Friday, April 14, 2017

Movie Review: The Fate of the Furious

Movie Review: The Fate of the Furious

Let's get one thing straight: people don't see Fast and the Furious movies for the dialogue or plot. This is abundantly clear here, in the eighth movie of the series, but I will say this: these movies are entertaining, and the stunts are ridiculously crazy and fun to watch.

The film opens in Cuba, where Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his new wife, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), are on their honeymoon. He stops on the street one day to help a woman who is having car problems (Charlize Theron), only to find out that she knows who he is - and she wants him to work for her, thus double-crossing his own team. We later find out that she has quite a compelling reason for him to switch sides, but his team doesn't know this - they only know he crossed them. Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Letty, Deckard (Jason Statham), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), and Tej Parker (Ludacris) must again reunite in order to stop Dom and Cipher (Theron) from stealing Russian nukes, which in her hands would be quite dangerous.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Movie Review: Gifted

Movie Review: Gifted

I had been looking forward to seeing Gifted, since I had been hearing great reviews, and I was not disappointed - with an excellent cast and an interesting plot, the movie is very good.

Mary Adler (Mckenna Grace) lives with her uncle, Frank (Chris Evans), in a small apartment in Florida. She's best friends with her neighbor, Roberta (Octavia Spencer), and at 6 1/2 years old, she will be attending school for the first time. However, when she gets there, she finds herself quite bored - because Mary is a gifted child, especially in mathematics, and the other first graders are learning how to do simple problems like 2+2. Mary's teacher, Bonnie (Jenny Slate), immediately realizes this, and speaks to Frank about it; what she doesn't know, however, is that Mary's mother died when she was a baby, and Frank, as her uncle, has been her caretaker since then.

Frank also hasn't been in touch with his mother, Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), since she turned her back on Mary's mother when she got pregnant, but all of a sudden, Evelyn resurfaces: and she wants custody of Mary, whom she had not even met until now.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Review and GIVEAWAY: The Murder-Mystery Company, Eastpointe & Livonia, MI {ends 4/18}

Review and GIVEAWAY: The Murder-Mystery Company, Eastpointe, MI
*Disclosure: I received two VIP tickets to attend this event. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Although I have been to a murder-mystery party at a friend's house before, I had never been to an "official" murder-mystery dinner, so I was excited to try out The Murder-Mystery Company's show in Eastpointe, MI this past weekend.

Review and GIVEAWAY: The Murder-Mystery Company, Eastpointe, MI

We arrived at Eastpointe Manor around 6:30 - technically, the line starts at 6:30 for VIP ticket holders, which we were, and 6:40 for non-VIP. When we arrived, however, there was already a line, so make sure to arrive early if you attend a show.

Review and GIVEAWAY: The Murder-Mystery Company, Eastpointe, MI

Monday, April 10, 2017

GIVEAWAY: Digital download of The Young Pope {2 winners, ends 4/17}

GIVEAWAY: Digital download of The Young Pope

HBO's limited series The Young Pope is available for digital download today, and will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on June 6th. Read on to see how you can win a digital download! 

I haven't seen this series but the cast looks great - Jude Law and Diane Keaton in particular.

GIVEAWAY: Digital download of The Young Pope

About the series:
Starring two-time Academy Award® nominee Jude Law and Academy Award® winner Diane Keaton, the “superb” (Rolling Stone) HBO® limited series The Young Pope is yours to own on Digital Download April 10, 2017 and on Blu-ray and DVD June 6th, 2017. The series, which delves in to the life of a newly elected pope (Law) – the youngest in history and first-ever American – whose audacity, independence and arch-conservatism wreaks havoc within the Vatican. Heralded by critics as “dazzling, riveting” (TV Guide), The Young Pope on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download includes all ten episodes of the limited series and three special features including an exclusive new “The Making of The Young Pope” featurette. The Blu-ray and DVD release also include a free Digital Download copy.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Movie Review: Going in Style (2017)

Movie Review: Going in Style (2017)

Ocean's 11 meets AARP in the newest heist movie, featuring three old-timers who you most likely have heard a bit about: Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin. I didn't know this before seeing it, but it's apparently based on a 1979 movie of the same name; IMDb's synopsis of that film is "Three friends who are living on the dole decide to organize a bank robbery," which is accurate for this version as well.

Willie (Freeman), Joe (Caine), and Albert (Arkin) aren't rich, but they get by on their pensions from the steel mill where they worked. Willie is sick and goes in for infusions, but Joe and Albert don't know that - he's been keeping it a secret. Joe, however, is about to lose his house, because the interest rates on his mortgage just went way up, and when he goes to the bank to talk to them about it, he finds himself in the middle of a bank robbery. Buoyed by how easy the robbery was, and disgruntled at the recent loss of their pensions, he suggests to his friends that they too could rob a bank - and to make it personal, they could rob their own bank, which didn't want to cut Joe a break on his inflated mortgage payment.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

TV review (Netflix): 13 Reasons Why, a must-see show about teens, bullying, and suicide

TV review: 13 Reasons Why, on Netflix
all images from
I'm not usually a "binge watcher" when it comes to TV shows - I like to savor a show, especially if we know it only has a limited number of episodes (ie, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, also on Netflix). However, I started watching 13 Reasons Why on Saturday, and just finished it last night, three days later.

The show is based on the book of the same name, by Jay Asher, which I remember liking, but apparently gave 2 out of 5 stars to on Goodreads, in 2011. They've made a few changes from the book, too, which you can read about here, and I eventually want to reread the book when I have time.

TV review: 13 Reasons Why, on Netflix

About the show (Wiki synopsis):
Hannah Baker, a high school student, dies by suicide. Two weeks later, Clay Jensen, one of her closest friends, finds a package on his doorstep containing 13 audio cassettes made by Hannah explaining the 13 reasons why she killed herself, and Clay is one of them. In order to find out how he fits in, Clay must listen to the tapes. But doing so may reveal a disturbing secret about Hannah, as well as some of his classmates, that Clay isn't ready for. Meanwhile, his classmates featured on these tapes set out to keep their secrets hidden, by any means necessary.

The TV series was probably one of the best teen series I've seen on TV (including Netflix) in a long time.

Starting from episode 1, we know that Hannah Baker has committed suicide. I read a review of the series that said something like "it's not fair for Netflix to make us fall in love with a dead girl," and I'd agree with that - overall, I liked Hannah as a person, though I have some nitpicking to do too (see below). She and her friend Clay are the two main characters in the show, even though Clay was more of an acquaintance to Hannah than a friend - they worked at the same movie theater together, but she had many secrets that Clay didn't know about.

Teens here are depicted very realistically - they swear, they drink at parties, and they're mean to each other in the hallways of their high school. Although the teen cast is mostly unrecognizable, movie fans may recognize Clay (Dylan Minnette) from Goosebumps, Prisoners, or TV's Scandal, and I definitely recognized Derek Luke, as one of the high school administrators, from Antwone Fisher; he was in TV's Empire, as well.

TV review: 13 Reasons Why, on Netflix

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Restaurant review and GIVEAWAY: Brunch at The Morrie, Royal Oak {ends 4/15}

Restaurant review and GIVEAWAY: Brunch at The Morrie, Royal Oak
*Disclosure: I was provided with brunch from The Morrie in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

This was my fourth time at The Morrie—I've been twice during Royal Oak Restaurant Week, and one other time as a blogger—but the first time for brunch! I'm not really a "brunch girl" (my standard is cashew milk and Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast) but I do sometimes enjoy going out on a Saturday or Sunday for it.

We had a group of about 12 bloggers, all eager to try The Morrie's brunch menu. I think a lot of people don't realize that The Morrie does brunch on Saturdays, since it wasn't very full at the time (11 am), but I've heard that on Sundays it's packed! I recommend going on a Saturday, then, to avoid the crowds.

Restaurant review and GIVEAWAY: Brunch at The Morrie, Royal Oak

I don't usually eat eggs, but everything else on the brunch menu sounded good. I ended up going with the Nashville Hot Chicken & Waffle Stack ($13), with a smoked cheddar biscuit ($3) on the side. I also started off with a mimosa ($10) and The Morrie even has bottomless mimosas ($20), served in a carafe, if you are so inclined.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Upcoming and a GIVEAWAY: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, May 2-14 at the Fisher Theatre (Detroit)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Fisher Theatre, Detroit

*Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Broadway in Detroit. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

A while back, I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and I remember liking it a lot. The stage version is now coming to Detroit this May!

About the show:
Five Tony Awards including Best Play,
Six Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Play,
Five Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Broadway Play,
Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play

The Detroit premiere of the National Theatre production of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME will play the Fisher Theatre, May 2-14, 2017 as part of a North American Tour. Ticket prices start at $35 and are now on sale at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, and online at or, and at The Fisher Theatre Box Office.

The Tony Award-winning new play by Simon Stephens is adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel and directed by Tony winner Marianne Elliott (War Horse and Curious Incident).

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Fisher Theatre, Detroit

Friday, March 24, 2017

Restaurant review: New dishes at Noodles & Company, Novi, MI {and a giveaway!}

Restaurant review: New dishes at Noodles & Company, Novi, MI
*Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal from Noodles & Company in exchange for this blog post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

If you're a longtime reader of my blog, it's no secret that I'm a big fan of Noodles & Company - I go there fairly often with my family, and I have reviewed them twice (here and here) on my blog, as well.

This week, I was able to sample some of the restaurant's new dishes, at the Novi, MI location, and I definitely did not leave hungry!

Restaurant review: New dishes at Noodles & Company, Novi, MI

We started off with the new Thai chicken soup, which I have actually ordered before, fairly recently. My previous favorite at Noodles & Co. was the chicken noodle soup, which is now a seasonal menu item, I believe, but this is a close runner-up.  The Thai chicken soup is a coconut curry soup (although not spicy, in my opinion) with onion, cabbage, red bell peppers, lemongrass, lime galangal, turmeric, and shallots, and is quite tasty; it manages to taste creamy without actually having any dairy in it, which is great for me.

Restaurant review: New dishes at Noodles & Company, Novi, MI

We also started off with the garlic bread and Korean meatballs, which are always very good. The Korean meatballs are a little spicy, and the garlic bread comes with a tomato dipping sauce.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

GIVEAWAY - Silicon Valley: The Complete Third Season, on Blu-ray {ends 3/31}

GIVEAWAY - Silicon Valley: The Complete Third Season, on Blu-ray {ends 3/31}

*Disclosure: I received a copy of Silicon Valley: The Complete Third Season to review, in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I started watching Silicon Valley on HBO rather recently, but it's a hilarious show, especially if you are in (or know people in) the tech industry.

Silicon Valley: The Complete Third Season comes to Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack on April 11th, but you can win yourself a copy here before then!

About the show:
GIVEAWAY - Silicon Valley: The Complete Third Season, on Blu-ray {ends 3/31}
From Mike Judge (King of the Hill, Beavis and Butt-Head) and Alec Berg (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld) comes a new season of the Emmy®-nominated comedy that takes viewers inside Silicon Valley's high-tech gold rush: a land of big ideas and bigger egos. After last season's shocking ending, which found Pied Piper celebrating legal victory just as Richard (Thomas Middleditch) was ousted as CEO, Season 3 picks up where we left off, with Richard offered the diminished role of CTO and the rest of his team – Erlich (T.J. Miller), Jared (Zach Woods), Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) and Gilfoyle (Martin Starr) – facing the question of just how far their loyalty extends. With a new no-nonsense CEO hell-bent on transforming everything from Pied Piper's offices to its business agenda, the guys must find a way to triumph in the war of Art vs. Commerce, maneuvering the many competing interests along the way.

Meanwhile, as Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) works to rehabilitate Hooli's image following his blunders, Big Head (Josh Brener) finds himself in a new partnership, while at Raviga, Laurie (Suzanne Cryer) holds her cards close to the vest, as Monica (Amanda Crew) tries to look out for Pied Piper's best interests. With its patented brand of silly and satirical humor, this season of Silicon Valley continues to probe the ripe-for-comedy world of tech, as our heroes grow bolder, if not always wiser.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Movie review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast has big shoes to fill - the 1991 Disney animated version is beloved by audiences worldwide. Luckily, Disney brings the magic once again with this live-action adaptation, aided by a superb cast.

The movie starts by introducing us to the prince (Dan Stevens) and his lavish castle lifestyle. He's in the midst of throwing a masquerade ball when an old woman appears at his doorstep, begging for charity. He laughs at the woman and denies her food or shelter; it's then revealed that she's an enchantress. She turns the prince into the Beast, and his household staff into objects, and then leaves him the rose she originally brought, as a reminder. Once the rose loses all of its petals, too, the staff will become inanimate; if the Beast falls in love with a woman before then, though, and his feelings are reciprocated, with a kiss, then the curse will be broken.

Meanwhile, in a provincial life nearby, Belle (Emma Watson) is going about her daily routine, including picking up another book to read. Her father, Maurice (Kevin Kline), is leaving to go on a short trip, but he promises her a rose upon his return. He stumbles upon the Beast's castle, and is about to leave; however, he remembers his promise and grabs a white rose from the Beast's garden, which infuriates the Beast. Belle senses something is wrong, and visits the castle to retrieve her father; where she ends up trading his capture for her own.

What happens next is a tale as old as time, of course, and moviegoers familiar with the 1991 version won't need a full recap. Emma Watson is captivating as Belle, and the supporting cast is great too - you'll recognize many A-lister names as the voice cast, for the Beast's household (Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, to name just a smattering), and both Luke Evans and Josh Gad are great as Gaston and LeFou; Gaston is definitely a Joey Donner type here, and he's definitely in love with himself.

Movie Review: The Last Word

Shirley MacLaine comes back to the big screen for The Last Word, and she is perfect in the part: curmudgeon older lady who decides to change aspects of her life before she (eventually) passes away. The cast is what makes this movie so good, and it's a fun film to watch.

Harriet (MacLaine) is very Type-A, and likes to be in control of everything in her life. It only makes sense, then, that she goes to her local newspaper and asks to speak with the obituary writer, Anne (Amanda Seyfried), with an unusual request: she wants Anne to write her obituary before she dies, so that she can read it. Anne's boss tells her that Harriet was a very big advertiser in the paper back in the day, so they're essentially obligated to do this (and hey, if she leaves the newspaper some money in her will, that's an extra bonus). Anne starts talking to Harriet's friends and family, though those terms can be used loosely - most people hate her, and family-wise, she only has an ex-husband and a daughter to whom she doesn't talk.

Over the course of their journey, however, Harriet and Anne realize that they're more similar than they originally thought, and perhaps you really can change your life in the last home stretch.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

GIVEAWAY: Comedy 20 movie collection on DVD {ends 3/21}

Yesterday I posted about Mill Creek Entertainment's Action 20 collection (a collection of twenty action movies), as well as giving one of my lucky readers a chance to win a copy. Today I present the Comedy 20 collection (also by Mill Creek) as well as a giveaway!

About the collection:
A premium, 20-Movie Collection of licensed films from Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures.

Movies in the collection include:
GIVEAWAY: Comedy 20 movie collection on DVD
(1988) / R

Sally Field, Tom Hanks

“A wonderful, bittersweet comedy…” – Rex Reed & Dixie Whatley, AT THE MOVIES

Field stars as Lilah Krytsick, a New Jersey housewife and mother who desperately wants to make it big as a comedienne. Hanks plays Steven Gold, a self-centered Lenny Bruce-type who's been stealing the spotlight with his irrepressible, natural comedic talent. Drawn to one another, Steven helps the stumbling Lilah turn her routine from flat to funny, while Lilah helps Steven keep his anguished life together.

Postcards from the Edge
(1990) / R

Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, Dennis Quaid

“Streep gives the most fully articulated comic performance of her career…” – Hal Hinson, Washington Post

In a brilliant comic performance, Streep stars as Suzanne Vale, a wisecracking, vulnerable actress determined to jump start her failing career. As her aging movie star mother, MacLaine offers the definitive portrait of Hollywood's gutsy glamour queens. Quaid and an all-star cast offer a bird's-eye view of Hollywood has-beens and wanna-bes.

Hollywood Homicide
(2003) / R

Harrison Ford, Josh Harnett, Lena Olin, Lolita Davidovich

A pair of detectives investigate the murder of a rap group while pursuing their other full-time professions. Welcome to Hollywood Homicide - the only profession where a guy can come to work hungry, horny, thirsty, and broke, and resolve all four by the end of the watch. - "Ford just gets better, more distilled, more laconic and more gruffly likeable.." - Roger Ebert/Chicago Sun-Times

Hudson Hawk
(1991) / R

Bruce Willis, Andie MacDowell, Danny Aiello

An ex-cat burglar (Bruce Willis) sets out to steal a series of priceless artifacts in this globe-spanning caper. - "Bruce Willis is part James Bond, part Cary Grant and part Buster Keaton.." - Washington Post/Hal Hinson

The Freshman
(1990) / PG

Matthew Broderick. Marlon Brando, Bruno Kirby

After starting his first year of film school in New York City, Clark Kellogg meets Carmine “Jimmy the Toucan” Sabatini. When Sabatini makes Clark an offer he can't refuse, he finds himself caught up in a dilemma involving endangered species and fine dining. - "'s a brilliant comic masterstroke." - Roger Ebert/Chicago Sun-Times

Cops and Robbersons
(1994) / PG

Chevy Chase, Jack Palance, Dianne Wiest

Chevy Chase (Community, TV Series), Jack Palance (City Slickers) and Dianne Wiest (The Odd Life of Timothy Green) star in the comedy caper about a mild-mannered accountant whose dreams of being a super-cop come hilariously to life. In the pursuit of a dangerous counterfeiter, grizzled cop Jack Stone (Palance) convinces a suburban family to let him use their home for an extended stakeout. But this “typical” family is anything but, with a prat-falling father (Chase) whose cop show obsession endangers the whole operation. Reuniting the director and star of Fletch, Cops & Robbersons combines fast-moving farce, sight gags and physical comedy for arresting entertainment. - “This is a funny movie! It’s hysterical…a lot of laughs.” – Larry King, CNN

Monday, March 13, 2017

GIVEAWAY: Action 20 movie collection on DVD {ends 3/20}

Mill Creek Entertainment recently released its Action 20 movie collection - twenty action movies in one package! One of my lucky readers will win a copy - read below for details.

About the collection:
A premium, 20-Movie Collection of licensed films from Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures.

GIVEAWAY: Action 20 movie collectionMovies in the collection include:
S.W.A.T. (2003) / PG-13
Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez, LL Cool J, Jeremy Renner

Two wisecracking, battle-hardened veterans (Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell) team up with a pair of street-smart rookies (Michelle Rodriguez and LL Cool J) to form the most freewheeling - but effective - S.W.A.T. team ever. Their first assignment: transport an international drug kingpin into federal custody - after he's offered $100 million to anyone who will free him!

Basic (2003) / R
Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Connie Nielsen, Giovanni Ribisi, Tim Daly

A DEA officer (John Travolta) is recruited to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a famed U.S. Army drill instructor (Samuel L. Jackson) and a group of cadets on a routine military exercise in the jungles of Panama. But the journey to uncover the truth leads to some dangerous and unexpected places when two rescued survivors tell dramatically different versions of what transpired.

Maximum Risk (1996) / R
Jean-Claude Van Damme, Natsha Henstridge, Jean-Hughes Anglade

Retired French soldier Alain Moreau (Jean-Claude Van Damme) never knew he had a brother, much less a twin, until he found him lying dead on the streets of his European hometown. To find out who his brother was, he must follow his footsteps back to New York's tough Little Odessa and into the same shadowy underworld that swallowed his brother.

Stealth (2005) / PG-13
Jamie Foxx, Sam Shepard, Jessica Biel

The world's three best pilots are partnered with a state-of-the-art, fully-automated, pilotless, super stealth warplane - inhuman and invincible. But once in the air, it goes haywire, leaving them with one final mission - bring it down.

Last Action Hero (1993) / PG-13
Arnold Schwarzenegger, F. Murray Abraham

A magic movie ticket gains a young fan unprecedented access to his favorite action hero after being sucked out of his seat and onto the big screen.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

GIVEAWAY: 4-pack of tickets for Motown the Musical, 4/18 at the Fisher Theatre, Detroit {ends 3/19}

Giveaway: 4-pack of tickets for Motown the Musical, 4/18 at the Fisher Theatre, Detroit

Earlier this month I wrote about MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, which will be in Detroit from April 18-30 at the Fisher Theatre.

One of my lucky readers now has the chance to win a 4-pack of tickets for opening night! (Tuesday, April 18th)

Click here to read about the show, and here to purchase tickets from Ticketmaster.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Blu-ray Review and GIVEAWAY: Fences {ends 3/17}

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for Paramount Pictures. I received information to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I was excited to review Fences, as Viola Davis won the Oscar for her performance in it, and her co-star, Denzel Washington, also directed it. That being said, I had heard that it was a very slow-paced movie (and I'm not a fan of slow movies), and this ended up being true.

Official synopsis:
Blu-ray Review and GIVEAWAY: Fences
Adapted by legendary writer August Wilson from his own renowned play, FENCES follows former Negro-league baseball player Troy Maxson (Washington) in 1950s Pittsburgh as he fights to provide for those he loves in a world that threatens to push him down. An unforgettable and timeless masterpiece, FENCES “connects with people on a deep, emotional level” (Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times) and pulses with the universal truths of love and forgiveness, despite what lies beyond your own fence.

About the Blu-ray:
The FENCES Blu-ray Combo Pack includes over 30 minutes of fascinating bonus content. With interviews from the cast and crew, including actor/director Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, discover how August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play was adapted from stage to screen. Plus, visit the movie’s Pittsburgh set, learn how Davis prepared for her award-winning performance, and much more.

The combo pack includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film as well as the following bonus content:
  • Expanding the Audience: From Stage to Screen
  • The Company of Fences
  • Building Fences: Denzel Washington
  • Playing the Part: Rose Maxson
  • August Wilson’s Hill District

Movie Review - Kong: Skull Island

Movie Review - Kong: Skull Island

The screening of Kong: Skull Island that I saw was held at the Epic theater at MJR Troy, and I highly recommend watching it in a large-screen format like that: it made it very easy for me to become immersed in the film.

Scientists Bill Randa (John Goodman) and Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins) get permission from the government to explore a previously undiscovered island in the Pacific that has only recently been noticed on satellite imagery. They hire an Indiana Jones of sorts, James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), just in case things go south ... which, of course, they immediately do, once the gang discovers that not only does Kong, a gigantic gorilla, guard this island, but the island is also inhabited by some lizard creatures who aren't too friendly either. Needless to say, Kong doesn't take too kindly to the scientists performing nuclear tests on the island - ie, trying to blow up his home - and chaos soon ensues.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

GIVEAWAY: Gifted movie prize pack, including lunchbox + keychain {ends 3/14}

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for Fox Searchlight. I received information to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

GIVEAWAY: Gifted movie swag, including lunchbox + keychain {ends 3/14}
Gifted will be in theaters on April 7th, and one of my lucky readers has the chance to win some movie-related swag!

Swag includes lunchbox, cat keychain, pencil box, and calculator.

About the movie:
Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) - in a coastal town in Florida. Frank's plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.


Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Tuesday, March 14th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be chosen the next day and notified via email. Winner has 24 hours to respond otherwise an alternate winner will be chosen.

Prize includes: GIFTED Softside Thermal Lunchbox, Cat Keychain, GIFTED Pencil Case, and GIFTED Calculator. Retail Value is $25.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Gifted prize pack

Friday, March 3, 2017

Movie Review: Before I Fall

Movie Review: Before I Fall

Comparisons of Before I Fall to Groundhog Day (1993) will be inevitable; however, Before I Fall is much more of a serious movie. The film focuses on the last day in the life of a teenage girl, though she doesn't know it's the last day until certain events occur.

Samantha (Zoey Deutch, Why Him?) wakes up on a typical day—February 12th, dubbed "Cupid's Day" at her high school—and goes about her normal life. Her three best friends pick her up at home, and they ride to school. She receives roses from her boyfriend, Rob (Kian Lawley), as well as one from a secret admirer, though she knows it's from Kent (Logan Miller), a childhood friend of hers, who has had a crush on her for a while. Kent invites her to a party he's throwing that night, and later she and her friends—or "baes," as they call themselves—head to the party.

At the party, they run in to Juliet (Elena Kampouris, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2), the school outcast, whom the four of them have made fun of for years. Juliet calls them some not-so-nice names, and the friends and other people throw their drinks at her. When the friends leave the party, it's late—12:38am, to be exact, when Samantha looks at her phone to see the time—and then everything goes black.

The "next day," Samantha wakes up with a gasp, thinking it was all a dream ... only to realize, she's reliving the same day as before, Cupid's Day.

Movie Review: Table 19

Movie Review: Table 19

Table 19 is promoting itself as a comedy and a "chick flick," but if so, it's the saddest comedy I've ever seen. There are definitely comedic moments throughout the film, but there's a good heap of life issues thrown in there as well.

Eloise McGarry (Anna Kendrick) is determined to attend her oldest friend's wedding - even though her brother, Teddy (Wyatt Russell), just recently broke up with her, after two years of dating, and is now dating someone else. Even though Eloise helped the bride with seating arrangements, she's now been relegated to Table 19 - the very last table in the ballroom, where all the "misfits" get seated. At her table, she meets a couple that currently hate each other (Lisa Kudrow and Craig Robinson); the bride's former nanny, Nanny Jo (June Squibb); an ex-con who wants to keep that a secret (Stephen Merchant); and a high schooler who is looking for a girl (Tony Revolori). This band of misfits, however, soon comes to Eloise's rescue in her time of need, and she learns that maybe being seated at the "rejects" table isn't so bad after all.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Upcoming: Motown the Musical, at the Fisher Theatre {Detroit}, April 18-30, 2017

Upcoming: Motown the Musical, at the Fisher Theatre {Detroit}, April 18-30, 2017
*Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Broadway In Detroit. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL will be playing at the Fisher Theatre (Detroit) this year, from April 18-30, and I'm excited to see it! I've heard a lot of good things about the musical, but have never seen it in-person before.

***To enter to win tickets for the 4/18 show: click HERE. Giveaway ends 3/19/17.

About the show:
Producers Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris and Motown Founder Berry Gordy, and Broadway in Detroit are proud to announce that MOTOWN THE MUSICAL will return to Detroit’s Fisher Theatre, April 18-30. Ticket prices start at $39 and are now on sale at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, and online at or, and at The Fisher Theatre Box Office.

Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more.

Upcoming: Motown the Musical, at the Fisher Theatre {Detroit}, April 18-30, 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017

Movie Review: A United Kingdom

Movie review: A United Kingdom

A United Kingdom takes place in the 1940s, and is based on the real story of Prince Seretse Khama, who married a white woman from England and brought her back to Bechuanaland (modern-day Botswana) to presumably rule beside him as queen, once his uncle confirmed him as king. Things don't go as planned, however, and their marriage creates quite a stir, both in Bechuanaland and in England.

Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike) goes along to a dance with her sister, Muriel (Laura Carmichael), to keep her company. There, she meets Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), who intrigues her; later, he asks her out on a proper date, and they begin spending more and more time together. At the end of that first date, Khama reveals to her that he's the prince of Bechuanaland, an African country, and that his education in England has ended; therefore, his uncle expects him back in Bechuanaland soon.

Ruth and Seretse know that they probably wouldn't be allowed to marry in Africa, so they marry in England before they leave, and Ruth accompanies Seretse back to Bechuanaland. There, they meet stern opposition, both by his uncle, the current regent of the country, and by England, which at the time was basically 'moderating' Bechuanaland, as it was a protectorate of the English government.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Upcoming and a GIVEAWAY: Cirque Ziva, March 19 at the Fox Theatre, Detroit {ends 3/1}

*Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Olympia Entertainment. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I've never seen Cirque Ziva in person - however, I LOVE Cirque du Soleil shows, and I imagine this one to be similar. Cirque Ziva will be at the Fox on Sunday, March 19th, at 3pm, and I have a chance for one of my lucky readers to win tickets!

About the show:
The Golden Dragon Acrobats spring into the Fox Theatre with a performance of Cirque Ziva on Sunday, March 19 at 3 p.m. Cirque Ziva is a fast-paced, technically innovative and beautifully presented spectacle for all ages.

Tickets ($24.50, $34.50 and $44.50) are on sale now and can be purchased at, The Fox Theatre and Joe Louis Arena box offices, Hockeytown Authentics in Troy (without service charge) at all Ticketmaster locations and To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000. Discounts for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 313-471-3099. For additional information, call (313) 471-6611. 

Upcoming and a GIVEAWAY: Cirque Ziva, March 19 at the Fox Theatre, Detroit

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

GIVEAWAY: Digital HD copy of Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds {ends 2/28}

I was shocked when Carrie Fisher passed away this December, and then Debbie Reynolds, so shortly after her daughter's death.

Before that, though, HBO was in the middle of producing a documentary on the two of them, Bright Lights, which has now been released on DVD.

One of my lucky readers has the chance to win a Digital HD code of Bright Lights - read on for more details.

Official synopsis:
An intimate portrait of two of Hollywood's most fascinating personalities, Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds has become, poignantly, both a requiem and celebration of the two movie icons, who sadly and unexpectedly died one day apart in December 2016: Star Wars actress/author Carrie Fisher and her mother, Singin' in the Rain star Debbie Reynolds. Shot mainly inside the Beverly Hills compound where both Fisher and Reynolds lived (their two houses were connected by one walkway), the film captures the unique chemistry and eccentricity that bound these two generations of Hollywood royalty. Given unusual access to each woman's home and life, directors Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens captured the quicksilver wit and intelligence shared by both women as they orbited around each other, living separate lives but kept close by the gravitational pull of love and family.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Movie Review: The Great Wall

Movie Review: The Great Wall

The only thing I knew before seeing The Great Wall was that Matt Damon stars in it, and it was filmed entirely in China; also, that it involved monsters of some sort. I ended up being pleasantly surprised by the movie, and the 3D in the film was fantastic as well.

William (Damon) and his friend Bouchard (Pilou Asbaek, Game of Thrones) are hoping to steal some black powder—a valuable weapon—from the Chinese. However, the Chinese find the two of them before they make it to the Chinese army's headquarters, and they turn themselves in. When the Chinese are attacked by monsters, however, and William and Bouchard help fight them, the Chinese commander, Lin Mae (Tian Jing), realizes that they have skills that she can use, so she releases them. William wants to help slay the monsters, though, so he stays behind, even after Bouchard tries to betray him, as well as the Chinese.

Movie Review: Fist Fight

Movie Review: Fist Fight

I was hoping Fist Fight would be funny, since it has a great cast - Ice Cube and Charlie Day play the two main characters, and there's a slew of other A-listers in the supporting cast, too. However, although it does have some funny moments, most of the jokes weren't that great.

It's the last day of school, and Mr. Campbell (Day) knows things are going to be crazy - the seniors at the high school where he teaches are going nuts with pranks. On top of that, the teachers are having to re-interview for their jobs, because of budget cuts, so he's not looking forward to facing the principal (Dean Norris, Breaking Bad) at the end of the day. And on top of THAT, his wife is nine months pregnant, and about ready to give birth to their second child.

When Mr. Campbell witnesses an incident between Mr. Strickland (Ice Cube) and another student, that results in Strickland taking an ax to the student's desk, he tattles on Strickland to the principal, in order to save his own job; this prompts Strickland to challenge him to a fist fight after school. Campbell now needs to learn how to fight, and fast, so he doesn't get completely annihilated by Strickland, who has quite the reputation.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

GIVEAWAY: Digital code of 1 Night, starring Anna Camp {ends 2/24}

GIVEAWAY: Digital code of 1 Night, starring Anna Camp

1 Night was released on Digital HD on February 10th, and one of my lucky readers can win a copy!

The movie stars Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect), Justin Chatwin, Isabelle Fuhrman, and Kyle Allen.

About the movie:
Thirty-something Elizabeth (Anna Camp) must decide whether to salvage her relationship with Drew (Justin Chatwin) after much personal disappointment. Meanwhile, Bea (Isabelle Fuhrman), a worrisome teenager, reconnects with her introverted childhood friend, Andy (Kyle Allen) to overcome their difference in high school status following their prom. Past and present collide as two couples explore love over the course of one night at a hotel.


Enter via the widget below. I have one digital HD code to give away.

Giveaway will end on Friday, February 24th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified via email the next day, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. and Canadian residents only, please.

Good luck!

1 Night - Digital code

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

GIVEAWAY: The Student Body, on DVD {ends 2/22}

I just received this in the mail to review, and it looks rather interesting. One of my lucky readers now has a chance to win their own copy, on DVD.

Official synopsis:
Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Michael Webber (The Elephant in the Living Room) unleashes his politically-charged film, THE STUDENT BODY, on all major cable, satellite, and digital platforms in North America. Winner of the 2016 Independent Spirit Award, Webber’s ground-breaking new film tackles the heated topic of childhood obesity while shining a critical light on the government's ill-conceived efforts to solve this global epidemic. 

The Student Body follows the inspiring story of a shy high school student turned brave journalist who seeks justice for her peers. In many states throughout the country, lawmakers have passed controversial mandates forcing schools to perform body mass index (BMI) tests on students. What soon followed sparked a heated national debate. Coined the “Fat Letters” by students, notification letters were sent to kids whose body mass did not fall within a narrowly acceptable range; essentially telling children, even as young as kindergarteners, that they are fat. 

When a determined sixth-grader in Ohio voices her protest against the letters, student journalist Bailey Webber is inspired to take up her fight. Convinced that her fellow students are being unfairly profiled and bullied by the government, Bailey's investigation soon turns into a battle of wills between herself and the bureaucrats who passed the law. 

THE STUDENT BODY is a true underdog story of two brave girls who take a stand against government hypocrisy while exploring the complex and controversial truths of the childhood obesity debate.  

Saturday, February 11, 2017

GIVEAWAY: RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, March 21st at the Fisher Theatre, Detroit

GIVEAWAY: RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, March 21st at the Fisher Theatre, Detroit

Last week I posted about the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, which is coming to the Fisher Theatre (Detroit) from March 21st through March 26th. This week, one of my lucky readers has a chance to win a 4-pack of tickets to the March 21st show!

Click here to read my original blog post, to see what the show is about.


Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Sunday, February 19th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be chosen the next day and notified via email, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

Must live within driving distance to the Fisher Theatre, Detroit, to enter this giveaway.

Good luck!

4-pack of tickets for RENT, 3/21 in Detroit

Friday, February 10, 2017

Movie Review: Fifty Shades Darker

Movie review: Fifty Shades Darker, Yes/No Films

I saw the first Fifty Shades of Grey movie about two years ago, in February 2015, and I liked it, but didn't LOVE it - I gave it a Maybe review, and 3 out of 5 stars. This installment, however, was more entertaining, and I liked it better than the original film.

At the end of the first film, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) has driven away Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) because of certain ... preferences of his. This movie opens with Ana at a new job, as an assistant at a publishing house, and estranged from Christian. Inevitably, however, she runs into him, at a gallery opening, where she finds out that he's bought all the portraits of her that her friend Jose (Victor Rasuk) had photographed. Christian persuades Ana into having dinner with him, and she decides to take him back, on a trial basis, which is where the story really begins.

Movie Review: The LEGO Batman Movie

Movie review: The LEGO Batman Movie, Yes/No Films

I saw The LEGO Movie back in early 2014 when it came to theaters, and it was definitely a unique concept - LEGO figures come to life, singing and talking. The signature song from the movie, Everything is Awesome, was very catchy, too. The LEGO Batman Movie is a little darker (although still rated PG), and while it has a good message, I found it more entertaining as an action movie versus a comedy.

The film opens with Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) saving the city, yet another time, from the Joker (Zach Galifianakis). The Joker, however, is unsatisfied, because although he's escaping from Batman, yet again, Batman won't admit that the Joker is his #1 enemy. The Joker devises a plan to make Batman miss fighting him, and although both Batman and the new Commissioner Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) know that something's up, they aren't quite sure what his plan is.

Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne attends the old Commissioner's retirement party, where he meets the new Commissioner, and accidentally agrees to adopt an orphan, Dick (Michael Cera), who is thrilled to find out that Wayne has such a large house - and, oh yeah, Batman lives in the basement.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

GIVEAWAY: Mary Higgins Clark Bestselling Mysteries {5 movies!}, Vol. 2, ends 2/15

Last year, I gave away Mary Higgins Clark Bestselling Mysteries: 5 Movie Collection, Volume 1, and now Volume 2 is out, from Mill Creek Entertainment - and one of my lucky readers will win this collection on DVD.

About the movies:

GIVEAWAY: Mary Higgins Clark Bestselling Mysteries {5 movies!} on DVD
A 2nd Collection of Films Based on the Bestselling Mystery Novels.

MARY HIGGINS CLARK is one of the most critically acclaimed mystery writers of our time. 'The Queen of Suspense' has sold over 100 million copies of her novels in the U.S. alone. Known for her intriguing, clever and suspenseful writing style, now you can enjoy 5 of her best-selling works adapted to feature films.

Pretend You Don't See Her (2002) - PG-13 – Emma Samms
When a Manhattan real estate agent witnesses a murder, she joins the Federal Witness Protection Program and starts a new life in Minnesota.

You Belong to Me (2002) - PG-13 – Lesley-Anne Down
A psychologist uses her call-in radio show to help lonesome women but finds out about a killer and when she delves deeper she becomes the next victim.

We'll Meet Again (2002) - PG-13 – Laura Leighton
Two of Hollywood's most fascinating femme fatales join to expose deadly deception in a small town.

I'll Be Seeing You (2004) - PG-13 – Alison Eastwood
A young woman must identify the body of her exact double and ends up discovering the details of her father's death.

Before I Say Goodbye (2003) - PG-13 – Sean Young
To catch a killer you've got to follow the money, no matter where, or to whom, it leads.

Monday, February 6, 2017

GIVEAWAY - Thriller Triple Feature: Wind Chill, Closure, Perfect Stranger, on Bluray {ends 2/13}

Mill Creek Entertainment is releasing its Thriller Triple Feature, on Blu-ray, and one of my lucky readers can win a copy!

About the movies:

GIVEAWAY - Thriller Triple Feature: Wind Chill, Closure, Perfect Stranger, on Bluray
Wind Chill - (2008) – R - Emily Blunt, Ashton Holmes

“A moody, spooky tale.” – The New York Times

Desperate to get home for Christmas, a college student catches a ride with a strange classmate. As soon as she realizes he knows a little too much about her, the stranger decides to take a shortcut down a remote country road. Caught in a raging snowstorm, the young travelers are suddenly forced off the road by a mysterious car. Stranded, they soon realize the cold is the least of their worries.

Closure - (2007) – R - Gillian Anderson, Danny Dyer

“…a good movie and has an interesting angle on a familiar story” – The Movie Scene

Gillian Anderson stars in this dark thriller about a couple that embarks on a violent spree after surviving a gang attack. Driving back from a posh party at a country estate, Alice (Anderson) and Adam (Danny Dyer) find themselves brutally assaulted by a group of hunters. Physically and emotionally devastated by the attack, the tables suddenly turn when they discover the identity of their attackers.

Perfect Stranger - (2006) - R - Halle Berry, Bruce Willis
“A Sexy Thriller That Keeps You Guessing Every Step Of The Way.” – Kevin Steincross, KTVI-TV (FOX)

When her friend's affair with married ad exec Harrison Hill ends in the woman's murder, investigative reporter Rowena Price vows to bring the killer to justice. Suspecting Hill of the crime, she goes undercover by posing as two highly alluring women. Engaging in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, both Rowena and Hill begin to realize things may not be what they seem.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Movie Review: The Space Between Us

Movie review: The Space Between Us

I'm a sucker for romance movies, and when you throw in the outer space element too, I'm definitely intrigued. The Space Between Us is your typical teen movie, except for one thing: its protagonist was born on Mars, and has lived there for all of his 16 years, whereas the girl he's been talking to online lives in Colorado, on Earth.

Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield, Hugo) was born on Mars. His mother was part of a six-person crew sent to inhabit Mars for 4 years; however, upon arriving, she found out she was pregnant. Gardner's ultimate dream is to visit Earth, but his body isn't equipped for it - his bones are too brittle. He's been talking with a girl named Tulsa (Britt Robertson, The Longest Ride) who lives in Colorado, and he tells her that one day he is going to visit her. When he actually shows up, she's very surprised, but eventually helps him evade capture by Nathaniel (Gary Oldman), one of the founders of the Genesis space program, and Kendra (Carla Gugino), who basically raised him on-board the ship. Gardner wants to experience everything he can while on Earth, but what he doesn't know is that he's on a time limit: his heart is engorged, and too big for him to survive Earth's atmosphere.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Upcoming: RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, March 21-26, Fisher Theatre {Detroit}

RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Detroit, Broadway
*Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Broadway in Detroit. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I've seen the 2005 movie adaptation of RENT, but never the Broadway show, so I'm excited to see it when it comes to the Fisher Theatre this March. The Pops orchestra I was in during college at the University of Michigan also played a few songs from the musical, so I'm very familiar with the music and with the plot of the show.

About the show:
The RENT 20th Anniversary Tour will appear in a limited engagement at Detroit’s Fisher Theatre, March 21- 26, 2017. Tickets start at $39 and are now on sale at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, online at or, and at The Fisher Theatre Box Office.

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini's La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Movie Review: Gold

Movie Review: Gold, Matthew McConaughey

Gold is based on the true story of Bre-X, a group of companies in Canada that supposedly struck gold in Indonesia. In Gold, however, the company is based in Reno, NV, and one of their employees is Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey), a prospector of sorts who is always looking to get rich.

Wells has a dream one day where he's searching for gold in Indonesia, and so he calls up an old friend, Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez), to see if there is any gold being found there. Acosta agrees to be his "tour guide" of sorts, and Wells sells a few pieces of jewelry, including a gold watch he bought for his girlfriend, Kay (Bryce Dallas Howard), to foot the bill for the plane ticket. Once he arrives in Indonesia, despite a few setbacks (including malaria), they eventually start finding gold, and Kenny is excited to become a very rich man.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Restaurant review and $50 GIVEAWAY: The Morrie, Royal Oak, MI

Restaurant review and giveaway: The Morrie, Royal Oak, Michigan

*Disclosure: I was provided a free meal at The Morrie in exchange for this review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I had been to The Morrie one other time before this dining experience, back in November for Royal Oak Restaurant Week, and that meal was great (as was the ginormous ice cream cookie sandwich I had for dessert). When I was invited back as a blogger for a meal last week, I didn't hesitate to say yes to the invitation.

Restaurant review and giveaway: The Morrie, Royal Oak, Michigan

We started off with drinks - a few of the other bloggers ordered the Train in Vain-B. Side martini ($11), so I did as well. The martini included pear-infused Hendrick's gin, allspice-cardamom-vanilla simple (syrup, I believe), and peach-pear La Croix. I wasn't the biggest fan of it (I didn't realize until later it had gin in it, which isn't my fave) but it started to grow on me after a few sips.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

GIVEAWAY: Teddy bear & chocolates Valentine's Day gift basket {ends 2/4}

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

Teddy Bear & Chocolates Valentine's Day Gift Basket Giveaway

I've partnered with a few other bloggers for this giveaway - everyone loves chocolate! 
Good luck!

Prize: Teddy Bear & Chocolates Valentine's Day Gift Basket RV $59.99
With a cuddly teddy bear and an abundance of delicious chocolate treats, this Valentine's Day gift basket is the perfect way to let someone know you care. Enjoy slow-melting truffles, sweet chocolate covered cherries, crisp cookies and more in a gorgeously packed basket.
Dates: 1/21-2/4
Open to: US Residents 18+
Enter to win using the widget below. Good luck!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Movie Review: The Founder

Movie Review: The Founder, Michael Keaton

Before seeing this film, the only thing I knew about McDonald's is that two brothers started the company, and also, that their fries are pretty tasty. What I didn't know is that the company was essentially stolen from them, which is the story of The Founder.

Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) is a salesman for milkshake mixer machines for fast-food restaurants, specifically drive-ins, in the 1950s. When he stumbles across a restaurant called McDonald's, in San Bernardino, CA, which has ordered eight of his machines, he wants to help its owners franchise, as he thinks it would make a great national restaurant chain. The owners, Dick (Nick Offerman) and Mac (John Carroll Lynch) McDonald, say they've tried franchising before and it failed, but Kroc is determined to make it work this time. What ends up happening is something that spirals out of the McDonald brothers' control, and ends up making Ray Kroc a very rich man.

Movie Review: 20th Century Women

Movie Review: 20th Century Women

20th Century Women is a unique movie. That being said, it was a bit too slow for my liking, and also a little too "indie," so I never could fully enjoy it, even though it had its moments.

"It takes a village" is the motto that 20th Century Women's Dorothea (Annette Bening) abides by, and she's worried that her 15-year-old son, Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), won't have enough positive role models in his life. The year is 1979, and they live in a constantly-being-remodeled, ramshackle old house in California, with her tenants Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and William (Billy Crudup). Dorothea doesn't know that Jamie's best friend, Julie (Elle Fanning), is sleeping over each night too, though that's all Julie and Jamie are doing (nothing of the R-rated variety). Dorothea gave birth to Jamie when she was 40, which was considered "old," and she and her husband are divorced, so she wants Jamie to have more influences in his life; she asks Abbie, William, and Julie to help her "raise" Jamie.