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.

Movie Review: The Best of Me

I read The Best of Me back in December 2011 and I reviewed it on my book blog, and now it's a feature film starring Michelle Monaghan, James Marsden, Luke Bracey, and Liana Liberato. I remembered the gist of the plot, although not the specifics, and from reading the book's Wikipedia page, it looks like only a few details were changed.

Dawson Cole (Marsden) has just survived a boating accident on the boat where he works. He gets a call from a small-town lawyer, saying that his mentor, Tuck (Gerald McRaney) has passed away, and has left some belongings to Dawson. Amanda (Monaghan) gets the same call, and returns to her Louisiana hometown, where she runs in to Dawson - a man she hasn't seen for more than twenty years, but with whom she used to be deeply in love. Amanda is now married, with a teenaged son, but it's hard to keep from stirring up old feelings; meanwhile, Dawson has never stopped loving Amanda. Dawson and Amanda must work together to settle Tuck's estate, and they will learn a bit more about each other in the process, as well.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

GIVEAWAY: The Devil's Hand - Prophecy Party & $15 iTunes Gift Card, ends 10/24

The Devil's Hand is now out on VOD (Video on Demand), and I have the opportunity for you to win a $15 iTunes gift card.

I'm definitely not a horror movie fan, but I'll admit that the synopsis sounds interesting on this one.

Official synopsis:
When six girls are born on the sixth day of the sixth month to different mothers in the small, devout village of New Bethlehem an ancient prophecy is set in motion - on their 18th birthday one of the girls will become the Devil's Hand. As the day approaches and one by one the young women begin to disappear, terror overtakes the quiet community and those remaining girls band together to uncover who or what is behind these treacherous acts.

Monday, October 13, 2014

GIVEAWAY: 5 pairs of tickets for A Thousand Times Good Night, 10/21 at the Maple Theater {Detroit area}, ends 10/20

The Maple Theater will be screening A Thousand Times Good Night on October 21st at 7:30pm, before it premieres in theaters, as part of its New York Film Critics Series (NYFCS), and five of my lucky readers can win a pair of tickets to see it for free.

I liked Juliette Binoche a lot in Words and Pictures this year, too, so I'm excited to see her in this movie.

{to purchase tickets ahead of time for the movie, click here}

Official synopsis:
Rebecca (Juliette Binoche) is one of the world's top war photojournalists, capturing dangerous and chilling images in the most dire landscapes, all in an effort to shed light on the real cost of modern war. But she's also a wife and mother, leaving behind a husband and two young daughters every time she travels to a new combat zone. After a near-death experience chronicling the ritual of a female suicide bomber, husband Marcus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) levels an ultimatum: give up the dangerous profession or lose the family she counts on being there when she returns from each assignment. Yet the conviction that her photos can make a difference keeps pulling at Rebecca's resolve, making it difficult for her to walk away entirely. With an offer to photograph a refugee camp in Kenya, a place allegedly so safe that daughter Steph (Lauryn Canny) is allowed to join her, Rebecca comes face to face with just how much she risks each time she steps back into the fray. - Film Movement

Sunday, October 12, 2014

DVD Review and GIVEAWAY: Ava and Lala, ends 10/22

*Disclosure: I received a copy of Ava and Lala for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I don't watch many childrens movies, but I was surprised (in a good way) by Ava and Lala.

This film seems to have slipped under the radar a bit, because the voice cast is full of A-listers: JK Simmons, George Takei, Mira Sorvino, and Tom Arnold. If you Google the movie, it comes up on a few websites, but its IMDb listing is sparse, too.

Official synopsis: Ava is a mischievous young girl and martial arts student who really knows how to pack a punch! One day she meets Lala, a cuddly and kind creature, a cross between a tiger cub and a Teddy bear, and they discover they can talk to each other. She runs away from her village, and her home, to join Lala in a mystical kingdom of wonderful animals, all specially chosen to live there, safe from humans. They befriend a huge bear who has a heart of gold, Uncle Bear, who tells them that Lala must leave the kingdom in three days, before the fierce Tiger General finds out they’re there. If not, she’ll turn into an animal, herself. Uncle Bear is determined to help Ava escape, but they find out it’s not that easy, especially when the other animals discover that Lala has an extraordinary magical power. It seems a tattooed tiger wants to take over the universe and enslave all humans, transforming them into harmless animals. When Lala is captured, it’s up to Ava and Uncle Bear to rescue him in time to get Ava safely back home.

FLASH GIVEAWAY: Family 4-pack of tickets to HalloWeekends at Cedar Point {Sandusky, OH}, ends 10/15

As you may have read, I attended Cedar Point's HalloWeekends a few weeks ago with friends, and had a fantastic time. Cedar Point is known as having the most (and the best, IMO) rollercoasters in the country, and it's also a great place for a family vacation day or weekend.

Thanks to the generous folks at Cedar Point, I have a family four-pack of tickets to giveaway.

Please do keep in mind that there's only three HalloWeekends left: October 17-19, October 24-26, and October 31-November 2. Therefore, do not enter the giveaway if you cannot make it to the park on one of these weekends.

Winner will be notified via email on Thursday, October 16th, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen. Prize will be mailed or emailed by Cedar Point.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review and COUPON: Bloggers Do BBQ: Dickey's Barbecue Pit, Ferndale, MI

*Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal from Dickey's in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I had the pleasure of dining with a few other blogger friends at Dickey's Barbecue Pit in Ferndale this past week. This was my first time eating at Dickey's, and I was excited to try it out. Dickey's has a number of locations, and we dined at the downtown Ferndale, MI locale (on Woodward near 9 Mile).

The first thing you might notice as you walk in is the HUGE pile of chopped firewood near the door - these are used for the smokers, to make sure your BBQ is delicious. We could choose either a sandwich or a meat plate, so I chose the two-meat plate, with chicken and pulled pork. The pulled pork was a little "fattier" than I normally would like, but the chicken was delicious. For my sides, I chose the Fried Onion Tanglers, as well as the Waffle Iron Fries - both were great (I'm a sucker for waffle fries, usually) but if I could only choose one, I'd choose the onion tanglers - they were salty and delicious.

You first order and pay in the line area, and then you can grab your BBQ sauce (spicy, sweet, or regular - or all three, if you like) next to that area.