STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Trailer

Star Wars trailer

If you missed Monday night football on ESPN this week you also missed out on the the kickoff of what will certainly be the most highly anticipated movie of the year. The trailer for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS debuted during halftime between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Trailer

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in U.S. theaters on December 18. Until then check out the trailer below:

Tickets to the highly anticipated cinematic event are now on sale everywhere tickets are sold. For more information, visit http://StarWars.com.

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Movie Review

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Movie Review

Going to the movies is one of my favorite things to do during the holidays and Hollywood is not disappointing us this December. Opening Christmas Day is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with director and star Ben Stiller. I had the opportunity to preview this movie earlier this week and was thoroughly impressed with all aspects of this film.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Based on James Thurbers’s short story and a remake of the 1941 film by the same name, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is noting less than inspiring for every viewer. Walter Mitty (Stiller)lives his everyday life as a daydreamer, escaping his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker (Kristen Wiig) are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

Things to note
The film is infinitely better than the trailers depict. While this film had its share of humor it is not the laugh upon laugh that is typical of a Ben Stiller film. It balances nicely between comedy and drama. Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn, and Sean Penn all work wonderfully together and were perfectly cast. With a PG rating, this film is family friendly and has something for everyone so you can feel safe bringing the whole family along. This film also carries a fantastic soundtrack featuring empowering songs from Arcade Fire and Of Monsters and Men. You will love all you see & hear in this film.

Releasing in theaters everywhere Christmas Day, December 25th, 2013.

Disney’s Saving Mr Banks movie review #SavingMrBanks


Disney’s Saving Mr Banks movie review #SavingMrBanks

Its no secret that I am a long time and avid Mary Poppins fan. I’m talking books, birthday parties, and movies. I’ve seen it Broadway style. I may/may not even own a parrot-head umbrella. I have been anticipating seeing Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks since I first heard about it and I was thrilled to be able to attend a pre-screening for this film last week.  Tom Hanks & Emma Thompson both delivered exceptional performances. This film is not to be missed!!

Saving Mr Banks

Synopsis: 

Two-time Academy Award®–winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks topline Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” inspired by the extraordinary, untold backstory of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen. When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins,” he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep.

In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation.

For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp. It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.

Parent review:

This film contains all the elements of a great film: humor, drama, feel-good moments, and Hollywood history. Having a PG-13 rating, I recommend heeding the rating and agree it is appropriate for older kids/tweens and up. Prior to the screening I was surprised at the rating, expecting the traditional whimsical Disney, and while it does provide a great amount of humorous moments they are paralleled with emotional moments that younger kids may find sad or unsettling, including a death and an attempted suicide. While emotional, neither of these scenes are violent or gratuitous.

Not realizing the content ahead of time, I attended with our 8 yr old who had been begging to see it. He absolutely enjoyed the film but required a discussion about how the choices we make as children or adults affect others. On a highly positive note, there is no sexual content or inappropriate language to be concerned with(only 1 use of the d- word).

Disney’s Saving Mr Banks film will release in U.S. theaters on December 13, 2013, limited, and open wide on December 20, 2013.

Sweet, Spooky Halloween Traditions

Hey Y’all!! October 31st is almost here! Just 2 more days.  Tonight we have the Fall Festival and concert at school and I am getting excited about seeing all the little ones in costume. I just know everyone will be adorable!

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We’ve got a few decorations up at home to make it feel festive. Trick or treating will be a little different for us this year too as our big kids have “outgrown” the dressing up phase this year, or so they tell me. I have a feeling it will make a comeback eventually. We usually go trick or treating on our town’s historic square before it gets too dark and scary out. Then we will visit a few homes of local friends and co-workers. After that we come home for apple cider or hot chocolate.

Even though our teenagers wont be going out with us, I still want to find a fun way include everyone in the festivities. I am not one for missing out on a memory, even if traditions must be altered up a bit. Sometimes its a challenge though, making it fun & cool for kids and teens together. Since we don’t do scary frightening stuff, maybe we’ll re-watch The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and a few Scooby-Do episodes. Our oldest likes retro shows so maybe we’ll try old Twilight Zone episode after the little ones fall asleep.

I am thinking of throwing a little family party for us with fun treats and themed foods too. Or maybe throw together a little family photo booth? I did a little Pinterest searching and came up with some of my favorites to give myself some quick inspiration. (I linked them all in my Monster Mash board here in case any of you are searching for ideas too.)

What are some of your most fun family Halloween traditions? Ideas for including teens?