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

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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

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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”

Movie Review by Kristin: SKY | #skymovie #moviereview

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Happy Saturday, everyone!

I was finally able to catch SKY on Netflix yesterday and it was pretty interesting. It was definitely an indie/low budget film with very minimal dialogue and kind of left me wanting more. I hate to say that because it wasn’t necessarily due to the performances, but there was a lot missing for me, personally.

Here’s what it was about:

SYNOPSIS: Romy (Diane Kruger) is on holiday in the USA with her French husband, Richard (Gilles Lellouche). But the journey quickly turns into a settling of old scores for this worn out couple. After an ultimate fight, Romy decides to break free. She cuts off her ties to a stable and secure life that has become alienating and escapes to the unknown where she meets Diego (Norman Reedus).

Now, I love Norman Reedus on The Walking Dead, and I’ve seen Diane Kruger in a few projects, but I don’t feel like they were really able to shine in this one. Not because of their respective performances, per say, but because we didn’t even get Norman Reedus until midway through the movie. I also didn’t understand why Lou Diamond Phillips played such a tiny role in this movie. We literally say him for a split second, which was odd. As I mentioned, there was very minimal dialogue, so I don’t feel like we were really on the ride with the characters. The relationship between Romy (aka Rabbit) and Diego was obvious in some parts, but I was curious to know how much time had passed since they’d met. The majority of their “relationship” seems to happen off-screen, which was disappointing.

For the first half of the movie, we see Romy dealing with her abusive husband and then trying to find her own way after finding the courage to leave him. Then she meets Diego in Las Vegas and their whole time together is like, “Hey, I want you around,” and then five minutes later it was like, “Ok, I don’t want a relationship. Go away.” I understand the reason for the push and pull, but I would’ve liked to see more of the sweeter moments between them (i.e. more dialogue).

Aside from that, it wasn’t a bad movie. It was just very slow-moving. If you’re a fan of indie movies and enjoy the slow drama, then you just might be a fan of this one.

Movie Review by Kristin | WHAT HAPPENED TO MONDAY | #whathappenedtomonday #moviereview

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Ho. Ly. Shit. Balls. This movie was CRAZY!!!

SYNOPSIS: Living outside the law in a world where families are limited to one child due to overpopulation, a set of identical septuplets face off against brutal government forces when their sister goes missing.

WHAT HAPPENED TO MONDAY stars Noomi Rapace, Glenn Close and Willem Dafoe, with Rapace playing the role of all seven siblings–Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, who all take on the persona of Karen Settman while out in public on their respective day.

This movie had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. At times it reminded me a bit of Divergent or The Hunger Games because of the dystopian setting, but it definitely stood on its own two feet. Noomi Rapace is absolutely incredible. She really tackled the personalities of all seven sisters, along with the identity they all had to uphold as Karen Settman. It was full of action from beginning to end.

I’m not sure what kind of promotion was available for this particular movie because I hadn’t heard anything about it up until this week, but it’s definitely one that should be talked about. My mouth dropped so many times during the 2 hours of insanity–which is a sign of a great movie. I would absolutely recommend it!

 

Movie Review by Kristin: IT | #ITMovie @ITMovieOfficial

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Goooooood morning!!!

It’s actually a GREAT morning because I was able to sleep after watching IT last night with the family! I don’t know why I agreed to watch that movie at night, but I did. I was tense the entire time and then took the most nerve-wracking shower I’ve ever taken in my life because I was certain that Pennywise was standing outside my shower curtain. Did I mention that I am NOT a horror movie person . . . AT ALL?!

SYNOPSIS: When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

Let me start by saying: 1) I do not like clowns. In no way, shape or form do I think a grown adult should be dressing up like that and entertaining children. lol. It’s just creepy in general. 2) As I already mentioned, I am not a horror movie fan, I don’t enjoy being scared, and I totally had to fall asleep last night watching FRIENDS on Netflix so I wouldn’t keep thinking about Pennywise the damn Dancing Clown!!

With that being said . . . the movie was actually better than I expected. I kept getting mad at the typical person walking into the basement instead of out of the house, but I digress. The majority of the cast were minors and I thought they all did a fantastic job! The script was great and they delivered the foul-mouthed lines perfectly. Jack Dylan Grazer, who plays Eddie had to be one of my favorites. The other members of the self-proclaimed  “Losers” group alongside Jack Dylan Grazer were Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Finn Wolfhard (Mike on Stranger Things), Sophia Lillis, Chosen Jacobs and Wyatt Oleff.

From watching the trailers, you would think that the sole purpose of the movie is for the kids to defeat Pennywise, but I like the little plot twist. It’s more about their fears than it is of Pennywise himself. He represents the respective fear for each of the kids, and I thought that was pretty interesting. It taught me two things: 1) Don’t let anyone know what your fear is and then maybe it won’t try to kill you, and 2) It you ever have to face your biggest fear, make sure you have the kids of Derry on your side.

Aside from being so incredible tense throughout the movie, I thought it was really good. The cast was phenomenal, the plot was interesting and the only complaint I really have is not being able to understand Pennywise a lot of the time because he constantly drooled and slurred his words. But, then again, I probably didn’t want to hear what he had to say anyway! So check it out and, as always, let me know what you thought!

 

Review | DEMI LOVATO: SIMPLY COMPLICATED | @ddlovato #SimplyComplicated

IMG_2130I was finally able to sit down and watch Demi Lovato’s documentary Simply Complicated today and it was so good!

The documentary is a YouTube Original that aired in October 2017. It currently has over 13 million views and with good reason.

It showcases Demi’s life–both the good and the bad. Through family issues, addiction, breakups and the pressure to be perfect, Demi has fought her way to almost 5 1/2 years of sobriety and is still working on finding herself in the process.

I remember sitting down and watching Sonny With a Chance, and Camp Rock with my niece when she was younger. Neither of us knew who Demi Lovato was at first, but I remember thinking that her voice was absolutely incredible. To look back on it now and to know that she hadn’t even tapped into a fraction of her full potential at that time is amazing. Looking at her on-screen, you had no idea that the person behind these characters was struggling with depression, an eating disorder and so many other underlying issues that had barely scratched the surface.

To be honest, I had no idea that things had gotten that bad for her. I knew that there were substance abuse issues, but I wasn’t really aware of the actual timeline of when everything hit rock bottom. I didn’t know the extent of the damage either. So, watching this documentary really shed light on her struggle and the struggle of those around her.

I would strongly suggest preventing your child from watching it if they’re under the age of 13 because it does touch heavily on drug use and alcohol abuse. However, I’m a firm believer in being honest with younger generations and showing them the uglier side of things so that they know what to avoid. This documentary takes an honest look at her struggles, the root of those struggles and the people who helped her through them.

One of the most touching moments for me, personally, was when she spoke about her relationship with Wilmer Valderrama. It’s clear that she still has so much love for him, and it’s nice to see them post-breakup still getting along and not having anything bad to say about one another. I can agree with her reason for needing to be alone and to learn how to depend on herself rather than someone else, but I’m secretly hoping for them to reconnect romantically. What can I say? I’m a hopeless romantic lol.

While watching Simply Complicated, I found myself teary-eyed more often than I’d like to admit. Viewers also get a bit of insight to the recording process for her working alongside her producers and manager. If you don’t walk away from this in pure awe of her vocals, you should probably check your hearing. The girl has got some VO-CALS!!

I definitely recommend watching the documentary, especially since it looks like Part Two might be happening in the near future. It’s a fantastic look at a talented young woman’s road to self-discovery, sobriety and overcoming struggles that so many of us deal with.

Check it out and, as always, let me know what you thought!

Movie Review by Kristin: HOME AGAIN | #HomeAgain_Movie #HomeAgainMovie

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Happy Friday, everyone!

I’m back with another movie review! This time I was able to put the phone down and watch HOME AGAIN with the niece and I actually really enjoyed it. Admittedly, I thought I was going to love this one, but I can’t say it’s in my top 5. I did enjoy it though, and I definitely don’t think it deserved the low rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

SYNOPSIS: Life for a single mom in Los Angeles takes an unexpected turn when she allows three young guys to move in with her. 

Our first thought about the film is that Reese Witherspoon definitely has some sort of anti-aging elixir that we all need to get our hands on. The woman does not age!

Her performance in this movie was so good! She really embodied the role of a freshly separated mom who is feeling her way through being the new head-of-household. She’s not perfect, she’s sensitive and she’s unwilling to give up on herself and her daughters. That’s something that so many women can relate to and it’s part of the charm of this movie.

The relationships she develops with Harry (Pico Alexander), George (Jon Rudnitsky) and Teddy (Nat Wolff) contribute to the charm as well. Each one fills a void that she is missing since her separation from Austin (Michael Sheen) and, although I probably wouldn’t let three strangers live in my home, it provides the near-perfect situation in Alice’s case.

HOME AGAIN has a great blend of comedy, romance and drama that leaves you wanting more. At only an hour and 37 minutes, I feel like there could’ve been at least another half hour of comedy thrown in there. It was a great watch for sure, but it didn’t completely wow me the way the trailer did.

You can grab a copy of HOME AGAIN on Digital, DVD and Blu-ray now! Check it out and let me know your thoughts!

Movie Review by Kristin: ALLIED | @AlliedMovie #AlliedMovie

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What’s up, movie lovers?

I had some time yesterday to sit down and watch a movie, so I decided to indulge my Brad Pitt-loving self and watch ALLIED on Amazon Prime. It wasn’t my favorite Brad Pitt movie of all time, but the performances were fantastic!

The movie stars Brad Pitt as Max Vatan and Marion Cotillard as Marianne Beauséjour.

SYNOPSIS: In 1942, a Canadian intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war.

Ok, so here’s what I thought . . .

The first part of the movie had a fair amount of action, but, I admit, I was hoping for a little more. Max and Marion are posing as husband and wife in order to infiltrate and, later, assassinate a German ambassador. I just felt like there was this huge buildup towards the assassination and then maybe 5 minutes where they actually put the plan into action. Personally, I was more interested in finding out who these people were and why they were put together for this particular mission. I don’t necessarily feel like we ever got that answer where Marianne was concerned though. Even the relationship between Marianne and Max felt contrived as opposed to being able to see them gradually fall in love. When Max asked her to come with him to London, I thought it was still part of a mission rather than genuine affection for her. Sure, there was some sexual tension between them in the first part of the movie, but it just didn’t feel like enough for the relationship to continue on elsewhere. I wasn’t sure what was real and what wasn’t, but maybe that was intentional.

The cinematography here was great also. You really felt like you were in the scene with the characters. One of the craziest scenes was a birth scene where nurses rush the patient out in the street during a bomb raid to deliver her baby. With ash floating around them and fire in the sky, the baby was born surrounded by clapping nurses. It was rather unrealistic, but beautifully shot!

Overall, I’m glad I caught this though. The performances by Pitt and Cotillard were fantastic, but I’m a bit biased where Brad Pitt is concerned (don’t judge me). My jaw dropped at least twice throughout the film, which is always a great thing! I would recommend watching this at least once because it definitely held my interest throughout.

I was able to watch ALLIED for free as part of my Amazon Prime membership, but it’s also available on iTunes, DVD and Blu-ray now! Check it out and let me know your thoughts!

Review: @RadioDisney Concert with @InRealLife & @SkylarStecker – Celebration, FL | #review #lifelines #irl

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Good morning, music lovers!

This past weekend (December 9-10), my niece & I headed up to Orlando from Miami, Florida to see In Real Life perform for Radio Disney at Celebration Town Center. Before I get to the review, let me give a bit of back story . . .

Over the summer, my niece became invested in a group of guys competing for a spot in the newest boy band. Every week, my mom & I sat with her and watched the performances and their Instagram lives, and became invested ourselves. As a lover of music, I enjoyed seeing this young group of guys with the drive and determination that most adults don’t possess. There was never drama between any of the boys, no petty controversies or bickering. Their families all got along and it just seemed like one big family. The final five ended up being Michael Conor, Sergio Calderon, Jr., Chance Perez, Drew Ramos and Brady Tutton.

The boys were swept into a mini promo tour as soon as the show wrapped and it was announced that they would be managed by Johnny Wright, who also manages Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys. Knowing this, we knew it was a matter of time before the boys would be making a trip to Wright’s compound in Orlando, Florida. Sadly, they made that trip in October, just ONE DAY after my niece and I left Orlando to return to Miami. She literally missed them by one day. (You can read more about our misadventures that weekend by clicking HERE). So, needless to say, I had to take another trip up to Orlando with her when it was announced that they would be performing for Radio Disney on December 9th.

Florida doesn’t get “winter weather” too often, especially not in Miami, so we were excited to hear that we’d be getting a cold front for the weekend! We drove up to Orlando Saturday morning, checked into our hotel and headed over to Celebration Town Center early so that my niece, Briana, would have a good shot at meeting the guys. She was also meeting up with another fan around her age, Cristina (aka tattoo girl lol). As soon as we met up with Cristina and her mom, Paige, we found out that she’d met the guys in Starbucks right next to where Briana and I had been sitting. She was so close yet again! (Side note: I tried to get in touch with someone about scheduling an interview with the guys for my blog, but it was such short notice and pretty much impossible to get in touch with someone from their team.)

Now let’s get to the review:

IMG_1510As we were sitting by the empty stage about four hours before the show, we heard a loud crash. The roof of the stage collapsed and missed the workers by inches. This made it impossible for the guys to come out for a proper sound check. Instead, they came out and did a mini sound check behind the stage with an audience of possibly 12 girls and their moms (& aunts). I felt like they probably could’ve come over to meet the few girls that were there in the cold so early, but they were rushed into a nearby hotel for a warmer rehearsal. They were able to give quick little hugs to a few of them before they left though. The rest of us stayed out in the cold while another stage was brought in. The girls all went over to get black wristbands that gave access to the meet and greet that would take place after the show.

After what seemed like forever, the show finally started with 15-year-old Skylar Stecker. I’d never heard of her before, but she actually has a great voice. I felt for her dancers because they looked like they were freezing the whole time. Her set was about 3-4 songs and then they took another break for what seemed like forever before In Real Life came back out to perform.

Their set was actually impressive considering they’ve only been together for a few months and only have three official songs released for download and streaming. This was their set list for the night:

That’s What I Like (Bruno Mars cover)
Tattoo
Feel This Christmas
I’ll Be Home This Christmas
Eyes Closed

The show sounded fantastic, the guys looked comfortable (despite the cold) and they seemed extra happy when they were able to point the mic out to the crowd and hear the fans singing the words back to them. That has to be one of the most rewarding parts of the music business. There is so much talent in this band, but there has even been a huge improvement with their vocals collectively since they were formed. Props to the guys for improving on choreo also! I give major credit to the people setting up the stage(s) who managed to reposition the sound equipment with no time setbacks or mishaps. It really was a great show and I’m glad I got to experience that with my niece.

There was another long wait between the end of the show and the meet and greet, and at that point the cold was almost unbearable for those of us used to Miami “winters” lol. They probably should’ve moved the meet and greet inside somewhere, but it took place out in the cold. Not many of the fans knew who Skylar Stecker was and, absolutely no disrespect to her, but I felt like they should’ve had two separate meet and greets. Instead, they had a joint one that ended up being more of a take-your-picture-and-then-keep-moving, as opposed to actually having a minute to actually meet the guys. In any case, the girls were ecstatic and the guys made them feel as special as they could in such a short amount of time.

Here are our pics with the guys & Skylar Stecker (sorry for the blurriness):

Here are some more pics from the day:

A huge THANK YOU goes out to Radio Disney for putting on this show (even though I wish it was in Miami), to In Real Life for coming out and giving 100% to their fans in the cold weather, to John Clubb for being so sweet to my niece and for giving the gifts she brought to the guys. Another shout out to the girls who became friends with my niece at the show and to Paige for being such great company! You have to love when unexpected experiences bring people together. That’s MUSIC for you!

If you ever have a chance to check out In Real Life in person, do it! They’re still extremely new, but they have such a great stage presence and they really appreciate the fans so much. That in itself proves that these guys still have that drive to succeed.

Keep it up, guys . . . the hard work is paying off!

Movie Review by Kristin: THOR: RAGNAROK | #ThorRagnarok #thor @thorofficial

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Helloooooooo, movie lovers!!

I got to see a 3-D screening of THOR: RAGNAROK last night here in Miami, and I have to say . . . this might just take the top spot for me! It’s definitely the most entertaining of the Thor movies.

Now, I might be a bit biased because I love me some Chris Hemsworth, but this movie had the perfect balance of action and comedy that I felt set it apart from the others. I don’t remember the other films being consistently funny throughout the entire two hours, but this one had everyone laughing (in a good way) for a lot of it. The interactions between Thor and Hulk were some of the best moments for me. I also loved the female presence in this one. Cate Blanchett as Hela aka the Goddess of Death, and Tessa Thompson were such bad asses in this movie and it’s nice to see women being represented as such in a genre geared towards boys and men. Women enjoy these characters and films too, so it’s nice to see them being included and represented as strong, powerful beings that can kick ass with the best of them!

The cast was fantastic, and there were even a few surprise appearances thrown in that made it even better. I’m about to throw in a spoiler alert regarding those appearances, so if you don’t want to know, skip through to the synopsis.

SPOILER ALERT: Doctor Strange played a small part in the film, Matt Damon goes uncredited but plays an actor imitating Loki.

 

SYNOPSIS: Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.

This is definitely my favorite Thor movie. If you’re contemplating whether or not to see it in 3-D, I say do it! I wear glasses all of the time, so it’s a bit of a hassle having to put those 3-D glasses on top of my own and it distorts the picture just a bit BUT the effects were great and it was still a cool experience. Whether it’s 3-D or not, I strongly suggest seeing this one in the theater. Check it out for yourself and let me know your thoughts on this comedic direction!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | #ThorRagnarok

 

 

TIM MCGRAW & FAITH HILL: Soul2Soul World Tour 2017 (Review)

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Hey there music lovers!! I’m back with another live show review! Yesterday afternoon, my niece’s mom sent me a text asking if I was a fan of country music. Now, admittedly, I love all kinds of music, but country isn’t my top choice. However, I love me some Faith Hill and Tim McGraw! When I heard she had tickets to their show last night in Sunrise, FL, I had to say YESSSSSSSS!

I invited my cowboy-boot-wearing, country-music-loving friend and we drove out in the rain to catch the show. This might’ve been the first time in my life that I went to a show where I didn’t know every song being played, but it didn’t even matter!

The show opened up with Locash, who I, personally, had never heard of before, but they sounded great. They did a fantastic job at hyping up the crowd before Faith & Tim came out, which is always a solid accomplishment for an opening act. I’m always open to new music, so I’ll definitely be checking them out now after seeing them perform live.

One thing I want to note about the show was that the visual effects and staging were SO good. I even want to say the whole set up was one of the best I’ve ever seen–and I’ve been to A LOT of live shows! There were hi-def lasers, floating lights, moving see-through banners and hi-def visuals on the huge screen on stage. I don’t think there could have been one bad seat in the house because most of the performances were put up on the screen like this:

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The vocals throughout the entire show were well worth the soggy shoes I was wearing for almost four hours (did I mention it was raining?). The two swapped off between singing duets and doing their own solo music, and everything really flowed nicely. The one thing I admire about these two is how they’ve been married for 21 years, they have three beautiful daughters, yet they still look (and act) like they’re dating. The fact that they did this joint tour together is a testament to that and it was adorable! They had so much energy throughout the entire show as well, which kept the energy in the crowd on fire the whole time!

SETLIST in Sunrise, FL – October 19, 2017

McGraw and Hill

“I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” – Aretha Franklin and George Michael cover

McGraw

“Felt Good on My Lips”

Hill

“The Lucky One”

McGraw

“I Like It, I Love It”

Hill

“The Way You Love Me”

McGraw and Hill

“Like We Never Loved at All”
“Break First”
“Telluride”
“Devil Calling Me Back”

Hill

“Free”
“This Kiss”
“Breathe”
“Wild One”
“Stronger”
“Piece of My Heart”

McGraw and Hill

“Angry All the Time”

McGraw

“One of Those Nights”
“Real Good Man”
“Shotgun Rider”
“Humble and Kind”
“Live Like You Were Dying”

McGraw and Hill

“Speak to a Girl”
“It’s Your Love”

Hill

“Mississippi Girl”

McGraw

“Something Like That”

McGraw and Hill

“I Need You”

 

You can find additional tour dates, merch, and pre-order links for the couple’s upcoming duo album titled “The Rest Of Our Life” HERE.

For anyone wondering, the show lasted about 3 1/2 hours. I would definitely suggest checking out this show, and I’d like to thank everyone at the BB&T Center for keeping everyone safe last night.

Now I’ll leave you with one of the cutest pictures I took from the show last night:

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SHOOTER | Season 1 Review | #TVreview

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Hey there, TV lovers!

If you’re thinking about catching SHOOTER on USA Network, stop thinking!! Just do it!! I recently caught the entire first season on Netflix and I’m hooked. I was a fan of the film (ft. Mark Wahlberg) and, considering the fact that Wahlberg is an Executive Producer for the show, I figured it would be a good one. I wasn’t wrong.

Ryan Phillippe plays Bob Lee Swagger perfectly. He’s a triple threat: smart, talented and family driven. Swagger, a talented sniper, will stop at nothing to protect his family after he’s framed for murdering the Ukranian President.

Phillippe also has a great supporting cast in Shantel VanSanten, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Eddie McClintock, Omar Epps, Josh Stewart and Tom Sizemore.

There’s action everywhere you look, but the action is driven (on Swagger’s side) by emotion, so there’s a good balance for everyone. To be honest, I thought this was the only season so far, so now I’m going to wrap this up and catch the second season on the USA app!

In case you need more convincing, check out the trailer for Season 1:

2017 MTV Video Music Awards Review | #VMAs #MTV

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I have to admit that, in recent years, I’ve skipped the VMAs because they just haven’t been what they used to be. This year, however, I stuck around and watched it with my niece, and while some moments were fantastic, others fell short. Here’s my take:

Katy Perry hosted the show this year and I felt like she fell a little flat. She has a great personality in that she can make fun of herself and she has a really quirky sense of humor that is rather infectious, but I feel like she might have done better with a co-host. The jokes fell flat sometimes and it felt a bit forced.

I was happy with the performances for the most part. MTV allowed some people (:::cough cough::: Fifth Harmony) to take forever giving their acceptance speeches, so they made up in time by cutting the length of some performances, which I thought was odd. In all honesty, I could’ve done without Lorde’s interpretive dancing to her new single (with no live singing whatsoever) in exchange for seeing some more awards being announced or full performances. Especially the Linkin Park tribute that Jared Leto so eloquently introduced. It’s been reported that Lorde was suffering from the flu, so if that was the reason for not actually singing, then I give her credit for still showing up. If I had the flu, my ass would’ve been in bed, under the covers with a box of tissues binge-watching something on Netflix, not jumping around on stage.

We also got an exclusive premiere of Taylor Swift’s new single, “Look What You Made Me Do.” Now, I’m all for the exclusive premieres because they’ve done that for years, but 1) Taylor Swift wasn’t even in attendance and 2) It felt like the video was like 10 minutes long. Again, I would’ve rather seen some more live performances or awards being announced.

Either way, there was a huge theme going on throughout the show where celebrities used their platform to address important issues going on in the world right now and I applaud them for speaking up without hesitation. Paris Jackson, daughter of the late Michael Jackson, used her time as a presenter to say,  “I hope we leave here tonight remembering that we must show these Nazi, white supremacist jerks in Charlottesville and all over the country that as a nation with liberty as our slogan we have zero tolerance for their violence, hatred, and their discrimination,” adding: “We must resist.”

P!nk accepted the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and used her time to speak up about self-image and how her six-year-old daughter felt she was ugly because she felt she looked like a boy.  P!nk addressed her daughter and all others struggling with self-acceptance by saying, “We take the gravel in the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so that they can see more kinds of beauty. …And you, my darling girl, are beautiful. I love you.”

One of my favorite moments was when Logic, Khalid and Alessia Cara performed “1-800-273-8255” and sent an extremely powerful message about mental health to everyone listening. The artists performed the song, whose title is the phone number to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, surrounded by a large group of suicide attempt survivors. You can watch the performance below and listen to the speech at the end for yourself (and you definitely should) OR you can read the speech here:

“I just wanna take a moment right now to thank you all so much for giving me a platform to talk about something that mainstream media doesn’t wanna talk about: mental health, anxiety, suicide, depression and so much more that I talk about on this album, from racism, discrimination, sexism, domestic violence, sexual assault and so much more. I don’t give a damn if you’re black, white or any color in between. I don’t care if you’re Christian, you’re Muslim, you’re gay, you’re straight. I am here to fight for your equality because I believe that we are all born equal, but we are not treated equally, and that is why we must fight. We must fight for the equality of every man, woman and child regardless of race, religion, color, creed and sexual orientation. So I say here and now, if you believe in this message and my message of peace, love and positivity and equality for all, then I demand that you rise to your feet and applaud, not only for yourselves, but for the foundation we are laying for our children.”

You can listen to what Brancey and I thought of the show by clicking play below:

Here are a few of my favorite performances of the night:

 

 

 

Did you watch the show? Let me know what your thoughts were and whose performances stood out to you the most!

LEATHERFACE (2017) | Trailer Review

Hey there, everyone! I’m excited to announce a new writer for According to Kristin! Andrew is a HUGE fan of horror movies and will be reviewing trailers & movies for you all to enjoy!

You can find him on Facebook HERE.

Here is his review of the trailer for LEATHERFACE, which will be released exclusively on DirecT on September 21, 2017. The film will also have a limited theatrical run and full VOD release on October 20, 2017.

leatherface_xlgSteely-eyed, perspiration running down his big bald head, and chomping at the bit for a long-sought victory, Charlie Brown grinds his foot into the mud and starts barreling down.  He’s staring down that pigskin like a bull who’s just seen every shade of red imaginable.  Moving like a freight train, the laces are now in his crosshairs, and with each passing step, his worry fades, his confidence grows, and he thinks to himself, “Maybe, just maybe this time, I’m gonna kick that freakin’ thing a mile long”.

…annnnnnd then Lucy yanks the football away again, leaving poor schmuck Chuck flat on his back.

If you’re a fan of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series, that’s pretty much been your last decade-and-a-half.  We’ve been treated to a remake no one particularly asked for, a prequel to a remake that no one particularly asked for, and let’s not forget Texas “Do Your Thing, Cuz” Chainsaw 3D, the plot-hole ridden follow-up to the original no one particularly asked for.  Despite the cynicism, each time that rusty old chainsaw revved itself up in the trailer, you couldn’t help but get excited.  Perhaps the movie ended up being actually pretty fun (2003’s Chainsaw), or a giant Lone Star mess (2013’s 3D), but trailers are made to entice, they’re made to rouse expectations, and if they draw you in to plunk down some cash, they’ve done their job.

Enter the freshly-released red-band trailer for Leatherface, Lionsgate and Millennium Films’ upcoming prequel to a 43 year-old horror legend… that yet again, no one particularly asked for.  Years of teasing would have you be right to feel cynical.  Let’s use use the Oreo theory:  1974’s classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre would be the delicious center cream portion, with 2013’s Texas Chainsaw 3D and this year’s Leatherface representing the chocolate wafers that surround it on the outside– and there’s probably more movies in this franchise than there are people who prefer the chocolate in an Oreo.

As the title would suggest, Leatherface is an origin story surrounding the mystery of the titular character, who until now, has always remained a silent, brooding force.  In the events prior to 1974’s original, four young inmates kidnap a nurse while escaping from a mental institution, and go on a bloodbath of a road trip, while being pursued by a revenge-striken lawman (Stephen Dorff).  An intriguing setup to the classic story, it sounds like it will mix some of the best elements of The Devil’s Rejects into the recipe.

Even with recent history doing everything in its power to pour cold water all over this trailer- it does deliver all the Texas Chainsaw goodies in oh-so delicious spades- a creepy lullaby soundtrack, skin mask-sewing, old decrepit barns, hanging decorative animal bones, screaming chases in the woods, that unmistakable guttural rattle of the saw, buckets of blood, and of course, a derriere-angled walk through the fields.  Leatherface’s trailer doesn’t give too much away as far as plot, but we do get some intriguing new treats– the youngest member of the Sawyer family given his first chainsaw as a birthday present, a brutal diner massacre, and a child sporting a giant pig head.  If all of that didn’t begin to win you back, there’s also the heading on the trailer that this film is directed by Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, the duo behind 2007’s blood-drenched masterpiece, Inside (À l’intérieur).

You know what?  I’m sold.  Oreos and cynicism can take a hike.  Maybe there’s the chance it’ll all end up like the recent questionable Chainsaw entries when Leatherface greets us this fall, but hike Lucy the ball for another round cause maybe, just maybe this time we’ll kick it a mile long.

– Andrew B.

 

Movie Review by Kristin: KIDNAP | #kidnapmovie @kidnapmovie

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What’s up, movie lovers??

I had a chance to check out KIDNAP last weekend and thought it was absolutely insane! If you suffer from anxiety AT ALL, proceed with caution!

SYNOPSIS: A mother stops at nothing to recover her kidnapped son.

The movie starts out with Karla (Halle Berry) working at a diner while her young son, Frankie (Sage Correa) sits at the counter. Her replacement has yet to show up, which leaves Karla alone to serve the rude customers. She finally leaves and takes Frankie to the park where there’s a carnival going on.

Karla and Frankie have a “Marco/Polo” system to keep track of where the other one is because Frankie likes to hide, but Karla steps away from her son for a moment to answer a phone call from her divorce attorney and that’s a wrap. Karla frantically searches for Frankie around the carnival and sees him being led to a car by a stranger. She chases after him, but the car speeds away. Karla jumps in her mini van and chases them.

Now, I sat there wondering what the chances were that this stranger danger was able to have a conversation with Frankie while Karla was on the phone and then had the time to casually walk over to her car with him without anyone noticing anything suspicious. That’s just my analytical mind over thinking.

In any case, Karla chases the car on the highway in a desperate attempt to get her son back. Of course, in a car chase, you have to worry about dodging other cars and accidents, running out of gas and, in Karla’s situation, a strange dude who is threatening to kill her and Frankie if she continues to chase them. He even dangles Frankie out of the car while driving.

These people definitely messed with the wrong momma!! Karla does everything in her power to get Frankie back unscathed, even if it means crashing her car and sneaking into their creepy home. She discovers that this couple has been involved in a child abduction ring within four states and manages to save Frankie and two other girls in the process.

All in all, I thought this was a good movie. Can’t say it was my favorite, but it was cool to see the lengths someone might go to in order to save their child. Movies like this typically piss me off though because in this day and age, you can’t leave your child alone for a second without the possibility of something crazy like this happening. I found myself yelling at the TV for Karla not to pick up that phone call! Or, at the very least, not to turn around where she can’t see her son sitting alone on a bench. It’s definitely an edge-of-your seat kind of film!

The performances were fantastic too. Halle Berry as a frantic mom was the epitome of a strong woman, and the abductors were EXTRA creepy.

I’d recommend it though, so check it out!