Meet the Cast of Cars 3!

Meet the Cast of Cars 3!

By Devon Biroczky

This past weekend, I got to meet with the cast of Cars 3, the third movie in the Cars film franchise. If you’ve already heard about the movie, then read ahead – you’ll understand why I’m so excited about it being released to theaters this Friday, June 16th. I’ll be posting a review about it on opening day (Spoiler alert: It’s amazing!) but until then, let’s talk about how my day was meeting with the fun cast!

·         Owen Wilson (voice of “Lightning McQueen”)

·         Kerry Washington (voice of “Natalie Certain”)

·         Cristela Alonzo (voice of “Cruz Ramirez”)

·         Armie Hammer (voice of “Jackson Storm”)

·         Nathan Fillion (voice of “Sterling”)

·         Larry the Cable Guy (voice of “Mater”)

·         Lea DeLaria (voice of “Miss Fritter”)

·         Isiah Whitlock Jr. (voice of “River Scott”)

·         Director Brian Fee

·         Producer Kevin Reher

·         Dave Mullins (LOU Director)

·         Dana Murray (LOU Producer)

Cars 3 LOU

Producer Dana Murray and director Dave Mullins present the short film “Lou” at the “Cars 3” Press Junket at Anaheim Convention Center. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez

Before we reached the press junket for Cars 3, we got to watch a presentation by the director and producer of Lou, a short film which will be released alongside Cars 3 on Friday. The director, Dave Mullins, both directed and wrote the short film, which is about a bully named J.J. who takes other kids’ toys away on the school playground, and Lou, who is constructed by the toys in the lost and found box. A review of this will also be included in my review post on Friday, so look forward to that! In the meantime, let’s talk about the presentation.

Dave explains to us that as a young kid, he always found it hard to make friends and be accepted by the other kids, so somewhere deep down, he always had the concept of this in his head. He explains that he was pitching ideas for short films since 2005 before this one was a hit. Throughout the presentation, he and producer Dana Murray go through the entire making of this film. From the designs, to storyboards, editing, color scripts, music composition, and tons more, they explained the entire process to us. Fun fact: the percussion for this movie was actually recorded in a circle! Each instrument was placed in a circle, and each would hit one note at a time, going to the next in a clockwise motion until the song was complete. Being a total chorus geek, I thought that was a really interesting concept.

A view of the atmosphere at the “Cars 3” Press Conference at Anaheim Convention Center. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez

Once the presentation for Lou was complete, we walked downstairs, across a red carpet for the Cars 3 press junket. Several fun photo props were set up, and we were told that this was the same red carpet that would be used later that night for the world premiere. And yes, I definitely felt like a celebrity as I got to walk across it.

Moderating the press junket was Ray Evernham, the former crew chief for Jeff Gordon in NASCAR. He was so fun to listen to talk about the whole movie, especially with his experience, he definitely knows what he’s talking about.

Recurring themes throughout this movie were the thoughts of mentors, in a way where one person mentors another, and the cycle continues. Several of the cast members came to a mutual agreement that their parents were some of their greatest mentors. Owen Wilson even told us that he tries to be a great mentor to his kids as well, joking that “some days I am, today is one of those days where I am.”

Owen Wilson speaks at the “Cars 3” Press Conference at Anaheim Convention Center. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez

At one point, the cast members were asked about the significance of the movie portraying how everyone deserves a chance. Kerry Washington’s answer to this really stuck with me; she explained that the way she sees it, people succeed by working together. Regardless of any prior experiences, when people really want something and work together for it, that’s what’s most important.

In this movie, we meet several new characters. Among them, we meet Cruz Ramirez, a feisty, young car who became a trainer for up-and-coming racers, while secretly dreams about becoming a racer herself. Cruz is voiced by Cristela Alonzo, who loves portraying a character who really overcomes her obstacles to follow her dreams. In the press junket, she talks to us about how in her own life, she faced many obstacles to get to where she is, but thanks to working hard alongside some of her own mentors, she’s been able to grow and achieve her goals.

Armie Hammer, Cristela Alonzo, and Owen Wilson. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez 

Overall, meeting with the cast for Lou and Cars 3 was a totally fun time! Come back again for my review on both on this Friday, June 16th, and if you haven’t seen it already, check out the trailer for Cars 3 below!

Cars 3 opens in theaters everywhere on June 16th!

Knott’s Soak City Waterpark Kicks Off with a Splash!

Knott’s Soak City Waterpark Kicks Off with a Splash!

By Erin

*We were invited to the media day, courtesy of Knott’s Soak City for purposes of this post. All thoughts and opinions remain my own*

Last weekend was a scorcher! Good thing for us it was also the opening weekend for Knott’s Soak City . There’s no place I would have rather been than floating around the lazy river to keep cool. It was the perfect weekend for Knott’s Soak City Waterpark to kick off with a splash for the summer season to start an unforgettable summer season running through September 10th. It is Orange County’s largest waterpark and is the perfect destination to cool off during summer as it debuts two brand new water slide towers with seven new slides, Shore Break and The Wedge. Plus, Soak City has undergone a 2-acre expansion and thematic renovation, which includes new shaded seating areas, spacious cabanas and a newly remodeled Longboard’s Grill. So go grab your swimming trunks and sunscreen and plan a fun day at Knott’s Soak City Waterpark! Let’s take a look at what’s new and some of my favorite things to enjoy at Soak City!

SHORE BREAK

Shore Break towers over seven stories high and offers six different thrilling water slide experiences. Four of the slides will have guests climbing into an exhilarating Aqua Launch chamber which will send riders on a vertical free fall through a series loops and curves. When you climb into the chamber you await the chamber’s floor dropping from beneath their feet sending you on a high-speed free fall down a 60-foot tall slide and through a series of exhilarating drops and daring loops. I was way to chicken to try this one.

Shore Break also offers two dueling tube slides which riders go zipping through adventurous drops and turns as they soak up the warm summer sun. Now this one I can do!

THE WEDGE

The Wedge will take up to six riders on an exhilarating trip down on an open-raft ride as they descend down hair-raising twists, turns and unexpected dips. Now that one I’ll ride again and again. The Wedge was my favorite of the new additions.

LONGBOARD’S GRILL

Longboard’s Grill  returns for the 2017 summer season after a complete remodeling and expansion which now offers a newly redesigned sleek restaurant layout.  While Longboard’s theme remains the same, the menu includes new and delicious items such as fish & chips, hand breaded chicken tenders and assorted wraps. Classic favorites like grilled burgers and hot dogs are also available. A new shaded outdoor seating area has been added by the restaurant’s entrance, welcoming diners to fuel up with delicious meals as they take a break from the sun. I really love all the new shady spots at Soak City!

CABANAS

If you really want to get most out of your stay, you will want to rent one of these for the day! As part of the water park’s expansion, additional spacious cabanas and seating areas have been added to the park’s blueprint. Guests can relax and unwind in the new row of cabanas which will be conveniently located across the new Shore Break tower. A new seating area equipped with lounge chairs will allow guests to relax in the sun and is also located near the Shore Break complex.

WHAT ELSE?

The park has attractions for the whole family, from a fun zone for the little ones called Gremmie Lagoon to thrill slides for the adventurous and the Sunset River for the not so adventurous who just want to sit back and relax and float down the river. Make sure you don’t miss these fun attractions.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Sets Sail in Theatres Today!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

By Mary Lansing

One of my very first memories of Disneyland is going on The Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. Having anticipated this ride for what felt like forever, I would watch the segment of the Buccaneers’ adventures on my Disneyland Sing-a-Long VHS (remember those?). When the big moment arrived and I was at last on the Pirate ride, guess what? I was an absolute wreck. I was scared and not happy at all. I may have only been three or four years old, but, I vividly recall vowing to my Grandma I would never go on the ride again.

Fast forward to adult Mary, and Pirates of the Caribbean is one of my favorites to hit first when I get to Disneyland. So, you can imagine how clever I thought it was back in 2003 when producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Walt Disney Pictures unveiled their newest action franchise: The Pirates of the Caribbean movies. With the inaugural The Curse of the Black Pearl, Bruckheimer and Disney didn’t look back and, here we are, on our 5th installment, The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

In his newest (and maybe, possibly, his most interesting to date) tale of mishaps, we meet up with Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced. 

We are first introduced to a young Henry, who turns out to be none other than Will Turner’s (Orlando Bloom) son with the beautiful Elizabeth (Keira Knightly). Cursed, and with no sign of the spell being broken, Will urges Henry to get far away and make his own life away from the world of Pirates, and, especially, Captain Sparrow. Fast forward nine years, and a handsome and grown Henry is convinced Jack may be his key to break the spell and free his Father from The Devil’s Triangle.

Enter Captain Salazar. Easily one of the most scary villains for Captain Sparrow yet, Salazar will stop at nothing to get his revenge on the lackluster pirate. After a rousing and heart-racing opening, we soon are reunited with everyone’s favorite good pirate in a hilarious introduction that only Depp’s Sparrow could pull off.

And, what is a Pirates of the Caribbean tale without some romance?! Enter the mysterious, gorgeous and poised Carina Smyth. Being held captive for her “witch craft”, Smyth escapes and soon finds herself knee-deep into the frolics and mis-happenings of the somewhat loony Sparrow, and his new ally, Henry. Carina turns out to have interesting tides to one of our pirates, and let’s just say there were some gasps when I screened the film!

As always, the entire cast of Pirates of the Caribbean is superb. Academy award winner Bardem creates a sinister Captain Salazar that will easily become a Disney legend for his villainous ways. Think no further than Pirates first antagonist, Captain Barbossa.

Scodelario’s Carina is fantastic as the head-strong young astronomer searching for answers to The Devil’s Triangle and stopping at nothing to make her Father proud, who is presumed to be dead. Scodelario brings to mind the recent actresses that have shined in Disney productions. Think The Force Awakens; Daisy Ridley and The BFG’s Ruby Barnhill.

And, last, but definitely not least: Johnny Depp. Although Depp has been starring as Captain Sparrow for over a decade, he treats the role with such audacity and a gregarious nature that one can only have when they truly love what they are doing. Depp’s youthful, playful characteristics make you instantly love and root for his alter-ego. It is no surprise that he has been nominated for an Academy Award for this portrayal.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is in theatres everywhere TODAY and the perfect film to catch this Memorial Day weekend!

Mary Lansing is the Editor of the popular LA lifestyle and travel blog, Along Comes MaryWhen she is not keeping busy with her Social Media Managing business, you can find her out exploring all Southern California has to offer, or off on a trip! Visit her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.