Browsing articles tagged with "movies - kidsmediacentre"

Superheroes Aren’t for Kids Anymore

Apr 14, 2017   //   by   //   Community Blog  //  Comments Off on Superheroes Aren’t for Kids Anymore

Every kid grows up idolizing a superhero. For me it was Batman. I was in love with the city that he lives to protect–––Gotham, his trusty sidekick–––Robin, and even the villains he faced, my favourite being The Joker. Most of all I loved the fact that Batman was so relatable. He had no otherworldly powers whatsoever, just his brain, his billions and his brute strength. I thought that if Batman could defeat some nasty people with no real help, anyone has the potential to as well.

It’s obvious that not only Batman, but superheroes in general had a large impact on my life from childhood. Now though, as I enjoy the new movies and TV shows based on superheroes that come out–––I can’t help thinking about how hard it will be to introduce my potential children to them. It continuously crosses my mind how the market of superheroes for children is declining.

Those of us who read Batman, Superman and Avengers comics are no doubt stoked about the movies. Everyone wants to see something they love created in a different media. Though with children, what do they have to look forward to? The cinematic industry is always growing, always changing, and now they are shameless with their Rated R explicit superhero remakes.

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Seth reviews The Martian

Dec 23, 2015   //   by Seth   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Seth reviews The Martian

Aside from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I was not really exited for any other movies this year. Therefore when I decided to go see The Martian on a whim, I was very much surprised by just how thoughtful and well crafted this movie is.

The Martian follows the story of the Ares 3 team on Mars, until a Martian dust storm forces the team to abort their mission. However a piece of the satellite communications radar breaks off and impales astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon), and presumed dead by his crew, they depart without him. Little do they know however, that Watney survived, and stranded on the barren wasteland that is Mars, he must use his knowledge as a botanist to survive until rescue. Once the team at NASA discovers he is alive (courtesy of satellite imagery), they immediately plan a rescue mission. The story hinges on the theme of survival against all odds.

At the forefront of the film is leading showman Matt Damon, with the terribly difficult role of playing Mark Watney. However, he pulls it off with flying colours. Throughout most of the film Matt Damon is alone on set, and he is about 75% of the film. Damon manages to play the perfect balance between botanist and survivor that the role so desperately relies on. This never sets him back and he delivers an unparalleled performance that carries the film all the way through.

The rest of the Ares 3 Team (Jessica Chastain, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, and Sebastian Stan), give very strong performances as well. There is one scene where the crew finds out Watney is alive, and Jessica Chastain delivers a very strong performance in this scene to help drive the emotions. Some other good performances come from the team at NASA (Sean Bean, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, Mackenzie Davis, and many more), who help carry the plot when Matt Damon is not around. The plot can drag on a bit as the film makers tried to flesh out every character. That being said, the filmmakers did a phenomenal job at characterizing and fleshing-out all of the characters, including the supporting characters, as they all have their own important roles and all get their time to shine in the film.

Another thing that should be mentioned are the visual effects. The film opens with a breathtaking pan of the barren planet Mars and sets the bar for what this film will accomplish. The entire film is visually amazing. Mars looks fantastic and the Hermes (the Ares 3 space ship/station) all look very real and awesome. The film really has a realistic feel where the video journal entries Watney logs look very real, and the technology also looks very advanced from our current day and age but at the same time, it still looks like it would actually function, and may not be to far from what we can accomplish today. Ridley Scott should be commended for his work.

The film is also very scientifically accurate with formulas and other details accurate to the information from NASA. After doing some research, everything follows the science on Mars. It is nice to see the filmmakers put so much attention into details. The only thing is that the dust storm at the beginning of the film was over-exaggerated and would not have done nearly as much damage as it did.

If you have read the book (like I have), you will be pleased to hear the film is an excellent adaptation of Andy Weir’s The Martian. Entire scenes and lines, word for word, are taken from the book, with the plot very closely following that of the book’s, without many deviations. The movie also manages to retain the book’s signature sense of humor, from the video journal entries where Watney talks to himself, to the awesome one-liners and more. I was very surprised that this movie is so faithful to the book it is based on.

The Martian is a must see film of 2015, it is also one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I have seen in a long time. It has phenomenal pacing with fully fleshed out characters, it is a fantastic adaptation of the book as well. This movie is phenomenal.

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Jolie checks out Jem and the Holograms

Dec 16, 2015   //   by Jolie   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Jolie checks out Jem and the Holograms

Check this out:

Check out the movie Jem and the Holograms.

Recently, my friend and I went to the premiere of the Jem and the Holograms movie.  My dad’s friend got us passes to the see the movie before it was even released at the theaters!  It was really exciting to get the chance to see it before anyone else.

This is a story about a shy girl named Jerrica.  She loves to sing and play the guitar, but not in front of other people.  Since her parents passed away when she was a little girl, she lives with her aunt, her sister and her two cousins, who she also considers sisters.

One day, she records a video of herself singing, but then right away tries to delete the video, which she thought she did.  But her sister finds the video and secretly uploads it to the Internet and Jerrica becomes ‘Internet famous’ under a secret identity by the name of Jem.

Jem got contacted by a recording studio in LA and she decides to join them, along with her three sisters who perform with her.  She goes to LA and brings along the robot that her dad made for her before he passed away.  That night, the robot comes alive and starts beeping and flashing its lights.  The robot gives the girls a clue to find parts that are missing from him – almost like a scavenger hunt.  This starts Jem down a road of making decisions regarding her family, friends and music.

I won’t give it all away here – it is worth checking it out!

Jem and Holograms is a sad, cute, adventurous and an awesome movie – all rolled into one.

Is it entertaining, educational or a little of both?

It’s mainly entertaining, but there is a little bit of education mixed in!  It tells you how it is okay to be yourself.

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Zach reviews Ant-Man

Sep 14, 2015   //   by Zach   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Zach reviews Ant-Man
Ant-Man movie poster

Ant-Man

Ant-Man was a relatively good movie. It was action-packed, comedic and well-scripted. Like the recent Marvel movies, it’s focussed on the main character — Scott Lang in this case — who is focussed on discovering his new-found powers and beating the “bad guy”. Predictably, the  good guys win and the bad guys lose.

Hank Pym was forced out of his own company by his former protégé, Darren Cross. To get even, Hank recruits the talents of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a master thief who just served the last year in prison. Lang is trained by Hank and armed with a suit that allows him to shrink to a size of an ant, control an army of ants, and even better, Lang boasts superhuman strength. He becomes Ant-Man. He then learns his enemy Darren Cross is developing a suit called “the Yellowjacket,” possessing the same powers that he does. Ant-Man must use his new skill s to prevent Cross from using the Yellowjacket for evil.

The casting for Ant-Man was very well done, Scott Lang, as a character, is no doubt inspired by Tony Stark of Iron Man fame. They’re both funny, quick witted and entertaining to watch. So choosing comedian and actor Paul Rudd to play Scott was a stroke of genius. The whole movie is very funny and entertaining.  In the theatre where I saw Ant-Man there were scenes that actually left the audience clapping in amazement. To say the least, this movie is a great blend of action and comedy.

But even though there are a ton of upsides to Ant-Man, there are some disappointments. For example, if you compare the plots from this movie and The Amazing Spider-Man (2012 installment) you’ll notice they’re pretty much the same. For example, both Ant-Man and Spider-Man “obtained” their powers in some sort of science lab. Then  there’s a training montage in both movies, followed by the realization they face significant danger from their enemies. Predictably the movie moves towards the climax in a big one-on-one fight scene between the bad guy and the good guy. As the fight concludes both characters lose someone close to them, making the viewer feel sad. As you can see, Ant-Man is yet another one of Marvel’s cliché movies.

But all in all, it’s a not a bad movie. Ant-Man is definitely one of the better movies Marvel has produced. Considering all the superhero movies Marvel is making, it is probably a must-see film of 2015.

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Denton checks out Inside Out

Jul 22, 2015   //   by Denton   //   Age 16-19, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Denton checks out Inside Out
Inside Out movie poster

Inside Out

Pixar Studios has the reputation of being one of the greatest animation studios in the world. It’s no wonder as they’ve won countless awards for their works. In 2009, Pixar released Up , which scored critical acclaim from reviewers. Its opening scene was also noted for being particularly poignant and moving.

Directed by Pete Docter, Inside Out premiered June 19, 2015, around the world and, despite competing against Jurassic World, it proceeded to earn $90.4 million on its opening weekend. This broke the record for highest opening for an original title!

In Inside Out, a girl named Riley is born. Not long after, a cast of five emotions, Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger take up residence in Headquarters which is where her consciousness exists. When Riley is forced to move away from her hometown in Minnesota to a dingy home in San Francisco, things start going wrong. Meanwhile, Joy and Sadness are whisked away and nowhere to be found at Headquarters. It’s up to all of Riley’s emotions to find their way before it’s too late!

The voice work of the film was done by many talented artists. Joy was voiced by Amy Poehler, Sadness by Phyllis Smith, Fear by Bill Hader, Anger by Lewis Black and Mindy Kaling as Disgust. In addition to the emotions, Bing Bong, which is Riley’s imaginary friend, is voiced by Richard Kind and Riley is voiced by Kaitlyn Dias. Since Inside Out is an animated feature, the voicing of the film is critical in ensuring that the atmosphere and emotion is properly delivered to the audience. To say that they did anything but that would be a lie. The film would simply not have had the emotional impact if it were not for the soulful performances put on by these voice actors. As a result, the voice work in Inside Out is simply phenomenal.

From the film score to the animation, everything is simply perfect in Inside Out. Michael Giacchino, who also scored Up and Jurassic World , composed the music for this film as well. The soundtrack of the film is almost as poignant as the story itself. Giacchino manages to write a score which encompasses all of the moods and themes of whatever is on screen. His music sets the whole atmosphere of the film and is an essential component of the film’s ability to move audiences. Not only that but Pixar is known for their quality when it comes to animation and this film is no exception. The scenes and characters are all drawn and animated with the greatest attention to detail. Careful re-watchings will reveal clever elements hidden that you may not even notice the first time through! Overall, the attention to detail in the execution of this film makes Inside Out an excellent production.

The storyline for this movie is wonderfully original. It is not often that a major feature has such originality but this film has managed to do that. Inside Out is equal parts humour, wit, thought-provoking and touching. Don’t let the cute characters and funny trailers fool you; even though this movie certainly has its share of tastefully timed humour, it is an emotional roller coaster. Be prepared to leave the theatre with moist eyes as this feature will tug on your heartstrings. Not only that but it is also chock full of brilliant metaphor possibly on par with that of Shakespeare. Multiple viewings will be necessary to catch all of the nuances of the piece. Inside Out is a brilliantly composed story and its imaginative plotline will touch your heart.

One of the best films released all year, Inside Out is a family film released by Pixar Studios. Don’t let the fact that it is a family Pixar flick fool you, though. It has something to offer for the entire family, whether you are nine, ninety-nine or anywhere in between! This film will make you laugh, make you think and it might even make you cry. Inside Out is absolutely a must-see this summer!

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Relating the Real to the Technological: Does Media Entertainment Teach Us About History?

Dec 15, 2014   //   by   //   Community Blog  //  Comments Off on Relating the Real to the Technological: Does Media Entertainment Teach Us About History?

With Remembrance Day now over, I was thinking about the First World War (1914-1918).

Apparently it’s hard for people to remember the events of the war when they aren’t even sure when it started. A recent British survey cited in a Daily Mail article shows that “nearly two-thirds of young people were unable to say that the First World War ended in 1918” and “54 per cent of the same age range, 16-24, also did not know the war began in 1914.”

So why do youth know so little about this war? How many other famous and influential historical events do they know little about? I doubt I am able answer these questions, but I hope to give a rough idea of the role the media plays in how much young people know about history.

Assassin's Creed; Revelations

Assassin’s Creed; Revelations

Many video games and movies include historical settings and characters. A man referenced in Assassins Creed, Hassan-i Sabbah, really did establish one of the first assassin groups during the first crusade (starting in the 1100s). Assassins were chosen by Sabbah to influence and sometimes kill enemy leaders. In the game, assassins always seek to kill the enemy, while historical facts show that sometimes scare tactics were used so killing didn’t have to take place. For example, a Muslim leader once awoke to find a knife and a note beside his pillow that roughly said that he would be killed if he attacked the group of assassins. Of course, these differences aren’t too terribly surprising because the game is historical fiction.

Disney has released many movies based on historical figures, including Pocahontas and Mulan. In the movie, Pocahontas chooses to say when John Smith leaves. Historically, however, she traveled to England and married John Smith but died soon after. Another interesting fact about the story of Pocahontas is that she was, in fact, the daughter of the chief of her tribe, but she was not the rebellious heroine portrayed by Disney. She didn’t rebel against her father’s wish to kill John Smith; in fact she was asked to make the decision and she chose to let him live.

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Media offers a world of entertainment and learning possibilities for children and youth. The kidsmediacentre explores kids' media futures and is committed to supporting cross-platform content producers in Canada to ensure the kids' media industry is vibrant, indigenous and committed to the healthy growth of children.

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