Tag Archives: disney

Norm of the North movie review

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Originally written for and posted on Texas Lifestyle Magazine.

Christmas may be over, but there will still be one wintery family film showing this month—Norm of the North, a tale of a polar bear traveling to New York City to save his home, the Arctic, from an evil condo developer.

This past Saturday, the Slaughter Alamo Drafthouse opened early for a pre-screening of the Lionsgate’s movie. Drafthouse went all out in the best of ways, as they often do. Kids could not only make their own glittery snow globes, but they could also jump around in a giant, bouncy blow-up snow globe!

The event was completed by photos with this polar bear—Norma, “Norm’s cousin.” Norma also chose two kids from the audience to compete in a game before the film—they hopped on fake ice chunks to avoid falling in the water and won prizes to take home.

I wish I could say that the movie itself was as fun-filled and adorable as Drafthouse’s pre-show activities. Unfortunately, the film didn’t have the hilarity, amazing graphics, catchy music, or heartfelt emotion that most great kids’ flicks have.

Since Norm of the North stars the voices of Rob Schneider and Ken Jeong, I was expecting the clever wit of animated big-screen hits that also revolve around comedians becoming talking furry creatures, like Monsters Inc. or Shrek. Then I realized that Pixar, Disney, and Dreamworks are simply the ruling gods of animation—no one can do it quite like they can!

The concept is great—a polar bear who’s growing up and finding his way in life decides to go an epic adventure with his three lemming friends. They’re determined to maintain the Arctic’s serene beauty, and therefore, also determined to figure out how to bring down the maniacal, money-hungry developer. If they fail, the Arctic will soon be filled with snazzy, modern condos and tourists.

Drafthouse was packed with kids of all ages, so you’d expect the laughter to get pretty loud during the movie, right? Well, it was oddly quiet for the entire film’s length. Maybe they were too busy eating French fries and cheese sticks, but unfortunately, I think it was just a tell-tale sign that the movie…wasn’t very good. I didn’t laugh once, and I usually love cartoons of all kinds!

Although I wouldn’t recommend the movie for you or your children over the age of eight, Norm of the North is definitely great for your youngest kids—in your really early years, you can’t go wrong with fart jokes and dancing animals.

About the author: Alysha Kaye is a high school English teacher in Kyle, TX and recent author—her debut novel The Waiting Room is available on Amazon and at BookPeople. When she’s not wrangling 9th graders, she’s blogging, reading, or exploring Austin.

For more, follow her on Twitter @alyshakaye7 or check out her website: http://www.alyshakaye.com

 

People Don’t Change: Except on Halloween

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Mystique

 

Yes, I was Mystique last night. Not a smurf, not an Avatar, not Genie, and DEFINITELY not Beetlejuice (to the bro who guessed that at Container Bar on Rainey: You. Are. An. Idiot.)

I had an amazing time with my friends (a goddess, an 80’s chick, a pirate, and Rainbow Brite), drank that PERFECT amount that only causes a slight morning headache, and somehow managed to convince multiple people (friends AND one handsome stranger…or WAS he handsome…?) to help reapply that cheap blue paint when it started to crust off.

It was win complete with food truck tacos, our friend’s band performance at Gypsy Lounge, and next-day Kerbey Lane brunch.

All of this coincides with an overused, but relevant expression: People don’t change. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately–the catalyst being the same catalyst for so much in my life…doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results (insanity as old Alby calls it).

I’m usually so good at recognizing it and steering away, self-solving. When I applied for Teach for America Hawaii. When I forced myself to finish my novel and self-publish. When I decided to start teaching high school instead of middle school. When I promised myself at least one new country per year. But I guess those are so internally-based, 100% me, myself, and I…it’s so much harder when you’re only 50% of a relationship. Your expectations of another person- a friend, a family member, a boyfriend, an i-wish-you-were-my-boyfriend, etc…are probably insane. That’s how I’ve been feeling lately at least.

Here’s what I mean: if people don’t change (I mean the true, real, nitty-gritty of a person), then why do we keep expecting them to? Human nature I guess. WELL I QUIT GODDAMMIT.

I shall expect nothing. Except, ya’ know, normal things that I’ve always expected and that are totally normal to expect because they derive from that person’s true self. Like…I will always expect my mother to use the word “Behave” via text/phone call on Halloween night, regardless of the fact that I am nearing 30 years old.

But other than that sort of stuff- nada. People rarely change. I like that better. Because, ya’ know, there are those fall-through-the-crack exceptions to the rule who truly, truly change. But if a guy has been treating you fairly shit-tastically for quite some time…chances are, that’s not changin’ any time soon, darlin’. Yes, I’m talking to myself here, people, just allow it. Stop insanely expecting some life-altering 360-degree turn-around. That’s just the Disney princess inside of you.

On October 31st, you’ll see tiaras, cat-eye contacts, wigs, fake tats, masks, and tutus. It’s really fun and you’ll be like, “OHMERGERD YOUR JON SNOW HAIR IS LIKE, SPOT ON.” But people don’t change their entire personality/outlook/morals/ethics/attitude.

People get haircuts and people have good days where they’ll say something particularly nice to you. But if, on all those other, normal days…they don’t say anything nice…ever…why keep ’em around? Choose who you surround yourself with. Choose to surround yourself with people who you can expect to be there for you- people who make you feel completely safe having that expectation of them. NOT people who constantly let you down and leave you expecting “maybe a different outcome next time…or the next time…or the next time.”

Happy Halloween, fellow bloggers 🙂 I hope the night was everything you expected it to be and I hope your company was everything you expected them to be. Mine sure were!