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Kung Fu Panda 3: A Celebration of Hometown Heros

Did y’all hear?! The highly anticipated sequel to Kung Fu Panda & Kung Fu Panda 2 released in theaters last Friday! Have you seen it yet? What did you think?

We were honored to be asked to go to the Raleigh/Durham premier showing a couple weeks ago & it was Lucy & Zach’s first in theater film!
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Zach & Lucy wandered the red carpet, enjoyed pre-show crafts, munched on popcorn bags bigger than their heads then sat so still as Kung Fu Panda 3 took over the screen.
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Jason & I loved watching the wonder in their eyes as some of their favorite characters were on a really big screen! In 3D!
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After it was over, as L&Z played around the fountains, I asked what they enjoyed about Kung Fu Panda 3 the most. Lucy’s favorite was the Rhino villians & Master Shefu. I’m surprised she didn’t say the popcorn; pretty sure she ate close to 1.5 bags of it! Zach loved all the pandas, especially the cute little ones. I loved seeing Po as the hometown hero & what his encouragement brought out in his new friends!

Speaking of hometown heroes, I had the pleasure of being on the media side of the red carpet to welcome some of Raleigh’s own hometown heroes to view the film.
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We actually walked in with the family of Johanna Colon & they’re are all so nice. Easy to see that she gets her glowing personality honest. She’s been dancing since she was a toddler & ruled the stage in her dance recital performance which has led to YouTube fame, talk show appearances & her mom might’ve alluded to us being able to see her in prime time beginning in March. Look for her y’all, Johanna’s going places!
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A south east Raleigh hero is Erin Dale Byrd, winner of the INDY Citizen Award & she’s also the founder of the Fertile Ground Cooperative. She shared with us the highs & some hardships of leading a cooperative that’s community volunteer ran. With her spirit, drive, laid back style & spunk, I know it will help thrive in the SE Raleigh community.
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We also got to meet Sunny Lin & Sophia Woo, winners of season 6 of Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. These ladies were funny, stylish, business-savvy & humble. I haven’t seen their truck yet, but I can’t wait to track down & try eating from their Pho Nomenal Dumplings food truck!
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Like Kung Fu Panda’s Po, these local heroes are funny, spunky, talented & charming. I loved the chance to interact with them & look forward to watching what they continue to do for Raleigh area in the future.

Who’s your hometown hero? Have you seen Kung Fu Panda 3 yet? What’d you think?

Thanks to DreamWorks & Twentieth Century Fox for presenting the Kung Fu Panda premiere in Raleigh & for inviting me as well as my family. While we did see the film & enjoy popcorn & drinks for free, I was not otherwise compensated nor do that effect my review of the film.
 

Freaking

Please tell me I’m not alone here.

You think you’re doing the “right” thing, replacing your beloved F word with a replacement, freaking. No, it doesn’t pack the same punch. No, it doesn’t perfectly describe your mood, or attitude, or pain at stepping on that toy (again). But freaking doesn’t turn heads said in the driveway by you as a 34 year old.

But you know what does turn heads?! Your 3.5 going on 17 year old daughter using phrases like “what the heck! My freaking cheese has a rip in it!” Or “Mommy, help me, I can’t get my freaking coat off.”

I mean what do you say? I had to bite my lip so hard to keep from cracking a smile. Part of me so proud of her correct useage in a sentence. Most of me like OMGosh did that just come out of her mouth?! & girl, please don’t say that! It’s not a good adjective for little ones!

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So yeah, anyone have (another) favorite, preschooler-repeating-friendly alternative to my beloved F word. And Eff doesn’t work either. Thankfully the real thing or “eff this” has yet to come out of this sweet face.

Don’t even get my started on “What the heck?”. I’m not sure why, but that phrase is in so many of L&Z’s current favorite movies?! Sigh. And OMG is Gosh or Goodness from me. But it’s become Zach’s favorite phrase for all his good, bad, exciting things & we don’t love that either. Sigh. Maybe I need multiple phrase advise!

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

One of the fun parts of being a “blogger” in our area is the movies! And not much has been a more anticipated release than the final film in the Hunger Games series. With a quickly replied to email, Jason & I had our first date night in a while.
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It’s been years since I read the novels. And while I enjoyed the book trilogy but have to say, I think I liked this movie more than the last book.

Mockingjay Part 2 starts where Part 1 ended, in District 13 with Peeta in recovery after being held captive & the revolution on going against President Snow & the capital.

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Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson , far left), Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, center left), Boggs (Mahershala Ali, center right) and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth, far right) in THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 2. Photo Credit: Murray Close

This film is action packed! I thought the effects were really good. I loved the characters & actors did a great job.
Jennifer Lawrence as Katiss shines as a strong, independent heroine. I loved seeing more of the Gale, Peeta, Katiss love triangle. And Boggs, leading the team in the photo above, was one of my favorites.

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Jennifer Lawrence stars as ‘Katniss Everdeen’ in THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 2. Photo Credit: Murray Close

As in the past films, the hair, make-up, costumes were awesome. The Capital residents like the beloved Effie’s outfits were over the top amazing!

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fie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks, left) and Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, right) in THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2. Photo Credit: Murray Close

Donald Sutherland does a great job portraying the loved to hate President Snow.

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onald Sutherland stars as ‘President Snow’ in THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 2. Photo Credit: Murray Close

Fans of this series, do not miss this film! Take advantage of this holiday weekend & go!

Thanks to Lionsgate media marketing for inviting me to go see this film. While Jason & I were able to get early passes to the movie, I was not otherwise compensated & my review is not influenced by the passes.

The Age of Adaline

I recently had the pleasure of solo night out to see The Age of Adaline.

The Age of Adaline poster

I had heard little to nothing about the film before I cozied into the theater seat, & yet I was treated to quite a wonderful movie that night.

The Age of Adaline

Blake Lively portrays Adaline Bowman, a woman born in the early 1900s yet due to a freak accident, is permanently 28 years old. Her hair & costumes design were gorgeous (& so is she!) as we follow Adaline through memories & events in a decade of fashion.

Adaline’s love interest, Ellis Jones, is played by Michiel Huisman which I spent the film thinking “I know him from somewhere” & yes, he was in Game of Thrones! Quite the handsome guy!

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Ellen Burstyn co-stars in the film as Adaline’s daughter & as always, I love her warm characters. Harrison Ford shines as Ellis’ dad & has some stand-out, memorable scenes.

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I wasn’t walking into this night out thinking much but The Age of Adaline made me laugh, gave me chills & I had to subtly wipe away a tear. This would be a great date night movie or a wonderful girl’s night out too!

The Age of Adaline came out nationwide April 24th. Thanks to Lionsgate for the ticket to see the film.

Insurgent

Did you get swept away by the Divergent trilogy novels by Veronica Ruth like I did?! I flew through the books in a summer beach reading with babies then pumping working mom with time reading kicks.

And of course I joined millions of other women to see Divergent in film when it came out! I loved it, see my favorite characters played out in a movie was wonderful.

I was thrilled when I began seeing previews for the second movie, Insurgent! And thanks to husband staying home to keep L&Z in bed, I was able to see a showing of Insurgent last week.
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Insurgent in one word: suspenseful! I felt it was very action packed keeping up with the Divergent Tris & her allies. I loved seeing Octavia Spencer as the lead of Amity!
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The special effects were decent & lots of fighting scenes. Kate Winslet did a good job playing the power hungry role of Jeanine, evil Erudite faction leader. I love the actress & she made it easy to dislike her character!
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And just when I thought the teen romance between Tris (Shailene Woodley) & Four (Theo James) wasn’t quite holding my attention, they threw in a love scene that had my inner teenage self giggling a bit.
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It’d been long enough since I read the book that I didn’t exactly remember what happened. And that was kind of nice, except I don’t love surprises! In hindsight, it probably would have been helpful to re-watch Divergent or to re-read Insurgent so I would have not been surprised by a few scenes!

And now I’m left confused where this series will go next, I might have to read the final book again before that film comes out!

Insurgent is out in theaters everywhere as of last Friday March 20th. Have you seen it yet? What did you think?

In exchange for my review, I was able to see Insurgent early on behalf of Lionsgate.