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Showing posts from September, 2016

Movie Review: Masterminds

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From its trailer, Masterminds looked like it was going to be either stupid fun or just plain stupid. Luckily, it ended up being more of the former, and the cast - with three Ghostbusters alums and a handful of past SNL members, too - was also very good.

David Ghantt (Zach Galifianakis) works at Loomis Fargo with Kelly (Kristen Wiig), and he's among large amounts of cash all day long. In fact, he's one of their most trusted employees, so he even has a key to the vault. He also has a major crush on Kelly, who knows this but just wants to be his friend. After Kelly quits Loomis, a few weeks later she falls in with childhood friend Steve (Owen Wilson) and his friends, and Steve has a brilliant idea: they should rob Loomis Fargo, and enlist David to help them do this. Kelly gives David a call, and although he has reservations, he would do anything for her, so the heist is a go; though there will be some unforeseen complications before, during, and after the heist.

Movie Review: Deepwater Horizon

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Deepwater Horizon tells the story of a 2010 oil rig explosion that killed eleven people and left many others injured. I wasn't familiar with the story before this movie, but it's definitely an interesting one, and the film is worth seeing in the theater.
Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) is leaving his wife, Felicia (Kate Hudson) and daughter, Sydney (Stella Allen) for about 23 days to go work on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, for lack of a better term, in the Gulf of Mexico. The Deepwater Horizon is led by Mr. Jimmy (Kurt Russell) and has about 120 men and women working onboard, including Andrea (Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin), who works in the control room; Jason (Ethan Suplee), also a control room worker; and Caleb (Dylan O'Brien, The Maze Runner), who works out on the "frontlines" with the oil. BP exec Vidrine (John Malkovich) is also on board, and is pushing for BP's oil to be obtained quickly, while skipping standard tests, which later doesn't bode we…

Digital HD Giveaway: The Night Of (HBO limited series), ends 10/4

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The Night Of, an HBO limited series, is now available for download on Digital HD, and will be available on DVD and Blu-ray as of October 18th. One of my lucky readers has the chance to win a digital code!

I haven't watched the series yet but I'm looking forward to seeing it at some point, as it sounds very good.

About the series:
“The best TV you’ll see this summer” (Vanity Fair) will be available to own this fall when The Night Of, the acclaimed HBO limited series that captivated TV audiences this summer, comes to Digital HD on September 26, 2016, and to DVD and Blu-ray on October 18, 2016. Starring John Turturro in “a mind-blowing performance” (Wall Street Journal) and the “extraordinary” (Boston Globe) Riz Ahmed, The Night Of is “an anthem to television’s unique power to turn a series of understated performances into sustained magnificence” (Los Angeles Times). The series, which delves into the intricacies of a complex New York City murder case with cultural and political ov…

Movie Review: Queen of Katwe

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Queen of Katwe is based on a true story, and the book The Queen of Katwe: One Girl's Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion, which I now want to read. It follows Phiona (pronounced "Fiona") Matesi, a girl from the streets of Uganda who eventually learns the game of chess, and later goes to national tournaments to pursue her dream of becoming a grandmaster.

Phiona (newcomer Madina Nalwanga) lives with her mother, Nakku (Lupita Nyong'o), two brothers, and occasionally her sister, in a very poor rural area of Uganda. She helps her mother sell maiz (corn) and that is her life - until one day, she meets Robert Katende (David Oyelowo), who hosts a chess club of sorts for the kids, and she starts to learn the game. It turns out that Phiona has a great aptitude for chess, and soon she starts going to regional and national tournaments. At the same time, however, she and her family become homeless, and life in Uganda gets harder and harder for them.

Movie Review: The Magnificent Seven (2016)

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An expert assembles a team to work together and defeat the bad guy. Ocean's 11? Nope, it's The Magnificent Seven, which reminded me a bit of that film except instead of robbing a casino, the team is running an evil robber baron (Peter Sarsgaard) out of the town that he stole from its inhabitants. This version is also based on the 1960s movie of the same name, with Steve McQueen, except that version took place in Mexico instead of the Wild West.

Chisolm (Denzel Washington) is recruited by a widow, Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett), whose husband (Matt Bomer) was murdered when the robber baron Bartholomew Bogue (Sarsgaard) rolled into her town and took it for himself. Emma wants to take back the town, and also get revenge on Bogue. Chisolm knows he will have to hire a larger team for this, so he recruits Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Jack Horne (Vincent D'Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and the Native America…

Upcoming: Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Dec. 30 at the Palace (Detroit area)

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*Disclosure: I have an ongoing media relationship with TSO. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I attended the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) concert at the Palace in 2014 and 2015, and I can't wait to go this year too - their concerts are always lots of fun and very different from anything else I've attended.

The TSO will be at the Palace of Auburn Hills on December 30 of this year, and will be performing two shows, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The TSO's tour starts November 17th and goes through the end of December, too - click here to see if they'll be playing in your city!

GIVEAWAY: Character onesie pajama wardrobe - 13 winners! {ends 10/7}

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A few bloggers and I have combined forces to bring you this giveaway.
Good luck!

Welcome to the Character Onesie Wardrobe Giveaway Event!
Sponsored by: Richard Leeds International

Organized by: Southern Mom Loves



With Fall coming, we thought you could use some fun new PJs! These character onesies from Richard Leeds International are warm and soft and come in fun designs to help keep you looking cool all season long, and are available in Olaf, Eeyore, Ariel, MinnieSugar Skull, Shark, & Pollo.
So if you're looking for some adorable cool-weather PJs, look no further than your local Walmart store, where you can find these cute offerings in the Sleepwear section or online at Walmart.com, and then enter to win a full onesie wardrobe below!



1-(One) 1st prize: 7 pair of onesies pajamas2-(Two) 2nd prizes: 4 pair of onesies pajamas3-(Three) 3rd prizes: 3 pair of onesies pajamas7-(Seven) 4th prizes: 1 pair of onesies pajamas

Movie Review: Bridget Jones's Baby

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The first two Bridget Jones movies came out in 2000 and 2004 (Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason). I was in high school at the time, and I remember seeing both and liking both. Twelve years later, we now have Bridget Jones's Baby; Hugh Grant is out of the picture, but now the suitors are Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth) and a new one, an American named Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey).

Bridget Jones is celebrating her birthday, but "celebrating" is a term used loosely: she's 43, and single, having broken things off with Mr. Darcy. Her friend Miranda (Sarah Solemani) wants to take her on girls weekend, so they head to an outdoor music festival, where Miranda encourages Bridget to let loose. Bridget ends up having a one-night stand with Jack (Dempsey), and then she ducks out early the next morning. A few days later, Bridget runs into Darcy (Firth) at a christening, and learns he's about to be divorced; old habits die hard, and soon they're together as well. Back in the cit…

Saving money with Groupon Coupons

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*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All of the opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Whether I'm seeing a movie, going out to eat, or traveling, I love saving money, and I've been using Groupon for what seems like forever - it always has great deals on the things I like doing. I bought a $20 Groupon to one of my favorite Thai places a week or so ago, and paid about $10 for it, which was a nice deal.

Did you know that Groupon also has Groupon Coupons, though?

I recently checked them out for the first time, and there are some good savings to be found - even in areas you wouldn't expect, like out-of-state travel (check out the Bally's Atlantic City coupon at right).

Groupon Coupons has everything from Bed Bath & Beyond (20% off one item, in-store), to Snapfish, to eHarmony (60% off a 1-year subscription!), if you use online dating sites like I do.

Some other coupons I found of interest were Barnes & Noble - mostly coupons for their website, like $10 of…

Review: HandleBar Detroit, Detroit's 16-person bar on wheels

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*Disclosure: I received a free ride on the HandleBar in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I have wanted to try a "pedal pub" ride ever since a friend and I saw one in Savannah, GA, when I went there for a weekend trip. There was a bachelorette party riding on the pedal pub, and it looked like a ton of fun. Since then, I've seen them pop up in Ann Arbor and now, Detroit, with HandleBar Detroit. When I got the opportunity to try them out for a blogger event, then, I definitely didn't hesitate to accept!


Jason was our driver (Handler? ha) and he was very knowledgeable - he's actually one of the founders of Slow Roll Detroit, which was pretty cool. He knew the best places to take us to, in Detroit, and we ended up making three stops: at Checker Bar, at Comerica Park (for a photo op), and at the Town Pump Tavern.

Restaurant Review: 1000 Degrees Pizzeria, Plymouth, MI

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*Disclosure: My family and I received a free meal in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Fast-casual pizza is officially a trend in the U.S., and Michigan now has many choices for those of us who like pizza and being able to customize it. My family and I were able to check out 1000 Degrees Pizzeria, in Plymouth, this past weekend, one of the newest additions to the scene.


I really liked the interior of 1000 Degrees, it's modern and very bright and open. The building is kind of in the middle of the parking lot, near the Xfinity and Grand Traverse Pie plaza on Ann Arbor Rd. near 275 in Plymouth.



Like most of the fast-casual places I've been to, you can choose a pre-set pizza (ingredients have been pre-set) or make your own. I usually make my own, and that's what I did here, too. A 10" pizza is $8.95, and you can get it on gluten-free crust for $9.99; if you'd like a 14" pizza instead, that's $16.95. My dad and I chose t…

Movie Review: The Light Between Oceans

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The Light Between Oceans is based on the book, by M.L. Stedman, which I read a while back and really liked, so I had high hopes for this movie - and with an all-star cast, the film did not disappoint.

Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) has accepted a job as a lighthouse keeper, for what starts out as a temporary assignment; soon, however, he signs a three-year contract. He meets Isabel (Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl) on the mainland one day and they eventually get married, as the only other person allowed to live on the lighthouse's island is the keeper's wife. They want to start a family together, and Isabel becomes pregnant on two separate occasions, but loses the baby each time.

When a small boat washes up on the shore of the island, with a dead man and an (alive) baby inside of it, it almost seems like fate; Isabel convinces Tom not to report the boat, and they decide to raise the baby, Lucy, as if she was their own. However, things get complicated when they meet the …