War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

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War for the Planet of the Apes is the third entry in the rebooted Planet of the Apes trilogy that has gotten better and better with every film. Matt Reeves has accomplished something incredible by creating such a technically impressive film with amazing motion capture technology as well as an emotional and meaningful story from start to finish where the audience cares a great deal for the characters, and he has made it even better than Dawn, which he in turn made superior to Rise. Andy Serkis as always does an amazing job of acting in motion capture and Michael Giacchino delivers one of the best scores of his career. I highly recommend watching or rewatching Rise and Dawn then going to see War for the Planet of the Apes because it is a beautiful, technically and emotionally impressive, masterpiece.

This is a fairly dark movie at times but if your kid has seen the first two films, they can probably handle the third.

Currently in Theaters.

 

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Colossal (2017)

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Colossal is a sci-fi dramedy about a young alcoholic woman named Gloria (Anne Hathaway) who is kicked out of her life in New York city and moves back to her hometown, meanwhile a seemingly unrelated giant monster is attacking South Korea. This movie is wholeheartedly original and fairly compelling, however, even though it is advertised as a comedy, it is much more a drama than a comedy. The characters are complicated but somewhat unrealistic. Although it suffers from these flaws, Colossal is still a fresh and entertaining story I recommend viewing.

Colossal is much darker than advertised so I wouldn’t propose kids younger than 13 see it.

Available on iTunes and Amazon.

TV Review: Breaking Bad (2008-2013)

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Breaking Bad is a crime drama about Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer who starts cooking crystal meth, and I regard it as the closest to perfection any filmmaker has ever gotten, especially on TV. The acting and characterization are outstanding and the writing is beyond phenomenal. The cinematography as well as the music, original and otherwise, are extremely favorable. Breaking Bad is unparalleled as the best Television series I’ve ever watched so I strongly urge you to start binge-watching right away if you haven’t already seen it.

I wouldn’t advise kids younger than 13, maybe 12, watch Breaking Bad.

Available on iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon.

Baby Driver (2017)

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Baby Driver is Edgar Wright’s highly entertaining “action musical” about a young getaway driver that loves music who gets wrapped up in a heist doomed to fail. This movie has a great cast including Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, and Kevin Spacey, so the acting is obviously pretty solid. Visually this movie is impressive, but where it really shines is the music that is magnificently intertwined into the film, Baby Driver really is part musical, so much is in time with the music that by the time the credits roll you might even be thinking on beat. I highly recommend Baby Driver especially if you’re an Edgar Wright fan.

Most kids younger than 12 probably shouldn’t watch Baby Driver.

Currently in Theaters

The Book of Henry (2017)

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The Book of Henry is a drama/thriller focused around a family made up of Henry, a genius 11 year old that takes care of everything for his family, sometimes self-doubting single mother Susan, and Peter, the younger brother that looks up to Henry. The film is about their discovery of a dangerous secret relating to Henry’s classmate that lives next door, and their plan to help. This is a very intelligently made, superbly shot, and well written (the script supposedly took 20 years to write) film that deals with some pretty dark subjects. The Book of Henry has a sudden intentionally jarring shift in tone but I believe it was executed quite well, the acting here is excellent, especially from the child actors, Michael Giacchino also delivers yet another great score for this movie. I would recommend going to see The Book of Henry if you’re looking for a well-crafted drama, but just remember it’s a tearjerker.

I wouldn’t particularly recommend bringing kids younger than 12 to this movie, most of the darker content is off-screen but I don’t think younger kids would enjoy it anyway.

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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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