Socamom.com is celebrating 5 years of blogging!

Here's to many more...

Reviews

[#Review]: Disney’s The BFG

Last week was one heck of a week. The kids and I went on Great Day Washington to share tips on how to celebrate Caribbean American Heritage month at home, and we hosted our biggest event of the year, the Anancy Festival. The Anancy Festival is an event centered around Anancy, the keeper of the stories. I told my story, Winston Won’t Go, and two other talented storytellers shared their stories with a great group of kids and parents who listened intently.

I love hearing a good story, and telling a great story. In The BFG, the talents of three of the world’s greatest storytellers – Roald Dahl, Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg – finally unite to bring Dahl’s beloved classic “The BFG” to life. Directed by Spielberg, Disney’s “The BFG” tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country.

I was really tired from a long week and weekend, so I wondered if I would go to sleep as soon as the lights went down. Luckily, I had li’l bit there to poke me in my side if she thought I was nodding off. We made a ladies’ night out of it, settled into our seats with our 3D glasses and enjoyed the show. Li’l bit has been doing more reviews for the blog, so I asked her what she thought of the movie.

Me: So what did you think?

Li’l Bit: That was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.

Me: Really?

Li’l Bit: Others might not think so, but I’m easily scared, soooo….. yeah. I’m also 10 so I haven’t seen that many scary movies.

Me: Would you recommend that parents take their kids that are your age to see it?

Li’l Bit: It depends on how mature they are. I think it is one of those kinds of movies where they say, “some scenes may be intense for younger viewers.” That giant’s feet were nasty. Nasty feet are scary…

Me: Agreed. So was it ‘nightmare’ scary or just ‘sleep with the lights on’ scary?

Li’l Bit: It’s one of those movies that you just pray you don’t have a bad dream after you watch it. I’m one of those people who gets bad dreams right after I watch something that scares me, so I’d say it is ‘nightmare’ scary. For me at least.

Me: What was so scary about it, besides giant, dirty feet?

Li’l Bit: I guess it’s the fact that they sneak into houses at night, kidnap, and eat children.  The little girl looked about my age. I know it wasn’t real, but it could have been me! Not cool.

Me: Is it anything like the book?

Li’l Bit: I never finished the book. I have it, so I’ll check later and get back to you.

Me: Was there anything that you liked about the movie?

Li’l Bit: I did like the movie in general. It was actually really funny. It had a nice happy ending. The special effects are really cool, but now we are back to scary. They were very realistic, which made them scary. Overall, I did like the movie, and I think other kids will like it too.

Now it’s my turn!

Does it earn the PG rating? I definitely think so. Here’s the thing that struck me right off the bat. There is a grown man who snatches a young girl out of her bed and plans to basically keep her hostage forever in a cave. A very cool cave, but in a cave nonetheless. I just didn’t like the vibe. The BFG didn’t look enough like a fairy tale type character to me, so it just felt like a kidnapping.

“The BFG (Mark Rylance), while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like the other inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while the BFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle. Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming…” ~ Disney

I think that it is important that the kids who go to see this are old enough to understand that when a man takes a kid, it is not likely that he will be taking them on a magical adventure in giant country.

“The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams.” ~ Disney

Also, the rest of the giants looked a lot like real people, not mythical monsters, just huge people, so when they were chasing the main character, I could see how a young girl could be terrified at the scene. Ten might be the youngest that I’d go with this one.

Bottom line, should you take the kids to see it? I don’t see why not, if you child is ready to handle it. The story is a classic, and Steven Spielberg does a nice job with it. It isn’t an easy story to translate into a movie without getting super creepy. Fairy tales are like that. I mean, the one about kids getting cooked in an oven? How do you even tone that down? Overall, it makes for an entertaining evening at the movies, and the special effects are fantastic.  There’s a little crude humor, but every family, I don’t care how proper you are, enjoys some good gas driven comedy every now and then.

It definitely is worth seeing on the big screen because… well… giants. 3D isn’t necessary though. My eyes adjusted rather quickly, and the effects, as far as the 3D went, didn’t really do much to enhance the story. If seeing it without 3D will save you a couple dollars, then spend that on popcorn and skip the 3D.

I wouldn’t consider this a date night movie. It isn’t fantasy like the Hobbit - more for kids than not. So if you are going, you may as well take the little ones – or not so little ones. Just be prepared. They may end up sleeping in your bed for a night or two.

(Oh, and there are several people of color in the movie. Just putting that out there after the Alice in Wonderland review. Thank you Disney!)

“The BFG” opens in U.S. theaters on July 1, 2016, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of Dahl’s birth.

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/thebfgmovie

Twitter:https://twitter.com/disneystudios

Instagram:https://instagram.com/disneystudios

We were invited to a pre-screening of the BFG for the purposes of writing this review. All opinions are our own.

</

Add a comment
Author Profile: Eva Wilson  - Website

Eva the author of Anancy's Family Reunion, and the winner of the 2012 Black Weblog Awards for Best Parenting Blog and Best New Blog. Find her on Twitter at @socamomdc.

Caribbean American Heritage Month: Join the Caribbean Book Club

We want you! You are invited to join the Caribbean Book Club on Facebook.  We read books about the Caribbean or by Caribbean authors, and discuss them in the group, on Google hangouts, or on Twitter.  Our members either get review copies of books sent to them through the book club, or purchase on their own, and then join the discussion.

The book club has several authors who share their new works in the book club, and join in the discussions as well.  For most Google hangouts, the author joins us and answers questions.

To watch some of our online discussions, click here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbWnuot4UOOJCvSplJBDS8URt3Ez16ZJZ

To join the Caribbean Book Club, click here and request membership.  Make sure you have notifications on so that you can be the first to know when review copies of books are available.

We have some great selections coming up, and would love to have you join us.

Add a comment Read more...
Author Profile: Eva Wilson  - Website

Eva the author of Anancy's Family Reunion, and the winner of the 2012 Black Weblog Awards for Best Parenting Blog and Best New Blog. Find her on Twitter at @socamomdc.

Review of Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood App

My little lady loves classical music, and all things that go with it. When it comes to Peter and the Wolf, she is kind of a superfan.  She has read the story, seen it at the ballet, and seen the symphony orchestra perform it locally. When it was time to review the app, she was all in – of course.  She happens to love classical music, but my sons aren’t really into it.  They are more like most kids that way.

Check out her video review:

Even though listening to classical music not only has wonderful calming effects, but also is a huge part of history and culture, many kids just aren’t into it. They are, however, really into movies, games, and apps.

I have no games on my phones or my iPad. My husband is the keeper of the games. I don't particularly want them touching my tech. So when I got this app to review, the kids were pretty happy to get their hands on mommy's untouchable devices.

Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood is a revival of the classic Peter and the Wolf tale brought to you by Giants Are Small, an acclaimed production company. In the app, Peter’s grandfather is a hippie, and Peter heads to Hollywood to meet him.  The classical music is perfectly placed in the story to punctuate the drama and excitement, while all the handmade sets and wonderful drawings hold the attention of the viewer… or player.

There are games inside of the story to keep kids with the shortest attention spans glued to the iPad or iPhone. While the app is geared to kids 6 to 8, all three of my kids were crowded around the deluxe version of the app, enjoying the music and the fresh, updated story.

Giants are Small is a world-famous theatre company who is known to put on over-the-top performances – no wonder this genre bending company would decide to create this adaptation of Peter and the Wolf… set it in Hollywood… and make it an app. This is the first kids app for this particular team which includes visual artist Doug Fitch, producer Edouard Getaz, and multimedia entrepreneur Frederic Gumy. Giants are Small is a fusion of theatre, live filmmaking, puppetry, music, and visual art.

The story is narrated by rock legend Alice Cooper. The first thing my daughter commented on was how much she liked his voice.

With over 50 minutes of music from The National Youth Orchestra of Germany, the app can keep your kids entertained on a reasonably long car ride, and the special features and Youtube videos will keep them occupied even longer.

You can gift the app to friends and family, and I am buying this one for my niece and nephews. They love music, and they love a great story. This Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood app is all of that and more.

Have you seen the trailer for the app? Have you ever considered letting Alice Cooper babysit your kids? If you answer is no to one or both of these questions, watch the video below...

Check them out on Twitter and Facebook, follow the hashtag #PeterandtheWolfApp, and visit their website for more information and videos – PeterandtheWolfinHollywood.com.

This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Giants Are Small and MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Add a comment
Author Profile: Eva Wilson  - Website

Eva the author of Anancy's Family Reunion, and the winner of the 2012 Black Weblog Awards for Best Parenting Blog and Best New Blog. Find her on Twitter at @socamomdc.

[#REVIEW] Disney's Alice Through the Looking Glass

It’s not often that I get to hang out with my oldest son – just the two of us. My husband swears that we are the silliest people when we are together. I think that we are that times ten when nobody is around.  We were given free admission to the press screening of Alice Through the Looking Glass, so we decided to make it a mid week movie night. The trailer alone let me know that it wouldn’t work for my two youngest even though it is rated PG.  It wouldn’t be too scary for the eleven year old, but there were no cars. If there are no cars… like not one… the movie is a no. That would have been almost two hours of complaining. My youngest thinks a LOT, and the premise would have her way too worried about life, death, and who knows what else. She avoids all things potentially “creepy,” and I help her.

I don’t remember seeing the first one, mainly because I tend to sleep through movies…. It’s dark, cell phones are off, and let’s face it. I have three kids – that’s a recipe for a great nap. So, I had no idea what to expect for this one beyond what I saw in the trailers. People were there in costume though, so by the time the lights started going down, I was thinking that it was going to be a big deal.

Add a comment Read more...
Author Profile: Eva Wilson  - Website

Eva the author of Anancy's Family Reunion, and the winner of the 2012 Black Weblog Awards for Best Parenting Blog and Best New Blog. Find her on Twitter at @socamomdc.

New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Movie in Theaters June 3rd

The summer movies are almost here... are you ready?

You know I'm ready...

Source: Youtube.com

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of the Shadows in theaters on June 3rd. Watch the trailer here... teenagemutantninjaturtlesmovie.com

What's it about? Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael return to battle bigger, badder villains, alongside April O’Neil (Megan Fox), Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett), and a newcomer: the hockey-masked vigilante Casey Jones (Stephen Amell). After supervillain Shredder escapes custody, he joins forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) and two dimwitted henchmen, Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (WWE Superstar Stephen “Sheamus” Farrelly), to unleash a diabolical plan to take over the world. As the Turtles prepare to take on Shredder and his new crew, they find themselves facing an even greater evil with similar intentions: the notorious Krang.

Did your family see the first one? Will you be taking the kids?

Add a comment
Author Profile: Eva Wilson  - Website

Eva the author of Anancy's Family Reunion, and the winner of the 2012 Black Weblog Awards for Best Parenting Blog and Best New Blog. Find her on Twitter at @socamomdc.

SocaMom® Summer Faves!

(click to shop)

 

Eva's Exclusives - Sign Up!

Get exclusive news, movie tickets, event invitations, and more from Eva - enter your email address to get started!

Dowload free activity and coloring sheets!

icon Caribbean Culture for Kids