Tag: Movies

Review: Dumplin’

Posted December 13, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Dumplin’ (2018)
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Danielle Macdonald, Odeya Rush, Luke Benward
Director: Anne Fletcher
Release Date: 7 December 2018
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Movie Type: Comedy, Drama, Musical

Willowdean (‘Dumplin’), the plus-size teenage daughter of a former beauty queen, signs up for her mom’s Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant as a protest that escalates when other contestants follow her footsteps, revolutionizing the pageant and their small Texas town.

I’ll be honest, I went into this movie a little hesitant because the last big girl movie that I tried watching, the big girl pissed me off. I didn’t want another Sierra Burgess is a Loser so I crossed my fingers and hoped Jennifer Aniston wasn’t going to let me down. I’m super happy to report that this movie, Dumplin’ was exactly what I hoped Sierra was going to be and I adored watching it. I didn’t read the book so I can’t compare them but I really enjoyed the movie. I thought the actors portrayed their characters well, the acting itself was great and the story was solid.

So this movie follows our main character, Willowdean Dickson. Will works at a diner, has the bestest best friend and a mother who is a former beauty queen who is still very active in the beauty pageant world in their small Texas town. She also has a giant crush on her coworker and friend, Bo. Will has a bright personality and her love for all things Dolly Parton was delightful.

The movie revolves around her Aunt dying and Will trying to move on while finding some common ground with her beauty queen mother. They are as different as night and day. Will is bigger than her size 0 mother and not at all into the things that her mother is into so they don’t have a lot in common and that gets in the way of them having a close relationship with each other. Will’s Mom won’t talk about Will’s Aunt Lucy and Will desperately wants to connect with her Mom over their shared love of Lucy but she never gets the chance because her Mom is so unwilling.

Will gets made fun at school because her Mom continues to call her Dumplin’ so when she’s at her lowest, she comes across an unsubmitted beauty pageant application of her Aunt’s and she decides that she’s going to sign up for the beauty pageant herself. She’s going to finish what her Aunt Lucy couldn’t.

Aunt Lucy and Will were close. Aunt Lucy understood Will in a way that Will didn’t think her mother did and Lucy raised Will to be kind and to be happy. She introduced Will to Dolly Parton and introduced Will to Elle. Will and Elle became the best of friends and I really loved the strong friendships we see in this movie. From Will and Elle to Will and her weirdos Millie and Hannah, Will’s friendship game is strong.

I loved seeing Will come into her own. I loved seeing her gain the confidence to be happy with herself and letting others around her be happy with her as well. I adored the tiny romance between her and Bo and though Bo was fantastic and adorable, he wasn’t in the movie long enough to take over my adoration for Peter Kavinsky. The movie was more about Willowdean and the romance was such a small part of that but when she gains the confidence to return Bo’s crush, I cheered because I was super happy for her.

This movie was all that and a bag of chips for me. I adored the girl that played Will, I loved seeing her bond with her Mom and I loved that her Mom wasn’t the villain. I loved that the Mom really did love Will and was so proud of her, but didn’t know how to connect with her. I loved that they got it right in the end and this movie was just the bomb. Lots of fun scenes mixed in with sweet scenes, this movie isn’t to be missed.

Movie Trailer

My Rating

4.5 out of 5

2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Five Christmas Movies I Want to Watch

Posted November 29, 2018 by Rowena in Personal | 0 Comments

With Thanksgiving behind us, it is now time to focus on the next big thing in holiday celebrations and that is Christmas. If you’re anything like me, my sisters and my best friend then you are addicted to those cheesy Christmas romance movie that are popular on the Hallmark channel. Netflix has decided to get in on that action because they have a bunch of Christmas movies out or coming out that I’m definitely looking forward to. Here’s a list of Christmas movies that I can’t wait to watch over the next month or so.

1. The Christmas Contract (Hallmark)

One Tree Hill is one of a handful of tv shows that I watched from the very first episode until the very last episode. No skipping, no quitting, just a whole lot of loyalty. Even when Lucas and Peyton left the show, I still watched it for Nathan and Haley then Brooke Davis and everyone else. So when I heard that most of the OTH gang was doing a Hallmark Christmas movie together, it flew to the very top of my wish list. I cannot wait to see Peyton and Clay fall in love in this movie. Haha, sorry Lucas!

2. Hope at Christmas (Hallmark)

I watched Ryan Paevey in Unleashing Mr. Darcy last year and really enjoyed him as an actor so when I saw that he’s got a new Christmas movie coming out, I watched the trailer and am on board. He looks like he’s playing another complete sweetheart and really, count me in on all things Ryan Paevey!

3. The Holiday Calendar (Netflix)

Bonnie Bennett from Vampire Diaries is now a photographer and has moved on from losing Enzo by the looks of it as she falls in love with her new best friend Josh who is all kinds of cutie. This is the first Netflix Christmas movie that caught my attention. I have plans to watch this movie pronto with my nieces.

4. The Princess Switch (Netflix)

Vanessa Ann Hudgens is another actress that I have liked ever since her High School Musical days. She’ll always be Gabriella to me and seeing her come out with a Christmas movie with a love interest in Sam from Nashville? Yeah, I’m totally watching this one.

5. Road to Christmas (Hallmark)

I guess Lucas couldn’t be left out of the Christmas movie making business because Chad Michael Murray is starring in Road to Christmas on the Hallmark channel and I’m so here for it. I adored CMM as Lucas Scott and can’t wait to see what he’s up to these days since I don’t watch any of the other shows he’s been on. I’m sure this one will be great, too!

Are you a huge fan of cheesy Christmas movies like I am? What movies are you looking forward to this year? Any favorite Hallmark Christmas movies you want to share? Comment below!

0 Comments
Tags: , , , ,

The Weekly Recap (99)

Posted August 20, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 12 Comments

This week was for a bunch of different things. My continued exercising with my best friend Theresa and my sisters, the release of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and attending my first ever Taco Festival.

Brenna and I stayed up until midnight on Friday so that we could watch To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix, the moment that it dropped. Both of us were not disappointed and thought that the movie captured the heart and the charm even though some of our favorite parts of the books were either not included or changed. Still, we LOVED Peter Kavinsky and thought Lara Jean was fabulous!

A group of us drove out to Downtown L.A. for the L.A. Taco Festival on Saturday and it was a lot of fun. Too bad I failed at my first ever taco festival because I went and ate a sushi burrito instead. I did end up eating a taco but for the most part, I ate everything but a taco. I tried bulgogi tots, bulgogi tacos and ate some of my friend’s deep fried quesadilla. I also got 3 Dodger hats for $20 so all in all, I called it a win of a day.

Friday morning, we got some pretty bad news about one of our friends. She passed away in her sleep and our girls played basketball together and she was my favorite basketball Mom so it really hit me hard. My sister and I took dinner over to their house on Sunday and spent a little time with the kids, her sisters and Aunts and the rest of the family. I’m still so saddened by the loss and really hope that 2018 will stop taking dear to me people. *sigh*

Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (99)All the Way
by Kristen Proby
Series: Romancing Manhattan #1
Published by Harper Collins, William Morrow Paperbacks on August 21, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:First Person
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher, Edelweiss
Add It: Goodreads

In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby’s brand new Romancing Manhattan series, three brothers get more than they bargain for as they practice law, balance life, and navigate love in and around New York City.

Finn Cavanaugh is known for being a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom. He owns a successful law firm with his brother and brother-in-law in Manhattan. On the rare occasion that he has down time, he spends it at his home in Martha’s Vineyard. But when Finn’s troubled niece goes to stay with him for the summer in Martha’s Vineyard, he’s reluctant to take time off from work. That is, until he meets his beautiful new neighbor, London.

London Watson is a Tony Award winning actress on Broadway. When tragedy strikes her family, leaving her alone and injured, she flees Manhattan for Martha’s Vineyard. Hoping she can figure out how to pick up the pieces of her life, London is convinced that she’ll never be able to return to the stage. But when she meets the charming young girl next door and her sexy uncle, they soon lure London out of her shell as she finally begins to heal from the wounds of her past.

But when London feels confident enough to return to the spotlight, she’s dealt another devastating blow. Will the newfound love between London and Finn be enough to conquer all? Or will it be over before it has a chance to grow…?

I’m about halfway done with this book and I’m seriously hoping that something happens to make me feel something because so far, I think the hero is okay, I want to smack his niece and the heroine is blah. I will admit that I was drawn to this book because of the cover and I’ve always wanted to try this author before but so far, I’m not that invested in what’s going on in the story. To be blunt, I’m bored. We’ll see if that continues to be the case or if the story turns around. Wish me luck.

What I Read

Down with Love (Laws of Attraction #1) by Kate Meader | 3.25 out of 5
Diamond Fire (Hidden Legacy #3.5) by Ilona Andrews | 4.25 out of 5
When a Duke Loves a Woman by Lorraine Heath | 4.5 out of 5
Two Weeks Notice by Whitney G | 3.25 out of 5

My favorite read of the week goes to Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews and When a Duke Loves a Woman by Lorraine Heath. Both books were super good. I cannot wait for the next book in both of those series. I’m super anxious for that.

Book Boyfriend

Peter Kavinsky
To all The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Yes, again. The movie came out and he was the perfect Peter. Oh man, I love this guy!

What I Reviewed

The Accidentals by Sarina Bowen | 4 out of 5
Gone too Far by Suzanne Brockmann | 4.25 out of 5
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before | 4.25 out of 5

What I Posted

The Weekly Recap (98)
Can’t Wait Wednesday: Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

What I Got

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Finding Dandellion by Lex Martin
Bad Reputation by Stephanie London

What I Got for Review

Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews

There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

12 Comments
Tags: , , ,

Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Posted August 17, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)
Starring: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart
Director: Susan Johnson
Release Date: 17 August 2018
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 1:39
Movie Type: Drama, Romance

Lara Jean Covey writes letters to all of her past loves, the letters are meant for her eyes only. Until one day when all the love letters are sent out to her previous loves. Her life is soon thrown into chaos when her foregoing loves confront her one by one.

Brenna and I have been super anxious for this movie to come out and once the clock hit midnight last night, we were prepared to watch it together. We both read the books (all of them) a couple of weeks ago and have been big ol’ nerds about all things Peter Kavinsky and this movie.

The movie is quite a bit different from the book but both Brenna and I really enjoyed it. The casting is pretty spot on and we adored all things Peter Kavinsky. Lara Jean and the rest of the Song sisters were extra fabulous and Papa John Corbett was pretty great too. And Josh!!! Oh man, we loved Josh! There’s much to enjoy and love about this movie. I thought Netflix did a fabulous job of bringing Peter and Lara Jean’s story to life. I loved seeing how far they came from beginning to end. Seeing them go from faking dating to real feelings was so much fun.

The book was super sweet and funny and all things that I love in a book and the movie was great but there were things missing from the movie that were my favorite parts of the book. Also, some of my favorite things that happened in the book were changed in the movie and that really bummed me out. I would start mentioning what those things are but I don’t want to spoil the movie too much so just know that the book and the movie are different but the movie did capture the charm and the heart of the book and they definitely got the characters right. Lana Condor was an outstanding Lara Jean and Noah Centineo was a perfect Peter Kavinsky.

The movie has only been out for a handful of hours and I’ve already watched it twice. It was an enjoyable teen rom com, wayyyy better than The Kissing Booth and with that ending, THERE BETTER BE A SECOND MOVIE!!!

Movie Trailer

My Rating

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

6 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Monthly Recap: July 2018

Posted August 7, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 2 Comments

What I Did

Family pictures: My month started off with family pictures on the beach in Redondo Beach. I thought it was going to take much longer than it actually took. There are 9 of us and we all have hella kids between us but we were done within 3 hours. We almost made it through the entire shoot without any issues but then little Caleb fell into the ocean with his cast so between his family pictures and the rest of our big family pictures that we took a couple of hours later, his shorts are 8 shades darker but he’s still a cutie patootie.

The picture above is one with just my siblings and my Pops. We’re missing my sister Ingrid but everyone else is there and I really like this one.

Here’s a picture from me and Brenna’s shots. It’s my favorite. I love the background with the Palos Verdes cliffs, it’s a gorgeous shot.

David’s Funeral: My month ended with a funeral for one of my good friends David. He suffered from depression and struggled with it for a while. I’m going to miss him but am glad that he’s finally at peace. It was really good to see everyone that came out to pay their respects. Lots and lots of our friends from Church came out, which was nice because everyone is so spread out. We have people in Utah, Arizona, all parts of California but everyone came home to say their final goodbyes to David and that made me happy for him.

What I Read

1. Coming Undone (Brown Family #2) by Lauren Dane | 4.25 out of 5
2. The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely | 4 out of 5
3. Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison | 3 out of 5
4. Baby Daddy by Kendall Ryan | 3 out of 5
5. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han | 4.5 out of 5
6. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han | 4.75 out of 5
7. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han | 4.75 out of 5
8. A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals #2) by Alyssa Cole | 4.25 out of 5

Book Boyfriends

Michael Phan in The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Hunter Cross in I Think I Love You by Lauren Layne
Peter Kavinsky in P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
Peter Kavinsky in Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

What I Reviewed

Good Kids (2016) | 3.75 out of 5
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang | 5 out of 5
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) | 4 out of 5
Sea Swept by Nora Roberts | 4.25 out of 5
I Think I Love You by Lauren Layne | 4.5 out of 5
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han | 4.5 out of 5
Double Standards by Judith McNaught | 4 out of 5
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han | 4.75 out of 5
The Kissing Booth (2018) | 3.25 out of 5
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han | 4.75 out of 5

What I Posted

Week in Review (92)
Monthly Recap: June 2018
Can’t Wait Wednesday: When a Duke Loves a Woman by Lorraine Heath
Week in Review (93)
Can’t Wait Wednesday: Down with Love by Kate Meader
Week in Review (94)
Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting
Week in Review (95)
Can’t Wait Wednesday: Forget You, Ethan by Whitney G
Throwback Thursday: Saying Goodbye to David
The Weekly Recap (96)
My TBR Pile: August 2018

What I Bought

Save the Date by Carrie Aarons
Crank (The Gibson Boys #1) by Adriana Locke
Cross (The Gibson Boys #2.5) by Adriana Locke
Getting Schooled by Emma Chase
Baby Daddy by Kendall Ryan
Book Boyfriend (Book Boyfriends #1) by Claire Kingsley
Cocky Roommate (Book Boyfriends #2) by Claire Kingsley
The Soldier Prince by Aarti V. Raman
Coming Undone (Brown Family #2) by Lauren Dane
Cocky Client (Steamy Coffee Reads #3) by Whitney G.
Beginner’s Luck (Chance of a Lifetime #1) by Kate Clayborn
Luck of the Draw (Chance of a Lifetime #2) by Kate Clayborn
Grumpy Fake Boyfriend (Kwan Sisters #1) by Jackie Lau
Mr. Hotshot CEO (Kwan Sisters #2) by Jackie Lau
Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

What I Got for Review

All the Way by Kristen Proby
Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

What I Listened To

These are the three most listened to songs for me in the month of July. I have so much love for all of these songs.

What I Watched on TV

I enjoyed each of the shows I watched, even in some parts, 13 Reasons Why Season 2. There was a lot going on and while I was still frustrated with how shitty those kids were, in the end, I’m glad that I watched it. Suits and Take Two are both great shows that I’m really liking and Kims Convenience cracks me up. Goodness I love Asian comedy shows and movies.

What Movies I Watched

1. Forever My Girl (2018) | 4 out of 5
2. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) | 3.75 out of 5
3. How it Ends (2018) | 4.25 out of 5
4. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018) | 3.75 out of 5
Locke (2013) | 3.25 out of 5
Blackway (2015) | 3.5 out of 5
The Loft (2014) | 3.5 out of 5
Love, Simon (2018) | 5 out of 5
The Commuter (2018) | 4.25 out of 5

What I Loved

Having this guy around…

There you have it, the month of July in my life. How did your July treat you? Read anything good? Do anything fun? Share in the comments!

2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,