Friday, August 8, 2014

DohVinci & My Little Pony Pop Events at Toys R Us Tomorrow

Toys R Us is having a FREE DohVinci Decorating Event on Saturday, August 9 from noon-2p at all locations. You and a friend can decorate a picture frame with DohVinci.

Have you heard about DohVinci yet? It is a new product from PlayDoh. DohVinci comes in squeezable tubes with different tips and will harden overnight allowing you to keep your creations. My fellow Michigan Blogger, Mom Among Chaos, had a review of DohVinci last week.

I suggest arriving early as they sometimes run out of materials for popular events. My local store will often have a line for the event about 10 minutes before it begins.

In addition, you will have a chance to check out the new My Little Pony Pop toys. These toys allow you to customize the ponies.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy: Our Review, Why We Took Our Daughter, and Her Thoughts

My husband grew up as a Marvel comic book fan, so he has been thrilled with the recent Marvel movies. About 2 years ago we began to introduce our daughter to the movies and she is mostly caught up (except for the Toby Maguire Spiderman series). We started our daughter on the movies by watching them at home and worked our way up to the theater with Iron Man 3. Until this spring, we watched the movies first (rated PG-13) and then made a decision. With Captain America, Amazing Spider Man 2, and X-Men Days of Future Past (also rated PG-13) this spring we felt confident enough with the past films in those series to let her watch the movie without watching them first.

However, with Guardians of the Galaxy which opened on Friday, we were less certain that the film would be one we would let her see based on my husband's knowledge of the comic having more adult themes. So, my husband and I wanted to watch the movie before letting her see it. Fortunately, Disney invited me and a guest (my husband) to a screening of Guardians of the Galaxy last week so we were able to determine whether our daughter could see the movie.

For background on Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel provided the following synopsis and information:
From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team—the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel's “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy's fate in the balance. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which first appeared in comic books in Marvel Super-Heroes, Issue #18 (Jan. 1969), stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Nova Prime and Benicio Del Toro as The Collector. James Gunn is the director of the film with Kevin Feige, p.g.a., producing. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Nik Korda and Stan Lee serve as executive producers. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman and releases in U.S. theaters on August 1, 2014.
Catch the extended first look below:

My husband and I loved the movie and the way that it continues the Marvel tradition of combining laughs with the action. Guardians of the Galaxy has a run-time of 2:01. The movie was very tight and did not suffer from the bloat that bogs down some movies with longer run times. If anything, the movie could have been a few minutes longer to include a little more backstory on some of the characters or more screen time for the villains. Unlike Loki in Thor/Avengers, the villains, particularly Thanos, suffered from a lack of development/screen time. I can only hope that this is a teaser to a larger role for Thanos in a future movie. While Guardians of The Galaxy is the movie least connected to the other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it contains a couple of nods to previous movies, particularly as we meet The Collector (who was introduced in a post-credit scene in Thor: The Dark World). Since my husband and I both grew up in the '80s,  it was fun to see Quill's references to '80s music, decor, and pop-culture (he left Earth in 1988). My only disappointment was how they left things with The Collector as I had unanswered questions. When we initially saw the movie at the screening, the post-credit scene was not included so I was hopeful that it would resolve some of my lingering questions (I heard it was not included in most of the advance screenings, even the premiere). We took our daughter to see the movie at a regular showing and did see the post-credits scene. While the post-scene involved The Collector, it did not answer my lingering questions.

Guardians of the Galaxy is rated PG-13 and after evaluating it at a screening, we decided to allow our daughter to see the movie. The violence is in-line with the other Marvel movies (The Avengers, The Amazing Spider Man, X-Men Days of Future Past). With the lighter tone of the Marvel movies, the violence is more comic-book than gory (as compared to the DC movies such as Batman Begins and Dark Knight which have a darker, bleaker tone and the violence is more real despite also having a PG-13 rating). The language in Guardians of the Galaxy is a bit coarser than in a movie like Captain America or Spider Man, but less than Space Balls (PG rated) which we recently watched. I also found the sexual content to be less than the Iron Man series. For some children, the beginning of the movie may be disturbing as Peter Quill's mother is dying from cancer. Since we didn't get to see the post-credit scene at the screening, I am glad that we saw the movie again with our daughter. Our screening of Guradians of the Galaxy was in 3D and I do recommend that. However, we saw a 2D showing this weekend in part because my daughter isn't always fond of wearing 3D glasses over her regular glasses.

My daughter loved the movie and is now talking of being Rocket for Halloween. Her comment was: "It was the best Marvel movie since The Avengers". She also liked Groot. My daughter really hates long boring sections of movie (aka plot bloat), so she really appreciated the tightness of Guardians of the Galaxy. She also enjoys the humorous side of the movie and even the fun music.
Disclaimer: I am compensated for sales through Fandango links. I appreciate your support of my blog by shopping through my links. 
While you will pay a service fee, it may be worth having your tickets in advance if you will be attending a crowded evening show. I know we often make a special trip to the theater to buy the tickets in advance particularly if we are on a tight time schedule, so the service fee would be worth saving the trip.

"Alice in Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass" and "A Wrinkle in Time" Movie News

Earlier this week I received a press-release about the beginning of filming "Alice in Wonderland Through The Looking Glass".  The movie is a sequel to the 2010 film Alice in Wonderland and featuring many returning characters has started primary filming for release on May 27, 2016. The press release is at the bottom of the post.

The other upcoming movie I read about last night was "A Wrinkle in Time". The movie is still in development with Frozen director/co-writer starting work on the adaptation of Madeline L'Engle's 1962 book. Ironically on Monday, I had checked "A Wrinkle in Time" out of the Library for my 8 year old daughter to read. I remember loving the book (and the sequels) as a child.

Filmmakers Return to Beloved Stories of Lewis Carroll for
All-New Adventure to Underland and Beyond

BURBANK, Calif. (Aug. 4, 2014) – Disney’s “Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass” begins principal photography this week, featuring an award-winning production team and all-star ensemble cast, including Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen. James Bobin (“The Muppets,” “Muppets Most Wanted”) helms the film, which revisits Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories with an all-new new tale that travels back to Underland—and back in Time. “Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass” is produced by Joe Roth (“Maleficent,” “Alice in Wonderland”), Jennifer Todd (“Alice In Wonderland,” “Memento”), Suzanne Todd (“Alice In Wonderland,” “Memento”) and Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Frankenweenie”). John G. Scotti (“Muppets Most Wanted,” “The Muppets”) is the executive producer; Linda Woolverton (“Maleficent,” “Alice In Wonderland,” “Beauty and the Beast”) penned the screenplay. Shooting on location and at Shepperton Studios in England, the film is slated for release on May 27, 2016.

The all-star ensemble cast includes:
Johnny Depp (“Pirates of the Caribbean” films, “Alice In Wonderland,” “Mortdecai,” “Black Mass”) returns to the big screen as the Mad Hatter—Hatter Tarrant Hightopp.
Anne Hathaway (“Les Misérables,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Alice In Wonderland,” “Rachel’s Getting Married”) portrays the White Queen—Mirana.
Mia Wasikowska (“Tracks,” “Jane Eyre” and “Alice In Wonderland”) once again appears as Alice Kingsleigh, who’s on a quest to help the Mad Hatter.
Helena Bonham Carter (“Cinderella,” “Les Misérables,” “Alice In Wonderland”) returns as the Red Queen—Iracebeth.
Rhys Ifans (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I,” “Nanny McPhee Returns,” “The Amazing Spider-Man”) fills the shoes of Zanik Hightopp, the Mad Hatter’s father.
Matt Lucas (“The Labrynth,” “Alice In Wonderland”) returns to the revelry in a dual role as Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
Ed Speleers (TV’s “Downton Abbey,” “Eragon”) portrays James Harcourt in the film.
And Sacha Baron Cohen (“Hugo,” “Les Misérables”) was called on to bring Time to the big screen.

“Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass” also boasts an extraordinary voice cast.
Stephen Fry (“24: Live Another Day,” “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” “Alice In Wonderland”) is back as the voice of the Cheshire Cat.
Toby Jones (“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Infamous,” “The Girl”) provides the voice of Wilkins.
Alan Rickman (“Harry Potter” film series, “Alice In Wonderland,” director/actor/co-writer “A Little Chaos”) returns as the voice of the Blue Caterpillar.
Michael Sheen (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” Parts 1 & 2, “Alice In Wonderland,” “The Queen,” “Frost Nixon”) once again serves as the voice of the White Rabbit.
Timothy Spall (“Mr. Turner,” “The Kings Speech,” “Harry Potter,” “Alice In Wonderland”) returns to voice Bayard.
BAFTA-winning actor, writer and comedian Paul Whitehouse (BBC’s “Harry and Paul’s Story of the 2s” and “The Fast Show”; “Alice In Wonderland,” “Corpse Bride”) is back as the March Hare.
Barbara Windsor (“Carry On,” “EastEnders,” “Alice In Wonderland”) provides the voice of Dormouse again.

The film welcomes back several key members of the “Alice In Wonderland” team, including award-winning composer Danny Elfman (“Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Big Eyes,” Silver Linings Playbook”), three-time Oscar®-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Chicago”), who won Oscar, BAFTA and Satellite awards, among others, for her work on “Alice In Wonderland,” and five-time Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Ken Ralston (“Forrest Gump,” “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”), who won a Satellite Award for best visual effects for “Alice In Wonderland.”

Bobin’s award-winning production team also includes Oscar®-winning production designer Dan Hennah (“King Kong,” “The Hobbit” trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Oscar for “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”), and Stuart Dryburgh (“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” Oscar nomination for “The Piano”) as director of photography. The film welcomes Oscar-winning make-up and hair designer Peter King (“Lord of the Rings: Return of the King,” Oscar nominee for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”), and Oscar winner Neil Corbould (“Gravity,” “Gladiator”) is special effects supervisor. Andrew Weisblum (“Noah,” Oscar nominee “Black Swan”) is editor.

FREE Monsters Vs. Alines Trolley Build & Grow Project at Lowe's This Weekend

Does your child love to build? Are they a fan of the Monsters vs. Aliens movie franchise? This weekend, Lowe's is having a Build & Grow Workshop to build a Monsters vs. Aliens Trolley. Lowe's Build and Grow workshops are free and include the craft, a free apron, goggles, a patch and more.

The Build & Grow workshop is on Saturday, August 9 at 10a. Advance registration is available online.

The Monsters vs. Aliens theme will continue on Saturday, August 24 with Monsters vs. Aliens Robot. This workshop will also be at 10a. Registration is not yet available, for this date, so I suggest checking back over the next week.

My daughter really enjoyed the Build & Grow Workshop that we attended.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Michaels Demonstration Events for Kids

This month Michaels Stores are holding several events that are good for kids.

On Saturday, May 10 participating stores will have DIY Day: Family Portrait from 1-4p. With the purchase of a canvas, you can paint a family portrait for Mom.

Then on Saturday, May 17th from noon-3p kids can show Teacher Appreciation as they create a craft for their teacher.

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