Movie Review: Labyrinth

david bowieLabyrinth is a 1986 British-American adventure musical fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, executive produced by George Lucas, and based upon conceptual designs by Brian Froud. Yes, this is a film that was made before CGI and computer animation.

In this film Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) has to find her way through the magical labyrinth to get her baby brother back from the Goblin King (the late David Bowie). Along the way she makes unlikely friends and enemies as she fights temptation, grows up and reminds us what is truly important.

Overall  this movie is… FANTASTIC! Believe it or not I was four years old when I first saw this film, not to mention it was one of the first movies I ever saw. And still many years later continues to be one of my favourite films of all time.

David Bowie owns the role of the Goblin King and manages to dish out some musical numbers where you are guaranteed to sing along – Everything you can expect from a film directed by the same guy who created The Muppets.

Labyrinth is a classic that many generation will continue to watch over and over again.

Rating: 7/10.

In memory of David Bowie, 1947-2016.

Movie Review: Cinderella.

image courtesy of amazon.co.ukThis is Cinderella as you have never seen it before.

The story of Walt Disney’s “Cinderella” is different from its predecessor.

Directed by award winning actor, Kenneth Branagh, This version follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James). After Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new Stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her ugly-in-nature daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera), and is forced to become their servant, disrespected, covered in ashes and spitefully renamed Cinderella.

Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her, and she continues to remain positive, determined to honour her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.”

Ella’s fortunes seem to turn for the better in the form of a dashing stranger named Kit aka The Prince (Richard Madden) and a quirky fairy godmother, (brilliantly played by Helena Bonham Carter) that will change Ella’s life for the better.

Overall a fantastic film that can be enjoyed by all ages.

Rating: 9/10

Movie Review: Inside Out.

A very funny interpretation of what happens in the human mind when emotions set in.

Produced by Pixar and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Inside Out is set in the mind of a young girl, Riley Andersen (Kaitlyn Dias), where five personified emotions—Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling)—try to lead her through life as her parents (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan) move the family to a new city.

Overall this is a cute movie that provides a very funny interpretation of what happens in the human mind when emotions set in, what roles each our emotions play in our personalities, how we communicate and form relationships with people.

Some very funny moments in the film, especially when Anger loses his temper, Disgust’s sarcastic and cynical behaviour and finding what role Sadness plays in our lives (Spoiler: Very important role).

Rating: 8/10

For a sneak peek of Inside Out, check out the trailer here.

Movie Review: Brave

Brave took home the award for Best Animated Film at last week’s Golden Globes and is one of the nominees for Best Animated Film in this year’s Academy Awards.

Pixar Animation Studios, the creator of Toy Story 3, whisks you away on an astonishing adventure in the Scottish Highlands  full of mystery, magic and tradition. Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor  defies an age-old custom, where she competes against (and defeats) each of her suitors in an archery contest during the Highland Games by which she states she is “shooting for her own hand”, much to the outrage of the lords of the land and causes a rift between mother and daughter. Merida then acquires a magic spell from a witch the witch agrees to give Merida a spell to “change” her mother (into a bear) in the form of a cake. When chaos is unleashed in the kingdom as a result of Merida’s actions, she must harness all of her skills and resources to break the beastly curse before it’s too late, mend bonds “torn by pride”  and discover the meaning of true bravery.

From the kilt-wearing lords to the bagpipe music and traditional Highland games and Merida’s triplet brothers’ pranks and  endless attempts to steel sweets, This is a very entertaining mother/daughter movie and a celebration of Scottish culture.

Rated: 8/10.

Best for age groups 5 years and over.

 

 

 

Super Summer Reading

Wow! You guys are super-dooper summer readers!

Since we released the Summer Reading Challenge book list in December we’ve had over 200 book reviews sent in – that’s a lot of reading in only three and a bit weeks.

Today were are exactly half-way through the challenge (which finishes on 3rd February) so that means you still have 3 and a bit weeks to read, read, READ! (here’s an online copy of the book list)

I’ve read all your reviews and can tell that heaps of you like the books you are reading. For your reviews have a think about including the following:

 

  • A little bit about what happens in the book
  • Your favourite part, or least favourite part – why you liked/disliked the book
  • Characters you liked or disliked
  • If you could give the book a different name, what would it be?
  • If you could ed the book differently, what would you change?
  • Who would you recommend it to, who do you think would like it the most

 

Lastly, here are our top readers so far(in no particular order):

Alessandro E. 

Andrew B. 

Chiara E.

Darcy B. 

Hana R. 

Jayden K. 

Marina C. 

Damon W. 

Sarah C. 

Tiffany C. 

Some super-readers have managed to read and review 10 or more books so far, and are in the draw to win a cool prize pack. No one has managed to read and review 20 or more books yet (for the next prize draw), but some are getting close…

Historical Adventures

 If you enjoy action and history The Devil and his Boy is the book for you.

Follow the adventures of a poor mistreated orphan called Tom, who has big dreams of becoming an actor. It’s set in the Elizabethan times, actually Queen Elizabeth (not the one alive today) is an important character. Shakespeare is also a character in this book. Many of the people and places in this story really existed, so you learn a little history at the same time as you’re reading a very exciting story.

If you like this book here are some other titles you will also enjoy.

Treason by Berlie Doherty, John Diamond , Black Jack and Smith by Leon Garfield

Wait a minute!

What can happen in a minute? I can’t think of an answer for that question until I came across this book, Every Minute on Earth. It is truly an astounding book with funny illustrations and even activities for you to do. Bet you didn’t notice that an average person blinks 15 times in a minute. Hard to be a zookeeper when ten adult elephants can produce 500 grams of poo! Yikes!  Don’t hold that sneeze because it travels 2.7 kilometres per minute. Bless you! So read this book and be amazed at how much you can squeeze in a minute.

Puppet Show at Kilbirnie Library!

Thursday 17th February, 6.30-7.15pm

It is called Puppet Pasta Pizzaz!

This comprises of two shows with an Italian flavour (hence the pasta). There will be a marionette show (a marionette is a puppet with strings) and a Pulcinella show (Pulcinella is hand puppet and is the Italian Punch)

Feel free to come in your P.J.s!
I love puppets because they have a special way of telling stories and interacting with people.   Some of the best puppets are also very easy to make.  I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple weeks repairing and preparing my puppets for the fringe festival in Adelaide so I thought I’d share with you a few of the great puppet making books we have in children’s non-fiction collection.

Puppets around the world

Puppetry is a very old art form and there are puppets sharing stories all over the world.  This book has information and photos of many different types of puppets and also instructions to make a simple version of those puppets.  I think information in this book is interesting, the photos inspiring and it will introduce you to many different ways of making puppets and most of the materials are not to difficult to find.

Muppets Make Puppets

Most of you are probably familiar with Sesame Street.  This is a great puppet book that will let you into the secrets of making muppet style puppets.  There are illustrated step by step instructions for making different sorts of puppets, hints on how to create a character, suggestions on materials you could use including many recycled and household items you may never have thought of as puppetry material and suggestions how to put together a puppet show.  This colourful fun book will quickly have you making quirky puppet characters.

Most excellent book of how to be a puppeteer

I like this book for its ideas on how to make a range of easy puppets.  It also has hints about writing puppet scripts and it has good ideas about making easy puppet theatres to suit different styles of the puppets.

Fusion with the Masters of Modernism

Do you know Alexander Calder, Alvin Lustig or Isamu Noguchi? They were artists who were into a style of  art and design called modernism. They believed that good and exciting designs and ideas are for everyone. These modern artists experimented with new ways of seeing and with fresh ideas about the nature of materials and uses of art. So open up yourself to this form of art and create craft projects patterned after their works. Check out Kid Made Modern by Todd Oldham. You’ll surely be inspired with its easy to follow steps and awesome pictures. Happy creating!

The Secret Lives of Princesses

We all know about the famous princesses from stories like Snow White and Cinderella but what about those other magical and mysterious princess who have long remained anonymous.  Well not anymore!

Take a look at The Secret Lives of Princesses and discover some very strange and wonderful princesses.

There is Princess Somnia who comes from a family of do-nothings. Laziness is their policy and the sloth their emblem and guess what – she is related to Sleeping Beauty.

Then there is Princess Paige. She loves books and is an expert in rhyme and speaks only in verse. She also knows the dictionary by heart.

And let’s not forget Princess Anne Phibian. She has an obsession with frogs but she is very pretty, doesn’t drool, doesn’t croak and doesn’t have warts. She is always looking for her Prince Charming and is convinced he is disguised as a frog.

If you love princesses then you will love this book so take a look!