Friday, October 9, 2015

GIVEAWAY: Win tickets to see Room, 10/27 at the Maple Theater (Detroit area)

The movie Room will be in theaters on October 30th, and I have 50 admit-2 tickets for my lucky readers to see a screening of it.

The screening will take place Thursday, October 27th, at 7pm at the Maple Theater (Bloomfield Hills, MI).

Official synopsis:
Both highly suspenseful and deeply emotional, ROOM is a unique and touching exploration of the boundless love between a mother and her child. After 5-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and his Ma (Brie Larson) escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world. As he experiences all the joy, excitement, and fear that this new adventure brings, he holds tight to the one thing that matters most of all—his special bond with his loving and devoted Ma. ROOM also stars three-time Academy Award® nominee Joan Allenand Academy Award® nominee William H. Macy. (A24) This film is not yet rated.


I read the book Room a while ago, upon a friend's suggestion, and it was heartbreaking but also very good. Brie Larson starts in the movie version and from the trailer, it looks like it will be just as good as the book.

Movie Review: Pan

My favorite Peter Pan movie of all time is Hook, and no other Pan movie I've seen has ever come close to comparing. However, this version almost does, as the acting, storyline, and 3D were fantastic, and its tagline of "Every legend has a beginning" sums up the film well.

Peter (newcomer Levi Miller) lives in an orphanage in London during World War II; his mother (Amanda Seyfried) dropped him off there when he was a baby, with promises of love and that she would come back for him. We then flash-forward to twelve years later, during WWII, with Peter having to deal with the awful orphanage and its director, who rivals Miss Trunchbull in meanness; she's even giving the children less rations and hoarding all the good stuff (honey, candy, etc.) for herself. Children have been disappearing from the orphanage lately, presumably because they've been adopted, and one night Peter and his friend stay awake to see what's going on - it turns out that pirates have been stealing them from their beds, and they get caught as well.

Soon, Peter finds himself on a mysterious island, where he meets James Hook (Garrett Hedlund - not yet a Captain Hook) and later, Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara), as Peter and Hook try to escape from Blackbeard's (Hugh Jackman) clutches.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Upcoming and FLASH GIVEAWAY {ENDS 10/10}: Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove at the Palace of Auburn Hills

*Disclosure: I have an ongoing media relationship with Feld Entertainment, and I receive show tickets in exchange for posting. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove is coming back to the Palace of Auburn Hills (Detroit area) next week, and I have a discount code as well as a GIVEAWAY for my lucky readers!

About the show:
Get tangled up in Disney’s 50th animated feature with Rapunzel and Flynn and enter the worlds of your other favorite Disney princesses –Tiana, Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Mulan and of course, the one who started it all, Snow White. Ahoy, Mateys! Set sail with Peter Pan, the always sassy Tinker Bell and the cantankerous Captain Hook and his pirate pals on an adventure beyond Never Land! Trek the wilds of Africa with Simba, Nala, Pumbaa and Timon as they discover the true meaning of the ‘Circle of Life.’ Tick-Tock! Tick-Tock! Don’t be late to a very important date with Alice and the Mad Hatter as they march with the Queen of Hearts’ Army of Cards. Set a playdate with Woody and Buzz Lightyear because the toys are back in town. Relive magical moments in this ultimate Disney animation celebration coming to Auburn Hills!

  • Thursday, 10/15: 7:30pm
  • Friday, 10/16: 11am, 7:30pm
  • Saturday, 10/17: 11:30am, 3:30pm, 7:30pm
  • Sunday, 10/18: 12pm, 4pm

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review: New made-to-order salads at Del Taco {and win a $25 Del Taco gift card!}

*Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal at Del Taco in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

My family and I dined at Del Taco this weekend to try their new salads, which are all under 600 calories. I'm a fan of Del Taco, as there's a location close to me that I sometimes frequent; usually I get the chicken or turkey tacos, so I had never tried any of the new salad dishes before.

The three new "ensaladas" choices include a Chicken Bacon Avocado Salad (590 calories), a Mexican Chopped Chicken Salad (510 calories), which is what my mom and I ordered, and the Signature Taco Salad (540 calories), which is what my dad chose for his meal. 

All of the salads come with tortilla chips, hand-sliced avocado, a lettuce blend, and a side dressing - the chicken salad and taco salad come with salsa casera, and the Chicken Bacon Avocado salad comes with a cilantro pepita ranch dressing. 

Mexican Chopped Chicken Salad

I am not a big salad-eater in general, but I overall liked this salad. I am a huge fan of pico de gallo, which was included on the top of the salad - it added a little bit of spice to the salad, too - and the tortilla chips were nice and salty, as well. My only complaint is that I wish the salad had more of a "dressing" versus the salsa - I enjoyed dipping my tortilla chips in the salsa, but I generally don't like salsa on salad.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Movie Review: The Walk

Philippe Petit and his story of walking the wire between the two World Trade Center towards in 1974 was one that I learned about only recently; there's a documentary on Netflix about it too called Man on Wire which I would now like to check out. The Walk is a more Hollywood-ized version of this story, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a fantastic job as Philippe.

Petit (Gordon-Levitt) grows up learning "circus tricks," as his father derisively calls them, and eventually decides he wants to be a wire walker. He enlists the help of circus operator Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), who teaches him how to walk, and also how to set up, the high wire. When Petit sees a picture in a magazine of the yet-unfinished WTC towers one day, he decides to travel to the U.S. to set up a wire there and walk between the two towers; it's going to have to be a covert "coup," as he calls it, though, because there's no way this walk would be legal. With the help of his girlfriend, Annie (Charlotte Le Bon), and some accomplices, Petit and his crew find their way to the top of the towers and begin setting up for the coup; setup must be done under cover of darkness and Petit plans to make his walk around 6am.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Movie Review: The Martian

I reviewed The Martian this past August, and it was a fantastic book. It was the first novel for author Andy Weir, and rumor has it that the movie rights were sold within a week of the book hitting stores. I was very excited, then, to see that the movie version was coming out this October, with Matt Damon as the title character, and I am glad to report that the film is just as good as the book.

Mark Watney (Damon) and his crew have been inhabiting Mars for about two weeks when a major storm hits. The astronauts perform an emergency evacuation, and Watney gets hit in the head with a piece of debris; his crewmates think he's dead and leave him behind. It turns out, however, that Watney is in fact not dead, but he might as well be: he has enough food for a few months, but it will be years before the next Mars probe can land and provide him with more. Watney decides to "science the sh-- out of this," and with his botanist background, he starts growing potatoes from the existing ones he has. Meanwhile, NASA has just figured out that he survived, and is frantically trying to figure out a plan to get him safely back to Earth.

Movie Review: Sicario

Sicario is a slow burn of a movie that will definitely reward its viewers, should you choose to stay invested for the 2-hour runtime. It definitely has some great performances in it that are sure to garner some award nominations, but at the same time I found it to be very slow-paced, despite a few action scenes.

Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is a FBI agent who works in drug busts, and is chosen for a special task force that will be going to Mexico to track down a drug kingpin. Also on the team is leader Matt Graver (Josh Brolin); the mysterious Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro); and eventually her FBI partner, Reggie (Daniel Kaluuya). What Kate doesn't find out until later is that the team is very unorthodox, and has its own agenda rather than following the law - especially Alejandro, who is on a mission of his own that just happened to align with the team's, partially.