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Reviews by Cinefan

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276 reviews/ratings - 14 pages (20 reviews/ratings per page)

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The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

Freddie Highmore was enchanting in this film though his playing of the twins didn't come over too well. It was all about Jared while Simon was reduced to a mere cipher. I was also hoping the sister would fall foul of the beasties but no such luck. A film that tried to be something but didn't make it despite some quite good special effects.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D (2011)

Dire! This attempt to introduce a new boy and girl into the roles of Spy Kids falls flat on its face. The jokes are plain awful and it isn't even as good as 'Spy Kids 3' which also relied far too much on special effects. Mason Cook was cute and played his part well but overall this film is one of the worst boy films I have ever seen.

Don't Bother My Movie Rating: Red StarRed Star 2 / 10
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The Squid and the Whale (2005)

Some good one liners from an accomplished script in this film. Owen Kline is another of those boy actors who make a film then seem to disappear. He played his part well of a kid emotionally upset at the domestic problems he's witnessing. The scene in the library is not one you come across very often.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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St. Vincent (2014)

Where do they keep finding these good boy actors? Jaeden Lieberher gave a great performance as 12 year old Oliver even if some of his dialogue was rather grown up. Bill Murray, of course, stole the show but Jaeden stood his ground acting-wise. I agree it was a well worn plot line especially when they won at the horse race ... I kept hoping their horse would lose and make it more real to life.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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Stand by Me (1986)

Plenty of boy actor Oscar nominations for this outstanding film. All four boys played their parts very well indeed with possibly Wil Wheaton as Gordie taking the prize. An all American nostalgia trip into boyhood beautifully acted with wonderful outdoor settings. I was pleased even Kent Lutrell, who played the dead kid, got in the credits.

Apparently, Bob Reiner the director, had difficulty getting Wil Wheaton and Jerry O'Connell to show enough fear when running across the bridge ahead of the train. He had to yell at them that they were wasting the film crew's time having to reshoot which got the results he wanted. A fine film and a must for every boy film buff's DVD shelf.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Strauss: The King of 3/4 Time (1995)

Okay, so this isn't your made-for-cinema movie but charming nonetheless. Unknown Canadian boy actor, Derek Senft, plays his part well as the stableboy who meets the great Johann Strauss II. A passable enough storyline with the added bonuses of Derek himself and Strauss's music.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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Sunnyside Drive (2017)

Grady Port is a good looking boy and stars in an interesting short film. While you feel sorry for the neighbour who's subject to a typical boy's mistaken fantasy, he has gained the friendship of the boy next door.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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Super 8 (2011)

I had never seen Joel Courtney before though he was good in this film. I noticed that Zach Mills, unlike the other child actors, never got a close-up being relegated to a minor role as Preston. How could they do this to the star of 'Mr Magorium'?

This was your usual kids Sci-Fi romp and there was nothing above the average about it. Why is it aliens look so grotesquely animal-like and rarely, if ever, wear clothes?

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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The Switch (2010)

A charming comedy film with a great performance from Thomas Robinson.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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Tales From the Neverending Story (2001)

What no reviews of this long edition of 'The Neverending Story'? Lasting over six hours and obviously made for television it starred Mark Rendall as Bastian Bux the boy who reads the book and a slightly-too-old-for-the-part Tyler Hynes playing Atreyu the boy warrior hero. Great sets and lots of colourful characters, but a sometimes plodding script and a kind of mixed up uninspired ending. Also a lot of shifting between scenes in Fantasia and the real world. I know the story isn't supposed to have an ending but for TV you need to do that. Fine acting from Mark, of course.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

Superb action movie and the best of the Terminator series - for obvious reasons - Edward Furlong. He is excellent in the part of John Connor playing a typical tearaway teenager. His relationship with the 'machine' is movingly portrayed as the boy seeks to make him a father figure. Plenty of action topped off by Furlong looking great. Famous scene when Arnold walks into the bar at the beginning. The DVD extras explain how Edward Furlong was cast though I doubt its authenticity. Few boys can be plucked from a kids club and be able to act competently in a major movie. What about all the would-be boy actors already paying an agent to find them such juicy roles? It doesn't add up.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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That's What I Am (2011)

Middling boy film with school kids mixed up in unbelievable, wacky traditions. The usual nervous boy as he has his first kiss, school bullies and all the rest of this over clichéd-type drama. Much better would have been Mr Simon, the teacher, turning out to be Gay after all and Chase Ellison falling for his friend, Big G, and kissing him!

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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The Thief Lord (2006)

A pleasant little film with Aaron Johnson slightly acting the great Rollo Weeks off the screen. Better directing might have improved the film all round but Weeks looks great and kind of kinky in his mask. I wonder why no one remarked about that when he was sauntering around Venice? Stilted acting from some of the kids, and Rollo Weeks in particular, takes the edge off this film.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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The Three Investigators and the Secret of Terror Castle (2009)

This is the second of The Three Investigators films and obviously made six months to a year after 'Skeleton Island'. Chancellor Miller has become a bit of a beefcake and all their voices have broke. This tale is not as good as the first film and the production costs have been decreased. Still a good all round boy film though with the DVD containing interviews with the three boy actors.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

This classic Oscar winning movie is so great it almost eclipses the fact there are boy actors in it. Philip Alford, of course, is excellent as Jem who shares much screen time with Mary Badham as his tomboy sister, Scout. They are ably supported by the late John Megna who plays the little boy, Dill. I reckon the bogeyman, Boo Radley, wasn't that crazy when he knew he had to save nice Jem from being murdered. Great film all round.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Tom & Thomas (2002)

A movie with a great idea but not worked out too well by the director. Aaron Johnson does wonderfully well in both roles even, if sometimes, you get confused as to which twin is appearing on the screen. You're not even sure just what the baddies are up to until near the end. A strange Dutch/UK production my DVD has a different cover to the one illustrated here and more interestingly the film is titled 'The Christmas Twins'! Lacks any DVD extras. Boo!

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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Tom Brown's Schooldays (1951)

A fine example of old British storytelling and also an insight into just how sadistic public schools were in the 19th century! John Howard Davies is passable as Tom Brown aided by John Charlesworth as his friend, East. My DVD is a computer coloured version which, in my opinion, adds to the overall quality of the film. However, being made in 1951 the soundtrack is not so good in places but the picture quality has been greatly enhanced. The film captures the nostalgic charm of happy schooldays, that is when Tom isn't getting beaten. The characters are fairly well dealt with despite the clipped accents typical of British cinema of that time. A real oldie classic and for that reason deserves a place on the shelf of any collector of boy films.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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Treasure Island (1972)

One wonders why Orson Welles would lower himself to appearing in a Treasure Island movie. However, unknown fifties boy actor, Kim Burfield, does well as Jim Hawkins.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 5 / 10
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Tree House Time Machine (2017)

Quite a good short though the No 1 question is where did they all go? Apart from the shouty dialogue Steele Stebbins looks great and very attractive.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 5 / 10
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The Tree of Life (2011)

This is one of those movies that seems to require more than one viewing. It can be described as highly sophisticated or bordering on what I call the 'arty-farty'. The photography is superb and the acting, especially of Hunter McCracken, really good more so considering this is his debut movie. I cannot believe that a boy actor of such obvious talent has only made one film. However, 'The Tree of Life's symbolism is sometimes absurd and the most notable scene, I think, is when the meek mother interrupts the authoritarian and, quite frankly near nutcase, father at the dinner table and tells him to "Be quiet". The film ends rather abruptly as many 'arty' films have a tendency to do. Unfortunately, my DVD has no extras so I haven't any director explanations for the involved plotline.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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