A Blind Guy, a Robot, and Darth Vader Walk Into a Movie…

Guys, Netflix has SO much awesome stuff right now. I have already talked to you about my love for Moana (well, the boys love it too, but mine is a deeper kind of love. I’m in a serious relationship with the song “You’re Welcome.” It especially makes me happy when the occasion merits an actual “You’re welcome” and I get to break into song. My children so love this. It’s like when they fight and I start with the “Let it Go” business. Big showstopper, that one.)

And then, there’s Sing, and I’m humming, “I’m Still Standing” on the daily as well. It’s a good Mom song. By about five pm, we moms all feel a bit triumphant that we’re still vertical.

There’s so much singing going on over here. I’m a regular Julie Andrews, I tell you. But, shouting “I’m SHINY!!” tends not bring my children in concert with me, with matching outfits and Austrian accents. In fact, most times when I start crooning they sort of sidle away with a pained expression, muttering, “Always with the singing.”  But, you know, one day they might join me and we will enter a contest and climb some mountains to flee the Nazis. Don’t even get me started on this possibility.

Anyhow. This month, I am going to give you a non-singing option to dial up for  movie night because OH MY GOODNESS IT IS REALLY GOOD.

I am a total Star Wars snob, ok? The first rule of Star Wars is that we don’t talk about the Star Wars prequels. When Jar Jar speaks we turn away.

And, we actually straight up sobbed in the theater when Han died. (By “we” I do mean me – but third person sounds cooler.) My husband actually had to put his arm around me. And then, I couldn’t speak of it for two days afterwards.

Trust me, the Star Wars is strong with this one.

So, when Rogue One came out, as a “Star Wars story,” I was skeptical. Would it just be another weak CGI’d mess with whiny characters and costumes that are more interesting than the actors? (Yes, Princess Ami-blah blah. Your hair was better than your acting).

Rogue One is so good. It’s sooooo good. It has STUFF in it that just… is SO GOOD.

Is that not a really good review? “It is so good!” They should have used this in their press release:

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The hubs and I had a movie night. There was popcorn. A blind guy took down nearly twenty storm troopers because he can.

A robot stole all the best lines.

And then, there is Vader.

Chills. People. He’s in there. I might have squealed a little.

The movie has lots of neato Easter egg for the nerds who are always on the prowl about this sort of thing. Not me, of course.

But… doesn’t this look familiar?? I mean, HOW COOL IS THAT! (tiny nerd squeak)

 

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I’m gonna tell it to you true – the good guys get hit hard in this movie. Rogue One has really intense battle scenes and some hard moments when the good guys sacrifice their lives. It’s a hard message. Love, bravery, sacrifice, family, courage. Truth. War. Faith. It’s all in there.

But, the good guys keep trying. They keep fighting the darkness, even when the odds are very high that they won’t make it. Very high.

As a mother of two boys in 2017? I need this message. I really, really do.

Save the rebellion.

Save the dream.

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As a StreamTeam blogger, I get to watch Netflix and chat about it. It’s a great gig.

More Moana, Please. And a Giveaway!

As it seems my summer plans do not include a trip to Hawaii (sponsored post, Hawaii? Call me!) I can still have this:

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Guys, sometimes I don’t really keep track of all the kids’ movies out there. I mean, sometimes… I am kinda late to the game. I still think Toy Story 5 is playing somewhere, at some movie house, surely?

Is there even a Toy Story 5?

Anyhow. This summer, we have been super busy, so making it out into the heat means getting to the pool, not driving to a movie theater. And yea, I know the theater is air conditioned. Sure. But there is still DRIVING THERE AND LAST TIME I DID THAT MY DASHBOARD MELTED. It’s hot. It’s like Africa hot.

So, thank you Netflix! Friday movie nights have involved lots of popcorn, no driving, and this adorableness:

 

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I mean, seriously. The cuteness.

My family LOVES Moana. Perhaps it’s the water (they are little fish), or the tattoos. Or, you know, the chicken:

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(Oh, that chicken. I can’t help but think we might be related somehow).

This is the princess movie that stole my kids’ hearts. It’s funny. It’s gorgeous to look at. (Did you know they have an entire team of people who just work on the WATER animation? And if anyone watches this and doesn’t want to go swimming in the deep blue sea afterwards, there is something wrong with you).

Oh, and, it has The Rock.

 

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You’re Welcome.

Yes, I’ll admit it. It is just a teensy weensy bit possible that Momsie, in all her literary-ness and English teacherish sophistication, has a big fat celebrity crush on Dwayne Johnson. Could be the muscles. I dunno. Or the blinding white teeth. Or, back to the muscles.

I just think he’s cute, ok? GIVE ME MY CRUSH. I’ll go back to reading Faulkner in a bit.

Also this: I double-crab DARE you to not watch “Shiny” and keep humming it, for days after. It’s catchy.

Enjoy Moana, courtesy of Netflix and stay INSIDE for the last days of summer. Shine on.

Also, if you find yourself sneaking some Dwayne (er, Moana) time on your OWN, Moms, I get you. I really do.

Netflix gets you too. 97% of moms say that they had more time for themselves before motherhood, and now, three-quarters (71%) of moms admit to sneaking in TV “me-time” while juggling a busy schedule, with some even hiding from their kids for just a moment of peace. With moms doing it anywhere and everywhere in the neighborhood when the kids aren’t around, sneaking is the new bingeing.

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Would you like to be a part of the #MomSneak revolution and enter to win a 6-month Netflix subscription giveaway, so your sneaking is covered for the rest of 2017?

To Enter the #MomSneak Giveaway:

  • On a public social media post (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram): share a personal story of how you sneak in your TV shows, or a selfie pic of you sneaking in your TV.  Please don’t forget to add #MomSneak to your post!
  • Copy the URL of your social share and paste it in the comments below.

It’s just that simple. I am here for you Moms. Get your sneaky on.

#MomSneak your way to a little me-time. (By the way? I’m part of the 47%. Thank you, Stranger Things and Gilmore Girls. You are vastly different, with your creepy strangeness vs.your caffeinated banter. Either way, you give a tired mom a break.)

Giveaway ends on July 31 2017 at 11:59 p.m. CST. The 1 winner will be chosen at random and announced on this site. Giveaway is open only to legal residents of the United States (including District of Columbia), who are at least eighteen (18) years old at the time of entry. The 1 Winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Make sure to watch your social media message boards to see if you are the selected winner on August 1!!

Good luck! #MomSneak to your heart’s content!

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As a #NetflixStreamTeam blogger, I get to watch Netflix and then chat about it. It’s a great gig.

Have a Scare-Free Halloween with Netflix

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Guys. GUYS! Netflix has FANTASIA!!!!

I have no clever leader here. I am simply too thrilled about Fantasia. The centaurs, cavorting! Mickey and the Sorcerer! The romantic ballet between a hippo and an alligator!

Ok, if you haven’t seen Fantasia then you have NO idea what I’m talking about. Allow me to explain:

FANTASIA! THE BEST! SO AWESOME. I CAN’T EVEN!

Sorry. Ahem. Let me try again: Fantasia is a Disney movie, made in 1940, and it’s unlike any other Disney film made. Ever. It’s a celebration of animation, art, and music. So, dudes like Tchaikovsky (thank you, spell check) and Beethoven show up.

And also, THIS DUDE:

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Try meeting up with him when you are about eight years old, in a huge, darkened theatre with a gigantic screen and soft red velvet seats and my mom’s treats from her purse because we never actually BOUGHT treats at the concessions. Don’t ask me why I thought it was important to include that detail, but know this:

Regarding the movie house concession stand: I DO THE SAME THING. My momma taught me well.  I have been known, on occasion, to bring a Diet Coke in to a movie and do the Diet Coke Cough whilst popping it open. They get you at the concessions, people. Bring your own.

ANYWAY. BACK TO FANTASIA.

We have a rule at our house – no scary or spooky for Halloween. My reasoning?  I have kind of had it with 2016 and have decided life is scary enough.

But then… I saw Fantasia in my Netflix cue and thought, “Hey, Satan coming out of a mountain on Halloween night to summon up the undead isn’t THAT awful, right? I FEEL A FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT COMING ON!”

Yea, I know. Consistency is key in parenting. But, to my credit, THIS Satan has a classical score (Night on Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky and then adapted by Rimsky-Korsakov, and if you can rattle off all that Russian in a crowd you will totally impress people. I think. Or, you might spit on them. It’s a lot of ‘S’s.) Also: Satan and the mountain is followed by this:

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Shubert’s Ave Maria.

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It’s a painting, on the screen.

Satan is banished. We are safe, and sacred, in a cathedral in the trees.

I love Fantasia. And no,  It’s certainly not a typical Halloween movie. No jack-o-lanterns. No tricks or treats. But for us, it was perfect.

And also, this year? I have my new costume idea:

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Hyacinth, the Hippo, dancing to Amilcare Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours.

Perfection.

For those of you who are a bit braver, here’s a clever idea – Netflix’s savvy understanding that the doorbell can impede serious Netflix binging on all things scary. So, may I present you with  this:

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Good luck with the viewing of the 9-12 slot. I just can’t. Too skeery!

Or, if you are really up for a scare, watch Chopped, the kids’ episode, and start training your kids to step up their game because:

THANKSGIVING IS COMING. Be afraid, kids. Be very afraid.

“So… Whose dish will be on the chopping block?”

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It’s probably not a puppy.

You GUYS.

My husband texts me: You gotta box from UPS.

I text back: Cool! Is it my boots? I am set to get some faux leather suede deep blue kinda almost a smokey blue but maybe they’ll just be navy I dunno booties with a cute little almost Burberry kinda plaid in sole  that will look sooooo cute with my skinny jeans they were super cheap on sale target I am so excited!

Husband. No.

Me: Oh. Ok. Well. Is it a puppy?

Husband: Dear I am clearly not in the mood to text-spar, which is what you like to do with me when you have just had a cup of coffee, and then you get all quippy on me, and I can never really tell when you’re joking. And good Lord, no, it’s not a puppy. That’s just disturbing.

Me: …

Husband: Oh for pete’s sake. Stop text-sulking.  Just, here LOOK.

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HOLY GIGANTIC PUPPIES, BATMAN.

THAT’S A BOX.

I mean, who CARES what’s inside of it! I don’t think I’ve received anything this colossal on my porch since we ordered a new water heater and the surly, evidently very tired delivery guys propped it up at the BOTTOM of our steps with a lot of grunting and resentment because I guess one should NOT have water heaters delivered. So we’re gonna just leave it all three feet from your front door to make a statement. Taking water heaters up three steps is against our work contract.

But, I digress. (And, yes Lowe’s that was all YOU.)

This box is gonna be WAY more fun than a water heater. Wanna know why?

It’s a box from the Great and Mighty Netflixes!!!!!!!!

Wooo hooooo!

Ok, ok. Here are some things I know about the box:

  1. It is heavy. Pulling it inside involved a lot of heaving and I did end up stepping on the dog so there was an element of pain involved, but I am over it. Hoz, maybe not, but he’s not part of the equation. He doesn’t watch Netflix.
  2. It is about the size of a small pony. A flat, dead pony, but still.*
  3. It is soooooo not opened yet. I am waiting to do so with the kids, because usually my boxes from the wonderfulness that is Netflix involves stuff my kids like. I don’t even need to DO Christmas anymore. Merry Netflix!
  4. This whole writing thing really does have its benefits at times. And by that, I mean, yes, I got a book deal and I am writing rather regularly for some nice publications and making some rather decent dough, blah blah blah. But really? I GET MAJOR SWAG FROM NETFLIX! WOOT!

Stay tuned. I will be happy to proudly flaunt in another post the mysterious contents of the box that is taking over our living room soon. I know, the suspense is just crazy, right?

And, well, speaking of suspense…

(I know, right? WHAT a segue. You are getting your money’s worth today on this post.)

I am now going to share with you one of my all time favorite suspense movies that is now available on Netflix. Like, favorite suspense movie of ALL TIME.

Ahem, but first, let me start by saying:

  1. You’ll never feel the same about Laverne and Shirley again.
  2. Initially, it totally looks like something you would just skim on past … like The McLaughlin Group*, only in movie form.
  3. Bad 70’s hair.

But wait! Don’t go! There’s also:

HARRISON FORD.

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Harrison Ford is in The Conversation, for all of ten minutes, and he TEARS it UP. Why?

Because he’s HARRISON FORD.

The Conversation, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is a tightly paced, up close, and very addictive movie.  And it just happens to have my movie crush, Gene Hackman, as the main character. He’s a good guy, with a rather weird job, and we get sucked in and watch in horror as things start to unravel for him. It’s one of the best “things are not as they seem” thrillers I have ever viewed, and y’all? I have seen a LOT of movies. This was Coppola’s quiet little masterpiece that followed up The Godfather (you’ve heard of The Godfather, right? “Leave the gun; take the cannoli”?)

The Conversation has been reviewed by Roger Ebert (I love him, and wrote about it here) as one of his favorites. It’s just so twisty-turny, and at times plays off as downright horror. Excellent stuff. It was made back when movies had writing that really was the star of the show. Needless to say, there is no CGI in The Conversation. And that’s ok.

If you’re not for the classic movies type, but want to binge watch some quality suspense tv,  I also recommend:

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This series is produced by Netflix, and it certainly delivers with the suspense. It’s a western! It’s a murder mystery! It’s kinda scary at times! It started out as a book by an actually very good writer! It has pretty scenery! And lots of sheep!

And here’s the deal: If you are kinda sick of creepy criminal mysteries that are getting more and more strewn with gory viscera, but are less and less able to follow a simple plot line, this show is a good choice.

Ok, so now I have left you with two thriller options to help keep you on the edge of your seat until…. (cue scary music):

WE FIND OUT WHAT’S IN THE BOX!

I know! The suspense! It’s all pins and needles up in here! HOW WILL IT END, PEOPLE!!!

Stay tuned and happy watching.

As a Netflix Streamteam blogger, Netflix asks me to watch their fabulousness and them chatter about it. It's a great gig.

As a Netflix Streamteam blogger, Netflix asks me to watch their fabulousness and them chatter about it. It’s a great gig.

*Don’t worry. No puppies or ponies were boxed in the making of this post. I am not crazy. So don’t email me.

BUT, some members of The McLaughlin’s group had hurt feelings that I said their show was boring. So, I’m sorry, McLaughlin Group.  Here’s a puppy.

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Toddler Opera and #NetflixKids

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Cherry Ames! This is the type of nursing I can handle.

 

 

I have become nurse again because Red is sick.  Again.  I know, I know, he just was sick but any of you with children might know this interesting bit of news:

Children are walking germ buckets.

 

Anyhow, he wasn’t bad sick or anything.  He had a low fever and a bit of a cough and I think also just plain old tired out-edness.  I wasn’t too concerned.

Except for one small problem (cue scary sharknado music here):

HE WAS GONNA MISS HIS FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL.

I KNOW.  IT’S SO AWFUL I EVEN TEXTED HIS TEACHER IN ALL CAPS. I FELT ALL CAPSY ALL AFTERNOON.  HE WAS GONNA LOSE HIS EVERLOVING TODDLER STILL DEVELOPING MIND.  WE’VE ONLY BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS FOR 12 MONTHS.

And once he was actually informed about this whole thing, he started wailing with operatic intensity.  There was vibrato, folks.  We’re talking bel canto.  I applauded when he was done, whilst wiping snot and trying to cuddle without getting that snot all over me.

Ok, I am going to interrupt here.  I am a mom, right, and moms should be able to cuddle and not worry about snot.  I know this.  But, in the interest of full disclosure (somewhere the lawyer is again rolling his eyes)  I am going to admit something to you that I have never admitted to anyone:  I don’t do snot.  I can do *tics off on fingers*: pee, poop, pee mixed with poop, barf, the fakeout barf (barf that doesn’t happen when you are sure it will) and even exploding barf.  Also some straight up saliva but that’s a whole other post.  I don’t do snot.)

Once the wailing turned down to a small two-part aria in the key of despair, I figured I would pull out a few of my sick-day tricks to lessen the sting.

“Red, hows about some popsicles?

“No.”

“Wow.  Even the ones that aren’t homemade that you love? The ones with Red #5 that make you nutty?”

“NO. I quit Red#5.  Dat stuff is awful.  Whaddya trying to do, get me sick?”

“Oh. Ok.  I’ll call my therapist later.  Wanna color with me? We can color some rockets! Or, wait, Kitties and Rockets?”

“I am over rockets.” sniff  “Not kitties though.”

“You wanna just draw kitties with me?”

“No. I’m going to make this as hard as possible.”

“Ok…  Hows about we have our own school?”

“Wait, WHAT? We can do that? Like, have school HERE?”

“Well… yes.  It’s actually a real thing.  People do it all the time.  Their children are usually scary smart and well adjusted.  But as for us, we’re gonna do it just this day.  Not every day.”

“This is ALLOWED? I canna do school HERE.  In our HOUSE?”

“Stop speaking in caps. It’s too dramatic.  Yes.  It’s called… *whisper* homeschooling.”

“HOMESCHOOLING!?  BRILLIANT!!”
“SHHHHHHH!  Just today!  Only TODAY?  OK?  Don’t get any ideas.”

 

So, we did school.  Fitting, I guess, since the poor kid was dying to get at some markers (kitty pictures did occur) and the alphabet on a chalkboard, and something with pipe cleaners that ended up looking like a lower intestine (I was going for art class – Abstract impressionism).

To cap the day off, we watched this classic:

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At this point, Netflix was, again, ready to save the day because Red was fading fast, but he simply had no idea how to turn himself off and just… rest.  The kid does not do rest.  I don’t do snot.  He doesn’t go naps.  Really, this is horribly unfair.  If we could just somehow trade

Anyhow, Emily’s First 100 Days of School, inspired by the author Rosemary Wells, was adorable.   Red, my little bunny, curled up next to me and was entranced.  I was too.

 

Here’s hoping the next time Red is sick it isn’t during his beloved VBS, or the first day of preschool, or some other huge thing, like Royals opening day (which is during school, I know…  but someday I have a feeling his dad is gonna make this a “thing.”)  I hope, actually, the sweet kid is never sick again, of course.  But I’ll take a good long cuddle with him on the couch, watching my beloved throwback television anyway.

 

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Disclosure: I’m a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam.  Netflix comp the service we were previously paying for in exchange for my monthly posts and ramblings about movies and family viewing.  I love this.  I watch movies and then chatter about them.