Showing posts with label Film. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Film. Show all posts

Friday, January 9, 2015

Wanna wish Stephen Hawking a Happy Birthday? Then Go See @FocusFeatures #TheTheoryOfEverything

The Theory of Everything Theatrical Movie Poster

On January 8, 1942 (73 years ago) Stephen Hawking was born, and with it being the famed physicist's birthday, I thought it would be the perfect day to post about Focus Feature's The Theory of Everything which is a British Biographical Romantic Drama directed by James Marsh and adapted by Anthony McCarten from the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Wilde Hawking.

The movie stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones (who portray Stephen and Jane), the movie outlines how the two met at Cambridge University in the 60's and chronicles their relationship and lives.

Eddie and Felicity offer a spot on performance and it is uncanny just how much they resemble the real Stephen and Jane, take a look at this photo:

Stephen and Jane Hawking, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones
Left: The Real Stephen and Jane Hawking, Right: Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones!
I got to attend a fun Advanced Screening with Q&A that was hosted by The Moms that was followed by a question and answer with Felicity Jones!

Now I am the first to tell you guys that I am normally not a big romance movie person, but this one is compelling, well cast, and the performances couldn't have been more spot on! I understand that it took almost 3 years to convince Jane Hawking to agree to a film adaptation, and I hope she agrees that the performances did her memoir justice. The sheer difficulty of the physicality of the role should certainly win Redmayne some kind of award in my book! The voice you hear in the latter part of the movie is Stephen's real voice.

The Moms and Felicity Jones, #JonesMamarazzi

Here is a video of the Q&A:

My Take:

This is as real life as it gets, life gets messy, it has it's ups and downs and this is a romantic drama that really hit the mark for me.

Have you already seen The Theory of Everything? What did you think of it?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a compensated post, it is an event recap. This is NOT a sponsored post and all opinions are 100% my own!  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

{#Movie #Review} @AfterEarth In theaters now - Ticket or Skip It? #AfterEarth

After Earth Theatrical Poster

On Thursday I had the opportunity to attend the MAMARAZZI With Jaden and Will Smith event that in addition to a Questions and Answers Session also included a Screening of the Movie After Earth. We entered to a lovely reception where food and frozen treats were offered to attendees by LYFE Kitchen. I didn't try out the food items because after getting off super hot trains with no air (gee thanks MTA) and the weather being hazy, hot, and humid, I went straight for the Frozen Greek Yogurt Bar in Strawberry! And I'm so glad I did, it was delicious! (Yes, I know butterflies, you can say it New York Problems, some of you will tell me your cities offer limited Public Transportation and I should be happy.....)

Since the event started with the screening, I'll start with that too!


A crash landing leaves teenager Kitai Raige (played by Jaden Smith) and his legendary father Cypher (played by Will Smith) stranded on Earth, one thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity's escape.

With Cypher critically injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help, facing uncharted terrain, evolved animal species that now rule the planet, and an unstoppable alien creature that escaped during the crash. Father and son must learn to work together and trust one another if they want any chance of returning home.


Questions and Answers:

Video Credit: Fredy Mfuko , Mission 101 media

Denise Albert, Jaden Smith, Will Smith, Melissa Musen Gerstein, The Moms, After Earth
Left: Denise Albert, from The Moms, Jaden Smith, Will Smith Far Right: Melissa Musen Gerstein, The Moms

Jaden Smith, Will Smith, Melissa Musen Gerstein, The Moms, After Earth
Left: Jaden Smith, Center: Will Smith Far Right: Melissa Musen Gerstein

Jaden Smith, Will Smith,The Moms, After Earth
Left: Jaden Smith, Right: Will Smith

Left: Jaden Smith, Right: Will Smith


When I found out that the movie was based on a story presented by Will Smith (based on a television show called I Shouldn't Be Alive), and was directed by M. Night Shyamalan, I was definitely curious, it's described as a 'scary sci-fi' flick and you all know that horror is my favorite movie genre! And you have to figure if it's a summer movie blockbuster where the world needs saving then you need Will Smith for sure, but unfortunately butterflies I'd be doing you a dis-service if I didn't warn you to SKIP IT.

M. Night peaked with The Sixth Sense as far as I'm concerned. With all of his movies since The Sixth Sense, I set out to the theater with hope it will be, well good.....and the movies have just all fallen short for me, and this one is another one, you leave wondering where the 'meat' was.

I did like that you see a Father and Son who come together and learn about themselves and each other in the process, but it's just predictable and that's the nicest thing I can say about it.

I appreciate the Q&A because it gives you the juxtaposition of the characters they portray and their real life Father/Son dynamic. Will is learning to allow Jaden to become his own man, even when their Fashion Tastes differ, which was the highlight of the Q&A when someone asked Jaden about his 'Skirt/Kilt' and Will ribbed him lovingly along with the audience. They were also asked if we can expect a movie featuring the entire family and Will mentioned that this is something that they have been considering for awhile now, but teased that they would have to work it around daughter's Willow's schedule.

Will Smith is always personable and down to earth so the Questions and Answers was fun. But the movie just falls short for me.

If you do go to see After Earth, please come back and share with us you thought!

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FTC Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. This is NOT a compensated post. I attended a screening and questions and answers session hosted by The Moms, I was under no obligation to share my movie review and all opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I have a feeling we are NOT in Kansas anymore! - Oz The Great and Powerful Movie Review! #ozthegreatandpowerful

On Wednesday, March 6th I got the chance to attend the New York City Screening of Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful. I'm glad mother nature held up and the NorEaster Snow Storm we were expecting didn't hit!

I have to start by warning you this is NOT your mama's Wizard of Oz!

What you won't see:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Dorothy
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - The Tinman
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - The Scarecrow
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - The Cowardly Lion
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Ruby Red Slippers

What you won't hear:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Characters spontaneously bursting into song, there's no 'Follow the Yellow Brick Road' song or 'We're off to see the Wizard'.


When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great wizard but into a better man as well.

My Take:

I do want to remind everyone that this is NOT a remake, it's a 'pre-quel', we learn how The Wizard gets to Oz, and get more back story on all the witches. I think it's important for folks to keep this in mind before going to see it. You need to evaluate this one it's own strengths and weaknesses and stop trying to compare it to a movie that they are NOT actually trying to re-make. They do pay homage, but are not trying to re-create the iconic classic we all know and love, that being said, here are MY perceived strengths and weaknesses:


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - BUTTERFLIES! - Thankfully someone at Disney seems to share my fascination with Butterflies. All of their movies have a butterfly sighting, this one had not just butterfly sightings throughout but an entire butterfly tree! In one scene you see a tree with unusual leaves and suddenly the leaves fly off the tree and you realize they are not leaves at all but a flock of beautiful butterflies!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 3D and CGI - The special effects are truly magical on the big screen. The 3D in some spots not only comes at you, but during some moments comes from behind you forward!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Disney Lessons - The power of good versus evil and the little man (no pun intended munchkins) conquering obstacles to succeed and triumph in the end.


James Franco as Oscar Diggs aka 'Oz' in Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - James Franco - That perpetual smirk he always has on his face is super annoying, thankfully here Oscar aka 'Oz' for short is a bit of a snake oil salesman and con artist, so that annoying smirk of his is actually put to good use here. (I pray the movie Gods keep him busy and he never returns to General Hospital ever, ever, ever again, but I digress...) I hear Robert Downey Jr dropped out and Johnny Depp turned it down. I would have loved to see Johnny Depp take this on for sure! Johnny Depp might have made you root for Oz for a bit more than you end up doing with James Franco in the lead role.

Left: Rachel Weisz as Evanora and Right: Mila Kunis as Theodora in Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - I'm definitely a fan but am sorry to report that Rachel Weisz just didn't cut it as Evanora, her performance fell short for me and my feelings on Mila's performance were a bit mixed, I think as naive Theodora she was strong, but when Theodora goes 'Wicked' (while I get the why), I don't think she pulls off the Wicked Theodora in the way the original actress Margaret Hamilton did.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Making this a more modern tale also makes it a bit darker and in my opinion not the movie you want to take a little one to see, this isn't your typical Disney fluffy, light, family-fare, it's dark, it's intense and it's long, making it a movie you want to take a tween or older to see.

Standout Characters:

Zach Braff as Finley in Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Zach Braff as Frank the bumbling assistant back in Kansas and as Finley the sweet hearted flying monkey in Oz gives a strong performance!

Joey King as 'China Girl' in Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Joey King as the girl in the wheelchair and the 'China Girl' in Oz also brings heart to the performance as both characters!

Joey King and Zach Braff are definite scene stealers. They both deliver a consistent performance that adds warmth to the movie.


This is my place to share thoughts inspired by the movie, that have nothing to do with my final or overall opinion of it!

Mila Kunis as Theodora in Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - While other critics panned the costumes as making the time frame less believable, from a Fashionista's standpoint, Theodora (played by Mila Kunis) wears a super fab opening outfit, her cranberry colored peplum jacket, black leather pants, and red lip (you know how much I love a red lip that is my signature daily lip color (well I custom blend mine but it's red!) was kick butt cool, and definitely me from a long time ago, I need to revisit that me! While it seemed to bother other people, I wanted to know where she got that outfit, it was FIERCE!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - I have no qualms about admitting just how much I love my gaming/gambling trips, I love slots and spent much of the time in the movie thinking I was in a bonus screen for the Wizard of Oz slot machine. This movie is going to make a fun addition to the already popular slot machine, I wonder if WMS is already working on the new machine? (It's bad enough that it's hard to get on the original one, I just can't imagine how much harder it will be when the new one comes out!) I think I am LONG overdue for a vacation! Vegas Anyone?

On the whole I'd say 'Ticket', but don't bring the little ones. Take the older children to this one, it's darker, and it's running time is a bit longer than a very young child may feel comfortable sitting still.

Have you seen Oz The Great and Powerful yet butterflies? What did you think, ticket or skip it?

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FTC Disclosure: I attended a screening of Oz The Great and Powerful, this did not influence my opinion of the film, all opinions are 100% my own. This is NOT a sponsored post. No monetary compensation has been received to share our movie review.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Find out what The Fitzgerald Family Christmas starring @Ed_Burns have to do with @themoms and @pagesix! #fitzmas #Mamarazzi

Fitzgerald Family Christmas Poster 01 Mamarazzi WATERMARKED
Theatrical Poster for the movie 'Fitzgerald Family Christmas'

So Ascending Butterfly finally gets invited to a Page Six worthy event, and she couldn't attend! What's a Butterfly to do? Research Last Minute Cloning Options, Make a rally cry to the heavens? Never to fear, Mama Butterfly is always near and she stepped in for me and covered a very special Mamarazzi event for the movie screening of Ed Burns latest movie release The Fitzgerald Family Christmas which he also wrote the screenplay for AND directed! 

Synopsis/About Fitzgerald Family Christmas

With The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, Ed Burns returns to the working-class, Irish-American roots of The Brothers McMullen. Reuniting with McMullen co-stars Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights), and Mike McGlone, along with Noah Emmerich (Little Children, Beautiful Girls) and Kerry Bishé (Newlyweds, Red State), Burns seamlessly weaves an ensemble story of adult siblings dealing with the desire of their estranged father (Ed Lauter, The Artist, The Longest Yard) to return home for Christmas for the first time since he walked out on his family 20 years ago. Family rifts emerge, and like with any family, Christmas brings a mixed bag of complicated emotions and dynamics. Alliances form, old wounds are reopened or glossed over, and the possibility for a new hope and forgiveness emerges.

Con la Navidad de la familia de Fitzgerald, quemaduras vuelve a las clase trabajadora, raices de irlandes-estadounidense de los hermanos McMullen. Reencuentro con co-estrellas McMullen Connie Britton (de Friday Night Lights) y Mike McGlone, junto con Noah Emmerich (ninos pequenos, las chicas guapas) y Kerry Bishe recien casados (rojo), quemaduras perfectamente teje una historia de conjunto de hermanos adultos relacionados con el deseo de su padre (Ed Lauter, el artista, The Longest Yard) para regresar a casa para la Navidad por primera vez desde que salio de su familia hace 20 anos. Surgen divisiones familiares, y como con cualquier familia, la Navidad trae un grup heterogeneo de emociones complejas y dinamicas. Formulario de alianzas, reabrio viejas heridas o alto, y surge la posibilidad de una nueva esperanza y perdon.

Pre Screening Excitement:

Tea from Ed Burns Mamarazzi Fitzgerald Family Christmas event WATERMARKED

Corn and Co Popcorn at Ed Burns Fitzgerald Family Christmas Screening WATERMARKED 

We got the chance to try out some awesome teas and got bags of very delicious popcorn! Cheese flavored, Salt and Vinegar Flavored and Wasabi!

The Moms intro Ed Burns Fitzgerald Family Christmas Mamarazzi 01 WATERMARKED
Left: Melissa Gerstein Right: Denise Albert

The Questions and Answers:

The Moms intro Ed Burns Fitzgerald Family Christmas Mamarazzi 02 WATERMARKED
Left: Melissa Gerstein, Center: Ed Burns, Right: Denise Albert

One of my favorite parts of Mamarazzi movie Screenings with The Moms is the opportunity the bloggers in attendance get to ask questions of one of the film's stars! It reminds me of my 'pro' film critic days on Press Junkets, but thankfully with much less travel because the screenings are much closer to home! It's definitely been a month of 'hollywood hunks' here at Ascending Butterfly this month, first getting to interview Gerard Butler regarding his new movie Playing for Keeps and now getting the chance to ask Ed Burns questions about The Fitzgerald Family Christmas!

The Moms intro Ed Burns Fitzgerald Family Christmas Mamarazzi 03 WATERMARKED
Ed Burns being interviewed during a Questions and Answers Sessions post  film screening of The Fitzgerald Family Christmas in New York City
Q. What did you draw upon in your own personal life that came out on film and in the writing of The Fitzgerald Family Christmas?
Ed Burns: "A lot of people think these films, especially “The Brothers McMullen” are autobiographical. It is in fact that the Fitzgerald family comes from the exact same place that I came from — working class, Long Island, Irish-Catholic from that neighborhood. So certainly, who I am, how I was raised and the people I was friends with are a big part of who these people are. That said, any of the major plot points I never pull from my family's experience for the simple reason that I don't want a Christmas like this one!"
There are some little things that I pulled from my family and extended family. For example, my wife's tradition, which I never heard of before, is to all wear matching pajamas on Christmas Eve. So I was like all right, I'm going to steal this for the film. And it's something we do now with our kids.

The Moms intro Ed Burns Fitzgerald Family Christmas Mamarazzi 04 WATERMARKED
Ed Burns being interviewed during a Questions and Answers Sessions post  film screening of The Fitzgerald Family Christmas in New York City
Q. Would you ever put Christy in your movies?
Ed Burns: Christy said on our very first date: 'Look, for the last 10 years I've been offered dozens of parts in movies. I don't want to be an actress so if you want a second date promise me you won't ever ask.' So I never have.

The Moms intro Ed Burns Fitzgerald Family Christmas Mamarazzi 05 WATERMARKED
Ed Burns being interviewed during a Questions and Answers Sessions post  film screening of The Fitzgerald Family Christmas in New York City
Q. Is it true that you're going to do a 20th reunion of “The Brothers McMullen?

Ed Burns: We're going to do a sequel, I just started writing the script. The plan is that the first movie came out in 1995 and ideally we'd like to get it out by 2015. It's going to be a good one.

The Moms intro Ed Burns Fitzgerald Family Christmas Mamarazzi 06 WATERMARKED
Ed Burns being interviewed during a Questions and Answers Sessions post  film screening of The Fitzgerald Family Christmas in New York City
Q. What inspires you to write your films?
Ed Burns: They come from different places. I acted in a movie last year with Tyler Perry called “Alex Cross” and he had just re-watched 'The Brothers McMullen.“ And he said your first two movies were so successful that had to do with these Irish-Catholic families and you haven't gone back there in 15 years. Take a look at what I'm doing, the empire I'm building. You have to super serve your niche. Your audience loved those two movies, give them another one. The minute he said it I knew he was right so I started writing the screenplay for “The Fitzgerald Family Christmas.“

The Moms intro Ed Burns Fitzgerald Family Christmas Mamarazzi 07 WATERMARKED
Ed Burns being interviewed during a Questions and Answers Sessions post  film screening of The Fitzgerald Family Christmas in New York City
Q. Do you think your focus has changed making movies, writing since having kids?
Ed Burns: To be quite honest, I've never sat down and thought about myself as a husband and a father when I was writing a screenplay. So now my oldest is 9 years old, so this will be the first script that I'm really looking at fatherhood, marriage, child-rearing. That said, there's no way that being a father and a husband hasn't changed the way I thought about my parents, my friends' parents and the challenges they must have experienced and what all parents must deal with. That definitely shaped the writing in this but it wasn't something that I consciously sat down to do.

The Moms intro Ed Burns Fitzgerald Family Christmas Mamarazzi 08 WATERMARKED
Ed Burns being interviewed during a Questions and Answers Sessions post  film screening of The Fitzgerald Family Christmas in New York City
Q. How do you balance it all?
Ed Burns: Both of our jobs require us to travel. And I made a decision at a certain point that if I want to be the dad I want to be that means I have to stay in New York. So that means I have to focus more on my filmmaking, which I can control and keeps me in town. But I sort of said, I won't go take an acting part that will take me to Australia for four months. And I'm lucky that I'm not just an actor because having to make those decisions would be difficult

The Moms intro Ed Burns Fitzgerald Family Christmas Mamarazzi 09 BOOSTED
Ed Burns being interviewed during a Questions and Answers Sessions post  film screening of The Fitzgerald Family Christmas in New York City
Q. When you're on the set and your kids have something and you're late, do you ever feel guilty as a working dad?
Ed Burns: All parents these days feel guilt. When you're the director, you call the shots, so if there is something that is very important that I need to be at, we schedule around it. I also think you have to have the healthy perspective that kids want to see their parents work, be engaged, happy and satisfied, even little kids. We don't need to be there as much as we think we need to. They're OK.

The Moms intro Ed Burns Fitzgerald Family Christmas Mamarazzi 10 WATERMARKED
Ed Burns being interviewed during a Questions and Answers Sessions post  film screening of The Fitzgerald Family Christmas in New York City
Q. Would you let your two children follow in your footsteps? 
Ed Burns: The rule is after 18 we'll help them do what they want to do. Get through high school, get into college. While you're in school, if you want to pursue acting or modeling or photography, we'll help you. But nothing until 18

Check Out The Video Here:

Fitzgerald Family Christmas is available on Video on Demand and in theaters starting December 7th!

If you want to get Social about The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, you can follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #fitzmas

Special Thanks to Mama Butterfly for covering for me! Here is a picture of my mom with Ed Burns (Cool right?) I think my fellow Beauty Mavens will understand when I post about exactly where I was instead! ;-)
The Moms intro Ed Burns Fitzgerald Family Christmas Mamarazzi 12 WATERMARKED
Left: Mama Butterfly! Right: Ed Burns!

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, no monetary compensation has been received by Ascending Butterfly to share our recap of the movie or our experience, we attended a private Press screening and had the opportunity to interview Ed Burns at that time.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

People Like Us {Movie Review}

No butterflies I was not on vacation yesterday, this post was actually supposed to go live Friday, but lately technology has not been my friend! (If anyone hears of a casting call for 'Pimp my Electronics' please let me know!)

On Tuesday, June 26th, The Moms, TV Personalities and media duo, Denise Albert and Melissa Gerstein hosted a private Mamarazzi event, sponsored by MARTINI, to celebrate the release of People Like Us. The event kicked off with a lovely breakfast sponsored by Panera, and included MOMosas and MARTINI Sparkling Prosecco, followed by a screening and then a Questions and Answers session with the movie's star, Elizabeth Banks!

I will tell you The Moms 'Mamarazzi' events are always fantastic and never disappoint, I only wish that every single movie being released would hold screenings with them!

MARTINI and The Moms celebrate release of People Like Us with Elizabeth Banks - (Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for MARTINI)

What's in a MOMosa? Glad you asked, here's the recipe:


2 parts chilled MARTINI Asti
1 part Orange Juice


Pour Orange Juice into a flute glass, top with Martini Asti and garnish with a strawberry (or the seasonal fruit of your choice)

(Please MOMosa responsibly, don't drive under the MOMosa influence, LOL, no seriously, call a cab)

Sam (Chris Pine) gets to know Frankie (Elizabeth Banks) the sister he has just discovered and her son Josh (Michael D’Addario) while trying to figure out how to tell her they are siblings in the DreamWorks drama/comedy People Like Us opening June 29, 2012.


English: "People Like Us"  tells the story of a struggling man who, after flying home to L.A. for the funeral of his estranged record-producer father, discovers that the will stipulates that he must deliver $150,000 in cash to a 30-year-old alcoholic sister he never knew existed, and her troubled 12-year-old son.

Spanish: "Gente como nosotros" narra la historia de un hombre de lucha que, después de volar a casa a los Ángeles para el funeral de su padre productor de registro, descubre que la voluntad estipula que debe entregar $150.000 en efectivo a una hermana alcohólica de 30 años de edad nunca supo que existía y su hijo de 12 años de edad conflictivo. 

Sam (Chris Pine) gets to know Frankie (Elizabeth Banks) the sister he has just discovered and her son Josh (Michael D’Addario) while trying to figure out how to tell her they are siblings in the DreamWorks drama/comedy People Like Us opening June 29, 2012

The movie opens with Sam (played by Chris Pine), a salesman who suddenly finds his job in jeopardy (and in need of monies to help save his job), having to find a way to save his job and then finding out his estranged Father died and he needs to fly back  home for his funeral. He gets back home with both his personal and professional life both very much in the up in the air. He is soon confronted with the challenging task of carrying out his father’s final wish – to deliver $150,000 to a single mom named Frankie (played by Elizabeth Banks) and her 11-year-old son, Josh (played by Michael Hall D’addario).

Michelle Pfeiffer stars as Lillian, recently widowed she is reconnecting with her son in the DreamWorks drama People Like Us opening June 29, 2012.

Michelle Pfeiffer plays Sam’s mother Lilllian, she struggles to cope with the loss of her (cheating) husband and the son who has been absent for so long returning home.

Frankie (Elizabeth Banks) has a heart-to-heart conversation with her son Josh (Michael D’Addario) in the DreamWorks drama/comedy People Like Us opening June 29, 2012.

Elizabeth Banks plays Frankie, struggling Single Mom, recovering addict, and Sam's long lost sister. Her pre-teen son Josh, played by Michael D'Addario is rebellious, getting in trouble in school and testing his boundaries.

What would you do if you needed the money, and $150,000 falls into your hands and your task is to give it someone else?

Not such an easy task!

After the screening which was sponsored by MARTINI and hosted by The Moms, Denise Albert and Melissa Gerstein, Elizabeth Banks joined us for a question and answer session.

Here are a mix of photos from the Q&A:

When asked about single moms, Banks replied: “I know so many of these women who carry the weight of the world on their shoulders.” Center: Actress Elizabeth Banks (photo credit:

When asked about Work/Life Balance, Banks replied: “You have 500 million things on your plate – never enough money, or enough time, or enough people to rely on, and you are always wondering how you are going to get it done.”

"They have a lot of friends but there will only be one of you"

MARTINI and The Moms celebrate release of People Like Us with Elizabeth Banks - (Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for MARTINI)

MARTINI and The Moms celebrate release of People Like Us with Elizabeth Banks - (Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for MARTINI)

My Take:

I hope "People Like Us" doesn't get lost in the summer 3D/Action and Blockbuster movies that we tend to associate with summer releases. It's as real as family life gets, and you are drawn into the character's struggles because it is so well acted.

Get Social with People Like Us on Facebook and Twitter remember to use the hashtag #PeopleLikeUs

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored/compensated post. No monetary compensation has been received in exchange for this movie review. All opinions are 100% my own. I attended an Advanced Screening of People Like Us via The Moms.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Madagascar 3 + Advice to women and moms from Jada Pinkett Smith + #CapriSunSuperV

The super awesome ladies behind 'The Moms' (aka the Mamarazzi®) invited Ascending Butterfly to a very special screening of Madagascar 3, where we got the chance to not only view the film, but also a Questions and Answers Session and Meet and Greet with Jada Pinkett Smith. We also got to try out the new Capri Sun Super V juice. There were rainbow afro wigs, moms drinking from Juice Boxes, eats and treats and I have to say it's one of the wildest screenings I've attended in awhile! As a former film critic (Bronx Observer), I've attended my fair share of screenings and press junkets for films, but this was definitely different!

Film Synopsis:

English: Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple and of course, King Julien, Maurice and the Penguins are all along for the comedic adventure. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent – Madagascar style.

Spanish/Espanol: Alex el león, Marty la cebra, Gloria la hipopótamo, y Melman la jirafa siguen tratando de regresar a su casa en su adorada Gran Manzana y por supuesto, el rey Julien, Maurice y los pingüinos también participan de esta divertida aventura. Su viaje los lleva através de Europa en donde encuentran la excusa perfecta para mantener las apariencias: un circo ambulante, al que reinventan al mejor estilo Madagascar.

MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE’S MOST WANTED, photo taken in Cannes


Alex the Lion – Ben Stiller

The King of New York still yearns to return home to his throne in the Central Park Zoo.  Hiding in a European traveling circus with the rest of the Zoosters may finally be his ticket back to the Big Apple, but things aren’t easy when the gang finds themselves as “Europe’s Most Wanted.”

Spanish/En Espanol: Alex el león – Ben Stiller

El rey de Nueva York todavía desea con ansias regresar a su hogar y a su trono en el zoológico de Central Park. Esconderse en un circo ambulante europeocon el resto de sus compañeros del zoo podría ser finalmente la manera devolver a la Gran Manzana, pero nada es tan fácil como parece cuando los   miembros del grupo se convierten en los “Más buscados de Europa”.

Marty – Chris Rock

Although he found his herd in Africa, Marty isn’t willing to leave his best friend Alex’s side.  The opportunity to join the circus gives Marty the shot of adrenaline he needs…he just didn’t realize he is the one being shot…out of a cannon.

Spanish/En Espanol: Marty – Chris Rock

A pesar de que encontró a su manada en Africa, Marty no abandonará a sumejor amigo Alex. La oportunidad de unirse al circo le da a Marty el disparo de adrenalina que necesita... solo que no se dio cuenta de que él también sería disparado… desde un cañón.

Melman – David Schwimmer

Did you hear the one about the hypochondriac giraffe who finally found love with a hippo?  Melman’s dreams are realized as he and Gloria figure out how to balance it all…on the circus high wire!

Spanish/En Espanol: Melman – David Schwimmer

¿Oíste hablar de la jirafa hipocondríaca que finalmente encontró el amor en una hipopótamo? Los sueños de Melman se vuelven realidad cuando él y Gloria descubren cómo equilibrarlo todo… ¡en la cuerda floja del circo!

Gloria – Jada Pinkett-Smith

The sweet, sassy and adorably plump hippo-next-door found love in Africa, and now she is ready to take things to exciting new heights with the rest of the Zooster gang.  Who says an oversized, heavy hippo can’t master the high wire act?

Spanish/En Espanol: Gloria – Jada Pinkett-Smith

La dulce, atrevida y adorablemente regordeta hipopótamo encontró el amor en Africa y ahora está lista para llegar a nuevas y emocionantes alturas con el resto de la pandilla del zoológico. ¿Quién dice que una hipopótamo extra grande y muy pesada no puede dominar el arte del equilibrio en la cuerda floja?

The Penguins – Chris Miller, Chritopher Knights, Tom McGrath & John Di Maggio

Stealthy and adventurous, Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private sneak through Europe on a mission.  They cook up a clever plan to help the Zoosters hijack a European traveling circus and turn it into a true three ring adventure.

Spanish/En Espanol: Los pingüinos - Chris Miller, Chritopher Knights, Tom McGrath & John Di Maggio

Sigilosos y aventureros, Skipper, Kowalski, Rico y Private se escabullen através de Europa con una misión. Urden un plan inteligente para ayudar a los animales del zoológico a secuestrar un circo ambulante europeo y convertirlo en una verdadera aventura de tres pistas.

Frances McDormand, as relentless French animal control officer Captain Chantal DuBois

The Soundtrack/The Music:

Along with Katy Perry's “Firework” and Australian collaborators Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP’s worldwide #1 dance hit “We No Speak Americano,” the Madagascar3: Europe’s Most Wanted soundtrack album features three-time Grammy Award®-winning producer-songwriter Peter Asher’s “Love Always Comes As a Surprise.”  New Madagascar voice Frances McDormand, as relentless French animal control officer Captain Chantal DuBois (who is in hot pursuit of the Zoosters running wild in her city), pays tribute to the Little Sparrow Edith Piaf with a new take on the classic “Non, je ne regrette rien (No, I have no regrets).”

In addition, Madagascar's King Julien covers C + C MusicFactory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now),” Spice Girls’ “Wannabe,”and Nelly’s “Hot In Herre,” and collaborates with Marty (voiced by Chris Rock) for thealbum’s closing mash-up of “Afro Circus” and Reel 2 Real’s “I Like To Move It” for new track “Afro Circus/I Like To Move It.”

Meeting Jada Pinkett Smith:

Right after the screening, Jada Pinkett Smith walked into a surprisingly silent room and teased us all about how quiet it was. It didn't remain that way for long, that I can tell you! There were tons of questions for her  - ranging from acting to motherhood and she answered thoughtfully, openly and with a great sense of humor. I can certainly remember from Press Junket's how hard it usually is for an actor to maintain their enthusiasm after answering the same question for the hundreth time, but Jada approached each question with thought and her passion for her craft, her family, and for life really did shine through.

Sharing some quotes that really stood out from the Q & A as captions to the photos below:

"Do what you need to do to keep your spirit alive by any means necessary" ~ Jada Pinkett Smith

"We as moms need to identify what we really need for ourselves as mothers." ~ Jada Pinkett Smith

"I make sure my kids understand that you can't get something for nothing." ~ Jada Pinkett Smith

I loved that she affirmed the importance of taking time for yourself. How feeding your passions fuels your spirit. She said that 'We need to feel alive so we can give passion to those that we love' and I couldn't possibly agree more. I find that on days when I don't take time for myself, where I give 100% to everything and everyone else, and leave nothing more for myself, I get burned out, and that's not where I want to be!

Capri Sun Super V

As soon as we arrived to the screening venue, here is the smiling face that greeted us with our choice of Capri Sun Super V flavor!

Kraft Foods recently launched Capri Sun Super V, and they were at the Madagascar 3 screening and provided us all with samples! Picture a room full of bloggers drinking out of their Capri Sun Pouches!

Left: Ascending Butterfly holding her Fruit Punch Flavor Capri Sun Super V!

Each pouch provides ½ cup fruit and vegetable juice, which is one combined serving of fruits and vegetables, according to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines (¾ from fruit juice, ¼ from vegetable juice). It is also fortified to be a good source of fiber and antioxidant vitamins A, C and E. Recommended Daily Intake = 4 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables in a 2,000-calorie diet. Be sure to make most of your fruits and vegetables whole fruits and vegetables.

Sneaking in fruit & veggies in an easy to go pouch and it tastes great too, total PERK! (Notice I chopped off my super long hair? This butterfly is totally ready for summer!)

My Take:

I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of the Q&A with Jada Pinkett Smith, she seems to have a strong appreciation for her blessings in life and takes her most vital role, that of being not just a Mom, but a hands on mom that teaches her children to be independent, caring and grateful individuals very seriously.        

I enjoyed this movie, the penguins always make me laugh and it had great 3D special effects (happy to see that the 3D complimented the film), it had great pacing, and sneaks in great lessons for the little ones without boring the adults! And as a former event organizer I have to also say I love the way the screening was organized, and the details and touches that went into it.

As a Duane Reade VIP Blogger and Brand Ambassador I have to point out there was a Duane Reade mention, which made me smile!

And of course I wouldn't be doing my job as a butterfly loving blogger if I didn't point out there was a butterfly sighting in this movie! And you know that always makes me smile.

I still have some more photos from the screening, but I'll share the rest as this week's Wordless Wednesday!

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. I attended a screening as a member of the digital press and did receive a gift bag.