Archives for July 28, 2017

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – Visually Stunning, Wildly Imaginative

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Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is the new adventure film from Luc Besson, the director of The Professional, The Fifth Element and Lucy, based on the comic book series which inspired a generation of artists, writers and filmmakers. In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha-an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with each other. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tristan T. comments, “From the start, it is visually stimulating. Between the wildly imaginative alien characters and the vivid and breathtaking scenery it captures the audience from beginning to end.” Arjun N. adds, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets fascinated me because of the excellent, ahead of its time special effects. The stunt work is top level. The spectacular direction delivers flair to the story.” See their full reviews below.

 

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

By Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

 

 

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.  From the start, it is visually stimulating. Between the wildly imaginative alien characters and the vivid and breathtaking scenery it captures the audience from beginning to end.  It is truly a fun and entertaining film to watch.

 

Based on the comic book series “Valerian and Laureline,” Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, follows two agents Valerian (Dane DeHaan)and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) as they race to capture the villain and save Alpha and the future of the universe.  It is both exhilarating and comical to watch their pursuit.

 

One complaint I have is that there is so much more to be explored in Alpha and the universe you become engrossed in.  For instance, there is a virtual reality called The Marketplace that is so amazing. If you visit www.valerianmovie.com, you get a glimpse of it.  I am crossing my fingers we will see a sequel from the writers, Pierre Christin, Jean-Claude Mezieres and Luc Besson.

 

My favorite character is General Okto-Bar (Sam Spruell).  I appreciate his character arc and the way he develops throughout the film.  He is very relatable and, even though he plays a general, he shows a level of connection with others not often found in that position.  The legendary director, Luc Beeson, from The Fifth Element and Lucy, to name a few, made this an extraordinary film to watch.

 

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence, some language and suggestive humor.  I recommend it for ages 11 to 18, but I truly think everyone in your family will enjoy it.  I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It is playing in theaters now so, go check it out.

 

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

 

 

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets fascinated me because of the excellent, ahead of its time special effects. The stunt work is top level. The spectacular direction delivers flair to the story.

 

The storyline is about Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne), who are operatives that maintain order in the human territories. Under operation from Commander Filitt (Clive Owen), the team embarks on a mission to Alpha, the City of a Thousand Planets. While on the mission, the team meets shapeshifter Bubble (Rihanna), who helps them. However, a mystery at the center of Alpha could threaten the existence of every person in the city. Only Valerian can unlock the secret beneath the threat.

 

Dane DeHaan as Valerian bravely presents his character who tries to save the universe, while at the same time impress his partner, Laureline. Dane is excellent in his battle scenes, especially in the final showdown. Cara Delevingne, as Laureline, expresses her extreme love and confidence in her effort to rescue Alpha. Clive Owen as Commander Filitt seems heroic, but puzzles Valerian with his classified files. He is my favorite character. Rihanna, as Bubble, can transform into any shape to help the team. She also represents a slave who craves freedom. Sam Spruell as General Octo Bar is noble and firm in how he presents his orders and also tries to solve the mystery of the classified files of Commander Filitt.

 

The direction by Luc Besson is splendid. Innovative camera techniques are used to present most of the locales, especially in The City of a Thousand Planets. My favorite scene is when Valerian takes a shortcut across the city. It is a treat to watch, due to how the environments switch. My only problem in this film is that it jumps everywhere following various sub-plots, which makes it difficult to follow. Despite that flaw, the special effects make it worthwhile.

 

The film’s message is that it is sometimes necessary to break conventional rules for a worthy cause. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action and brief language. The movie releases in theaters on July 21st, so check it out for one, ahead of its time sci-fi film.

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

 

Paby Launches Smart Pet Location And Activity Tracker Smart Device Easily Attaches to Collars and Harnesses, and Features GPS, LBS and Wireless Technologies to Provide Pet Owners with Real-Time Activity/Wellness Tracking No Matter Pet’s Location

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Paby recently introduced its 3G wireless smart pet tracker that monitors a pet’s location and activity to provide owners with peace of mind when it comes to their furry loved ones’ safety and wellness.  Equipped with a combination of advanced 3G GPS, LBS (Location Based Services) and Wi-Fi technologies, Paby provides consumers with real-time, highly accurate tracking information, no matter where their pets are.  Paby, which works as a stand-alone device, allows users to set “virtual fences” using their smartphones to receive real-time alerts when their pets leave the designated “zone.”  And, with a durable band that fits any sized collar (small/large), the activity tracker allows users to also monitor their pet’s number of steps, calories burned, sleep patterns and the intensity of their play time.   Paby is available for $79.99 at www.paby.com.  

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Paby features a small, light (31.6 grams), durable and waterproof design available in a variety of colors and patterns (“Spider Red,” “Future Green,” “Allstar,” “Midnight Black” and “Bubble Pink”) to match the pet’s personality. This innovative, environmentally friendly pet product also includes an RGB LED flashing light for added pet safety and a high fidelity waterproof speaker that plays a sound to alert the user (via the mobile app) when their pet is nearby. With gel state polymer lithium ion battery, the GPS tracker incorporates the latest battery technology and is built to last with PC ABS, laser direct structuring, UV coating and in-mold decoration.  

 

Paby comes with a free app (iOS and Android) that allows users to view custom reports and alerts, designate virtual fences, and receive daily exercise recommendations based on the pet’s breed, weight and age. The intuitive app allows users to register their pet’s profile and instantly track its location via Google Maps. Users can share the app’s pet data with other Paby owners, and manage unlimited pets on their smartphones.  Paby is committed to a pet’s health and safety, and as a result, they developed smart data and algorithms to provide information on recommended exercise time for pets based on their breed, weight and age.

 

Paby requires a cellular network connection to properly track the owner’s pet.  To provide flexibility, users have two options when it comes to the cellular coverage being used for this.  Option 1: Paby comes with a free SIM card and offers network subscription plans starting at $4.99 per month at http://www.paby.com/plan/ (those purchasing an annual network service plan through Paby will receive 30 days of free service).  Option 2: customers with AT+T and T-Mobile have the option to use their existing wireless network.  

I had the opportunity to try this out and I was amazed at how easy it is to use! I like that they offer 30 days free service. I am pretty impressed with this product and think it is a must for pet owners! ~SoCal City Kids.

About Paby

Paby is a global Pet Tech company developing a full ecosystem of pet care products ranging from smart tracking devices and applications and services to pet lifestyle products and accessories.  The company’s mission is to continually strive to merge cutting-edge technology with innovative product design that will help transform and better the life of your pet.  Paby’s passionate team is focused on the global market, and are committed to sustainable pet care by the use of global talent and resources. Our core team is a combination of the world’s leading professionals, from electronic and telecom engineering to health technology and pet biology.  For more information, visit www.paby.com.

I scream, you scream… Casa vega treats kids to complementary churro ice cream sandwiches on August 2nd

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Casa Vega, Los Angeles’s landmark 61-year old Mexican restaurant, invites young Angelenos to cool off with a cold treat compliments of second-generation owner Christy Vega. Timed with National Ice Cream Sandwich Day on August 2, 2017, children visiting the family dining destination will be surprised by a complimentary churro ice cream sandwich, with order minimum of a Casa Vega kid’s meal. A favorite dessert of Christy’s four young sons, the chocolate-dipped churros sandwiching vanilla ice cream adds a sweet ending to any family lunch or dinner.

WHERE:

Casa Vega

13301 Ventura Blvd.

Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

818.788.4868

www.casavega.com

 

WHEN:

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.

About Casa Vega:

Credit: Casa Vega is a family-owned Mexican restaurant that has been a Los Angeles landmark for 61 years and an iconic stomping ground for Old Hollywood’s biggest stars, from Marlon Brando, Carey Grant, and Jane Fonda. Opened in 1956 by Rafael “Ray” Vega, Casa Vega serves authentic Southern California Mexican food and drinks in a warm, festive atmosphere. Today Ray’s daughter, Christina “Christy” Vega (as seen on Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games,” NBC’s “TODAY” Show, CBS’s “This Morning,” ABC’s “The View,” and more) is at the helm of the time-honored restaurant. From delectable dishes such as traditional chicken mole, burritos, enchiladas, and tostadas, to tasty house-made margaritas and mojitos, Casa Vega features an extensive and time-tested menu. For more information, please visit www.casavega.com or find Casa Vega on Facebook, and Instagram.