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Sonic Boom Season 1, Volume 2 * Nearly Five Hours of Laugh-Out-Loud, Animated Fun

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Sonic Boom Season 1, Volume 2 * Nearly Five Hours of Laugh-Out-Loud, Animated Fun

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It’s a Sonic you haven’t seen before an ensemble comedy that pokes fun at action-adventure storytelling, but still manages to deliver plenty of adrenaline! Wherever he goes and whatever he s up against, Sonic the Hedgehog is aided by his sidekick, Tails, and his friends Knuckles, Amy, and Sticks and, of course, attacked by his arch nemesis, Dr. Eggman. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like this DVD because it is very entertaining.  Each story line is funny; it has a lot of action and delivers a lot of adrenaline. The graphics are amazing and the colors are very bright.  The voice-overs are funny and they fit each character.  The music is okay. I especially like the theme song, which is very catchy. Will C. adds, “Sonic Boom: Season 1 Volume 2 is nearly five hours of laugh-out-loud, animated fun, featuring your favorite hedgehog. The physical humor and amusing adventures will keep kids entertained for hours on end. The message of this series is that friends are stronger together.” Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer wraps it up with, “I am quite aware of Sonic the Hedgehog as a video game character, but have never watched any of his shows. I was pleasantly surprised as I watched this action-packed Season One, Volume 2 DVD. There is a lot of action as Sonic and his friends outwit Sonic’s arch-nemesis, Dr. Eggman.” See their full reviews below.

 

Sonic Boom Season 1, Volume 2
By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

https://youtu.be/_-61s1WGEYI

I like this DVD because it is very entertaining.  Each story line is funny; it has a lot of action and delivers a lot of adrenaline.

The Sonic Boom, Season 1, Volume 2 DVD, is over four hours of action, fun and entertainment. The package comes with two DVDs, which include 26 episodes.  What is nice is the gift set comes with two toys, Knuckles and Tails.  Sonic (Roger Craig Smith) is a blue hedgehog that has a sidekick, Tails, who helps him in his adventures. Sonic’s friends – Knuckles (Sebastian Desjours), Amy (Cindy Robinson) and Sticks (Nika Futterman) – help him attack his arch nemesis Dr. Eggman (Mike Pollock).  Each episode has a different story line.  The episodes do not follow a sequence, which it means that each episode is always a different adventure and that’s what makes it so entertaining.

The graphics are amazing and the colors are very bright.  The voice-overs are funny and they fit each character.  The music is okay. I especially like the theme song, which is very catchy.  My favorite episode is “Bro Down Showdown,” because it’s extremely funny.  It is about how Amy had to leave for a little bit, so Sonic and Knuckles ask her if they can stay at her house while she is gone.  Amy says yes, but there is one rule – no foolish things in her house.  So the first thing they do is eat nachos and spill on the couch.  Conveniently a commercial comes on saying, “if you win the best bros contest you win a brand new couch.” They immediately enter the contest.  It turns out Dr. Eggman is spying on them.  He arrives and starts bickering with Sonic about a bogus little thing.  A guy working there sees them fighting and pairs them up, even though Knuckles is going to be Sonic’s buddy.  Knuckels finds a new partner and tries to win the couch.  This is my favorite episode because this all happens, just because they spilled a nacho.

The moral to the stories is about “teamwork making the dream work,” because in each episode Sonic is helped by his sidekick and best friend, to either defeat Dr. Eggman or to enjoy their different adventures.

I give Sonic Boom, Season 1, Volume 2, 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, but adults can watch it with their kids and may find it amusing too. This DVD is available now so look for it!

Sonic Boom: Season 1 Volume 2
By Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

https://youtu.be/OIaCzPyfbT4

Sonic Boom: Season 1 Volume 2 is nearly five hours of laugh-out-loud, animated fun, featuring your favorite hedgehog. The physical humor and amusing adventures will keep kids entertained for hours on end.

The DVDs include 26 action-packed episodes, and if you get the limited edition gift set, you’ll also get two action figures—either Sonic with Dr. Eggman or Knuckles with Tails. In every episode, Sonic and his friends protect their village from the evil Dr. Eggman. Of course, no matter how crazy the situation, Sonic and friends are able to save the day in the end.

There are some really funny storylines, like when Sonic and Knuckles spill nacho cheese on Amy‘s couch while house-sitting. They try cleaning it up with grape soda, which just makes it worse! Their next idea is to try to win a new couch by going on a game show, but they fail and one of Dr. Eggman’s missiles ends up exploding the couch anyway. In another episode, it’s hilarious when Sonic grabs the last chili dog that Dr. Eggman wanted, so to be nice Sonic goes all the way to the warehouse to bring his nemesis a chili dog. But Dr. Eggman wanted extra relish, so he throws a tantrum by trying to destroy the whole town by shooting it with lasers and attacking it with robots. Of course this is nothing Sonic and friends can’t handle. One of the best jokes is when the boys compete against the girls in a survivor challenge. The girls decide the losers will have to do everyone’s laundry, but Sonic says, “That’s not fair for us boys – we don’t even wear pants!”

The message of this series is that friends are stronger together. There’s probably not a lot of content that parents will object to, but there is some cartoon violence that kids might be tempted to copy. The only thing that’s a problem for me is that there is one episode out of the 26 that’s only available with Spanish audio, no English at all. Unfortunately I can’t understand what they’re saying in the episode, “Fire in a Crowded Workshop.”

I give this series 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 12, and adults might enjoy watching with their kids as well. Sonic Boom: Season 1 Volume 2 is available on DVD February 2020.

Sonic Boom Season 1, Volume 2
By Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer

I am quite aware of Sonic the Hedgehog as a video game character, but have never watched any of his shows. I was pleasantly surprised as I watched this action-packed Season One, Volume 2 DVD. There is a lot of action as Sonic and his friends outwit Sonic’s arch-nemesis, Dr. Eggman. I like that there isn’t just the typical “good wins over evil.” It is expected that good will win, but it is fun to watch too.  Some of the humor is a bit dry if you are an adult watching the show. But, it is appropriate for children ages 5 through 12. I like that it shows teamwork and friendship, and all of the action makes it very entertaining to watch. The characters are very likable; my favorites are Sonic and Amy. I like that the characters are unique and each brings something to the show. Of course, Dr. Eggman is not a favorite of mine, but he also makes the series entertaining, especially since Sonic and his pals usually outwit him. I give this 4 out of 5 stars for its entertainment value. This DVD would make a great gift for a Sonic fan, since it is a Limited Edition Gift Set that includes Knuckles and Tails figurines. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer

Cute, Fun, Family-friendly DVD based on the award-winning book and TV series.

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Cute, Fun, Family-friendly DVD based on the award-winning book and TV series.

Llama Llama springs to life in these heart-warming tales based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. Join Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid the Sheep and Gilroy Goat as they explore their friendly hometown and make childhood memories. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Cadence G. comments, “I like the Llama Llama Family Fun Collection DVD because every episode has a different main idea with an interesting story to tell. The animated characters each have their own thoughts about things and how to approach a situation.” Ruby A., follows with, “Llama Llama Family Fun Collection is a cute, fun, and family-friendly DVD that is based on an award-winning book and TV series. The storyline and adorable personalities of the characters combine to make the viewing experience enjoyable. The characters’ companionship is very sweet, and they care a lot about one another. They always have each other’s back.” Christine R. wraps it with, “Upbeat, positive messages about friendship and family make these great for family viewing.” See their full reviews below.

Llama Llama Family Fun Collection
By Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

I like the Llama Llama Family Fun Collection DVD because every episode has a different main idea with an interesting story to tell. The animated characters each have their own thoughts about things and how to approach a situation. The only part I didn’t really like is that the characters sometimes talk too slow and you want to make them talk faster, but it probably makes it easier for little kids to understand.

The Llama Llama Family Collection has 15 episodes and is based on the book series written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney. The animated collection is about a llama and his friends who have awesome adventures together. Each episode has a moral to the story. For example, in one of the episodes, Luna (a giraffe, voiced by Vania Gill) is very scared to go on stage to perform a solo in front of an audience. Then Llama Llama and Nelly Gnu get a dance machine and it really helps Luna lose her fear of performing in front of an audience. Another story tells about Llama Llama, Euclid and Gilroy Goat having a sleepover, where they experience new and different things while at a friend’s house. I know when I go to a sleepover, I find myself trying a new food or doing any activity that I wouldn’t necessarily have done at my house.

I didn’t recognize the voices of any of the characters, although after looking at who does the voices, I recognize Jennifer Garner, who voices Mama Llama. I like Luna’s personality, but my favorite character is Euclid (Brendon Sunderland). He’s smart, but in a funny way. I like when the group of friends take swimming lessons with Mama Llama in Eleanor Elephant’s (Kathleen Barr) pool. Even though Llama Llama (Shayle Simons) isn’t a great swimmer, his friends are supportive. And it is cute seeing Llama Llama’s grandpa (David Hoole) learn to swim, too.

The message of the film is to be nice to others. It’s important to help your friends, rather than make fun of them or bring them down. When I see someone making fun of someone, I try to stand up for them. It is nice to watch a film where a group of friends support one another.
I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 9. This DVD is available now, so go look for it!

Llama Llama Family Fun Collection
By Ruby A. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Llama Llama Family Fun Collection is a cute, fun, and family-friendly DVD that is based on an award-winning book and TV series. The storyline and adorable personalities of the characters combine to make the viewing experience enjoyable. The characters’ companionship is very sweet, and they care a lot about one another. They always have each other’s back.

The Llama Llama Family Fun Collection DVD is collection of episodes about a group of animal companions that go on a lot of adventures, meet new friends and solve problems along the way. In one episode, Llama Llama’s friend, Luna the Giraffe, struggles with bad stage fright. She has a dance recital the next day. Llama Llama and Nelly Gnu have to help her, or she won’t be able to perform without becoming nervous on stage. In another episode, Llama Llama and two of his friends, Gilroy Goat and Euclid Sheep, plan a sleepover together. What they don’t know is that strange things will happen just as they are about to go to sleep. But maybe the friends’ imaginations will wander too far…

Some of the lead characters are Mama Llama (Jennifer Garner) and Llama Llama (Shayle Simons). They are an adorable mother-son duo, and they love each other very much. What really stands out in this collection is the incredibly detailed and expressive animation. The vibrant colors and homey scenery go hand in hand to create a wholesome, fun show for children and their families to watch. It really is a great choice for teaching good lessons to young minds.

The message of the DVD Llama Llama Family Fun Collection is that you should always be willing to help your friends, and that problems can be solved through the effort of a team. It is definitely successful in communicating its message through the close-knit friend group, and how they stick together and help each other face their fears. The message is definitely positive and uplifting, and can teach young children that companionship is an important life skill to have. There really isn’t anything to worry about when children are watching this series. There is no bad language at all, and there isn’t any negative behavior that young children may attempt to imitate.

I give this series 4 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 2 to 10. The Llama Llama Family Fun Collection DVD is available now

Llama Llama Family Fun Collection
By Christine R., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer

The Llama Llama Family Fun Collection DVD features the animated friends from Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama book series in 15 stories, including holiday stories for Halloween, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. The friends learn to use their unique talents with some creativity to overcome day to day problems by following grown up advice and helping each other. In “Stage Fright,” Luna Giraffe’s upcoming dance recital is giving her performance jitters, but Llama Llama and Nelly Gnu are there to offer support, calming breaths and remind her to just have fun. Nelly Gnu is jealous of the attention her baby brother receives in the story “Jealous Nelly.” Her new tree-house takes a backseat to babysitting and party planning for the baby. She misses her parents’ and friends’ attention, but soon realizes that being a big sister is the perfect role for her. The friends accept the challenge to do without their electronic gadgets when Grandma Llama and Mama Llama take them on an overnight campout in “Let’s Go Camping.” They use their five senses to appreciate the sights and sounds of nature. Upbeat, positive messages about friendship and family make these great for family viewing. Children ages 4 to 8 should enjoy these fun, engaging episodes. I give this 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Christine R., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 – Nothing Can Prepare You For The End

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 – Nothing Can Prepare You For The End

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This closing film to The Hunger Games trilogy shows Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion leading an army against President Snow. Her tragic journey finally comes to an end with this emotional finish. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Clayton P. comments, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is surprisingly more creative and suspenseful than all the prior films in the franchise.” See his full review below.

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Clayton

Video review

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is surprisingly more creative and suspenseful than all the prior films in the franchise.  However, there are a couple of things about the film that are not fantastic. I don’t think that Jennifer Lawrence does a great job in this film. It seems as if she was asleep throughout the movie.  This film again stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen and Josh Hucherson as Peeta Mellark. They are supported by Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  The film is directed by Francis Lawrence, who directed all the Hunger Games films except the first.

 

At the beginning of the film, Katniss is recruited by Commander Coin (Julianne Moore) to lead the rebellion. They really want her to be the “face” of the rebellion and film fake skirmishes for the ever present media. Katniss plays along but her intent is to assassinate President Snow.  Snow is ready for the rebellion. His generals plant POD traps (obstacles designed to release a weapon that can range from a bomb to a group of mutts) all over the Capital, which are motion sensitive.  When someone comes near, flame throwers engulf them or huge machine guns appear and blow them up.  The PODS are planted every few feet, so it is a deadly obstacle course for the rebels to try to make it through into the heart of the Capital.  In the face of all this, Peeta, who had been psychologically tortured and brain-washed by Snow in Part 1, is now ordered to join Katniss on this mission.  But, he is unstable and doesn’t have a grip on reality.

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The best part of this film is the ending, which I can’t tell you about because of spoiler alert. But, rest assured, it is a great ending.  The middle of the film is very action-packed, scary and suspenseful.  Katniss, and the rebel force work their way through the PODS.  I love this part of the film and the locations that were chosen.  At one point, the rebel force goes down into the sewers to escape detection, adding a bit of horror to the action film setting. The supporting cast is great, especially Julianne Moore, who plays Commander Coin with great conviction.

 

The screenplay is interesting, especially the dialogue between Katniss and Peeta.  Peeta keeps asking Katniss and the others if things are “real or not real” since he has a tenuous grip on reality, due to his brain-washing.  I also like the song that plays during the end credits.

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Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to the film besides Jennifer Lawrence’s performance.   I feel that some of the fight sequences are not realistic.  One last point I would like to make is that the uniqueness of The Hunger Games is the idea of the games themselves.  There are no games in this film and I miss he whole survivalist concept of that.

 

Overall, I think this film is a great ending to The Hunger Games franchise.  I give the film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 11 to 18, keeping in mind that there are some rather violent, scary scenes in the middle of the movie. This film opens November 20.

“Planes” A Visual Spectacle and a Wonderful Family Film!

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“Planes” A Visual Spectacle and a Wonderful Family Film!

Planes

If you thought “Cars” was brilliant, then you’ll be sure to love their latest animated adventure, “Planes” which comes out on DVD/Blu-ray November 19. It’s an action-packed comedy about a small plane with big dreams. The only problem is that the plane, Dusty is a crop-duster who’s afraid of heights!  As you can imagine, this makes it very difficult for him to achieve his dreams.  With the help of his best friends Dusty’s future turns a bit brighter. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Brianna Hope B says, “It is a great film. It has hope, adventure and good humor.” Her full review is below.

“Planes” Reviewed by Brianna Hope B.

 

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This film is too cute, funny and has great animation.

Dusty, (Dane Cook-Voice) is a basic crop-dusting plane with big dreams of competing in an aerial race. However he is afraid of heights, yes that’s right, heights! In order for him to even get up the nerve to compete and pursue his dreams; he needs the help of his mentor, Skipper, (Stacy Keach-Voice) and his friends.

“Planes” has a good story line and I really like it. It has hope, adventure and good humor with comedians Brad Garrett (Chug-Voice), Sinbad (Roper-Voice) and many more. All the voice actors do a great job portraying their characters. Of course, the 3D animation is spectacular with great detail and lots of lively colors. My favorite scene is when Skipper starts training Dusty and Chug and Dottie (Terri Hatcher-Voice) are talking too loud for Dusty to concentrate. Skipper yells at them to be quiet and they straighten up immediately, but keep talking. This is really funny. My favorite character is Roper, because he says and does the funniest things. He always seems to be rambling about something and is funny.

Writer, Jeffrey M. Howard, writes a comedic script that gives kids something to enjoy and feel good about. Another well known comedian voice cast who I enjoyed in this film is Cedric the Entertainer (Leadbottom-Voice).

As Walt Disney once said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”  I really like this and believe this message is demonstrated throughout the film.

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 13. Kids who love Disney animation films will love this one as it is similar to other Disney films. It’s also a great film for the family to see although older teens may not be too interested in it.

I give “Planes” 4 out of 5 stars because I would like to see more originality and uniqueness, but overall it is a great film and I really enjoy watching it. I know you will too. Reviewed by Brianna Hope B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

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KIDSFIRST! Coming Attractions is a weekly radio show hosted by eighteen KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, ages 7 to 16. These critics win a spot as a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic through a national competition held annually. They review new films and DVDs, attend Red Carpet events and premieres and interview talent on and off the Red Carpet. KIDS FIRST!, a program of the 22-year-old Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, is the country’s most valued source for reviews of children’s media. As a national, nonprofit organization, KIDS FIRST! teaches children
critical viewing skills and engages them as jurors to evaluate, rate and review films, DVDs, TV shows, music, games and apps.  – Read more at Dear Dumb Diary Movie Review By Kids First! Coming Attractions.

“The Book Thief” Gives a Youth’s Perspective of Surviving the Holocaust

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“The Book Thief” Gives a Youth’s Perspective of Surviving the Holocaust

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Based on the beloved bestselling book, “The Book Thief” by Marcus Zusak, tells the story of a spirited and courageous young girl who transforms the lives of everyone around her when she is sent to live with a foster family in World War II Germany. I read this book early in the year and could not put it down. The story is so well crafted and the humanity of the key characters so extraordinary, it completely draws you in. As you can see below, our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics were equally drawn in. Canela R. found “the idea of having the narrator be Death really grabbed my attention and held my attention to this unbelievable story to the very end.” Gerry O recommends “that everyone watch this film and think about what happened in the past. We all have responsibility to make sure that this history doesn’t repeat itself.” See their full reviews below. “The Book Thief” opens in NYC and LA November 8 and nationwide November 15.

The Book Thief

Reviewed by Canela R., age 11, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

[embedplusvideo height=”300″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1bg99qM” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/MLLOcvuO6I4?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=MLLOcvuO6I4&width=450&height=300&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep7891″ /]

 

I bet you have seen many movies that have narration but I bet you haven’t seen one like this. In this movie, the narrator is Death.

The Book Thief is about a young girl whose brother dies and her mother abandons her – all at the age of 11. She’s adopted by an older couple in Nazi Germany. Her foster father teaches her how to read which lights a fire inside of her to read and read and read. Again, since this is Nazi Germany, books are very hard to find. The only way she can get more books is to “borrow” them. Also, her family agrees to hide a young Jewish man in their basement which puts the young girl’s family at great risk. But, the young girl and the young man become very good friends, helping each other through hard times. During this time, there are many people dying so Death is very nearby and has a lot to say. The Book Thief is all told from Death’s perspective.

The lead characters are the young girl, Liesel Meminger played by up-and-coming actress Sophie Nelisse and her foster father and mother played by Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson. These characters try to live a normal life while fighting for it.

One of my favorite scenes is when a friend of Liesel’s, Rudy, goes to the running track and covers himself in mud so he can look like Olympic Track Star Jessie Owens. I like this scene because it shows how Rudy didn’t believe what Hitler was saying and supported Liesel and her family.

The look and sound of this film helps convey the emotional story of Liesel and her friends and family. The sets and costumes are all beautiful and really portray 1940s Germany. The music is sad but also, hopeful. The cinematography is beautiful and also lets us see the harshness of their lives.

The message of this movie is “to stand up for what you believe and don’t let a group of people tell you otherwise.”

I recommend this movie to ages 9 and up. Although this is a sweet passionate film it does take place in Nazi Germany which includes violence and death.

I give this movie five out of five stars because the idea of having the narrator be Death really grabbed my attention and held my attention to this unbelievable story to the very end.

“The Book Thief”

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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See the Cast interviews available Below: 

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Out of all the movies I’ve ever seen, this one is the saddest. “The Book Thief” is a fantastic film that would make everyone who sees it cry, laugh, enjoy and be at the edge of their seats.

This movie has so much to watch – a tiny bit of comedy, sadness, history, suspense, thrilling scenes, intense, a bit of violence and, of course, theft.

The story begins when a young girl is on her way with her sick brother to live with a new family. Sadly, the brother dies along the way. The girl is left alone with a new mother, a new father and stuck in Germany during World War II. Her family does a lot of scary things and it’s a very sad story as well.

The movie has so much history. I am Jewish so I cried quite a lot when I watched it. The facts are very accurate and very well done. The actors are stupendous. They are sad, happy, scared, brave and a lot more. The special affects and the thrilling way this film is done is amazing. This film is one of those films that made me cry. I wanted to go back in time so I could change Hitler’s childhood to convince him to be nicer, kinder and not kill people. This movie is definitely big, intense and memorable.

My favorite scene is a happy one. The family is hiding a Jew in their basement. The father (Geoffrey Rush) is a bit of a goof so he gets a lot of snow and they start a snow fight in the basement. For once, the mother plays along, and the girl builds a snow man. There they are huddled against each other, listening to the father play an accordion and feeling happy despite what is happening in the outside world.

Because the movie is so intense, I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and would recommend that everyone watch this film and think about what happened in the past. We all have responsibility to make sure that this history doesn’t repeat itself.

KIDSFIRST! Coming Attractions is a weekly radio show hosted by eighteen KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, ages 7 to 16. These critics win a spot as a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic through a national competition held annually. They review new films and DVDs, attend Red Carpet events and premieres and interview talent on and off the Red Carpet. KIDS FIRST!, a program of the 22-year-old Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, is the country’s most valued source for reviews of children’s media. As a national, nonprofit organization, KIDS FIRST! teaches children critical viewing skills and engages them as jurors to evaluate, rate and review films, DVDs, TV shows, music, games and apps.  – Read more at Dear Dumb Diary Movie Review By Kids First! Coming Attractions.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Puts a New Twist on Civil Rights

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Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Puts a New Twist on Civil Rights

LeeDanielsTheButler

This story follows the life of Cecil Gaines who serves eight presidents as a butler at the White House. We see how the civil rights movement, Vietnam and other major events affect this man’s life, family and American society. Be forewarned that it is rated PG-13 for some violence and disturbing images, language, sexual material, thematic elements and smoking. Starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, this movie hit a home run with KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 11-year-old Anthony A who says, “Cecil inspired me to speak more intelligently without saying the wrong things.” See Anthony’s full review below.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler

By Anthony A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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This movie is really cool because its shows history in a way that will make you interested in it. This movie also shows how hard it was to survive in the not-so-far-off past.

This movie is all about a person named Cecil who is black and the movie is set in a time before everyone was treated equally and had the same rights. Cecil’s father is killed by a white man, who didn’t get arrested; he is not even talked to by the police. Cecil goes to work for a lady as her butler but eventually runs away. Eventually, when he is older, he becomes the President’s butler. He serves for them and meets people. However, his son keeps getting arrested over and over again because he is standing up with Martin Luther King Jr. in the Civil Rights Movement and that takes his focus away from his work.

The main characters in this movie are Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), Earl Gaines (David Banner), Gloria Gaines (Oprah Winfrey), and Louis Gaines (David Oyelowo). My favorite character is Cecil because he works so hard and just wants things to change. He says that a black man has never been promoted in the 21 years he has worked for the Presidents and he doesn’t think this is fair.

My favorite part in this movie is every time Cecil speaks to the Presidents. He is so truthful and so nice to them. He inspired me to speak more intelligently without saying the wrong things. He did work for seven presidents so he had a lot of practice.

I recommend this movie for ages 10 and up because this movie has a lot of adult language. The movie talks a lot about the struggle for equal rights for all men which is something that I remember from watching Lincoln. There is historical violence and a lot of terms that I didn’t fully understand.

KIDSFIRST! Coming Attractions is a weekly radio show hosted by eighteen KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, ages 7 to 16. These critics win a spot as a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic through a national competition held annually. They review new films and DVDs, attend Red Carpet events and premieres and interview talent on and off the Red Carpet. KIDS FIRST!, a program of the 22-year-old Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, is the country’s most valued source for reviews of children’s media. As a national, nonprofit organization, KIDS FIRST! teaches children critical viewing skills and engages them as jurors to evaluate, rate and review films, DVDs, TV shows, music, games and apps.  – Read more at Dear Dumb Diary Movie Review By Kids First! Coming Attractions.

“The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec” – A Female Indian Jones Taking Place in the Early 1900s

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“The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec” – A Female Indian Jones Taking Place in the Early 1900s

Adele

From the French film director Luc Besson (Le Grand Bleu, Arthur and the Invisibles), comes an adventure set in the early part of the 20th century focused on a popular novelist and her dealings with would-be suitors, the cops, monsters, and other distractions. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Valdi Belizaire suggests, “You should really watch this movie if you like adventures.” Her review is below.

Luc Besson’s “The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec”
Reviewed by Valdi Belizaire

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If you like movies that take place in the early 1900s, then you’ll love Luc Besson’s “The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec.”

In this movie, there is a huge bird egg in a museum that hasn’t hatched. They keep it there for visitors to see. It was never supposed to hatch and one day, it hatches and something that looks like a huge pterodactyl comes out. It screeches and people try to capture it but it is just too fast for them. At one point, a group of people are all lined up to see something in a tomb and they release something, I can’t tell you what it is because that will ruin the movie for you. Later, the cops want to hang Adele for things that she has been saying and she is only concerned about finding something to heal her sister. Adele finds a mummy that people think no one can ever find. Then, she talks to it and no one believes her. When the people of the town see the mummy they are really scared. In one part of the movie Adele is in a cave, sees a fire behind her and gets inside a sarcophagus to save herself.

My favorite part in this movie is when the mummy dresses up in a suit and asks someone for directions. The guy says “of course” and faints. I really like the music in this film. It’s great.

The main characters in this movie are Adele Blanc-sec (Louise Bourgoin), Dieuleveult (Mathieu Amalric), Inspector Albert Caponi (Gilles Lelouche), Justin de Saint-Hubert (Jean Paul Rouve), Marie Joseph Esperandieu (Jacky Nercessian) and Professeur Menard (Philippe Nahon).

This movie’s moral message is that no matter what, you should always do whatever is best to help your family and friends.

I recommend this movie to ages 11 to 18 and I suggest you go with your parents because it is really intense. You should really watch this movie if you like adventures.

KIDSFIRST! Coming Attractions is a weekly radio show hosted by eighteen KIDS FIRST!
Film Critics, ages 7 to 16. These critics win a spot as a KIDS FIRST! Film
Critic through a national competition held annually. They review new films and
DVDs, attend Red Carpet events and premieres and interview talent on and off the
Red Carpet. KIDS FIRST!, a program of the 22-year-old Coalition for Quality
Children’s Media, is the country’s most valued source for reviews of children’s
media. As a national, nonprofit organization, KIDS FIRST! teaches children
critical viewing skills and engages them as jurors to evaluate, rate and review
films, DVDs, TV shows, music, games and apps.  – See more at:
https://blog.voiceamerica.com/2013/09/03/dear-dumb-diary-movie-review-by-kids-first-coming-attractions/#sthash.YmDJs7Wn.dpuf

“Gravity” – A Thrilling Mix of “Matrix” Meets “Inception”

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“Gravity” – A Thrilling Mix of “Matrix” Meets “Inception”

gravity-movie-poster[1]

Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, “Gravity” is the highly charged story about a medical engineer and an astronaut who work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space. Be aware that it’s rated PG-13 for intense perilous sequences, disturbing images and brief strong language. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O thinks the film is “a life time experience that everyone must see!” KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Keefer B finds the film to be “a suspenseful, visually enchanting and wonderfully acted film.” See both their reviews below.  

 

   [embedplusvideo height=”300″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/19NUC4h” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/13IR8xjPxrw?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=13IR8xjPxrw&width=450&height=300&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep5663″ /]  

 

Gravity
by Gerry O, age 11, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Full video review available here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13IR8xjPxrw

A movie with such a title that is about the scary and dark void called “space,” you’d expect to be thrilling. Well, I have to tell you this movie is beyond thrilling. This film is a perfect combination of “Matrix” and “Inception” and will pump your adrenaline to a maximum level! “Gravity” is a life time experience that everyone must see! If you add to the mix that Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in it as main characters, it just doesn’t get better than that!

Since this movie has so many genres, it’s hard to tell its main one. This movie has adventure, comedy, sorrow, suspense, thrilling scenes, intense scary scenes and so much more! The main one out of all these fantastic genres is definitely suspense. You walk in feeling bored and tired and you walk out feeling like Ryan Stone in the movie. (Sandra Bullock)

The thrilling adventure begins when a young medical engineer named Ryan Stone goes up in space to help with installations for the Hubble Telescope. It seems like a casual spacewalk, but when she gets stranded away from her ship, “Explorer,” she needs to get back to Earth by hitching a ride on a different station. If you want to find out how and if she and her co-worker,  Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) make it back to Earth alive, you have to watch the film.

The movie has so much adventure and so many impressive and clear graphics, it’s hard not to like it! You feel like you are right there, experiencing whatever the main characters experience. The acting is amazing and there is deep meaning behind it – what would you do, if you were alone in the deepest and darkest part of this entire universe, with nobody but yourself? What would your thoughts be? Would you be able to remain hopeful or just give up and let Space take you? The camera work is the best I’ve ever seen. Alfonso Cuarón, I give you standing ovation for directing this masterpiece. 

My favorite scene is when Ryan is stuck in a damaged escape pod with no fuel. She thinks she’s stranded. Before she decides to give up and loose hope of returning to Earth, she starts to see Matt. Matt gets in when she does not have her helmet on and shows her that she can get back. As soon as his statement is over, he’s gone. She hallucinated him but the plan worked!  It’s a very interesting and important scene in the movie and that’s why I like it.

The movie is rated PG-13 and I honestly think it is appropriate for age 12 to 18. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and it is showing in theaters everywhere right now. I may be wrong, but I predict Oscar nominations for the cast and director of “Gravity.” Let’s see what happens in 2014!

 

Gravity
By Keefer B, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Video review available here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13IR8xjPxrw

“Gravity” is a suspenseful, visually enchanting and wonderfully acted film. The plot focuses on Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) after a disaster happens in space and leaves her stranded. Her goal is to get to a Chinese space station to fly back to Earth before she runs out of time, oxygen and hope.

I love the visual and 3D effects. Space is infinite and “Gravity” shows that beautifully. When you see Dr. Stone drifting off into space you feel the vastness. Many 3D artists like to over use this technology by throwing floating stuff at us or making you think you can reach out and touch them. This is an excepted gimmick but if that’s all it accomplishes, it can get old. This movie has objects floating into the audience, but the items bring you into the actors environment making you feel like you’re with them. 

Visual effects drive the structure of the film, but the heart of the film is Sandra Bullock. This movie is pretty much a one women show. The camera is never off her. Having just one character on screen for most of the film is risky. Through this film Ryan becomes a 3 dimensional character. She captures the audience’s attention and heart. Bullock’s abilities allow this to be a cohesive narrative. Her performance is superb. How Bullock gets herself into this series of emotional states are beyond me. To carry an entire film, put yourself in the physical positions, while pulling off these scenes is revolutionary. That’s why she’s my favorite character in this film.

My favorite scene is the ending. Not to give it away, but this scene is stunning. The pacing, the camera angles are just exquisite. Tension builds and you never know what’s going to happen. I love it when a film keeps you in the shadows until the very end. “Gravity” knows when to be suspenseful and to take breaks for the character to breath, literally.

The moral is, “Never lose hope.” Ryan gets close to reaching home, but her only way to get there is destroyed. Ryan thinks the only way out is to be with her deceased daughter, but learns that “when you come this far you can’t just throw it all away.”

I recommend this for ages 13 to 18. There are intense scenes and fowl language that are inappropriate for younger kids. Teens and adults can enjoy the visual effects and the intense space action.

KIDSFIRST! Coming Attractions is a weekly radio show hosted by eighteen KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, ages 7 to 16. These critics win a spot as a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic through a national competition held annually. They review new films and DVDs, attend Red Carpet events and premieres and interview talent on and off the Red Carpet. KIDS FIRST!, a program of the 22-year-old Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, is the country’s most valued source for reviews of children’s media. As a national, nonprofit organization, KIDS FIRST! teaches children critical viewing skills and engages them as jurors to evaluate, rate and review films, DVDs, TV shows, music, games and apps.  – See more at: https://blog.voiceamerica.com/2013/09/03/dear-dumb-diary-movie-review-by-kids-first-coming-attractions/#sthash.YmDJs7Wn.dpuf
 

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