Category: arts and entertainment

Family Movie Night 2- Wild Thornberrys Movie

thornberrys

Today wasn’t feeling great but really didn’t want to miss out on week 2 of my Family Movie Night series.  The goal behind this series is to provide a recommendation from off of Netflix stream that you can watch for FHE or a family movie night.  This week’s choice is The Wild Thornberry’s Movie.

If you haven’t seen the movie it is based on the Nickelodeon cartoon about a family that makes a nature television show in Africa.  The youngest daughter Eliza is given the ability to talk to animals but she must keep this power secret or she will lose it.

thornberrys2In this movie version Eliza is sent to England to keep her safe but she is worried about a cheetah cub she saw abducted.  She sneaks away and makes it back to Nairobi and starts on adventure to find her parents, save the animals and find the poachers.  It’s very exciting, beautifully animated with good vocal performances by Tim Curry,  Lynne Redgrave, Lacey Chabert, Marissa Tomei, Rupert Everett and more.

Quality: Original. Film Title: The Wild Thornberry's Movie. For further information: please contact your local UIP Press Office.

The music is very well done with songs from Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon to name a few.  It’s funny without being too immature and I like that the lead is a little girl who doesn’t always make all the correct choices.  She’s a well rounded believable character.  Her sister Debbie is a bit of a caricature as the snobby teen but you do see some growth from her over the course of the movie (She is kind of like a grown up Angelica from Rugrats).  She does get a lot of the good humorous lines in the movie so I don’t mind her Valley Girl character.   Darwin the monkey is also a source of a lot of laughs.

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There are some moments of peril but they are broken up by humor and I don’t think too scary for little children.

It’s a movie I think would easily work into a FHE lesson about conservation, nature, endangered species etc. Plus, you could talk about how we all have special gifts like Eliza has the gift to talk to animals. She also never gives up no matter the obstacle put in her way.

Here is the trailer.

If you have any ideas for a Netflix film you’d like me to pick for next week’s family movie night pick let me know.  Thanks and thanks for watching my review on youtube, giving it a thumbs up.  Take care.

Family Movie Night 1: Penguins of Madagascar

Hey you guys I am trying to start up a new series on my youtube channel where I pick a movie available on Netflix stream as my pick for a family movie night pick.  I know most who follow this blog are LDS and have Family Home Evening so I would love for your feedback on this.

What do you think?  Would you like me to include a lesson?  A treat recipe?  Or is it best to keep it very short?  I have found my Mom friends don’t like to listen to long videos so that’s why I kept it short.  I want to keep it fairly non-denom friendly so that anyone can have a family movie night but open for suggestions on that as well.

My idea behind using Netflix was that most families I know have Netflix stream and so it would make the film choice easy for them to pick for Family Movie Night. They wouldn’t have to go to Redbox, pay extra for a rental or the big bucks for the theater. I could do new releases if you think that would be good?  I really am just curious for your feedback.

If you think it is a good concept I would love if you shared the video with your friends/followers on social media.  Also as always any thumbs up or comments on the video are always appreciated.

Thanks in advance for that feedback and for those that have already given me feedback and shared thank you!

Movies I Think are Boring

Rachel Wagner Smilingldsgirl:

Just did a post over at the movie blog on Movies I Think are Boring. I think you will all get a kick out of it. If you aren’t following the movie blog please do. I think you will really enjoy it.

Originally posted on Reviewing All 54 Disney Animated Films And More!:

Since I started doing this blog I have noticed a lot of my favorite movies others will claim are boring and yet movies they love I will find boring.  In fact, I have moved away from using the word boring in my reviews (I call it the B word) because I find it doesn’t tell you that much.  It’s kind of like calling something nice, a bland adjective.

So what do I mean by boring?  Well, basically a movie that puts me to sleep, that I found tedious and slow.  A movie like Boyhood which others found to be boring to me was extremely compelling because its about real life.  I could have watched that for days.  Boyhood knows what it is trying to be so it is very compelling.

A lot of people find Fantasia to be boring but I do not because it is so different and it…

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Pixar Review 6- Toy Story

Rachel Wagner Smilingldsgirl:

Check out the movie blog for my review of Toy Story. I am reviewing all the Pixar films and shorts and I think you will really enjoy them. Toy Story is just the best. It had been a while since I’d seen it and I watched it 3 times for this review and was completely charmed by it.  I see why it is the classic so fondly remembered.

Originally posted on Reviewing All 54 Disney Animated Films And More!:

toy storyWhat is the great human fear? I think it is the fear of being replaced or forgotten by those we love (or even the world at large). I propose to you that is the reason why Toy Story is such a great movie.  Yes it’s a game changer in the world of animation and yes it introduced the world to 2 of the most delightful characters in movie history but at it’s core is a message that we can all relate too.

Toy Story is of course Pixar’s first animated feature film and the first CG film from any studio. After getting Oscar recognition for Tin Toy the idea of a lost toy started with John Lasseter and crew and they were able to convince Disney to sponsor their project.  It took them 5 years to make and what they came up with is one of the most likable entertaining…

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Foolishness: My Favorite Comedies

Rachel Wagner Smilingldsgirl:

I thought you guys might enjoy the list I did on my other blog of my favorite comedies in honor of April Fools

Originally posted on Reviewing All 54 Disney Animated Films And More!:

Happy April Fools!  I’m honestly not a big fan of practical jokes but I do enjoy a good laugh.  I thought given the day I would share with all of you 10 of my favorite comedies.

For these 10 I tried to pick all out comedies, not romantic comedies, dark comedies or movies like the Apartment that have comedic elements.  These are roll on the ground, laugh out loud, make me laugh every time films.  Humor is completely subjective (all films are but especially comedies) so these are just what I find most funny.  You may not and that’s cool.  Instead of just critiquing my list (easy to do) share with me your favorites and what makes you laugh.

1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail- Almost everyone I know thinks this is funny. There are so many jokes and the script is so well written. Some highlights are the…

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NYC Trip Day 3: An American in Paris

Day 3 of my New York trip was pretty simple. I had a rough time getting to sleep the night before because my cold was coming on strong and I normally have a hard time sleeping. Well, I slept in ridiculously late which Megan was kind enough to let me do.

Then we enjoyed a leisurely walk down the Manhattan streets.  It wasn’t too cold during our trip but it could be quite windy which made it feel colder. Given the winter they’ve had we certainly brought some good luck with us because at least it wasn’t snowy and freezing. P1050863 My favorite thing in New York is all the flower stores.  They are so beautiful and I love how they have different than just the ordinary boring flowers I can get in the suburbs and at low cost.

flowers

We then had delicious New York bagels! Nothing quite like them and we talked about books and movies and had a lovely time.

2015-03-13 13.00.05 Megan had an appointment with her editor that afternoon and I rested at the hotel.  My only regret on the hotel is that it didn’t have a hottub or pool.  That would have been very nice especially on my poor feet which got the beginnings of an ingrown toenail I had to work on.  Ouch!

toeLater that we went to an Italian restaurant that was reasonably priced and yummy.  I got chicken Parmesan and Megan got gnochi.

italianThe big event of the day was going to Times Square

2015-03-13 19.30.40 2015-03-13 19.32.54 2015-03-13 19.33.00And seeing the opening night premiere of the new Broadway musical An American in Paris!

an-american-in-paris-large-643x441It was an amazing show full of incredible Gershwin music. The story is minimal and sometimes it was a little hard to tell the actors from each other but I really enjoyed it.

an american in paris3 An American In Paris an american in paris2It’s probably the most dance heavy Broadway show I’ve ever seen.  Just like in the old Gene Kelly/Leslie Caron movie there are long stretches without any dialogue and just dance.  I don’t pretend to be an expert on dance but I really enjoyed watching it.  To me it seemed exceptional with choreography that really popped.

The sets were minimal but effective and the costuming was simple but it all worked.  There is also a very small cast with only 6 leads and a few ensemble performers but it had a big feel.  I think the music is so grand that it can hardly help but feel big.

At first I was worried because our balcony seats were so steep looking onto the stage below but it actually worked out great and we could see everything just fine.

2015-03-13 20.01.38 2015-03-13 19.57.19 So that was our Day 3.  It was a lot of fun and featured a show I won’t soon forget. Sometimes the simple days are the most fun!

The Oddness of Modern Community

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned on this blog I am going to be in New York next week! On Tuesday night I am taking the red eye to the Big Apple and going to be visiting until Saturday!  I am so excited because I love New York, get some time off work, see a show, visit with my sister and meet up with a bunch of friends I’ve never met before in real life.

Let me explain that last one for a second.  It’s an interesting situation.  You guys know I like the show Survivor.  I find it fascinating to look at the choices men and women make in the game and how every game is different with a different style of win (except for Sandra who won twice).  It’s now going into Season 30 and we have a very promising season with a lot of super fans after season 29 was a super snoozefest.

I would say I was a big fan at the beginning of Survivor and then picked it up again in spurts when there was a Utahn on the show and then with Heroes vs Villains I started watching again regularly.  I missed One World and Philippines but got the rest of the seasons but nobody I know is into the show, which is frustrating because it is the kind of show you want to talk about with others. 
In fact, I miss the social aspect of movies and TV.  In my 20s it was quite common for me to gather with friends and watch American Idol, Survivor, Lost or The Office.  Now that never happens.  Same thing for movies.  Most movies I go to by myself these days.

But around Season 26: Survivor Caramoan I stumbled on a podcast where former Survivors Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach were talking about the show each week and I loved it!  A lot of people don’t care for Caramoan but I love Dawn and Cochran and it was my introduction to the podcast and the Rob Has a Podcast Planet.

I think someone could enjoy Rob’s podcast even if they didn’t watch any of his shows.  Kind of like I enjoy Car Talk and I hate cars.  Rob’s just so personal, funny and engaging.  Plus, it was so much fun to get involved on the chatroom and talk about the episode.  Again, it reminded me of those times in college when media was a group experience.

Well last year Rob made a proposal to his little planet that if we would support his podcast for .25 cents an episode he would give a monthly patroncast where we could ask questions and set up a patron group to further discuss the show.  Wanting to support Rob I decided to become a patron and so I joined the facebook group at the same time.  I believe I was in the first 100 patrons in the group.  Now I don’t know how many hundreds of us there are but it is an active vibrant group with patrons from all around the world.

rhapWe even did a secret Santa last Christmas where I came up with a gift for a woman named Ana from Brazil and I received maple syrup and some bacon bowl makers from a patron named Rebekkah from Canada!  Each week we talk about whatever reality show is on (Big Brother, Amazing Race and Survivor being the big 3) but also scripted shows, movies and occasionally other silly news.  There have been a few cantankerous souls in the group and some people are too sensitive about spoilers IMO but for the most part its been great!

It sounds crazy but I really feel like it is a community of friends and it seems amazing to me something as silly as a podcast about reality TV could bring people together in a community.  It shows it really doesn’t take much to gather people together, especially in the world of social media and the internet.  But I think even in real interaction if you can find something you have in common with another person, it can be the silliest thing and yet that is enough to start a friendship and get people talking.  I’ve seen it a 100 times that a shared love of dolls, books, Judy Garland, musicals, whatever it is, it’s all it takes to get the ball rolling and create a relationship.  Get enough of those balls rolling and you have a community. Kind of amazing!

I’ve seen it with my open water swimming- how a love of the water and being outdoors brings people who have little to nothing else in common together and fast friendships are formed.  It seems to me sometimes all it takes is finding that one thing you have in common with someone, no matter how stupid, and you can make it work.

Anyway, when Rob announced they were doing a live podcast in New York on March 11th I initially dismissed it.  Who flies across the country after all to listen to a podcast?  That’s crazy talk!

But then the rest of the community kept talking about it and it sounded like so much fun. A few weeks ago I decided to look at plane flights just out of curiosity and to my surprise they weren’t half bad, and then I found a hotel which was reasonable and in a safe neighborhood.  The idea kept germinating and I finally said

“What the heck!  Why not! I’m a super predictable person and for once I’m going to do something strange and fly across the country for a podcast!”

So I got my ticket and it turns out my sister is going to come down the day after the show and we are going to spend a couple days in New York together!  It should be a ton of fun!

There is a side of me which still thinks I am nuts for going to a podcast and meeting strangers but another side is really excited (and nervous) to meet all these people I’ve interacted with over the last year.  I’ve heard their voice when they call into the podcast.  I’ve read their posts, sometimes surprisingly personal and I feel like they are friends.  I really do.

I just hope it is a good experience and people aren’t too rowdy.  I normally don’t go to places like bars or comedy clubs but it is 300 people and the girl I am sitting with doesn’t drink and there are other dry members of the group so it should be good.

I love being a part of this strange modern community so I hope it is a lot of fun.  At the very least it will be something new and different and that is a good thing.

(Plus I get to meet a whole bunch of famous Survivor contestants which I am very excited about!!!).

Have you ever been a part of a community that was unusual or strange?  Maybe played bunco with girlfriends for years or have a group of online chess players or something like that?  I’d love to hear about your experience.  Do you agree sometimes all it takes is finding the one thing you have in common with another person and a friendship can be built?

Well, I look forward to sharing the week with all of you.  Take care!