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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

GIVEAWAY: Circus 1903 - The Golden Age of Circus, March 14-19 at the Fisher Theatre {Detroit}

Circus 1903 - The Golden Age of Circus

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

CIRCUS 1903 - The Golden Age of Circus will make its Detroit premiere at the Fisher this March, and looks to be a very interesting show. The show looks to be new this year, too, and from its pictures, looks like a great time.

Circus 1903 - The Golden Age of Circus

About the show:
In a world premiere event, the producers of the world’s biggest magic show, The Illusionists, have teamed up with the award-winning puppeteers from War Horse, to present a thrilling turn-of-the-century circus spectacular. CIRCUS 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus will make its Detroit premiere engagement at The Fisher Theatre, March 14–19, 2017, with all the thrill and daredevil entertainment one would expect from the circus, with an exciting new twist.

Tickets for CIRCUS 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus start at $35 and are now on sale 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.

Sensational puppetry puts elephants back in the ring as never seen before by introducing the largest ever performing African elephant and her baby, along with a huge cast of the most unique, amazing and dangerous circus acts from all four corners of the world, from strong men to contortionists, acrobats to musicians, knife throwers, high wire and much more!

Circus 1903 - The Golden Age of Circus

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Behind the mask: The Phantom of the Opera cast and crew

Behind the mask: The Phantom of the Opera cast and crew

By: Abby Smith

THE ARTFORM OF BROADWAY

Musicals are one of the most beautiful forms of art because they have the power to transform you from one place to another. They bring out real and rare emotions, and tell their story by making you feel like you’re a part of it. For a few hours, you’re able to step out of your own shoes and into someone else's. However, this can only happen when everything feels real: the costumes, the set, and the acting.

Phantom of the Opera at the Detroit Opera House
A behind the scenes look at the Detroit Opera House

The Phantom of the Opera is a perfect example of the above. It brings the novel, Le Fantome de L'Opera by Gaston Leroux, to life and portrays the story of a masked figure who lives in a Paris opera house. The man despises the people who occupy his house until he hears the voice of a young lady named Christine. He ends up falling in love with her and uses his schemes to help her be heard.

GIVEAWAY: Terry Fator at the Fox Theatre (Detroit), March 4

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

I've never seen Terry Fator perform, but he's a huge headliner in Vegas - I remember seeing his name flashing in lights, on the Strip - and his shows seem interesting. When I heard he was coming to Detroit, then, I was definitely interested in attending.

About the show:
Singer, comedian and celebrity impressionist, Terry Fator will return to the Fox Theatre for a side-splitting performance on Saturday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m.; presented locally by MGM Grand.

GIVEAWAY: Terry Fator at the Fox Theatre, 3/4/17
Tickets ($39, $59, $79 and $99.50) 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. Discounts are available on select seats for groups of 8 or more by calling 313-471-3099. For additional information, call (313) 471-6611.

Terry Fator became a household name in 2007 when he won Season 2 of
America's Got Talent with his unique brand of entertainment that combines singing, comedy and unparalleled celebrity impressions. After 25 years of honing his skills at county fairs and venues across the country, the Dallas-bred entertainer's big "AGT" win at age 42 catapulted him into the upper echelon of entertainers and led to a multi-million-dollar deal with The Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas where his award-winning show, "Terry Fator: The VOICE of Entertainment," has been running since 2009. With a cast of characters including Winston, the Impersonating Turtle; Emma Taylor, the little girl with the big voice; Maynard Thompkins, the Elvis Impersonator; Duggie Scott Walker, the annoying neighbor and many others, Fator has been raking in awards, accolades and industry admiration ever since. In 2014, Fator released a DVD Terry Fator: Live in Concert, a country music CD It Starts Tonight, as well as a series of children's books including Lamu, The Christmas Kitten.

Monday, January 16, 2017

GIVEAWAY: One Woman Sex and the City at City Theatre, Detroit, March 1

Giveaway: One Woman Sex and the City parody show, 3/1/17 in Detroit

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

Calling all SATC fans! A one-woman Sex and the City parody show will be performed at the City Theatre, Detroit (inside Hockeytown Cafe) on Wednesday, March 1st, at 7:30pm.

I'm a HUGE fan of the TV show, so I'm very much looking forward to seeing this.

About the show:
This loving tribute takes audiences through a laughter-infused version of all six seasons of the beloved Sex and the City TV show for a night to remember on Wednesday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets ($28.50 and $38.50) 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. Discounts are available for groups of 8 or more by calling (313) 471-3099. For additional information, call (313) 471-6611.

The show will bring all our favorite characters to life as they brunch, banter, argue, support each other and swoon over men and Manolos. There will be puns, cosmopolitans and audience participation. For anyone who remembers the naked dress, the tantric sex demonstration, the post-it note, and “he’s just not that into you,”
One Woman Sex and the City: A Parody on Love, Friendship, and Shoes will provide a great reminder of why the Sex and the City series and its characters have stayed so firmly in women’s hearts and minds.

For anyone who plans on buying tickets, I recommend Hockeytown Authentics (Troy) to avoid the Ticketmaster service charges, as well. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Movie Review: Patriots Day

Movie review: Patriots Day

It's hard for me to believe that the Boston Marathon bombings were in April 2013, because it feels like yesterday, not almost four years ago. Patriots Day brings us a movie adaptation of the events of this day, and the consequences that occurred after it.

Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) is a Boston police officer who is essentially on probation. Because of that, his boss, Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman), has him working at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. He's kind of annoyed about it, but he figures that after this, he'll be back to "full time" officer status. Once the bombings happen, however, he must work tirelessly to rescue victims and later, to find the two young adults responsible for the bombings, who are trying to get to NYC to set off more bombs.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

GIVEAWAY: 4-pack of tickets for Hedwig and the Angry Inch {February 21, Detroit} - ends 1/18

Hedwig and the Angry Inch Detroit ticket giveaway

Yesterday I wrote about the production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch that will be coming to town this February through March. Today, I have a chance for one of my lucky readers to win a 4-pack of tickets to the show!

Click here to read a synopsis of the show.

GIVEAWAY:

One winner will win a 4-pack of tickets for the Tuesday, February 21st show, 8pm at the Fisher Theatre, Detroit.

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Wednesday, January 18th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified the next day via email, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

Must live within driving distance of Detroit to enter this giveaway. Tweets for the giveaway must be from a public Twitter account.

Good luck!

Hedwig and the Angry Inch tickets - Detroit

Monday, January 9, 2017

Upcoming: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, at the Fisher Theatre (Detroit), February 21 - March 5

Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Fisher Theatre (Detroit)

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

I never saw the movie version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001), but I've heard a lot about the show. It's currently playing in NYC, as well, with Darren Criss (a fellow UM '09 alum) in the lead role. The show will be coming to Detroit this February through March, and I'm excited to check it out.

About the show:
The 2014 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival Hedwig & The Angry Inch will make its Detroit premier at the Fisher Theatre, February 21 – March 5, 2017. Tickets are now on sale 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.

Brilliantly innovative, heartbreaking, and wickedly funny, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the landmark American musical by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask that is “groundbreaking and undoubtedly ahead of its time” (Entertainment Weekly). This genre-bending, fourth-wall-smashing musical sensation, with a pulsing score and electrifying performances, tells the story of one of the most unique characters to ever hit the stage. “Internationally ignored song stylist” Hedwig Robinson is out to set the record straight about her life, her loves, and the botched operation that left her with that “angry inch.”

Directed by Tony Award-winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) and winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, Hedwig and the Angry Inch played to record-breaking sell-out crowds on Broadway and promises to take North America by storm with what Time Magazine proclaims is “the most exciting rock score written for the theatre since, oh, ever!"

Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Fisher Theatre (Detroit)

Saturday, January 7, 2017

GIVEAWAY: HBO's Divorce (season 1), coming to Digital HD on January 9th

GIVEAWAY: HBO's Divorce (season 1)

I had one week off work last year during the holidays, and I decided to binge-watch some TV shows. I'm a huge fan of Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City, and I have an HBO subscription so I watched season 1 of Divorce.

SATC this is not, but I really liked the show, and I'm looking forward to season 2. Thomas Haden Church and Molly Shannon are excellent here, as well.

About the show:
The woman responsible for bringing to life one of HBO’s most iconic characters in Sex and the City stars in a new HBO comedy that is “funny, heartening… [and] chockful of strong performances” (Newsweek). Divorce: Season 1 will be available for digital download Monday, January 9, 2016, and includes a bonus “Conversation with the Cast” feature with a full season download at select retailers. The “terrifically on point” (Washington Post) Parker earned a Golden Globe nomination (Best Actress in a Comedy Series) for her role in the 10-episode series, which was recently renewed for a second season.

Divorce: Season 1 is a new comedy series that finds sharp, observant humor in even the most tense situations. The series provides a candid view into the never-ending process of unwinding a marriage. Sarah Jessica Parker stars as Frances, who has suddenly begun to reassess her life and her strained relationship with her husband of ten years—and father of their two children—Robert (Thomas Haden Church). She soon learns that making a clean break and a fresh start is harder than she thought.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Movie Review: A Monster Calls

Movie review: A Monster Calls

Before I saw it, I thought A Monster Calls was a children's movie, but it definitely is not - it deals with adult themes, and is rated PG-13 for a reason. It's actually based upon a book, too, of the same name, which was published in 2013; the rights to the movie were snapped up in 2014.

One evening, Conor (Lewis MacDougall) is met with a strange scene: the yew tree from the graveyard in their backyard has come to life (voiced by Liam Neeson), and tells him that he will tell Conor three stories. Conor will then need to tell the tree a fourth story, about the nightmares that Conor has been having. Conor's mom (Felicity Jones) is dying of cancer, and his grandma (Sigourney Weaver) has been taking care of him; on top of that, he's being bullied at school, and he lacks the spine to stand up to the bullies. The Monster will teach Conor how to stand up to these bullies, and more - when their "lessons" are done, Conor will have learned much from The Monster.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Upcoming and GIVEAWAY: MJ Live tribute concert, Fox Theatre (Detroit), March 3

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

I'm a big fan of Michael Jackson music, and am looking forward to attending this show. On March 3rd, MJ Live will be performed at the Fox Theatre, in Detroit. MJ Live is the #1 Michael Jackson tribute show and it features Jalles Franca performing Jackson's music.

More information:
Win MJ Live tribute concert tickets, March 2017 in Detroit
MJ Live, the nation’s #1 Michael Jackson tribute show, is proud to bring its extremely talented star performer Jalles Franca to venues across the country including a performance at the Fox Theatre on Friday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets ($15, $35.50, $45.50 and $55.50) 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. Discounts are available on select seats for groups of 10 or more by calling 313-471-3099. For additional information, call (313) 471-6611.

Fans will relive the energy, excitement, spectacle and pure joy of Michael Jackson and his music while they sing along to some of the legendary superstar’s biggest hits including “Bad,” “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” “Dangerous,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Black & White,” “I Want You Back” and many others backed by the MJ Live band and mega talented dancers.

Jalles moved to the United States from Brazil at the age of 16 to fulfill his dreams as a professional dancer in Las Vegas. At the age of 21 he began a seven year residency as a performer, dancer and percussionist at Studio 54 Nightclub at the MGM Hotel & Casino. A long-time fan of the ‘King Of Pop,’ Michael Jackson, Jalles began imitating the star’s signature dance moves during his routines at Studio 54 and various other venues. Soon after the passing of his idol, Jalles began dedicating his talents to pay tribute to the late Superstar. Jalles has won numerous contests for “Best Michael Jackson Impersonator,” Best overall “look” and “Best Moonwalk.” Billing himself as “MJ THE LEGEND” Jalles has thrilled audiences at private and corporate events, festivals and tribute shows throughout Las Vegas, Hollywood, Dubai and more.

The show is produced by Darin Feinstein and Dick Feeney with music direction by Gene Sironen and choreography by Missy Cochran.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

GIVEAWAY: Don't Forget About Me DVD (4 movie collection) - ends 1/11

On January 10, Mill Creek Entertainment will release a Don't Forget About Me DVD collection, including four movies from the '80s, and I have a copy for one of my lucky readers to win.

I haven't actually seen any of the four movies that are included with the collection, so I'm excited to watch them, as I love '80s movies and the Brat Pack especially.

The collection retails for $9.99, and Amazon currently has it for $6.99, available for pre-order.

About the collection:
Don't Forget About Me '80s movie collection giveaway
Who could ever forget the incredible movie boom featuring everyone favorite teen stars from the 80s? From hookups to heartaches, their teenage angst and aspirations resonated with audiences everywhere and their films have left a long-lasting legacy, often imitated, but never duplicated. This carefully curated collection of 4 coming-of-age movies will bring you back to a time where pink was pretty but relationships were not.

No Small Affair
(1984) - Color - R
Demi Moore, Jon Cryer

“the film stays snappy” – Janet Maslin, New York Times

When a 16-year-old pursues a beautiful "older woman" of 22, the unlikely lovers teach each other a thing or two about life.

Fresh Horses
(1988) - Color - PG-13
Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, Patti D’Arnanville

"fresh, sad and funny." - Michael Wilmington, Los Angeles Times

After Matt announces his engagement to a debutante, his best friend takes him for one last bachelor bash at the home of a friend. There Matt meets Jewel and is immediately attracted to her. Although they have little in common, a passionate relationship sparks and blows apart his previously "safe" existence forever.