October 29, 2014

An Unforgotten Fright: Garfield In Disguise



With Halloween only a few days away, I thought it would be nice to feature a post strictly on one of my favorite holiday specials - Garfield's Halloween Adventure, which aired on CBS on October 30, 1985. I may have been only a 4-year-old at the time, but I have fond memories watching the animated special. My mom recorded it on a VHS tape, so I could watch it yearly.

The special was directed by Phil Roman based on the screenplay by Garfield's creator Jim Davis. It centered on Garfield learning that you can get free candy on Halloween night just by dressing up and going door to door saying, "Trick-or-Treat." This gives him a great idea - he will throw on a costume and bring Odie along with him, so he can get twice the "candy, candy, candy, candy!"

After digging through their owner's (Jon) stuff in the attic, Garfield puts together a pirate costume and goes as Orange Beard The Pirate Cap'n and Odie goes as his First Mate, Odie-the-stupid. The two pets go door to door collecting bags full of candy. Before they call it a night, Garfield wants to go trick-or-treating at the houses across the river. The ferry boat doesn't run at night, so there is good chance that they can receive a huge loot of candy there!

Garfield & Odie go trick-or-treating!

Garfield and Odie hop into a rowboat and of course Odie does most of the paddling that is until he loses the oars. For a few minutes they think they are lost, but eventually they find land - a small island with a creepy house. Garfield and Odie sneak in and try to warm up in front of a fireplace, but they are quickly startled by a creepy old man who tells them a scary pirate story. As it turns out, the pirate tale is real and the ghost pirates are turning to tonight for their treasure!

October 28, 2014

Return to Foxworth Hall - A Review Of Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth


It has been nearly 37 years since the Gothic horror novel Flowers in the Attic written by the late V.C. Andrews was published. While the book was considered "trash" by critics and librarians, readers, especially teenagers, were entranced by the Dollanganger children. The incest storyline between an adolescent brother and sister is still taboo by many libraries, which is why the book and its sequels are still banned in some places around the world.

Three sequels, Petals on the Wind (1980), If There Be Thorns (1981) and Seeds of Yesterday (1984), were released before V.C. Andrews' death in 1986. The prequel novel, Garden of Shadows, was unfinished before her death, resulting in a ghostwriter (Andrew Neiderman) being hired to finish writing it, as well as writing each and every new V.C. Andrews title that followed.

Due to the popularity of the original book, Hollywood soon took notice. In 1987, the film adaptation of Flowers in the Attic was released to negative reviews from critics and fans, mostly due to the incest storyline not being used, as well as other changes, especially the film's ending. The only interesting factor from the movie is V.C. Andrews cameo that was filmed before her death.

The Dollanganger franchise seemed to be dead until a made-for-television version of Flowers in the Attic aired on Lifetime earlier this year. Despite being a watered-down adaptation, the film did use the incest storyline and stayed more faithful than the 1987 version. Though it received mixed-reviews from critics, the TV-movie received high ratings for Lifetime, resulting in a Petals on the Wind going into production within a few weeks. The sequel was also a watered-down-version of the book, but it did well-enough in ratings that Lifetime ordered the adaptations of If There Be Thorn and Seeds of Yesterday, both set to air sometime in 2015.

Being released today is the semi-sequel to the Dollanganger series, titled Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth written by the ghost author (Andrew Neiderman) under the name V.C. Andrews. The original series is beloved by fans, so entering back into the Dollanganger world is a little risky, especially since the last batch of ghostwritten books have received mixed to negative reaction from fans, mostly due to the way the books are now written, which is aimed towards a teenage audience instead of adults. Plus, the books have been lacking that Gothic feeling that V.C. Andrews was known for.

That being said, I was still interested in reading Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth, which I
received an advanced galley copy back in late August.

Blu-ray Review - My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks



My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
Director: Jayson Thiessen
Voice Cast: Tara Strong, Ashleigh Ball
Studio: Hasbro Studios / Shout! Factory
Release Date: October 28, 2014
ASIN: B00LOCLANY
Running Time: 75 minutes
Rating: TV-Y
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Almost everyone in their 30s has heard of Hasbro's My Little Pony toys that were first introduced to kids during the 1980s, followed by a theatrical animated movie, animated specials and a television series. The toys are currently its fourth generation which has been reinforced by a new hit animated series, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, and another theatrical film, My Little Pony Equestria Girls.

My Little Pony Equestria Girls centered on pony Twilight Sparkle traveling to an alternate world to recover her lost crown. In this world, she is a human and she meets her pony friends' human counterparts. It's sequel My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks had a short run in theaters before landing on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy today from Shout! Factory.

The sequel is set once again in the human world, where sirens, Adagio Dazzle, Aria Blaze, and Sonata Dusk, have put a spell on Principal Celestia and Vice Principal Luna when they performed a song. This leads Sunset to send a message through a magic book to Twilight asking for help. Twilight Sparkle and Spike the dragon, who is now a dog in alternate world, goes to the human world to stop the sirens, but they only way to do so is to sing a song to cast a counter-spell.

The regular DVD comes with a coupon, which can save you $4 when you buy the DVD and any one Hasbro Equestria Girls toy. Target has an exclusive version of the My Little Pony Equestria: Girls Rainbow Rocks DVD, which has a Rainbow Rocks bracelet inside as well as the $4 coupon. Only at Walmart, the My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks DVD includes My Little Pony music on CD for the first time, a digital copy of the movie and the $4 coupon. Kmart is offering an exclusive version of the My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks DVD that contains an exclusive Limited-Edition Rainbow Rocks Backstage Pass and the $4 coupon.


Review - No Bull Creatine Powder


I have seen any people, young and old, in department stores, like Walmart, grabbing big containers of protein powders and creatine powders. Of course I know that protein is a great way to build muscle, but I didn't know exactly what creatine is until i "googled" it a few years back. I never participated in any sports teams, so I had no clue what it was for, but I do now.

Creatine monohydrate helps speed up your recovery after a workout; therefore helping increase your lifts, jumps or whatever exercises you are currently doing. It also increases the recovery period for your body after your workouts, which will help you gain muscle and burn body fat more quickly.

This month I have been trying out No Bull Creatine Powder by Raw Barrel. Each 500 g (17.64 oz) container contains 100 servings of 100% pure pharmaceutical-grade creatine monohydrate  (5,000 mg). There are no fillers and no additives.

What is the difference between Raw Barrel and other name brands? Well, unlike other brands, Raw Barrel focuses on quality instead of cheapness. Each container has a Full Lifetime Guarantee if you are not satisfied with your purchase.

October 27, 2014

Review - Confessions: The Paris Mysteries


Confessions: The Paris Mysteries
Confessions Series, book 3
by James Patteson and Maxine Paetro
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pub. Date: October 6, 2014
ISBN: 978-0316370844
Pages: 320
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

It seems author James Patterson is unstoppable with at least one new novel being released monthly. With more than 300 million copies sold worldwide, it is no wonder why the author is so popular with children and adults. When he isn't writing the newest Alex Cross installment, another Murder Mystery Club or a sequel to the Middle Grade adventures, the author finds time to co-author the young adult Confessions series with author Maxine Paetro.

The third installment of the series was released this month, titled Confessions: The Paris Mysteries, which once again follows Tandy Angel and her siblings, but this time (Yep, you guessed it!) they are in Paris. After being accused of murdering their parents in book 1, Confessions of a Murder Suspect and solving the a series of murders at a private in school in Confessions: The Private School Murders, the Angel children need a bit of rest, but it seems trouble follows them no matter where they head to.

Tandy is devastated when her boyfriend, James Rampling, suddenly dumps her for no reason whatsoever. It seems murder is never too far behind when her twin brother, Harry, is accused of murder and once again Tandy must go into detective mode to save her family. Speaking of family, Tandy discovers a locked room while snooping around inside her grandmother's house and finds evidences that suggests that her older sister, Katherine, may be still be alive, somewhere!

Blu-ray Review - Maleficent



Maleficent
Director: Robert Stromberg
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Retail: $36.99
ASIN: B00M4ADWTK
Running Time: 97 minutes
Rating: PG
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Over the last few years studios have taken an interest in Grimm's Fairy Tales once again with the release of two different Snow White Films, a rated-R Hansel and Gretel adventure and ABC's Once Upon a Time that has put a modern day spin on about every fairy tale that has ever existed. Arriving on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD is the live-action re-imagining of Disney's 1959 animated film Sleeping Beauty, titled Maleficent. Directed by Robert Stromberg, the film grossed over $700 million over the summer despite receiving a mixed-reaction from critics. The Blu-ray special features are deleted scenes, Aurora: Becoming a Beauty, From Fairy Tale to Feature Film, Building an Epic Battle, Classic Couture and Maleficent Revealed.

Angelina Jolie stars in the title role of Maleficent, a magical orphan faerie living in the magical realm called the Moors, which is located just outside of the kingdom. During her childhood, she befriended a human orphan, Stefan, but as they got older, he quit visiting her. Unknown to her, he is actually one of the King's soldiers. The King attempts to invade the Moors, but Maleficent uses her magic to defend it. Her actions causes a ripple effect that leads Stefan (played by Sharlto Copley) to betray her, so he will one day inherit the Kingdom.

Years pass by and Stefan marries the King's daughter Leila (played by Hannah New), who has inherited the crown, therefore Stefan is the Kingdom's new King. To celebrate the birth of their daughter Princess Aurora, the King has invited everyone from the land for her christening. Maleficent makes an unexpected visit and curses the princess, whom will grow up to be beautiful, but when she turns sixteen-years-old, she will prick her finger on a spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a deep sleep. Only a "true love's kiss" can break the curse.


The King appoints three pixies, Knotgrass (played by Imelda Staunton), Thistlewit (played by Juno Temple)  and Flittle (played by Lesley Manville) to raise his daughter somewhere away from the kingdom until she becomes of age and the curse is broken.

Maleficent has eyes everywhere, so she easily earns of where the pixies have taken the princess. Despite trying to hate the princess, she ends up saving her over and over again during the princess's childhood as the pixies guardians aren't exactly good at their jobs.

Time goes by and Princess Aurora (played by Elle Fanning) is getting closer to turning sixteen and Maleficent must make a decision to keep the curse on her or find another way to keep peace between the kingdom and the Moors.


I wasn't too impressed when I saw the original trailer and advertisements for the film earlier this year as it looked like another overuse of CGI, like in Alice in Wonderland and Oz the Great and Powerful. After watching the original 1959 Sleeping Beauty for the first time this year, I became interested in reviewing the Maleficent. I got to say that casting Angelina Jolie in the title role was pure genius as she looks exactly like the animated character, plus she gives a great performance in the movie. The CGI effects for the most part are used really well and after a while I forgot the pixies were even computerized. Sharlto Copley and Elle Fanning both do a decent job in their roles, though I do wish Elle Fanning had more to do in the film. Unlike the 1959 animated classic, Maleficent is the main character while Princess Aurora is just a minor-character that helps Maleficent change her evil ways. Overall, Maleficent is a little darker than I thought it would be, which is a good thing as the original fairy tales were written dark to begin with. Though the film isn't exactly perfect, I still thought it was entertaining.


*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.



October 26, 2014

Review - A Promise To Protect


A Promise To Protect
Logan Point, book 2
by Patrcia Bradley
Publisher: Revell
Pub. Date: October 7, 2014
ISBN: 978-0800722814
Pages: 336
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Available now on paperback is exciting second novel in the Logan Point series from author Patrica Bradley, titled A Promise to Protect. Unfortunately, I have a new habit of picking out books by their covers alone, especially when the author is new to me. The cover to this book looks like an advertisement for a made-for-television movie on Lifetime. By the cover alone, I predicted that the plot would be either a thriller or mystery with a little bit of romance tossed into the mix. And I wasn't too far off.

I would like to point out that I have never read the first book the series, Shadows of the Past, and it never really bothered me, as 2nd installment is more of a standalone sequel, well at least in opinion it is.

A Promise To Protect centers on single mother, Dr. Leigh Somerall, who has a full set of problems in her life from paying her tuition bills to raising her son. Her life takes an unexpected turn when her brother Ben needs her help, therefore she turns to her ex-love, Ben Logan - the now acting sheriff, for help, but too little too late as her brother is murdered! Though their relationship ended rocky ten years ago, Sheriff Ben Logan vows to protect Leigh and her son from the incoming danger that threatens them.

DVD Review - The House of the Devil



House of the Devil
Director: Ti West
Starring: Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov, Greta Gerwig, Dee Wallace
Studio: Dark Sky Films
Releae Date: February 2, 2010
ASIN: B002OVO18A
Running Time: 95 minutes
Rated: R
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Like I have already said before this month, I do consider myself a big horror fan, but there are some movies that just slip by my radar, which includes the 2009 horror film The House of the Devil. I would have never known that the movie even existed if I didn't watch the horror film The Innkeepers from same director Ti West, which I loved watching. After doing a quick Google search I learned about The House of the Devil and I bought the DVD off of eBay earlier this year.

The House of the Devil centers on Samantha Hughes (played by Jocelin Donahue), a college student in dire need of cash for a deposit on her first apartment. She takes a babysitting job for Mr. Ulman (played by Tom Noonan) and his wife (played by Mary Woronov) without even meeting them. Her friend, Megan (played by Greta Gerwig), drive her to the Ulman's house and leaves her there, where she quickly learns that she isn't babysitting a kid, but instead she is babysitting Ulman's sick mother. She tries to talk herself out of the job, but then Ulman offers her $400 and she gladly accepts.


There isn't much for her to do there, except for listening to her Walkman while she explores the old house. After ordering a nasty pizza, she stumbles upon a few photos that suggests that Ulman and his wife aren't the owners of the house. After feeling a bit ill, she starts to wonder if the pizza she ate was drugged with something. She eventually passes out and wakes up to an unimaginable horror that may cost her her life.

Rating System

AMAZING!!! Go get this book right now!!

Great! Highly Recommend

It's ok. Borrow from a friend material.

Not that good but at least read the blurb.

Leave it on the shelf!

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