Tag Archives

98 Articles

First Man: The Man Behind One Of The Most Famous Events In Human History

Posted by Editor on
0
Movie Reviews
First Man: The Man Behind One Of The Most Famous Events In Human History

On the heels of their six-time Academy Award®-winning smash, La La Land, Oscar®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for Universal Pictures’ First Man, the riveting story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969. A visceral, first-person account, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie explores the sacrifices and the cost – on Armstrong and on the nation – of one of the most dangerous missions in history. Written by Academy Award® winner Josh Singer (Spotlight), the drama is produced by Wyck Godfrey & Marty Bowen (The Twilight Saga, The Fault in Our Stars) through their Temple Hill Entertainment banner, alongside Chazelle and Gosling. Isaac Klausner (The Fault in Our Stars) executive produces. DreamWorks Pictures co-finances the film. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “Along with its main focus on the intense, action-packed mission, First Man explores many avenues that include dramatic and intense moments which spawn from the heart-wrenching grief of losing a child to the intricate and beautiful romance with his wife, Janet (Claire Foy). Much of the movie has emotions that are quite far from being out of this world, specifically in its massive focus on the family.” See his full review below.

First Man

By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

https://youtu.be/9Id3Jg4pdTU

firstman.a.jpg

Easily one of the most famous events in human history is centered on a singular man, Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling). Behind the Apollo Mission that landed the first human on the moon, Neil is a man with conflicts, a man with a history and a man with a mission.

Along with its main focus on the intense, action-packed mission, First Man explores many avenues that include dramatic and intense moments which spawn from the heart-wrenching grief of losing a child to the intricate and beautiful romance with his wife, Janet (Claire Foy). Much of the movie has emotions that are quite far from being out of this world, specifically in its massive focus on the family.

The film begins up close and personal seeing Armstrong in his daring mission on the rocket-propelled plane, the X-15. Immediately, the story shows just how dangerous space exploration can be and how close those who brave exploring the final frontier get to never returning home. It follows Neil and his story intimately from the X-15 mission to the loss of three astronauts (close friends of Neil’s) in Apollo 1, the near-lethal mission of Gemini 8 and, of course, the incredibly daring mission of Apollo 11, that landed the first people on the Moon. Throughout these milestones in space exploration, the story pauses to look at the relations and life of Neil, truly unveiling the blueprints showing who he was as a man.

While incredible in revealing a massive side of this well-known historical event, the film attempts to focus so much on a story that has little to tell. The length clocks in at just under two and a half hours, which feels very stretched after the adrenaline of the exciting opening scene wears off. Neil Armstrong is portrayed as a deep man with little visual emotions mixed with dramatic internal conflicts. While this decision allows for excellent character design, it makes him rather boring at times. It seems the writers wished to divide First Man into three stories – one, the story of Neil as a man; two, the story of Neil as a father and three, the story of Neil as an astronaut. All three have their pros and their cons, but mixed together, the film becomes daunting and stretched.

firstman.f.jpg

The cinematography sadly could have been better. Only a handful of camera shots do not shake. In most shots, the camera moves constantly or jitters. In the beginning, with the X-15 mission, this effect adds to the entertainment of the film. The audience quickly becomes sucked into the important and lethal mission with dangers at every corner. After two hours of shaky camera shots, that excitement changes to annoyance. While a mix would be ideal, and in more intensive scenes a camera shake would be appropriate, having the entire runtime featuring shakiness as well as many blurry shots, looks amateur and comes off as poor execution of what should be an interesting and captivating story.

However, the film does go beyond the moon in many ways – predominantly, in the acting. Neil Armstrong has deep faults and that stands as a challenge to any actor. Ryan Gosling nails the role in what turns out as an Oscar©-worthy performance of the famous astronaut. Others, including Claire Foy, also deliver extraordinary performances bringing each character to life. Despite the fact that no one can hear you scream in space, the sound design really belongs out of the world due to the quality and complexity of the sound effects. Much of First Man contains loud, intricate sound effects that vary and cover a massive spectrum. Perhaps more powerful would have been the use of silence in the most dramatic moments, sending chills to the entire audience.

My favorite scene is one of these moments of eerie silence. In this scene, three members of the Apollo 1 mission do a test in the Apollo capsule. It goes horribly wrong and the interior of the capsule catches on fire, sadly, resulting in losing the lives of all three. Yet, the film takes this a step further, as the three fallen heroes are not new in this scene. The viewer gets time to like them, understand them and befriend them – just as Neil did in real life. This makes their sudden and dramatic loss nothing short of shocking and cold, replicating the real-life impact it had on Armstrong.

Although, First Man has a strong beginning, a strong ending and many high points throughout, it also has many mistakes and things that could be improved that simply negate the extraordinary story of this story. For that reason, I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. The story is quite intensive and is best suited for older audiences that will understand the impact of the events so I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. This film opens nationwide in theaters on October 12, 2018 so, look for it. If you are a fan of space exploration, it is sure to make an impact, but even if you aren’t you will learn something new.

 

Photos: ©2018 Universal. All rights reserved.

The Rack Pack: Enjoyable watch for anyone looking for that nostalgic 80s goodness

Posted by Editor on
0
Movie Reviews
The Rack Pack: Enjoyable watch for anyone looking for that nostalgic 80s goodness

A children’s storybook author reminisces about his childhood adventures with his brothers and friends. In a time before kids spent hours watching television, on the computer, playing video games and texting, they went to the park to play with their friends. As military brats, these kids lived their own adventures. They lived a different sort of childhood that challenged their imaginations to soar to a different level. Following in their parents footsteps, they pretended to be soldiers as they played army in the woods. Life seemed simpler back then, until danger came to town. In our story, a cynical man comes across a Civil War General’s old map that may lead to long lost treasure buried deep in a mining tunnel. The kids come across the man and his team and learn about the treasure. Our heroes come up with a plan to try to find it first. Things take a serious turn when the kids are discovered. The thieves up their status and become kidnappers as they take one of the children’s fathers hostage. The kids, in full army gear, set out for a rescue mission. As they learn more about each other they form a bond of brotherhood and friendship called …THE RACK PACK. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Arjun N. comments, “This is sure to be a enjoyable watch for anyone looking for that nostalgic 80s goodness.”  Elle S., KIDS FIRST! Juror adds, “The Rack Pack is a funny film that pays respect to our military, all while expressing independence for the youth. I appreciate the diversity and persistence of these school-aged children.” See their full reviews below.

The Rack Pack
By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

https://youtu.be/cWsNf9eehjY

Rackpack.a.jpg

The Rack Pack makes fun of its goofy 80s vibe, but ultimately falls a bit flat with its underdeveloped plot. However, the acting and cohesive script provide vibrant energy. This is sure to be a enjoyable watch for anyone looking for that nostalgic 80s goodness.

The story follows the adventures of military nerd brothers Darrell (Nico Ford), Gerald (Hunter Lee Manning), and Loren (Wyatt Walter). Their escapades take a dangerous turn when they come under the contact of a Civil War treasure map. To compete, the cynical duo Ted (C. Thomas Howell) and DJ (Nick Vernon) race to obtain the map and sell it to criminals. However, the boys slip themselves to the thieves leading to their own dad (David Schifter) getting involved and kidnapped. In a race against time, the boys must save both their dad and map all while earning the legendary name The Rack Pack.

Nico Ford, as Darrell, excels with his sharp, yet reckless thinking. His banter with Tammy also add one of the movie’s funniest dynamics as she continuously dupes him. Hunter Lee Manning, as Gerald, sells the eldest brother dynamic with his wise mentorship even if he can come across as disloyal. As well as Wyatt Walter, as Loren, who wonderfully presents his cute youngest brother self always following his elders into trouble. David Schfiter, as Mr. Rackley, excels with his fatherly presence as he holds the family together through tough times and is always willing to take risks to save lives.  C. Thomas Howell and Nick Vernon, as Ted and DJ, allow for a charismatic villainous presence, with DJ being my favorite character as his comedic timing was perfectly handled. Last but not least, Cece Kelly, as Tammy, accelerates a fun side-plot as her biting remarks never got old.

Thomas J. Churchill talentedly directs the movie with great 80s gags and adventure with the Goonies being a big influence. My favorite scene is when the boys attempt to stop the duo’s perilous plans which result in some truly hilarious scenes as they rely on outsmarting than violent means. However, my problems with this movie stem from the plot of the movie in general which feels devoid of any emotional appeal or development. At times, it feels like there is zero plot. Thankfully, the movie’s quirky characters are able to hold attention as their wise cracks always bring something new to the table.

The message of the movie to always trust in your team as the Rack Pack always powers through and fights for what is right. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 10 as some scenes can come across as intense. The movie is available on DVD, so check it out.

rackpack.poster2.jpg

The Rack Pack
By Elle S., KIDS FIRST! Juror

https://youtu.be/1wHG3ZCdTzU

 

The Rack Pack is a funny film that pays respect to our military, all while expressing independence for the youth. I appreciate the diversity and persistence of these school-aged children. Yes, some rules are broken, pranks occur and sometimes a skunk just needs to let one rip. But, overall this movie makes your inner child smile. One of the most appealing things is finding out who the pack includes and why they were given this name. I like that there’s a bit of rebellious behavior, taking charge of adults and how the humor is all kid-friendly.

The film flows well. I like seeing the diversity in both race and genders, when it comes to forming a team – on both the child and adult side. I was drawn in from the beginning to the end. There are various characters and scenes that involve bullying. Some of that goes unresolved or are dealt with retaliation. There are moments when kids get revenge on adult thieves, but it is handled in a more imaginary and comedic way.

As a viewer, I wanted to see how the kids would find the villain and recover the treasure. The way the kids handle the situation lines up with what a tween or young teen would do if they were trying to confront a thief. I found the production value of this film above average for a lower budget film. I watched an online screener which included bonus footage showing bloopers and behind the scenes content on which was enjoyable.

The message of this film is that children can join forces and fight for not only their community, but for being respectful human beings. Children of all types can be their own advocates and fight for what they believe in. I think those are compelling messages to learn.

I love action films. There’s something about being covered in dirt and playing outdoors or “members only” zone where you can just let loose and be yourself. Self evaluation, action and adventures are a big part of this film. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 14. I do suggest parental guidance since there are some mild examples of fighting and weapons. Reviewed by Elle S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

 

 

Venom: Fans of Superhero Movies May Want to Check This Out

Posted by Editor on
0
Movie Reviews
Venom: Fans of Superhero Movies May Want to Check This Out

Journalist Eddie Brock is trying to take down Carlton Drake, the notorious and brilliant founder of the Life Foundation. While investigating one of Drake’s experiments, Eddie’s body merges with the alien Venom — leaving him with superhuman strength and power. Twisted, dark and fueled by rage, Venom tries to control the new and dangerous abilities that Eddie finds so intoxicating. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Arjun N. comments, “Venom is a somewhat entertaining comic book-based movie watch… Fans of superhero movies may want to check it out.” See his complete review below.

Venom

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

https://youtu.be/AXQVVuTaZDk

venom-dom-DF-24885_rgb.jpg

Venom is a somewhat entertaining comic book-based movie watch. The acting and directing provide for serviceable entertainment amid some of the movie’s ill-fated attempts. Fans of superhero movies may want to check it out.

The story follows former investigative and maverick journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) after he attempts a comeback following a scandal that left him jobless, despite good intentions. Eddie’s life furthermore takes on more complications, after accidentally becoming the host of an alien symbiote, giving him the carnivorous alter ego, Venom.  Soon, he must rely on and master his newfound powers to protect the world from the shadowy organization he so sought to destroy, because of their involvement in experimenting with other symbiotes, before it’s too late.venom-dom-VCM2235_comp_v0054rV2.jpg

Tom Hardy, as Eddie Brock, is my favorite character and absolutely lives up to the hype surrounding his performance, even if a few of his deliveries come across as random,  due to an inconsistent script. Also, he further sells the voice of Venom, delivering numerous nuances underneath the carnivorous savage. Michelle Williams, as Anne Weying, does the best she can with an uninspired script, that doesn’t do her character justice, as Anne comes across as a stereotypical love interest. Despite this, she adds nuances to her characters’ emotions and occasional comedic remarks.  Once again, Riz Ahmed, as Carlton Drake, suffers from the same issue, but presents just enough threat to make his foe a formidable one. Still, his plotline involving the main lab corporation, remains one of the movie’s stalling points as it remains nothing more than a disinteresting evil lair. Jenny Slate, as Dora Skirth, fares better as the script provides more material to go around. Her vibrant expressions and remarks make her one of the movie’s most memorable assets.

 

Ruben Fleischer aptly directs the movie with an effective grasp on understanding the Venom character, which is the movie’s saving grace. The mix of horror, adrenaline-fueled action and black comedy provides for a unique experience, unlike any other superhero movie, despite not being as polished as most. My favorite scene is the SWAT action scene, as it is a great showcase of special effects and unique sound design. The choreography further sells the excellent pace towards Venom’s attacks. The other main flaw stems from the sub-par script, as it doesn’t compliment the all-star cast’s talents well. Aside from Eddie, every character is stereotypical and not as interesting to watch, with stilted dialogue further adding unintentional awkwardness to the characters’ relationships. At times, the movie’s plot progression becomes littered with holes and doesn’t match the brisk pace that the many action scenes provide. In fact, any of the movie’s plot, not involving the Venom symbiote, is met with a gruelingly slow pace, leaving us waiting for Venom to show up.

The message of this movie to always stand up for what’s right and be careful about it, in spite of anyone in your way. Eddie’s brutally honest responses to evil and the Venom alter-ego support this with a positive example. I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, because of intense action and language. The movie releases in theaters October 5, 2018, so check it out.

 

Smallfoot – A Heartfelt Animated Film With Clever Laughs and Interesting Ideas

Posted by Editor on
0
Movie Reviews
Smallfoot – A Heartfelt Animated Film With Clever Laughs and Interesting Ideas

A yeti named Migo is convinced that a human known only as “Small Foot” is real and has to prove to his tribe that it does exist with the help of Meechee and the S.E.S – Smallfoot Evidentiary Society. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Benjamin P. comments, “Smallfoot is a heartfelt animated film with several clever laughs and some interesting ideas at play.” Izzy C. adds, “There are so many creative little things like that throughout the whole movie, which really held my attention. The music soundtrack is awesome! I’ve already downloaded it. The music is one of the best parts of the movie.” See their full reviews below.

 

Smallfoot

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

https://youtu.be/Iy4yP_dEpvQ

 

smallfoot.h.jpg

 

Smallfoot is a heartfelt animated film with several clever laughs and some interesting ideas at play. This film follows Migo, a Yeti, who lives in a village full of them high atop a mountain amidst the snow. Migo is content with his village’s way of life and their beliefs that are scrawled in stone, until he makes a startling discovery. He encounters a being that proves the existence of the Smallfoot or, as we would call it, a human. This goes against the beliefs of his people and gets him banished from his home. From there, he consults a few Yetis who believe in the existence of the Smallfoot to help him prove to the rest of his village that he saw one.

 

I really like the character Migo, played by Channing Tatum, and Percy, played by James Corden, a TV host trying to influence a resurgence in his career and the Smallfoot whose existence Migo is trying to prove. These are members of two species who have to learn to communicate and get along because of the situation they’re in. The two characters have very different personalities and motivations that collide and the aftermath of their meeting is part of what makes this film so interesting. Even what you could call Smallfoot’s antagonist has relatable character motivations, as he is just trying to protect those close to him.

 

I do have problems with the flow of this film’s story. This film’s first act is largely uninspired with too much emphasis on slapstick humor and not enough on story. It feels like a series of comedic antics with some filler between them. The film really finds its Smallfooting in the second and third acts with some fun musical sequences and humorous encounters. Smallfoot also has a striking message about what we consider truth and why we believe what we do.

 

I recommend Smallfoot for ages 4 to 12 due to some mild bathroom humor and some images that could scare younger children. There is a scene with a bear that could be frightening, although it is played up for laughs. I think adults will also enjoy this film. I give the film 3 out of 5 stars. Go check this out because it’s a smart animated film that has lots of moving parts that all manage to come together to make something fun and adorable. Smallfoot comes out in theaters on September 28, 2018.

 

Smallfoot

By Izzy C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

https://youtu.be/zEGg8K6p_cI

smallfoot.a.jpg

Smallfoot is a really good animated movie with really fun characters and some amazing songs. I might even call it a musical.

 

The story of Smallfoot is told by the many scenes and lots of songs. There’s a Yeti named Migo (Channing Tatum), who is sweet and nice, but he gets kicked out of his village by the leader, The Stonekeeper (Common). Migo is banished because he told the Yeti village that he saw a monster called a “Smallfoot.” As you might guess, a “Smallfoot” is just a human. Yetis believe that humans are fairytale creatures, but Migo saw one in real life. Nobody believes that Migo had a Smallfoot sighting.

 

Migo really did see a Smallfoot and the movie follows him trying to prove himself. At the same time, it shows the story of the Smallfoot, whose name is Percy (James Corden). Percy is a TV Host who needs a big story to save his show from being cancelled.

 

I love the scenery in this film, because it is all snowy. The story takes place in the Himalayas. I found the story interesting because it takes place way up in the mountains where old fables are told. I like the silly beliefs that the Yetis have such as believing the sun is a giant snail and that memories hold up mountains. There are so many creative little things like that throughout the whole movie, which really held my attention. The music soundtrack is awesome! I’ve already downloaded it. The music is one of the best parts of the movie.

 

This film is for everybody, especially kids like me who are really into adventure.  I recommend it for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. I think parents will like it. It has some really funny humor and is like a musical comedy delight. Smallfoot opens in theaters September 28, 2018 so, look for it.

Photos: © Warner Bros Entertainment. All Rights Reserved

 

Digimon Adventure Tri: Coexistence – Graphics and Action that Draw You In!

Posted by Editor on
0
Movie Reviews
Digimon Adventure Tri: Coexistence – Graphics and Action that Draw You In!
The Adventure Continues…The arrival of the super powerful Meicoomon starts a
countdown to the real world’s collapse. The Digi-Destined are cast out of the Digital
World, and even after returning to the real world, are driven away by people, due to their
partnerships with the Digimon. Meanwhile, a cruel fate appears imminent for Kari, who
has a more honest and sensitive spirit than anyone. KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror Kimbirly
M. comments, “With the well-known Japanese anime style, Digimon-tri has sharp-edge
graphics and action sequences that draw the viewers in.” See the rest of her review
below.
Digimon Coexistence still 6.jpg
Digimon Adventure-Tri: Coexistence
By Kimberly Michelle Mullins, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
With the well-known Japanese anime style, Digimon-tri has sharp-edge graphics and
action sequences that draw the viewers in. We see them dealing with educational and
social struggles similar to those that many have to deal with, but with friends helping out.
This is a continuation of the popular Digimon-tri series. The storyline, generally about
dark forces taking over, flows well. There are no lagging sequences that would bore the
viewer. One becomes empathetic with the protagonist Kari and even the evil force
overtaking Meicoomon. The vocabulary and concepts are appropriate for its intended age
group and could further enhance vocabulary and concepts that the viewer may not
understand.
It portrays pro-social models such as when Kari feels that she might be
responsible for a specific situation and one of the others reassures her that this definitely
isn’t the case. This entire series is very good at displaying consequences of both negative
and positive behaviors. There are also good models of problem-solving such as when a
Digimon character decides on an action and another vehemently opposes it. The rest of
the group has to come to a general consensus to make a final determination.
The underlying message is about seeking out others when you are experiencing tough
times. Life has complicated challenges, but you can overcome them. You should be
aware that there are two things that make this more appropriate for older viewers.
Digimon Coexistence still 12.jpg
First, a character pulls out a gun, but there is no blast. And second, we see a powerful being
shaped like a naked woman, although there are no graphic features. For that reason, I
recommend it for ages 10 to 18, as well as young adults and give it 4 out of 5 stars. I
would raise the highest age to 25 if I could because it is so thought-provoking and
intelligent. The DVD allows you to select specific scenes and has a bonus feature
interview. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer

Soufra – Improving the Lives of Palestinian Refugees One Bite at a Time

Posted by Editor on
0
Movie Reviews
Soufra – Improving the Lives of Palestinian Refugees One Bite at a Time

 

South of Beirut, Lebanon is a 68 year old refugee camp housing refugees from Palestine, Syria and Iraq. Many have lived in this camp their entire lives– Mariam AlShaar is one of them. Now, Mariam has pulled the women of this camp together to do what has never been done before. They started with a small kitchen from a micro-loan. With nearly insurmountable political odds against them– they look to start the first refugee food truck. Their journey is one of many ups and downs but it is the community that is built, their sense of hope and how they see themselves that makes this a moving, touching film about their journey. Mariam has been known as ‘the crazy lady’ and now she will show just how crazy she is. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ella L, comments, “. I felt so connected with the women in this film and was really intrigued by their stories, as well as what they have to say. This is an incredible film in so many ways.” Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror adds, “This documentary is about one woman’s quest to start a food-truck business in the refugee camp where she resides, in Lebanon. Mariam Shaar, with her adept business sense and entrepreneurial spirit sets out to improve the quality of life for herself and those around her.” See their full reviews below.

Soufra.a.jpg

Soufra

By Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Link to video review https://youtu.be/UGhkxMsSlo8

 

Soufra is a fantastic film filled with delicious-looking food and inspiring messages for women and others. This documentary is clearly made with passion, purpose and heart. It is a little heart wrenching, but still fun and interesting at the same time. The production values are high, particularly the cinematography. I felt so connected with the women in this film and was really intrigued by their stories, as well as what they have to say. This is an incredible film in so many ways.

 

The filmmaker follows a group of women in a Lebanese refugee camp who enjoy and have a passion for cooking. They are hired by a fellow refugee, named Mariam, to start a catering company called Soufra. The film documents the struggles of these women being unable to purchase a food truck for their business. Even though they raise the money to purchase it, thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, it is still difficult for them to get the proper permits to own the truck, due to local laws.

 

What really intrigued me initially was the beginning scene in the kitchen. It is so lively, entertaining and captivating. The introduction to a film is so important. The rest of the film is equally well shot. The camera quality is clear and the cinematography is pretty spot on. This film really is quite entertaining and educating at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it because every aspect is so incredible.

 

The messages the film promotes are completely pure and positive. These women deal with really tough situations and lead extremely tough lives. However, they manage to stay strong and powerful regardless. The message is about never giving up or quitting, even when it feels like the entire world is telling you to. Never lose sight of your goals. I recommend this for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults and give it 5 out of 5 stars. I am so impressed with the women in this film and everything they have accomplished. I admire them all very much. This is a film that is truly incredible and one I will remember for years to come.

soufra.b.jpg

Soufra

By Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

https://youtu.be/0zkr43diydQ

 

This documentary is about one woman’s quest to start a food-truck business in the refugee camp where she resides, in Lebanon. The quality of life for the camp’s residents is quite low, with many people living in very condensed dwellings. Mariam Shaar, with her adept business sense and entrepreneurial spirit sets out to improve the quality of life for herself and those around her. She, along with other women, cook high quality Mediterranean food and through a Kickstarter Campaign, raise and exceed the amount of funds needed to buy a van and get the permit for the business. Not surprisingly, things do not go as planned. Mariam’s lawyer tells her there may be hurdles in terms of getting the permit and obtaining a truck because she resides in the refugee camp and because of her ethnicity. Therefore, when she goes to the automobile dealer, she is turned down. Inevitably, a few months later, she is turned down for the license to operate Soufra also. She feels defeated at this point, but her lawyer explains a way in which she can circumvent these laws regarding license, location and ethnicity Mariam can find a brick and mortar place as a legitimate residential location for her business on the outskirts of Beirut. She does in fact find a place and is then granted a license. The van approval for her food truck comes smoothly after that. Her dream of a food truck business is then realized. I enjoyed watching this documentary mainly because it has a happy ending. Many documentaries seem to end on a desolate note. In addition, people residing in the West think about the Mid-East as being repressive towards women, in general. This documentary counters this thought process. We see Mariam as a determined businesswoman making lots of decisions and meeting with others on her own to get the business up and running. As the director of a Foundation stated, she would “get this going with or without financial help.” I give this documentary 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 as well as adults. This film is being shown at select theaters throughout the country. To find a screening near you, visit https://www.soufrafilm.com/

Searching – Unique Storyline, Well Executed, Unexpected Twists

Posted by Editor on
0
Movie Reviews
Searching – Unique Storyline, Well Executed, Unexpected Twists
After David Kim (John Cho)’s 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is
opened and a detective is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead,
David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept
today: his daughter’s laptop. In a hyper-modern thriller told via the technology devices we
use every day to communicate, David must trace his daughter’s digital footprints before she

disappears forever. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Alejandra G. comments, “This new drama/ thriller grabbed

my attention since the beginning, because of its amazing and unique storyline. I felt
thrilled to discover what would happen at the end and, whether or not the outcome would be
what I expected.” See her full comments below.
Searching
By Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
https://youtu.be/EMnBlXtGmS8
Searching.b.John-Cho.Photo.Elizabeth-Kitchens.jpg
This new drama/thriller grabbed my attention since the beginning, because of its amazing and
unique storyline. I felt thrilled to discover what would happen at the end and, whether or not the
outcome would be what I expected. I came up with my theory for the conclusion by putting
together the clues from the movie, little by little. It is very entertaining because the film gives
the audience an opportunity to be detectives for a moment and try to solve the very unique
mystery of the film.
Searching.a.JohnCho.Photo.SebastianBaron.jpg
The storyline is about a father, David, that enjoys watching his daughter
Margot grows up while posting pictures and videos of her to social media, sharing his happiness
with his loved ones. As Margot enters her teenage years, she starts to grow apart and seem distant
from him. One day, she disappears after telling her father that she went to a study group. David
looks on the internet to try to find clues about where she may be. Her friends don’t seem to know
much and don’t help either David or the detective that comes on the case to figure out what
happened to her and hopefully find her alive.My favorite scene is when David starts to get
desperate because of Margot’s disappearance, leading to him brainstorming ideas about how to
find her. This results with him going into Margot’s computer to find answers as to whereabouts.
This is my favorite scene because it is very meaningful and is the moment he starts to realize,
although he doesn’t admit it, that he truly does not know his daughter at all. When he opens her
laptop, it is as if he is entering the unknown territory and we see the distance between him and
Margot. He was very close to her, while she was growing up, but as soon as she hit the teenage
years, she became a stranger.
The important message in this film is that better
communication between family members is encouraged and will improve the dynamics of the
family. For example, at the beginning of the movie, the reason for her disappearance is unknown
and that leads to the suspense and mystery of the storyline. But, let’s say hypothetically that
Margot disappeared on purpose, because she was dealing with a problem and, since she had
grown apart from her dad, she didn’t feel he could help her. If parents, especially those raising
their children alone, communicate and interact better, they can help their kids through the tough
times. They ease the process of going through conflicts so that running away is not their only
choice. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults and I rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It
opens in theaters August 31, 2018 so, check it out. Reviewed by Alejandra G., KIDS
FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Photo A Cred: Sebastian Baron. ©2018 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo B Credit: Elizabeth Kitchens; ©2018 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Operation Finale – Historical Drama That Evokes a Range of Raw Emotion

Posted by Editor on
0
Movie Reviews
Operation Finale – Historical Drama That Evokes a Range of Raw Emotion

Fifteen years after the end of World War II, a team of top-secret Israeli agents travels to Argentina to track down Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi officer who masterminded the transportation logistics that brought millions of innocent Jews to their deaths in concentration camps. Hoping to sneak him out of the country to stand trial, agent Peter Malkin soon finds himself playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with the notorious war criminal. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abraham F. comments, “Operation Finale is horrifyingly intense as well as funny at times. The two main characters, Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac) and Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) are terrifyingly realistic.” See his full review below.

 

Operation Finale

By Abraham Finer, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Link to  video review https://youtu.be/Aoz-pO5bDlM

OperationF.d.jpg

 

Operation Finale is horrifyingly intense as well as funny at times. The two main characters, Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac) and Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) are terrifyingly realistic. The suspense feels like it’s on real stakes because this film is based on actual events. One criticism I have is that all the secondary characters are easily forgettable.

 

The story of this film focuses on a group of Israeli agents who are tasked with capturing and bringing back Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi Lieutenant who escaped justice after World War II to Israel. The agents spot him at his house after a spy tells them where he lives. They watch his daily routine until they memorize it and fake their car being broken in, to jump him. They take him back to where they are staying and take turns watching him. One day, the airport calls saying that they have to get a signature from Adolf Eichmann to let them board so they try to convince him to sign. Malkin tries a more friendly approach to make him sign and they get to know each other.

 

My favorite part in this film is when Malkin and Eichmann are getting to know each other. You get to see Eichmann’s side and how he interprets the holocaust. That is very interesting.There are two big names in this film. Ben Kingsley plays Adolf Eichmann and Oscar Isaac plays Peter Malkin. Ben Kingsley has been in numerous award winning films such as Ghandi, which he won an Oscar for best actor. Oscar Isaac has been in Ex Machina, an Oscar winning film and the Star Wars series.

OperationF.c.jpg

 

I recommend this film to anyone who wants to know more about the Holocaust or World War II. You should be aware that the adults in this film smoke and drink. I recommend Operation Finale for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. This film opens in theaters August 29, 2018 so look for it.

Photos © 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Super 4: Meet Ruby – All About Ruby, The Girl Pirate Brimming with Personality

Posted by Editor on
0
Movie Reviews
Super 4: Meet Ruby – All About Ruby, The Girl Pirate Brimming with Personality

Inspired by the world of PLAYMOBIL® toys, set out on a series of adventures with the Super 4 as they travel through the wider PLAYMOBIL® universes. Join Ruby and friends as they embark on 7 fun-filled pirate adventures! First, understand how Ruby came to be the amazing pirate she is. A wicker basket washes up on the shore of Gunpowder Island holding a little baby. Surprise, it’s a girl! When Ruby is old enough to jump on ship to join in on a pirate raid, little Ruby sits on the sidelines and watches it all. To prove she is a real pirate, Ruby must set out to obtain a mythical treasure. Will she find it and become a true pirate? Find out in Meet Ruby! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jolleen M. comments, “The message of the story is to always believe in yourself no matter what. Ruby was born as a pirate, but girls aren’t allowed to be pirates. Even though this is true, Ruby goes out and proves her worthiness. She encounters many problems, but stays strong and believes in herself. She stays determined every time.” See her full review below.

Super 4: Meet Ruby
By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Link to Video Review https://youtu.be/Pt2C2N8Nwko

Super 4 Trailer 1.mp4.00_00_00_00.Still001.jpg

 

This film has a great plotline and gives each character lots of personality. The plotline becomes even more interesting because of all the strong personalities. Even though this film is meant for younger ages, I still was quite entertained.

This film is all about meeting and getting to know who Ruby is. It starts from pirates discovering her as a baby, watching her go on adventures and figuring out who she wants to be. She goes off to the sea for the first time by herself and encounters problems. Eventually she is able to overcome them. She then goes off and solves multiple tests to be able to acquire treasure.Laetitia Lefebvre has a determined and strong child-like voice which perfectly fits Ruby because Ruby has all of these traits. Ruby at times can sound very stubborn, scared, determined and strong. The Black Baron (Tom Wayland) sounds determined as well. The Black Baron is a very manipulative character and Wayland changes his voice accordingly. For example, he can sound convincing, caring and sweet, but also ominous.

The animation is very colorful and has lots of details. I also love that their faces express emotion and their body language does as well. The pirate costumes are very unique. I loved seeing all the different types of clothing that doesn’t repeat for everyone.

My favorite scene is when Ruby smartly doesn’t get distracted by the Black Baron when he wants to steal the treasure. I felt really proud of her and I knew that she was fit to become a knight.

The message of the story is to always believe in yourself no matter what. Ruby was born as a pirate, but girls aren’t allowed to be pirates. Even though this is true, Ruby goes out and proves her worthiness. She encounters many problems, but stays strong and believes in herself. She stays determined every time. She doesn’t stop continuing on her journey. Instead she just becomes stronger and fights even harder. This is a good message for female empowerment. Even though people want to limit you because you are a girl, don’t let them. Do what Ruby does. Everyone is against her and she still manages to achieve all of her goals and become successful.

This DVD, just like the rest of the Super 4 series, is well made. It has a wonderful message and an entertaining plotline. I recommend this for ages 6 to 11 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. This is available on DVD now, so definitely check it out.

Super 4: Meet Ruby
By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

 

Animation! Action! Fun-filled pirate adventures! Sounds like fun, right! I was addicted to this seven stories DVD. Get ready for the intense performances in each episode!  I have to say that the level of performances are pretty high in this well-crafted series.

This DVD taked you on a journey of getting to know Ruby! She is discovered as a baby from pirates. We watch her go on adventures and determine who she wants to be. Inspired by the world of PLAYMOBIL toys, this series of adventures follows the Super 4 as they travel through the PLAYMOBIL universe. The Super 4 friends go on seven fun-filled and outrageous adventures to save their valuable and limited treasure, and save Ruby’s Dad along the way! Ruby and her friends undertake so much fun throughout their adventures.

My favorite part is, without a doubt, when Ruby has a battle and wins all the challenges she encounters. She defeats the men and the leader of pirates! I love all the action and how she does a super funny victory dance after her victory! That is definitely my favorite part!

The lead characters in this series are Ruby the brave and bold pirate (Laetitia Lefebvre),  Gene the Genius and serious technology loving kid (Frank Lorrai), Twinkle the adorable fairy (Sarah Natochenny), Princess Leonora the beautiful ,demanding princess (Alyson Leigh Rosenfield), Alex the energized, encouraged kid (Billy Bob Thompson), Various the evil stealer (Veronica Taylor) and many more.

The animation is definitely prominent, colorful and has a unique touch. The animation is so realistic and has lots of details. The animation definitely looks realistic. The building where Ruby’s battle takes place looks so real with its marks, cracks, scratches and holes! I was definitely shocked! The pirates’ costumes are all very distinctive.

The message of the film is that girls can desire to be anything that boys can! If you just believe in yourself, everything will fall into place. For example, Ruby goes out and fights hard for who she aspires to become. She does not give up until she has accomplishes her goals. Why can’t women be leaders? Yes, we can! Don’t put any limitations on what you think you can do or be. Definitely this espouses girl power!

There is nothing in these episodes that is bad for kids! This movie definitely calls you to action to people treat one another appropriately. It definitely promotes positive and uplifting messages. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 11. This DVD is available now so, look for it.

Crazy Rich Asians – Fantastic Visuals, Amazing Acting, Complex and Fun Storyline.

Posted by Editor on
0
Movie Reviews
Crazy Rich Asians – Fantastic Visuals, Amazing Acting, Complex and Fun Storyline.

The story follows Rachel Chu (Wu), an American-born Chinese economics professor, who travels to her boyfriend Nick’s (Golding) hometown of Singapore for his best friend’s wedding. Before long, his secret is out: Nick is from a family that is impossibly wealthy, he’s perhaps the most eligible bachelor in Asia, and every single woman in his ultra-rarefied social class is incredibly jealous of Rachel and wants to bring her down. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Calista B. comments, “The visuals in this film are fantastic. This film takes place mostly in Singapore and it looks gorgeous. From the street vendors, to the crazy mansions, to the wedding, which is fairytale phenomenal, this movie is just amazing to look at.” See her full review below.

CrazyAsiana.a.jpg

 

Crazy Rich Asians

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Link to video Review https://youtu.be/cwgxUI3KC3M

I usually dislike romantic comedies. Romance is probably my least favorite genre. I find it almost impossible to make rom coms interesting or unique. However, every once in a while, a movie like this appears. This movie is actually very enjoyable and made me laugh out loud.The story follows Rachel Chu as she accompanies her rich boyfriend, Nick Young, to Singapore for a wedding. She meets his family and tries to get along with them. The plot is very straightforward, but it is compelling mainly through the dialogue and acting. Also the visuals.

CrazyAsiana.c.jpg

 

The visuals in this film are fantastic. This film takes place mostly in Singapore and it looks gorgeous. From the street vendors, to the crazy mansions, to the wedding, which is fairytale phenomenal, this movie is just amazing to look at. I am also not a fashionista, but the outfits are just incredible. Kudos to the costume designer, Mary E. Vogt. There’s also a really cool scene near the beginning where someone sending a text is visualized as a stream of color traveling to the person’s phone. It looks really cool.  Now, a big part of this movie is the fact that the entire cast is Asian and yet, this is a mainstream Hollywood movie. Representation is very important to me and the last movie with a full Asian cast (that I remember) was in the nineties. This is what made me originally excited for this movie. Of course, this film isn’t only good because of the representation and it works a lot on other levels.

 

First, the acting. The actors in this film are amazing. There are two actors who truly caught my eye: Gemma Chan as Astrid Leong is mesmerizing on screen and Peik Lin Goh is played by Awkwafina, who is my new favorite comedy actor. I love her voice. These actors are the standouts for me, but everyone else is also great. There’s some really good mother-daughter emotional scenes. I almost teared up, which is something impressive. The dialogue in this film is also really great. It feels so natural. I feel like I’ll be quoting this movie a lot.

CrazyAsiana.b.jpg

Nick’s Mom is the villain, but she is complex and believes she has her family’s best interest in mine. This is more than your basic Cinderella story. I love learning about other cultures through media and now, going to Singapore is on my bucket list! You might leave the theatre a little envious, but we can all dream.

 

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It comes out on August 15, 2018 so look for it.

 

Photos © 2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and RatPac-Dune Entertainment LLC

 

 

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Twitter