Archives for January 15, 2020

Gazpacho, Jan. 16th Pet of the Week!

Gazpacho is as cool as the cucumbers in the Spanish-style soup of the same name! He’s an American guinea pig who’s full of pep and a little bit sneaky—he loves to play hide-and-seek! He’s the perfect pet for anyone who wants a little cuddly companion who’d rather spend his entire day looking adorable in someone’s home than at the shelter. Meet Gazpacho on the shelter side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A637591.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village.

Aquarium of The Pacific’s 17th Annual Festival of Human Abilities Features Performances and Art Classes for Everyone

Photo: Aquarium of the Pacific

At the Festival of Human Abilities, visitors can watch performances and learn unique adaptive skills taught by artists and other experts with disabilities. Featured at the festival are hip-hop wheelchair dancers, a sign language choir, a guitarist who is blind, and other inspiring performing artists. Along with these music and dance performances, the Aquarium will feature art demonstrations and displays by local artists with disabilities. Cody Unser will present adaptive SCUBA demonstrations to show that people of all abilities can enjoy this therapeutic sport.

A variety of free creative workshop classes will be held on site for Aquarium visitors, lasting thirty to forty-five minutes per session. Participants will have the opportunity to learn to sing in sign language, create wheelchair art, paint a hat, and try hip-hop wheelchair dancing. All major programming will have sign language interpreters for guests who are deaf, and the Aquarium will provide visitor guides in braille and audio tours for guests who are blind.

Guests who would like closed captioning to accompany the new multisensory film in the Honda Pacific Visions Theater can now use Moverio smart glasses provided by Epson. These glasses are launching during the Festival of Human Abilities. In addition, guests who are deaf or blind can request Ultraleap devices, which use ultrasound waves to create the sensation of touch in mid-air, for use in the Honda Pacific Visions Theater. Shapes and movements that correspond to the film will be felt on the hand of the person using this device. The smart glasses and Ultraleap devices can be checked out at the Aquarium’s Information Desk free of charge. 

WHEN:           Saturday and Sunday, January 25-26, 2020, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

WHERE:         Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium WayLong Beach, CA 90802 

COST:             Free to Aquarium members and included with general admission for the public

General admission: $34.95 adult (12+), $31.95 senior (62+), and $24.95 child (3-11)

SPONSOR:     

CourtyardMarriott logo.jpg

INFO:    (562) 590-3100 or http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/festival_of_human_abilities/

Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.

Underwater * Mixed Reviews by Our Reporters from Thrilled to Bored

A crew of aquatic researchers work to get to safety after an earthquake devastates their subterranean laboratory. But the crew has more than the ocean seabed to fear. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like this movie because it is a very thrilling film.  It’s a mix of drama, comedy and horror.  The whole film is filled with jump scares and excitement that kept me on the edge of my seat.”  Calista B. adds, “Underwater is under whelming! Despite trying to be scary, the only emotions I felt from this film were frustration and boredom. There is really not much to this movie and, what I do have to say is not good. Also, Underwater is a lack luster title for a movie. It’s like calling a movie set in space “In Space.” Will C. kicks in with, “Underwater is a fast-paced sci-fi thriller with a message about our planet. It’s basically Alien, but under the sea. There’s lots of blood and death and also some funny moments to lighten the mood. Underwater also reminds me a lot of The Meg, another deep-sea monster movie. What it lacks in originality, it mostly makes up through pure entertainment.” Leandro R. wraps it up with, “Underwater is a suspense filled movie that made me jump out of my seat. This movie has action and some scary scenes as well. Also, the sound effects make the jump scares even more shocking. There is a lot of emotion in this movie. The acting is amazing and the special effects are great.” See their full reviews below.

Underwater
By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 11

I like this movie because it is a very thrilling film.  It’s a mix of drama, comedy and horror.  The whole film is filled with jump scares and excitement that kept me on the edge of my seat.  

Underwater is about a drilling crew that lives in a facility all the way down in the Mariana Trench, which is located in the western Pacific Ocean.  The Mariana Trench is one of the deepest part of the ocean, basically like the Grand Canyon but in the ocean.  Suddenly the facility suffers a type of earthquake, which the crew thinks has happened.  Six survivors go through a difficult journey in order to get to the life pods and survive the catastrophe.  It happens that it was not an earthquake that destroyed the facility, it is a kind of sea creature that is too big and powerful for them to defeat.

My favorite part of Underwater is when the crew discovers a new life form.  It takes the crew and the audience by surprise.  The costumes are very creative.  They look like a heavy type of astronaut suit.  The graphics are incredible.  The underwater scenes look very realistic. A few scenes are too dark to figure out what is going on.  There is fowl language, blood and gore – perfect for horror fans.  The acting is perfect, especially Kristen Stewart (Nora) who keeps the audience in suspense. Vincent Cassel (the Captain) and T. J. Miller (crew member) are spectacular too.

The moral of this story is to know our limits and respect other living beings’ habitats.  Humans are very curious to know more or learn more, to the point that we cross the line and trespass other living beings’ homes.  It’s good to have more knowledge, but it is also good to know our limits.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 12 to 18, plus older adults.  People with bad hearts or epilepsy should not watch this movie. Underwater opens in theaters January 10, 2020.

Underwater

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

Underwater is underwhelming! Despite trying to be scary, the only emotions I felt from this film were frustration and boredom. There is really not much to this movie and, what I do have to say is not good. Also, Underwater is a lackluster title for a movie. It’s like calling a movie set in space “In Space.”

The story follows a group of underwater researchers as they’re attacked by mysterious creatures. That is really it. The story is pretty simple, yet the movie somehow feels super long. Towards the end, I was  begging for the credits to start rolling. However, that’s only where my problems start.

First, the film doesn’t establish anything. Barely a minute in, an explosion goes off and suddenly the main conflict is happening. Meanwhile, you’re confused because you don’t know who anyone is, why they’re underwater or what their goal is. This is such a huge issue because when the true danger arrives, you don’t care who lives or dies. You are not invested in these characters, so why you should care. The dialogue between the characters is also weak. If I had to guess why the film is like this, I’m going to assume the writers thought it would be scarier to throw you right into the action, but honestly, it does the opposite. At first, I thought the explosion scene was a dream, not only because it was so ridiculously sudden, but also because Norah, the main character, is just talking about dreaming for no particular reason.

That’s my biggest issue, but it’s certainly not the only problem. Another major issue is the “horror” in this horror movie. I hope you like jump scares, because that’s all you’ll get. I don’t like jump scares, not just because I’m jumpy, but also they’re incredibly cheap. They’re like the horror equivalent to tickling someone to make them laugh – it’s easy and simple but shouldn’t count.

While this could be considered a nitpick, this really bothered me and should be mentioned. When the crew members aren’t in these diving suits, they’re in nothing but their underwear. There is no reason for this and I don’t know why this is the case, other than the obvious excuse. But it’s really impractical. The research facility is filled with water, wouldn’t it be freezing?

I give this film 1 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Not a great start to the decade. It opens in theaters January 10, 2020.

Underwater

By Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Underwater is a fast-paced sci-fi thriller with a message about our planet. It’s basically Alien, but under the sea. There’s lots of blood and death and also some funny moments to lighten the mood. Underwater also reminds me a lot of The Meg, another deep-sea monster movie. What it lacks in originality, it mostly makes up through pure entertainment.

When a drilling station deep in the Pacific Ocean is damaged, a handful of survivors attempt a complicated plan that involves walking along the bottom of the ocean to escape pods. They quickly discover they are being hunted by an unknown creature from these unexplored depths.

The action starts very quickly, which makes it hard to care about the characters right away, but eventually there are some moments of character development. My favorite character, Paul (T.J. Miller) provides comic relief. I love how he carries around a stuffed bunny for comfort. I really like when the camera keeps turning to a first person perspective so it appears as if you’re looking through one of the character’s eyes. The best example of this is when Norah (Kristen Stewart) is looking around and suddenly we see two creepy eyes staring back at us through the darkness. As you would expect from a monster movie, the visual and sound effects are top notch. The lab sets are convincingly realistic and there’s some strong acting, especially from Vincent Cassel, who plays the captain.

Parents should watch out for the language and violence in this movie, both of which made me wonder why it’s not rated R. I have never before seen a movie where people both implode and explode like the graphic, gross and disturbing deaths in this film. Parents might also want to know that several characters end up running around in their underwear for no particular reason. The message of this film is that when we don’t respect our planet, there are consequences. Emily, played by Jessica Hanwick, sums up this moral when she says, “We’ve drilled too deep. We’ve taken too much. Now [the ocean’s] taking back.”

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 17, as well as adults. You can see Underwater in theaters everywhere starting January 10, 2020.

Underwater

Leandro R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Underwater is a suspense filled movie that made me jump out of my seat. This movie has action and some scary scenes as well. Also, the sound effects make the jump scares even more shocking. There is a lot of emotion in this movie. The acting is amazing and the special effects are great.

The storyline is about a crew of aquatic researchers trying to get to safety after an earthquake like experience at their underwater laboratory. There is a blood thirsty sea monster they worry about that follows the six surviving workers as they travel through the ocean trenches. They are 5,000 miles from land and seven miles below the ocean surface.

The acting in this movie is very good. Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of Norah is excellent. She puts so much effort and emotion in this role. T.J Miller’s role as Paul is a wonderfully comedic performance. I really like how he diffuses a serious or depressing scene with a joke. I love how scary the sea monster is and how its made. The cinematography is amazing. The underwater camera shots look so real.

This movie contains some mild profanity and some scary scenes. There are also some intense and gory scenes. It is appropriately rated PG-13.

I recommend this movie for ages 13 to 18 and adults might like it also. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. You can find this movie in theaters beginning January 10, 2020 so go watch it!