Saturday, July 28, 2012

How to Get into the Movies for Free (or at least really cheap!)

   Okay, if you wait outside the exit door long enough... No, this won't be that sort How To post.  But let's face it; movies have gotten expensive!  When I was in my younger days I was not always on the up and up when it came to getting in the movies.  

   One of the things that changed me was when our Scout Master/Deacons Quorum Adviser had found out that some of us had paid for child tickets to a group outing to the movies, when we were actually old enough to be charged full price. That Sunday he spoke to us about honesty.  After it was over I was so ashamed I just wanted to hide under a rock.  I assume it will be similar for us at judgment day.  I haven't been perfect, but with that experience and the "No Ticket" scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade I have striven to be better.

But we want to legally help you get into the movies for Free, or at least at a significant discount!

How to Get into the Movies for Free

Product Promos

   When a big movie comes out there are often cross promotions that come out to get people to see that movie and buy certain products.  Right now there is a promo with Kellogg's and The Amazing Spider-man. (Our Review)  We went to Sam's Club and bought a box of Rice Crispy Treats and Cheese-Its we were able to get enough points to redeem for a free ticket.  There are a bunch of other products you can get too.  

   There is also a great promotion for Batman: The Dark Knight Rises (Our Review) happening.  If you buy Batman: Begins or Batman: The Dark Knight you get $5 off a ticket to see The Dark Knight Rises.  Plus right now at Walmart Both these movies are on sale for $5 each! (Expired)

(Update 12/4/12)
   There is a Promotion at Banana Republic today offering a free ticket to Les Miserables.  Some are saying you have to buy something, but the Facebook photo says no purchase necessary   Make sure you have it with you.  But it would be nice to buy something, or at least browse around.  

Point Redemption Sites

   One of our best ways to get free movie tickets, is using Viggle on our smartphone.  Viggle is a app for your phone that rewards you for the shows you are already watching.  Viggle automatically identifies the television shows its users are watching and awards them points when they check-in. Viggle users can redeem their points in the app’s rewards catalogue for items such as movie tickets, music, gift cards or they can convert them into charitable donations.  If you are watching the Olympics right now it is a great time to join.  Not only do you get points for checking in, but you can earn bonuses for answering questions as you watch.  Movie Tickets from Fandango can be redeemed for 21,500.  I earned about 2,000 just from watching the Olympics today.

Movie Screenings

   Movie Screenings are a great way not only to get into the movies for free, but before anyone else.  A site we are big fans of is Gofobo.  We have gotten many invites to see advance screenings.  Some have been good, some awful.  You probably won't get offers to see any blockbusters, but we have enjoyed the experience.  Registration is free and you always get a synopsis of the movie so you can pass on the ones you aren't interest in or wary of the content.  One of the best movies we were able to see was an advance screening of the remake of Footloose.  We have also been using Advance Screenings because they are sort pull from a bunch of different sites.

   Another popular site is Cinemit.  They don't cover the west coast yet, but are a great option for you.  Other sites worth checking out are Film Metro and Wild about Movies.

Hot to Get into the Movies for Cheap

Discount Ticket Sellers

   There are a few places you can get Bulk Tickets is smaller amounts.  Usually you have to buy about 50 at a time, but with sites like BulkTix you will only have to buy 4.  Starting at just $7 each.  Perfect for a double date!  Order passes online, they come to your mail box, and you just turn them in at the box office.  Plus right now if you use promo code "MormonReviews" at the Google Checkout you can get Free Shipping.  They also have concession discounts as well. 

   If you didn't plan ahead and you have a Costco membership you can also get passes to Regal, Cinemark, and AMC Theatres at the club.  

Rebate Sites

   When buying advanced tickets and you are out of Viggle Points and Discount Passes, sites like BeeSavy can help you get a little rebate back when you purchase tickets from Fandango.  

Daily Deal Sites

   Site aggregators like Yipit and Slickdeals scan for offers from multiple daily deal sites.  If you are in Southern California like us you can get the deal I found today from Amazon Local.  2 Movie tickets plus a large popcorn for $15. Only 1 day left from the time of this posting.

   Because these deals are sometimes region specific it can be helpful to follow sites like ours that can help you find these offers.  Even though the Amazon Ultrastar deal is being offered in Northern Orange County, you can use it at any Ultrastar theatre!  So like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and Join our blog on Google Friend Connect to keep up with all the latest movie reviews and ticket offers.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Batman- The Dark Knight Rises (2012): Mormon Movie Review

 My initial perceptions of "The Dark Knight Rises" were not that high from the beginning of production. First off I hated the name.  It was a very unoriginal title that seemed to try and rekindle the firestorm that was "The Dark Knight."  But as I watched more and more previews I got more and more excited.

   I chose to give "The Dark Knight Rises" 5 Stars based on the film as a whole and the feeling I had when I left the theatre.  If I did half ratings, I might have given the film 4.5 for some poor pacing issues in the beginning of the movie.  Because there really isn't much revealed in the trailer   I'll make sure to be sensitive to spoilers.  

   Gotham is in an 8 year season of peace because of the White Knight persona perpetuated posthumously of Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart).  This also made the need for Batman diminish and he has not been seen since the night he took the blame for Dent's death.  Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) also went into seclusion about the same time and has not been seen.  Off the bat I had to say it was a poor way to reintroduce this character. 

  Soon things get underway and we are introduced to two new characters Bane (Tom Hardy) and Selena Kyle (Anne Hathaway).  Both embody their persona perfectly. Bane is held very true to the comic book as being someone of immense strength and intellect.  1997's "Batman and Robin" only got this half right.  He is intelligent and an expert tactician.  In Christopher Nolan's more gritty Gotham though he did exclude the Venom serum and the purposed source of his immense power.  The muzzle like mask was a film worthy change from the luchador  mask.  It does a lot to add to Hardy's acting talents as he basically only had his eyes to act with.  The voice was very ominous, but always did seems to feel like a voice over instead of being in the world.

   Hathaway was also a strong presence on screen.  Catwoman (although never actually named as such) serves as much more of a Byronic heroine.  You can't really like her, but you certainly cannot hate her either.  She steals just about every scene she is in.

   There isn't a whole lot of character growth in our familiar characters, but there is some unexplained, or under explained personality changes that I had some difficulty with.  Bruce Wayne does have some soul searching and and training to do, but I felt like I already saw that in the first film.

  Luckily the new characters introduced were riveting and held my interest. The second act is where they really shine.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays rookie cop John Blake.  He is one of the few Gotham city police officers who still has faith in the Batman.  When Bane's plan begins to unfold, it is Blake who comes to the forefront of the film rather than Wayne.  He becomes the protagonist the audience identifies with and as such saves this movie. 

  By the time we get to the 3rd act your heart is fully invested in these characters.  I was continually shifting in my seat as the plot just got more and more intense, like peeling an onion.  Then as the conflict is resolved and we watch the denouement, it is enjoyable and touching to see how each character is effected, an how they choose to carry on.  

There are some intense scenes of terrorism in this film.  Although most deaths are implied, the recent shooting tragedy Colorado reminds us of the all too human cost to random acts of violence.  Those killed in the movie do not seem to be portrayed as more than set pieces, but these real events really brought home the horrible acts being committed by Bane.   The language is relatively clean with only one PG-13 expletive and a few exclamations of deity's name.  There is also a scene where it is implied the characters had been intimate.      

If Acts 1 and 2 were paced a little cleaner, I would give this film a solid 5 Stars, but with the strength of the supporting cast and 3rd Act I just couldn't downgrade it to 4.  "The Dark Knight" is still the strongest film in the franchise, but this is a close tie with Batman Begins.

Monday, July 16, 2012

How to Monetize Your Blog

   Hello my name is Grady, and I'm major cinephile.  It have been 14 days since I have been to the movies.  

   I have always loved movies.  I even took a course on the history of the cinema in college.  I have seen all sorts of movies; drama, comedy, documentary, independent, epic, awful, scary, creepy, wholesome, irreverent.  Many times after seeing a bad film I wished someone would have warned me.  It is part of the reason why I started Mormon Media Reviews.  Click the link for the rest of the story.  

  Not many bloggers are in it for the money.  Many of us just have a story to tell or desire to help others out.  I don't know when the last time was you went to the movie theatre, but it is expensive!  Try going on a movie date for under $30 after sunset.

  So in order to help finance our movie reviews we chose to put ads on our site.  You can see them all on the left panel.  I didn't want them to be every where or mixed in with our own content, so we just dedicated that column to our sponsored content.  We wanted to share with our fellow bloggers ways to monetize your site  

Google Adsense:

   Google Adsense is one of our best paying type of advertisement.  It is also a very easy way to get started.  If you use Blogger to manage your Blog there is even a widget to simplify the process.  The ads are customized based on the content of the page as well as the interests of the viewer.  My Mother is trying to sell her 3 Yorkie Puppies and had been looking online for websites to list them.  Later she was reading my blog cause she is a great mom, and saw an ad for a great great listing site.  

   I like that the ads are relevant. If they kept popping up with scamish ads for the one trick to lose weight, the perfect time to refinance, or money for moms to go back to school I would have dropped them.  Luckily I can edit those types of ads out.  It is important to me the ads are a benefit to my viewers.
  To get started with Google Adsense click the link above.  There is an application process and they will review your site to make sure it is a good fit.  Make sure your blog has current content and healthy traffic before applying. It usually take a few days for approval, but once you get in make sure you read all the rules.  Google is very quick to cancel account, and very slow to appeal.  

  Ads that feature a picture usually pay about a dollar a click and text ads pay just a few cents.  Only certain sizes allow image/rich ads, so keep that in mind when designing your blog layout.

Google Affiliate Network:     

  Once you get a good handle on Adsense, the Affiliate Network is a great next step.  The AN works a little different than Adsense as it lets you choose specifically what ads you post.  The down side is that once you get approved you have to apply for each advertiser.  Some are easy and accept all applicants, and some are choosy.  We were actually denied at first for Netflix. But we were able to appeal and were later approved.

  The pay is also a little more difficult.  Instead of paying for clicks, affiliates are paid for results!  Each advertiser has a different pay scale. pays $.40 for each time someone prints coupons.  Fandango pays $.10 for each ticket sold.  And Netflix pays $12 for each trail account set up.  Other sites pay a percentage of the transactions placed on the site.  We will have more on that style in later methods.

Cash Back Shopping Referrals:

  I have to admit, I am a little new to these.  A few years ago I used a site called Blastoff to save some money on online shopping.  These sites provide links to popular online shopping destinations and offer off a percentage back to you.  

  Two site I recently partnered with are Beesavy (it drives me crazy they spelled "savvy" wrong) and Ebates.  The reason I include these sites is because not only do you get money back for purchases you make, but you also get money back from the purchases of those you refer.

  BeeSavy is a bit of a Pyramid system.  You get your money back, you get 40% rebate of each person below you, and 10% of each rebate below them, to the 7th degree.  They offer coupons and have great offers like 2% back at F.Y.E.

  I like the idea of continual income, but Ebates usually offers better percentages off.  While Beesavy offers 2% back on iTunes, Ebates offers 3%.  Walmart is 1% to 3%.  I just got 15% back on all my restaurant reservations for my 10 year anniversary through (vs. 6%) and 4.5% on our hotel reservation through Priceline (vs. 1%).  Plus I got a $10 Gift Certificate for signing up!

  Referral Payments are only a one time payment of $5 for referrals that spend $25.  They also don't trickle up so referrals of referrals do not benefit you.  I have not made a firm determination on who I like more yet.  Try them out and give me your feedback.

Amazon Associates

  Amazon is one of the #1 Online Retailer in the US.  Many large companies even use them as their online distributor.  An applications is also required to be an associate.  So as with Google, make sure you have a site already put together with content and traffic before applying.  Amazon has a lot of tools for promotion too.  All kinds of Banner ads and you can create custom product ads too.  The image to the right to the Amazon page featuring "Singin' in the Rain."  Which is one of my favorite movies.  I discovered how wonderful it is when I was in my college film class.  It come out tomorrow (July 17 2012) and is a must for any DVD collection.

  If you have a deal of coupon site there are all sorts of great deals you can share on Amazon.  For example, right now Yukon Gold Solitaire is being offered for free any Android Device.  Of course you won't make any commissions off a free sale, but any other item they buy in that 24 hour period you get credit for.  So while they went to Amazon for the free game, they might decide it is time to upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S III.  Commissions vary by type of product and the volume you sell, but the base payout is 4%.

Direct Advertisements: 

Once you have a good healthy following one area you might want to explore is Direct Advertisements.  We don't have the viewership right now to market this sort of advertisement, but my sister does for her blog, Made by Munchie's Mama.  She offers a limited number of ads of various sizes.  For each purchase level you get to place a banner ad on her popular blog as well as take advantage of other perks.  These include social media mentions, giveaway sponsor invites, blog mentions, etc.  She charges a flat rate that gives her guaranteed advertising income each month.  

When it comes to all these types of advertising it is important to keep your site clean.  No one likes feeling like they were tricked into clicking an advertisement.  Now these methods aren't going to make you rich, but they will help you to offset costs associated with running your blog, like domain hosting, giveaways, purchasing products for craft demos, and a little retail therapy when you just need a break.

Let us know what you do to monetize your blog.  What has worked, what hasn't?  How do you feel about the ads we have on our site?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where Could 'Mockingjay' be Split into Two Parts?

Where could 'Mockingjay' be split into two parts?

So if you clicked this link, chances are you are already a fan of The Hunger Games.  But if you aren't or haven't read the books, be warned that there are spoilers in this post.  Feel free to read our review of the movie instead, then do see it at the Dollar Theatre near you.  You wont be disappointed.

Back to the fans, you probably already heard that the 3rd and final book the Hunger Games series will be split up into two separate movies. An opinion from Entertainment Weekly seems to be opposed to this idea. 

"It’s the hottest thing in Hollywood, you guys: Splitting the final volume of a massively popular YA novel series into two feature films, thereby doubling the size of the studio’s Scrooge McDuck money pit box office receipts. Today, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay officially joined the club: Lionsgate announced Suzanne Collins’ final book in her bestselling series would be two films to be released on successive Thanksgivings in 2014 and 2015. (Other members of said club include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows parts 1 and 2, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn parts 1 and 2, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, with the final two Matrix films and the middle two Pirates of the Caribbean films forming a sister club next door.)"

Personally I am all for this.  I would rather have the studio take 5 hours to tell this story, rather then condense, cut, and merge it into 2 and half.  I thought the first movie did a great job adapting the screen play, but there were much less wheel's in motion.  One of the struggles is going to be choosing where to split them up.

"But pulling off this kind of final book spliteroo is not simple surgery. Adventure-based novels (at least those not written by Dan Brown) don’t tend to have major climactic cliffhangers dangling conveniently in the middle of the plot. So wherever the folks who end up adapting Mockingjay — a dark, messy, troublesome tome — decide to split the book, they’ve got their work cut out for them."

mocking-jay"For one thing, Collins herself divided Mockingjay into three parts — and let us pause here to admire the relative restraint on the part of Lionsgate for not making Mockingjay into a trilogy — so coming up with a satisfying mid-point to end Mockingjay Part 1 risks either feeling like it’s too early or too late. But that’s not going to stop us from making a few suggestions of our own. (Naturally, MAJOR SPOILERS follow, so if you haven’t read Mockingjay already, continue on at your own risk.)"

"SPLIT POINT #1: District 13 is attacked
Catching Fire ends with Peeta falling into the clutches of the Capitol as Katniss, Gale, and Haymitch hole up in the underground, mysterious District 13, and Katniss begrudgingly lets the rebellion transform her into the symbol of their struggle: the Mockingjay. During a propaganda broadcast by the Capitol, Peeta manages to warn District 13 that an attack is eminent, giving everyone enough time to prepare.
The climax: In the book, District 13 is basically a giant bunker, but Mockingjay Part 1 could fudge things and allow for a Helm’s Deep-like battle in which District 13 emerges the victor.
The cliffhanger: Afterwards, Katniss realizes that whatever she does as the Mockingjay to rally support will only be taken out on Peeta by the Capitol. She has a nervous breakdown, and is sedated. When she comes to, Haymitch tells her a rescue mission has been launched to save Peeta. Its leader: Gale. OMG! She could lose them both!"

"SPLIT POINT #2: Peeta is rescued
With Katniss nervously waiting back in District 13, Gale leads a small force inside the Capitol to rescue Peeta, and a few other prisoners.
The climax: Collins lets Gale’s rescue mission to save Peeta unfold offscreen, as it were, but Mockingjay Part 1 could depict the rescue with a major action sequence — possibly involving Katniss herself, though some fans would find that sacrilege.
The cliffhanger: Peeta is saved, and Katniss races to his hospital bed for their long awaited reunion. As Katniss puts it in the book, “My lips are just forming [Peeta's] name when his fingers lock around my throat.” OMG! Peeta’s been brainwashed into a sleeper assassin!"

"SPLIT POINT #3: Katniss goes to District 2
As the forces of District 13 edge closer to invading the Capitol, one of the last strongholds is a giant mountain facility called the Nut in District 2, which has remained loyal to the Capitol. Gale’s plan is to trap the Nut-dwellers and kill them all.
The climax: In the heat of the bloody, brutal battle, Katniss makes a risky and rousing speech, asking everyone to join together to fight their common enemy: The Capitol.
The cliffhanger: The speech doesn’t work: Katniss is shot. OMG! Will she survive?!

Of these three, I think I like the last one the most, since it’s the only one that involves Katniss directly." 

I personally would like to see a merging the Split 1 and 2.  I like the idea the attack on District 13 being a bit more action packed and a little less like a turtle in his shell.  The scene was a little bit of a let down for me.  

Do remember the shock you felt when Peeta attacks Katniss  after he is rescued?  It was a major plot twist.  Something of that much magnitude is a great way to end on a high point for a movie viewer.  To have it at the beginning of the 2nd movie would be a bit diminishing.

How do you feel about Mockingjay being split into two parts?  Where do you think they should divide the movies?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Brave (2012): Mormon Movie Review

  Guest Post from the Mormon Movie Guy.  He writes a great blog similar to ours reviewing movies from a Latter-day Saint Perspective. The review was written by him, but the star ratings were applied based on my interpretation of his review.

 There is only one thing that keeps Brave, the new film from Disney-Pixar, from being a "grade-A" movie: it copies its main narrative device wholesale from another recent Disney movie (click here only if you want to know). This lack of originality distracts from Brave's quality and bogs down its second act a bit, but the film is ultimately redeemed by taking its cue from that other film and doing it better, with stunning animation, a gorgeous musical score, excellent characters, rough-and-tumble Scottish humor, and an undeniably powerful emotional core (I'm not ashamed to say that I teared up towards the end). 

With Merida, the strong-willed tomboy princess, Pixar has finally given us a female lead character (as I displayed in my master's thesis, they've portrayed women well, but females have never been front and center), and she was worth the wait. As voiced by actress Kelly Macdonald, she's a fiesty firecracker with a very satisfying character arch. All of the vocal work is superb, in fact, especially by Billy Connoly and Emma Thompson as Merida's royal parents. Though this is essentially a mother-daughter story (a surprising rarity in animated films), there are plenty of amusing male characters for boys and fathers to relate to.Brave's got fun and heart for the whole family, more than enough to make up for its overly-familiar story.

 Disney-Pixar's Brave is rated PG. It contains some fairly intense scenes of peril that could frighten children, comedic brawling and fisticuffs, and humorous animated rear nudity of adult males and toddlers. A heavyset female character is portrayed with ample cleavage, again for comedic effect.

MESSAGES TO DISCUSS: "Mothers, take time to be a real friend to your children. Listen to your children, really listen. Talk with them, laugh and joke with them, sing with them, play with them, cry with them, hug them, honestly praise them" (President Ezra Taft Benson). "Arguments, fights...generation gaps...all fall into this category of pride. Contention in our families drives the Spirit of the Lord away. It also drives many of our family members away...Pride adversely affects all our relationships...God will have a humble people. We can either choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble...Let us choose to be humble. We can choose to humble ourselves by conquering emnity between ourselves and our brothers and sisters, esteeming them as ourselves, and lifting them as high or higher than we are. We can choose to humble ourselves by receiving counsel and chastisement. We can choose to humble ourselves by forgiving those who have offended us" (President Ezra Taft Benson, "Beware of Pride"). 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

"Things as They Really Are"

   Today we had a speaker from LDS Family Services come and speak to our ward about the risks in the media and internet.  He spoke about the dangers of pornography, but he also spoke about other forms of behaviors that can be good, but also can be addicting; texting, video and mobile gaming, social media sites.

   Much of his comments were based on Elder David A. Bednar's talk, "Things as They Really Are."  The above video shows segments of that talk. Elder Bednar spoke about how technology can be used to augment reality.  "Enticing us to think or do things we would not otherwise think or do, because 'it's only a game'."

   I remember when all my buddies got Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.  They were all playing online together and I wanted to join in.  I got the game and started playing the single player missions to get the hang of it.  There was a warning before I started the mission, "The following mission may be disturbing or offensive to some players. You may skip this mission at any time in the pause menu. [You will not be penalized in terms of Achievements or game completion.]"  

  I thought, "no big deal, I'm an adult, I can handle it."  What I didn't expect was to find myself in the role of a government agent in deep cover and forced to join Russian terrorists as they massacre civilians in an airport.  I tried to lay low, refusing to fire my weapon, but the level finally forces you to kill innocents, or not advance.  I remember, after I finished the level I just felt down.  I found it difficult to process the experience and decided not to play the game again.

   A survey in 2009 found that 41% of boys ages 11-13 years old were asking for Modern Warfare 2 for Christmas.  I'd even wager for a fair amount of those kids Santa came though.

   Not much time was dedicated to pornography, maybe because it is such a huge matter all on it's own.  I really liked this Mormon Message though about it.  I also get the impression his actions could be linked to any addictive behavior.  The most crushing part is Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's plea, "picture the faces of those who love you and would be shattered if you let them down."

   But dangers can even be found seeming innocent online hobbies such as Facebook, Pintrest, or even (dare I say?) blogging.  It isn't always that we use these things, but how we are using these things.  I used my iPhone today as my hymn book, but then I can also use to play Angry Birds.

But it can be real easy to be down on internet and media for the ways it can hurt us.  Instead I wanted to focus on all the way we can use it for good!

   Elder Bednar gives us 2 questions to ask when it come to technology.

   1. Does it invite or impede the Holy Ghost?
   2. Does it enlarge or restrict your capacity to live, to love, and to serve?

   Some of the ways I chose to use technology and the internet was start this blog, to help people seek out good media and avoid that which will impede the spirit.  My wife "pins" recipes and crafts, and then actually does them!  She is also a huge family history buff and uses Family Search to build our family tree.  (As I type she is organizing family names.)  My friend Bobby used  Facebook  reconnected to converts from his mission.  And I think my sister is using her blog, Made by Munchies Mama, as some sort a therapy sometimes.  

   I wanted to ask you?  What are some beneficial ways you use the internet, media, and technology to invite the Spirit and enlarge your capacity to live, love, and serve?

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012): Mormon Movie Review

One of things I try to do as a reviewer is to be objective.  I try not to read any reviews before hand, or watch many trailers.  When buying my tickets on Fandango, I saw that "The Amazing Spider-Man" had an average score.  This led me to believe that I was going to see a mediocre movie.  I am happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised!  

   I am going to attempt to refrain from comparing "The Amazing Spider-Man" to it's original trilogy or to the comic books.  The story focuses on Peter Parker's (Andrew Garfield) quest to find the truth regarding the tragic and mysterious death of his parents.  His search leads him to Oscorp and his Father's (Campbell Scott) old partner Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans).  

  This edition of Spider-Man is a reboot of the franchise and the slate is basically wiped clean from what you know from before.  "The Amazing Spider-Man" is an origin story that takes us through the creation and evolution of Peter Parker into Spider-Man.  Garfield does an excellent job of portraying the webslinger, but with a different take.  Perhaps pulling from his portrayal of Eduardo Saverin ("The Social Network") he plays a bit of a hip, geek chic, nerd.  Doesn't have the Richie Cunningham side part, he skateboards, and his intelligence is really undersold as he is often scolded in school for misbehavior or lack of attention in class.  

   Although a departure, I enjoyed the change.  Parker is still picked on, and is still awkward around his crush, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).  Stacy is also meant to be a bit of a awkward geek, but with her character constantly wearing thigh highs and mini skirts, it really doesn't translate well.

   The special effects are amazing with many moments where we forget when we are watching a CGI sequence and when we are watching real stunts.  Some of you know I have a little issue with the over use of CGI.  One of the great scenes takes place on a subway and Parker is just starting to discover his powers.  It has incredible fight choreography, with some special effects revealing to the audience his "Spidey Senses."    

   I am excited to learn more about Parker's parents, but one flaw is that the importance of Peter's Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field) is a bit diminished.  Even the "Uncle Ben Scene" fell a bit flat.  Perhaps they felt fans had were already familiar with the relationship and didn't feel the need to emphasize it.  

   One of the most moving scenes though in the film is when Spider-Man comes to terms with his responsibilities as a person of great power.  He is forced to make hard choices in an attempt to save a young boy trapped in a car, about to fall into a river as it becomes engulfed in flames.  Garfield perfectly delivers the emotions and feelings that let us know Peter Parker understands what it means to be Spider-Man. 

It is always a good sign when the worst swear word in a movie is "Mother Hubbard!"  There actually are a few PG words used and a handful of the name of deity in vain.  There are also a few bloody attacks that made us notch it down one star.

  Now hopefully I didn't get your hopes up too high for you to now be disappointed when you see  "The Amazing Spider-Man" this week.  Despite a few minor flaws I thoroughly enjoyed this new telling.  At first I thought 10 years was too soon for a reboot, not it seems it was just right.  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The New iPad Giveaway

Mom to Bed by 8, the Iowa-Mom is proud to present the The New iPad Giveaway Event, sponsored by BeeSavy.

BeeSavy is the first website to combine comparison shopping with coupons, cash back discounts and referral cash back.

Compare prices on millions of products from hundreds of trusted online stores.

No matter where you shop or what you're buying, you'll save $:

I know what I want... but where should I buy it? Search for any product in BeeSavy's search engine. BeeSavy show you all the stores selling that product along with the total price at each of those stores. The total price includes the list price, tax and shipping costs, cash back discount, and coupon savings.
I already know where I'm shopping... how do I save $? Even for you brand-loyal shoppers, you can save money every time you shop at your favorite stores. Click the Shop By Store button in the top right to get started. First, check for coupons at your favorite store. Next, click through to your favorite store and make a purchase. When you shop online through BeeSavy, you will earn a cash back discount. Your cash back discount will post to your BeeSavy account within 1-4 days. BeeSavy will send you a check or deposit your cash back into your PayPal account once your balance reaches $10.
I don't know what I want... Now what? You can browse popular products by clicking the Shop by Category button in the top left. You will see the most popular products in hundreds of different categories.

Other BeeSavy benefits for online shoppers:

Trusted retailers only! Unlike other comparison shopping websites, BeeSavy carefully chooses each and every one of its stores to ensure a safe and secure shopping experience. If you ever have a bad experience with a BeeSavy store, please let them know right away.
Feeling generous? Donate your savings to a charity. When you request a cash back payment, BeeSavy gives you the option to donate a portion or all of your cash back to a charity. Just choose a charity and how much you want to donate and they'll take care of the rest!
Love BeeSavy? Tell your friends and get referral cash back forever. Tell a friend about BeeSavy and you will earn a 40% commission on all of their cash back forever. There is no limit to how many friends you can refer! They even pay you a 10% commission on all of their referrals up to seven levels deep! So this could add up quickly for those of you who like sharing a great deal with others.

BeeSavy benefits for online retailers:

It's a win-win-win. With most forms of marketing, online retailers must pay upfront with no guarantee of results; however, with cost-per-sale marketing, online retailers only pay BeeSavy when it generates a sale. Online retailers choose a commission rate that fits within their profit margin, thereby ensuring a positive return on their marketing dollars. By giving most of this commission to the purchasing customer as a cash back rebate, BeeSavy utilizes this online retailer marketing method to save its customers money that traditional comparison shopping websites cannot match (due to their cost-per-click revenue model).

One lucky winner will receive an iPad 3rd Generation, 16GB Unit from BeeSavy! I have a 32GB iPad, and I am in love with it! There's so much you can do on it between the internet capabilities, apps and music!

Giveaway ends July 15th at 11:59pm, open worldwide, ages 18+. (Non-US residents will receive cash equivalent). Must be a BeeSavy member to enter to win (new and current members qualify). Click here to become a BeeSavy member. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!


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