Movie Review: The Driftless Area


The Driftless Area DVD

Now available on DVD is the film The Driftless Area.

The Driftless Area stars Anton Yelchin (Odd Thomas), Zooey Deschanel (New Girl), Frank Langella, Alia Shawkat and John Hawkes.

I’m having a hard time trying to decide which genre this film falls under. There is a love story, crime story, supernatural story, thriller and drama all rolled into one.

Anton Yelchin stars as Pierre, a young man whose life has certainly had it’s fair share of drama. He left his small town to make his way in the big world, only to return home after both is parents died at the same time. Feeling a bit like an “orphan,” he is taken in by his best friend Carrie, who is more like a sister to him.

The film starts off with Pierre stranded on the side of the road carrying a rose bush. A car pulls over to offer him a ride. It’s driven by a man name Shane. Shane said he would give Pierre a life if he pays him $20. Pierre agrees.

Shane only drives Pierre a short distance when he forces Pierre to get out of his truck. Pierre is a bit thrown off by his request. Shane even demand that Pierre leave the rose bush. Pierre is forced out the truck and Shane takes off – only to pass out (he as drunk) and crash the car in a ditch.

Pierre witnesses this and runs to the car to get his rose bush. To his surprise he also finds a bag filled with money.

We come to find out that Shane stole the money from a home and set it on fire, not knowing there was someone in the home at the time.

Things seem a bit uneventful after that. Pierre returns home and meets up with his friend Carrie.

Fast forward a day or two later. Pierre is wondering around a grassy field when he accidentally falls into a well. He spends the night in the well. There is no way for him to get out and no one can hear his screams.

The Driftless Area Screen Shot

The next day he is rescue by a beautiful, mysterious women named Stella (Deschanel). Stella is the same girl from the fire.

This is where the story takes on a lot of twists and turns. Is Stella dead? If she is, how can Pierre interact with her? Shane is alive (or is he?) and wants the money that Pierre stole from him. Stella also has a strange relationship with the town’s hermit, Tim (Langella).

There is so much going on. Things make sense, but at the same time they don’t make sense. Is Stella dead? Is Shane dead? Is Pierre dead? Or are they alive? Or both?

The rose bush Pierre is carrying in the beginning of the film was for Stella, but at that point he had not met Stella yet – or did he?

Do you see why I think this film is very confusing?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s an interesting film. It’s just difficult to figure it all out. I even watched the bonus feature about the making of the film and even the actor’s thoughts about the film confused me.

I wish Yelchin smiled in this film. He seemed like he was in a constant fog and and never happy. Even though Deschanel’s character was dead (or was she?), she seemed much happier than Yelchin’s character.

I do know that Pierre was supposed to be the one to help make things right between Stella and the man who murdered her (Shane).

Ghost story, love story, crime story… label it as you’d like. The Drifless Area will certainly keep you guessing and trying to figure out the film, long after the film is over too. You won’t certainly forget it.

From a cinematic standpoint the film was beautiful. The scenery shots are lovely. I don’t know where the film was shot, but it’s a gorgeous place.

There is a bonus feature about the making of the film. It’s based on a book written by Tom Drury.

The film is currently available on DVD. Look for it where ever DVDs are sold.

Below is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.



*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Ratchet and Clank coming to theaters April 29, 2016


Ratchet and Clank

Coming to theaters this Friday (April 29, 2016) is the animated comedy film, Ratchet & Clank.

The film stars the voice talents of Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Bella Thorne, Rosario Dawson and Sylvester Stallone to name a few. Has Stallone ever voiced an animated character before?

From Rainmaker Entertainment and Blockade Entertainment, Ratchet & Clank is a CG-animated movie based on the iconic PlayStation video game. Two unlikely heroes struggle to stop a vile alien named Chairman Drek from destroying every planet in the Solana Galaxy. Ratchet is the last of his kind, a foolhardy “lombax” who has grown up alone on a backwater planet with no family of his own. Clank is a pint-sized robot with more brains than brawn. When the two stumble upon a dangerous weapon capable of destroying entire planets, they must join forces with a team of colorful heroes called The Galactic Rangers in order to save the galaxy. Along the way, they will learn about heroism, friendship, and the importance of discovering one’s own identity.

Here is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.


The film is rated PG and has a run time of 94 minutes.

For more information about the film you can visit the film’s Official Site. You can also check out the film on social media including Facebook, Twitter (@ratchetmovie) and Instagram (@ratchetmovie). The official hashtag is #RatchetandClank.

What do you think about the movie? Do you think you’ll go and see it in theaters?



*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers.

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New Twinkle Toes Lights Up New York & Sketchers Giveaway for mom and daughter (giveaway ends 4/30/16)



Available now on DVD is the animated film Twinkle Toes Lights Up New York. It was also recently shown in theaters across the country.

It’s the last day of school and 14 year-old Grace (aka “Twinkle Toes”) has been dreaming of the ultimate summer vacation with her best friends, Sporty Shorty and Jordan.  But when Twinkle Toes’ Dad gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to direct a Broadway musical, Twinkle Toes is swept from her small-pond suburban life and thrown in the hustle and bustle of New York City for the summer.  As Twinkle Toes learns the ins-and-outs of the Big Apple and Broadway, she impresses the show’s choreographer and is invited to be a part of the show’s cast alongside the teenage starlet, Olivia Conners.  But when Twinkle Toes gets a taste of the Broadway limelight, the chance for stardom overwhelms Twinkle Toes and the show is ruined!  To make things right, Twinkle Toes must use all her creativity, smarts, and dancing skills to help her new friends and save the show!

Check out the film’s trailer.


It looks cute. We also live outside of New York City and visit it often, so anything to do with the city is of interest to me and my family (although my kids are a bit older than the film’s target demographic).

Look for the Twinkle Toes Lights Up New York where ever movies are sold.

Did you know that the popular shoe brand, Sketchers, makes Twinkle Toes shoes as well. They really twinkle!

10539_LBPK 10623_MLT

These are just two examples (above). You can find more awesome light up Twinkle Toes shoes by Sketchers HERE.

The shoe are available in a variety of colors, designs and sizes for both big girls and little girls.

They are pretty cool. I know my daughter would have loved a pair of shoes like these when she was younger. Even as an adult I think they are awesome. I’d love to see what they look like at night time.

For more information check out Sketchers online at www.Sketchers.com. You can also find the brand on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

In honor of the film’s release, I have a fun giveaway for a lucky reader. One winner will receive a copy of the film, Twinkle Toes Lights Up New York on DVD AND the winner’s choice of Sketchers Twinkle Toes shoes for their daughter/granddaughter (found here), as well as a pair for themselves (women’s Sketchers). The available women’s shoes can be found on the Originals and Burst pages.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on April 30, 2016. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will need to reply within three days or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize package?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. 

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Movie Review: Norm of the North


Norm of the North Blu-ray

Available today on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD is the animated film Norm of the North. 

Norm of the North stars the voice talents of Rob Schneider, Heather Graham, Ken Jeong, Bill Nighy and Gabriel Inglesias, to name a few.

Norm of the North is about a Polar Bear living in the North Pole. He’s not much of a hunter like most Polar Bear are. He’d rather dance than hunt. He also have the ability to talk to humans.

Life at the North Pole is not what you expect. Instead of living like normal animals, the creature of the North Pole are bombarded daily by tourists. As a result they put on shows for the humans instead of being like normal animals.

One day Norm finds a house set up near by where they live. It’s a model house that will be used to try and sell more houses in the North Pole.

A company run by a man named Greene is hoping to sell A LOT of homes in the North Pole. He even goes so far as to film a commercial there that Norm was able to stop before they were able to finish.

Norm feels compelled to stop the humans from moving to the North Pole and taking over their home. They only way he can stop them is to get to Greene. To do so he stows away on the model home as it’s taken back to New York City.

Norm of the North Screen Shot

Once in New York, Norm auditions as an human actor in a bear suit to be the spokesperson for Greene’s housing project. Greene knows that Norm is not a human in a bear suit, and uses Norm as their spokesperson (spokesbear?) in hopes that people will want to buy homes in the North Pole if an actual Polar Bear is encouraging them to do so.

Will Norm be able to stop Greene from destroying the North Pole? Will Norm choose to stay in New York City and live out the rest of his life there? To find out you need to pick up (or download) Norm of the North, available where most movies are sold.

I’m not sure if the filmmakers were aiming to simply entertain children and families with this movie, or show how humans impact the North Pole – or both?

This is a cute movie that children will enjoy. There are a lot of adorable characters, music and dancing. There is also a lot of “crude humor” (farting, urinating…) which I didn’t think was necessary for the film. I realize some children find farting funny, but you can make a great movie without stooping to that level.

Mot of the characters were likable. Some of the human characters, like Mr. Greene, were rather creepy looking.

Norm of the North Mr Greene

The CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) was not flawless. You could tell the film was animated via the computer. It did seem a bit “ameraturist” at times. Adults might notice that, but honestly, I don’t think kids will care. All they see is a fun movie.

Overall I think it was an entertaining film with a bit of a lesson about how people negatively effect the North Pole. It has a great soundtrack and enjoyable characters.

There are some bonus features – Deleted Scenes, That’s Funny – the movies best jokes and one liners, Arctic Challenge Trivia Game and “Do the Arctic Shake” sing along featured below.


In honor of the film’s release I have some FREE activity sheets you can enjoy with your family. Simply click on the image (below) to download them.

Did you and your family see Norm of the North? If so, what did you htink about it? I always love to hear from my readers.


*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Movie Review: Lamb


Lamb Movie Poster

Available today on DVD and VOD (Video on Demand) is the film Lamb. 

Lamb stars Ross Partridge, Oona Laurence, Jess Weixler and Tom Bower.

An interesting side note – I know Ross Partridge. We graduated high school together. He lived up the street from me and we road the same bus. We weren’t really friends (he was part of the popular crowd – I was a “wallflower.”). Still… it’s kind of cool that I know someone in movies.

Lamb is a film was adapted by the novel of the same name, written by Bonnie Nadzam. The film was written and directed by Ross Partridge.

Lamb is a story about a man named David Lamb. He’s down on his luck. He is currently living in a hotel room and his father just passed away. His boss even told him he needed to take time off from work.

Just after his father’s funeral, David is hanging out in a parking lot smoking a cigarette when a young girl approaches him. She asks him for a cigarette. David sees the other girl’s she is with and asked if they dared her to ask for a cigarette.

Although their encounter was brief, David tries to impart some words of wisdom on the little girl, whose name is Tommie. David even goes so far as to pretend to kidnap Tommie to see if her friends did anything about it. They didn’t seem to care. He also tells her that his name is Gary.

Lamb 1

PHOTO SOURCE: Lamb’s Facebook page

The next day David meets up with Tommie again and takes her to lunch.

David spends more and more time with Tommie. Then one day he asks her if she’d like to go on a trip with him. She agrees.

David picks up Tommie and brings her to a hotel. He gives her the opportunity to leave if she wants to – and that he would understand. Tommie chooses to stay and go with him on his trip. While traveling David tells Tommie he can take her back at any time.

The pair end up at David’s family cabin in the middle of nowhere. There they spend several days at the cabin. They even tell a neighbor that Tommie is David’s niece Emily so that no one knows who she really is.

Why exactly did David bring Tommie with him to the cabin? What is up with their unusual relationship? Will Tommie ever go home to her uncaring mother? To find out you need to pick up a copy of Lamb. Look for the film where ever movies are sold as well as on VOD.

Here is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.


This film is a bit weird. The whole relationship with David and Tommie is unsettling. He never does anything inappropriate with her (thank goodness – if he did I would have stopped the movie and tossed it out).

The whole dynamics of their relationship is hard to put into words. They appear to be in love with one another – despite the fact that he’s in his late forties and she’s eleven. He treats her like he would a girlfriend. Even though she’s only eleven it’s as if she sees him as her equal too.

David has a warped sense of reality while Tommie, being so young, doesn’t really have a grasp on many things including how wrong it is for an adult man to take her far away from her family and share hotel rooms and a cabin together.

It’s all weird and I didn’t know how I felt about it.

From a cinematic stand point the film was beautiful. I love all the interesting shots and angles they filmed with. Occasionally you would see a close up of something, or an unusual angle of something that really added to the beauty of the film.

I don’t know where the film was shot but the endless green plains and snow covered mountains were breathtaking.

I guess I just didn’t “get” this film. It was a bit on the “deep” side.

The film does have a good rating on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacric, and some film critics give it favorable reviews.

I am not saying it’s a bad film – it’s NOT. It’s just that the relationship between the characters is a bit unsettling for me, personally.

It was interesting to see Ross Partridge in the film, since I know him. And young Oona Laurence did a remarkable job. She has some great acting skill for such a young girl. Some people might recognize her from the movie SouthPaw staring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams (she played their daughter).

Have you seen the film? If so, what did you think about it? I’d love to hear others thoughts about this provocative film.


PHOTO SOURCE: Lamb’s Facebook page. The film is on DVD and VOD. It’s no longer in theaters.


*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Coming to Blu-ray/DVD on May 3, 2016 – Joy (giveaway ends 4/27/16)



Coming to Blu-ray and DVD just in time for Mother’s Day is the film Joy. Joy is currently available on Digital HD.

Joy star Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. It’s the story of Joy Mangano, creator of the Mircale Mop and other household products that are regularly sold on HSN and QVC, as well as other places.

Joy is the dynamic story of a family across four generations, and the woman who would go from dysfunction to inventor because of it. Betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence and the scars of love, pave the road in this intense emotional and human comedy about a true matriarch. Watch alllies become adversaries and adversaries become allies as Joy tackles the unforgiving world of commerce to create a business dynasty. A household name and inspiration for women everywhere.

Blu-ray special features include:

  • Joy, Strength and Perseverance
  • Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell Times Talk with Maureen Dowd
  • Photo Gallery

I have not seen the film yet but I am looking forward to receiving a screener copy to review.

Joy would be a great film to watch for a Girls Night In, mother/daughter movie night or even a date night away from the kids. This film would also make a lovely Mother’s Day gift for that special lady in your life.

Check out these inspiring “Slogans for Success,” that Joy probably employed when she was trying to succeed with her Miracle Mop business.




I’m certainly looking forward to seeing this movie. I am interested in seeing how Joy balance motherhood with developing her own products and business. As a working mom I know how tricky it can be to balance everything.

Look for Joy where ever Blu-rays and DVDs are sold on May 3, 2016.

To see what others are saying about this film, check out the hashtag #JoyInsiders on social media.

Thanks to Fox Home Entertainment I also have a copy of the film to give to a lucky reader. 

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on April 27, 2016. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will need to reply within three days or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win a copy of this film?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I will be receiving a copy of this film in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted. 

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