Saturday, October 29, 2016

Review and GIVEAWAY: Hallmark Blockbuster Keepsake ornaments {ends 11/6}


*Disclosure: I received a set of the Hallmark Blockbuster Keepsake ornaments to review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

What was your favorite blockbuster movie or TV show this year? If your answer is Batman v. Superman, Star Wars, or TV's The Walking Dead, you're in luck - Hallmark has just released Blockbuster Keepsake ornaments, which would be great atop the Christmas tree or to give as a gift.

I received five ornaments to review: Batman, Superman, a Stormtrooper, Wonder Woman, and Rick Grimes. Walking Dead is one of my favorite TV shows currently, so I was definitely excited to receive Rick in the mail. I'm also a big Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Star Wars fan.


All of the ornaments are available on Hallmark.com or in Hallmark Gold Crown stores:

· Rick Grimes (from AMC’s The Walking Dead)
· Imperial Stormtrooper Helmet w/Sound
· Batman (from Batman v Superman)
· Wonder Woman (from Batman v Superman)
· Superman (from Batman v Superman)

GIVEAWAY: 4-in-1 Horror Collection Blu-ray {Hostel, Hostel II, Hollow Man, Hollow Man 2} - ends 11/4

Mill Creek entertainment has just released a 4-in-1 Horror Collection, on Blu-ray, and two of my lucky readers will win a copy!

If you can't wait until then to watch it, click here to purchase the collection.

Movies on the Blu-ray include:

Hostel (Unrated Director's Cut)

(2005) - Color - Not Rated

Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson,Barbara Nedeljakova

Presented by Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Vol. 1 & 2) and directed by Eli Roth (Cabin Fever), Hostel is a shocking and relentless film in the tradition of Saw about two American backpackers (Jay Hernandez, Friday Night Lights and Derek Richardson, Dumb and Dumberer) in Europe who find themselves lured in as victims of a murder-for-profit business.

Hostel Part II (Unrated Director's Cut)

(2007) - Color - Not Rated

Lauren German, Roger Bart, Heather Matarazzo, Bijou Phillips

Presented by Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Vols. 1 & 2) and written and directed by Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever), Hostel Part II is the shocking and gruesome sequel about the underground torture ring where rich businessmen pay to torture and murder their victims.

Hollow Man (Director's Cut)

(2000) - Color - Not Rated

Starring: Elisabeth Shue, Kevin Bacon, Josh Brolin, Kim Dickens, Joey Slotnick, William Devane

What would you do if you were invisible? How far would you go? After years of experimentation, Dr. Sebastian Caine, a brilliant but arrogant and egotistical scientist working for the Defense Department, has successfully transformed mammals to an invisible state and brought them back to their original physical form. Determined to achieve the ultimate breakthrough, Caine instructs his team to move on to Phase III: human experimentation. Using himself as the first subject, the invisible Caine finds himself free to do the unthinkable.

Hollow Man 2

(2006) - Color - Rated R

Christian Slater, Peter Facinelli, Laura Regan

Christian Slater stars in the action-packed sequel to the box office hit Hollow Man as a dangerous invisible solider gone rouge. Facing his demise unless given a life saving serum, he hunts down the biologist involved in his transformation, the detective assigned to protect her, and the government forces that created him.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Movie Review: Inferno


Confession time: I haven't read any of the Da Vinci Code books, including The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, or this one, Inferno. I also haven't seen either of the first two movies in the series. Therefore, I was a little apprehensive going in to Inferno, since I didn't know if it was more of a standalone movie or not; it turned out it was, but it was still a bit confusing, plot-wise.

Dr. Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in an Italian hospital without any memories from the past 48 hours; last thing he remembers, he was still in Boston. Someone comes to the hospital looking for him and starts shooting, and his ER doctor, Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), helps him escape. They soon figure out why people are looking for Langdon, and they escape again, to Venice, where clues are hidden that may help them uncover more about why Langdon initially ended up in the ER, and why he's in possession of a certain object. However, he's still being chased by people who want him dead, so they have no time to waste.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

GIVEAWAY: 4-pack of tickets for Phantom of the Opera at the Detroit Opera House {ends 11/2}


Phantom of the Opera is coming to Detroit this January, and one of my lucky readers will win a family 4-pack of tickets to go see it!

The show will be here January 11-22, 2017; purchase tickets on Ticketmaster, or you can buy them at the Opera House or at broadwayindetroit.com.

About the show:
Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA will go on sale Sunday, October 9 for an engagement at the Detroit Opera House, January 11 – 22, 2017. With newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design, this new version of PHANTOM is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America. Tickets will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, online at www.broadwayindetroit.com or www.ticketmaster.com, and The Fisher Theatre box office. Starting at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 10, tickets will also be available at the Detroit Opera House box office. Ticket prices start at $35.

Monday, October 24, 2016

GIVEAWAY: Digital HD copy of HBO's Ballers (season 2) - ends 11/1


Ballers season 2 is out on Digital HD today, October 24th, and one of my lucky readers can win a copy!

About the show:
If Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights don’t provide quite enough time on the turf, may we suggest your best bet for filling the hours between games this football season: the hit HBO comedy series Ballers.

Starring Dwayne Johnson as ex-superstar Spencer Strasmore, who has reinvented himself as a financial manager for today’s players in sun-soaked Miami, Ballers: Season 2 will be available to own on Digital HD Monday, October 24. The complete season download includes all ten Season 2 episodes, plus Inside the Episodes features at select retailers that take viewers behind the scenes of the show.

In Season 2 of Ballers, things are getting more competitive and complicated for Spencer. As the lines between professional and personal blur in his pursuit of lasting success and glory, he must face demons from the past when he goes head-to-head with the biggest business manager on the scene.
Heralded by critics for Johnson’s “movie-star charisma” (The Hollywood Reporter) and co-star Rob Corddry’s “hilarious” performance (TV Overmind), Ballers is a must-see comedy for football fanatics and TV junkies alike.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Celebrating National Pizza Month at MOD Pizza


*Disclosure: I received a meal at MOD in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

MOD Pizza in Northville, MI, opened in August 2015, and a Rochester Hills location opened soon after. This month, MOD's across the country are celebrating National Pizza Month, and I stopped by the Northville location to check out the October seasonal pizza, the Petra.


A regular-sized pizza is $7.87 at MOD, and that includes all the toppings you want. I highly suggest getting an order of the cinnamon strips, as well ($2.97), with cinnamon dipping sauce, as that's fantastic as well.

GIVEAWAY: HBO's Vice Principals season 1, on Digital HD {ends 10/31}

Season 1 of Vice Principals is now available on Digital HD, and one of my lucky readers will win a Digital HD code to watch the series!

I haven't watched the series yet but I'm looking forward to it - Danny McBride is hilarious in anything he's in, usually.

About the show:
Looking for something “profanely hilarious” to watch this fall? Season one of the “funny as hell” HBO comedy series Vice Principals is coming to Digital HD October 17! 

Created by Danny R. McBride and Jody Hill (creators of HBO’s Eastbound & Down, along with Ben Best), Vice Principals: Season 1 tells the story of North Jackson High School and the two people who almost run it, the vice principals. McBride and Walton Goggins star as the school administrators, who are in an epic power struggle, vying for the top spot: to be school principal. But when new rival Dr. Belinda Brown (Kimberly H├ębert Gregory) enters the picture, these bitter antagonists must form an unholy alliance to bring down the outsider by any means necessary. 

Also featuring Georgia King, Busy Phillips, Shea Whigham, Sheaun McKinney and guest stars Bill Murray and Susan Park, the new comedy series was a critical and audience hit this summer on HBO. Heralded by Rolling Stone as “the summer’s best new comedy,” Vice Principals is a “must watch” series for Eastbound & Down fans and comedy lovers alike. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Movie Review: American Pastoral


American Pastoral is based upon the book of the same name, by Philip Roth, and what initially attracted me to it, other than its fantastic cast, was its trailer: there's a haunting rendition of Mad World throughout. The movie ended up being one of those films that will make you think about it days and maybe even months later, and now I want to read the book version.

Seymour "Swede" Levov (Ewan McGregor) is a Jewish boy from New Jersey, who eventually marries Miss New Jersey, Dawn (Jennifer Connelly); much to his father's chagrin, she's not Jewish. Swede was known in high school for being the quarterback and all-around great at sports; now, after he and Dawn have a daughter, he has the perfect family. That is, until that daughter, Merry (Dakota Fanning), grows up, and starts to hang out with radicals in New York. Soon, an event happens in their small town of New Jersey that changes everything, and Merry is on the run because of it - with her parents desperate to find her.

Movie Review: Keeping Up with the Joneses


I had a choice of two movies on the same day, when I saw Keeping Up with the Joneses at a screening last week, and apparently I chose poorly; Joneses provided light chuckles, at best, and even those were sporadic.

Jeff Gaffney (Zach Galifianakis) and his wife Karen (Isla Fisher) are typical suburbanites, who love living in their Florida cul-de-sac. When their two boys go off to summer camp, they find themselves as empty nesters, temporarily, and so they're excited when a new couple moves in across the way: Natalie (Gal Gadot) and Tim Jones (Jon Hamm). They find themselves befriending the couple, but Karen is convinced that the couple is hiding a secret; it turns out she's right, and the two of them are government agents. Jeff and Karen soon find themselves tangled up in Tim and Natalie's world, and running for their lives.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

GIVEAWAY: Digital HD code for Bad Moms - 2 winners! {ends 10/25}


I didn't get to see Bad Moms in the theater, but I really wanted to, so I'm glad I'll now have a chance to watch it on Digital HD! And the best part is that two of my lucky reader will get the same opportunity.

Bad Moms is out on Digital HD today, and is coming to Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand on November 1st.

About the movie:
Bad Moms, the year’s biggest R-rated comedy – a runaway hit with audiences and critics alike – is coming to Digital HD on October 18, 2016 and Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on November 1, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The raunchy film described as “incredibly funny!” by Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly, is the first R-rated comedy since The Hangover to earn an “A” grade from audiences nationwide. Hailed by critics from The New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times and Washington Post, Bad Moms is one comedy not to be missed. The Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD come with nearly an hour of exclusive bonus content including hilarious deleted scenes, gag reels and exclusive interviews with the cast and their moms that will have everyone laughing again and again!

Written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (The Hangover, Four Christmases) and produced by Suzanne Todd, (Alice Through The Looking Glass) and Bill Block (Dirty Grandpa), the comedy also features Jada Pinkett Smith (The Women), Christina Applegate (Anchorman 1 &2), Annie Mumolo (The Boss) and Jay Hernandez (Suicide Squad). It’s time to party like a mother with this hysterical and relatable film.

In this hilarious and heartfelt comedy from the writing duo behind The Hangover, Amy (Mila Kunis) has a seemingly perfect life – a great marriage, over-achieving kids, beautiful home and a career. However, she's over-worked, over-committed and exhausted to the point that she's about to snap. Fed up, she joins forces with two other over-stressed moms (Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn) on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities – going on a wild, un-mom-like binge of long overdue freedom, fun and self-indulgence – putting them on a collision course with PTA Queen Bee Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) and her clique of devoted perfect moms (Jada Pinkett Smith and Annie Mumolo). See the movie that critics are cheering as “…a funny, giddy, sentimental laugh-in…” - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village, now through Oct. 30 {Detroit area}


*Disclosure: I attended Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village as a member of the media. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I had never attended Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village before, so I was excited to try it out. I've had a media pass for GV and The Henry Ford for about two years now, but I haven't used it as much as I've wanted to - Dearborn is about a 40-minute drive for me, so it's not super close. I'm a fan of all things Halloween, though, so I made the trip to Dearborn this Saturday night for the event.


About Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village:
Stroll down streets and alleys haunted by over 1,000 carved jack-o’-lanterns and lavishly costumed characters during America’s most spooktacular Hallowe'en event. Follow a mile-long, curving path illuminated by the flickering light of hand-carved jack-o'-lanterns, and meet classic costumed characters along the way. Feel the chilly whoosh of air as the Headless Horseman rides out of the shadows of Firestone Farm’s fields. Banter with dancing skeletons, witches and wizards, and witness unique vaudeville acts that include sword-swallowing, fire-breathing, death-defying stunts and more. They’re everywhere along Jack-o’-Lantern Boulevard. The good news is that you can bring the entire family. This is a kid-friendly, nightmare-free Hallowe'en gathering.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Rumtoberfest at Bahama Breeze, through November 6th


*Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal from Bahama Breeze in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Bahama Breeze - there's a location right down the street from me, and another one on my parents' side of town, too. I attended Rumtoberfest back in 2014, as well as in 2013, so I was excited to get the chance to return again this year for the promotion.

Despite it's name, the promotion actually goes until November 6th, so there is plenty of time to drop by your local location to try out Rumtoberfest.

My mom and I dropped by the Troy, MI location before a movie screening last week, and I tried out one of the restaurant's new rum drinks, the High Tide Swizzle, which ended up being great.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Movie Review: The Accountant


Based on its trailer, I had been looking forward to seeing The Accountant, and the film is definitely worth watching; with a cast of Ben Affleck, J.K. Simmons, Anna Kendrick, and Jon Bernthal, though, that's not entirely surprising.

Christian Wolff (Affleck) has struggled with autism his whole life. As a child, he was put through training so that he could interact normally with the world, and as an adult, he continues to put himself through that same training. On the outside, he works as a freelance accountant, but in reality, he works as an accountant for dangerous men, such as the mob, and gets paid very well, both in cash and "in-kind payments," such as expensive paintings. When a company that is about to take itself public hires him to find out why approximately $60M is missing from its books, he meets Dana (Kendrick), and soon finds out that they're both in danger, based on the information they know about the missing money.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Upcoming: The Phantom of the Opera at Detroit Opera House, January 11-22, 2017


I'm ridiculously excited to see this in Detroit this January - not only is the press night on my birthday, but I've NEVER seen Phantom of the Opera performed live. The 2004 movie was great, as well, and is one of my favorite musicals-to-movie adaptations.

Tickets are now on sale, and can be bought at Ticketmaster (via phone or online), at www.broadwayindetroit.com, or at the Detroit Opera House.

About the show:
Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA will go on sale Sunday, October 9 for an engagement at the Detroit Opera House, January 11 – 22, 2017. With newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design, this new version of PHANTOM is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America. Tickets will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, online at www.broadwayindetroit.com or www.ticketmaster.com, and The Fisher Theatre box office. Starting at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 10, tickets will also be available at the Detroit Opera House box office. Ticket prices start at $35.

For more information on the production and a video sneak peek, please visit www.ThePhantomOfTheOpera.com/ustour/

Friday, October 7, 2016

Movie Review: The Birth of a Nation


Stories about slaves during and before the Civil War are hard to watch; when it's a true story, it adds that much more of a bite to it. The Birth of a Nation is a true story.

Nat Turner (Nate Parker) grows up as a slave in the Turner household, so when he becomes an adult, his (white) childhood friend, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer), is now his owner. Samuel's mother, Elizabeth (Penelope Ann Miller), educates Nat on the Bible while he's a child, as Nat can read, but once Elizabeth's husband passes away, she turns him out to work in the fields, saying that that's what her husband wanted. Nat starts to get increasingly disturbed with what he sees around him in his daily life, and with his life itself, and eventually this leads to an insurrection.