Archives for October 8, 2015

Pan – Reviving the Child in All of Us

Pan

Warner’s latest prequel to the classic, Peter Pan, features 12-year-old orphan Peter spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny — to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Brandon C., age 15, comments, “Pan will revive the child in all of us, for sure! Before I delve into just how great this film is, I have to say that I was completely blown away by it!” Nathaniel B., age 9, adds, “Pan is a beautiful film full of fun and adventure – giant crocodiles jumping high into the air, beautiful mermaids gliding through the water and pirate ships sailing through the sky.  It all looks so real and the colors are so rich. I enjoyed every bit of it and think you will too!” See their full reviews below.

Pan

By Brandon C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15


Video review in Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QMxe5cTij8

Pan will revive the child in all of us, for sure! Before I delve into just how great this film is, I have to say that I was completely blown away by it! My original thought was, “Oh it’s just another Disney movie. Meh.” But, as soon as Blackbeard and Hook are introduced, my inner child leapt out and said, “This is awesome!”

Pan is the new revision of the classic Peter Pan story, directed by Joe Wright and featuring a host of very talented actors including Levi Miller (Peter), Garrett Hedlund (Hook) and Hugh Jackman (Blackbeard). The film follows the story of Peter, an orphan who gets abducted by Blackbeard and his pirates.

Every character, even the villain Blackbeard, is likeable and fun to watch. For a kid just learning about the story of Peter Pan, this movie is a good start. For someone like me who grew up with the story, the movie is perfect. Joe Wright brilliantly teases moments here and there that setup for the story to continue. My favorite is when Hook puts his hand into the river only to pull it out when someone starts talking about crocodiles.

As far as the visuals go, there are awe-inspiring visual effects, especially in the beginning of the movie. Every background is created with incredible detail. Speaking of detail, the costumes are also perfect in their minute details. Lastly, the score is outstanding. The action scenes tie all of these technical aspects together to produce a truly wonderful experience.

Are there any negatives in this movie? Not really. The relationship between Tiger Lily (played by Rooney Mara) and Hook seems just a bit forced. Also, I felt that the ending could have been expanded further to include Hook. Then again, I am a Hook fan through and through. And that’s part of the experience that Pan creates for the viewer. When I saw Hook for the first time, I flashed back to when I was a little kid when I first became a HUGE Captain Hook fan. Heck, I got nervous just before I met someone dressed as Captain Hook on a Disney Cruise. Those memories and emotions re-emerged when I saw this film.

I very much enjoyed the message of the film. I believe Pan hammers the point home about always being brave and sticking to your friends and family. As a final point, I have to commend Joe Wright for staying true to the characters and story of the original Peter Pan story. I enjoyed seeing my old favorites like Hook and Peter and even Smiegel (SMIEGEL!) make appearances.

In conclusion, everyone has to see this movie. Pan really is fun for the whole family. It has elements for both younger and older audiences to love. So, I give Pan a whopping 5 out of 5 Hooks for its fun and entertaining story, great visuals, spectacular score and awesome characters. Pan opens in theaters October 9 so mark your calendars.

Pan

By Nathaniel B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

“Sometimes, to truly understand how things end, you must first know how they begin.”

Pan is a beautiful film full of fun and adventure – giant crocodiles jumping high into the air, beautiful mermaids gliding through the water and pirate ships sailing through the sky.  It all looks so real and the colors are so rich. I enjoyed every bit of it and think you will too!

This Warner Brothers live-action feature, Pan, is an amazing film that is a great prequel to Peter Pan. This story starts when infant Peter (Levi Miller) is dropped off at a boys’ orphanage by his mother. He grows up with his friend Nibs (Lewis MacDougal) and is raised by evil nuns.  One night, 12-year-old Peter and Nibs get taken away to Neverland by pirates in flying boats. Nibs escapes from the boat by jumping onto a roof. Peter and the other kids from the orphanage have to mine fairy dust for the evil Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman) in order to survive. He meets Hook (Garrett Hedlund) in a mine chamber while they are going to sleep. The next day he finds fairy dust but a man steals it from him and Blackbeard makes him walk the plank. When he gets kicked off the board, he flies before he hits the ground, surprising himself and everyone else. Peter’s adventures in Neverland are full of many more surprises, epic battles and answers to many of the questions he’s always wondered about.

The incredibly talented Hugh Jackman is completely unrecognizable as Blackbeard. He’s ruthless but has an oddly compassionate side. He sends Peter to his death and, when he survives, he lets him live. He tells Peter, “We have an ancient prophecy that tells of a boy, a boy who would disappeared from his world until he was old enough to return and lead an uprising against me. A boy who could fly…

To find the right actor to play Peter, the filmmakers looked at thousands of kids in the UK, the United States, Canada and Australia before finding Levi Miller.  I think he does a good job playing this mischievous boy who wants to know where he comes from and where he’s headed.

Pan is suitable for ages 8 to18 because there is some violence but it’s not gory.  I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. Check it out in theaters October 9.

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

 

Hand-Painted Bottle Wine Rack would make a beautiful gift!

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Looking for a beautiful gift? A Hand-Painted Bottle Wine Rack from Bella Home International is a Must-Buy! Elegant Single-bottle Wine Rack in Wood Hand-Painted by Artisans Steeped in Ancient Tradition. Includes a lovely and sturdy wine bottle stopper as a limited time bonus!

This is more than a single bottle wine rack..it is Art! I love the design, how detailed it is and the bright vibrant colors! This really seems durable and is rather unique! I highly recommend and these would make great gifts for wine-loving friends this upcoming holiday season.

You can purchase on Amazon.com.

Self Disclosure: I received a free product in exchange for an unbiased review.

The Walk – Phenomenal and a Bit Terrifying

TheWalk

This film is based on the true story of high-wire artist Philippe Petit who recruits a team of people to help him realize his dream: to walk the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Lainey A. comments, “This live action feature film directed by Robert Zemeckis is phenomenal!  There is nothing about it that I don’t like.” See her full review below.

The Walk
By: Lainey A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

 

This live action feature film directed by Robert Zemeckis is phenomenal!  There is nothing about it that I don’t like.

The Walk is set in 1974 and is about a high-wire artist named Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who lives in Paris.  He sees a photo in a magazine for the construction of the Twin Towers in NYC and gets the inspiration to walk a tight rope connecting the two buildings.  This is highly illegal and very dangerous. He meets a girl named Annie Allix (Charlotte Le Bon) who falls in love with him and supports him in following his dream.  He finds a mentor and father figure in Pappa Rudy (Ben Kingsley) and 5 other accomplices who support him in this life or death adventure.  The Walk is based on a true story.

The Walk is a drama/thriller with a spice of romance and comedy.  Also it is a true story and that makes it even cooler and much more intense!  This is also an educational movie because I didn’t know much about high-wire artists until I watched this movie. I learned that there is a lot of science and math involved in how the wire is secured to provide safety for the walker.

My favorite character is Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) because, he is just flat-out amazing and super believable!  My favorite scene is when Philippe is facing his biggest dream of tightrope walking between the twin towers. They were 140 feet apart and 110 stories high! This scene is so realistic and exhilarating that my palms were sweaty and I noticed audience members squirming in their seats.   Philippe said that high-wire artists are never supposed to look down when tightrope walking.  Does he heed his own advice? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

The Walk has jaw-dropping special effects.  The opening scenes in Paris are completely in black and white except for an occasional pop of color which sets a nostalgic mood.  The Twin Towers were already gone when this movie was filmed, so it’s interesting that they were able to make this look so realistic. This part is truly fantastic!  Watching it in 3D makes it so lifelike and adds to the intensity of the viewing experience.

I recommend The Walk for ages 11 to 18 due to the suspense and some mild language.   Hands down, I give this movie a 5 out of 5 stars because it is so amazing! The special effects can’t be beat and the acting is super strong! I loved this movie and it is definitely on my favorites list!  You can see this movie On Imax on September 30th and everywhere else on October 9.

Credit: KIDS FIRST! Upcoming Attractions.