Memorial Day Weekend: Open the Door to Summer Movie Blockbusters

  • May 23, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

This coming Monday, May 30th is Memorial Day. Memorial Day is such an excellent holiday for a whole bunch of reasons.  First and foremost, Memorial Day is an American holiday set aside specifically to honor those men and women who died in service of their country while in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Memorial Day is also the unofficial holiday that begins the summer season.  Around these parts, one of our favorite things about summer is the release of all those big time summer movies.  Doesn’t it seem that the very best of best films come out in the summer?  Yes, we agree.  Here are some of the films we are most excited about--many of these are in movie theaters NOW! 

Batman V. Superman-This film came out in March--have you seen it yet?  Batman V. Superman brings together a few of the DC Comics Universe heavy hitters in the sequel to Man of Steel.  In addition to Superman, this film will reintroduce fans to Batman with a long overdue welcome to a rebooted Wonder Woman! 

The Jungle Book-The Jungle Book is Disney’s live-action film based on the beloved children’s stories of Rudyard Kipling and the classic animated film of the same name. 

Captain America:  Civil War-Marvel Comics has some in-fighting of their own and in this big summer movie, Captain America goes toe to toe with Iron Man!

Angry Birds-So what are these cute little birds so angry about anyway?  This whimsical animated adventure comedy promises to answer that question and many others inspired by one of the world’s most popular video games. There's also an entire line of Angry Birds costumes too!. 

Alice Through the Looking Glass-In the sequel to Tim Burton’s 2010 “Alice in Wonderland”, much of the original cast reunites as Alice returns to Wonderland and tries to help The Mad Hatter, who is apparently behaving much crazier than usual. The movie trailer looks awesome!

X-Men: Apocalypse-This film is the last in the trilogy of X-Men movies that began with the immensely popular, X-Men: First Class.  In this latest installment, an ancient mutant, “Apocalypse” has come to life and now is a threat to all humanity.  It’s time for the X-Men to be called into action!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2-If the last Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie left you wanting more--this could be your summer.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 is the sequel to the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film and will be in theaters on June 3, 2016.

Warcraft-Scheduled to be in theaters June 10, this long-awaited film based on the popular video game Warcraft will chronicle the origin of the battles between the humans and the Orcs. 

Independence Day:  Resurgence-Twenty years after the first alien attack, the earth must face a new extraterrestrial threat that is far more advanced than the planet is prepared to combat.

Ghostbusters-Who you gonna call?  When ghosts invade the city of Manhattan, a diverse team of hilarious ghost tacklers is mostly unafraid to take them on and eradicate the city of its new inhabitants.

Star Trek: Beyond-Star Trek: Beyond is set to be released on July 22 and will be the thirteenth film that is part of the Star Trek movie franchise.  When aliens destroy the USS Enterprise, it leaves the ship’s crew stranded on an obscure planet. 

This Memorial Day weekend, after you've taken a moment to remember those who have served our country why not head to the theater and check out a really great movie?  With so many fabulous films to choose from, this summer season could arguably be the best blockbuster year on record! 

Happy Memorial Day from your friends at Halloween Express!

Alice Through the Looking Glass

  • May 16, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

In 2010, Tim Burton’s reboot of the classic Lewis Carroll tale, "Alice in Wonderland", catapulted the whimsical and memorable characters of this classic children’s story to a new level of creativity, vision, whimsical fantasy and imagination. The original movie even sparked some really awesome Alice in Wonderland costumes. On May 27, 2016, the cast of Alice in Wonderland will return in the exciting sequel, “Alice Through the Looking Glass”.  The Alice story is timeless, yet Tim Burton’s version is as one would expect, quirky and superbly creative. Here are some fun facts about Alice Through the Looking Glass!  

Repeat Performance.  Many of the talents from the original Tim Burton film, “Alice in Wonderland” will be showcased in the sequel, “Alice Through the Looking Glass.”  These include Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, Alan Rickman as the Caterpillar, Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat, Michael Sheen as Nivens and Timothy Spall as Bayard.

Final Hurrah. Alan Rickman, who played the Caterpillar, sadly passed away four months before this latest film’s scheduled release.  “Alice Through the Looking Glass” was indeed his final film.

Don’t Mess With Success.  Several of the cast members of “Alice Through the Looking Glass” have starred together in one other Tim Burton film.  Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, and Timothy Spall were also together in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007.) 

Winning Streak!  “Alice Through the Looking Glass” is the ninth film in which Johnny Depp and Tim Burton have collaborated their talents together.  Talk about a list of fantastic films!  Edward Scissorhands (1990), Ed Wood (1994), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Corpse Bride (2005), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Alice in Wonderland (2010), and Dark Shadows (2012) all are films that combine the unique abilities of both Mr. Depp and Mr. Burton.

Director Intervention. In “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” Tim Burton acts as a producer and is not directing this film. During this go around, James Bobin is the director.

Tell it To the Boss’s Daughter.  In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland books, the character of “Alice” was based on none other than Mr. Carroll’s boss’s young daughter, Alice.  The real Alice was the daughter of the Dean of Christ Church College at Oxford where Lewis Carroll had been teaching mathematics. 

An Elf-Size Change. Lewis Carroll purportedly almost titled his Alice in Wonderland,  “Alice’s Hour in Elfland” instead.  We’re kind of glad he changed his mind.

Popularity Contest.  “Alice in Wonderland,” “Through the Looking-Glass” and “What Alice Found There” have never been out of print and also have translations into at least 176 languages.  The sequels to the original Alice book were also said to have sold out within seven weeks of publication! 

Watch Out for Those Shy Guys.  Lewis Carroll was supposedly a rather shy, unassuming math teacher that also had a noticeable stutter.  He started to tell the Alice stories to the daughters of his boss to entertain and amuse them.  Perhaps the attention he got from them also gave him a boost of confidence. 

Alice Through the Looking Glass is set to hit theatres May 27, 2016.

Alice Through the Looking Glass

My Mama Told Me

  • May 09, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

With yesterday being Mother's Day we didn't want to forget Mom so quickly. Truth is, if you stop and think about it, every day should really be Mother’s Day.  Moms are truly unsung heroes.  These amazing women are always there, deep in the trenches, working incredibly hard to take care of their kids and families as they keep things happening.  Let’s face it--a typical mom is a household chef, a taxi driver, a love supplier, a financial manager, a personal assistant, a psychologist and a trusted advisor.  (Just to mention a few of her many jobs…because there is plenty more.)  One of the things we love best about moms around the world is their ability to give solid advice.  Here are some of the best “mom-ism’s” out there.  How many of these have you heard from your mother--or perhaps even used yourself?

  • Money does not grow on trees
  • If I had ever talked to my mother like that, she would have…
  • If all your friends were jumping off of a cliff, would you jump, too?
  • If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.
  • Were you raised in a barn?  Close the door!
  • When you grow up, I hope you have kids “just like you” so you will know what I went through.
  • Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
  • I AM the boss of you.
  • Someday when you have kids of your own, then you will understand.
  • I slaved over this for hours and hours, and this is the thanks you give me?
  • You’d lose your head if it weren’t attached.
  • Wear clean underwear just in case you get into an accident.
  • Don’t spend all your money in one place.
  • Because I said so, that’s why.
  • This too shall pass.
  • What would you do if I wasn’t here?
  • You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
  • Try to see the bright side. 
  • Common sense isn’t all that common.
  • Pretty is as pretty does.
  • Don’t settle.
  • Take time to stop and smell the roses.
  • Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
  • Don’t worry about what other people think.
  • Everything happens for a reason.
  • Be honest. Be kind.
  • Mom knows everything! 

Take it from us; you should always listen to your mother.  Chances are she is probably right.

Party Like…It’s Cinco De Mayo

  • May 03, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

What do you think of when you hear the words Cinco de Mayo?  Some of you may think oh, Cinco de Mayo is the Spanish term for guacamole and margaritas!  Well, not exactly.  For those of you who may have forgotten all that high school Spanish, in English, Cinco de Mayo translates to mean the Fifth of May. So, what’s the deal with the Fifth of May?  What’s the significance of a holiday named after a date? It must be a pretty important date, right?   To get you ready for the ultimate day to celebrate and party, fiesta-style, here are all the quick facts you need to know about Cinco de Mayo!

Let’s start with the obvious--and then the not so obvious.  Cinco de Mayo is celebrated (obviously) on the Fifth of May.  What may not be so apparent to the masses is WHY Cinco de Mayo exists.  Many folks are under the impression that Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day.  (If you thought that, too--you are not alone!)  Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day; in fact, Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on September the 16th.  Cinco de Mayo marks the date of a significant battle victory that happened many years ago in Mexican history.  Let’s take a look-back.

The short version of Cinco de Mayo history goes something like this.  Back in 1862, Mexico was deeply in debt.  The Mexican president at that time made it known that the country’s debtors were not getting paid--at least not anytime soon.  France, feeling very opportunistic, decided that since Mexico was a vulnerable target, they would send their elite and grand army to invade and take them over. The Mexican troops at that time were small and honestly, they were pretty ill equipped.  The one thing that the French army didn’t count on, however, was the heart and will of these resilient Mexican people.

On the 5th day of May 1862, the illustrious French army invaded the Mexican state of Puebla.  In spite of the fact that the Mexican army was a bit scrappy, had fewer members (not to mention weapons), and were considered the underdogs, somehow, miraculously, this strong group of Mexican fighters defeated the French army in Puebla that day.  You can certainly see why people wanted to celebrate.

Interesting enough--Cinco de Mayo evolved into a holiday that is far more of an event in the United States than it is outside of Puebla, Mexico.  Most popular amongst Mexican American populations, Cinco de Mayo is now a fabulous day to celebrate Mexican heritage and culture with parades, fiestas, Mariachi music, dancing, Chihuahua races and of course lots and lots of Mexican food and beverages. 

So what are you waiting for?  Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner…so gather your amigos and prepare to have a grand ol’ fiesta, south of the border style. Ole!

Party Like…It’s Cinco De Mayo

Why This May Be THE Year For Captain America

  • April 26, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

Captain America has always been one of America’s forefront and favorite superheroes.  With so many exemplary human characteristics as well as superhuman powers, the heroic persona that the Cap presents is pretty easy to love.  In his latest feature film, “Captain America: Civil War,” his noble characteristics will once again be showcased.  It’s pretty easy to see why he is one of the most beloved American superheroes of all time.  With all that is going on out there in the crazy “real” world, having a true hero to embrace that embodies the ideology upon which our country was founded is inspiring.  Captain America may be a fictional character, but he exemplifies some of the patriotism that many of us still appreciate.  Here are some of the reasons why we think that this year may be the Captain’s best year ever! 

He’s Humble.  Even the Captain will tell you that inside he’s just a kid from Brooklyn.  Still deeply in touch with his roots, and in spite of his new heroic persona, Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) has not lost touch with his simple beginnings.  Captain America was once a weak and sickly young man.  In spite of his human frailties, Steve Rogers wanted nothing more than to serve his country in WWII and fight against the Nazi’s.  Unfortunately, his physical body was never going to allow him to be a proper soldier.  His unflappable spirit did not go unnoticed, however, and his can-do attitude was likely one of the main reasons why he was selected to receive the Super Soldier Serum that would eventually change Steve Roger’s life forever.

He’s Patriotic.  Captain America’s suit is created using stars and stripes and the colors of the American Flag and this is by design.  His getup, however, is not what makes Captain America a patriot.  Captain America’s inception began in WWII, him being a part of what has been called “the greatest generation.”  Because the Captain was part of some of the biggest historical events in history, his love for his country runs deep.  Even before he became Captain America, when he was still Steve Rogers, he wanted nothing more than to join the army and be a part of serving his country.  Preserving liberty, justice, and freedom is the obvious unspoken mantra of Captain America. And of course his awesome Captain America costume is RED, WHITE and BLUE! 

He’s Imperfect.  Let’s face it.  Captain America has turbo speed, superhuman strength and is very easy on the eyes.  In spite of all these amazing qualities, however, the guy retains an air of utter humility.  The Captain's humble behavior likely stems from a hyper-awareness of his many flaws and imperfections.  Inside his heart, Captain America still feels as if somehow he is not quite measuring up to what people expect of him and sometimes he feels like he doesn’t belong.  His humility at times borders on insecurity and at times, he seems a bit unsure of his role.

He’s Admirable.  When it comes to having a tight moral compass, no one is going to stay on the straight and narrow better than Captain America.  Although perhaps a little naïve and overly trusting, Captain America has an unnerving ability to stay focused and always attempt to do the right thing.  There is no ego involved in his agenda, either--he just chooses to do what’s right if for no other reason except that it needs doing.

He’s…(um)…Hot!  Ok, let’s get real.  That Super Soldier Serum made Steve Rogers into a hubba-hubba hunk of heroic manliness.  He’s tall.  He’s handsome.  He’s strong, agile, fast, hardworking and never going to stop fighting for those things in which he believes.  No wonder girls (and maybe even a few guys) are crushing on him…what’s not to love?

He’s Noble. Captain America does not compromise.  When it comes to how he sees things and making correct choices, Captain America has his vision of how things need to go and in this, he is unfailing.  Captain America is altruistic, honorable and duty-bound. 

He’s Courageous.   Captain America is not afraid to do what is needed.  He will look evil straight in the eye and face it down.  In “Captain America: Civil War” Captain America has to face a huge challenge when he finds himself in conflict with some of the other Avengers about how much the government should be allowed to be involved with how superheroes ultimately do their job.

He’s Resilient.  Captain America simply cannot ignore his calling to do the right thing, even when at times he probably wishes he could.  Captain America can be relied on to defend his country from all forms of tyranny and oppression and will never compromise his morals in his endeavor to perpetuate what’s genuine and right. 

There is much about Captain America that every man or woman can relate to.  He’s come a long way from being that gangly kid in Brooklyn.  In many ways now Captain America is the personification of everything that America stands for and represents the best that America has to offer.

Captain America: Civil War.  In theaters May 6, 2016.

Why This May Be THE Year For Captain America