Everything’s Magic

Magic has always been something that I’ve had an interest in. For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be a magician. I recorded a lot of the TV specials that magicians did in the 90s, I had a few magic kits in my room, and I had all the books. As I grew older my passion for performing magic dwindled, but my love for watching magic grew. I know that magic revolves around distraction and sleight of hand, but for me the sense of wonder is still there. I personally believe that everyone should at least know one good magic trick, especially if you are a grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, or just a living human being.

When J was a baby I remember having a conversation with myself that I was going to fill his world with a sense of wonder and joy. That he would believe in the unbelievable. When he was old enough to sit up on his own and focus for more that 2 seconds, I started with simple coin tricks. I remember the look in his eye the first time I “pulled a quarter from behind his ear”. The simple coin trick only lasted so long before he realized that I was palming the quarter the entire time, but he would still laugh so hard when I would do the trick because he loved it so much.

I knew I had to step up my game, so I started buying decks of cards with the intention of learning so many card tricks that J would never know what hit him. I started reading magic blogs, and watching YouTube videos, but J was still young, and I couldn’t hold his attention enough to get the pay off of performing a card trick, so I went back to the simple coin tricks that I knew. Time went by, I worked on a few freelance post-production audio projects, I started this blog, and I eventually forgot the card tricks that I had learned.

Fast forward to this last summer, J and I were playing a card game while watching a magic show on Netflix and he asked me if I knew any card tricks. I told him I might know a few, and his eyes lit up like it was Christmas morning and Santa had just left him a Radio Flyer Luke Skywalker Landspeeder. I shuffle the cards and start telling him a story about the trick I was doing (completely made up BTW). He picks a card, I tell him to put the card in the middle of the deck, I expand on the story while shuffling the cards and tell him that if I put enough pressure on the cards that his card will magically flip in the deck. I told him that I don’t know if I had the strength and needed his help, he pushed on the deck of cards with me and poof. We went through the deck and there it was his card was the only card flipped the opposite way. He freaked out and ran straight to his room screaming about how amazing that trick was. He told his friends at school, strangers in the store, and pretty much everyone else that he saw that I knew magic.

That experience brought back a little bit of the spark I had as a child for performing magic. I decided that instead of performing for the masses, I would learn card tricks for J. To again build that sense of wonder and belief in the unbelievable. This is why I think that everyone who kids in their lives, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, older siblings, etc. should have at least two magic tricks in their pocket. There is so much happening in the world today that kids need a little magic in their lives.

Just a little note, if you’re looking for a trick that will blow the minds of the kids (and adults) in your life, you might want to learn this trick. J asks me to do this one at least 4 times a week.

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Teen Titans Go! To The Movies Review

***Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is rated PG for action and rude humor and has a runtime of 93 minutes. ***

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is a fantastic movie to see with the kids. The movie brings in the same humor from the Cartoon Network show, while throwing in some amazing Easter Eggs that every DC fan will love. There’s even some pretty amazing Marvel Easter Eggs throughout the movie as well.

I would recommend showing up on time for this one. There is a pretty amazing Batgirl short that kicks off your movie going experience. I thought the short was well done, but think that it would have been better if it had more of the Shea Fontana feel of DC Super Hero Girls.

In the movie, the Teen Titans, seeing every other hero with their own movie, are trying hard to a movie of their own until they realize that it won’t happen without having their very own archenemies. The Teen Titans think they find their archenemies in Deadpoo…I mean Deathstoke. Will the Titans get their own movie? Will they save the day? I guess you’ll just have to see for yourself!!

As far as end of credits sequences, there is a mid credit scene that fans of the Titans will go wild for, and there is an Avengers-esque shawarma end credit scene that maybe lasts for a second. I’d stay for the mid credit scene, and then maybe wait until the home release to see the end credit scene.

With a killer soundtrack and deep pop culture references Teen Titans Go! To The Movies has a little something for everyone. If the style of Teen Titans Go! is not for you, then I at least recommend watching this one when it becomes available for home release. Parents, be warned there are a plethora of butt and fart jokes that will have your kids (and probably you) laughing for days.

J and I both give Teen Titans Go! To The Movies two thumbs up and personally I think that this movies is one of, if not the best animated super hero movie in existence. Really a fantastic job to everyone who worked on this movie. Check out our YouTube review to hear what J thought in his own words.

The News with J: March 10, 2018

***This week’s episode is sponsored by Watchtower Cafe. If you’re in the Salt Lake City area, stop in for an amazing geeky atmosphere with some amazing drinks as well.***

In this episode, J talks about The Grinch, A Wrinkle in Time, Justice League, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars Rebels, comic books and more!!

The News With J: March 3, 2018

***Disclaimer – Our videos are sponsored by Watchtower Cafe in Salt Lake City.***

In this week’s episode of The News with J, J talks about Dr. Seuss, what comic books are coming out next week, Star Wars Rebels, Marvel Studio news, and Wreck-It-Ralph 2. Let us know what you think of our new show in the comments!!

The News with J: February 23 (transcript)

A couple weeks ago we started this news show for our YouTube channel called, “The News With J”. We have two episodes up on our YouTube channel and we were working on our third episode before our weekend got busy and J came down with a cough. So, instead of having a video, we thought it would be good to still get the news out in the form of a post! So here is the transcript of what would have been The News with J for the weekend of February 23rd, 2018.

“Hello, this is the news with J and I am your host J. I’d like to thank our sponsors at Watchtower Cafe for all their support. Get your geek on while you get your drink on at 1588 South State Street in Salt Lake City. Now, let’s get to the news.

In TV news, last week was the amazingly emotional mid-season premiere of Star Wars Rebels. There are only four more episodes until the end and I can’t wait!! If you have a cable subscription you can catch up by signing into the DisneyNOW app. The next episodes will air Monday at 7:00 and 7:30 pm on Disney XD.

Also in TV news, Andi Mack was renewed for a third season! I’ve been watching Andi Mack with my mommy and daddy and it has become one of our favorite shows to watch together. Andi Mack is another show that you can catch up on using the DisneyNOW app!!

In movie news, Black Panther has been wowing critics and audiences alike brining in close to $400 million since it opened on February 16th! If you haven’t seen it yet, I only have one question. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Click here to get your tickets today!

In other movie news, Disney/Pixar’s Coco will be a available on Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday. We will be heading to our local Target to grab our copy first thing in the morning!

Here is our weekly list of books for young readers that will be hitting comic book store shelves on Wednesday!!

Scooby-Doo Team Up #35

Ducktales #6

Donald Duck: Nest of the Demon Birds

My Little Pony: Legends of Magic #11

Darth Vader #12

Star Wars: Mace Windu Jedi of the Republic trade

Lockjaw #1

Lumberjanes #47

Steven Universe #13

And Legends of Zelda: Twilight Princess vol. 3

In toy news, last week was the American International Toy Fair in New York City and I wanted to share some of my favorite toys that my daddy showed me on Twitter. I want to thank Star Wars Junk, “Agent M” Ryan Penagos, LEGO, Hasbro, KidsToyPicks, Jakks Pacific, and Entertainment Weekly for sharing the pictures of these amazing toys.

Hasbro

Spider-Ham Legends figure:

Legends Infinity Gauntlet:

Marvel The First 10 years Legends line:

My copilot Chewie you from Fur Real:

Star Wars Black Series line:

Uncle Milton

Star Wars Science Fossil sets:

LEGO

Solo:

Harry Potter:

Jakks Pacific

Incredibles 2 toys

Mattel

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom toy line:

Thank you for watching this week’s episode of The News with J. I hope you have a great week. Don’t forget to like/comment/subscribe and May the Force be with You!”

So there you have it. This is what this last week’s episode of “The News with J” was supposed to be. I know it’s not the same as watching a six year old deliver the news, but he should be back in action this Saturday morning! We hope you will tune into our YouTube channel to see all the fun J has with his news show!

Coco

From the opening Disney title screen to the end, Disney/Pixar’s Coco had me running the gauntlet of emotions. The movie opened with a mariachi rendition of the Disney classic “When You Wish Upon a Star” and I was immediately hooked, and the movie held J and I all the way through the message telling people to learn more about Dia de Los Muertos.

Coco follows Miguel Rivera (voiced by the talented Anthony Gonzales) as he embarks on a journey to become a famous musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. The catch to this tale is that Miguel’s family of shoe makers are not very fond of music or musicians. Miguel’s family wants him to continue the family legacy as a shoe maker, and his abuela tells him that his family will show him how when they visit from the land of the dead on Dia de los Muertos. How will Miguel live his dreams? I guess you’ll have to get your tickets and find out.

Coco is a beautiful film directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina that Disney/Pixar fans of all ages will love. The design of the land of the dead is beautiful and the music (composed by Michael Giacchino) was excellent. The casting department did such an amazing job with this cast. With Benjamin Bratt, Gael García Bernal, Edward James Olmos, Cheech Marin, Jaime Camil, Renee Victor, Alanna Ubach, John Ratzenberger (it is a Pixar), and more, this almost fully Latino cast brought the metaphorical house down. That being said my favorite voice actor had to be Ana Ofelia Murguía. The way she voiced her character brought a lot of emotions up in me. Mainly because she reminded me of my abuela who suffered from Alzheimer’s.

The story is fantastic, and is one that people of all ages will love. Coco felt like home. There were so many comparisons I was making between the film and my own life. Many of the characters in Coco that reminded me of my own family, especially Miguel’s chancla throwing abuela. The family shoe business reminded me of my grandma’s breakfast burrito/tamale delivery business. Seeing Miguel’s abuela’s tamales reminded me of all the hours that my brothers and I spent tying little strands of husk around tamales that would be devoured in seconds. Hearing Miguel’s abuela say, “you’ll feel better after you eat,” brought back even more memories.

Even though Coco has heavy themes surrounding family, I feel that the biggest theme is about remembering. With the track “Remember Me” being everyone in the town’s favorite song and with the movie focusing so much on the land of the dead, it’s hard not to notice it. It can feel like the theme is being hammered into your brain, but I feel like this is a theme that needs to do that every now and then.

Do not forget that this is a Pixar film, and that usually means you will need a Costco size box of tissues to make it all the way through Coco. There are so many happy and sad moments in Coco that I can’t really explain without spoiling the film, so I’ll just say that you need to be prepared to cry.

While there is Spanish dropped here and there, you don’t need to know the language to fully enjoy Coco as context will help you understand. I loved that the writers sprinkled Spanish in the script. I felt like it made some of the scenes pop more than if they just used the English equivalent. While the movie is based around traditions of Dia de los Muertos, Coco is not an educational film. It is meant to get people who may not know the customs interested, hence the disclaimer at the end of the credits.

My one negative comment actually has nothing to do with Coco, but with the Olaf short film in front of Coco. It was way too long and it seemed like Disney put it in front of Coco to get the white audience interested in seeing Coco. Just don’t leave after the Olaf feature. Stay for Coco. I promise that you will enjoy it.

Coco is Rated PG for thematic elements. Coco was written by Matthew Aldrich and Adrian Molina, and was directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina.

Disney on Ice: Dream Big

This is a sponsored post. I was provided tickets by The Summit Group in exchange for my thoughts on the show. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Unlock your imagination and enter a world of magic and wonder as Disney on Ice presents their latest show, Dream Big. Be whisked away on a journey through some adaptations of your favorite Disney movies like, Aladdin, Snow White, Cinderella, The Princess and the Frog, Frozen, and more. Disney on Ice brings the magic of Disneyland and Disney World to a town near you with it’s amazingly fantastic show.

Disney on Ice “Dream Big” has everything you and your kids could want in a Disney style production. With audio tracks straight from the movies and some of the most magical skating you will see this year, Disney on Ice “Dream Big” will have you and your children at the edge of your seats. Release your inner child and join your children in singing along to some of your favorite songs like “One Jump”, “Part of Your World”, “Let it Go”, “Summer”, and more.

Overall, we loved the show. J got all dressed up in his best Aladdin costume, we sang all our favorite songs and got some souvenirs to take home. The performers were outstanding, I couldn’t believe some of the stunts they were able to pull off. This is a show we would definitely recommend to children of all ages. The show is just about an hour and a half in length with a 15 minute intermission about an hour into the performance, so plan your bathroom and snack breaks accordingly. There are some points of complete darkness and some pyrotechnics that might give frighten some younger children, but over all this show is really an all ages show, so pick up your tickets today!

Disney on Ice “Dream Big” will be at the Vivint SmartHome Arena until November 19, 2017 with a 7pm show on the 17th, 3 shows on the 18th (11am, 3pm, 7pm), and 2 shows on the 19th (1pm, 5pm). Ticket prices range from $15 – $50 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com.