Tag Archives: kids

The Adventure Club at CIFF 2016

55The Adventure Club

Director: Geoff Anderson


Ricky, the leader of the Adventure Club really just wants to go on an adventure, just like his grandfather did before he died. One night, while Ricky is going through his late grandfather’s things, he finds a mysterious key in his grandfather’s office. Ricky then summons an emergency meeting of the Adventure Club, to go and solve all the secrets this key might unlock.

I enjoyed the way this film was  shot. Each scene seemed well planned. Perhaps the cinematographers could have taken more risks, but for a family audience it was comfortable. Everyone in the audience really liked this one scene in particular which was in the museum. The Adventure Club gang had to hide from the security guard in the museum and every time the security guard walked through the scene the kids were cleverly hiding in plain sight!

This film was also comedic. There were moments in the movie where the kids in the audience laughed, and others when it was the parents chuckling. That is super important when it comes to making a family film, there should be something for everyone. The fact that the cast includes members of the cast of the TV show Corner Gas and  Billy Zane definitely helped make the adults laugh, and the Adventure Club’s adult friend (played by Canadian acting legend Kim Coates!) was so crazy that the kids couldn’t help but laugh at his ridiculousness. 

Most of the time the adult actors were big scene stealers (because most of them were comedians) and sometimes it seemed like they were trying to out funny each other! Sometimes the fact that they were trying so hard took the spotlight away from the main characters of the film; the kids!

On the down side, older kids may find this film predictable. You have your typical trio of kids (the leader boy, the smart girl and the goofball boy) who find this magical item that some bad guys are looking for. With the help of a kooky adult they must stop the evil guys from acquiring the magical item. It was nice to see the great acting job done by young lead actor Sam Ashe Arnold as Ricky. Ricky learned some valuable lessons and brought his club closer together.  

Sam Ashe Arnold who plays Ricky decided drop by for the screening and I asked him a couple questions:

Q: Do plan on becoming an actor as a full time career?

A: Ya, I’ve already done around nine other films and short films. I really love acting, it’s what I want to do for life.

Q: What is your favourite part about acting?

A: I’ve always loved storytelling, so that’s my favourite part for sure.

Q: Do you have any upcoming films?

A: Ya, I have a film called High Rise Rescue which is going to be on Super Channel!

To conclude, this film was entertaining for many of the young kids in the audience and the parents that they brought along.

Parents, take your kids to the festival on Saturday October 1st at 2:15 at Eau Claire if you’d like to go see a movie that’s actually kid friendly! 


Stranger Things

stranger-things-poster-netflix1Stranger Things

8 Episodes


William Byers was riding home from a ten hour Dungeons and Dragons campaign with his friends Lucas and Dustin (Toothless) at their friend Michael’s house when suddenly William disappears. The next morning, his distraught mother, Joyce Byers calls the Hawkins police department to see what they can do and the group of kids find this mysterious girl named Eleven.  As Hawkins chief of police ‘Hopper’ delves more and more into the case, he realizes things might be stranger than they seem.

I loved this TV series. I was so glad that I could binge watch it. It was almost like watching an 8 hour long movie! At the end of each episode I was so caught up in the story line that I was sitting at the edge of my seat. I could barely wait the 10 seconds it took for the next episode to load.  

My favourite character was Michael’s friend Dustin. He was hilarious and even if he was just a supporting character, the actor who played him did an amazing job. Toothless was always the voice of reason in the group, everyone could always count on him to figure a way out of a tough situation. I know the actor is only a kid but he out-acted almost everyone in the whole show!

I was not a fan of ‘the upside down’; the home of ‘the monster’. It was a little hard to follow when they had scenes that switched between the normal world and the upside down. I kind of wished they had explained the upside down and what Eleven did in it a bit more, but that lack of explaining is what made it so mysterious, so I can hardly dock points off for it.

66-0-0I enjoyed how this show was all about the kids and the kids did most of the story telling. They were good at it too! Props to Eleven for conveying so much emotion without almost any words. That made her character that more unexplainable and mystifying. The group of kids had to deal with some adult situations like taking care of Eleven by themselves and trying to find Will all by themselves.  and they just dealt with them like adults. Who could ask for anything more more?

I thought the flashback scenes to Eleven’s time in the facility were great. I really liked how something seemingly normal would happen and she would get triggered. Then we would see something from her memory that would give us a new clue in the mystery of the show. I loved how the show weaved through the past and the present like it was no big deal and every time we learned something important about the beloved characters of the series.

When the last episode of the season ended I was so sad. They left quite a few doors open for their season two that has already been confirmed and I cannot wait. If you were on the fence about watching this TV series, I highly recommend it. If you’ve already seen it, I recommend you watch it again. If you’ve done all of the above then just bask in the glory that is this TV show.


Ruby Skye P.I. Season 3: Ep. 11: A new Mystery



NOOO!!!!! This was the last episode of Ruby Skye P.I. Season Three: The Maltese Puppy. I’m so sad.

Everything is back to normal. Well, not quite, Ruby made up with everyone! She and Diana are friends now. I know it’s weird but it’s for the best. It was time they made up and became best buds. Ruby also gave Detective Von Schlagen new socks (because throughout the season whenever Pixel was around him the puppy would pee on him.) Even though Hailey was sad for a little while because Ruby made Hailey give Pixel – I mean Nicki, back to her rightful owner Kat,  but being the wonderful sister Ruby is, she got Hailey a new dog from the animal shelter named Mystery. By the end of the episode I think it’s safe to say that the world has been improved.

One of my favorite characters this season is Mr. Pendergas. I think he’s so funny because he calls other people hooligans and when Diana and Reeny Mussolini give him a candy bomb he yells out; “Thank you, you hooligans, wherever you are!” That part of the season was so funny!

Some things, never change though. We can’t forget about Edmund. Let’s just say Ruby didn’t just make up with Edmund – they made out. Yes, they kissed. Again. Is it now a thing where all season finales of Ruby Skye P.I. end with Ruby and Edmund kissing? Dear people at Ruby Skye P.I., is this going to become a tradition? I’m not going to argue with it being a tradition because it doesn’t seem like a bad idea. I just think if they’re going to keep on kissing they should sort out they’re relationship first. I mean, I’m not even 12 yet so I can’t say anything about relationships or anything, but they need to clarify if they’re friends or beyond friends, maybe avoid pretending like the other one of you doesn’t exist and try not to call each other a pain in the butt. Just a little advice.

Every Saturday I looked forward to waiting for the new episode to come out so I could watch it and then write about it. Ruby Skye P.I. is definitely one of my favorite TV series/Web series. I didn’t want this season to ever end. Please let the series never end but let’s not cry because season three is over on TV; you can always watch it all over again and you can re watch season one and season two at rubyskyepi.com, I know that’s what I’ll be doing.

Ruby Skye PI Interview with Scott Beaudin (Edmund O’Fyne)

Edmund rocks itI recently had the privilege to talk to Ruby Skye P.I.’s Scott Beaudin who plays Edmund, Ruby’s mischievous and somewhat crazy friend. Thanks Scott Beaudin for squeezing me in to your no doubt busy schedule.

Calgary Kid Critic: What is it like kissing someone while being filmed?

Scott Beaudin: It’s actually not a very big deal at all. It’s choreography, just like a dance move or like any other movement that you do, you just try be professional about the whole thing and it’s totally fine. Madison Cheeatow (Ruby Skye) was also really professional about the whole thing and we’re able to to do it, and it’s not that it was gross or anything it’s just we try to treat it as if it’s no big deal.

CKC: How did you learn about Ruby Skye P.I.?

SB: I got a call telling me about auditions for it and and this was back in 2012 so I went and auditioned for Kelly Harms, the director, and they liked me and I had long hair at the time and they liked my long hair and I did a good enough job at the audition that they asked me to play Edmund.

CKC: How did you get started as an actor?

When I was 8 years old I did a theatre program and at the end of that the director of that suggested to my parents that I get started in the business. They were a little tentative at first but my parents have been really, really, really supportive of me and and they drove me from Hamilton to Toronto all the time for auditions and I slowly fell in love with it as I got older and now it’s really the only thing I’m good at anymore.

CKC: What is it like being a part of the whole Ruby Skye P.I. project?

SB: It’s a blast! Kelly Harms the director and Jill Golick and Julie the writers and creators are just terrific. The cast is great. Madison Cheeatow and Marlee Maslove (Hailey Skye) are amazing and really just feels like a family especially when we came back to do season three. It was really just a really warm set and everyone’s so nice and it was also a lot of fun to spend a lot of time with all the puppies, getting to film and play with all the puppies between takes was a lot of fun.

CKC: Is there any particular character on Ruby Skye P.I. that you would like to play other than Edmund?

SB: I would love to play Colin Cumberbund but I know that there is no way that I would be as funny as Sean Cullen, because he is brilliant. He is so funny he made us laugh all the time; in between takes and at lunch and any time we weren’t filming and even when we were. It just took us  several tries to do [a scene] without laughing because Sean can just make things up on the spot very easily and he was making us laugh all the time.Ch3EdmundStare

CKC: Did I by any chance see you on a McDonalds commercial?

SB: Good eye! I was! For the Dollar Drinks.

CKC: What are the differences between being a part of a commercial as opposed to a web series/TV series?

SB: I guess a commercial is very quick, you don’t get to know people as well, whereas on a web series you get more of a character that you get to play with and you get to grow in that character and find interesting moments that way and you get to work with a cast and a crew over an extended  period of time which is really enjoyable. Commercials tend to be a little impersonal at times, but I think they can still be very fun as well.

CKC: Now that Ruby Skye P.I. is on TV, what are the differences between filming for an audience on the internet as opposed to filming for an audience on TV?

SB: When we were just shooting for Ruby Skye P.I.com we really only had to answer to ourselves  and when you’re filming for TV you’re working with a whole bunch of new people. So now we’re working with all the folks over at CBC and we’re very fortunate that they’re amazing and we get along great and they share ideas with us and we share ideas with them.  We come together and you  add more people to the mix when you’re shooting for TV and so you get much more people on the project that want to make it great.

CKC: Edmund is a pretty normal character as opposed to Reeny Mussolini or Mrs. Googe, how can you relate to Edmund?

SB: Edmund is mischievous, he likes to have fun. I think I’m the same way. Edmund cares a lot about his friends, he really cares about Zoffi, and obviously Ruby. I am really close with all my friends and I think that’s where we’re alike. But I think Edmund’s very clever, I think he’s more clever than I am in real life.

CKC: Do you plan on continuing acting as a professional career?

Oh I do! I hope to do it for many more years!

CKC: Why?

SB: I really love to do theatre and I really love the energy that you get from fellow actors and from an audience that way and I love watching movies and it’s a lot of fun making them as well.Ch 1 Edmund Bye

CKC: Do you have any role models or heroes?

SB: I guess my parents are really big role models for me. I look up to them a lot growing up. In terms of my acting heroes, I really like Philip Seymour Hoffman and I really like Sean Penn. I also really like Heath Ledger as well  and those are just some professional actors that I look up to.

CKC: Are you going to be in anything new in the near future?

SB: I’m going to be in an episode of Murdoch Mysteries which is on CBC, I’ll be playing Thomas Edison Jr. on that, and I’ll be on an episode of Saving Hope as well.

CKC: Do you know if their is going to be a season four of Ruby Skye P.I.?

SB: I don’t know! I actually can’t tell you. I hope that CBC is optimistic enough to give us another season because I think it would be a lot of fun and I think Ruby has a lot of fans that want another season.

Thanks so much Scott Beaudin for  answering my questions and I hope I get to talk to you again in the future.  

Ruby Skye P.I. Season 3: Ep. 10: Honour Among Thieves

Ch 1 Edmund Nothing

Great job Ruby! She got the wacko police officer (Detective Von Schlagen) to arrest Trudy and Mr. Cumberbund for robbing F.O.N.K. but like all things, it isn’t over yet. We still need to know who the buyer is and Ruby needs to tell someone F.O.N.K. is a scam. And let’s not forget the fragile emotional side of things with Edmund and Diana.

My favorite part of this episode is when Zoffi gives Reeny a big orange flower (perfect for Reeny) and with the help of Edmund creates a flash mob. All for Reeny Mussolini. That part was so cute! I wish someone liked me that much to do that! It would be so amazing, how could you ever say no to that?

Will Ruby ever be able to salvage a friendship with Diana? They’ve really been fighting a lot. I think Diana is ready to move on. She did text Ruby that F.ON.K. was a scam. Maybe there is a sprout of a friendship there? But there is only going to be a friendship if Ruby is willing to put behind all the fighting that they’ve been doing over the years.

Sigh, it’s the penultimate episode of the season! (Meaning it’s the second last episode of the season.) I wish it would never end! I wish the season would go on  for all eternity. An infinity season, with countless mysteries. But alas, like all great things Ruby Skype P.I. must end at some point. But, let’s not get all sad and a emotional yet! It isn’t over yet! There’s still one more episode after this one. I will just watch all of the episodes on youtube over and over again in anticipation for the last one!

Until next week!

Visit the Ruby Skye PI website HERE to watch all of the episodes with me.

Ruby Skye PI Interview With Hannah Spear – Reeny Mussolini

Reeny MussoliniI recently got the chance to talk to Hannah Spear who plays Reeny Mussolini on season 3 of Ruby Skye P.I.: The Maltese Puppy.  She was really nice to talk to and even though she is an actress who’s been in all sorts of things I found her super relatable and easy-going.

Calgary Kid Critic: What is it like being  new at Ruby Skye P.I.?

Hannah Spear: Being new at Ruby Skye P.I. was very exciting because the first two seasons were so awesome and I was a fan of the show myself before I got cast in it so I was a little intimidated coming on to season 3 but everybody was so sweet; all the writers and director was so sweet, Madison Cheeatow who plays Ruby Skye was so sweet and everybody made me feel so comfortable and so absolutely welcome that after the first hour or so I felt right at home which was really nice.

CKC: Reeny Mussolini isn’t exactly normal when it comes to social interactions are you anything like Reeny personally or socially?

HS: Yes! Absolutely I Ch 2 We're Out of Coffeecan really relate to Reeny she’s so awkward. I think that what I really love about her is she seems to get flustered very easily and I find in social situations I can get a little flustered myself and become overwhelmed and something will just blurt out of my mouth and I’ll want to take it back immediately and be like uhh, excuse myself now uh oh, but I think that we are very similar in that way we’re both pretty awkward in some situations.

CKC: Would you like to be an actress as a professional career?

HS: Absolutely yes 100%, yes! I love acting it’s my passion. It makes me so happy.

CKC: What inspired you to become an actress?

HS: Hmm, that’s a good question, my mom put me in plays when I was younger and I just really loved making people laugh.  I think it was the first thing I sort of got addicted to, having everyone’s attention and being able to make them laugh and lighten the mood.  I watch a lot of movies, I’m a big fan of movies myself so I guess whenever I go see a movie in a movie theater I would chill and always just imagine it was me up there playing a superhero or flying a plane or getting to do all these different things that I had imagined in my mind and could maybe make them sort of a reality?  But not really because it would be acting._MG_5626

CKC: A lot of the other cast members of Ruby Skye P.I. go to school, are you one of them?

HS: I’m not, I’m not in school, I graduated Highschool many years ago and I guess I’m in the school of the streets I mean I’m still learning all the time and I do take acting classes so I guess that is a sort of school but I’m not in school.

CKC: Have you been in anything else other than Ruby Skye P.I.?

HS: Yes I have.  I was in a web series called S.O.S. and in another web series called Versus Valerie in that one I played Valerie I was the main character and she is a really awesome nerd girl who loves Star Wars and video games and comic books and it’s about the world through her eyes and so it was pretty fun.

CKC: How do you prepare for a role?

HS: Well I guess It’s hard to explain, on one hand it’s so specific for each character that I play.  I do research if I can and I do physical movement to get my body in a different physicality for each character.  I guess the first thing that I do is I try to figure out all the ways I’m similar to the character and all the ways that I’m completely different and I try and build on either side of things.ruby5_3_edit

CKC: How did you come to be Reeny Mussolini?

HS: I auditioned.  I sent in an audition tape and then I got a call back where I met with Jill Golick (the creator of Ruby Skye P.I.) and Kelly Harms (Producer) and I guess they liked my audition and they cast me, Yay!

CKC: Now that the season is being aired on TV are you going back to your normal routines?

HS: Yes, for the most part life is as it was before but it’s fun because I get to watch the episodes too and I get to see how it all came together so that’s really fun for me.

CKC: Do you have a new normal from before you were an actress then now?

HS: I don’t think so I think I’m always just Hannah, kind of changing and adapting to new situations that I’m presented with but for the most part, life is pretty much the same.

CKC: Do you have any role models?

HS: Yes! My number one role model is Meryl Streep, she’s pretty awesome, I love her. She is my favorite actress and I think she is so cool. I also have friends who I really admire and who are great and who work really hard and I find inspiring as artists. My mom is a big role model of mine actually because she’s a really strong woman, super funny and she’s always so positive and she’s always supported me and I’ve supported her.

CKC: Do you kno_MG_5331w if their will be another season of Ruby Skye P.I. and if you’ll be in it?

HS: Well I don’t know the answer to either of those questions, I’m not sure if they’ll be another season and I don’t know if maybe Reeny will make an appearance.  Maybe her really caffeinated self will make an appearance but who even knows. I don’t know? But that would be awesome though.

Well, Thanks again Hannah Spear for taking the time to talk to me and I hope we will have the chance to talk again.

Ruby Skye P.I. Season 3: Ep. 9: The Smoking Poop


Mrs. GoogeSo Hailey has been kidnapped. With the help of Kat, Pixel’s REAL owner and absolutely no help from detective Von Schlagen, Ruby finds out that  Mr. Cumberbund and Trudy Snood captured Hailey.  When Ruby finds Hailey Mr. Cumberbund finds Ruby and by the end of the episode Ruby is captured too!!!

I love how Mrs. Googe plays along to the fact that she thinks Ruby is a horrible person just because she wants to do the right thing. Even if it means breaking her sister’s heart. Ruby just wants to make things right. She just wants to give Pixel or Nicki or Fluffy or what ever the heck that cute little dog’s real name is back to Kat the little girl.

I don’t understand why the police officer always says “roll your eyes at your mother like a Von Schlagen and glovenormal teenager” or “throw your cloths on the floor like a normal teenager” or “go slam some doors like a normal teenager.” Detective Von Schlagen; Ruby Skye is NOT a normal teenager. Stop asking her to be like one?

I am so excited for the next episode I hope that Ruby and her sister will meet the buyer that Trudy was talking about. I wonder who that is? The ice cream man from season one? No it can’t be him, he is way too nice. He gave away his lucky hat to someone who really needed it. He would never illegally buy stolen flobbles.  Someone else from The Big Chill? Maybe but we’ve only really seen one other person at the big chill that works there. The random guy that worked at the till when Zoffi wasn’t there. Maybe it’s Griffin from season one? But he’s too young. Maybe it’s the people who were trying to scam everybody in Season One?

Ruby Skye P.I.  started on Youtube in 2010.  There’s been two other seasons. Season One: The Spam Scam about the fake nigerian prince scam for money via a fake charity for animals in need and Season Two: The Haunted Library about a crazy old lady that mysteriously dies and leaves a puzzle for a will, Ruby must find the will before either members of the old lady’s crazy descendants. I think it was good then and it has only gotten better!