Cinderella Movie Review: Have courage and be kind

DISCLOSURE: My kids and I were given the opportunity to attend the Cinderella screening. All thoughts are 100% mine!

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“Have courage and be kind” were the last words of wisdom spoken by Ella’s mother before she died.  When I asked my ten year old daughter what her favorite part of the movie was, I expected to hear about the ball and the beautiful dresses.  Surprisingly, it was those last few moments between mother and daughter because “it was the theme that was replayed throughout the entire movie.”

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Several years after Ella’s mother passes away, her father decides to marry again and with his new wife, Lady Tremaine comes two new step-sisters, Anastasia and Drisella.  Ella calmly reminds herself of her mother’s advice as she meets them all for the first time and many other times throughout the movie, especially when her stepmother and step sisters treat her cruelly after her father dies, and even give her the nickname “Cinderella” after she falls asleep near the ashes of the fireplace one night.  As a parent, the idea that our children learn from us and follow our example wasn’t lost on me, either. The “wicked step-sisters” were petty and selfish like their mother while Ella was kind like her parents had been.

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Growing up, I loved to watch the animated version, and as an adult, it was fun to watch it come to life so to speak, and I fell in love with the story all over again!  After watching Maleficent, I was expecting some sort of plot twist, but if you’ve seen the animated version or read the story at some point, it’s the same basic storyline except we get to experience her childhood and “meet” both of her parents.  I felt like a kid again as I watched her fairy godmother transform her for the ball and as she snuck away for a few private moments with Kit, her Prince Charming, before the clock struck midnight.  It was a sweet reminder that the magic of fairytales is not just for children (and according to my son, “not just for girls, either”).  It’s still nice to have a fairytale “happily ever after” ending!  I’m a huge Downton Abbey fan, too, and it was fun to see Lady Rose as Cinderella and Daisy as an evil stepsister!

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Make sure you arrive early enough to catch Frozen Fever, which plays before the movie!  My kids and I couldn’t stop laughing as we watched the latest antics of our favorites – Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven.  We can’t WAIT for Frozen 2 to come out!

If you’ve seen the movie, what did YOU think?

Disney Planes Movie Review!

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My kids have been watching the previews for the Disney Planes Movie for weeks now and anxiously awaiting the release! They have apparently watched the previews so many times that by the time we actually went to see the movie this week, they knew all of the main characters by name before the movie even started! One of the “perks” of blogging is that I get to attend some movie screenings before the release date, and we were all excited to go see Planes earlier this week.

Disney Planes Movie Review

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If you’ve seen the movie Cars, then you will be somewhat familiar with the storyline in this movie.  Dusty Crophopper is a small town crop duster with big dreams!  He wants to win a world-wide flight competition.  Off course, the odds are stacked against him.  Not only is he a crop duster and not built for speed, but he is also afraid of heights!

During the competition, Dusty finds a trusty sidekick, El Chupacabra, who is set on winning the heart of a fellow competitor, Rochelle  Like Mater in Cars, El Chupacabra isn’t exactly socially savvy and his antics kept everyone entertained throughout the movie.  He was probably my favorite character just because you never knew what he was going to do next!  Dusty also has a nemesis, Ripslinger, who is determined to win the competition and who vows to do whatever it takes to come out on top.  Dusty has his own love interest, Ishani, who is also faced with the inner struggle of choosing between winning at all costs and being true to herself.

Like Lightning McQueen and Doc Hudson, Dusty also finds a mentor along the way.   Skipper is a World War II veteran with plenty of stories!  He helps Dusty learn some tricks of the trade and he learns a few things from Dusty along the way, too!

One of the criticisms of the movie has been that the plot line is predictable.  When you go to a Disney movie (or any children’s movie), you expect for it to be somewhat predictable.  You expect the main character to have an enemy, be faced with some sort of trial, and to come out ahead in the end.  Most children’s movies are “feel good” movies that carry a theme of a little guy coming out ahead.  If you were expecting something different, you will probably be disappointed,.  Although the storyline was comparable to Cars, the characters also had their own unique quirks.  Unlike Lightning McQueen, Dusty was a crop duster from a small town.  He had humble beginnings, and didn’t have Lightning’s arrogance which made him “likeable” from the start.  When I go to a children’s movie, I just “success” by what my kids think.  They loved it, and I laughed several times myself.  If your kids loved Cars, they’ll probably love this one, too!

If your kids loved Planes, they can keep enjoying the fun with these two interactive games:

  • Propwash Pursuit :Take control of Dusty and fly around Propwash Junction (available for desktop)
  • Jetstream Racers : Help Dusty navigate courses, earn points, and unlock more characters (available for desktop, tablet, and mobile devices)

You can also check out Disney’s Flew Tube for more video clips, Planes inspired recipes, craft ideas, and more!

Check out the trailer here:

You can follow Disney Planes on Twitter and Disney Planes on Facebook, too!

DISCLOSURE: My family was able to attend the movie screening for Planes for free. I was not compensated for this review in any way. All opinions are 100% mine!

Delivery Man coming to theaters soon!

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I’m so excited for the upcoming release of Delivery Man!  In the movie, David Wozniak, played by Vince Vaughn, learns that due to a mix-up at a fertility clinic 20 years ago, he is now the “father” to 533 children.  Plus, over 100 of the children want to find out his true identity so that they can meet them!

Check out the trailer here:

I always enjoy Vince Vaughn movies, so I can’t wait to check it out!

Monsters University Review: where it all started!

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My husband and I went on our first “date” to see Monsters Inc, so it has been a favorite movie in our house through the years.  We have all been looking forward to the release of Monsters University, and ironically the official release date is one day before our 11th wedding anniversary!  One of the benefits of being a blogger is that I get to attend movie screenings before the movies are actually released.  Unfortunately, my husband and son had to stay home because my son got hurt.  My daughter and I LOVED it, though, and I can’t wait for us to go again as a family!

Monsters University Review:  Where it All Started

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The movie starts with young Mike Wazowski (braces and all) on a field trip to see the “Scaring Floor” at Monsters Inc.  From that moment on, his dream was to attend the Scaring School at Monsters University and then become a “scarer” at Monsters Inc.  Fast forward a few years and it looks like his dream is coming true as he arrives at the university!

The movie had a few surprises.  The biggest one for me was that Mike and Sully were actually rivals in the beginning!  Mike’s role as the resident “nerd” was not overly surprising, but after seeing Monsters Inc, I was surprised the Sully started out as an arrogant “jock” trying to get by on his family’s name!  The two join together after being kicked out of Scaring School.  Their only hope at redemption is to team up with a crew of misfits to try to win the Scare Games.

Kids enjoy the antics of the monsters as they attempt to one up each other and win the competition.  Adults will enjoy it, too, and may also be reminded of some of their own college experiences along the way!  The movie teaches that dreams can come true, but not always in the way that you expect.  Mike gets his job at Monsters Inc, but not in the exact role he was hoping for! It also teaches about teamwork and shows how lasting friendships can come in unexpected ways.

To get your kids ready for the movie, enjoy some of these free activities:

Watch the trailer here:

If you’re looking for a deal on tickets, get BOGO free tickets from Fandango–> Fandango BOGO free movie tickets

DISCLOSURE:  I was invited to attend a free screening of this movie.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Home Run movie review

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Cory Brand was an up and coming baseball player who was living life in the fast lane.  When he hits rock bottom, his agent provides him with an opportunity to turn his life around.  He returns to his home town to coach his brother’s little league team and has to participate in Celebrate Recovery, a “12 step program with Jesus.”

When he returns to his hometown, Cory is forced to confront his dark past, which includes an alcoholic father and childhood abuse.  Like his father Cory has always turned to alcohol as a means of coping with his problems.  Home Run is a powerful movie with a Christian theme that focuses on finding the power to change and heal through Jesus Christ.  On his journey, Cory learns how to love baseball again and more importantly how to love himself.  One of my favorite lines in the movie was when Cory told his son that “Nothing great happens when you hold back.”  This is great advice for all of us.

Even if you have not dealt with issues of abuse or addiction, you may know someone who has, and even if you don’t, there will still be issues you can relate to.  This movie is about learning not to judge others because things aren’t always what they seem and also focuses on learning to forgive and move forward.  There are also powerful themes about parenting that we can all learn from.  One of the main characters said some things that hit me as a parent:  “It takes courage to be a parent.  It takes courage to love a child.  Parenting is not for cowards.”

It’s hard to find feel good movies with powerful themes like this one, and it’s a “must see” in my book!  Find out if your local theater will be showing the movie here–> Home Run theaters

If your theater will not be showing this movie, you can request a screening here–> Home Run Screening request

Make sure you follow them on Facebook, too, for all of the latest scoop–> Home Run movie

DISCLOSURE:  I was not provided with any compensation for providing this review.  I was given the opportunity to view an advance screening of the movie and also given a prize pack with t-shirts, books, and CDS to share with my readers.  All opinions are 100% mine!