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Jun 24, 2019

Blu-ray Review: Jury Duty (Retro VHS Look)

Mill Creek Entertainment; Amazon
The silly comedy Encino Man was of my favorite guilty pleasure movies from the early '90s. Yes, it was completely stupid, but for some reason it appealed to me during my pre-teen years. Pauly Shore was one of the co-stars in the film and he went on to star in several similar comedies during the '90s, including 1995's Jury Duty, which was released to Blu-ray earlier this month from Mill Creek Entertainment as part of their Retro VHS series.

Directed by John Fortenberry, the film is more of a spoof of 12 Angry Men, where an unemployed Tommy Collins (played by Pauly Shore) finds himself out of a home when his mother and her boyfriend take their mobile home to Las Vegas to get married. Tommy and his chihuahua Peanuts are now homeless, well, that is until he receives a jury summons!

Tommy becomes one of the 12 jurors for a murder trial and as jury foreman he deliberately delays the verdict just so he can be paid $5 per day, get free meals, and live in a nice hotel room (also for free). While attempting to convinced the other jurors of reasonable doubt, he begins to believe the murderer is actually innocent.

Rounding out the rest of the cast is Tia Carrere, Brian Doyle-Murray, Stanley Tucci, Abe Vigoda, Charles Napier, and Shelley Winters.

Final Thoughts

Sunday Post / It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @  Caffeinated Book Reviewer!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Date.

Good Morning, Everyone!

Yep! I'm well aware today is not Sunday. I just didn't feel like posting a Sunday Post / It's Monday! What Are You Reading? yesterday, so you're getting it today!

After having a slight drought for nearly two weeks, it finally rained over the weekend! Over 3 inches to be exact. I thought about mowing the yard early this morning but decided against it. I'll give the yard a day to dry out. Plus, I just don't feel like mowing!

Besides from posting three movie reviews, my plans of catching up on reviews didn't pan out. I'm going to attempt to get a few things done today, including working on a sponsored project for this blog.

What Am I Currently Reading?

I finished reading The Son by Philipp Meyer early yesterday morning after reading more than half the book on Saturday. My review will be coming soon! I had won four eBooks from two LibraryThing giveaways last month and the publishing company finally sent me the books last week. One of those books happens to be Ring of Roses by Sara Clancy. It'll probably be my main read for the wee,k followed by the sequels Pocket of Posies and Ashes to Ashes, which came together as one giveaway prize. The other book I'd won is the anthology Terror in the Shadows: Volume 2.


  Recent Reviews

Double Team
(Blu-ray Review)

The Haunting of Sharon Tate
(Midnight Horror Review)

Cinderella: Anniversary Edition
(Blu-ray Review)

In the Mail

Jun 23, 2019

Blu-ray Review: Cinderella: Anniversary Edition

Last week, Disney Home Entertainment re-released the classic animated classic Cinderella on Digital HD and Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Code Anniversary Edition combo pack, which is also part of the The Signature Walt Disney Collection.

Based on the fairy tale by by Charles Perrault, Disney's Cinderella originally hit the big screen in 1950. Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, and Wilfred Jackson, the animated classic featured the talented voice cast of Ilene Woods, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Rhoda Williams, James MacDonald, Luis van Rooten, Don Barclay, Mike Douglas, William Phipps, and Lucille Bliss.

The 75-minnute film tells the tale of Cinderella, a young woman who's forced by her stepmother, Lady Tremaine, to work in her own home as a maid and sleep in a tower. Her stepsisters Drizella and Anastasia are just as cruel as their mother. Cinderella's only friends are the mice (Jaq, Guz, and many others) that also live in the tower.

The King of the land is tired of the Prince's refusal to get married, so he and the Grand Duke organize a ball and invite every single young woman near the kingdom, in the hopes they will find the perfect wife for the prince.

Upon hearing about the ball, Lady Tremaine is determined to have one of her daughters marry the Prince. Since all young women have been invited, Cinderella would love to go as well, but Lady Tremaine piles more work for her to do, just o she wouldn't have time to make a dress.

Let's just say with a little help of her animal friends and her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella attends the ball wearing a gorgeous dress and glass slippers, and she enchants the Princess with just one dance.

Blu-ray Bonus Features include:
  • New Features
    • Try This Trivia on for Size – Join Ruth Righi and Ava Kolker from Disney Channel's Sydney to the Max and put your knowledge of Cinderella to the test.
    • In Walt’s Words: Enhanced Edition – Watch the movie and gain some insight into its production with storyboards, archival photos, sketches and transcripts. 
  • CLASSIC Features
    • Diane Disney Miller “Cinderella” Film Intro – In this introduction to the animated classic, Diane Disney Miller describes how Cinderella helped launch a studio renaissance.
    • The Real Fairy Godmother – Learn about the real-life inspiration for the Fairy Godmother: Mary Alice O’Connor, wife of Disney layout artist Ken O’Connor.
    • Behind the Magic: A New Disney Princess Fairyland – Discover how Imagineers created a Fantasyland at Walt Disney World featuring each of the Disney Princesses.
    • The Magic of the Glass Slipper – World-famous shoe designer Christian Louboutin creates a very exclusive “Glass Slipper” in honor of a beloved Disney classic. 
    • Concept Art  - View a gallery of concept art from the feature's production.
    • Character Model Sheets – View a gallery of character model sheets from the feature's production. 
    • Story Sketches – View a gallery of story sketches from the feature's production.
    • Live-Action Reference – View a gallery of photos taken from live-action footage shot as a reference for the animated feature.
    • Pencil Animation – View a gallery of pencil animation from the feature's production.
    • Behind-the-Scenes Stills – View a gallery of behind-the-scenes stills from the feature's production.
    • Feature Stills – View a gallery of stills from the feature. 


Final Thoughts

Jun 21, 2019

Book Blogger Hop: June 21st - 27th

Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop! 

If you want to schedule next week's post, click here to find the next prompt question. To submit a question, fill out this form.

The Book Blogger Hop now has its own Facebook Group! Please join the group to get all the newest Book Blogger Hop updates. Also, you can communicate with your fellow book bloggers in the group.

What To Do

1. Post on your blog answering this question:

This week's questions were submitted by Nicki @ Nicki J. Markus/Asta Idonea and Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews)

2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below. Please enter your Name/Nickname @ Blog Name and the direct link to your post answering this week’s question. Here's an example: Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

3. Visit other blogs in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading a few posts and possible become a new follower. The purpose of the hop is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

The Friday 56: The Son by Philipp Meyer


Grab a book, any book.
Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it).
Post it.
 Add your (url) post below in the Linky at:
Add the post url, not your blog url.

She wanted to ask if he had shot anyone, or seen anyone shot, but he seemed to sense the question was coming and stood abruptly, walking to the other end of the room, looking at the old drawings, the marble statues and figurines, shaking his head, picking things up and putting them down.

page 256, The Son by Philipp Meyer

  My Thoughts

Jun 19, 2019

Midnight Horror Review: The Haunting of Sharon Tate

This year marks the fifty anniversary of mass murders that were committed by the Manson Family. And, of course, Hollywood is going to make new Manson-themed movies, including Once Upon A Time In Hollywood from director Quentin Tarantino (though it's only a subplot) and the horror flick The Haunting of Sharon Tate (R; $21.99; 95 minutes).

Written & directed by Daniel Farrands, The Haunting of Sharon Tate stars Hilary Duff (Yep, Lizzie McQuire!) as pregnant actress Sharon Tate who had a premonition dream involving the death of her friends and herself. With her husband, Roman Polanski, directing a movie in another country, Sharon's friend (and former lover) Jay Sebring (played by Jonathan Bennett), screenwriter Wojciech Frykowski (played by Pawel Szajda) and his lover  Abigail Folger (played by Lydia Hearst) are looking after Sharon at her rented Los Angeles home.

Sharon has disturbing visions of a man named "Charles." Her friends try to console her, but it doesn't help a bit as she keeps having more detailed premonitions of three strangers breaking into the house and brutally murdering them. She must use her sixth sense to save their lives and change history.

Blu-ray Special Features include:
  • Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Daniel Farrands
  • Premonitions: The Haunting of Sharon Tate

Final Thoughts

Jun 18, 2019

Blu-ray Review: Double Team (Retro VHS Look)

Mill Creek Entertainment; Amazon
Does anyone else remember the good ole days when Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Seagal, and Van Damme ruled the box-office?

I guess you can say I grew up an '80s & '90s action junkie, mostly thanks to my father who introduced me to Rambo, Terminator, Predator, and many other classic films. There were many great movies released during my childhood... and then there were many duds, including the nearly forgotten Double Team starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and the legendary ex-NBA player Dennis Rodman.

From my recollection, I saw Double Team only once when it first released as a VHS rental in the late '90s. I was a big Chicago Bulls fan at the time, as well as a Van Damme fan, so I naturally wanted to see the film. Let's just say that I didn't care too much for the movie. I'd pretty much forgotten about the film until it was released on Blu-ray (R; $14.98; 99 minutes) earlier this month from Mill Creek Entertainment, which is part of their "Retro VHS Look" series ,where the Blu-ray slipcovers resemble the old VHS covers.

Directed by Tsui Hark, Van Damme plays Jack Paul Quinn, a counter-terrorist agent who's forced into early retirement after failing to capture the terrorist Stavros (played by Mickey Rourke). After learning his pregnant wife, Kathryn (played by Natacha Lindinger), has been kidnapped by Stavros, Quinn escapes his retirement (a.k.a. - the Colony) and teams up with an arms dealer, Yaz (played by Dennis Rodman).

Quinn goes on a quest to rescue to Kathryn and their unborn baby, and take out Stavros once and for all.

Final Thoughts

Jun 17, 2019

Benefits of Childhood Music Education

Music is a common language. In formative years for children, music plays an integral role in building routine, opening imagination, and communicating moods and feelings even when words cannot. Music education is an incredibly valuable way to build character from infancy through teen years. Take a look at the many benefits of music education and consider music lessons Boston.

Build Discipline 

Learning to play a musical instrument can be extremely rewarding, but it first requires a remarkable amount of discipline. Music education fosters routine while establishing the need for practice. Children might be dismayed by the repetitive nature of practicing an instrument, but getting through this struggle will yield fantastic results. The discipline and focus required to pursue any form of music education can be applied to many other facets of life further down the road. In fact, many studies have shown that ability in music and ability in math tend to go hand-in-hand.

Build Coordination 

Especially in younger children, playing an instrument can help improve fine motor skills. Familiarizing a young person with an instrument allows them to explore hand-eye coordination, learn about ear-hand coordination, and expand overall auditory awareness. Young music students start to absorb concepts like repetition and rhythm before they are even identifying just what these concepts are in the scope of music.

Literacy and Language 

Jun 16, 2019

Sunday Post / It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @  Caffeinated Book Reviewer!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Date.

Good Morning, Everyone!

It seems the Spring rainy weather isn't going to stop when Summer officially gets here on the 21st. The weird weather has made my sinuses and allergies go bonkers! I spent the first half of last week ill. I was so sick that I couldn't get anything done that I had planned. Thankfully, I was feeling better by Thursday, but a few things came up in my life that had to get done, so I had to put all my reviewing on this blog on the back burner for a few days. This week, I'm hoping to write two book reviews and several movie reviews. (Fingers Crossed!)

What Am I Currently Reading?

At long last, I've finally started reading The Son by Philipp Meyer. My goal is to finish reading it before the television series ends on June 29th. The pages are made from extremely thin paper and there are a total of 561 pages with really small lettering!


  Recent Reviews

Captain Marvel
(Digital Review)

Star Trek: Captain's Oath
(Summer Reads)

In the Mail

Summer Reads: Star Trek: The Captain's Oath

If you're a diehard trekker or just a casual Star Trek fan, then you've probably read at least one tie-in novel.

The first Star Trek tie-ins were episode novelizations of the original series were written by James Blish and published by Bantam Books from 1967 to 1978. James Blish also wrote the very first original Star Trek novel, Spock Must Die!, which was published in 1970. Bantam Books continued to publish Star Trek titles until 1991.

From 1974 to 2006, Ballantine Books (and Del Rey) published the Star Trek Log book series by Alan Dean Foster, novelizations of the short-lived Star Trek animated series.

From 1979 to 2017, all Star Trek tie-in novels, anthologies, and novelizations were published by Pocket Books (an imprint of  Simon & Schuster). The books are now published by Gallery Books, which is also an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

The newest Star Trek novel "The Captain's Oath" written by Christopher L. Bennett was published at the end of May and marked the first new story of "The Original Series" since 2016.

"The Captain's Oath" is a prequel spanning several years - 2261 - 2265. The prologue begins in 2265 on the very first day James T. Kirk is given command of the U.S.S. Enterprise and meets Mr. Spock. The novel jumps back and forth to tell how and why Kirk was given the U.S.S. Enterprise.

In the years 2261 to 2264, we see Kirk taking over the captain's chair of the U.S.S. Sacagawea and his brief stint overseeing the Starfleet archaeological station in Eagle's Landing. From early battles with the Klingons, encountering mysterious sphere ships, to saving endangered civilizations, Kirk learns the discipline he'll need to become a great captain.

Final Thoughts