August 7th, 2021
// Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival //
Parkway Theater in McKees Rocks
August 20th, 2021
// The Indie Gathering! //
"Jack and the Treehouse is appealing, because the story focuses on a kid who stands for what he believes. The kid has perseverance and never gives up. Plus, the plot is interesting and holds your attention.
The storyline focuses on a young boy named Jack (Eamonn McElfresh) whose grandfather (Cotter Smith) whom he shares a special bond with, passes away. After the grandfather’s death, his father (Dave Mansueto) continues his plan to cut down the woods, but Jack may put a stop to it.
I like that the story focuses on the power of a child. Many kids believe their voices aren't heard, but this film is the exact opposite. I didn't like that the plot starts to become less believable towards the end, when the father admits defeat and apologizes. The production values are quite good although some of the camera work is a bit shaky and, at times, the lighting is inadequate. The background music fits the tone of the various scenes. The rural setting is perfect. The young boy that plays Jack is excellent. He shows his determination, a bit of shyness and how he is just an average young boy. Cotter Smith plays Pap well, with a fun and happy demeanor. My favorite scene is when Gwen helps Jack with his wound. It's very sweet and heartwarming.
The message of the film is to never give up. Jack works hard enough and finally achieves his goal. Throughout the movie he dedicated, which sets a good example of reminding kids to follow their dreams and commit to achieving them. There is a small bit of profanity and drinking of alcohol. Also, there is some risky behavior such as when Jack stays at the top of the tree house, putting himself in danger.
I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. This is a good family film that would stimulate some good conversation afterwards."
Reviewed by Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic