Dad of Divas' Reviews: March 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book Review - The Tides of Eternity

About the Book
M.J. Rusaw never lacked the desire to be a good father and do all the little things for his daughter, like read her bedtime stories and tuck her in at night.

The only problem was that he was divorced and his daughter lived with her mother on the other side of the country. The former Air Force enlisted man -- who was awarded a medal for his service in 1985 -- visited as often as work and finances would allow, but he missed out on that personal time. So, he thought of another way to give her attention, even when he was away.

Instead of reading her bedtime stories, he wrote her one. In fact, he spent 9 years writing one that he would send her or read to her over the phone in small pieces over time, until he finally finished it. Then he published it, and put his now grown-up daughter on the cover as one of the lead characters in his fantasy epic, The Tides of Eternity (www.thetidesofeternity.com).

“While the media is filled with stories of parents not carrying their weight, I believe that most parents love their children and want the best for them,” Rusaw said. “The problem is that modern life isn’t getting any easier. Some families have both parents working two jobs each just to keep a roof over their families’ heads. Some are single parent households, or shared custody situations, which makes finding those little moments difficult. So, I would squirrel away time when I wasn’t with my daughter to write a bedtime story. I figured if I couldn’t be there to read them, maybe writing one that I could share when we were together would show my daughter how much I cared.”

Rusaw took his inspiration for the story in equal parts from his love for his daughter and the childhood joy he remembered from reading fantasy novels by authors like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. He remembered the day he flew his daughter in for a visit after her 21st birthday, and showed her the final manuscript.

“She went upstairs and read it all the way through,” he said. “When she came down, she was laughing and jumping and crying all at the same time, and she ran into my arms.
That’s when I knew that all the time I had spent over the years had been worth it. I may have missed a lot of the little moments, but in making the extra effort, I found that my story had helped us bridge those years together. If we couldn’t be together in reality, then my story would give us a fantasy world we could share even when I couldn’t be there.”

He added that his message for parents in situations similar to his is similar to the one he embedded in the story he wrote for his daughter.

“I wanted her to know that a hero lives in every heart,” he said. “As a parent, I’ve always wanted to be my daughter’s hero, but initially I felt the circumstances of us living so far apart would prevent me from ever proving that to her. Now I know that the power of the heart trumps just about everything -- money, distance and even time are powerless against it. Every parent simply needs to harness that power in their own way, so they can show their children that a hero lives in their hearts, as well.”

About M.J. Rusaw

In 1978, M.J. Rusaw enlisted in the United States Air Force, served nine years and achieved the rank of E-6 Technical Sergeant. He received the Air Force Achievement Medal for heroism in 1985 for his efforts at the scene in helping to save the life of a fellow Sergeant who had become a work center shooting victim, and went on to be selected as the 1986 Aircraft Maintenance Professional of the year for the First Tactical Fighter Wing, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.  Over the more than 20 years since leaving the service, he has worked for DynCorp International as a contractor on Patuxent River Naval Air Station, first as an Aircraft Electrician at the United States Naval Test Pilot School, and currently as an Electronics Technician III at the Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic Site.

My Take on the Book
I have always been a fan of fantasy, but so often some of the best books in this genre are geared toward young adults and not adults (at least in my point of view). This book takes fantasy back and allows adults to enjoy fantasy again. In this book, the book itself is filled with great characters that have been developed well. The book is filled with messages of faith and courage. 

As a father of girls this book has a great female heroine, which is something that I always like to see in a book. Not that this book is right for girls the same age as mine, but as they get older, I definitely want them to have these types of characters to read about.

The book captures the readers' interest through a combination of twists and turns as well as a combination of action, romance and faith.
I highly recommend the book to anyone who enjoys fantasy!


All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions. 
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sam's Club drops prices on 62 name-brand items families use most

Sam’s Club has dropped prices on 62 everyday items and will keep these items at these new lower prices.  Below I’ve included a selection of simple savings on the things you and your family use the most. Visit your local Sam’s Club or samsclub.com to stock up and save!


All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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DISNEY*PIXAR'S "BRAVE" -- Four pieces of Concept Art


With a courageous and impetuous heroine leading the way, DisneyŸPixar sets out on yet another extraordinary journey—this time across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland in “Brave.” The big-screen adventure--the 13th feature-length animated film from Pixar Animation Studios—is directed by Mark Andrews (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “John Carter of Mars”) and Brenda Chapman ("The Lion King," "Prince of Egypt"), and produced by Katherine Sarafian (“Lifted,” “The Incredibles”). “Brave” opens in U.S. theaters on June 22, 2012.



“‘Brave’ is an epic adventure chock-full of action, humor and heart,” says director Mark Andrews. "There's no more perfect setting for this powerful tale than the dark and rugged Scottish Highlands. Imagine: magic, mystery and danger—all set within a haunting and beautiful landscape. It's like nothing you've seen before from Pixar.”



The film features Kelly Macdonald as the voice of Merida, a skilled archer and the daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Wise Woman (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late.



“Brave” will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.

 

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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Join Sanrio Tommorrow for "Day of Donations" for Japan's Disaster Relief

In friendship and to help aid in relief of those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I wanted to invite you to Sanrio's Day of Donation!



In continued support to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Sanrio has designated Thursday, March 31, 2011 as a "Day of Donation".  On this day, Sanrio.com and participating Sanrio Boutique Stores across the United States will donate all net proceeds to the American Red Cross to benefit Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami relief efforts.

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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Free trial subscription: AboutOne, a new technology replaces family filing cabinet - manages household information

AboutOne, a secure online family management system that makes it easier for families to manage daily life, today announced a hosting of new features at SXSW® Interactive, part of the annual music, film, and interactive conference and festival that attracts the world’s top web creators and entrepreneurs.

Now nearing 5,000 members after only 15 weeks in beta, and just off the heels of a successful public launch at DEMO, AboutOne will today unveil new features at SXSW in Austin, TX. More than a digital filing cabinet, AboutOne makes information work in the moment for families - it carries the burden of saving essential family information so that 82.8 million busy moms in the US (according to a 2008 US Census Bureau study) can devote more time to what really matters in their lives.

AboutOne enables people to access important household information anytime—at home or away, from any web-enabled device and offers time-saving features like APIs and wizards that make it possible to quickly enter information with a phone, scanner, or computer, within the regular flow of the day. The service is designed specifically for families—currently a market of 173 million[1]. After an initial focus on providing the service to Millennial Moms (Gen Y), AboutOne has expanded to serve caregivers, teenagers applying to college, military families and corporate customers.

New AboutOne features Unveiled at SXSW
At SXSW, AboutOne will unveil new features including a way to automatically create hard copy baby books within seconds from an AboutOne digital scrapbook. Paper greeting cards and invitations that mail themselves are also a new feature.
Customers can also now track information associated with car ownership like they already can with home maintenance and improvement records. It’s now fast and easy to add all details and documents in connection with auto ownership, service and maintenance, insurance, warranty and dealer information – and keep it all in one place.
AboutOne now also makes customers’ information work for them through auto-magically produced family newsletters, babysitter instructions, home maintenance/capital gains summaries, education reports for college applications, and more.
The Story behind AboutOne
AboutOne’s founder and CEO, Joanne Lang, understands first-hand the need for a web-based service that tracks and organizes household information. Joanne is the mother of four young boys and a former SAP executive who experienced the challenges of managing family life. As part of SAP’s original cloud technology team, she’d seen how web-based platforms enabled businesses to eliminate mundane tasks and gain new levels of efficiency, and wanted to bring those same benefits to families and busy moms.

Joanne decided to develop AboutOne after several personal experiences where she needed information she didn’t have instant access to. In one instance, Joanne’s son had to be taken to the hospital for a medical emergency. At the time, she was so distraught that she couldn’t remember his birthdate, let alone provide a list of his current medications to the medical team. All she had with her were her keys and her phone. On another occasion, she had to report the capital gains on the sale of her house, but hadn’t kept track of the home improvement information necessary to minimize her tax bill, and no longer had any of the necessary documentation to complete her tax forms. Finally, Joanne was a frequent business traveler, and often found herself without access to information stored in documents at home while she was on the road.

With these experiences in mind, Joanne set out to create a cloud service that blends the power of business computing tools with the fun, user-friendly nature of popular social media apps.  With AboutOne, she created a service that requires no technical proficiency to install and run; expertly handles data security so that users don’t have to; provides a centralized location from which to manage family information; provides fast and convenient data entry via mobile device and scanners; and seamlessly formats and adds to information so it’s useful in the future.


All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions. 
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Book Review - The Blackpox Threat

About the Book
A deadly virus is on its way to Canada. This alarming news reaches the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) via the Ukrainian Embassy in Ottawa. The only information they have are the virus's source - a dismantled lab in the Carpathian Mountains and the suspected shipping company, Ship Me Safely. CSIS asks Tamara Smith, the daughter of murdered political refugees, to become a mole inside Ship Me Safely, where she is a PR director. At thirty-two, beautiful and kind-hearted Tamara is just settling in London, Ontario when CSIS pressures her to report the company's activities. As a reluctant CSIS recruit learning to spy, Tamara hits many roadblocks: her controller's disappearance, the hostility of some CSIS members, her abduction at gunpoint, and the presence of Nekton, a man who would stop at nothing to get hold of Blackpox. This new virus combines the contagiousness of Smallpox with Ebola's ease of propagation making for a deadly combination. As a new CSIS agent Tamara moves from her comfort zone to a world filled with deception, treachery and life-threatening danger.

About the Author

Rene Natan (aka Irene Gargantini) has authored several short stories, six novels of the romantic suspense genre (Mountains of Dawn, Cross of Sapphires, The Collage, Operation Woman in Black, The Red Manor), and one thriller, The Jungfrau Watch. Together with Sharon Crawford (under the nom de plume R. S. Natanevin) she has recently penned the novella Fire Underneath the Ice, a tale of misplaced resentment, passion and adventure. A former professor with The University of Western Ontario, Rene Natan makes her home in Strathroy, Ontario.

My Take on the Book
Whenever I watched the James Bond 007 movies, I also imagined what it would take to be a secret agent for my country, and all of the adventures that I would have in the role of saving my country day in and out. I must not be the only person who enjoys thinking like this as I have come to see many movie and book plots that have continued with this same idea.

In this book, the reader is introduced to Tamars who ends up having to work to save her own country - though she was unaware that the job that she was hired to do would do just that.

This book keeps you on the edge of your seat, and if you are at all like me you will not be able to put the book down (can you say, mom... one more chapter...please!). What ended up making me come back for more was not only the action and suspense, but also the characters themselves. The author has done a great job at building strong characters that you can relate to and you feel for. You will continue to ask yourself, how will this operation, and this novel end! I highly recommend!


All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

FLY AWAY movie with Autism Awareness Month

I wanted to share with you a new movie called FLY AWAY that's opening on April 15th for Autism Awareness Month. The film is as much a story about a mother and daughter and their relationship as it is about the realities of living with autism. The film is executive produced by Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke. It’s Janet Grillo’s first feature film as a writer/director and she comes at the topic from personal experience as she has a young son with autism. She previously received an Emmy Award as Executive Producer of the documentary Autism: The Musical

FLY AWAY
  • Tells the story of one family as their autistic daughter transitions into young adulthood. Aside from the personal story, Fly Away begs the greater dialogue about what our society as a whole will do as this generation of children with autism grows into a generation of adults with autism.
  • Has been financed largely by contributions of individuals who themselves are touched by autism or believe the cause is important
  • Is executive produced by Catherine Hardwicke director of Twilight and Thirteen
  • April is Autism Speaks Awareness Month Fly Away is being released at this time with their support and with the hopes of screening the film for members of Congress as part of their lobbying efforts

Synopsis:
Fly Away narrates the story of Jeanne (Beth Broderick, Bonfire of the Vanities, Sabrina the Teenage Witch) and her teenage daughter, Mandy (Ashley Rickards, One Tree Hill) who is severely impacted with autism. As Mandy matures, her disability becomes harder to manage, and so does Jeanne’s own life.  Jeanne is forced to confront the most difficult choice any parent faces: to let go, allowing a child to grow, but apart, or to hold on tight and fall together. The film also stars Greg Germann (Ally McBeal, Friends with Money) and J.R. Bourne (Little Birds).

About Janet Grillo:
Janet Grillo is an Emmy Award® winning producer (Autism: The Musical), an award winning writer and director, and a former studio executive (New Line). The script for Fly Away won the Best International Screenplay Award at the Swansea Bay Film Festival in Wales in 2010.  Her second short film, Flying Lessons, starring Dana Delany, premiered at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in August of 2008, and went on to win several awards at festivals across the U.S. and Canada.


All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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Baby Einstein Discovery Day With Kelly Rutherford- Slideshow!

On March 25th the Baby Einstein Company and actress Kelly Rutherford hosted a special discovery day play date. I have a fun slide show with images from the day I wanted to share with you.




All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Silk - Change Your Life For The Next 10 Days!

Being someone who cannot always eat a ton of dairy, I have come to find that Soy Milk is great! It allows me to enjoy the flavor and consistency of milk without the after-effects. I have tried many types of soy milk in the past, and I continue to come back to Silk as a brand that I enjoy and would recommend to others.




The folks at Silk wanted to give you the opportunity to start the Silk® for Milk 10-Day Challenge before they open the Challenge to the general public beginning March 14. After all, who better to get the word out than an expert like yourself? Here are some suggestions on kicking off the Challenge:
  • Your new coffee crush. Silk® Vanilla in a cup of Joe adds a sweet richness without any of the cholesterol you’d get with dairy creamers or milk.1 Almond and Soy are both delish – you pick.
  • Hot. Chocolate. Heaven. Warm up a glass of Silk Pure Almond® Dark Chocolate and enjoy an indulgent treat. Bonus? It’s got fewer calories than hot chocolate made with typical dairy milk.2
  • Looking for a meal for the whole family? Take your favorite quiche recipe and instead of cheese and dairy milk, load it up with lots of veggies and Unsweetened Silk (soy or almond) for an extra boost of nutrition.
  • Magic Bran Muffins. Silk Pure Almond® adds a lot of flavor to all that fiber. These good-for-you muffins come out with the same great texture as muffins made with milk.
  • Do you like Pina Colada? Try this high-calcium version. Mix Silk Pure Coconut™ coconutmilk, pineapple juice and rum, then pour it over ice.
  • Soylicious Smoothie. Meet your new favorite breakfast. Chocolate Silk Soymilk (Vanilla works, too), berries, banana and ice. Blend and enjoy.
  • Sit down for family brinner. Breakfast for dinner = Brinner! Try a little Silk Unsweetened Soymilk in scrambled eggs.
So sit down and take the 10 day challenge for yourself and see what you are missing in this great product!


All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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DVD Review - Little Fockers

About the DVD
The funniest and most entertaining installment of one of the most popular comedic franchises in history, Little Fockers, comes to Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, Digital Download and On-Demand April 5, 2011 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.  For more than a decade, the antics of the extended Focker-Byrnes family have kept audiences laughing and generated combined worldwide movie ticket sales of nearly $1 billion.  Now the latest chapter in this hilarious family saga turns an eye toward another of life’s milestones – raising kids. 

Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) has finally begun to earn the respect of his ex-CIA father-in-law, Jack Byrnes (Academy Award® winner Robert De Niro) but one important test still lies ahead: can Greg prove that he has what it takes to be the family’s next ‘Godfocker?’   The sequel to the comedy blockbusters Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers, Little Fockers reunites De Niro (Everybody’s Fine) and Stiller (Night at the Museum franchise) with Oscar® winners Dustin Hoffman (Kung Fu Panda) and Barbra Streisand (The Prince of Tides), Blythe Danner (Paul), Teri Polo (Beyond Borders) and Owen Wilson (How Do You Know).  Jessica Alba (Machete), Laura Dern (Jurassic Park) and Harvey Keitel (The Piano) also join the cast in the funniest Focker family story yet.

Both the Blu-ray Combo Pack and the DVD are packed with extras, including deleted scenes, a hilarious gag reel, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Little Fockers and a never-before-seen alternate opening and ending not shown in theaters!  The two-disc Blu-ray Combo Pack offers fans three different ways to catch up with the Focker family.  The set includes a Blu-ray and DVD copy of film; and for a limited time only, a digital copy of the movie that can be viewed on an array of electronic and portable devices anytime, anywhere. 

Not only will Blu-ray purchasers be able to experience Little Fockers in spectacular high definition and with the purest sound available, they can also watch exciting Blu-ray exclusive featurettes with Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.  Blu-ray consumers can also access MY MOVIES, an exclusive feature that allows consumers to stream a bonus movie of their choice instantly to their television through any Internet-connected Blu-ray player via BD-Live or to their Smartphone and iPadusing the free pocket BLU app.  The bonus movie will be available for a limited time only.   

Also available through MY MOVIES, Blu-ray owners can instantly rent a selection of Universal film favorites on their television, Smartphone, computer or iPadincluding hits such as Meet the Parents, Fast and Furious, Mamma Mia! and Coraline, at a price of $2.99.  Visit UniversalHiDef.com for information on how to get started. 

BONUS FEATURES EXCLUSIVE TO BLU-RAYTM:
  • BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE FEATURETTES:
    • Bob and Ben: Cast members Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro reflect on their history and their characters’ evolution throughout the Meet the Parents trilogy.
    • Ben and Owen:  On average, every 1.3 years Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller share the silver screen.  Little Fockers marks their 10th movie together. In this dual interview, Ben and Owen reveal the secrets of their shared success.
  • BD-LIVE - Access the BD-LiveCenter through your Internet-connected player to access the latest trailers and more!
  • pocket BLU:   The groundbreaking pocket BLU app uses iPhone®, iPod® touch, BlackBerry®, Nokia® Smartphone, Android, PC and Mac® to work seamlessly with a network-connected Blu-ray player.  Also available on the iPad®, owners can enjoy a new, enhanced edition of pocket BLU™ made especially to take advantage of the tablet's larger screen and high resolution display.  Consumers will be able to browse through a library of Blu-ray content and watch entertaining extras on-the-go in a way that’s bigger and better than ever before.  pocket BLU offers advanced features such as:
    • ADVANCED REMOTE CONTROL: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live functions with ease.
    • VIDEO TIMELINE:  Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the film.
    • MOBILE-TO-GO:  Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy content on the go, anytime, anywhere.
    • BROWSE TITLES:  Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray Hi-Def.  They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device.
    • KEYBOARD:  Entering data is fast and easy with your device’s intuitive keyboard.
  • MY MOVIES:  Consumers can instantly stream a free bonus movie of their choice or choose to rent a variety of Universal favorites including Meet the Parents, Fast and Furious, Mamma Mia! and Coraline.
  • MY SCENES:  Bookmark your favorite scenes from the film.
  • uHEAR:  Never miss another line of dialogue with this innovative feature that instantly skips back a few seconds on your Blu-ray disc and turns on the subtitles to highlight what you missed.
  • DIGITAL COPY:  Viewers can watch Little Fockers for a limited of time on an array of electronic and portable devices.

BLU-RAYTM and DVD BONUS FEATURES:
  • GAG REEL
  • DELETED SCENES
  • NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN ALTERNATE OPENING AND ENDING
  • BEHIND THE SCENES:
    • MAKING OF A GODFOCKER: A behind-the-scenes look at Little Fockers.  Everyone’s back in this knock down, drag out third installment of the Meet the Parents Trilogy and this piece brings it all together.  Featuring the return of cast members, Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Owen Wilson, Dustin Hoffman, Barbara Streisand, Blythe Danner and Terri Polo and newcomers, Harvey Keitel, Jessica Alba and Laura Dern.    
    • BOUT TIME:  A fun behind-the-scenes look at the climatic fight scene where Greg and Jack finally throw down the gloves.

  • THE FOCKER FOOT LOCKER:  A string of clips from the film of every time someone utters a version of “Focker.”
  • THEATRICAL TRAILERS AND MORE!

SYNOPSIS
Greg Focker (Stiller) has finally begun to earn the respect of his ex-CIA father-in-law, Jack Byrnes (De Niro) but one important test still lies ahead: will Greg prove that he has what it takes to be the family's next 'Godfocker'... or will the circle of trust be broken for good?  Returning co-stars Owen Wilson, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo, Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand are joined by newcomers Jessica Alba, Laura Dern and Harvey Keitel in this hysterical family affair.

CAST AND FILMMAKERS
Cast: Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, Owen Wilson, Teri Polo, Blythe Danner, Jessica Alba, Laura Dern, Harvey Keitel
Directed By: Paul Weitz
Screenplay By: John Hamburg, Larry Stuckey (based on characters created by Greg Glienna and Mary Ruth Clarke)
Produced By: Robert De Niro, John Hamburg, Jay Roach, Jane Rosenthal
Executive Producers: Ryan Kavanaugh, Daniel Lupi, Meghan Lyvers, Andrew Miano, Nancy Tenenbaum
Director of Photography: Remi Adefarasin
Production Designer: William Arnold
Editors: Greg Hayden, Leslie Jones, Myron Kerstein
Music By: Stephen Trask
Costume Designer: Molly Maginnis


My Take on the DVDI have come to like the Focker movies in the past for their fun loving humor as well as the situations that are always introduced that seem to provide a glimpse into the crazy relationships and situations that surround bringing together two differing families.

This movie continues the tradition! What I loved about this was was the added fun of adding in additional kids to the mix. I also liked the the fact that the movie showed some very real situations that I could see many families having. Having kids intensifies the family dynamic as well as the relationships with your extended family, and sometimes this can be both frustrating, humorous, and exasperating. This movie brought this and many other scenarios to the table and lets people see, through a fun outlet, some of the humor in serious situations and even gives couples some ideas of how you might be able to get past some of these issues as well. 

As always, the main characters were great working together. I do not know whether there is another movie in the future, but I would not mind seeing more in the future!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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Book Review - Rocket Town

About the Book
What do little boys like even better than trucks or trains? Rockets!
In this fun departure from the traditional board book themes for boys, Bob Logan’s Rocket Town tells the story of an astronaut and his canine companion as they drive an old pickup through Rocket Town—an amazing town filled with, yes, rockets!

Each colorful spread sports an eye-dazzling array of rockets, from big to small, fast to slow, practical to extremely silly—a taxi rocket, a police rocket, a school bus rocket, and even a rocket that looks like a shark! The final pages are a countdown to blastoff that is sure to thrill young readers.

Author and illustrator Bob Logan has worked as a story artist on feature animations such as Madagascar and Open Season, as well as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and is currently working on the upcoming Puss in Boots! Logan’s picture book, The Sea of Bath, charmed readers with fun and sweet illustrations, and Rocket Town will delight parents and children alike with colorful and imaginative rockets. The Pasadena Star News called it “...a blast for children ages 1 – 5... Simple text and retro-pop illustrations make the journey one kids (and parents) will want to take again and again.

My Take on the BookWhat I loved about this board book was not only the simple but fun storyline, but moreover the illustrations that were simply strewn with hidden gems. When I read this book to my youngest, we had fun looking at all of the images, watching to see some of the fun treasures that the author/illustrator has hidden in the story itself. I also liked the humor that he put in as well, including the rocket ship named and shaped like a stinky onion, as well as a rocket shaped like a shark!

All-in-all, though this was geared toward young children, this book was both fun and engaging! I know that I will be reading this with my youngest daughter over and over!



All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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Book Review - Dark Canvas

About the Book 
Jody Summers came up with the idea for his deep, psychological thriller through a real-life meeting with a beautiful ex-model, now artist, who actually does paint stunning abstracts with the ashes of the deceased.  While Dark Canvas (iUniverse) is the first book by Jody Summers, thankfully there are several more books slated for release in the next twelve months!

At first, artist Kira McGovern wonders if it is morbid to paint a tribute to her dead mother’s memory by using her own ashes, but an inexplicable need pushes her to the point where she really has no choice, and when she sees how the completed painting personalizes and immortalizes her mother’s life she’s glad she listened to her instincts.  So much so that she opens a new business, Canvas of Life, as a way of sharing her extraordinary gift of painting with ‘cremains’ with others going through the loss of a loved one. 
As she begins with her first clients, something strange and mysterious occurs – Kira begins to experience segments of the dead person’s life.  Through visions and dreams she begins to receive images; while some are gratifying, others are terrifying!

Sean Easton is a Kansas farm boy with a special talent that he is just beginning to understand.  His father has also recently died, but there is something sinister still lingering on the farm.  Somewhat shy and a little na├»ve, Sean is drawn to Kira, the worldly ex-model, and he takes his father’s ashes to her as a pretense to meet her.  As he falls in love with the beautiful artist he makes some startling discoveries about his own life as well, but it’s when Kira begins to paint with Sean’s father’s ashes that the real terror begins… 
The story takes place in New Orleans, a city already cloaked in mystery and intrigue, lending even more richness to Dark Canvas, and the plot deepens when Kira and Sean realize they must quickly find the meaning and source of her dreams before both their love and their lives are destroyed.  Readers are guaranteed a truly unique experience in this page-turning novel, as they share in the sinister ride of thrills and sometimes nightmarish horrors that Kira’s extraordinary gift uncovers.

Wanting to acknowledge the wonderful artist who paints with ashes and who became the inspiration for his novel, despite the fact she suffers with fibromyalgia, the author is graciously donating a portion of all proceeds from the sales of Dark Canvas to the Fibromyalgia Coalition International out of Kansas City. 

About the Author
Jody Summers was born in New Orleans and became the adopted son of a prominent Texas restaurateur.  While his early childhood was in his native city, he grew up in Memphis and Houston, TX.  Always the entrepreneur, he has tried his hand at many things but readers would agree his forte is in writing riveting thrillers.  Jody Summers’ life experiences as a restaurateur, gymnast, stunt man, pilot, skydiver, scuba diver and accomplished martial artist, add a depth and understanding to his first novel with all its twists and turns that keep readers anxiously turning pages to the very end! 
My Take on the Book
Suspenseful and exciting this book takes the reader on a thrill ride that you don't want to end. Seeing that this was the authors' first novel, you never know what to expect. In saying this though he has done an amazing job at weaving a wonderful tapestry that ensnares the reader, not only in a love story, but also in the lives of the families and loved ones in which the main character is painting with.

If you have an interest in suspense and the supernatural, or if you simply like strong characters and a storyline that does not stop, then you will not want to miss this book!

I highly recommend this book and hope to see many novels to come from this author!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions. 
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