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Movie Review

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4 Things I Learned Screening Fighting with My Family That Have Nothing to do with Wrestling

So I’m not gonna lie to you guys, when I was given the opportunity to screen Fighting with my Family, I opened my email with confusion. It has been a LONG time since I watched anything wrestling related and I was not familiar with Paige, nor her rise to fame at all. Still, the trailer intrigued me and I decided to give it a shot, and of course the fact that Dwayne Johnson stars in the film also may have been a persuading factor. 

FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY is a heartwarming comedy based on the incredible true story of WWE Superstar Paige™. Born into a tight-knit wrestling family, Paige and her brother Zak are ecstatic when they get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try out for WWE. But when only Paige earns a spot in the competitive training program, she must leave her family and face this new, cut-throat world alone. Paige’s journey pushes her to dig deep, fight for her family, and ultimately prove to the world that what makes her different is the very thing that can make her a star.

When I finished watching the movie I was so glad that I took a chance. Fighting with My Family is so much more than a wrestling movie. You will laugh, you may cry, and you will fall in love with the “Knights”. No spoilers ahead, I’m going to tell you a few lessons that rang true when I viewed this film, and during my interview with the cast, Paige herself, and director Stephen Merchant.

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0 In Disney

Should I Take My Toddler to See Ralph Breaks the Internet? | No Spoiler Review

My family and I attended an advanced screening of Ralph Breaks the Internet. All opinions expressed are my own.

In RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET, video-game bad guy Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and best friend Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) leave the comforts of Litwak’s arcade in an attempt to save her game, Sugar Rush. Their quest takes them to the vast, uncharted world of the internet where they rely on the citizens of the internet—the Netizens—to help navigate their way. Lending a virtual hand are Yesss (voice of Taraji P. Henson), the head algorithm and the heart and soul of the trend-making site “BuzzzTube,” and Shank (voice of Gal Gadot), a tough-as-nails driver from a gritty online auto-racing game called Slaughter Race, a place Vanellope wholeheartedly embraces—so much so that Ralph worries he may lose the only friend he’s ever had.

I waited six years for this movie and it was definitely worth the wait! I contemplated long and hard about taking the boys to see  Wreck it Ralph 2. Neither of them were even born when the first one came out, and they weren’t even about to appreciate it the same way I did! But I decided to be a “good mom” and take them with us, even though it’s a school night and now it is WAY passed their bedtime. From one toddler mom to another, here’s what I thought.

How long is the movie?

The run time for Ralph Breaks the Internet is 1 hour and 54 minutes. It’s a little long, and just like with Smallfoot RJ started to get restless. If you time it for the right time of day, and follow my recommendations in my Smallfoot review, you should be fine. We went close to bedtime which probably wasn’t the best idea.

Are there any parts of the movie I should worry about?

I think this movie is pretty safe. There were a couple parts of the movie that got a little loud, but it didn’t seem to bother RJ or Zayn. There weren’t any dark or scary scenes or any thing that he seemed to be afraid of. He did mention that he didn’t like the “bad guy” at the end of the movie but I think that was more creepy than scary.

Will we ALL enjoy the movie?

Our whole family enjoyed the movie. It’s a sequel that is definitely worth the watch. The princess scene was more than I imagined it would be and I love that Disney incorporates so many important lessons within their movies. The lesson about friendship resonated with me even at 28. Everyone can learn something from Ralph and Vanellope.  All in all we all gasped, laughed and loved this movie together. It was a hit for our whole family.

Ralph Breaks the Internet – Releases in theaters everywhere November 21st 2018!

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Instant Family is a Heartwarming Reminder That Family Can Come From Anywhere

I attended a screening and press junket for Paramount’s new film Instant Family as media. All opinions expressed are my own.

With November being National Adoption Awareness Month, Paramount’s film Instant Family comes right on time. Instant family was written and directed by Sean Anders and is inspired by his own experience adopting three children with his wife. Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne give you a look a hilarious and heartwarming portrayal of what happens when their family goes from a family of two to five overnight.

Going into seeing the movie I had no idea what the fostering/adoption process was even like. Instant Family opens your eyes to the entire process and I love the direction the story takes. Lizzie, Juan and Lita are three amazing children that are taken through the foster system and moved from home to home, until Pete and Ellie happen to find and fall in love with them. The movie takes you through all stages of the fostering and adoption process, including what you may or may not expect when a birth parent is involved. You really get an opportunity to see how the process affects all parties, including extended family (the grandmas in Instant Family are HEAVILY involved LOL).

Margo Martindale in Instant Family from Paramount Pictures.

Interviewing the cast, we really got to see that the cast became a family on and off the screen. Julianna in person is the exact opposite of her character on screen (though the ketchup scene was her favorite to film) and Gustavo won my affection when he told us his favorite day on set was when they catered Mexican food (because food.. is life LOL). The entire case was dedicated to making sure the story of Instant Family was told in a way that was true and relatable not only to Sean’s story, but the story of the thousands of families that go through the foster and adoption process.

When Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one small child but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious 15 year old girl (Isabela Moner), they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must hilariously try to learn the ropes of instant parenthood in the hopes of becoming a family. INSTANT FAMILY is inspired by the real events from the life of writer/director Sean Anders, also starring Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro and Margo Martindale.

“Instant Family” – In theaters Everywhere November 16th, 2018

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You Haven’t Seen The Grinch Like This Before – #TheGrinch

My family attended an advanced screening of The Grinch. All opinions expressed belong to us! 🙂

This past Tuesday was a busy day for me. Not only did I go check out Mickey: The True Original Exhibition, but we took the boys to an advanced screening of Illumination’s new version of The Grinch. I’m not gonna lie, when I first heard there was going to be ANOTHER Grinch movie I rolled my eyes HARD. How many remakes can they make of the same freakin’ movie? But once the trailer dropped, I easily changed my mind.

4 Reasons This Version of The Grinch is Different Than Any Version You’ve Seen Before

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment

This is Universal and Illumination’s eighth movie together. Once I saw the trailer I immediately knew this version would be different. Illumination and Universal have brought us some of RJ’s favorite movies like Minions, Despicable Me, SING and Secret Life of Pets. ALL of these are movies he can quote. They are also all movies I don’t mind playing on repeat (ok, I get a little tired of Minions LOL).

Tyler the Creator

I can’t even pretend like I know a lot about Tyler the Creator, but I know he’s respected in the music genre (which is a lot nowadays because…. these kids…). You can hear a little bit of his music in the original trailer but a complete lyric trailer was released and well, i’ll let you be the judge of it. You’ve never heard “You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch” like this before.

Cindy Lou Who

Little Cindy Lou is a different kind of girl. I love that in this version of the movie you get a good look into Whoville and the personality of some of the Whos. All Cindy Lou is focused on is making her mother’s (shoutout to the nod to single mom’s!) life a little bit easier this holiday season. She is DETERMINED to speak to Santa and do just that.

The Grinch

The Grinch himself is different than any Grinch we’ve seen before. He’s still his grumpy, green, grinchy self but you can tell there’s a soft spot underlying, even before his heart grows! He also has a HUGE amount of awesome gadgets that he invented to make cave life a little less boring. It was cool seeing what he came up with when it was time to steal Christmas from Whoville.

Will you be checking out this version of The Grinch? What’s your favorite holiday movie?

ILLUMINATION PRESENTS DR. SEUSS’ THE GRINCH – Now In Theaters

Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #TheGrinch

0 In Disney

Will My Son Enjoy Disney’s The Nutcracker and The Four Realms? |No Spoiler Review|

 My family and I attended a free screening of Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. All opinions expressed are my own.  

Last night my family got to see an advance screening of Disney’s newest movie The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. To say I was excited was an understatement and I waited anxiously to get off work ALL DAY. I had told RJ in advance that we were going to see the movie because I wanted to get him excited for it even though he was excited about getting to go to the movies in general. I showed him the trailer and waited for his reaction. 

And then I asked excitedly “Do you wanna see that? And he was like… “Ummmm I wanna see The Grinch”. HA! Shut my little dreams down. But let’s remember he’s (newly) 4 and so cartoons are life. That’s all he knows. ANYWHO despite him wanting to see the Grinch and not giving a hoot about the trailer I showed him we ALL took ourselves to the screening last night.

 Please excuse me for looking atrocious, I just came from work!

Please excuse me for looking atrocious, I just came from work!

Ratings, Run Time and Synopsis

All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key—which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is rated PG and has a run time of 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Is the Nutcracker and the Four Realms appropriate for younger children?

The movie is rated PG and I think that starts at age…. 7? I think the movie is true to rating. The scene where Clara and Phillip go to the Fourth Realm is a little dark and RJ told me he didnt like it and it was scary. If you have younger kids I would just be mindful of that scene. Other than that I think it’s appropriate.

So… will my son enjoy the movie?

So even though RJ completely played me when I showed him the trailer, he loved the movie (other than the scene I mentioned). When he got home from school today he asked me could he watch it on TV LOL. The movie is honestly amazing and great for all audiences. I think the best age would be elementary aged, any older or younger and they (the boys) may not be too interested. But all in all, your whole family will love this movie!

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms releases in theaters everywhere 11.02.18!

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Should I Take My Toddler to See SMALLFOOT? |No Spoiler Review

This post is in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures.

Last month, RJ and I got to check out an advanced screening of SMALLFOOT at the Crosby Street Hotel (did you know they had a whole movie theatre in there?! Check out my friend Sanaa’s hotel review). I’m always a little hesitant about taking RJ to the movies because he’s one of those kids that yell at the screen and talk during the whole movie but thankfully the theatre was full of kids hyped up on dummies, cotton candy and popcorn so he wasn’t the only one that had EVERYTHING to say throughout the entire movie.

An animated adventure for all ages, with original music and an all-star cast, “Smallfoot” turns the Bigfoot legend upside down when a bright young Yeti finds something he thought didn’t exist—a human. News of this “smallfoot” throws the simple Yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village, in an all new story about friendship, courage and the joy of discovery. Let me give you a chance to check out the trailer below:

How long is the movie?

The running time for Smallfoot is an hour and 49 minutes. If your little gets antsy (like mine does) I’m definitely team skip the previews. Also, SNACKS. RJ is much quieter and will sit still for a lot longer when popcorn is involved. He ate his whole bucket of popcorn and then asked if we could trade. So basically, he gave me his leftover kernels and then ate all my popcorn too.

But….. Yetis, should I be concerned?

Smallfoot really is a movie for all ages! I also say this to say, my 3 year old watches and loves Jurassic park without blinking an eye. But I think its pretty safe to say that as long as Migo and Meechee stay ON the screen then your little one will be OK. With us being at a private screening they showed up to take some pictures with the kids before the movie and RJ was NOT WITH IT. But he LOVES his Meechee stuffed animal, and he gets excited whenever he sees a billboard for the movie. No permanent damage was done LOL

Will I enjoy SMALLFOOT too?

Yes!!! Lessons on lessons on lessons, okay?! I was in the movie laughing, learning and getting emotional (pisces problems) just as much as RJ. There is humor in the movie for adults and children, lessons everyone can take away and amazing songs (because who doesn’t love music). You’ll probably take away more from the movie than your little one and it opens up an amazing doorway for a few different conversations. SMALLFOOT is a movie your whole family, from younger to oldest will remember.

SMALLFOOT stomps into theaters everywhere September 28th! Get tickets to see the movie here.

So my only question now is…. are you YETI?!?! Do you plan on checking out #SMALLFOOT? Have you seen it already? What did you take away? Lets talk in the comments! xoxo.

** BONUS MOM HACK! I printed out the SMALLFOOT posters, glued them to index cards, and we use them for a memory card matching game. Thank me later! ;)**

0 In life/ Trending

It’s Been Over A Week & I’m STILL Waiting to See ‘The Greatest Showman’ AGAIN! | Movie Review

  The Greatest Showman (20th Century Fox)

The Greatest Showman (20th Century Fox)

I feel like as a mom, I find myself completely oblivious when it comes to things that aren’t Disney, Youtube or toy related. So when James told me he wanted to see The Greatest Showman first of all, I had no idea what the eff he was talking about. And admittedly even after watching the trailer I was still confused like ehhhhh a movie about the circus?? I guess…. *scratches head*

I’m pretty sure a good amount of time passed between the initial conversation we had about the movie and last weekend when we finally got to go out sans children. So when I excitedly asked what movie we should see and this was the option again, I was confused LOL. I check some reviews and got even more skeptical because if you read the reviews before seeing this movie they are SOOOOO mixed. But, I’m definitely an optimist and now I was even more curious about the movie, so I was interested to see how my few childless hours were about to play out.

 The Greatest Showman Cast (20th Century Fox)

The Greatest Showman Cast (20th Century Fox)

I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone that PT Barnum was a pretty horrible man. So if your’e going into the movie looking for an accurate depiction of his character and historical events, don’t bother. The movie itself is LOOSELY based on Barnum’s idea of the circus and focuses strongly on the ideas of acceptance, following your dreams and unapologetically being yourself (‘This is Me’). Nothing in the entire hour and 45 minutes was shocking or unpredictable but I still was entertained throughout the entire movie. And if you’re a music lover?!?! Let’s just say RJ didnt go with us to the movies but he can probably sing the entire soundtrack in order. The songs were amazing! 

 The Greatest Showman (Youtube)

The Greatest Showman (Youtube)

I dont remember the last time I left a movie and felt THAT excited. If you go into the movie looking to be entertained you definitely will not leave disappointed. And I don’t know if it’s just me getting older, but I definitely feel more emotion when I watch TV/movies now. There were points of the movie were I felt happy, sad, disappointed, angry, romanced and the emotions just never stopped. The casting, acting, music were just ALL on point and I am literally ready to go back to the movies and see this movie a time or two more. If anyone wants to watch my kids for me, you can find me there! 

Have you seen The Greatest Showman? Are you skeptical because of PT Barnum’s History? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! xoxo

0 In life

3 Lessons You’ll Want to Teach Your Kids After Seeing #PixarCOCO

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, I just saw COCO for the FIRST time and this is my takeaway from it. Carry on! 

So Zayn has a cold and RJ decided he wanted to wait until his brother was a whole 5 months old to become jealous Jesse. He wants ALL the attention and I honestly don’t blame him because sharing the people you love SUCKS. 

Anywho, since I noticed he was feeling a little bummed, I picked him up from school early the other day to take him to a “surprise”. We headed to the movies to see COCO and he was really excited! In case you have no idea what the movie is about here’s a trailer and summary: 

“Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.”

I can honestly say I loved every minute of COCO and there were multiple times I found myself ready to laugh, cry and forgetting I was in the theatre with my 3 year old LOL. I can honestly say like almost every Disney Pixar film I’ve watched I took away some REAL lessons from the film. 

 **Tiny bit of spoilers below so if you haven’t seen COCO yet, you may want to check the film out first. It’s currently playing in theaters everywhere!**

Family is everything. 

It doesn’t take long to notice the theme of family is heavily rooted within COCO. All up and through Miguel’s struggle he is constantly reminded that his family is the most important thing to remember. It’s exciting to watch him try to find himself & learning the lesson that family cannot be forgotten. 

Follow your dreams. “Seize Your Moment”.

Miguel’s family’s ban on music is CLEARLY a struggle for him. All throughout the film he expresses his desire to be a musician and is constantly reminded of his family’s hate for it. In the end, it’s his ability to stay true to himself that helps him out of the Land of the Dead to reunite him with his family and even help Mama Coco out in a special way (I CRIED at this scene).   

How people remember you after you’re gone is important. Your character determines your legacy. 

That may seem like a lesson that’s a little deep for younger kids but I still think it can be taught in a way they can understand. Miguel searched all over the Land of the Dead for Ernesto de la Cruz and it turns out he was not the man Miguel hoped he would be. Ernesto’s deceit was the face of his legacy and once he was found out, he wanted to make sure he was still remembered for the man people THOUGHT he was. 

All in all I enjoyed COCO, spending some one on one time with my big boy, and I learned something a long the way. I won all around when we saw COCO. 

Pixar’s COCO is now playing in theaters everywhere! 

Like COCO on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarCoco 

Follow COCO on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pixarcoco

Follow COCO on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pixarcoco/

Visit the official COCO website here: http://movies.disney.com/coco