Thursday, February 14, 2019

VALENTINE FROM VANELLOPE

A Geek Daddy received a surprise Valentine from Vanellope von Schweetz! Thanks Walt Disney Studios for sending a sweet Valentine's Day treat my way. I'm looking forward to having a family movie night seeing Vanellope's newest adventure with Wreck it Ralph now that RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET is available to add to our home entertainment video library.

The Digital edition of RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK IT RALPH 2 is available now and the movie is arriving February 26, 2019 on Blu-ray and DVD. The movie is rated PG for some action and rude humor by the Motion Picture Association of America. This animated film has a run-time of 112 minutes. Along with the feature presentation, the home video release has bonus extras that include deleted scenes, a documentary about the making of the movie, and a segment highlighting Easter Eggs that were placed within RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK IT RALPH 2.

In the movie, Video-game bad guy Ralph and his best friend Vanellope von Schweetz leave the comforts of Litwak's Arcade to try to save her game, Sugar Rush, from being retired after it becomes broken by a player. This quest takes them to the vast, uncharted world of the Internet. There Ralph and Vanellope must rely on "the Netizens" who inhabit the Internet to help the duo navigate their way. Lending a virtual hand are Yesss, the head algorithm and the heart and soul of the trend-making site "BuzzzTube," and Shank, a tough-as-nails driver from a gritty online auto-racing game called Slaughter Race, a place Vanellope wholeheartedly embraces - so much so that Ralph worries he may lose the only friend he's ever had.



Will Sugar Rush continue to delight kids at Litwak's Arcade or is it heading to the garbage heap? And if Sugar Rush is unplugged forever what will happen to all of its characters? You will have to watch RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK IT RALPH 2 to find out! Available to watch digitally now from Movies Anywhere, iTunes, and Vudu or pick it up at your favorite retailer where Blu-rays and DVDs are sold beginning February 26.



 For more information, go to movies.disney.com/ralph-breaks-the-internet-wreck-it-ralph-2

THINGS TO LOVE ABOUT GOLDFISH SWIM SCHOOL

valentines day There is a lot to love about Goldfish Swim School! My kids have been swimming there for several years now and it has been an exceptional experience for our family. If you are the parent of a child between 4 months to twelve year old tweens, this is a great place to check out when it comes to developing swimming abilities and water safety skills.

My twins have been swimming here themselves for a few years. The kids have had a lot of fun while getting some great exercise. It has been impressive to see how they've mastered different swim strokes and how comfortable they are at swimming now. They probably are better swimmers than me and my wife now.

Here is a reason from each member of my family about why we love Goldfish Swim School:

WATER SAFETY


My son misjudged the depth and current of the river in a water park tube ride getting himself in a scary situation. When he jumped in the water and found himself struggling, the confidence and skills he learned at Goldfish Swim School kept him safe until a lifeguard could bail him out of the predicament. The boy never panicked and put his lessons to good use!

He utilized a variety of the things taught during his classes at Goldfish Swim School to get himself out of trouble. Using the side breathing he utilize during laps in the pool to get air kept him breathing while having trouble keeping his head above water. Combining the strokes he has learned with the treading water water safety skills Goldfish Swim School has their students practice kept him from being sucked under by the current. Following the instructions he had been provided of reviewing your surroundings and calling for help, he was able to get a lifeguard's attention who jumped in with a float to assist him.



Goldfish Swim School really emphasizes teaching their students about water safety. In fact, they host a WATER SAFETY DAY each year that is open to all the residents in communities where Goldfish Swim Schools are located free of charge.  It is an event filled with fun activities and educational presentations on how to be safe in and around the water. My kids love going to this event and it is a great time for parents and children to reflect on water safety tips.

water safety


SWIM FORCE


My daughter has mastered all the swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School but she isn't done there just yet. She is participating in the Swim Force program that teaches kids about participating in swimming as an athletic endeavor. Based upon that experience she is wanting to swim competitively in high school and college now. Wouldn't it be great if she can earn a scholarship?!

Swim Force members are kids who have graduated from all of the Goldfish Swim School swimming classes. Once they've succeeded in all the school's levels of lessons, they are invited to join the Swim Force.  This involves a weekly hour long practice session and quarterly swim meets where they race against each other. My daughter loves being a part of the Swim Force!

swim force


PROGRESS REPORTS


My wife loves how Goldfish Swim School communicates with parents! After class, instructors provide parents with individual poolside progress reports for their children. Personalized details for each student are conveyed informing a parent about what was worked on during the lesson, noting positive accomplishments  by the child and highlighting areas where there is need for improvement.

swimming lessons

FAMILY SWIM TIME


I love to go for a swim myself along with my kids when the pool at Goldfish Swim School is open for students and their families to jump in to have a good time. When the kids are off from school we like to take a dip in the pool. Sometimes the kids practice their swimming strokes but often times they are just goofing around. It is a nice way to spend some quality family time together having fun. These family open swim times are a great perk at Goldfish Swim School.

These are just a few examples of why Goldfish Swim School has earned A Geek Daddy nod of approval. For more information or to find a location near you, go to goldfishswimschool.com 

valentines day



A Geek Daddy is a brand ambassador for Goldfish Swim School. I receive complimentary products and services in exchange for sharing my family's experience at Goldfish Swim School. Opinions expressed are honest and my own
.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

HELLBOY BEER

Gigantic Brewing

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the creation of the HELLBOY comic book, Oregon's Gigantic Brewing and Dark Horse Comics are teaming up to create a limited edition batch of 666 cases of themed beer, based on award-winning cartoonist Mike Mignola’s legendary character. Depicted as a well-meaning half-demon, Hellboy is a member of the United States Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.) where he fights against dark forces that threaten the Earth such as monsters, magicians, witches and undead creatures. Involuntarily summoned from Hell by Nazi occultists as a baby, Hellyboy was rescued by Allied Forces and was raised as the son of the professor who was assigned to study him. He has lived here ever since defending the planet from evil.

Hellboy has been featured in numerous graphic novels and comic books, prose novels and short story collections over the last twenty-five years since his first appearance in the 1994 Dark Horse Comics mini-series Hellboy: Seed of Destruction. He also has been in two animated movies and two live action films. Another Hellboy film is also forthcoming starring David Harbour, Sasha Lane, Ian McShane, Penelope Mitchell, and Milla Jovovich which is set to be released by Lionsgate on April 12, 2019.

Celebrating twenty-five years of Hellboy, Gigantic Brewing will release six different beers with flavors inspired by fan-favorite characters from the Hellboy comic books throughout 2019. Each new beer will be a limited edition run of 666 cases. The first beer, Hellboy, features a maple syrup and pancake profile. That sounds so good! I want to taste a bottle of that for myself!

craft beer


Gigantic Brewing’s first Hellboy beer will be released in March, ahead of Hellboy Day on March 23, 2019, when comic book stores and fans across the country will celebrate twenty-five years of Hellboy comics and graphic novels. New batches in the series will be released approximately every seven weeks after that. The limited edition beers will be released in the following order and feature different flavor profiles:
  • Hellboy - Maple Syrup Pancake Beer (6.66% abv)
  • Liz Sherman - Mole Chili Stout (6.66% abv)
  • Johann Kraus - Citrus Wit Beer (6.66% abv)
  • Abe Sapien - Indigo Blue Fruit Ale (6.66% abv)
  • Blood Queen - Cranberry Yuzu Sour (6.66% abv)
  • Trevor Bruttenholm - British Barleywine (9.99% abv)
comic books


Gigantic Brewing will also be selling prints and t-shirts featuring new Mike Mignola’s illustrations for each of the six Hellboy beers. There will be an introductory beer tasting party on March 15 at Seattle's Emerald City Comic Con followed the roll out of the beer to locations across the country. More details about distribution of these beers will be coming out closer to the release date.  To find out more information about Hellboy Beer, follow Gigantic Brewery on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or visit www.giganticbrewing.com/pages/hellboy.

BUDWEISER COPPER LAGER

To compete more with craft breweries, Budweiser is releasing limited batches with unique twists to their flavoring and style called the Reserve Collection.  Last year they released a Red Lager inspired by a recipe crafted up by George Washington that was being promoted around the Fourth of July.  I enjoyed a few of these beers relaxing on my back deck listening to Detroit Tigers on the radio over the summer.

Incorporating barrels that had previously held bourbon into the brewing process has been a popular trend lately with craft beers. Now the King of Beers has teamed up with the world's best-selling bourbon, Jim Beam, for their own creation inspired by that craft beer trend→ Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager. This new specialty beer is available in heritage glass bottles nationwide.

Copper Lager is an American lager-style beer, brewed with two-row barley and aged on Jim Beam bourbon barrel staves. The charred American oak staves, which previously served as barrels aging Jim Beam for four years, create a toasted oak aroma, while the beer has a deliciously nutty taste with caramel rye and vanilla notes and the classically smooth Budweiser finish.



If this beer captures your interest, grab a six pack when you see it because when a store's supply runs out they won't be restocked. CLICK HERE to find out more about this beer and where you can find it near you.

LEGO DC SUPER VILLAINS VIDEO GAME MOVIE CHARACTER PACK

To get their diehard fans excited, and of course help sell more comic books, DC Comics every year or so creates a dynamic cross-over storyline that has a dramatic impact in shaping the overall scope of the publisher's fantasy universe.  Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has transformed one of these events, DC Comics' Forever Evil comic book story from 2013-2014, into its newest LEGO video game → LEGO DC SUPER VILLAINS.

In the Forever Evil plot arc, the heroes of the Justice League have mysteriously disappeared and been replaced by their alternates from another dimension. Ultraman, Superwoman, Owlman, Johnny Quick, Power Ring, and Deathstorm at first appear to be protectors at first but eventually it becomes clear they are a crime syndicate out to become the rulers of the world. Thus Earth's super villains team up to stop this threat for the best interest of the planet. Led by Lex Luther the newly formed team of villains rescues the Justice League who have been imprisoned by the crime syndicate uniting with the super heroes to battle their common foe.



In LEGO DC SUPER VILLAINS it is good to be bad! Players create a completely customizable character who leads a team of super villains to foil the evil plans of the fake heroes from Forever Evil comic book stories. Along the way, you will unlock new powers and customizations for your character, engage in additional story quests, puzzles, and mini-games that unlock rewards and recruit other Super Villains as seen in DC comic books and movies. Also you get to cause mischief throughout well-known DC Comics locations including Gotham, Metropolis, and Smallville joined by villains such as Black Manta, Cat Woman, Deadshot, Reverse Flash and The Joker.

DC Movie Character Pack


To keep LEGO DC SUPER VILLAINS fresh and fun after the initial game has been completed there is also a season pass that provides new DLC content including bonus levels and characters throughout 2019. In the just released DC Movie Character Pack you can now play as Wonder Woman, Batman, The Flash, Superman, Cyborg, and Deathstroke as they appeared in the Justice League movie produced by Warner Bros. Pictures. You can access The DC Movie Character Pack by getting the deluxe edition of the video game, purchasing the Season Pass as an add on or buying this character pack separately for $1.99. Add these characters to help your customized super villain and some of DC Comics greatest bad guys … and gals … take down the crime syndicate.

For more game information, visit chaos-is-coming.wbgames.com and follow the official LEGO® DC Super-Villains social channels on Facebook and YouTube, and @LEGODCGAME on Instagram and Twitter.

Monday, February 11, 2019

UGLY DOLLS TRAILER

movie trailer
We had a tasty treat snacking on some cookies that look like characters from UglyDolls while watching the trailer for this animated movie that is heading to theaters for a May 3 opening weekend. This musical stars some awkward yet adorable looking creatures whose singing will be performed by the voices of Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle MonĂ¡e, Blake Shelton and Pitbull. This diverse group of singers provide a dynamic that promotes acceptance, joy and friendship through their vocal talents in the portrayal of this film's story. Thanks STX Entertainment for providing us with these quirky cookies and a heads up about this trailer promoting UglyDolls!



UglyDolls transports audiences to the town of Uglyville, where weird is celebrated, strange is special and beauty is embraced as more than simply meets the eye. Here, the free-spirited Moxy and her friends live every day in a whirlwind of bliss, letting their freak flags fly in a celebration of life and its endless possibilities, occasionally looking to the sky, where a new UglyDoll appear from to be embraced by the community.

Moxy (Kelly Clarkson) loves her square-peg life in this round-hole town, but her curiosity about all things leads her to wonder if there’s something – anything – on the other side of the mountain which nestles Uglyville. Moxy gathers a group of her closest friends and sets off to find what’s on the other side. They discover another world – Perfection – a town where more conventional dolls are trained in protocols before they graduate and are sent to the “real” world to find the love of a child.

STX Entertainment


In Perfection, Moxy and her crew are subject to the manipulations of Lou (Nick Jonas), the perfect doll in charge of training recruits. Here, the UglyDolls will confront what it means to be different, struggle with their desire to be loved, and ultimately discover that you don’t have to be perfect to be amazing because who you truly are is what matters most.

Unconventionality rules in UglyDolls! For more information about this family friendly upbeat musical visit uglydolls.com or check out their social media feeds on Twitter and Instagram. If you aren't connected with A GEEK DADDY on Twitter and Instagram don't forget to follow us too!

movie

Friday, February 8, 2019

HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS

The clown wizards of basketball made an appearance at Eastern Michigan University's Convocation Center and we had a night of family fun driving over to Ypsilanti to see the Harlem Globetrotters' performance. Known for mixing together comedy with basketball tricks and feats of athleticism; the Globetrotters show off skills that make you go wow and perform skits that get audiences roaring with laughs. More a talent exhibition and comedy show than an actual game that doesn't dampen the energy and excitement that fill an arena when the Harlem Globetrotters are on a basketball court.

I have fond memories of being 10 years old and my parents taking me to see the Harlem Globetrotters. Being familiar with the team's cartoon series plus their guest appearances on other Hanna-Barbera shows like Scooby-Doo, I remember being so excited to go see the actual team when they came to town. It was amazing to see Fred "Curly" Neal, Hubert "Geese" Ausbie, James "Twiggy" Sanders and Louis "Sweet Lou" Dunbar in real life after following their Saturday morning cartoon adventures. Witnessing their ball handling skills and jovial attitudes during this match up with long-time foe the Washington Generals actually sparked my interest to start learning more about the sport of basketball and begin playing the game myself.

So it just seems fitting that now my wife and I were taking my 10 year old twins to see a new generation of Harlem Globetrotters players. The team still includes the athletic showmen that people associate with the Globetrotters like 6'7" HI-LITE who won the 1994 college slam dunk contest and previously played a stint with the NBA's Chicago Bulls. Now though the team also includes a more diverse cast including a 4'5" dynamo guard called HOT SHOT, known as the "Michael Jordan of Dwarf Basketball"; and a number of female players including TORCH, who recently continued a Globetrotters tradition of setting Guinness World Records, and SWISH who as a college player led the University of South Carolina to a Sweet 16 appearance in the Women's NCAA National Championship Tournament. The Harlem Globetrotters demonstrate that all types of people can be talented and passionate about basketball while serving as role models encouraging the kids that come to their exhibitions to have fun playing the sport themselves.



MAGIC PASS


Before the game started we participated in a half-hour of on court activities with players from both the Harlem Globetrotters and Washington Generals that is called the MAGIC PASS program. You can upgrade your game tickets to participate in this interactive opportunity presented by Tum-e Yummies. Dress up as a Globetrotter wearing a jersey and sneakers that will look like clown shoes on most people; learn ball handling tricks such as under the leg tumbles and finger tip spins; be coached on shots at the basket; and get up close to players for autographs and selfies. They even have hoops set at different heights so EVERYONE can do a slam dunk on the basketball court.

A highlight of the MAGIC PASS experience for my kids was learning some of the team's famous ball handling tricks through one-on-one tutorials with HOT SHOT, SWISH AND WHAM. Of course you have to learn the Harlem Globetrotters' trademark spinning a basketball on your finger tip if you get the chance!



The kids also had a good time participating in a pre-game shoot around with players from the Washington Generals. These guys provided a bunch of encouragement for my twins as the children attempted their shots at the basket and showed a lot of enthusiasm when the kids got the ball to fall through the hoop. Based upon that my son and daughter actually cheered for both the Generals and Globetrotters during the exhibition game.



My son was particularly in awe when that team's ultimate weapon, a seven foot tall masked player named CAGER, deflated a basketball by crushing it with his hand in an effort to intimidate the Globetrotters at the beginning of the game.


HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS GAME


Of course the Globetrotters weren't going to be intimidated by CAGER! They launched into their iconic magic circle warm up demonstrating the team's impressive basketball juggling, passing and other ball handling skills as the Globetrotters' theme song "Sweet Georgia Brown" blared from the stadium's speakers.  They than proceeded to dominate the Generals with spectacular slam dunks and stunning long distance 4-point baskets made from further out on the court than the NBA's 3-point shot line.


While the Globetrotters basketball skills are impressive it is their comedic high jinks that stand out. The show is just as much a comedy show as an athletic event. Our whole family enjoyed an evening of side splitting good laughs. Because going a Harlem Globetrotters game is meant to be a family outing all the jokes and skits are also age appropriate for young children to see. That being said their comedy is also meant to be enjoyed by all ages which was demonstrated by the fact that my wife was laughing louder than anyone else in our family at the Globetrotters' humorous antics.

She particularly liked when  HI-LITE pulled an out of shape guy (like most parents attending these games with their kids probably are) out of the audience and had him do a modern dance routine with him. Be prepared that sitting within a few rows of the basketball court may just mean that you become a part of the show. In fact, incorporating the audience into the Globetrotters comedic skits and skill demonstrations adds a feeling of spontaneity and intrigue to what are normal routines for the team.


GO SEE THE GLOBETROTTERS 


The Harlem Globetrotters now have three squads of players that tour not just across the United States but around the world. This has the team constantly on the go so there is a good chance they will be performing in a city near you sometime this year. Go to harlemglobetrotters.com to find an event near you.

We had a wonderful time ourselves at the exhibition game and now my kids are as big of Harlem Globetrotters fans as I am. They had me download the Globetrotter's official app as soon as we got home for them so they could play its augmented reality basketball shooting challenge video game and goof around with a photo filter feature that makes it look like you are doing ball tricks. The app is available on both Apple's App Store and Google Play. The Globetrotters have delighted generations of fans and it doesn't appear as if the team will be retiring anytime soon as they keep making appealing updates to change with the times.

If you live in southeastern Michigan and missed their appearance in Ypsilanti, the Harlem Globetrotters will be returning in March for a downtown Detroit appearance.  See them on March 2, 2019 for a 2:00pm afternoon event at Little Caesars Arena. They will also be making other Michigan appearances in Saginaw on February 28 and East Lansing on March 1.