Category Archives: Reviews

Book Review: Babysitting SugarPaw

Buy Babysitting SugarPaw on Amazon.com

61OAktqSB+L._SL500_AA240_A little bear named SugarPaw hopes to get rid of his babysitter, Bonnie Whiskes, by getting her into trouble after making changes to his rules chart. As the story unfolds SugarPaw learns about honesty and friendship, in this fun loving story.

I love kid books, I’m not ashamed to admit it. From If You Give a Mouse a Cookie or The Little Engine that Could there’s nothing like a touching story to spark the imagination.

Recently I was given “Babysitting SugarPaw” to review and I was happily surprised with he cute and fun story. As someone who has had to babysit I could relate to poor Bonnie Whiskes’ plight as she deals with a very mischievous SugarPaw. A fun and easy read, Babysitting SugarPaw is a great introduction to the world of baby sitters. I also loved the lesson that your actions have consequences on others (not just yourself).

Author VS Grenier shows her understanding of a child’s mind and the bright, playful illustrations by Kevin Collier make this book enjoyable. I would have liked a bit of a longer ending, which seemed a bit abrupt, but other than that, the book is fantastic! Parents will love the subtle lessons about dealing with babysitters and kids will love the mischievous antics of SugarPaw. Check out Babysitting SugarPaw for yourself!

TV Review: Glee Pilot Episode (Director’s Cut)

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Watch on Hulu || Buy Pilot – Director’s Cut on Amazon || Watch Glee on Fox, Wednesday Nights

Forget what preconceived notions you have about Glee if you haven’t seen it yet. Sure it’s a high-school show with music, which may lead you to believe it’s a Highschool Musical clone, but the exact opposite is true. Glee is one of the tightest, most refreshing pilots I’ve seen in a long time – and the director’s cut even more so. On a recent trip to Wal-mart I picked up the Director’s Cut DVD ($5) and was extremely pleased with it.

Glee is one of those shows that just makes you smile, but don’t take that to mean it’s a fluffy romp – the characters have a lot of inner angst and torment and high school to deal with. Despite only having an hour to set up 11 characters (and some minor ones), Glee doesn’t fall fall with adding depth and character to most of the main cast (regrettably not Tina, who I think could easily be my favorite character). And it’s not just the kids who have problems, the main characters are also fraught with real life issues (including the main character, Will Schuester played by Matthew Morrison).

The Director’s Cut only has a couple extended scenes that aren’t in the original cut, but worth the watch. One of them is Matthew Morrison’s performance of Leaving on a Jet Plane, which is hauntingly beautiful.

With an infectious combination of songs, dances and a cappella moments used in addition to the musical scoring make Glee a show that can lift your spirits and have you singing all night long.

Tonight’s the second episode of Glee, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Movie Review: Nature of the Beast

natureofthebeastBuy Nature of the Beast on Amazon.com.

Looking for a fun, comedy/supernatural movie?  Now available on DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment, Nature of the Beast is the movie for you.

With a mix of the funny and the sweet, Nature of the Beast makes it a popcorn flick that actually has a well-written storyline. Starting with the basic idea that “every man is hiding something,” this film takes a hilarious look at the problems with living with a werewolf. Will Julia still marry her beloved Rich when she finds out that three days out of the month Rich is a true monster?

Nature of the Beast stars Eddie Kaye Thomas, (American Pie movies, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle), Autumn Reeser (“The O.C.,” “Pushing Daisies”), Eric Mabius (“Ugly Betty,” “CSI: Miami”).  Since I was a big fan of Eric I was happy to see him in the film. His role isn’t a huge part of the movie, but it’s a good one.

It’s a hard to balance the funny and the serious emotional moments, but Nature of the Beast does so beautifully. There’s no point where the movie seems slow or too over the top, and the supporting cast makes the film even funnier. I especially love that they keep the actual werewolf shots to a minimum (especially at the beginning of the movie) it adds to the mysterious air of the movie.

Nature of the Beast is definitely a great film and one that you should definitely pick up for your next movie night.

Book Review: Fearless by Max Lucado

_140_245_Book.72.coverBuy Fearless by Max Lucado on Amazon.com

With the economy the way it is and the future not looking so bright it’s understandable folks are a bit fearful. Just in time is world-famous author Max Lucado’s Fearless, an inspiring look into a Christian’s life without fear. We are a people who have a great God who is bigger than the obstacles we may face.

I devoured the book in the course of a couple days. While I’ve always enjoyed Max Lucado’s books, Fearless is his best to date. It’s not often a writer is so deeply expressive of his own soul that you ache along with him as he describes his own personal struggles with fear.  This is a book about learning how to live without fear, but Lucado’s stories (and the stories of others he tells) teach us that living a fearless life isn’t just theoretical – it’s possible. Too many times Christian books stay within the truths of the Bible without really digging into the application of those truths. Sure, we all know that God is in control, but can we live it? Lucado acknowledges the issues and problems normal people face with faced with abnormal circumstances. Fearless isn’t about preachy, flashy exposition – it’s about the journey to changing how we feel about our fears.

This is a book of stories.  Make no mistake there is a lot of insights and teaching, but the book is extremely easy to read and understand because Lucado’s writing feels like he’s sitting at your kitchen table talking about everything. My favorite chapter is even set up with a very Dr. Seussian poem that adds to the enjoyability of this book.

There’s very few books I can point to as books I would encourage every Christian to read and Fearless is one of them. It’s a tall, cold glass of water in a very dry and thirsty time. If you find yourself struggling with worry and doubt this is just the book you need to read.

TV Review: Project Runway 6×1 “Welcome to Los Angeles”

projectrunway
Watch Project Runway on Lifetime, Thursday nights, 10 pm et/pt.
Buy Project Runway: Season Five on Amazon.com

On the whole, I despise reality television. Yet, there’s something about actual creative people competing that seems entirely different than people trapped in a house shouting at each other (sorry Heidi). So when Project Runway went through the trauma of switching networks from Bravo to Lifetime, I missed it.

But now it’s back, and in my hometown! Yay!

While I was not worried about the move to LA, I was curious to see if it would change the show’s feel any. Anyone who has visited LA’s garment district knows it’s a lot different than New York’s. Plus, downtown LA is a much different than downtown New York. As much as I love the Fashion Institute, the designers should be at a beach house somewhere. Thankfully they do get to run around LA some it looks like.

Season 6 Ep 1 “Welcome to Los Angeles”
Rating: [rating:3.5]
Quote of the Episode: “I don’t watch the red carpet. I don’t differentiate between different color carpets.” – Malvin Vien

Spoilers after the cut.

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TV Show Review: Big Brother 11 The First Four Evictions

bbwk4 I was out of town for a couple weeks, so this is going to be a summation and review of the first four evictions in the Big Brother house this season. It’s been a crazy and hostile house already this year. There a lot of strong personalities clashing.

The first week, when Jesse was HOH, Braden and Shima were nominated. The cliques were divided on what to do. Alliances have not been formed based on what clique the houseguests were in. On eviction night, Ronnie voted to evict Braden even though he had promised he would keep him. Of course, he promised that to both sides. So, Ronnie did vote for his clique-mate Shima, but Michele did not. Jesse had to bread the tie and Braden when home.

Ronnie was the next HOH. He promised to do something that would turn the house upside down. He, however, did not. He stuck by the athletes, well some of them. He nominated Laura and Jeff, who was an athlete but not getting along with his clique. Jeff won the Power of Veto, which he used on himself, and Jordan was put up as a replacement nominee. Ronnie was called out for playing both sides and stayed in his HOH room a lot. When he did come out, Russell would follow him around calling him a rat. Laura was eventually evicted.

In the HOH competition, Jesse prevailed…again. He really doesn’t need to win anything that will make himself think he’s better than he already does. He nominated Jordan and Michele, and Michele won the PoV removing herself from the block. She was replaced with Casey. Casey found out Jesse wanted him voted out and became a bit of a sore loser his last few days. The speeches on eviction night have been crazy this season. Calling people out, telling other houseguests what they think of them. These people aren’t afraid to speak their minds. Casey was evicted and the cliques were demolished.

This last week started out with Russell winning HOH. It was an endurance competition and it was Russell and Jeff at the end. Russell made a deal that Jeff and Jordan were safe to get the HOH. Russell was starting to see that Jesse, Shima, and Natalie weren’t looking out for his best interest. He nominated Ronnie and Lydia, which Jesse wasn’t happy about, because Ronnie was with them. Michele won the PoV again and did not use it, even though Ronnie tried to threaten her into it. There were a lot of fights this week with people getting the Big Brother restraining order, which means they have to stay three feet from each other. Ronnie went home! Now, I’m trying to be unbiased here, but when a person goes in saying they’ve watched the show religiously ever since it was on and knows how to play the game and then acts like Ronnie. I have no sympathy at all.

So that’s the wrap up for the first four weeks. The way this is going, I only see it getting better. The Coup D Etat has been introduced again this season and Jeff is in possession of it. Shima is the HOH, so next week he has the option to remove her nominations and replace them with his own. It could be very excited. Stay tuned to Big Brother to find out what happens.