Movie Review by Kristin: THE SONG

IMG_1538

Hey there, movie lovers!

On my lunch break at work the other day, I decided to check out this movie on Hulu. I hadn’t heard of it before, but it starred Alan Powell, who I really enjoyed on this last season of Quantico. You might also recognize him as one of the former members of Christian band, Anthem Lights.

I quickly realized that this was a Christian-themed movie, which actually tied in really well with the storyline. I’m not a religious person, but I think the balance played well for viewers who are and for viewers–like me–who aren’t. With that being said, I can’t offer my opinion on how well it actually ties in with the story of King Solomon, so my opinion is solely based on the movie itself.

SYNOPSIS: An aspiring singer-songwriter’s life and marriage suffer when the song he writes for his wife propels him to stardom.

There is a heavy voice-over reciting the story of King Solomon (I only know this because I googled it lol) that I felt sort of overpowered certain scenes. Jed (Alan Powell) provides the voice-over and while his voice is great for voice-overs, I just was not grasping it in its entirety. I was more focused on what was happening in the scene.

The storyline is one that we’ve seen fairly often. An up-and-coming musician finds his muse, hits it big, gets wrapped up in the fame, ruins certain aspects of his life and then seeks redemption. However, Alan Powell does such a great job at playing the love-sick husband and the douchebag musician that his performance almost gives the story a fresh spin. The other performances were surprisingly good as well.

It wasn’t my favorite film I’ve ever seen, but it was definitely worth the hour and 56 minutes of watching it. I’m a sucker for films that include a live performance aspect, so I might be biased in saying that I did really enjoy this one.

Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

SAM SMITH: The Thrill of It All Tour 2018 | Miami, FL – 7/14/18

IMG_1290

Hello again, music lovers!

I’ve been to a lot of live shows in the past two months or so, but it’s still not enough! This time, my niece and I got to see Sam Smith’s ‘The Thrill of It All Tour’ at the American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami on July 14th. Sadly, our seats were in the nosebleeds, but it didn’t even take away from the incredible show that he put on for everyone.

The show started promptly at 8pm with his opening act for the night, Cam. Cam is a country singer who I’d never heard of before, but she has a great voice. She was interacting with the crowd throughout her set and really tried to get people to see a personal side to her. This isn’t an easy task when you know the crowd is there to see someone else. With that being said, I felt like she held her own up there! I would definitely check out her music HERE.

Sam’s set began at about 9pm and lasted almost 2 hours. I’m not sure if it’s because of where we were sitting, but the sound for this show was absolutely fantastic. Sometimes at live shows, you can’t hear what the artist is saying because of the acoustics in the venue and where your seats are. This one, however, sounded great. Here’s what the setlist for our show looked like:

  1. Burning
  2. One Last Song
  3. I’m Not the Only One
  4. Lay Me Down
  5. Omen (Disclosure cover)
  6. Nirvana / I’ve Told You Now
  7. Writing’s on the Wall
  8. Latch (Disclosure cover)
  9. Money on My Mind
  10. Like I Can
  11. Baby, You Make Me Crazy
  12. Say It First
  13. One Day at a Time
  14. Midnight Train
  15. HIM
  16. Too Good at Goodbyes

Encore:

  1. Palace
  2. Stay With Me
  3. Pray

At one point, Sam addressed the sadness in his songs by joking, “I was sitting in my home and realized how fucking depressing my music is.” He wanted to make it a point not to have us leave the room “feeling like shit” afterward and I think he succeeded.

One of my favorite moments of the night was during “I’m Not the Only One” when he put his mic down and had the entire crowd singing his words back to him. It was so loud and beautiful. Those are always my favorite moments during a live show, but this one seemed particularly moving.

There was also a fantastic moment at the end of “HIM” where the lights went out and a light bar on stage lit up in rainbow colors.

One thing that I found particularly funny was right before the encore performances. The amount of people that were walking out was puzzling. I had to ask my niece if they were new to the art that is a live show. You don’t leave until the lights come up, people!

Here are some pics I took from the show (again, I apologize for the distance lol):

To be quite honest, despite the distance of our seats from the stage, this was one of my top 3 shows I’ve ever been to (and I’ve been to A LOT). Everything about it was worth the mission getting to the AAA. If you have a chance to catch the show, I highly recommend it. You can even get the “cheap” seats and still have a great time!

Get out there and support a musician who wears his heart on his sleeve and is unapologetically proud to be who he is — a musician with true talent and a voice we all love.

Movie Review by Kristin: BRAVEN

I finally logged into my PrimeVideo app and saw that BRAVEN was featured. I’ve been wanting to check it out and now was my chance! Naturally, I couldn’t turn away because Jason Momoa. Am I right?

SYNOPSIS: A logger and his father head to their hunting cabin, hoping for a quiet weekend. Instead, they find themselves in a kill-or-be-killed stand for survival when they encounter a gang of ruthless drug traffickers.

This was a great movie. Jason Momoa is a beast as Joe Braven. It sucks that he’s sort of type casted into these tough guy roles, but the tough guy role was coupled with the family man role in this one & he balanced them perfectly.

Throughout the film, you feel this sense of urgency for the protagonists. Joe is trying to protect his daughter and his father, who is suffering from dementia. He’s trying to do the right thing for one person & it may not be the right thing for the other. It had me tense the whole time.

I would recommend checking this out. There were beautiful images shown during the opening credits that made me google where Braven was filmed lol. Google’s answer was Newfoundland, Canada (thanks, Google). The storyline was interesting and I think it was executed very well.

Check it out & let me know what you thought!

Review: BELIEVER – A Documentary From Dan Reynolds (Imagine Dragons) on HBO

IMG_0976

I had the chance to sit down and watch BELIEVER on HBO this weekend and it was so good!

SYNOPSIS: Believer follows Mormon Dan Reynolds, frontman for the Grammy Award-winning band Imagine Dragons, as he takes on a new mission to explore how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.

Dan Reynolds (Imagine Dragons) grew up in the Mormon faith alongside his family and friends in Utah. The Mormon doctrine believes that homosexuality is a sin, and they’ve even been known to remove allies from their church. There have been some amendments to their policies over the years, but the astounding number of suicides among teenagers in the Mormon community is still rising.

This prompted Dan to team up with Tyler Glenn (Neon Trees lead singer & fellow Mormon) to look for ways to bring awareness to these situations within the Mormon community. They formed the LoveLoud Festival and this documentary follows their journey in getting the festival organized. One of my favorite parts in the documentary is when Dan’s wife, Aja, is explaining to their young daughter what it means to be gay/transgender. I explained it to my niece the exact same way when she was around the same age and I don’t regret it one bit. Because I did that when she was young, my niece has always been inclusive towards all human beings. Seeing a similar experience documented with their adorable daughter was very special.

It’s an interesting documentary, to say the least. With the help of Tyler, Aja, and several people who are a part of the Mormon community, they shed light on the things that need to change, and continue to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community.

I recommend watching it, without a doubt. As an ally to the LGBTQ community myself, I think it’s important to see how shunning a person due to their sexual orientation/preference can cause so much harm to that individual and their family. If we want to keep our brothers and sisters safe, we need to be inclusive and supportive. This documentary does a fantastic job of that.

 

I’ll leave you with this incredible tweet from Dan Reynolds via Twitter:

Movie Review by Kristin: SET IT UP

IMG_0881

Hey there, movie lovers!

I stayed up late last night to watch a romantic comedy that was recommended to me by Netflix and I have to say . . . I don’t regret it one bit. It’s honestly the rom-com we didn’t know we needed!

The film was directed by Claire Scanlon and stars Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Taye Diggs and Lucy Liu.

SYNOPSIS: Two young assistants in New York City realize they can make their lives easier by setting up their workaholics bosses to date. While trying to perpetuate this romantic ruse between their nightmare bosses, the assistants realize they might be right for each other.

I’ve gotten to a point where I kind of go into these movies with the expectation that I’m probably going to be let down by something in the end, so I was pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t a weak link in the film at all. Between the hilarious banter between Harper (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie (Glen Powell), the out-of-control behavior by Rick (Taye Diggs) and Kirsten (Lucy Liu) and the likable sidekick friends of Harper and Charlie . . . there was a perfect balance of funny and friendship and romance. Not to mention it made me want to pack my bags and move to NYC immediately.

I highly recommend checking this out when you have almost 2 hours of free time to spare. It’s an extremely likable film with a great cast that really blends the romance and comedy genre perfectly.

The film premiered on Netflix on June 15, 2018.

HARRY STYLES: Live On Tour 2018 | Ft. Lauderdale, FL – 6/9/18

IMG_0746

Hey there, music lovers!

I’m back with another concert review, and this time it’s for the highly anticipated “HARRY STYLES: Live On Tour” from his stop in South Florida on June 9, 2018.

We bought the tickets last year for my niece’s birthday when they were first released and had to wait a whole year for the show, but I have to say it was worth the wait! I’ve been to a lot of live shows and this, hands down, was the loudest I’ve ever been to. It all started when we arrived at the BB&T Center. We got there about 45 minutes prior to doors opening and this is the view we were greeted with:

IMG_0724

With that being said, I don’t think it’s necessary to arrive any earlier than the time the doors actually open. Especially if you have an actual seat. If you have general admission, however, I would advise getting there EXTRA early, unless you’d like to wait for a crowd like this to get in before you do. Also, take into consideration that everyone in front of you has to get through metal detectors, bag checks, etc. Another observation was that there were several merch tables set up inside the BB&T Center and each one had extremely long lines.

After braving the lines for merch, we sat in our seats and waited and waited. At one point, they played “Olivia” by One Direction and the crowd went nuts. They sang every word at the top of their lungs — you would’ve thought 1D was out on that stage singing with them. My niece decided she wanted more merch, so her mom and I went out to brave the lines again and missed the start of Kacey Musgraves’ set. We got to see her halfway through though and she was great. She even sang “Tearin’ Up My Heart” by *NSYNC, so she had my vote lol.

IMG_0744
Via Harry Styles on Twitter | Ft. Lauderdale, FL 6/9/18

Once the lights went down the crowd went crazy once again. Harry’s first song began to play and then . . . silence. There must have been some technical difficulties, so the spotlights cut off, the music stopped playing and all the lights came back on. Once everything was sorted out, the show went on without a hitch. It was actually very good! At one point, Harry walks down the middle of the crowd to a B Stage in the back of the venue. Here’s what that looked like:

IMG_0682

His stage set-up was great, the lights were fantastic and the vocals were on point the entire time. There was a nostalgic vibe to the whole set-up that fits the vibe of the album.

At certain points throughout the show, he would take some time to talk to people in the crowd and thank everyone for supporting him and the music, which was nice. During one of his songs, the crowd held up the flashlights on their phones and the whole venue lit up in rainbow colors. I was kinda salty that we weren’t informed about it lol, but it was a really special moment in the show. Here’s our view of what it looked like:

IMG_0735

Here’s the set-list for our show here in South Florida:

  1. Only Angel
  2. Woman
  3. Ever Since New York
  4. Two Ghosts
  5. Carolina
  6. Stockholm Syndrome (One Direction cover)
  7. Just a Little Bit of Your Heart (Ariana Grande cover)
  8. Medicine
  9. Meet Me in the Hallway
  10. Sweet Creature (on B Stage)
  11. If I Could Fly (One Direction cover – on B Stage)
  12. Anna
  13. What Makes You Beautiful (One Direction cover)
  14. Sign of the Times
  15. From the Dining Table
  16. The Chain (Fleetwood Mac cover)
  17. Kiwi

 

I highly recommend making it out to one of the remaining shows on the tour. This one was really special because we were there for my niece’s 14th birthday. The crowd was amazing and the whole vibe was positive and supportive. Not to mention that this album was actually fantastic and Harry does a great job performing it.

IMG_0745

 

 

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE: Man of the Woods Tour 2018 | Ft. Lauderdale, FL – 5/19/18

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE: Man of the Woods Tour 2018 | Ft. Lauderdale, FL – 5/19/18

Ladies and gentleman, I got to experience something incredible this past weekend. I ended up with front row tickets to The Man of the Woods Tour and it was something I will truly never forget. At one point, the first time JT stood in front of us, I felt a sharp pain in my chest and was convinced I was about to have a heart attack. Luckily, it passed and only got better from there! But, first, let me tell you how I got there:

I (finally) got my Bachelor’s Degree last August and, as a graduation gift, my aunts surprised me with tickets to see my Day 1, Justin Timberlake, on one of his stops here in South Florida. I’d been pretty bummed because the tickets were rather expensive and I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to make it to one of his shows for the first time ever. So, when my aunts surprised me with FLOOR tickets, I was stoked! This would be the first time I’ve ever had floor tickets and it was for Justin freaking Timberlake. The only issue was having to wait months for the show!

Nevertheless, May 19th finally arrived and my niece & I were getting ready to head out to the show. South Florida has had an extremely rainy past few weeks, so I was iffy about heading out early and waiting in line for doors to open while getting soaked in the rain. Doors were supposed to open at 6pm and the show was scheduled to start at 7:30pm. We got there at 4:45 and there were about 35-40 people ahead of us in the GA Floor line. Luckily, Verizon members who are enrolled in the Verizon Up Rewards program are able to enter the venues via “fast lane,” so my niece and I ended up being second in line. We got in and raced to find a good spot in the front.

IMG_0242

DJ Freestyle Steve began playing music, and then JT’s opening act, The Shadowboxers, made their way on-stage. They played about 3-4 songs and had great energy. The Shadowboxers was founded by Adam Hoffman, Matt Lipkins and Scott Tyler and is based out of Atlanta, GA. They later added Cole McSween on drums and Carlos Enamorado on bass. After a tweet from their Twitter account in 2013, telling JT to check out their cover of his song “Pusher Love Girl,” their relationship with him took flight. Their EP titled Apollo was released on March 23, 2018 and now they’re touring with him on The Man of the Woods Tour.

Justin’s set began a little after 9pm and the BB&T Center was living. As close as my niece & I were to the back stage, we were unable to see the main stage, so keep that in mind for future shows. Although I’m sure the fans up front were unable to see the stage we were at also.  The show was absolutely incredible. I’ve been to a lot of concerts at the BB&T Center and I’ve never been to one that looked completely sold out. Even the seats behind the stage were sold out. Luckily, with JT’s current stage set-up, everyone in the audience gets a little time with him. Even the crowd behind the stage got some time with him when he went out on a little riser behind his band, The Tennessee Kids.

The lights, the lasers, the little campfire sequence, the dancing, the sound, the vibe, everything was spot-on. Here is the set-list if you’d like to brush up on your lyrics:

  1. Filthy
  2. Midnight Summer Jam
  3. LoveStoned
  4. SexyBack
  5. Man of the Woods
  6. Higher Higher
  7. Senorita
  8. Suit & Tie
  9. My Love
  10. Cry Me A River
  11. Mirrors
  12. Drink You Away
  13. Flannel
  14. Until the End of Time
  15. Dreams (performed by backup singer, Zenya Bashford)
  16. Ex-Factor (performed by backup singer, Nicole Hurst)
  17. Come Together (performed by backup singer, Kenyon Dixon)
  18. Thank God I’m A Country Boy (performed by backup singer, Jack King III)
  19. Morning Light
  20. What Goes Around . . . Comes Around
  21. Say Something
  22. Montana
  23. Summer Love
  24. Rock Your Body
  25. Supplies
  26. Like I Love You
  27. Can’t Stop the Feeling

IMG_0216Another fan had sent me this photo that lists the set list along with where each song is performed. I found this to be very accurate aside from No. 24 being performed on the opposite side listed on the map. The blue circle represents where I was for the show.

Songs 13-18 were sung around a campfire that rose from beneath the stage and some of those songs were performed by the backup singers, individually, with an assist from JT.

“Cry Me A River” was performed on all three stages and walkways that were covered with smoke.

Also, keep in mind that at times throughout the show, panels would lower and double as screens for those who might be unable to see clearly. I’m not certain because I was beneath them, but they seemed like they might obstruct the view of the actual stages a bit when they’re down. Either way, they provide cool visuals that fit the theme of the album.

“Rock Your Body” was performed off to the side (the side I was on) in the VIP section. This was done on a light-up disco floor surrounded by VIP ticket holders.

Here are some pictures I took from my cozy little spot at the show:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I might be a bit biased because, as I mentioned, Justin Timberlake is my Day 1, but I highly recommend this show. The energy was through the roof, everyone involved is so incredibly talented, and I love how interactive JT is with everyone in the room. He really tries to give everyone an experience they’ll never forget.

You can find more info, including remaining tour dates, by visiting JT’s website HERE.

THE ORIGINALS | S5E3 | “Ne Me Quitte Pas” Review [Podcast]

IMG_3764

Hello there! Welcome to The Elijah Show! Mike and I got together to talk about this Elijah-centered episode of The Originals that was actually directed by the ever-so-talented Joseph Morgan aka Klaus himself!

Again, we apologize for being a bit late in getting these out to ya’ll, but we should be back on track now for this week’s episode.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter (@ThisIsKristin_ and @mikethemovieguy) and Instagram! You can tweet us or comment on Insta and we just might read your comments on air next week.

SYNOPSIS: In the immediate aftermath of having his memory erased by Marcel, Elijah awakens to find himself in the middle of nowhere and without a clue as to who he is. Unable to control his instinctive vampire ways, Elijah encounters Antoinette, a beautiful and free-spirited vampire, who helps him navigate his new life. However, a run-in with Klaus threatens to destroy the peace he’s finally found.

Don’t forget! Send us your thoughts, favorite moments and fan theories and we’ll try to answer you On Air!

Tune in to The CW on Wednesday nights at 9/8c for more of the 5th and final season of The Originals!

THE ORIGINALS | S5E2 | “One Wrong Turn On Bourbon” Review [Podcast]

IMG_3764

Heyyyyyy…I know we’re a bit late in getting these out to ya’ll, but better late than never, right? One of us was busy taking care of two sick kiddies and it wasn’t me! So here is the first of three catch-up reviews!

Make sure to follow us on Twitter (@ThisIsKristin_ and @mikethemovieguy) and Instagram! You can tweet us or comment on Insta and we just might read your comments on air next week.

SYNOPSIS: When a mysterious disappearance brings Klaus back to New Orleans, Hope looks forward to the prospect of seeing her father again. However, when the dark magic that had been keeping them apart begins to manifest in dangerous ways across the city, Vincent turns to Ivy for guidance about what it may mean. Elsewhere, Marcel returns to New Orleans amidst increased tensions between the supernatural factions, while Freya makes a decision about her future with Keelin. Finally, Roman’s surprise visit to the Mikaelson compound forces Hope to reveal some dark truths about her family.

Send us your thoughts, favorite moments and fan theories and we’ll try to answer you On Air!

Tune in to The CW on Wednesday nights at 9/8c for more of the 5th and final season of The Originals!

THE ORIGINALS | S5E1 | “Where You Left Your Heart” Review [Podcast]

IMG_3764

Hey there, vamp fans!

Welcome back to another season recapping The Originals! Unfortunately, this is the last season for the show, but I’m sure we have a heck of a season ahead of us.

Check out the podcast below and let us know what you thought of the premiere episode!

Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter (@ThisIsKristin_ and @mikethemovieguy) and Instagram! You can tweet us or comment on Insta and we just might read your comments on air next week.

SYNOPSIS: Desperate to see her father Klaus after seven years, Hope resorts to drastic measures to bring her father back to New Orleans. Hayley attempts to minimize the fallout from Hope’s actions, but not before news of what she’s done ripples through the city. Meanwhile, Freya’s guilt over not being able to reunite her family gets in the way of her happiness with Keelin, while Rebekah struggles with her inability to fully commit to Marcel. Finally, struggling without Elijah by his side, Klaus’ murderous rampage throughout Europe leads to an unexpected encounter with Caroline Forbes.

Special shout out to our friends over on Twitter this week:

@theoriginalsaaf, @fairlyliterary, @_inthenova, @mrlsmith21, @jkimmay5, @the7thmatrix, @nerdette, @toomuchtelly, @hailqueenebony

Send us your thoughts, favorite moments and fan theories and we’ll try to answer you On Air!

Tune in to The CW on Wednesday nights at 9/8c for more of the 5th and final season of The Originals!

STARS ON ICE 2018 Tour Review | #StarsOnIce #Review

STARSONICE LogoDev Chunk CLR v3 wLines

Ice skating fascinated me at an early age. I remember stopping whatever I was doing so I could sit down to watch it with my mom whenever it was on. Scott Hamilton’s back flips were always my favorite. When I was about 11, my cousin had a birthday party at the Miami Ice Arena (which no longer exists). I was so excited to get out there and glide gracefully across the ice like Michelle Kwan, Tara Lipinski and Kristi Yamaguchi. Sadly, that did not happen. As soon as I put one skate on the ice it all went downhill & I spent the entire birthday party, by myself, holding onto the wall as I attempted to make my way around the rink. It was a complete disaster. I also recall overhearing my aunt telling someone that paying for me to attend the party was a complete waste of money. Luckily, I’ve since learned how to “skate”–if just making your way around the rink without falling or holding onto the wall is considered skating.

SOI_USA2018_13x19_BradieMy love and appreciation for ice skating was renewed during the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Watching Mirai Nagasu become the first U.S. woman to land the triple axel in the Olympics; Maia & Alex Shibutani (#ShibSibs) winning the bronze medal in ice dancing; Team USA winning the bronze in the team event; Nathan Chen’s redemption after a devastating short program to land SIX quads in his long program, and watching Adam Rippon’s flawless routines and hilarious interviews while welcoming him into our hearts was an experience I got to share with my mom and it reignited that flame for the sport.

So, needless to say, when I saw that Stars On Ice would be making its way down to South Florida, I just had to buy tickets–especially considering the fact that my birthday was the day after the show. It’s like the stars aligned!

The tour kicked off in Ft. Myers on April 6th, with a follow-up show in Orlando April 7th that was filmed for television (check your local listings for Saturday, April 14th). Skaters included Olympic Bronze Medalists Maia & Alex Shibutani and members of America’s Olympic Bronze Medal-winning team Nathan Chen, Adam Rippon, Mirai Nagasu, Bradie Tennell and Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue. Plus Olympic Gold Medalists Meryl Davis & Charlie White, World Silver Medalist Ashley Wagner and U.S. Champions Jason Brown and Karen Chen.

1323356447_STARSONICEStarBNWREL[1]Our show was in Ft. Lauderdale/Sunrise, Florida on April 8th and it was nothing short of amazing. The lights reflecting off of the ice were mesmerizing, and the outfits sparkled like hundreds of tiny diamonds. (The only thing missing was Adam singing Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” but I digress.)

The show opened with a group number to P!nk’s “Raise Your Glass,” followed by individual performances from each skater. There were also mini performances sprinkled throughout the entire show with 3-6 skaters at a time. Adam joined the ShibSibs for one song; Zachary, Madison, Meryl, Charlie, Nathan & Ashley combined forces to Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”; a beautiful performance featuring Ashley, Karen, Bradie and Madison; there was a girls only number, and an energetic boys only number to Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still.” You can also expect a brief 20-minute intermission in the middle of the show that returns with more individual performances and a group number that closes the show. Some of the other songs you can expect to hear during the show are “Remedy” by Adele and “Let Me Think About It” by Ida Corr (Adam Rippon), “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake (Jason Brown), “Elastic Heart” by Sia (Meryl & Charlie), “Never Enough” by Loren Allred (Karen Chen), “This Is Me” by The Greatest Showman Cast (Bradie Tennell), “Nemesis” by Benjamin Clementine (Nathan Chen), plus songs from P!nk (Ashley Wagner), Wicked on Broadway (Mirai Nagasu), Hamilton on Broadway and more.

Sadly, I missed Nathan Chen’s quad in person because workers at the BB&T Center kept walking down to stop people from recording videos on their phones and were blocking my view, BUT I know it happened because everyone went nuts. The atmosphere was amazing and it was nice to see people of all ages and backgrounds in one room–just don’t try to record video because it does distract from other’s experiences. There’s a strict policy against flash photography and video recording, so just don’t.

Since our show took place the day before my birthday, I splurged a bit and bought Meet & Greet tickets for my niece and I. When we finally made our way to the room where it was taking place, the skaters were all seated at tables waiting to sign their lives away. You have the opportunity to speak with each skater, have them sign autographs and take photos. It wasn’t like other “meet & greets” where someone is standing there rushing you through the process. You actually got to meet them, which was nice. Everyone was so kind. Taking into consideration the fact that they’d just completed their third show of the weekend and had to wait until the meet & greet was over so they could eat, I was surprised at the level of kindness they all had for everyone.

Stars On Ice is a show I highly recommend to people of all ages. The music was great, the atmosphere was so positive, and the skating was phenomenal. The entire event is put together so well. Meet and greet tickets are sold out for the remaining shows on the tour, but the show itself is well worth the money. You’re guaranteed to be in awe of the grace, beauty and talent of these skaters on and off the ice.

You can find more information regarding skaters, tickets and merch by visiting the Stars On Ice official site HERE.

You can also click HERE to help Adam Rippon on his quest to raise funds for GLAAD‘s youth program.

 

 

Movie Review by Kristin: GIFTED | #GiftedMovie

IMG_3145

Hello, movie lovers!!

I’ve been wanting to see GIFTED for so long, and I finally got to watch it last night! I absolutely loved it! The cast was phenomenal and Mckenna Grace is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

SYNOPSIS: Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy – his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) – in a coastal town in Florida. Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the 7-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother, Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary.

To be quite honest, this didn’t even feel like a movie. This felt like I was a spirit observing a beautiful relationship between an uncle and his niece. The acting didn’t feel forced at all and Mckenna’s performance didn’t just tug at my heart strings . . . she obliterated them. The on-screen chemistry between her and Chris Evans was so incredibly heartwarming. Even her relationship with their neighbor, Roberta (Octavia Spencer), was  a thing of beauty.

This film touched me on a personal level because of the relationship I have with my own niece. Sometimes you put your own life on hold to help raise someone else and I felt Frank’s struggle entirely in that respect. You want to do right by them and make sure they have the best life possible, but everyone makes mistakes. It’s how you bounce back from those mistakes that makes all the difference.

What Mckenna does as Mary is what blows you away as a viewer. She is a math prodigy who struggles to balance being a genius and being a kid. Frank, Roberta and the one-eyed cat Fred, help to keep Mary on a track that finds that balance successfully.

I caught the film on HBO, but this is one that I would definitely recommend actually buying. It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s beautiful, it’s tragic and it’s absolutely underestimated. It’s a wonderful indie film that I highly recommend!

 

Movie Review by Kristin: WONDER | #ChooseKind

IMG_2917

What’s up, movie lovers?

I finally got to watch WONDER and I have to say . . . I loved it! It’s perfect for the family, and it’s perfect to watch on your own. Doesn’t really matter how you watch it as long as you watch it!

SYNOPSIS: Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman. Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade. As his family, his new classmates, and the larger community all struggle to find their compassion and acceptance, Auggie’s extraordinary journey will unite them all and prove you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

The cast in WONDER was absolutely fantastic. Isabel (Julia Roberts), Nate (Owen Wilson) and Via (Izabela Vidovic) are a great support system to little Auggie (Jacob Tremblay) and their individual performances are amazing as well. Of course, the one who stands out the most is Auggie.

Jacob Tremblay had to undergo lots of prosthetic work to portray the character, who was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, and he does such a great job throughout the entire film. For such a young actor, he really embodied this role in every aspect.

Aside from Auggie, one of my favorite characters in WONDER was Jack Will (Noah Jupe). Jack’s character was apprehensive about Auggie at first, but once he got to know him, he realized how much he actually liked him. It think the dynamic between Jack Will and Auggie is one of the main “lessons” taught here. He was apprehensive, became friends with Auggie, went along with what the bullies were saying when Auggie wasn’t around, and then he was hurt when Auggie stopped speaking to him. It was a realistic portrayal of how kids behave at that age. Once Jack was able to see how good of a person Auggie was as opposed to the other kids, he was able to fully embrace his friend and make others do the same.

The entire movie was funny, adorable, heartwarming and realistic. Definitely a great movie to watch with your kids and a real conversation starter about how to treat others. My favorite quote from the movie comes from Auggie’s sister, Via:

“If they stare, let them stare. You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.”

Movie Review by Kristin: THE GREATEST SHOWMAN | #GreatestShowman @GreatestShowman

IMG_2340

Ladies and gentlemen, I finally got to see The Greatest Showman last night!

There’s a new movie theater that I’ve been wanting to check out and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. After work, we headed down there, grabbed a flatbread pizza and lounged in our extra comfy recliner seats. This may not come as a surprise, but I am a sucker for musicals and I’ve been so excited to watch this one–especially because one of my favorite dancers, Shannon Holtzapffel aka The Tattooed Man aka Prince Constantine is in it. But, you know, life happens and I ended up seeing it super late.

SYNOPSIS: “The Greatest Showman” is a bold and original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and the sense of wonder we feel when dreams come to life. Inspired by the ambition and imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman tells the story of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerizing spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

In any case, I really enjoyed it! The soundtrack was absolutely phenomenal and now I’m extra salty that I wasn’t able to be a part of the sing-along viewings they had recently. The movie had a great message about embracing what makes you different, and also to remain true to yourself rather than conforming to society’s idea of perfection just to fit in. I think, in this day and age, these are extremely important messages to convey to younger generations. Bullying is at an all-time high, so it’s important to teach children to be accepting of those who seem different and to be satisfied with themselves despite their own differences. Those messages were never lost throughout the one hour and forty-five minute showtime.

The singing and dancing were fantastic, the cast was great and, while the special effects could have been a bit better, I thought this was a solid musical that everyone should go out and see. Hugh Jackman was the perfect person to play P.T. Barnum. He’s energetic, he’s theatrical and he has a great voice. Fans of Wolverine might be surprised to see him in this kind of role, but most of us knew he got his start doing musicals. Zac Efron and Zendaya were also great, but that was already expected. What wasn’t expected was how good Michelle Williams was playing Barnum’s wife, Charity Barnum. I know she’s a great actress, but she was exceptionally good in this role. Keala Settle plays the role of the “bearded lady” and WOW! She has a powerhouse voice that cuts through every song she’s a part of. This is definitely not the last we’ve heard of her.

I’ve seen some mixed reviews for the film because some thought it was too cheesy. Let’s be honest with ourselves . . . name one musical that hasn’t been cheesy. I’ll wait. I think cheesiness is part of their charm and you’re kidding yourself if you expect otherwise. Go into this one with an open mind and the willingness to have a whole soundtrack stuck in your head for days because that is what will most definitely happen.

Most importantly, show this to your children. Let them dream. Let them be different. Embrace their differences and teach them to be accepting of others. They’re our future, after all.

THE RESIDENT | S1E1 “Pilot” & S1E2 “Independence Day” Review

IMG_2302

I’ve been excited about this show for weeks! I have a soft spot for medical dramas and, because I fell off the wagon with Grey’s Anatomy about 50 seasons ago, and Heartbeat was cancelled, and I can’t find Season 1 of Chicago Med anywhere, etc., I was stoked to catch this one. Especially because it stars Emily Van Camp (Revenge) and Matt Czuchry (Gilmore Girls). It seemed pretty unconventional in comparison with other medical shows, so I decided to check out some reviews ahead of the pilot episode. The overall consensus put the show at a B- so far, but I would put it at a B+ after the first two episodes. Here is the official synopsis for the show:

SHOW SYNOPSIS: The Resident centers on an idealistic young doctor who begins his first day under the supervision of a tough, brilliant senior resident who pulls the curtain back on all of the good and evil in modern day medicine. Lives may be saved or lost, but expectations will always be shattered.

Continue reading “THE RESIDENT | S1E1 “Pilot” & S1E2 “Independence Day” Review”