A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The History of Future Folk is a quirky 2013 movie about a pair of aliens sent to destroy the Earth who change their minds after hearing music for the first time. It's a charming low-budget indie film that should appeal to parents and kids who appreciate strong story lines and don't mind minimal special effects. There's some frank discussion between a father and daughter about marital problems. There's also some fighting: Characters get into a huge brawl in a holding cell in jail, for instance, and, in other scenes, an elderly woman is karate-chopped and knocked out, a female police officer is taken prisoner, and a security guard is head-butted. Overall the film's message about the transformative power of music should appeal to a broad spectrum of viewers.
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What's the story?
General Traius is sent by the Planet Hondo to destroy the planet Earth. But when he visits a large hardware store for supplies, he hears music for the first time, falls in love with it, and changes his name to "Bill Hunt." He marries and has a child and also plays guitar and sings at a local bar while dressed in his red space suit. As he has settled into this new life on Earth, an assassin named Kevin is sent from Hondo to kill him for failing to fulfill the mission, but when General Traius plays him a medley of songs on a banjo, Kevin too falls in love with music. Kevin immediately learns guitar and joins Traius at his bar gig, and together they form the two-piece band Future Folk. As they start to gain a following, they also must find a way to prevent the planet Hondo from fulfilling its desire to destroy the Earth.
Is it any good?
THE HISTORY OF FUTURE FOLK is a quirky, low-budget indie movie that is as silly as it is bittersweet. Imagine Flight of the Conchords or Tenacious D as red space-suited aliens, and you begin to get the idea. It's an entertaining premise that does not let the lack of funds for big-budget special effects get in the way of a story that proves you don't need millions of dollars to make an enjoyable movie.
It's also a ludicrous premise, but the acting and the overall theme of the transformative powers of music is so assured and charming, it isn't the worst thing in the world to simply suspend your disbelief and enjoy this film on its own terms. Funny and strange, this one-of-a-kind movie is worth repeated viewings.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about low-budget independent movies. How do movies like this become popular?
How is the film's overall message on the transformative powers of music shown and discussed throughout the movie?
How does the film use comedy to tell its story, and where does the film present more serious messages?
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