Archive for DVDs & CDs

Have You Seen Maleficent?

We had a child ask to see Maleficent as part of their birthday celebration and we obliged. We went on opening weekend. If you haven’t gone to see Maleficent yet, it is still playing in theaters near you.

Maleficent is the backdrop to a movie many of us are most familiar with, Sleeping Beauty. There is more to the story than we originally thought. I really enjoyed the way the creators gave us with the reason for Maleficent’s curse on Aurora. I think we can all resonate with a broken heart, right? And many of us can probably also relate to being betrayed. It’s what we do with that betrayal and heart break that make us stronger or weaker. Maleficent did not initially choose wisely, unfortunately, and that led to her downward spiral.

It was hard not to love the characters in Maleficent, except King Stefan. My view of King Stefan completely changed, as did my view of Maleficent. Funny, isn’t it? Angelina Jolie was amazing as this character. I actually haven’t seen many of her movies and I think the last one I saw was SALT. My husband and I enjoyed her performance in SALT, but this movie made me want to see more her work, just to compare them.

I found the relationship between Maleficent and Diaval, her pet raven interesting and the relationship she formed with Aurora perplexing. Her relationship with Aurora showed the softer side of Maleficent’s younger days and it is what ultimately brought her out of her downward spiral. One of their last scenes together brought tears to my eyes.

Maleficent Sign

We took all of our children to see Maleficent and we all loved it. It is rated PG. Our youngest just got a bit scared in the Wolf scene but that’s about it. No one had bad dreams or anything. So if you plan to see it, use your best judgement as you know your children best. Our youngest has seen so much more than our other children did at his age just because he has older siblings and he watches super heros so we knew he’d be ok.

Maleficent gets two thumbs up from us!

Learn more:

Website: disney.com/Maleficent

Like MALEFICENT on Facebook: facebook.com/DisneyMaleficent

Follow MALEFICENT on Twitter: @Maleficent

YouTube Playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTnR43JTLNs8AKNpJ4KFI6SSdpTzkcXjw

Instagram: http://instagram.com/disneystudios

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/disneystudios/maleficent/

Tumblr: http://disney.tumblr.com/

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Alone Yet Not Alone

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We have the original book Alone Yet Not Alone so when I agreed to this review I mistakenly thought it was a review of the movie that is coming out in theaters (only a select few!) this Friday, June 13. It looks really, really good! Check out the trailer below:

The book review below is written by my 15 year old daughter, B. By the way, this book is based on a true story about two sisters during the French and Indian war (1755). It is written by Tracy Leininger Craven, which is the great something granddaughter of Barbara Leininger, one of the main characters.

Alone Yet Not Alone Book Review

By “B”

This may be the “movie version” of the book Alone Yet Not Alone: Their faith became their freedom, but it is almost exactly the same as the original we own, which I haven’t read it in a while. But you will hear no complaints from me about the new version! :) The only difference is there are photos from the movie.

I’ve always admired and respected Barbara and Regina. Not just for their strength but also for their love for God and their hope.

I hope I can be as great a big sister as Barbara. She never gave up on escaping and finding Regina.

I liked how Barbara never gave up on her faith. Sure she went through trial after trial but she never gave up. She is a big inspiration to me. This book made me think, “What would I have done in her situation?” I don’t know if I would have been able to stay strong, but the knowledge of their story has helped me strengthen my own faith in God so that I can stay strong.

To learn more about the book and movie visit: http://www.aloneyetnotalone.com/

Buy it Now

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Food Choices Documentary

Michal Siewierski is an Emmy nominated TV commercial producer and Filmmaker. He is making a new documentary film called, Food Choices, after experiencing the amazing effects that a plant based diet had in his own life and health. He lost over 45 pounds. Food Choices is a film about food that connects all the dots – health, environment and animal rights – topics often controversial. This film should empower you, the viewer, with explosive and ground breaking information that could be truly life changing!

Food Choices Documentary Trailer

Michal has been running a popular Indiegogo campaign which can be seen here:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/food-choices-documentary/x/7308429

The film is scheduled to be released in March 2015 in Chicago.

To learn more, please visit:

www.foodchoicesmovie.com
www.michalsiewierski.com

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Princess Kaiulani – Movie Monday

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We watched the movie Princess Kaiulani on Amazon Prime a couple of weeks ago. It was available free with our Prime membership. Amazon describes the movie like this:

This gorgeous, sweeping historical epic tells the story of the final days of Hawaiian independence and how one young princess stood up to the impending takeover of her nation.

Wikipedia says, “This is a 2009 movie based on the life of Princess Kaʻiulani (1875–1899).”


B’s Review of Princess Kaiulani

B is our 15 year old daughter.

I’ve always liked and respected Princess Kaiulani (ka-e-oo-lani). She is a great role model for young girls. I have read about her countless times, including her biography.

I went into this movie knowing it was a Hollywood film and that it would be different. It turns out it was pretty accurate.

I had a couple of problems:

1. The romance. There really was no romance in the princess’ life. In the movie on the other hand, I felt romance was the focus. They did not need a romance in the movie. More of her past, her relationships with her family members and her fight for her country would have been nice.

2. Princess Kaiulani was a Christian and her faith was a big part of her life and her fight. In the movie, this was not so. Her faith was downplayed, I found that pretty disappointing.

There were many smaller details, but I will overlook them for now.

I really enjoyed seeing the movie. Princess Kaiulani is one of my heroes and I loved being able to see her story come to life on the screen. They did a great job with the movie and I loved the period costumes.

I loved that they filmed in Hawaii as well as LA. It was fun to see which scenes were in Hawaii.

All in all it was a pretty good movie.

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Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue

We have enjoyed all of Disney’s Planes and Cars movie. Coming July 18th to theaters near you is Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue!

View the trailer below:

PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE (In 3D)

DISNEY

Website: Disney.com/Planes

Like on Facebook: facebook.com/DisneyPlanes

Follow on Twitter: twitter.com/DisneyPictures

Genre: Animation/Adventure

Rating: TBD

Release Date: July 18, 2014

Voice Cast: Dane Cook, Julie Bowen

Director: Bobs Gannaway

Producer: Ferrell Barron

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“Planes: Fire & Rescue” is a new comedy-adventure about second chances, featuring a dynamic crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfire. When world famous air racer Dusty (voice of Dane Cook) learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his courageous team, including spirited super scooper Dipper (voice of Julie Bowen), heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter, ex-military transport Cabbie and a lively bunch of brave all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero. Directed by Bobs Gannaway (“Secret of the Wings”), “Planes: Fire & Rescue” hits theaters in 3D on July 18, 2014.

“Planes: Fire & Rescue” is a new comedy-adventure in which Dusty joins forces with a dynamic crew of elite firefighting aircraft and learns what it takes to become a true hero.

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Home Run – Movie Monday

Home Run DVD_Blu_ray

We found quite a few faith based movies on Amazon Prime (we are members). Some of them you have to pay for but a couple of them are free right now. One of the ones we watched for free this past weekend was called “Home Run”. It is about a professional baseball player, Cory Brand played by Scott Elrod, who struggles with alcohol addiction. It is set in Cory’s hometown where he finds himself after a car wreck and DUI. In order to avoid jail time, Cory is required to coach a little league baseball team, all the while trying to salvage his career and reputation.

The little league team, his 12 step program and his family all play a part in helping Cory, but ultimately it is God who gets Cory’s attention.

As sobering as alcohol addiction is, this movie was entertaining with a powerful message. We really liked it. To be honest, I felt sorry for Cory, as he dealt with his “demons”. I felt bad for his family who had to deal with him and his “problem”. I grew up in a home where alcoholism was a huge part of our life. It has devastating affects and it forever gave me an extreme dislike for anything alcohol related. While my loved one never found the freedom Cory did in this movie, it is my hope that those struggling with any addiction find help and freedom only Christ can bring through His healing grace.

This movie is rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, or in my opinion, the violent outbursts, the drinking scenes and subjects discussed in group therapy. We let our children under 13 watch it. We’ve discussed alcoholism with them before, the other mature themes seem to have gone over their heads because they didn’t illicit any questions from our children.

Watch the trailer here:

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God’s Not Dead – Movie Monday

“God’s Not Dead” 2014

Director: Harold Cronk

A Drama, Produced by Pure Flix, a Christian film studio.

Rated: PG 1hr 53min

Or go to www.GodsNotDeadtheMovie.com to view the trailer.

I have pretty much given up going to the movies, not interested in the selection of films offered, so I was intrigued by the little known, small budget film, “God’s Not Dead” which
opened March 21, 2014. It grossed $ 9.2 million, the first weekend, and as I watched the trailer, I immediately made plans to see this movie aimed towards Evangelical Christians.

Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), a pre-law student, signs up for a philosophy class with an aggressive professor. Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) is an atheist who demands that everyone declare and write on a sheet of paper that ‘God is dead.’ Josh, a Christian, refuses which causes the professor to challenge him to prove God’s existence. He is given the
opportunity to present his defense, in front of the class, and if he is unable to do this, he will fail the class. There are several story threads, woven through the movie, that capture the struggles, heartbreak and challenges that believers and those questioning their faith face.

One intriguing character is an elderly woman who is visited by her absentee son (Dean Cain). He is a successful businessman annoyed and impatient with her dependence and deteriorating state of dementia. He angrily questions her faith and she, in a moment of clarity, tells him about the consequences of sin. There are a few surprising twists and special appearances by Newsboys and “Duck Dynasty’s” Willie and Korie Robertson.

I recommend this movie because it encourages Evangelical Christians to stand up for their faith. It also invites those questioning their faith to ask questions about God. I am sick and
tired of offensive language and the blatant attempts of the media to shock and offend with their disrespectful comments. In this movie, the name of our Precious Savior Jesus Christ was spoken with reverence and praise. It has been a really long time since I’ve heard that in a movie. Also, another important concept, about this movie, was that it was based on actual court cases where students, like Josh Wheaton, defended their faith in an academic setting. The ending credits list the students and universities.

The responses to this film are, as expected, strongly divided. I think this quote by Paul Levinson, media critic and professor of communications and media studies at Fordham University in New York sums up the movie very well. He states, “The success of ‘God’s Not Dead’ shows at least three things: Big budgets are not necessary to make popular movies, there is a significant part of the population that cherishes faith-based movies, and students like narratives about arrogant professors who get their due.”

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Movie Monday – Underdogs Movie Review

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Trailer url:
http://tinyurl.com/lgu7wjf

Underdogs Movie Review

If you liked Facing the Giants, I think you will like Underdogs. It is the story of one Ohio high school football team that opened the minds and won the hearts of their community. It was inspired by a true story.

Underdogs was a little slow paced at times but still intriguing enough to keep all our children’s attention. A couple of scenes may be objectionable depending on your preferences (pool scene and a guy opening the bathroom on a girl trying to get dressed). Some of our children said “ewww” to the kissing scenes and one of our sons counted six kisses! ;) After we finished the movie, it was so cute to hear him leave the room saying how many kisses were in the movie.

The language was good, only one reference to a$$ that I caught. So I would tend to disagree with This film has been approved for all audiences by the Dove Foundation. It will depend on your family’s values etc.

I really liked the fact there were intact families. I know families come in all shapes in sized, I am not dismissing that fact but so often movies don’t have one or the other parent and this movie had both parents of two of the teens. Also, the teens were respectful of their parents, except Johnny (quarterback for opposing team) a few times.

The story was inspiring and I loved how the team evolved under their new coach’s teaching and direction.

Our family enjoyed watching Underdogs together.

You can watch it too on video on demand (In-Demand, iTunes http://tinyurl.com/mhnspj6 or DIRECTV)! Or swing by Walmart and grab your favorite movie snacks and pick up the Underdogs DVD, on-sale now! http://www.walmart.com/ip/29114152

Features legendary hall-of-famer Joe Namath and stars D.B. Sweeney.

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Kidoodle.tv – Dad Central

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I participated in a Blog Blast Program on behalf of Dad Central Consulting for Kidoodle.TV.  I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

By Guest Dad Blogger Scott -

This is best thing next to sliced bread!  I love it!  My daughter loves it!  BONUS!  She loves watching Mario Brothers (I didn’t even know there was such a thing.)

Kidoodle.TV is age appropriate television viewing for your children, that you control.  When first setting it up you choose the age of your child/children.  The next screen will ask if you want to remove or add any addition programs.  Easy Right?

kid tv 2

Ok your child is ready to watch Kidoodle.TV.  You the parent will log on by entering your email address and password.  Then move onto the next screen, choose the child.  It asks how long you’d like to child to watch.  Once that time is up,Kidoodle.TV stops and says…

Kid tv 3 Kid TV 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kidoodle.TV is on Facebook and  Twitter click here to follow them!

Even better there’s a free trial going on for December! Try it today! Did I mention if you sign up for a free trial by December 31, you have a chance to win 1 in 10 tablets or 1 in 10 Kidoodle.TV for a year!

Sign up today!

 

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Tmart MP3/MP4 Review

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My husband and I both have MP player products from another company and my

mp4 3

daughter always wants to use them.  Well, the cost if they break is not one we can absorb at the moment. I’m sure there are other households with a similar issue. Tmart has a much less expensive alternative. For a fraction of the cost you can purchase a 4GB 2″ LCD Screen MP3/MP4 Player with FM/Camera Function. 

This MP3/MP4 player is about 4 inches long about 1 ½ inches wide, super light also. It has several functions including, music, video, photo, and FM radio. Included in the box was ear buds and USB cable. It takes pretty good pictures and videos. The sound quality is acceptable also.

MP4 1

Tmart’s MP3/MP4 player comes in 9 colors, the one I received is purple. I was surprised by this inexpensive device for one that it has a camera & video and it autoflips.

I do wish it came with more instructions, not just a single quick start guide and a plug to charge it via an outlet. I think this is a good stocking stuffer for new music lovers in the house.

You can order Tmart MP4 players today, currently it’s only $19.99!!

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