Harry Potter and Star Wars Similarities

Are the Harry Potter and Star Wars movies cut from the same cloth? Do you see the similarities between the two movies?

I've been enjoying the posts about social networking on Bit Rebels. I've enjoyed them enough to subscribe to the updates, which is not something I do regularly. It was, therefore, interesting that in my mailbox this morning was a post called 'Harry Potter vs. Star Wars: The Similarities Are Striking.'

The author points out some of the similarities between the two movies and illustrates them with a series of Harry Potter and Star Wars pictures that share the likenesses of the films. Stop and think about it for a minute and you will quickly realize that both have a hero, a reliable friend, a female friend, a hairy friend, a wise teacher, and more...

If you are interested in reading the author's comments and seeing his illustrations of his point, I encourage you to read his post by clicking right here. Do come back and let us know what YOU think about his comparison of these two iconic movies.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Harry Potter vs. Star Wars: The Similarities Are Striking.

What Is Pottermore?

Well, J.K. Rowling has done it again. She's put together a positively magical package that has fans around the world celebrating the ANNOUNCEMENT of Pottermore. More than 99,000 people are already following Pottermore on Twitter...and the on-line reading experience is not even going to be available until October, 2011.

It is truly amazing that she could create such a furor for a product that is not even available. The excitement is so strong that her attractive new website Pottermore could not cope with the demand from people wanting to sign up to be notified when Pottermore becomes available.

J.K. Rowling's announcement video, issued today, June 23, 2011, does look positively amazing and I am amongst those very excited about the newest development in Harry Potter's world. To watch Rowling's announcement and to learn more about Pottermore -- what it is, when it will be available, etc. -- please visit my page J.K. Rowling Announces POTTERMORE.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Link:

J.K. Rowling Announces POTTERMORE.

Amy Adams and Kermit The Frog

Turns out that popular green dudes like Kermit The Frog can pick and choose who they appear in the movies with. In this case, Kermit (aided by Jason Segal) personally invited Amy Adams to join him in The Muppets new movie, The Muppets and Adams says that it was impossible to say no to those froggy eyes.

Kermit, after learning about you and Lady Gaga in 2009 (see What's The Scoop With Lady Gaga and Kermit The Frog) I am beginning to think that you really are a ladies' frog.

(And yes, if you ask, I would be thrilled to join you on the big screen OR on the red carpet.)

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Read more about Kermit's new movie, The Muppets.

Water For Elephants (2011) Movie Review

Water For Elephants was not a movie I knew much about when a group of lady friends took me off to see it one day not too long ago. As a matter of fact I had almost no knowledge of this movie and I am not sure that I had even heard of it. I was thrilled to discover that it was a historically based circus movie and I am pleased to be able to say that I loved it.

It was a romance, for sure, starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz and I thought that they were all very nicely cast. However, it was possibly the most violent romantically themed movie that I have seen.

I still enjoyed it enough to come home and read Sara Gruen's book of the same name.  I was really curious as to whether the story was a true story and discovered that it was not.  I appreciated knowing, however, that Gruen based the book on circus research and even included some events that were rumoured to have happened in the real circus world. Apparently, there is a lot of speculation with regard to events from the circus world.

The Movie Mom says, "This ambitious, colorful story of the travels of a second rate depression era circus is filled with metaphors about life and love - some more successful than others - but it is consistently engaging and a treat for the eyes."  I agree.

Quick Facts:

DIRECTOR: Francis Lawrence
PRODUCER: Kevin Halloran, Gil Netter, Erwin Stoff and Andrew R. Tennenbaum
SCREENPLAY: Richard LaGravenese
BASED ON: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
STARRING: Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Christoph Waltz, MUSIC: James Newton Howard
RELEASE DATE: April 22, 2011
DVD RELEASE DATE: November 1, 2011.
RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes

Official Movie Trailer

What is Water For Elephants rated?


You would be excused if you were thinking that Water For Elephants might be a family movie. A movie about a circus and an elephant seems like the perfect candidate for a family film. However, let me tell you that it is NOT. It is rated PG-13 by the MPAA. I found it to be quite violent and it also contains a fair bit of sexual content. The same can be said of the book, although the violence did not stand out as much there for me. The Movie Mom called this movie suitable for high school aged children and I guess that is in keeping with the PG-13 rating of this movie.

Who is the Real Star of Water For Elephants?

I think both Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson were perfectly cast in this movie and I believe they both did a wonderful job. However, I have heard it said that there was a surprise star in this movie so I'll ask, who do you think is the star of Water for Elephants?

If you are interested, you can buy your copy of Water For Elephants from Amazon by clicking here.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Water For Elephants: Book Review.
Buy your copy of Water For Elephants from Amazon.

Previously published by the author elsewhere in 2011.

Circus (2010) Documentary Film Review

If you love the circus, you will love this six-hour PBS series from 2010 called 'Circus.'  It follows a year in the life of The Big Apple Circus.

The Big Apple Circus is a hugely popular European-style, non-profit circus whose base is in New York. In 2010, they presented a whopping 350 shows to adoring audiences.

In this series, you will travel with them for that year. You will enjoy the artistry as it is presented in the big ring. You will enjoy the drama behind the scenes. You will have a quick peek into what it is like to be a member of a travelling circus and, if you are like certain members of my family, you will want to run away and join the circus.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Buy your copy of Circus (2010) from Amazon.
Big Apple CIRCUS (2010) Documentary Review.

What's The Scoop On Lady Gaga and Kermit The Frog?

If I were a frog friend of Lady Gaga and I saw her dressed in this coat constructed as it is, ah, out of my friends, I don't think I would want to go out on a date with her.

Lady Gaga’s coat was created by designer Jean Charles de Castelbajac and unfortunately, I cannot assure you that no frogs were hurt in its creation although Kermit assures us that none of the frogs were his personal friends.

Kermit DID wind up going out on a date with Lady Gaga when he accompanied the singer to the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards (although to give credit where it is due, she did NOT wear this coat.)

Upon the couple's arrival, the world was immediately concerned about the subject of Miss Piggy and her status as Kermit's girlfriend. Miss Piggy and Kermit have been romantically linked together for years. Some people even questioned if this date made Kermit somewhat of a ‘ladies’ frog’

Kermit reassured his adoring public that Lady Gaga and he are just friends but you might want to check it out for yourself in this video from the red carpet at the music awards where it is clear that at least Lady Gaga is enamoured with our beloved Kermit The Frog.

Believe it or not some people must have really liked the coat because you can even order a Lady Gaga Kermit The Frog costume from Amazon.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Order your Lady Gaga Kermit The Frog costume from Amazon.
Read about Kermit The Frog's new movie, Green With Envy.

The Lion King Trilogy 2011

This fall, Disney is bringing The Lion King out of The Vault. However, they are first bringing a new and different version, a 3D version, to movie theatres for two weeks before they re-releases the movie on blu-ray disc, blu-ray 3D and DVD.

The blu-ray version will be available for purchase on October 4, 2011; the DVD version on November 14, 2011.

All of the versions, of course, are available for purchase already from Amazon by clicking right here.

The Lion King Trilogy, as shown here, is the package that caught my eye.

It includes four movies: the original 2D versions of The Lion King, The Lion King 1 1/2 and The Lion King 2, a digital copy of The Lion King PLUS the brand-new version, The Lion King in 3D.

The trilogy set is packed with special features including those that come with The Lion King blu-ray release:  new deleted scenes, an extended version of The Morning Report, never seen bloopers, Disney Second Screen, Pride of The Lion King, The Lion King: A Memoir - Don Hahn, Disney Sing-Along, an interactive gallery, an audio commentary and Disney's Virtual Vault: Classic DVD Features Powered by BD-Live.

It also includes special features with the two other movies.

The Lion King 1-1/2 features Timon and Pumbaa's Vacation Safari, deleted scenes, Timon: Behind the Legend, Before the Beginning: The Making of The Lion King 1 ½ and a music video.

The Lion King 2 features include Timon and Pumbaa's Insectapedia, an animated short called One by One, Proud of Simba's Pride, Timon and Pumbaa: Find Out Why and a music video.

Amazon already has the trilogy boxed set discounted. I will not quote the price here because it is subject to change but I will say that the sale price is pretty good when you consider what is included with this attractively packaged, eight-disc gift set. When you look at the prices of the three individual Lion King movies on DVD right now, this boxed set becomes a very good deal indeed. (And do not forget that Amazon will ship it for FREE.)

If you want to upgrade your copy of The Lion King or perhaps buy it for the first time on blu-ray, I think The Lion King Trilogy is the way to go.  It is way too soon to be thinking of next Christmas but I would be willing to bet that this will be a top-rated movie gift choice next Christmas.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Buy The Lion King Trilogy from Amazon.
Read more about The Lion King 2011 release options.
Learn more about Disney's Vault.

The LIon King 3D Movie Release

Have you heard about the new 3D version of The Lion King that Disney will be releasing this September? It's the same Lion King movie that we all know and love but redone in 3D.

Since this is the first hand-drawn animated movie being released in 3D, I am kind of curious about the 3D aspect but I have been unable thus far to turn up much information, which leaves me speculating about HOW the movie is being made in 3D.

What we do know right now is general information about the release of The Lion King on 3D.  The 3D version will appear in movie theatres for a very short, two-week run starting on September 16, 2011.

After that, Disney's Vault will release the movie in a number of packages. Ranging from a single DVD disc right through to an eight disc blu-ray trilogy boxed set, all of which (except the DVD) will be released on October 4, 2011.

If it is the DVD you are after and you want the 2011 version, you will have to wait a bit longer -- until November 15, 2011 when the DVD is set to be released.   However, there's no need to wait for the DVD version because it is still available on Amazon from the 2003 Platinum release by clicking right here.

To see all of the Lion King blu-ray, blu-ray 3D and DVD options that are being offered in 2011, visit Amazon's Lion King page by clicking right here.

Meanwhile, we will have to wait for more information about the process and about the quality of the blu-ray transfer as well as the quality of the blu-ray 3D movie.  I do not have much concern that the blu-ray release will be amazing -- I am picturing The Lion King with the best quality sound and video possible -- and I know that Disney does a pretty good job with its transfers.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Read more about The Lion King 3D Movie Release.
Order your copy of The Lion King on blu-ray disc.

Vincent Van Gogh: A Brush With Genius Imax Documentary Film Review

Vincent Van Gogh: A Brush With Genius is an interesting and educational look at the man, his artwork and the places that inspired him. This film, unlike many others, actually focuses on his art rather than his illness making it, I believe a bit unusual. It is a beautiful film that features incredible quality since it was created to be shown on Imax screens.

I've always had a fascination with Vincent Van Gogh and I love many of his pieces of art. I knew little about the man and enjoyed my role as an armchair traveller recently when I watched this film. I think it would be of interest to anyone who loves learning about famous artists, good for classroom use and particularly good for anyone travelling to Amsterdam (where the Van Gogh museum is) and/or any of the other sites that Van Gogh is noted for working from.

That is, by the way, exactly how the film proceeds. It shows the making of this film and travels to many of the sites that Vincent Van Gogh painted in. An interesting trip to Europe could be one that followed in the footsteps of the artist and this film. I know I would have enjoyed seeing this documentary film BEFORE I went to Europe and visited the Vincent Van Gogh museum.

And the blu-ray quality? High-Def Digest calls it "reference quality video transfer and a highly active audio presentation."

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Buy your copy of Vincent Van Gogh: A Brush With Genius
Vincent Van Gogh's Ominous Wheatfield With Crows Intrigues...
What Sights Can You See In Two Days In Amsterdam, Netherlands?

for any

What Is The Jane Eyre 2011 Movie DVD and Blu-ray Release Date?

The new Jane Eyre (2011) movie disappointed many with a very limited theatre release, which has fueled the desire to know when we will be able to watch it from the comfort of our homes.

Today's rumour, you will be happy to know, actually comes with a date.  The date of the DVD and blu-ray disc release is August 16th, 2011, a date not so very far in the future.

Amazon has the movie available and, prior to the release date, you are protected by their pre-order guarantee, which means that if the price goes down between now and then, you will receive yours at the lowest price offered.

To buy your copy from Amazon, you can just visit this link. If you want to read a bit more about the movie, you can visit my Jane Eyre 2011 Movie Review page.

See you
at the movies!

Order your copy of Jane Eyre 2011 blu-ray or DVD release from Amazon.
Jane Eyre 2011 Movie Review.

Jim Henson: The Career and Life of a Gifted Puppeteer and Creator of the Muppets

Jim Henson was the very gifted puppeteer born in 1936 in Greenville, Mississippi, who created characters that continue to be hugely popular today.

The  shows that you will recognize his puppet creations from include Sesame Street and The Muppets but of course he was involved in many other products including the creation of Yoda for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.  He is perhaps most famous for his little green friend, as shown here, named Kermit The Frog.

Upon Henson's untimely death in 1990, Entertainment Tonight presented this short video clip, which nicely summarizes Jim Henson's lifetime achievements:

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

The Career and Life of Jim Henson, Puppeteer.
Jim Henson's The Frog Prince Movie Review.
Buy Jim Henson: The Works from Amazon.

Disney's Mars Needs Moms Fails At The Box Office...But Is It Any Good?

It's not very often that Disney makes a movie that turns out to be a box office bomb but it looks like Mars Needs Moms was a wipe out.  The newspaper I read (the Ottawa Citizen) said that Mars Needs Moms "was one of the biggest write-offs in modern Hollywood history." According to the Citizen, it cost $150 million dollars to make the movie (plus other sources say another $50 million to promote it) and earned $6.9 million in its debut, which put it in the 12th spot for worst openings of all time.

Those figures are pretty powerful and I will admit that Mars Needs Moms held no attraction to me. My children are older  and therefore the movie stayed pretty much in my peripheral vision but now that I have read how poorly the movie did at the box office, I am wondering if Mars Needs Moms was any GOOD.

Wikipedia calls this film a "3D computer-animated sci-fi adventure comedy film" and says that it is based on the illustrated book of the same name, written by Berkeley Breathed.

IMDB describes the storyline in few words when they say, "A young boy named Milo gains a deeper appreciation for his mom after Martiasn come to Earth to take her away." (I wonder if the short plot description has any meaning?)  And the movie rates a score of just 4.1 out of 10.

Rotten Tomatoes says, "The cast is solid and it's visually well-crafted, but Mars Needs Moms suffers from a lack of imagination and heart." The film struggles to get 34 percent grade of the Tomatometer.

The trailer official video trailer makes the movie look like fun but the reviews ah, well, they are not so good so I went looking for some information about WHY Mars Needs Moms did not do so well at the box office.

In the Hollywood Reporter, Disney's President of Worldwide Distribution is quoted as having said, "The right audience came, but not in the numbers we needed."

So that leaves us wondering why didn't they come to see this film?

Box office observers have made a few observations:
  • That movie fans do not always LIKE motion-capture technology.
  • That the movie title with the use of the word Moms may have been a turn-off for boys.
  • That animation works better when the characters are not people.
  • That a movie with Mom being kidnapped might have been just a tad frightening for youngsters.
Ebert Presents The Movie called it an "animated 3D time killer" and also focused on the dark subject matter of a Mom disappearing.

The Movie Mom called Mars Needs Mums a "decidedly second-tier Disney with third-tier visuals" and gives it a mark of 'C.' The film is rated PG for science fiction action and peril and she recommends it for children from the fourth grade up.

So all of this has me wanting to see the movie for myself out of, at the very least, curiousity about why it did so poorly. If after reading all of this, YOU want to watch Mars Needs Moms, you can buy it from Amazon now in advance of the release date of August 9, 2011.

I feel badly for the film-makers who obviously put a lot of time and energy into making this movie. It mus be pretty disappointing to invest so much effort in a projec tyou love and have it poorly received.

We'd love to hear YOUR review of Disney's Mars Needs Moms.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Buy Mars Needs Moms from Amazon.

Lady Gaga Out Ranks Oprah Winfrey As The Most Powerful Celebrity

Let me start by admitting that I know less about Lady Gaga than I do about Oprah Winfrey.  That might be understandable, given that Oprah Winfrey has been front row centre in North American society for the last 25 years.

Granted, one cannot miss Lady Gaga and I do know a few of her songs. Who can miss her presence?

It was with interest then that I noticed Lady Gaga recently pushed Oprah Winfrey out of the number one spot on the Forbes annual power ranking which looks at the earnings, fame and exposure of members of the media from within the circles of music, film, television, sports and fashion.

Oprah has been at the top of the list four times in the last six years and she is still a powerful lady off in a slightly different direction these days.  The newspaper says that her new television network OWN is going to be in 80 million homes by the end of the year but, so far, it is woefully off of that target with an average viewer number of 179,000.  I expect the presence of Oprah, now that The Oprah Winfrey Show is finished, will help that.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Amazon biographies of Lady Gaga.
Amazon biographies of Oprah Winfrey.
Pre-order Lady Gaga Just Dance from Amazon.
Revisit A Few of Oprah's Favorite Things.

Hallmark's A Crush On You Movie 2011

A Crush On You is the story of a young man named Ben who falls for a beautiful girl who crosses his path but winds up emailing his 'love' notes to a single mother instead. He dates the first girl but finds out that she is not the person he had communicated and fallen in love with online.

A Crush On You stars Brigid Brannagh, Sean Patrick Flanery, Christine Scott Bennett and Michael Clarke Duncan and aired only on the Hallmark Channel on June 11, 2011.

Unfortunately, A Crush on You has not been released on DVD or blu-ray disc.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

More Romantic Hallmark Movies.

Does Santa Claus Have A Daughter Named Annie?

Does Santa Claus really have a daughter?

This post was inspired by a friend who pointed out something so obvious that I well, totally missed it. Yesterday, I wrote about the new lineup of Hallmark Christmas movies for 2011, one of which is Annie Claus' Year off.

It tells the story of Santa's daughter, Annie, who takes the year off to live in the real world and decide whether or not she really wants to take over the family business when Santa Claus retires for good. She sets off for Los Angeles in search of real life and, well, LOVE. (It is a Hallmark movie.) She is unaware that an actor has been hired to win her affections and she falls for the imposter but eventually discovers that a toy store owner who needs her help is a better match.

STOP -- This is when my friend Susan52 pointed out the obvious -- she is intrigued by this film because previously she had been unaware that Santa Claus had a daughter. And she is right, who knew?

How about you? Did you know that Santa Claus had a daughter? I sure did not!  Please take a moment and let us know what you think of this startling discovery. You might also like to visit my page dedicated to the new Hallmark movies for 2011 and vote in the poll where we will discover just exactly how many people think that Santa Claus has a daughter...

See you
at the movies!

Quick Link:

Order this Santa Claus hat from Amazon for your daughter.

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2011

Believe it or not, the Hallmark Christmas Movies for 2011 have been announced and yes, the list is an interesting one.  It actually consists of seven new movies and one animated television special.

In true Hallmark style, it incorporates two big names you are going to recognize, those of Sir Roger Moore in  A Princess For Christmas (which was originally called Christmas at Castlebury Hall) and Melissa Gilbert in Christmas Pageant.

It will be the first time that Hallmark has taken a successful franchise from its card division and used it in its movie division.  Since they have chosen their husky pup Jingle, I believe that Jingle All The Way could be a popular Christmas special.

A complete list of new Hallmark Christmas movies for 2011 includes:

Debbie Macomber's Trading Christmas
Christmas Returns to Canaan (The sequel to Christmas in Canaan.)
Lucky Christmas
Annie Claus' Year Off
A Princess For Christmas
Christmas Pageant
Cancel Christmas
Jingle All The Way

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Read more about the Hallmark Christmas Movies of 2011.
Buy Christmas in Canaan from Amazon.

Tron: Legacy (2010) Blu-ray Movie Review

The first Tron movie that I saw was the second one, Tron: Legacy (2010).  We saw it in 3D at the movie theatre and I really enjoyed it. It used 3D perhaps as it ought to be used, with emphasis on the 3D element when the players are inside the video game.

I just watched an interesting review by Jeremy Jahns, a YouTube movie reviewer whose reviews I enjoy.  He liked it for precisely the reasons I liked it. It is NOT a deep movie but it is fun and it is not totally without a storyline.

The blu-ray disc? Well, as might be expected Blu-ray.com called the video and audio content extraordinary but it lost a few points for the movie itself. (We know this movie does not have the strongest storyline going.)

Learn more about Tron: Legacy by reading my page Disney's Tron: Legacy where you will find more information about this movie and be able to watch and enjoy Mr. Jahns' video review.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Buy Tron: Legacy from Amazon.
Read my Tron: Legacy (2010) Movie Review.
Read my Tron: Classic (1982) Movie Review.