Sunday, August 30, 2015

Review and GIVEAWAY: Elsa itty bitty + itty bitty BIGGY #Frozen #LoveHallmark {ends 9/6}

*Disclosure: I received products from Hallmark in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I first heard about Hallmark's itty bittys through a Hallmark Facebook group of which I'm a member. Since I'm an entertainment blogger, I thought this idea was so cute, especially for kids - who wouldn't want a little "itty bitty" to carry around with you or be on display, especially one from your favorite movie or comic book?

Hallmark has now expanded its itty bittys line to include itty bittys BIGGY(ies), and I was fortunate to receive two Elsa's (itty bitty + her "mother," as I call her, or her itty bitty BIGGY) in the mail this week.

First off, as a huge Frozen fan, I was delighted with these Elsa's - they're super cute and would be perfect for any fans of the movie or kids who are obsessed with who love "Let It Go." I was surprised that Elsa's biggy was so large, although it's really no larger than a "normal" stuffed animal size; the biggy would be perfect for bedtime, for example, whereas the Elsa itty bitty would be great to carry around or for a small collection.

You can check out the rest of the Frozen line here, and in addition to Elsa, there is Anna, Sven, and Olaf to collect.

This is what my biggy and I were up to this week:

Elsa getting ready to do some blogging (or perhaps checking her Facebook)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Upcoming and GIVEAWAY: Marvel Universe LIVE! Sept. 25-27 at the Palace of Auburn Hills (Detroit area)

Marvel Universe LIVE! Detroit area

Marvel Universe LIVE is coming to the Palace this September 25-27, and I have an opportunity for you to win a family four-pack of tickets!

About the show:
Marvel fans, assemble! Marvel Universe LIVE! is taking the live entertainment experience to a whole new level, with a mind-blowing show unlike anything you’ve seen before. Watch your favorite Marvel Super Heroes including Spider-Man and the Avengers (Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk and more) and threatening villains come to life in an action-packed arena extravaganza, coming to Auburn Hills. You’ll definitely feel the energy with cutting-edge special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts, motorcycles and more. It’s being hailed as the most technically advanced live show ever. Join Marvel fans of all ages for this once-in-a-lifetime, monumental performance. The fate of the universe depends on it!

Movie Review: We Are Your Friends

I went in fairly blind to see We Are Your Friends - I think I had seen the teaser trailer, and had a vague idea of what it was about and who was starring in it, but that was about all I knew. I actually ended up enjoying the film a lot, and it will appeal to millennials more so than the older demographic.

Cole (Zac Efron) lives in his friend's guest house, next to a swimming pool that has no water in it. His goal in life is to be a professional DJ, and he and his friends have a regular Thursday gig where they bring people in to a club, and he gets to DJ in a side room. When he meets James (Wes Bentley, aka Seneca Crane), a world-known DJ, however, he gets a taste of what life could be like once he becomes famous, and he likes it. He also really likes James' girlfriend, Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski), who is more Cole's age than James's. Cole must decide whether to act on his attraction to Sophie, knowing that the choice he makes will affect his relationship with James, and could jeopardize any chances of travel and stardom as a famous DJ.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Movie Review: No Escape

I saw a horror movie at a screening last week, but No Escape actually scared me more. Why, you ask? Because it focused on a family who moves "overseas" - I've pinpointed it as either Thailand or Cambodia - for the husband's job, and then has to escape the country when riots break out, before they get murdered. I'm a frequent traveler, although mostly domestic, and this film made me never want to leave the U.S. ever again.

Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson), his wife Annie (Lake Bell), and their two girls have just moved overseas for his engineering job at Cardiff. The company has put them up in a nice hotel, mostly full of foreigners like themselves, and things seem to be going well. Jack goes out for a morning stroll the next day to see if he can find an American newspaper, and witnesses something horrific: the citizens squaring off with the police, and people on both sides getting assassinated. He runs back to the hotel to make sure Annie and the girls are okay, and there are citizens at the hotel as well; they want to kill all the Americans. Jack, Annie, and their family go on the run, eventually meeting up with Hammond (Pierce Brosnan), another hotel resident whom they met on their plane, who helps them try to get to safety.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Movie Review: American Ultra

The trailer for American Ultra looked awesome, plus I love Jesse Eisenberg and Topher Grace. Unfortunately, although the film's premise was interesting, its execution was mediocre, and it's a film I'd recommend saving for a matinee.

Stoners Mike (Eisenberg) and Phoebe (Kristen Stewart) live together in a tiny town in West Virginia, which they usually never leave; Mike gets panic attacks when they try to leave town, even by car and not plane. Their lives are normal, for the most part, until one day when a strange lady (Connie Britton) stops by the convenience store where Mike works and says something that sounds like nonsense to him; in reality, she's a CIA agent, and he was too, as part of a special program for third-time drug offenders, and he's just been "activated." The reason she does this is because another CIA agent, Yates (Topher Grace) has decided that Mike is no longer needed, and should be assassinated. Mike effortlessly kills the agents that Yates sends after him, and soon realizes that he has lots of fighting skills that until that second, he previously didn't know he possessed. Mike and Phoebe go on the run from the agents, and must try to escape the town, even though Yates has effectively roadblocked all the exits.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Upcoming + a GIVEAWAY: 90 Minutes in Heaven {in theaters Sept. 11} #HopeLives

90 Minutes in Heaven, based on the book (written by Cecil Murphey and Don Piper), will be coming to theaters this September 11th, and I was able to preview the first five minutes.

About the movie:
Releases in theaters everywhere September 11, 2015
Rating: PG-13 (for intense accident and injury images) 

Starring Hayden Christensen (Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith), Kate Bosworth (Remember The Titans, Blue Crush) Michael W. Smith, Fred Thompson, Dwight Yoakam, and Jason Kennedy, 90 Minutes In Heaven is based on the inspiring New York Times best-selling book that has sold 7 million copies. 

About the book:
Pastor Don Piper died January 18, 1989 when a semi-tractor truck crushed his car. Declared dead by the first rescue workers to arrive on the scene, Don's body lay under a tarp for the next 90 minutes. Don's soul, meanwhile, was experiencing love, joy, and life like he'd never known before. Don was in Heaven. 

When another pastor's prayers helped bring Don back to life, he became a living miracle! Yet this is one miracle Don wished never happened. Heaven's bliss was replaced by excruciating pain and emotional turmoil. With the support and prayers of his beloved Eva, their three kids, and friends near and far, Don clings to his faith in God and fights to regain a semblance of his previous life. The Piper family's incredible true story of perseverance and overcoming the challenges of life - and death - will bring hope and encouragement to all who see it. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Movie Review: The End of the Tour

I saw two movies this week: Mr. Holmes, which I didn't review - and which may possibly be the slowest and most boring movie ever - and The End of the Tour, which I feared might also be slow but instead ended up being a gem of a film. I knew nothing about the subject of the movie, writer David Foster Wallace, before seeing it, but now that I have, I will definitely need to read his book (Infinite Jest) on which the film focuses, and the movie also compelled me to read more about his life and legacy.

The movie opens in 2008, and journalist David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) has just heard the news that David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) has committed suicide. Lipsky's girlfriend, Sarah (Anna Chlumsky), asks him if it's true - he would know better than anyone, after all - and he does a quick Google search and reveals that yes, the news is unfortunately correct. Lipsky goes to his hall closet and takes out his cassettes of his time spent with Wallace, which brings him back to twelve years earlier: 1996, when Wallace's new book, Infinite Jest, had just been released, and Lipsky was able to tail him at the end of his tour, to Minneapolis, in order to write a Rolling Stones article about him.