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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – in theaters November 21, 2014

*I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Lions Gate. I received a book, products, and a promotional item to thank me for participating.
Mockingjay Part 1 Poster

Several years ago my daughter was begging me for a series of books from an author Suzanne Collins. I knew nothing of the books or the author so I was reluctant to purchase books I knew nothing about (just in case they were not age appropriate). After learning that all her friends were reading a book called The Hunger Games I figured it was OK for her to read the book so I picked her up a copy.

My daughter was so into the book that she read it in a matter of a couple of days and begged me to get her the second one in the series.

About the same time we learned that the book was coming to theaters are a feature film by the same name, The Hunger Games. My daughter was so excited. The day the movie came out she went to see it with her friends.

Admittedly I had no interest in the book or the film.

One day I saw the DVD in the store and bought it as a gift for our daughter. She watched it several times back to back. I knew there had to be something about the movie to make my daughter such a huge fan. So one day when everyone was at work and school I popped the movie into the DVD to watch it. I was hooked! I didn’t think it would have been that good. I even picked up my daughter’s copy of the book and read that too (I wish I had read the book first). Before I knew it I was also excited when we learned that the next book in the series was also coming out as a feature film. As soon as that film was available on DVD I purchased it as well because I couldn’t wait to see what happened to Katniss and her friends.

We do have the second book in the trilogy but I haven’t read it yet (my daughter did).

On November 21, 2014 the first part of the last book in the trilogy, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I, comes to theaters.

Thanks to Mom Central I received a copy of the book, Mockingjay, as well as a few more copies to give out to friends.

Mockingjay Part 2

I started to read the book the same day it arrived. I couldn’t wait to dive into it.

I invited over a couple of friends and a neighbor for an afternoon of The Hunger Games. I picked up some “grown up” snacks (crackers, fancy cheeses, cheese spread), fruits and tea biscuits, coffee, tea and wine.

We watched both films, The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire back to back. Thank goodness The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is on Netflix because I couldn’t track down our copy. I wanted to make sure that we saw BOTH films in sequence.

After we watched both films (and chatted a lot about the movies and “mom stuff”) I surprised each of them with a copy of the book Mockingjay, which is the third and final book in the series. They were psyched! No one knew what was going to happen next to Katniss or what happened to Peeta. Personally that is one thing I was super curious about – Peeta.

A few of the ladies started to flip through the book but I asked that they wait to read it so we can all start on the book together (although I cheated – I did start to read it).

I showed the trailer to my guests (via my computer) to get them excited about the book an the upcoming movie. Here is the trailer for your enjoyment.

 

We were going to get together again and discuss the book and share our thoughts this weekend, but I was invited at the last minute to go to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and couldn’t set something up. I feel bad about that too.

The movie opens on the 21st and we had planned to go and see it together (a few of us – not everyone could make it). Instead of seeing the film opening weekend (which would be a nightmare – the theater will be packed) we are going to plan a little impromptu get together next Saturday morning (I have plans in the afternoon) to discuss the book (we all finished reading it as far as I know). Hopefully we can meet up at the mall and go see the film the following weekend.

I’m done reading the book. I was going to pace myself a little better but I had to see how it ended. I was surprised at the ending – sort of. I THINK I kind of felt it would end the way it did, but I wasn’t 100% sure.

Some might this the book and movies series are for teens and ‘tweens. They are not. Plenty of grown ups enjoy them just as much as the younger crowd does.

I really like Katniss. I like how she is fiercely loyal and protecting of her family and friends and how she stands up for others.

A great book and a glass of wine with friends.

A great book and a glass of wine with friends.

She’s a hero, and she’s a strong women (emotionally and physically) but she doesn’t apply that label to herself. She doesn’t see herself as a hero. She’s just Katniss. She’s the same humble, down to Earth girl she’s always been. I like that quality about her. She didn’t let the games or all the corruption get the best of her.

This is all evident the third book in the series which is probably the most action packed out of all of them. I also like that we see more of Gale in this book then we have in the past.

I also like the “sci-fi” aspect to the series. I find it fascinating, although the idea of having the different districts doesn’t sound too appealing.

If you would like to learn more about the film, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I please visit the official website. Part II should be released this time next year.

Have you read all three books in the series? Have you seen both films? Are you looking forward to seeing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Mockingjay Part 1 Teaser Poster

Kimberly

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Movie Review – Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars

 

Stars Wars DVD

Are you a fan of the animated series Phineas and Ferb? My kids love that show. They watched it all the time when they were younger (and still do from time to time). I never watched the show until I was sent their holiday show to review. I laughed so hard! Dr. Doofenshmirtz cracks me up.

I am a big time Star Wars fan. I have been the original film. I still remember seeing it in the movie theater with my father. I was in awe of it. I couldn’t wait for the sequels (and prequals). I’m even super excited for the latest Star Wars film to come to theaters.

The creators of Phines and Ferb came up with their own version of Star Wars that I think Phineas and Ferb and Star Wars fans will find fun and entertaining. It’s appropriately called Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars.

I initially thought that this movie was going to be Phineas and Ferb characters as Star Wars characters (for example, Candace as Princess Leia). I was wrong.

The characters from the series, Phineas and Ferb, are all in the movie as well as characters from the original Star Wars film, The New Hope (Star Wars IV). Phineas and Ferb live in the same universe as the rest of the Star Wars characters. In fact they appear throughout the film.

Phineas and Ferb live on the planet Tattooine and Luke Skywalker is a friend and neighbor. They act like their usual happy-go-lucky selves. Unknown to them they are going to get involved with rebellion.

PFSW

Each character from Phineas and Ferb have roles in this film. Candace is a storm trooper, Dr. Doofenshirtz is the evil Darthenshmirtz and Perry the Platypus is a secret agent who is trying to help the rebellion destroy the Death Star.

What I love about this film is that it’s NOT a remake of Star Wars with Phineas and Ferb characters but rather it’s a “dual movie” (for lack of a better description). There are two story lines (Phineas and Ferb and Star Wars) that intertwine with one another.

The movie is FUNNY. There are many “laugh out loud” moments. I found it interesting that my kids (neither have seen Star Wars – as shocking as that sounds) laughed at some parts and my husband laughed at others. There were times we all laughed together. There is something for everyone in this movie.

I am a big fan of Star Wars and the film creators did a great job staying true to the Star Wars story. It as fun seeing familiar characters from the Star Wars series too.

The animation is excellent. I loved seeing familiar things and places from Star Wars animated. It reminded me a lot of the animated Star Wars series The Clone Wars.

Check out this clip from the movie.

 

Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars is available now where ever movies are sold.

Here are some activities your family might enjoy too. Simply click on the file (link) to download, save and print out the activities.

What do you think about this film? Have you seen it? Do you think its something you family would enjoy? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Kimberly

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

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Mark your calendars to tune in to Aaliyah, The Princess of R&B at 8:00 PM (EST/PST) on November 15, 2014

 

L_Aaliyah_Key_Art_Premiere_Vertical

I wanted to give readers a gentle reminder to mark their calendars to turn into the the made for television movie, Aaliyah, The Princess of R&B which will be airing at 8:00 PM (EST/PST) on Lifetime. Please check your local TV guide for the channel.

In case you missed my original post you can read it here – Gone too soon… Celebrate the life of Aaliyah on November 15, 2014. Please note that the $150 gift card giveaway is over and the winner has been selected. 

The two-hour movie, executively produced by Howard Braunstein, Debra Martin Chase and Wendy Williams and staring the multi-talented actress and singer/songwriter Alexandra Shipp, follows the beautiful and talented performer’s inspirational journey.  From her debut on Star Search at the age of ten, the challenges she faced during her rise to become the Princess of R&B and the legacy she left behind, Aaliyah continues to be one of the most successful artists in the recording industry and was named Billboard’s tenth most famous R&B artists of the past 25 years.

Here is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.

 

It’s a shame that she died so young. She died in a plane accident in the Bahamas on August 25, 2001. She was only 22 years old. Imagine what she could have done in the music industry if she was still alive? I think she would have crossed over to feature films too just like other artists have (Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake, Tim McGraw…).

I’ll be live tweeting throughout the film using the hashtag #AaliyahMovie. My Twitter handle is @She_Scribes in case you want to join e and share in some conversation about the film. I hope you’ll join me! :-)

Were you a fan of Aaliyah (or are you still a fan)? Do you have a favorite Aaliyah song? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Aaliyah-Quote-Test2

Kimberly

*I am working with Lifetime Television to promote this film. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and  not influenced in any way. 

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Movie Review: An Evergreen Christmas

 

An Evergreen Christmas

Now available on DVD is the holiday film An Evergreen Christmas staring Robert Loggia, Charleene Closshey, Booboo Stewart, Tyler Ritter and Naomi Judd.

Charleene Closshey stars as Evie Lee. Evie lives in Hollywood and it trying to make it in the music scene. She also has a boyfriend who is trying to make it as an actor.

One day Evie gets an unexpected phone call – her father had passed away.

Evie doesn’t want to leave her glamorous Hollywood life but she knows she needs to return to her hometown of Balsam Falls, Tennessee to attend her father’s funeral.

Evie’s family own a once-thriving Christmas tree farm.

Evie just wants to go to the funeral and head back to Hollywood. She has no interest in sticking around the family farm longer then she has to. She also brought along her boyfriend Chez who is not enjoying himself either. He’s too busy trying to find a cellphone signal. It’s also evident when he follows Evie to her family home that he’s a bit of a “butthead” (pardon my choice of words).

Evie’s ex-boyfriend Adam shows up after her father’s funeral. You can see that there are some leftover feelings between them. Where as Evie’s current boyfriend is not so nice and a bit stuck on himself, Evie’s ex is the total opposite.

Before Evie is able to return to her Hollywood life she finds out that she is the executor of her father’s estate which comes with a massive tax bill. Evie would just assume get rid of the farm but her younger brother Tom wants to save the farm. He’s also very upset that Evie was named the executor when she hasn’t been back to the farm in years and Tom works at the farm every day.

still-of-naomi-judd,-robert-loggia,-booboo-stewart,-charleene-closshey,-greer-grammer-and-tyler-ritter-in-an-evergreen-christmas-(2014)-large-picture

Evie could easily sell the farm to a rival Christmas tree farm owner Becky Tamora, but something keeps her from doing so.

Should Evie stay at the farm, find a way to raise money for the taxes and help bring the farm back to it’s former glory or should she simply sell the land to Becky and return to her life and her career in Hollywood?

To find out you need to pick up a copy of An Evergreen Christmas, available tomorrow (November 4, 2014) on DVD. Look for it where ever movies are sold.

This is a nice, family friendly holiday movie. It’s a bit predictable, but that is fine.

This is very much a Hallmark Channel-type of movie. I’m surprised that it’s not going to air on that channel as part of the holiday movie line up.

There is no sex, violence or harsh language. It’s very much a “G” rated movie although little kids might find it boring (I think it’s geared towards 12+).

I loved seeing John Ritter’s son Tyler in this movie. He looks just like his dad and clearly inherited his father’s talent.

I was surprised to see Boo Boo Stewart in this film. I’m so used to seeing him in the Twilight films series. It’s nice to know that he wasn’t type casted.

This is a good movie. I wouldn’t say it was spectacular, but it was entertaining none the less. I did make me want to visit a Christmas tree farm. They look so beautiful!

Here is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.

 

Kimberly

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

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Little House on the Prairie: A Merry Ingalls Christmas

 

Little House on the Prairie A Merry Ingalls Christmas

Available today on DVD is a two episode collection from the Little House on the Prairie series, just in time for the holiday season. Each episode is about Christmas. It’s called Little House on the Prairie: A Merry Ingalls Christmas.

I’ve been a long time fan of Little House on the Prairie. I’ve watched the show since I was a young girl. I have no doubt that I’ve seen every episode at least a few times.

I enjoy this series. Not only was it entertaining, but most episodes had a way of warming your heart. Their holiday episodes were no exception.

This two episode collection includes Christmas a Plumb Creek and A Christmas They Never Forgot.

Christmas at Plumb Creek

It’s their first Christmas in their new home and the Ingalls family wants to celebrate it with giving each other extra special presents. There is just one problem – none of them have much money.

To help raise money for gifts Mary takes on a part time job with a local seamstress and Pa fixes up some old wagon wheels to sell to Mr. Olsen. Ma also earns some extra cash selling off as many chicken eggs as she can to the mercantile.

Laura can’t think of a way to raise money so she hand makes some of her gifts but she has something special in mind for Ma. Something that costs more then she’ll ever have. So Laura chooses to make a huge sacrifice to make sure Ma has the best holiday gift ever.

I LOVE this episode because it shows how Christmas SHOULD be. It’s not about buying someone an expensive gift or the “latest and greatest” tech product. It’s about giving a gift that comes from the heart and appreciating what people do for you.

I wish we could all go back to a simpler time. Maybe not as harsh as the Ingalls had it but back to a time where a handmade scarf – even if it’s a bit crooked – was as appreciated and enjoyed as a brand new iPad or a $$$$ piece of jewelry. I’m sure many people know what I mean.

A Christmas They Never Forgot

In this episode the Ingalls family – Ma, Pa, Mary, Adam, Laura, Almanzo, James, Cassandra, Albert, Grace and Carrie – as well as Hester Sue, are spending Christmas Eve together. A horrible storm has trapped them inside. To pass the time they talk about Christmases past and share their stories with each other. Ma shares the story about the special necklace she wears on her neck at Christmas, Hester Sue talks about a memorable Christmas where she first laid eyes on Santa and the Ingalls family recall the Christmas where Mr. Edwards showed up with gifts for the girls and Ma.

My kids can understand how the Ingalls girls could get excited about a tin cup, peppermint stick, a penny and some gloves. They have a hard time understanding that back then those items were hard to come buy and expensive, and that the Ingalls girls always appreciated everything they received. I wish kids these days could be as grateful. Sigh…

Both episodes are wonderful and would make for great family viewing.

I did not see any bonus features on this DVD set.

Look for Little House on the Prairie: A Merry Ingalls Christmas where ever movies are sold.

Christmas Plum Creek

Kimberly

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

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A Belle for Christmas – Heartwarming Holiday Film Debuts on DVD November 4, 2014

 

A Belle for Christmas

Available today on DVD is a delightful holiday film called A Belle for Christmas.

Dean Cain stars as Glen Barrows, a recent widower doing his best to raise his young kids Elliot (Jet Jurgensmeyer) and Phoebe (Meyrick Murphy) who really miss their mom. When the Barrows adopt an adorable puppy named Belle during the holiday season, it seems that their healing may have begun. But will Glen’s dog-hating, gold-digging new girlfriend (Kristy Swanson) spoil their newfound happiness, or can Elliott and Phoebe pull off a daring Christmas Eve rescue of their beloved new pet? Haylie Duff co-stars in this fun-filled furry family comedy that will warm hearts just in time for the holidays.

Even though this is dubbed a holiday film I think it can be enjoyed year round. Christmas is not emphasized a lot in this film. It’s more so about the relationship between Glen and girlfriend Dani, and about a family recovering from the untimely death of their mother.

Interestingly enough the film is not much about the puppy (Belle) either. I was expecting a huge chunk of the film to involve the puppy, but it didn’t. But that is OK. Its still a cute film none the less.

Belle for Christmas screen shot

Kristy Swanson stars as Dani, a gold digging woman who works at a local bakery. I remember Kristy from her Buffy the Vampire Slayer days. She’s a lot older looking now. Honestly I would have never known it was her if I didn’t see her name associated with the film. She looks a lot different.

Kristy played the role of Dani very well. I immediately disliked the character. You could tell right away that she was a fake.

I enjoy Dean Cain. He always plays such likable characters. The character of Glen is no exception.

Haylie Duff has a minor role in this film. I wish she had a bigger part.

The children in this film are the ones that “steal the show”. They are adorable. Meyrick Murphy (Phoebe), Jet Jurgensmeyer (Eliot), Avary Anderson (Riley) and Connor Berry (Malcom) were a joy to watch. The movie focuses a lot on the children (Phoebe and Elliot) and how much they dislike their dad’s new girlfriend. They were all cute and comical.

This is a comedy, as well as a family friendly film. The cute puppy, Belle, is a bonus. :-)

I didn’t see any bonus features on the DVD.

Here is a trailer for the film for your enjoyment.

 

Kimberly

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

 

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