Archives for July 1, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence: 20 Years of Evolution


We always knew they were coming back. After Independence Day redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “Twenty years ago one of the most epic action films was released – Independence Day. Now we finally got a sequel which I believe will again become one of the most exciting action films of the year.” See his full review below.
Independence Day: Resurgence
By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Twenty years ago one of the most epic action films was released – Independence Day. Now we finally got a sequel which I believe will again become one of the most exciting action films of the year – Independence Day: Resurgence – with amazing acting, spectacular visuals and an original story.
As expected, Independence Day: Resurgence is an action film, but it goes into much more than that. This film has some romance, but it doesn’t go overboard. It just spices up the character development. The story also features a sense of adventure and, of course, a big element of sci-fi.
The story starts twenty years after aliens attacked Earth in 1996. On a moon base, they discover a very powerful and large ship that has the power to rip Earth in half. The human race must then stand up again to defeat the alien race. Even with the powerful technology that has been developed, the human race is threatened of extinction!
The is one disappointment, of course. This film does not have Will Smith, but it is explained why he is not there and many new characters are introduced in addition to the favorite original characters. The special effects are impressive and breathtaking. The detail on the ships makes you feel as if they really exist. I also greatly enjoyed the story. It is original and unexpected. The aerial CGI shots are spectacular and greatly add to the intensity of the whole experience. The soundtrack deserves special mention as it really makes your adrenaline pump and the audience feels as if the theater itself is shaking. Although there isn’t much comedy in the film, it is original and made the audience laugh in certain scenes.
My favorite scene is when the giant ship first attacks the moon base. The moon base has a powerful experimental laser that they quickly fire at the ship, but discover it does not do anything to the mother ship. What is also amazing is the size of the ship compared to the moon. That scene also introduces the aliens for the first time.
The film is spectacular and not suited for all ages. It is rather intense and has quite a lot of gore. I recommend it for ages 11 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. This truly lives up to the glory of the first film with its beautiful special effects, original story, emotional acting and an unexpected ending. It is that rare case when the sequel is as good, if not better than the original. I applaud the creators and the director Roland Emmerich. This film opened nationwide on June 24 so go check it out.


The Secret Life of Pets: Unleashed Available Now on Mobile Devices All-New Matching Game Features the Characters from Illumination Entertainment’s the secret life of pets

Pets Icon

As movie-goers get ready for the highly anticipated release of Illumination Entertainment’s The Secret Life of Pets in theaters on July 8, game players can join the film’s characters, Max and his crew of charmingly mischievous companions, for an adventure in the Big Apple. Unlock new friends and colorful challenges in The Secret Life of Pets: Unleashed™ brought to you by Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), Illumination Entertainment, and NBCUniversal Brand Development, available now as a free* download on the App Store and Google Play.

“We at EA are thrilled to work with Illumination Entertainment, the creators of the record-setting Despicable Me and Minions franchise, to bring you the official matching puzzle game for The Secret Life of Pets,” said Michelle Bizzarro, Game General Manger at EA. “Together, we set out to combine the features, functionality and challenge of a Match-3 game with the story-line and humor of an animated feature so you can interact with these insanely cute pets before and even after watching the film..”

In The Secret Life of Pets: Unleashed players can expect to:

Tackle Challenging Puzzles

Match their way through New York with the charming guide Max revealing new puzzles, pets and moments along the way. Players will get to chase away pesky squirrels with Mel or digging up super-sized bones for Duke.

Embark on Pet Adventures
As players progress through the game and make their way to the top of the leaderboards, they’ll meet new pets including Chloe, who can’t be bothered unless there is food, Leonard, the posh punk poodle and Snowball, the insanely cute and also insane rabbit.

Reveal and Relish Pet Moments
Make the perfect match and unlock secret pet moments including releasing a flock of helpful (and beautiful) Parakeets or triggering an exciting tile-exploding Rainbow Ball.

Download The Secret Life of Pets: Unleashed for free* now on the App Store or on Google Play.

The Secret Life of Pets: Unleashed Launch Event in Los Angeles
Grab your pet and join us in real life at The Grove in Los Angeles on June 29th from 11 AM PST to 5 PM PST for a day of My Dog and Me Match 3 games, prizes and more.

For more information about The Secret Life of Pets: Unleashed, please, follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook.

*Network fees may apply.

About The Secret Life of Pets
For their fifth fully animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day.

Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Steve Coogan and Albert Brooks. Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio and Brian


About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets. EA has more than 300 million registered players around the world.

In fiscal year 2016, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $4.4 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for a portfolio of critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster brands such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, EA SPORTS™ FIFA, Battlefield™, Dragon Age™ and Plants vs. Zombies™. More information about EA is available at

EA SPORTS, The Sims, Dragon Age, Plants vs. Zombies and Battlefield are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. and its subsidiaries. John Madden, NFL and FIFA are the property of their respective owners and used with permission.

About Illumination Entertainment

lllumination Entertainment, founded by Chris Meledandri in 2007, is one of the entertainment industry’s leading producers of event animated films. Illumination, which has an exclusive financing and distribution partnership with Universal Pictures, is the creator of the hugely successful DESPICABLE ME franchise, which includes MINIONS, the second-highest-grossing animated film of all time as well as DESPICABLE ME 2, an Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature of 2013. In all, Illumination’s films, which also include 2011’s HOP and 2012’s Dr. Seuss’ THE LORAX, have grossed more than $3.2 billion in worldwide box-office revenues and feature some of the world’s most renowned talent. Upcoming films, in addition to THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS include SING, which arrives in theaters in December 2016, starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton and Tori Kelly; DESPICABLE ME 3, starring Steve Carell and Trey Parker which is set for June 2017; and a newly-imagined version of Dr. Seuss’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role of The Grinch , that is set for November 2018. In addition, Minion Rush (750 million downloads) has become one of the world’s most popular apps, and Minion Mayhem attracts huge crowds at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood.

About NBCUniversal Brand Development Group
NBCUniversal Brand Development (NBCUBD) drives expansion of the company’s intellectual properties, franchises, characters and stories through innovative physical and digital products, kids and family content, and consumer experiences globally. Along with franchise brand management, NBCUBD includes three lines of business: NBCUniversal Consumer Products, Universal Kids & Family Productions, and NBCUniversal Games and Digital Products. NBCUniversal Brand Development is a business segment of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, and part of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS: UNLEASHED, PETS UNLEASHED, THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Universal Studios.  © 2016 Universal Studios.  Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC.  All Rights Reserved.