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This Weekend at the Box Office: Land of Mine

March 14, 2017 at 8:00 AM • Posted in MoviesNo comments yet

 

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,

 

 

 

 

This Weekend at the Box Office: Kong : Skull Island

March 10, 2017 at 8:00 AM • Posted in MoviesNo comments yet

Hello, Kansas City! This weekend, there’s a new film hitting theaters – Kong: Skull Island. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, got a chance at a sneak peek and has a great review below. It is rated PG-13 and as Brigette mentions, this may be better for the older kids and adults. Take a look…

This Weekend at the Box Office: Kong : Skull Island

 

Rated: PG-13
Run time: 2 hrs
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson

 

This Weekend at the Box Office: Kong : Skull Island

 

Let me start by saying this, “Kong is King”! If you are like me and enjoy movies about adventure, Sci-fi, fantasy creatures and laughs, then you will enjoy this installment of King Kong!
This film takes place in the 70’s with a two “truth seekers” looking to find answers about a mysterious uncharted island. After rallying a troop of service men, a photographer and other scientists they venture off into the unknown.
Starting off this movie was a little slow. I don’t know if I was just anxious to see Kong back on the big screen or if there was just…. Well, slow to start because of all the science talk and looking for partners to join them.
However, the real adventure starts from the moment they approach the island! I was drawn back to my seat pretty much the whole movie! With a whole cast of top tier celebs like Tom Hiddleston (Thor), Samuel Jackson (Avengers), John Goodman (Monsters Inc) and Brie Larson (21 jump street). In my opinion the true star of the movie (outside of Kong) was John C. Reilly! He kept the laughs coming, even when the director had you in in awe of the all the action.
This movie is visually entertaining and exciting! There are a few cuss words and at times it can get pretty graphic. Overall, I think it is a good family movie for the older kiddos!
I would rate Kong : Skull Island an 8/10!

PS: See it in IMAX 3D!!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Creative Ways to Add More Magic to Your Beauty and the Beast Viewing

March 6, 2017 at 10:55 AM • Posted in Creative Fun, MoviesComments Off on 5 Creative Ways to Add More Magic to Your Beauty and the Beast Viewing

Bonjour, Kansas City! We here at iFamilyKC are so excited for the upcoming Disney live action version of Beauty & the Beast. It’s set to hit theaters on March 17th, and our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, has some great ideas to add a little extra magic to your viewing experience. Take a look…

5 Creative Ways to Add More Magic to Your Beauty & the Beast Viewing

 

5 Creative Ways to Add Magic to Your Beauty & the Beast Viewing

 

Hear that collective squeal??? It’s Disney fans across the country getting excited about the nearing release of The Beauty and the Beast. Eeeeh! Disney films have been receiving top-notch, live action make-overs and I am loving it. As a mom of two girls, and heck, just someone who grew up on Disney movies, I can’t wait for the new Beauty and The Beast. It stars Emma Watson and comes out in just a couple weeks. It has been 2 years since the live-action Cinderella was released, and when it did, I decided to make a special day of it. Our ‘Cinderella Day’ was such a hit that I had many mom friends copy the plan with their own kids. Now’s our chance to do it again!
When Cinderella came out, I bought the tickets ahead of time and started the day with a fancy brunch at the Majestic downtown. Afterwards, we went home for a wardrobe change. My kids love to dress up in their fancy clothes and almost always have a dress on. Me, not so much. My tiny fashionistas like to often tell me that I should wear heels and skirts more often. So, I let them play fairy godmother and pick out my outfit for the day. An old cocktail dress and my most sparkly shoes were what they picked out for me.
Once we were all dressed for a ball, we headed out for blow outs (in addition to fashion deficiencies- I am also terrible at hair). This was the first time the girls went to a salon and they were apprehensive. Afterwards though, they loved their fancy up do’s. We then met a friend for manicures and pedicures, followed by the movie.

5 Creative Ways to Add More Magic to Your Beauty & the Beast Viewing
Sure, we got some looks rolling into that theater, and I wasn’t super comfortable in my outfit. But we had a fantastic day and we never do anything so extravagant. It was certainly a memorable day for us all. I had a couple friends who loved the idea, but didn’t want to spend the money. They did hair and manicures at home and the moms didn’t participate.
Cinderella obviously called for a make-over, but Beauty and the Beast is a bit more flexible. Here are my top 5 ways to bring a little extra magic to your Beauty and the Beast viewing.

#1 French food

This time our itinerary includes going to Aixois. It is one of my favorite restaurants in Kansas City, so although it is usually more or a date spot, I had to add it. If you’d rather skip a restaurant, you can make crepes for breakfast or a snack. Bon Appe ́tit!

#2 Books

You can visit the library, or read a book at home together. We are stopping by Rainy Day Books, our favorite ‘village’ bookstore.

#3 Beautify

While we won’t be doing the whole makeover shebang this time, I did pick up some Disney Collection by Jamberry nail wraps. The Beauty and the Beast ones are too cute and the products and 8 free (meaning they don’t contain Formaldehyde and other toxins many nail polishes do).

#4 Save a Beast

Why not take this movie as an opportunity to feel like storybook heroines? You too can save a ‘beast’ by adopting a new friend at a local shelter, like KC Pet Project or Wayside Waifs.

#5 Invent Something

Help your kiddos brainstorm something new! If you have time to work on it, fantastic, but this could even just help entertain you all while you wait for the movie to begin.

I’m a big fan of adding a touch of magic where I can and I will certainly be looking forward to March 17th.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

This Weekend at the Box Office: Logan

March 3, 2017 at 9:07 AM • Posted in MoviesComments Off on This Weekend at the Box Office: Logan

Happy Friday AND Happy Opening to the new film, Logan. For anyone interested (…or obsessed) with the X-Men universe, they are back at it again with Logan, focusing on the character of Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman). A special note, that even though this is based on a comic book, it is not recommended for the kids, so maybe consider making this a parent’s night out. Logan is out today, but our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette had a chance at a sneak peek and gives us the low down below. Take a look…

This Weekend at the Box Office: Logan

 

Rated: R
Run Time: 2hr 17 min
Director: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen

 

 

This Weekend at the Box Office: Logan

 

The title says it all. Not “X- Men,” not some impossible quest, not Wolverine. I wanted this movie to be the highlight of my movie going experience for 2017, but ultimately I don’t think it was.

Logan takes place in the not so distant future and it stars a tired, worn out Wolverine serving as what I’m guessing is an Uber driver. The movie begins a little slow, but picks up more excitement when they introduce a new mutant named Laura. Much like Wolverine she bears pure rage and a set of claws that are not to be taken lightly.

While trying to protect Laura from those “scientists” that created her, Logan finds himself in the fight for his life and those he comes in contact with. I don’t want to say too much more about the story line because I KNOW there will be spoilers lol. But the truth is this, the movie was great… for another character! The storyline was well written and the directing was spot on. But this was not what I was hoping it was going to be!

Also, unlike other X- Men character movies this was overly gory. Sure, it’s a super hero movie and they are killing bad guys, I get that, but I can’t recall any other X-Men character movies that were on this level. From claws ripping through bodies, continuous foul language and even a quick (totally unnecessary) brief nudity scene, Logan is definitely not a family movie!
Overall, I did enjoy the movie, I just wish it wasn’t about Wolverine. I would give this movie an 8/10 for the whole movie but a 1/10 as a Wolverine fan.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Weekend at the Box Office: Cure for Wellness

February 17, 2017 at 7:00 AM • Posted in MoviesComments Off on 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

February 10, 2017 at 2:40 PM • Posted in MoviesComments Off on 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,

 

 

 

 

 

This Weekend at the Box Office: Split

January 21, 2017 at 10:33 AM • Posted in MoviesComments Off on This Weekend at the Box Office: Split

This weekend brings us a chance to get out of the house and maybe break up the monotony of winter. If you decide to take a trip to the movies, consider checking out Split. While this one won’t be appropriate for the kiddos, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, definitely think it’s worth seeing for the adults! Check out her low down on the film below…

This Weekend at the Box Office: Split

Release Date: 20 January 2017

Run Time: 117 minutes

MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for dramatic thematic content and behavior, violence and some language)

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Cast: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula

 

From the mastermind writer and director who brought us the unusual and plot twisting movies The Sixth Sense, The Village, Devil and The Visit, comes a new film from M. Night Shyamalan, Split. Split stars James McAvoy who plays a man who has 23 distinctly different personalities. In the beginning of the film, he kidnaps 3 teenage girls and holds them captive. Throughout the film we are introduced to many of his (super creepy) personalities as the girls try to find a way to escape. They try to relate to some of his personalities as a plan to break free. His therapist tries to bring out certain personalities to help understand him more, unbeknownst to her, he has captured the girls. M. Night ties in a previous film to this one in an interesting twist.

 

I am a HUGE fan of Shyamalan’s work! Since The Sixth Sense, I have been hooked on his movies! I admit not every one has been my absolute favorite but he is by far my favorite screenwriter and director. His style is uniquely is own and Split did not disappoint! His camera work draws you in and gives a very distinctive and satisfying look into the world of filmmaking.

 

I give Split a solid 8 out of a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best. Intense, creepy and crazy exciting, true to Shyamalan’s style. There is a definite turning point in the film that I almost couldn’t believe my eyes and had to look away! And I have to agree with the film’s PG-13 rating and actually thought it could have easily earned an R rating. It is better suited for a more mature audience. If you’re looking for a thrilling, edge of your seat horror movie, check this one out! Split is in theaters January 20th.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

This Weekend at the Box Office: Hidden Figures

January 6, 2017 at 8:00 AM • Posted in MoviesComments Off on This Weekend at the Box Office: Hidden Figures

Happy Winter, Kansas City! I know most of us are (hopefully) cozy in our homes, but if you get a little stir crazy and are looking to get out of the house — why not check out this upcoming film, Hidden Figures? It’s about 3 African-American female mathematicians who helped get NASA astronauts into space. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, had the opportunity to get a sneak peek of the film, and raves about it below. Check it out!

This Weekend at the Box Office: Hidden Figures

 

This Weekend at the Box Office: Hidden Figures

Rating: PG
Run Time: 127 min
Release Date: January 6th, 2017
Director: Theodore Melfi
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae

 

This week I had the chance to see another movie that I had put on the top of my list, simply because Hans Zimmer did the score (love his work). Offhand I knew it would at least be entertaining through music, but once I saw the trailer, I knew it was something that had to be seen! I just had no idea how amazing and truly impactful this movie would really be!

 

Hidden Figures stars Taraji P. Henson (Katherine Johnson), Octavia Spencer (Dorothy Vaughan) and Kansas City KS native Janelle Monáe (Mary Jackson). These women alone are a reason to get excited! Not only are they award winners, but they have various awards for different styles of roles. They alone are well worth the price of admission. It also stars Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parsons who themselves have an amazing list of credentials!

 

The film is a true story of 3 remarkable women. Set in the ‘60s, a time of segregation and so much hate. During the “race to space” between America and Russia, 3 black women changed the face of NASA by not only their skills and knowledge, but also by their passion and desire to be great! Starting off as “computers,” these ladies were able to work with some of the most brilliant minds in America as they set forward to launch John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth! This movie does a great job of shining light on these women and their brilliant minds as well as what they really had to fight against in the early 1960’s.

 

I really loved everything about this movie. There were only a few curse words (I think 2) and one scene where two characters kissed but even that quickly faded away. It is definitely a family movie night must!

 

As a mixed woman and mom of 3 black girls, I honestly cannot think of a more important movie for them to see that’s coming out. And not just black girls but young girls everywhere! Not only is it about women that have excelled in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), but it showcases courage, knowledge, and strength. It teaches them that no matter what someone thinks of you, how they treat you or how hard it may be….to never give up! To fight for what is right and never let someone tell you, you can’t achieve your goals!

 

I will gladly give Hidden figures a 10/10 rating! Trust me as soon as it comes out, GO SEE IT!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check Out this List of Holiday Movies by Age Group!

December 13, 2016 at 11:02 AM • Posted in HolidayComments Off on Check Out this List of Holiday Movies by Age Group!

Howdy, Kansas City! Can you believe it? We’re down to the last two weeks before the holidays come rolling around again, and I know one my family’s favorite traditions is watching holiday movies. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, gives us a great list, categorized by age group, of some great films to keep you cozy on these cold, winter nights. Enjoy!

Check Out this List of Holiday Movies by Age Group!

Christmas is just around the corner! My kids and I have been watching Christmas movies for the last week or so and we are definitely in the Christmas spirit now! I can’t possibly think of a better way to spend winter break with my kids than with a big bowl of popcorn, Christmas cookies and a holiday movie. There are so many fantastic movies old and new to check out! Here are a list of our favorites broken down by age group, but use your discretion as your child might be ready for any or all of these!

 

Ages 2 and up

Charlie Brown Christmas

Shrek the Halls

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Mickey’s Christmas Carol

Frosty the Snowman

The Snowman

Merry Madagascar

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas

 

Ages 5 and up

A Christmas Carol

The Nightmare Before Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Prep and Landing

The Polar Express

Santa Buddies

 

Ages 7 and up

Home Alone

One Magic Christmas

The Santa Clause

Miracle of 34th Street

Elf

 

Ages 10 and up

It’s a Wonderful Life

White Christmas

Christmas with the Kranks

Christmas Story

 

Ages 14 and up

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Scrooged

Bad Santa

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas

Four Christmases

 

From iFamily to Yours,

iFamMomSqdErinV2

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This Weekend at the Box Office: Bleed for This

November 18, 2016 at 8:00 AM • Posted in MoviesComments Off on This Weekend at the Box Office: Bleed for This

If you’re looking for a chance to get out with some friends or your significant other before all the festivities of next week, why not check out Bleed for This, starring Miles Teller? Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, had a chance to see it a few days before opening and gives us the rundown of what to expect. Check it out…

This Weekend at the Box Office: Bleed for This

This Weekend at the Box Office: Bleed for This

Release Date: November 18, 2016
Run Time: 1 hr 56 min
Rating: R
Director: Ben Younger
Cast: Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart

 


Man oh man…. Where do I begin with this movie!? I am going to do my absolute best at not giving away too much or any spoilers, so if I do… sorry!

 

I truly love a great underdog or comeback story and this one is definitely one of the best! Miles Teller (Whiplash) stars as world champion boxer Vinny Pazienza, who after a tragic accident that nearly left him paralyzed, defeated the odds and was able to become a legendary boxer. This true story movie leaves you in awe of the human nature to never give up.

 

I must admit I have been wanting to see this movie for a while and I am so glad it lived up to my expectation! Outside of the occasional nudity and constant foul language (not a fan of it), I was constantly engaged and excited to see his next move! I even found myself worried and afraid at times that something awful was going to happen to Vinny. Every time he challenged himself or someone, my heart would sink! The story is beyond inspiring and the acting its self pulls its own weight!

 

Another thing I loved about this movie was the footage. I loved the fact that they showed home videos and actual recordings from his fights. It made you feel even more connected to Vinny and those around him. I could go on and on about Vinny’s will power, brute strength and courage to do what he did. But honestly you will have to take my word for it and GO SEE it! I highly doubt you will be disappointed! I know I wasn’t!

 

I would gladly rate this movie a 8.5/10!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

brigettev8

 

 

 

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