Children & Family

The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)

IMDB: [PG]Β A young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt aids his magical uncle in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world.
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Rating: [9] πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ–€

Set in 1955 comes a story about a boy, his uncle, and their neighbor. We’ve got hilarious banter, great acting, and an absolutely awe inspiring set design to place it all onto. Overall it’s a fun, creepy, and magical story that makes me want more!

What I Loved:
First of all, if I were just rating it on set design, world creation, and wardrobe it would get a 20. It’s absolutely stunning. Damian and I both were gasping at how gorgeous the Victorian house (set in the 50’s) is. Sets and rooms are also based on themes and the personalities of the owners. The visuals surrounding the story feel rich, luxe, and unique.

Nextly, Jack Black is fantastic in kid’s movies. Sure, he’s being Jack Black, but he’s such a JOY in roles like this. (See also the recent Goosebumps movie.) There’s some fantastically funny back-and-forth humor backed with some perfect acting. It got some good chuckles out of us both over here!

The setup of the interactions of the kids in school and with the adults felt extremely relatable. There’s bullies and awkwardness and just wishing that you fit in.

Lastly, THE MAGIC! Now… I hope I don’t get sent any hate mail – but it felt more magical than a lot of the Harry Potter movies. I felt pure elation in the way magic was shown. Plus, they also used practical magic gags such as a never-ending-scarf and I will always laugh at that. They throw in a lot of retro-magician vibes as characters used that as a career. As a bonus, there’s some creepy imagery and themes as well so it’s great for young adult and families with slightly older kids!

On that final topic, they animated a chair with magic and made it feel like an adorable dog that we all cared about. I cared about a CHAIR, you guys. There are so many simple and extremely effective magical touches that make it feel very tangible.

Bonus: Some retro style opening credit graphics to set the stage.

What I Didn’t Love:
There are a few scenes as the action gets going where things come to a bit of a lull. During those moments we really miss some of that banter and light heartedness to break some of the monotony.

Now, iTunes rates this one at ages 11+, therefore the number of poop/pee jokes (over 5Β  I think) is pretty low brow. There was one that got a giggle but the rest seemed out of place with the level of the humor.

Quote:
“Sorry about the stain on the letter. That’s chocolate.”

Trope:
Dead. Parents.

Spoilers: Click to Reveal

Not much to spoil in terms of what’s relevant to my review. There’s some fun twists and great action! So go watch it!

Next Gen (2018)

IMDB: [TV-PG]Β A friendship with a top-secret robot turns a lonely girl’s life into a thrilling adventure as they take on bullies, evil bots and a scheming madman.
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Rating: [10] πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’š

What a GEM of a feature!! If you’re someone that likes a good, family movie that is heartfelt and funny then WATCH THIS! While I feel that Netflix originals can be hit or miss, it’s definitely a hit. Now, when I love a movie I have no problem – in fact a desire – to watch it again soon. I watched this late at night and the next night I put it on again to show my husband. It was such a joy to share it with him and talk about it. It feels inspired by both The Iron Giant and some comedic timing and expressions similar toΒ Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs or Paranorman. …