Archives for November 7, 2015

Spectre – Interesting, Exciting and Intense


Bond is Back! In the era of Daniel Craig’s portrayal of 007 who suits the character quite well. Directed by Sam Mendes who, as we learned from Skyfall, delivers a darn good Bond film.  This is truly an action spectacle, filled with eye-popping stunts and outrageous cinematography, fantastic locations and non-stop explosions. The script could use some work. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kendyl P. (age 13) comments, “Spectre is an interesting and intense movie filled with adventure and high action.” Miles T. (age 10) adds, “The new James Bond movie, Spectre, is an interesting and exciting film, but might be a bit too scary for most kids under thirteen. In fact, one of the scenes was so scary that I’m not even going to write about it!”



By Kendyl P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13



Spectre is an interesting and intense movie filled with adventure and high action. It features our favorite, highly trained assassin,  James Bond (Daniel Craig), also known as 007. The 00 program is being threatened to be shut down because it is believed to be obsolete and its replacement is the formation of a new world order of surveillance technology secretly headed up by the villain organization Spectre. Bond has a special mission that he can’t share with anyone yet, he finds himself in bit of trouble carrying out the mission. Indirectly, this secret mission will lead him directly to the very source that is trying to dismantle the 00 program and control the world’s collection and distribution data and technology.


The message of this film is DO NOT let anything come in the way of you completing your mission. In the movie, there are a few who know they are not going to live to complete their mission. However, they did not let death stop them from completing it. They are able to set up a plan to have the mission completed by someone else so the job still gets done which also proves no one is an island and we all need help to accomplish our goals.


My favorite scene is when James is protecting Madeline while she is sleeping and he is half awake. A rat appears in the dark. He takes out his gun and says to the rat, “Who are you and who sent you?” He does not realize that he is talking to a rat the whole time.

My favorite character is Madeline Swann (Lea Seydoux) because she’s really cool. She is extremely smart, well trained and very quick.  She is the perfect wing woman!


I highly recommend this movie for boy’s ages 14 to 18 as well as girls who like action filled movies. I give this film 4.5 shinning stars. Spectre opens in theatres November 6, 2015.



By Miles T, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10



The new James Bond movie, Spectre, is an interesting and exciting film, but might be a bit too scary for most kids under thirteen. In fact, one of the scenes was so scary that I’m not even going to write about it! The movie begins with an amazing action scene where James Bond, played by Daniel Craig, gets a ring with a symbol on it from a bad guy. This ring and this symbol becomes the mystery that James Bond has to solve.


I have been told that the title sequel is typical of a James Bond movie, but other parts of the film may not be appropriate for kids under thirteen. The title sequence contained animation, partially naked women and octopus; it was pretty strange.


The main plot involves James Bond trying to track down a mysterious and deadly organization. He is trying to piece together what the organization is really up to. Discovering how all of the people and events are connected from his present and his past are vital in cracking the mystery. Like most James Bond movies, it takes place in many exotic locations and several languages are spoken. There are some subtitles in parts which add a special element as well.


The movie is action packed and full of fight and chase scenes. The special effects are very good but I got annoyed during the action-packed scenes. In almost every fight scene there were so many quick cuts that I couldn’t follow the action, everything was like a white blur.

I read that this is the second-most expensive movie ever made. Spectre has many special effects including lots of explosions, stunt doubles, special makeup and wires. Spectre ended up spending over 300 million dollars making this film. Unfortunately, there are many other movies that are just as good with only half as much of a budget.


Spectre is two and a half hours long and there were several times I thought the movie might end, but it kept going. The music is very suspenseful, which is one of the main reasons it is so scary. The sound effects are also very realistic, but they were almost too loud which amplifies how scary the movie is.


I rate this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars, mainly because it was so scary. I would recommend this for ages 13+ due to the amount of violence and the nudity in the title sequence. I think that adults would definitely like it more than kids.


The Peanuts Movie – Bringing the Peanuts Gang to A New Generation

Whether you grew up reading Peanuts in the Sunday comics or watched the Peanuts Specials on TV, you will know the names of these iconic characters – Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus… This film brings the entire Peanuts gang to the big screen in state of the art 3D animation. Charlie Brown, the world’s most beloved underdog, embarks upon an epic and heroic quest, while his best pal, the lovable beagle Snoopy, takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “The Peanuts Movie has a lot to offer. It’s funny, lighthearted and has a great message to share. In addition, the creators worked in a few surprises that will captivate new viewers and bring back childhood memories for adults..” Mia A. adds, “The moral to this film is,  “if you see yourself as a winner or a loser in life, you are probably going to act like one. If you think you are a winner, act like one and others might think so too.” Brandon wraps it up with, “Visually, the world in The Peanuts Movie is stunning. The hair detail is the one thing that really stands out to me, maybe not hair movement but the detail.” See their full reviews below.

The Peanuts Movie

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


I really enjoy The Peanuts Movie. It reminds me of the classic Charlie Brown movies, but even better!  Even though the Peanuts creator, Charles M. Schulz passed away in 2000, this movie is a tribute to his memory and the legacy that he left behind.


While the members of the Peanuts Gang look and act like their loveable selves, there are many updates to this film.  The animation is much more detailed than the previous movies and viewers are able to watch it in 3D.  There are many new upbeat songs in addition to the much loved tunes.  “Better When I’m Dancin’” by Meghan Trainor is a great addition to the original songs.


The Peanuts Movie is about Charlie Brown trying to break his losing streak so the little Red Haired Girl (voiced by Disney’s Francesca Capaldi) will view him differently than his friends. He tries to change his luck in a dance contest, a talent show, flying a kite and writing a book report. Also, Snoopy tries to defeat the Red Baron in order to win the love of his life Fi Fi, voiced by Kristen Chenoweth.


My favorite character is Snoopy because he is very funny. His story is well written and filled with love, comedy and adventure.  Some of the funniest characters are Lucy, Sally, Snoopy and Woodstock.  They got great laughs from the audience including kids as young as three. All the voice talent perfectly suits their characters.  Fans of Linus, Schroeder, Pig Pen, Peppermint Patty and all the others will not be disappointed.


The moral to this film is,  “if you see yourself as a winner or a loser in life, you are probably going to act like one. If you think you are a winner, act like one and others might think so too.”


I rate The Peanuts Movie 5 out of 5 stars because of the colorful animation and it being true to the original Peanuts Gang.  I recommend this movie for ages 3 to 15 or any people who have enjoyed the other Peanuts movies.  At the end of this film there is a 3 second clip.  The credits are very long so be sure to stick around until the end.  You may love it!

The Peanuts Movie opens on November 6th in theaters nationwide.


The Peanuts Movie

By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Premiere coverage:



Many kids today have never heard about the Peanuts Gang and some don’t even know who Charlie Brown and Snoopy are. Well, that’s about to change! So many children will have the opportunity to discover characters that their parents grew up with. That’s right! The Peanuts Gang are back and they are stronger than ever!


The Peanuts Movie has a lot to offer. It’s funny, lighthearted and has a great message to share. In addition, the creators worked in a few surprises that will captivate new viewers and bring back childhood memories for adults, keeping the whole audience entertained.

The story is about a well-known Peanut named Charlie Brown and his interactions during a new school year. Although Charlie is always running into bad luck, he still remains good old Charlie Brown. Always doing the right thing and never giving up is what Charlie Brown is all about. Even when he hits a moment of good luck, Charlie remains the same endearing character everyone has grown to love.


This story is beautiful, colorful, and the animation is unique. Even though it is based on familiar characters, the story itself is original and prepared so well. Director Steve Martino manages to make use of  modern technology and CGI to makes the Peanut’s world 3D while keeping the feel of the original comics. The son and grandson of the Peanuts creator Charles Schultz are the screenwriters of this story. There’s no question of whether or not you can feel how much love and affection is put into every line and every scene. It jumps off the screen.


My favorite scene is when Charlie Brown is trying to impress his object of affection. He decides to learn how to dance for a school competition. As he starts, his friend Snoopy comes in and starts dancing to Latin tunes. This comical scene shows the bond that Charlie and his dog have like no other. Viewers can’t help but hold their breath to see if they will succeed and Charlie Brown becomes the best dancer.


This film is very child friendly! I recommend it for ages 4 to 18. Younger kids will enjoy the colors and catchy music but may not completely understand the story. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars for an engaging story line and a successful effort to bring the beloved Peanuts Gang back to us.


The Peanuts Movie

By Brandon C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16


The Peanuts Movie is mildly entertaining…yeah! This movie follows Charlie Brown, voiced by Noah Schnapp and the gang through fun times and adventures. The story itself revolves around Charlie Brown’s obsession over the Little Red-Haired Girl, voiced by Francesca Capaldi.


Everyone’s favorite characters are on full display in this cute movie, featuring Snoopy, Linus, Patty, Lucy and many more.

Everyone gets their big quote or line, which is great for older fans yet still funny to younger ones. As a fan of the Peanuts comics, I believe director Steve Martino does every character justice and stays true to every character’s funny quirks and qualities.


Visually, the world in The Peanuts Movie is stunning. The hair detail is the one thing that really stands out to me, maybe not hair movement but the detail. The audio is very clear. However, the musical score could use some improvement.


I was going to give this film 4 out of 5 Woodstocks because it is a fun, cute movie. However, I got slightly bored towards the end. Everything carries on just a bit too much. The characters  get a bit old. So, I’ll admit it. I took a nap. Now, I did not completely doze off. But, I just was not feeling it.


The Peanuts Movie has a very wide appeal, as the film contains slapstick comedy for the kids and great, funny dialogue for parents and older fans. Because the movie got a bit boring towards the end, I give The Peanuts Movie a reluctant 3 out of 5 Woodstocks for its great dialogue and funny moments. If only the movie was a bit shorter, I would have probably given it 4 out of 5 Woodstocks.


“Despicable Me” Minions & Hundreds of Universal Studios Hollywood Employee to Volunteer at Six Los Angeles Charitable Organizations for 11th Annual “Day of Giving” Minions, Minions and More Minions from the Popular “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” Ride Join Hundreds of Universal Studios Hollywood Employees to Volunteer at Six Charitable Projects across Los Angeles In Support of Theme Park’s 11th Annual “Day of Giving” Community Outreach Program on Thursday, November 12


Hundreds of Universal Studios Hollywood’s employee volunteers and a medley of Minions from the theme park’s popular “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” ride will band together to pay it forward and give back to six LA-based non-profit community organizations as The Entertainment Capital of L.A. marks its 11th annual “Day of Giving” on Thursday, November 12, 2015.

The inspirational “Day of Giving” event is Universal Studios Hollywood’s yearly tradition designed to connect employees with diverse community organizations, many of which are beneficiaries of the company’s philanthropic foundation, Discover A Star, whose mission is to empower individuals and families to lead more productive and fulfilling lives.

As part of this year’s special event, Universal Studios Hollywood will again serve as home base for Operation School Bell, hosting 250 homeless children from over 20 LAUSD elementary and middle schools. After the children are treated to new clothing, sneakers and school supplies, they will accompany volunteers for an afternoon of fun at the theme park that includes experiencing the popular “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” ride, the “Super Silly Fun Land” play zone, and the world-famous Studio Tour which now features the blockbuster thrill ride, “Fast & Furious – Supercharged” as the epic grand final of the signature ride. 

The day-long event will also send hundreds of employee volunteers around Los Angeles to help support community-building efforts at the following Discover A Star grant recipients: A Place Called Home; which provides educational, art, and wellness programs to underserved youth in South Central Los Angeles.) AIDS Project L.A. (APLA); part of APLA’s Necessities of Life Program, the nation’s largest food pantry for people living with HIV/AIDS Pacific Lodge Boys’ Home; which provides a therapeutic residential treatment program for boys ages 13 to 18 Covenant House L.A.; an organization that provides a safe, nurturing environment for homeless youth Shane’s Inspiration’s whose mission is creating social inclusion for children with disabilities through the vehicle of inclusive playgrounds and programs,  and Operation School Bell.

Discover A Star Foundation is Universal Studios Hollywood’s philanthropic division committed to making a significant impact in local underserved communities by providing grants to deserving non-profit organizations. Originally founded in 1993, Discover A Star’s mission is to provide financial assistance to neighboring nonprofit groups.  To date, Discover A Star has provided financial assistance to over 65 nonprofit organizations.

Universal Studios Hollywood, The Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM, includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour; the CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex, the Universal CityWalk Cinemas and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue. World-class rides and attractions include the renowned, behind-the-scenes Studio Tour featuring the intense “King Kong 360 3-D” attraction and the all-new “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” thrill ride as the Studio Tour’s grand finale.  Other popular rides include the 3D-HD adventure, “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and immersive “Super Silly Fun Land,” the critically-acclaimed mega-attraction, “Transformers™:  The Ride-3D,” “Revenge of the MummySM—The Ride,” “Jurassic Park® —The Ride,” “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons RideTM” and the “Nighttime Studio Tour” which runs on select evenings.

Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood.