My Gal Sunday

My Gal Sunday

Promotional copy provided.

Hallmark Movie Channel presents: My Gal Sunday starring Rachel Blanchard, Cameron Mathison and Jack Wagner. I gotta say up front, I love me some Jack Wagner on any day of the week and everyone else was great too.

My Gal Sunday is a twist of love story/mystery story. Even from the very beginning of the movie this combination was well played. It is based on the book series of the same name by New York Times Best Selling author, Mary Higgins Clark and I kept feeling like I was watching a pilot for a TV series so I would not be at all surprised to see that happen.

Hallmark has this to say:

It was love at first sight for Sandra “Sunday” O’Brien-Parker (Blanchard), the beautiful young lawyer and daughter of a Secret Service Agent and Henry Parker (Mathison), retiring White House Secretary of State, when Sunday’s dad Danny (Wagner) introduces them in Washington, D.C. A year after their wedding, Sunday and Parker – now living near Lake Tahoe, California where Parker was once a beloved state governor – are an unstoppable sleuthing team who enjoy the political spotlight while taking pleasure busting the bad guys. But when Parker’s mom Miriam (Janet-Laine Green, “She’s the Mayor”) and Danny are suddenly kidnapped on their way to a high-profile family event, Parker and Sunday are immediately on the case – and this time it’s personal. Believing they were the true targets of the crime, the daring duo works together to uncover clues and find out why the kidnapper is demanding the release of a notorious hit-man from federal prison as a ransom. Racing against the clock to rescue their parents, Parker and Sunday dig deep into their past to find out their connection to the criminal and as they uncover his identity, they put their lives at stake in a suspenseful final showdown.”

Hallmark Movie Channel strives to provide quality entertainment that is appropriate and enjoyable to the whole family and I believe this one hit the mark. My husband enjoyed the mystery, I enjoyed the romance and I felt comfortable were my kiddo to come in and sit with us. The content was a little mature to make it a family movie night, it is a mystery after all and my daughter would much rather watch talking ponies than a crime solving duo.

A definite gold star movie to snuggle up together with your partner for an evening of mystery and romance….. Sorry Honey, next time I will try not to comment on just how cute Jack looks in those pants.

Into The Woods Release on Blu-ray, Digital HD and Disney Movie Anywhere

My daughter thinks I have tortured her because I didn’t take her to the theater to see the movie Into the Woods. She’s been dying to see it and now she can because it was released yesterday to Blu-ray, Digital HD and Disney Movie Anywhere.

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Into the Woods is a musical brought to the big screen by Disney. They did a great job and picked an amazing amount of talent. Meryl Streep as the Witch (The Devil Wears Prada, August: Osage County), Johnny Depp as the Wolf (The Lone Ranger, Sweeney Todd), Emily Blunt as the Baker’s Wife (Edge of Tomorrow, The Devil Wears Prada), James Corden as the Baker (Broadway’s One Man, Two Guvnors, The Three Musketeers, Gavin & Stacey), Anna Kendrick as Cinderella (Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air), Chris Pine as Cinderella’s Prince (Star Trek Into Darkness, Jack Ryan), Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood (Broadway’s Annie), Daniel Huttlestone as Jack (Les Misérables), MacKenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel (Brother’s Keeper, Broadway’s Next to Normal)

And the Bonus material is pretty amazing too!

Never-Before-Seen Sondheim Original Song: “She’ll Be Back”

Meryl Streep performs a compelling new song that sheds a little more light on the Witch’s relationship with Rapunzel. This never-before- seen composition was penned especially for this movie by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, and is seen here exclusively on Blu-ray and EHV.  With introduction by Director Rob Marshall.

· There’s Something About The Woods

Journey into this mysterious forest to discover how this compelling, new musical was made. Meet Director Rob Marshall and his award-winning team of artists and craftspeople, see how the woods were brought to life…and what they represent to the story…and to all of us.

· The Cast As Good As Gold

Emily Blunt. Anna Kendrick. Chris Pine. James Corden. Johnny Depp. Meryl Streep. Meet the remarkable cast of this musical movie, and hear of their affinity for this Broadway classic.

· Deeper Into The Woods

Journey even further into the development of the film in these 4 segments

o From Stage To Screen

o Magic of the Woods

o Designing the Woods

o The Costumes of the Woods

· Filmmaker Commentary

Film commentary with Director Rob Marshall and Producer John DeLuca.

· Music & Lyrics

Get direct access to the musical song segments from the film, with optional sing-along lyrics.

· 5 Golden Eggs (Easter Eggs)

*Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer               

DVD:

· Deeper Into The Woods

o Magic of the Woods

Lucky In Love!

Lucky in Love

Sample was provided by Hallmark

What I like best about Hallmark Channel Movies is that they are a sure thing. Lucky in Love starring Jessica Szohr, Benjamin Hollingsworth and Deidre Hall is no exception. I know that I can turn on a Hallmark Channel movie and it is family safe. I can let my guard down and be entertained alongside my family and that is a huge gift to me as a mom.

Lucky is Love (even by name) is geared towards the female audience and is a little dreamy but fun to watch and I always love a happy ending. The female characters were role model characters for my daughter with confidence, smarts and self respect. There are enough instances that come up in real everyday life that are not those things and having a positive perspective and a life lesson in a film that I can sit and enjoy without feeling like I need to bang my head into a wall earns a well deserved MomStart mom approval stamp!
Overall, a little dreamy but with great characters and great values.

For Mira Simon (Jessica Szohr), it feels like a prank when all of her dreams start coming true on April Fool’s Day. An April Fool, however, she is not. After three of her own tricks materialize, Mira finds herself promoted to the perfect job, dating the perfect man, and living in the perfect home. Her huge promotion even allows her to work directly with her professional hero, CEO Erin Billings (Deidre Hall) and her friend, Jonah (Benjamin Hollingsworth), on a massive social media website relaunch. Even though it’s the life she’s always dreamed of, Mira starts to realize that actually living this dream is much harder than she imagined.”

Designing Princes & Princesses The Talent of Sandy Powell #CinderellaEvent

A few weeks ago I attended the press junket for Disney’s new live action Cinderella. I had the opportunity to interview the amazing cast and famous director. Each person we interviewed commented on how much they all love the work of Sandy Powell. Richard Madden talked about how manly he needed to look and that Sandy agreed. His only issue was in the Ballroom at the Ball but he agreed that everything worked quite well together. Kenneth Branagh said there was nothing to worry about with Sandy on the job and Cate Blanchet said she always loves what Sandy creates and that this was no exception. And I have to agree, her designs are amazing.

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So how does she come up with such amazing colors?

I kind of chose all the color palettes for each of the characters. And I work closely with the people who design the sets. And the set dressing, so that we make sure that nothing clashes with the curtains. And you know, the, all the furnishings. But no, the colors all, all of my doing. And that’s one of the things I really really enjoy more than anything else…….I pick colors because they feel right. And because I like them.

 

Cinderella’s Dress

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…….I kinda knew it had to be voluminous. I knew it had to be big and had to be impressive. But without being heavy. Uh, and yet it helps knowing who the actress is and what shape you can make them. Or what shape they are, and then what you can turn them into, as well.

The Fairy Godmother

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…that was rather ambitious and to be honest we didn’t have enough time to, to really develop it. It could have gone a lot further, and been a lot more successful. I think the costume as a whole works in the film, but I had this mad idea that she actually literally twinkled, and all over. We got all the circuits made up by this lighting company, but it took a lot longer than I expected. We couldn’t actually really construct the costume till we had the lights done. So, we were waiting and waiting, waiting for the lights to be finished…..So that costume actually ended up being really rather thrown together at the last minute. Kind of, I kind of didn’t like it, it looks like it’s been thrown together. In a way, I think it’s quite funny that it looks like it’s been thrown together……

 

The Lizard Footman

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Yeah, it, it was an interesting process, that. Because it did actually start with the costume, so I had to do a costume that looked like a footman and how can I make that lizard-like? So I used the texture of the fabric, it was a fabric that we dyed first of all the greens and the yellows, and over the top was a lace, like a silver lace which gives that sort of scaly effect. It was put over the top and then again it was painted again once the costume was made. It was like a tail coat but where the tail’s a little bit more exaggerated. The gloves were green and they were dyed with the yellow too. So it was actually all clothes. And then that gave the visual effects department something to build on. Then they designed their lizard, but based on my costume in a way

 

 

As she was talking she did mention that sometimes as a designer you have to talk an actor into liking the costume and help them learn to trust your decisions. And she made some amazing decisions.

 

Cinderella is now in theaters.

The Prince Interview: Richard Madden in Cinderella #CinderellaEvent

A lot of times when I’m interviewing the cast of a movie I get to take the pictures of the talent. For this one I split the photo taking process with another blogger and for Richard Madden I was able to sit and listen to the entire interview. I enjoyed listening to Richard Madden talk about his role in Cinderella and how he confessed that his eyes really are that blue. Sitting across from him I didn’t believe he was telling the truth, but whenever he takes a photo and he’s wearing the slightest bit of blue, his eyes really are blue. He was a charming young man and you could tell that he was very modest and still really new to being the center of attention. Cinderella is his first major part. Here are a few bits and pieces from the interview the bloggers had with Richard Madden.

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Q :So how did you get involved in what– the process of playing a Prince?

RM : I wanted to make him– I wanted to make him different. In the animation you only see him in 2 or 3 scenes. Um and also in the original animation there’s this kind of old fashioned view I think of you know a woman needing a man to come and rescue her from a terrible life and that’s kind of outdated enough.

Not a message I think we should be telling young girls and in this version it’s, it’s not that which is great. You’ve got a, a young man with all of his own problems and a young woman with hers and actually they, they bring the best out of each other. I think she rescues him as much as he rescues her and that’s why I was really interested in this, in this version.

We got to kind of see this real young man character and most importantly you know Cinderella’s this wonderful amazing woman that I wanted to make a man that was worthy of her affections.

Q : What was your initial reaction when you found out you got the role as the Prince?

RM : Well I was kind of just overwhelmed. I was in Canada shooting mini-series and I just got like a text from my Agent before and it said, you are about to receive a call answer it. I was like, “Okay.” Uh it was Branagh who’d called to tell me, I got the part.

And I was like just overwhelmed and uh really excited and then um just really terrified after that of like, “Oh God everyone’s gonna’ be like he’s wrong casting and how am I gonna’ do it? And this– and that’s not my idea of a Prince. And, and so all the feat of that, but like I just went back to the original animation and when actually somebody got 2 or 3 scenes we don’t get to know his name. I can build a character from scratch and I can do that with, with Branagh. There’s no one better to kind of take me through that then him that than him. He is like– a lot of my Prince is based on, on Kenneth Branagh ‘cause he is like a true gentleman.

Q : How did you like working with him?

RM : I loved it. Everyday it’s like you’re on set with Kenneth Branagh, and Cate Blanchett, and Stellan Skarsgârd, and Helen Bonham Carter. It’s like kind of a master class and in acting and also just in like how to conduct yourself as an Actor and you know. Um but Ken’s just amazing because the same amount of detail was put in something like this as it would be into something like MacBeth. You know I’d be on set and he’d kind of just come up and give me a big —-I think the Prince would really do anything that. ……I’ll go with that, but that’s kind of what he’s like. And that’s great because it just gives you so much ammunition so I can into these scenes with Derek and we can improvise.

And we can really play because you’ve got so much going on Ken really kind of inspires you. And that’s why you know um it brings out the best in me and that’s why we’re working together again in 2016 because we enjoyed working together.

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Q : What was your favorite scene?

RM : The first scene that I show up with Lil um which is us on horseback when we first meet in the woods. I kind of– I like being outside and being on a horse. Uh it’s more fun than being in the studio most of the time. But it’s just like you know that was our first day on set. That was the first day of shooting. That was the first time with, with Lily.

So….you kind of have all, all of that going on on top of us kind of trying to play that scene. And I love what Ken wanted to do that– these, these 2 huge beasts. They were both trying to control their feelings and, and this kind of dance that they do on the horses.

Q : How hard was it to learn the dance routine?

RM : It was miserable…….Um I– I’m not a naturally gifted dancer. Uh so I had to kind of train for like 2– 2 or 3 months to like 3 or 4 times a week to get myself up to scratch so that– I mean there was 2 months before they let me near Lily’s dress….. and because I would just destroy it. I went through like 2 practice dresses that looked like a bunch of cats have destroyed them and–

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But yea I wanted to make sure the– I think the Prince would enjoy dancing. So I wanted to make it look as if he was enjoying it and also that I could just act with Lily and not be thinking about what I’m doing with my feet.

Q : Were there any scenes that made you cry?

RM : Yeah the scene with Derek uh playing the King……..that was an emotional day and– but a really good one. I love, I love working with Derek. Um it was kind of an icon to me. Um and that was kind of a really moving scene. He plays it so beautifully it’s– it was hard not to get caught up in that.

Q : For that scene um you were almost like in a fetal position with her and that was just so touching and it just like breaks your heart. It was kind of ……when Cinderella was with her father. So was that kind of directed that way?

RM : Yeah it was directed that way, but I think that’s– I had chats with Ken at the start and we wanted– it was important I think how we see these two characters. You know I think first and foremost Cinderella’s a daughter and the Prince is a son and they’re so influenced by their parents. And I think that’s how we get to know them and get to know their personalities and what they’re like.

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And they really wanted to kind of you know get that relationship going. And I wanted to have– I really wanted to have uh a sense of humor to this Prince. And, and Derek plays the King so well with that kind of sense of humor. I wanted the Prince to have that and, and for them to kind of be influenced by each other.

Q : If there were a blooper reel. What would be the one that would be the highlight?

RM : I don’t know. I mean that first scene is quite a lot of like– it’s you know if you see the B-Roll stuff there’s like marks on the ground that you’re supposed to have on the horses hooves. I mean it’s hard enough just gettin’ the horse to run a straight line sometimes. So and like this endless footage where there’s just nothing …and you’re kind of coming in and out of the shot on the horse trying to get it right.

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Q : How does it feel to be a role model for young men?

RM : Um well the Prince is the role model not me. And, and the Prince is the role model not me, but that was important. I grew up with these Disney films and I have 2 sisters. So we– they watch these films and say that. And I think that’s just where you first deal with first thing came to. Um death, and love, and uh good and bad, and that’s what I really wanted to do with this Prince.

Was, was make someone, as I said at the start, that’s not that old fashioned view of you know a girl needing a guy. And I think I wanted to, to try and make a Prince that young men would have to look up to that– a Prince that you know has a, a built in respect for women uh and a compassion to the people around him, an awareness of his privilege. And so if there’s– there’s little boys that, that grow up and are… by then uh I’ll be really honored by it.

Cinderella is now in theaters!

Tinker Bell and The Legend of The NeverBeast

We received a copy of Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast for review and had to watch it as soon as it came. My kids had been waiting to see it since we were invited to a screening here in LA. We got stuck in traffic and weren’t able to make it so then we had to wait for the Blu-ray Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere release. We all watched it and at times we were really wondering if Gruff was a good guy or a bad one, but he was so adorably cute that deep down we knew the truth. Just like Fawn (Jennifer Goodwin) did. image

Return to Pixie Hollow for the heartwarming and humorous adventure “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast”! An ancient myth of a fabled creature sparks the curiosity of Tinker Bell and her good friend Fawn, an animal fairy who’s not afraid to break the rules to help an animal in need. But this creature – massive and wondrous with glowing green eyes – is not welcome in Pixie Hollow – and the scout fairies are determined to capture the mysterious beast, who they fear will destroy their home. Fawn, who sees a tender heart beneath his gruff exterior, must convince Tink and her fairy friends to risk everything to rescue the NeverBeast.

 

Fawn has a huge heart and cares for all animals dangerous and the ones that aren’t dangerous. She gets in trouble when she brings a Hawk into Pixie Hollow but she was just taking care of him. She learns a huge lesson about herself in Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast and you’ll have to watch to see what she learns.

The Bonus Features Include:

· 5 Essential Ingredients to Getting Gruff: Uncover the 5 Essential Ingredients in making “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast.” The 5 ingredients are story, design, animation, sound, and making Gruff.

· My Dad’s Movie: The True Story of the NeverBeast: Director Steve Loter takes us on a personal journey of how his young daughter taught him life lessons that became the story for “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast”.

· Jeff Corwin’s Guide to Real-World NeverBeasts: From high above the trees to the darkest depths of the ocean, Jeff Corwin takes you on a wild adventure around the world where you will discover some creatures that actually exist in the real world.

· Deleted Scenes with Intro by Director Steve Loter

· Tink’n About Animals: From a float of crocodiles to a mob of kangaroos, Fawn breaks down animal groupings by singing her own catchy song.

· Gruff Love: Meet the big, lovable star of the movie with this musical montage featuring KT Tunstall’s heartwarming song, “Strange Sight.”

· My Dad’s Movie: Hanging Out at the Premiere: Now that you know how I helped my Dad come up with the story for his movie, join me as I get to see it for the first time. (DMA Exclusive)

DVD

· 5 Essential Ingredients to Getting Gruff: Uncover the 5 Essential Ingredients in making “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast.” The 5 ingredients are story, design, animation, sound, and making Gruff.

· Tink’n About Animals: From a float of crocodiles to a mob of kangaroos, Fawn breaks down animal groupings by singing her own catchy song.

· Gruff Love: Meet the big, lovable star of the movie with this musical montage featuring KT Tunstall’s heartwarming song, “Strange Sight.”

*Digital bonus offerings may vary per retailer

What to Watch on Netflix This Month #StreamTeam

MomStart is a member of the Netflix Stream Team.

What are you watching this March? On Netflix, this month is synonymous with fresh starts thanks to the premiere of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Once you’re done binge-watching this new series, you’ll probably be hungry for more shows to fill the void, so to help you out, here are seven titles on Netflix that also touch on the theme of reinventing yourself:

Mulan


What’s your favorite movie or show about starting over?

Cinderella A Must See Family Movie

Cinderella is in theaters today and it’s a must see. You have to take your whole family to see this great re-make of a classic fairy tale. Disney is making the best live action creations of their beloved stories. Cinderella was always my favorite princess, it’s the first Disney movie I saw and and owned. I watched it over and over again and this new live action will have the same fate once it’s in my movie collection.

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The Director Kenneth Branagh was asked to participate and he liked the storyline that was already chosen and felt that keeping it close to the original was the only way to go for him. He said, “I was captivated by the power of the story and felt I was in sync with the visual artistry that was being developed…..It’s a classic piece of storytelling where the central character goes on a journey that we can really identify with, so the texture and landscape of a great story was wonderful to play with as a director.”

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Ella (Lily James) loses her mother at a very young age, on her death bed her mother told her to be brave and kind, to always be kind. Ella listned to her mother and always gave with her hand open wide. Her father remarried Lady Tremane (Cate Blanchett) and gained two stepsisters Anastasia (Hilliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera). Ella welcomed them into her home but as soon as her father left the house to go on a business trip, the stepmother sent her to the attic. It was one fateful day where Ella finally had enough of the evilness in her house and it looked like she was going to run away. That’s when she meets the prince (Richard Madden) who of course hid his identity from her and they fell in love at first site.

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The Prince is well developed as a character. He understand war and how it affects people. He loses his father and is mature. He’s easy for Ella to interact with because they are kindred spirits in a way. The relationship in Cinderella are complex and deep. I cried every time someone died and in the end when the slipper went on her foot. There were moments of laughter and the mice in the story have their own little movie going on in the background. Kenneth Branagh mentioned that during his interview.

It really is a great movie and I highly recommend it.

Breaking News: FROZEN 2 is Coming!! #Frozen2

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Exciting news, Frozen fans: It was just announced this morning at Disney’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders that Frozen 2 is officially in development! Here’s the scoop:

We enjoyed making Frozen Fever so much and being back in that world with those characters,” said John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. “Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck have come up with a great idea for a sequel and you will be hearing a lot more about it and we’re taking you back to Arendelle. We are so excited about that.”

A release date and production details have not been announced yet, but of course we’ll keep you posted as soon as more info becomes available!