The little book with BIG resources!

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,

emailsignupforblog3


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,

emailsignupforblog3


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,

 

emailsignupforblog3


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,

 

 

 

 

 


Join In On The FUN: Enter To Win Our Flash Giveaway For SMURFS Advanced Screening Passes!

Good Evening, Kansas City!

We are so excited to bring you inspiring content, fun recipes, and exciting information from our iFamilyKC team of Mom Squad Ambassadors right here on the blog each and every week. This week, we wanted to do something EXTRA FUN and host a FLASH GIVEAWAY where you can enter to win for your chance to see the brand new SMURFS movie, “Smurfs: The Lost Village”, BEFORE it hits theaters nationwide. Getting in on the action is EASY. Simply drop us a COMMENT on THIS blog post and tell us what kinds of posts you like to see on the blog and we’ll enter your name in for the giveaway!

Smurfs Lost Village giveaway

Winners will be randomly drawn AND notified by email THIS Thursday morning! Good luck! 

From iFamily to Yours,

Your iFamilyKC Team

 

emailsignupforblog3


This Weekend at the Box Office: Power Rangers

Happy Weekend, Kansas City! Many of us are pumped about the upcoming Power Rangers film, out this weekend. For a lot of us, it brings back some fond, nostalgia from our childhoods. Well, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, had the chance to check it out, and she gives us the highs and lows below. Check it out!

This Weekend at the Box Office: Power Rangers

Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 2 hr 4 min
Director: Dean Israelite
Starring: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler

This Weekend at the Box Office: Power Rangers

 

Words cannot explain how long I have waited for this movie to come out! Growing up I loved the Power Rangers so you can only imagine how excited I was when I heard they were making a more “adult version” of the group.
Well, let me tell you this, I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED! This movie lived up to everything I had hoped it would be. Action, comedy, and villains that couldn’t stand a chance against the Power Rangers.
If you didn’t really care for them growing up then you may not be as into it as someone that had only hoped to be the good Green Ranger Tommy or Trini, the Yellow Ranger!
The movie starts off in a world far before our time, with a battle that will then resume in the present day in the small town of Angel Grove. There, 5 strangers will later become the ultimate fighting group of teens.
Visually, this movie was spectacular, there were scenes so beautifully directed, I couldn’t believe what I was watching! The emotions of the characters were so natural, you couldn’t help but feel like you were right along with them on this journey. It really made me (and the rest of the theater) feel some kind of nostalgic feelings! Especially when you hear that oh so loved chant, GO GO POWER RANGERS! Not to mention the incredible Elizabeth Banks and how she transformed Rita Repulsa from some silly witch puppeteer to this all out devil in the flesh villain!
AHHHH I’m getting excited all over again!
However, because this version is “more adult” than the show or really any family movies out, I would not recommend taking younger kids. I would say it would be ok for your older ones like 15 and up. There is quite a bit of cussing, teen drinking and they tip toe around sex. I mean they are teens after all! If you are wanting to take your kids to see it, I would say see it first and then decide if you think it is ok. Trust me you will want to see it again lol
Overall I give this movie a 10/10 for so many reasons! Mostly because this is my childhood on the big screen and it is entertaining at my current age! This movie is a must see!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 


This Weekend at the Box Office: Beauty and the Beast

Happy Sunday, Kansas City! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Disney’s newest live action film Beauty and the Beast is now out in theaters. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, got a peek at the film and has a great review of what to expect. Take a look!

This Weekend at the Box Office: Beauty and the Beast

 

This Weekend at the Box Office: Beauty and the Beast

 

You all know how excited I was to see the new Beauty and the Beast movie. My kids and I had planned an entire day, we had our manicures done, our outfits picked out and then my kids decided they did not want to see the movie. “It’s going to be too scary,” they told me. We had watched every preview, many of which showed the beast growling, or falling, and wolf attacks and torch toting villagers. My kids didn’t bat an eye. However, as more adults asked them if they’d be afraid, they decided they probably would be and bowed out. I was disappointed, but ultimately it ended up being for the best.

I ended up enlisting a couple friends and we went to see the new Disney movie Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson. First thing to note: there were some pretty intense scenes. Many parents shuffled little ones out during a particularly scary scene involving wolves and I thought to myself, that would have been me leaving with my four-year-old. Later in the movie, there is another dark scene (I don’t want to give anything away), and I know my six-year-old would be wanting to leave as well. So, this new version of Beauty and the Beast- it is definitely for adults and older kids. It is rated PG, and I’m thinking it’s probably best for kids age 10 and up.

Now on to the fun stuff! Beauty and the Beast fans will NOT be disappointed. It has everything you loved about the old cartoon version and MORE. All your favorite songs are in the movie- plus a couple more. The characters are all included and endearing, but are given more backstory and portrayed a bit deeper. Gaston (Luke Evans) and LeFou (Josh Gad) I think were particularly entertaining. They balanced each other nicely and did an incredible job portraying some of the films silliest characters. The story follows true to the original movie, but again, you get more. I enjoyed that, but I also thought at times they put in things that were unnecessary.

One thing I liked about the film, although one of my friend’s disagreed, was this version of Belle. She’s the only literate female in her village. She wants to teach children to read, she invents things, she’s clever and independent and truly the hero of the movie. Belle does not wait around for Gaston, her dad, the Beast, or anyone to help. In fact, she often feels that it’s her job to rescue everyone else. Whereas in the cartoon movie Belle swaps positions as prisoner with her dad because he’s sick, in this movie she does it because she’s sure she can escape. I liked Emma Watson’s Belle, not only because I love to see strong female characters, but because it added a connection between her and the Beast. They both are very lonely outsiders. People don’t understand them, nor do they try to.

The screening of this movie was 3D, and I want to go see the film without 3D. It practically ruined it for me. I don’t know if it was the theater, but even with the glasses, a lot of the movie was dark (in terms of brightness) and blurry. Some moments with the 3D were neat, but most of the time I was frustrated that I couldn’t take in all of the scenery because it was blurry. It was incredibly distracting. That being said- when I could see the backgrounds, they were gorgeous. The castle was amazing and it’s unreal some of the effects. (Cogsworth gets a stunning makeover).

I guess I’d give this movie 3 out of 5 stars. Although it is incredible, it was overly ambitious and fell short for me. I’d rather have a movie I could’ve taken my kids to. There were some technical issues (the 3D, Belle not looking in the proper spot during scenes), but it did have enough magic to help me remember why I loved the old cartoon movie as a kid so much.

 

From iFamily to Yours,


This Weekend at the Box Office: Land of Mine

 

Hello, Kansas City! This movie review is a tad different than most. Land of Mine debuted at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival, and was just recently nominated for an Oscar. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, had a chance to see it recently and gives us her thoughts below. Take a look..

This Weekend at the Box Office: Land of Mine

 

Rated: R
Run Time: 1 hr 40 min
Director: Martin Zandvliet
Starring: Roland Moller, Louis Hoffman, Joel Basman

This Weekend at the Box Office: Land of Mine

 

I was asked to screen and review Land of Mine, a foreign film that debuted in 2015 at the Toronto Film Festival. In a sea of movies about war, this film sets itself apart by telling a tale about what happens after the war is over. After World War II, German POWs in Denmark, had to rid the country of the 2.2 million landmines the German army had buried along Denmark’s coast before they could return home. Nearly half of those soldiers were killed or terribly injured.
Of these POWs, many were boys. I don’t mean ‘boys’ like they haven’t had time to start a family, I mean ‘boys’ like they couldn’t have driven a car. I looked it up and in Germany, boys could enlist at the age of 16, but it is known that the Nazi’s occasionally took boys even younger than that. This film centers on a Dutch sergeant who is tasked with overseeing a group of German soldiers clear a beach of 45,000 mines. He is surprised at the group of soldiers he gets and he struggles between hating them for their nationality and sympathizing with them for their situation. The boys are told if they clear the mines, they can go home. They struggle though, with starvation, illness and trauma taking tolls.
This movie is violent, and heart-breaking and one of the most haunting films I have seen. Perhaps I have been subsisting on too many children’s movies- I kept waiting for a Disney-like finale where these terrible men get what’s coming and the boys make it out unscathed. However, this is not a movie for children and I had to be happy with the bits (and I mean BITS) of courage and hope that shine through.
As I sobbed my way through the film, I couldn’t help but feel a little sympathetic for all involved. The Dutch HATED the Germans; and following WWII, who could really blame them. Yet you also felt so badly for these children, being starved and traumatized as a country took out their hatred on some of those least deserving. Of course, if this was a movie about men who had been running concentration camps clearing a beach, there wouldn’t be much of an emotional journey to ask of the audience.
In the film, a woman lives nearby with her young daughter. She wants her daughter to stay away from the soldiers and she is cruel towards the boys. At first I was offended on the boys’ behalf. How could a mother treat someone else’s child like this? But then I put myself in her shoes. Living with a small girl while soldiers had been going through the country doing terrible things to women and children. What had happened to her husband? I suppose I would have been fearful and hateful too. The film doesn’t explore the history of its characters, so their motivation is open to interpretation and musings. I think this was quite brilliant as it washed away everything that had built up to this moment. You don’t know why the characters feel as they do (although you can guess), so you are left to judge and interpret only their actions in this moment. It casts things in a different light.
Land of Mine has spectacular acting, a beautiful setting and will be a movie that tugs at my heart whenever I think of it. I can’t tell you that you will enjoy it, but is a fantastic film and deserves to be seen. I applaud Martin Zandvliet, who wrote and directed this film, for telling one of the most difficult stories to come out of such a bleak moment in history with honesty, integrity and heart. While during the movie I kept thinking that it was about hate, but I think it really is about humanizing the enemy. It is about finding compassion and forgiveness when perhaps none is deserved. I definitely recommend this film; but know that you are in for a good cry.

 

From iFamily to Yours,