Saturday, December 31, 2016

Giveaway: Art of Belle Rose Mug plus Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win this beautiful Art of Belle Rose mug plus a $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card! Start off 2017 with a cup of tea or coffee and a new book! This giveaway is open worldwide and the winner will be notified by email! Good luck!

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Tales From The Haunted Mansion Volume 1 - The Fearsome Foursome Book Review Video

Check out my book review for Tales From The Haunted Mansion Volume 1 - The Fearsome Foursome! Find out if this is a book you need to pick up for yourself or your favorite Haunted Mansion fan!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Disneyland and DCA in 360 with the Samsung Gear 360 Camera

Every since Samsung announced their venture into the world of Virtual Reality (VR), I was excited to see what products they were going to offer. I got the Samsung S7edge that came with the VR Headset. I loved the content that was available but was floored when Samsung announced the Gear 360 Camera! I took the Gear 360 Camera to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on December 23rd and 24th to field test it.

The camera is easy to use and to pair with my phone and got a lot of looks from people walking around me, But let's get to the content that I shot! Below you will find two examples from Disneyland and two examples from Disney California Adventure! Use your mouse on the photo to move around and see what we captured!

This first 360 photo is the main entrance into the park. The famous Floral Mickey Mouse greets you to Disneyland. As Walt said that Mickey was a personification of him (Walt voiced Mickey in the early days) that the Floral Mickey is a personal greet by Walt himself to his park.

The next image is of the one of the most photographed locations on earth, Sleeping Beauty Castle! The castle was kept small because European castles were meant to be large and imposing, Walt didn't want that for his castle. I find that Disneyland's castle is the most charming castle of all.

Next, we move across the esplanade into Disney California Adventure and into the popular Cars Land, based off the hit Pixar film Cars! We are standing in the heart of Cars Land, right below the only light signal in the area. This land feels as if the animated film was actually shot on location here.

Lastly, we have one of my favorite locations in Disney California Adventure. This is the bridge next to Grizzly River Run that takes you past Frog Jump Falls. Take a look around the area and you feel as if you are somewhere in the high Sierras.

I hope you enjoyed this field test of the Samsung Gear 360 Camera and the 360 photos that we took. If you have any suggestions of other areas of the parks that you would like to see please let me know in the comments below! Next up will be some short video testing in the parks in the coming weeks!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Giveaway: Star Wars Rogue One K-2SO Mug and Starbucks Gift Card

Enter to win this awesome K-2SO from the movie Rogue One mug and a $20 Starbucks Gift Card! This giveaway is open across the galaxy! Winner will be notified by email!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Disney's Moana - Shiny (Full Sequence)

Check out the full sequence from Disney’s MOANA featuring the song “SHINY” written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and performed by Jemaine Clement.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story "K-2SO Featurette"

Get a behind-the-scenes look at K-2SO from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in this featurette with Alan Tudyk. 

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Releases From Disney, Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm Combine for Industry Record Year

BURBANK, Calif. – December 19, 2016 – Today, The Walt Disney Studios will become the first studio ever to reach the $7 billion threshold at the global box office, setting a new industry record. With a powerful $290 million global debut for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Disney’s year-to-date grosses are $6,988.3 million from Jan. 1 through Dec. 18, 2016, including $2,700.4 million domestically, also an industry record, and $4,287.9 million internationally, a Disney record.

These phenomenal box office results are driven by films from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm, representing the first time that all five of these world-class brands have released films in the same calendar year. 

“This historic achievement is possible because all of our film studios are bringing their absolute best to the table, telling great stories of all kinds that resonate with audiences across borders, gender, and generations,” said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “These films work because each one has not only something for everyone, but everything for someone. It’s our honor to be able to create these experiences for audiences, and we’re thankful to them for continuing to come out to the theater with us.”

Currently, Disney holds five of the top 10 films of the year globally, domestically, and internationally, including the top four global, with three topping $1 billion and a fourth over $960 million, as well as the top three international and the top two domestic. All 12 Disney-produced domestic releases this year earned A-range CinemaScores from audiences, with seven additionally earning critics scores over 90% on RottenTomatoes. Four releases opened above $100 million, more than any other studio in a single calendar year. With Captain America: Civil War’s $179.1 million debut, Disney now holds five of the top six domestic openings in industry history; four are Marvel Cinematic Universe films. With Finding Dory and Zootopia, Disney holds four of the top five animated films of all time. Also this year, both Pixar and Marvel Studios crossed $10 billion in combined lifetime grosses for their films.

Captain America: Civil War (Marvel Studios) is the #1 global and international and #2 domestic film of the year. Released domestically on May 6, its $179.1 million debut is the #5 opening of all time, and it went on to earn $408.1 million domestically and $745.1 million internationally for a global total of $1.15 billion, ranking as the #12 industry release of all time. 

Finding Dory (Pixar Animation Studios) is the #1 domestic and #2 global release of 2016. Released on June 17, it posted the biggest animated debut of all time with $135 million and went on to earn $486.3 million to become the #7 industry release of all time domestically. Internationally, it has taken in $541.3 million for a global total of $1.028 billion. 

Zootopia (Walt Disney Animation Studios) is the #3 global and #2 international release of the year. It opened to $75 million domestically on March 4, ultimately earning $341.3 million for an outstanding 4.5 domestic multiple. It earned $682.5 million internationally, including $235 million in China where it is the #1 animated release of all time (admissions), for a global total of $1.024 billion. Named among American Film Institute’s top 10 movies of the year, it is Disney’s best reviewed film of the year with 98% on RottenTomatoes. 

The Jungle Book (Disney) is the #3 international and #4 global and domestic release of 2016. It debuted in the US/Canada on April 15 with $103 million, going on to earn $364 million domestically, $602.6 million internationally, and $966.6 million globally. It is the biggest Western release of all time in India.

Doctor Strange (Marvel Studios), the second Marvel Cinematic Universe release in 2016, is the #9 film of the year domestically and internationally and the #10 film of the year globally. Still in release and not yet opened in Japan, it debuted domestically on Nov. 4 with $85 million and has earned $226.2 million domestically and $426.6 million internationally for a global total of $652.8 million to date. 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Lucasfilm) began its global rollout on Dec. 14, opening domestically Dec. 16 with $155.1 million and a global day-and-date debut of $290 million in five days of release. The film is yet to open in South Korea (Dec. 28) and China (Jan. 6).

Additionally, Disney’s 2016 grosses have been bolstered by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which debuted in December 2015 and earned $736.6 million of its $2 billion global total during the 2016 calendar year, as well as new release Moana, the second Walt Disney Animation Studios’ release of the year, which opened domestically on Nov. 23, becoming the #2 Thanksgiving debut ever with $82 million and earning $162.9 million to date in the US/Canada. Internationally, it has only opened in approximately 53% of territories, with debuts in Germany, Italy, and Australia over the next week and Brazil, South Korea, and Japan still to come in 2017.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Vehicle Review: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature Edition

It's Jason from Sasaki Time and it is time for another vehicle review! This time it is the 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature Edition! I took the gorgeous and stylish Mazda CX-9 on a trip to Northern California and some food adventures! Excited? Well, here we go!

Time to load up the luggage, a duffel bag and some snacks into the Mazda CX-9 Signature and hit the open road.

This is not your average soccer mom SUV. Powering this CX-9 is a turbocharged SkyActiv 2.5-Liter engine with four-cylinders. I averaged about 28 miles per gallon on the highway. Going up and over the Grapevine on my way to Sacramento was a breeze. It didn't even feel like the engine was working hard at all. The Sport version starts at $31,520 but the Signature edition that I tested with the real Napa leather, hand-carved Japanese rosewood interior, aluminum accents, a premium Bose audio system, solid technological and safety features is worth every penny of its $45,000 price tag.

The CX-9 Signature edition is a head turner. The long, sloping hood with that distinctly Mazda grill and smooth lines along the body and roofline make this one of the best looking SUVs on the market. I love the large 20-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, keyless entry, rain-sensing sensors and the power liftgate.

Inside, the CX-9 Signature edition has a number of unique interior touches.  You get Napa leather, heated front power seats, real wood accents, even knee padding on the sides of the center console. The cabin is very comfortable as well as very quiet. You get two USB ports in the front and  a fantastic Bose audio system.

The interior continues with a well thought out dash layout. Gauges and controls are easy to read and to use. A central controller on the console helps you navigate the large infotainment display. You also get a Heads-up Display (HUD) with all the critical information floating right below my direct line of sight. Not only can I easily see my speed but all of my navigation information and even safety information such as blind-side monitoring. There are quite a few safety features as well including cross traffic alerts with backup sensors, variable cruise control, lane keep assistance, emergency braking and three rows of side curtain airbags. 

Now driving six hours to Northern California meant a few food adventures with my parents.

The first food adventure takes us to the Jackson Casino for this amazing dish of lobster claws for only $10. A delicious ginger black bean sauce and 10 lobster claws make this one of the best seafood dishes ever.

And no trip home would be complete without some spam musubi from my mom. As some of you know, my folks are from Hawaii and spam is the local favorite.

Back down in Southern California, I went to Cross Roast Eatery in Anaheim. They are trying to become the Asian Chipotle. You pick one of several Asian proteins such as the roast pork belly and roast duck that I chose for my dish above. You then pick the base, which I selected ginger rice, but you could pick ramen, or tacos or a baguette for instance. Then you get to pick your toppings and your sauce. An amazing experience and one I will go back to for sure. 

Halfsies is a new donut shop in Tustin. Here they specialize in amazing toppings for your donut. You get to customize your donut. The one on the right is dipped in maple glaze, then topped with granny smith apples and strawberries, cinnamon toast crunch, whipped cream, a nutella drizzle and finished with a sprinkling of cinnamon. The one on the left is dipped in a chocolate glaze, cocoa krispies, cookie crisp, the Grinch ice cream, a toasted marshmallow and a chocolate drizzle. Both of my creations were amazing!

So, after these food adventures, it was time to finish my week of driving the amazing Mazda CX-9 Signature edition. From the stunning good looks to the power of the turbocharged engine, the Mazda CX-9 is a winner. Add quality craftsmanship, a comfortable cabin layout and a bevy of safety options, the CX-9 deserves to be on your list of the top family SUV list this year.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Giveaway: Dinner and a Movie Gift Cards

Enter to win a Dinner and a Movie from Sasaki Time! You get a $25 gift card for Fandango and a $25 gift card for the Darden Restaurant Group! Winner will be notified by email!

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Spoiler-Free Review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Let me start by saying that The Empire Strikes Back was my favorite of all the Star Wars films. That's right, "was" my favorite of all the Star Wars films. Rogue One easily is my favorite Star Wars film. It is easily better than The Force Awakens. This is an original story set in the Star Wars mythos that is plot-driven and not character-driven.

This will be a spoiler-free review of Rogue One.

We know that the film is about the group of rebels who steal the plans to the Death Star. Make no mistake, this is a war film, the darkest of all the Star Wars films. A film in the trenches that shows the horrors of war when a small band of rebels is up against the galactic might of the Empire. You will feel the desperation of the Rebels. You will understand what it feels like to live in this universe under the impression of the Empire. Rogue One skillfully combines both the war-weariness of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the sense of what one person can do from Star Wars Rebels.

Vader is just one of the familiar faces we see and he is absolutely menacing. Plus, it is fantastic to hear James Earl Jones voicing Vader again. The new characters remind me in many ways of The Dirty Dozen. Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso and Diego Luna as Cassian are fantastic together. The story arcs for these two are very well done. You completely understand what is motivating Jyn and Cassian throughout the movie. My two favorite characters are the droid K-2SO and Donnie Yen's Chirrut. K-2SO's sense of humor and Chirrut's belief in The Force are standouts. The rest of the ensemble is great as well. We get wonderful performances and they will quickly become fan favorites.

Rogue One puts the "War" in Star Wars. It stands out from the episodic films. The battle scenes are epic. The story is dark and takes us to new places within the Star Wars Universe. It blends perfectly into Episode 4, not just the end of Rogue One but throughout its entirety.

The Force Is With Us as the first stand-alone Star Wars film sets a high standard for the rest of the stand-alone films that will follow.

ROGUE ONE - London Special Screening Photos

Check out photos from the special screening of ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY at Tate Modern are now available. Please share with your readers!

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY is in U.S. theaters this Friday in 3D, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D!

Disney's Moana - How Far I'll Go (full sequence)

Check out the full “How Far I’ll Go” sequence from Disney’s MOANA featuring the Golden Globe nominated song written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and performed by Auli‘i Cravalho.

The Moana original motion picture soundtrack, the two-disc deluxe edition and the digital deluxe edition soundtrack are available wherever music is sold and streamed.

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ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY - World Premiere Photos

Photos from the World Premiere of Lucasfilm’s highly anticipated, first-ever standalone Star Wars adventure, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” are now here! Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen; Gareth Edwards (director), Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur, Simon Emanuel (producers), Kiri Hart, John Knoll, Jason McGatlin (executive producers) and Michael Giacchino (music) were all in attendance, shutting down Hollywood Blvd alongside a full scale X-Wing.

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is in U.S. theaters December 16 in 3D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D!

Friday, December 9, 2016

FIRST OFFICIAL Trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming

This is the FIRST trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming starring Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr. and more, in theaters July 7th.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Giveaway: Darth Vader Funko Pop Mug + Starbucks Gift Card

Win this Darth Vader Funko Pop Mug and a $20 Starbucks Gift Card to help celebrate the opening of Rogue One on December 16th! This giveaway is open to the entire galaxy and the winner will be notified by email! May The Force Be With You!
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Giveaway: Santa Mickey and Minnie Mouse Cookie Plate and Milk Glass Set

Win a Disney Parks Santa Mickey and Minnie Mouse Cookie Plate and Milk Glass Set! Perfect and just in time for Santa to arrive! This giveaway is open worldwide and the winner will be notified by email!

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Disneynature's Born In China - Earth Day Trailer

As exclusively announced this morning (click here) Disneynature welcomes John Krasinski into the family as the narrator of BORN IN CHINA. 

"I've been a huge fan of the Disneynature films for a really long time," said Krasinski. "I think I've seen them all a couple times and to be asked to be a part of something that I feel is not only so beautiful and such great storytelling, but is so important, I was honored to be a part of it. To find this unbelievable landscape that was far beyond the cities and the bustling crowds of the China that I thought I knew was just fascinating.” 

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DuckTales Returns Summer 2017 on Disney XD Teaser Trailer #DuckTales

DuckTales comes from some of the brightest animation-minded minds at Disney XD: Executive producer Matt Youngberg (Ben 10: Omniverse), story editor/co-producer Francisco Angones (Wander Over Yonder), and art director Sean Jimenez (Gravity Falls). Season 1 will consist of 21 half-hour episodes and two one-hour specials.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Disney's Moana - Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa'i - We Know The Way

Check out the full “We Know The Way” sequence from Disney’s MOANA featuring the song written and performed by Opetaia Foa’I and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The Moana original motion picture soundtrack, the two-disc deluxe edition and the digital deluxe edition soundtrack are available wherever music is sold and streamed.

Disney’s MOANA is in U.S. theaters now! 

Star Wars Rogue One TV Spot and Creatures Featurette!

A brand new TV Spot for Rogue One followed by a brand new featurette on some of the creatures in Rogue One!

Hope begins with them. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in theaters December 16.

Director Gareth Edwards and Creature Effects Supervisor Neal Scanlan offer a behind-the-scenes peek at the creatures of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In theaters December 16.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Teaser Trailer

At Comic Con Experience 2016 in São Paulo, Brazil, James Gunn premiered the new Teaser Trailer for Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

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