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Showing posts from 2016

Year-end Review: The Best Movies of 2016

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I attend a lot of screenings, and as a result, I see a lot of movies. I also receive many Blu-rays/DVDs to review, thanks to generous studios and networks.

The final count for this year is: 88 movies.
(2015 count: 66, 2014 count: 95)

*not including Blu-rays/DVDs, unless I reviewed them here.

*not including any movies I did not review, except I'll throw in Rogue One since I saw it in the theater this past Sunday.

*I am seeing Sing today and Fences on Thursday, so I'm counting those two in this wrap-up, as well.

The top 10 movies I enjoyed this year are:(in no particular order, except for #1)

1. American Pastoral. I still think about this movie sometimes. I tried reading the book, as well, but I could not get through it - it's very different from the movie. 4.5/5 stars.
*out on Blu-ray/DVD on February 7.

2. La La Land. The beginning of this movie didn't really reel me in at first, but eventually I started liking it more and more. Although I could see why the film ended the …

Movie Review: Lion

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I wanted to see Lion at a screening because of all the award nominations it has been receiving - Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman are up for both a SAG award and a Golden Globe for their work here. The movie did not disappoint, and the lush views of both India and Australia on-screen were a nice bonus, as well.

Young Saroo (Sunny Pawar) and his brother Guddu (Abhishek Bharate) are gathering things like coal to sell to support their family. Guddu is hesitant to bring Saroo along for a "night trip," but he does, and Saroo gets overwhelmed by it. Guddu leaves him on a bench in a train station, telling Saroo to stay there and that he will be back for him; when Saroo wakes up, however, Guddu is nowhere to be seen. Saroo finds an empty train and goes to sleep, not knowing that when he wakes up, the train will be in motion, and won't stop until it gets to Calcutta, about 1000 miles away from Saroo's hometown.

From there, Saroo wanders around a bit, until he finally ends up at…

Movie Review: Why Him?

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Why Him? is your typical "parents meet child's significant other and dislikes him/her" movie. However, the actors in the film are all great in their roles, and because of that, the movie was funnier than I expected it to be.

Stephanie (Zoey Deutch) has always been a daddy's girl - she and her dad, Ned (Bryan Cranston), are very close. However, she hasn't told him or her mom, Barb (Megan Mullally), that she's been seeing a new guy, for about a year now; they find this out in a hilarious way, involving Skype. Stephanie invites them and her brother, Scotty (Griffin Gluck), out to California to meet her new guy, Laird (James Franco), and there's another surprise: Laird is a tech mogul who lives in a multi-million dollar house, and he wants them all to stay there with him and Stephanie for the Christmas holiday.

Movie Review: Passengers

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A while ago, I read a book called Across the Universe, by Beth Revis, and Passengers sounded very similar to the novel: two people on a spaceship wake up too soon ... 90 years too soon, to be exact. It turns out that the script for Passengers has actually been floating around for a longer time than Across the Universe has been published, but regardless, it made me want to see the movie, to compare the two.

Engineer Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) is a passenger on the Avalon, which is headed for Homestead II - a new colony planet. It will take the ship 120 years to reach the planet, and the ship is only 30 years into that journey when it hits an asteroid or meteor of some kind; Jim's hibernation pod malfunctions, and it awakens him. He figures out that he woke up 90 years too soon, and he spends the next year on the ship by himself, trying to break into the captain's area of the ship and also figure out how to put himself back into hibernation. However, soon he has another passeng…

GIVEAWAY: Family 4-pack for The Lion King in Detroit {ends 12/27}

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Back in November, I posted about The Lion King, which is coming to Detroit this winter, and now I have a family 4-pack of tickets for one of my lucky readers to win!

About the show:
In its 19th year, THE LION KING continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 24 global productions have been seen by more than 85 million people. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING is only the second show in history to generate five productions worldwide running 10 or more years. Translated into eight different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway; London’s West End; Hamburg; Tokyo; Madrid; Mexico City; Shanghai, Scheveningen and on tour across North America, for a total of nine productions running concurrently across the globe. Having played over 10…

Movie Review: Jackie

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I didn't know much about JFK, aside from his assassination, and I knew even less about his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, so I was curious to see Jackie, which chronicles her life in the days and weeks after the assassination. Although Natalie Portman is great in the part, the movie overall is very slow, and a bit hard to watch.

Jackie Kennedy (Portman) has decided to talk with reporters, a week after her husband's death, and she is giving a sit-down interview to a journalist (Billy Crudup) at her home. The past week has involved her and her children moving out of the White House, as well as planning her husband's funeral, and they have a lot to talk about. The film switches from past to present, as we also get to witness Jackie giving a tour of the White House - something unprecedented - to a TV crew, prior to her husband's death, and we see events leading up to the Texas trip where he was killed.

Movie Review: La La Land

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I will say this about La La Land: both the music and the movie itself will have you thinking about it at least a day later (as I am, still, as I write this review). The cinematography is beautiful, too, but the movie is a little slow throughout.

Mia (Emma Stone) is working as a barista on the Warner Brothers lot as she pursues her dream of being an actress in Los Angeles. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is working jazz gigs as he tries to save money to open his own jazz club. Their "meet-cute" is more of a road rage-type thing - they're stuck in traffic on the freeway and Mia takes a little too long to move, so Sebastian aggressively beeps at her; she returns his gesture with a hand gesture of her own. Later, they meet again at a party, and Mia realizes they have chemistry - they start dating soon after. The film starts in winter and takes us through all four seasons with the couple, until circumstances start to tear them apart.

Movie Review: Collateral Beauty

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From its trailer, Collateral Beauty looked like it would be an interesting and different sort of film. After the movie begins, it appeared that its trailers were a bit misleading; however, near the end of the movie, we find that they actually were not.

We open with Howard (Will Smith) giving an inspirational speech to his PR firm's employees, including his friends Claire (Kate Winslet), Simon (Michael Peña), and Whit (Edward Norton). Fast-forward three years later, and Howard is a completely different man; he's depressed and withdrawn, due to the death of his young daughter. He shows up for work every day only to waste hours building domino structures, and then he heads home. His friends (who are also the founders of the PR firm) are worried about him, and also about some of their client relationships, which are failing because Howard was the "face" of those relationships. They decide to band together to help Howard, and they learn something interesting about themse…

TV review: Vice Principals, on HBO

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Back in October, I hosted a giveaway for Vice Principals season 1, although at the time I had not watched the series yet. I'm always looking for funny half-hour shows to watch, since most of the shows I watch are an hour-long, and this past week I finally had time to watch Vice Principals.

About the show:
Looking for something “profanely hilarious” to watch this fall? Season one of the “funny as hell” HBO comedy series Vice Principals is coming to Digital HD October 17!

Created by Danny R. McBride and Jody Hill (creators of HBO’s Eastbound & Down, along with Ben Best), Vice Principals: Season 1 tells the story of North Jackson High School and the two people who almost run it, the vice principals. McBride and Walton Goggins star as the school administrators, who are in an epic power struggle, vying for the top spot: to be school principal. But when new rival Dr. Belinda Brown (Kimberly Hébert Gregory) enters the picture, these bitter antagonists must form an unholy alliance to br…

Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village (Dearborn, MI) - Tickets available now!

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*Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Henry Ford/Greenfield Village. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

This past October, I checked out Hallowe'en at Greenfield Village. Now, during the holiday season, Greenfield Village presents Holiday Nights, its winter celebration.

Holiday Nights has been voted a top event by both USA Today and Reader's Digest.

I'll be attending during the last week of December, but tickets are selling out *FAST* so I'm posting about this now.

Tickets are still available for: Sunday, Dec. 11 and 18; Tues.-Thurs. Dec. 20-22; and Mon.-Fri., Dec. 26-30.

About Holiday Nights:
See why Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village presented by Citizens Bank continues to be voted a can’t-miss family-friendly event each year. Tickets are going fast for this authentic and immersive holiday celebration that takes place Dec. 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 20-23 and 26-30 from 6:30 pm – 10 pm.

“There is no better way to celebrate the holiday season than with …

Movie Review: Office Christmas Party

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Office Christmas Party looked very funny in its trailer, which always worries me, because sometimes that means that the funniest parts of the movie are all used up in in the trailer. In this case, that mostly turned out to be true, and it's a comedy that doesn't warrant being seen in the theater.

Josh (Jason Bateman) works at a tech company, Zenotek, and his good friend Clay (T.J. Miller) runs the company; the branch was given to him to run from his dad, who recently passed away. Clay's sister, the ruthless Carol (Jennifer Aniston), arrives in town one day and tells Clay that his branch is underperforming, and that unless they land a big account, he has to lay off 40 percent of his staff. Enter Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance), with a $14 million deal that Josh, Tracey (Olivia Munn), and Clay must land. Against Carol's wishes, the three of them decide to throw an epic office Christmas party and invite Walter, though the consequences of this party later turn out to be w…

Microsoft Surface Pro: the perfect tablet for on the go {BIG savings + giveaway!}

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Disclosure: This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me. Hosts for this event are Still Blonde after all these Years and ModlyChic.

When the Microsoft Store opened in my local mall (Somerset Collection, in Troy) a few years ago, it was definitely a "must attend" event. All of its new products were on display, and they even had Kelly Clarkson drop by for a live concert. A friend and I stopped by the store to check it out, and I loved trying out all of the new tech they were offering.

I'm constantly "on the go," whether it be for personal travel—this year I went to New Orleans for a wedding, San Diego for Yelp Spring Break, Grand Haven, MI for a girls weekend, and L.A. for BlogHer '16—or for work travel. Because of that, and also because I'm a busy millennial, I've been coveting a Microsoft Surface Pro for a while now, as it's both a computer AND a tablet. Right now the Microsoft Store is doing a deal on them, which would…

Movie Review: Miss Sloane

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I'll admit that I wasn't a huge fan of Miss Sloane at the beginning of the movie - it moves at a lightning-fast pace, which normally is good, but in this case it made some of the plot and characters hard to follow.

Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is a lobbyist and a shark. She has a fantastic track record, and she doesn't let anything—or anyone—get in her way. Her current project is lobbying for a bill for gun reform, and she's intent on getting enough senators to vote for the bill so that it passes, thus making it harder for people to procure guns. She doesn't really have a personal life, instead paying escorts to fulfill her needs, and she focuses all of her energy on lobbying. When it looks like the gun bill might not pass, however, Sloane must take extreme measures to make sure it does, hurting some of the people she works with in the process.

Review: Noodles & Company, Macomb, MI {and enter to win Noodles for a YEAR! Ends 12/12}

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*Disclosure: I received a meal at the Macomb Noodles & Co. in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Back in June, I tried out some of the newest salads and other dishes at the Noodles and Company located in Royal Oak, MI. This winter, Noodles has some new mac 'n cheese and other entrees out, so I headed to the Macomb, MI location—which just recently opened—to try them.

We started out with a few appetizers, including a new-ish one that has come to be my favorite - the Korean meatballs. We also tried some of the salads that debuted this summer, and the restaurant's garlic bread, which is always good.


The meatballs come marinated in a Gochujang sauce, and they're a little spicy; I don't normally like spicy foods, but they have just the right amount of spice. The two salads we tried were the Chicken Veracruz (left), and the Napa Market Salad with chicken (right).


Movie Review: Moana

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In the film world, the name "Disney" is synonymous with innovative movies. Although Moana is very colorful, and has some catchy songs, it a film that is easy to forget after you exit the theater.

Moana (voiced by newcomer Auli'i Cravalho) has always felt the call of the ocean. She lives on an island with her family, who is essentially the island royalty, and they fully expect her to become leader once she comes of age. Her grandmother, however, informally known as the island "crazy person," encourages her to listen to her heart, and fulfill her dreams. When the coconuts and fish supply start drying up around the island, Moana knows it's because of the legend of Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) and actions that he took many, many years ago, and she takes it upon herself to find Maui and make everything right again, for the sake of the islanders; who she finds, however, ends up being not entirely what she expected.

Movie Review: Bad Santa 2

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I wanted Bad Santa 2 to be just as good as the first one, which premiered in 2003, but as we all know, sequels rarely live up to their predecessors. This one wasn't awful by any means, but definitely not as funny as the first, unfortunately.

Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) lives a meaningless life in Arizona. He has no girlfriend, and mostly no friends, except for Thurman (Brett Kelly), who occasionally drops by to say hi. When Marcus (Tony Cox) drops by and offers him a chance to earn a cool million or $2M with him, he begrudgingly accepts, and they head to Chicago for the heist. Willie almost declines when he sees who the 3rd person in on the deal is, though - his estranged mother, Sunny (Kathy Bates), whom he hates. The place they are robbing is actually a charity, and Willie must don the Santa suit again to get an "in" there, with Marcus again as an elf, and Sunny as Mrs. Claus. There are multiple side negotiations going on, too, and Willie must make sure that he doesn&…

Upcoming: The Lion King at Detroit Opera House, February 1-26, 2017

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*Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Broadway in Detroit. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

THE LION KING is coming to Detroit this February, and I'm super excited about it!

As a '90s kid, I'm a huge fan of the movie, but I've never actually seen the musical, in-person. Plus, the Opera House is a gorgeous venue for the show.

More info:
Disney Theatrical Productions and Broadway In Detroit announced that tickets for the long-awaited return engagement of DISNEY’S THE LION KING are currently on sale all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.broadwayindetroit.com or www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800- 982-2787 and at The Fisher Theatre box office. Tickets will also be available at the Detroit Opera House box office. Ticket prices start at $25. Detroit’s most eagerly awaited return will once again leap onto the Detroit Opera House stage on February 1 for a limited engagement of four weeks through February 26.

In Detroit, THE LION KING will pl…

Movie Review: Loving

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Before I saw Loving, I knew it was based on an actual court case, Loving v. Virginia, that sought to prohibit discrimination against interracial marriage. However, I didn't know much about the real people behind the case, Mildred and Richard Loving, and this film helped provide insight into their lives.

Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Jeter (Ruth Negga, 12 Years a Slave) want to get married, as Mildred is pregnant, but it's unlawful to do so in their state of Virginia; therefore, they drive up to D.C. and get married there. When authorities in their county in Virginia find out what happened, they drag them out of their home in the middle of the night, to jail; Richard gets out fairly easy, but they leave pregnant Mildred there for the weekend, until her father arrives to post bail. Eventually, Richard and Mildred get their day in court, where their lawyer negotiates a deal: the 1-year prison sentence will be waived, however, the two of them cannot come back to Virg…

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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First off: I SO wanted this movie to be, well ... fantastic. I've been missing my Harry Potter fix for a while now, and the events of Fantastic Beasts take place 70 years before Harry Potter's time at Hogwarts. Unfortunately, the film is very, very slow, which deters me from giving it a high rating.

Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) travels from England to New York via boat, to accomplish some things, and he brings along some special creatures with him, in his suitcase. Due to a mix-up when he arrives, however, a "non-maj" (non-magical person, aka Muggle), Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), ends up with the suitcase, and Scamander must retrieve it from him. Once he does, the two of them end up meeting Ms. Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) and her sister, Queenie (Alison Sudol), who will eventually end up helping them with Scamander's mission.

For those unfamiliar with the Harry Potter universe, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is actually a textbook that he and hi…

Movie Review: The Edge of Seventeen

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I had heard a lot about The Edge of Seventeen before seeing it in the theater, as it was being touted as "John Hughes-esque" (ie, similar to classic teen films like The Breakfast Club, etc.) and that it was going to be the most memorable "teen" film that has premiered in a while. Although it didn't measure up to quite that level, it's still a refreshingly funny movie that is worth seeing.

Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) never had many friends, even from a young age, until she meets Krista (Haley Lu Richardson), with whom she bonds instantly. Flash-forward to today, and they're both juniors in high school, with Krista still being Nadine's only friend. After Nadine's brother, Darian (Blake Jenner) throws a small party at their house, Krista starts hanging out more with him, eventually becoming his girlfriend, and Nadine can't handle it: she demands that Krista chooses, either her or her brother. Because she's now friendless, Nadine starts hang…

Spreading MODness at MOD Pizza, from November 22-27 {and a giveaway!}

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*Disclosure: I received a MOD gift card in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

MOD Pizza will be spreading some MODness from November 22-27 this month, and needs your help!

MOD will donate $1 for every pizza sold, to locally-based organizations.

I just visited MOD last month (and have been previously, as well), and the pizza is always fresh and tasty.

More info:
TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants (TSFR), a Michigan-based family-owned restaurant group with an expansive portfolio of casual, quick service and family dining restaurants throughout the state, and its Livonia, Woodhaven, Rochester Hills, Brighton and Northville MOD Pizza restaurants, are teaming up with five locally based organizations for its annual Spreading MODness campaign.

During Spreading MODness, a week in which the company and its restaurants focus on supporting at-risk youth and families, each MOD Pizza restaurant will donate $1 for every pizza sold to locally-based organizations f…

Review - Looking: The Movie

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By: Travis Noon

HBO's Looking was an original series that lasted two seasons on the premium network, and it provided a updated look into the lives of gay men in San Francisco in the modern day. Comparisons may be drawn with Queer As Folk, which was a popular show from 2000-2005 on Showtime. In my opinion, that show seems a little dated; however the importance in the gay community was very important.<br />
Looking had relatable characters in the show's short run; nevertheless, by the summation of season two, closure wasn't drawn in the series finale, and HBO made a wise decision to have a two-hour movie to bring the fans what they wanted. 
As for relatable characters, the one that is like myself is Patrick, played by Jonathan Groff from Broadway fame. Patrick is a video game designer and had a circle of close friends in San Francisco; he's now left them and moved back to his hometown of Denver. This is where Patrick's story begins for the Looking movie, as …

Cold weather holiday winter gear choices {and free shipping!} with Sierra Trading Post + $250 giveaway {ends 11/27}

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*Disclosure: This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me. Hosts for this event are Still Blonde after all these Years and ModlyChic.

It's November in Michigan currently, which means that very shortly, it's going to get cold. I'm not talking about cold like "kind of cold" (aka, 60 degrees to those of you in California and in the South), but like BRRRR cold. Like stay home and drink hot cocoa all day cold.

Unfortunately, most of us can't stay home all day and drink hot cocoa, so we need to purchase some jackets and other gear that will get us through the winter.

I'm in need of a new winter coat this year - I think my current coat is 7+ years old - and Sierra Trading Post has a large selection from which to choose.


I headed over to the women's jackets and coats page on Sierra Trading Post's site, and the first one that caught my eye was this North Face jacket ($99.99). I love anything purple, and the jacket comes in a variety…

Movie Review: Arrival

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I didn't know much about Arrival before seeing it - I watched the trailer the day of the screening, and it had a good cast and looked like it could be interesting. However, it ended up surprising me by far exceeding my expectations, and it's one that I'd like to rewatch at some point.

Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is a professor at a university. One day, she arrives to her class to find only a handful of students there, and one of them asks her to turn on the TV - it turns out that there's been an alien invasion, although for now it mostly seems peaceful. Twelve alien crafts have descended upon various countries across the world, including the state of Montana (this is a state, not a city), and the government wants to know what they want from us. Soon after, Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) arrives at her door, asking for her help translating the aliens' language - she had helped the government previously with a different project. She and Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner…

GIVEAWAY: Bad Moms on Blu-ray combo pack {ends 11/13}

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*Disclosure: I received a copy of this movie on Blu-ray combo pack in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

A few weeks ago, I had a giveaway up for a Digital HD code of Bad Moms - so if you didn't win that one, you're in luck, since I now surprisingly have a Blu-ray combo pack to give away!

The Blu-ray combo pack was released in November 1st, so you can find it in stores and online now.

About the movie:
Bad Moms, the year’s biggest R-rated comedy – a runaway hit with audiences and critics alike – is coming to Digital HD on October 18, 2016 and Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand on November 1, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The raunchy film described as “incredibly funny!” by Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly, is the first R-rated comedy since The Hangover to earn an “A” grade from audiences nationwide. Hailed by critics from The New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times and Washington Post, Bad Moms is one comedy not to be missed. …

GIVEAWAY: Jason Bourne on Blu-ray combo pack {ends 11/11}

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*Disclosure: I will be receiving a copy of Jason Bourne in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I didn't get to see Jason Bourne in the theater, but am a huge fan of the Bourne series - specifically, with Matt Damon in the lead role - so I'm excited to see this one.

Jason Bourne will be released on Digital HD on November 15th, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and on-demand on December 6th. One of my lucky readers will win a Blu-ray combo pack - read on for details.

About the movie:
Matt Damon (Bourne Franchise, The Martian) is back and this time it’s personal in JASON BOURNE, the action-packed fifth installment of the blockbuster franchise, coming to Digital HD November 15, 2016 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on December 6, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Nearly a decade since fans last saw the former operative, the explosive return brings Jason Bourne into a whole new era, revealing key secrets about Bourne’s …

Smart shopping with Groupon Goods

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*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions posted here are my own.

Most of you already know about my love of Groupon for all things deal-related. I actually just bought a great deal for Pieology, in Royal Oak, a fast-casual pizza place - $10 for two unlimited-topping pizzas, which normally would be $15-16. [if you're in the Detroit area, check that deal out!]

However, did you also know that Groupon also has a Groupon Goods section too? I first found out about this when I was looking to buy Meghan Trainor's newest CD, Thank You - Groupon had it, and it was even less expensive than Amazon.

Today I actually stumbled across this in an ad on Facebook, and as a new Gilmore Girls fan, I was immediately enthralled - Groupon Goods is selling t-shirts based on the TV show:


I started watching the TV show back in March or February of this year, and only recently finished it a few weeks ago (and am SUPER excited for the new Netflix episodes later this month!). A blogger f…

Review and GIVEAWAY: Hallmark Blockbuster Keepsake ornaments {ends 11/6}

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*Disclosure: I received a set of the Hallmark Blockbuster Keepsake ornaments to review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

What was your favorite blockbuster movie or TV show this year? If your answer is Batman v. Superman, Star Wars, or TV's The Walking Dead, you're in luck - Hallmark has just released Blockbuster Keepsake ornaments, which would be great atop the Christmas tree or to give as a gift.

I received five ornaments to review: Batman, Superman, a Stormtrooper, Wonder Woman, and Rick Grimes. Walking Dead is one of my favorite TV shows currently, so I was definitely excited to receive Rick in the mail. I'm also a big Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Star Wars fan.


All of the ornaments are available on Hallmark.com or in Hallmark Gold Crown stores:

· Rick Grimes (from AMC’s The Walking Dead)
· Imperial Stormtrooper Helmet w/Sound
· Batman (from Batman v Superman)
· Wonder Woman (from Batman v Superman)
· Supe…

GIVEAWAY: 4-in-1 Horror Collection Blu-ray {Hostel, Hostel II, Hollow Man, Hollow Man 2} - ends 11/4

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Mill Creek entertainment has just released a 4-in-1 Horror Collection, on Blu-ray, and two of my lucky readers will win a copy!

If you can't wait until then to watch it, click here to purchase the collection.

Movies on the Blu-ray include:

Hostel (Unrated Director's Cut)

(2005) - Color - Not Rated

Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson,Barbara Nedeljakova

Presented by Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Vol. 1 & 2) and directed by Eli Roth (Cabin Fever), Hostel is a shocking and relentless film in the tradition of Saw about two American backpackers (Jay Hernandez, Friday Night Lights and Derek Richardson, Dumb and Dumberer) in Europe who find themselves lured in as victims of a murder-for-profit business.
Hostel Part II (Unrated Director's Cut)

(2007) - Color - Not Rated

Lauren German, Roger Bart, Heather Matarazzo, Bijou Phillips

Presented by Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Vols. 1 & 2) and written and directed by Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever), Hostel Part II is the shocking and g…

Movie Review: Inferno

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Confession time: I haven't read any of the Da Vinci Code books, including The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, or this one, Inferno. I also haven't seen either of the first two movies in the series. Therefore, I was a little apprehensive going in to Inferno, since I didn't know if it was more of a standalone movie or not; it turned out it was, but it was still a bit confusing, plot-wise.

Dr. Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in an Italian hospital without any memories from the past 48 hours; last thing he remembers, he was still in Boston. Someone comes to the hospital looking for him and starts shooting, and his ER doctor, Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), helps him escape. They soon figure out why people are looking for Langdon, and they escape again, to Venice, where clues are hidden that may help them uncover more about why Langdon initially ended up in the ER, and why he's in possession of a certain object. However, he's still being chased by people who w…

GIVEAWAY: 4-pack of tickets for Phantom of the Opera at the Detroit Opera House {ends 11/2}

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Phantom of the Opera is coming to Detroit this January, and one of my lucky readers will win a family 4-pack of tickets to go see it!

The show will be here January 11-22, 2017; purchase tickets on Ticketmaster, or you can buy them at the Opera House or at broadwayindetroit.com.

About the show:
Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA will go on sale Sunday, October 9 for an engagement at the Detroit Opera House, January 11 – 22, 2017. With newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design, this new version of PHANTOM is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America. Tickets will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, online at www.broadwayindetroit.com or www.ticketmaster.com, and The Fisher Theatre box office. Starting at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 10, tickets will also be available at the Detroit Opera House box office. Ticket pr…

GIVEAWAY: Digital HD copy of HBO's Ballers (season 2) - ends 11/1

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Ballers season 2 is out on Digital HD today, October 24th, and one of my lucky readers can win a copy!

About the show:
If Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights don’t provide quite enough time on the turf, may we suggest your best bet for filling the hours between games this football season: the hit HBO comedy series Ballers.

Starring Dwayne Johnson as ex-superstar Spencer Strasmore, who has reinvented himself as a financial manager for today’s players in sun-soaked Miami, Ballers: Season 2 will be available to own on Digital HD Monday, October 24. The complete season download includes all ten Season 2 episodes, plus Inside the Episodes features at select retailers that take viewers behind the scenes of the show.

In Season 2 of Ballers, things are getting more competitive and complicated for Spencer. As the lines between professional and personal blur in his pursuit of lasting success and glory, he must face demons from the past when he goes head-to-head with the biggest business manager on t…

Celebrating National Pizza Month at MOD Pizza

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*Disclosure: I received a meal at MOD in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

MOD Pizza in Northville, MI, opened in August 2015, and a Rochester Hills location opened soon after. This month, MOD's across the country are celebrating National Pizza Month, and I stopped by the Northville location to check out the October seasonal pizza, the Petra.


A regular-sized pizza is $7.87 at MOD, and that includes all the toppings you want. I highly suggest getting an order of the cinnamon strips, as well ($2.97), with cinnamon dipping sauce, as that's fantastic as well.

GIVEAWAY: HBO's Vice Principals season 1, on Digital HD {ends 10/31}

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Season 1 of Vice Principals is now available on Digital HD, and one of my lucky readers will win a Digital HD code to watch the series!

I haven't watched the series yet but I'm looking forward to it - Danny McBride is hilarious in anything he's in, usually.

About the show:
Looking for something “profanely hilarious” to watch this fall? Season one of the “funny as hell” HBO comedy series Vice Principals is coming to Digital HD October 17! 

Created by Danny R. McBride and Jody Hill (creators of HBO’s Eastbound & Down, along with Ben Best), Vice Principals: Season 1 tells the story of North Jackson High School and the two people who almost run it, the vice principals. McBride and Walton Goggins star as the school administrators, who are in an epic power struggle, vying for the top spot: to be school principal. But when new rival Dr. Belinda Brown (Kimberly Hébert Gregory) enters the picture, these bitter antagonists must form an unholy alliance to bring down the outsider by …