Archives for April 2, 2024

Renegade Nell * A Thrilling Action Series With A Twist Of Magic, Fast-Paced Fight Scenes, Mysterious Rituals, And Fantastical Creatures

England, 1705: Nell Jackson returns from war to her family in Tottenham. Aided by plucky sprite Billy Blind, who gives her fighting superpowers, Nell takes on the local landowner’s bullying son Thomas Blancheford but finds herself framed for murder. Forced on the run with her sisters Roxy and George, Nell becomes a highwaywoman. But as word of Nell’s extraordinary power spreads, she attracts the attention of the sinister Earl of Poynton who is hatching a magical plot against the Queen of England. Set on a collision course with Poynton, Nell, and Billy realize that her quest for justice stretches further than she ever imagined and that in order to clear her name, Nell first has to defeat Poynton and save the country.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Avalon N. comments, “Renegade Nell is an impressive and captivating show that takes you back in time with a new twist to it.” Ella S. adds, “Renegade Nell is a thrilling action series with a twist of magic! It is full of fast-paced fight scenes, mysterious rituals, and bizarre fantastical creatures. I especially love the character design and physical combat!” See their full reviews below

Renegade Nell

By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Renegade Nell is an impressive and captivating show that takes you back in time with a new twist to it.


Nell Jackson (Louisa Harland) has just come back from the dead when she suddenly finds herself being framed for murder and accidentally becomes the most dangerous criminal in all of the 18th century. As she tries to prove herself innocent she meets a magical spirit called Billy Blind (Nick Mohammed) and realizes just how important she is.

The female lead is one of the coolest parts of the show which is set in the 1800s. Nell Jackson is a unique and innovative role that pulls the attention of viewers. It is quite hard to create a female character that has a truly interesting and large role due to the restriction on gender roles during that time period. Another amazing part of this show is the plot, which isn’t particularly unique except that the way it plays out allows the show to rise above others with similar plots. That keeps everything fresh and interesting. For example, Nell is an incredibly strong woman and is able to beat up many men without being caught. The cinematography is also outstanding; using visual and lighting effects that keep it looking like everything takes place in the 1800s. The show uses lots of dim lighting settings to portray the lack of proper lighting and keeps the screen from looking too modern.

The show’s message is be careful with your actions and don’t give up when things get rough.


I give Renegade Nell 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. You can watch this TV series on Disney+ starting March 29 2024.

Renegade Nell
By Ella Solano, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15


Renegade Nell is a thrilling action series with a twist of magic! It is full of fast-paced fight scenes, mysterious rituals, and bizarre fantastical creatures. I especially love the character design and physical combat!

Set in 18th century England, Renegade Nell follows Nell Jackson (Louisa Harland), a quick-witted and adventurous woman with a special talent for battle. Nell returns to her home after a year of being presumed dead, and she expects nothing short of a warm welcome, but she quickly finds herself as England’s most famous outlaw, framed for the murder of Lord Blancheford (Pip Torrens). All of a sudden, Nell and her sisters (Bo Bragason, Florence Keen) are runaways and must go into hiding and remain incognito while fending for themselves.

One thing I love about Renegade Nell is how the scenes move very fast, disguising the fact that the show’s storyline moves relatively slowly. In the blink of an eye, a peaceful tea party can crumble into utter disaster and a fight can break out, which keeps the audience engaged. However, important plot points take longer to unfold, such as the truth about the Earl of Poynton (Adrian Lester) and the real reason Sofia (Alice Kremelberg) protected Thomas (Jake Dunn) from the police. I also like the fact that every character has a backstory, no matter how minor, and they contribute to the main events of the show. For example, Rasselas (Enyi Okworonko), the servant, has a secret relationship with a main character, and Sofia, originally portrayed as a compliant bystander, eventually emerges as an essential character with her own fiery personality – and she leads the investigation against Nell. The show even displays the backstory of the antagonist, which is a rarity. Renegade Nell is the first show that has made me want to root for the bad guys. The show takes its time to develop, but it gradually reveals a detailed network of connections between all the characters’ separate stories. I love the character of Billy Blind (Nick Mohammed), a goofy fairy who brings necessary comic relief to heavier scenes. This combination of humor, action and solemnity makes the show well-rounded.

Renegade Nell reminds us that if you want something, you shouldn’t wait for it to come to you. Reach for it and don’t take no for an answer. Nell’s inspiring self-defense skills also reminded me to stand up for myself and fight for what I believe in.

I give Renegade Nell 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. The first season releases exclusively to Disney Plus on March 29, 2024.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire * So Much Fun! New And Old Ghostbusters Team Up To Battle An Ancient Demon Wanting To Freeze Manhattan

In Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, the Spengler family returns to where it all started – the iconic New York City firehouse – to team up with the original Ghostbusters, who’ve developed a top-secret research lab to take busting ghosts to the next level. But when the discovery of an ancient artifact unleashes an army of ghosts that casts a death chill upon the city, Ghostbusters new and old must join forces to protect their home and save the world from a second Ice Age.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Connor S. comments, “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is so much fun! This time, new and old Ghostbusters team up to battle an ancient demon that wants to freeze Manhattan. The special effects are mind-blowing, especially when they’re chasing the icy ghosts.” Sydney S. adds, “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire works as an extension of the adventures of the Ghostbusters. It has a developing plot that surprised me since it’s pretty creative. However, it’s not something to call “out of this world.” See their full reviews below.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire 

By Connor S. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is the second movie in the franchise and it is so much fun! This time, new and old Ghostbusters team up to battle an ancient demon that wants to freeze Manhattan. The special effects are mind-blowing, especially when they’re chasing the icy ghosts. Also, this movie is really funny and features cool new ghostbusting gadgets and special appearances by some of the original cast members.

The film is set in New York City where Phoebe Spenglar (Mckenna Grace) and her family have moved, and they are busting ghosts in the original firehouse. Ray Stantz (Dan Ackroyd) runs an occult book and antique shop. When Ray buys a strange, ancient orb that contains a dangerous and ancient spirit, the two stories collide and the old and new Ghostbusters team up to save the city.

There are a ton of great things in this movie. The CGI ghosts and scenes of frozen New York City are amazing and very creative. The story is really fun because of many unexpected twists, new ghostly friends and lots of comedy. One of my favorite things about this film is that many of the original characters make appearances like when Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) tests out some new ghost-catching gadgets from his secret lab.

The film’s message is that it’s important to work together to overcome challenges and that family can give us strength and the ability to be brave. Viewers should know it has scary moments, and that there is some light swearing.

I give Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can see it in theaters on Friday, March 22, 2024.


Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

By Sydney S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire works as an extension of the adventures of the Ghostbusters. It has a developing plot that surprised me since it’s pretty creative. However, it’s not something to call “out of this world.”

This film follows the Spenglers who reunite with beloved former Ghostbusters to fight an ancient icy evil that threatens all of humanity. Will their skills match up to this cold villain, or will they all freeze to death?


The main characters are Phoebe (Mckenna Grace), Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), Mr. Grooerson (Paul Rudd), Callie (Carrie Coon), Ray (Dan Aykroyd), Winston (Ernie Hudson, Lucky (Celeste O’Connor), Podcast (Logan Kim), Janine (Annie Potts), and Venkman (Bill Murray). It’s interesting to see the new and old Ghostbusters collaborate to fight Garraka, the ancient ice god. This film offers a reunion the fans have wanted, and the filmmakers responded to that. I recommend watching the previous Ghostbusters movies. However, keep in mind that the original Ghostbusters do not have much involvement in this film — they are merely there to watch, which is extremely disappointing. During the ending fight scene, they just stand there. On the other hand, the plot is engaging and I never found myself bored during the film. It starts off with the Spengler family on a mission to capture a ghost. Therefore, it has a quick start as it kicks into the storyline. I do not care for the direction of this movie. It feels off. For example, when the ghost betrays Phoebe it happens all of a sudden, without much context, especially since the two of them don’t have that much of a bond. Also, the characters don’t really stand out from each other, besides barely knowing their backstories. I also did not like the special effects. They could be playing homage to the original movies, but the special effects of the ghosts are not realistic in any way. On a higher note, my favorite parts of the film are the mini Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men. They are adorable and hilarious. If you remember, in the original film the marshmallow man is huge. Also, the character Nadeem is extremely amusing. He is supposed to be the Fireman that saves them all from Garraka, which is a great addition to the storyline. That’s something new I like about the movie because they don’t stick with just ghosts, which gets boring after a few movies. In the end, the film makes a good addition to the adventures of the Ghostbusters, but it isn’t something to rave about or call extraordinary.


The film’s message is that family matters most. Phoebe is banned from Ghostbusting and she gets into more trouble later on. However, in the end, her and her parents forgive each other because they realize the importance of family. You should be aware there are mature conversations and violence in the film, with a hint of profanity.


I give Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire releases in theaters March 22, 2024.  Trailer: