Rita Moreno) and Lou (Lily Tomlin) as their yearly tradition of watching the Super Bowl finally arrives. They decide to attend it live this time, encouraged by the quarterback of the friend group, Lou, who is dead set on this adventure after discovering there’s a possibility of her cancer returning. Throughout her time battling chemo, Lou gains the strength and courage to fight it by following the resilient and brave story of Tom Brady—watching his games weekly becomes something for her to look forward to, a sentimental tradition. So whether it means breaking out of retirement homes or joining a spicy wings contest, these four ladies are destined to step foot inside that stadium, no matter what obstacles are in their way.

Rita Moreno plays Maura, Sally Field plays Betty, Lily Tomlin plays Lou and Jane Fonda plays Trish in “80 For Brady.”

My favorite character is Betty, who evolves from the beginning to end in an engaging way. Betty is known as the problem solver, not comfortable with confrontation and constantly changing her own wants and needs to benefit others, especially her husband. She doesn’t know what it is like to make decisions without needing validation. Their goal to attend the Super Bowl is finally Betty’s opportunity to experience that freedom and delivers many hilarious moments. Going from editing essays at home to partying all night long with college students has to be the greatest character development! My favorite aspect of 80 for Brady is how scenes jump from the perspective of Lou to that of Tom Brady. At times of difficulty, Lou often looks at her Tom Brady bobble head figurine, or speaks to herself as if she asking Tom questions about her dilemma. The perspective then switches to Tom expressing his opinion on how to help the situation. Throughout the film, Tom and Lou are not aware of each other until the end, but the instant cuts from Tom to Lou immerse viewers in their conversations.

This film provides a significant message: It is never too late to discover the wonders and experiences of life you may have missed. Happiness has no age limit—it is never too late to discover new interests and act on them.

I give 80 for Brady 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This film releases in theaters February 3, 2023. Enjoy!

Review: The Cupcake Guys * Fun! Interesting Storylines. Perfect For A Family Binge-Night

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Review: The Cupcake Guys * Fun! Interesting Storylines. Perfect For A Family Binge-Night

When former NFL teammates Michael Griffin and Brian Orakpo decided to dip their toes into entrepreneurship, they knew they wanted to go about it differently. The former Pro Bowlers saw the hands-off, detached approach some athletes take in their investments and recognized they needed to be more attentive about the steps they took to ensure success. Prior to being cupcake guys, Griffin and Orakpo played for the Tennessee Titans as safety and linebacker respectively. It was in Tennessee that the men ate and fell in love with Gigi’s cupcakes which was based in Nashville and was the largest cupcake franchise brand in the country. After finishing in the league, Griffin opened a franchise of Gigi’s Cupcakes in Austin, alongside Orakpo and their longtime friend Bryan Hynson. The Cupcake Guys shows how our cast goes from Football stars to Cupcake Kings.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kyla C. comments, “This TV series is so much fun and perfect for a family binge-night. The Cupcake Guys has consistently interesting storylines, with some being geared towards adults; some towards teens; and some towards kids. This is accomplished by including elements of humor for all ages and conflicts that everyone can relate to.” See her full review below.

The Cupcake Guys By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

From the Pro Bowl to the mixing bowl, Michael Griffin and Brian Orakpo adjust to an unexpected chapter in their lives. As someone who is interested in baking and the process of owning a business, watching this series was an enlightening experience that sparked even more interest in these topics.

The Cupcake Guys is a creative new TV series with a combined focus on baking, business, football and family life. The Cupcake Guys follows Michael Griffin and Brian Orakpo as they navigate the ups and downs of their business, Gigi’s Cupcakes, with their close friend Bryan Hynson, after retirement from the NFL. Aside from focusing on cupcake-making and the business aspects of it, the series also shows the personal lives of each of the characters, including their relationships with family and friends. Each of the six episodes has a primary business focus and a primary personal focus for the three main characters. This provides a good balance and generally kept me engaged.

This TV series is so much fun and perfect for a family binge-night. The Cupcake Guys has consistently interesting storylines, with some being geared towards adults; some towards teens; and some towards kids. This is accomplished by including elements of humor for all ages and conflicts that everyone can relate to. For example, Michael Griffin’s daughter, Mya, wants to play football at her school but worries a bit about how the boys on the team might react with her being the quarterback and only girl on the team. Many kids are probably able to relate to this in some way, whether it is the aspect of youth sports or feeling alone within a group of people. With all of this being said, the series can be a bit slow moving at times, with the same point getting too much screen time. However, The Cupcake Guys is still entertaining and I would be very interested in a second season. One of the best parts is when they show the actual making of the cupcakes and how the business works behind the scenes. As someone who is interested in baking and the process of owning a business, watching this series was an enlightening experience that sparked even more interest in these topics.

The Cupcake Guys has many important messages that address various business and family conflicts. The series focuses on teamwork and cooperation. However, with many different workers, there are often disagreements about business opportunities or personal situations. The Cupcake Guys also emphasizes equality among races and genders and highlights the importance of parents maintaining an even distribution of time spent on business and time spent with family. There is some very minor inappropriate language.

I give The Cupcake Guys 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. You can stream The Cupcake Guys on the Roku channel for free beginning January 18, 2023.

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Movie Review: Missing * Innovative And Captivating. Shown From The Perspective Of Technology, Not Once Does The Camera Face Any Of The Actors

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Movie Review: Missing * Innovative And Captivating. Shown From The Perspective Of Technology, Not Once Does The Camera Face Any Of The Actors

From the minds behind Searching comes Missing, a thrilling roller-coaster mystery that makes you wonder how well you know those closest to you. When her mother disappears while on vacation in Colombia with her new boyfriend, June’s search for answers is hindered by international red tape. Stuck thousands of miles away in Los Angeles, June creatively uses all the latest technology at her fingertips to try and find her before it’s too late. But as she digs deeper, her digital sleuthing raises more questions than answers…and when June unravels secrets about her mom, she discovers that she never really knew her at all.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Miguel C. comments, “Missing is absolutely breathtaking. There are many suspense films, but the way this one is made is so new and different. It’s a new era of filmmaking because we never see a real shot; it all takes place on a computer.” Zoe C. adds, “Missing kept me at the edge of my seat. Unlike any film I’ve seen before, directors Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick use a different approach to tell this story. The film is entirely narrated from the perspective of technology. Not once is the camera facing any of the actors. I found this innovative and captivating.” Natalia J. wraps it up with, “This film provides a very significant message, especially to younger viewers – admire, cherish and be grateful for those around you. In a split matter of seconds, you can lose someone you care about. Take the time to show you appreciate their existence every day.” See their full reviews below.

Missing By Miguel C., KIDS FIRST!* Film Critic, age 13

Storm Reid and Megan Sure in Screen Gems MISSING

Missing is absolutely breathtaking. There are many suspense films, but the way this one is made is so new and different. It’s a new era of filmmaking because we never see a real shot; it all takes place on a computer.<p>The storyline follows Junes’ (Storm Reid) mom, Grace (Nia Long) who goes on a trip to Colombia and mysteriously goes missing.

This film has a lot of twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat, plus I cried because there is a very touching mother and daughter relationship.

Storm Reid in Screen Gems MISSING

This film will most likely become a fan favorite because it has a really good cast and the story line is amazing. I saw some of them coming but I was still shocked at things that happen. It is also super funny. There is a lot of Gen Z slang and different inside jokes that Gen Zers understand. The best part is how the characters look and act in their respective ways. We see a side of different people but we really don’t know if it’s really them or just an act until the end. There is also a lot of suspense and I got scared a lot. It’s also crazy seeing how much Storm has grown up and it’s really cool seeing her appear in more mature and darker roles. She is a great actress who is not afraid to take risks.

The message of this film is that everyone can know absolutely everything about you from the internet so really look at what you say and post. This movie definitely is on the more dangerous and darker side because it addresses kidnapping and there are parts where we see some hostages and some inappropriate behavior and words such as someone getting shot and other physical violence

I give Missing 4.5/5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Missing comes out in theaters January 20, 2023.

Missing By Nathalia J. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

BTS of Will Merrick, Storm Reid, Nicholas D Johnson on the set of SCREEN GEMS MISSING

The mystery film, Missing, directed by Nicholos D. Johnson and Will Merrick, is immersive and suspenseful. This film covers familiar grounds, similar to the 2018 film Searching. Missing is held to a high standard which definitely is fulfilled; it hit me with one stunning reveal after another that reoriented my perspective and kept me clinging to the edge of my seat.

The story follows 18-year-old June Allen as she embarks on a desperate journey to locate her missing mother, Grace Allen, after failed efforts by the FBI. At first, Grace’s disappearance is suspected to be committed by strangers whose only interest was getting money. However, as June begins to broaden her search and look into her mother’s short-term boyfriend, Kevin Lin, she discovers that this mystery is more complex. In fact, the disappearance of her mother is the result of dangerous secrets Grace has kept hidden, which alter the significance and speculation that June is now also in great danger. Her mother’s boyfriend, Kevin, is directly tied to someone from Grace’s past who wants nothing but to destroy her life and Kevin is the perfect asset to this person’s desire for revenge against Grace.

Nia Long in Screen Gems MISSING

My favorite character is June Allen, portrayed by the award-winning actress, Storm Reid. Throughout the film, June proves to be persistent, resilient and steadfast. Her eagerness to solve the mystery also provides an opportunity for June to acknowledge her love for her mother. She is driven to solve this mystery by her guilt of how she mistreated her mother before she went missing. I admire June for the mindset she carries within herself; she understands the risk and consequences that come with certain decisions she makes, yet overlooks them and plays an enormous role in solving her mother’s disappearance. Storms Reid executes the role of June Alle with precision. My favorite aspect of this film is how it immerses the audience – watching this film made me feel as if I was right there with June and at times with the kidnappers.

Storm Reid and Megan Sure in Screen Gems MISSING

Directors Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick make engaging use of technology in this film. Considering the only resource June has right at her fingertips is technology, she spends sleepless nights on her MacBook searching for information. However, every time she acts on it, she is always one step behind. It is as if someone is watching her, and knows her every move. Towards the middle of the film, we begin to get the perspective of the kidnapper and learn that June is in fact being watched, but not in the way she imagines. The person is watching her computer activity, discovering all her resources, information, contacts and future plans, which make it nearly impossible for June to find the person responsible until she comes face to face with death. I would like to admire the editing department for their work; the numerous plot-twists and countless perspectives in this film move at a fast pace and the editors excel in the execution of that. Each moment comes unpredicted or speculated from previous events and the editing plays a huge role in achieving this. The constant cuts between June to Grace to the kidnapper, allows viewers to never focus deliberately on one character or moment as it’s always in motion.

This film provides a very significant message, especially to younger viewers – admire, cherish and be grateful for those around you. In a split matter of seconds, you can lose someone you care about. Take the time to show you appreciate their existence every day.

I give Missing 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This film is now available at your local movie theaters. Enjoy!

Missing By Zoë Cannella, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Storm Reid in Screen Gems MISSING

Missing kept me at the edge of my seat. Unlike any film I’ve seen before, directors Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick use a different approach to tell this story. The film is entirely narrated from the perspective of technology. Not once is the camera facing any of the actors. I found this innovative and captivating.

Missing is a story purely captured through technology. The movie focuses on a young girl named June, Gracefully played by Storm Reid. June’s mom, Grace Allen (actor) and her boyfriend Kevin (actor) go on a vacation in Colombia. After the trip, June waits countless hours at the airport for her mom to arrive and, to her surprise, she never does. From there the investigation begins — conducted by the teenager and helped with tech devices. The film shows her journey tracking down her mom and investigating the mystery of her disappearance, like a modern Enola Holmes. The movie shows how accessible the internet is and all June’s creative tactics her tracing finding her missing mom. This is also the story of a mother and daughter that missed each other when they were together.

Storm Reid in Screen Gems MISSING

This film really goes to show how even without the camera facing any of the actors, there is no absence of storytelling. Presenting this story through technology really adds to the experience of watching it. This film has a great cast as well. Storm Reid as June is a really nice fit; although, her performances in the TV series Euphoria and A wrinkle in Time” showcase her acting more than this film does. My favorite character is definitely Javier played by Joaquim De Almeida. In this film Javier helps June in her journey to find her mom and Joaquin’s performance brings a fresh comedic value to the film. The ending is a bit too drawn out, but the rest of the movie keeps you locked in with all its twists and turns. The cinematography is perfect for the style of the film and the editing works as well. The story is a bit predictable and fortuitous at some moments but overall, it keeps tension and engagement.

The message of the film is never underestimate the joy of living with your parents.

I give Missing 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommended for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters January 20, 2023.

Movie Review: Living * A Heartbreaking Story About A Bureaucrat Who Learns He Has A Terminal Illness And Is Galvanized To Make A Difference In His Life

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Movie Review: Living * A Heartbreaking Story About A Bureaucrat Who Learns He Has A Terminal Illness And Is Galvanized To Make A Difference In His Life

Living is the story of an ordinary man, reduced by years of oppressive office routine to a shadow existence, who at the eleventh hour makes a supreme effort to turn his dull life into something wonderful.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Selene W. comments, “Living illustrates that films are not just a source of entertainment…This film tells a heartbreaking story about a bureaucrat who learns he has a terminal illness and is then galvanized to make a difference in his life and in those around him.” See her full review below.

Living By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Living illustrates that films are not just a source of entertainment. They can make us examine social awareness, consciousness and our values. This film tells a heartbreaking story about a bureaucrat who learns he has a terminal illness and is then galvanized to make a difference in his life and in those around him.

Mr. Williams (Bill Nighy) is a civil servant in 1950s London whose life is one of dull routine. Once he is notified that he has roughly six months remaining, he realizes that he no longer knows how to enjoy life and has become trapped in a meaningless existence. He attaches himself to others to observe life and thus makes changes from his friendship with his subordinate, Ms. Harris (Aimee Lou Wood) who notably adds spark to the movie and his life. He enjoys her appetite for life and remembers what it is to be alive. This realization motivates him to return to work and make important changes. His colleagues in the Public Works Department notice his dramatic change and he sets an example for his team to follow.

Living is a historical drama with splendid costuming and detailing in all the various sets used throughout the film. Every minute detail under director Oliver Hermanus provides the viewer immersion into this period piece. Costume designer Sandy Powell, along with the various artists who work on hair and make-up support the depth of this story. Bill Nighy gives a compelling performance as a man who resurrects his life and I particularly enjoyed his singing in this movie. The cast is very good in this film and it was a pleasure to watch him interact with all of the various actors as they portray various work stereotypes.

The film’s message is that it is never too late to change the direction of your life and to influence those around you. Mr. Williams remembers not to push things under the rug and not to shy away from responsibility. It is an important message and reminder to us all to live life to the fullest. There are no scenes that younger viewers cannot watch, but the seriousness of the film and topic does not lend itself to younger viewers.

I give Living 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This movie is available in select theaters January 17, 2023.

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Movie Review: A Man Called Otto * You Semi-Hate Otto For His Persnickety Personality, Yet As You Learn About His Tragic Life, You Change Your Mind

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Movie Review: A Man Called Otto * You Semi-Hate Otto For His Persnickety Personality, Yet As You Learn About His Tragic Life, You Change Your Mind

Based on the # 1 New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove, A Man Called Otto tells the story of Otto Anderson (Tom Hanks), a grump who no longer sees purpose in his life following the loss of his wife. Otto is ready to end it all, but his plans are interrupted when a lively young family moves in next door, and he meets his match in quick-witted Marisol. She challenges him to see life differently, leading to an unlikely friendship that turns his world around. A heartwarming and funny story about love, loss, and life, A Man Called Otto shows that family can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Miguel C. comments, “Tom Hanks excels in his portrayal of Otto. This film really addresses equality and how much things have changed. There is a LGBTQ+ character in it and Mack Bayda portrays him very well.” Julie S. adds, “The character, Otto, is played so well by Tom Hanks that you semi-hate him for his persnickety personality, yet as the story evolves and we learn about the tragic events of his past, the “what and why” become clear.” See their full reviews below.

A Man Called Otto By Miguel C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

I didn’t love A Man Called Otto as much as I thought I would. It has a lot of funny parts even though it is a really sad movie. The funny parts are where they include different Latinx things and different things we say and do. As a Latinx myself, I had a good laugh, but my eyes did water up.

First we meet Otto (Tom Hanks), who is a grumpy old man that loves to follow the rules and fights with everyone. Everything is annoying to him and he really doesn’t like people. He’d much rather be alone; he tries to do something many times and, along the way, he meets many people. We see a lot of flashbacks with Otto and his late wife.

This move is sad and, the way they use dark colors to really make the mood, makes it sadder. Tom Hanks excels in his portrayal of Otto. This film really addresses equality and how much things have changed. There is a LGBTQ+ character in it and Mack Bayda portrays him very well. The costumes are really cool thanks to Mariana Treviño. Not only that, but she brings a Latin feel to the film like in all the different Latino food that is featured.

The film’s message is that just because someone else’s life ends, yours doesn’t have to. There are so many beautiful and wonderful people on this earth. The one thing parents should be aware of is that there is some self- harm and suicide.

I give A Man Called Otto 4 out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It comes out in theaters January 13, 2023

A Man Called Otto By Julie S., KIDS FIRST!

I thoroughly enjoyed A Man Called Otto. Tom Hank’s portrayal of an aging man whose love of his life was taken way too young haunts his character Otto, but thanks to the persistent love of his new neighbors he emerges from his shell as he finds a new extended family.

The storyline follows Otto, a grumpy old man who thinks of himself as the quintessential rule enforces in his neighborhood and elsewhere. The film is filled with flashbacks which reveal the backstory of Otto’s life and how he came to become the grumpy old dude he is.

The character, Otto, is played so well by Tom Hanks that you semi-hate him for his persnickety personality, yet as the story evolves and we learn about the tragic events of his past, the “what and why” become clear. When new neighbors move in across the street, the wife (Mariana Trevino) is persistent in not letting Otto escape her kindness, whether it means bringing him wonderful Mexican food, which Otto begrudgingly loves, or inviting him to spend time with her children. The tragedy of Otto’s love story, which began and ended with his lively and beautiful wife, it is, no less, still a love story. It makes you ache for poor Otto who truly found his soul mate and lost her way too soon. He is bent on taking his own life, but constantly drawn away by his neighbors Marisol and her hubby.

Directed by Marc Forster, the film is beautifully produced with eloquent shots of the landscape of suburban Pennsylvania and sets that show middle class America in its simplest form. My favorite scene is a toss-up between the one with Otto and his neighbor buddy, during friendlier times when they compete for who has the coolest car and when he teaches Marisol how to drive; the speech he gives her about how she is not an idiot is awe-inspiring and afterwards, she loses all fear and drives like a warrior.

What I love most about this film is character. So many mass market films, particularly comic based ones, lack depth of character and this one delivers it in Otto, but also in Marisol and Anita, even Malcolm and Jimmy. Everyone evolves here and becomes more substantial than they are at first glance. Be forewarned that there are suicide attempts shown and some profanity.

I give A Man Called Otto 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It’s rare to find a film with such substance. We laughed and cried, then did it again and again. By Julie S, KIDS FIRST!

Movie Review: Nuisance Bear * Helps Us Realize That People Are The Real Nuisance, Not The Bears

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Movie Review: Nuisance Bear * Helps Us Realize That People Are The Real Nuisance, Not The Bears

Nuisance Bear is a Canadian short documentary film, directed by Jack Weisman and Gabriela Osio Vanden and released in 2021. The film is a portrait of the polar bears in and around the town of Churchill, Manitoba.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Nuisance Bear has glorious cinematography and superb storytelling that drive home its important message of peaceful coexistence with nature. It’s a terrific film for all those who love the great outdoors, as well as for budding filmmakers… Nuisance Bear promotes respecting nature and ensuring you don’t disrupt other beings endemic to your area. The film helps us realize that people are the real nuisance, not the bears.” See his full review below.

Nuisance Bear by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 16

Nuisance Bear has glorious cinematography and superb storytelling that drive home its important message of peaceful coexistence with nature. It’s a terrific film for all those who love the great outdoors, as well as for budding filmmakers.

Nuisance Bear follows a polar bear migrating across the town of Churchill in the Canadian province of Manitoba. People congregate to take pictures and videos, and the bear begins to clash with the locals. That is when the bear’s journey takes a dramatic turn, and “nuisance bear” removal forces enter the scene.

Nuisance Bear is a documentarian’s documentary. With no voiceover or speaking at all, the New Yorker team behind the film lets the images and captured video do the talking. And it’s supremely effective. I especially love the way the wildlife forces’ pickup truck is shot like it’s the predator, not the bear; it approaches menacingly with high beams on and then veers to the side as the bear makes its escape. It’s absolutely scintillating. In many scenes, there isn’t even any background music, so all you hear is the soft stepping of the bear and the rumbling engines of the wildlife forces. Hat’s off to directors Jack Weisman and Gabriela Osio Vanden for creating such a masterful piece of visual storytelling.

Nuisance Bear promotes respecting nature and ensuring you don’t disrupt other beings endemic to your area. The film helps us realize that people are the real nuisance, not the bears.

I give Nuisance Bear 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. The film is available to watch on the New Yorker YouTube channel now.

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Movie Review: I Wanna Dance With Somebody * Naomi Ackie’s Performance As Whitney Houston Is Breathtaking

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Movie Review: I Wanna Dance With Somebody * Naomi Ackie’s Performance As Whitney Houston Is Breathtaking

A joyous, emotional, heartbreaking celebration of the life and music of Whitney Houston, one of the greatest female R&B pop vocalists of all time, tracking her journey from obscurity to musical superstardom.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kendall B. comments, “Naomi Ackie’s performance as Whitney Houston is breathtaking. You can tell she studied Houston very closely. Whitney’s relationship with her best friend, Robyn Crawford (Nafessa Williams) is focused on very heavily in this film, and I loved it.” See her full review below.

I Wanna Dance With Somebody By Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

Naomi Ackie in TRISTAR pictures I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY

I Wanna Dance With Somebody is a new film about the life of Whitney Houston, one of the greatest voices of any generation. It portrays Houston in a new and exciting way that all audiences will love to see.

Naomi Ackie in TRISTAR pictures I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY

Raised by famous singer Cissy Houston (Tamara Tunie), Whitney Houston (Naomi Ackie) had a powerful voice from the time she was little. After being discovered while singing in her mom’s place by record executive Clive Davis (Stanley Tucci), Whitney quickly became a huge singer all across America and around the world. This movie follows her life from the beginning to the end and shows what happened behind the cameras, closely following her relationship with her husband, family, and friends.

Naomi Ackie in TRISTAR pictures I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY

Naomi Ackie’s performance as Whitney Houston is breathtaking. You can tell she studied Houston very closely. Whitney’s relationship with her best friend, Robyn Crawford (Nafessa Williams) is focused on very heavily in this film, and I loved it. There is lots of tension between the actors and it definitely makes the film better in so many ways. Another relationship that is focused on in this film is Houston’s relationship with Bobby Brown (Ashton Sanders). Ackie and Sanders both put lots of effort into their roles and it pays off. The film I Wanna Dance With Somebody does an astounding job when it comes to Whitney’s performances. It feels like you’re really there watching her perform. My favorite scene — and it’s really breathtaking to watch it.

The message of I Wanna Dance With Somebody is that fame can change a person’s life for good and for bad. Whitney Houston got lots of money and fame from her singing career, but it also messed with her in horrible ways. A few things for parents watching with children to be aware of is that there is lots of swearing in this movie and drugs are used towards the end of the film.

I give I Wanna Dance With Somebody 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters December 23, 2022.

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Book Review: The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables

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Book Review: The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables

The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables is health and lifestyle expert Devin Alexander’s first book for children. Geared towards toddlers and preschoolers, the delightfully illustrated book entices little ones to open their eyes (and their mouths) to the heroic possibilities of a myriad of delicious vegetables, setting them up to be healthy humans and also help set parents up for peace in the kitchen!

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Nyara A. comments, “The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables is an educational and charming children’s book that instructs children about vegetables and their benefits while also making healthy eating relatable and fun. I love how each vegetable is used to introduce a new concept related to health.” Eshaan M. adds, “The illustrations by Michele Pederson add character and vibrancy to the storytelling by Alexander, and they gave me a shot of nostalgia — as I read The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables, I remembered all the fun picture books I used to love!” Gavin S. adds, “The structure of the book is awesome. t held my attention from start to end with all the interesting facts. It’s an awesome way to encourage kids to eat healthy foods. The book, which gives vegetables different names to call them, explains how different vegetables benefit your body and mind.” Sydney S. wraps it up with, “The message of this book is that vegetables can really make positive changes in your body, and give you your own “superpowers!” Knowing this, kids can be genuinely excited to eat a healthier diet. It’s a fantastic, unique way to encourage kids to eat things that they may not normally want to.” See their full written and videotaped reviews below.

The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables By Nyara A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables is an educational and charming children’s book that instructs children about vegetables and their benefits while also making healthy eating relatable and fun. I love how each vegetable is used to introduce a new concept related to health. My favorite illustration is a cute carrot checking a kid’s vision on an eye chart!

There are two pages dedicated to each vegetable – one a drawing, and one a description with a related cartoon. All 12 of the vegetables are uniquely associated with a different activity or action like tennis, swimming, and healing.

The illustrations are engaging and cater to kids who are learning to read and children who enjoy colorful images. The images are a great way to get kids interested in vegetables they might normally avoid. The language in the book is simple, but there are a few words that preschoolers may not understand, yet allows them to learn new vocabulary such as “fate,” “sluggish,” and “bask.”

As we all know, children’s books with rhymes are just that much better, and the rhyming phrases in each stanza are fun and memorable. Each page has a different kid featured that your child may relate to. As a tennis lover, I would have enjoyed the beet playing tennis when I was younger. Children love naming inanimate objects, so the alliterative names for each of the vegetables are fun and catchy.

This book caters to children who are just learning to read and pronounce words as well as children who will enjoy a fun bedtime story. If parents want a cute and educational book to read to their kids (or if you kids refuse to eat vegetables) this is great!

I give The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5. It is available wherever books are sold.

The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables is an engaging and colorful book that teaches toddlers and preschoolers that eating healthy can be fun!

Health and lifestyle expert Devin Alexander’s first book for children, The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables, assigns each major vegetable a different persona. For example, Cayenne Carrot has such good vision that she hardly needs a flashlight at night. The rhyming style of writing is perfect for young audiences!

The illustrations by Michele Pederson add character and vibrancy to the storytelling by Alexander, and they gave me a shot of nostalgia — as I read The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables, I remembered all the fun picture books I used to love! Alexander is a New York Times bestselling author, and part of that stems from her knowledge of her audience. Although this is her first book for children, she hits the mark perfectly. It is such a smart idea to make vegetables into little characters and give them superpowers, so toddlers and preschoolers will be interested!

The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables obviously promotes eating healthy, but also asks “why” before doing so, and helps us understand how each vegetable we eat can help us.

I give The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables releases January 24, 2023.

The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables By Gavin S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

The most appealing thing about the book The Land Of Secret Superpower is the hook, and how it makes me want to read more. I particularly enjoyed the part when they list the powers each vegetable gives you.

The book The Land Of Secret Superpowers is about the benefits of eating healthy. It starts with a group of kids who are friends with vegetables. The story is told by a narrator outside of the story who talks about the vegetables, and the things they do for you.

The structure of the book is awesome. It held my attention from start to end with all the interesting facts. It’s an awesome way to encourage kids to eat healthy foods. The book, which gives vegetables different names to call them, explains how different vegetables benefit your body and mind. For example, Scarlet Sweet Potato gives kids more endurance which means lots more time to play outside. Beets make you jump high which is good for sports. Avocados make you move fast, which is good for things like track.

Mushrooms can help improve your mood; so if you’re sad, eat some. Spinach makes you super strong, so you can lift heavy stuff. All these great benefits you can get from eating vegetables are great, and there are even more benefits from lots of other vegetables, so make sure you eat your vegetables and eat healthy. The facts throughout the book are pretty accurate; all the “superpowers” they can give you are true. The vocabulary is good for the target age group. One special feature is the amount of color and all the various types. The book is laid out well for preschoolers and is easy to read.

The message of the book is to encourage kids to make healthier food choices. Many kids do not eat healthy foods these days, and this book shows the benefits of healthier foods.

I give The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5. It is available wherever books are sold.

The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables By Sydney S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I really enjoyed the children’s book, The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables. It’s full of helpful, interesting information that can benefit your body and mind through your diet.

The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables is about the numerous foods, especially vegetables, that your body positively reacts to. Each vegetable targets a certain part of the body. For instance, tomatoes boost height, while spinach increases strength. Each kid incorporated has a story relating to a particular vegetable.

I love that this book incorporates rhyme and alliteration. This exposes children to new language styles that will be used in school and beyond. My favorite parts of the book are the drawings, which express how the kids in the book are having a blast with the help of vegetables. Along with entertaining imagery, this book provides important information about healthy food choices. Ever wondered why you felt energized after eating a certain type of food? You probably ate mushrooms! The way the author, Devin Alexander, balances all these key points in this children’s book is very impressive and astonishing. Parents might benefit from reading this book too – less forcing your kid to eat vegetables. Devin Alexander is known for her culinary work; she is a celebrity chef and has been a New York Times bestselling cookbook author three times.

The message of this book is that vegetables can really make positive changes in your body, and give you your own “superpowers!” Knowing this, kids can be genuinely excited to eat a healthier diet. It’s a fantastic, unique way to encourage kids to eat things that they may not normally want to.

I give The Land of Secret Superpowers: Vegetables 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8. It is available wherever books are sold online and in stores beginning January 24, 2023.

Movie Review: Matilda the Musical * Filled With Nostalgia, Catchy Songs And Fantastic Choreography

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Movie Review: Matilda the Musical * Filled With Nostalgia, Catchy Songs And Fantastic Choreography

An adaptation of the Tony and Olivier award-winning musical. Matilda tells the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a sharp mind and a vivid imagination, dares to take a stand to change her story with miraculous results.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Maica N., comments, “Matilda the Musical is full of nostalgia and catchy songs, giving a new generation the chance to experience Matilda and her magic. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy being a little naughty sometimes?” See her full review below.

Matilda the Musical By Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 15

Matilda the Musical is full of nostalgia and catchy songs, giving a new generation the chance to experience Matilda and her magic. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy being a little naughty sometimes?

Matilda the Musical is the retelling of the classic 1996 film, Matilda. Matilda (Alisha Weir) is a young girl with a brilliant mind and a vivid imagination. After meeting a kindhearted and loving teacher named Miss Honey (Lashana Lynch), Matilda finally gets to go to school and get relief from her neglectful parents. It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, however, as she soon finds herself fighting back against the merciless principal of the school, Miss Trunchbull (Emma Thompson.)

Matilda the Musical is a musical whose songs will stick in your head all day. The casting for this musical is perfect for the characters and the story, especially in the roles for Alisha Weir and Lashana Lynch. They are both able to convey the delicate and innocent personalities that are Matilda and Miss Honey. When they are on screen together, the only thing the audience thinks about is how they want everything to work out for them. Matilda and Miss Honey are the definition of lovable characters. The process of Matilda developing telekinesis seems somewhat rushed, though — it is such an important factor to the original story, and it might feel random or as though it came out of nowhere for some. We don’t see Matilda building up her skills, so that is rather abrupt. The choreography, by Ellen Kane, is intricate and advanced. One of the concluding songs, Revolting Children, led by Hortensia (Meesha Garbett) and Bruce (Charlie Hodson-Prior) has choreography that has already become a fan favorite. The moves—combined with the talented dancers—capture everyone’s attention.

The message of Matilda the Musical is that if there is something in your life that you believe is detrimental, or not adding value, it’s okay to move on. Matilda the Musical shows the audience that you don’t have to feel bad for choosing something better for your life.

I give Matilda the Musical 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. Matilda the Musical is available now on Netflix. Make sure you check it out!

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Movie Review: Avatar: The Way of Water * A Decade In The Making, Tops The Original Masterpiece With Awe-Inspiring Animation

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Movie Review: Avatar: The Way of Water * A Decade In The Making, Tops The Original Masterpiece With Awe-Inspiring Animation

Avatar: The Way of Water transports audiences back to the magnificent world of Pandora in a spectacular and stirring action-packed adventure. Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “…Avatar: The Way of Water, the movie a decade in the making, tops the visual masterpiece of the original, Avatar. If you thought the animation of the original film was awe-inspiring, wait until you watch this one!” Maica N. adds, “Avatar: The Way of Water is full of adventures that make the wait worth it. The CGI stands out from the minute the film begins.”Emma D. adds, “The visuals and imagery far surpassed my expectations and make the movie incomparable to any other sci-fi film. The underwater scenes are my favorite and the interaction between the sea creatures and the Na’vi help make the ocean almost like a character in the story.” Giana N. adds, “This movie is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and is definitely a film you want to see on the big screen.” Miguel C. wraps it up with, “The message of this movie is about how family sticks together, no matter what happens or who tries to come between you and your family. You should be aware that there is a lot of rough behavior, fighting and a lot of blood.” See their full reviews below.

Avatar: The Way of Water By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

(L-R): Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

If you can believe it, Avatar: The Way of Water, the movie a decade in the making, tops the visual masterpiece of the original, Avatar. Be warned that this movie is a commitment as it is over three hours long!

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), the human transformed into a Na’vi person, and his wife Ney’tiri (Zoe Saldaña) are back and now have four kids. With the unexpected return of the wicked Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang), who is brought back as a Na’vi impersonator along with his crew, the Sully’s are forced to flee the forest and explore what other places on Pandora, their home planet, have to offer.

Since this is the sequel to the mega-hit film, Avatar, I recommend watching the first film before viewing this one, as there are many important references and details that are key to following this film. The storyline leaves us with some more questions than answers; however it sets up moviegoers for the next installments. Viewing it on a big screen, especially in 3D – which I recommend – makes you feel like you’re right beside the characters in the world of Pandora. Speaking of Pandora, the world building is absolutely remarkable. It expands our view of this amazing foreign planet.

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

And as the name suggests, it focuses on the islands, oceans and reefs of Pandora. The aquatic plants and animals are majestic and gorgeously iridescent. The reefs and oceans are eye popping and staggering. Everything is so glowy and vivacious. If you thought the animation of the original film was awe-inspiring, wait until you watch this one! The animation is hyper-realistic. When looking closely, you can see the ultra-detailed textures of the characters and settings. The movement almost looks like it is from a cut scene of a video-game (it’s honestly the best way I can describe it). Stephen Lang’s performance as the Colonel is so powerful, and makes you hate his guts even more than you did in the first film. Sam Worthington as Jake and Zoe Saldaña as Ney’tiri seem to have developed even better chemistry than in the first movie.

The message of this movie is to always fight to protect loved ones. This movie also has strong messages about the bonds with family and friends. Be forewarned that there is violence and violence involving animals.

I give Avatar: The Way of Water 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This movie releases in theaters on December 16, 2022.

Avatar: The Way of Water By Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

Kiri in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Fans have been waiting since 2009 to see the sequel to Avatar; eager to see what new adventures await. Audiences are in for a treat, because Avatar: The Way of Water is full of adventures that make the wait worth it.

Avatar: The Way of Water follows Jake Scully (Sam Worthington), Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), and their family as they settle in Pandora. This period of peace doesn’t last long due to the return of a familiar enemy of Jake’s. The family now has to move to a different region where they have to learn to fit in, and learn the way of water. As disaster and surprise continues to strike, Jake is given the task of defeating his enemies in order to save himself, his family, and his people.

(L-R): Ronal (Kate Winslet), Tonowari (Cliff Curtis), and the Metkayina clan in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Avatar: The Way of Water is a dynamic, engaging story perfect for a night at the movies. It is a long movie, running three hours and twelve minutes; some scenes where Jake and his family are learning the ways of the Metkayina feel too long and they overpower the villain subplot. However, the scenes aren’t anti-climactic, so they held my attention. The CGI in Avatar: The Way of Water stands out from the minute the film begins. The characters have high quality, unique features, and the underwater scenes and animals are astonishing. The ground-breaking new CGI techniques used give it a fantastical tone that is distinct from other films. I love the representation of a sibling bond. Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), Lo’ak (Britain Dalton), Kiri (Sigourney Weaver), Tuk (Trinity Jo-Li) and even Spider (Jake Champion) don’t always get along. However, when it comes down to a life or death situation, protecting one another is always the most important. These relationships have the power to make the audience laugh and cry.

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Avatar: The Way of Water carries the message that family is everything, whether they are related by blood or not. Jake clearly cares about his biological children and is willing to do anything for them. But even with Kiri, Spider and both the Na’vi and Metkayina people, you see his protective nature and the protective nature the family has over each other.

I give Avatar: The Way of Water 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Avatar: The Way of Water releases in theaters December 16, 2022, so make sure you check it out!

Avatar: The Way of Water By Emma D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

(L-R): Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), Ronal (Kate Winslet), and Tonowari (Cliff Curtis) in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Avatar: The Way of Water is a breathtaking adventure film that is just as magical, and show stopping as its predecessor and completely blew me away. The film gives the audience a magical experience into the world of Pandora.

Avatar: The Way of Water takes place 14 years after Avatar and follows the lives of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), his wife Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and their four children. When a familiar threat comes back to take over Pandora, Jake and his family leave their home to explore different regions of Pandora preparing to fight to protect both their family and their world.

Avatar: The Way of Water is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. The visuals and imagery far surpassed my expectations and make the movie incomparable to any other sci-fi film. The underwater scenes are my favorite and the interaction between the sea creatures and the Na’vi help make the ocean almost like a character in the story. Although the special effects and imagery are incredible, the plot is a little predictable. Using some popular themes and overused tropes, makes the plot not very original. The first movie, Avatar, came out nearly 13 years ago, and it might be advisable to watch or rewatch the first film in order to fully understand this sequel. The film is also quite long, with a run time of 3 hours and 12 minutes, and there are many scenes that I wish were shorter to cut down the run time. The acting is phenomenal, with Sam Worthington giving an exceptionally heartwarming performance. I love all the new additions to the cast and found the adaptations of the reef Na’vi a smart touch that makes the world of Pandora even more realistic. James Cameron (director) is without a doubt an incredible storyteller, and his ability to create the world of Pandora is amazing.

A Tulkun in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Avatar: The Way of Water promotes friendship and the importance of family; most of all it promotes respect. We see this through Jake Sully’s relationship with his kids, but most importantly through showing the lack of respect that the “sky people” have for Pandora and the negative effects that has on the planet. Parents may want to know that there are a lot of fight scenes, many of which involve weapons and blood and also some profanity.

I give Avatar: Way of Water 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It will be released in theaters December 16, 2022.

Avatar: The Way of Water By Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Kiri (Sigourney Weaver) in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Avatar: The Way of Water is an action-packed sci-fi film that I thoroughly enjoyed. You don’t have to be an Avatar fan to be entertained the whole time while watching this movie. This movie is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and is definitely a film you want to see on the big screen.

The storyline follows Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) who has found a home with the forest clan on the moon Pandora. He lives there happily with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and their four children until he realizes he and his family are in danger of being attacked by the humans, led by an old enemy, Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang). In order to protect his family and the lives of his people, they must leave their home and learn to live life away from the forest.

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. ©2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The CGI in this film is honestly one of the key factors that make this movie so engaging. The majority of the CG character animation is filmed with new motion-capture techniques using live actors, so the characters and various settings look so realistic. I especially like the vibrant colors of the underwater scenes. Watching the fighting scenes in 3D made me feel like I was part of the battle. The emotions the actors convey in this film are another component that makes this movie so good. When the scenes are intense, you can see the different emotions on their faces and in their body language. Whether it is anger, sadness, or determination, the emotions in the characters’ voices help you get into what is happening. My

favorite character is Lo’ak (Britain Dalton) because he is very relatable. He portrays normal teenage behavior, but also loves his family very much. Even though he gets into his share of trouble, when things go wrong, he tries his best to fix it in every way he can.

The message of Avatar: The Way of Water is that family is everywhere you go. Even though Jake and his family have to leave their home to stay out of trouble, they stick together. They help each other when times are tough and they always look out for each other, and sometimes have to risk their own life. Parents should be aware that this movie includes violence and some inappropriate language.

I give Avatar: The Way of Water 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Avatar: The Way of Water opens in theaters December 16, 2022.

Avatar: The Way of Water By Miguel C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

I absolutely love Avatar: The Way of Water by James Cameron. It is suck a heartfelt and family film.

Tuk (Trinity Bliss) in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The story line starts back in Pandora following Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri’s (Zoe Saldaña) family – two boys and two girls, who are quite wonderful kids. We also see that some people have been turned into avatars. We also see that the “air people” are coming to Pandora to completely destroy it and make a new world for humans, since Earth is dying. You will have to watch it to find out what actually happens.

Although the film is very long, at over three hours, it’s absolutely worth it. It is a very emotional movie and definitely will make you cry. The CGI is absolutely unbelievable and you actually think that the avatars are real, because they look so realistic. I cannot believe that Avatar is finally back on the big screen with this long-anticipated sequel. I have watched the first film many times and can honestly tell you that this film is even better than the first one. The characters in this film are absolutely amazing and the actors portray them so well. For example Zoe Saldana portrays the mom in a believable way; she really shows how much she loves her kids. She is definitely a loving mom because; even in the worst battles she decides to risk her life so her kids can have one. I also cannot believe that Susan Sarandon’s portrayal of a 17-year-old, since she’s 70. The plot has a lot of ups and downs and what puts you at the edge of your seat is all the fight scenes and battles they face as a family — and they still stick together. The special effects are out of this world; I truly can’t believe that they actually filmed the mob underwater — that’s actually crazy cool. It definitely left me wanting more with its cliffhanger ending.

Lo’ak (Britain Dalton) in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The message of this movie is about how family sticks together, no matter what happens or who tries to come between you and your family. You should be aware that there is a lot of rough behavior, fighting and a lot of blood. We see people going underwater for a long time, so a kid might be tempted to try it on his or her own. The avatars aren’t fully clothed, but you don’t see anybody fully nude.

I give Avatar: The Way of Water 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It opens in theaters December 16, 2022.

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