Showing posts from January, 2014

Movie Review: Labor Day

Another book-turned-movie has hit theaters, and it's definitely worth checking out - Labor Day, by Joyce Maynard. Kate Winslet quietly picked up a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the movie, and although she didn't win (Cate Blanchett has been sweeping the 2014 awards), she and also Josh Brolin were very good in this film.

Adele (Winslet) rarely ventures out of the house these days; when she does, it's with her son, Henry (Gattlin Griffith), and they go grocery shopping. On this such occasion, Frank (Brolin), an escaped convict, starts talking to Henry and makes him take him over to his mother, where it's implied that harm will come to them if they don't give him a ride. They all go back to their house and Adele treats his wounds; he escaped from a hospital by jumping out a second-floor window. The news is soon awash with news of Frank's escape, as he was serving an 18-year sentence for murder, and Adele and Henry must decide if they can trust him, whi…

Movie Review: That Awkward Moment

I had been wanting to see That Awkward Moment for a long time, as it looked like a cute romcom with believable characters and stories. Unfortunately, there aren't very many funny moments in the film, save for a spare few, and most of the best jokes are in the movie's trailer, which is something I always hate. The cast does their best with the material, but there's not much you can do with an unfunny script.

The movie focuses on three guys: Jason (Zac Efron), Daniel (Miles Teller), and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan). Jason is sick of girls giving him the "So ..." speech (meaning, "So, where is this going?" relationship-wise) and he has a "roster" of girls with whom he hooks up. Daniel has a "wingman" named Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis) who helps him talk to girls at the bar they frequent, but soon he finds himself falling for her. Mikey finds out that his wife, Vera (Jessica Lucas), has been cheating on him with her lawyer, and wants a divorc…

GIVEAWAY: Monster Jam is back, March 1st at Ford Field! #MJDetroit

I did a giveaway for Monster Jam tickets last month in Detroit, and now the trucks will be back at Ford Field this March!

I won't be able to attend, so I have two family four-packs to give away - check below for a discount code as well as the contest.

Show description:
Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam®, starring the biggest performers on four wheels: Monster Jam monster trucks! The twelve-feet-tall, ten-thousand-pound machines will bring you to your feet, racing and ripping up a custom-designed track full of obstacles to soar over or smash through! Monster Jam provides a massive night’s entertainment tailored perfectly for your family’s budget, and these colorful, larger-than-life beasts are sure to capture the hearts of both young and old.

If you're thinking of buying a family four-pack, make sure to check out this deal:
Save over $45 with a family four-pack - includes four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas, and four pit passes. Must purchase via, Ford Field Bo…

TICKET GIVEAWAY: The Pretty One, 2/4 at the Maple Theater (Detroit area) - 5 winners

The Gathr film series giveaways continue this week with The Pretty One, playing Tuesday, February 4th, at 7:30pm at the Maple Theater (Bloomfield Hills, MI). Gathr is in the process of limiting their Detroit-area films to one or two per month instead of four, so make sure you get in on this contest to have a chance at winning tickets.

This film looks great - I loved Zoe Kazan in Ruby Sparks, and I'm a fan of Jake Johnson's from the TV show New Girl. Ron Livingston also stars.

Film synopsis:
Audrey has all of the qualities that her identical twin sister Laurel wishes she possessed: confidence, style, independence. Alternately, Laurel, sweet but painfully awkward, feels stuck in her life, still living at home, coddling their father and obsessed with the boy next door, for whom she used to babysit. When the sisters reunite for their birthday, tragedy strikes and a fateful mix-up leaves Laurel faced with an opportunity to reinvent herself, and her life, as her beloved sibling.


Movie Review and Ticket Giveaway: Gimme Shelter, ends 1/30

Gimme Shelter isn't just the name of a Rolling Stones song, it's the demand of the movie's main character. The person who would be demanding, in this case, is Agnes Bailey, who goes by Apple, when she leaves her abusive mother's care after becoming pregnant. The film follows her from there, and we get to see how she's led a tough life so far.

Apple Bailey (Vanessa Hudgens) runs away from her mother (Rosario Dawson) and goes to her father's posh New Jersey house. Only one problem: she's never met her father (Brendan Fraser) before, as he left for college immediately after getting her mother pregnant. He's now married to Joanna (Stephanie Szostak) and they have two preppy, perfect children; needless to say, Joanna isn't happy about having Apple stay with them. After she tries to make Apple get an abortion, Apple runs away again, and ends up at a shelter for pregnant teens and new mothers, where she finds that maybe she can have a family after all.

I w…

TICKET GIVEAWAY: 12 O'Clock Boys, 1/28 at the Maple Theater (Detroit area) - 5 winners

The Gathr film series giveaways continue this week, with 12 O'Clock Boys, playing Tuesday, January 28th, at 7:30pm at the Maple Theater (Bloomfield Hills, MI). Gathr is in the process of limiting their Detroit-area films to one or two per month instead of four, so make sure you get in on this contest to have a chance at winning tickets.

Film synopsis:
The 12 O'CLOCK BOYS are a notorious urban dirt bike pack in Baltimore -- popping wheelies and weaving at excessive speeds through traffic, the group impressively evades the hamstrung police. In Lotfy Nathan's wild, dynamic documentary (three years in the making), their stunning antics are envisioned through the eyes of young adolescent Pug - a bright kid from the Westside obsessed with the riders and willing to do anything to join their ranks.

Premiering to critical acclaim at the SXSW and Hot Docs Film Festivals (where Nathan won the HBO Emerging Artist Award), 12 O'CLOCK BOYS provides a compelling and intimate personal s…

It's Game Time with DiGiorno Pizza! #GameTimeGoodies

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

When I'm not watching movies, I sometimes like to watch sports with my dad. We're big fans of Michigan football, especially since I'm a UM alum, and he sometimes convinces me to watch other football or basketball games with him too. UM played Wisconsin this past weekend, and we knew that we needed to head to Walmart beforehand to pick up some DiGiorno pizzas before game time.

My mom and I headed to the Novi, MI Walmart location, and immediately found DiGiorno in the freezer case. Walmart currently has a Rollback on DiGiorno, so it's only $4.50 per pizza - a great deal considering it tastes like delivery (it's not delivery, it's DiGiorno!) and some pizzas can range $10+ these days. The Novi Walmart advertised them as $4.97 each in the freezer case, but they did ring up as $4.50 each.


Movie Review - Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Jack Ryan was originally a product of Tom Clancy, and other actors have played the character in the past. In Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, the character gets a reboot as an action hero, with Chris Pine in the lead role. Pine has been good in other action roles, such as in 2010's Unstoppable, and he's capable here as well; however, the script is a bit formulaic and the movie has other slight problems throughout.

Jack Ryan (Pine) joins the armed forces after 9/11, and later lands a job as an analyst on Wall Street. Before that, though, he's recruited by Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner) and joins the CIA - his job at the firm is his cover. Ryan soon finds out that some of the Russian accounts his firm holds are being hidden, and he goes to Russia to investigate. Before long, he finds out what's really going on - that the accounts are part of a larger plan, involving terrorists and the economy - and he must stop the Russian terrorists before they succeed.

Movie Review: Her

Her has received lots of praise from critics, and because of that, I didn't think I was going to like the movie; my opinion doesn't always line up with the majority's. However, I was truly surprised by the film, in that not only did it have a lot of humorous moments, but it has small commentaries throughout on our society and how we function - and how we might look in ten, twenty years if computers really started behaving like this.

Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is in the middle of a divorce, but still wants to be friends with his soon-to-be ex, Catherine (Rooney Mara). Theodore's job is at a letter company website, which writes "beautiful handwritten letters" for those that pay them - the letter appears to be from that person, but it's actually Theodore and his coworkers who write them. He sees an ad for a new Operating System (OS), one that interacts with you, and decides to purchase one; the OS's voice (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) says her name is S…

Movie Review: The Legend of Hercules

There are two Hercules movies coming to theaters this year, and The Legend of Hercules has the dubious privilege of being the first, starring Kellan Lutz in the title role. The other, simply named Hercules, hits theaters on July 25th, starring The Rock as the title character. I'm hoping that Hercules is better than this version, because although Legend had some visually-pleasing action scenes, overall it's your typical fluff movie.

Queen Alcmene (Roxanne McKee) marries King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins) and bears him a child. Her second child, however, is not Amphitryon's, as she was impregnated by the god Zeus in order to bear a child that will bring peace to the land: Hercules (Lutz). When the older brother and heir to the throne, Iphicles (Liam Garrigan), becomes old enough to marry, his parents match him with Princess Hebe (Gaia Weiss), who is in love with Hercules - and his father sends Hercules off to war, so that he's not a distraction.

Movie Review - August: Osage County

Meryl Streep and Julia Robert have both earned SAG and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress & Best Supporting Actress for their roles in August: Osage County (pronounced Oh-say-g, by the way, not Oh-sah-jay like I originally thought). That tells you something off the bat. What you might not know is that although the film moves at a slower pace - maybe because it's based off the play of the same name - the rest of the cast is fantastic as well. Make no mistake, though: this is Streep's movie.

Violet Weston (Streep) is dying of mouth cancer, and her husband Beverly (Sam Shepard) has had enough; he hires a housekeeper to take care of them and make meals. The day after he does that, he disappears. The rest of the clan - sisters Barbara (Roberts), Ivy (Julianne Nicholson), and Karen (Juliette Lewis), come home to visit with their mother, and they bring their estranged husband (Barbara) and fiance (Karen), as well as some pretty big secrets. Their aunt Mattie Fay (Margo Ma…

Movie Review: Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor is based on a true story, that of a June 2005 mission entitled "Operation Red Wings." In the mission, which failed, SEAL Team 10 was tasked with capturing or killing Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd. I had not heard of their mission before this movie, but it's definitely an interesting story, and Lone Survivor should help bring more attention to it, as well as the brave men who served in the mission.

The film starts out rather unusually, with a few main characters instead of just one on which it focuses. Lieutenant Kristensen (Eric Bana) is one of the leaders on base, and it shows him with his fellow SEALs: Mike Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch), Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Matt Axelson (Ben Foster), and others. We get a sense of their camaraderie and how close they all are, like a family, and they soon initiate 21-year-old Shane (Alexander Ludwig) into that family. Soon, however, the main team takes off into the woods in their attempt to ca…

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Summer in February, 1/7 at the Maple Theater (Detroit area) - 5 winners

Welcome to 2014, movie fans!

The Gathr film series giveaways continue this week, with Summer in February, playing Tuesday, January 7th, at 7:30pm at the Maple Theater (Bloomfield Hills, MI). Gathr is in the process of limiting their Detroit-area films to two per month instead of four, so make sure you get in on this contest to have a chance at winning tickets.

Film synopsis:
A sweeping romance set at a bohemian artist colony on the picturesque coasts of pre-war England, Summer In February is based on the true story of painter sir Alfred Munnings (Dominic Cooper, Mamma Mia!) And his blue-blood best friend Gilbert (Dan Stevens, "Downton Abbey"). Born into a working-class family, Munnings rises to become one of the premiere British artists of his time, winning the affection of aristocratic beauty Florence Carter-Wood (Emily Browning, Sleeping Beauty). But when Gilbert falls for Florence as well, a love triangle emerges with tragic consequences.

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