Tag Archives: Disney

Under The Boardwalk Documentary Showcases Monopoly

If you were asked to name the first board game that comes to mind, would that game you name be Monopoly? Arguably, Monopoly is the most celebrated board game in the history of board games. It has recently had its 75th anniversary and there is no sign of it’s popularity slowing down. Monopoly is as much part of pop culture as it is a board game. And there are so many ways to play the game, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone these days that hasn’t heard of the game. With a game as popular as Monopoly, you almost have to wonder why it took so long for there to be a documentary about it.

What is it about Monopoly that has made the game such an enduring success for so many decades? San Diego based filmmaker, Kevin Tostado decided to find out. Not only did Tostodo explore the history of the game, he traced the enduring legacy of the game in popular culture, met with serious collectors that like to collect just about anything that the Monopoly brand has licensed, and even spoke to a winner of the million dollar grand prize in McDonald’s annual Monopoly game. Perhaps the highlight of Tostado’s exploration of Monopoly was following some of the game’s most competitive players through the 2009 international championships, where every four years the national champions from over forty countries compete in hopes of being crowned the newest World Monopoly Champion. Kevin Tostado compiled his findings and presents an extensive look at the world of Monopoly in his new movie entitled “Under The Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story.”

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My First Trip Ever To Palm Springs

Would you believe, I’ve lived in San Diego since 1986, and not once have I ever gone to Palm Springs? My only excuse is that I never realized how close to San Diego, Palm Springs really is. It’s about 135 miles from San Diego, which according to Google Maps, is a little more than a two hour drive. I never really looked at the maps to see how close it was to San Diego and just always figured I’d end up seeing it sometime, well that sometime has finally come. My reason for going was because my favorite ABBA tribute band, Arrival, from Sweden was going to be performing at the “Evening Under The Stars” charity event for the AIDS Assistance Program and this event is the closest they’ve come to San Diego since last year’s appearance at the San Diego County Fair. (Click here to read my blog entry for their appearance at the San Diego County Fair). I was invited to attend as a guest of the band.

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Where Have All The Tim Tams Gone?

My recent visit to Target also brought about an unexpected and not so happy sight to be seen. The Pepperidge Farm Cookie section in Target not only had no Tim Tams left, there wasn’t even a spot on the shelf for them any more! This criminal injustice left me a bit angered at Target because in the heat of the moment, they were the easiest uhm… target… to be upset with.

If you’re not familiar with Tim Tams, they are just the most amazing cookies from Australia (although Aussie’s will correct you and state they are “biscuits” not “cookies”). In early 2009, Pepperidge Farms cookies brought them in to be sold at Target exclusively for a limited period of time to test them out to see if they’d take off in popularity here in North America. The Tim Tams are not actually made by Pepperidge Farms, but by Arnott’s of Australia, who in turn just wrap the cookies in Pepperidge Farms logo packaging and ship them off to America. So to those who think the Pepperidge Farms packaged Tim Tams are inferior to Australia’s Arnott’s labeled Tim Tams, they’re exactly the same and made by the same machines.

Of course, this original test marketing was right around the time I was starting the Belly Fat Cure so cookies were not part of that plan due to the high sugar content. I didn’t buy any of them during Target’s originally carrying the product but I certainly made sure to tell people about them because I really wanted to see them become a permanent product on store shelves here in America. I knew when the test was done they’d be gone, but I was hopeful they’d be back some day.

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The Return Of Captain Eo

On a recent visit to Disneyland with some friends, we took the opportunity to see the return of Captain Eo, which Disneyland brought back as a tribute to Michael Jackson due to Michael’s death last year. The attraction is billed as the “Captain Eo Tribute” as opposed to just Captain Eo. And the attraction is replacing “Honey, I Shrunk The Audience” 3-D attraction which I think is what originally replaced Captain Eo in the first place when Disneyland pulled the attraction.

The attraction starts out with a “pre-show” which Disneyland highlighted was the original pre-show from when Captain Eo first premiered back in 1986. And I think the pre-show just really showcased how attention spans have gotten considerably shorter, as the pre-show just dragged on and on and on endlessly where the footage would have been sliced and spliced considerably more if it was being made for today’s audiences to keep the pace moving. It showcased some of the casting, the rehearsal process, and the making of Captain Eo. The pre-show was also hammering down the notion of how landmark Captain Eo is as a collaboration of Michael Jackson (arguably at his peak of popularity), George Lucas (still hot off the heels of the success of his original Star Wars Trilogy), Francis Ford Coppola (a legendary director) and of course, Disney. Okay, we get it, big names bring big expectations.

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Mommie Dearest Screening In San Diego

Mommie DearestTonight I met up for dinner with my good friend Vito Grandolfo, before we attended a screening of the classic campy film, “Mommie Dearest” starring Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford. The screening was part of the local FilmOut monthly movie series at the Birch North Park Theatre in North Park. Vito and I met up with some friends who were also planning to see the show. It seemed like a good and fun idea to go see a wickedly bad movie that definitely inspired some audience participation as fans of the movie shouted out some of the biggest lines from the movie back at the screen.

I had never been to the Birch North Park Theatre before. It was a nice venue for one as old as it is. It wasn’t too large and wasn’t too small either. It looks like the venue is able to be used for stage productions as well, tonight there just happened to be a huge screen parked on the stage. Before the movie began they did a raffle for a few prizes and even awarded one for someone who had come dressed as Joan Crawford. Additionally the screening had Billy Masters as an opening act. He came, shared some stories about the movie, how Faye Dunaway thinks the movie killed her career, and gave away some prizes. I’m not entirely sure who he is, but he was moderately entertaining. He said to watch out for his favorite part in the movie which occurs during the infamous wire hanger scene and the cleaning powder where Faye goes cross-eyed for a moment.

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Toy Story Double Feature In 3-D

Toy Story Double Feature in 3DSurprisingly, I’ve never actually seen either “Toy Story” movie before. And oddly enough, I actually do have both movies on DVD. I picked up the first Toy Story movie when it was reissued as a 10th Anniversary edition, and the second one either at the same time or shortly thereafter. But I’m guessing it might have been a buy both get a better discount kind of deal. But both DVDs are still shrinkwrapped to this day. I know the first one at least had to have been good based on the fact it spawned a sequel, but it also launched Pixar into the mainstream and I have enjoyed several of their movies over the years.

I don’t know why this seems to be true for me, but I never seem to find the Pixar movie trailers interesting enough to ever want to see the movies when they happen to be playing on the big screen. I had never seen any of them on the big screen, not “Monster’s Inc.”, not “Finding Nemo”, not “Cars” not even “Wall-E” or this year’s “Up” and yet, ultimately I’ve been told how great and wonderful they are, and I’ve checked them out on DVD and ended up buying them. I will probably even get “Up” when it comes out next month. All of the ones I’ve seen ended up being extremely good, so I just don’t quite get why their trailers strike me as lame and I don’t see them in the theaters.

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Get Disney’s Snow White Blu-Ray/DVD Combo For $9.99 From Amazon

Snow White Blu-Ray/DVD ComboAmazon has lowered the price of the Blu-Ray/DVD combination package of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” to $19.99 and also has a $10 off promotional code that will drop the price for it down to $9.99. This is a rare opportunity to get the latest release version of Disney’s first full length animated feature for such a bargain. It’s a great set in that it comes with both a Blu-Ray disc and a DVD version of the film so even if you don’t yet have a Blu-Ray player, you’re covered for if and when you do.

Click here to visit Amazon.com and take advantage of the deal. To get the $10 off discount, be sure to enter the promo code, “SNOWHITE” in the promotional code box during check out. Keep in mind there is only one “w” in the code. Most reviews indicate the movie looks stunning in its new Blu-Ray presentation. I’m not sure how long the sale price or the discount code’s availability will last.

Spending My Birthday At The Disneyland Resort (Part 1)

Disneyland Birthday ButtonWhen it was announced in 2008 that the Disney Resorts would be offering free admission to one park for people to celebrate their birthday in 2009, I knew I was going to make plans to enjoy Disneyland for my birthday. It’s not the first time I’ve spent my birthday at Disneyland. The last time was in 2004 back when I last had an annual pass to the parks. I was excited to come to Disneyland for my birthday as I haven’t been to the park since right around the time Space Mountain was re-opening following two years of being closed to completely replace the tracks.

I posted a note on my Twitter account to see if any of my friends would be free and available to join me at Disneyland, and I suppose the one thing as you get older is that the responsibilities of the real world doesn’t always allow your friends to come play with you in an amusement park on a “work” day during the week. So aside from several notes of regret of not being able to come from local friends and notes from international friends where the travel distances were prohibitive of being able to come, it was looking like I’d be doing the park on my own. No big deal as far as I’m concerned, I’ve never been the type of person to allow the fact others couldn’t come to stop me from enjoying the things I want to do. Besides, I’ve done the Disney parks several times on my own when I last had annual passes, sometimes I’d end up at the parks on a whim and would have no time to invite others anyway.

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Funny And Offensive T-Shirts At TShirtHell.com

T-Shirt Hell - Money For RentA good friend of mine pointed me to a website that makes some pretty darn funny t-shirts. As someone who can appreciate a t-shirt that makes people laugh when they read it, I was just rolling with laughter when I saw the shirts offered by T-Shirt Hell.

No what T-Shirt Hell offers, pushes the envelope in terms of funny. In fact, a lot of the shirts they offer are just downright offensive. Some shirts push the envelope through the use of strong language while others use offensive stereotypes, and some just push the boundaries of sexual innuendo. It seems no stone is left unturned even poking fun at pop culture icons like Ronald McDonald, The Smurfs, Disney, Han Solo, and Pillsbury Dough Boy. Even Al Gore, Barack Obama, and Wal-Mart get skewered. (I’m guessing all the George W. Bush ones have been retired?)

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Deep Discount Has Big DVD/Blu-Ray Sale

DeepDiscount.com is having a big sale on DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs. Between now and November 23, 2008, there is a chance to save an additional 25% off their already low sale prices. And all orders are eligible for free shipping within the United States (reasonable shipping costs for outside the US).

With most of the latest Blu-Ray titles selling between $20-$30 on DeepDiscount.com, the additional discount brings the cost down to at or slightly below $20 a disc. This can be quite a savings if you’ve had your eye on a few items such as the lastest James Bond discs, or even Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” title. There can be quite significant savings on big box sets such as the new 40th Anniversary Blu-Ray edition of Planet Of The Apes and the Matrix collection.

Don’t feel left out if you’re not yet into Blu-Ray discs, the savings apply to standard DVDs too. There’s a vast collection of movies already released and now is a good time to get extra savings on them. Most of the Star Trek films are available for under $10 a movie before the discount gets applied. TV season sets are also eligible, and now’s a good chance to get a discount on those highly overpriced BBC sets like the latest incarnations of Doctor Who, Torchwood, and The Sarah Jane Chronicles. Even the Planet Earth series is discounted. Or favorite American TV shows like Star Trek, Desperate Housewives, or Quantum Leap.

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