Each week FILMCLUB’s experts in film pick a selection of their favourite cinema releases for young kids to teens, under the age of 18.
Running Time: 112 mins
Year Produced: 2011
Director: JJ Abrams
Cast: Joel Courtney, Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee, Gabriel Basso, Zach Mills
Joe (Joel Courtney) and his friends like nothing more than summer, bike riding and making their own movies. In fact they’re in the middle of shooting a zombie spectacular when a train crashes in front of their very eyes (and camera).
This crash unleashes all manner of weirdness in their small mid-West town and only these kids have the wherewithal to get things back to normal.
This 1979-set film is strongly reminiscent of 80s classics like The Goonies and ET, and like his hero Spielberg, director J J Abrams knows how to produce both genuine scares and sweet, low-key moments.
Entertaining from start to finish, this is a kid’s movie that will please absolutely everyone. Keep an eye out for 13-year-old Elle Fanning in a performance that’s bound to make her a star.
Fascinating Fact: Elle Fanning is the younger sister of Dakota Fanning, another child star who shot to fame in films like Charlotte’s Web and The Runaways.
Related Films: ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, The Goonies, Son of Rambow, Africa United, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
Mr Popper’s Penguins
Running Time: 94 mins
Year Produced: 2011
Director: Mark Waters
Cast: Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Ophelia Lovibond, Madeline Carroll, Angela Lansbury
Jim Carrey makes an unremarkable return to family-friendly movies in this fun tale based on a beloved 1938 children’s book.
Mr Popper – divorced and increasingly absent from his children’s lives – is a successful but lonesome New York Businessman. This changes dramatically when he inherits six penguins from his explorer father.
Showing great care and attention to the arrivals – including the transformation of his expensive apartment into a snowy winter wonderland – Popper finally takes off his work tie and re-learns the joy and importance of parenthood.
The penguins – a mixture of live-action and seamless CGI – are undeniably adorable and easily put an unusually restrained Carey in their shadow.
Related Films: – Happy Feet, March of The Penguins, Doctor Dolittle, Babe, The Cat Returns