Reviews

Missouri Woman Disappears, Ben Affleck Lead Suspect In Investigation.

Intense | Disturbing | Incredible 

Gone Girl

Gone Girl

Release Date: Friday October 3, 2014

Runtime: 149 Minutes

MPAA Rating: Rated R for a scene of bloody violence, some strong sexual content/nudity, and language.

Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris

Gone Girl Movie

There are many things that go into a making a great movie. The usual elements that we measure include the cast, performances, plot, direction, score, etc. However, if a movie hits on most or all of these points, but is ultimately forgettable, it cannot be considered great. That brings us to “Gone Girl”, a new release by director David Fincher (“Se7en”, “Fight Club”) and Ben Affleck (“The Town”, “Argo”). It has been several days since I’ve seen this film, and I am still floored. It grabs you in the opening minutes and does not let go.

With some movies it is important to go in with no expectations, and this is one of those movies. With that said, this is going to be a spoiler-free review. This is a powerful movie that you should experience for yourself.

Without giving too much away, I will say that the performances of both Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike were amazing. The story follows dual narrative perspectives and each narrative calls for a different type of performance from the leads. In a sense, both actors are playing two different characters each of which fits into the other player’s narrative as well as their own. It’s not an easy task and they absolutely nail it.

David Fincher’s direction brings its characteristic attention to detail and visual flair. He maintained tension throughout and kept me fully engaged. By the end, the entire audience was left punch-drunk from emotional journey they had just endured. If “Gone Girl” walks away next year with awards (and it certainly might) it will be partly because voters were unable to stop thinking about it

On the It’s An Ordinary Blog movie review scale from one to ten where 1 is the worst, 5 is the best and 10 is the worst again, I give “Gone Girl” a 5.13498309483098 with an emoticon based sub-ranking of “Wow. SHOCKER.”

Reviews

Denzel Washington Takes On Russian Mafia Inside Home Improvement Store: Wins.

The Equalizer

I guess it’s true what they say in that you never really do know who’s working at your local Home Depot home improvement store and that’s the whole premise (just kidding, it’s not) of “The Equalizer”, which hit theaters nationwide this weekend. The movie stars Denzel Washington (master of badassery) so I’m really not too worried about spoilers (we all know he’s a winner, both in real life and in his movies) but if you are, I would encourage you to skip on down to the very bottom of this post (just past the last picture). You’re welcome.

The Equalizer

Release Date: Friday September 26th, 2014

Total Running Time: 131 Minutes

MPAA Rating: Rated “R” for strong bloody violence and language throughout, including some sexual references

Cast: Denzel Washington, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Marton Csokas

The Equalizer

“…The old man’s gotta be the old man – the fish gotta be the fish – you’ve gotta be what you are in this world…”

Robert McCall is a mysterious and meticulous man living a seemingly ordinary life in Boston. His days are spent working at his local Home Depot home improvement store (If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably Home Depot, but it seems like maybe they didn’t want to pony up the dough for brand placement in the movie, so let’s just call it “Home Mart”). McCall doesn’t sleep much so his nights are spent reading his way through 100 books at Bridge Diner but, like any good movie, everything is not as it seems.

Bridge Diner

It’s at Bridge Diner where Robert befriends Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), a young girl who is involved in a human trafficking ring.

{Human trafficking is a very real and very serious issue. For more information, please visit: http://www.humantrafficking.org/combat_trafficking} 

The-Equalizer-First-Trailer

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

After discovering Teri’s involvement in a Russian human trafficking ring, McCall decides to do something about it and “The Equalizer” is born. In an epic moment of vigilantism, The Equalizer unwittingly opens Pandora’s Box and takes on the entire (East Coast) Russian mafia throughout the remainder of the film. The Equalizer, in true Denzel Washington form, kicks a lot of butt and says some great things like: “When you pray for rain you gotta deal with the mud, too.”

The Equalizer, in all his glory, is nothing short of amazing. He’s the guy you want on your side if anything goes wrong and I promise, you’ll never look at a sledgehammer or a nail gun in the same way again. The final battle scene (it was a battle, okay?!) was so epic is had me questioning my post apocalyptic plans to live inside Costco (I’m now thinking Home Depot Home Mart might be a more viable option).

NoSpoilers

“The Equalizer” is an action packed ride that really does keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the film (even with an ending you can see coming – – that’s not a spoiler!). It’s got cheese, like any good vigilante action film, but it’s the kind of cheese you can thoroughly enjoy (at least I did).  Like Gouda.

Overall 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 “The Equalizer” a 4.3439839581 with an emoticon based sub-ranking of “Great! Now I’m going to question the background of every single person working inside Home Depot Home Mart. Are you REALLY here to sell me lumber or are you a former secret agent?!”

 

 

Reviews

So What Exactly Happens When A Highly Dysfunctional Family Spends 7 Days Together?

“This Is Where I Leave You”


We’ve all been there…The moment you find yourself in the middle of a family function and you think to yourself: “My god, we’re dysfunctional” (Oh wait, that’s just me?!). In case you’ve ever wondered what happens when a group of highly dysfunctional, yet incredibly loving (in their own right) members of one family get together, you’ve finally got a chance to find out. “This Is Where I Leave You”.

"This Is Where I Leave You" Movie Review

Release Date: Friday September 19th, 2014

Total Screen Time: 103  Minutes

MPAA Rating: Rated R

After the death of their father, the Altman siblings (Judd, played by Jason Bateman; Wendy, played by Tina Fey; Phillip, played by Adam Driver; and Paul, played by Corey Stall) are forced to come together for the first time in years.  At the behest of their overly-involved mother (played by none other than Jane Fonda), the foursome discover that they must set aside their personal problems and their differences to spend an entire week mourning the loss of their beloved Dad. Together.

“This Is Where I Leave You” attracts audiences with its cast of really great, incredible players like Jason Bateman (“Arrested Development”), Rose Byrne (“Neighbors”), Connie Britton (“Friday Night Lights”, “Nashville”), Dax Shepard (“Parenthood”), Tina Fey (“30 Rock”, “SNL”), and Jane Fonda (“9 To 5”) but what moviegoers will ultimately love best is the hilarity that ensues when this family gets together.

Within the first five minutes or so of “This Is Where I Leave You”, audiences are introduced to some fairly deep and heavy material from infidelity to infertility but, somehow, the film never seems to feel depressing or gloomy. It becomes fairly obvious that the death of the Altman’s paterfamilias is really the least of their problems. It’s truly something special when a writer (and director) can create a film that covers such serious topics with such levity that it’s consistently funny throughout.

On the It’s An Ordinary Blog movie review scale from 1-10 where one is the worst, five is the best, and ten is the best again, I give “This Is Where I Leave You” a glowing 9.873487187 with an emoticon based sub-ranking of “It feels so wrong to laugh this hard. But it’s right.”

Daily Life, Pictures, Reviews, Travel

Adventures In Atlanta: Part 1 (World Of Coca-Cola)

Coca-Cola World (It's An Ordinary Blog)

Happy Thursday, Everyone!

After what seems like a whirlwind of a week, I’ve finally landed in Atlanta for my first ever blog conference and even though the party doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, my internet turned in real life friends Sarah from The House Of Boys & A Girl and Heidi from The Pajama Mama and I wanted to spend some time doing something fun today. So, naturally, we went to The World Of Coca-Cola in downtown Atlanta.

Located across from the Aquarium here in Atlanta, The World of Coca-Cola is just a hop, skip, and a jump from the hotel I’m staying at for the duration of the week. In other news, it’s an easy ride on the Marta to get there (the way back is an entirely different story which will have it’s very own dedicated post- stay tuned!) and it was well worth the adventure.

In an effort to keep this post short (and because, honestly, I’m feeling kind of tired and lazy), I’ll just share the pictures from our visit today. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend visiting. We saved up our reward points from all of the Diet Coke we drink (because I’m an addict) and it paid for our admission today but I’d happily pay the entrance fee any day. As an added bonus, at the end of your tour, you can drink all of the carbonated beverages from around the World that you want (as long as Coca-Cola manufactures them).

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The staff at World of Coca-Cola were absolutely INCREDIBLE and their hospitality really put the experience over the top. Special thanks to our new friend Noland who was working at the vault (where the secret recipe for Coke is located) for his time and attention today. He came up to chat with us while we were hanging out and we shared some laughs. I kind of wish every business had at least one Noland on staff- he was great.

I’ll leave you with this: When you go, make sure you watch the “Moments Of Happiness” video. It’s something I’m told will be public at some point in the future but, for now, you can ONLY watch it at World of Coca-Cola. I had all of the (good) feels. It was great.

With that, I bid you adieu. Until tomorrow, goodnight.

Reviews

Design A Sock Contest From Sock It To Me!

SockItToMe

Happy Weekend, Everyone!

It’s Friday, the sun is shining, my neighbor mowed his lawn (praise you eight pound, six ounce baby Jesus), and I’ve got an awesome contest to share with you today! Are you excited yet?! Fun fact Friday (it’s a thing, that I just made up): I kind of, sort of, really really love a good pair of funky socks. No joke, I really do. It’s odd because my style (or lack there of, I need help) is generally fairly plain. Underneath my jeans and cardigans is usually a really cool, amazing pair of socks.

DesignASockContest

I think that’s part of what I was so excited to hear that my friends over at Sock It To Me are celebrating their 10th anniversary this month!

To get the party started, Sock It To Me is hosting a contest for the next three weeks where they’ll be accepting entries for a design your own SOCK contest. You read that right, you can design a sock for thousands of people to wear and enjoy for years and years to come. Incredible, right?!

The contest begins TODAY (Friday September 5th, 2014) and runs through the 26th of this month. Prizes include:

  • The Grand Prize Winner will get a cash prize of $5000, their design manufactured on real socks, and 15 pairs of awesome Sock It to Me socks from our current line!
  • A second place winner will receive $1000 and 10 pairs of socks.
  • Third place winner will get $500 and 5 pairs of socks.

More information, including a downloadable entry form, can be found on the Sock It To Me website.

Good luck, I can’t wait to see who wins! 

 

Reviews, Sustainability, Travel

Let’s Chat About Lemurs

Island Of Lemurs Madagascar

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words…

When I look at pictures of one of my absolute favorite animals on Earth (I’ll give you a hint, it’s the Lemur) a few words come to mind:

Amazing | Fascinating | Incredible | Adorable

Island Of Lemurs

Happy Sunday, Folks!

After a crazy, busy week I was beyond ready to settle in and enjoy the weekend with my loving family. On the docket was some much needed poolside R&R, a fun Saturday night with great friends, and an afternoon with some Lemurs in Madagascar (note the lack of chores included on my list, looks like I’ve got some catching up to do). That’s right, I said “…an afternoon with some Lemurs in Madagascar”.

Now although I didn’t actually have the time or the resources (hello expensive plane tickets) to physically travel to the island of Madagascar, I was able to experience it through the lense of IMAX 3-D, which came in at a close just kidding second best.  A few of the AMC theaters in our area are playing the 40 minute documentary highlighting these fascinating creatures called “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” right now and it’s a pretty neat and educational experience for families. Check out the trailer:

The film, which follows the story of Dr. Patricia Wright, a scientist who has made it her life’s mission to help these unique and amazing Lemurs survive, is narrated by none other than Morgan Freeman himself. “Island Of Lemurs: Madagascar” captivates audiences and aims to gently remind everyone of the impact we have on the creatures of the World. You see, Lemurs are the oldest living primate still in existence today. Dating back nearly 60 million years, Lemurs have survived a myriad of worldly events including the collapse of the dinosaurs and the evolution of the human species. As incredible as their story is, these amazing animals are facing the possibility of extinction…and that’s pretty sad.

Island Of Lemurs

Now, I’ll admit that I am the type of person that’s into documentaries but I think “Island Of Lemurs: Madagascar” is a great resource for caregivers and educators who are looking for something to help teach young children about one of the oldest living creatures known to man.

Island-of-Lemurs-logo

The journey this film takes you on is both beautiful and extraordinary. It gave me a greater appreciation and deeper respect for an animal that I already adored. So check it out at an IMAX theater near you.

Island Of Lemurs

Reviews

“If I Stay”: A Movie In Review

If I Stay (2014) Poster

Release Date: Friday August 22nd, 2014

Run time: 106 minutes

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some sexual material.

In “If I Stay”, Mia Hall (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a smart and talented teenager whose life changes in an instant. After she and her family are in a head on collision, she is left in a coma and has an out of body experience. Her family did not survive the crash and she must decide if she stay with her boyfriend and grandparents or move on and be with her family.

I do not always watch the trailers for movies before I watch them. I did happen to catch the trailer for “If I Stay” and I will admit that I cried. Yes, I cried during a trailer. Stop judging me. So, going into the real movie I was preparing myself to shed all of the tears.  The problem is, the movie is paced so slowly, that I found myself looking at my watch more often than looking for tissues.

A sign of a really good movie is that two or three hours can go by in the blink of an eye. “If I Stay”, by hyped wide release movie standards, has a relative short run time at 106 minutes but it crawls by. Chloe Grace Moretz gives it her all in a strong performance, but it was not enough to make up for a lackluster script and thin story.

On my scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the worst, 5 being the best, and 10 being the worst again, I give “If I Stay” a 9.1 with an emoticon based sub-ranking of: simultaneously yawning and sobbing.