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The little book with BIG resources!

“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,


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: 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,


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 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: Cure for Wellness

Happy Weekend, iFamily! We here at iFamilyKC love to bring you the best and most honest reviews of current films. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, had the opportunity to check out the new movie, A Cure for Wellness. Before you head to the theater, make sure to take a look at her review, and be aware that this is not appropriate for the kiddos. Take a look…

This Weekend at the Box Office: Cure for Wellness

Release Date: 2017 February 17

Run Time: 146 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Gore Verbinski

Cast: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Lisa Banes, Ivo Nandi, Susanne Wuest

In Gore Verbinski’s latest psychological thriller, A Cure for Wellness, a businessman, played by Dane DeHaan, is sent by his company to the Swiss Alps to bring the CEO of the company back to close a merger who has checked into a mysterious wellness center. After an accident, he finds himself recovering in the place he was headed to pick up his boss. Throughout the movie, DeHaan discovers that this place of relaxation and healing isn’t at all what it appears to be.

I enjoy a good scare from a film but this movie was extremely disturbing to say the very least. There were several scenes that I was so uncomfortable and the so-called “thrilling conclusion” left me with a sick and disgusted feeling. I wanted to be able to provide a complete review for the iFamilyKC readers, but in all honesty I would have preferred to walk out with the three other individuals who did just that. This movie is not for children, whatsoever. Maybe not for parents either. I would recommend, if you are a parent, that you understand this movie gave me nightmares for 2 solid nights (and I am 34).

I give the sickening and unforgivable, A Cure for Wellness, a solid 3 out of a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best. I probably would have given it a 1 or a 2 had it not been for the awesome visual effects throughout the film. I wish there was a button I could push to get 146 minutes of my life back. I think the movie could have easily earned an NC-17 rating, especially with the disgustingly unforgivable conclusion. A Cure for Wellness is in theaters February 17th and you will be longing for cure from the disconcerting feeling this film leaves you with.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 


This Weekend at the Box Office: John Wick Chapter 2

Wahoo, it is Friday, Kansas City! If you’re looking for a not-so-conventional Valentine’s Day movie date idea, check out John Wick Chapter 2. It brings John out of retirement, and into some new, action-packed predicaments. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, was able to get a sneak peek and gives us the low down. Check it out!

This Weekend at the Box Office: John Wick Chapter 2

 

Release Date: 10 February 2017

Run Time: 2hr 2 min

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Chad Stahelski

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Ricard Scimarcio

 

 

This Weekend at the Box Office: John Wick Chapter 2

 

Ok, I felt kind of bad getting ready to go in and see this film. My husband and I saw the first installment of this film a long, long time ago and I honestly didn’t really remember a lot of details. I knew Keanu Reeves was in it and he was killing a lot of people. That was honestly all I could remember. But chapter 2… Chapter 2 is different…

I WILL REMEMBER THIS ONE!

This movie was so full of action and excitement I couldn’t look away (except for a few cringe worthy scenes). Keanu was never one of my favorite actors but I loved him in this film! Keanu plays a notorious hitman, forced out of retirement by a blood oath that would require him to go up against some of the elitist killers of their secret society. On his forced mission, he is reunited with old friends, old enemies and new ones.

Of course a movie like this is going to have a lot of violence and foul language, but I never expected the comedic scenes to actually be funny! I laughed, jumped and at times I couldn’t believe how cool this movie was.

This is definitely not a family oriented movie but I’m sure anyone that likes perfectly choreographed fight scenes, comedy and secret societies would love this movie!

I give John Wick Chapter 2 an 8/10

 

From iFamily to Yours,