Christmas Came Early: Star Wars The Force Awakens

Star Wars The Force Awakens

A Christmas gift delivered early, is what Star Wars The Force Awakens is and what a special treat it is! When this film was announced I felt a nervous excitement. Would it feel like Star Wars? Would the story be any good? Would the original cast be back? Well, that would be yes, yes, and yes. 

We start with the familiar Star Wars scroll to fill us in on with what has happened since Endor. Pieces of the Empire, now organized as the First Order, have carried on and continued to wage war with the Rebels, now called the Resistance. It is still good versus evil. And, of course, we have a Star Wars mystery on our hands. Luke has started a new Jedi Academy, but it has been disbanded when one of his students turns on him which drives Luke into hiding. We just don’t fully know the circumstances of this event yet and no one knows exactly where he is. The rest of movie revolves around both sides getting to Luke first. We meet two new young characters along the way who help with this quest. The first Rey, a scavenger on the planet Jakku and Finn a former stormtrooper. Rae has an interesting backstory that has yet to be revealed I think. Finn provides some heart and is a character that is battling the urge to run versus standing up for something more. Finally, we have our bad guys Kylo Ren and General Hux guided by a mysterious figure named supreme leader Snoke who give good chase throughout the movie.

Star Wars The Force Awakens - Storm Trooper

This movie really felt like the Star Wars universe of episodes 4­-6. It had a lot of creatures and droids that appeared to be very well done puppets and it had the signature “lived in feel” that Star Wars pioneered. The imagery on Jakku was amazing with the backdrop of the decaying war machine relics of a battle between the Empire and the Rebels. Throughout the movie, we are treated to mementos of the previous films. I was also pleasantly surprised by some of the humor mixed in.

I enjoyed seeing the original cast’s presence in the film. The roles they were given were a satisfying bridge between the old trilogy and this new one. The new characters were engaging enough and as a member of the audience felt vested them. The story is not overly complex and easy to understand as opposed to some of the prequels. For the most part, I was able to suspend my belief as the story unfolds. After a first viewing (I plan to see this one more time in the theater) I put this at 2nd or 3rd place in the series behind Empire Strikes Back, my personal favorite, and A New Hope.

Star Wars The Force Awakens - Dark Side

With the marketing machine going strong in the toy aisles across America your kids probably know about this movie. So should you take them to see it? The movie is rated PG­13 and it gets that from what I can tell is all the blaster fire and storm troopers dying. There was a scene or two with some blood. The language seemed to be okay with no swear words that I could recall. I would recommend 7 years and older.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS arrives in theaters everywhere on December 18th!

Planning to wait in line to watch the movie? Print out this Star Wars Activity Packet to make the wait more fun!

Are you heading to the theaters this weekend to see The Force Awakens?

5 Awesome Family Movie Night Movies For Kids Coming Out Soon

5 Awesome Family Movie Night Movies For Kids Coming Out Soon

I don’t know about you but I love to hoard a few movies from my kids to bust out on lazy days. Or rainy days where we don’t have any other plans. Being able to sneak out a movie that just came out and share it with them is always fun! Plus it’s a great excuse to pop some popcorn and snuggle up. I’ve received a few DVDs for review with the kids and cannot wait to share them with you so you can enjoy your own family movie night soon!

5 Awesome Family Movie Night Movies For Kids - Minions

5 Awesome Family Movie Night Movies

1. Minions

Are your minions… er… kids as excited about Minions on DVD/Blu Ray as mine are? As soon as my daughter heard them announce that Minions were available, she hounded me every day until the day it was released. Talk about pressure when you are trying to save a movie as a Christmas gift! Now that the cat’s out of the bag and the movie won’t be a Christmas gift, we’re looking at other Minions inspired gifts Santa can place in the kids stockings this year. If you have a Minions fan in your home, you won’t want to miss these!

The breakout stars the world fell in love with in Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me global film franchise headline their own movie for the first time in Minions, available on Digital HD November 24, 2015, and on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand on December 8, 2015 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. A much anticipated prequel to the unprecedented worldwide blockbusters Despicable Me and the beloved sequel Despicable Me 2, Minions is an immensely entertaining film for all audiences called “inventive and hilarious” by Julian Roman, Movieweb.com. The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and Digital HD also come with three all-new mini-movies and even more Minions everyone will want to watch again and again especially during the busy holiday travel season.

5 Awesome Family Movie Night Movies For Kids - Wild Kratts

2. Wild Kratts Australian Adventures

PBS is releasing “WILD KRATTS: AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURES” on DVD January 5, 2016. “AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURES” includes three episodes of the PBS KIDS hit series WILD KRATTS, one of which is a bonus story! From exploring how a thorny devil drinks water to learning about a koala’s favorite food, kids can join the Kratt Brothers as they travel throughout Australia and provide insight into some amazing and unique animals.

In the first two episodes on this DVD, the Kratt Brothers explore the Australian Outback. In “Koala Balloon,” the brothers find a stranded koala in the desert. In order to help the koala the brothers work to get their new friend back to its eucalyptus forest habitat. In “Kickin’ it with the Roos,” the brothers are motoring through the Australian Outback in the createrra looking for red kangaroos. When the brothers finally locate a mob of red kangaroos, they run into trouble when the keys to the createrra are stolen by a joey. This episode also features two fascinating birds – a kookaburra and a wedge-tailed eagle!

In the bonus episode on this DVD, “Platypus Café,” the brothers learn about one of the most unusual animals in the world – the duck-billed platypus. In order to get to know this creature, Martin and Chris use the miniaturizer to shrink and enter a platypus burrow.

3. Hotel Transylvania 2

Sony Pictures Animation’s monster family box-office hit HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2, which grossed more than $430 million in theaters worldwide to date, will debut on Digital HD Dec. 22, just in time for holiday viewing and on Blu-ray 3D™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD on Jan. 12 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The Hotel Transylvania sequel reunites ‘Drac’s Pack’ of loveable characters, led by “Vampa” Drac (Adam Sandler, Grown-Ups) as they try to put Mavis (Selena Gomez, Spring Breakers) and Johnny’s (Andy Samberg, TV’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) son Dennis through a “monster-in-training” boot camp to bring out his vampire side. But little do they know that Drac’s grumpy and very old, old, old school dad Vlad (comedy legend Mel Brooks) is about to pay the family a visit to the hotel. And when Vlad finds out that his great-grandson is not a pure blood and humans are now welcome at Hotel Transylvania, it doesn’t take long for things to get batty!

4. Captain Jake and the Neverland Pirates: The Great Never Sea Conquest

Captain Jake and the Neverland Pirates: The Great Never Sea Conquest is available to Own on Disney DVD on Jan. 12! Join newly promoted Captain Jake as he unites Never Land’s all-time greatest pirates! When evil mer-witch Ezmeralda tries to take over the Never Sea by awakening the Strake, a legendary three-headed sea serpent, Jake and his crew try to intervene but encounter Lord Fathom and his sidekick Sinker. Jake forms a team of “Never Land League of Pirate Captains” to battle them all and in the process, outfitted with a magical new sword and a powerful new ship, (the Mighty Colossus), he becomes a Captain himself. Loaded with excitement, additional adventures and a powerful message about believing in yourself, this high-stakes, high-seas adventure is oceans of swashbuckling fun for everyone!

5. Snow White

Forever enchanting and inspiring, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs embodies The Walt Disney Signature Collection’s legacy of animation. In this epic story of love and friendship, the kind and beautiful princess Snow White wins the hearts of the Seven Dwarfs and triumphs over the evil plans of a wicked Queen. Share the movie called “The Greatest Animated Film Of All Time,” (American Film Institute) on Blu-ray February 2nd and on Digital HD January 19th, with special features for the entire family!

What’s your child’s favorite movie right now?

Family Movie Night Snack Recipes with Superheros and M&M’s

This shop featuring family movie night snack recipes has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HeroesEatMMs

Family Movie Night Snack Recipes with Superheros and M&M’s treats #HeroesEatMMs  #shop
We are pretty big comic fans in this house. And Marvel tops our charts of awesome. From attending San Diego Comic Con since before it was cool (we could literally walk up and buy badges the day of!), to watching every Marvel movie that comes out on the big screen, we take our superheros seriously.

With the release of Captain America: Winter Soldier on Blu-ray/DVD on September 9th, we thought it fitting to have a family movie night superhero style with delicious M&M’s® inspired treats. So I piled up our favorite Avengers movies – including Avengers, Captain America, The Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor – and let the kids choose which one they wanted to watch.

[Read more…]

20+ Delicious Casserole Recipes to Feed a Crowd

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20+ Delicious Casserole Recipes to Feed a Crowd

Have you watched Delivery Man yet? If not, definitely pick up a copy! This compilation of 20+ delicious casserole recipes to feed a crowd is inspired by this recipe. And the 533 kids underachiever David Wozniak fathered via donations made twenty years earlier!

This heartwarming comedy about a man who discovers that the shock of his life might just be the best thing that’s ever happened to him. Along the way he discovers not only his true self, but also the father he could become.

So whip up one of these casserole dishes for the family, pop in the Delivery Man Blu-Ray, and enjoy a great family night with Vince Vaughn, Cobie Smulders & Chris Pratt. It’s one the whole family will enjoy. [Read more…]



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