Friday, October 24, 2014

Movie Review: John Wick


At age 50, Keanu Reeves proves he's still "got it" in John Wick, a film that's low on plot but keeps the action moving consistently throughout. There seem to be an influx of "retirement movies" recently, where a retired agent or bad guy will come out of retirement to fulfill a certain goal, and John Wick in the genre; in this case, however, it's a certain string of events that provoke John into returning to his hitman days.

John Wick's (Reeves') wife has just passed away, and one day he receives a special delivery: a puppy, sent from her when she knew she was getting sick. John treasures this puppy, since it's one last connection to his wife. While at a gas station one day, John runs in to some thugs, who are coveting his vintage automobile; one of the thugs asks "How much?" and John says it's not for sale. The thugs don't like that, and later break into his house and steal the car, among other things. However, they had no idea that John used to be a hitman, and in fact worked with the mafia kingpin father of one of the thugs, and they soon find out they chose the wrong guy to beat and rob.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Joy (Iesodo) on DVD, ends 10/30

I gave away Faith in the Iesodo series back in March, and now Joy has just been released and one of my lucky readers will win a copy.

JOY DVD SYNOPSIS:

(Yay-Sa-Doe) is a wise white dove whose name means “The Way of Jesus.” He and his feathered friends bring your favorite New Testament stories to life in a whole new way including this special re-imagining of the Nativity story. Let your heart take flight and tweet along to holiday carols and all-new songs!

Festivities are in full swing as the flock prepares to celebrate Iesodo's birthday! The Cypress Tree is decked out with holly berries and excitement is in the air. Everyone gathers as Rocky shares the incredible story of Iesodo's birth.

FULL SERIES: 
Iesodo and his feathered friends bring your favorite New Testament stories to life in a whole new way. Iesodo (pronounced Yay-Sa-Doe) and his friends live in the Holy Land, in a beautiful Cypress Tree on the shores of a vast Lake (or as we know it, the Sea of Galilee). These birds are an unlikely group of friends, and though they have their differences, they have one thing in common: since they met Iesodo, their lives have never been the same. Now they’re out to spread his message of hope to the entire bird world!

GIVEAWAY: Beethoven's Treasure Tail Blu-ray combo pack, ends 11/3

Beethoven's Treasure Trail is currently out on Digital HD, and will be released on Blu-ray combo pack on October 28th. However, you can win your copy from me today!

I used to love the Beethoven movies as a kid, and so I was excited to see that they have another one coming to Blu-ray/DVD.

The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack includes a Blu-ray™, DVD and DIGITAL HD with Ultraviolet™.

· Blu-ray™ unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6X the picture resolution of DVD and theater-quality surround sound.
· DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playing movies in more places, both at home and away.
· DIGITAL HD with Ultraviolet™ lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download.

Click here and here for some activity sheets based on the movie, as well.
{Click here to purchase the Blu-ray combo pack}

Official synopsis:
Get ready to howl with laughter in this all-new family comedy starring America's favorite St. Bernard, the one and only Beethoven! After a doggone disaster of a movie shoot, the big-hearted pooch and his trainer, Eddie (Jonathan Silverman, Beethoven's Big Break), are heading home when they get stranded in a small coastal village. When Beethoven befriends a local boy (Bretton Manley), he helps him find a pirate map to lost treasure and together they em-bark on an adventure that brings the whole town together. Co-starring Morgan Fairchild (Flamingo Road), Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Bretton Manley (Ted), and Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator), it's a heartwarming "tail" about finding fun wherever your nose leads you.

GIVEAWAY:

Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway will end on Monday, November 3rd at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be contacted via email the next day and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Presents Built to Amaze! (Detroit area, ends 10/31)

*Disclosure: I received something of value from Feld Entertainment as part of their Insider Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The circus is coming (back) to town! I had a great time last November when I attended Ringling Bros. and the Barnum & Bailey circus at the Palace, and I definitely plan on attending this year, as well.

The Built to Amaze! tour will be at the Palace of Auburn Hills from Wednesday, November 12 through Sunday, November 16th this year, and you can purchase tickets by clicking here. Prices start at $14, and you won't want to miss the All-Access Preshow - if you arrive 60 minutes before the show begins, you can experience it.

New this year: Andre McClain, Ringmaster and America’s favorite cowboy takes the Ringling Bros. reins and accompanied by his horse Comanche, leads his Built To Amaze! funny and mischievous super circus supervisors, to construct The Greatest Show On Earth. Also new to Ringling Bros. is the Tower Tumblers, a troupe of competitive aerial athletes from the Ukraine who launch themselves from trampolines to scale, rappel and pass through a three-story high translucent tower. Ringling Bros. brings a spirited and fiery competition of basketball with the next generation of whirling unicyclists, the legendary King Charles Troupe hailing from New York City!

INTERVIEW: Michael Rooker (Merle, The Walking Dead) at Walker Stalker Con, Atlanta


*Disclosure: I attended Walker Stalker Con with media credentials. Any opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I had the pleasure of attending a short press roundtable with Michael Rooker this past weekend at Walker Stalker Con, in Atlanta. Rooker played Merle on The Walking Dead, a character that definitely had an impact on the show; he was a villain, but had some good qualities to him as well.

{check back soon for a full Walker Stalker Con recap, too}

Here's the full interview:
(apologies for sound quality)



Some interesting questions + answers:

Q: What is your biggest childhood fear? What motivates you, what scares you, and motivates you in roles?

A: Violence - very scary to me, and so, I got very good at it.

You've been doing a lot of conventions this year. A lot of people experience fanboy moments when they first meet you. What's a fanboy moment you've had?

I don't have many of those, but Stan Lee would probably be my top. You know who he is, right?
{laughter}

Merle Dixon, Walking Dead
(Michael Rooker)
With your extensive resume playing villainous characters, how important is it to you that they have redeeming qualities, and which [character] was your favorite to play outside of Guardians of the Galaxy and The Walking Dead?

It's not that important to me that they have redeeming qualities - I just play the role, the writers write it. If they write in redeeming qualities, then the character has [those]; if they don't, then I do whatever I'm supposed to do - kill, maim, burn.

And what's your favorite? Between killing and maiming? (laughter)

Yes/No Films: I saw on your Facebook page that you're filming a movie here in Atlanta. Can you talk about that?

The new movie is the Buddy Bolden story, who is considered the grandfather of jazz. Before ragtime was ragtime, he was blowing his horn, and doing it in such a way that people would come and see him and dance and have a great time. He was a great musician. It's a beautiful story - it's a sad story - and it needed to be told in some form or another. It takes place in New Orleans, 1905 to 1930-ish ... pretty cool movie.

I want to know: how would Merle Dixon handle Terminus - if he got there?

Merle's got the knife on him so they probably would've taken it off him. When your back's against the wall, you do a lot of interesting things. I think they played it right - I saw it, and thought it was ... I'm like any other fan, thinking "How are they going to get out of this? That's impossible!" The filmmakers and producers and writers and directors and actors seem to find some way out. Who knows ... I come up with ideas on the day, on the spur of the moment type thing ... I don't usually speculate about it until I'm in a situation.

And my favorite question/answer:
If your character hadn't died in season 3, how well do you think Merle would be fitting in with the rest of the cast?

How well do you think the rest of the cast would fit in with Merle?


A big thanks to Mr. Rooker and the Walker Stalker Con team for setting up this interview.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Event Review: Disney On Ice Presents Princesses & Heroes, at the Palace of Auburn Hills {Detroit area}

Olaf from Frozen
*Disclosure: I received something of value from Feld Entertainment as part of their Insider Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

I was unable to attend Disney On Ice this time because I was out of town attending Walker Stalker Con (look for a recap post soon). Review and pictures in this post are by my mom, who is an avid Disney fan and loves attending Disney On Ice.

I must tell you that I love Mickey Mouse and everything Disney. When Liz surprised me with tickets for Disney On Ice for October 16th, I was thrilled. It was Opening Night!

The theme was Princesses and Heroes, and all of my favorite Disney characters came to life while skating to their movie music soundtracks. There were many stories which included Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Aladdin, Anna, Elsa and more. These characters seemed to glide across the ice with style and ease, and their skating was absolutely beautiful.

video

Before each story began, Mickey and Minnie skated onto the ice, giving us the synopsis of what was next. As an adult, you could appreciate the skillful acrobatics and professional skating involved in each event.

video

The visual effects, including snow falling during the Frozen story and bubbles floating during The Little Mermaid, were added fun for kids of all ages. This was Disney at its finest.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Movie Review: Fury


Fury is one of the more intense and realistic war movies that I've seen in quite some time, and the cast is fantastic as well. It focuses on a tank crew stationed in Germany, near the end of World War II (spring 1945), and is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Don "Wardaddy" Collier (Brad Pitt) is in charge of a Sherman tank and its crew of five, including "Bible" (Shia LaBeouf), "Gordo" (Michael Peña), "Coon-Ass" (Jon Bernthal), and rookie Norman (Logan Lerman), who is scared to do his job. They're part of a battalion that soon dwindles down to include only them, and they must kill Germans, do their jobs, and - above all - stay alive.