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The little book with BIG resources!

Red Sparrow [Movie Review]

Ladies, grab your spouse or gal pals! This juicy spy thriller will have you sitting on the edge of your seat the entire movie. If you are in need of a flick that doesn’t revolve around Elsa and Ana or other cartoons, this is it.

red sparrow


The intro to the movie revolves around Jennifer Lawrence’s character, Dominika, having a traumatic ending to her ballet career. With no way to support herself or her mother, Dominika is recruited by her uncle to help a secret intelligent service with an assignment. When things go south, she is given the choice of a quiet death or to enroll in the “Sparrow School,” which trains young Russians to spy, using seduction and manipulation.

The movie is a cold war adventure mixed with hints of feminist revenge.  Dominika is assigned to find a Russian mole who is giving information back to an American CIA agent, Nate Nash.  Dominika’s uncle believes she is up for the task but the Americans soon learn who she is and believe they can turn her to the US side. Her and the American spy spend the movie out trying to wit one another. However, Dominika always has her own agenda. It was fun to keep track of the puzzle pieces left by double crossing agents, who continue to double cross one another. I am thankful my husband was there to answer my questions when I got confused. (the puzzle was hard to solve)

My heart was racing the entire movie, while I debated whose side Dominika was actually on – the Russian spies or the CIA operative. All the while trying to solve who is the mole? Some scenes of the movie, such as the violent and seductive acts are a little much to watch if you are not into that.  If gore and torture sessions are not your thing, I would not recommend committing to this movie or you may spend some time covering your eyes, like I did.

In the end, I did enjoy watching Dominika get revenge on every man who used and abused her. The suspenseful sequence of events will keep you guessing till the end; definitely worthy of a night out to the theatre!


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Family Fun at the Movies: Paddington 2 Review

Winter is my favorite time to catch a movie indoors with my family. We love heading out to our local theater, sharing some hot popcorn, and catching the latest kid friendly flick. We had the chance to send some of YOU along for an early screening of the brand new Paddington 2 movie before it hit theaters nationwide. Liz, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad, was along for the ride with you and shares her thoughts today on the blog AND we’ve got an EXCITING giveaway going on this month over on our website! To enter for a Paddington 2 PRIZE PACK, go to iFamilyKC.com and click on the blue “ENTER TO WIN” box on the right hand side of the page. But first, don’t miss this great review from Liz! Take a look…

paddington 2

Paddington 2: A Movie Review!

My 3 year daughter and I could not contain our excitement about seeing this movie. And truly, it did not disappoint. The original Paddington has been played many times in our house. I practically know it by heart, so I could not wait to see how Paddington’s future with the Brown family turns out.

Paddington, now happily settled in with the Brown family and a popular member of the neighborhood picks up odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, only for the gift to be stolen.  The chase to finding the book will have you on the edge of your seat, but the sweet humor and giggles from the little ones around will ease you back into your bucket of popcorn.

No worries if you have missed the first Paddington, which is still sitting in Netflix! The movie takes you back to Paddington’s childhood in Peru and gives a quick summary of all the lives he has touched in London.

This movie is the perfect sequel to the first.  Paddington’s kind and gentle manner will completely steal your heart while forgetting that Paddington is a sweet talking animated bear. Everyone around him cannot help but love the little bear as he finds the good in everyone.

In the words of Paddington, “If we are kind and polite, the world will be right.”

From iFamily to Yours,




Pitch Perfect 3 Hits Theaters Nationwide and Audiences are Singing Its Praises!

The Barton Bellas are back but are they better than ever?! We sent iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Ruth to check an advanced screening of Pitch Perfect 3 before it hit theaters nationwide today and she’s sharing her thoughts with you today on the blog. Take a look…

Pitch Perfect 3

Pitch Perfect 3 Hits Theaters Nationwide

Audiences are Singing Its Praises!

I came into this movie with mixed expectations. The first movie was my absolute favorite. It was witty and full of music. The second movie didn’t give quite give me the same zest that I was looking for but I enjoyed it enough to look forward to the next edition of the series.

The Story

The night of Pitch Perfect 3, I was revved up and ready to go. I waltzed into the theater with my best friend and sat down waiting in anticipation. The movie opened with some drama as Becca (Anna Kendrick) found herself loathing her place of employment. She had made it into the music industry, but it wasn’t quite what she had been banking on when she graduated college.

The scene moved to her apartment where we found some other former Bellas. They all had a similar back story. Some were hanging in limbo waiting for their careers to start. They had odd jobs and not much to look forward to.

An invite to a reunion continued disappointment for the girls but led to a brilliant idea. Aubrey’s (Anna Camp) father is stationed overseas with the military and she had learned of the USO tour. Being the keen eyed girl that she is, an invite to join the tour opened up a new opportunity for the girls to reunite as former Bellas and sing again with a purpose. The girls joined in line with several upcoming bands to tour four countries with DJ Khaled (played by himself). The girls quickly learned that they were not quite up to snuff with the other bands after challenging them to a riff off. Thus the story line began to blossom as the girls met their many challenges head on.

The Flow

This movie screamed with new surprises enough for any fan or newcomer to enjoy. The music was played down as bit as the girls didn’t follow their traditional mash-up sequences. Opportunities to sing were far from few but the story line gave you plenty to think about. I was able to see the characters evolve in a way that enriched the movie only to make it better. Simultaneous varying story lines cut with witty commentary and unexpected action sequences left the auditorium full of laughter.

Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) had the best story line in the film. She developed from the awkward Bella seeking approval to an unexpected savior. Her character took many twists and turns which opened up to her back story and the strained relationship she had with her father over his criminal activities.

In the end, the Bella’s learned a lot about themselves. They are braver and stronger than they thought. The world has its ups and downs but opportunities present themselves under the oddest of circumstances. Becca, though offered an amazing opportunity in the music industry, hesitated with regard to her Bella family. She learned that true friends don’t hold each other back.

Final Thoughts

This movie was written with a great arch and the best story line of the three. It was so much more than a goofy comedy about college kids singing riff offs and challenging each other. The content was taken to a new level, a more mature level. A fantastic way to conclude the series.

From iFamily to Yours,

“Coco” A Movie in Review

Disney Pixar’s new film Coco, which opened in theaters nationwide for Thanksgiving, is sure to capture your families’ heart this holiday season. The music transports you into a new world of colorful fantasy. We sent Liz, from our Mom Squad team, along with several of you who did our movie pass enter to win to see an advanced screening of the film before it was released in theaters. Check out what Liz has to say about the movie today on the blog. Take a look…

coco movie review

CoCo: A Movie In Review

Colorful, vibrant, charming and feel good magic! My heart was completely filled with excitement after seeing this movie and I could not wait to share my thoughts on this movie with everyone!

About the Movie

The film starts with young Miguel who has aspirations to play the guitar like his music hero Ernesto de la Cruz.  Because of a family curse he is forbidden to have any part of music. Family traditions are an utmost importance in this film especially the Day of the Dead, where families gather in cemeteries to celebrate their deceased relatives. On this day, Miguel sneaks out of the house to compete in a local talent show but instead ends up in the Land of the Dead!

In the upcoming events Miguel is surrounded by his late ancestors as he sets out  to find his musical legend Ernesto in hopes he will bless his ambitions and send him back to the living. Miguel’s journey takes him around the vibrant Land of the Dead with his cute dog, breaking into energetic Spanish songs and teaming up with a new friend Hector as mysteries of his family are revealed.

If you are wondering how scary the skeletons are for younger kids I would honestly say not scary at all. The first time the skeletons appeared my daughter was a little taken back but the lively dressed skeletons are such a huge part of the movie you don’t even think twice. The Land of the Dead is a warm, energetic and enchanting.

Final Thoughts

This movie is full of fun and lighthearted humor.  With its focus on family and traditions it is the perfect way to start off the holiday season. I cannot wait to relive this film again!

From iFamily to Yours,



“The Justice League”: Movie Review

The weekend is finally here and we’re excited to share an exciting movie review for “The Justice League” which hits theaters nationwide today. We sent Brigette from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team to catch one of the advanced movie screeings in Kansas City this past week. She’s sharing her thoughts with you today on the blog. Take a look…

Justice League Movie Review

“The Justice League”: Movie Review

The other day I had the opportunity to screen a movie that I have been waiting a really long time to see! “The Justice League”!  I mean honestly, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman and other iconic heroes in one film has greatness written all over it. I have this unwritten rule that I follow when it comes to movies… if there are too many stars in one movie, I avoid it like the plague! The only exception I make is for super heroe movies. The Justice League stars Ben Affleck (Batman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Henry Cavill (Superman), Jason Mamoa ( Game of Thrones), Ray Miller (Cyborg) and Ezra Miller ( The Perks of Being a Wallflower).

About the Movie

Ok, so let’s talk about this movie – I am really on the fence with it. When the movie first starts it kind of had this “old school” Batman feel. Really cheeky banter and kind of forced dialogue. I felt at one point the director kept bouncing around too quickly between the characters. I understand when telling a story that there needs to be character development or some sort of back story, I just feel it was all jumbled and told at once.

However, once the characters were known and united, I did enjoy the movie a lot! I thought the graphics were phenomenal and of course Wonder Woman was kicking butt and taking names. Another thing I really enjoyed was Flashs’ ( Ezra Miller) scenes. The director really did a good job with the slow motion effect and really made his character come to life. A few jokes here and there were great but mostly it was the world on it’s death bed. Again. I really did love all the action packed scenes between the league and Steppenwolf.

Final Thoughts

I was overall a little disappointed with the ending. The entire time the league is trying to figure out what they can do to defeat Steppenwolf, and when all hope is lost *****spoiler alert**** they bring back Superman. Once he returns, the ending takes a crash landing. It simply just didn’t live up to what one would expect. It really was just a Superman saves the world and the Justice League all together.

Overall I would rate this movie a solid 5. It’s not terrible and it’s not awesome. Would I watch it again? Probably to see Wonder Woman, Flash and really cool graphics.

Do you plan on seeing Justice League? Let us know what you think about it!

From iFamily to Yours,

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,


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,



This Weekend In The Box Office: 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,


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,