Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Real Live Blizzard

Pin It I went out at midnight and took this pictures of the amazing blizzard we are having right now... it is beautiful ... but wow that is a whole lot of snow!










And this is me after taking those pictures :)

This is a quick video my husband took with my beautiful Flip Mino HD Video Camera that I won from Mom Central Canada ... it is a bit dark but considering the video was taken at midnight in the middle of a blizzard it is pretty darn good!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gift Idea: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

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Not sure what to get the comic-book video-game loving guy in your life? Scott Pilgrim vs. The World might be just the thing.



Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

I must admit that this film wasn't my cup of tea... but my husband really liked it and I noticed that a lot of my guy friends really loved it. SO I asked one of those guy friends to review it for me! Please welcome Colin to my blog and thank him for helping me out. Incidentally Colin is currently pursuing his PhD in Christian Theology... impressive no? :)

Guest Review by my Awesome friend Random Colin

Here’s the thing about Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: after three minutes and twelve seconds you will know, beyond the shadow of any doubt, whether you are going to love or hate this movie. Really, I’m not kidding. If at the 3:12 mark, when the title flashes up onto the screen, you aren’t giddy with excitement, my suggestion is that you just hit “eject,” take the DVD back to Blockbuster, and see if you can trade up for something else. But let me also say this…please, oh please, give those first 192 seconds a try. My hope is that you will go on to enjoy what I think is (so far at least) the best movie of 2010.

The film follows Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), an unemployed 22 year old who likes video games and plays bass in a rock band. As the story opens Scott is dating Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), a 17 year old high-schooler, but soon he meets, quite literally, the girl of his dreams: Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). It is only after Scott begins to date Ramona that he discovers that in order to be her boyfriend he must first face and defeat her seven evil exes in single-combat. After that, the plot pretty much takes care of itself.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (hereafter SPvTW) is Edgar Wright’s film adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s critically-acclaimed “Scott Pilgrim” comic-book series. The movie pays homage to its roots, using a wide variety of comic-style storytelling techniques, as well as a host of visual effects reminiscent of the comic genre, from caption boxes that introduce characters and give us their rating (Scott Pilgrim is rated “Awesome”, while his roommate Wallace gets a meagre “7.5”), to drawings of sound waves emanating from Scott’s band “Sex-Bob-Omb.” The visual palette of the film is incredibly rich, and these comic-inspired visual moves help SPvTW to leap off of the screen in even its most mundane scenes. Also, the sound track kicks ass.

In addition to creative visuals and killer music, SPvTW takes a fairly standard romantic- comedy plot (boy meets girl), and spins it out into something that is part action movie, part super-hero movie, part ironic-comedy, part video-game adaptation, part romantic-comedy, and all awesome. Every joke is an inside joke, nearly every sentence drips with irony, and the bits that aren’t ironic are ironically un-ironic. The dialogue is smart and funny, and the characters are almost universally likeable (even the villains are likeable, albeit in a villainous kind of way). My only real criticism of the film is that it makes only marginal use of its setting, the city of Toronto,ON. In the comic-books Ramona calls Toronto one of the “great cities,” but all we really get to see of the city is Casa Loma, and a lot of snow.

In a nutshell, Scott Pilgrim vs The World is the kind of movie that makes me like movies. If you want something totally original, fun, and surprisingly thoughtful (but certainly not too thoughtful), give it a whirl.

Thanks so much to Universal Studios Home Entertainment for sending me a review copy of this movie and thanks so much to Random Colin for reviewing it for me!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Shutterfly Christmas Cards

Pin It What do you think of my cute Shutterfly Christmas cards? My kids are cute :)

Good Blessings Religious Christmas 5x7 folded card
Get custom photo Christmas cards online at Shutterfly.com.
View the entire collection of cards.

Face-Art

Pin It My sweet friend Michelle is an amazing face-painter and when we went to visit Santa yesterday she was there painting faces... so of course my kids got their faces done! I just wanted to show you her beautiful work...





Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gift Idea: Strawberry Shortcake - The Glimmerberry Ball

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Movies are a great gift for kids- easy and good for hours of entertainment!




Description


Celebrate winter with Strawberry Shortcake and friends at the Glimmerberry Ball! It’s a delightful, fun-filled time as the girls exchange presents, solve a hollow tree mystery and set out to carve the most beautiful Glimmerberry lantern ever! Just like Strawberry says, “The whole community will come together and work together and help each other — friends helping friends—during the long months of winter. That’s the real meaning behind it!”

Special Features
* *   Never Say Never Sing Along
* *   Read Along Storybook
* *   DVD-ROM Printable Coloring Pages


OUR REVIEW

Olivia is a huge Strawberry Shortcake fan and she has been thrilled with The Glimmerberry Ball movie. She loves the characters and their pretty clothes and it certainly holds her attention. I am a fan of the positive message. In The Glimmerberry Ball the girls learn the importance of thoughtful gift giving which is something we have been trying to teach our kids for ages. Rather than buying a gift that the giver likes they should buy a gift that the receiver will like.

Strawberry Shortcake and The Glimmerberry Ball is bright and colourful and an all around fun movie for little girls. My sons did watch it once but it is certainly more geared toward my little girl.

Thanks so much to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment for sending me this DVD to review.

Our Glorious Christmas Tree

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PS.
I won a super cool Flip Mino HD Video Camera from Mom Central Canada and I have gone a bit crazy taking videos.... I just love it!! :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gift Idea: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang DVD/Blu-Ray Combo

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If you know someone who loves a good classic film than Chitty Chitty Bang Bang would make an excellent Christmas gift!


Description


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls start your engines. You're about to take an incredible ride with one of the most wonderful family films of all time! Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has never looked or sounded better. Dick Van Dyke stars as eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts, who creates an extraordinary car called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It not only drives but also flies and floats as it leads him, his two children and his beautiful lady friend, Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes), into a magical world of pirates, castles and endless adventure.



Directors: Ken Hughes
MPAA Rating: G (General Audiences)
Originally Released: 1968
Run Time: 142 minutes

Special Features

Disc 1: Remastered Blu-ray Feature with newly upgraded 7.1 audio

* *   All-new “Toot Sweet Symphony” melody maker – the Toot Sweet Toots Musical Maestro
* *   All-new “Chitty Chitty’s, Bang Bang, Driving Game”
* *   Remembering Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with Dick Van Dyke
* *   “A Fantasmagorical Motorcar” featurette
* *   Sherman Brothers' Rare Demos of the film’s most popular songs
* *   Vintage Featurettes including, “The Ditchling Tinkerer,” “Dick Van Dyke Press Interview,” and “The Potts Children's Featurette”
* *   Photo Gallery
* *   Vintage Advertising Gallery including English and French versions of the theatrical trailer and several television spots
* *   Sing-a-long version of the film
* *   Music Machine

Disc 2: DVD Feature

* *   Sing-a-long version of the film
 MY REVIEW

It has been many years since I last watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and it was really fun getting reacquainted with Caractacus Potts and Truly Scrumptious! I loved the sing-a-long option because it gave me the chance to finally figure out half the words to some of the songs :). All three of my kids, and my mom, watched this movie with me and thoroughly enjoyed it. My boys thought the movie was pretty hilarious and they loved the flying car. Olivia loved Truly Scrumptious and her pretty dresses. Of course. 

The film is obviously a classic and worth watching. It looks amazing in Blu-ray and the special features really make it worth buying. I loved "Remembering Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with Dick Van Dyke" and my kids loved the “Chitty Chitty’s, Bang Bang, Driving Game”. 



The special features alone can keep a person entertained for quite awhile!


And just for fun here is my daughter saying "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"... she cracks me up.



Thanks so much to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment for sending me a copy of this film to review.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gift Idea: Open Season Blu-ray 3D

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If you know someone with a 3D TV than this is an excellent gift...





Bring the Wilderness Home on November 16th    
With Select 3D-Enhanced Bonus Features

Culver City, Calif. (Sept. 16, 2010) Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) brings the wilderness home with the 3D release of Sony Pictures Animation’s hit family comedy Open Season, debuting Nov. 16, 2010 on high definition Blu-ray 3D™.

The Blu-ray 3D release of Open Season will transport viewers from their living rooms to the wild in full 1080p high definition 3D, optimized for the latest 3D playback devices and eyewear. The 2D version of the film is also included on the disc for playback on all existing Blu-ray players.

In Open Season--Sony Pictures Animation's first full-length feature film--Boog (voiced by Martin Lawrence), a domesticated grizzly bear with no survival skills, has his perfect world turned upside down when he meets Elliot (voiced by Ashton Kutcher), a scrawny, fast-talking mule deer. When Elliot convinces Boog to leave his cushy home in a park ranger's garage to try a taste of the great outdoors, things quickly spiral out of control. Relocated to the forest with open season only three days away, Boog and Elliot must acclimate in a hurry and join forces to unite the woodland creatures and take the forest back.

In addition to the astounding 3D effects and colorful environments, the Blu-ray 3D release also offers two 3D-enhanced activities, as well as animated shorts, deleted scenes, featurettes and more.

Directed by Jill Culton (A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc) and Roger Allers (The Lion King) with a screenplay by Steve Bencich (Chicken Little) & Ron J. Friedman (Brother Bear) and Nat Mauldin (Doctor Dolittle), Open Season features the voice talent of Martin Lawrence (Bad Boys, Blue Streak), Ashton Kutcher (Dude Where’s My Car, That 70s Show), Gary Sinise (CSI: NY, Ransom), Debra Messing (Will & Grace), Jane Krakowski (30 Rock, Ally McBeal) and Jon Favreau (Swingers, Couples Retreat). John Carls (Little Bear) and Steve Moore (Flushed Away) served as Executive Producers.

Open Season has a running time of 83 minutes. The picture is Rated PG for some rude humor, mild action and brief language.

Bonus Features:
  • Boog & Elliot's Midnight Bun Run animated short
  • Behind the Trees: Making Open Season featurette
  • The Voices Behind the Stars featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Filmmaker Commentary
  • Inside the Animals Studio faux commentaries from characters from the film
  • Ring Tales animated shorts
  • Galleries of Environments, Characters and Beat Boards
  • Music video for Deathray's "I Want to Lose Control"
  • 3 Activities:
    • Wheel of Fortune: Forest Edition - Enhanced in 3D
    • Voice-a-Rama - Enhanced in 3D
    • Swept Away Scene Deconstruction

My Review

We do not have a 3D TV so I wasn't able to take full advantage of all the features of this blu-ray. My kids love this movie though and the bonus features are fun. Boog & Elliot's Midnight Run is hilarious and my kids made me watch it at least a dozen times. I really enjoyed watching the behind the scenes extras as well. If you have a 3D TV than this is definitely worth a view!

Thanks so much to Sony Pictures for sending me a copy of this Blu-ray to review.

Gift Idea: The Mickey Mote

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Are you looking for a cool gift for your preschooler? Than check out the new Micky Mote!






Here is the press release:

THERE’S A WHOLE NEW WAY FOR KIDS TO WATCH AND PLAY!

THE ALL-NEW MICKEY MOTE, A CHILD-SIZED REMOTE CONTROL, PROVIDES HOURS OF FUN WITH AN ENHANCED, INTERACTIVE VIEWING EXPERIENCE


The New “Mickey Mote” Will Debut with the Release of Disney’s New Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Number Roundup and Handy Manny: Big Construction Job DVDs on November 16th

BURBANK, Calif., October 12, 2010 – This coming holiday, parents and their preschoolers will discover a whole new way to watch and play their favorite Disney preschool DVDs, with the all-new “Mickey Mote”. This one-of-a-kind, kid’s remote control, from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, will debut this November 16th packed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Number Roundup and Handy Manny: Big Construction Job. The new “Mickey Mote” is a child-friendly handheld remote control, shaped like Mickey ears, that will take children’s viewing experience to a whole new level by providing an engaging interaction with their favorite Disney characters. With multiple levels of play, the new Mickey Mote will provide hours of fun, engaging and challenging adventures for kids age 2-5. The Mickey Mote is a value for moms and fun for kids!

How It Works:

The Mickey Mote works with any Disney Preschool DVD that includes Discovery Mode™, the interactive “Watch & Play” feature on the DVD! All parents have to do is program the remote control - there’s an easy and quick set-up guide in each DVD- and select the Discovery Mode feature on the menu screen. Within minutes, kids will be easily responding to questions, throughout the story, about scenes they just watched (such as “What color is Goofy’s hat?”) by pressing one of four color-coded buttons on the device -- a yellow star, green circle, orange triangle or blue square – to click in their responses. Discovery Mode features include two levels of play, which provides more challenging questions as the child grows.

Why Parents Will Love It:
Once families have purchased a Disney Preschool DVD that comes packaged with the Mickey Mote, they can continue to build their Disney Preschool libraries as the Mickey Mote works in compatibility with any Discovery Mode enhanced DVD. For example, kids can immediately use the remote with any of the following titles:

* Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Road Rally
* Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Adventures in Wonderland
* Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Choo Choo
* Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie’s Bow-Tique
* Handy Manny: Manny’s Motorcycle Adventure
* Handy Manny: Manny’s Big Race
* Little Einsteins: Fire Truck Blast Off
* My Friends Tigger & Pooh: Super Duper Super Sleuths
* My Friends Tigger & Pooh: Bedtime With Pooh

Note: Discovery Mode can also be played using any DVD remote control.
Look for more Discovery Mode DVDs on future Disney Preschool franchise releases such as Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Handy Manny!






About Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Numbers Roundup

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Numbers Roundup features more than 100 minutes of content with five exciting, numbers-themed adventures. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is the #1 program on Playhouse Disney as well as the #1 series with children between the ages of two and five years. Bonus features include a never-before-seen (until 1/1/11) bonus episode as well as the Discovery Mode feature.


About Handy Manny: Big Construction Job:

Handy Manny: Big Construction Job is a fun-filled, full-length adventure that takes Manny out of Sheet Rock Hills and to a new construction project out of town! Introducing new tools, new songs and a never-before-seen episode, Handy Manny stars Wilmer Valderrama (TV’s “That 70’s Show”) as the voice of Manny. It is a top 5 television series with preschoolers 2-5, and is an Emmy®-nominated show, set in a multicultural, multi-generational community and follows a curriculum that models problem solving and the importance of community.

Handy Manny
Fun Fact- Dogs and Cats


OUR REVIEW

I think the Mickey Mote is very cool. It is absolutely perfect for Olivia (age 3, almost 4). It was very easy to set up and Olivia was able to use it right away. It took little to know parent intervention on our part as long as she used it on the easier level.

Olivia has loved Mickey Mouse for ages and adding the Mickey Mote to it made it even better. She is not normally a big Handy Manny fan but the Mickey Mote had her completely engaged. I really like the questions for the kids to answer- it helps them to actually think about what they are watching.

The Mickey Mote would make a great gift for any preschooler on your list!

Thanks so much to Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment for sending me these items to review.

Now THIS is snow...

Pin It We had a whole bunch of snow last night (12 cm to be exact) and it is still snowing and I just thought I would share some pictures for those of you who don't get to see a whole lot of snow!!



and here is a quick little video of our kids all bundled up in the van this morning on the way to school...

Gift Idea: Knight and Day

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 Movies can be a great gift for anyone!


Knight and Day

Tom Cruise
Cameron Diaz

Description

Big screen superstars Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz come together in this fun, action-packed thrill-ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat. When a small-town girl named June (Diaz) meets a mysterious stranger, she thinks she's found the man of her dreams. But she soon discovers he's a fugitive super-spy, who thrusts her into a thrilling cat-and-mouse chase that spans the globe. As the bullets and sparks fly, June must decide if her "Knight" in shining armor is a dangerous traitor or the love of her life.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)



Guest Review by my mom :)

A mature and memorable performance by Tom Cruise. He has finally grown up, has left his total focus on being sexy, and I now consider him a serious actor. I loved the movie - it kept me on the edge of my seat. Fast-paced and violent, there is nevertheless an undertone of triumph over evil. I got the message that where the enemy if fierce, one must be more fierce. One has to think like the criminals and use any means to stop them - this language they understand. The romance that develops throughout the movie sees our hero and heroine ride off together headed for Cape Horn as the movie ends.

My Review

I thought Knight and Day was a great movie. It was fun to watch and completely held my attention. I loved the characters that Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz played- they totally made me laugh. I really enjoyed the mix of action and humour in this movie. Definitely worth a watch.

Knight and Day will be available on November 30th and you can pre-order it HERE.

Thanks so much to 20th Century Fox for sending me a review copy of this movie.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Charlie St. Cloud * review *

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Charlie St. Cloud

Zac Efron stars as Charlie St. Cloud, a small-town hero and an accomplished sailor who has it all: the adoration of his mother and younger brother, and a Stanford scholarship. His bright future is cut short when tragedy strikes, taking his dreams with it. Now Charlie is torn between honoring a promise he made years ago and pursuing his newfound love with a former high-school classmate. Based on the acclaimed bestseller, comes a story of hope, second chances and the transformative power of love, also starring Ray Liotta and Academy Award® winner Kim Basinger.




Starring: Zac Efron, Amanda Crew, Donal Logue, Charlie Tahan, Ray Liotta, Kim Basinger, Augustus Prew, Dave Franco, Matt Ward, Miles Chalmers, Jesse Wheeler, Desiree Zurowski, Adrian Hough, Jill Teed
Directed by: Burr Steers





Disc 1
  • Run Time: 1 Hours and 40 Minutes
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for language including some sexual references, an intense accident scene and some sensuality.)
  • Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English), Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English DVS), DTS 5.1 Surround (French), DTS 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Picture: Widescreen (2.40:1)
  • Color
  • Bonus:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • On Location with Zac Efron
  • Zac Efron, Leading Man
  • The In-Between World
  • Feature Commentary with Director Burr Steers
  • My Scenes
  • BD Live
  • pocket BLU App
  • Bonus Movie (Offer expires 6/30/2011 and subject to change.)



Guest Review by my mom:

Although I was intrigued by Charlie's ability to stay in touch with his deceased brother, I thought it could have moved along more quickly, not the plot, which I thought was quite clever, but the way it was played out. I did, however, appreciate the theme of undying brotherly love and the dimensional, other-worldly feel to the story. Worth watching, this movie provokes thoughts about our ability to love unconditionally and about life after death.


Thanks so much to Universal Studios Entertainment for sending me a review copy of this film. 

Snow Princess

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gift Idea: The Sound of Music 45th Anniversary Edition

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I adore The Sound of Music.


No, I MORE than adore it... I think it is fantastic. A classic. Brilliant. A vital part of life.

Seriously I love this movie.



I have been a fan of The Sound of Music for as long as I can remember. I remember my mom, aunt and Grandma singing the songs at family gatherings and I am fairly certain that all of my cousins and I were joining in as soon as we were able. I knew The Sound of Music was thoroughly ingrained in me when I started randomly bursting forth in song to my children ... my grandma would be so proud :).

Julie Andrews is brilliant in everything she does but I think her role as Maria is my favourite. And Christopher Plummer was just dreamy as Captain Von Trapp. Plus he is Canadian :).



Just in case you have lived a deprived life and not had the pleasure of seeing The Sound of Music here is a brief description of the film taken from www.foxconnect.com:

Description

Experience the world's most beloved family film as never before with this 3-disc 45th Anniversary Edition of Rodgers & Hammerstein's® THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Winner of five 1965 ACADEMY AWARDS®, including Best Picture!*

In this true-life story, Julie Andrews lights up the screen as Maria, a spirited young woman who leaves the convent to bring love and music to the home of Captain von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) and his seven children.


As I've already mentioned I think the Sound of Music is one of the best movies of all time but the 45th Anniversary Blu-ray/ DVD combo version is even better because of all the super-cool extras!!


Disc 1 Blu-ray:

* *   Feature Film Remastered in 1080p Hi-Def with 7.1 DTS-HD Sound
* *   Your Favorite Things: An Interactive Celebration — All-New Immersive Viewing Experience with Behind-the-Scenes Images, On-Screen Lyrics, Trivia Track and Location Quiz
* *   Music Machine Sing-Along
* *   Audio Commentaries with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Director Robert Wise
* *   BD-LIVE: Live Lookup™ Powered by IMDb®

Disc 2 Blu-ray:

* *   Musical Stages: Creating The Sound of Music — All-New Interactive “Backlot Tour” with In-Depth Featurettes on the Songs, the Stage Show & Movie, the Film and Sound Restoration and the Real-Life von Trapp Family
* *   A City of Song — Virtual Map of Filming Locations in Salzburg, Austria
* *   Vintage Rodgers & Hammerstein and The Sound of Music Programs
* *   Screen Tests, Rare Treasures, Interviews, Photo Galleries & More!

Disc 3 DVD:

* *   Feature Film In Standard Definition
* *   Newly Remastered Picture and Sound
* *   Optional Sing-Along Track
* *   Music Machine Sing-Along
* *   The Sound of Music Tour – A Living Story

Audio: English: 7.1 DTS HD Master Audio / Spanish: Dolby Surround / French: 5.0 Dolby Surround
Language: Dubbed: English, French & Spanish / Subtitled: English, French & Spanish
Theatrical Aspect Ratio: Widescreen: 2.20:1


 As I write this review I am watching the " Your Favorite Things: An Interactive  Celebration " which is beyond cool. I am learning so much that I never knew about the film and the actors with the pop-up facts and the sing-a-long words are just plain fun.

I've also really enjoyed watching " A City of Song - Virtual Map of Filming Locations in Salzburg, Austria". It makes me want to visit Austria :).  The audio commentaries with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Director Robert Wise add a whole new dimension to the film.



I asked my kids what they thought of the movie and here is what they said :

Aiden (age 8): I like it because it has really cool songs. I like the people in it especially Maria.

Owen ( age 7 ): I wish we lived in a mansion.

Olivia ( age 3... almost 4): I like it because of the music and the dancing in the glass house (aka when Liesel dances with Rolfe in the gazebo) and they wear pretty dresses.



The 45th Anniversary Edition of The Sound of Music would make a fabulous gift for any fan - or for someone who desperately needs to be introduced to the magic that is this film!


Thanks so much to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment for sending me a copy of this film to review.
 
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