Holiday Inn Express Vancouver Washington

Located in Vancouver, Washington, The Holiday Inn Express
Hotel and Suites is a fantastic place to stay for a relaxing
weekend away or a full vacation. Located minutes away
from both downtown Vancouver and Portland Oregon,
the hotel is well suited to both business and relaxation.

Upon check-in, the staff was extremely welcoming and helpful, offering us a map of various points
of interest nearby as well as directions to a nearby restaurant
that we had asked about. Therewere also fresh apples and
cookies available as well as coffeein the lobby.

Upon entering our room, we found it was not only clean and very inviting but also had a very peaceful and quiet setting which made it an ideal place to relax after a very busy day.

From the spacious room that had a comfortable living room area complete with a couch, table and television,
there was also a nook that was set apart from the main room which featured a second television, table, and
comfortable chair which my wife found to be a nice area to put her feet up and read.

The bedroom was spacious and also included a television as well as a phone, stereo, clock
radio and ample closet space. I was happy to see that the television offered more than
the standard 12 channels, instead we had our choice of full range of cable options as well as movie channel which certainly left us no shortage of options for our viewing needs.

The room also had a minifridge and microwave which proved very convenient.
Aside from a business center that offered fax and computer access, the hotel has a comfortable indoor
pool as well as a spacious hot tub and sauna.
The hotel offered free wireless Internet which was ideal for all of our needs.

The hotel offers a breakfast buffet every morning complete with great cinnamon rolls, bacon, biscuits and gravy as well as a full Continental Breakfast. This was a great surprise as
omelettes were also included in the mix and it was great to enjoy a hot breakfast as well as a selection of coffee and juice.

One does not often find this level of service and attention to detail for which more costly hotels would nickel and dime you. From the fantastic service of the staff, a very comfy room, the hearty breakfast buffet, and a location central to shopping and dining options, the Holiday Inn Express Vancouver offered everything a traveler could want and more, at an extremely reasonable price.

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part I

With the slow, familiar strains of “Hedwig’s Theme”, the leitmotif that shepherds us into the world of Harry Potter, we’re once again immersed in the magic and adventure of the wizarding world. If for some reason you forgot where the story left off at the end of The Half-Blood Prince, the mournful dirge that plays as Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley prepare to meet reminds you that their world has changed drastically.

Like returning to your childhood home, it all looks familiar, but everything feels different. Gone are the school preparations, the train ride to Hogwarts, uniformed students jostling about, the easygoing camaraderie between our favorite trio, all the whimsical elements we’ve come to expect in a Harry Potter movie. Instead we have unease, sorrow and anger taking turns in the form of Hermione, Harry and Ron.

The Deathly Hallows Part I is the first of a two-part adaptation of the final book of J.K. Rowling’s popular series. Just like the anticipation of getting the seventh and final book, my excitement at screening this movie was tempered with the dread of seeing the series end. I actually did not have high expectations for this installment as the first part of the book was slow-paced and, not unlike another movie about wizards and elves, had a lot of walking and searching. But instead of one elusive ring, Harry, Hermione and Ron are searching for three Horcruxes, objects in which Harry’s nemesis, Lord Voldemort has implanted a part of his soul in his quest to achieve immortality. While they seek clues to the remaining Horcruxes, they learn that Voldemort seeks one of three Deathly Hallows, three sacred objects, the stories of which are revealed in a beautifully mesmerizing shadow-puppet sequence.

Director David Yates balances dark action with solid storytelling and arresting cinematography. Daniel Radcliffe is in turn sympathetic and charming as the heavily burdened hero. Rupert Grint’s Ron Weasley brings most of the movie’s humor again, but he’s most impressive when he becomes believably tortured and resentful when the dark magic of Voldemort’s Horcrux takes over. Emma Watson gracefully infuses the normally astute and self-assured Hermione with weary resolve and poignant anguish. The most charged moments are of course when the trio share the screen with the dark wizards, the most notable played with relish by Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort and Helena Bonham Carter as his most ardent minion, Bellatrix.

Having waited what felt like an eternity for this installment, it seems almost cruel to be made to wait until next summer for the conclusion. But that’s the only real complaint I can make about this movie. Widely and wildly anticipated, Deathly Hallows Part I will not disappoint.

4 out of 5 stars

Visual FX Work on The Alien Prequels Has Begun

Our good friends at have confirmed that visual FX work on the Alien Prequels have begun. The films will be shot in 3D and set 35-50 years before Alien when the Wayland Yutani Corporation starts terraforming planets. Sir Ridley Scott is directing and the films will also feature the origins of the Aliens, and focus heavily on the race pictured here.

Look for the first film in late 2011.

Kung Fu Panda 2 Details and Trailer

DreamWorks Animation Presents
Produced by Melissa Cobb
Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Cast: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Gary Oldman, Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Victor Garber

Filmmakers: Produced by Melissa Cobb, Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Synopsis: In KUNG FU PANDA 2, Po is now living his dream as The Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters, The Furious Five. But Po’s new life of awesomeness is threatened by the emergence of a formidable villain, who plans to use a secret, unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu. He must look to his past and uncover the secrets of his mysterious origins; only then will Po be able to unlock the strength he needs to succeed.

Release: May 26, 2011