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PCFF 2015 Day 1: A Fun-Focused Opening Night

Posted on | February 13, 2015 | Add Comments

PCFF RI 2015

Note From Flick and Flack: The PCFF runs from February 12-22. We’ll be offering daily reports with reviews of everything we see. Flack gets the ball rolling with his take on opening night. Check back tomorrow for Flick’s Friday scoop.

The Providence Children’s Film Festival kicked off it’s sixth fest yesterday with an opening night emphasizing fun. The film of the evening, Spanish kid-adventure Zip & Zap & the Marble Gang, was a big hit, with chuckling kids, smiling parents, and a generally rapt audience.

During the genial pre-screening party, attendees snacked on toast and spreads, chatting with friends and family. It was a big, warm, friendly party, undoubtedly. But the night also celebrated, championed, and displayed the best Providence has to offer: great art, great people, great places.

Oh…and the movie? Zip & Zap isn’t particularly original, nor thoughtful, but as a comic crowd-pleaser it would be hard to beat. Zip and Zap, the brothers of the title, are on the way to summer school as the film begins. But their initial irritation can’t prepare them for the uncompromising, joyless two months that await them. Sneaking by the eyepatch-wearing headmaster, his nasty henchman, and his dog, they form the “Marble Gang” with some new friends and wreak some anti-authoritarian havoc. Along the way, there’s a love-triangle, some twists, a big puzzle, and plenty of adventure.

With characters reminiscent of Harry Potter and a third-act indebted to The Goonies, the film serves up the kind of breezy adventure sure to win over young ones. It’s far from the best of the fest, but leave your cynicism at the door and you’re in for a fun ride. Perhaps there is something to be gleaned from the film’s message: playtime teaches you something too. One thing’s for sure. I left the theater hungry for more movies. For the next two weeks, there’s nowhere better to be.

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