Showing posts with label movie review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movie review. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

{Now Playing} Is @JoyMangano a Cicada? I ended my year with JOY, @JoyTheMovie that is! #JoyMovie #Movies #Cinema

The last movie I got to see in 2015 was a SAG Screening for JOY The Movie, so I like to say I ended my year with JOY!

Happy New Year Butterflies! While I did post to social over New Year's Eve, this is my first official Blog Post of 2016. And being the Ascending Butterfly that I am, I wanted to start with something inspirational that focuses on an Entrepreneur whose products are probably already in your home.

Joy (the Movie) which was released on Christmas day, is based on the true story of Joy Mangano, the Miracle Mop Inventor and entrepreneur.

The weird question I open this post with - Is Joy Mangano a Cicada? - is actually based on one of the most poignant moments in the movie. In the scene, Joy is reading to her daughter about Cicada's, which live and mature underground anywhere from 13 - 17 years in total before they emerge. - She painfully realizes that is exactly how she feels and where her life is at. (This butterfly can certainly relate to sometimes feeling like I am still very much trapped in the cocoon and ready to bust out!)

At this point in her life, her ex-husband is still living in her home, her mother who was an almost recluse hiding from life in her bedroom since her husband left her, Joy's children and then her philandering Father who comes back to home to live with her (brought to her door by the mistress he left his wife/her mother for by the way) and her job opts to change her shift to nights as they are making 'cut backs' - needless to say at this point she is under a tremendous amount of pressure. That kind of intense pressure and *ish* that makes you re-think every choice you've ever made, wonder where are you going and how much longer you can go on with circumstances the way they are. You know, 'the little stuff''.


JOY is the wild story of a family across four generations centered on the girl who becomes the woman who founds a business dynasty and becomes a matriarch in her own right. Betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence and the scars of love, pave the road in this intense emotional and human comedy about becoming a true boss of family and enterprise facing a world of unforgiving commerce. Allies become adversaries and adversaries become allies, both inside and outside the family, as Joy's inner life and fierce imagination carry her through the storm she faces. Jennifer Lawrence stars, with Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Elisabeth Rohm and Dascha Palanco. Like David O. Russell's previous films, JOY defies genre to tell a story of family, loyalty and love.

"I want you to remember something, because a lot of times people get nice things and they start to think differently, we got here from hard work, patience and humility, so I want to tell you, Don't ever think that the world owes you anything, because it doesn't. The world doesn't owe you a thing." ~ Joy Mangano, JOY The Movie



I am curious as to why this bio-pic was released while the real subject is still very much alive and well. Bio-pics are tricky enough when the subject has passed, nevertheless when they are still alive.

It is not the most flattering depiction of her family that's for sure with a few exceptions - her grandmother (played by Diane Ladd), and surprisingly her ex-husband (played by Edgar Ramirez) prove to be her truest allies as well as Neil Walker of QVC who gave Joy her first shot in the home shopping television retail experience (played by Bradley Cooper) . But her mom (played by Virginia Madsen), dad (played by Robert De Niro), half sister (played by Elizabeth Rohm) and Dad's Girlfriend (played by Isabella Rossellini) were more of a hindrance than a help and there is one scene in particular that made me want to smack her Dad AND his girlfriend;s teeth out their face! (So I guess they were playing the part quite well! LOL)

A surprise stand-out was Melissa Rivers who played her mom Joan in the QVC scenes, it was so spot on it was almost eerie! And I have no doubt her mom would be proud.

But while the story was compelling, I am sad to say that I don't feel this was Jennifer Lawrence's best work. You would think 'Katniss' could pull off playing a strong woman who overcomes the odds against her to build her own empire (I mean really right, sound familiar?), but she doesn't. Jennifer didn't do the role any justice in my opinion. It felt like she was 'walking through it' and I wasn't quite sure if it just didn't resonate with her, but she kind of has this vapid, valley of the dolls type of expression on her face most of the movie that didn't really fit what was happening to the character. Joy went through some deep lows to get to her ultimate high, a high that from what we see at the end is a bit bittersweet, and Jennifer just didn't convey what was happening in a way that hit home.

As this is a bio-pic, even in my 'pro film critic' days (have I mentioned how that was one of my favorite times ever as a professional writer?), I can't comfortably give a review on this movie - this isn't a ticket or skip it type of movie - this is a true story that is still un-folding, I can only comment on the acting and how the family on the whole is portrayed in the film. I wish Jennifer would have put the life she puts into her performances in the Hunger Games movie franchise into this movie. Katniss isn't real, Joy Mangano is - and in many ways she is just as tough as Katniss - but Jennifer just doesn't give you that.

The movie is an inspiration to all entrepreneurs, Joy overcomes tremendous odds - both from the outside world and her inner own circle and fights hard to achieve her success. And even in the face of financial ruin, picks herself up and goes to bat again, while the movie was released over Christmas it is such an empowering story that it's perfect to catch this first week of the New Year when you are pumped up, armed with your list of goals and resolutions and raring to go! (I may be singing along to Mary Mary's Go Get Your Blessing Right Now!)

What female entrepreneur do you most admire and why? Do you own a Joy Mangano Product? (I love her huggable hangers and I haven't yet tried the Miracle Mop but I would like to!)

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FTC Disclosure:  This is NOT a compensated/sponsored Post, All opinions are 100% my own! Advanced/Press Screening Passes Provided for Editorial Consideration. 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.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Check out @CantinflasMovie - in theaters NOW! #Cantinflas


If the name Mario Fortino Alfonso Moreno Reyes doesn't ring a bell perhaps Cantinflas does? The Mexican comic film actor, producer and screenwriter was best known for his portrayal of Cantinflas part campesino (peasant), with a quick tongue that poked fun at the pretentious and powerful and a wicked sense of comedic timing. Dubbed as the "Charlie Chaplin of Mexico", his claim to fame in the US Market came when he co-starred with David Niven in the 1956 film Around the World in 80 Days which garnered him a Golden Globe.

While the role of Cantinflas became intrinsically enmeshed with his own identity, Mario Moreno was also a business leader who became involved in Mexico's labor politics, and was known for his work in the early struggle against the one-party government's practice of controlling unions. He was also a philantropist who was said to have donated half of his earnings to charity.

First and foremost I have to share that Óscar Jaenada does an amazing and incredibly respectful job in his portrayal of both Cantinflas the character and Mario the man. Despite how inseparable they may have been to others, there are so many nuances to playing someone so dynamic and Óscar really does do an amazing job.

Real Cantiflas vs Oscar Jaenada Collage

As you can see from the collage above, he truly nails the look! And when you see the movie it's a pleasant surprise just how well he nails the man and the character that is Cantinflas.


Cantinflas is the untold story of Mexico's greatest and most beloved comedy film star of all time. From his humble origins on the small stage to the bright light of Hollywood. Mexican icon, Mario Moreno, "Cantinflas" as seen through producer Michael Todd's (played by Michael Imperioli) eyes, getting a glimpse of their collaboration on the 1957 film, "Around the World in 80 Days", winning 5 Oscars and 2 Golden Globes, and turning into the top grossing film of their time. Cantinflas tells the story of a man who got his start in Mexico's equivalent of the Vaudeville theater, his talent and humor traveling the world over.

En Español: La vida de Mario Moreno "Cantinflas" se presenta bajo la mirada del productor Michael Todd con quién colabora en el filme "La vuelta al mundo en 80 días" en 1957 ganando el Globo de Oro y el Oscar respectivamente, además de covertirla en la pelicula mas taquillera de su época. CANTINFLAS cuenta la historia de un mexicano que comenzando su carrrera en una pequeña carpa arrabal, logra llevar su talento cultura y sentido del humor al mundo entero.


The movie represents the timeless struggle for authenticity and success which makes it relatable to today's audience who may not necessarily understand the character of Cantinflas or his body of work. As a Latina I personally want to see this film succeed. I want our Latino Youth to see more than Hollywood's typical Drug Dealer offering, I want our Youth to know that you can be authentic and pursue your dreams. I want young Latinos to be able to see a face they relate to on the big screen. One that is taking those ganas, and doing something positive to better both himself and society at large.

I just wish that the real Mario had fallen in love with a Latina, I am tired of our men's idea of success being a white woman on their arm. You can't tell me that that one sassy, confident and beautiful Latina didn't cross his path? But I digress. In life Mario Moreno fell in love with a Russian Woman, and their love story is also played out in the film. And I just have to say it but I hated the casting albeit for the brief moment he appeared of Yul Brynner for the Golden Globes scene, again, that is just my personal choice and opinion (and a total aside)! On another aside I wish they had left out the scene that alluded to an affair/transgression, it didn't add anything in my opinion and as someone who is familiar with the character of Cantinflas I thought it totally un-necessary. (Perhaps I will have to tap into my inner screenwriter and bring a Latino Character to the screen who isn't selling drugs, having affairs and actually falls in love with a Latina!)

Get social with Cantinflas on both Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to use the hashtag #Cantinflas so we can all follow in the conversation. If you are looking for a way to beat the heat this last weekend of summer and take in a movie, you know which one I am recommending!

Butterflies once you have seen the movie, come back here and let us know what you think of it. Happy Labor Day Weekend to all!

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FTC DisclosureThis is NOT a sponsored post, no monetary compensation has been received. Screening Passes were provided to Ascending Butterfly for Editorial Consideration. As always, all opinions are 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.

Monday, June 2, 2014

@disneypictures @Maleficent Monday! So is #Maleficent a Ticket or Skip It? {#Movie #Review}

Well! Well! If you are here I am taking it you haven't seen it yet, remedy that ASAP! Maleficent is a definite TICKET!


This is the untold story of Disney's most iconic villain from "Sleeping Beauty" from HER perspective. It shows the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. This movie finds her driven by revenge and her desire to protect the moors, the dominion in which she lives and presides. Of course you know she places a curse on Princess Aurora who gets caught in the middle of the forest kingdom she grows to love and the kingdom that is her legacy.

My Take:

Butterflies this is NOT your Grandma's Sleeping Beauty tale, it is re-visited, but most importantly, completely re-imagined, the CGI isn't the only thing telling the tale, everyone delivers a strong performance and it's that balance of getting lost in it's world and a strong ensemble that makes it work so well. It's Angelina's ability to take us from young innocent Maleficent, to woman scorned, to vengeance personified and back to 'mother earth' energy that makes the movie so compelling. You find yourself rooting for the villain even when you don't want to. And that's to me the 'beauty' of this 'sleeping beauty' - it isn't just her ability to deliver 'delicious darkness' but to make each phase of her character's arc completely believable.

Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora delivers a wonderful innocence with just enough inner strength, and not to be missed is Sam Riley's performance as Diaval who helps to temper Maleficent's rage (a bird like Jiminy Cricket!). The wall of thorns, and the play between darkness and light, is just all done to perfection.

As in most Disney movies, there are butterfly sightings in Maleficent, many in fact! In a beautiful scene where Angelina's daughter, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt portrays young Aurora and she is chasing butterflies, completely oblivious to her surroundings, and one of the CGI Fairies who watches over Aurora as she grows is constantly surrounded by Butterflies. (I have always wondered why there is always a butterfly sighting in most Disney movies, if anyone knows why, please share!)

This movie is a definitely TICKET, you need to see this on the big screen Butterflies, don't wait for video with this one!

That's me Ascending Butterfly on the left! We all know I have a love of all things with Wings! (and a penchant for Red Lipstick too! She hits all my favorite Fashion notes, all black outfit, wings and red lips!)

Have you seen Maleficent Yet Butterflies? What did you think?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a compensated post, I was provided Screening Passes for editorial consideration. 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.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The funniest review of @ParamountPics Labor Day #Movie you will read, PROMISE!

I swear the Polar Vortex didn't swallow me whole, it's a been a busy New Year Butterflies, that doesn't mean great things haven't been happening, I just haven't had much time to write.

I will start this review with a true confession. I don't have a romantic bone in my body. Really, I don't. I'd much rather sit on an isolated beach by myself. Yes I like long walks on the beach, I'd just rather take them by myself. No man. No Dog. I'd actually love no people at all, I dream...And I digress, I guess.

Upon entering a recent Advanced Screening for Paramount Pictures newest release Labor Day we were handed a pack of tissues. (YES this is important. So remember this detail). The American Drama was co-produced by Paramount Pictures and Indian Paintbrush and was directed by Jason Reitman. Based on a Novel penned by Joyce Maynard.

The movie is well cast, and Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin really do give great performances, but it really asks you to believe a set of circumstances that are just very hard to believe. The entire movie is a set of circumstances that even in a small town in a more 'innocent' time period no kid would be that dumb and no woman would have just allowed her family to get put in that position without trying to at least prevent it if she wasn't capable of putting up a fight. 

I for one would have given James' character Frank a swift kick to the nads, snatched my child and reported him to the cops, I would never have fallen in love with him, because I would have never had the chance to find out about his heart of Gold. (You know the heart of gold that beats beneath the chest of a man who accidentally killed his first wife. OK. Bygones, she killed their baby, he didnt actually 'mean' to kill her. Nonetheless, Just a wee bit too much to overlook for me crazy that way. You murdered one wife, you might try to murder me too.....)

Without giving away too many details, even the ending is hard to believe if we are supposed to get swept up into the love story that developed, their 'love' (love that develops in about 48 hours by the way) should have opened her up again to love, after a plot that is already hard to believe, when he is released from prison, they are both re-united again. SAY WHAT? If that experienced open her up to the idea of love we are now supposed to believe she kept it in preserve for his release from prison for just under 2 long decades?

And can someone please explain why he never opens her letters all those years? UM, SAY WHAT? And the pie scene was trying to hard to be the pottery scene in Ghost. (I'm all team Patrick Swayze and Demi on that one, sorry Josh and Kate!)

Here is a clip:

Now for a test to see if you were paying attention, remember when I told you upon entering the screening they gave us a packet of tissues? (Good, glad you were paying attention.)

Well I didn't cry during the movie at all, but the movie theater was out of toilet paper in the ladies room, so now you know how I used the packet of tissues.....

I promised you this would be funny.

Hopefully at some point I develop a sense of romance. My genre is horror. (Told you I'm not very romantic!)

Much like many men, I tend to avoid 'chick flicks', and this movie reminded me of why.

For butterflies who like un-likely romances, this is definitely the movie for you.

However, if you are into weekend getaways, then you should also check out the Labor Day Movie Weekend Getaway Contest, Pin a Photo on Pinterest of what love looks like to you using the hashtag #LaborDayMovie before February 7th for a chance to win! Good Luck Butterflies!

Now I have to figure out how to create a collage of isolated beaches and horror movie marathons for my pinterest entry, I could use a weekend getaway! :-)

Once you've checked out this movie yourself, please report back here and tell us what YOU think of Labor Day!

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a Sponsored Post, I attended an Advance Screening of the movie Labor Day and I have NOT been compensated to share my feedback on the film. 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 visit our full giveaway and disclosure page for complete policy information.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The #Smurfs2 @CitiPrivatePass #FamilyFun 'Blue Carpet' NY Screening held @LighthouseIntl #celebs #photobooth & more!

Since I wasn't able to join their super fun screening in Chicago (as I didn't hit BlogHer 13 this year), our pals at The Moms were kind enough to refer us to over a Special 'Blue Carpet' Screening of The Smurfs 2 right here in New York City! The screening was held at Lighthouse International, an organization that is helping to fight vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment.

You know Smurfs couldn't walk down a red carpet, so they used a Blue Carpet instead! Smurfs and Celeb guests Christina Ricci, Hank Azaria, and Anthony Edwards enjoyed meeting the press, bloggers and special CitiPass Members who were given special seating at the screening.

My apologies, this was supposed to go up yesterday for our Wordless Wednesday, but despite spending my morning at the Global Launch of the new LG G2, my technology wasn't playing as nice back at the ranch and my scheduled post never launched!

Check out some of the celebs on the Blue Carpet:

Actress Christina Ricci (voice of Vexy) walks the blue carpet at "The Smurfs 2" New York Blue Carpet Screening at Lighthouse International Theater - Photo by Craig Barrit/Getty Images

Hank Azaria (Voice of Gargamel), Hal Azaria and Katie Wright attend "The Smurfs 2" New York Blue Carpet Screening at Lighthouse International Theater - Photo by Craig Barrit/Getty Images

Anthony Edwards attends "The Smurfs 2" New York Blue Carpet Screening at Lighthouse International Theater in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images)


Smurfs 2 is the sequel to Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation's hybrid live action/animated family comedy The Smurfs. Evil Wizard Gargamel creates a couple of mischievous Smurf-like creatures called the Naughties that he hopes will help him harness the all-powerful magical 'Smurf-essence'. But he discovers the hard way that only a 'real' Smurf can give him what he wants, and only a secret spell known only by Smurfette can turn the Naughties (Vexy and Hackus) into real Smurfs, so Gargamel kidnaps Smurfette and brings her to Paris leaving it up to Papa Smurf, Clumsy, Grouchy and Vanity to return to our time and reunite with their human friends Patrick and Grace Winslow and rescue her.


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - "Like" Smurfs 2 on Facebook
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Follow @SocialSmurf on Twitter and don't forget to use the hashtag #smurfs2

My Take:

Oddly, I liked this one more than the predecessor! Smurfs 2 is family friendly fun that brings me back to the nostalgia of childhood and the original television series. For those of you that remember, Jonathan Winters was always the voice of Papa Smurf and team butterfly was definitely saddened to hear of his passing.

So Butterflies, have you seen Smurfs 2 yet?

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FTC Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. No compensation has been received to share our recap coverage of this event. Nor did we receive any type of swag. All opinions are 100% my own.

Monday, July 29, 2013

When an @Audi A8 picks you up to take you to the #movies it's going to be EPIC! @WolverineMovie #HughMamarazzi

The Wolverine

As some of you may remember, many moons ago I worked as a film critic for a well known print publication (which shall remain nameless, to protect the innocent, namely ME). And I've done a lot of Press Screenings. In the beginning the Private Screening Rooms and Snacks were impressive (I started pretty young so often times I was the youngest journalist in the room), the Press Junkets and meeting the celebs were fun (I actually have a scrapbook with my clippings), but I think The Moms have finally finished creating a Movie Monster in me with their most recent Screening Experience!

Audi A8 2014 Automobile, Black, Vehicle, Cars, Ascending Butterfly
Check out Team Butterfly peeking out from behind the passenger side of the 2014 Audi A8!

When an Audi A8 and a driver show up at your door to take you into the city for a film screening you know it's going to be EPIC!  First of all I have to tell you that it was the smoothest ride I've ever experienced,  I love New York City, but anyone who has visited as well as locals know, there are A LOT of potholes, I mean A LOT, and while riding in the Audi A8 the very first thing I noticed was just how smooth the ride is. I know where most of the potholes are by heart and know when to brace myself (especially when I'm in a yellow cab) but this car ride was absolutely the smoothest I've ever experienced, and my driver was awesome too! I'm not sure I want to go any screening that doesn't come with Audi ride to and from my door after this!

Audi A8 2014 Automobile, Black, Vehicle, Cars, Ascending Butterfly
Team Butterfly outside AMC 25 Movie Theatre in New York City, check out the super hot 2014 Audi A8 Automobile and there is my super cool driver!

Seriously folks if you are considering a new vehicle, look no further, the 2014 Audi A8 is pure perfection! The Audi quattro all-wheel drive system is super smooth, it's LED lighting, Audi MMI touch technology, Audi MMI Navigation plus with voice control system, and absolutely gorgeous interior, make this vehicle pure perfection as far as I'm concerned! I will be dreaming of this car for quite awhile! I looked great as a passenger, but I'm thinking I'd look even better behind the wheel!

Hugh Jackman, The Wolverine, Audi A8 Automobile
Wouldn't it have been amazing if we were picked up by Hugh Jackman? (A girl can dream can't she?)

But I digress! Despite how amazing the ride is, the true star of the show was the movie of course, The Wolverine!

Hugh Jackman, Logan, The Wolverine

Plot Summary/About:

Lured to a Japan he hasn't seen since World War II, century-old mutant Wolverine (Played by Hugh Jackman) finds himself in a shadowy realm of Yakuza and Samurai. Wolverine is pushed to his physical and emotional brink when he is forced to go on the run with a powerful industrialist's daughter (Played by Tao Okamoto) and is confronted - for the first time - with the prospect of his own death. As he struggles to re-discover the hero within himself, he must grapple with powerful foes and the ghosts of his own haunted past.

Rila Fukushima, Yukio, The Wolverine

In every movie there is a scene stealer, and for me, The Wolverine's scene stealer, is Rila Fukushima who plays Yukio who becomes a 'body guard' for Wolverine/Logan, it's an understated yet very well delivered performance!

I don't want include any spoilers, but I will tell you don't pop up when the credits start to roll, stay put and pay attention, something cool happens, but I won't tell you what, you'll just have to go check that out for yourself to find out what it is! All I can say is....the plot thickens my friends!

Hugh Jackman:

The best part of attending Screenings with The Moms is the opportunity to have a questions and answers session with stars of the movie, Hugh was very open and very down-to-earth, here is the video of his Q&A:

Here are some of my shots: (apologies butterflies they are a bit grainy, I think my camera has really had it, it died after me trying to take 4 hi-res shots which is NOT a good sign as the batteries were fully charged!)

Get Social:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Follow all things Wolverine on Twitter @WolverineMovie
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - "Like" The Wolverine Movie on Facebook

My Take:

This is definitely a summer must see! It's action-packed and has great visuals, there is something that has always fascinated me about Japanese culture and the scenes there are visually beautiful to watch and certainly make me want to go visit. Hugh couldn't have been nicer and the Audi A8 ride to and from the theatre was smooth and fantastic! As we were leaving we were treated to cupcakes by Baked By Melissa, they used 1,700 cupcakes and they spelled out the word 'The Wolverine' with the chocolate ones which I thought was pretty cool!

Even 'The Wolverine' can't resist cupcakes, NOM! NOM! NOM!

Butterflies, The Wolverine is a definite 'TICKET', once you've seen it, come back here and let us know what you thought!

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a Sponsored Post, no monetary compensation has been received in exchange for our event recap coverage. We were provided with Roundtrip Transportation to and from the Theatre compliments of Audi. We were provided with a private screening experience courtesy of The Moms. All opinions are 100% my own. See our full disclosure policy for any questions.

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.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Q&A with Gerard Butler and {#Movie Review} of #playingforkeeps


On Friday, December 7th, Film District will present PLAYING FOR KEEPS, a romantic comedy that tells the story of a former sports star who's fallen on hard times and starts coaching his son's soccer team in an attempt to get his life together. The film stars Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Judy Greer, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman, Dennis Quaid and introduces Noah Lomax.

Englisha romantic comedy about a charming, down-on-his luck former soccer star (Butler) who returns home to put his life back together. Looking for a way to rebuild his relationship with his son, he gets roped into coaching the boy’s soccer team. But his attempts to finally become an “adult” are met with hilarious challenges from the attractive “soccer moms” who pursue him at every turn. "Playing For Keeps" is directed by Gabriele Muccino, the director of "The Pursuit of Happyness."

Gerard Butler in Playing for Keeps, the movie will hit theatres December 7, 2012.

Spanish/EspanolEn la tierna comedia romántica “Playing For Keeps”, George Dryer (Gerard Butler) es un hombre que alguna vez fue una superestrella del fútbol europeo, y que ahora viaja a la apacible Virginia para tratar de empezar de cero… Pero lo único que encontrará es una serie de nuevas complicaciones. Con el objetivo de establecer un vínculo con su hijo, a quien apenas conoce, y cambiar su comportamiento inconstante de estrella caprichosa, George acepta, a regañadientes, entrenar a un equipo de fútbol infantil. Sin embargo, vuelve a ser el centro de atención cuando se encuentra frente a una versión suburbana de las admiradoras que siempre enloquecieron por él: ¡las mamás de los niños del equipo de fútbol! Pero por más confundido que lo deje toda esa renovada atención –incluida la del padre de uno de los niños del equipo, que lo presiona para que sea su nuevo mejor amigo– George está decidido a hacer las cosas bien esta vez.

Our Founder and Editor, Tracy from Ascending Butterfly and Rosy from Accidental Sexiness had the opportunity to interview Gerard Butler while he was wrapping up his Press Junket for his new movie, Playing for Keeps while in Miami, Florida! He tells us all about the movie and his character George Dryer. We asked our readers to give us one question they would like for us to ask Gerard Butler about his new movie and we took one reader question that replied to our post (congrats to ‘Big Happy Buddha’ we used your question too!) and we also took one question from a Twitter follower (congrats to @ChristyLundber1 we used your question), here is the interview transcript: (I was going to post the audio file but it’s a compressed version and the conference call had to be re-initiated more than once so I thought a transcript might be easier for everyone):

Couldn't resist using this picture since I got to interview Gerard via Conference Call!

Transcript of Questions and Answers with Gerard Butler:

Question from Rosy, Accidental Sexiness: Welcome to Miami! What have you been doing while in Miami?

Gerard Butler:  I haven’t really had the opportunity to do an awful lot because I came in last night and we had a meal at the hotel which was actually fun because by the time we left every table met every table which had become five big tables which was nice, and this morning I woke up early and went for a walk along the beach and it was perfect, the weather is so incredible right now! I’m actually thinking that I really like Miami, usually I visit Miami and it’s always for some Festival or it’s New Years  or it’s Art | Basel, or the music festival or something you know and I’ve got to say I much prefer it like this, when there’s nothing going on, the vibe is just great.

Rosy, Accidental Sexiness: I Agree!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  -Tracy, Ascending Butterfly:  If you could reboot any one area of your life and start over, which would it be?

Gerard Butler:  My Gosh! If I could reboot any area of my life that would maybe be my love life. I kind of wonder maybe if I should have settled down a little bit earlier but that’s a tough one because I enjoy the path that I’ve taken, but sometimes I wonder what would have been different if I settled down earlier you know maybe had a family earlier, that might have been an interesting path to take. That’s a good question, but I try not to think like that too much. I like to try and live without regret. Whatever happens, happens for a reason, even if I do take the wrong path often it turns out that it happened for a reason and it will be shown to me in the future.

Tracy, Ascending Butterfly:  Thanks, that’s true!

Rosy, Accidental Sexiness: So in the film your character George is an ex-footballer, and a playboy, so I imagine that he is pretty ‘rough around the edges’, so how does he take to being tested by these ‘soccer moms’ and these ‘desperate housewives’ types?

Gerard Butler:  (Laughs) I think this is what is charming and hilarious about this movie! George has lived a life being very much in the spotlight, the center of attention and he’s excited by that and is still tempted by that, for a moment in the movie he feels the respect and the excitement around him and that’s kind of tantalizing to him. But overall this time he’s really trying his best to grow up and move away from that and to move more towards the responsible elements of life, being committed, being a father, you know actually turning up on time and becoming reliable. And yet, this is the time where that attention that he gets is NOT what he wants, it just gets in the way, it’s temping at times but in the end, he’s just trying to be a good guy, but there are so many obstacles there’s horny women, there’s frustrated women, there’s clawing women and they all want a piece of him, even the men want a piece of him! The men want to be him, the women just want him! I think that it’s hard for him to deal with, he’s not just holding his center, one of his main problems is, it’s not just he himself is any way dark, it’s just more that he’s a bit of a kid, he doesn’t know how to say no or set his boundaries. That’s what he learns as the movie goes on, what’s important.

Jessica Biel, Noah Lomax and Gerard Butler in the movie Playing for Keeps

Rosy, Accidental Sexiness: Yeah, because at first I wondered whether the central relationship was going to be between George and his son or whether it was George, Stacy and the son but it seems like it’s a little bit of each and then maybe his relationship with himself?

Jessica Biel and Gerard Butler in the movie Playing for Keeps

Gerard Butler:  Yeah, that’s a good point. That’s actually why I love this movie  because there are many different things, there is a man struggling with himself and his own vision of what a man should be and his understanding of what it takes to be a man and a father. And the one hand learning what that is and to actually be that. And there is him re-kindling his love with his wife, or his ex-wife and being given that second chance by  her. And having to look back in the past and seeing all these years that were wasted because of his own selfishness and childishness. And then there’s the relationship with his son as well, there is this kid that looks up to this man who is his father and his hero, who he missed out having all these years as he makes an attempt to re-establish this relationship where he goes wrong, what he gets right, and finally the son starts to look up to him. All these really interesting scenes and parts of the story that are on the one hand touching and moving and on top of that there’s the hilarious consequences that goes on of the man who is really trying to do the right thing and who is being pulled in so many different directions by what everybody else wants for themselves.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  -Tracy, Ascending Butterfly:  One of my readers asked How far would you go to win a lady’s heart? (Congrats Big Happy Buddha, this is YOUR question to Gerard!)

Gerard Butler:  Um (laughter), I mean what do you say to that? (All of us laugh), In the one hand you don’t really want to make fool of yourself, you don’t want this lady kind of looking at you like ‘all right you’re an idiot’ but at the same time of being amazed of what when you put in that bit of effort and you do something which takes a lot of effort, you know requires big sacrifice in your life, requires a certain amount if risk or imagination even, how much that can win somebody over. When it comes to relationships in my life and a funny thing I did in my last relationship, what I did, which I will not go into but I did something that was simply drastic and weird. I’ve got to say that as I was doing it and I was in the middle of it, I was like “OK this is drastic and weird! What am I doing?” but in the end it seemed to work it’s magic. (all laugh)

Rosy, Accidental Sexiness: I don’t think you need to go very far  cause there’s plenty of Latinas here in Miami that would love to have you Gerard! (All Laugh)

Gerard Butler:  I guess I’m in the right place then! (Rosy Laughs)

Rosy, Accidental Sexiness:  So there’s a lot of other really talented people in this film you’re working with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman, Dennis Quad, how do they all play into George’s life?

Gerard Butler:  You know here’s a bunch of people who all have their own wants and wishes, there are people that are frustrated there are people that are bored, there are people who are lonely and George comes into this town like a hurricane like a tornado and just plays havoc with their lives! George is an opportunity for so many people, he’s an opportunity for sex, he’s an opportunity for company, he’s an opportunity for inspiration, and they all look to him for that. And it’s just very funny to see what each of them are willing to do to get what they want in their own life. Yet at the same time you can identify with all of them because they’ve all been there in their own different ways. You understand why they’re doing what they’re doing and you understand why George is doing what he’s doing but at the same time when you throw that all in a pot it all just makes a pretty hilarious plot, because everywhere he turns there is someone practically bribing him with job opportunities or turning up at his work or you know running on the soccer field and hugging him and you know or on his way home they will break into his house and jump onto his bed (laughs). George is just thinking ‘Why Can’t I just eat my burger and go to bed I mean Jesus!’ (All Laugh) That is what I love about the story, it’s very relatable, it’s very universal. You can identify with each of these characters in many different ways and yet can conceive and identify with them in an emotional way and you can identify with them in a very funny way as well.

Gerard Butler and Noah Lomax in the movie Playing for Keeps

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  Tracy, Ascending Butterfly:  What about the dynamic with Noah Lomax, how was it playing a Dad? (Congratulations @ChristyLundber1, we asked Gerard your question!)

Gerard Butler:  I really enjoyed playing a dad I feel like I am still such a kid myself, I’m very young at heart suddenly when you have a kid that is more than like three or four years old you are like ‘holy shit what I am doing here’, but at the same time I spent a lot of time with Noah and I hit it off with him like straight away, he is the cutest kid, the smartest kid, he’s very talented. I knew he was going to break hearts in this movie and he’s really going to help the film, and we had a blast from day one. I would have him by my side when we did scenes together and he melted my heart and became my little buddy. When I look at this kid it makes me think I know I would be a good dad and wow I would love to be his dad!

Rosy, Accidental Sexiness: I don’t get a last question? (she laughs) Thank You Sorry, I just wanted to know about what you plan to do with the remainder of your time in Miami because you were a staple at Art | Basel recently and about the whole Latina thing, would you be open to having a relationship with a Latina?

Gerard Butler:  Yes I would. I love Latinas! Whenever someone would describe my kind of woman they often describe Latinas, like taller, dark hair, dark skin, and not that I do have one specific type but a lot of my girlfriends have been more like that so when you come to Miami there’s plenty of Latina woman around and I love their energy, their spice and they’re fire! And when I’ve done the interviews here today almost everyone that has come in they’re all beautiful and they’re all so nice and fun, great sense of humor and a great ability to laugh at themselves and they all just made this job really easy for me. I would not be adverse, but I have to be careful what I say, I don’t want to get in trouble. (all laugh)

Rosy, Accidental Sexiness: Are you sticking around for Art | Basel?

Gerard Butler:  No. I’m not. I’ve got to tell you I got so hounded by the Paparazzi last year that it kind of threw me off for a bit and I thought I’d take a years break. They did a good job of messing that one up. But I’ve got to say that being here when there is NOT an event going on is really nice I really like the energy of this place! It’s just chill.

Rosy, Accidental Sexiness:  I’m really glad that you were able to come back and have more of a positive experience!

Gerard Butler:  Thank You.

Rosy, Accidental Sexiness:  And thank you for your time and good luck with the film.

Gerard Butler:  Thank you I appreciate it, and have a great day!

Get Social With it:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  YouTube:
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Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  Follow: @playingforkeeps Tweet: #Playingforkeeps
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My Take:

I greatly enjoyed having the opportunity to interview Gerard Butler for Ascending Butterfly! He is as charming and personable in person as he is on screen!

While Romantic Comedies can often be easily dismissed for the predictability of their plot lines, the theme 'What do really want'? and 'What are you playing for'? are hugely relatable, at some point we all hit a crossroads in our life. Whether it's a personal, professional or spiritual crossroads we all question where we are in our lives. We all thrive to grow and change, it's the journey while we are on the way to that destination that makes up our life, the sum total of all of our experiences, including the obstacles in our path comprise both who AND what we are.

Is Gerard Butler playing himself in Playing for Keeps? Go see it and sound off on what you think here!

So Butterfly, What are YOU Playing for? What do you REALLY want?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, no monetary compensation has been received, I attended a Press Screening of the film and interviewed Gerard Butler during his Press Junket. All opinions are 100% my own.