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[#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.

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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?

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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] Opening Day: The Good Dinosaur #thegooddinosaur

Whether you are a mom, dad, auntie, uncle, Godmother, Godfather, or grandparent, you know that it's the little things that you do, every now and then, that can give you hero status (albeit temporary). Every now and then I do reviews of movies. I don't always get to take the kids with me - well - not all of em. You see, blogging is work, and while I get a lot of opportunities to work with my kids, some of them are limited. I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to take all three of them to see this one, and ALL three of them wanted to go.

The little ones are still young enough to want to see anything animated. The oldest is on the Beaches Teen Advisory Panel with one of the movies stars, Marcus Scribner, so he wanted to support his friend's work. When I got the message that the whole family could attend, I surprised them after I got out of class - mom's the hero! While they were excited, no one was willing to take a picture. I couldn't blame them. I was too pooped to even take a selfie... and I was having a good hair day (contrary to popular belief - selfies take energy)!

As the lights went down, my li'l bit says, "Mommy, this is going to be to boys what Frozen is to girls isn't it?" She has a thing for analogies. "There'll be plushies and coloring books and all this stuff for boys..." Then she looks across me and scowls at the boys staring at the screen through their 3D glasses.

I had a long day, it is exam time, and with lights being off... I could have easily... drifted... off... to... sleep... BUT I DIDN'T! I was awake for every bit of it, and boy was it worth it. Of course it had a couple of the the all too familiar Disney elements including themes like friendship, journeys full of lessons, facing fears, and one scene that was eerily similar to another popular Disney movie, but it still managed to be a fresh, fun take on an interesting supposition.

"The Good Dinosaur” asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend named Spot. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of. ~ Disney•Pixar

There were so many wonderful details and fantastic in the artwork and the story - I was all in.

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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.

Opening Today: Inside Out

I don’t think anyone was more excited to see Disney Pixar’s Inside Out than my youngest.  She is by far my most emotional kid, so she really looked forward to experiencing Disney Pixar’s take on the emotions of a young girl like her.  I took it as a chance to see what a whole team of writers could come up with to explain the perplexing mind of a pre-tween girl.  The night of the screening, she changed into a bright, dressy top.  She told me she did it in honor of the Inside Out character, “Joy.”

“Based in Headquarters, the control center inside 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Fear (voice of Bill Hader) heads up safety, Anger (voice of Lewis Black) ensures all is fair and Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) prevents Riley from getting poisoned—both physically and socially. Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) isn’t exactly sure what her role is, and frankly, neither is anyone else.”

- Disney Pixar

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew that the characters were cute, and the trailer was funny.  The kids had been watching trailers, so they were much closer to the edge of their seats with anticipation than I.  From start to finish, Inside Out took us on an emotional roller coaster – should we have expected anything different?

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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.

Opening Today: Disney's Tomorrowland

I honestly walked into this movie with no idea what to expect. With all of the extended trailers and spoilers for movies out there these days, that isn't something that happens very often.  The marketing team for this film did a great job of making you want to see the film without having a real idea of what it was actually about. Tomorrowland is one of those films that is easy to give spoilers for, even if you don't intend to.  If someone asked me what the movie was about, I'd have to really work not to give all the best part away.  I was going to get my kids to participate in this review, but they don't really get that they can't give away every single detail of the film.  They were so excited about it, I am pretty sure that anything they came up with would be a real spoiler.

There's only a few things that I can tell you without ruining it for you. First, George Clooney was fun to watch!  No matter what you may thing of how long he held onto his bachelor status, he is really an incredible actor.  The young people in the film did an amazing job as well.  I remember thinking that it really is a skill to be so young and able to emote so that it comes off believable on screen.  The special effects? Top Notch.  Remember all those people who were experiencing depression after watching Avatar because they couldn't actually go to Pandora?  This glimpse of the future that we see in Tomorrowland could very well bring up those same feelings. You want to go there and be a part of it.  Okay - no more - I'm on the edge of giving it all away. What I can tell you is this.  This film is about the past, the present, and a pretty awesome future (For the most part? This is an easy movie to give spoilers for - ugh!) and it will leave you hopeful, inspired, motivated, and ready for the days and years ahead.

Synopsis:

From Disney comes two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird’s “Tomorrowland,” a riveting mystery adventure starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever. “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of. ~ Walt Disney Pictures

My 9 year old said loved the architecture in the film.  My 10 year old was mesmerized by the different modes of transportation in the movie, of course, and the 15 year old, who enjoys writing, said that he noticed how well written the dialogue was.  The kids chattered about the movie all the way home until they fell asleep one by one.  You would think they were part of the action in the film.

Ready to check it out? It opens nationwide today, May 22nd - after you see it, come back and let me know what you thought...

Now what you come to this website for!

Did it earn the PG Rating? Definitely.  There's a lot of action, and there's actual killing... of actual people. The language isn't more intense than your kids might hear at a multigenerational family event, so don't worry - your little sweetheart won't come out of the movie cussing like a sailor.  I think it is fine for about 8 and up. Not because of the violence, and there were no sexual situations, but it isn't the easiest movie for a little kid to follow and appreciate what's going on. There's plenty of special effects to keep them watching, but don't expect really young kids to be able to tell you exactly what the movie was about.

Bottom line. Should you go see it? Yes! The themes are those that adults would be very much concerned with, and the action scenes are amazing.  You really should see it in IMAX.  This was my first IMAX movie, and it literally was like watching the movie in 3D, but without the glasses.

Should I take the kids to see it? Yes! My children had a blast, the contest winners had a ball, and the moms from the SocaMom DC area meetup enjoyed it as well.  Kids who don't like loud noises, are easily frightened, or are especially sensitive to death scenes  should probably steer clear. Average kid, over 8? Go for it. Here are some fun activity pages that they can check out based on the movie - icon Disneys Tomorrowland Activity Sheets

Disney.com/Tomorrowland

Facebook: facebook.com/DisneyTomorrowland

Twitter: twitter.com/DisneyPictures #TOMORROWLAND

Disclosure: I was given passes for my family, meetup group members, and contest winners.  As always my opinions are my own.

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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.

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