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This Weekend at the Box Office: Hidden Figures

January 6, 2017 at 8:00 AM • Posted in MoviesNo comments yet

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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This Weekend at the Box Office – Arrival

November 11, 2016 at 8:00 AM • Posted in MoviesComments Off on This Weekend at the Box Office – Arrival

Happy Friday, Kansas City! After a long week, the movies are one of my favorite activities to enjoy on the weekend. This weekend, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner have a new movie out, Arrival. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette was able to get sneak peek and gives us the highs and lows. Take a look…

This Weekend at the Box Office - Arrival

 

This Weekend at the Box Office – Arrival

 

Release Date: November 11, 2016
Run Time: 116 min
Rating: PG-13
Director: Denis Villenueve
Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner

 

Let me start by saying this, I have a tendency to over excite myself about things and sometimes it pays off and other times I just get an even bigger let down!

The other night I had the opportunity to preview “Arrival” starring Amy Adams (love her), Jeremy Renner (Avengers) and Forest Whitaker (Last King of Scotland). When I first seen the preview I just knew this was going to be a groundbreaking movie! Great actors, unique story line and not to mention Sci-Fi! But as I watched “Arrival” and even as I’m typing, I find myself baffled.

 

The story line is not like your typical alien movie. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I will let you know this…. If you are looking for an “end of the world, doomsday suck out our brains” kind of movie, you will be disappointed. After a foreign air craft appears in several locations around the globe, a crafty team of military personnel and scientists around the world try to none the less communicate with Earth’s new visitors.

 

Outside the fact that the movie starts off a little slow, the suspense is phenomenal! It will have your mind rambling dozens of questions, trying to figure out the aliens next move, and whether or not the humans can act fast enough before going into full blown war! With a few plot twists and the occasional cheeky humor, I could not help but constantly wonder what will happen next?!

 

But, I have to be honest…

 

What did eventually happen next was not that great. I’m talking about the ending. With so much suspense and visually intriguing scenes, the ending did not live up to the same standard as the rest of the movie. I felt “let down”. It kind of seemed like it just ended. It was as if the writers had written something so crazy and the only way for it all to make sense was to just throw a curve ball that did nothing really.

 

If I had to rate this movie I would give it a 3.5 /5 simply because they lift you up so high and then drop you at the end.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

brigettev8

 

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Date Night At The Movies: “Inferno” Review

October 30, 2016 at 8:25 AM • Posted in Mom Fun, MoviesComments Off on Date Night At The Movies: “Inferno” Review

This weekend a lot of us will be busy with our families doing Halloween activities. If you and your significant other find yourselves needing some adult time (and who won’t) a movie date may be in order. Hitting the box office this week is Inferno and it could be just what you’re looking for. Take a look…

“Inferno”

Ron Howard and Tom Hanks are back with another film adaptation of another one of Dan Brown’s wildly successful novels. Inferno is the third movie where Tom Hanks plays Robert Langdon, a famous Harvard professor and symbologist. Langdon wakes in a hospital with amnesia and immediately jumps into action with the aide of his ER doctor, Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) to find a virus that will wipeout half of the world’s population. With pain and horrifying visions due to a head trauma, he takes off to remember what he’s doing in Florence and to save humanity while racing the clock and outside forces.

Like every Dan Brown novel, this story is a maze and a calculus problem wrapped in a riddle and played out scavenger hunt style. However, the film did a good job of connecting the dots for viewers who may be a little behind on their Dante (like me). I had read Dan Brown’s Inferno years ago, and I only remembered a bit of it. My friend who joined me had not read the book at all. We both really enjoyed the film, and ignorance may have been key as many other moviegoers were griping about the inconsistencies. Even if the movie didn’t mirror the book’s storyline, it was still enjoyable.

The plot had many twists and it was fast paced, but it had to be to get the large novel into a two-hour film. The locations were beautiful. Most of it was filmed in Italy and it served as a reminder that I need to travel more. The movie is rated PG-13, but it is gory. There were a lot of disturbing images. It is about Dante’s Inferno after all. I think the Halloween release was a wise one, though maybe it should have come out a little sooner. This would be a great date movie for people who are tempted to do a spooky movie, but don’t really want a horror film. This did toe the horror line at times- especially in the beginning, but it is a true thriller, and it worked for the material.

The cast was good, which it really needed to be as there were a lot of people and organizations at play and they did not get very thorough backstories. Diverse and strong actors kept this enigmatic roster of characters easy to keep track of. Tom Hanks was amazing, as always. He even provided a bit of comic relief- a nice break in an otherwise heavy two hours. Overall I give a B. I would go see it in the theater, but I wouldn’t buy it.  

From iFamily to Yours,

Darcy

Inferno Review from Darcy of the iFamilyKC Mom Squad

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The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

October 17, 2016 at 10:00 AM • Posted in Holiday, MoviesComments Off on The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

One of my favorite parts of the holidays are MOVIES. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas — there are so many great movies that really bring the spirit of the holiday alive. Halloween has fantastic films, and our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin breaks down the best Halloween movies for every age group. Grab some popcorn, kick your feet up, and watch one of these movies!

The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

 

Halloween is almost here!! I can’t think of a better way to end the Halloween night festivities with a big bucket of popcorn, some of your kid’s trick or treat candy and a good Halloween movie! If you plan on staying in for the night you could choose a few of these and have a Halloween movie marathon! Either way, check out the following list of Halloween flicks that I’m sure your family will love!

 

Please note: These are broken down by age group to help you decide what may be appropriate for your child. However your child may or may not be ready for some of these movies, especially the ones in the last list. Use your own discretion!

 

Ages 2 and up

 

The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

 

All of the movies in this list are animated, short and sweet, and quite possibly hold the attention of the youngest movie watchers!

Spookley the Square Pumpkin

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Room on a Broom

 

Ages 5 and up

 

The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

 

A few more recent animated films on this list and a few fun light-hearted flicks!

ParaNorman

Hotel Transylvania

Halloweentown

Double Double Toil and Trouble

Monster House

Spooky Buddies

 

Ages 7 and up

 

The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

 

 

Quite a few Tim Burton flicks are on this list. Those can be a bit frightening to younger ones. And a few cult classics that I bet you can’t wait to share with your kids!

Hocus Pocus

The Addams Family

Ghostbusters

Goosebumps

Casper

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Corpse Bride

FrankenWeenie

Coraline

The Witches

Escape to Witch Mountain

 

Ages 10 and up

 

The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

 

Enjoy these somewhat scary movies for tweens!

Harry Potter

Gremlins

E.T.

The Haunted Mansion

Beetlejuice

Fun Size

 

Ages 14 and up

 

The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!

 

I wanted to make sure and represent the teen crowd and young adults in this post so these movies are definitely recommended for ages 14 and up. Some of these you might save for the older teens. These are sure to scare! Wait until the little tykes have come off their sugar high and settled down for the night to check these out.

Halloween

Poltergeist

Scream

The Ring

The Blair Witch Project

The Conjuring

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Nightmare on Elm Street

 

What are some of your favorite Halloween movies? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

From iFamily to Yours,
iFamMomSqdErinV2

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Halloween Movies for Every Age Group!


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This Weekend at the Box Office: Deepwater Horizon

September 30, 2016 at 6:50 AM • Posted in MoviesComments Off on This Weekend at the Box Office: Deepwater Horizon

Hello, Kansas City! Anyone ready for a movie night this weekend? If so, check out Deepwater Horizon, out tonight, starring Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, and more. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, got a sneak peek at the new film inspired by true events, and gives us her thoughts below. Check it out.

This Weekend at the Box Office: Deepwater Horizon

This Weekend at the Box Office: Deepwater Horizon

 

Release Date: September 30, 2016
Run Time: 107 min
Rating: PG-13
Director: Peter Burg
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson

 

 

 

Deepwater Horizon is a movie about the offshore drilling rig that exploded in 2010 filling the Gulf of Mexico with millions of gallons of oil. Its awesomeness entertains as well as gives audiences a grim view of oil corporations and drilling. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, Gina Rodriguez and John Malkovich, this is one hell of a disaster movie.

 

It follows Mike Williams (Wahlberg) as he leaves his family to go out to the rig where they are behind schedule and bogged down in complications. As he and Mr. Jimmy (Transocean’s Installation Manager- played expertly by Kurt Russell) try to keep things safe on the rig, BP executives constantly push to begin drilling. John Malkovich plays his role as the top BP man there to perfection.

 

There’s not a lot to spoil here, as we all know about this spill- the largest man-made disaster in history. It is incredible to see though. Explosion after explosion, this movie had me nervously biting my nails and jumping out of my seat throughout. I was moved by the heroics of these people, as they were trust into a living nightmare. The film does a good job of recognizing those true men and women who risked and gave their lives to help others.

 

I haven’t liked a disaster movie this much since Armageddon, although this felt much more somber to me. Acting, effects, storyline- this has it all (baring an Aerosmith rock ballad). There is a lot of information to digest, as the film tries to help the average theatergoer understand the mechanics of what exactly happened. However, whether you understand it all or not, the movie is incredible. It is out this weekend, September 30.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

iFamMomSqdDarcyv2

 

 


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This Weekend at the Box Office: The Magnificent Seven

September 25, 2016 at 7:59 AM • Posted in MoviesComments Off on This Weekend at the Box Office: The Magnificent Seven

Happy Weekend, Kansas City! The classic, Magnificent Seven, is getting a reboot with Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt, and our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, got a sneak peek. Check out her review of the new take on an old favorite. Take a look!

This Weekend at the Box Office: The Magnificent Seven

 

This Weekend at the Box Office: The Magnificent Seven

Release Date: September 23, 2016
Run Time: 2 hr 12 min
Rating: PG-13
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt

 

I knew that people would be excited about this film. Audiences have been barraged with military movies and then sci-fi/action movies and most recently superhero movies. The classic, grandpa-associated westerns seem somewhat novel again with True Grit and other cowboy films coming out.

 

That being said, a star-studded remake of one of my father’s favorite films didn’t leave me with high expectations. I love the cast and the basic storyline (seven loner sharp-shooters band together to save a town from a villainous gold-hoarding psychopath), but I really hoped I could see this film and tell my dad it was great and he would enjoy it. I didn’t know if that was possible.

 

When I went to the theater it was PACKED! People were dying to see this movie and again I thought, with all this hype- how can it not be disappointing. Happily though, this film saw my low expectations and high hopes and it addressed them and blew me away. This is one of the best films I have seen in awhile. And a cowboy film at that!

 

The actors were fantastic. The director was fantastic. He clearly knew he had amazing talent, and he let them do their thing. Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, and Chris Pratt lead this cast, but are by no means the only talent. Each actor- even some unknown to me- got some spotlight. The movie was funny, well rounded, action PACKED and drama filled. The actors seemed to be enjoying the film (which I know shooting this was tough) and it bled through to the audience.

 

I had seen reviews that called the film “gory” which I am happy to disagree with. There were a couple cringe-worthy scenes and obviously a LOT of shooting and killing, but there was not excessive, or unnecessary blood. My husband remarked later that there was no nudity, nor could we recall any cursing. The film does have a PG-13 rating.

 

I have two kind-of complaints about the movie and they are: 1. It is a long movie. 2 hours and twelve minutes long. There was like a 90 second stare-down with an increasingly annoying whistle. But overall, it all felt right and it felt worthwhile. And 2. This film is going to be popular. It will be in IMAX for seven days only and I expect it will be filling up theaters well over opening weekend. Reserve a seat or expect to show up early to get seats. But it will be absolutely worth it.

 

From iFamily to Yours,
iFamMomSqdDarcyv2


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This Weekend at the Box Office: The Secret Life of Pets

July 8, 2016 at 4:15 PM • Posted in MoviesComments Off on This Weekend at the Box Office: The Secret Life of Pets

Summer is a great time for animated films, and this summer is nothing different.  The Secret Life of Pets comes out this weekend, and it is not to be missed. With it’s quirky characters, fun writing, and silly story, it is sure to be an all-around fun movie for the family. Our very own Mom Squad Ambassador, Stephanie shares her review of it below. Check it out!

This Weekend at the Box Office: The Secret Life of Pets

“The Secret Life of Pets”

Release Date: July 8th, 2016
Director: Yarrow Cheney, Chris Renaud
Rated: PG
Running Time: 90 min

If you haven’t seen previews for The Secret Life of Pets – you are missing out. This movie is super cute and I bet you’ll love it!

My husband and I had the opportunity to take the big kids out to see the new movie, The Secret Life of Pets, after they have been begging me for weeks after seeing the previews! The movie takes place in Manhattan where a dog named Max lives with his owner. Every day, Max (and the other animals in the apartment complex) wait for their owners to come home by spending the day doing silly stuff around the apartment (getting into the refrigerator and eating the owner’s food, jamming out to music, and watching soap operas).

One day, Max’s owner brings home a new dog – which is NOT okay with Max. He hates sharing his owner’s time with the new dog, Duke, and they get into a fight. During the fight, both dogs lose their collars and end up roaming the streets trying to find their way back to their apartment.

Unfortunately, the local dog catchers snatch them up and start to take them to the pound! Another dog is also locked up in the back of the dog catcher’s van who happens to be part of a secret club of abandoned pets looking for revenge on humans. The other abandoned pets come to their friends rescue and break Max and Duke free – under the assumption they are abandoned as well.

When the abandoned pets learn that Max and Duke are actually owned by a human, they are not happy!. The other pets from the apartment complex come together to try and save Max and Duke from the abandoned pets and tons of silly shenanigans happen!

The kids laughed a ton throughout the movie and of course there were even parts my husband and I found funny. Overall, this is a really cute movie I’m sure your kiddos (and you!) will love!

From iFamily to Yours,
Stephanie_iFamilyKC_MomSquad


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This Weekend at the Box Office: The BFG

July 1, 2016 at 3:33 PM • Posted in MoviesComments Off on This Weekend at the Box Office: The BFG

So many summer films, so little time! Every once in awhile, iFamilyKC likes to hand out free tickets to upcoming films to our readers. Our Mom Ambassador, Leah, was able to jump in on the fun and check out Disney’s The BFG. It’s a sweet story that many of us grew up reading, and now Disney has turned into a great film experience. Check out Leah’s review below!

This Weekend at the Box Office: The BFG

“The BFG”

Release date: July 1, 2016
Director: Steven Spielberg
Rated: PG13
Running Time: 115 Minutes
Ages Recommended: 7 and up

The BFG — which was directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Roald Dahl’s beloved fantasy book — is about a Big Friendly Giant (BFG) and an orphan named Sophie. The movie has a very slow start, and some pretty intense moments for younger children. It tells a story of Sophie being taken from her orphanage by BFG. At first Sophie is very afraid of the giant. Sophie thinks the giant took her to eat her. BFG quickly informs her that he is friendly. He then explains to her that the other giants who neighbor him are not so friendly.

Throughout the movie Sophie encounters many close calls of being eaten by the other giants. Death is referenced in not-so-subtle ways several times during the movie. I think some of the scenes would be too intense for younger children. For the most part the movie had a slow pace with a few hysterical parts to it.

I attended the movie with two fourteen year olds who loved it. I however as a parent found it to be a little boring. Both of the teenagers I accompanied had read the book. They both stated it was pretty accurate to the original story line. I think this movie would be a fun movie to take older children and pre-teens to. I did enjoy the message behind the movie. I think it was trying to teach children the importance of not judging others. I also enjoyed the relationship of the giant and the little girl. The graphics in 3 D were really neat to watch. However, I just felt the story line took too long to pick up.
I would give it two and half stars out of four.

From iFamily to Yours,
Leah_iFamilyKC_MomSquad

 


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