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The little book with BIG resources!

My Little Pony: The Movie-A Movie the Whole Family Can Enjoy!

The much anticipated My Little Pony movie is finally out nationwide. Are your kids excited?! We sent Ruth, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team to catch an early screening last weekend. She shares her thoughts with you today on the blog. Take a look…

My Little Pony: The Movie-A Movie the Whole Family Can Enjoy!

This weekend I got to experience the world of Equestria. Five little ponies and their friend Spike took on an epic adventure to save their land from a new villain. The ponies left their home to seek help after their city was imposed upon. During the movie, the ponies learned to lean on each other in a time of need. Visiting new lands in search of the Hippo Queen led them down an interesting road of ups and downs while still being pursued by The Storm King’s crew and their leader Tempest.

Along the way, they helped a band of swashbuckling pirates that had lost their free will and were now forced to carry villain merchandise for sale. This act of bravery landed them some new friends and bought them a little time when they needed a quick escape. The movie had a few twists additional twists and turns, happy moments and more acts of friendship until finally ending on a sweet emotional note. Friendship truly is magic.

My Little Pony: The Movie rose above my expectations of the animated television show that I knew and loved as a child. The new adventure not only caught my attention but delighted my girls as well. I found lots of humor in this movie with discreet references to other movies and shows from my childhood through quick one-liners that mostly 80’s and 90’s kids would recognize. Be sure to listen closely when you go see the movie!

I was impressed with the way things took a turn and became a slightly darker film with more action and villains that I bet would intrigue little boys. I even heard a few laughs from my husband. The film added a bunch of new characters but still carried the same important message of friendship. Director Jayson Thiessen took some creative liberties with this film and invented a new and fascinating story line. Overall, I was impressed by the wit in this film and I would definitely watch it again! Be sure to check out this film. It officially opens in theaters on October 6th.

I want to give a big shout out to the Cinemark 20 Theater in Merriam for hosting the screening, providing quality seating but also had a selection of pony kiddie combos and stuffed toys for purchase. This completed our movie going experience.

From iFamily to Yours,

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle” In Review!

Happy Friday, Kansas City! It’s looking like it’s going to be a hot weekend here in the metro area and, like many of you, I’m looking for a few ways to escape the heat during date night with my husband. What better way to relax than inside the air-conditioned theater taking in a brand new box office hit. “Kingsman” was an unexpected blast the first time around but does the sequel live up to its predecessor? We sent Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, to catch an early screening of the film and she shares her thoughts with you today on the blog. Take a look…

“Kingsman: The Golden Circle”

I was really looking forward to seeing this sequel which stars the original cast Taron Egerton (“Sing”),b Mark Strong (“Imitation Game”), and Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) and new characters featuring Channing Tatum (“21 Jump Street”) and Halle Berry (“X-Men”). “Kingsmen” is a modern day James Bond style film with tons of action, plot twists and secret agents.

This sequel starts off in the UK, but when their headquarters are destroyed, the Kingsmen find themselves traveling halfway across the the world to the good ol’ USA. They meet up with their “cousin” allied agency and set out to save the world… again.

As a spy movie, you expect several things, handsome men, beautiful women, bad guys and nice suits. Julianne Moore (“The Big Lebowski”) plays the evil genius that causes havoc on the world in a surprisingly entertaining way.  But one thing about this series that makes me love it is the endless one liners, puns and hilarious jokes. “Kingsman” really is a perfect mix between action and comedy.

While I did feel The Golden Circle was lacking a tad in action scenes compared to the first installment, there are plenty of perfectly choreographed fight segments. I did, however, feel that one scene which contained adult situations, without giving too much info, was totally unnecessary. But they were able to quickly draw away from that with light-hearted jokes and more action.

Overall, I really enjoyed this movie and I would definitely watch it again. This is definitely not a family movie, but would be a great movie for you and friends to catch. I would rate this installment a 7.5 out of 10.

From iFamily to Yours,

 

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This Weekend In The Box Office: It

“It”

It Movie Review 

Release Date:  8 September 2017

Run Time:  135 minutes

MPAA Rating:  R (for violence/horror, bloody images, and for language )

Director:  Andy Muschietti

Cast:  Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard

IT is an adaptation of the horrific 1986 Stephen King novel and remake of the 1990 IT miniseries.  A bullied group of friends are haunted by a monster disguised as Pennywise the clown after Bill’s brother, Georgie, turns up missing as well as other kids in the town.   Together, they set out to find answers to the mystery. Along the way their worst fears start to come true as Pennywise unleashes horrendous torture to all children in his path.

I got a chance to check out a screening of this utterly terrifying flick with my bestie. I have to say, we thoroughly enjoyed every moment! Disclaimer: This movie is NOT for children! Pennywise the clown is disturbing, disgustingly evil and the stuff nightmares are made of.  I noticed right away the 80s “Stranger Things” vibe this movie gave me. I LOVE that series so that was exciting! The creepy clown pops up when you least expect it.  Be ready to jump out of your skin with fear.  Honestly, the clowns teeth scared me the most of everything and a scene that reminded me of a scene from the movie Carrie (you’ll see why!) I cringe and shiver just thinking about it!! When the storyline surrounds children in a horror film, it makes it seem far scarier than one without the presence of children.

This might be a strange thing to say about a horror flick but I noticed and the scenery and cinematography is absolutely stunning as a contrast to the grotesque and monstrous scenes!  If you are a fan of the original, I would not miss this one!

So, as a recap: super scary and nightmarish clown – check, don’t bring your kids – check and get ready to enjoy this incredible movie adaptation remake from the master of horror, Stephen King.  In theaters this Friday, September 8th!

Happy Date Nighting!

From iFamily to Yours,


This Weekend In The Box Office: Home Again

If you’re planning to get out this weekend for dinner and a movie you won’t want to miss this review!  Megan, from the iFamily Mom & Dad team got a little sneak peek of the movie Home Again, in theaters today!

“Home Again”

 

Release Date:  September 8, 2017

Run Time:  97 minutes

MPAA Rating:  Rated PG-13 (for some thematic and sexual material)

Director:  Hallie Meyers-Shyer

Cast:  Nat Wolff, Reese Witherspoon, Lake Bell,

 

A great romantic comedy for anyone looking for a few laughs! This movie is not appropriate for young children, but a great for a date night or GNO!

A newly separated 40 year old (Reese Witherspoon) moves to LA with her 2 young daughters. A typically conservative mom, who goes a little wild on the night of her 40th birthday. She ends up bringing the party, including three 20 something men, back to her place now finds herself in a dilemma when her mother, charmed by the 3 young men, talks her into letting the 3 starving artists stay in the guest house “temporarily”.

The 3 men end up being nothing but amazing, bringing her pre-teen daughter out of her shell, fixing broken cabinets in her home and being completely charming. But once she begins a romantic relationship with one of them she quickly realizes the strings that are attached to “dating/not dating”.  When her ex-husband shows up and gets into a little tiff with one of the guys things get a slight bit complicated!

This is not a movie for someone looking to see an award winning performance, but more so the perfect movie for girls night, a few glasses of wine and some great mindless entertainment.  A great feel good movie I will definitely watch again with a few girlfriends and a few glasses of wine myself!

From iFamily to Yours,

Megan


This Weekend In The Box Office: Annabelle Creation

While this movie review isn’t suitable for the kiddos, this would be a great date night for Mom and Dad!  Erin, From the iFamily Mom Squad, had a chance to preview Annabelle and is here to give us her thoughts!  Take a look…

Annabelle: Creation

Release Date: 11 August 2017

Run Time: 109 minutes

MPAA Rating: R (for horror, violence, and terror)

Director: David F. Sandberg

Cast: Stephanie Sigman, Miranda Otto, Lulu Wilson, Anthony LaPaglia, Talitha Bateman

Annabelle: Creation is the prequel to the 2014 movie Annabelle and a spin-off of The Conjuring series. In this installment, a toymaker and his wife tragically lose their 7 year old daughter. Several years later, still grieving, they invite a nun and a group of orphans to their home hoping to provide help to those in need and to lift their own spirits. Unbeknownst to the nun and the children, a haunted doll lives in the house and is out for blood.

Children are the main focus of this movie but it is absolutely NOT for children to see! However if you are not a child and you’re a fan of The Conjuring movies, I would highly recommend you check this flick out!  As a huge fan of The Conjuring movies, I thought this movie was very well written and contained the perfect amount of creep factor!  Honestly it was one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in a long time.  Some horror movies are just full of blood and sickening gore with no actual plot or reasoning to any of it.  Annabelle: Creation was definitely full of plenty of that but it had some substance and a story that connects pieces of The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2 and Annabelle.  Scary moments that made the whole audience scream, jump and hilariously talking to the girls on screen warning them not to do that!  That might be my favorite part about seeing scary movies in a theater. It lightens the mood a tad and creates a whole cinematic experience if someone is behind you saying “Don’t open that door!” or “Runnnn!” or “Nope!” If you’re looking for a fantastically scary, edge of your seat horror story with plenty of shocking scenes, this is it!  Perfect date night or girls night out movie! In theaters, August 11th!

From iFamily to Yours,


This The Weekend In The Box Office: The Nut Job 2

Happy Weekend Kansas City!  If you’re looking for something to do this weekend as you’re getting into ‘Back to School’ mode, check out The Nut Job 2!  Erin, from our iFamily Mom Squad, had a chance at a sneak peek and shares her thoughts with us below. Take a look…

“The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature”

Release Date:  11 August 2017

Run Time:  95 minutes

MPAA Rating:  PG (for mild action and rude humor)

Director:  Cal Brunker

Cast:  Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Jackie Chan

Surly and his crazy crew from The Nut Job are back at it again in The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature. After their current home, the nut factory, goes up in a puff of smoke, they go in search of a new home.  They find the perfect home in a beautiful park.  Unfortunately, they are up against the evil money hungry Mayor of Oakton City!  He plans to bulldoze the park and build a gigantic rundown amusement park in it’s place.  The animals join together to try to save their beloved home.  There are a few new characters are introduced in this sequel to the 2014 movie.  A sweet-looking but tough little mouse, Mr. Feng, voiced by the hilarious comedic Kung Fu legend, Jackie Chan.

My kids, ages 2 and 7, enjoyed the movie and the wild and crazy antics of the animals provided some laughs!  At 1 1/2 hours, it was the perfect length to keep their attention.  I think children over 10 might be a bit bored with the simplistic plot.  To be honest, maybe waiting for a Netflix release might not be a terrible idea for anyone older than 8.  We saw the first one in theaters 3 years ago and honestly I don’t remember much of it and neither did my oldest child.  Even so, the kids wanted to check out the sequel and you don’t really need to see the first one to understand this one. Might be the perfect movie to check out at the drive in for a double feature before school starts!  In theaters August 11th!

From iFamily to Yours,


The Gravity Of War Comes To Life On The Big Screen: Dunkirk Review

Let’s face it, Kansas City, it’s really (really, really) hot out this weekend and we know a lot of you are looking for fun and exciting indoor opportunities for your weekend. Maybe you’ve got a date night planned or have the chance to sneak away from the kiddos for a couple of hours to catch a film. Regardless of your reasoning, you might be wondering what’s good out in theaters. We had the chance to send Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, to see the brand new war movie Dunkirk this week and she shares her thoughts with you today on the blog. Take a look…

movie review

A Movie Review: Dunkirk

Two words, Tom & Hans! Okay, so more like two names... Tom Hardy is, by far, one of my favorite actors and Hans Zimmer is my absolute favorite movie score composer. So, I knew when they teamed up again, it was going to be phenomenal!

Dunkirk, starring Tom Hardy (“The Revenant”), Harry Styles (One Direction) and Fionn Whitehead (“HIM”), is the astonishing true story of the French and British armies that were trapped on the shores of Dunkirk, France. Surrounded by the Germans, over 300,000 men were slowly evacuated home. All the while, being covered by the Air Force and small troops on ground.

From the time this movie started and  to it’s end, I was in utter suspense. I have never, in my entire life seen a movie so intense! In the beginning, it seemed as if only a mere 5 words were spoken, but the intensity level was at a constant high. Even the music added levels of intensity that I have never experienced in a movie.

The acting itself  was incredible but it certainly did not outshine the direction of Christopher Nolan (“Inception”). From aerial views to bomb dropping explosions, Christopher Nolan outdid himself and his talent is purely shown in this film.

To be honest, this isn’t your typical war movie. There is no grotesque moments of men being killed and no foul language. Overall it was fairly a clean movie. Definitely one I will show my kids when it’s time to discuss WWII.

I was beyond pleased with this film, I literally left with the theater with goosebumps! I would rate this movie a solid 10! It is a must see!

From iFamily to Yours,

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This Weekend At The Box Office: Despicable Me 3

The highly anticipated third installment of the “Despicable Me” series hits the box office this weekend. Does the movie fulfill the hopes of moviegoers who will be heading out to the theater? We had the chance to send Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, to catch an early screening earlier this week. She’s sharing her thoughts with us today on the blog. Take a look…

movie review

This Weekend At The Box Office: Despicable Me 3

Here’s the thing, keep in mind that I have a tendency to be “that mom”. Just know that my opinion is coming from that mind frame. I’m not going to lie, I was a little hesitant at first to see the latest installment for this series. I saw a trailer for it on T.V a week ago and was not pleased. The trailer showed an old lady drumming on a guys behind in swimming attire. I instantly thought, “I don’t want my kids to see that, it is totally unnecessary.” So, when I had the opportunity to screen the movie first so I could see if it was appropriate, I jumped on it.

The Not So Good

I’ve always thought the Despicable Me series were cute little movies but knew they had some adult jokes that go over kids’ heads. I feel like a lot do these days. So I already knew what to expect with them. But this go round, there was just too much for me to really think of this as a kid friendly movie. At least for younger kids.

I won’t go into too many details at the risk of spoiling it for you, but I will say this, there were quite a few suggestive scenes that I just don’t feel comfortable showing my younger kids. One scene in particular when the minions make a joke that includes the word boobs! It’s just something I don’t particularly want my younger kids to joke about.

The Really, Really Good

However, the main villain this go round was PHENOMENAL! My husband and I still can’t get over how funny Evil Bratt was! Evil Bratt, an ex-child actor shunned by Hollywood, is back for revenge. All the while being stuck in the 80’s. CLASSIC! We are hoping that he has a spin off very soon! Every time he hit the screen, I was laughing at everything from his looks to his nostalgic 80’s sayings and dance moves. I really, really enjoyed him!

Gru also finds his twin brother that he was separated at birth from and he tries to build that relationship the only way he knows how. Although they didn’t really elaborate on their story, Evil Bratt fills in all the missed opportunities to really make this story heartfelt.

In Short:

Altogether, I would give this movie a solid 7. I’m pretty sure that as a parent, you will enjoy the 80’s references and music, and I’m sure the kiddos will enjoy the mischievous antics of Gru and company. Just know that if you do have issues with adult jokes or suggestive scenarios, this film has quite a bit.

From iFamily to Yours,

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This Weekend At The Box Office: Wonder Woman!

I just love how incredible Summer movies can be, don’t you?! If you’ve been waiting, like we have, for a strong female led super hero movie, you’re in luck! “Wonder Woman” hits theaters nationwide this weekend but does it hit the mark or will it fall flat?! We sent iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Brigette out for a special sneak peek of the film earlier this week and she’s sharing her thoughts with us today on the blog. Take a look…


Two words…. WONDER WOMAN! I have waited for this movie a long time and it is finally here! The newest DC Comic film starring Gal Gadot (“Keeping Up With The Joneses”, “Fast and Furious”), was the tough Amazonian woman I had hoped for! It also Stars Chris Pine (Steve Trevor), Robin Wright (General Antiope) and Connie Nielsen (Queen Hippolyta).

The film starts off in modern day France where Diana (Wonder Woman) takes a trip down memory lane where learn her story and how she trained and grew up on the island of Themyscira before leaving to stop the war in London during the WWI era.

The entire film will have you on an emotional roller coaster. During the telling of her journey to become the heroine she was destined to be, you are thrown through moments of “wow this is so peaceful” to “OMG did they just do that!?”. The director Patty Jenkins, captures everyone’s attention with amazing slow motion scenes, high intense action and that feeling of something getting caught in your throat when you see Wonder Woman and her soldier (Pine) falling in love.

I loved this movie! I could barely contain my moments of excitement when she went full Amazonian woman! I also loved the fact that outside one scene with some adult humor and Pine covering his nude body with his hands, it was clean. A lot of super hero movies tend to show a little more blood and people blowing up these days. And while majority of this film is set during the war, I don’t have to worry about someone’s head being blown off or them screaming from pain. This is definitely a movie I will see again and allow my children to watch!

This in my opinion is definitely the movie of the year! So, make sure you grab your popcorn and get ready for a wild, exciting ride with Wonder Woman!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

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This Weekend at the Movies: Baywatch

Hello Kansas City! Dwayne Johnson is back at it, bringing a new spin on an old franchise – Baywatch. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, had a chance to get a sneak peek in, and gives us some thoughts below. Take a look!

 

Rating: R
Run time: 1 hr 56 min
Director: Seth Gordon
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Effron, Alexandra Daddario

 

This Weekend at the Movies: Baywatch

 

Imagine if The Fast and the Furious and The A-Team had a baby, shipped it off to the beaches of California and told it to fight crime. This is basically Baywatch. To begin, I don’t think I have ever seen an episode of the original Baywatch on TV except for the references on Friends, but I got the gist of what I needed to know about the show—girls in swimsuits running in slow motion down the beach and fighting crime because the cops didn’t really want to be involved in petty beach theft and drowning victims. A muscled up head lifeguard which led these individuals on wild jet ski and boat excursions to make sure their beach was free of all things from litter to drug dealers. Pretty much the Baywatch movie in a nutshell as well; little more high price action sequences, little more high price talent, a lot more quick one-liners and F-words.

Dwayne Johnson takes on the role as Mitch Buchannon (David Hasselhoff in the original) a devoted lifeguard with the rank of lieutenant (which I am not too sure why he has this title) who leads a group of lifeguards on the Emerald Bay beach. With try-outs coming up to fill three empty positions in the Baywatch group, a cocky Olympic gold medalist, Matt Brody, played by Zac Efron begins to butt heads and start a long an drawn out competition with Buchannon. But they find themselves in the midst of an all-out conspiracy involving drugs, real estate and a mysterious new owner of the Huntley Club, a ritzy location on the beach. Baywatch is rated R for language throughout the movie, crude sexual content and nudity.

To be honest I was surprised; I half expected to walk out of the movie halfway through thinking if I have to sit there and body shame myself because all I am looking at are girls in less than bikinis running down the beach– I have other things to do. My neighbors in the seats around me didn’t help this assumption; their ages ranged from about 17 to 24 year old boys who thank goodness stopped cat-calling the women about 10 minutes into the movie. Ladies, they put in Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron in for us I suppose which helped even out the dynamic—but man! How many muscles does one person need; I am not complaining but man!

I ended up liking each character, Dwayne Johnson I have always liked and think he delivers lines (especially comedic ones) very well. I like Zac Efron as well in pretty much anything he does; looking forward for him to take on a more serious role in the future which I think he will do fantastic; but he plays the not-the-sharpest-crayon-in-the-box jock just fine as well. The girl–, CJ, Stephanie, and Summer took supporting cast roles which I think is what made me stick around to the credits since it wasn’t just about running in slow motion; it was more about the storyline. I will say they were typical to the role they were cast and a few times I found myself asking “where the heck are they!?” There were a couple digressions in the storyline that I really don’t know if they needed to be in there, but when I saw my 17 year old friends around me laughing hysterically then I knew it had to have a couple crude humor moments.

Do I recommend? If you want a movie where you don’t have to think, you can just wind down and imagine your future beach trip then yes. Would I go see it again? No. Would I rent it? Probably not. But if it were on the movie channel for free? Yeah I may watch it and laugh a couple times. Honestly the best part of the whole thing was the relaxing reclining chairs and the 3 story movie screen—oh yeah and popcorn for dinner!

From iFamily to Yours,