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Archives for : Fun

Jurassic World: The Exhibition

Jurassic World: The Exhibition is coming June 18 to Grandscape in the Colony, the 20,000 square-foot immersive experience based upon the 25 year old family favorite cinematic blockbuster.

Guests will walk through the world-famous “Jurassic World” gates, encounter life-sized dinosaurs, and explore richly themed environments. Then, they will have an up close look at a Velociraptor, stand under a towering Brachiosaurus, and encounter the most fearsome of them all, the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex. You’ll have the unique opportunity to imagine what it would have been like to walk among these breathtaking creatures and even interact with new baby dinosaurs, including “Bumpy” from the popular animated Netflix original series, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous.

The Jurassic World franchise has been entertaining generations of fans around the world with thrilling and awe-inspiring stories and characters for more than 25 years – from films and TV series, to video games and toys, to live action experiences and rides at Universal theme parks. Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure will welcome the new Jurassic World VelociCoaster on June 10th, creating a new species of roller coaster where guests will feel the rush of the hunt as they race alongside these nimble predators, twisting and soaring above the land and water. At Universal Studios Hollywood, guests experiencing Jurassic World – The Ride will come face-to-face with an all-new, extraordinarily realistic dinosaur – the Indominus Rex, injecting intense new thrills, excitement and intrigue into an already dynamic ride.

To celebrate the Exhibition launch, fans will get an exclusive opportunity when playing Jurassic World Alive – thepopular location-based ARmobile game. Starting on June 18, players who visit the Exhibition in Dallas and open the game on their devices can locate an exclusive JURASSIC WORLD: THE EXHIBITION incubator, which are capsules that contain valuable resources, as an in-game reward. Players with AR-enabled devices can then snap a picture or take a video of a dinosaur using the game’s AR feature and post to their social media channels using the #JurassicWorldAlive hashtag.

JURASSIC WORLD: THE EXHIBITION will be at Grandscape from June 18 through September 5. Tickets start at $29.50 for adults (16 years +) and $19.50 for youth (3- 15 years). Children two-years-old and younger are free with an accompanying parent. VIP packages are available, as well as special pricing for Senior citizens and military.

During the exhibit’s run, the operation and management teams will continue to implement enhanced health and safety procedures for the operation of JURASSIC WORLD: THE EXHIBITION. All Exhibition activities will be in accordance with CDC guidelines. Visit the CDC website at cdc.gov/covid19 for the latest guidelines.

Movie Review: The Mitchells vs. The Machines is Heartfelt Entertaining Journey

The movies of 2021 have had a slow start. Aside from “Raya and the Last Dragon”, there’s not a whole lot of stand outs. But Netflix’s new animated, action-comedy, “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” is easily one of the best films of the year.

Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson) has felt like an outcast during most her teen years. She spends a lot of her free time making funny, unique videos of her brother Aaron (Michael Rianda) and their dog. Though she has a loving family, she has yet to find “her people” that share her similar artistic interests. Her dad, Rick (Danny McBride), especially seems confused by Katie’s “art” and worries making videos won’t be a profitable way to make a living. This doubt is part of the reason why Katie and her father always butt heads, and no longer have the bond they once shared when she was a little a girl.

As luck would have it, Katie gets accepted to her dream film school. She’s already clicking with her future classmates, and can’t wait to fly off to orientation. But her father has another idea in mind. In order to rebuild their relationship, he cancels Katie’s flight; and plans a surprise road trip for the whole family to spend one last hurrah before they drop Katie off to college. An already bumpy ride turns into a disaster when the newest service of AI robots- known as the PAL go haywire, and all humans are under attack by the robot mercenaries. And somehow, the only people that can now save the world are the Mitchells!

“The Mitchells vs. The Machines” has a lot of shining parts. Directors/Writers Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe have created a film that is original, clever, funny, touching, and an absolute blast. This is a movie that both kids and adults will connect with and enjoy. Yes, though Katie and her dad have had their arguments, the entire family has drifted by burying themselves in their phones and electronics. Katie’s mom, Linda (Maya Rudolph), is obsessed with other families’ online personas; admiring a life she wished she had. And her brother is obsessed with everything dinosaurs. Rick is the only one in the family who hates technology, and enjoys more of the outdoors. It’s enough to make you think twice before pulling out your phones when you’re spending time with your family.

I know Danny McBride is funny, but this is hands down his best role. He is hilarious and endearing. He’s the parent that we either have or we hope to be. His desire to rebuild his relationship with his daughter is incredibly moving. And his character is only elevated by his on screen wife. Rudolph plays a badass mom who might have some insecurities but she loves her children and will stop at nothing to protect them. Of course, the star of the film, Abbi Jacobson is fantastic. She’s a character you empathize with and root for.

A good number of laughs in the film can be credited to Olivia Coleman who does the voices for the digital villain PAL AI system. She’s snarky, yet serious. The very idea of her character is terrifying, but seeing such a villainess in the form of a phone is extremely comical.

The film never veers off course. From the start you’re immediately engaged by this quirky family, and quickly taken on an exciting adventure. Take in all the gorgeous animation scenery, and enjoy every thrilling stop. “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” is wild and fun ride everyone should take! 

Rating: 5/5

www.netflix.com/TheMitchellsVsTheMachines

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Movie Review: “Wonder Woman 1984” Fails to Soar as High as its Predecessor

It pains me to write this review, as the first “Wonder Woman” movie was one of my favorite films of 2017. Patty Jenkins directed/wrote a simple, yet, thrilling, and charming story. It still holds up today as an incredible film. Sadly, the sequel, “Wonder Woman 1984” does not carry that same merit.

First off, what the heck!? I mean who approved this script!? Did they even refer to the last movie??

I just had to get that out. It is extremely frustrating, because we know DC can’t seem to figure out how to create the same kind of quality superhero movies like Marvel. That was until the first “Wonder Woman”. They found a gem in Patty Jenkins, and I know she is capable of much better than this.

“Wonder Woman 1984” picks up 66 years after Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) helped end World War 1 with the help of her friends and self-sacrificing boyfriend, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). She’s now in Washington DC curating ancient artifacts; working with a socially awkward Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig). She is still saving the world, but she’s unhappy and living a lonely life without any loved ones.

Diana’s life is pretty routine until a foiled mall robbery shakes everything up. The incident leads to the discovery of an old artifact known as the dream stone, which grants wishes, but also takes something in return. It’s a dangerous tool that leads to a series of catastrophic events when it falls into the hands of a ponzi scam artist, Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal).

The acting in “Wonder Woman 1984” is good. Gadot has some stand out moments, particularly in a heartbreaking, emotional scene with Pine. And Pascal plays a hilarious, wacked out nut job. And Wiig does a fantastic job as Barbara/The Cheetah. She was actually my favorite part of the film. I just wish they utilized her more as a villain. Though Pascal is great to watch, I would have loved seeing Wiig in her full evil mode for much longer than what we’re given.

The problem here is in the writing. It goes beyond campy into cheesy territory. The opening sequence of the film is promising. But early on after Pascal steals the artifact, the movie just goes downhill. It gets muddled, and doesn’t even make that much sense. Maybe too many people were involved in writing the story, or maybe they were trying too hard to make a unique plot. But it didn’t work. They focused on corny jokes and a fluffy subject matter instead taking the route of the previous film’s darker tone. There are minimal action scenes, and the few we see have no real impact or awe factor. And I can’t go into detail, but there are so many problems with the ending. I would vent about if I could.

As a fan of the first “Wonder Woman”, I still have to advise you watch this sequel, and form your own opinion. There’s still some fun moments, and the characters are enjoyable. My only advice is to go in with the lowest of expectations.

Rating: 3/5

“Wonder Woman opens in theaters and streams on HBOMax December 25.

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Movie Review: “A Simple Wedding” is a Joyous Occasion

Growing up, I watched so many rom-coms and admired actresses like Meg Ryan, Molly Ringwald, Sandra Bullock, and so many other women playing characters looking for love. To an extent I could relate to them and their awkward/quirky personalities, but I never really saw myself. It might be part of the reason why I never thought I’d get that kind of romance in my life (I was wrong).

In these last couple of years, Hollywood has revived romantic comedies by bringing other cultures to light (i.e. Crazy, Rich, Asians & The Big Sick). Even Netflix has stepped it up with To The Boys I Loved Before and Always Be My Maybe. And just by watching these films with ethnic leads, I have felt slightly more represented. Because, as an Iranian-American, this is as close as it’s going to get. Luckily, that’s not true.

Director/writer, Sara Zandieh brings us, A Simple Wedding. The film follows Nousha (Tara Grammy), a thirty-something woman trying to avoid the pressures of marriage by her traditional Persian family. After purposely sabotaging her latest engagement, she unexpectedly locks eyes with a bisexual, artist named Alex (Christopher O’Shea) while at her friend’s protest. Their connection is instant. And after a passionate first date, the two become inseparable and eventually move in together.

However, Nousha’s family has no idea Alex exists. That is until they see him half-naked during a facetime chat. This leaves them no choice but to have Alex finally meet Nousha’s mom (Shohreh Aghdashloo), dad (Houshang Touzie), and grandma (Jaleh Modjallel). They are less than thrilled that he’s not a Persian doctor, and even more bothered by the fact that they are living together; and they can’t have their daughter living in sin. Within minutes of their first meeting, Nousha’s family has somehow gotten the couple engaged, and are planning a quick and “simple” wedding. An already complicated situation becomes more complicated when Alex’s family comes into the picture, and the two cultures collide.

The creators of My Big Fat Greek Wedding bring us a similar formula, but different ingredients. There’s insight into the Persian culture/wedding traditions, and a fair amount of focus on both set of parents. This time producer, Rita Wilson is in front of the screen as Alex’s divorced mom who can’t stand being around her ex (Peter McKenzie) and his hubby (James Eckhouse). Yet, she does like spending time around Nousha’s uncle, Saman (Maz Jobrani).

All the family members do a wonderful job portraying loving, yet at times hilariously selfish parents. O’Shea effortlessly plays a true, free spirit who loves whole-heartedly; not seeing race or religion. But at its core, the film thrives on Grammy’s endearing performance. She doesn’t play a woman who seeks love and feels lonely. She’s smart, independent, has great friends, and a good job. She’s not this loser girl that finally got a guy to notice her. She just finally noticed the guy, and wants to continue the relationship without any expectations.

I know I’m gushing quite a bit about this film, and I am sure I’m being bias given the subject matter. With the news lately, it’s nice to see Persians presented in a more positive perspective. But I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Everyone deserves to be represented, no matter your race, orientation, size, etc. And no matter who you are, you can relate to the message this film offers about how love requires “sacrifice, understanding, and forgiveness.”

This movie has its flaws, but it’s sincere. And if you still enjoy the simple romantic comedies we used to indulge in back in the 80’s & 90’s, then allow yourself to enjoy A Simple Wedding. It’s a sweet date night flick, and an all-around fun time.

Rating: 4/5

A Simple Wedding opens in theaters and On Demand (Including Amazon and iTunes) February 14, 2020.

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Musical Review: “Mamma Mia!” will have you Rocking Out like a Dancing Queen

Mamma Mia makes it almost impossible for you not to jump out of your chair and dance along to the music!

The first time I saw this musical was in theaters with Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried as the leading ladies.  I remember how much fun I had while watching that film.  The music, the color, the dancing, it was a blast!  But, that was before I got to experience the live Broadway musical performance in which I was truly able to feel the energy and joy of this story by such a talented cast.

For those who don’t know the story or haven’t seen popular film, let me sum it up.  Three months before Sophie’s (Chelsea Williams) wedding day she decides to send out a letter to three men, one of whom could possibly be her father, in hopes that she will have her dad walk her down the aisle.  Surprisingly enough, all three men agree to come only because they believe Donna (Rebecca Mason-Wygall), Sophie’s mother, sent the invites.  The day before her wedding the three men arrive and they reluctantly agree to not tell Donna what Sophie did and just act like they are in town coincidently.  When Donna finally runs into her past lovers, old feelings return and a possible relationship is rekindled.  As Sophie struggles to figure out which man is her father, she begins to discover a realization in herself.

Talk about a vibrant cast, from the leads to the chorus, everyone involved gave their all while on that stage.  Once you hear t the soft, angelic, voice of Chelsea Williams in the opening number, goose bumps will appear and eyes will be glued to that riveting star.  That is until you meet Rebecca Mason-Wygall.  Her sultry voice will awe you in the hypnotic “Money, Money, Money” number.  The two women make for a fantastic mother/daughter pairing.

Even though these ladies lead the show, each cast member managed to have plenty of “star” moments.  Each of the three men had no problem making a fool of himself for this ridiculously entertaining story.  Mark A. Harmon, who plays Harry Bright, lets loose as the “head banging” British gentleman.  Michael Colavolpe gives a raunchy comedic performance as Bill Austin.  And with a voice that demands to be heard, Jeff Drushal solidifies the fact that Pierce Brosnan should probably leave the singing to the pros.  Expect plenty of laughs anytime Gabrielle Mirabella and Carly Sakolove make an appearance.  The two play Tanya and Rosie, Donna’s long time best friends.  They are immature, outlandish and downright hilarious!  And boys, Tanya’s got a pair of legs that goes on for days.

After an already exciting start, Act II comes back with a bang.  The entire musical flies by, but if you’re sad to watch it end (like me), don’t fret; you will be treated with THREE encore performances.  And this time, everyone is already standing from the deserved ovations, so you can feel free to foolishly dance (like me).

Mamma Mia is running at the Dallas Music Hall at Fair Park through Sunday, June 15.

Rating: 4.5/5

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com

Having a Rough Day? Here’s 5 Films that are so Entertaining, you’ll forget your Problems

We all have those days.  Work has been stressing you out and you feel miserable.  Your having relationship troubles. Your starting feel insecure about yourself. Overall, your in the dramatic “I hate life” mode.  Anytime I tend to get in this random mood for whatever reason, movies have always been my cure!  When you’re watching a great film, you get to have a wonderful escape.

In this particular mood, I tend to go for films that don’t require heavy concentration. Light-hearted, feel good or even a horror will help.  These are the five films that are so entertaining, you’ll be focusing on the story and the characters’ problems instead of your own for at least two hours or so.

Pitch Perfect

Get Pitch-Slapped!

 

For the Fun: Starring Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and Rebel Wilson, this film just represents “Glee”fulness.   The musical numbers are hilarious and actually really good.  In case anyone didn’t know, Anna Kendrick got her start on broadway.  After seeing the Oscar nominated actress in some strong, big screen performances, its nice to see her showing off both talents in this surprisingly, fun film.  Pitch Perfect is a happy, colorful movie that everyone will enjoy singing along to.  Throw in some major WTF moments and a cute romance, you will be singing to yourself, “what problems?”

Little Miss Sunshine

What makes you a winner in life?

 

For the Message: This Oscar nominated film is more than just breakout performances and inappropriate humor.  The story about this family of “losers” may start out a bit depressing, but as the movie continues you will find that winning the top prize doesn’t necessarily make you a winner in life.  Having people in your life that love and support you no matter what is often what winners and losers strive for.  It’s the message of this film that will leave you still thinking about it even when it’s finished.

Meet the Parents

You’ll be grateful your name is not Gaylord Focker

 

For the Appreciation: Whatever your problem is, it can’t be any worse than what Gaylord ‘Greg’ Focker (Ben Stiller) goes through in one of the most hilarious films of all time.  As if meeting your girlfriend’s parents wasn’t nerve-racking enough, having one of those parents be ex CIA, Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) is terrifying.  There are so many obstacles Greg goes through, including lost luggage, a lie detector test, broken noses and so much more that you will appreciate the fact that you aren’t in his shoes.  Besides feeling ultimate sympathy for Greg in this film, you may also think twice before checking a bag for your next flight.

Tommy Boy

Chris Farley in his little coat

 

For the Laughs: Chris Farley was a comedy genius and paired with David Spade, together they were a dynamic duo.  This slapstick comedy is a laugh out loud riot.  As these two are on a mission to sell an impossible amount of brake pads, they encounter so many ridiculous events from cow tipping to a deer fight.  Tommy Boy is a true underdog story, you root for Tommy and laugh at his pain.  There may be one disaster after another in this film, but there is also heart and friendship.  Just sit back and enjoy the catastrophe that these two characters go through, you will more than likely end still laughing and quoting lines.

Scream

What’s your favorite scary movie?

 

For the Scare:  A good scary movie can cure a lot of problems.  Really any horror flick will do the trick here, but one of my personal favorites is the cult classic, Scream. The opening sequence to this film is one of the best from any scary movie.   You may think all the comedy spoofs for these films will make you unable to take it seriously, but try watching it by yourself in the dark.  Regardless of the cheesy romantic scenes and sometimes predictable murders, it’s just a fun scary movie.  Scream has a great story, good mystery, lots of stabbing and it’s just scary enough for you to still be able to sleep easy after watching.  However, if you would like to have night terrors, try The Exorcist or the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.