7 Things on Sunday

Seven things I’ve done over the past seven days.

gracepointcanren1

1. Shopped for Christmas gifts online. Free shipping is the bomb!

2. Watched the season finale of Gracepoint, and found it very anticlimactic when the killer was my very first guess.

3. Enjoyed an evening of dinner, and board games with my parents.

4. Had to turn my head while my grandbaby had her ears pierced.

5. Spent an afternoon at the mall, shopping for myself.

6. Watched Wedding Crashers for what could be the millionth time, and still laughed out loud.

7. Woke up and felt wide awake at 5am on a Sunday. And was not happy about it.

Trailer Park Tuesday, Taken 3 #Taken3

taken_3_movie_poster_1

Ex-government operative Bryan Mills finds his life is shattered when he’s falsely accused of a murder that hits close to home. As he’s pursued by a savvy police inspector, Mills employs his particular set of skills to track the real killer and exact his unique brand of justice.

Director: Olivier Megaton
Writers: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Cast: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Forest Whitaker, Leland Orser
In theaters: January 9, 2015.

I didn’t care for the first Taken, but I thought Taken 2 was a little better. This one sounds to be the best storyline of the three! I’ll most likely see Taken 3 on Blu-ray or rent it on Digital HD.

How about you? Are you a fan of the previous Taken movies? Any plans to see Taken 3?

Biggest movie flops of 2014

movie_flops_2014

Sometimes the trailer is the best thing about a movie. What this means for the audience is, unfortunately, in some cases the trailer might be writing cheques the film can’t cash. Here is a list of the biggest, most anti-climactic build-ups and subsequent let-downs of 2014’s cinema releases:

1.Transformers: Age of Extinction
The loud, flashy robots were back, creaking and thrusting through a futuristic dystopia where new enemies emerged to eradicate the Autobots. The film staggered at a relentless pace, looking for every opportunity to fire up the screen with car chases, intricately detailed CGI or the requisite string of explosions. The flashy fare extended for 166 minutes of high-speed plot development and action, leaving movie-goers exhausted and desensitized.

2.Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For
Following the success of Robert Rodriguez’s cult adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel in 2005, the sequel did not quite live up to the hype with 2014 audiences. The film brought back some characters from the original film and intertwined them with the stories of a handful of new ones, all the while drifting through its trademark gloomy, film-noir atmosphere. The new characters were one of the few redeeming factors in the movie, notably Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a wily gambler who would undoubtedly play online casino slots at Euro Palace with enthusiastic ardour. While in the first film it was a welcome, dark treat to peer into the black heart and characters of the thoroughly depraved city, the next installment feels too caught up in its own style and played it safe in terms of story development.

3.RoboCop
The robot-human peacekeeper franchise rose from the 1980s in this messily put-together reboot. The incorruptible Alex Murphy is the well-known hybrid enforcer, an experiment made possible by a collaboration between the police and a devious technologies corporation with barely-concealed ulterior motives. In a saturated market of sci-fi-action blockbusters the audience found the film wanting: humourless, cold and uninspiring. In this case, ironically, being robotic doesn’t help RoboCop in any sense.

4.Transcendence
In Johnny Depp’s next highly anticipated sci-fi vehicle, he played a character who uploaded himself into a computer just before his physical body died, from where his forlorn wife can chat with him and – to some extent – improve the world with his newly-gained omniscience. The tried-and-tested themes (respect nature, absolute power corrupts absolutely) are barely stretched, explored or refreshed as the audience would expect. Instead the film collapses into a shapeless shadow of a good movie, something that goes beyond disappointment into the territory of sad, missed potential. Also, for a Johnny Depp movie, there’s not a lot of Johnny Depp.

5.Need for Speed
Fresh from the success of AMC’s Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul returned to a slightly bigger screen to show a wider audience his ability to carry an action blockbuster. And what could be better than a film based on the high-octane thrills of a video game bearing the same name? The answer is pretty much anything else. How unbearably disappointing to see a truly talented and beloved actor thrown into the utter mundanity of Hollywood along with other similarly talented cast members. Especially in a film so ill-conceived and incomprehensibly threaded together.

We can only hope that 2015, with so many anticipated films including Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars Episode VII, does not disappoint. Fingers and toes crossed.

Trailer Park Tuesday, Kingsman: The Secret Service #Kingsman

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Based upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass (2010), X-Men: First Class (2011)), Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

Directer: Matthew Vaughn

Cast: Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Taron Egerton, and Samuel L. Jackson.

In theaters: February 13, 2015

I’m sure I will see this one at some point. I’m even more sure that my husband will see it. I’m not sure if it will be on the big screen or on on blu-ray. I like the trailer, and it looks well made, but there is nothing really pulling me to the theater. We’ll see…

How about you? What do you think of the Kingsman: The Secret Service movie trailer?

Making Mother/Daughter memories & The Hunger Games: Mockingjay necklaces #FandangoFamily @Fandango

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Following her rescue from the devastating Quarter Quell, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) awakes in the complex beneath the supposedly destroyed District 13. Her home, District 12, has been reduced to rubble, and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is now the brainwashed captive of President Snow (Donald Sutherland). At the same time, Katniss also learns about a secret rebellion spreading throughout all of Panem — a rebellion that will place her at the center of a plot to turn the tables on Snow.

mockingjay-the-wings-of-the-resistance-review

It’s nice having older kids. But, let’s face it, parenting a teenager is not always easy. So I try to find those hidden moments and turn them into fun mother/daughter memories that I hope keep our relationship strong and successful. It really doesn’t take much, like reading the same book and discussing it, going to the gym together, and every once in a while experiencing a movie that we can both get excited about. Like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.

mockingjay_001

I wasn’t a big fan of The Hunger Games, until our teenage daughter begged me to watch the first movie. Which of-course led to watching the second. Then like her – I was hooked. The third, we had our-self’s a little countdown, and then experienced a fun mother/daughter day to celebrate the opening of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.

Our mother/daughter day included making a couple of movie themed necklaces, dinner and a trip to theater just the two of us.

We bought our movie tickets using the Fandango app, and had them sent directly to my phone. Which was nice because we got to skip the line at the box office! Giving us plenty of time to buy our concessions, and even take a few silly selfies together while waiting for the movie to start…

mockingjay_us_333

Our necklaces are nothing fancy, but to us they’re a symbol of strength, and standing up for what is right, even when the odds are not in your favor.

hungergames_mockingjay_necklace12222

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay is playing now in theaters nation wide! You can purchase your tickets easily by vising Fandango.com or by downloading the free Fandango App directly to your smart phone or mobile device.

Disclosure: This sponsored post is part of a blogging campaign in collaboration with Fandango. As a Fandango Family Ambassador, I received a compensation and promotional items as a thank you for participating. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The November Man Blu-ray Review

TheNovemberMan_bluray

Five years into his retirement, CIA veteran Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) is pulled back into service to help retrieve a Russian agent — also his former lover — who has incriminating evidence on Federov, a corrupt Russian leader. When a different CIA team, led by Devereaux’s former protege (Luke Bracey), shows up, the mission goes south and Devereaux’s ex-lover is killed. Now a rogue agent, Devereaux drags a relief worker (Olga Kurylenko) along on his mission to settle the score.

My thoughts:

I feel the need to first share that in my opinion Pierce Brosnan still has it. He’s the man! Yet, this movie, as action packed as it is, just didn’t do it for me. The storyline is pretty good, and it seems in the beginning to have all the makings of a great spy movie, until it becomes a bit too ridiculous for me. I found myself focusing more on Luke Brancey’s hair, and lack of messiness, and less on the storyline. I’m not sure where this film went wrong, directing, producing, editing, but I was glad to not have seen it in theaters. Which is disappointment for me because I really wanted to like this movie.

As always these are just my thoughts.

The November Man is available now on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD.

FTC Disclosure: Free product was received for the purpose of this blog post. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Disney’s Into The Woods, new trailer and character posters #IntoTheWoods

I am beyond excited about Disney’s Into The Woods coming to the big screen! Just out the new movie trailer, and stunning character posters.

“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on several of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy), all tied together by an original story involving a Baker and his Wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the Witch (Meryl Streep), who has put a curse on them.

Rob Marshall, the acclaimed filmmaker behind the Academy Award®-winning musical “Chicago” and Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” directs the film, which is based on the Tony®-winning original musical by James Lapine, who also penned the screenplay, and legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, who provides the music and lyrics. Produced by John DeLuca, Marshall, “Wicked” producer Marc Platt and Callum McDougall, “Into the Woods” will be released in theaters December 25, 2014.

Starring Meryl Streep, James Corden, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine, “Into the Woods” is a humorous and heartfelt musical that follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a Baker and his Wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the Witch who has put a curse on them.

Into The Woods

Disney's Into The Woods

Into The Woods movie poster

Into The Woods in theaters Chrstmas 2014

Johnny Depp_ Into The Woods

Not yet familiar with Into The Woods? Here a few notes you should know.

  •  Into the Woods” premiered on Broadway on November 5, 1987, at the Martin Beck Theatre. The production, which ran for 764 performances, won Tony® Awards for Best Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Actress in a Musical. Among other awards, the musical received five Drama Desk Awards, including Best Musical. “Into the Woods” has been produced around the world, including a 1988 U.S. tour, a 1990 West End production and Broadway and London revivals, in addition to a television production, DVD recording and a 10-year-anniversary concert.
  •  The big-screen adaptation welcomes songs from the stage musical, including “Children Will Listen,” “Giants in the Sky,” “On the Steps of the Palace,” “No One Is Alone” and “Agony,” among others.
  •  The award-winning production team includes: Oscar® winner Dion Beebe (“Chicago,” “Memoirs of a Geisha”) as director of photography; Oscar winner Dennis Gassner (“Bugsy,” “Quantum of Solace”) as production designer; and three-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Chicago,” “Alice In Wonderland”) as costume designer.

Like Into The Woods on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyIntoTheWoods !

Into The Woods will be theaters December 24, 2014!

I see a holiday trip to the movies this year for my family!

How about you? Do you think you’ll see Disney’s Into The Woods?

Trailer Park Tuesday, McFarland, USA

McFarland, USA movie

(Photo: Ron Phillips, Disney)

Inspired by the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change. Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent—the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic. With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.

Director: Niki Caro

Cast: Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Morgan Saylor, Martha Higareda, Michael Aguero, Sergio Avelar, Hector Duran, Rafael Martinez, Johnny Ortiz, Carlos Pratts, Ramiro Rodriguez, Danny Mora, Valente Rodriguez, Vanessa Martinez, Chris Ellis

In theaters: February 20, 2015.

Get social with this release:

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mcfarlandusa
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneypictures

This movie definitely makes my “must see” list! The more I see and read about it, the more I’m looking forward to watching the movie.

How about you? Will you see McFarland, USA?