Archive for the Middle fiction Category

Age inappropriateness and fantasy

Posted in Fantasy, Middle fiction, Young adult with tags , on July 15, 2013 by Cara Marie

So while at Au Contraire this weekend (the local SF con), I made the mistake of going to a panel on introducing your kids to sci-fi and fantasy. And okay, I don’t have children, but I do have a young niece and nephew. I’m an ex-children’s bookshop employee. And as I have no interest in Lovecraft, this was my only other panel choice.

It hadn’t occurred to me that the panel was going to go down the path of ‘all the YA these days is so disgusting’. The impetus being a woman asking for recommendations in the 9–12 age group (not YA, by the way. Also, while middle fiction might not get the press YA does, it’s hardly a languishing genre).

Someone mentioned Tamora Pierce, and the woman responded, oh, but she’d heard they had a lot of sex in them. And call her old-fashioned, but she didn’t want her 11-year-old reading books with sex in them.

Which I didn’t respond to, because I don’t argue with parents like that. But I had two thoughts:

  1. that is not an accurate description of Tamora Pierce’s books
  2. your 11-year-old is not going to be traumatised by reading a book that mentions sex.

Yes, some of Tamora Pierce’s books feature sex. Most of them do not. (There are certainly no 13-year-olds having sex, which this woman seemed to think there were.) And when the characters do have sex, it’s off-screen. You might get the character thinking about whether or not they want to have sex; you don’t get the actual sex.

The fact there’s sex going on may go entirely over your child’s head. But if it doesn’t, so what? They read about girls who consider whether or not having sex is right for them, girls who make sure to practice safe sex if they do, girls who are able to have open discussions with their mothers or mother-figures about sex.

My god, how awful.

Also, you know, I was reading Tamora Pierce when I was 11, and I’m kind of insulted by the idea that that was inappropriate. (I will concede that the Terry Goodkind I read at that age may have been inappropriate.)

The conversation went on to mention Ted Dawe’s Into the River, a book that recently caused a scandal by winning the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards (where ‘children’ includes teenagers, by the way). I haven’t read it, but apparently it features a ‘disgusting’ sex scene. From what my former boss has said, that’s kind of the point. Also the target audience is teenagers 15+. It’s hardly being thrust into the hands of innocent babes.

That was a digression, anyway. But the net effect was me feeling increasingly uncomfortable, and wondering just how rude it would be to walk out (it was a small room, and I wasn’t at the end of a row).

Then someone said that Grimms’ fairy stories originated as dirty jokes told by farmers. ‘And they decided it would be a good idea to write these down for children!’

Which apparently crossed a line for me, because I left then. (What, ‘and then the witch him into a bird!’, hur hur, snicker snicker? Had this woman even read a fairy story before?)

It’s a wonder I even survived to adulthood, reading all the filth that I read.

Last night’s movies

Posted in Action/adventure, Middle fiction, Movies, Science fiction with tags on January 26, 2013 by Cara Marie

Notes from last night’s movie night, which turned out to be ‘surprisingly competent movie’ themed, but only because we switched Mortal Kombat off after ten minutes. Spoilers ahead.

Alien Western

Also known as High Plains Invaders. Not to be confused with Cowboys and Aliens.

This might be a Western in its setting, but it’s more like a horror movie in its structure. Also it doesn’t have enough epic landscapes and, despite nearly all of the characters dying, it isn’t depressing enough to be a Western.

It delivers more on the aliens. Sometimes they even afford the CGI to have multiple aliens in shot at once! The aliens have come to earth to steal our uranium. Not to use it as a fuel source – they’re just addicted to it.

The best line in this movie comes after the scientist has declared uranium more valuable than diamonds, thus ensuring the shifty characters try to run off with it. He then says in exasperation that there isn’t yet an established market for uranium.

Alien Western is more competent a film than I expected, but it’s still a made-for-TV movie and it doesn’t have anything special to recommend it. I guess unless you really like James Marsters. I have never seen Buffy, so I’m Marsters-ambivalent.

Cutthroat Island

This, apparently, was the movie that killed pirate movies (at least till Captain Jack Sparrow came along). It cost a lot to make, and made hardly any of it back.

The beautiful thing about the movie is that you can see exactly where all the money went. It went into crafting a lot of very detailed sets (including full-scale, working ships) … and then blowing them up.

Okay, they only blow up one of the ships. And it’s a thing of beauty – all the splintered wood raining down, the black billowing smoke. It’s always really satisfying to watch an action movie with real explosions. CGI just isn’t the same.

Other satisfying things include watching Geena Davis kick people in the head. She seems like she’s really enjoying it, too. She gets to rescue her love interest, Shaw, a lot (after she buys him), and the movie doesn’t seem too concerned about whether or not that ’emasculates’ him. I guess because he’s positioned more as a charming thief than any kind of action hero. I also like that Morgan got to be sexy in a way that didn’t require her being prettied up.

L made an interesting comment which was that he felt like for the first two-thirds of the film, the POV would keep slipping whenever Shaw, the love interest, was on-screen. And he’d end up being the identification character in those scenes. But, in the last third, Morgan (Geena Davis’s character) was consistently the one we were meant to identify with. And he wondered if that was intentional or not.

I didn’t especially notice, but I’m probably inclined to latch strongly to my action heroines’ perspectives. You have to be pretty egregious to break that.

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

This movie is about how boys have to learn courage and girls have to learn to appreciate boys.

It’s also about how if you beat something up and then treat it kindly, it will follow you forever.

Okay, the ‘it’, in this case, is an ant. And it doesn’t matter that they start by beating it up, because the experience teaches the snotty kid to have empathy for other creatures, and he’s totally sad when the ant sacrifices itself to save them.

I feel like I am being mean but if I’m forced to watch family movies what do you expect? At least it features real teenagers. I think they still existed in the eighties.

Off in the DCU

Posted in Comics, Manga, Middle fiction, Superhero with tags , , , , , , , on May 24, 2012 by Cara Marie

I always feel like Supergirl is way shorter than any of the other comics I read. Even though I’ve counted and it’s not. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because I am all for more panels showing less time, but it does make it rather frustrating to read issue by issue.

Last issue introduced Siobhan, whose super magic learning abilities meant she could actually talk to Kara … and thus that she immediately adopted her. It was adorable. I was rooting for bff-ery and epic hi-jinks, and would’ve been quite happy if that was all the issue had given us.

But then: reveal! Siobhan is actually heir to a magic power she doesn’t want, and her evil father has shown up and she has to fight them. Which was at the end of the last issue, which made me feel tired. It’s like back when I was reading Sailor Moon for the first time, and the senshi would just have defeated the big bad and I would be like, yay, time for hang-outs and Usagi getting some downtime!

Which would never actually happen – there would always be a new league of villains popping up to make life difficult for the senshi.

I suppose I did get nearly one entire issue that wasn’t plot-plot-plot, but I guess I was hoping for Siobhan to be a companion on Kara’s adventures, not a plot point.

But hey, maybe Siobhan will survive the next issue and not get overwritten by her own magic and Kara can have a friend.

I’m not very hopeful, though. That doesn’t sound like something that would provide Kara with much angst, and I suspect it’s the angst they’re going for.

I had a similar feeling of wanting the plot to slow down in the latest Flash. I don’t think giving your characters time to breath between enemies is going to stop people reading the next one! We don’t need a hook at the end of every issue!

Or maybe people do? It just feels too hectic, like they don’t have faith that we’ll want to keep reading next month if they don’t keep throwing plot! at us. (It’s not even like I’m not a narrative-driven reader.)

But I’ll forgive Flash because it’s so pretty. The splash pages especially are such a thing of joy, I’d probably buy it just for them. (It’s not that I don’t like the stories! Just that the rapid-fire of arcs is overwhelming.)

The gift of friendship

Posted in Comics, Middle fiction, Superhero with tags , , , on January 23, 2012 by Cara Marie

After Leah has asked what it is, Loki says, 'A Yuletide fist!' and thups her in the arm.Apparently, I like friendships where both parties commit violence upon each other. I’m talking Loki and Leah from Journey into Mystery here, but there are others, like Cable and Deadpool, where it’s just a normal part of the relationship.

Loki tells Leah they’re going to be BFFs, sure, but he also insults her regularly. Not that she’s not happy to strike back. Or steal his milkshake.

Loki stumbles out of the cave with his new dog Thori, looking the worse for wear. Green flames, courtesy of Leah, trail out around him.I was briefly confused as to why Leah fire-blasting Loki (in issue 632) didn’t seem to me a bad thing for their friendship. Violence should be incompatible with friendship, right? Even when you are a god and can deal.

Except, no.

When we were teenagers, I gave my friend L a bag of plastic cutlery for his birthday (this wasn’t that weird a present for us). We then proceeded to throw knives and forks at each other, for quite a while. Even the forks can draw blood if you throw them hard enough, who knew?

(More recently, I had to suffer through him getting a Nerf gun. I may need to get my own so I can retaliate.)

We insult each other often, we argue all the time, but I also spend more time talking to him than probably anyone else except maybe my mother.

So it’s weirdly familiar, watching Leah and Loki interact. And it’s not something I had thought to miss from my fiction. But now I am getting it it is awesome. I hope to be reading their wacky BFF antics for a long time.

Thor, Journey into Mystery, and Wolverine and the X-Men

Posted in Comics, Fantasy, Middle fiction, Superhero with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2011 by Cara Marie

Thor: The World Eaters

Matt Fraction and Pasqual Ferry

This was rather underwhelming. If Asgard is now on earth, what is in Asgard’s place? I like the idea, and I can see what it was going for – but it didn’t have nearly the length to develop it. This is a seven-issue arc, and it really needs, oh, twice that. More time on the bit players and the exodus from the other realms. A greater sense of dread.

On the other hand, it does introduce kid!Loki, who is totally my fav.

Journey into Mystery c. #632

Kieron Gillen and various artists

I feel this is just getting into its stride. I’ve loved it from the start, but I feel like having to tie into Fear Itself – and having quite important character stuff appear offscreen, in The Mighty Thor – meant it didn’t sit together as well as it could.

But it seems to read smoother now, having found the right tone. And Gillen is happy to spend issues with characters other than Loki – Volstagg telling Thor’s death to his children I especially like (Gillen just writes awesome Volstagg in general).

This issue is a light one, though it is still replete with how much of an outsider Loki is. And his determined cheer in the face of that. He and Leah make a great team.

'Oh, such dainty words,' Leah says. 'I feel something move, deep within me.' She proceeds to knee Loki in the groin, saying 'Vomit or bile, I'd wager.'

From issue 625, pencils by Doug Braithwaite, colours by Ulises Arreola.

Okay, not always. I love how, when Loki first encounters Leah, he tries to charm her with flattery. After she tells him to shove it, he moves to insulting her delightedly.

'You are a wonderful woman, Leah,' Loki says, 'Weave your magic and, assuming survival, I'll commission statues in your honour. And I'll make sure the sculptor makes a flattering one, disguising that hideously distended chin.'

Issue 629, pencils by Whilce Portacio, inks by Allen Martinez, colours by Arif Prianto and Jessica Kholinne.

More recently he has decided they are to be BFFs. Which Leah is not so happy with. Being as she’s living in a ‘dirty great hole in the ground’. But also, how much do I love Loki’s priorities when he talks about outfitting it for her. All the important things, ‘rugs and bedding and food and books’. Anyway. I will be most excited to see this friendship resolve itself!

Artwise, it’s varied quite a bit … Whilce Portacio I don’t like, I don’t like the character’s faces or the scratchy inkwork that goes with it. It probably doesn’t help coming after Doug Braithwaite either, who I think is awesome.

The latest issue is Mitch Breitweiser, who I do like and would be happy to see stick around. Although he may just be for the one issue. His style reminds me of old children’s illustrations, which works really well for this Yuletide issue. Also just the characters look like themselves and the right age.

This is my favourite comic coming out at the moment, and I hope it sticks around a long time to come.

Wolverine and the X-Men

Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo

I read the first two issues, but was not really pulled in. I find the art overly stylised and the layouts hard to follow. (I feel like I’m getting lazier when it comes to reading comics, by which I mean I expect the artists to do more of the work and actually think about how the eye is meant to move across the page, dammit.)

Reading a preview from issue four, I was sorry to read some of Idie’s dialogue, which just didn’t sound like the Idie I was reading in Generation Hope. Which makes me sad, because I liked Idie – I know a lot of people found her annoying – but it’s upsetting to see her moved into a new book, where she should have the chance to develop as a character (in a more positive environment) but instead she’s just changed into someone else. Someone easier. It’s like the writer read her dossier but didn’t look at her actual portrayal. So I don’t think I’ll bother keeping on with this.

Crossgen relaunch – Mystic #1

Posted in Comics, Fantasy, Middle fiction with tags , , , , on August 12, 2011 by Cara Marie

Cover art for Mystic #1

Writer: G. Willow Wilson, pencils: David López, inks: Álvaro López, colours: Nathan Fairbairn, cover: Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts

Today I picked up the first issue of Mystic, which is the third series to come out from  the new Crossgen. All of which I have been inspired to pick up, simply from the covers on the shelves.

Turns out it is not a new imprint designed specifically to appeal to me, but rather the reimagining of series from a now-defunct company. But I do feel like this is them sneakily starting an imprint aimed at getting teenage girls to read comics. They all have women or teenage girls on the cover, and the one that also has a man has the tagline: ‘He’s the world’s greatest detective. She’s even better.’

I was a teenage girl not that long ago, and I’ve clearly gone for it.

Mystic probably has the premise that appeals most to me: two (female) best friends, stuck in an ‘orphanage’ where they work off their debts to the mistress, both interested in magic. Genevieve is the optimist, the one who dreams of being an apprentice wizard. Giselle is more pragmatic, the one who always talks back, who just wants to get out.

Guess which one accidentally finds herself apprenticed to the High Artisan?

In a scan from the comic, many people are shocked or horrified that Giselle has been selected as an apprentice; Genevieve stands with tears in her eyes.

Not Genevieve

At this point, I am definitely intrigued: I like the characters, and I want to see how the conflict between them plays out. And if it has school-story elements to boot, I will be so happy.

I’ve found the dialogue a bit awkward thus far: sort of pseudo-archaeic, and Giselle seems a bit modern to me, like she’s been reading up on unions. (But hey, fantasy world, maybe she has!) I think it will grow on me though. The art is Disney-esque, simple enough that the rather flat colouring doesn’t bother me, and the faces are brilliantly expressive.

I’ll definitely be reading further, and hope it delivers on its promise.

(On the copyright page at the end of the issue, there’s an invitation to send your letters in, which a note to mark them ‘okay to print’. Is it wrong that I am seriously hoping this means a LETTERS COLUMN? I do miss the letters columns. Where’s the benefits in buying single issues without them? I also hope that means this is going to be an ongoing series, rather than a four-part mini like Sigil and Ruse. It feels like it should be.)

The loveliness of little things

Posted in Fantasy, Junior fiction, Middle fiction, Movies with tags , on July 31, 2011 by Cara Marie

Saw Arrietty at the film festival, which I enjoyed a lot – much more than Ponyo, which was a bit weird for my liking. Arrietty is a lovely film, all the stronger for its simplicity. I especially loved the sense of scale – the threatening immensity of the kitchen, the way a single garden became a scenic view. The way the tea poured from the kettle, drop by fat drop. The borrowers might be the fantasy element, but it it the transformation of the mundane that is really wondrous.

Just a pity that my four-year-old niece couldn’t enjoy it so much. I am as much for subtitles as the next film geek who has her glasses on, but I don’t really think it’s fair to show a family film that the preliterate members of the family can’t watch.

Digest-sized awesome

Posted in Action/adventure, Comedy, Comics, Middle fiction, Superhero, Young adult with tags , , , , , , on July 2, 2011 by Cara Marie

So I have been achieving very little outside of work lately. But I have managed to read a great deal of comics. Some of the ones I’ve enjoyed most have been the little digest-sized collections put out by Marvel: X-Men: First Class, Wolverine: First Class and Thor: The Mighty Avenger. They’re low on angst, high on adorability.

X-Men: First Class I find quite interesting because of the ways it deals with the limitations of its source. The series is pitched as untold stories from the original X-Men comics, which is Marvel Girl, Cyclops, Beast, Iceman and Angel. The other character in every issue is Professor Xavier: so you’ve got one female character against five male ones.

And First Class is aware of this, and it finds ways to show f-f relationships anyway. Probably my favourite issue was one where Jean is trying to use her powers to fly: she’s been practicing in secret, and when the boys find out, things get frustrating. (This made me feel very fond of her, because I don’t like people seeing me trying new things either.)

So, Prof X is like, well, it must be tough for Jean, being stuck with all these annoying boys and no female mentors. Let’s send her to go hang out with Sue Storm!

Jean is pretty psyched about this, and she and Sue have some good bonding time, and some ass-kicking time, and the boys are convinced Jean’s going to leave them and go make it the Fantastic Five. It’s totally charming.

No, actually. They fight crime.There are also these little side-strips, illustrated by Colleen Coover. which they’ve reprinted at the end of the digests. Some of these are making fun of Magneto. Some of them are about the adventures of Marvel Girl and the Scarlet Witch. Together they solve crime!

Wanda, the Scarlet Witch, appears in some of the other issues, and immediately became my favourite. I sadly do not think I will find much else with her and Jean being buddies.

(No crime-fighting, but here is another one of the strips, with Jean and Xavier using their psychic powers for hilarity.)

I love school stories, so these are more satisfying to me than a lot of the other superhero comics I have been reading. Part of it’s the positivity: they are learning to be the most awesome people they can be! There is a story in Wolverine: First Class where Kitty and Logan are investigating a mutant presence: they end up being attacked by the townspeople. “Th-they’re not making any sense …” Kitty says, and Logan says, “Fear does that to people. Whatever mutant presence Charlie sent us to run down has scared the sense right out of ’em.”

Kity looks at a photo of a mutant girl with white skin and hair, elven ears, and pupilless eyes, dressed up for prom and holding the arm of an ordinary-looking young man. The photo has been smashed, as has the next one we see Kitty holding: the girl with her football team. The narrative text reads: 'This girl--clearly a mutant--didn't look like she lived in a town filled with prejudice. In fact, it looked like this tiny town completely embraced her strangeness, in a way tiny towns sometimes do. So what happened? What changed? How could everything have gone so horribly wrong so horrible fast ... unless ...'But this is not a story about how it sucks to be a mutant (though obviously peoples’ fear of mutants forms a backdrop). Kitty ends up in the house of the girl they’ve come looking for. There, the evidence is clear that her community has not been driven mad by fear, and that something else is going on.

Which was quite nice after House of M.

Wolverine: First Class is basically all about Kitty saving the day. And also being a teenage girl. The second story has Kitty trying to convince Logan he wants to chauffuer her and her friends to see the amazing *Dazzler*. Begging and cajoling doesn’t work, so she throws him a special surprise party and arranges him a date with his lady friend Mariko. This rather gets spoiled when some guy from Logan’s past turns up. There’s some fighting, then said evil guy then tells Logan he has to choose between saving Kitty and saving Mariko. Hmm.

Logan chooses Mariko, because of course Kitty can get herself out of anything, but as it turns out, by the time the men have finished their scrapping, Kitty has already saved her. See, evil guy, maybe Logan will never transcend your skills in beating people up, but at least he has an awesome student.

After that Logan really has no choice but to play chauffuer.

Kitty is fantastic in this, and the part of me that loved her in the cartoon as a kid feels redeemed against all the other, blander versions of her I’ve seen. She feels realistically young, without being annoyingly so, and the teenage squabbles are countered by the adorableness. Despite Wolverine’s name in the title, Kitty’s the star of the show.

(I still don’t get her crush on Piotr though.)

But the most charming digest of them all is Thor: The Mighty Avenger. A lot of this is to do with the art, I feel – there’s something very appealing about the inking, and the simplicity of the style.Jane looks all concernedly at Thor, before saying, 'I ... I don't know if you want to hear this ... but this is my world, and I'm sort of ... fond of it. Thing is ... right now, this is your world too.' With amazing pictures!There are fights and things, people to be rescued (and sometimes it is Thor that needs to be rescued), but the heart of the comic is the relationship between Thor and Jane, and the ways in which Thor comes to love Earth.

There are two volumes of Thor: The Might Avenger – I’ve read the second one, and I’m waiting for the first. It’s just such a warm-hearted comic. Because it’s an AU from the rest of the Marvel universe, it’s easy to rec to people too; it might crossover with characters from other titles, but it’s still very self-contained.

In continuing series…

Posted in Action/adventure, Books, Fantasy, Middle fiction, Short stories with tags , , , on April 3, 2011 by Cara Marie

Now that I am off work for a few weeks, I have time to read more books! Some short thoughts on the latest reading:

Scorpia Rising – Anthony Horowitz

The latest (and last) Alex Rider book was a disappointment. Snakehead was emotionally and narratively gripping; Scorpia Rising needed to be way tighter, and I felt rather disconnected throughout it. I don’t think not having your protagonist show up for over 150 pages is a good start.

There were a few moments were I felt, yes, this is why I love these books! But they were rather far between.

Tortall and Other Lands – Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce’s short fiction is diverting, but not satisfying in the way that her novels are. I read Pierce mostly for the school story aspect, and you can’t really get that out a short story. I think my favourite in this collection was ‘Student of Ostriches’, which I’d actually read before, where a young girl teaches herself to fight by imitating the prairie animals, and uses those skills to defend her family’s honour. Generally, I liked the ones that didn’t deal with characters we already know – the ones featuring Nawat and Kitten felt unnecessary, skippable.

Succubus Heat – Richelle Mead

I raced through this. I’m enjoying this series so much; I have basically no critical thoughts about them. I am all, omigosh, about every new revelation, and my reactions are purely emotional.

This book shows that, even without her powers, Georgina is an awesome lady who spreads joy and brings out the best in people ♥ I mean that in a nice way. I really do hope for the best for her.

Except it turns out I am very disapproving of infidelity in books. Not that it’s being condoned, but! Stop being unfaithful, people! Here’s hoping the ending indicates a new, snark-filled direction in Georgina’s love-life. I’m not even in it for the love-life! I’m in it for the mythology and the mysteries, and for Georgina. I do think the mysteries are getting stronger as these books go along, and I love Georgina’s determination to get to the bottom of things. So stop being a distraction, men!

Four books in, my pleasure in this series has not dimmed. Looking forward to my copy of Succubus Shadows arriving soon.

Long story. Where’s my elephant?

Posted in Action/adventure, Middle fiction, Movies with tags , on March 21, 2011 by Cara Marie

L and I have both been ridiculously busy lately, so we decided to kick back by watching some Muay Thai movies. Mostly we wanted to watch The Protector (Tom-Yum-Goong) – Tony Jaa and elephants? Yes, please. We didn’t have such high expectations for Power Kids, having had bad experiences with Thai kids’ films in the past. We thought we’d watch it first, so that things could only look up.

As it turns out, Power Kids is kind of awesome. Bizarre, but worth watching in its entirety. The Protector, on the other hand … well, you could just watch the fights on youtube and you wouldn’t be missing anything. It wants to have a plot, but it’s like the pieces needed to hold it together are missing.

S described this movie as ‘the touching story of one man’s love for his elephant’. The trouble is, there’s too much in there that isn’t about the man or his elephant. A lot of the plot is extraneous … the policemen were not necessary at all, yet we spent a lot of time following them around. And the mud-bath sex? I sorely wish I had never seen that.

This is another movie featuring a trans woman leading a gang. Her family are such jerks that you cannot really blame her for turning to a life of crime! She is at least a villain you can root for. Why she needs the elephant … well, that is just because she is an evil person. This film suggests there is no more definitive expression of evil. It’s a nonsensity I can accept, at least, because it facilitates Tony Jaa beating people up. Unlike the policemen. And the mud-bath sex.

Yes, the fights are awesome. The scene where Tony Jaa takes down fifty men? Amazing. But I could have just watched that scene. This film does not contain more than the sum of its parts.

… I can’t believe I’m complaining that a plot wasn’t thin enough.

Contrary to what the boys had heard, the US blu-ray does contain the uncut, international version of the film. Also worth noting is that the English hard-of-hearing subtitles don’t actually subtitle the English dialogue. We turned them on because some of the phonetically learned lines were hard to understand, but they just used the dub to subtitle the Thai instead. Which is a fail.

Co-incidentally, both films featured Johnny Nguyen from The Rebel as a bad guy. Now, it is one thing to be taken down by Tony Jaa after a long fight. That is respectable. But watching Nguyen get bet up by a group of kids? Pure delight. The fight scenes in Power Kids are nicely choreographed, and the kids are impressive. (Also impressive is what they are willing to put their child actors through. Window panes. Apparently it is just sugar glass, but still!)

It takes a while for the plot to kick in in this one; before that you just get to watch the kids getting up to mischief. Silly, but entertaining. Then you realise that one of them has a bad heart! He needs a heart transplant, and an available heart has just come up. BUT. It’s only good for four hours, and the hospital it’s at has just been taken over by terrorists.

It is every bit as amazing as it sounds.

(Somewhat skeevily, the terrorists are an oppressed minority group. How evil are they? So evil that they would deny a young boy his heart transplant. That’s not a political statement …)

I wouldn’t say that Power Kids is a great movie. But it is a fun one, and ideal movie night fodder. The Protector I would only watch again skipping everything but the fights.