A ChucksConnection Film Review


Eden McCoy wears black low top Converse “Chuck Taylor” All Stars in the film.
Darius Marcel wears white low top Converse “Chuck Taylor” All Stars in the film.
Cooper Motherbaugh wears black high top Converse “Chuck Taylor” All Stars in the film.



The Kids From 62-F

by Hal Peterson

 

The Kids From 62-F still 1

Hike, Cassie, Coltrane and Nina rest along the causeway of the aqueduct.


A flashback of five years opens The Kids From 62-F. We see young Cassie (Eden McCoy) and her mother (Rebecca Reaney) mourning the loss of their father and husband, who was a NASA astronaut. Cassie, who narrates much of the film, tells us of her great admiration for her father, and how she wants to follow in his footsteps, exploring space in search of other life. Then the focus returns to the desert town of Palmdale, California, where Cassie lives and spends most of her time with three other middle-school-aged friends, Hike (Will Spencer), Coltrane (Darius Marcel), and Nina (Gigi Cesaré). They call themselves the Kids from 62-F (that title refers to Planet Kepler 62-F also known as Centi-ret Planet One) because of their mutual interest in all things space-related, and we meet them hurrying down the Palmdale Aquaduct flying a NASA logo kite. Within the group, Cassie is the natural leader and ideas person, Coltrane is the tech genius, Hike is the go to guy when something has be done, and Nina is the reluctant one, worried about taking risks or chances, or getting in the way of the authorities. Their fun together is soon interrupted by the town bully BJ (Cooper Motherbaugh) and his cohorts, Red (Waam Weinfeld) and Mitchell (Moah Pollas). BJ tells them that the aqueduct is off limits to them and then after some arguing rips their kite apart with his knife. However, spring break is coming and the four 62-F kids have some important star gazing to do, so they just leave.


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Bullies BJ, Red, and Mitchell confront the four friends.


The main story gets under way when Cassie discovers a locked safe in her mother’s bedroom that belonged to her father. She enlists the help of Coltrane to open it. Inside they find classified NASA documents and a metal star. The documents talk about events on some of her father’s space flights where they encountered aliens. There is a passionate letter from her father saying how important it is to return the star to its rightful owners, who are from another planet. This now becomes the mission of the 62-F kids. Their only problem: how do you actually accomplish this? When Cassie touches the star, she hears a humming sound and sees at different times vague images of a brown building and an airplane. Coltrane and the others begin researching and discover a YouTube video of UFOs in one of Cassie’s father’s mission, and that the images she is seeing in her dreams can be found in a nearby airpark. But when they try to go to the airpark by train they are told they not allowed on it by a security guard, and when they then bike there, the airpark is closed. Frustrated, they return home. That night, while stargazing in Cassie’s back yard, the star suddenly comes to life when Cassie touches it, putting out a rising beam of light, traveling up into the sky, and projecting an astral image of the solar system. Did it get a signal? the kids ask themselves. Clearly it connected to something.


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The four friends getting up from a poolside planning session to get inside the safe.


The next day, the mysterious light caused by the star is all over the news. Was it a mysterious UFO? the newscasters are asking. While watching the news, Cassie is told by her mom how she doesn’t believe in UFOs like her husband did and that the YouTube video about his mission was fabricated according to NASA. That morning two NASA agents show up at their front door asking to see the safe. Cassie’s mom gives her OK but when they open it, the agents find nothing inside. They eventually leave but are suspicious of Cassie and decide to start watching her. Later that morning, the 62-F kids meet on a bridge over the aqueduct to talk about what to do next. Unfortunately BJ and Red show up again to bully them. This time they actually fight but BJ ends up taking Cassie’s backpack along with the star. Now to recover her backpack, Hike must sneak into BJ’s house. He is successful, but the star is not inside the backpack. Things take another major turn that evening, when the 62-F kids are now contacted by two young aliens who actually own the star. Pylar (Logan Shaefer) and Sylar (April Marshall-Miller) are back on earth to retrieve it and its companion, a pentagon shaped device it pairs with. How they strive to complete this mission in conflict with the NASA agents, other authorities, and the disbelief of Cassie’s mom makes up the balance of the film.


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Cassie watching the news with her mom.

 

There is nothing in this film that we haven’t seen before in other films with similar stories, E.T., No Place Like Home, Earth to Echo, and Starman, to name a few. There are a few good special effects, like the translators the aliens use to communicate with Cassie and the others. The Kids From 62-F is the work of independent filmmaker Imani Shakur, who wrote, directed, and cast the film among other things. This movie is primarily meant for the younger set and the interaction between the four leads is what makes it bearable to watch. The film editing could use a lot of work, especially toward the end of the film where the scenes don’t fit together very well: action is omitted that should be there, and the social messages at the end could be a little less corny. The musical score tended to get in the way of several scenes making it difficult to understand the dialog. This reviewer and others would like to know where the filmmaking manual that requires bully scenes, bumbling bad guys, and gross toilet humor for all kids films is located, so it could be destroyed once and for all. Those scenes take one’s focus away from the potential of the story in this film and really aren't necessary for the story to work. The Kids From 62-F would have become a much better film if more investment was made in the overall script writing instead of relying on those clichés.

 

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Alien Pylar zaps BJ and the other bullies when they try to interfere.


Best Chucks Scene


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The camera shows a close up of Coltrane and Cassie’s chucks as she searches through her recovered backpack.


Eden McCoy in her role as Cassie wears black low cut chucks with black laces in many of her scenes in the film and Darius Marcel wears optical white low cut chucks in his role as tech whiz kid Coltrane in many of his scenes. Cooper Motherbaugh wears black high top chucks throughout the film in his role as chief bully BJ. There are several close up shots throughout the film. The best two are when Cassie and Coltrane are camping out and when BJ and Red are running away from Alien Pylar.


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BJ and Red run away in a hurry after being zapped.


The Kids from 62-F. (2016) Eden McCoy, Darius Marcel, Cooper Motherbaugh, Will Spencer, April Marshall-Miller, Gigi Cesaré, Rebecca Reaney, Arthur Richardson. Written and directed by Imani Shakur.
Categories: Family, Action/Adventure, Sci Fi/Fantasy.
ChucksConnection Rating: 2.5 chucks MPAA Rating: PG

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