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From mommin' to her journey with personal and professional development, this Northern Kentucky-based new mom shares it all -- in HD transparency. Keep reading to tune in.

Chelsie Dallas is the Founder of Living Life in HD.

Cincy Chic: What is Living Life in HD?
Chelsie Dallas, Founder of Living Life in HD: Living Life in HD is a Facebook blog that I started in December 2018 in hopes to connect with and relate to others. Writing has always been an outlet that I love and so this blog allows me to not only do just that but also let’s me share this outlet with people who are interested in, and can contribute to, what I have to say.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Dallas: The inspiration behind Living Life in HD is my sweet baby boy Hudson Daniel and how he has completely taken my life by storm in his short 11 months. I want to be transparent in not only being a new mom but in all things life. I want people to know that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, people are just hiding their weeds better. I want Hudson, as well as my readers, to know that life it going to be tough but there is always someone who’s been there done that and you will make it through.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Dallas: My name is Chelsie Dallas. I am a 29 year old lifelong resident of Northern Kentucky. I am a wife to my amazing husband of 3 years, Zack, and, of course, a momma to my 11-month old son Hudson. We have two dogs and never a dull moment in our home.

Cincy Chic: What makes Living Life in HD unique?
Dallas: What’s unique about my blog is that it is real and it is raw. I truly write in high definition. I put no holds on what my blogs are about just because I think someone may or may not like it or agree. It is 100% organic and I think that people can appreciate that.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for your blog?
Dallas: I would like to expand my blog into an actual blog spot. Putting it not only on Facebook but also extending it out into another outlet.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
Dallas: Readers can ‘LIKE’ and follow my page on Facebook at https://facebook.com/lifelivinginHD/.

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As we reflect on Mother's Day, our life coach columnist explains how to "mother" your path and purpose to go from stuck to unstoppable.

As a mother myself, this time of year is truly a time to reflect on the moment when hearing those words “you are going to be a mother” – an announcement that changes one’s life forever. 

The joy, excitement, anticipation, along with fear, doubt, and all other emotions, swirl endlessly around in the mind. And upon your face a smile that has a magical glow, and a heart so full it couldburst, as this new life begins for both the mother and child!

However, is this announcement always with happiness, delight and joy? Sadly, there are times when a pregnancy isn’t planned, it happens unexpectedly, and changes the course of one’s life forever.

And how about the relationship with our mothers? Not always sunshine and rainbows? And for some they don’t even have a relationship. While others are so strong in the connection nothing will tear them apart.

Now, let’s switch gears.  Consider this:

– How are you mothering yourself?

You are the mother of your life’s journey and you have more strengths then you will ever know.  Whether you are physically creating a human life or creating your life by design and on purpose, it all begins from within.  

For me “mothering myself” was when I learned about self-love and self-care practices.  I didn’t realize how much time I was spending taking care of others, until I found myself not taken care of me.  I used alcohol and food to go numb. It allows me to take off the “responsibility” hat and put on the “who cares” cap.

Simple self-care can include quite time alone innature, a spa day, bubble bath, a run/walk in the neighborhood and my favorite watching a series on Netflix all day long in my bed with no guilt or interruptions.

And for self-love take today an honor yourself as the mother of your life – speak with your higher self and be in gratitude with everything that is yours and what you created.

I challenge you to Be the Mother of Your Life providing all the love and care you deeply desire from this moment forward. 

To all the Mothers out there — This time of year,we celebrate YOU, the one who gave us life and those who have taken the role as a motherthrough fostering, adopting, surrogate or blended– a mother is the center of our life source, the heart that beats in rhythm with the soul, and provides unconditional love.  “Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had.” —Linda Wooten

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In Dennis Quaid's latest film, a happy couple buys a beautiful home in the country only to find out that the previous owner refuses to leave. Is the flick a flip or flop? Read on to see.

 

“I love to cosplay – in fact, let me show you my favorite scene from The Shining!” Charlie Peck (Dennis Quaid) forces his way into his former home in a scene from director Deon Taylor’s thriller THE INTRUDER. Credit: Serguei Baschlakov. © 2019 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:

 

KEY CAST MEMBERS: Dennis Quaid, Michael Ealy, Meagan Good and Joseph Sikora

DIRECTOR(S): Deon Taylor

THE BACK STORY: Imagine being in love and finding your dream home. Well, that’s what’s happening for Annie (Meagan Good) and Scott Russell (Michael Ealy), which is why they can’t wait to move in once the home’s former owner Charlie Peck (Dennis Quaid) is out. Charlie has grown up in the home and as the story develops, it becomes clear that he doesn’t seem to really be ready to no longer be its owner and caretaker, let alone have anyone else fulfill those roles. 

Thus, as Annie and Scott are about to find out, a house is not a home when the previous owner isn’t ready for anyone else to take it over. 

THE REVIEW: Forty-seven minutes in. That’s when I began contemplating should I walk out of The Intruder or not. Which is a problem given that (a) That’s not the thought I’m sure the film’s cast and crew wanted anyone to have watching the movie and because (b) There’s at least another 50 minutes of the movie left from that point.

Let me be brief: The Intruder is bad. Like, really bad. I could spend a long time picking apart all the things wrong The Intruder … And since the filmmakers felt compelled to make to put them all out there for the world to see, I might as well break it all down for the world to see as well in hopes they chose NOT to suffer the same fate I did.

In 2019, any man with any common sense is not going to spend time discussing Megan Good’s appearance as even saying that she is an attractive woman seems like a way to open yourself up to a host of criticism. However, watching The Intruder, her character’s sweet, seeing the good in everyone nature comes off as naïve to the point of being well, stupid or, to put it nicely, about as smart as the average non-ethnic teenager in an 80s horror movie. Is this progress that an African-American lead can come off as smart as a woman running in high heels or doing her best Bryce Dallas Howard impression? I don’t know; what I do know is that Good’s character feels like she was stolen from a bad Lifetime movie. I don’t mean the modern ones, I mean the ones that comedians used to make fun of before Lifetime got hip to its own foibles.

Ealy tries his best to come off as the somewhat smarter of the two – which one could argue makes Good’s character look even worse by comparison since her male counterpart is the one “smart” enough to see what’s happening” – but in doing so he comes off looking like exactly what his character fears: The man who can’t keep his lady safe. In an era where beards and tattoos reign supreme, Ealy’s character’s intellect actually comes off as his potential downfall. But that’s only because of the man who makes The Intruder a horribly bad-yet-so-bad-it’s-borderline-comedic-genius of a movie.

Quaid. Dennis Freakin’ Quaid.

There have been plenty of movies that actors have admitted they did for the most ludicrous of reasons. Michael Caine in Jaws 4. Morgan Freeman in London Has Fallen. And the less said about Nicolas Cage’s reported love of dinosaur bones. Hell, Cedric the Entertainer admitted to me in an interview I did for a revered-yet-now-deceased publication that he did the utter-debacle that is The Cleaner because he got to take his family on a nice vacation to Hawaii. While I await the interview where Quaid reveals why in the world he did THIS movie, his performance is so ridiculous that it deserves its own documentary or, at the very least, a mock ESPN 30 for 30.

As it comes to pass in The Intruder, Quaid’s character is given a reason for his bonkers behavior; given the events of the film, one can’t help but wonder if Quaid himself may be suffering from a similar fate for him to be involved with this utter debacle of a film. (Maybe this article could give some possible explanations?) But BOY OH BOY does Quaid go all in as Charlie Peck.

In one of the greatest over-the-top performances not seen since the aforementioned Cage’s turn in that nuclear waste of a remake of The Wicker Man, Quaid’s performance finds him twitching, shaking, clenching his fists … And doing the craziest sexual thing you may ever see him do in a film that could change how his fans see him forever. Let’s just say I’m sure this man approves of a scene that is sure to become a meme or .GIF if not both in the near future. I cannot – repeat, CANNOT – give you enough detail as to how insane Quaid’s performance is. If he’s not a Razzie nominee, he might deserve an Academy Award as he might be the best Marvel villain to never chase after Infinity Stones, Wakanda or try to stop a teenager from thwarting his plans to take over New York City. (You watch the movie and tell me you can’t help but think what Quaid might have done as Venom. Sorry Tom Hardy.)

Throw in a script that could NOT be more predictable with direction that could NOT foreshadow what’s going to happen more unless the director literally told you and The Intruder is the type of film you watch to go talk to the screen. The Intruder‘s best shot for success won’t come in theaters, however, at least not for a while – for director Deon Taylor may have created an experience that, much like Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, needs to be experienced with others to enjoy as you talk, laugh and make fun of it.

If this were an episode of House Hunters, it would definitely be the episode you wouldn’t want to miss. Unfortunately for Good, Ealy and Quaid, it’s supposed to be a thriller – which is why the fact this movie will intrude on audiences’ wallets this weekend is a travesty in and of itself.

OVERALL RATING (OUT OF FOUR POSSIBLE BUCKETS OF POPCORN):

 

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See what this local food market is cooking up to help entrepreneurs launch their food businesses to the next level.

Photo courtesy of Erin Glass, graphic designer at the Corporation for Findlay Market.

Cincinnati’s own Findlay Market is known around the state of Ohio for being one of the oldest operating covered food markets. Each week, the market serves as a hub for vendors to sell their  fresh, local food. 

For a little over a year, the Findlay Launch Advisory Team has been developing a concept to fill the gap their entrepreneurs face during the transition from a pop-up shop into an individually-owned storefrontFindlay Market’s director of communications and human resources, Kelly Lanser, has played a key role in the execution of this feat. “For some food businesses, they start out right away in the kitchen, others tend to stick with the part-time vending. We want to fill the gap entrepreneurs face during the transition period between the two models in hopes to find what works best for their business. Our goal is to learn quickly and sell fast.”

For a little over a year, Findlay Market has been developing the plan. From working on the concept, seeking out mentors, and renovating the spaces, the team has had their hands in every aspect of this development. “Our team has designed three built-out storefronts on Elm, as well as a fourth food hall. The application process is designed to be ongoing. We never want all three shops on Elm Street to ever have their lights off; we always want at least one storefront to be operating at all times,” says Lanser.

So what exactly will this process look like for the business owners? Once the clients who applied are chosen and selected, they will embark on quite the journey. Findlay will schedule for 9 months in the storefront and another 2-3+ months to work on post-graduate support. 

“The process starts with filling out the application. Once selected, the business will gain a mentor who will teach and lead them throughout different aspects of what it takes to run a business. They will also be led in different learning modules, such as branding, HR, accounting, costing, etc. from local professionals. At the three month mark, the businesses will go into the space and have full support from the Findlay Launch Team. The mentorship meetings will continue as well. At 9 months in the process, we will provide them post-grad support. We will aide them to face topics such as scouting out business plans, tweaking their plans, transactional setting, etc. We want our people to be supported before, while and during their transition,” says Lanser.

In order to get the word out and recruit for this opportunity, they have utilized every outlet. “We have physical signage on storefronts, word of mouth from our vendors at market, and social media to reach the most diverse crowd we can. We are looking to support minority immigration specifically women, by giving them room to build equity and gain knowledge to launch a businessWe believe everyone deserves to have opportunity for success at Findlay market and we cannot contain our excitement and passion for this project.”

For more information or to apply, visit here.

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See why our movie critic is saying this Marvel Studios film delivers a genre-defining masterpiece.

WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:

 

 

KEY CAST MEMBERS: Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Brie Larson, Mark Ruffalo, Karen Gillan, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Dania Gurai and Josh Brolin … PLUS A BUNCH OF OTHERS (You want me to spoil it for you?!)

 

DIRECTOR(S): Anthony and Joe Russo

THE BACK STORY: The last time we saw them, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America (Chris Evans),  Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson),  Col. Rhodes aka War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Dr. Bruce Banner aka the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) were dealing with the aftermath of being the last heroes standing after “the mad Titan” Thanos (Josh Brolin) found all six of the Infinity Stones and snapped his fingers, eliminating half of the life in the universe in the process. Now, our heroes have no clue what to do with themselves or how to fix the catastrophe.

Luckily for them, the retired Hawkeye a.k.a. Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) survived the snap, as did Nebula (Karen Gillan), Thanos formerly war-minded adopted daughter, Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Scott Lang a.k.a. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), who was stuck in The Quantum Realm. And once the pager from a former S.H.I.E.L.D. operative reaches Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), it looks like there may be hope to undo the damage Thanos has caused. It’s just going to require (1) a bunch of time travel, (2) a lot of extremely coordinated teamwork and (3) a wee bit of luck to make everything go right. 

But with the literal fate of the universe hanging in their avenging hands, they’re the best – and only – chance we have …

THE REVIEW: Imagine telling someone a decade ago “Yeah, I heard Marvel Comics is going to form a movie studio and then make 20+ movies that will all tie together with a huge finale featuring 3 hours of action and emotion the likes of which has never been seen on the silver screen.” Given where superhero movies were as a genre before – 2007 gave us Spider-Man 3 a.k.a. the bad one, Ghost Rider and Fantastic Four featuring yup, Chris Evans – you would have a better bet thinking the Cleveland Browns would become Super Bowl champions.

Fast-forward to 2019 and Marvel has made money hand over muscular fist to the point that the closing film is set to break records left and right and the only question now remaining is – much like the Avengers own prospects battling the toughest enemy they’ve ever faced – can Endgame live up to its massive hype?

Yes. The answer is a resounding, action-packed, emotionally charged and fitting–ending to the first 10 years of Marvel Studios yes.

Sure, next month’s collaboration with Sony, Spider–Man: Far From Home, is the official ending to Marvel Studios’ Phase 3 plans according to studio head Kevin Feige, but Endgame sure feels like a finale in a lot of ways. With spoilers abound on the Internet as of Tuesday, April 23 (when this review was posted), it’s hard to talk about Endgame in detail without giving away too much.

Thus, here’s a checklist of Marvel-themed .GIFs that will give you information without giving you too much information.

Comedy on the level of Thor: Ragnarok that brings great levity at times?

 

Plot that feels convoluted but makes sense for the most part?

Fight scenes that will have your adrenaline pumping?

 

 

Is there a moment that feels like Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women” should be playing during it to make it feel complete?

 

Moments that are pulled from the comics that feel natural enough to set up future cinematic adventures?

 

Worried about whether you’ll need tissues? Let’s just say I’d expect a lot of people to do this at some point during the movie …

 

With those non-spoiler spoilers out the way, here’s what I can say: Endgame ties together just about every Marvel movie where it feels like not only a conclusion, but a payoff for sticking with our heroes throughout this journey. We’ve watched them go from not knowing the powers they had or how to use them to maturing and growing with each conflict to now what may or may not be their final and greatest battle to date. The character arcs are executed to perfection, despite its run time, there never feels like any wasted moments and the climax is just about everything you could hope for … Unless you’re a D.C. Comics fan who still has hope Warner Bros. has ANYTHING ready to compete with this. Evans and Downey, Jr. doing the heaviest lifting in the film emotionally (with Hemsworth coming in as the third man quite well) with Renner and Ruffalo – much like their characters – exhibiting strong supporting player performances. To say more would be to ruin the experience, and given how much of an experience Endgame is, that would be a crime against (movie) nature itself.

Superheroes have come and gone over the years; what Endgame showcases, however, is that no matter how much their powers may make them cool or be the things many of us wish we had, its their human traits (yes, even in Rocket’s case) are what keep us watching. Infinity War is arguably the first superhero movie to end on a down note, but Marvel’s heroes have always shown reflected the best and worst parts of the human experience: The desire for power, the need for hope in the face of extreme adversity, the importance of family, you name it – Marvel has covered it and done so in quite spectacular fashion. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo have delivered a masterpiece of a movie, but since we all know comic book movies don’t win major awards, what we have to simply do is admire Marvel’s crowning achievement in all its glory and wait for baited breath to see what comes next.

Even when we’re down, Endgame proves that they are just a snap second from helping us all remember why movies like these give us hope for the future.

OVERALL RATING (OUT OF FOUR POSSIBLE BUCKETS OF POPCORN):

 

 

 

 

 

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Want to advertise your business through video? Read about how you can get on-site editing and delivery in less than two days!

Les Fultz can never resist a good story. In fact, telling stories is his specialty through his business Valere Studios.

 

“Valere Studios takes highly branded content and tells the story of a product or service in a series of videos to create advanced, targeted traffic with the aid of social media for businesses of all levels.”

 

Fultz has a digital marketing background that dates back to 2008, when social media was just getting its start as a promotional option.

 

“Fast forward to today and video is by far the only thing that can help you stand out in a world consumed by data and content,” he says.

 

Plus, a background in entrepreneurship helps Fultz to bring certain elements to production that are unlike any others.

 

“The traditional ways of producing videos are becoming less and less effective,” he says.

 

That’s why Valere Studios is helping brands, local businesses, and municipalities generate revenue, traffic, and new customers with video advertising.

 

Valere Studios offers corporate videos as well as mobile broadcasting choices.

 

“Our corporate video offerings are ideal for service-related companies, product producers or retail shops, and municipalities,” says Fultz. “This is a great option to showcase what makes you unique, share your history, and what’s new.”

 

All of the videos offered by Valere Studios are formatted. This means that customers don’t have to do anything to make sure videos are suitable for websites and social media, which allows for maximum reach and value.

 

According to Valere Studios, they also offer the most advanced mobile broadcasting solution on the market.

 

“Whether you have an in-depth interview, product launch, panel discussion, or on-stage event, Valere Studios provides the ultimate turn-key solution for live editing or broadcasting to your preferred platform,” says Fultz.

 

The videos can be streamed to social media websites and be embedded on websites.

 

“Our system provides three cameras operated remotely, and a mobile production switch bringing the power of a major broadcast network directly to you,” adds Fultz.

 

And to help his business stand out among other video production companies, Fultz offers LIVE video, onsite editing, and delivery in 48 hours or less.

 

To learn more about Valere Studios, visit here.

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Take a peek inside this Bellevue-based eclectic home decor and goods shop that carries a variety of locally-made and up-cycled items.

 

Cincy Chic: What is Coda Co.?
Kelti Ziese, Founder of Coda Co.: Coda Co. is an eclectic home decor & goods shop. We work with local artisans to stock their product as well as product we create ourselves!

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Ziese: The inspiration behind Coda Co. is really about creating community with fellow artisans. We love being the one stop shop for locally made products. We also really love finding and creating products from up-cycled materials as to be as waste free as we can. We don’t want to leave a big footprint behind so we try to re-use as many materials as possible.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Ziese: Myself, Kelti, & my husband, Tanner, are the owners of Coda Co. Even though Tanner works a separate full time job, he will head home from work & make live edge tables & benches as well as up-cycled bourbon barrel decor & goods. His favorite thing is making custom dining tables & desks for our clients!  I make macrame fiber art for walls & plants as well as pillows for the shop. Working the shop on the daily is my full time job. With that, I maintain our social media pages, take the product shots, & do most of the behind the scenes work involved in running a business.

Cincy Chic: What types of items do you sell?
Ziese: Most of what we sell is unique home decor items like macrame, tables, throws, rugs, geode candle holders, clocks, etc.  But we also have home goods, like handcrafted ceramics, carved wooden spoons, plants, wine stands, bottle openers, soaps & lotions.  As well as a few accessories like necklaces made from plants from Krohn Conservatory, clutches, earrings made from clay & stones, shibori dyed bandanas, macrame keychains, and Cincinnati made longboards.

Cincy Chic: What do you enjoy the most about running your own business?
Ziese: I really enjoy the artistic freedom I have with running my own business.  I am so lucky that I get to wake up & do what I love every day. Not many people can say that.  It was a huge leap of faith quitting my old full time job to pursue our little business but it has been well worth it!  

Cincy Chic: What makes Coda Co. unique?
Ziese: I think what makes Coda Co. unique is the fact that we love supporting local so much.  I’ve mentioned that we carry local artisans & I believe that is what makes us so special. Creating relationships with so many cool people around our city has been amazing.  I think that shared love for community shows through our products. We have the most awesome customers ever. When you shop at Coda Co. you are supporting someone in this town’s dreams.  Maybe you’ve heard this before, but it is so very true that when you shop small & buy from local artisans they SERIOUSLY do a little happy dance.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon?
Ziese: Yes! We are starting to put together different workshops for the rest of the year! We hosted a couple of calligraphy workshops at the end of last year & people loved them! So, we want to offer more workshops of all different types to bring people down to Bellevue & learn something cool!

Cincy Chic: Where is your storefront located?
Ziese: We are located in Bellevue, Kentucky, right in our historic river town! Our address is 400 Fairfield Ave. Bellevue, KY 41073.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Ziese: Visit our website. We’re also on Facebook and Instagram. We are most active on our instagram page where we post photos & share upcoming pop-up events & workshops!

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Black-ish producer and co-star team up for a film that our movie critic says is great-ish for teens, adults alike. Click to find out why.

 

“You expect ME to tell her she didn’t get the black-ish spin-off?! This is why she’s making a movie jump now!” April Williams (Issa Rae) has a very uncomfortable meeting with her now-13 again boss Jordan Sanders (Marsai Martin) in a scene from director Tina Gordon’s comedy LITTLE. Credit: © 2019 Universal Pictures. All rights reserved.

 

WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:

 

KEY CAST MEMBERS: Marsai Martin, Issa Rae, Regina Hall, Luke James, Tone Bell, Thalia Tran, JD McCrary, Tucker Meek, Marley Taylor, Eva Carlton, Justin Hartley, Rachel Dratch and Mikey Day


DIRECTOR(S): Tina Gordon

THE BACK STORY: Brought to you by black-ish creator Kenya Barris (who serves as a producer on the film), Little stars as Regina Hall as Jordan Sanders, a 38 year-old successful CEO of her own technology company located in Atlanta. There’s just one thing about Jordan that seems to drive everyone around her crazy: Her insane work ethic and mean-spirited nature drive everyone – her employees, her neighbors, people at stores she frequents and especially her over-worked and highly under-appreciated assistant April Williams (Issa Rae) – crazy. But since Jordan learned at the age of 13 that people can be mean-spirited, she made a vow that when she became big, she would be the boss and bully everyone else before they could bully her.

Now, the tables have turned and Jordan has been mean to the wrong person, which is why she wakes up only to find herself facing her worst fear: Being 13 again.

Cursed to relive the worse age of her life when she was little, Jordan finds herself out of her element. Now, she is forced to rely on April to run her company, can’t spend any quality time with her “D-Boy” (Luke James), drink, drive … Or, after a Child Protective Services agent (Rachel Dratch) is called to her home where April is posing as her aunt, the one thing she hates more than anything else in the world: A return to her old middle school. But with a major pitch to video game upstart Connor (Mikey Day) that could make or break her company on the line, the last thing Jordan has time for is dealing with mean-spirited classmates like Jasmine (Eva Carlton). 

THE REVIEW: Sometimes, when you’ve got a special team in place, you get products that show what happens when you let their creativity bring new life to an old idea. And trust me, the idea behind Little is freakishly old for a movie hitting theaters nationwide this Friday. (If you couldn’t figure out that reference, you shouldn’t be reading this; you should be trying to become little yourself so you can find all the requisite viewing your childhood apparently lacked.) So, given the success Barris and company have had with black-ish and its subsequent spinoff grown-ish, it really should come as no surprise that Little is big-ish on laughs and heart.

First off, while Rae delivers a great performance as a grown woman taking orders from a child half her size, it’s Martin’s performance as a grown adult in a child’s body that wins the movie. Martin is so good in her role there are times that while you don’t forget she actually is a child, you may be taken with just how excellent she is at mastering all of the adult things she nails in the film. Be it a woman feeling amorous, running a company or a young child dealing with the horrors of middle school, Martin hits every note like a Grammy Award winner for best new artist before realizing that they were once a successful indie artist that has just been given a shot on a major label. A bigger scope just showcases the talent they possess on a grander stage, which is exactly what Martin does in Little. She holds center court with adults in every scene when paired up with actors twice her literal size to the point the film never feels unbelievable; when acting around peers her own age she feels as out of place as someone who is supposed to be 38 would around today’s snarky social media savvy (try tweeting that three times fast!) teens.

Throw in a perfect balance of youthful exuberance by the film’s young cast to work alongside the adults – Hall, by the way, does her job well in her limited but largely crucial screen time – and Little delivers original laughs by putting a fresh coast of paint on the “fish out of water” scenario body switch movies have given of such a familiar formula. Little is so well done that its blackness never is a dominant trait of the film; sure, there are some “black girl magic” references and whatnot, but if you go into Little thinking its going to touch the same issues you’d find in a typical story arc of black-ish, you’ll either be highly disappointed or highly surprised. Little is just a good film that stars a large African-American cast, not a film with a lot of African-Americans that just happens to be good – that distinction. As African-Americans continue to prove there’s more to the black entertainment experience than just being pimps, thugs and slaves – they can be quirky, insecure (see what I did there, Issa Rae fans), have the same concerns as anyone else about work and life, etc. – Little delivers a big step forward in making sure that ideal isn’t forgotten by Hollywood anytime soon.

Thus, much like a middle school talent show that actually features more talent than you’d expect, Little delivers big entertainment value mature (and maturing) audiences will enjoy.

 

OVERALL RATING (OUT OF FOUR POSSIBLE BUCKETS OF POPCORN):

 

 

 

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A new local market is showcasing community creatives. Read on for all the decorative details.

Local makers make the world a prettier place and The Arts Alliance is helping them make an even bigger impact through The Deerfield Handmade Markets.

According to Meredith Raffel, Founder and Executive Director at The Arts Alliance, The Deerfield Handmade Markets are designed to showcase local and regional fine arts, creatives, and makers by celebrating those who are creating unique items, and those who work in a more traditional medium, too.

“The idea is to create a more organic and earthy event that welcomes all kinds of creativity,” she explains. “We will welcome artists in the categories of painting, drawing, sculpture, and those who are working to create soaps, floras, repurposing items, reuse materials, furniture makers, candles, cottage food, pop-up shop vendors, and more.”

Raffel says the inspiration behind The Arts Alliance is change.

“The Arts Alliance has always welcomed new ideas and tries to be a fluid organization,” she explains. “Change can be intimidating, but we are game to mix things up.”

The festival events offered through The Arts Alliance have always been traditional – but there was a desire to switch it up a bit.

“It just felt like it was time to welcome a broader set of creatives into the fold,” says Raffel. “Art and the creation of the arts shouldn’t be a stuffy experience and we aren’t a stuffy organization. We are open to new ideas and want to try new things. We have failed plenty of times, but we’ve succeeded even more. We are excited to introduce to the community new artists, new event elements, and enjoyment.”

The welcomed change from The Arts Alliance resulted in The Deerfield Handmade Markets, which was launched in partnership with Deerfield Township.

“We are bringing an urban idea to this rural community,” says Raffel. “We have seen these events downtown and in the breweries. We want to bring ‘cool’ to the ‘burbs.”

Raffel says the Deerfield Handmade Markets are unlike anything else out there in Warren County. “The community will enjoy a lot of games, art making opportunities for their families, and social media opportunities, too.”

The Deerfield Handmade Markets will give those doing good work in the community the chance to have a space at these events.

“Through our Take Part Initiative, we welcome nonprofits to engage with the community and let people know what good work they are doing.”

Those interested in the Take Part Initiative can tell The Arts Alliance about the good work they are doing in the community and they will be given a space. Raffel says approximately 10 spaces will be given to local non-profits.

This year, markets will be held June 8 at Cottell Park from 11am to 5 pm, September 15 at Cottell Park from 11am to 5pm, and December 8 at Sonder Brewing from 11am to 5pm.

There will be around 100 vendors at each of the three events, according to Raffel. The cost for vendors is $50 per event. Artists can apply for the juried events and find more information here.

Raffel says the team comprised of The Arts Alliance and Deerfield Township is excited to bring the Deerfield Handmade Markets to the area this year, following 14 years of presenting festivals to the community.

To learn more about The Arts Alliance, visit here. You can also follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. To contact The Arts Alliance directly, send them an email or call 513-309-8585.

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It’s an entertaining animated adventure but are there still missing links? Read on as our movie critic offers his review.

 

“Hi … We don’t know the crew from Smallfoot; why do you ask?” Susan a.k.a. Mr. Link (center, voiced by Zach Galifanakis) introduces himself along with his newfound friends Lionel Frost (left, voiced by Hugh Jackman) and Adelina Fortnight (right, voiced by Zoe Saldana) in a scene from Annapurna Pictures’ animated adventure MISSING LINK. Credit: © 2019 Laika Studios/Annapurna Pictures. All rights reserved. 

WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:

 

 

KEY CAST MEMBERS: Hugh Jackman, Zach Galifianakis, Zoe Saldana, Emma Thompson, Timothy Olyphant, Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas, Amrita Acharia and David Walliams 

DIRECTOR(S): Chris Butler

THE BACK STORY: Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman) is an adventurer and explorer constantly in search of mythical creatures like the Loch Ness Monster … Even if his fellow explorers don’t see him as one of their contemporaries. That’s why when he gets a letter calling him to Washington state with a tip to find the elusive “missing link,” he couldn’t be more excited, even if Lord Piggot-Duncep (Stephen Fry) – the head of the explorer club to which Lionel wishes he belonged – not only vows he will fail in his quest, but hires the equally villainous Stenk (Timothy Olyphant) to make sure he does.  

Then again, Lionel is going to have bigger problems once he meets Susan (voiced by Zach Galifianakis), the male – yes male – sasquatch who wants him to take him to the land of Shangri-La where his “cousins,” the yetis, may exist. Now, if Lionel can just get a map from Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana) the widow of his former partner Aldis, he might have a shot at helping Susan and finding the acceptance and legacy he wishes he had.  

THE REVIEW: A kids movie that isn’t exactly a kids movie given the brief moments of gunplay, the jokes which definitely skew a bit more towards teenagers and adults than younger children, Missing Link is a familiar yet solid film families of all ages will enjoy as it hits all the necessary notes well enough to make each age group smile.

While Galifianakis’ brings a nice, innocent charm to this happy-go-lucky sasquatch, the film really leans more heavily on Jackman’s character to drive its story forward, both in terms of the action and each characters’ arc. Starting off as a purely pompous, self-indulgent man who thinks he is better than he is, only to evolve into what you would expect him to become by the story’s rather intense ending. Emma Thompson adds a nice injection of dark humor to her role as the Yeti queen, bringing out the film’s best original comedic moments. Throw in some animation reminiscent of Aardman favorites Wallace & Gromit rather than Laika Studios’ most recent release Kubo & the Two Strings and Missing Link is visually pleasing to watch as well.  And that’s the good and the bad of Missing Link – the film doesn’t necessarily do anything wrong, but it also doesn’t do ANYTHING that you don’t expect or haven’t seen before.

A tight 95 minutes in length, Missing Link hits all the beats (characters meet, adventure begins, evil characters come into play and our heroes come together to face their challenge). But the film lacks anything about it that feels special to make it seem, well, exceptionally memorable. Short and sweet, the film is tight and concise but feels more like the matinee to a second feature (or, at the very least, a more dynamic one of a double bill). To use an example I’m sure I’ve written before, Missing Link is like going to your favorite chain restaurant and ordering your usual meal. Maybe there’s a newer version of it for a limited time only – this one’s got ghost pepper cheese! – but it’s still a safe choice as you know what you’re getting with no surprises.

For a film about a missing link, though, you’d hope the only thing missing wouldn’t be something that felt so familiar.

OVERALL RATING (OUT OF FOUR POSSIBLE BUCKETS OF POPCORN):