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 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 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.

GIVEAWAY:

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.

GIVEAWAY:

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.

Contents:
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 www.broadwayindetroit.com or www.ticketmaster.com, 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.