Saturday, August 30, 2014

GIVEAWAY: win a Loot Crate {geek + gaming goodies}, ends 9/13

Disclosure: Yes/No Films did not receive compensation for this post and is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Loot Crate Monthly Box Giveaway
I've partnered up with a group of bloggers to bring you this giveaway - looks like there could be some Transformers goodies in it!

Hosted by: Queen of Savings, Dividing by Zero, That's Mashed Up & Something to Fill the Time
Sponsor: Loot Crate

Loot Crate is the monthly gear and swag club for those that live and embrace the geek and gaming lifestyle. Loot Crate is a product discovery box, connecting our subscribers, known as Looters, with the best new and emerging companies producing gear, snacks, toys, hardware, art, and other goodies for the geek and gaming market. Each month, Loot Crate handpicks 6-8 new items to include in the box, which are kept secret until the boxes are delivered!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Soundtrack Review and GIVEAWAY: The Identical, now playing in theaters {ends 9/5}

*Disclosure: Thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing the prize for this giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and not influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Recently I was able to receive a copy of The Identical soundtrack to review, and it's definitely a good listen. I wasn't a country music fan until recently, when I was able to travel to Nashville for Yelp Spring Break, and lately I have been listening to more country music; some of my favorites are country rock, which has both country and rock 'n roll influences.

Singer and actor Blake Rayne signing
blogger copies of the soundtrack

The movie (The Identical) is currently playing in Michigan-area theaters, and will be released nationwide on September 5th.

Official synopsis:

The IDENTICAL tells the compelling story of twin brothers unknowingly separated at birth during the Great Depression. DREXEL HEMSLEY becomes an iconic 50’s rock ’n’ roll star, while RYAN WADE (Blake Rayne) struggles to balance his love for music and pleasing his father. The Reverend Wade (Ray Liotta) and his wife (Ashley Judd) are sure their adopted son has been gifted and called by God to be a preacher. But Ryan challenges his parent’s vision for his life, and unflinchingly chooses to launch his own music career with his best friend (Seth Green). Encouraged by his wife (Erin Cottrell) and employer (Joe Pantoliano), Ryan embarks on an unpredictable, provocative path - performing the legendary music of Drecel Hemsley in sold out venues all across the country. As the brothers destinies tragically collide, Ryan discovers that Drexel is his identical twin which leads him to question everything he’s ever believed about God, family, and his own identity.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Movie Review: The November Man

The November Man ended up being a highly entertaining spy film, and proves that Pierce Brosnan has still "got it." The movie hops all over the globe in order to take down a soon-to-be Russian president, and the acting and characters are superb.

Peter Devereaux (Brosnan) used to be one of the most sought-after CIA agents, but after an accident, he retires to Switzerland. Five years later, one of his ex-handlers, Hanley (Bill Smitrovich), recruits him for one last mission, as a woman who is deep undercover in the Russian government has specifically asked for Devereaux, and only Devereaux, to extract her. Devereaux flies to Russia, only to find that the situation is more complicated than he originally thought; he also runs into Mason (Luke Bracey), his former CIA partner.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Movie Review: Moms' Night Out

Moms' Night Out movie review

*Disclosure: I recently received Moms' Night Out on DVD in exchange for re-promoting this post. Review originally published in May 2014.

I had the privilege of viewing a very early screening of Mom's Night Out when I was in Anaheim this past February for the inaugural ENMN conference. Sarah Drew, who plays Allyson in the movie, did a Q&A with us after the screening, as well as Kevin Downes (actor/producer) and Andrea Nasfell (writer). We also got to chat with Sean Astin the day after about the show. The film is a great homage to mothers everywhere, although it had its moments of greatness as well as moments that could have been better.

Allyson (Drew) is a good mom, but is having a mini-meltdown. Her two kids are driving her nuts and she hasn't had a night out in forever. Her husband (Astin) is supportive, but is often traveling for work and isn't home. She decides to round up her friends (Patricia Heaton and Logan White) for a night out on the town. It doesn't start off too well, though, as the restaurant has lost their reservation, so they end up coming up with an alternative plan for the evening. And that's when things start to get crazy ...

The cast as well as supporting cast was great in this movie. The producer of the movie, Kevin Downes (whom we also got to chat with), plays "Kevin" in the film, Sean Astin's slacker friend who he's known since grade school. Patricia Heaton, Abbie Cobb, and Sarah Drew were funny as the three main mom characters, and Sammi Hanratty also has a memorable part as Astin's half-sister, an almost-20-ish who has a baby boy. Trace Adkins plays Bones, a tattooed biker who ends up helping the girls out in a dire situation.

Yes, see this film, but some parts were highly entertaining and others were just okay. One of my favorite scenes was a car chase scene, because the dialogue was hilarious; a police officer asks Allyson's kids a few questions, which they technically answer honestly but the way they phrase their answers makes the officer worried (and provides some hilarity to the audience). The film does have a religious undercurrent throughout, but it's not highly visible until the end of the movie. I will say this is a very good movie family-friendly wise, as there wasn't any swearing, sex, or drug use throughout (hence its PG rating) and it's a film that parents can take their kids to see - maybe it will even show them why Mom or Dad has been so stressed lately. Overall I would recommend the movie, but it does have its slow/not as funny sections.

Moms' Night Out is rated PG with a runtime of 98 minutes. 3 stars out of 5.

If you would like to pre-order Moms' Night Out on DVD, click the square banner below

FREE with pre-order: "Just for Mom: Songs to Encourage and Inspire CD" ($9.99 value).

Moms' Night Out DVD & Blu-Ray: Get it now at

Saturday, August 23, 2014

GIVEAWAY: win a $15 Fandango gift card, ends 9/1 #LifeofCrime

Life of Crime, the new caper comedy from legendary author Elmore Leonard starring Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, Will Forte and Isla Fisher is coming to theaters, on demand and iTunes on August 29th!

To celebrate the release of Life Of Crime, I have a $15 Fandango gift card for one of my lucky readers to win.

Official movie synopsis:
Life of Crime Fandango gift card giveaway
When a pair of low-level criminals kidnap the wife of a corrupt real-estate developer, they get both more and less than they bargained for in Life of Crime, a dark caper comedy based on legendary author Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch. Starring Jennifer Aniston, John Hawkes, yasiin bey, Mark Boone Junior, Isla Fisher, Will Forte and Tim Robbins, Life of Crime is packed with the outrageously eccentric characters, black comedy and unexpected twists that earned Leonard a reputation as one of America’s sharpest and funniest crime writers.

Mickey Dawson (Jennifer Aniston), the wife of crooked real-estate developer Frank Dawson (Tim Robbins), is kidnapped by two common criminals (yasiin bey and Jon Hawkes), who intend to hold her for a $1 million ransom and extort her husband with inside information about his illegal business dealings. But Frank, who is holed up in the Bahamas with his mistress, decides he’d rather not get his wife back, setting off a sequence of double-crosses and plot twists that could only come from the mind of master storyteller Elmore Leonard.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Movie Review: When the Game Stands Tall

When the Game stands Tall movie review, Yes/No Films

When the Game Stands Tall is the true story of Coach Bob Ladouceur (pronounced "lah-da-ser") who coached the De La Salle high school football time for 25+ years and led them to a 151-game winning streak. I love movies based on true stories, as well as inspirational sports films, and this combination of those genres was great.

Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel) is in the midst of "The Streak" - 151 wins for De La Salle, over about a ten year period - until, at the start of the 2004 football season, he's suddenly not: the team loses their first game. The players and seniors, especially, are understandably upset, but Ladouceur is not: to him, it's more of making "a perfect effort" than winning every game. Two games later, the team starts winning again, and there's talk of another "streak" starting to take hold, which Ladouceur doesn't like; freshman and sophomores at the school are even starting to dream of the number the streak will be up to when they're juniors and seniors (33 games, at most). The coach must decide if he will stay at De La Salle - a job he's comfortable in and very good at - or take one of the many college football coaching positions that he has been offered.

Movie Review: If I Stay

If I Stay
is based on the book by Gayle Forman. Based on the trailer and the book, which I have read, I was expecting a tearjerker of a movie, but it really wasn't that sad; most of it was a little overdone. However, it's the music in this film that really holds it together, and as a violinist, I loved the combination of cello and rock music throughout.

Mia Hall (Chloe Grace Moretz) has been playing the cello since she was a little girl, even though her father (Joshua Leonard) was a rocker, and her mom (Mireille Enos) was his biggest fan. She's in the middle of auditioning for colleges, and is thinking of applying to Julliard, even though she lives in Oregon; her musician boyfriend, Adam (Jamie Blackley), wants her to stay on the West Coast. Mia and her family go out on a snowy afternoon to visit some family friends, and get hit head-on by a truck; they're all rushed to the hospital, but, soon enough,(semi-spoiler) Mia is the only one who makes it, though she's in a heavy coma. Mia and her body must decide whether she wants to - or even can - wake up.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Family-friendly movie "Hero" on DVD, ends 8/30

Hero is coming to DVD on September 16th, and one of my lucky readers is going to win their copy early!

Official synopsis:
Hero DVD giveaway 2014 Yes/No Films

From producers of Alone Yet Not Alone, comes a heartfelt movie about legendary small town baseball coach, Joe Finn (Burgess Jenkins, Remember the Titans, Nashville, The Shunning), who after taking his shot as a scout for the big leagues returns home to discover the damage he's done by leaving his family behind. Now on a quest to rebuild his relationship with his son David, Joe forms a new baseball league to reinvigorate the underdog little league team his son had been coaching. Together, as father and son, they try to put away their differences and help bring their ragtag team of ball players, “The Gappers,” to victory.

Burgess, who has a child of his own, was excited about the film. “This movie really reinforces the importance of fathers in a child’s life. Sports can be that vehicle to solidify the bond.” George Escobar, a producer of
Hero, wanted to make a movie that highlighted the real value in playing a sport and trying to win. “I grew up playing sports, and this idea of playing without winners and losers just seems like a missed opportunity to teach the kids how to train themselves to win. As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. A rival will push you harder than the desire to do your best.”

In a movie sure to inspire fathers and sons alike,
Hero presents an all-star cast including Gregory Alan Williams (In the Line of Fire, The Preacher's Kid), R. Keith Harris (Big Fish), and Mark Joy (The Ultimate Gift). The film also includes a musical score by Grammy winner, Michael Omartian. For more information or to see the trailer go to

The movie's tagline is "Dads are a superpower," and it's a family-friendly movie that anyone can enjoy.


Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway will end on Saturday, August 30th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified via email on August 31st and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 17, 2014

GIVEAWAY: 5 pairs of tickets to The Maple Theater's Secret Cinema [8/21], ends 8/20

Five of my lucky readers will get to see Secret Cinema at the Maple Theater this Thursday, August 21st - but you have to act fast.

So what's Secret Cinema, you may ask?

Secret Cinema is The Maple's classic film series with a twist - you won't know what you're watching until the lights go down! 
Join your fellow cinephiles every first and third Thursday of the month for another unnamed classic. We've split the series into two nights: Old Hollywood and New Hollywood, employing the pivotal year of 1967 as a historical and thematic dividing line. 
If you want to buy tickets ahead of time, they're only $5, and can be bought here.

This Thursday's showing is at 7:30pm and is "New Hollywood," which means that we know it's a film from 1967 or later. August's New Hollywood selection has been selected by Anthony Brancaleone, editor-in-chief of The Metropolitan magazine, and his selection is recommended for ages 12 and up.

Moviegoers also get free popcorn (yes, free!) with any other concessions purchase. If you are purchasing tickets, you're also able to select your seat on the Maple's website ahead of time.

Friday, August 15, 2014

GIVEAWAY: End of Summer #giveaway, over $475 in prizes! Ends 9/5

*I'm helping fellow blogger friend Metro Detroit Mommy promote this giveaway - make sure to follow my Facebook page (, where I post both my movie and book reviews, and it will get you an entry into the giveaway. Good luck!

Our Featured Sponsors: 

Jaimie Engle - Author -

Dickey's Barbecue in Ferndale

Restyle Child -

Movie Review: The Giver

Before you even ask: yes, I've read The Giver, but it was a while ago, probably in elementary or middle school; it's standard on most curriculums. The book was written 20+ years ago by Lois Lowry, and I'd classify it as dystopian, which is now extremely popular, so I'm guessing that's why it was now made into a movie. The film moves effortlessly between black and white to color scenes, and it's definitely unique compared to other dystopian films I have seen.

Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) lives in a world without color - though he doesn't even know what color is - and without emotions. His world also has no war and no conflict, and everyone lives peacefully in the community, which is led by a board of Elders. Jonas has just turned eighteen, which means his childhood is over and he will be assigned a work assignment. He's given an unusual job, however: he will be the new Receiver of Memory, and will be trained by the current Receiver (Jeff Bridges), who asks him to now call him The Giver. Once Jonas's training begins, he starts to realize how limited his worldview is, and he wants to change it as well as the view of the others in the community, specifically his friend Fiona (Odeya Rush), with whom he starts to fall in love.

Movie Review: Calvary

Calvary is probably one of those movies that critics - the type that like to dissect movies - will love; it has many underlying themes, most of which are made apparent near the end of the film. Brendan Gleeson does give a great performance in it, but the movie is extremely slow and very depressing.

The movie starts off with Father James (Gleeson) at confession, and one of his parishioners says that because he was raped by a member of the church when he was young, he's going to take his anger out on James, and will kill him next Sunday, on the beach. James is, understandably, disturbed by this, and he does bring it up with the chief Father, who asks him if he knew who the parishioner was; he does, but doesn't want to say. He then goes about his week, and we see how he interacts with his other parishioners. His daughter, Fiona (Kelly Reilly), who has recently attempted suicide, also comes to visit his rural Irish town, and he sends her away on Friday. To top things off, James is a recovering alcoholic and decides to start drinking again near the end of the week, which greatly influences his temper and how he acts in public.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hey Detroit! Get your passes to see When the Game Stands Tall - Tues. 8/19 at Emagine Novi

When the Game Stands Tall free tickets DetroitDo you live in the Detroit area? If you're interested in seeing a (free) advance screening of When the Game Stands Tall, read on below ...

I have twenty-five admit-2 passes to see it this Tuesday, 8/19 at Emagine Novi (Novi, MI).

Official movie synopsis:
Inspired by a true story, WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL tells the remarkable journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel), who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport. (TRISTAR PICTURES) This film is rated PG.

Click HERE to get your tickets - first-come, first-served, so when the twenty-five pairs are gone, they are gone!

Enjoy the movie if you go, and make sure to check back next Friday, August 22nd for my review of it, as well. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Movie Review: The Hundred-Foot Journey

I had the pleasure of attending a screening of The Hundred-Foot Journey in San Jose when I was there for BlogHer, and I'm so glad I got to see this movie. The film is similar to Chef, but in France, rather than Miami, and minus the food trucks, and you better make sure you have eaten a full meal before you go to see it; the dishes they create in the movie definitely look tempting.

Hassan Haji (Manish Dayal) and his family end up stranded in France when their car breaks down. They end up loving the area, though, and decide to build their Indian restaurant there. There's only one problem: the small town already has a restaurant, run by the icy Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), who doesn't intend to compete with Hassan and Papa Kadam (Om Puri) for business. When the restaurant is built, it initially doesn't do well, but due to the tenaciousness of Papa Kadam and the family, it starts to succeed; at the same time, Hassan finds out that Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), the girl he has a crush on, works in Madame Mallory's kitchen, and a friendly competition starts to brew between the two.

Movie Review: Into the Storm

Into the Storm was filmed in Michigan, so I was excited to see it - it looked a bit like Twister, except more extreme. The special effects in the movie were definitely fantastic, but the film lacks good dialogue, for the most part; it's a good thing that 90% of the movie is storms and storm-chasing, because that's where the film excels.

Donnie (Max Deacon) and his brother Trey (Nathan Kress) are filming a "time capsule" video prior to Silverton High School's commencement. Their father (Richard Armitage) is the vice principal of their school, and commencement is happening that day; however, it looks like some bad storms may be rolling in. Meanwhile, Pete (Matt Walsh) is a storm chaser, and he and his crew, including scientist Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies), have been trying to get footage of a great tornado for over a year now, so they start heading towards Silverton as well. These two stories will eventually converge, and the "bad storms" that hit the area are like nothing anyone has ever seen before.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I'm attending: Walker Stalker Con, Atlanta, October 17-19, 2014

Once upon a time, I hated horror movies and gory TV shows. There was a very popular TV show called The Walking Dead that I had never watched, but had a rabid cult following, and many of my friends watched it.


Before I attended BlogHer '13 last year, it was announced that Gale Ann Hurd, one of the executive producers of The Walking Dead, would be speaking, so when I went to Savannah and Atlanta in May of last year, I told my friend Sarah that she had to introduce me to the show. I figured I'd get through a few episodes and see what the hype was all about, then forget all about the show.

WRONG. So wrong.

I immediately got addicted, because it's a great show with fantastic writing and characters, and it didn't help that it rained all weekend in Savannah and my friend had brought her iPad. We rolled through season 1 and went on to season 2, and I even signed up for Netflix just so I could watch the rest of it.

Fast-forward to this October, when I will be visiting Sarah in Atlanta, partially since Walker Stalker Con is in town and I convinced her to go. The guests schedule is insanely good and features both Walking Dead AND Vampire Diaries cast members (and I watch Vampire Diaries as well), and I'm looking forward to interviewing some of the actors from the two shows.

The guests I'm most looking forward to seeing are:
  • Jon Bernthal (Shane, TWD)
  • Michael Rooker (Merle, TWD)
  • Melissa McBride (Carol, TWD)
  • David Morrissey (The Governor!, TWD)
  • Chandler Riggs (Carl, TWD)
  • Steven Yeun (Glenn, TWD, originally from Troy, MI)
  • Lauren Cohan (Maggie, TWD)
  • Ian Somerhalder (Damon!, Vampire Diaries)
  • Paul Wesley (Stefan!, Vampire Diaries)
  • Scott Wilson (Hershel, TWD)
  • Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, etc.)
  • Jay Bonansinga (author, TWD)

Friday, August 1, 2014

BlogHer '14 recap: the good, the bad, and the bizarre

Me and my friend Jamie at the Shebooks suite. Credit: @shebooks

I've been putting off writing this post for the past week, which in itself is not a good sign. Last Sunday, I returned home (on a painfully early 7am flight from SFO) from my third BlogHer, which was held in San Jose, CA this year. I flew in and out of the San Francisco airport rather than San Jose (nonstop flights are always > those with one stop or more) so I was able to see a little of San Francisco my first day, which was fun.

I arrived at SFO on July 23rd and my flight was about an hour late, cutting into my time in the city. My CA friend Jamie, who I met at the ENMN conference in Anaheim this year, had graciously offered to pick me up at the airport, since she was also heading to BlogHer, and we were able to sightsee for a bit and also attend a lovely dinner before heading to San Jose.

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy is a Marvel movie, but contains a different type of superhero than you may be used to - to be specific, five different types: a human (Chris Pratt), a green woman (Zamora), a tree (voiced by Vin Diesel), a raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and a large hulk of a man (Dave Bautista). I didn't know much about the comic book or the movie going in to see it, but it's a fun ride, even if it's not quite as fun as The Avengers and others in the Marvel universe.

Peter Quill (Pratt) is "abducted" by a large spaceship when he's young, after his mother passes away. Flash forward to twenty years later, and he's a scavenger, one who finds objects that others want and sells them. The father of Gamora (Saldana) sends her to retrieve said object, but both Gamora and Quill end up in jail, with Rocket (Cooper) the raccoon and his tree sidekick Groot (Vin Diesel) along with them, since Rocket tried to kidnap Quill for ransom. The four must work together to break out of the prison, and also make sure that the evil Ronan (Lee Pace) doesn't destroy the galaxy, because if he gets the object they're all searching for, that is most certainly what will happen.