Happy Thanksgiving! Celebrating with Special Guests

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is a day here in the States that we give thanks for what we have and the people in our lives.  A time we gather around our table eating gravy-smothered turkey, stuffing, beats, and pumpkin pie.  A time we gather around the television, screaming and cheering at the football game.  A time we talk with those not seen often, catching up on lost time.  A time we remember those who are special in ours lives, especially those no longer with us.  No matter how Thanksgiving is spent, it is always with family and loved ones.

We all have something to be thankful for in our lives.  For me, this blog has become something extra special to me, way more than I ever imagined when I first started in the summer of 2013.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I am a horrible (great?) procrastinator.  At any given moment, I will do anything and everything to distract myself from what I need to do.  This blog has helped me get better at not doing that.  Feeling responsible to give you, my readers and friends, some content pushes me to actually get stuff done.  If I don’t deliver what I promise, I begin to feel guilty, like I let you guys down, and I don’t like letting my friends down.  This has conditioned me to sit down (or stand up if need be) and just do what I have to, although it helps that this is something I like to do and is sometimes part of my procrastination process.  I am thankful that this blog pushes me to do better in other parts of my life.

Starting out, I never considered myself much of a writer. Even to this day, over three years later, I still don’t.  I’m just a person who puts his thoughts and feelings into words. Nothing special and certainly not enough to consider myself a writer.  However, I have noticed an improvement in my written communication since starting out.  Besides the experience of me writing, seeing so many different styles of writing across the blogosphere, I am always learning from them and trying to improve my writing so I feel like I can fit in with the rest of you who actually know how to write.  I am thankful that by writing for this blog, I have been able to improve my writing skills.

Working with clients time zones away, I know how efficient the the internet is to communicate with others all over the globe. Yet, I never expected to talk with people literally all over the world.  I have spoken with people from Canada, the UK, South Africa, Israel, and even Indonesia. I was even able to meet up with one of my fellow bloggers earlier this year.  Although I might not know all your names or seen your faces, I consider you friends.  I am truly thankful for the bonds I have created with many of you that grew from becoming a blogger. I am sure they will last for many more years to come.

Seeing as this is a day we all give thanks, I extended an invitation for those who wanted to join in and asked them a simple question: Why are you thankful for your blog and for being and blogger? Here is what they had to say:

Ashley (Box Office Buzz)

I initially chose to start a blog on WordPress because I liked the blog designs available and the ease of working with the templates. However, what has kept me on WordPress is the wonderful community of bloggers. I’m thankful to have a place where I can geek out about my favorite movies and TV shows. I don’t get made fun of for sharing my passions, and even if people disagree, they do it in a respectful manner. Although I’ll probably never get to meet many of my blog buddies face to face, I’m thankful we can all connect through blogging! 🙂

Catherine (Thoughts All Sorts)

Thoughts All Sorts began blogging purely as a written outlet for whatever came to mind (hence the name). For nobody really. Well, for me to just write in a “public” forum meaning I needed to make an effort. This was rapidly to change. Fate had other plans and somehow I came across one of those addictive things called a Blogathon. I finally plucked up the courage to participate and wow…it was like opening Pandora’s Box. Just that one post changed everything and I am so thankful for that! The world, no, the Blogs, I discovered are the best thing out there. I would definitely not be blogging anymore if I didn’t have the support of the wonderful people behind these Blogs. So, I’m thankful for the readers and the writers out there and especially the time they invest in the community. They range from  the social bloggers and the serious ones, but most importantly they range across all corners of the globe, across all genders, age groups, beliefs, races, the works…and THAT makes it so awesome…the things I’ve become exposed to, the opinions, recommendations and just general comments…they always, ALWAYS make my day! Oh…and I’m thankful that I’m bound to add a new movie or book to my “To Watch/Read” list…daily.

Keith (Keith Loves Movies)

I am thankful for my blog and being a blogger because I get to share my love of movies (and now television) with the rest of the world. I’ve always liked movies and I often went to the theater. My friends knew this and they would often go to me with questions or asked me for recommendations. One day, a friend suggested that I should write about movies and that was when my blog was born. When I started almost a year and a half ago, I had no idea what was going to happen or how big it would become but I’m glad I did it. I’ve seen over 160 movies this year and it is has been fun to write about them so far. I hope to do a lot more in the future as my blog grows.

Allie (Flick Chicks)

Movies have always been a big part of my life. I was brought up on Disney, which I still hold close to my heart. As I got older, I went through some rough times and movies were my escape. Any movie I’ve watched more than a handful of times, I have memories attached to, both good and bad. I also love to talk about them, but before I started blogging most conversations would go something like:
Me: Oh hey, I watched a brilliant movie over the weekend called ‘—————-’, have you seen it?
Other Person: Nah, it looks rubbish/Yeah it was okay/Why are you watching that when you should be watching ‘—————’ instead?

Eventually, I kept myself to myself. When I met Jenna, my blogging buddy at work, I found we shared a common interest, movies! Not only movies, but talking about movies! My life was changed forever. We shared DVDs, had movie nights together, wrote emails back and forth with little reviews, and my love for all things cinematic was rekindled.

It was only a matter of time before we started a blog called Flick Chicks together. To begin with, we were talking to ourselves, but eventually we found our way into the movie blogosphere by taking part in a blogathon, and got chatting to other bloggers. From there, our little network grew and grew, and every day I get excited to check if there are any new comments on the blog. I’m so thankful for everyone who stops by and takes the time to comment on something I’ve written.

Writing has always been therapeutic for me, and although I haven’t studied film, or even writing or journalism, I love the fact that I can put my thoughts down into words, share it online, and have other bloggers interact with me. We aren’t a snobby scene in the slightest, and I’m thankful for the fact I can be truthful and honest about how I feel about a movie, without being belittled for it. Whether I loved a movie that bombed at the box office, or hated a classic, I can share my thoughts without fear and a lot of times, be surprised that there are others out there who feel the same.

I’m thankful for everything that blogging has brought me. I talk about a lot of you fellow bloggers all the time, and consider you to be my friends. I’m thankful for the comments, and the Twitter mentions, that cheer me up when I’m feeling blue. And I’m thankful to you all for widening my movie horizons. For recommending hidden indie gems that I’d never heard of, and for convincing me to see classics that I thought would be dull. Thank you!

Robin (Write Out of LA)

Sometimes you have to brush aside the making a living aspect of writing a blog. You also have to roll with the punches when it comes to the hard work that goes into the upkeep of a website. You have to take it in your stride when time eludes you, that blogging can essentially suck hours from you daily. You can bitch and moan about these things, out loud, or internally within your many thoughts. How do I make money with my site? When will I be rewarded for my hard work? Why are there not more hours in the day? Of course if you just drop it all and quit – problem solved.

Yeah, I thought so. Many a time do I remind myself of the pride, the passion, the privilege, that comes with writing about what you love. I am thankful for that. Pouring your thoughts onto the page, like right now, so you can share your notions. I am thankful for that. The community of film-lovers with whom I can mingle, from all walks of life: America. Hong Kong. Germany. Greece. Canada. Brazil. France. New Zealand.  I am thankful for them. Every single one of them. Their contributions to my site, be it by providing physical, publishable words, or mere page clicks while sipping their coffee. I am grateful for those.

Maybe, just maybe, one day I can quit my day job, and make this my priority, make it my living, work harder, faster, and with more zest than ever. That’s the dream. And I am thankful for that.

SG (Rhyme and Reason)

I’ve so much to look up and be thankful for,
The least of which is my own blog,
A hobby, an outlet, a dare to explore
And add my unique dialogue.

I’m thankful for movies I’d never have seen
Without recommendations and tips
From fellow film bloggers, who never are mean
Like some online relationships.

Beyond all the personal gratification
Of writing what I love and know
And seeing that someone in some distant nation
Is liking what I have to show,

A blog is a door to acquaintances, friends,
And fans of what I enjoy too.
To Drew, Rob, and far as the blogosphere sends,
A Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Rob (Movierob)

As a fan of film, I watch as many films as I can (both new and old). As much as I love movies though, I enjoy having meaningful discussions with others about movies. Since starting my blog 3.5 years ago, I have been so thankful and grateful for the lovely film blogging community who are always there when needed. I have discussed, debated, derided and of course been delighted by so many conversations with my fellow bloggers and that makes this even more fun!

Kim (Tranquil Dreams)

Starting up a blog is probably one of the best decisions that I’ve made. A blog is a space to share crazy, stupid and sometimes random (or boring) thoughts. It’s a place to stay positive. In fact, it makes me thankful for many things. The first is the chance to meet a lot of like-minded people who share a lot of similar interests and at times even opens up a ton of other avenues to look into. Second, I’m thankful because it gives the motivation to improve, update, upgrade. It’s a place to learn. Everyday with a blog is a learning experience whether it’s just learning about a new movie or book, or a different opinion and view on whatever topic, learning how to write better and structure posts better, or even technically learning how to put together pictures, edit videos and produce a podcast. This leads onto the third reason why I’m thankful. I’m thankful because the blogosphere (that I’ve encountered) is a place of acceptance. Sure, there are people who might strongly disagree but I’ve never met anyone so extreme. Everyone here is accepting and growing as an individual. It’s great to be among such a motivated crowd and realize that sometimes all those crazy hobbies you have are also someone else’s. In a world when its kind of messy and real life sometimes dishes us a ton of losses, its nice to find some friends and acquaintances, even if they are only through email and comments that always shines a light into our world and hope that we can do the same for them. Being a blogger is something I’m thankful for every single day because everyone I’ve met and all the posts I’ve read has made me a better person: more courageous and motivated and even more passionate and energized to do better every single day.

Huge thank you to everyone who joined in.  I am grateful that all of you took the time to respond and share something personal. Thank you.

I will propose the same question to the rest of you and you can answer in the comments: Why are you thankful for your blog and for being and blogger?

Until next time, cheers!

A Gift From Kira: The Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine blogger award

What a way to kick of Year Four! The fantastic Kira from Film and TV 101 has nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger award. The criteria for accepting the award is pretty simple:

  • Post the award on your blog
  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions they set you
  • Pick another 11 bloggers (and let them know they are nominated!)
  • Set them 11 questions

So, thank you Kira for the nomination! Kira writes about all sorts of films and has recently expanded onto twitter and her own youtube channel. Go check out her site when you get a chance. Her questions for me are:

What is your favorite film? The Avengers
What is your least favorite film? I don’t know how to answer this but the worst movie I have seen and reviewed is Rage.
Who is your favorite movie villain? Scar from The Lion King
Who is your favorite movie hero? Probably John McClane from the Die Hard series
What do you think should be the number one all-time greatest film (NOT your favorite) Million Dollar Baby
What is your favorite TV show? My current favorites are Modern Family and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. However Whose Line Is It Anyway? is one of my all-time favorites.
What is your least favorite TV show? I don’t really have a least favorite TV show because if I don’t like a show after a few episodes I stop watching it.
Who is your favorite TV villain? It’s always changing but the Reverse Flash from Flash season 1.
Who is your favorite TV hero? The Flash to go with my TV villain choice.
What is your favorite TV title sequence? Oh, that’s a tuffy. Almost anything from the 80s is great just because of its cheesiness.
Film or TV? I like both a lot. I seem to be one of the few who still watch shows as they air on TV. Both are good at telling great stories in their own unique way.

Looking back, the last time I did an award write-up was early last July, which means I haven’t accepted any awards at all in the past year! So to thank those who nominated me for an award during that time, I’m nominating you for this award to pass along my thanks:

Vinnie (vinnieh) (Creative Blogger Award)
Mesh (Mesh the Movie Freak) (Dragon’s Loyalty & Versatile Blogger Awards)
Evelyn (Films & Series: What about them?) (Liebster Award)
That Other Critic (That Other Critic) (Liebster Award)
Tom (Plain, Simple Tom) (Liebster Award)

I would also like to nominate those who have been special guests (or blogathon co-host) on my blog so far this year:

Ashley (Box Office Buzz)
Kim (Tranquil Dreams)
Emma (Emmakwall (explains it all))
Jenna and Allie (Flick Chicks)
Rob (Movierob)
Natasha (Life of this City Girl)

And for you, my nominees, if you don’t participate in awards, I understand. For those of you who do, here are your questions:

  • Who is your favorite actor?
  • Who is your favorite actress?
  • Do you prefer to have a physical DVD/Blu-Ray disk or a digital copy?
  • Do you prefer special editions or are you content with just having a copy of the film?
  • What is your favorite place you have traveled?
  • What is your favorite place to travel to in your town?
  • If a genie could grant you one wish, what would it be?
  • If you could have any super power, what would it be?
  • What made you decide to start blogging?
  • What are you proud of most about your blog?
  • What have you learned from being a blogger?

Thanks again to Kira for the nomination! I can’t wait to see the answers from my nominees. 🙂


Christmas in July Blogathon 2016 Wrap Up + Anniversary Week 3 Kick Off

Hello! And welcome to the closing ceremony of this years Christmas in July Blogathon. In case you missed any of the entries, here they are:

Tom’s Top Christmas Specials and Movies (Tom)
Bad Santa Review (Keith)
Star Wars Christmas Special Review (Allie)
Mickey’s Christmas Carol Review (Bex)
A Midnight Clear and Elf Reviews (Rob)
Gremlins Review (Kim)
A Christmas Story Review

Now let’s have a look at who is coming to our party:

Priyanka ChopraNatalie Dormer
Kate McKinnonEmma StoneTom Hiddleston
Jared LetoScott Eastwood
Oscar Isaacs

That is one helluva guest list! A big thanks goes out to all of the participants for joining in the blogathon this year.  It is always a blast to see what you guys and gals choose for your submissions, especially since I don’t have many rules for what can and can’t be submitted outside of the Christmas theme.  I hope you had just as much fun as I did. 🙂

Aaaaand with that, the blogathon has officially concluded!  But don’t worry, you haven’t gotten rid of me just yet.  The next big thing happening around here is the celebration of this blog turning three! Every year to celebrate this blog’s anniversary, I review two trilogies, with one movie review posted every day during the week of my blogiversary.  This year, I am reviewing trilogies I have never seen before: The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. That starts soon with my review of The Fellowship of the Ring.  Check back again later today for that.

Until then, cheers!

Christmas in July Blogathon 2015 Wrap Up + Anniversary Week Kick Off

Hey, my dear readers!

Welcome to the closing ceremony of the Christmas in July 2015 Blogathon!  If you missed any of the entries, here’s the list:

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) Review
Twelve Days of Blu-Rays Riddle
Hey, Arnold Holiday Special
Allie’s Christmas Film List
Gremlins Review
Kim’s Favorite Characters in Christmas Movies
A Christmas Carol (1951) Review
Four Christmases Review

If you want to take a crack at Tim’s Twelve Days of Blu-Rays riddle, check it out before you finish reading because I will post the answers at the end of this article.

Next, Let’s take a look at the guest list of our Christmas Party:

Monica BellucciPaigeCLIFFHANGER, Janine Turner, 1993, (c)TriStar PicturesAlex-MorganLindseyStirlingAllie-Christmas-In-July-2015_3drew van acker pic

There is one good looking party and one where I would want to be!

And with that, this years festivities have come to a close.  I would like to thank everyone who participated in this year’s Christmas in July Blogathon: Steve, Tim, SG, Allie, Darren, Kim, and Rob.  I had a ton of fun reading your submissions and putting these together and I hope you had just as much writing them.


Once again, I have fallen behind on posting reviews (thank goodness for guest reviews to make it look like I’m actually doing something!).  BUT, there is a very good reason for it.  You see, next week my lowly corner in the blogesphere will be turning two! *Sniffle* They grow up so fast, don’t they? *Sniffle* So to celebrate, I have been watching and reviewing six movies to post this week. If you read my list of my fave five films from my childhood, then you will know that Ocean’s Eleven and Toy Story are two of my absolute favorite films, even to this day.  Starting tomorrow, I will review the Ocean’s trilogy.  Following that, I will review the Toy Story Trilogy.

Hold up, are you saying that’s not good enough for you? Ok, fine. If you’re going to twist my arm, I’ll do more.  As it just so happens, when I started Drew’s Movie Reviews, I started with six reviews. So along with the new reviews, I will also be reposting my original six reviews (and updating them to my current format), that way we can all point and laugh see how much I’ve grown over the last two years.  I’m really looking forward to it and I hope you are, too. 😀



Twelve Days of Blu-Rays answers (highlight to reveal):

12 guys debating 12 Angry Men (1957)
11 robbers scheming Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
10 plagues destroying The Ten Commandments (1956)
9 prints for Satan The Ninth Gate (1999)
8 legs attacking Eight Legged Freaks (2002)
7 swords defending Seven Samurai (1954)
6 teammates fighting Big Hero 6 (2014)
5 speeding bros Fast Five (2011)
4 mutant team Fantastic Four (2005)
3 dumb friends Three Stooges (2012) or 3 Idiots (2009) or Three Amigos (1986)
2 columned forts The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
1 killer sent to Hades The One (2001)

A Gift From That Other Critic: The Liebster Award

The Liebster AwardA huge ‘Thank you’ to That Other Critic for this nomination.  I’ve only recently started following him but we have become good blogging friends.  If you don’t follow him yet, please go check out his site (after finishing this article of course).  He writes some great in-depth movie reviews that are a delight to read. The rules for the Liebster Award this time around are as follows:

  • Thank the blog who nominated you and link back to them.
  • Nominate up to 11 other bloggers to receive the coveted award.
  • Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  • Tell your readers 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Give the nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog when they post their nomination.

Before I get into the nitty-gritty, I would just like to mention that this is the fastest turn around I have done on an award, so I hope you feel special Critic. I guess it helps that I was on vacation this week. Anyway, here are the questions posed by Critic and my answers:

  • What is a movie/series that is considered a cultural landmark that you’ve never seen?  I don’t like to admit it but I have never seen any of the Lord of the Rings films.  That may change soon, though, because a friend of mine heard, freaked out, and offered to watch the trilogy with me (the full four hour editions).
  • What is a movie that everyone loves, that you hate?  I’m going to have to go with something more recent and say Nightcrawler. I wouldn’t say I hated it, I feel Gyllenhaal should have been nominated for best actor, but I didn’t think it was as amazing as almost everyone else says it is.
  • Alternatively, what’s a movie that everyone hates, that you love?  I know they are flawed, but I really enjoy the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy and am a proud defender of them. Could they have been better? Most certainly. But they are what they are and still have their qualities.
  • What’s your favorite book of all time?  The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn.
  • If you were born in a different era, which would you want to have been born in?  The late 1970s and 1980s. Many of my favorite bands are from that era and I would have loved to see many of them during their prime.
  • Who is your favorite director?  Easy, Steven Spielberg.
  • If you ever directed/wrote a film, what would it be about? What genre would it be?  I’m not sure what a film written/directed by me would be about but it would probably be either a fantasy or science-fiction movie.
  • What is your biggest pet peeve?  When people take food off my plate without asking. I’ll share my food, just ask me first!
  • What is the funniest movie you’ve ever seen?  Another easy one, Airplane!. I could watch that movie over and over and laugh every time.
  • What is your favorite movie in each of these genres:
  • Is there a film that was a challenge to watch the entirety of for you, that you watched anyways? If so, what is it?  I’m pretty good at watching a movie the whole way through. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve stopped a movie without finishing but I don’t remember what they were. I don’t walk out of theaters because I paid for the ticket so I’m not going to leave.

Now here are a few random facts about me:

  • I have The Mummy and The Mummy Returns on every format since their release and plan on keeping that going.
  • I try not to splurge often. However, every year I buy a ton of fireworks for the Fourth of July.
  • I collect keychains.
  • I also collect labels of the beers I drink.  It’s much less space-consuming than keeping the entire bottle.
  • I love apple juice, like borderline addicted.
  • I have a stutter.  It’s strangely and annoyingly inconsistent. I’ve learned ways around it but it is still a pain in the neck sometimes.

Here are my nominees:

Finally, my questions for my nominees:

  • Can you wiggle your ears?
  • Do you watch any web series? If so, what’s your favorite one?
  • What is the first movie you remember watching in the theaters?
  • Do you prefer 3D or 2D movies or are you indifferent?
  • Do/Did you play any sports? Which ones?
  • What is your favorite card game?
  • What is your favorite board game?
  • What is your favorite video game?
  • If you had a time machine and could go back in time without consequence of messing up the future, where and when would you visit and why?
  • Do you have a motto or mantra?
  • What is your favorite thing about blogging or being a blogger?

Thanks again to That Other Critic for the nomination and I can’t wait to see what my nominees come up with!


A Gift From Khalid: Dragon’s Loyalty Award

Dragons Loyalty AwardWow, another award! I don’t think I deserve all these, but hey, I’m not going to argue.  This award comes from Khalid over at The Blazing Reel.  Khalid offers many different features on his site so I highly recommend you go check it out.  The rules are as follows:

  • Display the award on your blog
  • Announce your win with a post and link the blogger who awarded you
  • Present 15 deserving bloggers with the award
  • Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded
  • Write seven interesting things about you

Khalid, you and I have only recently started following each other, but thank you for the nomination!

I’m going to do something slightly different but I will explain in just a moment. I had trouble coming up with facts about myself I haven’t used in my other awards, so this took me time to think of some new stuff. I managed to think of a few things, so here are seven facts about myself:

  • I am a web developer. I’ve been web programming for about five years and I’ve been a programmer for about eight years. I enjoy (almost) every minute of it.
  • I can’t write English cursive.  It’s not that I don’t know how, it’s just that when I do, I switch to writing Russian cursive. In high school, I only wrote cursive in my Russian language class. So after a few words I switch languages. I still write English words, just with the Russian letter equivalent (so “p” becomes “п”, “d” becomes “д”, etc.). It’s not as bad now but I have to concentrate more on what I’m writing.
  • I don’t mind when things are messy but I don’t like it when things are dirty.
  • I recently bought a new fish tank.  I upgraded from a 20-gallon aquarium I’ve had for almost 15 years to a 75-gallon aquarium.
  • I learned how do drive a manual transmission car only just recently. I wanted to learn so when I bought my car several months ago, I bought a stick shift so I would be forced to learn and keep up with it.
  • I have come to the conclusion that no one has a cute yawn.  You may have a cute sneeze or cute laugh or cute something else, but you do not have a cute yawn. I’m sorry, you just don’t.
  • I describe myself as an extroverted introvert.  I thought I created that term but then I heard other people say it and realized I’m not that special. What I mean by “extroverted introvert” is that I am an introvert but I have some extroverted tendencies.  If someone is really interested, I can talk about it in the comments, but I’d be here for a while if I started listing all the nuances. I’ve also seen the term “outgoing introvert” to describe this type of behavior.

Now, as for that “something different” I mentioned, I’m not going to nominate anyone. Whenever I see the Dragon’s Loyalty Award passed around, I think of it as a recognition to loyal followers of that blog. So going with that thought process, instead of nominating 15 bloggers, I’m going to list 15 20 bloggers who I would consider loyal followers. These aren’t loyal followers like a cult… maybe… (PS, I made some Kool-Aid for you guys)… but I constantly see their presence on this blog. I wouldn’t have kept up with this blog for nearly two years if people weren’t reading.  This is a giant thank you to everyone listed here:

If you feel left out, I am truly sorry. My initial list was waaaaay longer and I had a very hard time narrowing it down to 15, so that’s why I have included an extra five. But really, a HUGE Thank You to those of you (both listed and not listed) who continually come back to Drew’s Movie Reviews week after week. I wouldn’t be here without you! 😀

Thanks again to Khalid for the nomination.