AVENGERS: ENDGAME – A Spoiler-Free Review by Peter Alden Grigsby

Published April 24, 2019 by Disneyways.com

AVENGERS: ENDGAME – A Spoiler-Free Review by Peter Alden Grigsby

There is just ‘something’ about watching a Marvel Universe Film. They continue to produce films that build on one another. Often times creating a final product that leaves you with a feeling of “how in the world can they top that?!?!” Very few highly anticipated films live up to the hype, but Endgame certainly does. It’s the best possible conclusion to Infinity War, and, at this point at least, is the crown jewel of the Marvel franchise. As previously stated, “how in the world can they top that?!”


As most fans are aware of by now, Avengers: Endgame is the official close of MCU’s phase 3, and it certainly does that! What I am about to say next is certainly not a ‘spoiler’, but I will say,

(Albeit ‘tongue & cheek’), DO NOT have a lot of fluids before this film, and stay away from the largest cup size at the theater! It is every bit of its reported 3 hour running time. The first hour and twenty minutes, while certainly a necessity in the story telling of the film, does drag a bit, and would be optimal for a bathroom break if needed. That being said, when this film kicks into high gear, it does not slow down, and you will be loath to move from your seat until the end!

Avengers: Endgame (2019) picks up almost immediately after the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), which left the universe in ruins. With the help of other allies, the remaining Avengers assemble in what might just be the last time, to attempt to undo Thanos’ actions, and restore the universe to normal. I feel almost silly attempting to write a ‘spoiler free’ review, because that is proving to be nearly impossible! I have started over a number of times, but buckle up true believers!

Endgame is, quite surprisingly, more inventive than I expected. We know where the story is headed, but there are some interesting turns getting there. I was also surprised at how emotionally engaging it was for a superhero film. With its 3 hour run time, this film spends quite a bit of time on character development, much more so than in previous offers. It does tend to make the film drag a bit early on, but I’m glad they did it, and it most certainly added to the reason the audience was so emotionally involved. There is also quite a bit of humor throughout as well. In fact, this is probably one of the funniest Marvel films since Thor: Ragnarok or perhaps Ant-Man. The laughs are intentional, but don’t feel forced or contrite. The battle scenes are visually stunning, and certainly live up to what we saw in Infinity War. It’s amazing to think that Marvel was able to keep this film under wraps, and I have no intention of spoiling that, but, suffice it to say, there are definitely some surprises that I certainly didn’t see coming. Run; don’t walk to see this little gem! Hopefully fans will keep a lid on things so that everyone can laugh, cry, gasp in surprise, and be thoroughly entertained without anything being given away or ruined.

One last thing though. I even struggled about this, but, in the end, I feel this doesn’t ‘spoil’ anything, so here we go. This film does not include mid-credits, or a post-credits scene, making it the first film in the MCU since The Incredible Hulk to include neither. Marvel has definitely raised the bar on themselves with this one, and I believe this could go down as the most successful superhero film, EVER!

**Please note that I was invited to a complimentary viewing of this movie on April 23, 2019 so that I could bring you this review on behalf of Krista Joy at Disneyways.com. The free admission in no way influenced my review, and all opinions are my own.**

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Peter Alden Grigsby is a Florida native. Pete has appeared in an episode of the Mickey Mouse club, was a Jungle Cruise Skipper, “friend” of the Rocketeer, tram driver on the backlot tour, and opening day cast member at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM). When he’s not writing movie reviews, he is performing as a singer and tribute artist all over the world and currently has a cover album of Disney songs called Kingdom Classics

Walt Disney World vs. Universal Studios: A Teens’ Perspective Written by Jennifer Bright Reich

Published March 8, 2019 by Disneyways.com

Walt Disney World vs. Universal Studios: A Teens’ Perspective
By Jennifer Bright Reich

My fiancé and I have four sons, Kevin (15), Kyle (14), Tyler (13), and Austin (almost 12). We all went to Orlando a few weeks ago in January. We were fortunate to get to spend time in both Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot and Universal Studios.

I’m a life-long Disney fan, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Universal Studios. I was curious what our teens thought about the parks. Some of their perspectives surprised me! Here’s what they loved—and what they didn’t love.

Universal Studios Rides

I preferred the Express Pass system at Universal to Disney’s FastPass. It helped us to get on a lot more rides. At Disney, you only get FastPass for a few rides.— Kevin
I enjoyed some of the rides, especially Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. It felt like you were really there, on that ride simulator especially because you had your own seat, so you really felt the movements.—Kyle
I liked the line for the Fast and Furious ride because it had a bunch of car parts, gun stuff to look at, and famous cards along the way. There was lot of eye candy to look at while you were waiting.— Kevin.
I didn’t like the Fast and Furious ride. It didn’t even feel like you were moving. —Kyle
I loved the Rip Ride Rockit Coaster! However, in general at Universal, I felt there were too many simulation rides and not enough physical rides. —Austin
My favorite Universal ride was Revenge of the Mummy because it actually “moved through space” and wasn’t just a simulator ride. —Tyler
One on our way out of the park, we were asked to take a survey, I thought it was great that they were asking for feedback. I felt that they really cared about our experience and how they could improve. I felt my opinion was taken into consideration, which was nice.—Kevin
I though the nighttime show was ok but not as good Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!—Tyler
I was disappointed that City Walk was so much smaller than Disney Springs. —Austin
But at least you can just walk to City Walk. You don’t have to take a bus like you do to get to Disney Springs. —Kevin

Universal Studios Food
I really enjoyed the churros. But they were a little dry.—Kevin
I disliked the food. We ate at Monster Café. —Tyler
The food tasted like it had sat out for a long time. —Kyle

Walt Disney World Rides
You can’t beat Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I even loved the stand-by line because there were so many things to look at. I especially liked the parts of the ride when you could smell things like the dirt.— Kyle
Because we stayed off property, we didn’t have the early access to FastPass, so we weren’t able to get FastPasses for Flight of Passage. We went there first thing, though, and only waited in line for around 45 min—Kevin
The wait was long for Flight of Passage.— Kyle.
Don’t take the Friendship Boats across World Showcase! It’s much faster to walk. —Kyle

Walt Disney World Food
I liked the food at better at Disney World than Universal Studios . Some of portion sizes were dangerous though, especially the Beastly Burger at Rainforest Café! I really liked the food at Epcot—Kevin
Epcot has the best food. I love the Japan Pavilion, especially the soup, and Coral Reef.— Tyler

Walt Disney World Shopping
Epcot is the most unique for shopping. You actually feel like you’re shopping, as opposed to just going to a gift store. —Tyler
I liked the Mitsukoshi Department Store. It was really neat.— Kyle
I really liked that the stores in Epcot World Showcase has to have people working there from those countries. It really felt like I was visiting those places for a little bit. —Kevin
I thought there were to many Disney-owned stores at Disney Springs. It felt like all of the stores were the same. I would like to see more nonDisney stores. —Kevin.
We bought grow your own bonsai trees and they didn’t grow!-Kyle

 

About the Author: Jennifer Bright Reich is cofounder and CEO of Momosa Publishing, a family- and veteran-owned hybrid publisher in Bethlehem, PA. MomosaPublishing.com. She publishes health, parenting, inspiration, and children’s books, including books for kids by kids, like The Adventures of the Rabbits in the Most Magical Place on Earth, The Adventures of the Squirrels in the Most Magical Place on Earth, and The Adventures of the Lions in the Most Magical Place on Earth—stories about the real animals that live in Walt Disney World, which are all written by her son Austin Reich and illustrated by her son Tyler Reich.

Captain Marvel – A SPOILER FREE MOVIE REVIEW! WRITTEN BY PETER ALDEN GRIGSBY

Published March 6, 2019 by Disneyways.com

Captain Marvel – A spoiler free movie review written by Peter Alden Grigsby

You really have to admire the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They have managed to take Comic Book Superheroes, and make them one of the most viable franchises in modern cinema. They have been so successful in fact, that they have enough productions to sub-divide into phases. As of now, we are coming to the end of phase 3, which will culminate with “Avengers: Endgame”. Shifting from big league hitters such as Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and Hulk to characters that have not received as much attention such as Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the lynch pin, Captain Marvel. Spider Man, quite possibly their most popular character ever, has also recently re-acquired from Sony, so he will also figure prominently in the new phase.

When we left what was left of the team after “Infinity Wars”, we learned that Nick Fury had sent an emergency signal to Captain Marvel, just before being vaporized by Thanos. But who is Captain Marvel? Why was she not included in “The Avengers Initiative”? How can she help, when some of earths ‘Mightiest Heroes’ have already been vaporized? These are just some of the questions that this film sets out to answer. While giving the ‘basic gist’ of the story, I’m not going into too much detail; I want to present this review with NO SPOILERS! So buckle up true believers, here we go!

Right off the bat, THIS is an ‘origin’ film! Simply stated, don’t expect too much of a plot. Take this film as a “hi, nice to meet you”/first date kind of experience. We start out in the middle of the story, where we learn that a race of people called ‘Kree’ is in a war with another race called the ‘Skrulls’. We learned a little about them in “Infinity War”, but we get more of an insight in this film. The Skrulls are shape shifters, and can control their appearance. This is where we first meet “Vers” played by Brie Larson, who comes off fairly well. She presents a “girl-next-door” type of personality, while also being perfectly believable as a woman that can handle herself in any situation. At times she comes off a bit ‘wooden’, but hey, it’s a superhero movie, not “Titanic”. Vers is dealing with reoccurring nightmares about people she feels she knows, but can’t explain why. She also has a mysterious power that even the Kree don’t understand, but properly harnessed could make her one of the most powerful beings in the Universe. Her mentor, Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) is doing his best to help her figure out both who she is, and how to control her powers. Training her to control her emotions, as that is how she can ultimately control her powers. Jude Law is certainly capable, and believable in what he is being asked to do. That said, it’s not much! His character is certainly not explored to the degree it could have been. The chemistry between Law and Larson is not quite Luke Skywalker/Obi-Wan Kenobi caliber, but acceptable. Much like an older brother helping his younger sister. After learning that the Skrull commander, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) has captured Soh-Lar a Kree spy. Vers joins Yon-Rogg and a Kree rescue team to retrieve Soh-Lar. Of course, things go terribly wrong and Vers winds up separated from her team, and on a collision course towards Earth. For me, Ben Mendelsohn comes close to stealing this film! He gets some of the best lines in the movie, and delivers them brilliantly. This character, sadly, is not explored much either, but Mendelsohn managers to capture a menacing presence, without coming off as a typical ‘casting couch’ villain. He also demonstrates some brilliant comic timing.

Marvel uses a great ploy of ‘going back’ to move forward! Back, meaning to earth in the mid-90’s, (those familiar with the time period will enjoy the many ‘inside jokes’ that are presented.) and there are some genuinely funny moments. This is where we meet a young Nick Fury (Samuel A. Jackson), sans eye-patch, and a ‘rookie’ Shield agent Coulson (Clark Gregg). I’ve never really been a fan of the ‘de-aging’ CGI effects to make older actors look younger, I’ve never thought it looked real, but I will say it was done fairly well, and doesn’t really distract too much. Talos has followed Vers to earth, and is now after her. Sadly, this is where the ‘1990’s’ shtick becomes burdensome, and takes this film into a TV superhero feel. Not ‘camp’ but more like the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno ‘Incredible Hulk’ series. We learn Vers real name is Carol Danvers. She has a mysterious relationship with a Scientist (Annette Bening) she barely remembers. To me it seems that Bening was used for her ‘star power’ and very little else. What should have been a pivotal character was, again, never explored enough to the point that we actually cared anything about her. We also meet her best friend, Maria Rambeau (Lashanna Lynch). Maria Rambeau is extremely likeable, and presents her character as the kind of friend we would all like to have. However, other than being Danvers best friend, there is not much for her to do. Danvers and Rambeau, we learn, are kind of like a female version of “Top Gun”. Yes, there is even a mascot named ‘Goose’! It’s almost as if the writers got a bit lazy during this ‘middle section’ and just went into an auto pilot mode, burping up cliché’ after cliché’ and really over using what could have been a fun little plot point. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some laughs, but all in all, the movie drags a bit here.

The last 30 minutes or so ramps up, and we get more of the action sequences we were expecting from the trailers. This is where I have to be careful because, as I said before, I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Suffice it to say, we DO learn how Captain Marvel will fit into the MCU in “Endgame”, as well as some interesting little twists along the way.

 

So, in going ‘back’ to move forward, “Captain Marvel” has set the stage for phase 4 of Marvel’s cinematic franchise. While certainly not Marvel’s best ‘solo’ hero movie, it’s certainly not the worst, (that dubious honor belongs to “Iron Man 2” in my opinion) and it’s certainly enjoyable as sort of a ‘Saturday afternoon matinee’! Story line, what little there is of it, is a bit contrived and confusing at times. As for character development, there were so many, so none of them was really explored in-depth. It was certainly nice to learn more about Fury, and how everything ties in together. There were a few moments in this film when I felt that it was heading into a ‘preachy’, feminist, “#metoo” direction, but thankfully it pulled itself back. It’s going to be tricky, moving forward with this character, to not fall into that trap. I hope Marvel can do it, because Captain Marvel could be a very interesting character. I would still recommend seeing it to fill in the last gaps before “Endgame”. This movie does at least explain why Danvers has been absent, and that was satisfying. So, in short: Dull story, some funny dialogue, mediocre villains, and a predictable plot. CGI was well done.

**Please note that I was invited to a complimentary viewing of this movie on Monday March 4, 2019 so that I could bring you this review on behalf of Krista Joy at Disneyways.com. The free admission in no way influenced my review, and all opinions are my own.**

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Peter Alden Grigsby is a Florida native. Pete has appeared in an episode of the Mickey Mouse club, was a Jungle Cruise Skipper, “friend” of the Rocketeer, tram driver on the backlot tour, and opening day cast member at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM). When he’s not writing movie reviews, he is performing as a singer and tribute artist all over the world and currently has a cover album of Disney songs called Kingdom Classics

As seen on major Disney Fan sites such as Disney World Enthusiast, WDW Hints, WDW Magazine, City Surfing Orlando, Disneyways.com and many more! Rave reviews from all major Disney influencers and talk show hosts are online now – for Peter Alden’s Kingdom Classics CD.
Get ready for Classic Disney songs, with a retro rock vibe!! Peter Alden captures the ‘classic’ feel of the golden age of rock and fuses it into some of your favorite Disney classics!!

Momosa Publishing LLC to proudly support Lakeview Elementary “Literacy Luau” in St. Cloud Florida on Jan. 26

Published January 23, 2019 by Disneyways.com

Momosa Publishing LLC (Momosa Publishing), one of the United States’ leading publishers of health, parenting, inspiration, and children’s books, is proud to announce its donation of 25 books to the Literary Luau at Lakeview Elementary on January 26, 2019.

Momosa Publishing marketing director Krista Joy has a close connection to this special event. She manages the career of well-known local entertainer Peter Alden, whose adopted son Gabriel Grigsby’s courageous battle with rare genetic brain disorder Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) led to the family’s quest to add ALD to the list of newborn screenings in Florida.

ALD affects 1 in 18,000 people, primarily boys and some men. It destroys the protective sheath that surrounds the brain’s neurons — the nerve cells that allow us to think and to control our muscles. Championed by State Rep. Mike La Rosa (R-St. Cloud) for years, the ALD screening requirement became state law in May 2018 in honor and memory of Gabriel, who was 10 when he passed away in July 2013. It is a fitting legacy for the brave boy who fought against such tragic circumstances.

Gabriel attended Lakeview Elementary and the organizer, Stephanie Walcott was his favorite teacher. Gabriel’s father, Peter Alden, will perform a 15 minute set of songs from the film “Blue Hawaii” at the Literacy Luau. Peter Alden is a veteran of the Legends in Concert Stage and a full-time entertainer.

“Giving back to our communities is so much a part of who we are,” Momosa Publishing co-founder and editorial director Jennifer Reich said. “Krista’s relationship with Peter Alden – and his efforts to add ALD to the screening protocol – along with our ties to Florida and Orlando in particular – make our team a strong supporter of the event. We couldn’t be happier to participate in the Lakeview Elementary Literacy Luau.”

To kick off Literacy Week, Lakeview Elementary will have the Literacy Luau on January 26, 2019 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. This event will have many Hawaiian themed literacy activities, a book fair, and an opportunity to meet an author. The school will have community members including; Orlando City Soccer and Wonderworks passing out books to students. Families have an opportunity to read together in our butterfly garden and watch the special guest performances on stage. It will be a day filled with reading, learning, and fun!

Momosa Publishing’s mission of helping people raise healthier, happier families is rooted in its commitment to children. Along with its trademark Mommy MD Guides series of advice on children’s health from the country’s leading doctor moms, the firm has published a number of other child-centered books.

Reich’s two sons, Tyler, 13, and Austin, 11, collaborated on a series of enchanting stories of animals exploring the Magic Kingdom. Launched in August 2017, the “Adventures of the Real Animals in the Most Magical Place on Earth” children’s book series tells the stories of the real live animals that make their home in the most magical place on Earth. At the event, Joy will read a portion of the first book in the series, “The Adventures of the Rabbits in the Most Magical Place on Earth” and present Momosa Publishing’s donation of 25 books.

The series, which also includes “The Adventures of the Squirrels in the Most Magical Place on Earth” – the story of Sammy Squirrel and his family AND “The Adventures of the Lions in the Most Magical Place on Earth”, the story of Daniel the lion and his family – is available on Amazon and everywhere books are sold.

Mary Poppins Returns ~ A Spoiler- Free Review by guest author Joelle Heath

Published December 18, 2018 by Disneyways.com

Delightfully whimsical.
That is the phrase that comes to mind for this movie. It was a mostly sweet, sometimes teary, always sassy homage to the original. The songs are fun and in line with those of the original, with one exception being a tune just a bit more ahem mature than one might expect. You will notice many parallels in story elements that are classic to Mary Poppins and rather than coming across as simply repackaged from the original, those elements imbue authenticity for who Mary would still be, even after all these year. Though, don’t ask her age. That would be impolite.
If you still remember what it was like to be a child or need to be reminded, I hope you can find your way to the theater to enjoy this sweet holiday season treat. Keep an eye out for the many Easter eggs. You might even find yourself drawn to see it twice, just in case you missed something.

 

About the Author ~ Joelle Heath grew up in Pennsylvania and attended college at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, MA. After graduating, she moved to sunny Florida. She teaches AP History at Cypress Creek High School and loves working with the great students and a terrific faculty.

Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms – Journey to the Four Realms: A Spoiler- Free Review by guest author Chrissy Lin

Published November 15, 2018 by Disneyways.com
Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms – Journey to the Four Realms: A Spoiler- Free Review by guest author Chrissy Lin
An age old tale about a Sugar Plum Fairy and a Nutcracker falling in love…or wait, was it an age old story about a little girl who dreams of her Christmas toys coming to life…or….oh dear…I have a confession to make–I’ve never seen the original Nut Cracker!
I don’t know anything about the story, and until I looked it up online, I really only had a vague idea of what it might, possibly, be about!  I know, I know, have I grown up under a rock?  It might seem like it!  But let me tell you, that did not matter one tiny bit as I sat mesmerized by Disney’s new “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.”
Hear me for just a minute…
Sheer…Visual…Gorgeousness!!  
From the moment this delightful movie begins, you are thrown into a glittering world where heartbreaking reality meets a softer side of steampunk, culminating in a sweet story that has familiar elements and characters from the original Nutcracker story, without following that beloved story even one tiny bit.
I am a huge fan of several of the actors, most notably the amazing, talented, oh so epically regal, Helen Mirren, who played Mother Ginger.  Morgan Freeman was a delightful mixture of mystery and mischief in his role as Drosselmeyer, but it was my particular favorite, Matthew Macfadyen (with whom I fell in fan girl love when I saw him in Little Dorrit), who stole the show for me as Mr. Stahlbaum. His ability to convey deep emotion with just a soft catch in the back of his throat added depth and heartache in all the right places.  These three, along with strong performances from Jayden Fowora-Knight (Phillip the Nutcracker), Keira Knightley (Sugar Plum) and MacKenzie Foy (Clara), breathed new life into characters who have danced the same dance for more than 100 years.  Completely and utterly family friendly, there was only one PG word uttered, and only one or two moments with a PG scare.  I have a 5, 7, and 11 year old, and I wouldn’t hesitate to let any of them watch it.  In fact, I’m really looking forward to discussing the gorgeous and creative costumes with my eldest daughter.  Lead costume designer Jenny Beaven outdoes herself with exotic costumes that deserve a “nosed pressed to the screen,” loooonnnnnngggggggggg pause on your DVR to truly experience and appreciate her work.  Any aspiring costume designer would do well to take notice of all the little details she adds to make her outfits fantastically fantastical works of art. All in all, when you add up the NEW heart warming story line, the depth of feeling brought by the actors, and the glittering, high fantasy fashion of the costumes, you end up with a movie worth watching on the silver screen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chrissy Lin is a Senior Style Dots boutique partner, a wife, and a mother of three. Follow her on Facebook at  Chrissy Has Dots and join her VIP Style Dots FB group at  Chrissy‘s Dot VIPS!!!!! If you love jewelry or just love to buy gifts – check out a sparkly selection HERE.

 

 

A new music video featuring Andrea Bocelli and his 20-year-old son Matteo Bocelli singing the beautifully poignant “Fall on Me” from Disney’s “Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is now available.

Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms – Journey to the Four Realms Featurette

Disney’s “Nutcracker and the Four Realms” in theaters November 2, 2018.

Save Money! Pre-Order”Peter Pan’s Flight” Narrated by Krista Joy from Theme Parkology

Published October 19, 2018 by Disneyways.com

Save Money! Pre-Order”Peter Pan’s Flight” (Written and Narrated by Krista Joy from Disneyways.com) This DVD is now available for pre-order from Theme Parkology!

Click below for a sneak peek!

Come one everybody, here we goooo!! This whimsical documentary explores the history of the attraction and was written and narrated by the talented Krista Joy, intro music by James Presley, and animated title sequence by C. Andrew Nelson.

This will be a wonderful addition to your Theme Parkology collection.

Pre-order until November 5th 2018 and SAVE!! DVD is only $15 when you make this advanced purchase at THIS LINK.

So, don’t delay order your copy today!

While you are at it, why not add the Enchanted Secrets of Disneyland to your cart as well?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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