Archives for October 18, 2019

Chris Janson to Headline Subaru Country Freedom Festival at the Port of Los Angeles October 19th

Kick-up Your Boots to Celebrate Military, Vets, First Responders and “Fisher House Foundation” with Line Dancing, Yard Games, Mechanical Bull Rides, Multiple Bars and More!
Tickets Available at SubaruCountryFreedomFestival.com

The Port of Los Angeles’s inaugural Subaru Country Freedom Festival is thrilled to announce Chris Janson will headline the all-day country music fest at the waterfront venue on Saturday, October 19. Celebrating active military, veterans, and first responders, Janson will be joined by today’s top country artists with performances by Cody Johnson, Adam Doleac, Honey County, Daniel Bonte, Michael Austin, and more. Tickets available today at www.subarucountryfreedomfestival.com.

Dubbed a “live legacy in the making” by Rolling Stone, Chris Janson will headline the Subaru Country Freedom Festival main stage. The award-winning singer / songwriter shared, “I’m honored to headline an inaugural music festival that is recognizing and celebrating our servicemen and women.”

Breakout country star Janson is a platinum-selling recording artist, high-octane entertainer, multi-instrumentalist, and award-winning singer/songwriter. In the four years since the release of his debut album, the three-time CMA nominee has collected prestigious accolades that place him amongst country music greats, including two No. 1 singles. The “Good Vibes” singer most recently took home the trophy for ACM Video of the Year for his Gold-certified, inspiring hit song “Drunk Girl,” which also earned the Song of the Year title at the 2018 MusicRow Awards. His chart-topping, Double-Platinum smash “Buy Me A Boat” was named the iHeartRadio Music Awards Country Song of the Year and declared one of the “Ten Songs I Wish I’d Written” by NSAI.

In addition to a full day of some of the greatest live music the country scene has to offer, the Subaru Country Freedom Festival concert-goers will enjoy the boot-stomping good time with delicious food vendors, including a 70ft BBQ, multiple bars, mechanical bull rides, line dancing lessons, country yard-games and more. The littlest of cowboys and cowgirls are invited to partake in the festivities as well with a Kids Zone offering kid-friendly games, watermelon eating contests, and more.

Subaru Country Freedom Festival is pleased to support the Fisher House Foundation, a charity best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. Subaru, the title sponsor for Country Freedom Festival, will present a check on stage to the charity during the country fest and attendees are encouraged to donate directly to the charity when they purchase tickets. Fisher House Foundation will also have a tent onsite for attendees wishing to donate during the festivities. For more information on Fisher House Foundation or to learn how you can get involved visit www.fisherhouse.org.

Continuing the celebration and appreciation of military and first responders, Country Freedom Festival is offering free admission active and retired servicemen and women. The free general admission is limited to the first 1000 who register online and they must show Military or First Responder ID/ Credentials at the door to retrieve admission. A copy/photo of DD 214 along with a photo ID is acceptable for veterans.
Tickets to the Subaru Country Freedom Festival are on sale now. General admission tickets are $59 per person and VIP tickets are $149-$199 and $2299-$2499 for VIP cabanas. VIP tickets include private VIP Bar and restrooms along with a shaded lounge and front-of-stage access. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.subarucountryfreedomfestival.com.

Credit: Subaru Country Freedom Festival.

Wayfair’s Halloween Pet Contest

More info: Wayfur Halloween Pet Costumer Contest

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil * Magnificent Performances, Beautiful Art Direction, Wandering Script

Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies, and dark new forces at play. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jolleen M. comments, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is totally intriguing because of how unpredictable the storyline is. The writers applied their creativity and the CGI brings it all to life. The visuals along with the emotional impact made watching this film an exciting experience.” Benjamin P. adds, “The film doesn’t give Angelina Jolie much to do this time around and I was surprised at the scarce amount of dialogue she is given. Jolie is magnetic onscreen and the film should have utilized her powerful presence more.” Jordan M. chimes in with, “This movie successfully switches between the happy and dark sides of the ongoing feud with the mythical creatures and the humans. Also, the amount of effort and detail that went into the art direction and special effects pays off to make the film even better.” Zoe C. comments, “The story flows very nicely; it is like watching how a great fairy tale comes to life in the big screen, but Maleficent: Mistress of Evil doesn’t take us beyond the impact of the first movie.” Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer concludes with, “I give this film 3 of 5 stars for its lack of character development and a shifting storyline. The casting is exemplary, especially the humorous takes when Maleficent is made to be more human. Costumes, hair and makeup are stunning. Make no mistake; some of the scenes will be scary to younger children. There is a lot of CGI violence and many off-screen deaths.” See their full reviews below.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

In 2014, when I was 6, I cried so emotionally at a movie for the first time during one of the climactic scenes of Maleficent. That origin story made a great point showing where this classic villain came from. Now, at 11, I am sure there is evil in this world, and that it can be found where is not expected.

In Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, a new sequel to the live-action film, the story starts with Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) and Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) having a happily ever after godmother-goddaughter relationship. But when Aurora decides to marry Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson), Maleficent’s instincts trigger a war. Will Aurora marry the Prince and find true love?

Angelina Jolie is again the perfect Maleficent: she is sarcastic and funny, wise, sensitive and evil. She portrays all these different qualities so well. Another performance I enjoyed is Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Conall, a male fairy from the Dark Fay. He shows the beauty of being a true leader in a very subtle tone, and it is an original character from the traditional Disney film. Michelle Pfieffer is very charming as Queen Ingrith, and the dinner scene where she is confronted by Maleficent shows a very interesting encounter from two powerful actresses.

The visuals in the film are beautiful:  The costumes are stunning and the whole movie is so beautiful to watch. We see the splendor of castles and the reign of the humans. The Dark Fay is this obscure underground place that despite its dreary appearance becomes a place for truth. The music from Geoff Zanelli enhances the scenes transporting us to this mythical place.

The story flows very nicely; it is like watching how a great fairy tale comes to life in the big screen, but Maleficent: Mistress of Evil doesn’t take us beyond the impact of the first movie. It is very well done and reiterates there’s no black or white but areas of gray. The message of this film is that love does not always end well.

I give Maleficent: Mistress of Evil 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 16. It releases in theatres on October 18, 2019.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

By Jolleen Mejia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is totally intriguing because of how unpredictable the storyline is. The writers applied their creativity and the CGI brings it all to life. The visuals along with the emotional impact made watching this film an exciting experience.

This film is the sequel to Maleficent (2014). It is best to watch Maleficent first and then watch Maleficent: Mistress of Evil to have a better understanding. This series is based on the story of Sleeping Beauty and the writers add their own twists, so you might be unfamiliar with the plot even if you know the plot of Sleeping Beauty. The story starts off with Prince Philip’s proposal to Aurora. Their marriage will unite two kingdoms, the Moors and Ulstead. The problem is that the queens of the kingdoms are not on good terms so the marriage does not happen smoothly.

Angelina Jolie plays the powerful and bold Maleficent. Angelina Jolie is perfectly cast for this role with her strong cheekbones and how she commands all the attention. Through subtle changes in her eyes and facial expressions she shows a lot of emotion. Elle Fanning plays sweet and innocent Aurora. Fanning is a wonderful actor as well who can be soft and tough at the same time.

The CGI of the fairies and creatures is very realistic. They are colorful and the habitat that they live in is pleasing to look at as well. I especially love the CGI for Maleficent’s wings. They move as one with Angelina Jolie and also help convey her emotions. Maleficent goes through many costume changes and they are all stunning, even though they have a limited number of colors to work with. The costumes highlight her power and confidence. The costumes for Aurora are very flowery and emphasize her innocence. The costumes for Aurora are also symbolic later on in the film.

I simply cannot choose a favorite part of the film. There are so many parts where I cried and laughed. I don’t want to spoil anything so all I can say is that I love the scenes where Maleficent gets to use her strong wings.

There are multiple prominent messages and even more underlying messages that can be found in this film. One of the main messages is about looking past appearances to communicate with others. Many of the humans judge the creatures based on what they look like. They stereotype and assume the actions of these creatures, which creates unnecessary apprehension. This can also be applied to our world today, so it is wonderful that the film brings awareness to this problem.

I love the crazy ride that Maleficent: Mistress of Evil has brought me on and you will love it too! I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Even Disney adult fans will enjoy this. Be sure to watch when it comes out in theaters on October 18, 2019.


Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
By Benjamin Price, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil explores the world of its archetypal big-bad title character—the witch from the iconic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty—but fans who met her in Disney’s 2014 live action film will be disappointed with the overstuffed plot and uneven tone in this film.

Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) protects the Moors, a place inhabited by a vast array of magical creatures from fairies to humanoid trees. Her daughter Aurora (Elle Fanning) accepts a marriage proposal from Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson), prompting talks of peace and unity between the Moors and Phillip’s kingdom. Maleficent wearily meets her daughter’s in-laws, King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer). The already tense evening escalates when King John becomes cursed and Maleficent is believed to be at fault. She flees, but Aurora refuses to go with her. Maleficent goes on a journey of self-discovery and must restore order between humankind and her kind.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is so steadfast in the gritty approach it takes to its fairy tale world; it often undermines the magic that makes these stories so enduringly popular. When it comes to fairy tales, realism and gloom is not what has kept them in the public consciousness for centuries.

Maleficent does have some high points. The costume and production design are phenomenal, further suspending you in this world. There are some pretty awe-inspiring shots from Maleficent’s point of view as she soars through the sky. There are also some interesting ideas about family and parenting here; far more interesting than the exploits of the tribe of fellow fairies Maleficent meets. If any of the individual ideas presented were given room to breathe and develop, the film would be much better for it. Instead, there’s a lack of focus that clouds much of the runtime and it’s clear the film doesn’t quite know what it wants to accomplish. They pack too many characters and subplots into one film.

One of the costs is screen-time for Maleficent. The film doesn’t give Angelina Jolie much to do this time around and I was surprised at the scarce amount of dialogue she is given. When she’s training herself to smile or going verbally head-to-head with Queen Ingrith, Jolie shines. Jolie is magnetic onscreen and the film should have utilized her powerful presence more. One consolation though is Michelle Pfeiffer delving into the role of a villain. Her passive-aggressive manner mixes well with a jaded, nihilistic worldview and she’s a lot of fun to watch.

I recommend Maleficent: Mistress of Evil for ages 11 to 17 due to mass fantasy violence. For a film about peace and togetherness, it’s pretty violent and pushes the envelope on its PG rating. I give it 1.5 out of 5 stars. The film comes out in theaters October 18, 2019.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil 
By Jordan Millar, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

https://abc13.com/entertainment/sandy-kenyon-reviews-maleficent-mistress-of-evil/5628944/

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a very emotional and fantastical movie with a unique take on the classic fairytale of Sleeping Beauty. Since I saw the first live-action Maleficent movie and the original Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, I was really eager to see how the second Maleficent would compare to those, and this sequel does them justice. I am glad that we get to know more about Maleficent, the “villain” of the story. 

This movie successfully switches between the happy and dark sides of the ongoing feud with the mythical creatures and the humans. Also, the amount of effort and detail that went into the art direction and special effects pays off to make the film even better. From the sets to the mysterious woodland creatures, everything is colorful, vibrant and beautifully detailed, which makes it feel like you are in another world. 

It is fun to see Angelina Jolie play Maleficent again because she provides the perfect balance of strength and sweetness. The movie also introduces us to many new characters, such as Prince Phillip’s evil mother, Queen Ingrith, and the Dark Fey, a group of winged creatures similar to Maleficent. 

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil spends a lot of time on the execution of the Queen’s plot to take down Maleficent and other magical creatures, but never really explains how the Queen is able to get the information she needs to fulfill her plan. Some parts of the plot needed to be developed more but seemed rushed to get to the epic battle scene. Also, because there is so much going on with the battle plot, there isn’t really an opportunity to find out a lot more about Maleficent. The first film was all about Maleficent, which is what made it so great. In Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, her character is more on the sidelines up until the end. 

The moral of this movie is that anyone can be good or bad and not to judge a book by its cover, because villains can come in many different forms.

The film has a lot of beautiful visuals and lighthearted magic, but there are also some very dark scenes. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, as well as adults. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil hits theaters on Friday October 18, 2019 so check it out.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
By Kimbirly Orr, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is the great bad queen! As you may recall, Maleficent is the evil queen from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. As her character came to life, it is a dark reminder of how electric this actress is, and how good it is to be bad! 

Jolie rocked this role in 2014’s Maleficent, a film re-imagined from the character’s point-of-view. It was dark and scary, and the costumes reminded me of Halloween.

This film centers on a clash between Maleficent and Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer), Mother of Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson), a human royal from a nearby kingdom who wants to marry Aurora (Elle Fanning), Maleficent’s human goddaughter. 

While Aurora is Queen of the Moors and she and Prince Phillip both prefer peace to violence; their hope of building a bridge between the human kingdom and the magical creatures that live on the moors is not to be.

What should have been a celebratory engagement dinner becomes a waged war. Queen Ingrith’s disrespect begins with her meal choice and escalates to providing iron cutlery, which equates to death to faeries. Throughout the verbal barbs which ensue, there are references to racist and current political regimes, including the current U.S. border crisis.

Maleficent is injured and saved by another winged creature. She awakes to learn she is not the single of her kind. In fact, the story gets a bit disjointed as a back story is revealed to explain the change of venue, and introduces hundreds of winged creatures from all over the planet.

As Maleficent’s new tribe decides to fight, Queen Ingrith is preparing for war far below the royal castle walls. The intricate detail to new characters and warfare means the fight is ahead and the architect is revealed. In the beginning, we are lead to believe Maleficent is evil, dark and scary – oh contraire! Maleficent has scary powers, but the true villain is yet to be divulged.  

The costumes are beautiful, especially the makeup on Angelina Jolie, which is spectacular. The story moves about a lot. In fact, I feel it harms character development. It’s Disney so, of course, there is a cute furry animal that will become plush merchandising gold.

I give this film 3 of 5 stars for its lack of character development and a shifting storyline. The casting is exemplary, especially the humorous takes when Maleficent is made to be more human. Costumes, hair and makeup are stunning. This film will appeal to ages 9 to 18, and introduces elements of Sleeping Beauty. Make no mistake; some of the scenes will be scary to younger children. There is a lot of CGI violence and many off-screen deaths. It opens in theaters October 18, 2019 so check it out.

Roxy, Oct. 17th Pet of the Week!

Treats? She’s there! Belly rubs? She’s beaten you to it! Sit, lie down, shake hands? She’s th…oh, wait a minute—is that another treatRoxy’s almost there with commands and tricks, she’s fully there with love and appreciation for all the attention she gets. Roxy is a 2-year-old pittie girl who’’ make a wonderful companion. Meet her at the P. D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A632807.

(The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)

Credit: Courtesy of the P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village.