My first review…of course it has to be a dooz 1c48 y. I was given a copy of the movie “The Last Song” which is the latest Nicolas Sparks book turned movie.( For synopsis and other information see IMBD. Since I hadn’t read the book as I usually do before seeing one of his movies I had nothing to compare it to; which in this case probably prevented me from shutting the movie off after 20 minutes.
Miley Cyrus shines as the star of this heartwarming coming-of-age movie that will strike your emotional chords. Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks (Dear John, The Notebook), The Last Song follows Ronnie (Cyrus) and her estranged father as he tries to restore the loving relationship they once had. But reconnecting with his rebellious daughter isn’t easy, so he chooses the one thing they still have in common — music. Complete with not-to-be-missed bonus features — the Miley Cyrus music video “When I Look At You,” exclusive interviews with the actress and more — this uplifting and touching drama about family, first loves and second chances is a heartfelt story to you won’t soon forget.
Product Description from Amazon.com
Now to be fair I love Nicolas Sparks; I like most females enjoyed “The Notebook” and “Message in a bottle” because they are the typical chick flick. He is one that you can count on for that good cry us girls love; the kind where you go through a whole box of tissues. Thus I made sure to pick up a box while at Target this afternoon… shame I didn’t have to use a single one.
Other than for the sake of this review I also kept watching because of the acting skills. Not those of Miley Cyrus (which I found to be horrible, just as bad as her singing ) but of Greg Kinnear and Bobby Coleman. Now Greg has been around for a while so I am familiar with him however Bobby Coleman was new to me. I am now a Bobby Coleman fan; even my husband was surprised at this kids acting. The interaction between the two was good, easy. Entertaining.
The rest of the movie was completely predictable; has been done a thousand times already (think Prince and Me with Julia Stiles, add a piano) and was pretty much a waste of my evening. I give it a C+ just for Bobby Coleman/ Greg Kinnear and the quirky one liners and father/ little brother acting skills they presented.
Last week Big Idea, Inc. released the newest Veggie Tales adventure, Pistachio: The Little Boy That Woodn’t, a cute retelling of the classic Pinocchio with a veggie-twist and a moral tale that’s easy to grasp. The theme of this DVD is all about listening to your parents and telling the truth – but like all Veggie Tales movies, it does so with humor and a good story. I love that the Veggie Tales DVDs always have a good lesson to be learned but rarely get too preachy.
“The storyline of Pistachio created the perfect opportunity to teach children the importance of family and listening to their parents,” said Greg Fritz, SVP of Sales and Marketing at Big Idea. “Everyone knows the story of Pinocchio and how he became a ‘real boy’, but Pistachio has a clever VeggieTales twist that incorporates elements of truth from the classic tale, while emphasizing the father-son relationship and the strength of family. Parents will resonate with the desire of ‘Gelato,’ who only wants to do what’s best for his child, while kids will see that there’s ultimately great reward in listening to them.”
My son and I both really enjoyed this cute story. It had a lot of catchy music and funny moments. The brand new Silly Song, “Where Have All The Staplers Gone,” was hilarious and gets stuck in my head a lot. It’s another great hit from Big Idea, Inc. that you’ll want to add to your collection for sure. I’d also note that this DVD is much more PG than the Disney classic it was inspired by. I know several scenes in the Disney movie have made me pause and think, “Am I really letting my three year old watch this?” but Pistachio manages to get across a similar message in shorter time and in a much more age appropriate way.
Once upon a time in the small town of Bologna-Salami , there lived a lonely toymaker named Gelato and his assistant Cricket. Gelato had no children of his own, so one day he decided to carve a little boy out of wood. Imagine Gelato’s surprise when he learned this little boy could walk…and talk…and definitely had a mind of his own! When Pistachio tries to do things his way, he lands in a “whale” of a situation! Will he decide to listen to the wisdom of a loving father in time to save his whole family from becoming fish food? Find out in this all-new adventure with a lesson about the importance of family and learning to listen.
Thanks to Big Idea, Inc. for this review opportunity. Although I did receive a DVD to review with my son, I was not monetarily compensated in any way.
Way back when, when my son was just a wee little baby, my husband and I fell in love with the original Curious George movie, starring Will Ferrell as Ted, The Man in the Yellow Hat. I remember secretly hoping that my son would love it, too. I was in luck – George is a big hit in our home. My now almost four year old loves both the movie and the PBS television show and we read a collection of the original stories at bedtime almost every night.
So when they announced that there would be a second movie, you could say I was a bit giddy. Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey has the classic charm of any good Curious George story. Here’s a quick synopsis from Universal Studios:
The world’s most beloved and inquisitive monkey is back in Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey, the fun-filled sequel to the hit animated movie. Join Curious George and The Man with the Yellow Hat as they set out on a madcap cross-country adventure to reunite Kayla, a homesick elephant, with her family. This unlikely trio faces all types of comic calamities and colorful characters and in the end, learn that with family, friends and determination, you can achieve anything. Featuring the voices of Tim Curry, Matt Lauer, Jamie Kennedy and Jerry Lewis, Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey, “proves that family, friends – and curiosity – are number one.” (Francine Brokaw, Los Angeles Family Magazine)
One of the first things I noticed was that most of the characters were voiced by different actors than the previous movie. The Man with the Yellow Hat is now voiced by Tim Curry who plays Ted in the Curious George PBS show, a very smart move. I watch the tv show so often that I almost didn’t notice the change. But I did notice that Maggie is now voiced by Nickie Bryar (rather than Drew Barrymore) and even more noticeably Mr. Bloomsberry who is now voiced by Fred Tatasciore as opposed to the infamous and irreplaceable Dick Van Dyke. I can’t say either actor did a bad job voicing their characters but the change bothered me nonetheless, especially Mr. Bloomsberry who simply sounded nothing like the Van Dyke.
In some ways, especially in the beginning, it felt like the sequel was clinging to the original movie with screenshots from the first movie being displayed as artwork in the home of Ted and George and a lot of references to the original plot. But after twenty minutes or so the movie seems to gain its bearings and I was able to mostly forget that it was a sequel. It also helped that Maggie wasn’t in very much of the movie because her character, in my opinion, was drawn very poorly. Maggie was one of my favorite characters in the original, but in Curious George 2 it was hard to look at her with those crazy bug eyes and weirdly drawn hair.
All that aside, I loved the story and was able to ignore these small details after the movie got into the thick of its own plot, which is very good. And the four year old who the movie was aimed at? He loves it and requests it frequently. I give this movie a B+ because while it will never hold up to the original in my own highly biased opinion, it tells a great story, has a lot of funny moments and entertained my kid from start to finish.
Minnie Mouse is the star of the day in the new Walt Disney Studios DVD, MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE: MINNIE’S BOW-TIQUE, which was just released today.
This DVD features four Minnie-themed stories including one never-before-seen episode, Minnie’s Pajama Party which will air in April on Playhouse Disney. My son is a really big fan of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so I was thrilled to get a copy of this DVD to review for him which has some great episodes that have quickly become favorites in our home.
In Minnie’s Bow-tique, Minnie has just opened her very own Bow-tique where she is selling beautiful bows of all kinds – from polka dots to pinstripes to “camera-bows” and
“mood-bows.” Minnie definitely has a large variety of bows – like nothing you’ve ever seen before! The gang runs into a few problems on her grand opening and use their Mousketools to catch a bunch of runaway butterfly bows and help Pete who is shopping for a present for his Aunt Mabel but has never shopped for ladies bows before.
One thing I love about these stories are the little lessons in problem solving. In Minnie’s Bee Story the gang is searching for Minnie’s friend Buzz Buzz who runs off after being scared by Donald accidentally. Everyone has ideas for how they can find Buzz Buzz and it turns into quite an adventure. In Minnie’s Pajama Party (the never before seen episode) there are several lessons about dividing things up fairly so that everyone has a good time and gets enough pie to eat and room to sleep.
The DVD also comes with a fun Minnie Magnet Bow Frame which my son loves to play with on the refrigerator and two of the episodes, ‘Minnie’s Pajama Party,’ and ‘Minnie’s Bee Story,’ include Disney’s Adventure Mode – an interactive game using the remote control with multiple play levels.
We’re big fans of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse around here and I know my son and I would both recommend this DVD to any Mickey fans in your life!
Tomorrow, January 5, Disney will release a new Winnie the Pooh DVD called Winnie the Pooh: A Valentine For You. My three year old and I had the opportunity to review this DVD, which features three great stories and even includes some paper valentines for your kids to give to their friends. We really enjoyed watching this DVD (several times) – the stories are classic Pooh – with good humor, a sweet introduction to the concept of “love” an what Valentines Day is all about, and about friendship and helping one another. All great concepts to discuss with your children, especially with Valentines Day coming up next month.
In A Valentine for You, Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Rabbit see Christopher Robin making a valentine for a girl and find he’s been bitten by a “Smitten” and is lovesick. Worried that he’ll no longer have time for them, and hoping a second bite from the love bug will cure him, they set out on a wild adventure to capture the Smitten.
In Un-Valentines Day, it’s that warm and wonderful time when Pooh and his pals like to show how much they care. But Rabbit wants to cancel Valentine’s Day because last year, he was up to his ears in the flood of cards that littered the Hundred Acre Wood. Reluctantly, everyone agrees — until someone anonymously sends Pooh a pot of honey. Suddenly, the Valentine rush is again out of control, much to the delight of all — including Rabbit.
My Hero is a new-to-DVD adventure that shows the lesson of two friends truly helping each other. When Piglet saves Tigger’s life, Tigger decides to repay the favor by being Piglet’s servant. But Tigger’s new job causes Piglet more harm than good. When Tigger saves Piglet’s life, his obligation to be the servant is erased and all is back to normal.
There is also an added bonus at the end of Un-Valentines Day, their take on The Three Little Pigs, “Three Little Piglets” that will definitely have you cracking up. This whole DVD will charm your entire family. It’s a great introduction to Pooh for any of your younger children who haven’t encountered The Hundred Acre Woods before – and longtime fans will enjoy these classic stories, with all the same charm and wit as the original tales. I definitely recommend picking this one up.
I thought Wizards were cool when I first read the Harry Potter series. I fell in love with the spells and the characters of the books. So when my daughter first began watching a show called Wizards of Waverly Place I was
more than I can explain skeptical. But we have a rule in our household that we have to at least try the things other people like. And Cayleigh (7) sure liked “Wizards!” So I watched the television show.
Yes, it’s cheesy.
The acting is not really award winning.
Plot wise it’s just okay.
Even with all those downfalls I got sucked in and had to watch the whole show. I got curious about what Alex, the lead character (played by Selena Gomez), would get herself into next. When the opportunity came to review Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie I snatched it up because it meant a movie that I knew my daughter would greatly enjoy and one that I could watch with her.
For a hint of the plot watch this video:
You got it, Alex has gotten herself into trouble again this time dragging in her brothers Max (Jake T. Austin) and a
semi dream boat though jailbait Justin (David Henrie) into the mess. She made the ultimate wish of her parents, a wish that they had never met! Watch the trials of them trying to figure out a way to reverse the spell.
This would make a great Christmas present for a child that has the Waverly Place bug. We like the Extended Edition which will be released on DVD Tuesday December 15th. The Extended features include fun extras, behind the scenes and some exclusive footage. Pre-Order it now on Amazon for 19.99.
I’ve been a fan of Veggie Tales for almost ten years now. Long before becoming a mother, in spite of a skeptical view of organized religion, Veggie Tales has always enchanted me. I might not agree with the guys behind the cucumber on everything, but I d 4000 o agree with them when it comes to ethical living and having a good sense of humor. I have enjoyed every Veggie Tales movie I’ve ever seen – those guys are creative geniuses – and I think the moral lessons they provide are invaluable to their young audience. The fact that my three year old has become a hardcore Veggie Tales fan is just icing on the decadent chocolate cake.
Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving is the first new Veggie Tales holiday DVD released in seven years. The movie tells the story of Saint Nicholas aka Santa Claus played by the newest VT character, Nicky the Pepper.
The movie opens with Junior Asparagus overcome with glee, trying to decide what to buy with the gold coin his grandparents have given him and anticipating his Christmas morning loot. Meanwhile Laura Carrot’s father finds himself in danger of losing his job on Christmas Eve – right before they are supposed to finally go shopping for their Christmas Tree. When Junior comments that they should ask Santa Claus to help Laura, Bob asks them what they think Christmas is really about and who exactly they think Santa Claus really is. Don’t worry – they aren’t planning to ruin Chistmas for anyone – rather Bob decides it is time to tell the children (and Larry) the story of Saint Nicholas, who made a discovery in Bethlehem as a child that changed Christmas forever.
I really enjoyed the overall moral lesson to this movie – Santa Claus and stockings and presents are fun, but the power of giving to someone in need is even better. Tis better to give than to receive. I wholly agree that the Christmas season gets overly commercialized and that teaching kids the importance of giving back to the community is a great idea. This year, why not give Christmas away?
Like all the Veggie Tales movies, Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving entertained me, humored me, moved me and had me questioning my beliefs. And regardless of whether I agreed with everything they said, it got me thinking and in my opinion, that’s really all that matters. It features some great new songs like “Give This Christmas Away” which was written by the critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Matthew West and performed by West and Grammy Award-winning artist Amy Grant (love her). And the newest silly song “Donuts for Benny” which is performed by Mr. Lunt was just hilarious.
I also really enjoyed browsing the special features on the DVD which include:
- “Give This Christmas Away” Operation Christmas Child music video
- Behind The Song with Matthew West and Amy Grant
- Art Gallery
- Audio Commentary
- Sing Along with Larry
- Discussion Guide
- Family Activity – “Bob & Larry’s Sugar Cookies” (see recipe at the bottom of this post)
And when the story was over, I found myself jumping onto the computer to look for volunteer opportunities near me. I think that’s the sign of a successful message, don’t you? As for my three year old – he has been quoting this movie ad nauseam since we bought it and asks to watch it daily. Luckily I love it, too, since it’s in constant rotation here now.
I think this DVD would make a great Christmas present for any young or old Veggie Tales fans in your family. You can buy the DVD along with some great Saint Nicholas stocking stuffers at Big Idea’s website. Merchandise includes a Saint Nicholas Little Golden Book, plush toy versions of Larry, Bob and Nicky, two adorable ornaments and shoes and shoe charms from Jibbitz™, a subsidiary of Crocs™. A 10-song Saint Nicholas album will also be available exclusively at iTunes, which includes “Give This Christmas Away.”
Turn your purchase into an opportunity to give:
If you purchase the Saint Nicholas DVD (which retails at $14.99) you will receive an offer inside the DVD to give a FREE VeggieTales DVD to a friend in need! Just use the information inside the DVD to log onto a special website and get a free Veggie Tales DVD to send to a friend (there is a $2.99 shipping and handling charge).
Operation Christmas Child Partnership
From “What If December Looked Different This Year?” by Deborah Evans Price and Big Idea:
“This fall, Big Idea has teamed up with Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, to help collect gifts for needy children throughout the world. More than 65,000 churches across the country will hold shoe-box gift collection events. Church leaders have the opportunity to hold a screening of Saint Nicholas where kids and families will be encouraged to “share the spirit of giving” by donating shoe-box gifts.”
“Right after watching Saint Nicholas, in the wake of being so inspired to give, that’s the perfect time to put a shoe box together,” says GRAMMY Award-winning recording artist Amy Grant, who has teamed with singer/songwriter Matthew West for the Saint Nicholas theme song “Give This Christmas Away.” “It’s love in action. It’s active learning with a great example of the joy of giving through the life of the real Saint Nicholas. And what better way to say, ‘Hey kids, we could change a life, too. We could do something just that special.’”
Are you a fan of all things Bob and Larry? Be sure to check out the Veggie Tales Facebook page and declare your fandom today!
Bob & Larry’s Yummy Christmas Cookies
- Prep Time: 20 Minutes
- Cook Time: 15 Minutes
- Ready In: 30 Minutes
- Servings: 30
“Christmastime means cookies are in the oven just for me! The smell of yummy morsels makes me want to hum “Deck The Halls” while my tummy starts to grumble.” says Larry the Cucumber ” I like to paint my cookies with colorful icing – or if time’s a wastin’, simply sprinkle ‘em with colored sugar.”
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup butter
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl combine the flour and salt with a wire whisk. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until well blended. Scrape down sides of bowl, then add the flour mixture. Blend on low speed just until combined. Do not overmix. Gather dough into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Refrigerate one hour until firm. On a floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. With cookie cutters, cut dough into desired shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Decorate with colored sugars or sprinkles. Bake for 13-15 minutes, being careful not to brown. Immediately transfer cookies with a spatula to a cool, flat surface.
What’s on repeat in our DVD Player? My Little Pony: Twinkle Wish Adventure
Since the release on October 13th, we have probably watched this movie 100x. Both my daughters love the plot and the songs, though my youngest (3) if the most enthralled with it. I’ve found that I walk into the living room where the movie is playing and Gabrielle is singing along loudly to the songs. It makes me so nostalgic to watch the new My Little Pony. I remember my days of old watching the television show and absolutely loving it. My Little Pony was my addiction of choice as a child, it was the one cartoon that could make me just sing, dance and love life. It’s so sweet to know that my children are enjoying something that I did so thoroughly. Here is more about the movie from the My Little Pony: Twinkle Wish Adventure press release:
Wishes do come true as those lovable colorful MY LITTLE PONY ponies are back in the all new animated feature length movie MY LITTLE PONY: TWINKLE WISH ADVENTURE, arriving on DVD on October 13, 2009 from Shout! Factory in collaboration with Hasbro, Inc.
MY LITTLE PONY: TWINKLE WISH ADVENTURE follows Pinkie Pie and all her pony friends on a fun-filled adventure as they discover that friendship can make wishes come true. All the ponies can’t wait for the Winter Wishes festival where the Wishing Star grants each pony one special wish. But when the Wishing Star disappears, they go on a journey to find it. Will they make it back in time for the festival? Find out by joining Pinkie Pie and all her pony friends on this magical journey of discovery.
The DVD is jam-packed with fun extras including a new animated short “Elefun and Friends,” the “Waiting for the Winter Wishes Festival” prequel, six sing-along songs, downloadable coloring sheets, cut-out pony ornaments and four fun activities.
Bonus Features Include:
“MY LITTLE PONY” Theme Song
“The Thing-A-Ma-Do Song”
“Dreams Do Come True”
“Somewhere Super New”
“That’s What Makes A Friend”
“A Wonderful Winter Song”
“Waiting For The Winter Wishes Festival” – A Prequel “Elefun and Friends” – A New Animated Short Four Downloadable
Activities: Coloring Sheet Pony Note to Santa How to Make a Snowman Cut-out Pony Ornaments
Purchase it now for those kids on your holiday list, I think they will absolutely love it. For $12.99 on Amazon.com it’s worth the buy and is a great treat for the kids (and parents).
This afternoon we took a trip to one of our favorite towns, Stoughton WI and decided to check out the Stoughton Cinema Cafe where you can watch first-run movies from the comfort of a private table with oversized swivel chairs, while eating fresh, hand-made pizza that they will bring to your table in the theater. They also have other food and drink like hot dogs, popcorn, ice cream, etc. Definitely something for everyone.
I’ve been dying to take MM to see Where The Wild Things Are since first seeing the previews ages ago. It’s a favorite book in our household so he was very excited when we told him we were going to see “The Max Movie” in the big theater – and being able to have lunch at the same time meant killing two birds with one stone and lowering the odds of a melt down in the middle of the theater if he got tired or hungry.
I’ve read some bad reviews of this movie, taking fault with the backstory (i.e. why Max was in such a wild, disagreeable mood) and overall plot deviations (how Max arrives at the Land Where The Wild Things Are and what he does while he’s there) that Spike Jonze fleshed out for the movie, and I disagree. I think Jonze did a really good job taking a 10 sentence story and turning it into a 100 minute movie. I really think they did an excellent job recreating the original ebb and flow of this story. One of my favorite things about the book is the sort of circular story telling and how the Land Where The Wild Things Are closely resembles the day Max had been having before going there. They do a similar thing in the movie, really showing how Max’s imagination creates a story loosely based off his own life, dealing with the same problems he was having at home.
I’d been worried this movie would be too scary for my three year old – I mean there are giant monsters thrashing about, and it does get a bit intense at moments but MM still loved it. He laughed and cried and stared in awe of the whole thing and when it was over he asked if we could watch it again. I think my favorite thing about this movie was my son’s experience of it. It was amazing to watch him watch it. It was the first time my husband and I were able to really witness him show empathy. He cried at the sad parts and really seemed to understand what was going on and while there were moments he looked afraid, the movie did a good job showing that those huge monstrous looking creatures were not something to be afraid of. Older children might catch on to the idea those creatures, in their own way, are just like them.
And if you remember the story, yes you will notice some changes, but the crucial blueprint of the story remains f30 the same. From house to boat to the wild to the boat to the house again. It’s all there – even the warm dinner waiting for him when he gets home. And I have to say, in some ways I think the change to some plot points was a nice thing, because you didn’t know exactly what was going to happen the whole time – it allowed you to be surprised occasionally, to feel suspenseful when you weren’t entirely sure how some things would pan out but still feel the comfort of some of those well known lines, like “Let the wild rumpus start!” or “I’ll eat you up, I love you so!” from the original story, guiding you along from beginning to end.
Overall I’d give this movie a solid B+ and our movie experience an easy A. If you are ever in Stoughton, Wisconsin, I highly recommend the Stoughton Cinema Cafe for a unique movie experience and some really delicious pizza (we had sausage and cheese).
Does your child love Hannah Montana? How about Wizards of Waverly Place? And you can’t forget the Suite Life. My daughter loves all these shows. She’s even asked to be Alex Russo from Wizards of Waverly Place for Halloween. She loves the idea of wizards. Some day soon I will be introducing her to the Harry Potter series to show her how much fun wizards can be in writing.
On September 22nd Walt Disney Studios Released the new DVD Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana. A movie that combines the three shows casts and brings in more fun for everyone. My daughter loved seeing the shows brought together in this unique way. The DVD includes three episodes that each focus on one of the shows main characters. Here is more about the new DVD:
Climb on board for fun on the high seas as three favorite Disney Channel shows come together in Wizards On Deck With Hannah Montana! The S.S. TIPTON emb 1023 arks on a triple-length comedy crossover event when Justin (David Henrie) wins a Teen Cruise to Hawaii—and a chance to meet London (Brenda Song). Both Justin and Max (Jake T. Austin) do their best to win the heiress’s affection, while Cody (Cody Sprouse) tries to win concert tickets for Bailey (Debby Ryan), and Alex (Selena Gomez) accuses Zack (Dylan Sprouse) of being a prankster. Between the kids’ pranks (who turned Justin blue?!) and crazy schemes (Alex sneaks Harper [Jennifer Stone] on board to take her make-up science class?!), the excitement goes overboard when international superstar Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) checks in on her way to a sold-out concert in Hawaii. But when Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus) loses her lucky charm anklet and her Hannah wig, are her days as the world’s biggest pop star over forever? It’s all here in Wizards On Deck With Hannah Montana with three times the fun and triple the laughs. Plus, this new full-length adventure includes exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, hilarious cast bloopers and more!
Cayleigh’s favorite part of the DVD was when Justin from Wizards of Waverly place ends up turning blue thanks to Alex’s antics. She thought it was so silly when he came out of the hot tub bright blue. I think it may have given her some ideas on how to get back at her own sister when she is older.
STREET DATE: September 22, 2009
Suggested retail price: $19.99 US; $24.99 Canadian
Rated: ‘TV-G’ (US); ‘G’ (Canada)
Run time: 68 minutes