Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

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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

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

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John Wick: Chapter 2 is the action/crime/thriller followup to 2014’s John Wick, I’m not going to reveal the plot because I went in knowing practically nothing and I loved it. The action is just as well if not better choreographed than in the first film and it’s all shot with very few quick cuts, shaky cam, or even stunt doubles, Keanu Reaves does 95% of his own stunts in this film, and that definitely shows. John Wick: Chapter 2 feels a lot more like part of a trilogy or the middle 3 episodes of a Netflix series than the pretty self-contained John Wick, this is definitely not a bad thing though because it makes the story feel broader and richer while setting up the third movie. This movie shows that the organization of assassins shown in John Wick is just the tip of the iceberg by expanding this new universe of impressive action films. I highly recommend seeing this if you’re a fan of the first one but if you haven’t seen it than you MUST watch it before seeing the equally if not more excellent sequel.

There is lots and lots of violence shown without cutaways unlike most action films as well as some brief nudity so I’d say 14 and up can watch John Wick: Chapter 2.

La La Land (2016)

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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.

TV Review: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (2016-)

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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.

The Fountain (2006)

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The Fountain stars Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz and is about, well, I can’t tell you much but it’s about a man seeking the cure for his wife Izzi’s cancer, as well as much more. It is a mind-blowing story that may take multiple days of processing until it finally clicks. The soundtrack by Clint Mansell as well as the acting and visuals are all very beautiful. The Fountain is most certainly not for the weak-minded and I highly recommend buying the film and the soundtrack.

Kids 13 and up, if they like mind-blowing, beautiful movies, should enjoy this.

Available on iTunes and Amazon.

Book Review: Bone 1-9 (1991-2004)

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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.

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TV Review: Lost (2004-2010)

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J.J. Abrams applies his exceptional handling of mysteries, secrets, and unanswered questions to Lost, a very mysterious series about a group of plane crash survivors on a deserted island. It has very rich mythology and greatly developed characters. I really can’t say much about this show other than watching the whole thing many times over is practically a necessity. You’ve probably heard from at least 5 different people that the ending sucks and while its not as bad as they say, don’t expect a satisfying finale. I still recommend watching Lost and NEVER looking at anything on the Internet relating to airplanes, islands, J.J. Abrams, or Michael Giacchino until you are done binge-watching.

I think 11 and up could watch Lost if they are good at following insanely complicated plotlines.

Available on iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon.