Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Movie Review: Penguins of Madagascar


If you've seen any of the Madagascar movies, you might remember that the penguins were always concocting plans and being crazy. The penguins now have their own spin-off film, Penguins of Madagascar, and the movie was basically like a James Bond movie, but with penguins - and a lot of fun and silliness thrown in.

Skipper (voiced by Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), and Rico (Conrad Vernon) start off as young penguins here, who see a penguin egg roll down the tundra and follow it. Soon, Private (Christopher Knights) is born, and they take him under their wings, so to speak. Years go by, but unfortunately, they're unaware that a villain, Dave (John Malkovich), an octopus, has harbored a plan for revenge against them; the reason for this is that every time the penguins got transferred to a zoo that Dave was living at, Dave was no longer the main attraction, as kids and adults flocked to see the penguins rather than them. Dave's plan is to use his evil potion machine to change all of the penguins in the world into ugly monsters, but the North Wind - Classified (Benedict Cumberbatch), Short Fuse (Ken Jeong), Eva (Annet Mahendru), and Corporal (Peter Stormare) - hears about the plan and decides to rescue the penguins. (Little do they know that Kowalski's bunch of penguins can do their own rescuing ...)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Yes/No Foods: Giulio & Sons (adoba hotel), Dearborn, MI #EcoTravelwithadoba


*Disclosure: I received complimentary meals at Giulio & Sons to facilitate this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Get ready to drool a bit more, my moviegoer friends. I recently talked about my experience at Buddy's Pizza in Dearborn, during the #EcoTravelwithadoba blogger event, and during the event, we dined at Giulio & Sons (in the adoba* hotel) three times - twice for breakfast, and once for dinner.

This post will focus on the dinner, but the breakfasts were delicious as well - the best deal is the breakfast buffet ($15) which has pretty much everything.

The first thing you'll notice when you arrive at Giulio & Sons for dinner is the dessert buffet, because most likely you will walk past it to your table. Definitely save room for dessert, as the buffet is delicious.

(there were almost TOO many to choose from - the restaurant's famous bread pudding, tiramisu, cannolis, cakes, and more)

We were "good" and started with salad, though, as well as some wine (Riesling, for me). I'm a little picky about salad dressings (I like sweet or savory dressings) and theirs was very good - some sort of vinaigrette.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Yes/No Foods: Buddy's Pizza, Dearborn, MI #EcoTravelwithadoba



*Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal at Buddy's to facilitate this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I had the pleasure of dining at Buddy's Pizza in Dearborn, MI last week during my "staycation" at the adoba hotel (check bloggingisatrip.com next week for my hotel review). I had been to Buddy's Farmington Hills location before, and also its Royal Oak take-out location, but never to the Dearborn one.

This location is conveniently located on Michigan Ave., in what could be considered "downtown" Dearborn. We started the meal with a round of Buddy Bread, and then came the pizzas. Ohhhh, the pizzas.


For those who don't know, Buddy's is one of the restaurants in this area famous for its "Detroit-style" pizzas (sauce on the top). It's also famous for its deep-dish pizza, so of course I had to order a 4-piece.

I ordered the Lake Superior pizza, which includes pine nuts, pepperoni, a Motor City cheese blend, fresh basil, a tomato basil sauce, and Buddy's Sicilian spice blend. I also added mushrooms and roasted tomatoes to it. At first, however, I was served this pizza, which ended up being the Lake Huron pizza that fellow blogger Mary from Raising Dick and Jane had ordered:

A photo posted by Liz Parker (@yesnofilms) on

(in case you are wondering, the Lake Huron pizza has the same Motor City cheese blend, along with a spinach and artichoke blend, roasted tomatoes, and fresh spinach)

Movie Review - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1


Mockingjay - Part 1 is very different from the previous two Hunger Games movies, as avid readers will know, in that the Games are now over and revolution has taken its place. Peeta has been taken hostage by the Capitol, in a manner of speaking, and Katniss and her mother, sister, and Gale have taken refuge in district 13, which had once thought to be nonexistent. Because of this, I didn't enjoy Mockingjay as much as the last two films; however, it's definitely still worth seeing.

The President of District 13, President Coin (Julianne Moore) and Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman, in one of his last remaining roles) want Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) to be the face of the revolution. They hope to entice more people to fight, and to rebel against the Capitol. Katniss is unsure if Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is still alive, until she sees a Capitol interview with him and Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), in which he appears robotic and changed. This is all due to President Snow (Donald Sutherland), of course, although Katniss and her team don't find out until later about the extent of his changes.

Beetee (Jeffrey Wright) has also been able to hack into the Capitol's broadcast system, and he is working on airing a series of events to the Capitol's citizens, so that they know the Capitol is evil. They try filming a staged promo with Katniss, who does not do well with that, so instead they send her and a team out to District 8 to help rally and motivate the people there; when the Capitol sees Katniss on camera there, they send fighter jets of sorts to attack, which only provokes her.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Cirque Dreams Holidaze, 12/17 at the Fox Theatre {Detroit}, ends 11/28

I'm very excited to attend Cirque Dreams Holidaze next month at the Fox! I've seen Cirque du Soleil in Vegas before, and their shows are always a treat to behold.

Cirque du Soleil sold out their performances in 2009, 2011, and 2013 at the Fox, and it returns this year, from Tuesday, December 16 through Saturday, December 20.

Tickets (starting at $24) are on sale now and can be purchased at OlympiaEntertainment.com, The Fox Theatre and Joe Louis Arena box offices, Hockeytown Authentics in Troy (without service charge) at all Ticketmaster locations and Ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000. Groups of 10 or more receive a discount by calling 313-471-3099. For additional information, call (313) 471-6611.



Official synopsis:
Created by Broadway director Neil Goldberg, Cirque Dreams Holidaze is “so full of energy it could end our dependence on oil” according to the New York Daily News and "a delicious confection of charm, sparkle and talent by the sleigh load." The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle raves, "even the Grinch would be impressed with this Christmas wonderland." "Stuffed with so much holiday cheer and audacious acts, Scrooge would exit with a big ol' smile on his face," hails the Erie Times News about this "Broadway-worthy spectacle." "The perfect way to come in from the cold, forget the holiday stresses and find the magic of the season" proclaims The Oakland Press. Don't miss the international sensation that "Dazzled…at The Kennedy Center" according to the Washington Post.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze is an original musical extravaganza of ornaments that re-imagines the holiday season with over 300 costumes, 20 acts and 30 performers from 12 countries showcasing an endless variety of imaginative, heart-pounding and gravity- defying feats you have to see to believe. Experience gingerbread men flipping mid air, toy soldiers marching on thin wires along with snowmen, icemen and penguins, balancing, jumping and spinning in disbelief. The show celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with singers, choreography and exciting production numbers. Performers twirl, bounce and soar thru the air to original music and seasonal favorites brought to life within a stage setting of gigantic gifts, colossal candy canes and 30-foot towering trees & soldiers creating a wonderland of amazement.

Performance Schedule:
Tuesday, December 16 8 p.m.
Wednesday, December 17 8 p.m.
Thursday, December 18 8 p.m.
Friday, December 19 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 20 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Giveaway: UDM Theatre Co.'s "It's a Wonderful Life" {Detroit}, ends 11/23

The Theatre Company at UDM (University of Detroit Mercy) will be doing a special holiday production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play," by Joe Landry, and you can win a pair of tickets here!

The production involves seven actors who will be recreating the characters of this classic story, with sound effects, 1940s glamour, and a few surprises. The show opens on December 5th.

Performances take place on the lower level of the Student Life building on the UDM McNichols Campus (4001 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit) at 8pm on December 5th and 7th, and you can buy tickets hereIndividual tickets are $20 for Adults and $17 for discount admission (Seniors, UDM and Marygrove Faculty and Staff, Alumni, Donors and Detroit residents). Student admission (with ID) is $10, and UDM and Marygrove student admission is $5 (with ID). Group rates are available.

About the show:
“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” retells the tale of George Bailey, a man on the brink of
desperate deeds with a wish that he’d never been born. Through the efforts of his guardian angel,
Clarence, George is shown that his actions throughout life have made a great difference in the lives of others, bringing George to realize, he has truly lived a wonderful life.

GIVEAWAY:

Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Winner will receive two tickets to the 8pm show on Sunday, December 7th. Tickets can be shipped to winner or can be made available at Will Call the night of the show.

Giveaway will end on Sunday, November 23rd at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified the next day via email and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 14, 2014

Movie Review: Rosewater


Rosewater focuses on the Iranian government's detainment of Maziar Bahari over allegations that he was a spy. I knew going in that it was based on a true story, but I didn't know anything else about the film, and it ended up being very interesting.

Maziar (Gael Garcia Bernal) lives in London with his wife, who is six months pregnant. He was born in Iran, so it makes sense that Newsweek sends him back to Iran in June 2009 to cover the election; he'll also get the chance to visit with his mother, who still lives there. He films both the election and the dissent that follows, and the next day, men from the Iranian forces come to his mother's house and take him to prison, where he will remain for the next four months because they're convinced Maziar is a spy for the U.S. government and Newsweek.