Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Upcoming: Jersey Boys at the Fisher Theatre (Detroit), Nov. 17 - Dec. 6

*Disclosure: I am receiving tickets to this show in exchange for posting about it. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I saw the movie Jersey Boys back in June 2014, and it was a great movie - I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. I'm very excited, then, to attend the stage musical, which is coming to Detroit this winter!

About the show:
Tickets are on sale for the return engagement of the Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning hit musical JERSEY BOYS, the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, playing Detroit’s Fisher Theatre, November 17 – December 6. Tickets will be available for purchase at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at1-800-982-2787, online at or, and at the Fisher Theatre box office starting at 10:00 AM on Monday, July 27.

JERSEY BOYS is the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. This is the true story of how a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sound and sold 175 million records worldwide - all before they were thirty. The show features all their hits including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What A Night,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Working My Way Back To You.”

JERSEY BOYS opened at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway to critical acclaim on November 6, 2005. The JERSEY BOYS US National Tour opened to rave reviews in San Francisco on December 1, 2006, and is still breaking house records in cities across North America. JERSEY BOYS is currently playing in New York; Las Vegas; London; and in cities across North America and the U.K . on National Tours.

Movie Review: Vacation (2015)

I've never seen the previous Vacation movies - this one is considered a follow-up of sorts - but I've heard they were "classic" comedies and worth seeing. I'm not sure if this year's Vacation is worthy of that distinction, but parts throughout were definitely amusing and made me laugh.

Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) looks forward to taking his family to their cottage in northern Michigan every year, but he's noticed that his wife (Christina Applegate) and kids (Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins) have begun to show a lack of enthusiasm for the trip. He decides to change things up this year, and they set out for a road trip to Walley World, an amusement park where he and his parents went when he was a child. They encounter a series of misfortunes along the way, but are also able to visit his sister (Leslie Mann) and brother-in-law (Chris Hemsworth) in Texas, as well as his parents (Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo, from the original films) too.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Movie Review: Southpaw

We knew something was up with the Southpaw screening I attended because it was on a Sunday night (weekend screenings are very rare), and everyone's guess was that Eminem would be showing up, since he performed some of the songs on the soundtrack. Instead, we got Eminem plus Jake Gyllenhaal, which was great (I wish I wasn't sitting in the last row!), and the two of them spoke for about five minutes before the movie (you can read more about it here). It was a fun intro to the movie, and also one that most cities can't say they experienced.

Billy Hope (Gyllenhaal) is on top of the boxing game. His beautiful wife, Maureen (Rachel McAdams), is there to support him, as well, and their young daughter Leila (Oona Laurence). After a brawl during a hotel charity event goes wrong, however, Billy soon finds himself losing most of the things he cares about, and he's also suspended from boxing for a year. His daughter Leila goes into the "system," of what he himself is a product of, and he has to clean up his act in order to get her back. He takes a job at a small gym (Will's Gym) working for Mr. Wills himself (Forest Whitaker), and he slowly starts to get his life back.

Movie Review: Pixels

Adam Sandler movies are usually hit or miss for me. I liked Just Go With It, but hated Grown-Ups (and, for some inexplicable reason, also decided to see Grown-Ups 2, which I again disliked). However, his newest film, Pixels, is more of a group effort, and all of the humor was actually very on-point; I ended up enjoying it much more than I thought I would.

In 1982, Brenner (Sandler, as an adult), Cooper (Kevin James), and Ludlow (Josh Gad) were at the top of the video game world and had been invited to compete in the world championships. Brenner actually almost wins the championship, but is beaten by Eddie (Peter Dinklage), in the very last round, when they compete on Donkey Kong. Flash-forward to present-day and Brenner is a "Nerd" (similar to Best Buy's Geek Squad) and installs home electronic equipment for a living; his friend Cooper is now the President of the U.S.; and Ludlow is still living with his grandma and drafting conspiracy theories. When a U.S. base in Guam is attacked, and the military figures out that a real-life video game actually attacked them, Cooper calls in his friends, as well as Eddie (who is now actually in jail), to help save the world from the creatures - sent by aliens who think the U.S. has declared war on them - and prevent Earth from being destroyed.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Upcoming: Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story on Stage, Oct. 20-Nov. 1 {Detroit}

*Disclosure: I receive show tickets in exchange for this blog post. Any opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

If you've never seen Dirty Dancing, now's the time to go rent or stream it, because the stage show is coming to Detroit this October through November!

More info:
Tickets are currently on sale and will be available for purchase at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, online at or, and at the Fisher Theatre box office starting at 10:00 AM on Monday. The staged musical of this worldwide smash-hit film will play Detroit Fisher Theatre, October 20 – November 1.

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance and sensational dancing. Seen by millions across the globe, this timeless love story features the hit songs “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and the heart-stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.” London’s Sunday Express says “This crowd-pleasing stage adaptation hits the jackpot!”

About the story:
It’s the summer of 1963, and 17-year-old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is on vacation in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents. Mesmerized by the racy dance moves and pounding rhythms she discovers in the resort’s staff quarters, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort’s sexy dance instructor. Passions ignite and Baby’s life changes forever when she is thrown in to the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady, both on-stage and off.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Movie Review: Ant-Man

I wasn't entirely sure to expect from Ant-Man, as the trailer was pretty vague. I love all of Paul Rudd's movies, though, so I was definitely game to give this film a try.

This might be the first Marvel movie I've seen where the main character is an ex-con. At the beginning of Ant-Man, Scott Lang (Rudd) gets out of jail, and his former bunkie, Luis (Michael Peña) shows up to pick him up. Lang had been incarcerated for being a "cat burglar," as well as a Robin Hood of sorts (stealing from rich, corrupt men and giving their money back to those they stole from), but he now wants to get clean so he can be a father to his daughter. His ex-wife, Maggie (Judy Greer), doesn't believe he'll stay on the straight and narrow, and she's already moved on and is engaged now to a cop (Bobby Cannavale). Lang starts to realize he can't make money working at a legit job, since he's an ex-con, so when Luis approaches him with a "business opportunity" to crack open a safe at "some rich dude's house" who will be out of town, Lang accepts, which starts a spiral of events that culminate in some very "small" changes for him.

Movie Review: Trainwreck

The trailer for Trainwreck looked hilarious, and I was excited to see it. I had actually never heard of Amy Schumer before I first saw the trailer, but she's a very successful comic, and in this film she used those skills to her advantage.

Amy (Amy Schumer) was taught by her father that monogamy is unrealistic, so the norm for her is one-night stands rather than relationships. Her sister, Kim (Brie Larson) is happily married, but Amy knows that's not the life for her. When Amy's magazine editor (Tilda Swinton) assigns her a story on a sports doctor, Aaron (Bill Hader), she ends up going on a date with him, and he slowly wins her over to the idea of a relationship with him.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

GIVEAWAY - Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery Blu-ray {ends 7/24}

Scooby Scooby Doo, where are you?

Everyone’s favorite crime fighting kids are back with their biggest mystery ever in Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery! To help them solve the case the Scooby gang teams up with Rock and Roll legends KISS for an all new Mystery Inc. adventure!

Check out the official synopsis below and enter to win a Blu-ray/DVD/Digtal HD with UltraViolet copy of Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery.

Official synopsis:
Get ready to Rock! Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. Gang team up with the one and only KISS in this all-new, out-of-this-world adventure! We join the Gang at Kiss World – the all-things-Kiss theme park, as they investigate a series of strange hauntings. With help from Kiss, they discover that the Crimson Witch has returned to summon The Destroyer from the alternate dimension of Kissteria! The evil duos ghastly plan, to destroy the earth! Can the Gang's cunning and Kiss's power of rock save the day?! Tune in to this Rock and Roll Mystery for some thunderous, heavy FUN!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

GIVEAWAY: Eric Estrada and Ben Davies in Uncommon {2 DVD winners, ends 7/18}

Uncommon hits stores on August 4th, but you can win yourself a copy here before then!

Official synopsis:
What do we really know about religious liberties in public schools? Eric Estrada (Chips) and Ben Davies (Courageous) star in Uncommon, a movie that works to show that the bible and praying in schools should not be a thing of the past. Ben Davies is Aaron Chase, a student fleeing the violence of one school, only to find religious intolerance at another. In an effort to have a positive impact at his school he tries to organize a bible study, but finds himself in direct conflict with his teacher, Mr. Stephens, who tears down his announcement from the school bulletin board.

Then, when the theater department disappears due to budgets cuts, Aaron and few other students decide to make their own play using the stories from the bible. This only fuels his teacher’s animosity who enlists help from the principal. The only help Aaron can get is from the custodian, Mr. Garcia, played by Eric Estrada. As they work together to make their play, lives change as each student becomes uniquely influenced discovering that God takes them personally. Equipped with unique talents, they bond together to prepare the perfect production by exploring the diversity of parables taught in the Bible.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Upcoming & GIVEAWAY: Zoomance at the Detroit Zoo, July 9 & August 20

*Disclosure: I have an ongoing partnership with the Detroit Zoo. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Looking to check out the zoo without the little ones in tow? The Detroit Zoo is hosting a Summer Zoomance this July and August, a 21+ event that features all the zoo activities, without the kids. Come enjoy music and drinks and rekindle your childhood love for the Detroit Zoo!

Dates include July 9 and August 20, both from 6pm to 9pm. Tickets are $14/person and you must be 21+ to attend.

More info about Zoomance:
Tickets are $14.

All guests must be 21 and older
Photo ID is required for entrance

Adults are invited to rekindle their childhood love for the Detroit Zoo at Summer Zoomance. This is an adults-only event, featuring cash bars, complimentary tram tours, zookeeper talks, live music and rides on the Tauber Family Railroad (additional $3 per person). Guests can enjoy an adult beverage while strolling through the Zoo until twilight.

Tickets for Summer Zoomance can be purchased in advance online or at Window One at the main entrance of the Zoo and at the gates the night of the event.

And if you're looking to bring the family to the zoo this summer - don't forget about the zoo's Wild Summer Nights Concert Series! iHeartMedia is partnering with the Zoo to host a Family Fun Night this Wednesday, July 8. Guests will be able to play interactive games and participate in activities with some of the radio representatives on hand (from 100.3 WNIC, FM 98 WJLB, Channel 955, Mix 92.3, and 1130 AM The Fan).

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Movie Review: Magic Mike XXL

I reviewed the first Magic Mike back in June 2012, about three years ago now, and I remember being a little dissatisfied with it - it was a little more depressing than I thought it would be, even though the stripping parts were fun. In Magic Mike XXL, which really should be called something like Magic Mike 2: Road Trip, these parts are minimal, and it's a fun ride that I enjoyed much more than its counterpart film.

Mike (Channing Tatum) has been out of the stripping business for the past three years, choosing to focus on his furniture business, but when one of the guys gives him a call to say they're visiting Tampa, he goes to hang out with his buddies. Dallas (Matthew McConaughey from the first movie, who doesn't appear in this one) has moved his show to Macau, but the boys are headed to the national stripper convention in Myrtle Beach for one last good time. Mike decides to go with them, and they run into some hurdles on their way there.

Movie Review: Terminator Genisys

Full confession that I hope doesn't discredit this review: I thought I had seen at least one of the Terminator movies before seeing this one, but in fact, I haven't seen any of them. After seeing Terminator Genisys, I am going to start the previous four movies from the beginning, but in my opinion, this film functioned well as a standalone sci-fi movie.

Around the year 2021, John Connor (Jason Clarke) and Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) are fighting against Skynet, a self-aware computer program that tried to destroy the human race. Connor wants to send Reese back in time to protect his mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), because he thinks that Skynet is going to try to kill her then (in 1984) so that he'll never be born. Conner cautions Reese that Sarah won't yet be the "badass" mother that he had growing up, as she'll be younger and he may have to convince her about Skynet and who he is. When Reese arrives in 1984, though, he finds that she's well aware of the situation, and along with a Terminator she calls "Pops" (Arnold Schwarzenegger), he will have to time jump yet again with them in order to prevent the spreading of Skynet once and for all.