Movie Reviews

Our Summer Adventure Continues #EarthtoEcho In Theaters July 2nd @EarthtoEcho

Posted on July 1st, 2014 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Movie Reviews

I am wowed by Earth to Echo! It was a great film about friendship and respect for others. The feeling of being on an adventure with those kids will stay with me for a long time. I can’t wait to see it again. I loved the way it was filmed, through the camera and virtually the eyes of the characters. It truly felt like being along for the ride. I love the sound track too! It’s an exciting thrill ride. ~Melissa Reyes @MizMeliz

My son and I were asked to attend a special press event for bloggers for the film, Earth to Echo. What a blast! (Disclosure.)

Our Summer Adventure Continues

In my last post about the screening of Earth to Echo, I wrote about how excited we were to see the film and how much we loved the bonding experience of seeing it together. Read Our Summer Adventure Begins Here.

Over breakfast my son and I talked about the questions we would ask. Roman was going to interview the stars of the movie, Earth to Echo – Teo Halm, Astro, Reese Hartwig, and Ella Wahlestedt along with a few other jr. interviewers. I was going to sit at a roundtable discussion with Director Dave Green, and Writers and Producers, Henry Gayden and  Andrew Panay along with a group of fellow bloggers. We both had some great questions. Roman was interested in the exciting world of the actors experiences on a film set and what is was like working with the “invisible” to be CGI’d character of Echo and how it was witnessing him come to life. I was concerned more with the correlation between this movie and it’s predecessor, E.T. as well as some parenting issues that made me raise an eye during the film.

Jr. Interviewers

Roman’s interview went very well and it was a thrill to watch him as it was being filmed for television. Click on the link to see the edited and very cool TV Spot HERE. He seemed comfortable asking his questions and he seemed to fit right in with the actors. Too bad he didn’t get a chance to hang out with them or at least take a time to relax a little before the camera started rolling. I think he is a natural! He had fun!

Click to See the video

Discussion with the Creators of Earth to Echo

I was so impressed with the creative team of Director Dave Green, Writer/Producer Andrew Panay and Writer Henry Gayden. Their casting, focus, and attention to detail produced a quality film that we will remember always. I was curious what motivated them to make this film and what was their intention for the movie. I had seen some of the trailers for the film and it had been compared to E.T. The Extraterrestrial, which has always been a favorite of mine. I wondered why they would set the bar so high and if Earth to Echo would measure up. I believe it did!

When asked about how the cast was selected and what qualities they were looking for in the actors Andrew Panay said,

“We believe that we casted these kids because they felt real.  The whole point of the movie is to speak to the next generation of kids and for parents like you, and for (people) our age, to hearken back to some of the movies that we used to see when we were growing up.  What we wanted to do is create as much an authentic feel as possible (to fit) the style of the movie and how would E.T. or Goonies would be done today.”

It inspired me to know that these filmmakers had a great understanding of what kids need to learn. I loved how they took responsibility for how they would be able to impress on young people about what truly matters in life by making a film like this . They set out to create a film that matched the adventurous spirit and fantasy of E.T. with the heart and impact of Stand By Me. You will find that they accomplished their mission. They “wanted to make kids feel that they can do anything.  And at the beginning (of the film,) they don’t think they can do a thing,” said Henry Gayden. This is so true. When you are young, how do you go from thinking… “”I’m just a kid.” to doing something so amazing you want to share it with the world and say,”Yeah! “We just did that.”

You just can’t fly.  But, you can accomplish giant things in your life.  It doesn’t matter how old you are, you should aspire for big dreams.  And that’s what these kids do.” ~Andrew Panay

When I was watching Earth to Echo, I was seeing through parental eyes at the beginning. I wondered, should kids be shown how easy it is to bend the rules and take risks like they do in this film? By the end of the movie, I had transitioned and was seeing it through my inner child’s eyes. My answer was, yes of course! This is fantasy. This is exhilarating. This is adventure!

Andrew Panay addressed the possibility of parental concerns in the panel discussion.  He said, “So, I just want to let you know as parents, one of the things that we tried to accomplish in the movie with the driving (scenes) or anything else that we do (with the kids,) we’re not advocating (kids) getting into (trouble and) stuff.  What we were saying is, they were sticking together and they got to save their friend, and they were going to do what they had to do to get there.  I think I would tell my kid the same thing.  ‘Look, you got to do what you got to do to save this little guy.’  You have to have conviction in your life, you know?”

I believe that is true, too. Some situations call for more risk, helping others sometimes involves going further and deeper in. That is caring. That is conviction. We need to show our kids that sometimes we can and should go the extra mile. It may be inconvenient, it may be a little dangerous, and it may seem wrong. But, superheroes do that, don’t they? What makes them so super? What compels them to help others? What is at the heart of a film that makes kids seem like superheroes?

“Everything that we do comes from a positive place.  I think the whole movie has that experience. The whole movie is generated from a very positive place, scene for scene.  If you really go back and look, everything is being done for all the right reasons, you know?” ~Andrew Panay

Yes, I know.

The writers were coming from the heart when they made this film. Andrew Panay said that maybe people cannot be the kind of superheroes we see in the movies. We can’t be just like them, “like, flying in the air, but as far as human superheroes, emotional superheroes,(we can) a hundred percent.  That’s what the movie is about.  The movie’s about (how) it does take superhuman strength to say goodbye or overcome a night like (the kids in the movie had with the alien they called Echo) or know that, if you’re small, you can overcome something so big.”

“And what I mean by small is, I think we all feel small at times.  And (kids today,) they feel (small)–they’re very young, and I think kids sometimes don’t feel empowered.  And I think what we’re saying is you can be a superhero–.”

You can be a superhero.

Earth to Echo is a fabulous film!

I can’t wait to see it with my family.

Again and again.

 

This Blogger and Jr. Interviewer Loved #EarthtoEcho ! See it in theaters July 2nd!

This Blogger and Jr. Interviewer Loved #EarthtoEcho ! See it in theaters July 2nd!

 

 

Our Summer Adventure Begins with Earth to Echo #EarthtoEcho @EarthtoEcho

Posted on June 24th, 2014 by & filed under Discoveries, Everything Miz Meliz, Movie Reviews

This is our kid’s “ET.”

Earlier this month I told you how excited my son and I were to be invited to see a screening of the film, Earth to Echo. (See it here, Our Summer Adventure is About to Begin.) The event was an amazing experience for both of us! It’s not often that I get a chance to bond with my fourteen year old son, Roman. This was the perfect opportunity. It was like a dream come true. It was an adventure to remember. Much like the film we were about to see, Earth to Echo. Relativity Media hosted us with a check in at Sweet! Hollywood where we received an official Earth to Echo Chocolate Bar for each of us. Their hospitality was stupendous and added to the excitement of the much anticipated events of seeing the movie, attending a press junket, and interviewing the filmmakers and cast. (Disclosure.) We went to the screening at the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters at Hollywood and Highland, with our popcorn and chocolate in hand. This is the home of the World Famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater. I had been there recently for a red carpet premier and now I was there with my son. It was so much fun!ETE_Billing As I looked around the theater, I was happy to see so many children, mostly 5-10 years old, with their parents. Their hands full of candy and soda, I expected them to all be bouncing off the walls and then crashing from sugar highs by the time the movie started. I was sitting in front of a little girl who was a sweet as can be, but just the right size that I prepared myself to have the back of my chair kicked at least a few times. In front of us was a father with two little girls. They got up and moved around a lot while waiting for the movie to begin. Each time the dad sat down, he had to get up to help one of them or take them to the bathroom, to get popcorn, and then back to the counter again to get a left behind drink…I figured it would be that way through the entire movie. When the theater darkened and the the movie started, everyone clapped. The entire audience was hushed and focused on what we were about to see. No previews, no titles, the movie just began and for the next hour and a half we were all completely enthralled by the story, the characters, the action, the friendships, and most especially, the alien – Echo. All the kids stayed awake. I looked around and no one was bouncing off any of the walls. The back of my chair did not get kicked. The kids in front of us sat quietly, almost reverently. There was reaction from the audience, laughter, ahhs, ohhs, a few “oh my goshes,” and even some gasps. But not one kid cried or screamed or asked to go to the bathroom or even talked to each other. Why? Because it was that good.

Earth to Echo is a film about friendship, adjustment to change, facing fears, accepting responsibility, caring for others, making important decisions, and never giving up hope. There is a heartfelt and endearing message in this movie. It has been compared to and even promoted as being similar to E.T. the Extra Terrestrial. It is in many ways. All good. But, it stands on its own as an epic movie for the current generation. This is our kid’s “ET.” During the first 30 minutes or so of the movie, I was in parent mode. Honestly, I thought I would have some serious concerns about some of the risks these kids were taking and how they were handling things. It was completely from the teen-ager’s point of view. Sitting there with Roman, I was worried that if I said I liked it that he would think that meant I thought these actions were acceptable. Totally “mom thoughts” happening here. I began formulating questions in my mind to the producers and writers that I would be interviewing about this. What were they thinking? Then, something amazing happened. When Echo came into the story is when I think the transformation started. I began to see things through the characters eyes. And I mean that quite literally since much of the film is projected through hand held videography and cell phone footage (expertly crafted with camera work and CGI.) I really had the sense that I was on this journey with these kids. By the end of the film, I had been brought back to my childhood. I was cheering and crying for these kids, their families and completely excited about their discoveries.Earth To Echo You will never forget the feeling in your chest when you heard “Turn On Your Heartlight.” You know what it means when someone says, “ET, phone home.” That’s how you will feel about this movie. That is how it can be compared to the iconic films of the eighties. It’s not the same story, but it has the same heart.

” Turn on your heartlight
Let it shine wherever you go
Let it make a happy glow
For all the world to see
Turn on your heartlight
In the middle of a young boy’s dream
Don’t wake me up too soon
Gonna take a ride across the moon
You and me” ~Neil Diamond

ECHO The thing is, when we watch movies from the eighties that we loved as young people, our kids get the message and find them sweet, but not in the same way. They have become outdated and we can’t help but say things like, “That was before we had cell phones.” It is time that our kids have a movie like ET or Stand By Me, that they can relate to in the age of technology. In Earth to Echo, the kids Skype chat, text, use GPS, and more than I even understand of the latest techno-stuff available. It seemed almost futuristic to me. I realized that all the kids in the audience related to these things because they have always had them. Like TV and typewriters for us, Global Internet and cell phone connectivity are standard in their lives.

Earth to Echo is not about technology. Earth to Echo is about relationships. It is about sticking together, never giving up, and making things happen. The excitement and thrill of the adventure that brought us to loving this story is reminiscent of how films used to be made and now, we have a generation of writers and directors paying homage to this kind of film-making. These are the storytellers. (Perhaps, re-tellers, but that is how stories become legendary, right?) I am trying not to spoil the movie for you by telling you any details. Just trust me on this. Everything about Earth to Echo – especially the beloved character of Echo himself, is not to be missed. You will love this movie. You will want to take Echo home. I can’t wait to see it again and again.

In my next post I will tell you about our Jr. Interviewing and Round Table Interview with the cast of Earth to Echo, it’s Director, Producer and Writers. Our Summer Adventure with Earth to Echo Continues…including an exclusive video interview of the cast by my son, Roman!image002 (1)

A Summer Adventure is About to Begin #EarthToEcho @earthtoecho

Posted on June 5th, 2014 by & filed under Discoveries, Everything Miz Meliz, Movie Reviews

EARTH TO ECHO

I can’t wait to see this movie with my son!  The story line sounds a lot like one of my all-time favorites, ET. Roman and I are going to a screening of it next week and we get to interview the actors from the film. What would you ask a kid who just got to be in a movie with an alien and have an adventure of a lifetime? Disclosure.

ETE_Billing

In Relativity’s PG summer family adventure movie, Tuck, Munch and Alex are a trio of inseparable friends whose lives are about to change. Their neighborhood is being destroyed by a highway construction project that is forcing their families to move away. But just two days before they must part ways, the boys begin receiving a strange series of signals on their phones. Convinced something bigger is going on, they team up with another school friend, Emma, and set out to look for the source of their phone signals.  What they discover is something beyond their wildest imaginations: a small alien who has become stranded on Earth. In need of their help, the four friends come together to protect the alien and help him find his way home. This journey, full of wonder and adventure, is their story, and their secret.

EARTH TO ECHO is a PG action adventure movie opening in theaters nationwide on July 2, 2014.

Director: Dave Green

Writer: Henry Gayden wrote the screenplay, based on a story by Henry Gayden & Andrew Panay

Cast: Teo Halm, Brian “Astro” Bradley, Reese Hartwig, Ella Linnea Wahlestedt

Producers: Andrew Panay, Ryan Kavanaugh

Executive Producers: Tucker Tooley, Ron Burkle, Jason Colbeck, Mark B. Johnson, Robbie Brenner, Jack Kavanaugh, Dave Miller

Rating: PG

ECHO

Learn more about EARTH TO ECHO on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/earthtoecho

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EarthToEcho

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/earthtoecho

Tumblr: http://earthtoecho.tumblr.com

Instagram: http://instagram.com/earthtoecho

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/earthtoecho/

Official site: http://earthtoecho.com

Hashtag: #EarthToEcho

Your wife called. She wants to go see #MomsNightOut. For her. And for you. Today. #enmnetwork

Posted on May 22nd, 2014 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Movie Reviews

Moms’ Night Out

When I saw the screening of this film, I loved it. I told my husband how great it was and that we would definitely be seeing it together. My first thoughts about the movie were how well it fit in with my blog’s message of positivity and how it was in line with my own personal core values.  I was like the mommy in the film, Allyson (played by Sarah Drew of Grey’s Anatomy,) in many ways. I experienced her plight of trying to “find myself” while I was an “at home mom” raising my small children. I knew I had a purpose that was more than cooking and cleaning and pleasing everyone.

I started writing. Allyson started a blog.

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The daddy in the film, Sean (played by Sean Astin,) was supportive and helpful just like my husband was. The hilarious situations that ensued in the film are taken from real life. They may seem unrealistic and far fetched, but I know that these things happen because things like this happened to me!

mno banner

I have heard that there have been some negative reviews by the critics about Moms’ Night Out – this does not surprise me. This film is unlike most Hollywood films that are reviewed by critics. Compared to a lot of the comedies I’ve seen, it is in a category by itself. It is special. I hope more films like this make it in Hollywood.

Mom’s Night Out is a quality film, well-written by Andrea Gyertson Nasfell and expertly directed by the Erwin brothers. The actors humbly portrayed versions of real people we have all met, or would be lucky to meet. This film personifies what real people go through and it might not show what all moms do, or what all parents do, but it is a snapshot of one family and what happens to them. It could be about anyone you know. It could be about you. The movie is wholesome and carefully constructed to appeal to the whole family. There is a Christian message in the film that is indicative of what these characters are going through and in no way pushes religion on the viewer. I liked it because it was well thought out, funny, lighthearted, endearing and hopeful.

These are some topics that I identified with in the film:

  • Keeping my family grounded. Being a part of a community was part of that. I got involved at church and met other families with similar values.
  • Staying sane. Taking time to be with other adults and have some time away from the kids. My husband and parents were very helpful with this!
  • Being true to myself. I searched for and researched ways to be productive and did things that utilized my abilities beyond taking care of my kids.
  • Practicing self-care – for me writing and journaling was always the key to self-care.  I always turned to it when I needed to nourish myself. (I also took yoga classes, cardio kick-boxing, and karate! I started because the YMCA had free child care.)
  • Learning to put my oxygen mask on first. We all learn in our own time as mothers that we must take care of our own needs to be a good mom, wife, daughter, person…
  • Relying on friends and family to help. Yes, it takes a village and all that. Friends and family are very important in helping new parents to grow their families and we can’t do it without them.10345452_s

 “The kind of self-care we each need is very individual, and it is critical to spend time with oneself taking note of what works and what doesn’t. And then do that!” Anne Marie Bennett, Author of “Listen to What Makes You Shine”

I was lucky enough to meet the cast and crew of the film, Moms’ Night Out through my connection with the Entertainment New Media Network of bloggers. Disclosure. All opinions are my own and I was not paid to write a blog post. I was treated to a fun night on the red carpet and saw the film at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

Enjoy the pictures below and see the film for yourself. It’s in theaters now. Let me know what you think!

 

A+ and 8 thumbs up for The LEGO Movie

Posted on February 7th, 2014 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Movie Reviews

Wow! I loved the new LEGO movie!

I saw it last week at a free screening hosted by Warner Bros. and Laila Ali. I gave it 8 thumbs up because I saw it with my husband, my son, and his friend – we all liked it a lot! So that’s 8 thumbs! (Disclosure)
image001 (1)

Here is why I loved it so much:

  • It was funny, fresh and new.
  • It’s a movie my whole family can enjoy together.
  • It reminded me of my youth and my kid’s youth.
  • The story was imaginative and meaningful.
  • The story was relatable and unpredictable.
  • The music was fantastic!
  • The message was positive and uplifting!
My Favorite Gift from Lito! LEGO HEART!

My Favorite Gift from Lito! LEGO HEART!

I can’t wait to see it again!

“The LEGO® Movie,” the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO® adventure, from
Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures, opens in theaters February 7, 2014.

Directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (“21 Jump Street,” “Cloudy with a Chance of
Meatballs”), it stars Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman,
Alison Brie and Charlie Day, with Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman.

The original 3D computer animated story follows Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following,
perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary
person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic
quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously
underprepared.

Thank you @WarnerBros for inviting me to attend a screening of the film with my family. Special thanks to Laila Ali for being the celebrity host at the event. We enjoyed it very much. I was happy to share this experience on my blog. I did not receive any compensation for this post other than an invitation to a free screening. My opinions are my own. Read my disclosure for more information on why I posted this on my blog. http://mizmeliz.com/Disclosure

How about you?

Did you see it?

Did you like it?

Which is your favorite character?

What is your favorite quote from the movie?

~I think I got it, but just in case, say the whole thing again, ’cause I wasn’t listening~ -Emmet :joking:

 

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