Tuesday, December 29, 2015

War Room Family Movie Night {and an easy fudge recipe!} #MakeItAMovieNight

*Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MakeItAMovieNight #CollectiveBias



My parents and I definitely see a lot of movies together at screenings, but we don't get to sit down and watch a movie at their house or my apartment that often. When we do, it's usually a last-minute thing, and treats may or may not be involved. This weekend, we decided to get together and create a memorable movie night, complete with (super easy!) fudge and some Orville Redenbacher popcorn - yum. The movie choice of the night was War Room.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Movie Review: Daddy's Home


The trailer for Daddy's Home looked like it could be funny, but I worried it might be one of those times where all the laughs in a movie are all in the trailer. Although this was not entirely the case here, most of the time I was waiting for the laughs to begin, even though a few of the scenes in this film were hilarious.

Brad (Will Ferrell) marries Sarah (Linda Cardellini) and becomes a stepdad to her two young children. The kids resent him at first, probably because they miss their real dad, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg), but after almost a year, Brad is finally starting to fit in with the family. That is, until the kids' biological dad (Dusty) decides to come home for a visit - and he wants to win back the hearts of both the kids and Sarah, essentially knocking Brad off the pedestal he's worked so hard to attain.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Movie Review: Concussion


Concussion tells the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith), who publishes some research about brain injuries that has the NFL very concerned. It's based on a true story, and the content in it is fascinating; however, the film itself is a little slower-paced.

Coroner Dr. Omalu is originally from Nigeria, and he doesn't have much interest in football, or the Pittsburgh Steelers, which are much revered in the city. When former Steelers player Mike Webster (David Morse) randomly dies, at the young age of 50, it is Omalu who performs the autopsy. He finds something very disturbing in Webster's brain tissue, but he needs to do more tests to confirm his findings. After he publishes a paper on his findings, with the help of some of his colleagues, he finds that most of the city of Pittsburgh is angry at him for doing so, as well as the NFL, who would rather ignore his findings and pretend they don't exist. Dr. Julian Bailes (Alec Baldwin), a former Steelers doctor is on Dr. Omalu's side, however, and the two of them continue to try to make the dangers of the results of Omalu's paper known to all football players.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Yes/No Films on the Road: MotorCity Casino Hotel + Iridescence {Detroit}


*Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by the MotorCity Casino Hotel. All opinions listed here, however, are my own.

There is a reason why MotorCity Casino Hotel's slogan is "A Million Miles Away. Right down the street." This past weekend, I was able to stay overnight at the hotel, and I was also treated to dinner at Iridescence, their AAA Four Diamond restaurant. Even though I live only about a 20-30 minute drive from the hotel, it's like entering another world once you step inside.


We had the pleasure of staying in an Executive king room on the 15th floor. "Executive" means that the room had vaulted ceilings - I believe that the 15th floor is the only floor that has these, actually - and we also had access to a "Butler's Room" which did complimentary appetizers around dinner time (4-6pm) and a continental breakfast the next day.


The bathroom was super luxurious, and included a bathtub with whirlpool jets, plus bath salts from D.Tour Spa (the hotel's spa); a walk-in shower; and a TV in the mirror in front of the sink. Yes, you read that right: A TV IN THE MIRROR.

Coolest. thing. ever.

Movie Review: The Big Short


By now, I think most of the U.S. has heard of Lehman (pronounced "Lee-man") Brothers, which went bankrupt in 2008. At the end of 2008, I was a senior in college - for the most part, surrounded by an Ann Arbor bubble - but I still heard about the bank's demise. The Big Short focuses on the housing crisis with mortgages, that was foreseeable starting in 2005/2006 but eventually imploded in 2008, and what some investors did to profit off of it.

Michael Burry, M.D. (Christian Bale) is a former medical student who now focuses on trends in the market. He has an investment firm, and decides to invest all of its capital into "shorts" (shorting the mortgage market) once he sees a disturbing downward trend - downward for the mortgage holders, that is, not investors. All of the major banks think he's crazy and are happy to take his money; later on, Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) as well as Mark Baum (Steve Carell) get in on this investment as well, even though at the time (2006/2007) they are actually having to PAY the banks/investment companies to keep their investment.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Upcoming: Matilda at the Fisher Theatre (Detroit), March 9-20, 2016


*Disclosure: I have an ongoing media relationship with the Fisher Theatre. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Matilda is coming to the Fisher Theatre this March, and I'm super excited to see it. I'm a huge fan of the movie, as well as the book by Roald Dahl, and the show should be great.

Show information:
TIME Magazine’s #1 Show of the Year, MATILDA THE MUSICAL, is coming to Detroit as part of the Broadway In Detroit Subscription Series! Produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Dodgers, the first national tour of MATILDA THE MUSICAL will be coming to Detroit’s Fisher Theatre, March 9 – 20, 2016. Tickets are now 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.

Winner of 50 international awards including 4 Tony® Awards and a record-breaking seven Olivier® Awards including Best Musical, MATILDA THE MUSICAL is based on the beloved novel by best-selling author Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox). It is the story of an extraordinary girl who dreams of a better life. Armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, Matilda dares to take a stand and change her destiny.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Movie Review: The Danish Girl


There's a reason that Eddie Redmayne has already garnered a slew of award nominations for his role as Einar (later, Lili) in The Danish Girl: he's amazing to watch in this film. The movie itself is very good, too, although could have been a little shorter time-wise.

Einar Wegener (Redmayne) is an artist who is married to another artist, Gerda (Alicia Vikander). She has him pose for her wearing women's shoes and some pantyhose, to fill in for an absent model, and he starts to realize that he wants to wear women's clothes all the time ... and that these feelings aren't new. As a fun stunt, Gerda takes him to a ball with her dressed as Lili, his alter ego, and he gets hit on there by a man; soon, Einar slowly starts to morph into Lili, wearing a wig, makeup, and women's clothing all the time, but because this is 1920s Denmark, that behavior isn't always widely accepted. Lili also wants to physically become a woman, and she and Gerda go to a specialist to see what can be done.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Minions Family Movie Night (and Easy Smoothie Recipe!) #MinionsMovieNight


*Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MinionsMovieNight #CollectiveBias


I'm a huge fan of the Despicable Me franchise, from Illumination Entertainment, and I was excited when Minions, its newest film, came to theaters. It's now out on Blu-ray and DVD, and my family and I had a movie night to watch Minions, complete with a yummy movie-related snack.

I checked out the Minions website first, to see what stores nearby had the film, and there were a few stores in my area that had it. The movie was released on Blu-ray and DVD combo pack on 12/8, so I headed out after work that day to buy the Blu-ray.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Movie Review: In the Heart of the Sea


I haven't read Moby Dick, and originally I thought this movie was going to be based on the book; however, it's actually based on the real-life events told to the author (Herman Melville), which then inspired the novel. The story follows the story of the Essex, a whaling ship sent to hunt down whales for their oil, and what happens once one of the whales started "stalking" the ship.

The Essex leaves from Nantucket, MA, where we meet our main characters: Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth), who was supposed to be promoted to captain for this trip but instead is First Mate; Thomas Nickerson (Tom Holland), the youngest boy on the ship at age 14; and Captain George Pollard (Benjamin Walker), who gets to be captain because his father has money. Before all this, however, our story starts with "the last remaining survivor of the Essex," who we later find out is an older Nickerson (Brendan Gleeson), refusing to tell his story to the writer Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw). Melville offers him a large sum of money for only one night's worth of his time, and Nickerson's wife (Michelle Fairley) makes him tell the story, since they're badly in need of the money. Nickerson then starts to recount his story to Melville, not sparing any of the gory details.

Movie Review: Macbeth (2015)


Macbeth is the most visually gorgeous movie I've seen in the theater this year. It is also the hardest to understand, as I am not a Shakespeare fan and have always had issues interpreting his work. I read the play back in high school and the story was definitely interesting; although a screen retelling does help figure out what is going on, plot-wise, the language in the movie still hindered my enjoyment of it.
Normally I'd try to put the plot into my own words, but instead I'm going to leave you with two different synopses:

The short version, from IMDb: Macbeth, a Thane of Scotland, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.

And the longer version, from Wikipedia: Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy, and tells the story of a brave Scottish general named Macbeth who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia, and he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler as he is forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of arrogance, madness, and death.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Visit on Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand {+ win a Blu-ray copy! Ends 12/16}

The Visit is coming to Blu-ray and DVD on January 5th, as well as Digital HD on December 15th, and I have a copy for one of my lucky readers to win! I don't usually watch horror movies, but I saw the film back in September and liked it.

More info:
A family visit takes a terrifying turn when two siblings learn who Grandma and Grandpa really are in The Visit, a found documentary-style suspense thriller coming to Digital HD on December 15, 2015, and Blu-ray™ and DVD as well as On Demand on January 5, 2016 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The first collaboration from Academy Award®-nominated writer-director M. Night Shyamalan and Academy Award-nominated producer Jason Blum, The Visit Blu-ray and DVD are packed with exclusive bonus features including deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurette, and a suspenseful alternate ending.

When Becca and Tyler are sent to their grandparents’ secluded Pennsylvania farmhouse for a weeklong stay, they quickly discover something is not right with the elderly couple. Faced with strange rules and increasingly frightening behavior, the children soon realize it will take all their wits to make it home alive. Critics rave the latest heart-pounding thriller from the director of The Sixth Sense and Signs and the producer of Paranormal Activity and The Purge is a “deliciously creepy triumph.” (Scott Mendelson, Forbes.com)

Kathryn Hahn (“Transparent,” The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Ed Oxenbould (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Paper Planes), Olivia DeJonge (“Hiding,” The Sisterhood of Night), Peter McRobbie (Lincoln, Spider-Man 2) and Deanna Dunagan (Have a Little Faith, Running Scared) star in a dementedly frightening thriller that Shawn Edwards of Fox-TV praises as “Creepy and suspenseful!”

BLU-RAY AND DVD BONUS FEATURES:

Alternate Ending
Deleted Scenes
The Making of The Visit
Becca’s Photos

{Click here to pre-order Blu-ray + Digital HD copy}

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

GIVEAWAY: The Good Dinosaur Roarin' River Game {ends 12/12}

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

Wonder Forge The Good Dinosaur Game Giveaway

I've partnered with a few other bloggers to bring you this game giveaway, based on The Good Dinosaur, which is now playing in theaters.

Good luck!