Wonder Woman (2017)

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Wonder Woman is the origin story of Diana, a princess of the Amazons and trained warrior. The characters, story, and tone show a huge improvement over previous DCEU ventures, this time around there is hope, curiosity, and wonder as well as a much-needed lack of brooding characters and desaturated colors. I’m finding that the plentiful use of slow-mo during fight scenes is splitting audiences a bit, I personally think it was put to good use. My two complaints with Wonder Woman are both related to the final battle sequence, there is a bit too much CGI and the main theme suddenly disappears from the score right before the sequence begins. Overall though, Wonder Woman is a pretty great superhero movie that could have easily gone wrong and instead is a milestone not only for the DCEU, but female-lead comic book films.

Video Game Review: The Legend of Zelda – Breath of the Wild (2017)

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UNMISSABLE

The Legend of Zelda – Breath of the Wild is an expansive open world RPG for the Nintendo Switch and Wii U that takes place in a ruined kingdom of Hyrule. This is without a doubt the best game on any Nintendo system I have ever played, the open world is enormous and gorgeously rendered, the music is absolutely beautiful, the story is very engaging, and the gameplay mechanics are seamless. I have played 130 hours in nearly 3 months and just now finished the main story, even then I still have much more gameplay ahead of me. This is an unbelievably incredible work of art of a video game and I cannot advise enough that you buy Breath of the Wild and spend a few hundred hours wandering Hyrule. You do not need to have played a single Zelda game before to play this one.

I would say all content in this game is appropriate for all ages.

Available for Nintendo Switch and Wii U

 

The Lost City of Z (2017)

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The Lost City of Z is a biographical drama based on the life of British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who attempted to find a supposed ancient city deep in the jungle of Amazonia. The acting is very good and I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful score that helps kept the movie afloat. This film was beautifully shot in actual parts of the Amazon jungle and it really shows, The Lost City of Z is a visually amazing movie. This a rare breed of film nowadays and I recommend you see it.

I’m pretty sure kids 12 or 13 and up could see this movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

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UNMISSABLE

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the long awaited sequel to Marvel’s unexpected success in 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy. This sequel follows the guardians as they learn Peter Quill’s true lineage. In my opinion, Vol. 2 is just as great and probably better than the first film, the plot is better, the music is almost as awesome, the visuals are amazing, and the characters get more depth. I believe the reason there is so much more characterization this time around is because the first GotG devoted a lot of its runtime to setting up various areas of the MCU, that is not the case for Vol. 2 which means there is more time for the characters. It may be because I’ve seen the first one so many times, but more of the jokes in this installment landed for me than in the original. I highly recommend going to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it is 2 hours and 16 minutes you should not miss.

If your kids have seen the first Guardians, they can see the second.

Currently in Theaters

TV Review: Babylon 5 (1994-1998)

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Babylon 5 is a complex space opera that centers around the space station known as Babylon 5 and it’s mission to create piece between humans and aliens in the year 2258. Unlike most science fiction TV at the time this series was created, Babylon 5 is set in a “five season video novel format” which entails that the many plot lines of the series last multiple seasons and aren’t wrapped up in 40 minutes. You may dislike or even hate the pilot episode but if you stick with it you will be rewarded with great character development and a startlingly realistic tense political drama, in space. My only large complaint about Babylon 5 is that season five feels very tacked on, this is because during production of season four it was looking like the series was going to be canceled, so nearly all main plot lines were wrapped up before the final season even started. Overall I think Babylon 5 succeeded at its goal of creating a long novel-esque political space opera with very good characters, so if you can find it I recommend giving it a try, and remember it gets a lot better than the pilot.

All of the content in Babylon 5 is likely suitable for kids 10 and up, however they may not enjoy it until around 13.

Available on iTunes and Amazon.

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

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Ghost in the Shell is a sci-fi action film that takes place in a future where technological advances have allowed humans to cyber-enhance themselves with synthetic/robotic parts. The film centers around Major, the first of her kind, a human who’s brain has been implanted into a fully synthetic body and is placed in Section 9, an intelligence department tasked with taking down dangerous criminals. The amazing CGI and great music that are seamlessly blended into the film along with the well done cinematography create an extremely well realized world, with a very unique atmosphere and style. Though I cannot compare them to the original performances in the 1995 anime having never seen it, I really enjoyed the characters who are quite unique as well. The 1st and 2nd acts did feel a little bit slow to me, but within acceptable standards so I would still recommend going to see this movie even if you’re not a fan of the original and especially if you like stylized and visually developed science-fiction.

I think kids 13 and up should be able to handle everything in this film.

Currently in Theaters.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a prequel to the Harry Potter films about Newt Scamander’s adventures in 1920s New York. I was not very excited for this movie and did not see it in theaters, even so I was disappointed. The plot is scatterbrained, the twists can be seen coming from miles away and there is just too much CGI. The sole writer of the film is J.K. Rowling, an author not a film-writer, that shows heavily, the plot and the over-use of CGI wouldn’t have been a problem if this was a book instead of a movie. The characters don’t have much chemistry and the music almost never works with the scenes. Overall Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them spends too much time setting up its 4 sequels and showing off its special effects and not enough time being a coherent and entertaining story.

Kids over the age of 9 should be able to handle Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Available on iTunes and Amazon.