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!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

One week!

I just realized that in less than a week, I'll be in New York City watching Jersey Boys! I'll post more later! Check back later in the week for a plot summary, my feeling before the show, pictures, and my opinion on the show after seeing it!

Can't wait!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Figure it out yet?

Have you guessed where the lovely creature in the photo is from? If you couldn't get it after my last post, I'm deeply ashamed of you. But, for those who can't figure it out, our bug friend is from...


This is what the bug looks like inside his "Edgar suit."

Hope you enjoyed!

Feature of the Week: Men in Black

The good guys dress in black, remember that. I don't think you'll ever have to worry about running into one of these guys in real life, but they sure make a good movie. That's right, this week, we're talking about the Men in Black, another one of my favorites. This is one of those movies I could watch over and over again and not get tired of it. The sequel is also pretty excellent, but I'm a sucker for the original. There's just something about men in black suits fighting a giant bug that gets me every time.

This movie shows what happens why a NYPD cop gets recruited for the most elite defense groups out there: the Men in Black, a group who takes out "the worst scum of the universe." When Agent J (Will Smith) teams up with Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), the team is unstoppable... well, almost. Let me rephrase-- unstoppable after J gets some training. J's first day on the job seems to be pretty normal. At least, as normal as things can be when you work with aliens. Then, the earth gets an unexpected surprise-- a giant bug has come to the Earth, and he will stop at nothing to get his hands on a galaxy protected by a prince from another planet. The Men in Black are stuck in the middle, doing all they can to stop the two worlds from colliding, while pulling their own world out of the middle.

Love love love this movie. And I absolutely cannot wait until May 2012 when Men in Black III comes out! This movie was actually turned into a ride at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. You get to experience what it's like to be a agent for yourself. The ride takes you through the alien-filled streets of NYC, and you only have your wits and your trusty cricket gun to get you through! It's super fun, and I almost always win when we go; however, I know the secret; press the red button like in the movie, and you get 100,000 bonus points. So next time you go and play, you can thank me for the tip.

Check it out. If you're a sci-fi kind of guy, you'll enjoy it.