Archives for October 10, 2019

Abominable * Heartwarming Watch for Families. Excellent Voice Acting and Breathtaking Visuals

After discovering a Yeti on the roof of her apartment building, teenage Yi and her two friends embark on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family. But to do so, they must stay one step ahead of a wealthy financier and a determined zoologist who want to capture the beast for their own gain. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Arjun N. comments, “Abominable is a heartwarming watch for families. Excellent voice acting and breathtaking visuals are the show-stealers. It truly has something for everyone.” Benjamin P. adds, “Abominable is electrifying to watch when it finds its own cinematic voice and personality, but it doesn’t ever fully escape from some predictable moments that keep it from reaching the potential glimpsed in its best scenes.” Ivey H. wraps it up with, “Abominable is a great animated film, fun for the whole family! It is very heartfelt. I really love its beautifully animated scenes, especially those with violin playing laced in. This film mixes both fantasy and adventure. The feel of the movie is soothing and delivers positive vibes.” See their full reviews below.

Abominable
By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Abominable is a heartwarming watch for families. Excellent voice acting and breathtaking visuals are the show-stealers. It truly has something for everyone.

The story follows teenager Yi (Chloe Bennet) as she encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building. She and her good friends, Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (Albert Tsai), name him “Everest” and embark on a quest to bring the magical creature home. But they will have to stay one-step ahead of Burnish (Eddie Izzard), a wealthy man intent on capturing a Yeti, and zoologist Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) to help Everest.

Chloe Bennet is great as Yi, with her voice work providing emotion and wit. I especially enjoyed her dynamic with Everest as the two start to relate with one another. This is really the film’s heart and best elements. Tenzing Norgray Trainor and Albert Tsai, as Jin and Peng, are great companions and provide effective voice work. Peng is always hilarious, providing comic relief, while Jin comes to his own in his effective character arc that captures the spirit of being brave. Eddie Izzard, as Burnish, utilizes his comedic charm and blunt accent to great degree. Sarah Paulson, as Dr. Zara, is also a formidable threat as there is more than meets the eye with her.

Jill Culton revitalizes DreamWorks Animation with a nice blend of adventure and comedy, which has engaging narrative choices. Some scenes are realized so beautifully; especially the one involving Coldplay’s Fix You. My favorite scene is Jin’s trip to Everest, as it captures his arc effectively and features a great sense of humor. However, the film loses steam by the end and drags quite a bit. You will feel the 90 minute runtime as the group sequesters. Also, I feel that complex themes dealing with loss and grief are sidelined by the amount of humor. And, it is a children’s movie after all, so I appreciate the effort to explore this territory.

The message of this film is in knowing when to reach out to others. Yi tries to accept others in her life by empathetically communicating. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on September 27, 2019, so check it out.

Abominable

By Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Abominable is electrifying to watch when it finds its own cinematic voice and personality, but it doesn’t ever fully escape from some predictable moments that keep it from reaching the potential glimpsed in its best scenes.

Co-produced by DreamWorks Animation and Chinese production company Pearl Studio, Abominable is set in China and follows Yi, a girl mourning the death of her father. She does numerous odd jobs to afford the trip she plans to take in her father’s memory. One day, up on the roof of her apartment building where she sneaks off to play her violin, she finds an escaped yeti that she names Everest. How he got there and what he’s capable of remain a mystery, but Yi makes it her mission to return Everest to his home and his family and protect him from the dangers on the way there.

The craftsmanship and detail of the animation is impeccable. Some of Abominable’s best moments are strengthened by the lush animation. A field of yellow flowers turns into a tidal wave, a chase over the rooftops of a vibrant, colorful China and clouds morphing into aquatic creatures that our characters ride towards a picturesque skyline. This film has plenty of imagery that will stick with you after the credits roll. Abominable has one visually engrossing setpiece after another.

I also love how integral music is in Abominable. Playing the violin is how Yi connects with her father after he’s gone and expresses what she’s feeling with every single note. The violin factors heavily into the score and is flawlessly graceful. Over the course of the film, Yi realizes her ability to do great things through her music and it’s an important facet of her development onscreen.

I wish the care and precision that go into the visuals and music were evident in the movie’s story. Abominable is at least the third family film about yetis within 18 months, coming after Missing Link and Smallfoot and it feels a tad derivative from the get-go. A mythical creature and human form a close friendship and imposing forces threaten to tear them apart. The formula works, sure, but Abominable rarely makes any changes to the basic blueprint or subverts expectations of where it’s headed.

I recommend Abominable for ages 4 to 15 due to scenes of mild peril and give it 3 out of 5 stars. This film will probably appeal to both young and old, but is geared more towards younger children. Abominable certainly has strokes of greatness, but you’ve seen this story told before. If you enjoy the film, stay through the credits for some fun photos. Abominable opens in theaters September 27, 2019.


Abominable
By Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Abominable is a great animated film, fun for the whole family! It is very heartfelt. I really love its beautifully animated scenes, especially those with violin playing laced in. This film mixes both fantasy and adventure. The feel of the movie is soothing and delivers positive vibes. 

The plot is very deep, creative and well-thought-out.  The story follows a rare never-before-seen Yeti who escapes a mean zoologist and wealthy art collector. The art collector wants to display the Yeti to the world and yet the zoologist has her own plans. What will become of this lovable creature?

The Yeti escapes and finds his way to the rooftop of a young woman named Yi. She is an independent misfit going through a difficult time. Yi is played by Chloe Bennet who does an excellent job with the voice over and with the emotions of this young character. Yi lost her dad and she keeps herself busy in order to not think of her loss. When she discovers the Yeti, her life is forever changed. Yi decides to help the Yeti named “Everest” (Joseph Izzo) get back to his home. Even the neighbors get caught up into the commotion and accidentally end up on this journey with Yi. 

Yi’s family is so cute! I love the character Nai Nai played by Tsai Chin. It reminds me of my nanna and she is so comical. Peng is played well by Albert Tsai, creating a character so obsessed with social media and his phone, just like so many of us kids today.  There is a lot of great comedic timing from the actors and there are many beautiful scenes throughout. A couple of my favorite scenes happen when they face obstacles escaping the bad guys—especially, the fields of yellow flowers that turn into a tidal wave, and the tree that has amazing pink flowers and lights that bloom.  It’s a wonderful, magical scene with the violin playing along. There are beautiful historical sites and scenes depicted of real places in China. The colors are so bright and vibrant that you stay on the edge of your seat. The director and writer Jill Culton has created phenomenal animation that blew me away. 

I give Abominable 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. You should go to the big screen and check this out! The release date is September 27, 2019.

San Pedro Fish Market Grille Unveils El Jefe Michelada For National Seafood Month in October

EL JEFE SPECIALTY MICHELADA LAUNCHES OCTOBER 1

San Pedro Fish Market Grille, the South Bay’s destination for quality seafood in a fast-casual setting, developed by the families behind the San Pedro Fish Market, is celebrating National Seafood Month in October with a new, giant michelada loaded with fresh seafood. 

El Jefe is a jumbo michelada made with San Pedro Fish Market’s signature michelada mix, piled high with two cocktail shrimp perched on the signature spice rimmed glass and stuffed with three battered and fried shrimp, a fresh snow crab claw, a crisp celery stalk, sliced cucumber batons, and a fresh lemon wedge. Made to order with Modelo Especial and fresh-squeezed lime juice, El Jefe is packed with flavor. The mouthwatering specialty michelada features fresh-caught shrimp and snow crab and will be available for $21.99 during National Seafood Month in October only, while supplies last.

“We are known for crafting the most delicious and over the top seafood recipes in the South Bay,” says Mike Ungaro, CEO of San Pedro Fish Market. “For National Seafood Month, we are thrilled to offer the perfect pairing of our fan favorites: fresh seafood and refreshing micheladas.”

Celebrating food and family, San Pedro Fish Market Grille is a family dining experience serving fresh fish dishes prepared to guests’ specifications. The grille’s fish selection includes Mahi Mahi, Salmon, Swordfish, Tilapia, Red Snapper, Barramundi, Yellowtail, Shrimp and Calamari as well as other seasonal selections.  Any of the choices can be prepared as plates, fish & chips, sandwiches, salads, bowls, quesadillas, tacos, or burritos. San Pedro Fish Market Grille serves only the highest quality fish, delivered fresh daily from the San Pedro Fish Market.

San Pedro Fish Market Grille has locations in Harbor City, Rolling Hills Estates, and Wilmington. For more information, visit www.spfishgrille.com.

Credit: San Pedro Fish Market Grille.

Join OC Parks for Prehistoric OC at Ralph B. Clark Regional Park October 12th

Celebrate local archaeology, paleontology, history, culture and science

 OC Parks invites families to explore the prehistoric history of Orange County with Prehistoric OC at Ralph B. Clark Regional Park on Saturday, October 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

During this free, family-friendly event, Prehistoric OC will present fun and educational activities and information to the public about Orange County’s rich history and prehistory with activities, fossils, and artifacts. This annual event welcomes all to learn about local natural and cultural resources every year.

Families can also enjoy various activities including free educational entertainment including volcano demonstrations by the Cal State Fullerton Geology Club, crafts in the Junior Scientist Camp, an Ice Age interactive live show, a giant dinosaur obstacle course and vehicles from the Jurassic Park Motor Pool. Clark Regional Park’s Interpretive Center and fishbowl fossil prep lab will also be open to the public to view real artifacts and fossils from Orange County.

Prehistoric OC coincides with California Archaeology Month, the American Institute for Archaeology’s National Archaeology Day on October 19, and The National Park Services’ National Fossil Day on October 16.

Join us to celebrate the scientific and cultural history of Orange County at Ralph B. Clark Regional Park this October.

October 12 – Prehistoric OC

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Location: Ralph B. Clark Regional Park

Address: 8800 Rosecrans Avenue, Buena Park, CA 90621

Cost: Free admission and parking

Website: www.ocparks.com/parks/ralph

Contact: (714) 973-3170, clarkpark@ocparks.com

Credit: OC Parks.

SpongeBob and His Bikini Bottom Friends Unveiled at Build-A-Bear Workshop

Who is a SpongeBob fan? Yes, I admit it! I love SpongeBob and his pal Patrick Star! So, I am pretty thrilled to announce that the world’s most lovable sea sponge, SpongeBob SquarePants and his friends, Patrick Star and Gary the Snail, are making a splash at Build-A-Bear Workshop. These huggable characters are available with a variety of accessories like the plush Pineapple House, Krabby Patty Wristie, and more.

SpongeBob SquarePants$29 / £21.50
Are you ready, kids? AYE, AYE, CAPTAIN! Make your own nautical nonsense and add SpongeBob SquarePants to your collection! The world’s most lovable sea sponge is celebrating 20 years of unforgettable adventures in Bikini Bottom. Fans of all ages can take their imaginaaation overboard by making their own SpongeBob with hugs, heart and smiles. Bring home the sea’s silliest creature and dive into more F.U.N. by personalizing him with sounds, scents and accessories! ©2019 Viacom International Inc. All rights reserved. Nickelodeon, SpongeBob SquarePants and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.
Pre-Stuffed Gary the Snail: $12.50 / £10
Meow! That means, “Gary the Snail is here!” Even the sea’s silliest creature needs a faithful pet by his side. SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail is extra cute as a pre-stuffed furry friend. Don’t let Gary’s small size fool you – this lovable snail is very huggable! ©2019 Viacom International Inc. All rights reserved. Nickelodeon, SpongeBob SquarePants and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.

Krabby Patty Wristie: $6 / £4.50
Yum! Your furry friend will need a good snack after a day of adventures in Bikini Bottom. This plush wrist accessory looks just like the yummy Krabby Patties that SpongeBob grills at the Krusty Krab. It attaches to your furry friend’s paw for a fun look! ©2019 Viacom International Inc. All rights reserved. Nickelodeon, SpongeBob SquarePants and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.
SpongeBob SquarePants Plush Pineapple House: $18 / £15
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants… and all your furry friends! This full-sized plush Pineapple House is a must-have for any SpongeBob SquarePants fan. It’s the perfect plush accessory for playing with your furry friends in Bikini Bottom. Just watch out for jellyfish! ©2019 Viacom International Inc. All rights reserved. Nickelodeon, SpongeBob SquarePants and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.

And my absolute favorite……Patrick Star, of course!

Online Exclusive Patrick Star$29 / £21.50
Pinky up! Now you can add SpongeBob’s sea star sidekick to your collection! The online exclusive Patrick Star is one of the most huggable creatures under the sea with his plump pink body and super smiley face. Go overboard and bring home your very own Patrick Star today! ©2019 Viacom International Inc. All rights reserved. Nickelodeon, SpongeBob SquarePants and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.

US Collection Linked HERE

UK Collection Linked HERE

Self Disclosure: Information and some images were provided. I had the opportunity to receive Patrick Star and Gary the Snail to feature in this post. No other compensation was received.

3rd Annual Haunted Little Tokyo Returns to Downtown Los Angeles

Photo provided courtesy of Haunted Little Tokyo.

Little Tokyo will transform into Haunted Little Tokyo for the third year on select nights throughout the month of October with more spooktacular fun than ever before. Ghouls, ghosts, and goblins of all ages are dared to experience Little Tokyo like never before during the month-long Halloween festivities ranging from a family-friendly pumpkin patch, live entertainment and spooky sounds, interactive ghostly games, free Halloween movie screenings, ‘haunted’ walking tours, and all culminating in a frightfully fun block party and costume contest.
Go Little Tokyo invites thrill seekers of all ages to join in the bone-chilling fun as the heart of Downtown LA oozes with spooky themed-activities, evenings of unforgettable family-friendly entertainment and special events throughout the frightful season. On Saturday, October 26, bring your friends to downtown Los Angeles’ biggest Halloween block party and costume contest and stay for the local food vendors, music, and games. Monsters and Halloween fear junkies are encouraged to slither into their best costumes and mingle with monsters.
To stay up to date on the latest Haunted Little Tokyo announcements visit hauntedlittletokyo.com or like Go Little Tokyo on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. #golittletokyo #hauntedlittletokyo
WHEN:
Select nights October 1-31, 2019
Haunted Little Tokyo Block Party: Saturday, October 26, 2019
For a full calendar of events visit hauntedlittletokyo.com
WHERE:
Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles
Haunted Night in Little Tokyo: The Block Party will be on 2nd Street in between Central Avenue & San Pedro Street
TICKETS AND REGISTRATION:
Free, depending on the activity. For more information please visit hauntedlittletokyo.com.
PARTNERS:
Haunted Little Tokyo is presented by the Little Tokyo Community Council and Council District 14: Councilmember José Huizar, and produced in collaboration with Go Little TokyoCafe Dulce, and Wolf and Crane.

Credit: Little Tokyo.

Miguel’s Jr. Introduces “Fiesta for 4,” A Complete Meal for Four Featuring Miguel’s Jr.’s Famous Burritos

For the first time, Miguel’s Jr. is offering an entire meal for four people with the new Fiesta for 4 that includes two Original Burritos, two Bean, Rice & Cheese Burritos, a ½ pint of creamy Hass avocado guacamole, crispy tortilla chips, and four regular fountain drinks (22 oz). The Bean, Rice & Cheese Burritos are expertly rolled with Miguel’s Jr.’s famous refried beans, Spanish rice and premium Longhorn cheddar cheese. The Original Burritos include the same delicious ingredients, plus a choice of slow-cooked and perfectly seasoned shredded chicken, shredded beef, or tender marinated Chile Verde pork. 

WHERE:

Available for dine-in, carry out and delivery at all Miguel’s Jr. Locations. 

Inland Empire:

Corona: 1039 W 6th St., Corona, CA 92882. (951) 270-3551

Corona (south): 2320 Compton Avenue, Corona, CA 92881. (951) 279-9393

Corona (west): 1570 West Sixth Street, Corona, CA 92882. (951) 279-7780

Eastvale: 13382 Limonite Avenue, Eastvale, CA 92880. (951) 407-1385

Fontana: 7490 Cherry Avenue, Fontana, CA 92336. (909) 357-3822

Grand Terrace: 22219 Barton Road, Grand Terrace, CA 92313. (909) 783-4271

Menifee: 30362 Haun Road, Menifee, CA 92584. (951) 679-5299

Moreno Valley: 12860 Day Street, Moreno Valley, CA 92553. (951) 697-0390

Murrieta: 39713 Avenida Acacias, Murrieta, CA 92563. (951) 698-5154

Norco: 1432 Hammer Avenue, Norco, CA 92860. (951) 273-2611

Norco Village: 2450 River Road, Norco, CA 92860. (951) 371-1014

Ontario: 2250 South Haven Avenue, Ontario, CA 91761. (909) 947-6761

Redlands: 27521 San Bernardino Avenue Redlands, CA, 92374. (909) 557-2220

Rialto: 1240 W Renaissance Pkwy, Rialto, CA 92376. (909) 355-0500

Riverside: 1301 Galleria @Tyler, Riverside, CA, 92503. (951) 352-1895

Woodcrest: 17815 Van Buren Blvd, Riverside, CA 92508. (951) 339-5747

Orange County:

Costa Mesa: 141 East 17th Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92627. (949) 646-2153

Huntington Beach: 19620 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, CA 92648. (714) 888-2255

Orange: 1325 Tustin Street, Orange, CA 92867. (714) 633-4000

Tustin: 2855 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA 92782. (714) 202 4676

Credit: Miguel’s Jr.