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Black Panther – Pure Marvel Action/Adventure Steeped in Timely Political and Social Issues

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Movie Reviews
Black Panther – Pure Marvel Action/Adventure Steeped in Timely Political and Social Issues

After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country’s new leader. However, T’Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakandan Special Forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Calista B. comments, “Honestly, this movie is just amazing. There are so many things this movie does incredibly correctly. This might be one of the greatest Superhero movies of all time!” Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror adds, “The film is pure Marvel action-adventure with a broad political and socially aware feeling. It is awake and unique. It may be a superhero film, yet it is also steeped in real political and social issues similar to those we face today, especially diversity and inclusion.” See their full reviews below.

Black Panther

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

Link to video review: https://youtu.be/nndlUv3IBsU

Honestly, this movie is just amazing. There are so many things this movie does incredibly correctly. This might be one of the greatest Superhero movies of all time! The story is about T’challa, prince of the secluded, incredibly advanced nation of Wakanda, who struggles to defeat an enemy wanting to take his throne. He teams up with some phenomenal females to secure his role as King.This film is just visually incredible, especially the city of Wakanda. The city looks so amazing. All the buildings and creations are so cool. But that’s not all. The designs of the weapons and spaceships look very realistic and straight up awesome! Kudos to the visual effects team! I also loved the Black Panther suit. I love the idea of the suit absorbing hits into stored kinetic energy and using it as a shockwave like blast. The movie starts with a re-telling of the creation of Wakanda, but it was made out of sand. It looked so cool. In general, the aesthetic nature of this movie is just marvelous.blackpanther.c.jpg

 

 

Black Panther

By Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

In the latest production from Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), we see the original story of the Black Panther. We were introduced to the Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War. This film depicts the story of King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and the Black Panther tribe. When T’Challa returns home to the reclusive, beautiful and technologically impressive nation of Wakanda, a fictional country in Africa, he is named the new leader following the death of his father. True to custom, he is challenged by the tribesman and becomes the new King.Elsewhere, a cousin unknown to him returns from the United States to challenge T’Challa’s reign, and chaos ensues. Warmonger (Michael B Jordan) and his political beliefs are diabolical and the opposite of T’Challa’s. As foes set forth to destroy Wakanda, Black Panther teams up with a C.I.A. agent and a neighboring tribe to prevent the country from a world war. The path from light to dark, and back to doing good in the world beyond Wakanda is refreshing.The film is pure Marvel action-adventure with a broad political and socially aware feeling. It is awake and unique. It may be a superhero film, yet it is also steeped in real political and social issues similar to those we face today, especially diversity and inclusion.  The strong female characters – Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Ramonda (Angela Bassett) are phenomenal.

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I love this film! From the casting, cinematography and directing, to the special effects and female empowerment, it is fulfilling. The action is believable, many of the fight scenes are based on African martial arts, although the CGI at times is a little whack. Overall, I was displaced, forgetting I was sitting in a theater. The costumes are fantastic with attention to detail befitting royalty. Wakanda forever!I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for the cast, social and political awareness, technology focus and female empowerment. This film will appeal to ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. I caution younger viewing due to fight scenes which may be disturbing. It opens in theater February 16, 2018 so, check it out!

 

 

 

Peter Rabbit – Adorable, Great Acting, Extraordinary CGI

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Movie Reviews
Peter Rabbit – Adorable, Great Acting, Extraordinary CGI

Peter Rabbit, the mischievous and adventurous hero who has captivated generations of readers, now takes on the starring role of his own irreverent, contemporary comedy with attitude. In the film, Peter’s feud with Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) escalates to greater heights than ever before as they rival for the affections of the warm-hearted animal lover who lives next door (Rose Byrne). James Corden voices the character of Peter with playful spirit and wild charm, with Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, and Daisy Ridley performing the voice roles of the triplets, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Carla P. comments, “Peter Rabbit is one of my favorite kid’s movie of the year so far. It’s an adorable film that is perfect for the whole family. I love this film because of the acting and CGI.” Morgan B. adds, “Adorable, humorous, charming and a heartwarming tale just in time for Easter and spring!” See their full reviews below.

Peter Rabbit
By Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Link to Video Review:https://youtu.be/swA0ki1b4nU

Peter Rabbit is one of my favorite kid’s movie of the year so far. It’s an adorable film that is perfect for the whole family. I love this film because of the acting and CGI.Peter Rabbit follows Peter Rabbit, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton Tail and Benji as they get into  mischief by taking vegetables from the garden next door. They take the vegetables from Mr. McGregor who tries desperately to get them out of their garden by using explosives and even an electric fence. The rabbits hang out with loveable characters like Bea. She helps the rabbits by giving them shelter when it rains and helps them get food.Throughout the movie, we see great acting from all the actors and voice actors in the film. I love how Domhnall Gleeson acts like a soulless man with the rabbits who he is trying to kill, but with Bea, he acts like in he’s love. I found that Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) really does seem to be in love with Bea. I also like how the voice actors portray the rabbits. Each one of them has a personality that is well portrayed in their voices and actions. For example, Cotton Tail is a memorable character because of how wild and reckless she is. The way Daisy Ridley voices her shows how wild she can be.

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Link to Red Carpet Video Interview:https://youtu.be/vHHon3vdcuA

The CGI in this film is extraordinary. The animals look so realistic. If you really focus on the rabbits, you can see the individual hairs on them. You can also see it on the pig character that hangs out with the rabbits. During a fight sequence with Peter and Mr. McGregor, they actually look like they are fighting and not like he is fighting a fake bunny.I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 7 to 12. This movie comes out on Friday, February 9, 2018 so be sure to check it out.

Peter Rabbit
By Morgan B. , KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Link to Video Review:https://youtu.be/3ittn4f0Em4

 

Adorable, humorous, charming and a heartwarming tale just in time for Easter and spring! You will be hopping as fast as you can to catch up with the rabbits and all the other animals that are, once again, calculating how to get into Mr. McGregor’s Garden.Peter Rabbit is based on the books by Beatrix Potter. Beatrix Potter lived from 1866 to 1943 and is one of the best-loved children’s authors. She wrote and illustrated 28 books and each one has been translated into more than 35 languages. They have sold over 100 million copies. This is important because one of the main goals for the director and the cast was to stay true to her vision.The beauty of this film is that the rabbits all look as if you could touch them because the animation is so life like. The scenes with the garden and house look like places that I would enjoy living because they look like a fairytale that came alive. Of course, if you don’t share your vegetables your life will not be enjoyable.

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The moral of the film is about getting along with others, telling the truth and being honest.  Everyone makes mistakes and we need to find a way to fix them.Thump, click, crack, snap, thud –  all these noises, plus thousands of other sounds effects add to the humor of this film. The music is outstanding. I cannot wait to purchase the soundtrack. There is a combination of movie symphony music, sounds from the 80s, new original songs and a plethora of songs and sounds that will put a smile on your face.Of course, the comical James Corden makes a perfect bunny. Peter Rabbit is my favorite character, full of sassy and classy moves and words of wisdom. His humorous and quick-witted lines made me burst out laughing when I watched the film. He also has a very kind heart, which I love. Corden brings his quirky personality that we see on his late night television show to this part.On the other hand, I also love the adorable Flopsy (Margot Robbie). She is so cute and cuddly, knows how to fend for herself and I just love her. She is the perfect role model for kids because she teaches how you can be both smart, cute and a fighter. Margot Robbie adds a bit of quirkiness to this character because she is the one and only Harley Quinn. She is the complete opposite – serious and tough – in the recent movie Christopher Robin. I loved meeting her in person.

My favorite scene is when Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) is electrified by the bunnies. This scene is absolutely hilarious and quirky. I could not stop laughing. Seeing bunnies figuring out how to use an electric fence was shocking.Ever caring, kind Bea (Rose Byrne) is the sweetest. She is the hero who protects the animals at all costs. I relate to her a lot. She is funny and a bite odd. Cotton-Tail (Daisy Ridley) is one tough bunny. You know that this film is magnificent when the star of Star Wars appears in it. Cotton-Tail is young, yet very feisty and tough. It reminds me of her character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Kids will adore the bunnies and the other talking animals. The teenagers will love the hummer and fun scenes that the younger kids don’t understand. This film is a perfect for the entire family so grab a bag of carrots, radishes and turnips and head to the theaters. It opens February 9, 2018.

 

Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: Rock It to the Moon – Star Trek-ishly Informative and Entertaining

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Reviews
Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: Rock It to the Moon – Star Trek-ishly Informative and Entertaining
Join Angie and friends as they deal with everything from a remote control dance outfit to gravity to moon
rocks and more! Hoping to get on a dance show, Von Bolt wears a remote-control dance outfit. But if he
lets someone else dance for him, is he really a winner? Next, the Secret Lab Kids are ready to demo their
new science song for web entrepreneur, Mook Zookerboom, when he learns that a satellite is coming
down out of orbit, panics and heads for the airport. So the team must gather some data on gravity to
convince him to return. Then, when Von Bolt accidentally destroys the museum’s new moon rock, the
Secret Lab Kids must find a way to replace it. Guided by fun-loving Edison, Angie and friends will show
kids just how fun science can be! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Rohan F. comments, “This is a very educational
show. It’s bright, colorful characters and high-level facts make it attractive to most ages. It manages to be
both informative and entertaining.” Talia J. adds, “I am happily surprised by this DVD. I was expecting
these episodes to be very child-like and not very humorous. I was very wrong! The episodes kept me
interested the entire time.” Damon F. wraps it up with,
Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: Rock It to the Moon
By Rohan F, KIDSFIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Link to Video Review:https://youtu.be/Aef40J4crBQ
This is a very educational show it’s bright, colorful characters and high-level facts make it attractive to
most ages, it manages to be both informative and entertaining. The DVD has eight episodes that follow Angie, Kent, JD and Nicky as they go on adventures using science. The episodes include Dancing Machine, Murphy’s law of Gravity, Rock it to the  Moon, Act Your Stone Age, Von Drop-Out, Freaky Furry, The Monster Not Under the Bed and Nanobots Byte. In each
episode the Secret Lab Kids, as they’re called, use their hologram projector to visit a scientist from the
past. The scientist tells them a bit about his most famous discovery, which gives them a hint to solve the
major problem of the episode.
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I like their decision to use some lesser known scientists such as Thales,instead of just the most famous scientists like Albert Einstein. However, they could have been more diverse in who they chose. Other than the kids, there are no female scientists in the entire episode set.My favorite episode is Von Drop-Out. Von Bolt is my favorite character on this show. I like him because he
is funny and interesting. In this episode, he feels underappreciated and quits.
He gets a new job as a rescue robot and the Secret Lab Kids try to find him so they can get him to come back. I like this episode
because its explanation on the science of proportion and measurement is easy to understand and is used
in the most practical way that could be used by anyone in the real world. Von Bolt is voiced by Dan
Russell. I really enjoyed this voice, He manages to show emotion but still keep the voice robotic.
I like how educational this series is. It teaches science, history, technology, math, vocabulary and much
more.
This isn’t the only thing children might take from these episodes. The educational values are almost
over-shadowed by the wacky, unexplained, convenient items the Secret Lab Kids have.The music on this show is almost better than the show itself. After each episode, there is a song. These songs teach more science than the stories, teach it faster, are equally entertaining and are amazingly well produced. They are, by far, my favorite part of this DVD and the show as a whole. Overall I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 through 14.
Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: Rock it to the Moon
By Talia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Link to Video Review : https://youtu.be/rXT5tgpmNPI
Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: Rock it to the Moon is an entertaining DVD gives everyone a better
understanding of science.Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: Rock it to the Moon is an animated series of science themed episodes. The show is about a group of friends who find the famous scientist Thomas Edison’s secret lab. Thomas
Edison has made a secret lab where he creates a virtual version of himself and a robot named Van Bolt.
The friends embark on fun adventures with one another while at the same time learning valuable scientific
knowledge of the world around them.TESL.0013.png
I am happily surprised by this DVD. I was expecting these episodes to be very child-like and not very
humorous. I was very wrong! The episodes kept me interested the entire time. The episodes are rather
short which I think is fantastic because it keeps the audience attention the whole time. The episodes are
silly, but in a way that got me laughing. These episodes are definitely aimed for much younger audiences.
Since I am not in that age range, I did not think I was going to appreciate the humor like a little child
would. My expectations were definitely wrong. I absolutely love the little jokes and funny characters. The
humor gives these episodes character.
These episodes are perfect for anyone interested in science. What surprised me the most about this DVD
is that I didn’t even know most of the science related topics. Some of the topics the episodes discuss are
Murphy’s Law of Gravity, fossils, and many more. It is very important for children shows to be both
informative and entertaining. Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: Rock it to the Moon definitely incorporates
these two ideas beautifully. Each episode helps teach kids that science is actually fun. Perhaps one day it
can inspire the next generation of scientists.
I absolutely adore the music in this DVD. There are a total of eight episodes in the DVD. At the end of
each episode there is a music video about science. The music is written and produced by Stefanie and
Ron Fair. I must say that I am still caught humming some of the tunes. The music is very catchy, and the
music videos are entertaining to watch. In the music videos there are always five robots that are doing
something crazy. In one episode they float around space and orbit the Earth. The five robots give the
music videos a unique touch.
This DVD is a perfect way to introduce children to science. Each episode adds humor and silliness while
including a valuable science lesson. I recommend this DVD for anyone between the age of 4 and 9 and
give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars. This DVD is out now so go check it out!
Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab – Rock It to the Moon
Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Link to Video Review: https://youtu.be/LX67PRghmew
Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab – Rock It to the Moon is a DVD full of episodes about a group of kid
scientists who work together on adventures in Thomas Edison’s secret lab. The series is about the group
finding problems around their town and solving them by using scientific facts. I always enjoy these
episode packs because I like science and they teach us a lot about chemicals and discoveries I didn’t
know about before. After every episode there is a song (written by Stefanie and Ron Fair) about the
episode that is sung by dancing robots. The songs are very repetitive and younger kids would like that.
The four kid scientists are, Angie (Phillipa Alexander) a modern female version of Thomas Edison, JD
(Adam Long), Angie’s brother who thinks well under pressure, Kent (Shash Hira), who has all kinds of
phobias and loves all applications of science, Nicky, a scientific genius who is secretly jealous of Angie,
and of course Thomas Edison (Livingston Taylor), a hologram of the scientist who is the kids’ inspiring
mentor who doesn’t solve their problems for them, but instead offers advice and guidance. In the lab
they have Edison’s projector which makes his hologram and a virtual reality machine which opens a portal
that each episode sends them to a different scientist from the past who teaches them something that will
help them solve their current problem. These lessons teach real life facts which I like. This episode pack
is about a few of their problems that they solve using all they know about science.Episodes on this DVD include, Dancing Machines, Murphy’s Law of Gravity, Rock it to the Moon, Act your Stone Age, Von Drop-Out, Freaky Furry, The Monster Not Under the Bed, and Nanobots Byte.TESL_Prog9_Int_TEP02_01_09.01_19_02_08.Still001.png
My favorite episode is Freaky Furry which is about when Angie accidently switches brains with her dog during a test.
The group must find out what happened and switch the brains back. I like this because it is the only one
about the human body which I find fascinating and because I like dogs. My favorite character is Von Bolts,
the robot lab assistant, because he is a funny, indestructible machine who features in all the episodes.
The message of this show is that if you work together, you can do anything. I recommend this DVD for
ages 4 through 10 because it is funny and very educational but easy to understand. I rate this DVD 4 out
of 5 stars because I like to hear facts and some parts are funny. This DVD/Blu-ray is available now so go
check it out. This series has its own website called, edisonsecretlab.com which you should also look at
because it has a lot of added features

Maze Runner: The Death Cure – Packed with Action Beginning to End

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Movie Reviews
Maze Runner: The Death Cure – Packed with Action Beginning to End

In the epic finale to The Maze Runner Saga, Thomas leads his group of escaped Gladers on their final and most dangerous mission yet. To save their friends, they must break into the legendary last city, a WCKD controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all. Anyone who makes it out alive will get the answers to the questions the Gladers have been asking since they first arrived in the maze. Will Thomas and the crew make it out alive? Or will Ava Paige get her way? KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Calista B. comments, “This film is full of action from beginning to end. During the production of this film in 2016, Dylan O’Brien was severely injured on set. Because of that, the film was delayed and is just now being released. I’m so sorry about Dylan’s accident and believe that the wait was worth it, as I love this movie.”  Tristan T. adds, “Based upon the novel, The Death Cure by James Dashner, The Maze Runner the Death Cure is the third and final film in the Maze Runner trilogy.  It is a very satisfying conclusion to the series and wraps up most questions for fans.” See their full reviews below.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

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

https://youtu.be/VVYbnx9s5Pc

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This film is full of action from beginning to end. During the production of this film in 2016, Dylan O’Brien was severely injured on set. Because of that, the film was delayed and is just now being released. I’m so sorry about Dylan’s accident and believe that the wait was worth it, as I love this movie.This is the third and final installment of the Maze Runner trilogy. Thomas and his friends head to the last standing city to save their friend, Minho and take down the Government Association known as WCKD. I’m quite a fan of the Maze Runner books, so I can vouch for the accuracy of this movie. Quite a bit of the story is different from the book. Even the plot of saving Minho isn’t in the book. He is with the group in the book. However, all the major events are still the same as both stories involve taking down WCKD.

 

This movie is fast moving and heart racing. In almost every scene something exciting is happening. The film barely gives you time to rest. I feel like this keeps you on edge and it works. During some scenes I tensed up, with my fists clenched. The action is actually very effectively exciting. There are tons of explosions, and fire and gunshots. And they are all so cool. The special effects are really impressive. This film is a dystopian story. The reason the world ends in this story is an illness known as the “Flare” that turns people into zombie-like creatures. The makeup used for the creatures, known as Cranks, is outstanding. Here’s a shout out to the entire makeup department. The acting is also really good. Dylan O’Brien, who plays Thomas and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who plays Newt, have incredible performances. I will not spoil what happens, but one specific performance from them had me in straight up tears.

 Also, the city where most of the film takes place, known as Last City, has a very neat design. It looks intimidating, yet beautiful. It felt like Los Angeles, but darker. I’m curious if the director, Wes Ball, plans to do the prequels, as there are two prequels. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. It comes out in theaters January 26, 2018 so be sure to check it out.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure
By Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

https://youtu.be/6e9-LSk8DCo

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Based upon the novel, The Death Cure by James Dashner, The Maze Runner the Death Cure is the third and final film in the Maze Runner trilogy.  It is a very satisfying conclusion to the series and wraps up most questions for fans.  This film is very fun and entertaining.  The one thing that disappointed me was the length of time since the last film, The Maze Runner the Scorch Trials.  It came out September 2015, so you may need a little refresher course prior to watching the final film.My favorite character is Newt, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster.  I have cheered for Newt during the whole trilogy as he brings so much life to the entire film.  His character has depth and passion, but in a light-hearted way.  I find him very relatable and, without giving away any spoilers, his character will touch you deeply during this final film.

The bond of friendship is a strong theme throughout the trilogy, but nothing has been as powerful as it is in Maze Runner the Death Cure.  I love how the screenwriter, T.S. Nowlin, pushes each character to their limits, testing their abilities and gives viewers insight into their mindset and true vulnerabilities.As in the previous two films, the cinematography is amazing.  While the backdrop is futuristic, you do not have the feeling that everything is overly CGI.  Even the fight scenes are pretty realistic.  I find it interesting that the whole film was shot in Cape Town, South Africa. Maze Runner the Death Cure is rated PG-13 for intense sci-fi violence and action.  There is some language, but not much.  If you have been a fan of the Maze Runner series, Maze Runner the Death Cure will not disappoint.  With a running time of 2 hours, 22 minutes, it is a bit long, but there are no drag times. You’ll remain entertained the whole time.  I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars.  It opens in theaters January 26, 2018 so look for it.

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN – DELIGHTFULLY FANTASTIC STORY, ACTING, MUSIC, SONGS, DANCING & COSTUMES

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Movie Reviews
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN – DELIGHTFULLY FANTASTIC STORY, ACTING, MUSIC, SONGS, DANCING & COSTUMES
Inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates
the birth of show business & tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became
a worldwide sensation. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abigail Zoe L. comments, “The movie musical The
Greatest Showman is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Everything is delightfully
fantastic, including the story, acting, music, songs, dancing and costumes. It also has many thoughtful
messages.” Abraham F. adds, “This movie is super vibrant and colorful, making it all the more interesting.
It also proves that you don’t have to look like everyone else to be normal, which I like.” See their full
reviews below.
The Greatest Showman
By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
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The movie musical The Greatest Showman is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time.
Everything is delightfully fantastic, including the story, acting, music, songs, dancing and costumes. It also
has many thoughtful messages.The film tells the story of the imagination and creations of P.T. Barnum, the successful businessman who brought us the circus. It begins when Barnum is just a boy and has both big dreams and a big crush on an upper class girl. Barnum rises from a homeless boy to a very wealthy and successful man. He creates the first museum of oddities and a very entertaining show (known as the circus), full of unique persons such as the Bearded Lady, trapeze artists, the shortest and tallest men in the world and more.
Along the journey, he has a lot of ups and downs, but he always seems to triumph over them.The opening scene with song and dance is my favorite and got me moving in my seat. My other favorite scene is when cups are used to create rhythm in song when Barnum convinces a wealthy young man to
partner with him. The costumes are amazing and my two favorites are Barnum’s colorful ring master suit
and Jenny’s dress with beautiful shinny rhinestones.Two of my most favorite characters are P.T. Barnum, played by the multi-talented Hugh Jackman and Anne Wheeler played by Zendaya. Hugh Jackman is believably brilliant playing someone who can win,lose and win again. Zendaya has a wonderful singing voice and does her own amazing acrobat stunts.Additionally, the perfectly written and woven songs in the movie by composers Justin Paul and Benj Pasek stand out in my mind. In fact, these songs tell the story, on their own, of this wonderful movie musical.greatests.j.jpg
Finally, the message of this film is best summed up in the ending credit quote and by P.T. Barnum himself
which is, “The noblest art is that of making others happy.” I personally believe this to be true, do you?
As a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic I have been extremely fortunate to review many wonderful films and I can
say without a doubt that The Greatest Showman is one you absolutely do not want to miss. I think it may
also be one of the best films of 2017. I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18 as well as adults and give it
the highest KIDS FIRST! rating: 5 out of 5 stars! It opens in theaters December 20, 2017 so, be sure to
check it out!
The Greatest Showman
By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 12
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 The Greatest Showman is a musical based on the true story of P.T. Barnum. This movie is super vibrant
and colorful, making it all the more interesting. It also proves that you don’t have to look like everyone
else to be normal, which I like.The storyline explores the life of Phineas Taylor Barnum, a boy dreaming of becoming a performer. Once
he becomes an adult, he marries his childhood love, Charity Hallet. They live in an apartment with their
two children in New York, until Phineas is laid off from his job. Phineas goes back to his dream of
becoming a “Showman” and starts to look for cast members for his show.
P.T Barnum (Hugh Jackman) portrays “The Greatest Showman” in a very animated and lively way,
making him stand out among others. P.T. Barnum’s partner, Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron) is a well introduced
supporting character. There are many interesting things about this movie. For example, the music was
composed by the same people that composed the music for La La Land. Next, Zendaya did all her own
trapeze stunts. Third and last, this movie has been a dream for Hugh Jackman’s since 2009.
My favorite part is the bar scene when P.T. Barnum is trying to convince Phillip Carlyle to be his assistant
and they start to sing and dance.greatests.f.jpg
It leads to Phillip Carlyle joining the circus. The message of this movie is
that you don’t have to look like everyone else to be normal, which I like a lot. This movie has a few things
you should be aware of, such as a scene when two characters are taking shots at a bar. There might be a
few risky things kids might try after watching it such as doing trapeze tricks. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and
recommend it for ages 9 to 18 as well as adults. This movie opens in theaters December 20, 2017 so be
sure to check it out.

PADDINGTON 2 – HILARILOUS AND CHARMING. WONDERFUL FOR FAMILIES

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Movie Reviews
PADDINGTON 2 – HILARILOUS AND CHARMING. WONDERFUL FOR FAMILIES

Paddington is happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “This sequel to the hit family film, Paddington delivers in all the right places and truly lives up to its predecessor and even surpasses the 2014 film in many ways.” Benjamin P. adds, “Paddington 2 is a warm fuzzy blanket of a film. Its title character is a symbol of kindness in a world that needs more of it. He never gives up and always believes in the best in those around him.” Jolleen M. wraps it up with, “This film is hilarious and made me cry a cry of joy and also of sadness, multiple times. It is amazing to watch live characters bond with an imaginary, animated bear. Even though there’s not actually a bear there, you can feel the love within the family.” See their full reviews below.

Paddington 2

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

https://youtu.be/-VSjGpukGFc

 

 

Paddington 2 seamlessly blends heart and comedy for a truly charming family film. This sequel revisits the title character, a precocious young bear living in London as part of the Brown family. As the movie opens, Aunt Lucy is celebrating her birthday in darkest Peru and Paddington is struggling to find a suitable gift to send to her. He settles on a pop-up book of London at a local antique shop and takes on a series of sometimes hilarious odd jobs to pay for it. One night, the book is stolen. Paddington is accused of the theft and sent to prison, but the real culprit is Phoenix Buchanan, a narcissistic actor who craves the spotlight and wants to use the book’s value to fund his one-man-show. Paddington sets out to clear his name, while the Browns try to prove that Phoenix is the real criminal.

 

paddington.a.jpg

 

https://youtu.be/8wwefK2QBeI

 

 

 

https://youtu.be/Hi7cRE4wRoY

 

 

Paddington 2 is a warm fuzzy blanket of a film. Its title character is a symbol of kindness in a world that needs more of it. He never gives up and always believes in the best in those around him. I love coming back to Paddington’s London and being reacquainted with the Brown family and their quirks. The cheerful tone of this film radiates throughout. The lesson of Paddington 2 is be kind to others, always, and its timing could not be better. Paddington 2 surpasses the first Paddington film in many ways. It brings back endearing characters and everything you love about them, while introducing memorable new ones as well. I love how, once again the modern take on the widely loved story of Paddington Bear stays true to the character while still telling an original story. Hugh Grant is very good as Phoenix Buchanan. Grant embodies Phoenix’s charisma and sly humor. It is nice to see an actor typically known for romantic comedies go to a more villainous place to play this sinister has-been actor who will do anything to be famous again. Grant’s top moments are his most bizarre. Be sure to stay for the credits for one of his best.

paddington.b.jpg

 

My favorite character in this film is Knuckles McGinty, the prison chef played by Brendan Gleeson. Gleeson subtly and comically shows us the intensity and warmth of his character. Knuckles’s anger and pessimism is a nice foil to Paddington’s constant glowing positivity. Gleeson also illustrates how Paddington brings out the softer sides of those around him.I recommend this film to ages 4 to 15 and adults will love its positive attitude. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars for putting a smile on my face and recreating the magic of the original and then some. It opens nationwide in theaters on January 12, 2018 so be sure to check it out.

 

Paddington 2

By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

 

This sequel to the hit family film, Paddington delivers in all the right places and truly lives up to its predecessor and even surpasses the 2014 film in many ways. Paddington 2, like the first one, is definitely a family film filled with many morals and messages, generally surrounded by unique jokes and fun adventures. To add conflict to the story, there are some dramatic scenes, but the film manages to always stay kid-friendly. The movie picks up sometime after the first film. Paddington the bear still lives happily with the Brown family in London. By now, he has a daily routine and has become friendly with the whole neighborhood. In a few days, his aunt will have her 100th birthday. Paddington decides to get her a perfect present. Little does Paddington know that the present he has chosen actually contains a big secret and gets stolen. Paddington is blamed for the theft and sent to jail. Now two conflicts emerge, Paddington must fit in prison and the Brown family must figure out how to get him out of jail.

paddington.c.jpg

 

Paddington’s realism really stands out. He clearly still contains character-like features with big brown eyes and heavenly fluffy fur, but he essentially fits-in properly with his surroundings. Not only does the special effects’ team deserve credit for this, but the actors deserve double kudos for performing so realistically with a character that doesn’t really exist. Adding a superstar as Hugh Grant also brings the film to a completely new level of goodness. Rare for a sequel, the story stays original and separate from the last film while still maintaining the good parts of the previous story. The humor becomes almost slapstick at times, and other times it’s purely situational and always results in a laugh. Paddington as a character really pulls at the heartstrings of the audience, both because of a well-written script and a bear who’s designed to be adorable in every way.

My favorite scene starts when Paddington gets into jail. He, of course, does not fit in as a well-mannered, kind bear. After proving his skill at making marmalade sandwiches for everyone, the prison stops looking like the one in Shawshank Redemption and begins to look like a cute bed and breakfast you’d pay to stay at. This really shows a large amount of irony due to the fact that many gruff convicts become well-mannered and kind. This scene not only demonstrates the power of the humor in Paddington 2, but truly brings up all of the main characteristics of Paddington as a character.I recommend this film for ages 7 to 18. Surprisingly, in the audience, there were more adults laughing than kids, while the kids were simply fixed on the realism and adventures of Paddington. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for being an outstanding family film that truly outdoes its predecessor and leaves you wanting more. It opens nationwide in theaters on January 12, 2018 so, be sure to check it out.

 

Paddington 2

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

https://youtu.be/FZ9ULRa08Rs

 

 

paddington.e.jpg

 

This film is hilarious and made me cry a cry of joy and also of sadness, multiple times. It is amazing to watch live characters bond with an imaginary, animated bear. Even though there’s not actually a bear there, you can feel the love within the family. The film starts off with a little flash back showing how Paddington was saved from falling off the waterfall when he was a cub, by Uncle Pastuzo and Aunt Lucy. They adopted him and raised him as if he was their own son. Then it returns to present time. Paddington wants to get the perfect gift for Aunt Lucy on her 100th Birthday and decides on a present, but it is expensive. He works hard to earn enough money to buy the gift. One night while he is walking past the store where the gift is, a thief breaks into the store and steals it. Paddington chases after the burglar, but when the police arrive they assume that he is the thief. Paddington is sentenced to 10 years in prison even though he didn’t commit the crime. His family tries to prove his innocence, but they don’t have much evidence.paddington.gleason.jpg

 

Paddington  (Ben Whishaw) is supposed to be a young bear. Ben Wishaw, who does his voice, doesn’t sound like a young bear to me. He sounds more like a polite and proper man.  Even though he doesn’t sound young, his voice matches Paddington’s personality, particularly because Paddington is very polite, kind and sweet.The animation for this film is very realistic. Paddington interacts with objects that aren’t animated, which makes him seem like he is actually there. Paddington looks very realistic with very detailed fur, eyes and feet.  My favorite part of this film are all of the jokes throughout it. They are so funny and sarcastic. The whole audience was laughing together. Everyone understood the jokes, adults and children both, which is always great.

The moral of this story is to be kind and positive, so that life will be kind and positive to you. Throughout all the hardships that Paddington goes through, he stays positive, remains kind and eventually everything becomes right in the end. Paddington 2 is such an amazing film to watch with your whole family. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters nationwide on January 12, 2018 so, go check it o

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN – DELIGHTFULLY FANTASTIC STORY, ACTING, MUSIC, SONGS, DANCING & COSTUMES

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Movie Reviews
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN – DELIGHTFULLY FANTASTIC STORY, ACTING, MUSIC, SONGS, DANCING & COSTUMES
Inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates
the birth of show business & tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became
a worldwide sensation. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abigail Zoe L. comments, “The movie musical The
Greatest Showman is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Everything is delightfully
fantastic, including the story, acting, music, songs, dancing and costumes. It also has many thoughtful
messages.” Abraham F. adds, “This movie is super vibrant and colorful, making it all the more interesting.
It also proves that you don’t have to look like everyone else to be normal, which I like.” See their full
reviews below.
The Greatest Showman
By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
The movie musical The Greatest Showman is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time.
Everything is delightfully fantastic, including the story, acting, music, songs, dancing and costumes. It also
has many thoughtful messages.
The film tells the story of the imagination and creations of P.T. Barnum, the successful businessman who
brought us the circus. It begins when Barnum is just a boy and has both big dreams and a big crush on
an upper class girl. Barnum rises from a homeless boy to a very wealthy and successful man. He creates
the first museum of oddities and a very entertaining show (known as the circus), full of unique persons
such as the Bearded Lady, trapeze artists, the shortest and tallest men in the world and more. Along the
journey, he has a lot of ups and downs, but he always seems to triumph over them.
The opening scene with song and dance is my favorite and got me moving in my seat. My other favorite
scene is when cups are used to create rhythm in song when Barnum convinces a wealthy young man to
partner with him. The costumes are amazing and my two favorites are Barnum’s colorful ring master suit
and Jenny’s dress with beautiful shinny rhinestones.
greatests.i.jpg
Two of my most favorite characters are P.T. Barnum, played by the multi-talented Hugh Jackman and
Anne Wheeler played by Zendaya. Hugh Jackman is believably brilliant playing someone who can win,
lose and win again. Zendaya has a wonderful singing voice and does her own amazing acrobat stunts.
Additionally, the perfectly written and woven songs in the movie by composers Justin Paul and Benj
Pasek stand out in my mind. In fact, these songs tell the story, on their own, of this wonderful movie
musical.
Finally, the message of this film is best summed up in the ending credit quote and by P.T. Barnum himself
which is, “The noblest art is that of making others happy.” I personally believe this to be true, do you?
As a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic I have been extremely fortunate to review many wonderful films and I can
say without a doubt that The Greatest Showman is one you absolutely do not want to miss. I think it may
also be one of the best films of 2017. I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18 as well as adults and give it
the highest KIDS FIRST! rating: 5 out of 5 stars! It opens in theaters December 20, 2017 so, be sure to
check it out!
greatests.i.jpg
The Greatest Showman
By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 12
 The Greatest Showman is a musical based on the true story of P.T. Barnum. This movie is super vibrant
and colorful, making it all the more interesting. It also proves that you don’t have to look like everyone
else to be normal, which I like.
The storyline explores the life of Phineas Taylor Barnum, a boy dreaming of becoming a performer. Once
he becomes an adult, he marries his childhood love, Charity Hallet. They live in an apartment with their
two children in New York, until Phineas is laid off from his job. Phineas goes back to his dream of
becoming a “Showman” and starts to look for cast members for his show.
P.T Barnum (Hugh Jackman) portrays “The Greatest Showman” in a very animated and lively way,
making him stand out among others. P.T. Barnum’s partner, Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron) is a well introduced
supporting character. There are many interesting things about this movie. For example, the music was
composed by the same people that composed the music for La La Land. Next, Zendaya did all her own
trapeze stunts. Third and last, this movie has been a dream for Hugh Jackman’s since 2009.
greatests.h.jpg
My favorite part is the bar scene when P.T. Barnum is trying to convince Phillip Carlyle to be his assistant
and they start to sing and dance. It leads to Phillip Carlyle joining the circus. The message of this movie is
that you don’t have to look like everyone else to be normal, which I like a lot. This movie has a few things
you should be aware of, such as a scene when two characters are taking shots at a bar. There might be a
few risky things kids might try after watching it such as doing trapeze tricks. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and
recommend it for ages 9 to 18 as well as adults. This movie opens in theaters December 20, 2017 so be
sure to check it out.

Paddington 2 – Hilarilous and Charming. Wonderful for Families

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Movie Reviews
Paddington 2 – Hilarilous and Charming. Wonderful for Families

Paddington is happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “This sequel to the hit family film, Paddington delivers in all the right places and truly lives up to its predecessor and even surpasses the 2014 film in many ways.” Benjamin P. adds, “Paddington 2 is a warm fuzzy blanket of a film. Its title character is a symbol of kindness in a world that needs more of it. He never gives up and always believes in the best in those around him.” Jolleen M. wraps it up with, “This film is hilarious and made me cry a cry of joy and also of sadness, multiple times. It is amazing to watch live characters bond with an imaginary, animated bear. Even though there’s not actually a bear there, you can feel the love within the family.” See their full reviews below.

 

Paddington 2

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

https://youtu.be/-VSjGpukGFc

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/-VSjGpukGFc” frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

Paddington 2 seamlessly blends heart and comedy for a truly charming family film. This sequel revisits the title character, a precocious young bear living in London as part of the Brown family. As the movie opens, Aunt Lucy is celebrating her birthday in darkest Peru and Paddington is struggling to find a suitable gift to send to her. He settles on a pop-up book of London at a local antique shop and takes on a series of sometimes hilarious odd jobs to pay for it. One night, the book is stolen. Paddington is accused of the theft and sent to prison, but the real culprit is Phoenix Buchanan, a narcissistic actor who craves the spotlight and wants to use the book’s value to fund his one-man-show. Paddington sets out to clear his name, while the Browns try to prove that Phoenix is the real criminal.

 

Interview with Sally Hawkins & Hugh Bonneville

 

https://youtu.be/8wwefK2QBeI

 

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/8wwefK2QBeI” frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

Interview with Hugh Grant

 

https://youtu.be/Hi7cRE4wRoY

 

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/Hi7cRE4wRoY” frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>

Paddington 2 is a warm fuzzy blanket of a film. Its title character is a symbol of kindness in a world that needs more of it. He never gives up and always believes in the best in those around him. I love coming back to Paddington’s London and being reacquainted with the Brown family and their quirks. The cheerful tone of this film radiates throughout. The lesson of Paddington 2 is be kind to others, always, and its timing could not be better.

 

Paddington 2 surpasses the first Paddington film in many ways. It brings back endearing characters and everything you love about them, while introducing memorable new ones as well. I love how, once again the modern take on the widely loved story of Paddington Bear stays true to the character while still telling an original story.

 

Hugh Grant is very good as Phoenix Buchanan. Grant embodies Phoenix’s charisma and sly humor. It is nice to see an actor typically known for romantic comedies go to a more villainous place to play this sinister has-been actor who will do anything to be famous again. Grant’s top moments are his most bizarre. Be sure to stay for the credits for one of his best.

 

My favorite character in this film is Knuckles McGinty, the prison chef played by Brendan Gleeson. Gleeson subtly and comically shows us the intensity and warmth of his character. Knuckles’s anger and pessimism is a nice foil to Paddington’s constant glowing positivity. Gleeson also illustrates how Paddington brings out the softer sides of those around him.

 

I recommend this film to ages 4 to 15 and adults will love its positive attitude. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars for putting a smile on my face and recreating the magic of the original and then some. It opens nationwide in theaters on January 12, 2018 so be sure to check it out.

 

Paddington 2
By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

 

This sequel to the hit family film, Paddington delivers in all the right places and truly lives up to its predecessor and even surpasses the 2014 film in many ways. Paddington 2, like the first one, is definitely a family film filled with many morals and messages, generally surrounded by unique jokes and fun adventures. To add conflict to the story, there are some dramatic scenes, but the film manages to always stay kid-friendly.

 

The movie picks up sometime after the first film. Paddington the bear still lives happily with the Brown family in London. By now, he has a daily routine and has become friendly with the whole neighborhood. In a few days, his aunt will have her 100th birthday. Paddington decides to get her a perfect present. Little does Paddington know that the present he has chosen actually contains a big secret and gets stolen. Paddington is blamed for the theft and sent to jail. Now two conflicts emerge, Paddington must fit in prison and the Brown family must figure out how to get him out of jail.

 

Paddington’s realism really stands out. He clearly still contains character-like features with big brown eyes and heavenly fluffy fur, but he essentially fits-in properly with his surroundings. Not only does the special effects’ team deserve credit for this, but the actors deserve double kudos for performing so realistically with a character that doesn’t really exist. Adding a superstar as Hugh Grant also brings the film to a completely new level of goodness.

 

Rare for a sequel, the story stays original and separate from the last film while still maintaining the good parts of the previous story. The humor becomes almost slapstick at times, and other times it’s purely situational and always results in a laugh. Paddington as a character really pulls at the heartstrings of the audience, both because of a well-written script and a bear who’s designed to be adorable in every way.

My favorite scene starts when Paddington gets into jail. He, of course, does not fit in as a well-mannered, kind bear. After proving his skill at making marmalade sandwiches for everyone, the prison stops looking like the one in Shawshank Redemption and begins to look like a cute bed and breakfast you’d pay to stay at. This really shows a large amount of irony due to the fact that many gruff convicts become well-mannered and kind. This scene not only demonstrates the power of the humor in Paddington 2, but truly brings up all of the main characteristics of Paddington as a character.

 

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 18. Surprisingly, in the audience, there were more adults laughing than kids, while the kids were simply fixed on the realism and adventures of Paddington. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for being an outstanding family film that truly outdoes its predecessor and leaves you wanting more. It opens nationwide in theaters on January 12, 2018 so, be sure to check it out.

 

Paddington 2

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

https://youtu.be/FZ9ULRa08Rs

 

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/FZ9ULRa08Rs” frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

Red carpet interviews

https://youtu.be/LzPBq7k8XfU

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/LzPBq7k8XfU” frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

Interview with Simon Farnaby

https://youtu.be/dnsVB_5x-Ns

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/dnsVB_5x-Ns” frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

This film is hilarious and made me cry a cry of joy and also of sadness, multiple times. It is amazing to watch live characters bond with an imaginary, animated bear. Even though there’s not actually a bear there, you can feel the love within the family.

 

The film starts off with a little flash back showing how Paddington was saved from falling off the waterfall when he was a cub, by Uncle Pastuzo and Aunt Lucy. They adopted him and raised him as if he was their own son. Then it returns to present time. Paddington wants to get the perfect gift for Aunt Lucy on her 100th Birthday and decides on a present, but it is expensive. He works hard to earn enough money to buy the gift. One night while he is walking past the store where the gift is, a thief breaks into the store and steals it. Paddington chases after the burglar, but when the police arrive they assume that he is the thief. Paddington is sentenced to 10 years in prison even though he didn’t commit the crime. His family tries to prove his innocence, but they don’t have much evidence.

 

Paddington  (Ben Whishaw) is supposed to be a young bear. Ben Wishaw, who does his voice, doesn’t sound like a young bear to me. He sounds more like a polite and proper man.  Even though he doesn’t sound young, his voice matches Paddington’s personality, particularly because Paddington is very polite, kind and sweet.

 

The animation for this film is very realistic. Paddington interacts with objects that aren’t animated, which makes him seem like he is actually there. Paddington looks very realistic with very detailed fur, eyes and feet.  My favorite part of this film are all of the jokes throughout it. They are so funny and sarcastic. The whole audience was laughing together. Everyone understood the jokes, adults and children both, which is always great.

 

The moral of this story is to be kind and positive, so that life will be kind and positive to you. Throughout all the hardships that Paddington goes through, he stays positive, remains kind and eventually everything becomes right in the end. Paddington 2 is such an amazing film to watch with your whole family. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters nationwide on January 12, 2018 so, go check it out.

 

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Just as Mind-Boggling As The Others!

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Movie Reviews
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Just as Mind-Boggling As The Others!

 

Following the events of The Force Awakens, Rey begins her Jedi training under Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled about Rey’s immense strength with the Force. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to continue the fight against the First Order, which is led by Kylo Ren and the mysterious Snoke. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Michelle C. comments, “…my only hope was that Star Wars: The Last Jedi would be just as mind-boggling as the others. Shame on me for ever doubting the legendary billion-dollar franchise, because (spoiler alert): It is!” Arjun N. adds, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi lives up to the hype because of its wonderful story and action. The acting has never been better for the series. This is sure to be a hit for all Star Wars fans.” Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror, wraps it up with, “Loyal audiences won’t be disappointed! From the traditional opening scroll to the non-stop, action-packed 2:32 hours of characters new, known and loved, writer-director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi is fantastic.” See their full reviews below.

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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

 

https://youtu.be/m-bSBD7sNT0

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/m-bSBD7sNT0″ frameborder=”0″ gesture=”media” allow=”encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi lives up to the hype because of its wonderful story and action. The acting has never been better for the series. This is sure to be a hit for all Star Wars fans.

 

The story follows the events set in place after Star Wars: The Force Awakens when Rey (Daisy Ridley) turns to the legendary Jedi, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), for help to turn the tide of the desperate battle between the Resistance and the First Order. However, Luke has lost all hope after his failure of letting Ben Solo (Adam Driver) become Kylo Ren. While trying to convince Luke, Rey further learns to control her ties with the Force, while learning mysteries of the past. Meanwhile, the First Order learns an advanced battle tactic that could destroy the Resistance under Leia (Carrie Fisher). This leads to a newly awakened Finn (John Boyega) forming an unlikely team with the smart Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and the determined Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), to save the Resistance.

 

Daisy Ridley, as Rey, excellently presents her newly learned powers and her inner battle between the light and the dark side as her character progresses to become an epic hero, like Luke. Mark Hamill, as Luke Skywalker, is the highlight of the movie and he is also my favorite character, due to his long-awaited return as the character, which delivers on all grounds. He delivers a more brooding edge to character as a hopeless Jedi who is adamant on his choices. Adam Driver, as Kylo Ren, is an incredible villain with well-developed motives, as you can feel his inner conflict with the Dark Side. Carrie Fisher, as Leia, delivers an impressive posthumous performance as the tactical leader of the Resistance. Her character is also tied up in a way that respects the actor. John Boyega, as Finn, delivers an excellent performance as his character stops being a coward and transforms into a brave rebel for the Resistance. Kelly Marie Tran, as Rose, is smart and resourceful in her team up with Finn. Oscar Isaac, as Poe Dameron, is a true maverick who refuses to follow orders for the safety of people.

 

Rian Johnson wonderful directs every scenic location, whether it is from the desolate ship of the First Order to the abandoned, yet beautiful landscapes of Crait. My favorite scene is the one  where a certain choice must be made, on the side of Kylo to Rey. My only problem with this movie is that, while the perfomances between Finn and Rose are superb, their subplot drags the movie in a slower middle act. However, this a short part of a long movie is full of story and battles.

 

The message of the movie is about finding hope. The Resistance is put through extreme threats from the First Order, but they find a way to battle it with hope. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 because of its intense action. The movie releases in theaters on December 15, 2017, so check it out.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
By Michelle C., KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 19

https://youtu.be/ebHyuMPWluY

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/ebHyuMPWluY” frameborder=”0″ gesture=”media” allow=”encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>

As I sat back in the comfy leather seats and watched the star-dusted opening credits roll out in front of me, I reminisced about what it felt like watching the Star Wars series for the first time. It has been a long time since that happened and my only hope was that Star Wars: The Last Jedi would be just as mind-boggling as the others. Shame on me for ever doubting the legendary billion-dollar franchise, because (spoiler alert): It is!

If you haven’t seen the previous installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, then I highly recommend you grab some friends to watch it with and get yourself back on track. Otherwise, you will be in for a big surprise. For those who have seen it, then you know that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) makes an iconic return to the big screen and this time, with a vengeance. Luke went into hiding, undetected, to the Porg-infested island of Ahch-To to die. Rey (Daisy Ridley) has a mission to bring Luke back to fight the Resistance as war is once again brewing against the First Order. Millions of porg-encounters later, Rey finally persuades Luke to lend her his knowledge in combat, leaving Luke unsettled by the strength of her powers.

This time around, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) leads the Resistance due to unforeseen circumstances. Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Holdo go head to head as he refuses to follow Holdo’s rules. This creates major conflict in the storyline, as some things don’t necessarily go as planned during combat. We are also introduced to a new lead character, Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), a maintenance worker that guards the escape pods. She bonds with Finn (John Boyega) as she takes him to her wealthy home of Canto Bight. Though, there’s so much more to this planet than meets the eye.

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) remains high and mighty, just for show. It’s evident that he hides something deep within, something he cannot control – a slight hint of compassion. After a head-to-head conflict with Rey and Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), the film finally reveals who he truly is.

Now that you have an idea of what the film is about, let’s talk about the magic that goes on behind-the-scenes. To be quite honest, the writing has its lows. There are moments when the audience would let out an uncomfortable laugh due to the awkward, juvenile jokes that we know certain characters would never say or do. It felt somewhat out-of-touch with the Star Wars franchise, especially since they are thrown in during the most serious, suspenseful scenes.  Despite that, the rest of the screenplay is groundbreaking. It gives the audience what they want and what they didn’t know they needed. Also, the cinematography is phenomenal. Shooting in locations such as Ireland and Croatia, the visual effects team make it seem as though they are off in a galaxy far, far away, without straying from its natural beauty. Special effects, as always, are mind-blowing. It’s nearly impossible not to fathom lightsabers being real. Top it all off with detailed costume design and award-winning acting, and you’ve got yourself a masterpiece.

Ultimately, Star Wars: The Last Jedi exceeded far beyond my expectations, and I urge you to go out with your Jedi Knight robes and lightsabers and experience it on the big screen. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. It opens December 15, 2017 in U.S. theaters so, go check it out.

Stars Wars: The Last Jedi

By Kimbirly O. KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

https://youtu.be/Q0CbN8sfihY

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Loyal audiences won’t be disappointed! From the traditional opening scroll to the non-stop, action-packed 2:32 hours of characters new, known and loved, writer-director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi is fantastic. As I watched the film, I thought about the yeoman’s task to step into George Lucas’ world, filled with beloved characters, and continuing the tale between good and evil, light and dark, all within The Force. After all, Johnson is known for film shorts and episodic television, not movie studio franchise blockbusters.

 

When we first see our hero, Luke, (Mark Hamill) I could not help but consider, “if Skywalker lives, hope lives.” Hope is a central theme of this film and is voiced several times by Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega). Only Poe (Oscar Isaac) seems to have a less than optimistic view of the tasks at hand.

 

Rey demands Luke teach her the Jedi ways. She delivers Darth Vader’s lightsaber to him almost as an offering. Luke declines to show her the Jedi religion telling her there are no more Jedi’s. As he painfully explains the path his nephew, Ben Solo (Adam Driver) took from light, as a Jedi trainee, to dark as Kylo Ren, the pain is palpable. As Yoda later reminds us, “The greatest teacher is failure.”

 

Carrie Fisher’s final performance as Princess Leia is compelling and often funny. She reminds many crew members, “May The Force Be With You” often. At one point, her admonition to Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) is funny. In fact, there are many humorous bits within the film, humanizing the war among the worlds and battles within deep space. When we meet the Porgs, I laughed aloud at their antics, especially when they take flight with Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). The lessons in the film, spoken by various characters are impactful. My favorite is “saving what we love is the only way we fight hate.”

 

Given the performances of the young actors, and possibilities at the end of the film, I wonder, can this story go on forever? As Luke aptly reminds us, “no one is ever really gone”. Thank you, Luke. May we all know peace and purpose. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 as well as adults. Some battle scenes could be too intense for younger children.

 

Gumby: Gumby’s Arctic Antics – Humorous Family Entertainment

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Gumby: Gumby’s Arctic Antics – Humorous Family Entertainment

Gumby and Pokey, television’s legendary clay characters, live one great adventure after another in a timeless world of stop motion magic and wonder. Join our favorite duo in this fun-filled collection of 50’s, 60’s and 80’s episodes! When Santa gets sick right before Christmas, will the holiday be ruined or can the Witty Witch save the day and deliver the gifts with the help of a certain someone? Then, Scrooge escapes from his book and sets out to destroy all of the toys in Toyland, but luckily Gumby is there to save the day. From helping the Pilgrims, George Washington, and even the Moon Boggles, to rescuing a baby mastodon in the arctic, these unique shows will spark your imagination and bring a smile to your heart. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “Even though this collection’s branded as Arctic, there are many episodes that leave the Arctic Circle and dive into history. Some of the best include visiting the American Revolutionary War or the voyage on the Mayflower. Gumby really makes them shine by bringing humor and unique adventures to each one.” Carla P. adds, “I believe the DVD Gumby: Gumby’s Arctic Adventure is a great series because of its claymation and characters. I found it brought cheer to my Christmas and made me happy.” See their full reviews below.

 

Gumby: Gumby’s Arctic Antics

By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

 

https://youtu.be/_bdo4QEF_YM

 

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This collection of a dozen Gumby episodes promises to entertain the whole family with great humor suitable for all ages. Its spectacular soundtrack really brings the show justice.

Like many other Gumby collections, this set revolves around Gumby’s adventures which vary from episode to episode, but generally have some light comedy throughout. Something that really stands out to me on this DVD is the moment where Gumby actually talks about some historical facts, bringing a bit of education to this set.
Even though this collection’s branded as Arctic, there are many episodes that leave the Arctic Circle and dive into history. Some of the best include visiting the American Revolutionary War or the voyage on the Mayflower. Gumby really makes them shine by bringing humor and unique adventures to each one. The genius writers even fit in an occasional fact here and there that teaches young viewers about history without it feeling like a lecture. It just feels like one character explaining the situation to another character. However, there are minor issues with some of the plots. Generally, Gumby episodes are very short which fits the style, but many of these are too open-ended and don’t have a concrete finish. Almost all Gumby episodes feel a bit unfinished and seem to do little to address the conflict that made the story exist, which leaves the viewer slightly disappointed.

 

The quality of the stop-motion animation keeps at a superb level, despite these episodes originally being made across three decades, some as early as the 1950s. The writers, for the most part, did well in keeping the episodes interesting. There are some noticeable repeats in jokes or ideas. For example, there are two episodes where Gumby and Pokey somehow destroy an igloo and must rebuild it for the occupants. The two stories vary slightly, but have a very similar conflict. This makes the repeat episode rather boring. Something that the writers excel at (as they always did for Gumby) is the dialogue. The conversations are always natural, smooth and very realistic, despite all the characters being made from clay. These episodes of course also feature the original soundtrack of the show, which is recognizable and really adds to the experience. The music feels light and soothing, yet entertaining and fitting for each story.

 

My favorite episode is Gumby Crosses the Delaware River. In this episode, Gumby and Pokey enter a book about George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River, where he surprise-attacked enemy soldiers. Pokey and Gumby help Washington by sending Pokey in as a spy. The episode is filled with a good sense of humor and does teach kids about some historical facts. It represents a perfect bundle of learning and fun.

 

Like all other Gumby collections, the show revolves around family. There are some jokes here and there that will make teens and adults laugh, but it’s mainly geared for younger kids. I recommend this for ages 9 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. In general, the episodes are great to watch, but some could have a better or different storyline to ensure uniqueness and the originality of writing. This DVD is available in stores now so go check it out.

 

 

Gumby: Gumby’s Arctic Adventure

Reviewed by Carla Paz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

https://youtu.be/8yDEVatzt-k

 

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I believe the DVD Gumby: Gumby’s Arctic Adventure is a great series because of its claymation and characters. I found it brought cheer to my Christmas and made me happy.

 

This DVD is a collection of holiday themed episodes from the 50s, 60s and 80s about Gumby and his friend Pokey as they look into famous stories about Christmas, Thanksgiving and the fourth of July. Gumby and Pokey are an iconic duo from the 60s.

 

This type of animation is known as claymation. It reminds me of Christmas movies such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and other classics such as Santa is Coming to Town. They poke fun of the fact that the characters are clay by making them melt. I like how they incorporate live action with the animation. In one scene, Gumby and Pokey fall down into a pile of things and they are live action.

 

The characters in the show are fantastic. I love the banter between Gumby and Pokey. Gumby always tells Pokey to pay attention to the story they are watching, but he always disobeys. Instead, he helps the characters in the story.

 

The message of this film is to help people no matter the consequences. It spreads a message about helping friends or people in need. Pokey helps a prince who was scammed by shop owners when they gave him a plum tree with a pigeon in it. So, he tells a man with fairy dust to turn the tree and pigeon into gold. The prince is surprised of what happens and the girl he gives it to is ecstatic.

 

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars recommend it to ages 6 to 9. This is available on DVD now so go check it out.

 

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