Monday, September 28, 2015

GIVEAWAY - When Calls the Heart: Heart and Home on DVD {ends 10/5}

The 4th DVD in the second season of When Calls the Heart is now available, and you can win a copy of it here!

More info:
When Calls the Heart, Produced by Michael Landon Jr. and inspired by the best-selling books by Janette Oke, tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young woman of privilege, working as a teacher in a prairie town in the Western Frontier. Still anxious to win the approval of Elizabeth’s father, Jack now has to overcome an unforseen problem- his brother. He and Elizabeth’s sister Julie are now planning to run off together, infuriating her father, and complicating Jack’s own plans of courting Elizabeth. To make matters worse, his brother Tom, and Julie are in an automobile accident.

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). Jack and Elizabeth leave Hope Valley and rush back to the city of Hamilton when they learn that Jack’s brother, Tom, was involved in an automobile accident… with Elizabeth’s sister, Julie! But Tom and Julie are hiding something about the incident, a deceit that puts Jack and Elizabeth at odds with their families… and with each other. Their trip is further complicated when Tom and Julie endeavour to run off together – via train this time – and Elizabeth’s father offers Jack a job – an offer that puts Jack and Elizabeth’s fledgling romance in peril yet again.

{Click here to purchase}

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Review: Marvel Universe LIVE at the Palace - ongoing this weekend! #Detroit

*Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Feld Entertainment and received complimentary show tickets in exchange for this review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Last night, my parents and I headed to the Palace of Auburn Hills to check out the new (to this area) show, Marvel Universe LIVE. The videos I had seen online for the show looked great, but I wasn't sure what to expect as this was my first time attending. The result? Like watching a live Avengers movie - and super fun!

All your favorite Marvel characters are here, and working together in a giant plot to stop Loki - the Avengers (Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Iron Man, etc.) plus Spider-Man and some of the X-Men characters too (Storm, Wolverine, etc.). It was a little strange to see them all together, since normally in the movies they're separate, but they're all part of the Marvel universe.

Loki in all his evilness

Friday, September 25, 2015

Movie Review: The Intern

The Devil Wears Prada is one of my favorite Hathaway (and Streep) movies, so I found it ironic that in The Intern, Anne Hathaway is now running her own fashion website (in a weird way, it's kind of like a sequel of her Prada character). This movie was funnier than I thought it would be, but a little inconsistent at times; nonetheless, it's still worth seeing.

Jules Ostin (Hathaway) started her own fashion website startup only 18 months ago from her home, and now she has over 200 employees. The website starts a community outreach program of sorts, its Senior Internship Program, for people over 65, and 70-year-old Ben Whittaker (Robet De Niro) decides to apply; he's bored with retired life, and misses having a place to go during the day. He along with two other seniors are accepted, and he dives in to the world of technology and social media, with the help of some of the website's other employees (Adam DeVine, Zack Pearlman, to name a few). He's assigned as personal intern to Jules, who maintains that she doesn't need an intern (though her harried assistant proves otherwise), and she's very closed off to Ben at first. However, once she realizes that Ben has business world (as well as life) experience, he starts becoming more of a best friend than an intern, and she realizes she's able to count on him.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Yes/No Films on the Road: Lake Erie Arts & Film Fest (LEAFF) & Put-in-Bay, Ohio

*Disclosure: I received a complimentary hotel stay, ferry passage on Miller Ferry, Perry's Cave tickets, a golf cart rental, and media tickets to LEAFF in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

This past weekend, I was able to experience the first annual Lake Erie Arts & Film Fest (LEAFF) in Sandusky, Ohio, as well as spend a day on Put-in-Bay, an island which is about a 15-minute ferry ride from the mainland (Port Clinton).

On Friday, I ducked out of work a bit early and we arrived at Comfort Inn, Sandusky, around 5pm. I hadn't stayed at a Comfort Inn in a few years, and this one had a spacious room, and was very nice. It was also very centrally located, on Milan Rd. about ten to fifteen minutes from downtown Sandusky and about fifteen minutes from Cedar Point.

After that, we grabbed some dinner at Fazoli's (one of my favorite chains, and the only Michigan ones are about 1-2 hours away from me), and headed to downtown Sandusky to take in our first movie of the festival, It's Not a Date. I had never been to downtown Sandusky before so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it's a rather charming downtown area and is right on the lake; it's very beautiful there.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Upcoming: Newsies at the Detroit Opera House, December 15-27

*Disclosure: I have an ongoing media relationship and will be receiving tickets to this show. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Newsies will be coming to the Detroit Opera House this December 15-27, and tickets are now available to purchase!

I've never seen Newsies but I've heard great things about it, and I'm excited to attend.

More info:
NEWSIES, the new American musical, features a Tony® Award-winning score with music by eight-time Academy Award® winner Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman, a book by four-time Tony® Award winner Harvey Fierstein and is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, NEWSIES is directed by Tony® nominee Jeff Calhoun and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, who won a 2012 Tony Award® for his work. The entire creative team has reunited to bring the break-out smash musical to audiences across North America.

When it opened on March 29, 2012 NEWSIES was intended for a Broadway run of just 101 performances. The show’s fiercely devoted fans had other ideas, however; they propelled the show to a run of 1005 performances, attendance of more than 1 million and a gross of over $100M.

While on Broadway, NEWSIES set and broke seven Nederlander Theatre house records and became the highest-grossing show from the 2011-12 Broadway season. The show received 23 major theatrical nominations – including eight Tony Award® nods – and won Tony®, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Score and Choreography.

Recap: ENMN Conference 2015 + my trip to L.A. and Hollywood #ENMNCon15

About a week and a half ago now, I headed to L.A. for the second annual Entertainment New Media Network (ENMN) conference. I had attended the first conference last year, which was in Anaheim, and which was also my first trip ever to California.

One of my big complaints about the conference last year was that we stayed in the hotel for the majority of the sessions, and this year none of them were in the hotel, which was great - it allowed us to explore Hollywood and L.A. a bit. Our host hotel was the Holiday Inn North Hollywood, and it was extremely nice; it had recently been redone, and the rooms were very spacious, which is great when you have roommates, too.

Day 1: Ventura/KOA campground + PJ party

Our sessions this year were held at two different Hard Rock Cafes (Hollywood/Highland, as well as the Universal Studios CityWalk location), and at the Ventura Ranch KOA campground. We headed out to Ventura my first full day in L.A., that Thursday, and I wasn't entirely sure to expect, except that ziplining would be an option - which I was super excited about, but also a little nervous.

Pre-ziplining selfie!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Movie Review: Black Mass

I read a bit about the James "Whitey" Bulger story before I saw this film in the theater, and it's definitely an interesting one. I'm from Massachusetts originally, so I had definitely heard of him, but he was apparently quite the dangerous and elusive criminal - he wasn't caught until four years ago (2011), in California. The entire cast is great, but it's Johnny Depp, who plays Bulger, who really makes this film worth watching.

"Whitey" Bulger (Depp) starts out as a small-time criminal in South Boston ("Southie"). His brother, Billy (Benedict Cumberbatch), actually ends up becoming a Senator, who turns his head at Whitey's crimes. They grow up with John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), who is now an FBI agent, and the FBI starts using Bulger as an informant; however, when a new FBI agent starts working there (Corey Stoll), he demands to know why Bulger hasn't been brought to justice yet, which starts an investigation into Connolly and his alliances.

Movie Review: Everest

Everest is based on the true events of May 1996, in which multiple blizzards hit the famous mountain on the same day. There have been many books and TV movies created about the events that happened that day, but Everest is the first feature film about it.

Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) is an Everest expedition guide, and he guides both experienced climbers and amateurs. He leaves his pregnant wife (Keira Knightley) and flies to Nepal, where he meets up with some old friends - Doug (John Hawkes), who has tried (and failed) to climb Everest before; Beck (Josh Brolin), an older man who is attempting it; and his camp doctor and organizer (Elizabeth Debicki and Emily Watson, respectively). More and more guides are trying for a piece of the Everest pie this year, including Scott (Jake Gyllenhaal), who runs a similar guiding business, and they all want to make the climb on the same day: May 10th. On their way down after reaching the top of Everest, however, Hall and his clients run into a major blizzard, and this causes complications.

This movie was all over the place; I feel like they were trying to make it this year's Titanic, but unfortunately, there were too many characters to keep track of, and the plot is a bit of a zigzag mess. First, if there's such a thing as an "A-list cast," this would be an "A+ list cast" - you've got Clarke, Knightley, Hawkes, Brolin, Debicki, Watson, and Gyllenhaal, as well as Robin Wright (as Brolin's wife) and Sam Worthington (as another guide). Clarke is established early on as the main guide and star of the story, but the rest of the side characters were often confusing; there are more supporting characters, too, that I didn't even mention here, such as Clarke's other clients, and the clients of Gyllenhaal's team.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Blu-ray Review: Pitch Perfect 2, plus win a walk-on role in Pitch Perfect 3!

*Disclosure: I received a Blu-ray copy of Pitch Perfect 2 for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I reviewed Pitch Perfect 2 back in May when it came out, and I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. How did my second viewing of it hold up to the first?

First, more about the Blu-ray:

The fabulous Bellas of Barden University are back to compete in the World Championships of A Cappella after a scandal threatens their legacy in Pitch Perfect 2. The high-spirited sequel to the movie that sparked a worldwide phenomenon is coming to Digital HD on September 1st and Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand September 22 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Pitch Perfect 2 is packed with more original musical arrangements, memorable one-liners and offbeat romance as the original’s most beloved characters fight to regain their former glory on a worldwide stage facing off against the toughest competition on the planet. Hysterical behind-the-scenes bonus features, never-before-seen deleted footage, all-new musical performances and a hilarious gag reel make Pitch Perfect 2 a must own on Blu-ray™ and DVD.

Oscar®-nominee Anna Kendrick (Into the Woods), Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids), Brittany Snow (Hair Spray), Anna Camp (The Help), Alexis Knapp (Project X), Hana Mae Lee (“Super Fun Night”) and Ester Dean (Ice Age: Continental Drift) return as the girls who run the a cappella world, with Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), Chrissie Fit (Teen Beach Movie, “General Hospital”) and Katy Segal (“Sons of Anarchy”) joining the team for the first time. Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games series), who also directed the infectiously funny film, and John Michael Higgins reprise their roles as clueless competition commentators Gail and John. Skylar Astin (21 & Over), Adam DeVine (“Workaholics”) and Ben Platt (Ricki and the Flash) rejoin the comedy as the Barden’s favorite Treblemakers with YouTube superstar Flula Borg and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (Automata) leading the Bellas’ archrivals, German supergroup Das Sound Machine.

Das Sound Machine, the Bellas' new competition

Official synopsis:

Beca (Anna Kendrick), Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and the Barden Bellas are back to pitch slap the world! After a scandal threatens to derail their last year at Barden, the three-time defending champs worry that they've lost their harmony for good. With one chance left at redeeming their legacy, they must face off against the toughest competition on the planet: German super group Das Sound Machine, and fight for their right to win at the World Championships of A Cappella. It will take the power of sisterhood to find their voice and see what it takes to be the world's top pitches!

Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Review: STAINMASTER™ Carpet Stain Remover at Meijer (and an mPerks coupon!) #cleanandprotect

*Disclosure: I received a product and a gift card from Meijer to facilitate this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

When I'm not seeing movies, I very occasionally have to clean my apartment. I'm pretty neat in general, stuff-wise, but I tend to put off things like carpet cleaning and vacuuming until I definitely need to do something about it. When I was asked to review the STAINMASTER™ Carpet Stain Remover, I knew that I could definitely use a product like that.

I actually ended up bringing the product over to my parents' house, because there's a portion of carpet there that we all throw our shoes onto when we walk into the house; needless to say, over time it had accumulated some stains.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Upcoming: Costume ideas + more for Marvel Universe LIVE! at the Palace, Sept. 25-27 (Detroit area)

credit: Marvel Universe LIVE! Facebook page

Marvel Universe LIVE! is coming to the Palace of Auburn Hills (Detroit area) soon, from September 25-27. As a reminder, here are showtimes and a link where you can buy tickets, in case you missed my giveaway:

Friday, September 25th: 7:30pm
Saturday, September 26th: 11:30am, 3:30pm, 7:30pm
Sunday, September 27th: 11:30am, 3:30pm, 7:30pm

Tickets range from $25 to $150, and kids' tickets are $20.

Here's some ideas for costume ideas for when you / your little ones go to the show, and even some fun drink and project ideas for before or after the show:

Who is your / your child's favorite Marvel superhero
Do you plan on attending Marvel Universe LIVE! this month if you live in the Detroit area?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Movie Review: The Visit

Regular readers of this blog will know that I usually don't enjoy horror movies. The last one I remember seeing was The Woman in Black, about three years ago, and only because Daniel Radcliffe was in it. However, I am a big fan of M. Night Shyamalan's films, and since he is the writer and director of The Visit, I put on my "big-girl pants" and went to check it out.

Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) and Rebecca Jamison (Olivia DeJonge) are being sent to go visit their grandparents, in the house where their mother (Kathryn Hahn) grew up. Their mom and her parents had a falling out when she was 19, when she decided to run off with an older man, but the grandparents have never seen their grandchildren and would like them to visit. Rebecca also is a budding filmmaker, and decided to film a documentary about the visit and about her mother's life, as well as the falling out that led her and her parents to be estranged. When they originally arrive at the home in rural Pennsylvania, their Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop-Pop (Peter McRobbie) seem very nice and sweet; Nana likes to cook, and Rebecca can't get enough of her homemade cookies. Soon, however, Tyler and Rebecca start to notice strange things going on in the house, especially at night, and they decide to investigate.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

GIVEAWAY: Adrenaline on DVD {ends 9/15}

Adrenaline will be available on DVD and digital copy September 8th, and you can win yourself a copy here.

About the movie:
Winner of the International Christian Film Festival, Adrenaline stars Michael Rosander as Joseph Jenkins, a drag racer whose life is changed forever by a near-fatal car crash that leaves him partially paralyzed, forcing him to face new circumstances as he ultimately learns to race again. John Schneider (October Baby, Smallville) plays Paul Sharpe, Joseph’s uncle that helps his nephew find his way to race again. “After straightening the curves all these years, it was a pleasure to finally race in a straight line,” said Schneider, the beloved “Dukes of Hazard” star. “I am very excited about this film."

Adrenaline also stars Charline Amoia (Port Charles, Seven Pounds) as his physical therapist and Gregory Alan Williams (In the Line of Fire, Remember the Titans) as a fellow patient, that help Joseph find his true purpose in life before he faces his on road nemesis Jason Skynard, played by character actor Anthony Reynolds (Hunger Games, Iron Man 3).

Adrenaline will be available on Digital and DVD September 8th. For more information or to see the trailer go to

Official Synopsis:
A drag racer’s life is turned upside-down after a near fatal car crash, leaving him paraplegic. Joseph Jenkins (Michael Rosander), thinks his life is over, but while in the hospital, he meets Elijah Salisbury (Gregory Alan Williams), who gives him a new perspective on life and helps get him back to living. When Jason returns home, an old friend of his father’s, Paul Sharpe (John Schneider) steps in and helps him back into a race car,and teaches him how to race all over again.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Movie Review: The Transporter Refueled

I was skeptical going in to The Transporter Refueled, because I loved the series when Jason Statham was the Transporter. However, due to salary cutbacks, we have a new Transporter (Ed Skrein) in this film, and although it's still a fun ride, it overall lacks depth and character development.

Frank Martin (Skrein) is good at his job; he doesn't ask questions, he doesn't exchange names, and he does what he's told. His father, Frank Senior (Ray Stevenson), has just retired from his job at the British embassy, and Frank Jr. drives him around since Frank Sr. doesn't really drive. Frank Jr. receives a mysterious phone call from a woman (Loan Chabanol) who wants his services, but when he goes for the pickup, the "packages" turn out to be two women - all of whom are harboring secrets. To ensure that he does their bidding, they kidnap his father, too, and Frank Jr. must help them get out of the prostitution ring that they've been enslaved in, or else they will kill his father.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

GIVEAWAY - The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Sixth Season OR The Originals: The Complete Second Season {ends 9/7}

*Disclosure: I will be receiving a Blu-ray copy of one of these in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Do you watch either The Vampire Diaries or The Originals? (or both, like I do?)
If so, then I have a great giveaway for you - one lucky winner will win EITHER the sixth season of The Vampire Diaries or the second season of The Originals on Blu-ray + Digital DVD (to be decided randomly by sponsor).

Both seasons are coming to Blu-ray/Digital HD today, September 1st.

First, read about the shows here:

About The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Sixth Season

The Vampire Diaries continues its sixth season with more delicious drama to sink your teeth into. In season five, after a passionate summer with Damon, Elena headed to Whitmore College with Caroline, not knowing Bonnie sacrificed her life for Jeremy’s. Meanwhile, Stefan and Caroline’s friendship deepened as they stood up to the Travelers, a nomadic witch tribe driven to strip Mystic Falls of magic and cast out its supernatural residents. In the shocking season finale, Damon, fearing he would lose his loved ones on the crumbling Other Side, made a huge sacrifice to bring them all back — with catastrophic and heartbreaking results. Season six follows the characters’ journey back to each other as they explore the duality of good versus evil inside themselves. Matt Davis reprises his role as Alaric Saltzman, recently returned from The Other Side. Plus, the season will make you misty-eyed as the departure of a major character will turn lives upside down and leave us asking what happened to Mystic Falls.

Own The Vampire Diaries The Complete Sixth Season on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD, September 1, 2015 .

Contains All 22 Episodes From The Sixth Season Plus Two Featurettes, An Audio Commentary, The 2014 Comic-Con Panel, Deleted Scenes, And A Gag Reel

The Vampire Diaries on Facebook:
The Vampire Diaries on Twitter:

About The Originals: The Complete Second Season

As Original vampire-werewolf hybrid Klaus Mikaelson returned to the vibrant, supernaturally charged city of New Orleans in season one, he was stunned to learn — along with his siblings Elijah and Rebekah — that Hayley, a werewolf, was pregnant with his child, and his vampire protégé, Marcel, whom the Original siblings had thought long dead, was ruling the French Quarter. Soon, a bloody war escalated between vampires and witches — the stakes raised by powerful teenage witch Davina and by Klaus’s bond with Cami, a student with a painful past — and a ruthless pack of wolves seized the opportunity to stage a violent coup. Now, in season two, a new status quo must be adjusted to, as the newly empowered werewolves control the city. Klaus struggles with weaknesses as Elijah desperately tries to save Hayley — now a hybrid — from a vicious spiral of self-destruction. Meanwhile, with the re-emergence of several Mikaelsons, “family is power” takes on new meaning.

Own The Originals The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD, September 1, 2015

Contains All 22 Episodes From The Second Season Plus Never-Before-Seen Featurettes And Much More!

The Originals on Facebook:
Ask The Originals on Twitter: