Pacific Rim: Uprising

MOMMY MOVIE REVIEW: “Pacific Rim: Uprising” The FAMILY Movie You Didn’t See Coming

There are a few things you should know about Pacific Rim: Uprising from the start.
It’s the follow-up to to 2013’s Pacific Rim, but without the benefit of Guillermo del Toro in the Director’s Chair. This means that it lacks the depth of story and emotional heft that made Pacific Rim a surprising hit. It also means that Uprising has the freedom to be the goofball monsters-versus-robots tale it always wanted to be and that it’s a full 20-minutes shorter than the original. These two important changes might not make Pacific Rim: Uprising a better movie, but it does make it one that KIDS will enjoy. Continue reading →

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MOMMY MOVIE REVIEW- Is “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” OK for Kids?

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is about four high-school students who get pulled into a video game, where they become their avatars. It stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black as game characters who must figure out clues and save the island, or possibly die in the process. Along the way, they meet Nick Jonas’ Seaplane McDonough, who has been trapped inside the game for twenty years.
Look, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is goofy and about as substantial as a handful of popcorn. It’s also surprisingly engaging and a load of fun. Continue reading →

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Mommy-Movie-Review: “The Secret Life of Pets” Looks Strangely Familiar

Have you noticed that Kids’ Movies are starting to look like each other? Maybe it’s because they’re all made by the same studios, writers, and animators, but the characters and storylines are becoming interchangeable. The Secret Life of Pets comes from Illumination Entertainment, the same people who did The Lorax and Despicable Me. It looks so familiar, you’ll be waiting for a Minion to pop up. That doesn’t mean it isn’t also extremely fun to watch. Continue reading →

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Mommy-Movie-Review: What My Girls Thought of “The BFG”

I watched The BFG with my daughters last night and we had very different opinions of it. In fact, they got a little angry with me for my critique! When Roald Dahl meets Steven Spielberg and Disney, could anything possibly go wrong? Listen below to find out!

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Mommy-Movie-Review: “Finding Dory” Reviewed by My Girls


I finally saw Finding Dory with my daughters last night, so I know what you’re thinking. It probably sounds like this: “PLEASE let it be as good as Finding Nemo! Please oh please oh PUHLEEEEEEZE!!!
Well, is it?
Just take a listen to the podcast below and see what my kids had to say. Oh, and you might want to take some Kleenex. I may or may not have gotten a bit weepy…twice.

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PODCAST: Kids Review Jennifer Garner’s “Miracles from Heaven”


Christy Beam and her family were living in Burleson, Texas when one of her daughters became gravely ill. It was the start of a long and difficult journey for the Beam family, and one that ended in the most unexpected way. Miracles from Heaven is the film version of their story and it stars a fantastic Jennifer Garner.

There are a few things you should know before you see Miracles from Heaven. It’s a faith-based film so it might makes those who don’t appreciate religious messages a little uncomfortable. Miracles from Heaven goes beyond that though, and makes the point that people are capable of small miracles every day.

Miracles from Heaven is also about kids, but it might not be appropriate for the more sensitive ones. It’s difficult for grown-ups to watch suffering children, but it was almost unbearable for my 11-year-old. She cried and asked to leave more than once, but stayed when I promised her there was a happy ending.

We saw Miracles from Heaven with a group of kids so I decided it’d be more fun to hear their thoughts on the movie. Check out their review below and thanks to Emma, Lucy, Madison and Wyatt for being Film Critics for a Day.

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MOMMY-MOVIE-REVIEW: “Eddie the Eagle” Bad Glasses & Spirit Saves the Day

Eddie the Eagle stars Taron Egerton (Kingsmen: The Secret Service) as the underdog hero of the 1988 Calgary Olympics. Eddie began his ski-jumping career later in life and trained with no sponsorship, though he was repeatedly told he’d never compete on the world stage. Hugh Jackman plays Eddie’s rebellious coach, Bronson Peary, who was an Olympian himself before losing focus and falling into the bottle. Together, they take on the world of Olympic Ski Jumping and win the hearts of sports fans everywhere.

I had honestly never heard of Olympic Ski Jumper Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards before this movie. That probably handicapped me because I couldn’t tell if Taron Egerton was seriously hamming it up or properly portraying Eddie Edwards. His awkwardly placed glasses, bizarre mannerisms and bushy mustache were a distraction but once I got home and researched Eddie, I realized Egerton NAILED IT. Continue reading →

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MOMMY-MOVIE-REVIEW: “The Good Dinosaur”- Pixar Has Us Crying In Our Popcorn AGAIN

My daughters think they are EXPERTS when it comes to Kids’ Films. They see every Kid Flick that comes out and since I write about movies, I usually interview them afterwards. My girls also spend time (more than I’m willing to admit here) on TV channels that are devoted to kids, so they’ve seen all the Made-For-TV Kid Flicks as well. They have a broad point of reference and are quicker to voice their opinions about movies that I ever was at that age. That is why I listen closely to their reviews, because they usually mirror what other kids their ages will say.

That said, Emma and Lucy were not excited about seeing The Good Dinosaur. Lucy thought the animation looked rote and Emma said The Good Dinosaur was derivative of better movies, like Ice Age and The Land Before Time. Okay, those weren’t the exact words they used but you get the point. Continue reading →

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MOMMY-MOVIE-REVIEW: “The Peanuts Movie”

I should start by admitting that I was never really a Peanuts fan. I liked their holiday specials when I was a kid because they signaled Halloween and Christmas, but I was always confused by the kids and their relationships. Why did they all hate Charlie Brown so much, but still occasionally act like his friends? Lucy was the worst about this, giving Charlie Brown advice one minute (for a nickel, of course), then verbally abusing him in front of classmates the next. I never quite understood why Peppermint Patty was referred to as “Sir,” but I was MOST confused by Charlie Brown’s dog. Snoopy was portrayed as a hero on the Peanuts specials, but he was often the first to sabotage his owner. Man’s Best Friend was basically a turncoat! It’s no big surprise then, that my own CHILDREN never loved the Peanuts specials either and weren’t excited about seeing The Peanuts Movie.

This big screen version is essentially the same Peanuts that Charles Schulz brought to newspapers in the 1950’s, but with more dimensions (we saw it in 3D) and more emotional depth. Charlie Brown still can’t win at ANYTHING and his classmates still call him blockhead, but there’s a sweetness that wasn’t there before. We see Charlie Brown make sacrifices for his friends and family and watch Snoopy actually get his back for once. Another big change is “The Little Red Headed Girl,” who has been stricken from everyone’s memory and shows up at school for the very first time. This puts Charlie Brown on a path to change his luck and for once, it just might happen!

Not all of The Peanuts Movie has been updated, though. We revisit Snoopy’s dangerous dogfights with The Red Baron, which offers some of the movie’s most gorgeous animation. I appreciated it, since those were my favorite (albeit STRANGE) segments from the originals but my kids were COMPLETELY stumped. Why was Snoopy suddenly a WWI fighter pilot and HOW was he flying his doghouse around? There are multiple “throwback” moments like this that will entertain the adults and flummox the kids. There’s enough for grown-ups and kids alike though, to sustain a happy-medium for all.

I might not have liked the Peanuts specials when I was a kid but it’s been revamped enough to answer many of my complaints. Maybe I wasn’t the only one who was sick of watching Charlie Brown LOSE all the time. The Peanuts Movie manages to be at once nostalgic AND modern. I even got a little weepy when it ended and Charles Schulz’s name appeared on the screen, and that’s why I’m giving The Peanuts Movie a B.

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MOMMY-MOVIE-REVIEW: “Goosebumps” Brings the Book-Series TO LIFE

Author R.L. Stine released the first Goosebumps book “Welcome to Dead House,” in 1992. It was a horror-story written for kids and it launched a series that sold 350 MILLION books worldwide. The Harry Potter books have sold roughly 450 million so it’s a little surprising that it took THIS LONG to release a Goosebumps movie.

Jack Black plays R.L. Stine, but now the author writes magic books that come to life. His snoopy, new neighbor Zach (played by Dylan Minnette), knows that something isn’t right and with the help of his friend Champ (the adorably toothy Ryan Lee from Super 8), he unwittingly unleashes a whole book-series of monsters on a small town.

Adults who see Goosebumps will notice references to scary classics (like Gremlins and any movie where things go south at a high school dance) but they won’t actually be SCARED. That’s part of the plan though since Goosebumps is made for kids. There are a few moments that are genuinely chilling (the attacking garden gnomes come to mind) but nothing that will keep you or the kids up at night.

This might be disappointing for anyone who sees Goosebumps for the scares, but it will be a relief for parents who want to share a scary movie with their kids, but not their bed with them that night. I’m giving Goosebumps a B for parents with younger kids, and a C for anyone else who is looking for scary movies. In fact, you guys should check out Goodnight Mommy or The Visit. If you’re REALLY twisted, go see Green Inferno. I can’t even make it through the trailer for that one!

(Don’t forget that I have free passes to a Goosebumps screening next week! Click HERE for those.)