Today has been quite interesting. I headed to my accountant’s office this morning to pick up my finished tax return so that I could mail it in time for today’s deadline – Jai dropped off my taxes while I was in Florida and this was my first opportunity to pick them up after I returned. After I got that finished, Jai and I met up with my friend Jen of The Mom Reviews, who just happened to be in town with her husband. It was so wonderful getting a chance to meet her in person and we had a lovely time over coffee!
After I got home, Jen sent me this link – apparently, a 40 foot dead whale had washed up this morning and was beached near the turnaround, while we were having lunch at Sam’s totally unawares. So, Jai and I headed back down to the beach. Since I’m pretty much the only blogger in Seaside at this point, I try to report on our local news. You’re welcome:
No official word yet on cause of death or how the whale will be removed; hopefully, dynamite will not be involved.
You may recall that last summer, I was one of 533 bloggers to share a sneak peek at the trailer for Delivery Man, which came out in cinemas in November. Once again, I am grateful for how quickly movies are released onto DVD and Blu-ray these days, because I never got a chance to watch this in the theater while it was running – Jai and I got so sick over the holidays that I barely made it into the cinema to see 47 Ronin, and I’m usually at every Keanu movie opening at midnight. As you can imagine, my “To-watch” list has gotten huge with all of the movies that have come out in the past few months, so I was pleased when a Blu-ray of Delivery Man arrived in the mail this week so that I could get caught up on one of the flicks on my list!
Starring Vince Vaughn, Cobie Smulders, Chris Pratt and Bobby Moynihan, Delivery Man follows the life of loser-with-a-heart-of-gold David Wozniak. David isn’t having the greatest week: He’s in huge amounts of debt to a couple of goons who will break his kneecaps if he doesn’t pay up, his family is mad at him, and he finds out his girlfriend is pregnant. Things take a turn for the crazy when an unexpected visitor shows up: He figures it’s a gangster coming to kill him, so imagine his shock when he finds a lawyer, serving him with a class action lawsuit…from 533 children. As it turns out, David made numerous donations to a fertility bank in the ’90s, which resulted in hundreds of pregnancies. Those children, now grown, want to know the identity of their biological father and are suing to find out.
David then embarks on quite the adventure, enlisting his friend/aspiring lawyer to defend him in the suit. When he receives a stack of legal paperwork naming the plantiffs – over 100 of his biological children – he decides to track down each one and casually make friends with them, not revealing his true identity. David starts to think of himself as their “Guardian Angel” and tries to help each of them on their path in life. As the lawsuit closes in and David’s girlfriend approaches her due date, this slacker faces some tough decisions as he tries to figure out the right thing to do.
The next part of my review contains some minor spoilers, so click on the blurred text to read it!I have to say, this is one of the most upbeat movies I’ve seen in a while. I kept expecting some tragedy to befall David and unravel everything – I thought for sure one of his daughters was going to overdose after he signed her release from a hospital rather than send her to rehab, but nope, everything turns out just fine; better than fine, because everything is perfectly resolved and everyone is happy at the end of the movie. It’s really, really sweet – the film is not realistic by any means, but honestly, most of the time I am complaining because movies are too depressing. Films are escapism for me, because as far as I’m concerned, real life is stressful enough without having to be stressed out over fictional characters, too. It’s very relaxing and nice for me when a movie is just straight-up happy!
This film raises some questions about modern-day fertility treatments and navigating the ethics of them – Delivery Man veers towards being a little hokey and stereotypical at times, but it’s well-meaning (Just like David!) and really is a cute movie to watch if you want to forget about your problems and watch something really happy.
Delivery Man was released on DVD and Blu-Ray this Tuesday and is available on Amazon and other fine retailers.
What would YOU do if you had 533 children?
This weekend, I’m packing my bags and heading to Florida for the first time. I’ll be in Kissimmee for 5 days covering a special VIP tour around the area for MomStart. There are all manner of exciting activities planned, like an airboat ride through the Everglades and a trip on the fastest, highest zipline in the world over giant gators. I love having new adventures so I know this will be a trip to remember! You can sneak a peek at my full itinerary here, and be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram for real-time updates while I’m on the road. Once I get back, I’ll be sharing all of the details and alligator photos with you, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
Have you ever visited Kissimmee?
I’ve complained before about new outlets that put little to no effort into fact-checking in an effort to rush a story on their air. Another fine example of this occurred this morning when Fox 31 KDVR in Denver reported on this morning’s tragedy in Seattle. Using an iPad, the new anchor showed viewers photos from the accident site that were taken in real time and uploaded to Twitter. The fatal mistake occurred when the anchor started flipping through all of the trending photos live, on the air, and apparently without checking what the content was beforehand. First, we see a picture of Edward Scissorhands; then, a photo of a Chimichanga; then…a photo of a full-frontal nude male. The reaction of the whole news crew when this blunder happens is pretty priceless; you can click here to watch it, but it should go without saying that this is not safe for work!
Besides the obvious problem with airing full-frontal nudity on afternoon news, this whole scenario points to the larger and more disturbing trend of carelessly airing anything, anytime, under the guise of news. Even if the news station hadn’t potentially violated federal law*, why in the world were they showing irrelevant snapshots in the first place? It gives the appearance of the news station doing exactly zero research beforehand. I will give them the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps they did look at the Twitter stream ahead of time and just clicked through the irrelevant content by mistake, but still – could you not open the newsworthy photos in a new tab? And if a Twitter stream has close-ups of genitalia on it, should that not be a sign to skip using that platform as a source live on the air? From what I can tell, it looks like they were pulling up any photos that were included in the trending topic. It should truly be a no-brainer to anyone with even a vague familiarity with Twitter that there will be all kinds of unrelated material being spammed or incorrectly marked with the topic at hand, so why would you use it as a source? Furthermore, if you allow yourself to be surprised, you have no way of knowing that the pictures “From the scene” that you are viewing are actually from the location or day in question. Even 10 minutes of research could have produced an iPad browser with multiple tabs opened to newsworthy material from individuals at the location, instead of wasting viewer’s time with unverified nonsense.
On another note, I think the selection of photos aired perfectly sums up social media in a nutshell. Horrific tragedy? Check. Pop culture? Check. Food? Check. Nudity? Check!
*ETA: I should point out that the FTC is likely all but giving up prosecuting “Fleeting nudity”, although airing obscene content still remains illegal according to their site. What they consider to be “Obscene” is another interesting and inconsistent topic!
The full trailer for Disney’s “Maleficent” has arrived this morning! Check it out!
On Friday, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter made an exciting announcement with details on the new Hogwarts Express attraction coming this year. Fans will actually be able to ride from Hogsmeade to the new Diagon Alley expansion by riding the very train that Harry Potter himself travels by! Not only does this get you from one part of the park to another in a truly authentic fashion, but great attention has been paid to making it a true-to-the-books experience, including animations out the window to create a truly immersive ride experience – check out these screen grabs from the animations that will be shown during the journey:
Is that cool, or is that cool?! Check out the official press release for more details on what to expect:
ORLANDO, Fla. (March 14, 2014) – One of the most memorable and exciting experiences from the Harry Potter
series will come to life at Universal Orlando Resort this summer. Imagine:
• Being transported from the Muggle world to the wizarding world as you pass through the brick wall at
King’s Cross Station to arrive at Platform 9 ¾
• Watching in amazement as the Hogwarts Express pulls into the station – its billowing steam and authentic
whistle beckoning you to hop aboard
• Sitting in one of the train’s cabins with your family and friends and actually riding the Hogwarts Express –
just as your favorite characters did in the Harry Potter films
• Looking outside your cabin window and enjoying a scenic, breathtaking journey through the British
countryside as you encounter magical creatures, some of your favorite Harry Potter characters…and even
Since the very first Harry Potter film, every fan has dreamed of taking the same classic journey Harry Potter did
aboard the Hogwarts Express. And this summer – they will get to live it.
Today, Universal Orlando revealed never-before-released details about the Hogwarts Express experience that will
debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley – the all-new, magnificently themed land
opening this summer. The train will connect the new land in Universal Studios Florida with The Wizarding World
of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure – allowing guests with park-to-park admission to enjoy a real
journey aboard the iconic locomotive.
Never before has this been done – creating an actual train ride experience to connect two spectacularly themed
environments. The Hogwarts Express experience combines powerful storytelling, live special effects, lifelike
animation and state-of-the-art technology to take riders on the journey of a lifetime. Guests will enjoy two
completely different experiences depending on whether they’re traveling to Hogsmeade or London.
Once seated in the cabin, guests will be able to look out their windows as an incredibly authentic and magical
adventure unfolds before them. They’ll see Hagrid come alongside the train on his flying motorbike, Buckbeak the
Hippogriff swoop gracefully over the black lake, the Weasley twins on brooms and up to their usual antics, the
Knight Bus swerving through London traffic – and other special moments and surprises.
Universal’s Creative team has been working closely with Warner Bros., Stuart Craig and the production team from
the Harry Potter films to create a sensational Hogwarts Express experience that the entire family can enjoy. The
Creative team has gone to great lengths to ensure the experience is true to the books and films. Everything about the
train is authentic – from the paint and the materials used to build it….all the way down to the whistle.
Park-to-park admission is required to experience the Hogwarts Express journey from The Wizarding World of
Harry Potter – Diagon Alley (located in Universal Studios Florida) to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter –
Hogsmeade (located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure). For more information about the Hogwarts Express –
including a new video that features a first-look at the ride experience – and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,
If you’re excited about the new Diagon Alley expansion at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you’ll want to stay tuned for some new details about the Hogwarts Express being revealed this Friday!
I know at least one celebrity who will be excited about the news, too!