Category: Movies & Shows

“I Am Eleven” Review

Age 11 is a bittersweet time. It is an age where one is not yet jaded and can still maintain an optimism and idealism about the world, while also becoming faintly aware of how scary and unjust it can be. It is truly the last year of unbridled innocence, the last hurrah of being a kid, and that fleeting spirit is captured marvelously in the new film I Am Eleven which is now headed towards limited theatrical release on September 12th.

IAmEleven_posterThe documentary explores the lives of several children from around the world who share their hopes and ambitions for their lives. Some of them are quite hilarious, while others are rather touching, and even a little bit sad as you realize the world that these kids are growing up into will strip some of their wide-eyed innocence away within one or two years. Fortunately, their thoughts and feelings have been immortalized here, and hopefully teens that watch it will relive some of the fun and love of life they surely experienced just a few short years ago when they, themselves, were 11.

We highly recommend this movie for families to watch together. The only criticism we have is that there is not enough follow up with the kids afterwards when they were older…just a few are featured, and too soon after the initial interviews to really see big changes in most.

Teens Wanna Know Rating: 7 out of 10

Official film website:





I AM ELEVEN – Official trailer 2014 from I Am Eleven on Vimeo.

Remi from France is wise beyond his years and will amaze you.
Billy, from England, is one of our favorite 11-year-olds on the planet.
The filmmaker, Genevieve Bailey. Photo credit: Henrik Nordstrom
Goh handles elephants like a boss. Photo credit: Henrik Nordstrom


Spoiled, entitled teens can learn something form this humble, lovely girl who makes the best of her situation. Photo credit: Henrik Nordstrom

At the Devil’s Door Review – Starring Naya Rivera, Ashley Rickards, Catalina Sandino Moreno

Teens looking for something to creep themselves out should check out the new film available on VOD this week, At the Devil’s Door.

The movie begins with realtor Leigh, played by Colombian actress Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace), encountering an uninvited visitor while performing a home inspection of an otherwise empty home. The backstory of this clearly disturbed squatter (Ashley Rickards from MTV’s Awkward) is that she fell in love with a young lad who took her to meet a creepy old man in order to earn a few bucks playing an even creepier “game.”

And of course, when you do weird things for money, bad things often happen. Including demonic possession.

at the devils door

Tasked with this oddball girl on her hands, Leigh must cancel going to her sister Vera’s art opening that evening. This gets the ball rolling on a series of events which draws Vera (played by Naya Rivera of Glee) into having to deal with the great evil which now envelopes all three women.

For those looking for a major special effects extravaganza, look elsewhere. But this is exactly what makes this movie so good. Most of the fear comes not from CGI or jump scares, but from unsettling noises, bangs, thumps, hums, and even drawers opening.  Filmmaker Nicholas McCarthy builds tension using a minimum of tools, and this results in some very effectively creepy moments.

In fact, the movie would be SO much better with even less. The one big misstep of this film is that they show the titular “devil” too much and too soon. Being as he looks like some skinny dude in a rubber suit with ram horns, this kind of kills the vibe. See the trailer and judge for yourself — he makes plenty of appearances there.

In the words of our 15-year-old lead host Michael Peña, “it looks like a guy in a leftover Halloween Town mask” and he could barely suppress his laughter whenever it appeared on screen.  He also just about lost it trying not to laugh during a jump scare which is an “are they serious?” moment, but we won’t spoil when this occurs. Another scene involving an African-American family is also a bit over-the-top.

Overall though, At the Devil’s Door is good fun for fans of scary movies, and the performances by the three female leads are decent. Rivera is especially good, and although she doesn’t play the character with a whole lot of expression, she does channel a lot of quiet strength into her — which is a refreshing change from the typical hysterical female shown in fright flicks.

Teen fav Rickards doesn’t have to do much besides act weird, leaving Sandino Moreno to try to inject some emotional depth into the film, which she does best when interacting with Rivera in the sister-to-sister scenes.  Youngster Ava Acres, who we briefly interviewed in this episode of Teens Wanna Know, does a suitable job in her pint-sized, yet sinister, role.

One last thing: the movie manages to deliver the chills without resorting to lots of gore or profanity…proving that less can be more in horror. Kudos to the filmmakers for that!

Teens Wanna Know’s rating: 7 out of 10. Recommended!

At the Devil’s Door is available on VOD August 8th and opens in select theaters September 12th.


Every Witch Way’s Melissa Carcache Throws Party for Hospitalized Miami Kids

Melissa Carcache, who plays school nurse “Lily” on Nickelodeon’s hit television series ‘Every Witch Way’, showed her non-witchy ways at a recent special premiere screening of the show for hospitalized kids at Miami Children’s Hospital.

In addition to showing the premiere of the 2nd season, she delighted the kids by signing autographs and posing for pictures. We LOVE when celebs give back and help others…way to go Melissa!

For those teens not yet familiar with Melissa, here are some fast facts:

  • was born and raised in Miami where the series is filmed
  • is bilingual, and very proud of her Cuban heritage
  • began ballet classes at the age 3
  • starred in her first dramatic play in Kindergarten
  • at 18 years of age, she was encouraged to leave Miami for Hollywood, where she landed her first big job: a national Intel commercial
  • “Lily” on “Every Witch Way” (a remake of the Spanish-language hit “Grachi”) is her first major television role. She plays lead character Emma’s witch guardian.
  • she chose Miami Children’s Hospital after becoming familiar with the staff when her brother fell ill.

Connect with Melissa on:


(All photos courtesy of Nicole Gonzalez, photographer and Jones & O’ Malley Public Relations)

Vampire Academy Movie Blu-Ray and DVD Hits Stores May 20 – Movie Review

VAMPIRE ACADEMYAnchor Bay Films and The Weinstein Company’s PG-13 rated VAMPIRE ACADEMY is hitting stores on May 20, 2014. The movie, available on BLU-RAY, DVD and digital download, is based on the Vampire Academy book series by New York Time best-selling author Richelle Mead, directed by MEAN GIRLS helmer Mark Waters and stars the relatively unknown Zoey Deutch and Lucy Fry, along with “Modern Family’s” Sarah Hyland and Cameron Monaghan from “Shameless.”

Vampire Academy follows the story of two teenage girls who happen to be vampires and attend a private vampire boarding school somewhere in Montana. Not to bore you with the details too much, but there are three breeds of vampires: the peaceful Moroi, the half-breed Dhampir, and the evil Strigoi. Our hero, Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch), is a Dhampir protector-in-training of her best friend, Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry), who is the last of a royal clan of Moroi and who possesses a special form of magic. This special magic makes her a target of certain do-badders, which leads to all sorts of action, romance, vampire fights, and all that kind of stuff. The love interest is provided by Russian actor Danila Kozlovsky, who looks like a young Jack Black — had Jack black graduated several P90X routines.

VAMPIRE ACADEMYSo, is this Harry Potter-meets-Twilight movie any good? Well, the consensus around the office was mixed at our screening, with the teenage boys dissing it while the females were a bit more enthusiastic. Personally, as an adult male, I think I would have enjoyed it had I drank 25 cups of espresso beforehand, which would have helped me follow along with the dizzying pace of the edits.

First, the beginning of the movie has a crazy fight scene that left most of us like “where the heck did that come from…who are these people and what is this all about?” Very little build-up. And the rest of Vampire Academy feels like watching an entire season of a CW series condensed down to an hour-and-a-half movie. Everything just moves so fast. When a character mentions they are going somewhere, BOOM the very next shot they are there, leaving you wondering whether they walked, took a cab, or somehow flew, because they rarely show the journey.

For the ADD Generation or fans of the book series, this probably works just fine. For those who have no familiarity with the Vampire Academy universe, it can be a bit much, as it seems the filmmakers just tried to desperately cram as much as possible into this film as possible without much exposition. The bonus scenes feature an explanation of the three vampire races which would have been a great addition to the beginning of the film.

All that being said, the movie does have a great element, which is Zoey Deutch. She is completely likable in this movie, and has all the best lines. I had never heard of her before this film, and it turns out she is the daughter of Lea Thompson, one of my favorite actresses from the 1980s, and who we interviewed in our WeSpark Episode. I want to see MORE of her! Sarah Hyland however…, this is not her best work by a long shot. And Lucy Fry doesn’t stand out much either, despite her prominent role.

So, overall it is an innocent bit of fun, and especially enjoyable if you are a teen girl based on the reactions we observed.

You can buy it here: Vampire Academy on Amazon

Hello, I am Zoey Deutch and I am awesome.

If you would like to win your very own copy of Vampire Academy on Blu-Ray, follow us on Instagram and pay attention to our posts this week — we are giving away three copies, but you never know when or how unless you follow!va_teaser#2_final

Teens, Free Up Your Netflix Account with Kidoodle.TV


Nothing is worse than having your kid brother or sister take over your Netflix account and add the latest Barney episodes to your queue. It certainly messes up your recommendations, doesn’t it?!

And you never know just what kind of content they are going to stumble upon — you really don’t need to hear the screams of terror as the latest episode of The Walking Dead is accidentally loaded up on your family’s iPad, do you?

Fortunately, a new streaming site has sprung up which not only will save you the embarrassment of having Tinkerbell’s Fairy Adventures in your “Recently Watched” list, but will also keep your young family members from viewing inappropriate content.

Kidoodle.TV is a subscription streaming service designed for children 12 and under, with loads of tot- and tween-friendly shows like My Little Pony, Caillou, Transformers, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Adventures of Chuck & Friends, Mona the Vampire, as well as science, nature, and wildlife content from National Geographic, such as “Crittercam” and “Wild Chronicles”. More content is slated to be added.

6_Purple Kid Profile _ 2013-09-23 at 1.48.18 PM

The platform is available for both Mac and PC environments, as well as iPad and iPhone app available through the Apple App Store. Access on Android and gaming consoles will also be available over the coming months, so hopefully both Xbox and Playstation-equipped.families can enjoy the service on a big screen soon.

For parents, Kiddoodle.TV offers the ability to create up to 5 profiles, with different age-restrictions and passcode protections for each.


Offering a 14 day free trial period, subscribers can sign up for Kidoodle.TV at for only $4.99/month plus any applicable taxed for unlimited streaming of children’s content. Annual subscriptions are available at $49.99/year plus tax.

This is so cheap, most teens can afford to buy it for their younger siblings themselves (but check with your parents first, please)!

For more information, visit

The Oscar® Race is ON!!! – Animated Feature Films Submitted

On your mark, get set, GO! The race for best animated feature is on and nineteen animated films have been submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category for the 86th Academy Awards® today. 

Every one of these films had an incredible team of artists who worked together to help bring the characters to life, so we want to congratulate them on this accomplishment and thank them for their hard work. And now the 19 submitted features, listed in alphabetical order, are (drum-roll, please!):

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”

Starring: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Neil Patrick Harris, Benjamin Bratt, Terry Crews, Will Forte, and Kristen Schaal









“The Croods”

Narrated by Emma Stone. Starring: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke and Cloris Leachman.









“Despicable Me 2”

Starring: Steve Carrel, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Crosgrove, Eisie Fisher, Dana Gaier, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan, and Ken Jeong.












Starring: Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler and Beyoncé Knowles.









“Ernest and Celestine”

Starring: Lambert Wilson, and Pauline Brunner









“The Fake”

Written and Directed by Sang-ho Yeon














“Free Birds“

Starring: Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, and Amy Poehler










Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Santino Fontana, and Josh Gad











Starring: Jake T. Austin, AnnaSophia Robb, Liam Neeson, Ben Vereen, Laurence Fishburne, Anika Noni Rose, Joey Richter, Catherine Tate, Richard E. Grant, Dee Bradley Baker, Greg Ellis, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Cody, Steve Buscemi, and Alexander Polinsky










“The Legend of Sarila”

Starring: Christopher Plummer, and Rachelle Lefevre.









“A Letter to Momo”

Starring: Karen Miyama, Yuka and Daizaburo Arakawa









“Monsters University”

Starring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, and Steve Buscemi










“O Apóstolo”

Starring: Carlos Blanco, Xosé Manuel Olveira ‘Pico’, and Paul Naschy










Starring: Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Priyanka Chopra, Brad Garrett, Cedric the Entertainer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Roger Craig Smith, John Cleese, and Carlos Alazraqui





“Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie – Rebellion”

Starring: Kana Asumi, Junko Iwao, and Emiri Katou










“Rio: 2096 A Story of Love and Fury”

Starring: Selton Mello, Camila Pitanga, Rodrigo Santoro, and Benvindo Sequeira











“The Smurfs 2”

Starring: Neil Patrick Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Jayma Mays, Katy Perry, and Hank Azaria











Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Peña, Snoop Dogg, Maya Rudolph, Michelle Rodriguez, and Samuel L. Jackson










“The Wind Rises”

Starring: Hideaki Anno, Miori Takimoto, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Masahiko Nishimura, Steve Alpert, Morio Kazama, Keiko Takeshita, Mirai Shida, Jun Kunimura, Shinobu Otake, and Nomura Mansai








So, hold on to your seats and wait to see who makes it when the nominations are announced live on Thursday, January 16, 2014, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Tough competition, since only 5 will be able to make it to the next step.

“What’s next?” you may ask. More waiting, the final winner will be announced March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® at the Academy Awards. So, don’t forget to tune in to ABC Network for the live event. This amazing show will also be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Have you watched all of these movies to make an educated guess of who will win? Who do you think will take away the prize? Tweet us your thoughts to @teenswannaknow using the hashtag #twkoscars and let us know.

Top 10 Best YouTube Channels That Aren’t Just Insanely Stupid

Sometimes, it feels like browsing YouTube can be hazardous to your (mental) health. Between endless videos of cats doing stupid cat things, to foul-mouthed hipsters being oh-so snarky, to the comment trolls, the world’s most-trafficked video site can be a pretty bleak place if you are looking for entertainment which isn’t laced with endless F-bombs or which appeals to those with an IQ higher than 40.

Fortunately, there are some pretty cool channels with some redeeming values on YouTube, you just have to know where to look. To help you out, we have compiled a list of the Top 10 YouTube Channels That Aren’t Just Insanely Stupid.

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10. How It Should Have Ended

How It Should Have Ended is a series of funny animations, which highlight how ridiculous some Hollywood movies really are, while proposing new, infinitely more hilarious endings to some of your favorites. How It Should Have Ended started in 2005, and is still going strong 8 years later!

9. Mr. Arturo Trejo

This YouTuber and dad who goes by Mr. Arturo Trejo films funny vlogs and skits involving his wife and son. Most of his humor is related to kids and having a family (like his video 18 Reasons Not To Have Kids, or How To Make Ladies Feel Sorry For You), but his videos have clean humor and can be watched by anyone (he has a cute kid too!)

8. FreddieW

Freddie Wong is a popular YouTube filmmaker and special effects artist, well-known for incorporating jaw-dropping visual effects into his short, funny skits. Freddie W also has his own production company RocketJump, with which he created the webseries Video Game High School.

7. Bad Lip Readings
Bad Lip Reading is a channel which parodies clips from movies, television shows, news, and music videos by dubbing the videos over with… well… bad lip readings! The creator of Bad Lip Reading, while anonymous, said that he was first exposed to lip reading when his mother lost her hearing. She was great at it. He however, was not, and BLR was born!

6. Improv Everywhere

Improv Everywhere is an improv comedy group based in New York that performs huge scenes in public, often involving bystanders unaware of what is going on. What sets Improv Everywhere apart from any other “prank” YouTube channel, is that the jokes aren’t mean-spirited, but instead are amusing and a nice surprise for everyone involved — like the time where they surprised a random couple in the park with a 5 star dinner and concert on the spot, surprised a random newlywed couple with an impromptu wedding reception, or when they got 100 people to line up in front of a local dollar store for Black Friday.

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5. Cinema Sins

The creators of CinemaSins (Chris Atkinson and Jeremy Scott) have taken it upon themselves to point out all of the “sins” found in many of the latest films, as well as some of the classics. While some people may find their hypercritical, snarky humor a bit annoying, they’re not immune to their own criticisms, even making a cinema sins about their own show!

4. Rhett and Link

Comedic duo Rhett & Link, best friends since the first grade, are YouTubers known for their viral low-budget commercials (their most famous is for taxidermist Chuck Testa!), as well as their comedy videos and songs which feature impressive visual effects work. And while they are comedians, they are also a big deal outside of YouTube, making it on Business Insider’s list of the “25 Most Creative people in Advertising: 2012”, as well as being called “Viral Video Masters” by Wired Magazine.

3. Corridor Digital

One of the best special effects YouTube channels, CorridorDigital specializes in making unique, visually complicated short videos. Spearheaded by Niko Pueringer and Sam Gorski, CorridorDigital has been creating intricate digital effects since 2010. Along with FreddieW, CorridorDigital has been one of the main inspirations for many other budding vfx artists on YouTube.

2. Phillip Defranco

Phillip Defranco is a YouTube celebrity and online news commentator, who selects several current events in the news, and provides his intelligent and funny opinions on the news, making his YouTube channel cool for staying stay up to date with current news, while watching it in an easy-to-consume format. While more reserved than other YouTubers like Shane Dawson or Ray William Johnson, Phillip Defranco does occasionally use some “language,” so use your own judgment and discretion. And he is a bit of a snarky foul-mouthed hipster like we mentioned in the intro, but he is a SMART snarky foul-mouthed hipster.

1. SoulPancake

SoulPancake is a media company that promotes spirituality, creativity, arts, and philosophy. SoulPancake was created by Rainn Wilson, who played Dwight on The Office, and his two friends Joshua Homnick and Devon Gundry.  SoulPancake is filled with plenty of inspirational, thought-provoking videos, which will restore your faith in humanity. Enjoy!

So, there you have it: 10 YouTube channels which aren’t a complete brain-putreying waste of time. Yay!

Oh, and don’t forget our own channel, the PenaChannel, where you can watch Teens Wanna Know!

(thanks to our very own lead host Michael Peña for his help in putting this article together!)

Teen Actors Jimmy Deshler and Riley Beres Team Up to Fight Homelessness with New Film

HFOO LogoHollywood is a world of fantasy, where dreams of stardom and riches can come true for those with lots of ambition and a bit of luck. Underneath the glitter, however, is a reality which isn’t quite so bright: the problem of homelessness, one which is prevalent in Southern California despite the enormous riches and opportunity which can be found here.

Two teen Hollywood actors have decided to do something about this by increasing awareness through a new documentary called “Hope for Our Own: An L.A. Story.” The film, which is being shot and produced by actor Jimmy Deshler, best known as “Rafe” on the extremely popular and long-lived soap opera General Hospital, and Riley Beres, best known for her role on “Matumbo Goldberg,” will bring viewers a first-hand view of the many faces of homelessness and also illuminate some “shocking facts,” according to the filmmakers.

We got the chance to ask these two positive teen role models a few questions about their project:

TWK: With so many causes out there why did you choose to advocate for the homeless?Any personal reasons?

Jimmy: I see how big of an issue it is, and feel like there isn’t enough people advocating help for the homeless. There are so many different shelters tjimmy deshlerhat specialize in certain types of homelessness, and I feel like if more people knew about them, more people would be helped. Obviously our goal isn’t to end homelessness, we simply want to inspire change and create hope

Riley: For me, I met a guy at the end of our visit to Hope of The Valley’s breakfast held at St. David’s Church. He came up to us and asked us to film him. His words and  his presence just sort of spoke to me. It made me think of how many homeless people are around our city and how we don’t always look at homelessness with the full picture. It make me think about how I feel when I see homelessness and it made me ask, “if I don’t really see homelessness outside of what I see on the streets, how do others see homelessness? And, how do we change that?” I mean people volunteer at animal shelters, hospitals, for admirable causes such as cancer or diabetes, but we aren’t really talking about volunteering and changing our outlook on homelessness. Homelessness is a loss of resource in our community and it affects our economy. I feel that the majority of people, I myself can be put it in that category, don’t really see homelessness outside of people who are chronically homeless; and I think there is a fear there that needs to be addressed so more people will come forward and help out. There is a stigma attached to it, based on what is easily seen but there is so much more to it than that and we all need a little education on it. I just don’t think people are talking about it enough and we need to start a conversation in order to initiate change. Personally, there has been a member or two in my extended family that have experienced homelessness, that had feeling of no way out and they rebounded. I feel, that it can and does happen. We as a public need to understand that.

riley beresTWK: So who is actually going to run the camera, Riley or Jimmy? Tell us what each of you will do.

Riley: Both Jimmy and I will be running the camera at different times. We will be alternating on asking interview questions and filming the interview itself. Both of us will be putting our input on any B-Roll that is included in the film. Basically, we are both an eye to the Director of Photography, as we compliment each other very well in our differences.

Jimmy: We will both be doing some filming and directing. We plan to take this on as a team, and work together to accomplish our goal

TWK: What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about homelessness?

Jimmy: I believe the biggest misconception about homelessness is “Oh, they’re homeless, they must be addicted to drugs or alcohol.”

Riley: In reality, homelessness could happen to absolutely anyone at anytime.

TWK: What is the biggest challenge to getting your film done?

Riley: This is really a two-fold answer in that we have two hurdles. The first is raising the money for filming permit. The second, is getting people to come forward with their stories of homelessness, since it is such a private struggle and people are afraid of being labeled.

Jimmy: The actual filming process is the least of our worries. We are more focused on raising funds for editing as well as promoting our film.

TWK: What are your plans once the film is done?

Jimmy: We plan to enter the film into some festivals and hopefully get good feedback and continue entering larger festivals. We also hope to use the film as an educational piece in schools and organizations. I plan to take what I learn during this process and volunteer my help to the different shelters in my area. I also plan on encouraging younger people to get involved with volunteering.

Riley: Of course, we would like to submit it to film festivals to get the word out there and start making our LA community thinking about homelessness in a new way.

It is inspiring to see these two teens in action to raise awareness for such a great cause! For more information, or to support these two filmmakers in their efforts, check out the links below.

Website :