Why You Should See Captain America: Civil War

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Disclosure- I was invited by Disney to attend this all expense paid press trip but all opinions are 100% my own.

Captain America: Civil War is finally here in theaters! When I was in LA last month for the Captain America Event I had the opportunity to screen the film and I LOVED every minute of it. So much so that I went again last night to the first possible showing in my local theater. It was THAT good but I’ll get to that in a minute. Make sure to check out my interview posts with Chris Evans, Emily VanCamp, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen and Directors Anthony & Joe Russo to learn a little more behind the scenes exclusive details.

Keep your butt in your seat until the lights come on!!!!!

image001 (1)Before I even get into my review I wanted to make sure you see my important tip. This is a Marvel movie and as such, there are BONUS SCENES in the middle AND the end of the credits. These are usually sneak peek scenes that give you some insight into where the story will go in the next movie and more. I was shocked that last night when I saw the movie so many people got up as soon as the credits started. And then most of the ones that stayed for the first bonus scene got up and left before the second one. People, butt in your seat until the lights come on!!!!! 😉

Heroes or Vigilantes?

Sokovia Accords Photo Credit: Film Frame © Marvel 2016

Sokovia Accords
Photo Credit: Film Frame
© Marvel 2016

We know from many of the other Marvel movies that while the Avengers do a great deal of protecting people, there have often been lots of destruction and civilian injuries and deaths. The story of Captain America: Civil War centers around the world wanting the Avengers to sign the Sokovia Accords which would basically reign them in and force them to answer to a special UN panel.


On one hand you have #TeamCap supported by Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), and Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). They believe that they should be able to make their own choices when it comes to using their powers, defeating evil, and protecting the world.

“The safest hands are still our own.” ~Captain America

L to R: Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), and Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) Photo Credit: Film Frame © Marvel 2016

L to R: Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), and Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan)
Photo Credit: Film Frame
© Marvel 2016

And on the other side #TeamIronMan lead by Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Panther/T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Vision (Paul Bettany), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), and War Machine/James Rhodey (Don Cheadle) who think that the Avengers should be supervised to protect innocent lives.

“Staying together is more important than how we stay together.” ~Black Widow

L to R: Black Panther/T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Vision (Paul Bettany), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), and War Machine/James Rhodey (Don Cheadle). Photo Credit: Film Frame © Marvel 2016

L to R: Black Panther/T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Vision (Paul Bettany), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), and War Machine/James Rhodey (Don Cheadle).
Photo Credit: Film Frame
© Marvel 2016

I stand off firmly on #TeamIronMan but I feel for #TeamCap and understand where they are coming from, too. There isn’t a clear Right vs. Wrong here. You’ll probably relate to both sides and that’s exactly what the directors wanted to happen.

“The intent with the film was to hopefully when you’re done watching the movie you leave the theater and you argue with your family and friends about  it. We didn’t want to make a declarative statement one way or the other. We just want to represent both as accurately and emotionally as we could.”


There are incredible action scenes in the movie. Ones where you will be on the edge of your seat, holding your breath, and forgetting where you are. I HIGHLY suggest seeing it in 3D because it brings you even more into the action. I saw it both ways and while it’s AMAZING no matter what form you see it in, 3D is on another level.

Here’s a little peek at another action scene in the movie:


 Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland) Photo Credit: Film Frame © Marvel 2016

Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland)
Photo Credit: Film Frame
© Marvel 2016

There is an EPIC airport scene with all 12 of the Super Heroes including newcomer Tom Holland as Spider-Man. He was everything you would want Spider-Man to be- boyish, quirky, strong, and funny. He provided great comic relief during especially intense scenes. I look forward to seeing Spider-Man again as he really was one of my favorite parts of this movie.

STRONG WOMEN- Great Movie For Fan Girls, too!

I have to say that my favorite scenes involve the ladies (Scarlett Johansson (“Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow”), Emily VanCamp (“Sharon Carter / Agent 13”), and Elizabeth Olsen (“Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch”) who really kick some butt in this movie. I love that this isn’t a guys only movie. It is totally a movie for FanGirls, too, and the strong female characters kick butt and empower women and young girls. And they look pretty amazing doing it. Don’t tell my husband but I think I have a little girl crush on Black Widow. 😉

Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal © Marvel 2016

Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen)
Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal
© Marvel 2016

Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) Photo Credit: Film Frame © Marvel 2016

Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson)
Photo Credit: Film Frame
© Marvel 2016

Agent 13/Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal © Marvel 2016

Agent 13/Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp)
Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal
© Marvel 2016


No matter what side they are on, ultimately there are underlying friendships and deep love and respect for each other. They are a family but even families disagree and fight at times. Not only does this movie explore the characters on a deeper level but some of the characters’ relationships start forming on a deeper level, too. I don’t want to give any spoilers but there’s a kiss between two characters as well as the start of a definite emotional connection between two others. See, this movie has it all!

Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal © Marvel 2016

Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans)
Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal
© Marvel 2016

CHRIS EVANS aka CAPTAIN AMERICA (and his biceps) 

Do I even need to say more? Chris Evans told us he actually hurt his arm a little shooting this scene. I’m sure I’m not the only woman who would kiss his boo boo and make it better, right ladies?

Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) Photo Credit: Film Frame © Marvel 2016

Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.)
Photo Credit: Film Frame
© Marvel 2016


Seriously SWOONING over here for me. I’ve been a fan of Robert Downery Jr. since back in the 80’s. Yes, I’m that old. And there is a scene that will bring you right back to his younger days. But like a fine wine, I think Robert has gotten even more handsome with age. I saw him close up at the Captain America: Civil War red carpet premiere when he walked right by us.

So which side are you on?

L to R: Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal © Marvel 2016

L to R: Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans)
Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal
© Marvel 2016

“I’m trying to keep the Avengers from falling apart.” ~Tony Stark
“You did that when you signed.” ~Steve Rogers

personalization shopLove the characters as much as I do, or any Disney or Marvel characters? Make sure to check out the Personalization Shop on the Disney Store website. They have a huge selection of items that you can personalize with your favorite character including your name or your child’s name. iron man mouse padDisney generously gave us each a gift card to try out the Personalization Shop. I’ve needed a mousepad for a while so I decided to get myself a #TeamIronMan themed mousepad with our event hashtag on it. I also bought myself an Avengers towel but decided not to personalize it because I’d be sharing it with everyone in my family. They had everything from cups to watches to shirts to home decor, and lots more! It was so easy to create my mousepad and personalize it how I wanted with different fonts, colors, and so many other choices. I also grabbed a Captain America shirt and Captain America Tsum Tsum for my girls. As you can see I’m outnumbered as the rest of my house is #TeamCap but I am standing firm on #TeamIronMan disney order

Like CAPTAIN AMERICA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaptainAmerica

Follow CAPTAIN AMERICA on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CaptainAmerica

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Visit the official CAPTAIN AMERICA website here: http://marvel.com/captainamerica

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is now playing in theatres everywhere!

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The Jungle Book Review #JungleBook

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Disclosure- I was invited by Disney to attend this all expense paid press trip but all opinions are 100% my own.

thejunglebook568ece7e1354bThe Jungle Book is now in theaters and I had the opportunity to screen it earlier this week when I was in Los Angeles on the Captain America: Civil War press trip. I loved this new version that features live action, amazingly realistic CG scenery, and photo-real animal characters all blended seamlessly to create an experience for the senses. We watched it in 3D and it felt like being deep in the jungle with all the animals. The Jungle Book is based on the timeless story by Rudyard Kipling and inspired by Disney’s class animated film.
image002 (1)

“The Jungle Book” is an all-new, live-action epic adventure about Mowgli, a man-cub raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan, who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera, and the freespirited bear Baloo. Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa, a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie, who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.

image006This new version of The Jungle Book has all the same characters and storyline as the animated classic but it is somewhat darker with characters like Kaa, Shere Khan, and King Louie all having sinister intentions.  There were a few intense scenes but nothing my 10 and 12 year old couldn’t handle. I think like with all movies you need to know your own children but none of the children in the theater with us seemed bothered by any scenes. There are times where viewers young and old will be on the edge of their seats rooting for Mowgli and hoping for his safety.  There aren’t any scenes where death is shown on screen but there are some intense fight scenes and chase scenes. The movie takes viewers on a wild ride where they become invested in what happens to this young boy. I loved The Jungle Book and can’t wait to take my girls to see it. It is funny, full of adventure, suspense, and just a fun, heartwarming film. If you have the opportunity to see it in 3D I highly recommend it as it will make the experience even more submersive.

The all-star cast includes Bill Murray (“Lost in Translation”) as the voice of Baloo, Ben Kingsley (“Learning to Drive,” “The Walk”) as Bagheera, Idris Elba (“Star Trek Beyond”) as Shere Khan, and Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) as the voice of mother wolf Raksha. ScarleƩ Johansson (“Avengers: Age of Ultron”) gives life to Kaa, Giancarlo Esposito (“Breaking Bad”) provides the voice of alpha-male wolf Akela, and Christopher Walken (“The Deer Hunter”) lends his iconic voice to King Louie. Newcomer Neel Sethi stars as the film’s only human character, Mowgli.


Neel Sethi is adorable as Mowgli. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of him on the big screen.

Some fun quotes from The Jungle Book:

Many strange tales are told of this Jungle. But none so strange as the tale of the cub we called Mowgli … –Bagheera

“That’s the Mowgli way. That’s the Baloo way. That’s our way. That’s how we get things done.” —Baloo

Poor, sweet little cub. What are you doing so deep in the Jungle? —Kaa

The elephants created this Jungle … They made all that belongs. The mountains, the trees, the birds in the trees. But they did not make you. That is why you must go. —Bagheera

Because the Jungle is no longer safe for you. You’re being hunted by a tiger. Only Man can protect you now. —Bagheera

A man-cub becomes Man, and Man is forbidden. —Shere Khan

image004 (1) Here’s a video highlighting the voices in the film including Bill Murray (“Baloo”), Sir Ben Kingsley (“Bagheera”), Lupita Nyong’o (“Raksha”), Scarlett Johansson (“Kaa”), Idris Elba (“Shere Khan”), Christopher Walken (“King Louie”), Giancarlo Esposito (“Akela”) and Neel Sethi who plays Mowgli, the only live action character in the film!

Like THE JUNGLE BOOK on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyJungleBook
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Visit the official THE JUNGLE BOOK website here: http://movies.disney.com/the-jungle-book-2016

THE JUNGLE BOOK is now playing in theatres everywhere in 3D, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D!

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The Peanuts Movie- Now on Video

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Disclosure- We received a copy of The Peanuts Movie and a collection of Peanuts toys to facilitate our review. All opinions are 100% our own.1453833087-peanutsstillsstill3

My girls and I have been eagerly awaiting the DVD/Blu-ray release of The Peanuts Movie and it didn’t disappoint. This is one of those movies that multigenerations can enjoy together. No uncomfortable scenes or inappropriate humor. Just a cute story with our beloved Peanuts characters. I grew up loving Peanuts so it was exciting to share this movie with my girls. The characters are fun and just the way I remembered them but now with more three dimensional animation to capture the younger audience. It is a movie that children, parents, and even grandparents an enjoy together.

20160312_184402Fans of all ages will rejoice as Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment’s THE PEANUTS MOVIE arrives on Digital HD Feb. 12 and Collector’s Edition Blu-ray™ & DVD March 8, 2016. Every underdog has his day in this fun, family film hailed by critics as “clever and charming” (USA Today), “the year’s best family film” and “funny and heart-warming” (CBS Radio News).

unnamedAnd for a limited time, get a Snoopy Flying Ace plush toy with THE PEANUTS MOVIE DVD, Blu-ray™ and Digital HD combo pack on March 8 making it the perfect gift for Easter baskets.

unnamed (4)In THE PEANUTS MOVIE, good ol’ Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the beloved Peanuts gang appear as you’ve never seen them before in a brand-new feature film from the imagination of Charles M. Schulz and the creators of Ice Age. Join everyone’s favorite eternal optimist, Charlie Brown, as he embarks on a heroic quest, while his beagle pal Snoopy takes to the skies to pursue his arch nemesis, the Red Baron. It’s a hilarious and heart-warming adventure!

unnamed (5)THE PEANUTS MOVIE is directed by Steve Martino (Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!) and produced and written by Bryan Schulz, Craig Schulz and Cornelius Uliano. Paul Feig (Spy, The Heat) and Michael Travers are also film producers.

unnamed (6)With the Collector’s Edition Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD fans can go deeper into the world of THE PEANUTS MOVIE with these fun-filled special features! Watch all-new Snoopy Snippets, check out the delightful documentary about the film’s extraordinary journey from the comics to the big screen, learn to draw Peanuts characters, sing along to music videos, choose your favorite songs from Snoopy’s Playlist and more!

Want to win your own Limited Edition Gift Set equipped with the Flying Ace Snoopy Plush?
Enter below:


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Strawberry Shortcake- Berry Best In Show On DVD

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Now on video- Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Best In Show

My girls love Strawberry Shortcake so they are excited about this new Strawberry Shortcake video that just came out on DVD.  It includes “Perfect Puppy Digital Story Book Download” for a Limited Time and Bonus Printable Coloring Pages!


Join Strawberry Shortcake and some new furry friends in these delightful “tails” about being yourself and encouraging others to do the same. During his road trip to find homes for his orphan puppies, Huckleberry Pie and his four-legged crew get stranded in Berry Bitty City. Luckily, Strawberry and her berry best pals decide to help out with the strays in “A Boy and His Dogs.” Blueberry Muffin and Huck become “Partners in Crime” when they try to write a mystery story together…with surprising results. And the fur is sure to fly when the girls try to help Huck start a dog shelter in “The Mystery of the Disappearing Dog Show.” It’s a howling good time with sweet doggy delights for everyone!


strawberry shortcake appFor a limited time, consumers will receive a copy of the “Perfect Puppy Digital Story Book Download” by Cupcake Digital, Inc. with their purchase.  Hurry, supplies are limited!

1430863280-FOX 1299 SS Berry Best in Show  Coloring PageWith Format Messaging (792x1024)

Want to win your own copy of Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Best In Show?

Here’s what you need to do to ENTER –

First of all – you must follow my blog – The giveaways I host are for my wonderful readers. To be considered a Cori’s Cozy Corner reader, you must receive my once daily email.  This is not considered an entry, but rather a requirement in order to enter any of my giveaways.  🙂
I do verify that you subscribe to my e-mail at the time of the winner drawing.  
You can sign up for my once daily email easily by entering your e-mail address right here:

Once you are a Cori’s Cozy Corner reader via email you can continue onto the Entry Form Below.
Good luck!


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Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom Review In Theaters April 17th

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Disclosure- I was invited on an all expense paid trip to Orlando on behalf of Disney for the #MonkeyKingdomEvent.  All opinions are 100% my own. image003 (7) I had the opportunity to screen Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom while I was in Orlando for the Monkey Kingdom event with 24 other bloggers.  Before I tell you all about the movie let me start by sharing some total monkey cuteness with you. image011 (3)




monkeykingdom552f1841945ef“Monkey Kingdom is like Downton Abbey meets Game of Thrones”, Dr. M. Sanjayan

Monkeys are my favorite animal so I was beyond excited when I heard that Disneynature was making a movie all about monkeys.  Monkey Kingdom tells the story of Maya, a monkey and her struggles to raise her baby boy while being one of the lower members of her group of moneys social structure. Life is hard for her as most of the other monkeys are higher up on the social structure than she is.  They get to live higher than her in the trees and get the better foods and shelter.  Maya on the other hand gets the scraps left on the bottom of the trees.  She wants to provide the best she can for her son but it isn’t easy.  I was really amazed how relatable her story is and how much human emotion monkeys show.  You could take the story of Maya and turn it into a story about a human single mother raising her baby son on her own without the father around and living as part of the lower class.  It is a story that plays out everyday for many mothers around the world.  Human or monkey, mothers just want to provide the best for their children and do whatever they can to provide for them.  You’ll be rooting for Maya and her son, Kip throughout the movie.  You’ll also see lots of other types of animals throughout the movie.

Tina Fey does a great job narrating this movie.  She captures the audience and throws in some cute jokes as well.  Monkey Kingdom is the perfect family movie, especially any animal lovers.  It is a great movie for all ages.  There are 2 scenes where one of the other monkeys are killed by predators but it true Disney fashion nothing gruesome is shown.  It’s handled very well as to not upset young children, it’s a Disney movie after all.  My girls are very sensitive to things like that and I am sure that they’ll be ok with those parts of the movie when I take them hopefully this weekend.

See Monkey Kingdom opening week (April 17 – 23) and Disneynature will make a donation in your honor to protect monkeys and other endangered species in their natural habitats.

I have gotten together with several other bloggers to give away a very special necklace in honor of Monkey Kingdom.  We’re giving away an Alex Woo Little Activist Love Monkey in Sterling Silver.  It’s so adorable!  I sooooo want one of these necklaces.  Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Life is an adventure for Maya, the clever and resourceful blonde-bobbed monkey in “Monkey Kingdom,” Disneynature’s new feature film set among ancient ruins in the storied jungles of South Asia. Maya’s world is forever changed when she welcomes her son, Kip, into her complicated extended family. Like all families, Maya’s has more than its share of colorful personalities—and she’s determined to give her son a leg up in the world. When their longtime home at Castle Rock is taken over by powerful neighboring monkeys, Maya’s whole family is forced to relocate, and she uses her street smarts and ingenuity to lead them to untapped resources amidst strange new creatures and unsettling surroundings. Ultimately, they will all have to work together to reclaim Castle Rock, where Maya can hopefully realize her dreams for her son’s future.

image012 (1)Featuring a rich variety of characters, including a mischievous mongoose, simple-minded langur monkeys, predatory leopards and monitor lizards, “Monkey Kingdom” is directed by Mark Linfield (“Chimpanzee,” “Earth”) and co-directed by Alastair Fothergill (“Chimpanzee,” “Bears”). With music from award-winning composer Harry Gregson-Williams (“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Shrek” movies), Disneynature’s eighth True Life Adventure—the follow-up to 2014’s “Bears”—swings into theaters April 17, 2015.

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Like Disneynature on Facebook: Facebook.com/Disneynature
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MONKEY KINGDOM opens in theatres everywhere on April 17th! conservation internationalProjects support programs across Indonesia, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka. Conservation International will: 1) Protect monkeys and other endangered species 2) Save and restore forest habitats 3) Partner with and support local communities

Further activities in Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Indonesia will include researching, rescuing and rehabilitating monkeys, patrolling protected areas which serve as important habitats for monkeys and other species, planting trees and supporting community education and forest-friendly jobs.


Located just 80 km from the bustling city of Jakarta is a region known as Gedepahala. Gedepahala has some of the last remaining forests (135,000 ha) on the island of Java, Indonesia. It is an area rich in biodiversity and beauty, and home to a critically endangered monkey called the Javan gibbon. This area is also part of a watershed that helps to filter and provide a reliable flow of water to over 30 million people. Increased demand for forest resources has caused massive deforestation and degradation, endangering species and threatening vulnerable local communities who depend upon the forests’ resources and services for survival.


Unlike much of Southeast Asia, nearly 60 percent of Cambodia’s forests are still intact with plentiful shelter, food and fresh water. Its forests are home to many different types of monkeys, as well as hundreds of other species, but rapid deforestation and degradation of forest habitat requires fast action to protect these globally important species. Conservation International is working to protect 455,000 hectares of intact forest habitat in the Central Cardamom Mountains (400,000 ha) and Veun Sai (55,000 ha) regions, two critical habitats for the most threatened primate species. This work includes supporting teams of community and forest rangers to patrol forests, alert officials about illegal logging activity and explain to people why the forest needs to remain intact and why they should not hunt primates.

Sri Lanka

Located off the southern tip of India, the tropical island of Sri Lanka has attracted visitors for centuries with its natural beauty. It is currently experiencing rapid urbanization and expansion, which is destroying its forests. As a consequence all of its 12 primates and numerous other mammals, bird, reptiles and amphibians, all unique to the island, are increasingly threatened. Conservation International has been awarding small grants through its Primate Action Fund to stem the decline of the western purplefaced langur, considered one of the world’s 25 most endangered primates.

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Girlfriends, Teavana First Blush Tea, and The Best of Me Movie- The Perfect Afternoon

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Thank you for visiting Cori's Cozy Corner! Please make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our E-mails!

Disclosure- I received a party pack from Teavana and Fox Home Entertainment to host a tea party but all opinions are 100% my own.

the best of teaIt’s been a long time since I had an afternoon with my girlfriends so I was excited when Fox Home Entertainment asked if I wanted to host a tea party for the release of The Best of Me that would include tea from Teavana.  I received a party pack that included a Teavana Perfect Tea Maker, limited edition First Blush blend Teavana tea, Teavana rock sugar, a Teavana teaspoon, plus mason jar mugs and votive candles for all my guests.

teavanaI didn’t realize how much I missed entertaining until I started planing the Teavana tea party.

My guests were treated to egg salad and tuna finger sandwiches, cream cheese and smoked salmon appetizers, a veggie platter with hummus, and for dessert fruit salad, mini cheesecakes, and petit fours.
the best of me food
the best of me desserts

the best of me (864x1024)Based on the #1 New York Times Best Seller from celebrated author Nicholas Sparks comes this tender, romantic drama about the timeless power of love. When former high school sweethearts Dawson and Amanda (James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan) meet at a loved one’s funeral 20 years after tragedy separated them, their love is reignited. As they recall and relive the past, they come to a deeper understanding about the choices they’ve made. Also starring Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato, and featuring beautiful scenery along with music by Lady Antebellum, The Best of Me is a powerfully romantic story of love, hope and second chances.

the best of me screnshotWe all enjoyed the movie and make sure you have tissues handy when you watch it.  The Best of Me “Tears of Joy” Edition Blu-ray and DVD also includes an all-new storyline and “Storybook” Alternate Ending so Amanda and Dawson finally get that second chance at love.  The original ending isn’t the happy ending we were hoping for but it does tie it all up at the end and make you feel good.  The “storybook” ending is the ending you expect to see in a love story.  I don’t want to give any more away so I’ll leave it at that.  The only thing we all wished was that the actors had played themselves as teenagers instead of having other actors portray Dawson and Amanda as teens.  The actor that played the young Dawson didn’t look much younger than the older Dawson and there was some disconnect in that for most of us.  We all felt that James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan could have been made to look a little younger and play themselves at both ages just like the actor that played Dawson’s father did.  But we all still loved the movie.  

PerfecTea Maker_with cup
The tea!  Oh the tea!  I had never had loose leave tea before and now I am hooked.  We all enjoyed the First Blush Tea with it’s floral, berry flavors and it was much easier to make than I had thought.  I just put a teaspoon and a half of the loose tea into the Perfect Tea Maker, poured hot water on top, and let it brew for a few minutes.  Once the brewing time was up simply place the perfect tea maker on top of your favorite mug and it will trigger the dispensing mechanism to release the tea into your mug.  We were given rock sugar to use in our tea which made it a little sweeter but not too sweet and only has 25 calories per serving so those of us dieting didn’t have to worry about too much sugar.

I enjoyed making tea in my new Teavana Perfect Tea Maker that I already gone into Teavana and purchased 4 more tea flavors!

  • Teavana limited edition First Blush Tea is specifically designed tea for Valentine’s Day featuring naturally scented Jasmine green tea blended with floral orchid oolong complemented by luscious strawberries, crisp rhubarb and effervescent undertones of bubbly rosé.
  • In each cup of Teavana tea you can find delicious and exotic flavors, and is the perfect pairing to a night in with your girlfriends
  • Brewing loose leaf tea is easier than you think: add 1.5 teaspoons of First Blush tea per each 8 oz. serving and steep in 175 degree water for 2 minutes

First blush_1-3-15 (1024x690)


  •  Pairing Tip: blend iced First Blush Tea with a glass of champagne for a fun and easy to make Teavana cocktail

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Big Hero 6 Review- Now In Theaters #BigHero6Event #BigHero6

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Disclosure- I have been provided an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles for the Big Hero 6 movie premiere and ABC TV Event in exchange for coverage of these events.  All opinions are 100% my own.   Thank you so much Disney and ABC TV!

Big-Hero-6-poster-2-fullAs you already know, I had the privilege of attending the red carpet premiere of Big Hero 6 in Los Angeles just a few short days ago.   I had been eagerly anticipating this movie since my girls and I saw the trailer several months ago and let me say it didn’t disappoint.  Big Hero 6, the newest 3D animated movie from Walt Disney Animation opens today.  I absolutely loved every moment of it.  It is a great combination of Disney movie with a little Marvel magic thrown in because it is based on a Marvel comic.  It has everything you want in a great Disney movie- great storyline, exciting action, powerful messages of friendship and determination, family friendly humor, lovable characters (who wouldn’t love a giant white blow up robot, right?), and beautiful animation.
hiroBig Hero 6 is the story of Hiro Hamada, a 14 year old genius who lives in the city of San Fransokyo.  After a tragic event he finds comfort in Baymax, the inflatable robot that his older brother created to help people.  Hiro, Baymax, and a cast of other lovable heroes have to come up with a plan to defeat a mystery villain and along the way learn some powerful lessons on friendship, loss, and teamwork.
big hero 6 sign 2Big Hero 6 has several important messages that this mommy of 2 daughters just LOVES.

~Girls can be just as smart and strong as boys.  In a society that males seem to dominate in the world of technology, it is great to see girls in this movie who are just as intelligent as the boys.  My favorite line from the movie is “Woman Up!”  I love seeing strong feminine characters who aren’t dainty princesses needing to be rescued.
big hero 6 group 2~Girls can be good with technology, too.  S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is so important for ALL children to learn so it is great that this movie promotes the message that girls can rock technology, too.  I know my girls are going to love this.
big hero 6 group~Being smart is cool.  As a self-proclaimed geek girl myself, I love love love this theme in the movie.  Hiro and his friends may not be the traditionally cool kids when it comes to beauty and style but they are awesomely cool because they are smart and use their intelligence for good.
Big-Hero-6~ Intelligence can be a Super Power.  AMEN!  Hiro and his friends don’t need super strength, telekinesis, telepathy, superhuman strength, or any other traditional “super power”.  Intelligence IS the super power in Big Hero 6.

BIG HERO 6Big Hero 6 has a PG rating mainly for some cartoon violence and a villain who is a little creepy in some scenes.  As with other Disney movies, this probably won’t bother most children but if you have a very sensitive child you will need to use your discretion.  I will say that if you are a crier, bring some tissues!  There are a few scenes that will tug at your heartstrings and invoke some pretty ugly crying if you are anything like me.  But that’s ok.  There are lots of scenes that will give you warm fuzzies and make you smile on the inside and out, too.  I don’t want to give you any spoilers so that’s all I’m going to tell you.  GO SEE BIG HERO 6 THIS WEEKEND!!!

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Visit the Big Hero 6 Website

From Walt Disney Animation Studios, the team behind “Frozen” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” comes “Big Hero 6,” an action-packed comedy-adventure about the special bond that develops between Baymax (voice of Scott Adsit), a plus-sized inflatable robot, and prodigy Hiro Hamada (voice of Ryan Potter). When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago (voice of Jamie Chung), neatnik Wasabi (voice of Damon Wayans Jr.), chemistry whiz Honey Lemon (voice of Genesis Rodriguez) and fanboy Fred (voice of T.J. Miller). Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called “Big Hero 6.” Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring breathtaking action with all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Big Hero 6” is directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”), and produced by Roy Conli (“Tangled”).

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Legends of Oz, Dorothy’s Return- Blu-ray Review #OzInsiders

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Disclaimer- I received a copy of the Legends of Oz Blu-Ray as part of the Fox Home Entertainment Insiders Blogger Program but all opinions are 100% my own.
 photo LGOZ_BD_OSleeve_3DSkew_03_zpsc5ef9e41.jpg

Legends of Oz, Dorothy’s Return is now on DVD and Blu-ray!
Kids of all ages will love this musical, animated journey back to the magical world of Oz that features a legendary cast, including Lea Michele from TV’s “Glee,” Dan Akroyd, Martin Short, Jim Belushi, Patrick Stewart, Kelsey Grammar and more. A devious new villain, the Jester, rules over Oz and Dorothy must return from Kansas to rescue her old friends: the Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man. Set to irresistible new songs from Academy Award®-nominated singer/songwriter Bryan Adams and featuring a host of delightful new characters, this animated return to Oz is sure to be a family-favorite filled with fun and laughs for generations to come!
What we thought-
A, my 10 year old thought that Legends of Oz, Dorothy’s Return was a fun and colorful movie with great characters.  She said she really liked the songs in the movie and thought the movie was funny.
D, my 8 year old said that she loved this movie, too.  It has a lot of adventure and surprises that she didn’t expect to happen.  It reminded her of the original movie but she likes that this version is a cartoon.
I agree with my girls, it was a cute movie that the whole family will enjoy.  It takes place after the story of The Wizard of Oz so it takes viewers on new adventures with familiar characters.  


Special Features

Legends of Oz: The Music of Oz
Legends of Oz: The Legacy of Oz
Sing Along the Yellow Brick Road
Legends of Oz: Activity Sheet
Theatrical Trailer


Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return Blu-ray 

Street Date: August 26, 2014
Prebook Date: July 23, 2014
Screen Format: Widescreen 1.78:1
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
U.S. Rating: PG
Total Run Time: 126 minutes
Closed Captioned: Yes


Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return DVD 

Street Date: August 26, 2014
Prebook Date: July 23, 2014
Screen Format: Widescreen 1.78:1
Audio: English DD 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
U.S. Rating: PG
Total Run Time: 126 minutes
Closed Captioned: Yes


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Now Available on DVD!
New York, NY – February 10, 2014 – SpongeBob loves nothing more than being a fry cook at the beloved Krusty Krab (except his pet snail Gary, of course!), but in this new DVD collection – SpongeBob, You’re Fired! – SpongeBob must learn to find a life outside of Mr. Krabs’ watchful eyes. Tune in for 14 hilarious work adventures as SpongeBob tries new jobs such as working at The Chum Bucket with Plankton (gasp!), picketing with Squidward and even modeling in a commercial! This one-of-a-kind collection, which is packed with over THREE HOURS of content, is a must-have for any SpongeBob SquarePants fan and is sure to be a blast for the whole family. Created by Nickelodeon Home Entertainment and distributed by Paramount Home Media Distribution, SpongeBob, You’re Fired! was released on DVD on April 29, 2014 for the suggested retail price of $14.99.
SpongeBob, You’re Fired! Episode Synopses:
SpongeBob, You’re Fired
In order to save money, Mr. Krabs fires SpongeBob. Unable to just “do nothing,” SpongeBob decides to go back to work doing anything, anywhere.
Neptune’s Spatula   
On a visit to the Fry Cook Hall of Fame, SpongeBob inadvertently pulls a mythical spatula from a vat of ancient grease, thus giving him claim to the title of “World’s Greatest Fry Cook”. When the act summons the great King of the Sea, Neptune, however, SpongeBob must face the disbelieving god in the Ultimate Cook-Off Challenge.
Welcome To The Chum Bucket    
Mr. Krabs loses SpongeBob’s fry cook contract in a bet with Plankton and SpongeBob is forced to go work at the Chum Bucket. While there, SpongeBob is so homesick that he can’t even fry up a single patty. At a loss, Plankton tries to comfort SpongeBob by showering him with gifts and attention, so much so that SpongeBob soon acts like a spoiled teenager. Plankton can’t take it and ends up begging Mr. Krabs to take SpongeBob back. Mr. Krabs agrees to take him back, but he warns Plankton that it will cost him.
The Original Fry Cook
Mr. Krabs’ old fry cook pays a special visit to the Krusty Krab. SpongeBob is in awe of his predecessor, who has since become a world-renowned chef following his departure from Krabs’ restaurant. When SpongeBob tries to impress the impressive chef, he instead finds his fry cook skills are in question. Taking the chefs critique to heart, SpongeBob decides to quit – his beloved Krusty Krab deserves someone better. Without his employee of the month, Krabs is stuck with an overpriced chef that will charge him an arm and a leg to flip one burger. He must find SpongeBob and convince him to return to work – or lose a fortune on his original cook.
Le Big Switch
After being enrolled in a chef exchange program, SpongeBob switches places with a snooty French chef from a high-end restaurant.
Model Sponge
SpongeBob tries a career at being a model in a kitchen sponge commercial.
Employee of the Month
Mr. Krabs uses the award to drive SpongeBob, but he dupes SpongeBob into believing he might break his ongoing winning streak and lose this month to Squidward. Squidward could care less but goes along with the ruse for fun. But when a fearful SpongeBob works so hard he humiliates Squidward at work, the battle for the award begins.
Bossy Boots
When Mr. Krabs gives his daughter, Pearl, a job at the Krusty Krab, she starts to make some big changes in the menu and atmosphere. SpongeBob is threatened and doesn’t like the new “management” but after a bit he gets used to it. It turns out that Mr. Krabs who hates all the changes, but he doesn’t have the heart to fire his own daughter. Mr. Krabs commands SpongeBob to fire Pearl for him, but SpongeBob really doesn’t want to. Mr. Krabs gives him an ultimatum, fire Pearl or he’s fired from the greatest job he’s ever had.
Krusty Dogs
Mr. Krabs decides to start selling hot dogs instead of Krabby Patties.
License to Milkshake
SpongeBob learns his milkshake license has expired, and is forced to go back to the milkshake academy.
Help Wanted
Encouraged by his best friend, Patrick Starfish, SpongeBob overcomes his fears and finally applies for that dream job as a fry cook at the Krusty Krab. Challenged by the owner, Mr. Krabs, and his assistant, Squidward, to prove himself worthy of the job, SpongeBob rises to the occasion, with the help of one very special spatula, by feeding a sea of ravenous anchovies.
Wet Painters
SpongeBob and Patrick are wreaking havoc on the Krusty Krab, so Mr. Krabs decides to give them a little busy work. He tells them to paint his living room and gives them permanent paint. Very permanent. So permanent that he threatens to hang their butts over his mantle if they get it on anything. They manage to paint the entire room, covered in knick-knacks, without a drop anywhere…until they see a tiny, microscopic speck on Mr. Krabs’ framed and prized first dollar! Their efforts to remove the paint only wreck precious dollar all the more. When Mr. Krabs comes home and finds it, he laughs; telling them the paint comes off with saliva. He licks the dollar and it’s good as new. He laughs so hard at their fear of his wrath that he spits all over the room, and the paint drips off of all the walls.
Krusty Krab Training Video
The excitement! You are now a member of the official Krusty Krab crew! In this informative episode, you will learn all of the attributes necessary to become an excellent employee in the fast-paced world of fast food restaurants. Everything from personal hygiene to Krabby Patty construction is covered in this mandatory Krusty crew video.
Pizza Delivery     
Mr. Krabs has SpongeBob and Squidward go above and beyond the call of duty to make the first successful Krabby Patty pizza delivery. When the two become stranded in the desert, SpongeBob has to prevent the starving Squidward from eating the pizza before they deliver it.
Running Time: Approximately 186 Minutes
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Disney’s The Pirate Fairy- Now on Blu-Ray and DVD! FREE Printable Activities!

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Disclosure- We received a copy of Disney’s The Pirate Fairy to facilitate our review but all opinions are 100% our own.
Pirate Fairy Box Art

My girls have been waiting for Disney’s The Pirate Fairy to come out for over a year when they first heard it was coming out and it didn’t disappoint.  The Pirate Fairy takes you on an adventure with Tinkerbell and her fairy friends including a new fairy, Zarina .  Zarina’s ideas get her in trouble and she runs off to scheme with greedy pirates.  When she returns a year later, she steals the powerful blue fairy dust.  Tinkerbell and her friends try to stop her but she uses her powerful magic to switch all of their talents.  The fairies must then find Zarina and defeat the pirates in this Epic adventure.   Zarina is a talented and beautiful fairy that girls will surely fall in love with.  While she does get into trouble because of her wild ideas, she does learn her lesson in the end and teaches a great lesson.  My girls and I really enjoyed The Pirate Fairy.  It was a great mix of humor, magic, excitement, and pixie dust.  We actually watched it twice the day it arrived.  You know it is a good movie when even I don’t mind watching it twice in one day!

the pirate fairy

From the world of “Peter Pan” comes “The Pirate Fairy,” a swashbuckling new adventure about Zarina (voice of Christina Hendricks), a smart and ambitious dust-keeper fairy who’s captivated by Blue Pixie Dust and its endless possibilities. When Zarina’s wild ideas get her into trouble, she flees Pixie Hollow and joins forces with the scheming pirates of Skull Rock, who make her captain of their ship. Tinker Bell (voice of Mae Whitman) and her friends must embark on an epic adventure to find Zarina, and together they go sword-to-sword with the band of pirates led by a cabin boy named James (voice of Tom Hiddleston), who’ll soon be known as Captain Hook himself. With laughter, heart, magic and thrills, “The Pirate Fairy” sets sail today- April 1, 2014.

Download Pirate Arrr-ctivities

Check out these great movie clips below:
Film Clips

Clip: Experimenting

Clip: Baby Croc

Clip: You Gotta Love the Boots

Clip: Captain Zarina


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