Saturday, May 28, 2011

Way to shake it, Hines!

It's official! When I last posted about my one of my favorite shows, Dancing with the Stars, the finals were set to happen the following day.  Well, that day has come and gone, and for those of you bums who neglected to tune in, Hines Ward shimmied his way to the top!  As a Steelers fan, I have to say I'm happy for Hines, and he did deserve it.  He was one of the best dancers all season.  On the other hand, I am disappointed; I was hoping Chelsea Kane would come out on top.  I am surprised however--I thought the competition would come down to Chelsea and Hines, but I was wrong.  Kirstie Alley managed to snag second place in the overall competition.  Kirstie was a good dancer, but I don't believe she deserved second.  At the same time, kudos to her! The famed "Fat Actress" was up in weight again at the beginning of the show, and it was her goal to she some pounds, which she certainly did.  The couples each had to perform a dance the already did before in the show, and Kirstie and her partner Makism Chmerkovskiy chose to perform the first dance they did this season.  The show played a clip of the couple's first dance and then the couple went ahead and did it again, and the difference in Kirstie's appearance was incredible!  She looked fantastic.  Going back to the topic at hand, I'm happy for Hines.  The judges said he has been one of the best football players to grace their stage, and I have no trouble believing this.  Congratulations, Hines!

Neville all grown up?

Matthew Lewis Talks Deathly Hallows Part 2In the beginning, Neville Longbottom was not a crucial part of the Harry Potter stories.  In fact, in the first story, he was nothing more than the little chunky wizard who could barely do any magic, who was afraid of nearly every teacher, and who could never seem to keep a hold of Trevor the toad.  As time at Hogwarts passed by, Neville slowly became more important--he became a loyal follower of Harry and even helped fight off Death Eaters at the Ministry.  Well, Neville, as well as actor Matthew Lewis who portrays him, is all grown up.  In a recent interview with, Lewis talks about his role in the last Potter film, which happens to be a pretty important one. Warning! If you haven't read the last book, there may be some spoilers!

EmpireOnline: Neville started off rather timid and nervous, but he ends up very different, wouldn't you say?
Matthew Lewis: Absolutely. It was sort of method acting really. If you look at some of those early films when I'm looking terrified in front of Alan Rickman or whatever, it's probably because I am! But when it got to the last film, Deathly Hallows, I could just have a chat with Alan, so it sort of evolved the same way as the character, I suppose.

EO: The final one was like a sixteen-month shoot or something, wasn't it?
ML: It took a long time. I did my first scene in February 2009 and I finished somewhere in the middle of 2010.

EO: How was David Yates on his fourth Potter film in a row?
ML: David came in and he just made it as fun as possible. It got us going, got us wanting to work. By Deathly Hallows everyone took it more seriously as being a job and we just had to work a lot harder.

EO: At this point, you guys must know your characters so it makes sense to just go for it.
Yeah, absolutely. We'll have a chat before we start. David will say, "This is what I want to get from it, this is what I'm trying to convey." But usually, we knew the characters so well that it was relatively easy to get into that character straightaway and give a natural first couple of takes, rather than a tired tenth take.

EO: We didn't really see Neville much in Part 1. But Part 2 is, judging by the books, his finest hour.
I felt quite lucky to have been in Part One, to be honest, because the character's not actually in the book until the end. But, you know, David said he wanted to stick him in just to remind people what was going on back at school. And it was just nice to have been in, because it means I was in all eight films even if it was only for one line!

EO: Hey, that still counts!
Exactly! But Part Two is where all the good stuff is and it's been definitely massive to shoot. As an actor, you always want to feel like what you're doing is making a difference to the story. So to have this character to play in Part Two was just brilliant. All the stuff that was in the book was kept in there, pretty much. David [Yates] is such a fan of the stories anyway: he's always been so keen to keep it as close as possible, which hasn't been an easy task for him over the years. But with two films it meant that we could keep it closer than we have been able to before. And so most of the stuff for Neville in the book is in there and also a couple of added things.

EO: What sort of thing has been added?
Just stuff where you see what the students are getting up to while they're in this war. The book's focused very heavily on Harry Potter. But the film keeps coming back to the students and the teachers and what's going on. And the whole war is very real. It is really life and death. I won't give too much away, but the whole thing for me was just so much fun because there was so much in. There was a bit of light humour at the beginning; a bit of, sort of, French Resistance stuff. But then the war kicks off and there's action to do and there's a lot of drama as well because there are people dying around us, and Neville's in charge of these people who are dying. I just got to do so much different stuff. It was great.

EO: You've said before in interviews that Neville's seen carrying a dead body.
Yeah, that's right. I mean, because Neville is the leader he's determined to act like one so he's always on the frontlines. I think he feels responsible for every student that dies because he knows that he's the one putting them out there. But it was a challenge. I really hope they keep it in because it really shows Neville at his best. There's all this fun stuff where Neville's very adrenalised and on autopilot. But that bit brings him back down to Earth for a minute. And I really hope they keep it in.

EO: Did you get to do the 19 Years Later epilogue? Neville's mentioned in the books but he doesn't appear.
Yeah, that's right. I think there was mention of him being a teacher back at Hogwarts but I didn't have to appear. My Nineteen Years Later is still a surprise to me.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Au Revoir, Oprah!

Today marks the the bittersweet ending of an era in television--after 25 years of production, Oprah is calling it quits.  Her final show, which was taped yesterday in her normal studio, aired today, Wednesday, May 25.  I personally do not watch Oprah, but I have seen the show, as my mother used to watch it.  I'm usually not home when the show is on, but like I said, I have seen it.  Even for me, the ending of the show was a bit sad, and I didn't even watch it.  It's been on for 25 years, which is longer than I've been alive.  It marks a change, something I've never been very comfortable with.  It's strange to think that it's over; Oprah has changed so many lives, and her TV show has aided her in doing so.  I really don't believe she's going to stop her charity work, but one of her biggest tools is now gone.

She was surrounded by friends, family, and fans as she said good-bye today.  Memories were shared, tears were shed, and hugs were given as the end of an era went underway.  But Oprah said it best herself: "This is not goodbye.  This is until we meet again."  She still has some great plans up her sleeve.  That is something I will never doubt.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dancing with the Stars finale this week!

It's finally time.  It take all season long to weed out the bad ones, and we've finally come to the one night the whole season leads up to: the finals! This Monday night at 8:00 EST, for only one hour, Hines Ward, Chelsea Kane, and Kirstie Alley will break out the sequins and the spray tans, and shake their butts off for the famed mirror ball trophy.  This night will be a great one for dancing, and I can't wait!  I love this show, and I wait all season long for the finals, just to see the crazy awesome free-styles.  Each couple has to come up with a free-style dance to show their ability, and nothing is out-of-bounds.  This is the time to pull out all the stops and add as many flips, jumps, turns, leaps, and whatever else as they possibly can.  Many times, the free-style determines the winner of the show, so it is crucial that each couple does not hold back.  It's going to a be great, as the last three dancers are all really great.  I am disappointed that Romeo didn't make it to the finals though; I think he deserved it over Kirstie.  I really don't think she's going to win, either.  Hines an Chelsea, the front-runners of the whole season, are both phenomenal dancers.  I personally hope Chelsea wins.  I just love her, and I know she's worked extremely hard all season.  That's not to say that Hines hasn't, and if he would win, he definitely deserves it too, but I just really like Chelsea.  But what will be, will be.  And I know one thing for sure: I can't wait until next season!

Apparently X doesn't mark the spot...

As I'm sure you are aware of by now, I'm ready to see Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Well, apparently, the rest of the world isn't as ready to watch the swash-buckling adventure as I am.  The movie, which hit theaters last Friday at 12:00 AM, didn't bring in as much as the previous movies in the series.  Don't get me wrong, it still did pretty well; according to, it grossed $35 million, which beat out Fast Five's $34.4 million Friday debut. Compared to the other POTC releases, though... let's just say there wasn't as much booty in the chest as we had hoped.  When the last movie, At World's End, was released, it brought in $42.9 million on its opening day back in May 2007.  Before that, Dead Man's Chest brought in a whopping $55.8 million on its opening day in July 2006.  As you can see, On Stranger Tides pales in comparison.  Curse of the Black Pearl was in a lower league as well, but that's understandable; it started the franchise.  That movie was the start of it all--it started the pirate hype. And with ticket price inflation, those grosses would be even higher today.  So, as both a Johnny Depp and Pirates fan, I'm a little disappointed.  I really don't know why the movie wasn't as popular.  Did people see it and tell their friends not to go?  Is the hype just dying down?  Whatever it is, I don't intend to just forget about it. I plan to see it because I still think it looks like a good movie.  And so should you.  I've learned not to take what other people say too seriously.  Some of my favorite movies were those that got really awful ratings and opinions.  But then again, sometimes people are right (ahem, Killers anyone?).  If a movie looks good to me, I'm going to watch it and form my own opinion. So, whatever you decide to do, make sure it's your decision, influenced by your own opinions.  Enjoy!

Cars 2 is underway!

So, I love little kid movies.  I love little kid stuff in general.  Everything from movies, books, and sometimes even TV shows (a little Spongebob here and there is always good for a little chuckle). I was raised on Disney, so it should come as no surprise that I still, to this day, love anything and everything Disney.  Disney movies overrun my house, I've been to Disney World three times, I have coloring books, regular books, I used to wear Disney clothes, I've seen Broadway shows... it's kind of like Harry Potter, but it dates back a little further.  Anyway, Disney movies are always high priority on my to-see list, and this summer, that is no exception.  Although I have yet to see Pirates 4, which premiered this past Friday (and I am HIGHLY UPSET that no one has yet taken me to see it!!!!), it's still at the top of my list, and Cars 2 is right there with it.  The next installment in the story of a race car and his new found friends is set to debut on June 24, 2011, and I am pretty darn excited!  Honestly, I don't think it looks as good as the original, but then again, when are sequels ever as good?  Putting my bias aside, I do think it looks as though it could be a good movie.  From what I have seen, it seems to be getting a LOT of negative feed back.  Yes, it doesn't look as good as the first, but people are really  over-analyzing this movie.  For crying out loud, people, it is a kids movie!  There is no reason for the plot to be long a complicated--the point is that little kids can understand it and have a good time!  Until I see it, I won't make any judgements.  Why don't you form your own opinion?  Check out the trailer and see what you think.  And if you'd like to read the opinions I was talking about, check out  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Just a heads up

The HP countdown is officially down to 61 days. Just FYI. :D

Now that's dedication!

It's not uncommon for some fans to become obsessed with movies or actors. Some place posters all through their room. Some watch movies over and over again. Some even buy ridiculous amounts of merchandise. But I found an article through IMDb that shows how obsession can take a person over the top.

With Pirates of the Caribbean 4 coming to theaters with Friday, many people are getting ready for the next installment of the series. I admit, I'll probably be watching the first three just to remember what happened before, as I have not seen them before. However, my preparations pale next to these fans', who have tattooed pictures of POTC characters on their body parts. Many of the tattoos are very well done, but it still baffles me why a person would want a large colorful pictures of a squid-man on his back. Or anywhere for that matter.

*Photo comments from

If ye be lovin' Johnny Depp so much, ye might as well place his effigy somewhere on your body where you can barely see him. Of course, every guy who ever meets you will see nothin' but Johnny's handsome mug.This be a great way to announce to all future male suitors that they'd better be great at playing second fiddle.

We think this vertical composition uses enough rich colors and vivid imagery of both Davy Jones and the Caribbean to grab the eye and never let go! If one absolutely needs a drawing of a squid man on one's self, this be the route... as long as this landlubber keeps shaving his back every fortnight.

It is just us or... does that Keira Knightley tattoo be sprouting hair that's really, really blonde, for some reason? And also looks nothing like Keira Knightley?

Nothing at a job interview declares "This guy's a winner!" like a squid man's face covering your entire hand.
This is a tattoo built for success, just as long as you wont be interacting with any live people -- ever -- because they will rightly fear the rage issues you are most certainly coping with.

Avast ye, movie lovers! This landlubber just got his sea legs -- well, leg. If ye decide to be a walking commercial for a movie franchise, this be the way to go.

There are quite a few more pictures, and interesting tattoos. If you want to see more crazy fans, check out Enjoy!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Did you kiss your mother?

Did you figure out the movie? No? Did you at least hug your mother?

The picture was from the movie Stepmom, with Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts. The story follows a mother (Sarandon), who is dying of cancer, while she teaches her ex-husband's wife (Roberts) how to care for her child so they have a good mother once she passes. So next time you fight with your mom, just remember that you are blessed to have one, because many aren't even that fortunate.  So did you guess correctly? Hopefully you found the right answer. But if not, there's always next time. Either way, check this movie out. It's been a while since I've see it, but it is a goodie, even if it is sad. Ah well, it is what it is. Enjoy!

It's almost that time of the year again

After working hard all year, you've finally made it-- it's time to relax on the beach. But you decide to cool off and take a dip in the ocean. Before you know it, you go out a little too far. Your toes don't reach the ocean floor again, but it's no big deal; you've been father out before. All of a sudden, you feel something skim your leg. It feels rough and as though it belongs to something large. Your heart flutters, but you don't move. It happens again. You slowly start to swim back. Then you see it: a huge grey fin starts to protrude from the water. You swim faster and faster, but it seems in vain. A gigantic head with thousands of sharp, carnivorous teeth comes out of the water and-- ROOOOOAAAAARRRRRR!

 Okay, so maybe you've never experienced a shark attack, but in a couple months you can get the next best things. Shark week is on its way! Starting Sunday July 31, the Discovery Channel will start th 24th edition of its celebration of the ocean's fiercest predators. This will include everything from watching men brave shark infested waters, a special on Great Whites and their close encounters with humans, the journey of sharks, and covers all kinds of shark attacks, which no Shark Week would be complete without.

I've never watched shark week, but I always hear about it, ever year, without fail. This year, I'm kind of excited-- I want to watch some, just to see if the hype is true. So to get you in the mood, why not watch the fiercest Great White of them all? Jaws is another movie on my summer to-see list. It's one of my favorite rides at Universal Studios, so I figure I should see the movie, even if the 80's effects (and the shark) are pretty lame.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Have you told your mom how much you love and appreciate her? Well, you better get on it, and make sure to do more often than just today! For all the moms out there that have ever changed dirty diapers, stayed up all night with a sick child, cleaned marker and/or lipstick off the walls, washed dirty hands and mouths, been at every dance and piano recital, band concert and soccer game, kissed a pretend (or real) boo-boo, and loved and cherished every step of the way, this is for you. I've been blessed with a wonderful mother, and I hope all of you are as lucky as I am.

To celebrate, I have a little game. Know what movie this picture is from?

When you figure it out, go kiss your mother and watch this movie. It will make you appreciate her even more. I'll post the answer later in the week. Happy hunting!

X-Factor Hosts Named

When Simon Cowell left American Idol, the world was pretty sour about the event. But now, Simon is making his way back into show biz to discover more of the universe's hidden talents. Cowell's new show, The X-Factor,  will uncover closet and open singers alike in a more America's Got Talent type setting. It's still a mystery to me why Cowell left Idol, as it is an incredibly popular show. When I used to watch it, I always loved listening to his witty remarks to the contestants and even the other judges. It's true, sometimes he was a little (or a lot, actually) harsh, but he knows his stuff. If he didn't think a contestant had what it takes, he told them, and usually he was right. For his new show, which will air this coming fall, all but one of the judges have been revealed. L.A. Reid and Cheryl Cole are set to take the judges seat, but the last chair is still empty as far as America knows. However, the hosts are not longer a secret. It is know known that Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls and Steve Jones, a British TV host. I haven't decided if this is a show I want to watch or not. There is no doubt about the quality of the show-- Cowell does not settle for mediocre work. I do think that the show will go over well, just from looking at the record of shows such as Idol and America's Got Talent. People love competition, that's for sure.

If you want to read more, check out

Movies to see...

So, last week, I gave a list of a movie website editor's top picks for the summer. I've come to the conclusion that several of said movies look like good films. I've done a little research and now I want to show you the trailers of some movies that I think will be goodies. The last movie I saw in theaters was Harry Potter 7 part 1, and I'm itching to get back out. It's true, movie tickets are expensive, but I'm willing to dish out a little dough to see these films.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Green Lantern
Larry Crowne
One Day

I've already posted the trailer for HP7 part 2, and a few others I listed looked good, but these are the movies I'll be checking into this summer. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Break out your flip flops...

And your wallets as well, as I have a list of some summer flicks that are looking pretty cool right about now. IMDb CEO Cole Needham has shared the movies he is looking forward to most this summer. If the CEO of a movie website is looking forward to these, you know they have to be good.

1. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2
The end begins as Harry, Ron, and Hermione go back to Hogwarts to find and destroy Voldemort's final horcruxes...
"This has been a long time coming. My daughters grew up with the books and I've enjoyed all of the previous movies, with Prisoner of Azkaban being my favourite movie of 2004. I am really looking forward to what could be the best movie of 2011. Remember ... 'I open at the close.'"

2. Cowboys and Aliens
A spaceship arrives in Arizona, 1873, to take over the Earth, starting with the Wild West region. A posse of cowboys are all that stand in their way.
"Cast, director, crew and story ... this has got must see written all over it."

3. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too.
"I was initially skeptical but actually ditching most of the cast other than Johnny Depp and effectively rebooting the series is exactly what was needed. The trailer looks superb."

4. Super 8
After witnessing a mysterious train crash, a group of friends in the summer of 1979 begin noticing strange happenings going around in their small town, and begin to investigate into the strange phenomenon.
"I have been intrigued ever since the surprise announcement that J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg would be collaborating on this."

5. Green Lantern
A test pilot is granted a mystical green ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers, as well as membership into an intergalactic squadron tasked with keeping peace within the universe.
"I'm not a big comic book adaptation fan but the casting of Mark Strong as Sinestro has me interested."

6. Larry Crowne
After losing his job, a middle-aged man reinvents himself by going back to college.
"You had me at Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts (plus Tom writes and directs again)."

7. The Tree of Life
The story centers around a family with three boys in the 1950s. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence.
"I am hoping to a return to the form of Days of Heaven from director Terrence Malick."

8. Friends With Benefits
While trying to avoid the clichés of Hollywood romantic comedies, Dylan and Jamie soon discover however that adding the act of sex to their friendship does lead to complications.
"Exactly the sort of comedy for which I am a sucker. I really enjoyed director Will Gluck's Easy A last year."

9. The Hangover Part II
Phil, Stu, and Alan travel to Bangkok for Stu's wedding only to find themselves in another post-blackout misadventure.
"I loved the first one and all the right elements seem to be in place for repeat success!"

10. One Day
After spending the night together on the night of their college graduation Dexter and Em are revisited each year on the same date to see where they are in their lives. They are sometimes together, sometimes not, on that day.
"I loved Lone Scherfig's An Education and I like Anne Hathawayas an actress, plus the Same Time, Next Year plotline make this one to watch."

11. Bad Teacher
A comedy centered around a foul-mouthed, junior high teacher who, after being dumped by her sugar daddy, begins to woo a colleague -- a move that pits her against a well-loved teacher.
"Good to see Jake Kasdan back in the feature film director's chair again (see Zero Effect)."

12. Something Borrowed
Friendships are tested and secrets come to the surface when terminally single Rachel falls for Dex, her best friend Darcy's fiancé.
"My kind of thing again and Ginnifer Goodwin is always interesting to watch. I liked director Luke Greenfield's The Girl Next Door too."

13. Another Earth
On the night of the discovery of a duplicate planet in the solar system, an ambitious young student and an accomplished composer cross paths in a tragic accident.
"Sounds interesting and wonder what the similarities will be to Journey to the Far Side of the Sun which was a childhood favourite."

14. Crazy, Stupid, Love
A father's life unravels while he deals with a marital crisis and tries to manage his relationship with his children.
"Great cast, especially (Emma) Stone, (Steve) Carrell, Bacon and (Julianne) Moore plus really enjoyed I Love You Phillip Morris from the same writer/director team."

15. 30 Minutes or Less
Two fledgling criminals kidnap a pizza delivery driver and force him to rob a bank within 30 minutes.
"The plot outline looks crazy!"

Not Terribly Successful?

Unless you live under a rock, you are probably aware that the Royal wedding took place this past Friday. Well, the ratings are out-- according to The Wrap, only 22.7 million Americans set their alarm clocks for oh-dark-thirty to watch Price William and Kate tie the knot. The New York Times projected about 2.5 billion viewers around the world would tune in, and if this really were the case, American televisions sets turned to the wedding only account for less than one percent of this estimated amount. After months of hype, this is a little surprising to me, but also understandable. For months, it's been hard to flip the channel without hearing news of the wedding, it's been harder to see a magazine without the face of at least of half of the couple, and it's been harder still to go out and not hear someone discussing the event. Americans are worn out from constantly living through an event that's not even happening in their own country. Eleven different networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, TEL, UNI, BBCA, CNN, E!, FOX News, MSNBC, and TLC) covered the prestigious event, and together they "generated a combined household rating of 16.0," again according to The Wrap. According to CNN, its six hours of coverage (from 4 a.m. for 10 a.m.) took the biggest audience since the morning after the 2008 presidential election. Even though Prince William looked sharp and Kate Middleton looked gorgeous (as always), it just wasn't enough to bring the expected amount of viewer to their television sets.

74 days and counting...

Anyone who knows me knows that I am the world's biggest Harry Potter buff. I've read the books many, many times, I have several copies of each book (including several collector's editions and a set that has never been opened in a chest), I have the movies (several of which I can recite word for word), I've seen several of the movies on opening day at IMAX theaters, I have merchandise (including t-shirts and realistic wands), I've been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, I have plans to see Daniel Radcliff's show How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway this summer, I have Harry Potter piano music on my iPod, I hold HP week-long movie marathons in this summer... the list goes on. I think I made my point.

Harry Potter came into my life when I was just seven years old. My father had never wanted me to read the story, even though I had pleaded with him from the time I could pick up a book and fully understand it. However, when I hit second grade, my mother bought me the first book at the school book fair (without the consent of my father) and I did not put it down. We later told my father. At that point in time, he had no choice to agree. With time, he realized it was not the story of witchcraft he believed it to be. He's even watched the movies! I continued to read the series through time, although I had to wait for a bit for some of the books-- when I started reading, only the first four book were actually written. During my wait, I ended up reading the first four books about 20 odd times, and I still continue to reread today.

I credit Harry with my love of reading. I truly believe that if he had not come into my life, I would not be the avid reader I am today. So I owe a great deal to both him and J.K. Rowling. But my story is not the reason for this post! The real reason I'm writing is to share with you the latest trailer for The Deathly Hallows Part 2! It seriously gave me goose bumps. I cannot wait. For the first time, I WILL be attending a midnight showing. At an IMAX theater, no less! Mark your calendars girls and boys, July 15th is 74 days away!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Way to go, Rio!

Don't you just love little kid movies? No? It's just me? Don't lie to yourself. No matter how old we get, there is still a part of us deep down that loves to be a little kid again, and what better way to keep in touch with your inner kid than to watch movies meant for a younger generation. If you saw my last post, you would have noticed that Rio is kicking some butt in the box office. Both Happy Family and Water for Elephants have fallen short of the animated film. Now, I have to admit, Water looks like a good film, and, although I've never seen any, I know Madea films always go over well. I'm not going to lie, I love that a kid's movie took the top spot. I honestly can't say why I enjoy this fact so much. I think it stems from the fact that the society we live in now-a-days is so serious; I always hear about the falling economy, and the troops not being paid enough, and the government is screwing up again... Where is all the good news?! People need to laugh and be happy again instead of constantly worrying. I feel as though a light-hearted animated movie taking the top spot means that people are trying to enjoy themselves. Then again, I could be dead wrong-- maybe the movie is just well done and kids are dragging their parents to see it over and over. Either way, this movie has already grossed $286 million, and it has only been out for three weeks. Jesse Eisenburg (who stars in the film) was also in The Social Network, which only grossed $225 million over it's entire run. So, kudos for you, Rio: obviously you're a pretty good movie to gross so much money in so little time.

Need a movie?

Looking for a good movie to see over Easter break? This is IMDb's take on a good list of movies. These are the highest grossing movies for the week of April 22nd. Sadly, I have not seen any of these movies yet. I don't get out much. However, I do have my eye on Rio (love little kid movies, don't judge), Water for Elephants, and African Cats (I love the cute little baby kitties). The numbers you see listed below are the total amounts grossed overall, as opposed to just the weekend. So if you're looking for a movie to see, any of these probably would NOT be a waste of money. 

Rio (2011) $81.3M
Madea's Big Happy Family (2011) $25.8M
Water for Elephants (2011) $17.5M
Hop (2011 $100M
Scream 4 (2011) $31.2M
African Cats (2011) $6.4M
Soul Surfer (2011) $28.7M
Insidious (2010/I) $44.2M
Hanna (2011) $31.7M
10 Source Code (2011) $44.7M

Not as Popular as Christmas

Happy Easter, everyone! I hope I find everyone content today, full of delicious food and in the company of family and friends. Today is an important day for Christians: the day Jesus rose from the dead to save the world from sin. However, I'm not here to get into the religious side of things. I'm here to talk about the entertainment! Sadly, I can't put together a list of good Easter movies to check out, simply because there are none. Trust me, I've looked. Easter just isn't the right kind of holiday to make a movie out of. Christmas, on the other hand, is the holiday that makes the big bucks. Even though Easter is the more important holiday (at least in the lives of Christians), the world has come to love the commercial side of Christmas. There are umpteen ways to make a story about a fictional fat man who falls down chimneys and brings presents, and then there are umpteen ways to make the movie itself: live action (like The Santa Clause trilogy), claymation (if movie makers want to go old-school, like Rudolf, The Year Without a Santa Claus, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town), or even animation (such as Frosty the Snowman or The Grinch Who Stole Christmas). Sometimes Christmas movies are even religious. Take The Little Drummer Boy for example. That particular movie is all about a poor boy and his gift to baby Jesus. Christmas is covered when in comes to entertainment-- TV shows do holiday specials, there are Broadways plays about the holiday season (White Christmas) and I already discussed the movie side. When it comes down to it, Easter is lacking in the movie department. I guess it's not as easy to make a movie about a rabbit and some eggs as it is to make one about Santa. However, this year, someone broke the streak and finally added an Easter movie to the mix. Hop was released on April 1st, and has been doing pretty well. According to IMDb, Hop tells the comic tale of Fred, an out-of-work slacker who accidentally injures the Easter Bunny and must take him in as he recovers. As Fred struggles with the world's worst house guest, both will learn what it takes to finally grow up. I have not yet seen the movie for myself, but I have heard good things about it. So if you're in the Easter mood, you'll have to check it out!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Yeah, we met the actors. No biggie.

I neglected to mention in my last post that after the show, as we were crowded around the stage door, two of the actors (who were super cute and incredibly nice) just happened to walk out. Russell Fischer (Joe Peschi) and Ryan Jesse (Bob Gaudio) walked out and gave us autographs and pictures. It was amazing; they were so friendly and willing to interact with us. Russell even chatted with me and my mom for a bit about the show. I met another actress this way before, but it was much more complicated; we planned to be outside the stage door at a specific time just to meet her there. This time, the stage door just happened to be right beside the main entrance and the actors just happened to walk out. The actor who played Frankie also walked out, but by that time we had to start walking back to the bus. I was highly disappointed. Overall, the day was fantastic. I cannot wait to go back to New York (which I am doing in July!) Here's a look at my day.

This is Russell (:


How to succeed in getting your mother to take you back to the city...

New York is one of my favorite places in the world. I've been telling my mother for months, almost a year, that I want to go back, and I've finally convinced her. All it took was the news that Daniel Radcliff (aka Harry Potter) is currently starring in the Broadway show "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." Now, we are planning a summer trip to shop, relax, and watch some musicals. We also plan on waiting by the stage door to meet Mr. Radcliff, as we are both huge fans. I've loved Harry Potter since I was in first grade and my mother fell for him not long after. He is my childhood hero, and meeting him would be a dream come true! There is also another show I'm hoping to see while there called "Promises, Promises," staring Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes. I love both of those actors and I would love nothing more than to meet them. I'm hoping this little vacation will turn into a star-studded weekend. As for "How to Succeed," I don't know much about it, but I don't need to. As long as I get to see Daniel Radcliff  live and in person, the rest doesn't matter. From what I've seen, it looks like a spectacular show-- colorful, catchy, and just a flat-out good time.

The first video has an interview with Daniel. Check them out!

Oh, what a day!

So, the last time I posted, I was about to hit the streets of New York City to see the sights and a Broadway show as well. When I went, I had no ideas what the show (Jersey Boys) was about-- I had heard of it, but never learned about the plot. Ten or so minutes into the show, I was a little unsure how I felt about it, but now, looking back, I would love to go see it again! It was extremely well done, the music was incredibly catchy (it's still stuck in my head) and the actors were phenomenal. The language was rather strong and many sexual innuendos were made (so those of you who are thinking about bringing small children may wish to rethink this decision) but overall it was a fantastic show.  

The show followed the lives of Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio, and Nick Massi, the four of whom made up the group The Four Seasons. Stories change when different people tell them, so each of the four men get their turn to tell the story. Tommy, who started the group, opens the show, followed by Bob, then Nick, and Frankie finishes it out. At the very end, all four come together as they are inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, and they tell the audience what they are currently doing with their lives. 

When the story starts, Tommy, Nick, and Tommy's brother Nick are standing on the Streets of New Jersey, singing under a street light and trying to be noticed. They sing at night club after night club, doing the best they can to get by. Then, Tommy Meets Frankie, and puts him in the group. Through a series of events, Tommy and both Nicks end up in prison. When Nick (not Tommy's brother) and Tommy get out, the two and Frankie are back to the grind, trying once again to get by. After a while Bob, a one-hit wonder song writer, is introduced to the group, and he starts spitting out chart-toppers like nobody's business, including "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like a Man," and "December 1963 (Oh, What a Night!)." However, their stay at the top doesn't last forever, and soon, everything spirals out of control. In the end, even though the group split, all is well. 

I highly recommend this show to any Broadway lover, as long as you don't mind strong language. Trust me, the songs will stick with you long after you leave the theater. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

What's it about?

Matt Bogart, Dominic Nolfi, Jarrod Spector, Ryan Jesse2006 Tony Award® Winner for Best Musical. “It's just too good to be true!” (Clive Barnes, New York Post) Broadway's biggest success story takes you behind the music of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons-and, as The New York Times says, “the crowd goes wild!” Follow the rags-to-rock-to-riches tale of four blue-collar kids working their way from the streets of Newark to the heights of stardom. Featuring such hits as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don't Cry,” “Can't Take My Eyes Off You,” “Oh, What a Night” and more.

This is the show in a nutshell according to the official website. I don't want to read too much more about it before I see it; I've decided that I want to be surprised when that curtain goes up. 

Matt Bogart, Jarrod Spector, Ryan Jesse, Dominic Nolfi

Jarrod Spector, Ryan Jesse, Dominic Nolfi, Matt Bogart

Dominic Nolfi, Jarrod Spector, Ryan Jesse, Matt Bogart

Katie O'Toole, Jarrod Spector

Here's a little preview to get your imagination going. When I see it in full, I'll share the full plot. I just want to make sure I get to see it first. Yeah, I'm selfish like that. (:

Tomorrow is the big day!

A few days back, I posted that I will be venturing to New York City to see "Jersey Boys," a Tony-award winning musical on Broadway, with the music department at my school. Well, tomorrow is finally the big day! I'm really excited. The last time I was in New York for a show was about a year ago, and I am itching to get up there! I used to dream of living in the city, with all the lights and life, but not so much anymore. Although I don't want to live there anymore, I still love to go there every chance I can; there's just something about the city that keeps me coming back. I love the atmosphere, the sights, the sounds, and I love the feeling of losing myself-- the feeling of being someone other than a small-town girl for the day (please, no "Don't Stop Believing" references). Tomorrow will be such a great day. I'm glad I get to spend it with such great people.

So, here's the schedule. Tomorrow morning, I will be reluctantly rolling out of bed at 3:45 am (EW). Not looking forward to that part. My mom (who is also coming) and I will be on the bus at around 5:30 and pulling out with the rest of the kids not too long after that. We're stopping for breakfast about an hour into the journey, then back on the road until we see the city skyline. There's no lunch for us (sadly), but mom and I are packing our own food for the bus. Then the walking starts. I'm so hoping the weather will be agreeable; I've been checking the Weather Channel constantly for NYC weather because I want to wear my new skirt and not freeze!

I don't know much about the show-- in fact, I know nothing at all. I have a little research to do so I can share the wealth and make a new post.

This is the last show my school's music department will go to-- since the school's in the district are combining next year, this is it. I am proud to say I've been on every trip. They started my freshmen year with Les Miserables and they will end with Jersey Boys. The Phantom of the Opera and The Lion King fell in between. I got lucky and was able to attend all four. This is a great way to mark the start of the end of my senior year. Tomorrow is going to be a great day!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Experience it for yourself!

I've made a few references to Universal Studios in previous posts, but now I'd like to actually go a little deeper into my experiences. I've been to Universal three times, and it is by far my favorite vacation. When my family travels to Florida, we always go the same way-- we leave for Baltimore a day early and leave from there to either a connection flight or straight through to Orlando. Plane tickets these days cost a small fortune, but I assure that Universal is worth it.

Universal is broken up into two parks: Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Universal Studios is where you can actually live the movies. Movies such as Men in Black, Jaws, The Terminator, the Mummy and others are all present in ride form, ranging from roller coasters to boat rides with "deadly" sharks. Islands of Adventures is a little more extreme. The park is broken up into different "islands," like Toon Lagoon, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Lost Continent, and Superhero Island, just to name a few. Here you can find huge coasters that shoot you out of a tube as you transform into the hulk, ride through Hogwarts and the Forbidden Forrest for yourself, ride through Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat, and even help Pop-Eye rescue his beloved Olive Oyl from the dreaded Bluto.

Like I said, I love this place. I would go here every year if I could. Not only does Universal have all of this to offer, but they also have tons of great restaurants, such as Margaritaville, Bubba Gump's, and even Emeril's, a fine-dining restaurant, many nightclubs, quite a few shops, and even a few movie theaters. Don't get me wrong, the Florida heat is stifling, but it is so worth it.

Check out some pics from my family vacation there last summer. We had a lot of fun, even thought the Wizarding World of Harry Potter had just opened and there were crazy lines all the time!

I love this picture. This is in City Walk, the part 
right before the park, right as all the lights come on .


Inside the castle. This was so surreal for me.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione

Outside the Dragon Challenge roller coaster. 
Two separate coasters that "duel" each other. 

Hard Rock Cafe in the daytime. 

The Rip Ride Hollywood Rockit. It takes you straight 
up at a 90 degree angle, AND you pick your own tunes 
to listen to as you ride! For added fun, 
you're recorded throughout the experience. 

Me getting attacked by Jaws and my boyfriend being whimpy. (:

The entrance to Universal Studios. If you look 
closely, you can see me and Kyle (my boyfriend).

Kyle, my brothers, and myself with SpongeBob.

Twister: Ride it out! It's not actually a ride, but a scene
 from the movie is recreated before your eyes. Super cool.

Men in Black Headquarters!

Entrance to Seuss Landing, where literally 
everything is based on Dr. Seuss.

Entrance to the Lost Continent. Not many rides here
 anymore, but some wicked awesome shows.

Entrance to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Superhero Island from across the water. You can see 
Dr. Doom's Fear Fall (two pointy towers) and the Hulk coaster.

Toon Lagoon.

Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls. A great and entertaining 
way to cool off. They even have a people dryer close by! I'm not kidding.

Dr. Doom's Fear Fall. Crazy.

The Hulk! You won't like him when he's angry.

The Mummy. A fast and furious indoor coaster.

Hogwarts express! (I was so happy!)

Hogwarts at dusk.

In front of the famous globe.

Our hotel. It is amazing there.

If you ever have the opportunity to go, do not pass it up. The memories I made on this trip are priceless. I can't wait till I can go again!