Peanuts: They’re BACK!

The Peanuts Movie

Runtime: 93 Minutes

Rated: G

Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang are back on the big screen for the first time in 35 years. With the power of Blue Sky Studios (makers of the Ice Age movies and Rio) behind them, “The Peanuts Movie” has a new 3D Computer generated look, but retains the same heart and spirit of the older films.

As a child, I remember watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” around Halloween and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” before Christmas every year.  As I grew older, I appreciated the complicated subject matter tackled by these movies that were for children and about children. The new Peanuts movie keeps up with that tradition. Charlie Brown deals with self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy and a great deal of adversity. He takes a lot of lumps from life, but always gets up to take another and you never stop rooting for him.  

In the latter years of the Peanuts comic strip, the focus shifted from Charlie Brown’s hopeful hopelessness to Snoopy’s silly antics. This movie does a good job of giving audiences both.  Snoopy has a side story that is interspersed within the main story, which helps distract from the fact that Charlie Brown’s story is a fairly simple one.

This Peanuts movie is very faithful to the original material. Other than the new look of the animation, it feels very much like one of the classics.  Having the family of the comic strip creator Charles M. Schulz involved in the writing process no doubt helped preserve the feel of the originals, and it is evident that this movie is a labor of love. If anything, things may be a little too familiar. Charlie Brown has misadventures in pitching, he visits his five cent psychiatrist and he even tries to kick a football. During these bits, it feels a little bit like “Peanuts greatest hits”.

I didn’t mind. “The Peanuts Movie” will fill old fans with nostalgia while introducing the characters to a new generation. It’s a clever and wholesome movie that will be enjoyable for people of all ages.  On my It’s an Ordinary Blog scale where 1 is the worst, 5 is the best, and 10 is the worst again I give “The Peanuts Movie” a 4.85234 with an emoticon based sub-ranking of: GOOD GRIEF! That was Great!

Young Boy Kidnapped From Orphanage, Becomes Pirate, Takes Over Entire Land


Run-time: 111 Minutes
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for fantasy action, violence, language and some thematic materials
Starring: Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara

The live-action remake of classic animated films is quickly becoming the go-to play in Disney’s playbook. Back in 2010, fueled by good marketing, captivating visuals, and peak Johnny Depp weirdness, “Alice in Wonderland” re-imagined a familiar story and made all of the money. Since then, the Disney live-action remake has become its own sub-genre. “Maleficent” and “Cinderella” both did well and now “Pan”, the latest entry in this growing trend will try to emulate that success. Whether “Pan” succeeds or not, it appears the Disney remake machine has started and cannot be stopped. Reportedly there are a dozen or more additional live action remakes in the works.

“Pan”, like its most successful live-action remake forerunners, approaches a well-known story from a different angle so that the audience can learn more about well known characters. It is a prequel to the story we all know and love, showing the origin of how Peter, a 12 year-old orphan, came to Neverland and became the hero known as Peter Pan.

This is a very quirky movie.The story, though stretching far from what we know about these previously established characters, is interesting enough to hold your attention. The visual effects were whimsical and clever. I appreciated the bursts of color when someone was injured in a fight, which softened the impact of the violence while providing an interesting and unique effect.

Even though enjoyed “Pan”, there were parts that are too intense for very small children. My daughter is 4, she loves “Peter Pan”, but I would not bring her to this version. For older audience members; however, the captivating visuals and unique take on beloved characters is enough to keep audiences entertained from beginning to end.

On my It’s An Ordinary Blog scale where 1 is the worst, 5 is the best, and 10 is the worst again, I give Pan a 3.62349123 with an emoticon based sub-ranking of: “oooooooooooooohhhh pretty”.

Mad About It Mondays: Entitlement Among Older Millennials


Happy Monday, Internetland!

Good morning. Today is the one day a week that most people dread. Mondays mean back to work, back to school, and back to the grind that is our every day lives. If you’ve been following It’s An Ordinary Blog for a while, you know that sometimes, on Mondays, I like to share long, rambling complaints about a topic that pisses me off in a series I like to call “Mad About It Mondays”.

Mad About It Monday- Copyright It's An Ordinary Blog

Today I want to talk about a topic that’s been on my mind for a while: Entitlement.

Millennial: (noun) 3. (usually initial capital letter) Informal. a person born in the 1980s or 1990s, especially in the U.S.; a member of Generation YMillennials are self absorbed, entitled jerks. 

As an older Millennial, I used to think that the biggest problems our generation faced stemmed from the behaviors of the younger crowd (who are just now in college and entering the workforce). I occasionally read blog posts about how millennials are lazy, self-absorbed, and entitled and I would think, “Certainly this doesn’t apply to 30-somethings”. Maybe my blinders have been on and I simply haven’t noticed these same behaviors that the media covers being exhibited by my peers or maybe it really doesn’t happen that often among older millennials…until, of course, it does.

To protect the not-so-innocent, I’m going to be very careful with my words here…I have a friend, let’s call her Sally. Sally recently took to social media to complain about a letter one of her neighbors anonymously mailed to her about her lawn. The letter was friendly enough, a simple reminder that Sally’s house is the first house that everyone sees when they enter the neighborhood and a request to take better care of her lawn. Fair enough. Sally is a property owner, basic lawn care should be a given when you own a home, right?!


According to the 54+ comments older millennials made on her post

“How DARE (Sally’s) neighbor sent such a RUDE letter,” they said.

“What an ASSHOLE,” they said.

“If THEY have a problem with YOUR lawn, they should mow it themselves,” they said.

“Yuppie suburbanites whose only aspiration in life is to become the HOA President,” they said.

“They need to mind their own business,” they said.

They said. They said. They said. 

The comments went on and on and on all siding with Sally and her complete disregard for her neighbors. And it hit me.

Maybe older millennials are entitled asshats, too. 

Was it a little shitty for Sally’s neighbor to send a letter through the mail so that they could remain faceless while complaining about her lawn? Maybe, I’ll give her that, but the neighbor has a RIGHT to ask her to take pride in the way her house looks.

The neighbor has a RIGHT to expect her to take reasonable care of her lawn so that their property value isn’t adversely impacted as a result. The neighbor, in my opinion, approached the subject in the most tactful (read: least embarrassing, for Sally) way possible and yet, even still, the neighbor is somehow to blame (according to the comments) for the situation.

Sally’s situation reminded me of a situation that I am currently facing (not that I need a reminder – I face it every single day). My own neighbor refuses to take care of their lawn and, as a result, it’s hurting the property values in our neighborhood which is going to directly impact me when I go to sell my house. Homes in our neighborhood aren’t selling for what they should be and that really sucks – It sucks for ALL of us in the neighborhood who manage to be responsible home owners despite being millennials ourselves.


Adulting can be hard sometimes – I get that. Life is full of obligations and finding the time to fulfill all of your responsibilities can be hard. Nobody owes you the courtesy of overlooking their declining property values because you can’t be bothered to mow your damn lawn. Give me a break. Better yet, give your neighbor a break and get it together.


PS- I should mention that it wasn’t what Sally said that inspired the post, it was the 54 people who thought that Sally shouldn’t have to take care of her lawn if she didn’t want to.

Last Chance: Sock It To Me for $2,000! #DASC15

Good Evening, World!

Happy Sunday! If you’re following me on social media – You’ve probably noticed by posts about a FUN contest going on right now from my friends over at Sock It To Me. If you’re not already following me on social, let’s connect: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Sock It To Me is an INCREDIBLE Portland based company that designs the uniquest (if that’s not already a word, it should be) socks featuring fun styles and expressions for children and adults.

Every year, Sock It To Me accepts entries from across the globe for their Annual Global Design A Sock Contest. During the contest, artists of all ages (get your kids involved and let their imaginations SOAR) and skill levels are invited to submit a sketch of their very own sock design for a chance to win up to $2000 in cold hard cash and some really awesome product from the company! BUT WAIT, there’s MORE! The WINNING design will be manufactured as part of Sock It to Me’s next collection! In case you misunderstood what I just said, YOUR SOCKS could be worn by millions of people across the WORLD.

In case you’re curious as to why I *HEART* this company so much, take a peek at the following video while I go fill up my iced tea <be right back!>

Still with me?! Great. As you can see, the Sock It To Me team is super awesome and their fun, unique designs are even more awesomer (also needs to be a word). If you want to get involved in THIS YEAR’S contest – There’s STILL TIME! The deadline for entries into their annual design a sock contest is THIS WEDNESDAY and you can find ALL the details YOU need on the Sock It To Me website.

BUT – If you’re feeling a little lazy and don’t want to follow the link just yet, I’ll give you the details below:

How To Enter:

  1. Download the entry form.
  2. Print it out, or open it in your favorite graphics application and make something awesome on it.
  3. Upload it using the form below, or mail/hand-deliver it to our headquarters so that it arrives by 5pm Pacific Time on 9/30/15.

That’s 7:00pm CST, 8:00pm EST on Wednesday

Contest rules and legal information can be found HERE and follow this link for the full list of prizes.The most important thing is to just BE YOURSELF and have fun with it! If you win, which I hope you do, let me know and I’ll sport a pair of YOUR DESIGN once the line is released!

Be sure to follow me on social media to see what Sock It To Me designs I sport! 

Creepy Bostonian Man Takes Advantage Of FBI & It’s Awesome.

Black Mass Review

Black Mass

Release Date: Friday September 18th, 2015

Running Time: 122 Minutes

MPAA Rating: Rated R for brutal violence, language throughout, some sexual references and brief drug use.

CastJohnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Dakota Johnson

From “The Departed” to “The Town”, movies depicting the seedy underbelly of Boston’s crime syndicate have always personally fascinated me as a moviegoer. Perhaps its the historical significance of how the mob’s presence has worked to shape our nation (like helping to end prohibition in the early 1930s) or the relationship between the mob and the government that is so interesting to witness but it seems like mob movies are always a hit (get it, a hit – haha). The same can be said for the latest in the genre, “Black Mass”, which hit theaters nationwide this weekend.

This film, starring Johnny Depp (“Finding Neverland”, “Pirates Of The Caribbean”), Joel Edgerton (“The Gift”, “Zero Dark Thirty”), and Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock”, “Star Trek Into Darkenss”) depicts the real life of FBI agent John Connolly (Edgerton) and crime lord James “Whitey” Bulger (Depp), who grew up together in south Boston. The film demonstrates an era in American history where criminals utilized law enforcement to get ahead in their community and some of the scenes are downright unbelievable – it’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that this actually happened in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

The movie follows the story of how “Whitey” Bulger utilized his role as an informant for the FBI to take down his opposition and position himself as the Irish godfather in the Boston mob. Years of murders, drug dealing, and racketeering ultimately lead Bulger to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List but not before he made big waves in Boston and in the local FBI office.

Crime drama lovers and history enthusiasts alike will appreciate how well the screenwriters, director, and actors brought this part of history to life in “Black Mass”. It’s a great film well worth the ticket price to enjoy it on the big screen.

New Blog(ish) – Sort of. But Not Really.

For the last several months, I’ve been thinking about starting over with a new blog where there is no face behind the posts.

Where I have some semblance of anonymity

Where I can truly be myself in a completely raw, unedited way.

I thought about sharing stories about the many random and ridiculous things I see, hear, and sometimes do and I, for some reason or another I’m not sure why, worried about what you would think if I shared these things on It’s An Ordinary Blog.

I thought about it and then I decided against it. As I was sitting in the living room I thought: Screw it. I’ve worked too damn hard on this blog for the last THREE years minus the last few months to let it fizzle out. I’ve worked too hard to obtain the five readers I DO have (Hi, Mom!) to stop now – so let’s do this.

I hope you’ll join me in this new chapter. I’m heading into this with absolutely NO promises for what it’s going to look like but I hope you’ll join me on the ride as I start to share my real, un-edited, life with you on here. Some posts might be fun, some might be weird (because, let’s face it, I’m awkward), some might be sad, some might be hysterical (assuming, of course, that you enjoy a good fart joke as much as I do) but I can promise you that they’re all going to come from the heart.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go change some things around. I’ll see you guys SOON!



Tiny Incoherent Creatures Who Apparently Don’t Age Struggle to Find Evil Master To Serve


I’ll be the first to admit to you that I actively try to avoid introducing my daughter to shows and movies that don’t provide a lot of educational value. Now that she’s getting older, however, it’s becoming a struggle to keep her away from the “new” and “popular” things that are flooding the toy aisles at my local Target. I didn’t realize just how popular the little incoherent creatures from “Despicable Me” were until my 8 year old niece came into town earlier this summer. She has been begging me for the last couple of weeks to take her to see the new “Minions” movie when it hits theaters nationwide on Friday July 10th.

We had the opportunity to catch an advanced screening of the new film earlier this week and I wanted to take a few minutes to share some of my thoughts on the movie. In case you haven’t seen the trailer for this new film, you can take a peek at it below.

Go ahead and watch it, I’ll wait…

While I appreciated the historical references made throughout a majority of this film (which was set in 1960’s England), I came to realize that there’s a stark contrast between many of the “kids” films that I know and love and movies like the “Minions” that are genuinely just for the little ones. In that same moment, I also came to realize that I can’t give you a review in the same way that I normally would – because I’m not the market that this film is trying to reach. So instead, I’ve decided to fill you in on what the kids thought.


The Four Year Old

The four (and a half – don’t you forget it) year old loved the bookends (so to speak) of the film but was slightly intimidated by the climax scenes. Once we got through it, she started to enjoy the movie again and ended it by saying that she had a blast, wanted to see it again, and hoped to purchase it once it’s released on DVD.

The Eight Year Old 

The eight year old (almost nine, guys!) also loved the movie. Apparently she was already somewhat familiar with the Minions brand before this movie came out so she knew what to expect and this film did not disappoint.

When it comes to certain movies, ones that are truly for younger audiences, the best critics are the kids. The little sample audience of two I brought to the theater with me really seemed to love the film. I’m curious – what do you think about the Minions?!

Feeling Emotional?! It’s Not Your Fault: There Are Tiny Little People LIVING IN YOUR BRAIN!!!

Inside Out

Starring: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Phyliss Smith

Runtime: 94 Minutes

MPAA Rating: Rated PG

Hooray! Pixar is back! It has been almost 5 years since Pixar touched greatness. “Toy Story 3” came out in late 2010 and it it had clever humor, an exciting prison break sequence, and all of the emotions. Pixar seemed like an unstoppable machine. Then “Cars 2” happened, and it was sort of okay (and by “sort of”, I mean I don’t want to offend the studio because I kind of love them).

It was the first Pixar movie that was mostly appealing for kids and didn’t seem to have a real purpose except for making more money and selling more toys.  “Brave” was really great (girl power!), “Monsters University” was fine but only slightly more necessary than “Cars 2”.  To find it’s heart again, Pixar went back to Pete Docter who wrote and directed “Up”, one of the Pixar most emotionally powerful films. I am happy to say that in “Inside Out”, Docter outdoes himself and once again creates something great.

Those who have seen the rest of Pixar movies know that a world within the world is a common theme.  “Finding Nemo”, the “Toy Story” trilogy, “A Bug’s Life” and “Monsters Inc” all feature a sub-universe that happens within and interacts with a mostly oblivious human universe (this human interaction, incidentally, is what is missing from both Cars movies and “Monsters University”).

“Inside Out” uses this plot device again but does so in a completely different way. Much of the film is set inside the brain of an 11 year old girl named Riley where 5 personified emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger – must work together to help guide Riley through difficult life changes.

While many tv episodes and movies have occurred inside the body, I don’t recall many occurring within the brain. When the body is the setting there are things that we are basically familiar with. We can imagine blood streams and the heart and lungs, and even white blood cells fighting germs. In “Inside Out”, Docter and his animation team had to create a brand new world. They created an entire infrastructure showing how are memories and our emotions interact. The result is entertaining and extremely creative.

Another strength of the film is the voice performances. Sure, there is a lot of type casting happening (of course Lewis Black voices Anger) but when your characters are personified emotions  typecasting is kind of the point and it works.  Amy Poehler (obviously channeling Leslie Knope) does a particular great job and pulls off the difficult task of being ridiculously optimistic while remaining very likable.

I could keep going, but I’ll just say that everything here works. The story is well constructed and the characters learn and grow in very interesting and thought provoking ways.  While people of all ages can enjoy this film, some of what’s happening will likely be too heavy or complex to be fully appreciated by very young viewers. They will still enjoy it, but they could probably watch it every couple years and get more out of it, which is actually a strength. This will definitely be one that we end up owning in our household and it shows that Pixar has still got it.

On the It’s An Ordinary Blog movie review scale from one to ten where one is the worst, five is the best, and ten is the worst again: I give “Inside Out’ an almost perfect 4.96234712 with an emoticon based sub-ranking of: WOW

Rebel Wilson Flashes Nation, Wins Americas Heart.

Pitch Perfect 2

Release Date: Friday May 15, 2015

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow

Running Time: 115 Minutes

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for innuendo and language

Hey ya hey ya hey ya hey ya” Fans who liked the way they worked it in 2012 will no doubt be flocking to the theaters to catch the release of “Pitch Perfect 2”, which hit theaters nationwide on Friday. But do the Bellas rise to the occasion in this sequel or is the tone a little flat?!


After an embarrassing performance that gets national attention, the Barton Bellas are put on probation leaving them unable to perform their duties as national champions or host auditions to replace the graduating seniors. With the future of their sisterhood at risk, the Barton Bellas set out to regain their position in the world of Acapella and clear their name for good. The seemingly impossible task is made more difficult by their leading competitors, a German acapella group that’s a fan favorite. The girls, led by Becca (Anna Kendrick) and Chloe (Brittany Snow) have to dig deep to find their roots, strengthen their bond, and overcome the monumental task of winning the world championship.


One of the things that I always worry about with any sequel is whether or not the writers and director will be able to re-create the same things that made the original so enjoyable in the first place. The first “Pitch Perfect” was such a flawless adventure, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect with the second. Between the comedic timing of Rebel Wilson’s character, “Fat Amy” to the enjoyable performances, I was far from disappointed with this sequel. There were a few aspects of the story that I felt the film could have survived without but, overall, this movie was a winner. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (possibly), and you’ll definitely want to sing along the whole way through.


Overall, on the It’s An Ordinary Blog movie review scale where one is the worst, five is the best, and ten is the worst again: I give “Pitch Perfect 2” a glowing 6.348379487 with an emoticon based sub-ranking of “Fa la la la la ba da rah bah!”

A Running Diary: Reactions To “The D Train” Movie @TheDTrainMovie

Howdy, Folks!

I want to try something new tonight – – I’m sitting in my pajamas about to pop in a screener DVD of the new film “The D Train”, which is out for limited release NOW (you’ll have to check to see if it’s playing at a theater near you because I’m far too lazy to pull up a list).

Rather than giving you my typical synopsis and brief commentary on the film – I thought it might be fun to change things up a bit by live tweeting my thoughts on the movie as I watch it. You can find me at @AnOrdinaryBlog_ (because someone took ItsAnOrdinaryBlog – like a jerk). Without further adieu – – let’s do this thing.

The D Train

If you’re thinking about hitting the theaters to catch this new film, here are a few things you should know: The movie starts out with a little promise. The lead character (played by Jack Black) heads up the steering committee for his high school reunion while juggling a career and family life. Long story short, he creates an elaborate lie in order to convince an old classmate, who stars in a commercial for Banana Boat (which apparently makes a person famous), to attend the class reunion. Things turn from mildly entertaining to awkward to improbable and sad about an hour into the film where we see the life of a nearly-40 year old spiral out of control. The movie begs the question: How far would you go to plan your 20-year high school reunion?!

Honestly, for me, not far…but the same can’t be said for Jack Black’s character. Overall, the movie was interesting in the same way that watching a train wreck is interesting: You know that what’s coming isn’t going to be pretty but you just can’t look away. I’m not entirely certain what the creators of this movie were trying to accomplish but if awkwardly-entertaining-and-oddly-inappropriate is their thing: Let’s call it a success.