Sunday, June 25, 2017

Quote of the Week

Artwork courtesy of Disney/Pixar

Life's a beach
And then you drive.

- Lightning McQueen, Cars 3

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Muppets Sing Along - Cabin Fever

Photo courtesy of Disney & Jim Henson Studios
Is the summer heat giving you Cabin Fever? Well, here's a song from Muppet Treasure Island that may help. And it even has the words so you can sing along.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cars 3 Review

Photos courtesy of Disney and Pixar

This has been quite the summer for Disney movies. All of them have been sequels. All of them have been good. But, quite surprisingly to me, the best one was Cars 3. Now, don't get me wrong, I'll always love Pirates and Guardians, but at least Cars 3 didn't make me cry. And while the first two were a bit slow to start, Cars 3 hit the track running and never let off the gas. It also had what I thought was a very satisfying ending. Caution: Spoilers Ahead! 

The film starts with Lightning McQueen doing what he loves: racing and competing with his friends, Bobby Swift and Cal Weathers. Sometimes he wins, sometimes he doesn't, but he and the other racers truly enjoy the sport.

All too soon, Lightning discovers that there's a new type of rookie in the race, Jackson Storm (voiced by Armie Hammer). He is the ultimate in automotive technology, and boy, does he know it! Pretty soon, nearly all of Lightning's friends have been forced into retirement by Jackson and cars like him, and Lightning is struggling to find his place in a strange new world.

And that's when it happens. Lightning pushes himself to the limit and suffers a major crash. He goes home to Radiator Springs and locks himself in Doc's old garage. He's worried that his racing days are over, just like Doc's were after his big crash. With a little encouragement from his friends, he decides to try again, but with some help from the technology that helps Jackson Storm to win.

The Rusteze guys want to make sure Lightning has everything he needs, so they sell their company to Sterling (voiced by Nathan Fillion), the owner of a mudflap company, and super fan of Lightning McQueen and Doc Hudson. Sterling has built a new training center for rookie racecars where Lightning can train with Cruz Ramirez (voiced by Cristela Alonzo). Cruz knows everything about motivation and the latest racing technology, but very little about actual racing. Lightning makes a deal with Sterling that if he wins the next race, he can keep racing, but if he loses, he'll become a spokesman for all the products Sterling wants him to sell.

Lightning McQueen and Cruz Ramirez

With so much riding on a single race, Lightning must do everything he can to beat Jackson Storm. He decides to revisit the famous racetracks from Doc Hudson's past. First up, Fireball Beach, which nearly defeats Cruz as she attempts to keep up with Lightning. Then, it's on to the Thunder Hollow Speedway, which has unexpectedly become a hilarious demolition derby. Finally, Lightning decides to seek out Doc's old Crew Chief, Smokey, at his hometown, the Thomasville Speedway. Along the way, Lightning learns a lot about his mentor, which leads up to a fabulous twist during what may be his final race.

Thomasville Speedway

Cars 3 was a fantastic movie, which I can't wait to watch again. Kids will love the familiar characters and jokes, while adults will appreciate a story about growing older and figuring out your ever changing place in the world. And there are some pretty funny jokes. Personally, I liked Lightning's offhand remark to Cruz early in the film "Life's a beach, and then you drive." And that one statement just about sums it up.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Lego Silent Mary

Photos courtesy of Lego
When I heard that they were making the latest Pirates movie, I really hoped that Lego would make a new ship. Boy did they ever! The Silent Mary, which can be yours for the low price of $199, is an incredible Lego creation.
Silent Mary

The 2294 piece set includes eight minifigures: Captain Jack Sparrow, Henry Turner, Carina Smyth, Captain Salazar, Lieutenant Lesaro, Officers Magda and Santos, and the Silent Mary Masthead.

There are also two Ghost sharks. The ship can be opened to switch from sailing to attacking, just like in the movie. Accessories include a compass, sextant, ship-in-a-bottle, and Galileo Diary.

The set is amazing. While I could never spend so much on a single set, I do love it. It would be hours of piratey fun putting it together. The Silent Mary is available from the Lego store as well as online at

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Review

Images courtesy of Disney & Marvel
I finally had the chance to see Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 last week. I really enjoyed it. It was funny, and sad, and heartwarming, and all about family. In all, it was the perfect sequel. Caution: Spoilers Ahead!

Dancing Baby Groot

The movie starts with the Guardians struggling to settle into their new life as heroes. (And a hilarious fight scene that heavily features a dancing Baby Groot.) Unfortunately, it seems like they are constantly bickering. When Rocket steals some batteries and offends the High Priestess of the Sovereign, Ayesha, the Guardians are forced to flee. The golden Sovereign chase them in drone ships (keep an eye out for Ben Browder from Farscape as the Sovereign Admiral!), but are stopped by someone unexpected.

Sovereign Ayesha and Admiral

Gamora, "A little one-inch man saved us?"
Rocket, "Well, if he got closer, I'm sure he'd be much larger."


The "little one-inch man" turns out to be Ego, a planet as well as a man, and also Peter Quill's father. He has been searching for Peter since he hired Yondu to deliver him years before. Peter is rather reluctant to warm up to, and yet completely in awe of, his father. And he has a million questions about Ego's past and his relationship with Meredith Quill, Peter's mother.

Yondu, Groot and Rocket

In another part of the galaxy, Ayesha has hired Yondu and the Ravagers to track down the Guardians and destroy them. When they find Rocket, Groot, and Nebula with the crashed Milano, the Ravagers figure they'll capture them easily. They're wrong of course, and Rocket manages to attack them with several hilarious traps, before finally being stopped by Yondu. Unfortunately for Yondu, his affection for Peter causes his crew to mutiny, replacing him as captain with the ridiculously named Taserface.


With everyone searching for the Guardians, we find ourselves in familiar territory. There are epic battles, moments of ridiculous comedy, and surprisingly, some deeply sad scenes as well. I won't give away the rest, but the end was the best part of the movie. And make sure you bring the tissues; I cried for most of the last twenty minutes.

The music in the film was fantastic. Every song just worked with the scene and added a fabulous sense of nostalgia for those of us of a certain age. And the choice of Cat Stevens "Father and Son" for the last big scene was absolutely perfect, although it almost made it sadder.

Stan Lee Cameo

Like with previous Marvel films, make sure to stay all the way until the end of the credits. I've never seen so many extra scenes in my life! (I believe there were five in total.) Besides, you wouldn't want to miss the second Stan Lee cameo in the movie. It's even funnier than the first one, "That time I was the FedEx guy." (I love the reference to his appearance in Captain America: Civil War.)


In the end, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 was about family, both the family you're born into and the one you choose for yourself. As Peter Quill said, "Sometimes, that thing you're searching for your whole life, is right there by your side all along, and you don't even know it." The Guardians are definitely a family, a bit dysfunctional perhaps, but a family nonetheless. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Quote of the Week

Sometimes, that thing you're searching for your whole life, is right there by your side all along, and you don't even know it.

- Peter Quill, 
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2