Monday, November 30, 2015

GIVEAWAY: Santa's Little Helper DVD {ends 12/12}

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


Santas-Little-Helper-DVD-Giveaway

I'm partnering with a few other bloggers to bring you this giveaway. 
Good luck!

Hosted by: Queen of Reviews
Sponsor: Fox Home Entertainment
After getting fired from his job, a slick, fast-talking businessman (The Miz) is thrown into an elf competition to become Santa's next second-in-command. Put through a series of rigorous training exercises to prepare for the contest, The Miz and another aspiring elf go head-to-head in the hopes of becoming Santa's Little Helper.

Dates: 11/30-12/12
Open to: US Residents 18+
Enter to win using the widget below. Good luck!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Movie Review: The Good Dinosaur


The Good Dinosaur is Pixar's newest, and it's unfortunately got a hard act to follow: last year's Pixar film was Inside Out, which ended up being a smash hit. The Good Dinosaur ended up being a sweet movie, if a little "all over the place" plot-wise, but it's one that I still recommend seeing.

The movie starts with the premise that the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago never hit Earth, and instead passed it by. Arlo (voiced by Raymond Ochoa) is the smallest dinosaur in his family - his two siblings, Buck (Marcus Scribner) and Libby (Maleah Nipay-Padilla), are stronger than him and can help out more around the farm. A big theme in his family is "making [your] mark," which means you get to put your footprint on the silo where they keep their food for the winter, once you do something helpful or useful. Libby and Buck have already made their marks, but Arlo is still struggling. One day, his Poppa (Jeffrey Wright) assigns him to a new job: keep an eye out for whatever critter is stealing their food, and kill it when he finds him. Arlo is game for the task, but soon finds that its a young human caveboy (Jack Bright) who is the thief, and he can't bring himself to hurt him; his Poppa is angry that he didn't complete the job, and Arlo and Poppa go to find the human, only to have an accident occur, and Arlo is devastated.

Later on, Arlo sees the human again and goes to chase after him; he eventually finds himself lost, and he and the human, whom he later names Spot, have to somehow find their way home before his Momma (Frances McDormand) and his siblings starve during the winter.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Upcoming: Chicago at the Fisher Theater, February 9-14, 2016 (Detroit)

*Disclosure: I will be receiving tickets for this event in exchange for posting about it. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

The musical Chicago is coming to Detroit's Fisher Theater this February, and I'm excited to see it. I actually saw it back in 2011 when it came to Detroit, also at the Fisher, and it was a great performance. I'm a huge fan of the movie, as well.

More details:
CHICAGO is coming back to Detroit’s Fisher Theatre, February 9-14, 2016, and it’s PURE ENTERTAINMENT! Tickets will be available for purchase at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, online at www.broadwayindetroit.com or www.ticketmaster.com, and at the Fisher Theatre box office starting at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, November 16. 

CHICAGO which opened to rave reviews on November 14th, 1996, now has the distinction of being the longest running American musical in Broadway history, and... shows no sign of ever slowing down!

Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, CHICAGO is the story of Roxie Hart, a 
housewife and nightclub dancer who maliciously murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to 
walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s 
tabloids.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Movie Review: Spotlight


I'm going to be honest and say Spotlight probably deserves a better rating than the one I'm giving it - it's a great movie, however, it's also very slow, which caused me to lose interest at some points throughout the film. The film focuses on the Boston Globe and how they uncovered a scandal within the Catholic Church back in 2001, and I didn't know much about the scandal beforehand, so I found the subject matter to be very interesting.

The "Spotlight" team at the Boston Globe gets to handpick scandals and cover-ups that they believe are important to expose. The team consists of Walter Robinson (Michael Keaton), as the leader; Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo); Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), and Matt Carroll (Brian d'Arcy James) as the reporters. The Boston Globe has a new boss, however, named Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), and he wants Spotlight to focus on a scandal in the Catholic Church - one of the Globe columnists had briefly covered it, but Baron thinks that the scandal goes deeper. Spotlight soon finds out the scandal is actually huge, and they investigate the case until they find what they had been looking for: Six percent of the clergy in the Catholic Church in each city have molested their young parishioners, which, in the city of Boston, amounts to 90 priests.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Movie Review - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2


Mockingjay - Part 2 may be the most polarizing of the four Hunger Games movies, even for fans of the series. It moves along at a good pace and is action-packed; some of the other screeners with whom I saw the film complained that it was choppy, confusing, and slow, but I had none of those complaints.

The film picks up almost exactly where Part 1 left off - Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is getting treatment for her neck, as it's raw and sore, since Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) - who is not himself at the moment - tried to choke her. Peeta has essentially been taken over by the Capitol, as they've fed his mind a lot of propaganda to make him believe that Katniss is his mortal enemy. Katniss and Gale (Liam Hemsworth), meanwhile, are still fighting against the Capitol, but she's still being held in District 13 by President Coin (Julianne Moore), who wants her to wait for the right time to return. Katniss also has a plan of her own: she wants to assassinate President Snow (Donald Sutherland).

Monday, November 16, 2015

GIVEAWAY: When Calls the Heart Season II Boxed Set - Collector's Edition {ends 11/22}

Season two of When Calls the Heart is now available in a boxed set (MSRP $49.99) and one of my lucky readers will win a copy!

The boxed set includes ten DVDs.

More info:
Season 2 - 10 DVD Collector's Edition:

Disc 1: Trials of the Heart (Movie Version)

Disc 2: Heart and Soul (Movie Version)

Disc 3: Heart of the Family (Movie Version)

Disc 4: Heart and Home (Movie Version)

Disc 5: Follow your Heart (Movie Version)

Disc 6: Episodes 1-5 as aired on the Hallmark Channel

Disc 7: Episodes 6-10 as aired on the Hallmark Channel

Disc 8: Special Features: Exclusive Featurettes with Behind-the-Scenes footage and inteviews with the cast and crew.

Disc 9: Journey to Jamaa - A Short Film by When Calls the Heart Producers Michael Landon Jr. and Brian Bird

Disc 10: Winter in Hope Valley - Insturmental CD


Based on the books by celebrated author Janette Oke (The Love Comes Softly series) When Calls the Heart is 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, faith, and the enduring power of love.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Now open: MOD Pizza in Rochester Hills serves up tasty eats and local flair


*Disclosure: I attended a media/friends and family event at the new MOD Pizza this past week, in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.


The new MOD Pizza is officially open today, November 14th, in Rochester Hills, and its residents are in for a treat: not only is the food great (which isn't surprising!), but the restaurant itself is very welcoming and area-themed.


MOD has put some great Rochester Hills touches on the new restaurant. This was my second time visiting a MOD Pizza, the first one being its Northville location, in August, which also had area-specific touches. One of the first things you'll notice when you wait in line to order, here, is the huge ROCHESTER HILLS sign, to the right of the cash register; it's definitely location-specific!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Movie Review: Love the Coopers

Ensemble films can be a tricky thing. Usually, the cast is packed chock-full of A-listers, as this film is, but that doesn't mean the writing in the movie will be good. Although a few of the jokes did fall flat, the film was a lot funnier than I thought it would be, with some tinges of sadness and wistfulness thrown in as well.

Love the Coopers has a few stories going on at the same time, which later interconnect. The matriarch of the family, Charlotte (Diane Keaton) wants to throw "one last perfect Christmas" for her kids, since she and her husband Sam (John Goodman) are separating after 40 years of marriage. Her sister, Emma (Marisa Tomei), is bitter about being alone on the holiday, even though she's going to Emma's Christmas dinner, and finds the ugliest gift she can find for her and steals it; she gets arrested, and ends up in a cop car with Officer Williams (Anthony Mackie), whom she eventually befriends.

Emma's children aren't doing too well either: Hank (Ed Helms) has recently divorced, and continuously squabbles with his ex-wife; on top of that, he's just been laid off from his job as a department-store photographer. His sister, Eleanor (Olivia Wilde), is hanging out at the airport bar in order to put off the family gathering later on, where she meets Joe (Jake Lacy), whose flight back home has been canceled. Eleanor convinces him to pretend to be her boyfriend, just for the night, in order to avoid "that sad face" her mom gives her when she finds out she's still single. And to top off the family tree, her grandfather, Bucky (Alan Arkin), is mad because one of his favorite waitresses, Ruby (Amanda Seyfried), just announced that her last day of work was that day, and she told a few of the other diner patrons but not him.

Movie Review: My All-American


At the beginning of My All-American, Darrell Royal (Aaron Eckhart) is asked who was the most motivating All-American player for him, and he says Freddie Steinmark. The reporter, confused, says that Freddie was not an All-American. Royal's response is, "He was my All-American." I was about to dismiss this movie as a Hallmark film right there and then, but luckily the film actually ended up being very good.

Freddie Steinmark (Finn Wittrock) grows up in a small town near Denver, and all of his life he's wanted to play college football. He's a very good player, but is small in stature and weight, and when it comes time to look for college scholarships, he's not sure he will receive one. Coach Royal sees some footage of Steinmark playing, and asks him and one of his football buddies to come up to the University of Texas campus to meet with him; Freddie and his friend are both offered scholarships. Freddie's girlfriend is accepted to UT as well, and the three of them travel to Austin for college.

Midway into his junior year, Freddie has been having leg problems - he's been limping all season - but he wants to finish the last game before the Cotton Bowl prior to having a doctor look at it. What happens after that is something that will test Freddie's spirit and fortitude, and a situation that he must try to make the best of.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Upcoming: Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Palace (Detroit area) + their new album (out 11/13)


*Disclosure: I will be receiving TSO tickets in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

The TSO, or Trans-Siberian Orchestra, will be returning to the Palace of Auburn Hills this year, and I'm excited to see them again! I saw them last year there, for the first time, and the show was fantastic. If you like orchestras, their show will blow your mind - it's technically an orchestra, but with some crazy guitar tracks and others that will make it unlike any "classical" orchestra you've ever seen before.

More info:
Critically-acclaimed progressive rock band Trans-Siberian Orchestra will release its highly-anticipated new studio album, Letters From The Labyrinth, on Nov. 13 through Lava Records/Republic Records. Known for elaborate production and thematic CDs, with Letters From The Labyrinth,TSO has crafted a bold, conceptually provocative album that pushes the proverbial envelope once again -- this time with what TSO creator, lyricist and composer Paul O'Neill calls TSO's "first hybrid album.” In addition to being available at brick and mortar and online retailers, each 2015 Winter Tour concert ticket sold online will come with a digital copy of Letters From The Labyrinth.

Letters from the Labyrinth, TSO’s first full-length album since 2009’s Night Castle, is a major change for the way Trans-Siberian Orchestra creates new works. It is the first album not built around a completed story. Instead it is a collection of completed songs, which have left the safety of the studio where they were born, and the story will emerge from their combined journeys. The overall concept is based on Night Castle and a dialogue between the wisdom of the past and the hopes for the future, via a correspondence between a child and an old friend of the child's grandfather.

Letters from the Labyrinth deals with subjects as broad as humanity’s journey through the ages ("Time & Distance (The Dash)"), and as specific as the fall of the Berlin Wall ("Prometheus"), the world banking controversies ("Not Dead Yet") and bullying ("Not The Same"), which O’Neill co-wrote with his daughter. Produced by O’Neill at his Night Castle Studio in Tampa, FL, the forthcoming album also features Halestorm vocalist and frontwoman Lzzy Hale on the stirring “Forget About The Blame (Moon Version).”

Collectively, TSO has sold nearly 10 million albums throughout its illustrious career. Night Castle debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and is now certified platinum. Christmas Eve and Other Stories (1996), boasted the smash hit "Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24" and was certified triple platinum with over 3.4 million records sold. The Christmas Attic (1998) earned certified platinum status with over 1.8 million records sold. The Lost Christmas Eve (2004), featuring hit single “Wizards in Winter,” was certified double platinum with 2.3 million records sold.Beethoven’s Last Night (2000), TSO’s first non-holiday rock opera, was certified gold with more than 650,000 units sold.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Grand Opening: MOD Pizza comes to Rochester Hills {& Pay What You Want Day!}


*Disclosure: I will be attending an event at the new MOD Pizza in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

The newest MOD Pizza is opening this Saturday, November 14th in Rochester Hills, and TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants (TSFR) will be hosting a Pay What You Want fundraiser, to benefit the Rochester Community Schools Foundation.

The fundraiser starts at 11 a.m. and runs through dinner services, and you can pay an amount of your choosing. There will also be raffles throughout the day, and the prizes include MOD Pizza merchandise and a chance to win one free pizza per week for a year.

I got the chance to check out the Northville MOD location back in August, and it was very tasty. I'm looking forward to the Rochester Hills opening too, as the decor is supposed to be very location-specific.


More info:
TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants (TSFR), a Michigan-based family-owned restaurant group with an expansive portfolio of casual, quick service and family dining restaurants throughout the state, will open its newest Michigan MOD Pizza restaurant on Saturday, November 14, in Rochester Hills. TSFR Brand Leader of MOD Pizza Jake Schostak made the announcement.

In celebration of the brand’s rapid expansion in Michigan, TSFR and MOD Pizza will host an all-day “Pay What You Want” fundraiser starting at 11 a.m. and running through dinner service at its Rochester Hills restaurant, located at 3058 S. Rochester Rd, Suite D. During the “Pay What You Want” day, guests will be able to pay an amount of their choosing for their meal, with all proceeds benefiting Rochester Community Schools Foundation to aid the organization on its mission to support and advance learning for all students by providing financial support for academics, athletics and activities. In addition to the fundraiser, MOD Pizza will be hosting raffles throughout the day with prizes to include MOD Pizza merchandise and a chance to win a free pizza per week for a year.
“Following the successful grand openings of our first two MOD Pizza locations in Livonia and Northville, we are eager to introduce MOD Pizza to the Rochester Hills community,” said Schostak. “MOD Pizza offers a unique experience that is modernizing the way people think about and eat pizza, while forging relationships with the local community, helping local organizations such as the Rochester Community Schools Foundation advance their fundraising goals.”

Friday, November 6, 2015

Upcoming: Mythbusters at the Fox Theatre (Detroit) and a GIVEAWAY! {ends 11/14}


*Disclosure: I receive tickets to Olympia Entertainment events in exchange for posting. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Confession time: I had never actually seen Mythbusters until this past week, when I watched an episode of it. It seems like a fun show, and I'm excited to be seeing the live show at the Fox Theatre on November 28th here in Detroit - it's in town for one night only, and is the farewell tour for Jamie Hyneman, who comprises half of the show.

More info:
Olympia Entertainment is thrilled to announce that the all-new live show “MythBusters Jamie &
Adam UNLEASHED!”, starring Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, co-hosts of the Emmy-nominated Discovery series MythBusters will make its Detroit debut at the Fox Theatre for one
night only on Saturday, November 28 at 7:30 p.m.; locally presented by AT&T.
Tickets ($35.50, $45.50, $55.50 and $100 VIP) are on sale now and can be purchased at
OlympiaEntertainment.com, The Fox Theatre and Joe Louis Arena box offices, Hockeytown Authentics in Troy (without service charge) at all Ticketmaster locations and Ticketmaster.com.

To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000. For additional information, call (313) 471-6611.

“MythBusters Jamie & Adam UNLEASHED!” presents a fantastical evening of on-stage
experiments, audience participation, exciting videos, and behind-the-scenes stories. With this
show, fans join Jamie and Adam onstage to assist in their mind-blowing and mind-twisting
approaches to science. “MythBusters Jamie & Adam UNLEASHED!” brings you face-to-face
with the curious world of Jamie and Adam as the duo matches wits on stage with each other
and members of the audience. Jamie Hyneman has announced that he will end touring with the
live show this year.

Since 2012, Jamie and Adam have toured North America, Australia and New Zealand with their
live show. To date, they have performed in 108 cities, given 119 performances, over 200,000
people have seen them onstage and the tour has grossed over $12 million. This fall, the tour will
perform 31 dates across the US and Canada.

One of the most highly regarded and watched series on the Discovery Channel, "MythBusters"
is now in its thirteenth season. Co-hosted by Hyneman and Savage, the show mixes scientific
method with gleeful curiosity and plain old-fashioned ingenuity to create its own signature style
of explosive experimentation – and the supporting or de-bunking of urban myths that we live
with day to day. 


credit: fastcompany.com

Movie Review: Miss You Already


As you can probably tell from its trailer, Miss You Already is a "chick flick" - but it's one that has some great actors in it, and also one that's more about living and dying than simply "getting the guy."

Jess (Drew Barrymore) and Milly (Toni Collette) have been inseparable since Jess, an American, moved to England with her family at a young age. They've been there for each other's best and worst moments; Jess was there when Milly found out she was pregnant for the first time, and conversely, Milly has been there for Jess while Jess has been trying to get pregnant. Jess and her husband, Jado (Paddy Considine), decide to try IVF, and Jess finally, after all these years, becomes pregnant; at the same time, however, Milly has just received the worst news of her life: she has breast cancer, and may, down the road, have to get a mastectomy.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Yes/No Films on the Road: Six Flags Over Georgia (Atlanta)


*Disclosure: I received free park tickets in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

This past weekend, I was in Atlanta visiting a good high school friend of mine, who happens to have season tickets for Six Flags Over Georgia (Austell, GA). I had gone to the park with her last year, but only briefly, since I was primarily in Atlanta for Walker Stalker Con.

This year, our schedule was open, and we decided to spend two days at the park!

On Friday, because of Fright Fest, the park opened at 6pm. After braving the insane Atlanta traffic, we finally arrived, and met up with a few of her friends there.

Great American Scream Machine