Elvis

By Heather Suarez, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Elvis is a movie everyone needs to see! One of the greatest biopics is finally here and it does not disappoint. Fans of all generations will love this film for years to come.

Elvis is told from the point of view of Colonel Parker (Tom Hanks) who used to be Elvis’s manager. He tells the story of how he met Elvis (Austin Butler) and how the singer took the world by storm. The film covers the years of Elvis’s life as a young adult until his passing.

This is an incredible and exciting film. From the opening scene until the credits roll, the movie is a roller coaster of emotions. Austin’s performance as the king of Rock n Roll is revolutionary. It’s impossible to take your eyes off of him. He truly becomes Elvis with his mannerisms and dancing. Austin’s performance is Oscar-worthy, just like the rest of the film. The movie humanizes Elvis, where audiences see him as more than just a performer. It’s heartbreaking to see how this larger-than-life legend never lived the life he wanted. The film unites both Elvis fans and non-enthusiasts by showing this icon in a never-before-seen profile. Following Elvis throughout his life and witnessing his love of music made me feel as if he’s been a friend of mine for years. Producer/Director/Writer, Baz Lurhmann delivers an incredible film and story here. It is completely engaging, has a perfect mix of modern music and Elvis classics, along with swapping between Elvis and the Colonel’s points of view. Archival elements such as newspaper headlines and comic book art are put to good use and the film ends with a video recording of Elvis’s last concert. The costumes are spectacular. The scene of Elvis’s Las Vegas residency wearing his iconic white suit is beautiful since it looks like the viewers are watching a live performance. This is one movie that you should watch in theaters to capture its greatness. The music blaring; Austin’s acting; and the cinematography should be experienced on the big screen.

Elvis offers several themes, but the most important one is to live the life you want to. Elvis’s mother warned him of living a life to please others and that he would eventually lose himself, which is exactly what happened. Elvis never lived his life for himself and, in the end, it consumed him.

I give Elvis 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. It premieres in theaters June 24, 2022.

Lightyear * Toy Story Fans And Fans of Action-Packed, Intergalactic Robot War Movies Will Not Want To Miss Lightyear

Legendary space ranger Buzz Lightyear embarks on an intergalactic adventure alongside ambitious recruits Izzy, Mo, Darby, and his robot companion, Sox. As this motley crew tackles their toughest mission yet, they must learn to work together as a team to escape the evil Zurg and his dutiful robot army that are never far behind.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tiana A. comments, “It’s time to go infinity and beyond with your favorite space ranger – Buzz Lightyear! Pixar and Disney bring Buzz like we’ve never seen him in his own animated film, Lightyear. It’s full of epic Buzz backstories, leg-snatching aliens, hilarious scenes and endless space adventures.”  Hanadie K. adds, “Lightyear unpacks the life story of the illustrious space ranger, Buzz Lightyear, while demonstrating how his unwavering devotion to humanity and love for space voyages ultimately make him a meta-galactic space hero.” Ashleigh C. wraps it up with, “Buzz Lightyear’s famous catchphrase, “To infinity … and beyond!” applies even more so in this film as he takes us through a whirlwind of emotions. There is the perfect mix of action, accurately timed comedy and dramatic plot twists.” See their full reviews below.

Lightyear
By Tiana Sirmans, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

It’s time to go infinity and beyond with your favorite space ranger – Buzz Lightyear! Pixar and Disney bring Buzz like we’ve never seen him in his own animated film, Lightyear. It’s full of epic Buzz backstories, leg-snatching aliens, hilarious scenes and endless space adventures.

Lightyear follows Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear (Chris Evans) as he travels to another planet. He spends years trying to return home but clashes with robots led by Zurg (James Brolin) who is trying to steal his fuel. After he attempts to make it off the planet he realizes every time he leaves it fast forwards time. After many failed attempts he ends up 100 years into the future along with a new companion robot cat named SOX (Peter Sohn). He meets a crew of people who end up trying to help him on his mission. Can Buzz make it off this planet?  

The main character, Buzz Lightyear, is from the iconic Toy Story franchise. Lightyear is joined by fellow space ranger Alisha Hawthrone (Uzo Aduba) and, eventually, her granddaughter, Izzy Hawthrone (KeKe Palmer) and, of course, Sox (Peter Sohn) the robot cat. Fans of the Toy Story films will love learning more about Buzz’s missions mentioned throughout the Toy Story films, such as his relationship and battles with Zurg. My favorite character in this film is Sox, because he is funny without even trying and his human-like characteristics are even funnier. There is a scene where Buzz is having a tough time clearing his mind and going to sleep. Sox demonstrates different options to help him sleep and eventually starts making “white noises” that sound more like hissing. It is hilarious.

The biggest message throughout Lightyear is that failure happens, and we must never give up on our goals. You never know when something will actually work out for you unless you keep trying. Lightyear also gives a great lesson about working together and not being afraid to ask for help when you need it most. You can accomplish more with a team, than by yourself.

I give Lightyear 4 out 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 8 to 18. Of course, adults will love it too. Toy Story fans will love getting to know Buzz’s story in this film. Lightyear travels into theaters June 17, 2022.

Lightyear

By Hanadie K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 11

Ever wonder how Toy Story‘s Buzz Lightyear came to be? Wait no longer. Disney and Pixar join forces to create a spectacular sci-fi action-adventure animated film that answers the burning question, who is Buzz Lightyear? Lightyear unpacks the life story of the illustrious space ranger, Buzz Lightyear, while demonstrating how his unwavering devotion to humanity and love for space voyages ultimately make him a meta-galactic space hero.

In the animated film, Lightyear, Buzz (Chris Evan) recruits eager scientists and space technicians, Izzy Hawthorne (Keke Palmer), Mo Morrison (Taika Waititi) and Darby (Dale Soules) along with his robot sidekick Sox (Peter Sohn) to join him on his quest to defeat the evil Zurg and his loyal robot army.

In this movie, Buzz Lightyear finds himself deserted on a hostile planet. Buzz cannot get his crew out of this foreign world and ultimately shoulders all the blame for this malfunction. However, he is persistent and refuses to abandon his assignment despite several failed attempts. While Buzz Lightyear devotes his life to this undertaking, his crew eventually decides to abort the mission and live their everyday lives. While this film’s storyline is captivating and nail-biting, the animation makes the film. Nearly 20 years after the release of Toy Story, Lightyear showcases the evolution of CGI animated films. Pixar transformed a timeless toy character into one with human characteristics and still makes the story believable.

The message of this film is one of resilience, tenacity and willpower. Buzz Lightyear never gives up on his dreams, despite being given every reason to quit. He fights until his final hour to overcome every obstacle thrown his way; still, he preserves. Lightyear also reminds us that if we do not reserve time to appreciate those around us, we may miss that opportunity. It’s important to note that the film shows a same-sex marriage and kissing that may be controversial.

I give Lightyear 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 14, plus adults. It is available in theaters June 17, 2022. If you are a die-hard Toy Story fan or love action-packed, intergalactic robot war movies, you will not want to miss Lightyear.

Lightyear
By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

Epic and intergalactic! Lightyear is the backstory we didn’t know we needed. Among all of Disney’s animated films released this year, Lightyear is my number one considering how unique it is.

Lightyear reveals the backstory of Buzz Lightyear, a Space Ranger, the character originally depicted as a toy action figure in the 1995 Pixar film Toy Story. Buzz Lightyear (Chris Evans) undertakes a mission to return the human race back home as they are currently on a foreign planet. However, he faces some challenges to do so, resulting in his need for a team. Will Buzz be able to finish the mission?

Buzz Lightyear’s famous catchphrase, “To infinity … and beyond!” applies even more so in this film as he takes us through a whirlwind of emotions. There is the perfect mix of action, accurately timed comedy and dramatic plot twists. Growing up watching the Toy Story series with Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), it took me awhile to grasp the voice of someone else playing this iconic voice. However, what makes this film incredible is that it captures an entirely new perspective on the character that we knew and loved. Lightyearalso uncovers many new doors. That being said, I can’t wait to see how Lightyear matures in new films and adventures. I highly recommend seeing this film in IMAX as much of the film is seen in space and there are many times the audience is enveloped as if they are in the space ship along with Buzz himself. This Pixar film is among the most diverse I have ever seen.

The message of the film is that our friends and family are our teammates throughout our greatest missions.

I give Lightyear 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters June 17, 2022. You won’t want to miss it!

Trailer:

Brian and Charles * All The Quintessential Elements Of A Perfect Friendship Film

Brian And Charles follows Brian, a lonely inventor in rural Wales, who spends his days building quirky, unconventional contraptions that seldom work. Undeterred by his lack of success, Brian attempts his biggest project yet. Three days, a washing machine, and various spare parts later, he’s invented Charles, an artificially intelligent robot who learns English from a dictionary and has an obsession with cabbages. What follows is a humorous and entirely heartwarming story about friendship, family, finding love, and letting go.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Hanadie K., comments, “Brian and Charles has all the quintessential elements of a perfect friendship film. Jim Archer makes his directorial feature debut in this quirky British comedy in which an eclectic cast does a spectacular job demonstrating the very real ebbs and flows of true companionship.” See her full review below.  

Brian and Charles

By Hanadie K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Brian and Charles has all the quintessential elements of a perfect friendship film. Jim Archer makes his directorial feature debut in this quirky British comedy in which an eclectic cast does a spectacular job demonstrating the very real ebbs and flows of true companionship. Despite some significantly low moments in their friendship, including an explosive argument, Brian and Charles remind us that true friendship never dies; it only strengthens through adversity.

Brian and Charles’ friendship has an unconventional origin. Brian (David Earl) is an isolated inventor in Wales who specializes in weird inventions. Despite his passion, his interventions often flop. Driven by depression and loneliness, Brian builds a robot using a washing machine and spare parts lying around his home. Charles is clunky yet charming. He is obsessed with cabbage, uses the dictionary to learn English, and loves socializing, dancing, and adventures.

In this film, Brian, played by David Earl, has finally invented the cure for his loneliness. What he doesn’t anticipate is that Charles, played by Chris Hayward, is much more of a free spirit than he is. Despite their dance parties, pillow fights, and mutual love for cabbage, Charles deeply desires to see the world, while Charles is content with a quaint and straightforward life in Wales. One of my favorite parts of the film was watching Charles dance in a hula skirt and beg to go to Honolulu. Their competing wishes ultimately become the source of tension in their friendship. While the film centers on Brian and Charles, Louise Brealey’s performance as Hazel, Brian’s love interest, is worth mentioning. Their awkward yet sweet interactions between her and Brian give the film comedic relief.

Brian and Charles reminds us that sometimes “friend” is actually another word for family, and sometimes loving someone means letting them go. Brian and Charles’ friendship survived heated disagreements, conflicting visions, and even a kidnapping. But, ultimately, they proved that the love would never fade no matter the distance between them.

I give Brian and Charles 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to18, plus adults. Brian and Charles  releases in theaters June 17, 2022.

The Villains of Valley View * Exciting And Hilarious New Sitcom With Super Powered Villains Taking Center Stage

When teenage supervillain Havoc stands up to the head of the League of Villains, her family is forced to change their identities and relocate to a sleepy Texas suburb.  With the help of her effervescent new neighbor Hartley, Havoc – going incognito as “Amy” – must somehow hide her superpowers and quell her villainous nature in favor of something she and the rest of her family have fought against all their lives: being normal.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Heather S., comments, “The Villains of Valley View is an exciting and hilarious new sitcom. Super powered villains take center stage in this show, sure to be a fan favorite. There is so much to love about The Villains of Valley View. This is the first sitcom to follow a family of villains instead of heroes. Every character is extremely complex and chaotic; however, the family balances each other out.” See her full review and talent interviews below.

The Villains of Valley View 

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The Villains of Valley View is an exciting and hilarious new sitcom. Super powered villains take center stage in this show, sure to be a fan favorite.

The seriesfollows the Madden family, a group of ex-super villains who are in hiding from other villains and superheroes. The family tries to blend in but the task proves to be harder than they expected. 

There is so much to love about The Villains of Valley View. This is the first sitcom to follow a family of villains instead of heroes. Every character is extremely complex and chaotic; however, the family balances each other out. Jake (Reed Hortsmann) is hilarious in the way that he’s the only family member who wants to be normal. Amy (Isabella Pappas) is a headstrong powerful girl who works for what she wants. She and Jake balance each other so well, considering they’re as opposite as possible. Amy’s friendship with next-door neighbor Hartley steals the show. Audiences can see themselves in both Amy and Hartley, and we’re left wanting more of their friendship. The chemistry between parents Eva and Vic is strong. We don’t know much about their history together but every so often there’s a heartwarming scene that gives insight about the relationship between them. Eva and Vic are the most unlikely couple the Disney Channel has ever had, and they’re quite possibly the best, too. There’s never a dull moment in The Villains of Valley View. 

Some of the messages in this series include things such as Amy teaching her friends and family that it’s okay to be yourself and that you don’t have to fit in to society’s norms. Amy owns who she is, her style and her villain background, and is completely unapologetic. Meanwhile, Hartley shows Amy that there’s always good in the world and to have a positive outlook on life. 

I give The Villains of Valley View 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 14. It premieres only on Disney Channel June 3, 2022. 

Super PupZ * Lighthearted, Fun, Family Friendly Series With The Cutest Dogs Imaginable

Four superpowered pups work as a pack to help their new kid pals – and a furry alien friend – in a cute and cuddly cosmic adventure. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Mikella G. comments, “Super PupZ is a lighthearted, fun series. The quality of the content in this series really stands out to me. Each episode grabs my attention, and goes by pretty quickly. Another thing I enjoy about this show is its strong concept which is interesting.” See her full review below.

Super PupZ

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Super PupZ is a lighthearted, fun series. It’s family friendly, and gives you a laugh here and there. Overall it’s an enjoyable show that is nice to relax to.


The show highlights four main dogs who each have extreme, unique abilities. They come from a company that wants to test on them, but luckily they are able to escape. However, the 5th smallest puppy is still stuck there. With the help of their newfound owners the four “pupz” must help the trapped puppy escape, and hopefully end the wrong-doings of these people in the meantime.


The quality of the content in this series really stands out to me. Each episode grabs my attention, and goes by pretty quickly. Another thing I enjoy about this show is its strong concept which is interesting. It is also something I have never seen done before, as far as the structure. In addition, the visuals are top-notch. The picture quality is very clear, and feels very fresh, and the storyline is engaging. Lastly, even though the series is very kid friendly, it’s still very entertaining for all ages. This is important because it exposes young minds to good entertainment. Plus, it creates a strong family dynamic because parents are more likely to want to watch TV with their kids when it’s about something that could also interest them.


The message of Super PupZ is that doing the right thing will always win in the end.

I give Super PupZ 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 12. You can watch Super Pupz now on Netflix.

Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion * Excellent New Show Merging Culture And Crime Fighting & Will Leave You Wanting To Become A Superhero Yourself

Violet Rodriguez, an everyday Mexican American teen, who is chosen by a magical luchador mask which transforms her into Ultra Violet, a superhero fighting crime alongside her luchador uncle, Cruz, also known as Black Scorpion. Although Cruz takes Violet under his wing to teach her the responsibilities of her special powers, she doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with him when it comes to his methods for capturing crooks.  In the meantime, she must keep her superhero identity secret from her parents and her older brother Santiago (“Tiago”), as well as her friends and schoolmates. However, she does lean on one close confidante: her best friend Maya Miller-Martinez, who provides advice and assists with documenting Ultra Violet’s adventures on social media.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Heather S. comments, “Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion is an excellent new show! Merging culture and crime fighting, this series gives us two new characters to love. This series will leave you wanting to become a superhero yourself.” See her full review and talent interviews below.

Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion 

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion is an excellent new show! Merging culture and crime fighting, this series gives us two new characters to love. This series will leave you wanting to become a superhero yourself. 

Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion follows Violet (Scarlet Estevez), a teenaged girl who is gifted with the power of super speed. She finds a luchador mask, and it chooses her to become a superhero by giving her powers. When Violet takes on the alter ego of Ultra Violet, soon she finds out that her Uncle Cruz (J.R. Villarreal) is a famous superhero, as well, named Black Scorpion. They team up and soon they’re family by day and crime fighters by night. 

This show is super exciting. The creators of the show merge Mexican culture and super heroes perfectly. Both heroes don their own luchador masks, and their costumes resemble those of professional luchadores. Throughout the show there’s so much representation for Mexican families, not only in their foods and customs, but in their familial values as well. Scarlet struggles to shine in her own family and often feels like she can’t do anything right. She represents so many teens who don’t know how to find their place in the world. She grows into her own and learns how to fight villains, take control of her new powers, and how to take control of her own life. One of the spectacular things about this show is the relationship between Uncle Cruz and Violet. He cares for her and tries to keep her out of the superhero world, but she’s determined to be her own hero. As they train together, they remind so many of us of our own family members and relationships with our uncles or nieces. Both actors make it seem as though they really are family.

The message of Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion is demonstrated through its themes. Throughout the course of the show Violet not only proves to her family but also to herself that she’s capable of being a superhero. She learns to be more confident and also learns that when you stumble you pick yourself up and move on. She realizes the power of family and what it truly means to be a hero responsible for saving lives. 

I give Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 14. It premieres on Disney Channel June 3, 2022 and on Disney+ June 22

Jurassic World Dominion * Action-Packed Film Filled With Great Comedy And Strong Actor Performances

This summer, experience the epic conclusion to the Jurassic era as two generations unite for the first time. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are joined by Oscar®-winner Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill in Jurassic World Dominion, a bold, timely and breathtaking new adventure that spans the globe. From Jurassic World architect and director Colin Trevorrow, Dominion takes place four years after Isla Nublar has been destroyed. Dinosaurs now live–and hunt–alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history’s most fearsome creatures.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “Jurassic World Dominion is an action-packed film filled with great comedy and strong actor performances. I also liked how they brought characters from Jurassic Park and World together into one movie.” Tiana S. adds,” Bigger and scarier dinosaurs, heart-pounding sound effects, and plot twists mixed with plenty of adventures are just what you can expect from Jurassic World Dominion! From the beginning to the end of the movie, there are tons of action-packed scenes to keep you literally jumping for more.” Benjamin P. wraps it up with, “The world of Jurassic Park roars back to life with Jurassic World Dominion, a long, spectacle-driven, dino-filled movie  — at times messy and confusing and good reminder of how this film doesn’t quite live up to Jurassic films of the past.” See their full reviews below.

Jurassic World Dominion
Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13


Jurassic World Dominion is an action-packed film filled with great comedy and strong actor performances. I also liked how they brought characters from Jurassic Park and World together into one movie. In this version, humans and all animals learn to adapt to sharing the planet with all species of dinosaurs. 

Continuing from the Jurassic Park, and now World series, this movie is about how Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong) makes a huge mistake when he and Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott) of Biosyn, try to engineer locust bugs designed to eat all the wheat crops, except for Biosyn crops, so they can control the food source. The problem is these giant bugs multiply out of control and threaten to eat all the human’s source of food. You might remember Dodgson from the first Jurassic Park movie, where he was trying to buy dinosaur embryos from an Ingen programmer named Dennis Nedry. The famous Barbasol can with a secret embryo compartment makes a cameo in this film as well. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Alan Grant (Sam Neill) work together again to stop this madness by exposing their plan. While this is happening, Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) is being hunted down to be studied at the same lab.


The graphics are exciting and just as good as the CGI. My favorite part is when Dr. Ian Malcom (Jeff Goldblum) throws a stick on fire at the T-rex to stop it from eating him. The scene is so realistic and is even better when he starts blowing out fire from his mouth! In comparison with the previous Jurassic Park movies, this film has extraordinary effects. The music is appealing for each scene and the story line is engaging, even though it was a bit predictable. The actors performed their characters very well.

The moral of Jurassic World Dominion is to respect nature and to adapt to changes—we see that message where InGen and Biosyn took dinosaurs for granted when using them to experiment and to try to make money.

I give Jurassic World Dominion 5 out of 5 stars for the finale of this great series of movies. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Jurassic World Dominion is available in all theatres starting on June 10, 2022.

Jurassic World Dominion
By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST Film Critic, age 11

Bigger and scarier dinosaurs, heart-pounding sound effects, and plot twists mixed with plenty of adventures are just what you can expect from Jurassic World Dominion! From the beginning to the end of the movie, there are tons of action-packed scenes to keep you literally jumping for more. Fans of the Jurassic Park franchise will not be disappointed.   

Jurassic World Dominion centers around two different storylines. On one hand, Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), a teenager, who happens to be a clone of her biological mother, is kidnapped and taken to a company called Biosyn to become a science experiment so scientists can learn how her biological mother created her. On the other hand, her parents, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), set out on an adventure to rescue her. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) is suspicious of the works of Biosyn and its animal experiments, as well as its attempt to take over the food chain. She brings in Alan Grant (Sam Neill) to help her stop Biosyn from taking over. The two storylines eventually combine for one suspenseful adventure that happens to take place all while dinosaurs are threatening the characters’ existence.  

The main characters in this film are Maisie, Claire, Owen, Alan, Ellie, and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). There are references and character appearances from other movies in the Jurassic Park franchise. I enjoyed seeing how characters from different parts of the film join together to save Maisie and end up trying to save each other and become a family while working together. There are some funny scenes throughout the film, and I loved seeing the characters communicating with the dinosaurs and even making them promises. The movie takes you on an emotional rollercoaster as you root for the good guys to not only survive but to win.

This film touches on family and whether or not dinosaurs and humans can co-exist. You’ll have to watch the movie to find out. While I highly enjoyed Jurassic World Dominion, this film may not be suitable for people who have certain fears/anxieties or even suffer from PTSD. Parents should look out for scenes with extreme violence, gory deaths, and loads of jump scares. 

I give Jurassic World Dominion 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This film roars into theaters on June 10, 2022.

Jurassic World Dominion

By Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

The world of Jurassic Park roars back to life with Jurassic World Dominion, a long, spectacle-driven, dino-filled movie  — at times messy and confusing and good reminder of how this film doesn’t quite live up to Jurassic films of the past.

After the conclusion of the last movie, dinosaurs are now roaming the globe, largely un-checked and causing mayhem as humans and dinos learn they make bad companions. Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) live a humble existence, each adapting to this ecological shockwave in their own way. They’re raising a young girl, who wants more freedom from her protective family unit. She has to live in hiding because her genes may or may not be the key to figuring out how this dinosaur fiasco could help cure diseases and be the key to saving lives. She’s taken and suddenly, Owen and Claire find themselves heading out into this uncertain world of humans and dinosaurs in search of her whereabouts. They’ll need help from a paleontologist named Alan Grant (Sam Neill), a scientist named Ellie Satler (Laura Dern) and a mathematician named Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), who we haven’t seen together since the first Jurassic Park back in 1993.

With a set-up as game-changing as the one set up by the end of the last Jurassic World movie—and the return of the original cast—the pieces seemed to be in place for this to be a home run. Unfortunately, the return of Goldblum, Neill and Dern feels dropped into the plot machinations of the Jurassic World series to attempt to fittingly close out this 6-movie journey. Yet nothing happens to them that changes their characters in any substantial way and while it’s great to have them back, their return lacks purpose within the story of Jurassic World Dominion.

The performances of the old favorites, Laura Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum worked better for me than those of the newbies Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. There’s a tender encounter between Dern and a baby dinosaur that was really affecting—every emotion on her face feels pure and honest. She’s just as compelling in that moment as she is letting out a scream as locusts swarm around her. Sam Neill’s gruffness and grumbly demeanor still makes him a nice foil to Ian Malcom, and Jeff Goldblum feels right at home as Ian. He walks into this movie like a rock star, holding the attention of an auditorium full of enthralled listeners as he lectures in a black leather jacket. I’ll admit, it’s plenty of fun to see the original trio interact with the new Jurassic crew, comparing notes on their adventures and butting heads, but be warned, they don’t run into each other until almost two hours in.

The lesson of Jurassic World Dominion is elusive. At first, it seeks the answer to whether or not we can handle the consequences of what we do to the natural world. However, then, there’s a thread about parenthood that never gets fully developed. Indicative of Jurassic World Dominion’s greatest flaw, the ultimate point of this movie never explicitly reveals itself.  There is some mild violence, as well as some frightening sequences and frequent terror.

I give Jurassic World Dominion 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults.  Jurassic World Dominion stomps into theaters June 10, 2022.

Book of the week!

“The book details the mishaps and misadventures of a lively young boy and his untold grievances. It is more of a family-read. It is my hope that children and their parents will enjoy these tales—ones that are filled with suspense, humor, and a trove of teachable moments, even for parents. They get to hear the unsaid in the most uncensored form. It gives parents an insight of what’s going on in their children’s mind and also how they feel about various issues shaping their daily life. I envision families flipping through the pages together and laughing at the funny anecdotes.”~Humairah Shah

I found this to be a fun book to read and I highly recommend it!

You can purchase the book here.

Here is a very helpful video about taking your baby to the dentist! I wish I had seen this when my son was a baby.

Self Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book to facilitate this post.