Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review and GIVEAWAY: Ken Sheldon Collection at Hallmark #LoveHallmark {ends 5/7}

*Disclosure: I received the products below from Hallmark, for review purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Mother's Day is around the corner - next Sunday, May 8th - and I recently received some Ken Sheldon Collection gifts from Hallmark to review, that I plan on gifting to my mom for the holiday.

This mug (which is so nice I want to keep it for myself!) says "All the love a heart can hold," and shows a mother with her baby. I could see this mug being ideal for a new mom this Mother's Day, or even an older mother whose children are grown up and maybe even have children of their own already.

Friday, April 29, 2016

GIVEAWAY: The Boy on Blu-ray + Digital HD {ends 5/6}

The Boy is out on Blu-ray/Digital HD combo pack on May 10th (and is already out on Digital HD!), and I have a copy for a lucky reader to win!

About the movie:
A young American woman uncovers the menacing nature of the English family she cares for in The Boy, a terrifying thriller debuting on Digital HD on April 26, 2016 and on Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand on May 10, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. From Lakeshore Entertainment (Exorcism of Emily Rose and The Underworld Franchise) and STX Entertainment (The Gift, Secret in Their Eyes), the film is a frightening thrill ride directed by William Brent Bell (The Devil Inside) and starring Lauren Cohan (“The Walking Dead”).

Greta (Cohan) is a young American woman who takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village.  She soon discovers that the family’s 8-year-old is a life-sized doll that they care for just like a real boy, as a way to cope with the death of their son 20 years prior. After violating a list of strict rules, a series of disturbing and inexplicable events bring Greta’s worst nightmare to life, leading her to believe that the doll is actually alive.

The film will be available on Blu-ray with DIGITAL HD and UltraViolet and DVD.
  • Blu-rayunleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6X the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras 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.

My thoughts:
I avoided this one in the theaters because I can't usually handle horror ... but if you're a horror fan, you'll definitely want to see it! I like Lauren Cohan from The Walking Dead, too, so I'm sure she's great in this.

Movie Review: Mother's Day

Garry Marshall is back with the holiday-themed Mother's Day. One of my very first movie reviews on this site, back in February 2010, was his other holiday movie, Valentine's Day, which I liked enough to give it a Yes review. However, New Year's Eve, which premiered in December 2011, was a huge flop, in my eyes - I gave it 2 out of 5 stars and a No review. Mother's Day sits in between these two, but is still enjoyable, especially for a matinee.

The cast in this one, predictably, has every big-name star you can think of, with intertwining story lines per usual. Sandy (Jennifer Aniston) is divorced from Henry (Timothy Olyphant) and they have two young boys; Henry has just impulsively remarried, to Tina (Shay Mitchell, Pretty Little Liars) whom Sandy describes as "a 12-year old." Sandy meets Bradley (Jason Sudeikis) in a Whole Foods-esque store, where he's embarrassingly buying tampons for his eldest daughter, since his wife (played in video flashbacks only, by Jennifer Garner) was in the military with him and has passed away.

We also have Miranda (Julia Roberts) who has chosen to devote herself to her career, as a QVC woman of sorts, and Kristin (Britt Robertson), who is a new mom herself, with her boyfriend of 5+ years, but who has always searched for her birth mother. And the final storyline revolves around sisters Jesse (Kate Hudson) and Gabi (Sarah Chalke, Scrubs); Gabi is estranged from their parents (Margo Martindale and Robert Pine) but figures since it's Mother's Day, she should maybe give them a call. However, both sisters are hiding big secrets from the parents, which come crashing down around them when the parents stop by for a surprise visit.

Movie Review: Keanu

To be fair, I don't often watch Key & Peele on Comedy Central; however, even though the trailers for Keanu looked stupid, the screening was in my neighborhood, so I decided to attend. Half the people seemed to think this movie was genius and the other half thought it was ridiculously dumb - I unfortunately fall into that latter half.

The movie did have a cohesive plot: Rell (Jordan Peele) has just been dumped, and he's feeling a bit depressed. There's a noise by his front door, and when he opens it, a tiny kitten - whom he later names Keanu - is waiting for him. However, he doesn't know that the kitten used to belong to a drug lord, and that the men who killed him now want the kitten back; when he gets home one day, his place has been ransacked, and the kitten is gone. His friend Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key) agrees to help him to get Keanu back, and the path they take to find the kitten is an arduous one.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Michigan Theater hosts special screening of Prince's "Purple Rain"

The Michigan Theater (Ann Arbor, MI) has just announced that they will be hosting a special screening of Purple Rain to honor Prince, who passed away yesterday at the age of 57.

I've never actually seen Purple Rain, and this would be a great time to see it on the big screen.

More information:
Ann Arbor, MI – As the world mourns the musical artist Prince, the Michigan Theater invites his fans to join in celebrating his music and talent at a special screening of “Purple Rain” on Saturday, April 30 at 7 PM.

“Purple Rain” was Prince's film debut--about a young Minneapolis-based musician who finds himself at odds with his abusive parents, a musical rival, a romantic interest, and his own band as he struggles to make it as an artist--was a box-office smash when it was released in 1984, largely off the strength of the original soundtrack. Prince received two Grammys and an Oscar for the music underpinning the movie; the soundtrack also spent 24 consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts.

Tickets are available in advance at Tickets are the regular Michigan Theater prices: Adults are $10 and Students, Seniors, Veterans and children under 12 are $8.

Movie Review - The Huntsman: Winter's War

The Huntsman: Winter's War is being billed as a prequel to Snow White and the Huntsman, which isn't entirely accurate - the beginning of the film is a prequel and the middle and end take place after Snow White, although we never see Kristen Stewart as Snow White, aside from flashbacks for the most part, because she was excluded from this movie. However, I found Winter's War to be just as enjoyable as the first Huntsman movie, and it's worth seeing for the special effects and costumes alone.

At the beginning of this installment, we meet Freya (Emily Blunt), sister of Ravenna (Charlize Theron), the evil queen from the first movie. Freya becomes pregnant with her lover's baby, and the lover is already engaged to another woman; he asked her to meet him in the garden at night, so they can run away together, but instead he kills the baby. Needless to say, this enrages Freya, and her powers are released - she then turns into the Ice Queen, and starts her own kingdom, away from Ravenna. Freya kidnaps children from her villages and trains them to be her Huntsmen - among these children are Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain), who later fall in love - something that Queen Freya forbids in her kingdom.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

DVD Giveaway: When Calls the Heart: Troubled Hearts {ends 4/30, two winners!}

When Calls the Heart: Troubled Hearts is the second DVD in the third season of the When Calls the Heart series, and I have a copy for two of my lucky readers to win!

From celebrated author Janette Oke (The Love Comes Softly series) comes a rigorous and romantic adventure as epic as the wide frontier. Erin Krakow (Army Wives), Daniel Lissing (Eye Candy), Jack Wagner (Melrose Place) and Lori Loughlin (Full House, 90210) star in When Calls The Heart, “a beautiful story with roots in relationships, self-empowerment, and the enduring power of love” (Common Sense Media).

Big revelations are in store for Hope Valley as Elizabeth moves into her own rowhouse, dismaying Jack, who has been planning to build a new home for the both of them. Rosemary discovers that Lee has taken out a loan and worries that he is in financial difficulties. And Jesse, the young drifter who works in Abigail’s kitchen, has information that could ruin Pastor Frank’s good standing in Hope Valley, and begins his plan to extort the pastor with an old “Wanted” poster…