⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⛅️ 4.5/5 [PG-13]
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
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️☁️ 4/5 [TV-PG]
Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is an extremely unique and whimsical self-aware story about three siblings orphaned by a deadly fire uncovering dark family secrets and it is based on the book series of the same name. Neil Patrick Harris and Patrick Warburton are great, the child actors are pretty good and I really loved the soundtrack. The story is told/narrated by Lemony Snicket (Patrick Warburton) in a way that gives a feeling of peculiarity and freshness to the show. I highly recommend trying A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix because you have without a doubt never seen anything like it, at first it will seem very strange and unusual but you will quickly get used to it’s unique atmosphere and learn to embrace it by the time you finish season 1.
Although intentionally dark and despairing, this series is actually kind of lighthearted, kids 9 and up can probably watch it without a problem.
Available on Netflix.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⛅️☁️ 3.5/5 [TV-14]
How I Met Your Mother is a sitcom told almost entirely through flashbacks about a man recounting to his kids the very long story of how he met their mother. It’s fairly entertaining throughout but the last season goes downhill, especially the last episode, which does a pretty bad job of wrapping up the story. Easily the best part of this show is the running gags of which there are many. If you need a nice 20-minute show to binge for a while then maybe give How I Met Your Mother a try.
Kids 13 and up should be fine watching this.
Available on iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 [PG-13]
La La Land is a comedy, drama, and musical about a jazz pianist and an aspiring actress falling for each other in Los Angeles, It focuses on the competition between love and following your dreams. No part of production felt lacking, the acting, music, writing, cinematography and choreography are all fantastic. I felt very invested in the characters very fast, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are perfect in their roles and have great chemistry. La La Land really shines with its beautiful visuals and breathtaking music that make for an amazing blend of screen and sound. If you are interested in film as an art form you need to see La La Land.
They probably won’t fully appreciate this film, but there isn’t anything in it that kids of all ages can’t see.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (based on the novels of the same name by Douglas Adams) is a Sci-Fi Mystery centered around a self-proclaimed Holistic Detective by the name of Dirk Gently, his reluctant “assistant” Todd Brotzman, and many other strange characters. It is very weird in a very good way and the acting, writing, and music all perfectly set the tone of the show. The diverse group of intriguing characters and complicated mysteries will almost definitely keep you hooked, so if you like offbeat or unusual shows I recommend you try this rare and peculiar series.
There is a decent amount of violence but nothing that kids 12 and up won’t be able to handle.
Available on iTunes and Amazon.
Bone is a tremendous Tolkien-esque high fantasy/comedy about three cousins who are run out of their hometown, Boneville, and upon stumbling into an ancient valley are caught up in a vast adventure spanning 9 graphic novels. The series has a lot of mythology and lore comparable to fantasy epics the likes of Lord of the Rings and it can pass from dark fantasy adventure to light-hearted humor in one panel. If you enjoy high fantasy, top-notch comics, or both then go out and buy all 9 full-color books of Bone, it’s more than worth owning!
At first glance, Bone may appear to be a series of children’s books, but while it can be read by kids it really is an awesome story for anyone. Think of it like Avatar: The Last Airbender.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⛅️ 4.5/5 [PG]
I saw Inside Out for the second time recently at a screening at my local library with Josh Cooley, a head writer of the film, who provided a wonderful Q&A after the screening! Cooley grew up here and his parents also own a toy store in the area. The movie is a heartwarming story that takes place inside and out of the mind of a young girl named Riley who has just moved to San Francisco. The inside of her mind is composed of five emotions, Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. It is a powerful story that ironically, will evoke many of your emotions, the animation and score are great as well. I would definitely recommend Inside Out especially if you’re a Pixar fan.
Like most good animated films, this is aimed largely at adults but obviously it’s still a great movie for kids too.
Availabie on iTunes and Amazon.