Beloved Playa Mujeres: Paradise is waiting

My new favorite trip of all time came in the form of my honeymoon.

Not only was it a joyful occasion getting to celebrate my wife and I’s marriage, but we sure got spoiled in Cancun, Mexico at the Beloved Playa Mujeres.

Beloved is part of the Excellence Collection, which has resorts all over Mexico and throughout the Caribbean.

Our resort was an adults-only all-inclusive with four restaurants, a swim-up bar, food & drink service on the beach, a spa, free water sports, and room service whenever we wanted among many other things.

Our room was one of the biggest on the resort. We had a wraparound patio that had three different beds throughout. I also ordered the plunge pool for the room, which was a surprise to my wife.

There was a rainforest shower in the room, as well as a very large tub in the corner of the room that was very peaceful. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable as well.

The staff was incredibly kind and helpful. Anything you needed, they were right there.

I remember one time I heard a knock on our door in the afternoon. I opened it, and it was an employee standing there with fancy chocolates on a plate. The service was above and beyond.

We enjoyed dinner at a steakhouse, breakfast at a French restaurant, Mexican food on the beach, Italian food overlooking the pool, and plenty of drinks and nachos on the beach. There was never a question if we would have a good meal. And if you weren’t a huge fan of what you ate, you could order more. Or order dessert and call it good. Don’t forget the taco stand! Yum.

There was also the Cafeto. It was a place to get coffee, pastries, cakes and more. It was very quaint and cute and was a perfect place to stop on the way back to the room or when you get up in the morning.

There was a fully stacked bar in the resort with candy, chips, soda, and alcohol. If you drank one drink or had one of the candies, it was replenished the next day.

Aside from the resort, you could go down to the lobby and sign up for excursions. They do cost extra, but we were able to snorkel in caves, go zip-lining across the jungle, see ruins, and take a catamaran tour to Isla Mujeres.

The ruins in Tulum were immaculate. It was so cool to learn about the history of the ruins and see the sights. Once in a lifetime chance.

I’d recommend at least doing 1-2 excursions during your stay. But if they aren’t for you, there’s still plenty to do during your stay back at the resort.

Back to the spa.

This was one of my absolute favorite parts of the trip. Because we were on our honeymoon, we were treated to one “Agua Viva” treatment. It was a 45 minute experience where you go in steam rooms, saunas, a pool with massaging jets and streams, and get a temple massage at the end.

I remember being in the steam room where the masseuse gave us a bowl of cold water filled with ice and two rags. You would get so warm in the steam room you’d want to put the cold rag over your face. It was an incredible feeling.

I also surprised my wife with a one hour couples massage. I had bought it before the trip, before I knew we were getting a free Agua Viva. But I’m glad we did both.

We also got a free “special meal” brought into our room for breakfast one day. We could also choose one special dinner at our favorite restaurant, we chose the Steakhouse.

Then at the very end of the trip, we had a beachside dinner which was incredible. I had surf and turf, which consisted of steak and lobster. It was a beautiful night and they set up the scene so perfectly. Thanks Uncle Tom & Mark! Tomark, as we call them, also helped plan our trip. Check them out at Air/Sea International Travel.

The worst part of the trip was having to leave. We went during COVID so we needed to show proof of a negative test before we left for the U.S. It was also just sad to leave paradise.

But after this trip, I know we will be back. Beloved also did special things for people on their anniversary trip, so we would like to do that one day.

I hope you enjoyed my review of the Beloved Playa Mujeres. I hope you can get there one day and experience paradise like we did. If you have any questions, comment them below and I’ll get back to you!

You can like ‘The Batman’ and still want to Restore the Snyderverse

You wouldn’t believe it if you went onto Twitter, but it is indeed possible to like Matt Reeve’s ‘The Batman,’ and want to restore Zack Snyder’s “Snyderverse.”

I just saw ‘The Batman,’ starring Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz, for the second time today in theaters. It’s a beautiful investigative movie where Robert and Zoe really shine as actors. Not to mention Paul Dano plays an incredible Riddler and Colin Farrell is awesome as the Penguin.

I caught myself not wanting the movie to end, even though it was nearly 3 hours long. The story was so rich and Gotham City was so mesmerizing.

But then I went home and decided to turn on Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max. Today also marks the one year anniversary since ZSJL was released.

It was a long, hard fought battle to even get the movie released. Fans were ecstatic once they finally got the chance to feast their eyes on the 4 hour long movie. I remember getting off work and immediately sitting down to watch the whole thing.

Now I just watch it in bits and pieces, but I still really enjoy the film. It gave Cyborg and Flash a much better back story, while also not making Ben Affleck’s Batman seem like an absolute joke. I remember originally watching the 2017 Justice League and being pissed off by how the director made Batman appear.

Are the movies entirely different? Absolutely. But there’s no reason we can’t enjoy both universes.

I have to point out though, that people were really hoping to see Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie before Pattinson took on the role. I understand how fans could be disappointed, but it doesn’t mean we need to trash an epic movie because plans changed.

I was originally extremely disappointed too, but I gave Pattinson a chance, and it paid off. He is now one of my favorite versions of the Caped Crusader. My other top two are Christian Bale and Ben Affleck. I hope to see a full trilogy with Pattinson at the helm, but I also want the Snyderverse to be restored.

Why can’t we have both? With the Warner Media/Discovery merger happening later this year, and The Rock joining the fold, I believe it’s entirely possible.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, The Rock is very aware of what the fans think/want and has the power to make change happen. If The Rock wanted the Snyderverse to be restored, I think it could happen. Plus, he’s friends with Henry Cavill. I think one day we could see an epic showdown between Johnson & Cavill.

Many articles are floating around now from various entertainment outlets citing the Warner Media/Discovery merger. Many of the post admins are choosing to use Zack Snyder’s Justice League as the featured image for the post. Is there a reason for that? We’ll see.

To me, The Batman and ZSJL are both in my top 5 movies all-time (Along with Revenge of the Sith, The Revenant, and I Am Legend). There are other movies that could interchange with some of those, but there’s my tentative top 5.

I hope as time goes on, fans can learn to appreciate both films and support the actors and directors who brought these characters to life.

The Batman premieres on HBO Max April 19th, 45 days after it debuted in theaters.

I’m going to be a father. What in the world?!

Holy cow, Batman! You’re gonna be a dad!

2022’s been a heck of a year. Got COVID on day 2, found out we’re having a baby 1 week later.

When people ask me how I felt when my wife Rachel told me, I never really know what to say. Stating I was excited is true. Telling them I was overjoyed is true. Also saying my life flashed before my eyes is true.

This moment was the thing I’ve been dreaming of for a long, long time. It was always such a far away idea that I’d always say “one day.” Well, that day came.

We found out on February 9th that our little “nugget” was excited to be alive, and we heard its heartbeat. I had a clear view of the screen while my wife was undergoing a sonogram (which did not seem like a comfortable experience…), yet I still cocked my neck and squinted my eyes at the screen like I was gonna miss something. Dad moves.

That little guy or gal was buggin’. Heart beat was up because the little thing doesn’t even know how to control that yet, but they will, one day.

I thanked God for blessing us this far. The two of us realize this kind of situation is one of joy for many, but also one of sorrow for others. We recognize this and want to be as respectful to everyone going through a pregnancy, good or bad.

I put a Facebook status that “I love chicken nuggets. How bout you?” I love confusing people and making them think. I hope a lot of my Facebook friends said “what the hell is he talking about?” In a few weeks when we officially announce our little nugget, it will all make sense. Shoot, I’m not even going to publish this article for a couple more weeks, if I even post it at all (Obviously, it’s March 2nd and I’m finally getting around to it).

This might just be a way for me to remember this moment. A way that I can go back when things get foggy, and remember the way I felt.

I haven’t been nervous through this process, yet.

If it’s anything like my wedding day, I’ll be extremely confident and calm until the last minute when everything rushes to my brain and I’m just a mess, crying like a baby.

I guess now would be a good time to write my little nugget a note from this day, maybe I’ll give it to them one day, or maybe they’ll read it on the interwebs.

Little one, I’ve prayed for you everyday, even since before you were created. I asked God for a wife to love, and he gave me the one I cannot live without. I asked God to soften my heart, as oftentimes I can be stern and “stoic,” but here I am holding back tears while writing this to you. Your mom and I love you with everything we have. We won’t be perfect parents, but we will try to be the best parents we can be. We’ve both learned different lessons through this thing called life, I just hope everything we’ve gone through has prepared us to love you unconditionally. I want you to know that I am proud of you, I am always there for you, and even when I’m gone, I will still love you with all my heart. Be nice to your mother, because she’s got a soft heart. Take your anger out on me, and let her be the one to hold you when you think your dad is being annoying or mean. I will always protect the two of you (and hopefully your future siblings). We are so excited for you to be here!

Since I began this article, we have publicly announced our baby, and we have hit the 12 week mark.

It’s been a true joy to see Rachel embrace motherhood. She’s so excited for our little one, but there are fears that come with that excitement. I pray I can be a calming place for her to turn to, and that God can anchor us both as we embark on this new journey.

‘Reacher’ review: The Amazon Prime show to watch right now

Most of the headlines regarding Prime Video have to deal with the Lord of the Ring series (The Rings of Power) premiering in September 2022.

While I am also very excited for this show, there’s a really great series on Amazon Prime Video RIGHT NOW that both action and crime show fans should check out.

That’s Reacher, starring Alan Ritchson. I know Ritchson mainly from DC Titans, where he plays Hank/Hawk. Many of you might know him from Blue Mountain State as Thad Castle.

Ritchson plays a rogue wanderer with a combat background like no other. The retired Military Police Officer, Jack Reacher, heads to the small Georgia town of Margrave. It’s about an hour outside of Atlanta and two hours away from any other good-sized town, but right now it’s full of dirty cops and corruption.

The main reason Reacher headed to Margrave was to find his brother. For a few episodes he just claims he’s there to learn history about one of his favorite blues artists, Blind Blake. In the show, he was buried in Margrave. From what I’ve read online, Blake was actually buried north of Milwaukee. But hey, this is a fictional show based on the bestselling novels by Lee Child, who actually made a cameo in the final episode of the first season.

Reacher, which is what even his mother called him from a young age, finds himself arrested for a murder he didn’t commit. He actually heads to prison alongside another man, Paul Hubble (Marc Bendavid) who admitted to the murders even though everyone knows he didn’t do it.

After a brief stint in jail, both Hubble and Reacher get released and head back to Margrave.

The police department realizes Reacher didn’t do it, but he’s got a somewhat unsettling knowledge of investigations and death that Chief Detective Oscar Finley (Malcolm Goodwin) decides to keep him around.

And this is where the story opens up. The little ole’ town is the center for an international counterfeit money ring. The town is practically owned by the Kliner family at this point. Reacher, Finlay, and Reacher’s somewhat love interest Roscoe Conklin (Willa Fitzgerald) lead an investigation into what’s really going on in this town.

Just a disclaimer, but the show is definitely not appropriate for most kids. There’s violence which can get pretty graphic, a little bit of nudity, and plenty of cussing to go around. Just something to keep in mind when deciding if the family wants to start a new show or not, maybe leave this one to the grown-ups.

All in all I was super impressed with Ritchson’s performance as Reacher and thought the story was very compelling. I love stories about small towns and the drama that ensues. I also like getting to see through the eyes of an extremely intelligent character who investigates crimes. I think it helps me see through another lense when it comes to doing an investigation in the journalism industry.

I’d give this show an 8.5/10. I think the character development was great, the acting was solid, and the action was awesome. I will say, while the end of the story was predictable, the “how we got there” was not. There are twists and turns you won’t expect from the get-go.

I was glad to hear Reacher has been renewed for season 2. The series was spun off the 2012 film starring Tom Cruise, ‘Jack Reacher.’

IMDB says Ritchson read all 24 Jack Reacher novels preparing for his role. That’s dedication right there!

‘Ghosts of War’ review: Underrated horror film with compelling story

I first became a fan of actor Brenton Thwaites’ work from DC Titans.

I worked with Warner Bros. 7 cast & crew interviews where I interview Brenton twice.

So when I saw a film pop up on my Netflix titled ‘Ghosts of War’ and he starred in it, I decided to check it out.

It was cool to see him acting alongside Alan Ritchson, who plays Hank in Titans while Brenton plays Dick Grayson (Robin, Nightwing).

It’s quite the confusing story, but as the film goes on and the puzzle pieces fall into place, it’s very intriguing.

Brenton is part of a small batch of soldiers in France during WWII. They’re assigned to hold a French chateau until reinforcements come to take their place, but backup never arrives.

Instead, a haunting presence makes life very difficult for the group, and they begin to see, hear, and feel things in the supernatural.

What’s beautiful about this film is that it really seems like a war movie turned into a supernatural thriller. But really it’s much more than that.

Nazis do surround the home and you see battle ensue, but the ghosts who haunt the house end up being the bigger threat.

You find out the family of ghosts, the Helwigs, who originally owned the home were tortured and killed by the nazis after hiding fugitives in their home.

Throughout the movie there are cues that tell you “all is not as it seems.” Butchie (Ritchson) gets wounded and is near death on the couch when he wakes up and begins to scream “this isn’t real.” He then dies in the Chateau, but was he ever really there in the first place?

The twist is that the whole movie is a simulation. The characters are actually soldiers, except in a different war.

Instead of WWII, they’re an American squad fighting in Afghanistan where they had all been badly wounded. The Helwigs weren’t completely fake, either. Instead of a French family who was tortured by the nazis, they were an Afghan family who took the soldiers in to hide them from ISIS.

The squad was haunted by the Helwigs because when the family was killed by ISIS, they did nothing. Because of their lack of action, the mother of the family placed a curse of the soldiers.

Quickly after, the soldiers were all badly wounded from a bomb, but were somehow still alive. This is where the simulation comes in.

Each soldier is under a simulation to combat PTSD and amputation, but because Helwig cursed the group, the simulation becomes haunted.

Chris (Thwaites) goes back into the simulation to try and make amends with the family, but the movie ends before we learn if he was able to.

All in all the big twist from this movie is very interesting and makes for a compelling story. It really dives into regret & how the actions we do or do not take can impact our lives.

The group’s inability to act and protect the family turned out to haunt them. Other than a very rich story, the acting is pretty solid and the cinematography was high-quality as well.

While I don’t think this will end up being you’d favorite movie of all-time, I do think most horror, thriller, and wartime movie fans will enjoy this one.

It’s on Netflix right now. If you watch it, let me know your thoughts!

Warner Bros. Announces ‘Elvis,’ drops trailer

I expected a snowstorm to hit Illinois today, but what I DIDN’T expect was a movie about Elvis to be made.

Luckily for me, I received an email just before noon attached with the plot, background info, and a never seen before trailer.

Starring Austin Butler as Elvis, the film follows his career and the complicated business partnership he has with his manager (Tom Hanks).

And can I say, Tom Hanks is unrecognizable! You’ll have to watch the trailer to see why.

The film covers about 20 years of Elvis’ life, too. You’ll get to see him as a young child to when he finally achieves stardom, and what comes next.

‘Elvis’ is out in theaters June 24th. The film is directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Baz Luhrmann.

See the trailer here: https://youtu.be/wBDLRvjHVOY

2022: The year of DC

For years, DC has been dominated in the cinemas by Marvel.

Fans fell in love with characters on TV shows, but it seemed the movies continued to fall short.

Marvel established a wide fan base that went further than just comic book readers and superhero lovers. It mastered the combination of action and comedy that only certain storytellers can do.

But as The Rock says… “Finally, DC has COME BACK to…” wherever it is you’re reading from. And it just so happens The Rock has a whole lot to do with this DC push, too.

The Batman: I’m betting Matt Reeve’s ‘The Batman’ is going to be the biggest movie of the year. From COVID shut-down delays, the build up to finally see Robert Pattinson’s Batman in action is almost here. Not to mention the cast is stacked, and Zoe Kravitz is already having people say she’s the best Catwoman we’ve ever seen. The Penguin, The Riddler, and maybe, just maybe… The Joker? The suspense is high for The Batman to finally hit theaters. When I heard the film was going to be “horror film-esque,” I immediately got excited. As Samuel L. Jackson said, “hold onto your butts!” Because this is going to be epic. Debuting in theaters March 4th, but some lucky fans (like myself) get to see it in IMAX on March 1st.

Black Adam: Now to The Rock. One of the most popular and beloved men on planet Earth. The Rock is a doer. If he puts his mind to something, there’s a good chance it’s going to happen. He’s also a man of the People. That’s why in WWE he became “The People’s Champ.” Now we get to see Dwayne Johnson shine as Black Adam. The film’s set to premiere on July 29th. But I think Dwayne’s impact on the DC Universe goes much further than just this film. Yes, I do believe Black Adam will get a sequel, and maybe even a trilogy. But it’s other characters fans hope The Rock summons out, that makes me hopeful. There have been major calls to #RestoretheSnyderverse. Like I said, The Rock listens to the people. If he wants the Snyderverse to be restored, there’s a good chance it could happen. I also think Dwayne’s Black Adam could somehow conjure up Henry Cavill’s Superman. No other superhero in the DC Universe right now could match up against Cavill’s Superman. Yes, Ben Affleck’s Batman almost defeated Superman in Batman V. Superman, but Black Adam would definitely provide us with incredible matchups between the two goliaths.

The Flash: This is where things get really interested. DC is going to try and pull their “multiverse” just the same way as Marvel has been doing in recent projects (Loki, Spider-Man No Way Home.. just to name a few). Now we’re set to see multiple Flashes, multiple Batmen, and Supergirl. And holy cow, Batman! We’re gonna see Michael Keaton don his famous cowl. This also is set to lead Keaton to appear in future appearances, like Batgirl. While inspired by the ‘Flashpoint’ arc, the question remains. How will this change the DCU? Affleck said that this movie puts a good finish to his rendition of Batman, but what does this mean for super projects? Rumors are spiraling about a brand new Justice League. At this point, I don’t know what to believe. So I’m just going to ignore the social media rumors and wait for the actual movie to come out.

Aquaman & the Lost Kingdom: Last but not least (well, maybe least), Jason Momoa is set to return once again as Aquaman. The hilarious and yet brutal Aquaman did pretty well in the box office in the first movie, grossing over $1 billion globally. While Aquaman is in no way my favorite DC film, nor is he my favorite DC character, it still propels the franchise forward. And while I say this might be the “least” film, that doesn’t mean it will be the worst film. I believe the impact Aquaman will have will be lesser than the three aforementioned.

You have to admit the future of Pattinson’s Batman is extremely exciting. Whether we see a trilogy, or any sort of TV series based in his universe, there are so many options. I don’t just think the movie will do successfully in the box office, but I think fans will truly be blown away. The imagery coming out so far has looked impeccable. The storyline of Batman vs. the Riddler is one I’m really looking forward to. Tie that in with Collin Farrell as the Penguin, and the SUSPENSE that Barry Keoghan may show up as the Joker sets up a successful movie.

Let me know what you are most excited about in the DC Universe moving forward. Obviously you have to thrown in the success of Peacemaker, and the fact that Batgirl is currently under production.

Peacemaker renewed for Season 2; let’s go!

It comes as no surprise that Peacemaker, starring John Cena and directed by Creator James Gunn, has been renewed for Season 2.

The heart behind the comedic-driven show is what really wrapped me into it. It took me a few episodes to really connect with the story, but once I did, I was hooked.

It’s a story with a message that all things aren’t always as they seem. Maybe Peacemaker isn’t such a d-bag, maybe Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji) isn’t just an emotionless man, maybe Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) is actually a pretty rad & kind human being.

The finale drops tomorrow (Thursday). The squad is set to go up against a huge alien cow-thing that the Butterflies are receiving their food from. I think we’ll get a lot of answers tomorrow and a good idea of where Season 2 will go. We saw the huge, nasty thing in episode 7, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the team going head-to-head with these alien fools.

The team has really come together well since starting off. They’re like a dysfunctional family. Each serves their own purpose, and even the least likely to do something completely BA, may just pull off some awesome stunts (Economos).

Let me know what you’ve thought of Peacemaker and what you’re hoping for in Season 2!

Visit the beautiful, quiet town of Cuchara, Colorado

Nestled in one of the southernmost counties of Colorado lays the town of Cuchara.

Spanish Peaks

With just a few hundred people who actually live there, the town thrives off tourism and the beautiful nature all around it.

My family has come to Cuchara for generations. My father tells me stories about when his parents would take him there, and I’m hoping to one day pass stories along to my children.

We always stay at Yellow Pines Ranch. It’s log cabin-livin’ and surrounded by forests, streams, and mountains. It’s a beautiful place to hike and ride horses.

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The picturesque scenery makes for perfect family photos down by the lake during the day, but just wait until it gets to be night time.

Another beautiful part about Cuchara is looking up at the mountains and seeing where the ski resort used to be. Part of me really wants that ski resort to open back up, because that would give me just another thing to do when I come to town. But we’ll see!

Never in my life have I seen the stars like I have in Cuchara. We take a drive up to Cuchara Pass where it’s quiet and there’s no people or lights. I swear, you can see the whole Milky Way. You’ll also see a bunch of confident cows standing near the road as you drive by. You just slowly drive on by and wave em’ hello.

The business owners are always friendly and welcome you in with open arms. We love going to the Dog Bar & Grill for a nice burger, wings, and pizza. Google says the restaurant is currently “temporarily closed,” but if you’re heading to Cuchara I’d recommend giving them a call at (719) 742-6366 or messaging them on Facebook.

My most recent trip in August of 2020 was different than all the others. We finally decided to hike the West Spanish Peak. This was one of those monumental moments for me. I used to tell my dad as a kid, “Dad, one day you and I are going to climb that mountain.” I made sure to fulfill that promise.

For months and months, my sister and I trained to climb the mountain. We’d go on hikes with my nieces strapped in to backpacks, and carry them up for extra resistance. We went fairly often, and couple that with regular walks and plenty of workouts in the gym, we thought we were good.

We were wrong.

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I don’t have a ton of experience climbing mountains. I’d consider myself a moderate hiker and did some mountain climbing on high-school summer trips, but nothing like this. In total, the trip probably took us 7-8 hours. For roughly 1-2 hours, you’re walking through pastures, woods, and eventually a windy path up a hill to the tree line. That’s the easy part.

Now you’ve got an uphill battle on the mountainside. The hardest part isn’t even the steepness of the mountain, but the rocks shifting underneath your feet. If you’re going to climb the mountain, with an elevation of 13,631, you better have really good hiking boots. We also had a set of walking sticks each that came in handy. There comes a point where you wonder if you’re ever gonna make it. You don’t really know how close you are, but you just have to keep trudging on. You have to trust the hikers before you, who have kindly put together rock formations that guide you on the path to take.

Finally, you’ve made it to the top. Take a look around. Breathe it in.

Look down upon the East Spanish Peak and say “I’m higher than you.” Take a panorama photo on your cell phone. At this point, you’re even with the beautiful blue skies and the clouds. Enjoy the victory. But don’t forget, you have to walk back down.

At this point, your legs are sore and your ankles feel weak, but the trek down the mountain is much easier than the trip up it.

Also remember to bring plenty of water on your hike, snacks for along the way, and at least one “lunch.” We thought we brought enough water, which was 5 bottles each, we were wrong once again.

Funny story; my dad thought my mom packed him a lunch. He was ALSO wrong. That definitely caused the hangry bear to come out, but he survived, so that’s good at least.

I’d definitely train for months before attempting a hike like this. Spend the extra money on some legitimate hiking boots, and dress accordingly. When we left for the mountain around 5:30 in the morning, it was pretty cold. By the time I got up the mountain, I was hot and sweaty and wanted to take my jacket off. But then of course the wind picked up while we were hiking and caused us to cool back down. It’s truly a back and forth of warming up and cooling down.

All in all, I’d highly recommend anyone to travel to Cuchara, Colorado at least once in your life. It’s different than your typical Vale, Denver, Colorado Springs, Steamboat Springs, etc. It’s a great place to free your mind and truly take some time to relax. Once you leave, you’ll already be ready to come back.

Let me know about some of your 2022 travel goals, good luck to you, and Godspeed.

‘The Dinner Party’ movie review: Fun, unpredictable chaos ensues over dinner

Something I’ve been told lately by professionals in the media industry is to be “unpredictable.”

This is one of the highlights of ‘The Dinner Party,’ directed by Jenna Ushkowitz and written by Penelope Lawson.

The film is centered around a dinner table, just like your usual family gathering. Except your family is crazy. Not just one of your family members, but all of them.

The film follows Serena (Kate Easton) and Steve (Eric Nelsen), a somewhat new couple. Steve is introducing Serena to his family for the very first time. Serena has no idea what she’s getting herself into, and she probably wishes she would have dated another guy named Steve. But alas, she finds herself wrapped up in this party.

Each person is weirder than the next. The only “normal” ones are Serena and Malcolm (played by Carl McDowell).

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Right now, the film has begun hitting the festival circuit. It’s played at the Mammoth Film Festival and Berlin Short Film Festival this month. The hope is to have it stream in some capacity, Producer Brock Kingsland tells me.

My ties to Peoria, Illinois is how I heard of this roughly 13-minute film. Kingsland is from the River City.

For being a short film, I felt like The Dinner Party did a good job being comedic. Really nailing comedy is a tough thing to do, but I think the crew made the film very funny.

Like I said, the unpredictable aspect of the film is what kept me laughing. You feel so uncomfortable watching things progress, but you also just have to sit back and laugh. Because maybe these family members aren’t yours, but it does take you back to those “crazy” moments you’ve had at a dinner party. The cast is also splendid.

I recognized McDowell from Ballers (HBO). Star Trek fans will be pleased to see Nana Visitor as Steve’s mother in the film.

Good luck to the cast and crew as this film continues on the film festival trip. And who knows, maybe we’ll see the story get expanded in the near future. Stay tuned!

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