Book Review “Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Mama Hook Knows Best”

Author: Sharon Osbourne
Illustrator: Disney Storybook Art Team
Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: Jake and the Never Land Pirates
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: September 17, 2013

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

If you have young kids then you know about the marvel of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”. This show can stop my daughter dead in her tracks (and she is fast). “Mama Hook Knows Best” features the character of Captain’s Hook mother voiced by Sharon Osbourne, who also in fact wrote this book. It is not Shakespeare for Osbourne but fans of the show will enjoy the expansion of this character. Mama Hook has been in two episodes already and even has her own spin-off short series, so expect much more from this character in this series!

Official Premise: Mama Hook reminisces about her great experiences sailing the Never Sea and the stories she told young James Hook when he was growing up. Written by Sharon Osbourne, the stories are reminiscent of familiar fables like “The Tortoise and the Hare,” set in Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ world of fun pirate playfulness and daring adventures.

From the minute, I gave this book to my 18 month old daughter she ran around the house screaming “Hook!”. In fact she not only loved the book but she also loved the audio CD version of the book, which is a nice bonus to include here. I have a feeling that we are going to be revisiting this book quite a bit over the next few months. The very talent Disney Storybook Art Team delivered this book full of great illustrations showing Mama Hook’s memories of when she sailed the Never Sea. Since the book is subtitled “A Pirate Parent’s Favorite Fables”, the stories included are exciting and also educational as well.  Overall, a must have a great gift for the upcoming holiday season!

Blu-ray Review “Mama”

Actors: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nelisse, Daniel Kash
Directors: Andy Muschietti
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Universal Studios
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Running Time: 100 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Guillermo del Toro is producing a horror film? Where do I sign up? His past films that he has served as a producer such as “The Orphanage” and “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” have turned out quite well. “Mama” starts off with some decent scares and a nice setup but falls into a rut and loses its originality quickly. The film also takes a page from “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” that I was not a fan of and that is DON’T SHOW THE CREATURE SO MUCH! I thought it was creepy as hell seeing the ghost’s hair in the trailer but then if you shot the CGI ghost every time it doesn’t stay creepy and scary anymore. If you like del Toro’s films then I would recommend at least checking it out. Plus you can’t go wrong looking at Jessica Chastain for 100 minutes. I would call “Mama” a one-time watcher.

Official Premise: Guillermo del Toro, the Academy Award-nominated writer of Pan’s Labyrinth, presents this supernatural thriller that tells the haunting tale of two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day that their parents were killed. When the young sisters are found alive in a decrepit cabin, their uncle (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones) and his girlfriend (Oscarr nominee Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty) take them in. As they try to introduce the children to a normal life, Annabel (Chastain) begins to wonder if the traumatized girls are the only guests they have welcomed into their home.

Unviersal is known for delivering some impressive Blu-ray presentations and they deliver for sure on “Mama”. Within the two-disc combo pack we get a Blu-ray and DVD disc, along with an iTunes digital copy and an Ultraviolet digital streaming copy. The 1080p transfer is impressive for the horror film and holds up in the very dark settings. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track does a great job in terms of a horror film. It works with the suspense and gets a few good jumps as well.

The special features are what I like to call short but sweet. There is an informative audio commentary track from director/co-writer Andy Muschietti and producer/co-writer Barbara Muschietti. They feel very passionate about the film and it sure shows. There is the original short that inspired Guillermo del Toro to develop the big screen adaptation. This also includes an optional commentary with the Muschietti’s. “The Birth of Mama” is a nice behind-the-scenes look into the film with interviews with del Toro, and other key members. “Matriarchal Secrets: The Visual Effects of Mama” is a look into the blend of practical and CG effects. Lastly there are six deleted scenes with optional commentary, which run about eight minutes and are worth checking out.

Run-of-Engagement Pass Giveaway for MAMA [ENDED]


© 2013 Universal

If you would like to enter for a chance to a run-of-engagement (ROE) pass to see Guillermo del Toro presented film “Mama”, which comes out January 18th, 2013, please leave a comment below with your favorite supernatural thriller. This giveaway will be open for entries until January 21st. Winners will be chosen on a RANDOM BASIS at that time. ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON PLEASE! OTHERWISE ALL ENTRIES WILL BE DISREGARDED. The winners will be will notified then via email. Good luck and hope to see if you at the screening!


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Release date: January 18, 2013
Genre: Supernatural thriller
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nelisse
Directed by: Andy Muschietti
Screenplay by: Neil Cross and Andy Muschietti & Barbara Muschietti
Story by: Andy Muschietti & Barbara Muschietti
Produced by: J. Miles Dale, Barbara Muschietti
Executive Producer: Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro presents Mama, a supernatural thriller that tells the haunting tale of two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day that their parents were killed. When they are rescued years later and begin a new life, they find that someone or something still wants to come tuck them in at night.

Five years ago, sisters Victoria and Lilly vanished from their suburban neighborhood without a trace. Since then, their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain), have been madly searching for them. But when, incredibly, the kids are found alive in a decrepit cabin, the couple wonders if the girls are the only guests they have welcomed into their home.

As Annabel tries to introduce the children to a normal life, she grows convinced of an evil presence in their house. Are the sisters experiencing traumatic stress, or is a ghost coming to visit them? How did the broken girls survive those years all alone? As she answers these disturbing questions, the new mother will find that the whispers she hears at bedtime are coming from the lips of a deadly presence.

DVD Review “Mama, I Want to Sing!”

Directed by: Charles Randolph-Wright
Starring: Ciara, Lynn Whitfield, Patti LaBelle, Juanita Bynum, Hill Harper, Billy Zane, Ben Vereen
Distributed by Fox Faith
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running time: 95 minutes

Film: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: None

Inspired by the hit off-Broadway play, this would have been better off staying as a play. This film absolutely no direction and just keep bouncing around from scene to scene aimlessly. Also Ciara might need to stick to singing or at least take some acting classes. This role should have been a piece of cake, especially playing a singer. The film is a drama but there is no real drama portrayed by its actors. The best part of the film is Billy Zane but he does not get enough screen time. Let me tell you, I would have chosen a different title like “Mama, I just wanted to turn this movie off half way through”.

Following the death of Reverend Dr. Kenneth Winter (Marvin Winans). We follow the rise and fall of the Winter family. Amara Winter, daughter, follows her rise to stardom and the issues that come with that. While rising to stardom she looks for the support from her mother Lillian Winter (Lynn Whitfield), who is trying to build a business in preaching and having her own issues and belief issues. Luke (Kevin Phillips), Amara’s younger brother, works as her photographer but dreams to become a photo journalist. The family works through the issues and remembers that family and faith is the most important.

The film tries to really back the emotions but there is something about it that just feels so fake. It is definitely clear why this was stuck on the shelf for almost three years after it was filmed. They must of had to really bribe the studio to release it. I think I would have rather enjoyed watching the Off-Broadway play and it would have been truer and more emotional than this lacking film. To top it all off there are no special features at all but I was just lucky I didn’t have to watch any more after it ended.