Friday, December 13, 2019

Comedy-adventure Gold: Jumanji:The Next level Goes Above and Beyond the Classic

Frank Masi © 2019 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Only one film franchise spans three decades of capturing the imaginations of what it’s like living out our favorite games: Jumanji! From the classic board game-based film in 1995 to the video reboot a little over two years ago in 2017, these films have never disappointed. This new installment in the, expected to go even longer, three-part (four if you really know your Jumanji lore) movie franchise, Jumanji: The Next Level brings back the last sequel’s cast and adds surprise performances, ageless relatable wisdom, and new adventures making for a great Christmas season release. Returning with the strong talents of what now must be considered one of the best comedy movie duos, in Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, along with Jack Black and Karen Gillan, only proves this is a recipe for comedy-adventure movie success and with a fun plot twist, this movie is definitely not just another old run at the Jumanji video game. 

Friday, December 6, 2019

You'll never look at Pigeons the Same! Grab Free Passes to NYC Advance Screening of Spies in Disguise

Disclosure: We were provided tickets to attend an advanced screening

NYC pigeons are pretty bold and unassuming and most times they don't even flinch a feather when you pass them in the streets. They really have a lot of nerve! After experiencing an early preview of the new Twentieth Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios production of Spies in Disguise during the Geekly Retreat, I'm realizing the reason they're the most common creatures found across the globe is that they obviously must be top-secret international agents out to save the world. Ha!

Could you imagine if every NYC pigeon you'd ever passed on your walk to the subway or while sitting in Central Park was really a spy? 

Saturday, November 23, 2019

You Can't Fear What You Can't See: Unstoppable 14 Year old Football Player Adonis and The Marvel Hero Project

We may all sit back and ooh & ahh at the incredible powers of our favorite Marvel comic book heroes as they unfold in million-dollar CGI effects on the big screen, but there are everyday heroes among us in impressively passionate children who are suiting up to make the world a better place! 

Grab your kleenex because once you watch and read about the inspiring story of 14-year-old Football player Adonis and all of the extraordinary kids featured in the upcoming 20 episodes of The Marvel Hero Project, you'll undoubtedly end up a hot, ugly-crying mess. 

During our visit to Disney Studios, while attending the Geekly Retreat for entertainment writers, we had the opportunity to enjoy an early screening of episode 103 - The Unstoppable Adonis from the new Disney Plus original with an introduction from their VP of non-fiction content. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Frozen 2: An Empowering Disney Princess Sequel that Shows Boys its Ok to Have Real Feelings

When Disney's Frozen hit DVD five years ago, I had no idea that the animated movie would be repeatedly played as often as it would be by our then threenager son. Tristan was absolutely obsessed with all of the layers that made the record-breaking movie so wildly popular in the theaters: beautifully engaging scenes, catchy hit songs, and a great storyline with lots of laughs. We'd both done a teaser trailer reaction video together for Disney's sequel, Frozen 2 and regardless of it being a "princess" movie, my tween son has been counting down for it to hit theaters this Friday, November 22nd. 

I'm still in complete disbelief that I  was blessed with the opportunity to walk the red carpet and attend the world premiere of Frozen 2 during my stay in Burbank California for The Geekly Retreat. The movie takes us on a visually stunning adventure alongside two fiercely determined sisters who follow a voice and their gut to understand their past. It's definitely a more complex storyline with some darker themes but there were some beautiful takeaways on owning and expressing feelings that boys can learn from. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Trailer Reaction: Sonic The Hedgehog Redesign with Legit Gloves and Fresh Pair of Kicks is Way Cooler

"DISGUSTING!" was the bold reaction that I got from my two boys six months ago, after we watched the initial trailer for Paramount Picture's Sonic the Hedgehog. To say my tween and teen gamers and fans of the iconic Sega character were disappointed in his lack-luster appearance is an understatement. Clearly, they weren't alone in this sentiment as true-blue fans from all over emphatically voiced their disapproving opinions on social media which forced the studio and the film's director, Jeff Rowler to come up with a redesign and push back the release date.

While attending the Geekly Retreat (an exclusive 4-day event for select entertainment writers) and touring The Paramount Studio lot my fellow creatives and I had the exclusive opportunity to preview the trailer before anyone else in the world.  

Thursday, November 14, 2019

(Re)Considering Dog Adoption and Interviewing the Cast of Disney Plus Original Lady and The Tramp

I'll be the first to admit that I'm easily distracted by dogs, large and furry ones, stubby-legged ones with big floppy ears and even the scraggly looking ones with a lot of heart - I really don't discriminate. Looking back on pictures of me visiting my Grandmother on the Lower Eastside, I seemed really happy in the photos that included her German Shephard Nija who was practically double my height when she got on her hind legs. From stories told to me, there really is something to be said for a loyal dog, she was my protector and always by my side.

It wasn't until my first time seeing Disney's animated classic Lady and the Tramp that I most vividly recall really wanting a particular type of dog. American Cocker Spaniels were everywhere I looked in our Queens neighborhood and I begged my parents for one even though I knew the answer would be no without a hint of hesitation.  

One of my best friends in grade school had gotten the most gorgeous cinnamon brown Cocker Spaniel and I remember being so upset at my mom and dad for refusing to let me have one. My wishlist to Santa even included a new pup, and year after year I was pretty disappointed that there wasn't a surprise wrapped in a pretty hatbox under our Christmas tree. Eventually, they agreed to let me have an adopted cat named Little Bit who I loved bunches but I knew as an adult I'd always end up with a shelter dog of my own.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Over Three Thousand NYC Youth Play Flag Football at No Cost Thanks to the NFL and New York Jets

Disclosure: We attended the clinic as media but please note this event is normally not attended by parents of the players.  All photos of the players at the Jets training center have been provided courtesy of the NFL.

Gen Z kids just aren't moving their bodies enough these days and as parents and former athletes, Mike and I are advocates for encouraging a healthy balance between screentime, unplugged fun & physical play. Once Track and field ended for the summer with the city parks program I started researching other ways to keep our active boys busy while saving a coin or two. Let's be honest all of our kid's interests and activities can quickly add up, especially if you have more than one child. If you're looking for a free or inexpensive program promoting physical activity, we'd really recommend that you look into offerings from your local parks programs and recreation centers.

Through the NYC Parks and Recreation NFL Flag Football programs boys and girls ages 5-17 can join participate in the instructional series which includes fundamental instructional drills & strategies and all equipment is provided: Official NFL league jerseys, flags, and footballs. The NYC Parks Flag Football League is open for girls and boys ages 9 to 17 for league play, which includes Borough, City and Regional championships before heading to Florida for the NFL Flag Championships during the Pro Bowl. 


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