Leap! the movie

We were able to go see Leap! back in August & yes, I’m just now writing about it. Not because we didn’t love it (Lucy sat at the very edge of her seat the whole time), not because it didn’t change her mind on dance (she’s since decided to be a dancer). But because the last two months have blown by. Today is Oct 11th & I just typed September for the date. Yes, I’m that behind.
But back to Leap! This film tells the story of two orphans, Felicie (voiced by Elle Fanning) & Victor (voiced by Nat Wolff) who take off to Paris to make their dreams come true.
Suzstreats Leap
Sadly for Zach, there wasn’t enough about Victor, the wanna be inventor to hold his attention for long. But the story of Felicie trying to become a ballerina at the Opera Ballet School without formal dance training, captured Lucy’s heart & imagination.
Suz's Treats felicie leap!
Lucy is obsessed with Felicie’s leap! This was by far her favorite part & that leap has had Lucy practicing the splits for months now!
Suzs Treats Leap!
We left the film with Lucy twirling & she hasn’t really stopped. Hope you & your dancer & watch this one soon. Loved it as a former dancer with my little dancer-to-be!
While we did get to watch the film for free, my thoughts & (late) review are entirely my own.

The Book of Henry

The Book of Henry came out in theaters yesterday, Friday June 16th. I was able to see it a few days ago so I could share my thoughts.

This is a harder one for me to review. Have you seen the trailer?

I think this film was partially marketed as a children’s movie, but y’all it’s not. It has a PG-13 rating & IMO, that needs to be adhered to for this one. I’d call this film a thriller. There were funny parts, super sweet parts, VERY sad parts & lots of suspense.

The main character is single mom, Susan (played really well by Noemi Watts) & her two sons, the brilliant Henry (Jaeden Lieberher) & Peter (Jacob Tremblay).

Henry made me laugh at his classroom antics & made me cry over his sweet love of his family & empathy for others.

Brother Peter, I just wanted to hold & hug & take home with me. I was rooting for him all the way til the very end.

I think one of my favorite scenes in the The Book of Henry is this one between Susan & Henry after they witnessed a domestic disturbance at their local grocery story. Henry saying “Violence isn’t the worst thing, apathy is” has stuck with me all week.

I loved the mother-son bonds in this film. I loved that Henry was the grounded responsible one & mom Susan cussed, played xbox & loved her boys fiercely. Their nightly bedtime routines were so special to me.

Sarah Silverman was great playing Susan’s coworker & family friend Sheila. I wanted to be part of their friendship too & drink some wine & laugh & cuss with these ladies.

As the plot unfolds with what might be happening next door & how or if they can help neighbor & classmate Christina (played by Maddie Ziegler) & her stepfather Glenn (Dean Norris), I was sitting at the edge of my seat in suspense.

I won’t share more spoilers, but I do think this is a good film to go see. Mothers, take tissues.

Cars 3

Cars 3 for my family has been probably the most anticipated film of the year.

While Z isn’t *quite* as Cars obsessed as he used to be (he now shares the Cars/trains/Planes obsession with Batman & TMNT, sigh), Cars & Cars 2 are always movies they welcome watching on a Saturday morning as we ease into the day. We showed them the first trailer & sneaks as soon as we found them & since then, both Zach & Lucy have been asking when do we see it?!

I was thrilled to tell them last weekend & we would be able to see Cars 3 THIS WEEK! I snuck off at lunch to the Disney Store & bought Cars 3 tees (Buy one get one half off FTW!), so as I shared on IG, we were all set & so excited!

In a completely out of our usual behavior, we happened to be early to the screening & I’m glad we were. Lucy & Zach munched on popcorn & settled in for the film. Be sure to be there early because Disney Pixar has as short story animated treat to watch first.

Lou was great! It’s the story of a playground bully & the LOst & foUnd box that stands in his way.

LOU – When a toy stealing bully ruins recess for a playground full of kids, only one thing stands in his way: the “Lost and Found” box. From Pixar Animation Studios, “Lou” opens in theaters on June 16, 2017, in front of “Cars 3.” ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

We all laughed through it & I hoped my kiddos were paying attention to the message!

Then onto CARS 3!

CARS 3 (Pictured L-R) – Guido, Sally, Sarge, Mater and Luigi. © 2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

The old gang was back together & I could not have been happier to see the faces of Lucy & Zach smiling over ole Mater & friends cheering on Lighting McQueen racing!

NEXT-GEN COMPETITION – In Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 3,” a sleek, new generation of racers hits the track, including frontrunner Jackson Storm, who threatens Lightning McQueen’s championship status and forces him to rethink his strategy. With Owen Wilson and Armie Hammer as the voices of Lightning McQueen and Jackson Storm, ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

New class of rookies with more technology throws a wrench in Lightning’s winning streak & also in the friendly atmosphere Lightning & his long-standing racers had created.

CARS 3 – (Pictured) Lightning McQueen. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

The crash that’s seen in the trailers knocks Lightning off his typical confidence & has him rethinking his future in racing.

SIMPLY STERLING — In “Cars 3,” Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is invited to train at the brand-new, elite, high-tech Rust-eze Racing Center, run by an always-dapper, brilliant businesscar named Sterling. Featuring Nathan Fillion (ABC’s “Castle,” ABC’s “Modern Family”) as the voice of Sterling,  ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Lightning goes to his new training facility. It’s shiny & fancy & filled with new Cars racers & a new trainer named Cruz. Hilarity ensues & Lightning decides to try training his way. First on his list: Daytona beach like the old days!

OFF TO THE RACES — Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 3” is teaming up with NASCAR this year as crowd favorite Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) prepares to return to the big screen June 16, 2017, alongside elite trainer Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo). © 2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

When that doesn’t quite go as he hoped, he hits the road (with Cruz in tow) to see what he can find.

CRAZY 8 DRAMA — In “Cars 3,” Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) hits the road in an effort to reignite his career. Along the way, he finds himself in the middle of a smash-and-crash, figure-8 race, facing off against local legend Miss Fritter, a formidable school bus who—like #95 himself—doesn’t like to lose. Featuring Lea DeLaria (Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black”) as the voice of Miss Fritter, Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 3” opens in U.S. theaters on June 16, 2017. ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Lightning, inspired by the memory of Doc, goes ole school & tries to find the racing legions of the past.

MEET THE LEGENDS — Lightning McQueen comes hood to hood with a group of characters who represent the roots of stock car racing—and provide a link to Lightning’s late coach and mentor, Doc Hudson. From left: River Scott (voice of Isiah Whitlock Jr.), Junior “Midnight” Moon (voice of Robert Glenn “Junior” Johnson), Smokey (voice of Chris Cooper), Louise “Barnstormer” Nash (voice of Margo Martindale), and Lightning himself (voice of Owen Wilson). “Cars 3” opens in U.S. theaters  on June 16, 2017. ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Like Thomasville, NC (home of Cars NASCAR legions & my Pawpaw) ole school where Lightning & Cruz enlist the help of some older cars (including Smokey & Louise, who was inspired by the first female NASCAR driver). I LOVED this section of the film where the directors really paid homage to the history & heart behind the sport.

ROAD TO VICTORY — When faced with a new generation of racers who threaten to derail his career, Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) teams up with tech-savvy, unconventional trainer Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo) to find his way back to the top. Directed by Brian Fee, produced by Kevin Reher and co-produced by Andrea Warren, Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 3” opens in U.S. theaters on June 16, 2017. ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Will Lightning be ready to take on the young guns in the final race of the season?! You’ll have to go to the movies this weekend to find out!

I hope you & your family love this one as much as we did! Cars 3 is rated G & I really believe it’s family friendly for all ages.

Zach loved all the races; he could not even pick a favorite scene. Lucy liked Cruz. Jason was still talking about how much he loved it to his coworkers later on this week & we’ve already decided we’ll have to own it as soon as it comes out. & I loved that Cars 3 introduced strong female cars who helped save the day. Y’all know I’m all about that girl power vibe & instilling in Lucy & Zach that historical gender roles should not define who or what you want to be when you grow up!

Go see Cars 3 ~ it was awesome! & while you wait til movie time, here’s a few fun things to get you hyped up. A Corn Fritters recipe from Mrs Fritter! A Lightning McQueen memory game & a Spot the Difference game with Natalie Certain, the new statistical analyst!

While Disney Pixar did provide us with passes (as well as tattoos that Lucy & Zach have been super excited over), their generosity did not play a role in my honest review of the film.

 

Cars 3: Nat’s Stats

I don’t know about y’all but a certain 5 year old boy (& his sister, & his Dad & his Mom) are getting very excited for June 16th. Because that’s the release date for Cars 3!

We’ve been re-watching Cars & Cars 2 these last couple weekends gearing up. & also Zach’s been pulling out all (what feels like 100+) of his Cars cars all over the den floor rolling & racing them around.

I got an email with a few “Nat’s Stats” about the upcoming film & the new characters that I thought I’d share with y’all.

NAT STATS Natalie Certain: By the Numbers Volume 1.0

Natalie Certain is a highly respected statistical analyst who knows her numbers. Book-smart and mathematically gifted, Certain is a fresh voice in the racing world. While she may earn top marks in her ability to evaluate a racer’s stats, she could be underestimating the importance of determination.

  • 4 Filmmakers added four characters to the film that were inspired by real NASCAR legends, Junior Johnson, Louise Smith, Wendell Scott, and Henry “Smokey” Yunick.
  • 5 Five key areas in the southeast U.S. were visited to research the history of stock-car racing as well as the look and feel of racing in the area. Among these areas are Charlotte, North Carolina, where filmmakers spent time at the NASCAR museum, the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Hendrick Motorsport facility, consultant Ray Evernham’s garage and voice talent Humpy Wheeler’s house; North Wilkesboro Speedway; Occoneechee State Park and Speedway; Daytona, where they saw the Daytona Superspeedway, Daytona Beach (where early races took place), Daytona 500 Museum; and the Sonoma Speedway, where filmmakers were invited to ride along with professional racecar drivers.
  • 16 “Cars 3” opens in U.S. theaters on June 16, 2017. 25 More than two dozen characters take part in the Crazy 8 demolition derby sequence, including Tbone, a car whose condition improves— temporarily—when he gets hit; SuperFly, who catches air; FareGame, the taxi who doesn’t get any fares; and Jimbo the pickup truck.
  • 50 Junior Johnson, NASCAR driver from the 1950s-60s who inspired “Cars 3” character Junior “Midnight” Moon, won 50 NASCAR races before retiring in 1966.
  • 95 Lightning McQueen still sports the dynamic #95 with his signature lightning-bolt graphics. The design of those graphics is a hybrid of his look from 2006’s “Cars” and his look in 2011’s “Cars 2.”
  • 616 “Cars 3” gets dirty, really dirty. And it turns out, dirt—particularly mud—isn’t easy to get right in an animated feature. Artists and technicians teamed up to get the look just right—not too thick, not too thin—which was important because mud, splatters, dust, sand and sacred dirt appear in 616 shots.
  • 656 Cruz Ramirez is a key character with a compelling and emotional story. In order to give her a dynamic range of motion and expressions, character riggers gave Cruz a total of 656 controls, including 360 for her body and 296 for her face—the mouth, lips, teeth and tongue have 216 controls alone.
  • 1949 NASCAR legend Louise Smith entered her first race in 1949, where she rolled her family’s new Ford coupe. Smith inspired “Cars 3” character Louise Barnstormer Nash.
  • 2015 NASCAR’s Wendell Scott, who inspired “Cars 3” character River Scott, was posthumously inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015.
  • 60,000 The render farm being utilized to render “Cars 3” runs more than 60,000 cores. Memory has been upgraded recently, bringing the average per core to 10 gigabytes, compared to the 4 gigabytes per core recently used for “Inside Out”.

Eek, I’m so excited!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Looking for high seas adventure this Memorial day weekend?! The latest Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales comes out today.

It’s been a while since I saw the last ones but I believe this one takes off where the last ones left off. Dead Men Tell No Tales of course features the lovable mess of a pirate, Jack Sparrow played by Johnny Depp. This film features a couple new characters as well as brings back beloved ones from previous films.

“PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES”..The villainous Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) pursues Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) as he searches for the trident used by Poseidon..Pictured L to R: Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites)..Ph: Film Frame..© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The focus is on the trio of Jack, Henry (a young sailor from the Royal navy who has ties to Jack) played by Brenton Thwaites, & Carina Smyth (a astronomer in a world where people think women astronomers are witches!) played by Kaya Scodelario. They must form an alliance to find the Trident of Poseidon to save themselves & their families.

I love a strong, brilliant female main role in a film & Carina is just that!

I’ve always liked Capt Barbossa played by Geoffrey Rush in the other Pirates of the Caribbean films & was happy to see him & his monkey back in Dead Men Tell No Tales!

The scariest parts of the film (in 3D no less) for me was the ghost sailors lead by Capt Salazar played by Javier Barden. The made me jump out of my seat a few times!

“PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES”..The villainous Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) pursues Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) as he searches for the trident used by Poseidon..Pictured: Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem)..Ph: Film Frame..© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

I think the PG-13 rating of this film would be what I’d stick with in terms of deciding whether or not to bring your children. For this one, keep kids at home with grandma & you, spouse & teens go enjoy the action of Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Here are a few kid’s crafts inspired by the movie to keep them occupied at home or after the film!

You can check out Disney Pirates for more photos & behind the scenes videos too.

Thanks to Walt Disney Studios for inviting me to the media preview this past week. While I appreciate seeing the film as a solo couple hours to myself, as always, my review is solely based on my own honest thoughts.

The Boss Baby

Suz's Treats Boss Baby

Lucy & Zach were so excited to go see The Boss Baby! This film opens in theaters today, but we were able to go a little early so we could tell y’all our thoughts.

Lucy Boss Baby

Can you tell she was excited?!

Zach & Lucy (age 4.75) both really enjoyed it!

Zach Boss Baby

I swear he was excited too

The film centers around imaginative 7 year old Tim Templeton (voiced by Miles Bakshi) & his family, who up until now has been him & his loving parents (Jimmy Kimmel & Lisa Kudrow).

Tim’s mother (voiced by Lisa Kudrow) and father (voiced by Jimmy Kimmel) introduce him to Boss Baby (voiced by Alec Baldwin) in DreamWorks Animation’s THE BOSS BABY. Photo Credit: DreamWorks Animation.

Now enter The Boss Baby! He wears a suit, he talks (voiced hilariously by Alec Baldwin) & Tim thinks something is up & plans to get to the bottom of the story.

(left-right) Tim (voiced by Miles Bakshi) discovers Boss Baby’s (voiced by Alec Baldwin) surprising secret in DreamWorks Animation’s THE BOSS BABY. Photo Credit: DreamWorks Animation.

Cue some crazy adventure & a sweet message about family.

(left-right) Boss Baby (voiced by Alec Baldwin) tries to convince Tim (voiced by Miles Bakshi) that they must cooperate in DreamWorks Animation’s THE BOSS BABY. Photo Credit: DreamWorks Animation.

Check out DreamWorks.com/thebossbaby for some cute videos, games & more about the characters.

Zach loved the adventurous ride the brothers went on & Lucy loved the Mommy & the puppies. There were many jokes in the film that were over L&Z’s heads (but none I felt were inappropriate for their age group). I heard just as much adult laughter from the movie crowd as I did kid laughter.

Zach & Lucy Boss Baby

And this week, they’re new favorite way to say bye to their daycare buddies, or hello to Daddy at dinner, is The Boss Baby handshake!

Zach & Daddy Boss Baby handshake(Also, don’t try to take non blurry photos while Z is trying to eat queso dip. Ha!)

Hope you have a great weekend planned. Anyone going to the movies?! I’d love to hear your thoughts on The Boss Baby too!

We were given tickets to see The Boss Baby but the generosity of 20th Century Fox & DreamWorks Animation did not sway the truthfulness of my post.