Extortion Movie Review

Extortion Movie Review

Extortion Movie Review

It’s the worst-case scenario. You’re on holiday and you become stranded on a deserted island. Just when you’re desperate a rescuer comes. But then the person you think will save you ends up holding your family for ransom. This is what happens in Extortion.

What would you do?

How much is your family’s life worth?

This is the question asked of Kevin Riley (Eion Bailey) when he’s at his most desperate—or so he thinks. After two days of being stranded he’s dehydrated, exhausted, and starving. And to make matters worse, his wife and son are barely conscious. As his rescuer demands a reward for saving them, the situation escalates and Riley discovers how desperate things can become.

It’s a race against time to save his family in a foreign place with no one on his side. As I watched the situation go from bad to worse (and a solution unfold by the end) I reflected on how easy a picturesque vacation can take a bad turn. There is much we take for granted when travelling. Should we allow fear to hold us back? Of course not, but it’s a good reminder to take precautions and make wise decisions.

Extortion is an emotional, nail-biting 109 minutes. It is well acted, well produced, and I even believed the story line and the reasons behind Riley’s actions. As I reflect on the movie it’s difficult to say I enjoyed it because it was so intense, but it does make me wonder what I would do in the same situation. Would I put everything on the line to save my family? What wouldn’t I do?

Extortion is available on VOD/Digital/DVD across all platforms through Lionsgate.

Extortion Synopsis

An American family vacationing in the Caribbean find themselves stranded on a deserted island without food or water. They are discovered by a cold-blooded fisherman who demands a ransom for their lives. A gruesome turn of events leaves the father in a terrifying high seas race to save his wife and son, and punish those behind the cruel extortion plot.

Lionsgate’s “Extortion,” a new action-thriller in the vein of “Taken” and “Captain Phillips,” stars Oscar Nominee Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips,” upcoming “Blade Runner 2”), Eion Bailey (“Ray Donovan”, “Once Upon a Time”), Danny Glover (“Lethal Weapon series, 2012”), Joy Lenz (“One Tree Hill”, “Agents of Shield”), and Tim Griffin (“Central Intelligence,” “American Sniper”).

Passages by Anne Hamre [book review]

PASSAGES by Ann Hamre

I can’t get enough of Pioneer stories. Maybe it’s because my lineage is wound around this narrative or maybe it seems romantic and fascinating because our world is so different a short century later.

So when Anne Hamre’s book Passages came across my desk I was intrigued. And when I saw the journey leads to the Fraser Valley in British Columbia (where I live) it was a no-brainer. Yes I’ll read this book.

I didn’t know what to expect other than the adventure of moving to a new land and overcoming obstacles. What I discovered? Not everyone who moved to North America or Australia from the United Kingdom was seen as a hero or even a brave adventurer. And there wasn’t a lot of information of what to expect—people made huge, life-changing decisions based on RUMOURS!


It makes sense when I think about it, I mean, there wasn’t exactly a dummies guide to emigration to the colonies back then. So why would anyone go boldly towards the great unknown? In Passages by Anne Hamre, Frank Evans wants to leave North Wales so he can start a dairy farm and is convinced there’s nothing affordable in Wales, England, or anywhere else nearby. Does he know this for a fact? No idea. It doesn’t seem like it, but I don’t know what land availability was like in the early 1900s. So he travels the world searching. Kind of. Actually he just seemed to be travelling but perhaps that’s because the story is told from his wife Anne’s perspective. And she was left at home waiting while he searched for suitable farmland. For years. Years!!!

Franks motivations aren’t disclosed other than he really, really wants a dairy farm and Anne was gracious enough to pretend his dreams were hers to. Or maybe she adopted them as her own because she loved Frank so much. I never believed she wanted the life she lived but she said she did, so who am I to judge?

Or maybe that’s the point. In those days of big risk/big reward you had to put it all on the line for the chance at a new life. I don’t know what was so wrong with North Wales that Frank and Anne were so desperate to get out but I hope they felt like it was worth their trouble.

Because there was so much trouble. Frank was obsessed with his dream of a dairy farm but it didn’t seem like he was willing to adjust his vision based on actual research—he just expected things to go like they would in Wales. And when things didn’t go according to plan he didn’t seem willing to be open to what other opportunities might arise. He was single-minded in pursuing his dairy farm. Anne was too, don’t get me wrong. But was it the best way to go as life kept twisting and turning? Again, who am I to say. But my gut wishes they made some different choices.

Passages by Anne Hamre tells the story of when Anne met Frank in 1897 till when Anne lost Frank in 1925. Based on her grandparent’s lives, it’s a story of vision, courage, overcoming obstacles, perseverance, and (of course) love.

The story is gripping (I cried in the end) but I was left wishing it wasn’t all about Frank. I never loved him, not even at the beginning, and I wished to learn more about what happened next for Anne. How did she face her (new) challenges? How did she make it all work? Does she ever get to be a teacher again? She was so passionate about it. And, my biggest question, does she ever get to see her family again? She seems like she was a tough old bird. I would have liked to meet her.

Set in the early years of the 20th Century, when travel was measured in increments of days and weeks rather than hours and minutes, this epic family saga transports readers across three continents—Europe, Australia, and North America. It chronicles not just the disparate climates and lifestyles encountered in such far-flung places and the long passages between them, but the lives that are changed by these travels. We follow Anne Roberts and Frank Evans from their first encounter on Anne’s family farm in North Wales, through the evolution of their friendship, romance, and eventual marriage. While Frank goes off in a multi-continent search for affordable land where he can support the young couple and fulfil his dream of starting a dairy, Anne defies society’s expectations and, acting upon her considerable drive, intelligence, and independence, becomes a school teacher. When the two finally relocate to Canada and marry, Anne demonstrates the same determination, will, and adaptability that allowed her to flourish during Frank’s long travels and many travails and commits all her energy to making their marriage and their future successful.

With Passages, Anne Hamre offers an intricately researched, authentically rendered portrait of both the hardships and the triumphs of the age. Readers will share in the longing felt while desperately waiting for letters bearing news of a distant lover and in the joy—and the uncertain dangers—of discovering friendship among strangers when travelling in faraway lands and across oceans. They will experience the piercing ache of loss near and afar, recognize the myriad sources of a spouse’s worry, feel the lifting of spirit that is found in community, and celebrate the enduring steadiness of a couple’s true love.

How to Find the Perfect Sunglasses without Breaking the Bank

Ready to find the perfect sunglasses? Save 50% on your next pair of spectacles or prescription sunglasses from GlassesShop.com using the code GSHOT50.


On our last vacation, my husband and I spent, oh, 34 hours in different US cities on layovers. Sometimes we left the airport, thank goodness. But sometimes the airport’s proximity to things and the hours between flights didn’t line up and we explored indoors instead.

It’s funny what you get up to when you’re stuck at an airport. Here’s what we did.

  • Shopped hard for the perfect neck pillow
  • Judged restaurants by their seating chart
  • Attempted to sneak onto an airline-crew-only airport shuttle
  • Counted Starbucks
  • Counted steps between Starbucks
  • Tried on every pair of sunglasses at every kiosk in every airport

I read somewhere sunglasses are the one accessory that never goes out of style. I mean, yeah. Sunglasses are fashionable always.

And the kiosks prove this—there are no end to options. In an overwhelming kind of way. Styles, sizes, UV protection levels, lens options…and that’s all before talking about your prescription and pupillary distance!

But if you’re anything like me, sunglasses are a practical necessity for sunny days. They protect your eyes from bright light, they help prevent wrinkles because they keep you from squinting, and they help you see when driving into sunrise/sunset.

But I don’t need to convince you on the merits of eye wear.

If you live somewhere with available outdoors activities, there will be bright light and you will want sunglasses.

But how do you choose the perfect sunglasses?

Trying on eyeglasses is important because not all glasses frames are the same. And neither are faces. Some shapes look amazing on one person and horrific on another. And if they look terrible you’re not going to wear them. You’re throwing away money.

I love how websites help you buy glasses online by letting you virtually try them on. It takes the risk out of online shopping and gives you some cheap entertainment! I mean, I had a lot of fun choosing my new sunglasses.
Try it on

(See what I mean about choosing the wrong glasses?)

When you can shop online, try them on ahead of time, and save a bundle, I don’t know why we’re not all stocking up on sunglasses. I mean, unless you have time to try on every pair of sunglasses at every single kiosk in four airports. Then I suppose you aren’t looking for ways to speed up your shopping experience.

Or, you’re like me and choose the worst possible flight itinerary to save $400.

Readers of this blog! Use the code GSHOT50 and save 50% on your next pair of eyeglasses and/or sunglasses from GlassesShop.com. This includes your lenses but sale frames are excluded.

Enter to Win The Resurrection of Gavin Stone Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital HD!

Enter to Win The Resurrection of Gavin Stone on Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital HD!

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The Resurrection of Gavin Stone

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone Review

If you’ve seen inspirational movies before, you’ve seen this plot: Bad boy gets in trouble. Bad boy gets community service. Bad boy meets good girl. Good girl inspires bad boy. Bad boy has transformation. Everybody’s happy.

While The Resurrection of Gavin Stone follows this basic plot line, it manages to take viewers on a journey of surprise, delight, and entertainment along the way.

The film was both funny and cute, although I’m partial to lead Brett Dalton (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) so I don’t take much convincing.

Dalton plays Gavin Stone, an actor whose destructive lifestyle has forced him into community service in his hometown, a place he’d rather leave in the dust.

Tasked with janitorial duty, Stone negotiates his involvement with the Easter play—starring as Jesus—as a way to complete his community service instead. There’s just one hitch. Stone must be a professing Christian to take part.

How to be a Christian

From Googling “How to be a Christian,” Stone learns two tips: 1) Go to church and 2) Wear the costume. Watching Stone muddle his way through fitting into the classic Christian stereotype is hilarious, if not a bit revealing. Though at first he treats playing a Christian like any other role, the relationships Stone develops through the church teach him a lot about love, truth, and forgiveness. In the end he experiences a transformation where his old life stops making sense and he begins to understand what the Christian message really means. Stone is even able to face his past and reconcile with his father.

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is a heartfelt look at the power of the Gospel to transform even the most unlikely person. It’s a study in contrast, temptation, and hope.

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is now available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital HD!

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone synopsis

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is an inspirational comedy rated PG about faith and forgiveness. Gavin Stone, a washed-up former child star is forced to do community service at a local mega-church and pretends to be Christian so he can land the part of Jesus in their annual Passion Play only to discover that the most important role of his life is far from Hollywood.

Enter to win The Resurrection of Gavin Stone on Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital HD!

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Review originally published January 2017

Post-Makeup Recovery Workout with Skindinavia [product review]

Skindinavia post-makeup recovery spray

Post-makeup recovery spray. Never heard of it? Me either. However, I’m familiar with Skindinavia and their spray-on primer (which I LOVE, by the way) so I didn’t hesitate to try out their newest product.

So, what is it?

In any skincare regime you employ you’ll use some element of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Where does post-makeup recovery fit in—toning? Well, sort of. It’s kind of a new category.

The big idea with this spray is infusing your skin with zinc, magnesium, and willow within five minutes of cleansing. This is supposed to help your skin recover from a long day of makeup wearing (I read zinc helps reduce puffiness) as well as help prevent breakouts and clogged pores.

I was most eager to see if it would make a difference to my lifelong blackhead collection. Could Skindinavia post-makeup recovery spray help me?

Short story: yes, yes it can. I’m so happy.

And here’s the long story

A man stopped me as I walked through the mall and asked if I had a skin cleansing routine. He was holding a jar of face cream and I felt my shoulders rise with anxiety in anticipation of the hard sell.

But he blocked my footpath so I engaged.


We got into a conversation about skincare—consisting of my deflecting questions about my age, amount of sun damage on my face, etc—and the next time I looked around I was inside the store. Oh boy. Shoving samples in my purse I backed out of the store mumbling about passing through this way on my way out (yeah right). I hated everything about the experience. I get the tactic—make the person feel bad about herself so she’ll purchase your magic cure. But…there has to be a better way!

Part of my issue is I’m not confident in my skincare routine. I try loads of products but have no real idea if they’re helping or not. Perhaps you can relate. All these anti-aging serums and creams and firming agents all look and sound good but which one will work for me? Who can I talk to who’s not financially invested in the product? I mean, YouTube reviews of course but where else?

This is why I’m telling you about post-recovery makeup spray today. So when you get hauled inside the face cream mall store you can say with confidence “I don’t need your $800 system, I have the $26 spray.”

(Because it costs $26.)

Most of all, I don’t want you to walk around feeling like an old fogey like I have been for the past few months. This little spray has added a lot of, well, recovery. My skin feels fresher and healthier. It may all be in my mind but I like how I feel.

The Post-Makeup Recovery Spray

SKINDINAVIA’S new Post-Makeup Recovery Spray has already become a favorite of top makeup artists to keep skin clear in between and after makeup applications. Our easy-to-use and highly effective formula quickly delivers a boost of key nutrients including powerhouse mineral zinc that is clinically-proven to help prevent breakouts and open clogged pores.

Simply spray on within five minutes of removing makeup. Our cutting edge delivery system works quickly to provide a blend of zinc, magnesium and willow bark to keep skin clear. Formulated to work independently or as a powerful first step in your current skin care regimen.

The result is clear, luminous, skin ready for your next picture-perfect makeup application.


  • Ultra-fast penetrating formula is applied when pores are most receptive to nutrients, within five minutes of removing your makeup
  • Our hero ingredient: Zinc. Research shows supplementing skin with can reduce breakouts by 50%
  • Zinc also protects skin’s lipids and fibroblasts (the cells that make collagen) and reduces oil production, preventing clogged pores
  • Developed in conjunction with top makeup artists looking to keep skin clear and luminous between applications. Used as a quick fix between long shoots
  • All SKINDINAVIA products are paraben-free and hypoallergenic. Cruelty-free