Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

The Santa Claus Parade Favourites

Last Sunday we went to our local Santa Claus Parade, which just happens to be the biggest in the country. My husband and I have gone to the parade together almost 20-years (only the last 8-years have been with kids). It’s a different feeling seeing the parade with kids in tow. We sang Christmas songs, handed in letters to Santa, caught candy being tossed out by crazy clowns and enjoyed the somewhat commercialized floats.

When I go to the parade, the bands are my favourite, especially a band with bagpipes. Have I told you my deep down desire to learn to play the pipes? That’s a whole other post. For the kids, seeing the floats is their favourite. My kids enjoyed all the floats but it was obvious what their favourites were.

No surprise that my 3-year old went crazy for both the Tangled and Barbie A Fashion Fairytale floats. You may remember we had a chance to see the first Canadian screening of the Tangled move before it was released in theatres and the Barbie a Fashion Fairytale before it came out on DVD. You can imagine her excitement seeing her two favourite characters appearing before her, super-sized. She was thrilled beyond belief.

My son almost fell on the people in front of us he was so excited seeing the Lego float. My son loves Lego. Actually love isn’t nearly strong enough, more like obsessed. And it was a great float. Seeing the larger-than-life characters gave them a sense that they were indeed real, not just a toy. Of course after this float my son wanted to get home and watch the Lego movie The Adventures of Clutch Powers. I actually hope they bring out more Lego movies; even I enjoyed that film.

My oldest daughter was excited to see the Little Big Planet 2 float, though I didn’t get any photos of it. We’re a bit of a gaming family and that’s her game of choice. I liked seeing the Potato Heads. I missed them when I was at BlogHer in New York City but they found me here in Toronto not too long after my return.

But no parade would be complete without the jolly man himself, Santa. I love that both kids and adults alike, waved and wished Santa a Merry Christmas. And now that Santa has arrived, it’s now time for me to get ready for the holidays. Deck the halls and drink some eggnog, fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la!

Barbie Fashion Fairytale Movie Event

Sunglasses. CHECK

Fashionable outfit. CHECK

Flashy smile. CHECK

Glamour pose. CHECK

My girls and I were ready to face the paparazzi at the movie premiere. I’m not talking about the Toronto International Film Festival, which by chance is happening in town this weekend too. No I’m talking about the premiere of the new Barbie movie, Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale, due out on DVD September 14, 2010. Yummy Mummy Club and High Road Communications were hosting this exclusive sneak peek for a few yummy mummies and daddies and their kids. I was fortunate enough to be invited, along with my two girls.

While we waited in a sea of glitzy and glamourous girls, we witnesses Barbie’s arrival at the event. My 3-year old was so excited and couldn’t believe Barbie had just walked by her. Before entering the movie, the girls were given these great pink Barbie tiara headbands and they had their chance to strut their stuff on the famous pink carpet. And like all movie premieres they posed admidst a frenzy of flashbulbs. My girls loved it.

Each child attending was also given a kids meal (drink, popcorn and Kinderegg) to enjoy during the movie and parents were given a free Tim Horton’s coffee. They even had the chance for kids to be a Barbie and pose in a Barbie doll box. It was a very cute idea but my girls wanted to get their seats. And it’s a good thing since it looked like a full house. We were lucky to get a seat near the front. We actually sat in the row right behind Barbie. My 3-year old kept sneaking glances over at her in disbelief.

It wouldn’t be an event without prizes right? There were 4 door prizes consisting of a Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale doll and DVD and surprisingly my 8-year old daughter was one of the winners! She was so excited that she dropped her popcorn on the floor. If you know my daughter’s love of popcorn you know she had to be REALLY excited to drop it.

Then it was time for the movie. My girls loved it, even more than Barbie: A Mermaid Tale (which we all loved). The fashion theme and the fairies, or rather flaries (fairies with flare) were big selling features.

WIN a Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale Prize Pack

EverythingMom is running a contest right now to give away five (5) Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale prize packs consisting of both the DVD and Barbie). But hurry, contest ends September 19, 2010.

The Friendly Canadian Myth

There’s this rumour going around. It’s not new; it’s been going around for years now. I’m referring to the myth that Canadians are a really friendly group of people, especially to tourists.

If you’ve ever seen the film Canadian Bacon with John Candy (and I might be showing my odd humour but I love this movie), there’s a scene in which John Candy is rushing through a group of Canadians, pushing them down and the Canadians are apologizing, for being in the way! Ha! That wouldn’t happen now. Heck, I don’t know if that would ever have happened.

Obviously that scene is a bit of an exaggeration, as is the whole film, but in my experience Canadians aren’t as friendly as the world perceives us to be.

I’ve just come back from visiting friends in the United States. It’s incredible how different the people are there. In the United States people are more likely to strike up a conversation with you in line (you’ll be lucky to get a smile from a Canadian) and the number of times drivers cut you off, drive in the incorrect lane, don’t let you in or don’t thank you for letting them in, seems to increase as soon as we cross the border, into Canada.

Perhaps it’s the city I live in. Perhaps people are more stressed about finances and job stability. Maybe it’s because I’m in vacation mode and that changes how I interact with people  I’m visiting versus those I work and live and deal with day-to-day.

Whatever the reason, I think unless we as Canadians start living up to our reputation we need to stop perpetrating the myth. Maybe I’m looking at this backwards but I would rather visitors have a lower expectation of Canadians and be pleasantly surprised versus being dreadfully disappointed.

Do you believe friendly Canadians are a reality or myth?

Review: Lego Adventures of Clutch Powers (DVD)

So how did you kick off March Break at your house? Us? With a Saturday afternoon movie of course. Earlier in the week we were watching a movie we rented from the library when we spotted the trailer for Lego: The Adventures of Clutch Powers; a full-length feature film based on Lego characters. My son starred wide-eyed in awe at the movie trailer. So imagine his surprise when a few days later someone sent us a copy of that very movie! [insert image of a 5-year-old doing a bit of a happy dance].

With my son’s Lego fixation (we even established a Lego building area in his room), it’s no surprise he wanted to watch this movie. So we watched it. And we watched it again. And again. In one day Lego: The Adventure of Clutch Powers has been watched four times! And if I allowed it, my son would keep watching it.

And actually I don’t really blame him. The picture quality is actually quite good, better than I was expecting, but I guess when you have the Lego name attached to it you have to make it good. The story is fun:

Meet Clutch Powers, the best builder and explorer in the LEGO® universe as he heads off on his most dangerous mission yet. Join Clutch and his team of LEGO® experts as their adventure leads them from LEGO® City to the Space Police prison planet to the medieval world of Ashlar where they must help the rightful heir to the King’s throne find the courage to regain the kingdom from the evil wizard Mallock the Malign.

Their brick-building skills will be put to the ultimate test as they face off against Mallock’s skeleton army. Get ready for an action-packed adventure like nothing you have ever seen before, The Adventures of Clutch Powers! (pulled from the official Lego Clutch Powers website)

We’re big fans of the Wii Lego Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Batman games and Lego: Adventures of Clutch Powers has the same sort of feel. My son loved seeing some of his favourite Lego sets come to life and screen and his favourite part was when the character’s built things on the spot. The adventure contained the same fun humour in the Lego Wii game vignettes. Because the movie is based on the Lego characters, we didn’t need to worry about scary scenes but it was still a great adventure story.

If you have a Lego fan in your house, Lego: Adventures of Clutch Powers might be a great addition to your home video library. Wonder what we’ll be watching on our road trip later this week?

A Morning with Barbie at The Mermaid Tale movie premiere

I’ve been a member of the Yummy Mummy Club for a number of years now. I’ve enjoyed the articles, even wrote a few, and love their contests. Sometimes they even host events for Yummy Mummy Club members to get out and have fun. Today was one of those days with the Barbie Mermaid movie premiere event.

Barbie in a Mermaid Tale is the newest Barbie adventure move, due out on DVD March 9. To celebrate the movie’s release, the Yummy Mummy Club, along with Highroad, Universal and Mattel, hosted a fun movie premiere event for some local Yummy Mummy Club members.

My daughter’s were thrilled to be invited to attend. I wasn’t sure we would make it out on time with my three-year-old changing her Barbie’s outfit five times (because of course Barbie had to come to the event too).

We arrived to find a group of other Barbie fans waiting to enter the event. It was a sea of pink with little girls dressed in their finest and fanciest. Boys were there too; I think we even saw Superman.

As this was a movie premiere, the kids got to strike a pose on the pink carpet. The paparazzi were there to take their photos. My seven-year-old loved this and my three-year-old followed her lead.

There was even a pink surf board for the kids to surf along side Barbie. My girls were all for standing on he surf board, but they didn’t quite get the surfing part.

Then Barbie arrived! Yes, Barbie. My three-year-old stared in awe as she walked by. She couldn’t believe her luck of getting a picture with her.

Settling in with snacks and after some generous Barbie door prizes were handed out from Mattel, it was on to the movie. My girls loved it, especially my three-year-old. And what’s not to love. Surfer girl Barbie discovers she’s actually part mermaid (her mom was the Queen of Oceana and her father was a human). While she wrestles with her new discovery, she finds an inner strength to help the merfolk and restore her mother to her rightful place as Queen of Oceana.

My three-year-old sat mesmerized by the whole film. She loved the mermaids, laughed at the dolphin, worries about the evil sister Queen and enjoyed herself thoroughly.

When the movie ended, all the kids received treat bags full of little Barbie in a Mermaid Tale items. Although my three-year-old’s favourite part of the day was meeting Barbie and watching the movie, my seven-year-old’s was when Erica Ehm, Yummy Mummy Club founder, interviewed her about what she thought of the film.

Barbie in a Mermaid Tale DVD is expected in stores March 9, 2010. You can also hear what moms and girls thought of the event on the Barbie Movie Premiere episode of  YummyMummyClub TV (including my girls who walk the carpet and my oldest who gives her critic of the movie too).

These are a few of my favourite things

Recently I read a blog post by Jill of Scary Mommy ‘My Favourite Things – A Giveaway’ and it got me singing. You know, the song from Sound of Music…Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…

With that out of my system I reread Scary Mommy’s blog post and thought about what my answers would be to her Favourite Things post:

Favourite movies: I’m a big action/adventure movie fan, as in 007, Indian Jones, And the Bourne Trilogy. But I do have a softer side, especially when it comes to Christmas classics (the original Miracle on 34th Street, Holiday Inn, Christmas in Connecticut. I could go on and on).

Favourite TV shows: If it has the initials BBC, then I probably love it. There’s something about British comedy that I really enjoy. But I also love crime dramas like any of the Law and Order series, CSI (except Miami, I’m just not a big fan of the actors in that one), Fringe and Dexter to name a few. Funny, for someone who doesn’t have cable or satellite or watch a lot of TV, I sure have a lot of TV favourits.

Favourite book (read within 6 months): Well the two books I’m reading now and enjoying are both children’s books (middle grade I guess you could say). I’m reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with the kids as part of the reading challenge at Galleysmith. I’m also reading Cynthea Liu’s new release Paris Pan takes a Dare. I guess I just can’t escape the kid in me.

Favourite childrens book: I love childrens books (can you tell from the previous point), maybe that’s why I like to write childrens fiction or rather try to since I’m not published, yet. But I would have to say my absolute favourite book from growing up is Pierre Burton’s The Secret World of Og. I actually wrote a review on it recently as part of Write a Review Wednesday. A great book if you haven’t had a chance to read it.

Favourite food: Anything someone else makes. Oh, you mean specifically. Well then I’d have to say bread. Italian. French. German. Doesn’t matter as long as it’s bread. I can be completely full from a meal but still find a way to fit one more slice of bread from the bread basket into me.

Favourite store: That’s so easy. Target. I could spend a whole day in there. And I always come out with something. It’s too bad the closest one is so far away, across the border, like I need a passport to shop there kind of far away. But that’s okay, it then turns shopping into an adventure.

Favourite coffe drink: Well I don’t actually drink coffee. Never got into it. I tried it once in college but that was disasterous and deserves a post of its own. I love the smell of it, but the taste just doesn’t live up. But I do love the coffee store, especially if it’s a Starbucks and I can pick up a wonderfully delicious Straberries & Creme Frappuccino Blended Creme. Yummmmmm.

So what are a few of your favourite things?

I’m sure I could write it better

As you already know, I’m participating in the Harry Potter Reading Challenge happening over at Galleysmith. I was fortunate enough to have my mom lend me her copies of The Philosophers Stone and The Chamber of Secrets so we were able to start reading. My husband and I have been taking turns reading a chapter to the kids each night at bedtime. We’ve all been really enjoying the experience.

Since I’ve seen the movies also, I can’t help but compare each scene we read in the book to the corresponding scene in the movie, if it exists. Yesterday the kids asked to watch The Chamber of Secrets movie. We finished watching The Philosopher’s Stone a few days earlier (again) so when we asked the kids what they wanted to watch, The Chamber of Secrets was the obvious next choice.

There’s a scene in movie where Ron and Harry are in Professor Dumbledore’s office being reprimanded by Professor Snape for damaging the Whomping Willow:

Snape: Not to mention damaging a Whomping Willow that’s been on these grounds since before you were born

Okay, maybe it’s just me, but this line really bugs me. If you’ve seen the movie, the tree is so large it has to be hundreds of years old. And how old are Harry and Ron in the second story? Thirteen? Saying that tree is over thirteen years old is ridiculous! Of course I assumed this was a line that was pulled from the book. But after reading and re-reading the pages this scene occurs on in the book, it’s obvious the screenwriters added this.

I’m sure I could come up with something better:

  • a Whomping Willow that’s been around since before Hogworts was built
  • a Whomping Willow the founders of Hogwarts planted
  • a Whomping Willow that’s been around since before Dumbledore was born

Well you get the idea. At least these examples emphasize the old age of the tree, which I am assuming was the intention of including the line in the movie in the first place.

What would line would you write instead?

Beyond Harry Potter

As the new Harry Potter movie is due in theatres this summer, we’ve been watching all the previous films as a refresher. I’ll admit, I’ve never read the books but I’m a big fan of the movies.

As we were watching the first movie seeing Alan Rickman in the role of Professor Severus Snape, one of my favourite characters I might add, I was reminded of another movie of his I really enjoy. Then I started to think about other characters in the Harry Potter film and the other movies they have done:

Alan Rickman (plays Professor Severus Snape) – Truely, Madly, Deeply (1990): A woman looses her husband and tries to deal with the grief, but her husband’s ghost (Alan Rickman) can’t bring himself to leave her. A great movie.

Maggie Smith (plays Professor Minerva McGonagall) – Gosford Park (2001): A murder mystery surrounded by the  examination of the English class structure of master vs. servant. Maggie Smith plays a member of the upper class society, which she does quite well.

Robbie Coltraine (Rubeus Hagrid) – Cracker (1993-95): Not a movie, but a great murder mystery TV series. Robbie Coltraine plays a psychologist called on by the police to solve local murders.

John Hurt (Mr. Olivander) – A Man for all Seasons (1966): During the time of Henry the Eighth and his battle with the catholic church around divorce, one man holds on to his morals and stands against him. John Hurt doesn’t play a big role, but this is still one of the movies I think of him in.

Julie Walters (Molly Weasley) – Calendar Girls (2003): The Woman’s Institute (of which Julie Walters plays one of the more adventurous women with Helen Mirrim) decides to take a new spin on the annual WI calendar by posing nude.

So it looks like after I get through the Harry Potter movies, I’ll be pretty busy watching these. And maybe you’ll check out one or two of these yourself.

Our deepest fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

Marianne Williamson

This was a quote I heard last night, many times, in the movie Akeelah and the Bee (a very good movie by the way). This quote really struck a cord in me last night. I’ve been taking the easy way out, believing that doing great things is someone else’s destiny, not mine. Hopefully going forward I’ll have the courage to believe in myself and all that I’m capable of doing.