Secrets of the Mountain – The Music

Earlier I wrote a review of ‘Secrets of the Mountain’ which airs tomorrow night (April 16, 2010) on NBC and I mentioned that Randy Jackson produced the soundtrack for this movie. The movie is filled with songs from up and coming artists that Randy Jackson hand picked for this project and I’m sure you’ll be hearing big things from all of these talented performers very soon.

Here’s a sneak peak at some of the music in ‘Secrets of the Mountain’. I’ve included links to the songs when I could find them.

Track list – Soundtrack – Secret’s of the Mountain

  1. Paper Tongues – Trinity (Official video)
  2. Alisan & Ilsey -This time
  3. Jordin Sparks – Reflection (this link goes to Jordin’s performance of Reflection on American Idol)
  4. Lona Hines- The Lessons We All Learn
  5. Brooke White – Change (this links to Brooke White’s vocal performance of Change – no video, just audio)
  6. The Afters – Never Going Back To Ok (official video)
  7. Ashlyne Huff – Trippin it up (amateur video recorded at a Walmart Store concert)
  8. Josh Kelley – More Than Love
  9. Kevin Hammond – Just Believe
  10. Tom Leonard – Your Never Alone
  11. Alisan & Ilsey – Tomorrow’s a better day

Randy Jackson discusses the soundtrack for ‘Secrets of the Mountain’

Secrets of the Mountain – Family Movie Night – April 16, 2010 on NBC

Family Movie Night is coming back to television thanks to Walmart and Proctor & Gamble Productions. “People tell us that they want more shows to watch together as a family, or appealing to all family members,” says Marc Pritchard, P&G global marketing officer. “Tell everyone that ‘Family Movie Night’ is back.”

The first movie, ‘Secrets of the Mountain‘ is airing tomorrow night, April 16, 2010, on NBC starring Paige Turco and Barry Bostwick. I was invited to a pre-screening of ‘Secrets of the Mountain’ in Montreal a few weeks ago and was more than a little impressed.

Family Viewing for All Ages

As the mother of a 15 year old and a 20 year old it’s become increasingly difficult to find family fare on television or DVD that isn’t aimed only at the younger kids. ‘Secrets of the Mountain’ really is for all ages. I can see families with younger kids, teens, parents and grandparents all gathering together to watch ‘Secrets of the Mountain’ and enjoying it.

Characters Were Very Believable and Real

This is not a perfect family. These are every day people who make every day mistakes.

The story revolves around a divorced mother with a demanding job, two moody teens and a precocious pre-teen. At the beginning of the movie they aren’t connecting as a family but by working together and supporting each other through the adventure they come to realize that they can rely on each other.

The teens were very realistic – the clothes they wore, the words they used and even the txt messages they sent were very in tune with today’s teens.

The movie portrays the kids as smart, but unlike many TV shows and movies lately, it doesn’t portray the adults as bumbling fools. There’s a believable level of respect between the kids and the adults.

Action, Adventure, and Great Effects

Without giving away the plot, I can say that the movie is packed with action, some puzzle solving, and amazing video effects. The sets and effects make this one of the most visually stunning television movies I’ve seen in a long while. The official ‘Secrets of the Mountain’ trailer gives you a taste of the detail that went into it:

Amazing Soundtrack Produced by Randy Jackson

Randy Jackson produced a great soundtrack that really brings this movie to life and introduces some great new up and coming musical talent. Check out what Randy Jackson has to say about the soundtrack:

Walmart Moms Review ‘Secrets of the Mountain’

Some of the other Walmart Moms attended a pre-screening of ‘Secrets of the Mountain’ in New York recently. Here’s what Renee Ross, Lori Falcon, Lynnae McCoy, Erika Lehmann and Audrey McClelland had to say:

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed ‘Secrets of the Mountain’ and I love the fact that Walmart and Proctor and Gamble Productions have come together to bring Family Movie Night back. I’ll be watching tomorrow night on NBC with my family and I hope all of you do too. If you want to see more quality family programming on television remember to vote with your remote and tune in tomorrow night!

Disclosure: As mentioned above I am one of the Walmart Moms and I was flown to Montreal to preview ‘Secrets of the Mountain’ but my opinions are my own and I was not paid to write this review.

Where The Wild Things Are – Movie Review (or why I wouldn’t take young kids)

Where The Wild Things Are book

Where The Wild Things Are book

I remember when I first got the book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I was 7 years old and I’d ordered the book through the Scholastic Monthly book newsletter that my teacher would hand out every month. I took one look at the cover of the book, with that monster sitting on the shore and just knew I wanted to know more about that monster.

The book Sendak wrote and illustrated in 1963 had only 10 sentences but it stuck with me clearly for 33 years and I know it’s stuck with many of us over the years. When I heard that Spike Jonze was bringing Max and the Wild Things to the big screen I was excited to see what the film would be like. This afternoon I found out.

Where the Wild Things Are movie

Where the Wild Things Are movie

I loved the movie. I’d see it again in heartbeat. But… now that I’ve seen it I would not even consider taking young kids to see it at the theatre. I will explain why but if you don’t want any spoilers than you might want to stop reading now.

Still with me? Great… here we go…

The movie begins with young Max at home. We see a friendless boy who is lonely, feels neglected by his older sister and his divorced mother. He is by turns lonely, sad, angry and then destructive and even violent as he acts out. Max (played by Max Records) brings out a range of negative emotions through his actions as he destroys a gift for his sister, jumps all over his sister’s bed with snow covered boots, bites his mother and then runs away.

Once he reaches the land Where the Wild Things Are we see loneliness, jealousy, violence, threatening behaviour, friendship, companionship, love, anger (SCARY SCARY ANGER), feelings of betrayal, disillusionment, sadness, loss.

The movie is beautiful. It’s wonderful in every way. The creatures are everything I imagined they’d be and so much more. But it’s an emotional rollercoaster with some very scary moments that I just don’t think would sit well with most  young children – at least not without some conversation about what was happening as things go along.

Personally, I’d not take kids younger than 8 or 10 to see it at the theatre. There are long stretches of the movie that would be boring for young kids and other points which are SCARY monster scenes and a lot of emotional turmoil. Without the ability to pause the movie after a scene and discuss why Max or the monsters are acting out and the underlying emotions I think there will be a lot of frightened children exiting the theatre before the movie concludes.

Where the Wild Things Are is more a movie about a child but not really for a child. I’d possibly consider buying the DVD (when it comes out) to view with younger kids, where you can control and pause the movie if you need to and discuss why Max (or the monsters) are feeling sad, lonely and especially why they feel angry and violent.

Where the Wild Things Are was truly a breathtaking film and it really brought Max and the Wild Things to life in a really realistic way but it’s not what I’d consider a kids film at all. My heart is still racing and I’m emotionally exhausted. We all have the Wild Things in us somewhere.

Frugal Fun: Card Games For Those Rainy Days

When I was a kid I spent countless rainy afternoons and snowy evenings playing cards with my Grandfather. We’d play Go Fish and Crazy 8s usually. Over time we changed the rules so much for Crazy 8s that we called it Double Crazy 8s and had special rules for nearly every card in the deck!

I’d talk about how my day went, the crush I had on the boy who sat near me in school, and he’d tall me tall tales of adventure while we played. Some of my best memories are of Grampie Normie and I and out our hours of card playing.

Playing Cards

Playing Cards

It seems these days with the technology and the media we often feel that such simple games aren’t nearly as valuable as the newest, loudest video game or trendy activity. But there’s something so homey and comforting about a deck of cards, the edges soft and frayed with use that just can’t be replaced with a game controller. Especially on those rainy summer days when everyone’s bored and needs a change of pace.

Here’s a list of card game instructions from around the web. Most households already have a deck or two of cards and they can always be found for a dollar or two at the local dollar store. Frugal Fun for the whole family.

Deal me in!