Tuesday, August 4, 2015

10 Facts About Final Cut in Augusta, GA

image from Effortless Anthropologie

I first had the opportunity to visit Final Cut, an Anthropologie/Free People/BHLDN/Urban Outfitters discount store, on July 5th of this year. My parents were along for the ride and needless to say they were shocked at the high prices when compared to other thrift stores like Goodwill. Why pay $20 for what looks to be a used dress or sweater when you could get one for $5 a couple stores over? (Yes, there is a Goodwill two shops away.) Needless to say, Justin and I did not have quite the same impression. Our impression was $100 sweater discounted to $20? Heck yeah! :) And so we returned a second time…

Between phone my phone breaking and Justin erasing everything on our shared Nexus 5, I don't have any pictures of our trips to Final Cut… :( Nevertheless, here's what to expect:

1. Boxes and boxes of clothes. They are sorted by store received from (for the most part) and year that the item was available. Aside from that, you will have to get down on your hands and knees and just search. Most clothing does not have a size listed on it, and occasionally you will find pieces that are snagged or twisted together (i.e. lace and zippers). Check your clothing carefully before purchasing.

2. Wedding dresses from BHLDN! So many! The majority of these cannot be bought for $20. However, if you want one for $100, you are in luck! :)

3. There is clothing sorted and hung on hangers. It, obviously, is the easiest to go through and often the least damaged. It is priced the same as the boxed clothing.

4. Tons of furniture! Granted this is not a furniture store, but there is a lot of furniture. Some of the furniture is damaged. The discounted prices may not make that furniture worthwhile. But other furniture? OMG! YES! $100 for a gorgeous front and back bed post? Or what about a chandelier? If Justin and I were in a better position for furniture buying, I would be all over it! :)

5. Jewelry, shoes, and accessories hung on bulletin boards throughout the store. I haven't ever seen any of these items that I actually want, so I couldn't tell you if they are occasionally tangled or broken, but I did want to mention that they exist in this store. Now you know.

6. Books. Every time I've gone to this store I've only had from 30 minutes to an hour to look which is simply not enough time to go through boxes of clothes and glance through books. I have definitely seen a few of the books at Urban Outfitters before (You know the crazy ones? Like Rear Ends and the Star Wars Cookbook?) and also some pretty ones like what you'd find at Anthropologie. You just can never tell which store they came from or how much the price has been discounted.

7. Sheets, table clothes, duvets, etc are all thrown into a few bins and ready for your sorting. If you are looking for something specific, good luck! In my opinion, these bins are hardly worth looking through. I'd much rather spend my time going through the boxes of clothes.

8. Don't expect to find many home accessories and knick knacks. There was only really one aisle of these on about 4 or 5 shelves.

9. The dressing rooms close early. I arrived at the store at 6PM and had to race to the dressing room to try on clothes before the 6:30PM, the dressing room closing time. I understand they are trying to close the store in a timely manner, but it was frustrating. Lesson learned? Get there early.

10. If you buy items that do have a tag on them (very few do), the cashier will rip the tag off at the time of purchase. There are no refunds or exchanges … to Anthropologie or Final Cut.

Now! For the finds!


• Petaluma Fit N Flare Slip by Intimately Free People (also worn by Taylor Swift in 2014) $20 (originally $88)
• H&M slip underneath $10 (bought at H&M, not Final Cut)
Free People Everlasting Pullover $20 (originally $128)


Tracy Reese Beaded Hibiscus Dress $175 (originally $598 at Anthropologie)
• necklace was free: made for me by a sweet 9 year old

As you can see, you can do a lot of damage in 2 hours (2 visits) to Final Cut. We spent over $200 on two visits! But … we "saved" (assuming you can call spending saving) almost $600 (which is also assuming I was going to buy these items outright at their full prices)!

So is it worth it to take a detour on your next vacation to Final Cut? Really it depends on how much you like thrift shopping and scoring a deal. If you are looking for an old Anthropologie/Free People/BHLDN/Urban Outfitters item, you might be able to make a score. If you are looking for a new one, the same is true (see Tracy Reese dress above). But no matter what, you will likely have the best luck (and most fun) if you go into the store with an open mind not expecting to find anything in particular and with a full wallet just in case you find everything. The prices here are not necessarily thrift store prices and the items sold here aren't all in the best shape, but what you will find are huge discounts on branded items typically sold from the Urban Outfitters branded stores.

So … thoughts? Will you be making the trek out to Final Cut? Were you aware that an Anthropologie discount store existed? Share! I'd love to here.

And in the meantime, check out these other reviews for Final Cut:

• Peacefully Chic – She has a lot of pictures and more price details than I do.
Effortless Anthropologie – Where I first learned about this store.
Asia Cajuns – She explored Augusta afterwards.

* This is not a paid endorsement. Just thought I'd share one of my most recent travel-related discoveries. :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

How My Husband & I Saved Money On Car Repairs

Last Monday as I was driving to work, I started hearing a noise coming from the rear passenger side of my car. I didn't really think too much of it because my rear passenger metal seatbelt had been hitting the plastic on the car recently. Rather than fix the problem, I lazily turned up the music on my stereo. Of course, having experienced a broken axle before, I got into the left, fast lane acknowledging that there was a grassy median I could use should I need it.

Within minutes (seconds?) of moving to the fast lane, I heard what sounded like a flat tire, so I slightly turned my car toward the grassy median tapping the brake ever-so-slightly to slow down from the 70+mph I was going. My goal was to slow down quickly but not too quickly to tear up the car while also removing myself from oncoming traffic; I was grateful for the median that afforded me this opportunity. As soft of a landing as the grass was, I quickly discovered it was thick, dense, and wet from a rainstorm that had occurred the night before. I lost traction making steering and braking difficult as my car careened toward a drain and the opposite lane (protected from me by a guard rail). Uncertain if I would stop in time and not really realizing I had lost traction, I tried to turn the steering wheel and slam on my brakes, neither of which necessarily worked as quickly as I would have liked. My car (going much slower at this point) hit the drain and instantly died as the car battery broke and the engine lost power.

First of all, let me give kudos to the kind woman who had seen what had happened, got off at the next exit, turned around to make sure I was fine, and stayed with me until my father and husband got to the scene. Also, kudos to my dad and husband who both took time off from work (one while in the middle of talking with his boss!) to come "save" me. It made me feel special and loved. :)

We had my car towed to a nearby dealership where my dad works using AT&T's roadside assistance program. My dad and his co-workers quickly determined that the tread on the inside of my tire had come loose, something we could not have predicted or noticed before the accident without looking for it. As a result of the loose tread that began the series of incidents resulting in my hitting the drain, I had popped my front driver's side tire, bent the front driver's side knuckle, messed up my struts, damaged both of my bumpers, … and something else. (I'm not a car person. Forgive me.) My car spent a total of 4 days on the rack at the dealership before it was returned to me.

During those next few days as we decided how best to fix it and whether or not it was indeed fixable, we shopped around for parts at Costco (for tires and a car battery), AutoZone (for struts and silver touch up paint where we used SpeedPerks to get a coupon towards our next purchase), and the junkyard.

Growing up with my dad as a mechanic, I had heard of them before, but I had never actually been to one. I envisioned them like this:


I expected a crazy mass chaos of cars toppled on top of one another making it difficult to find parts.

As it turns out, junkyards often look more like a parking lot. When you pay to go in, the cashier provides a detailed list of aisles and car numbers that may help you find whatever you are looking for. There were full sections of Chrysler, Ford, and Chevrolet vehicles all in varying degrees of picked-overness. (Sidenote: If you are ever in a car accident and your car finds it's way to a junkyard, don't try to find it. It will only result in tears as you see your "baby" picked to shreds. Or even worse, seeing the cars where you know someone was injured. It just makes you sad.)

While junkyard shopping was hot and complicated and not nearly as messy as I expected, by the end of the day, we had spent $200 on difficult-to-find parts that would have cost us upwards of $500. My car is still in the process of being fixed back to it's original state (no holes in the bumpers FTW!), but I'm glad to have saved so much money and to not have the need to turn this accident in to the insurance company which could easily result in my premium going up. Plus, seeing my car put back together and looking as beautiful and new as the day I got it gives me a strong sense of pride.

Shopping at the junkyard isn't for everyone, but if you are trying to save money on car repairs it can be a worthwhile time and money investment. It's a great way to save money on slightly used (or fully used!) car parts, find difficult-to-find items, or even upgrade your vehicle for less (new leather seats FTW?). However, be sure to also take advantage of other potential savings using AutoZone's Speedperks or other coupons and compare prices across different companies like Costco or Sam's Club. You never know how much you'll save by mixing and matching, and, if you are like, after your next accident you could potentially spend less than your deductible by fixing your car yourself! Wouldn't that be nice?

How have you saved money on car purchases in the past? Have you shopped at a junkyard before? Do you have any recommendations I may not have thought of?

Friday, July 31, 2015

Elderflower Lemonade


Just over a year ago, Justin and I missed our flight from France back to Atlanta and, in order to make the best of our last hours in Paris, I convinced Justin to take me to the Seine to purchase some of the gorgeous (Chinese knock off) paintings that we still have yet to frame or hang. (We're lazy, slow, and crazy busy if that combination makes any sense.) Anyway, to purchase those gorgeous treasures, we needed Euros. Strangely enough upon arrival to the CDG airport (before we knew we were missing our flight) we had somewhere between 2 and 5 Euros left. We were actually doing pretty good. But yeah, then we missed our flight and went shopping so we had extra Euros in our wallet. What should we do with those extra Euros? we wondered. More shopping! was my obvious conclusion!

So we then found ourselves in one of Paris's biggest department/grocery stores searching the aisles for delicious drinks, macarons, and, honestly, anything we found the least bit appealing. For example, I convinced Justin to purchase not one but two French cookbooks thinking that maybe we might be able to improve our French just by cooking. (The books had pictures for each of the steps which was the one thing Justin requested.)

Anyway, while we did find delicious macarons and exciting cookbooks, one of the things I've held most dear since returning are the exquisite lemonades. For example, one of my favorite lemonades from France is Elixia French Artisan Lemonade with gold specks in it! It's almost like bringing home a snow globe … minus the little buildings inside. Or what about Orbitz that space drink from the 90s? (Does that show my age?) Anyway, I love, love, love my gold speckled Elixia which I still haven't been able to bring myself to drink! (It's pretty!)

Having almost given up on being able to find my French favorites in local American stores, I first stumbled across this Elderflower lemonade (which I originally picked up in France because of the pretty label!) at a meat shop in Washington DC last fall. Quite frankly, it was my first time trying the drink since I seem to have an aversion from drinking anything I brought back from France… The taste was delicious and quite different from what I had originally expected. It has an almost sour taste that you would expect from a lemonade without sugar. But this sour taste isn't off-putting either, it's just different. I imagine it's not actually "sour" at all but rather the very distinct taste of Elderflower. It is very good, and once you get used to the taste, you can't help but go back for more.

For me, the question of where to obtain "more" has been overwhelming and stressful since I returned from DC. I felt I only had 2 options: either return to DC … or return to France. And no offense to DC, but France (supposing they could somehow reduce the $1000 flight fare and 7-hour flight time) would win every time. (And this includes my adamant distaste for the CDG airport!) No, I needed a quicker, easier way to get my hands on this delectable beverage … and Justin found it. Crazy enough, last weekend as Justin was searching our local Kroger for breakfast making supplies, he stumbled across bottles and bottles and bottles of the Belvoir Fruit Farms Elderflower Presse lemonade in both plain and rose flavors. You can't even begin to fathom my happiness. We proceeded to buy the entire stock and now I am set for a year without that $1000 fee or 7 hour flight time! So now what excuse do I have to return to Europe? Hmm…

Point being – try this amazing lemonade. It is delicious, technically made in the UK, and now available in stores near you (if you're lucky).

Check out their website to find out more and discover some awesome recipes that you can make using their drinks! Or visit Amazon to buy the drinks online!

Have you ever heard of or had any of Belvoir Fruit Farms drinks? What about visiting a location and bringing back random food/drink items but never opening them? Am I just weird? Share your stories and tell me what you think about Elderflower lemonade in the comments below! I'd love to hear! :)

* I DID NOT receive a free product or sample in exchange for my review, but I would happily accept one should Belvoir Fruit Farms want to send me one.  As usual, no matter what, all opinions are 100% my own. :)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Making Baby Shower Invitations Pt. 1 + Book Review


Remember when Justin and I spent 3 hours in Sam Flax (an art store) working out the intricacies of what was to be baby shower invitations? What about how we had to consume frozen pizza just to get everything done in one night? (Enter the giveaway! Hint! Hint!) Well… that was just the beginning of what was to become a month-long ordeal.

I was in charge of font and finding images that would work on the baby invitation. I also came up with a concept to work the idea around. After doing just the tiniest amount of research, I knew the colors had to be mint green and grey and that there would be elephants involved. From that point forward, I decided on using a watercolor backdrop due to the "shower" theme. (Get it? Water? Shower? heh.)

This was the point when Justin and I wandered down to Atlanta to Sam Flax to begin our shopping. I went in thinking about watercolor paint and paper, and Justin went in thinking about something entirely different, which we'll talk about in another post. ;)

As he was searching for products to help me with that second aspect of invitation making, I stumbled upon William F. Powell's Color Mixing Recipes for Watercolor. Having never taken a watercolor painting class before, I was intrigued. The idea of having a precise recipe for the exact color I was going for rather than trying a bunch of things and none of it working had me ordering the book on Amazon Prime with 2 days shipping that very next Monday. This project was not something I was going to stress over. As it turns out, those were "famous last words" (only not so famous and clearly not actually spoken).

Getting the color mixing just right!

We bought the watercolor paint that closest matched what we considered to be mint green in the recipe book and took our watercolor paper to Kinkos to get it cut. Having learned from making wedding invitations in the past, I knew that getting it pre-cut would be the easiest stress-free way to do it. Then, to prepare myself for the actual watercolor painting experience, I studied a few youtube videos learning the intricacies of wet on dry, wet on wet, dry on dry, and dry on wet methods. There are a lot of different ways to paint with watercolor! Through watching, I was able to learn how to best control my paint and get the look I wanted to achieve for these invitations.

On the day of, Justin started off working with the recipe card that came with the book to achieve the right color. Following the book's instructions of 5% yellow to 95% blue, he put a thin amount of paint on the sheet and began mixing it when he thought he had the correct color. As it turns out, no matter how many times we tried using that recipe sheet, we never got the same color as the book! In our case, the paint was often simply too blue for our needs! This is when I began taking matters into my own hands (with Justin following suit shortly after). I don't remember exactly why or how, but Justin got distracted by something (the dog, perhaps?) and I just shoved a bunch of yellow paint into the mixture while he was looking away. All of a sudden, the paint color went from too blue to the almost green color we were looking for! Success! :)

Success!

Of course, we ran out of paint midway through painting … So Justin tried mixing according to the recipe again … but this time, he realized on his own (without my doing it behind his back) that more yellow was needed. So into the bowl went more yellow.

We really had a lot of fun with this, our first watercolor painting experience ever. Obviously I had learned a bit from watching Youtube, but I also learned some from watching Justin work with the paint as well. Quickly we went from using straight paintbrushes and paper towels to using our hands as well. With yellow and blue paint from our elbows to our toes (not really) we successfully finished adding color to the invitations within 2 hours.

Was the book worth it? I'd say yes. I tend to sell off books that I think aren't useful, but I plan on keeping this one. Even though the recipe card wasn't very helpful, the book did make it easy to discern what specific colors we needed (beyond the generic blue and yellow) to receive the results we were after. I should note, however, that if you know nothing about watercolor, take advantage of the Youtube videos online and don't be afraid to experiment! Honestly, using watercolor on these invitations ended up being one of the most fun and easiest things we could have done! I look forward to using this method on cards and invitations in the future!

The background for what is to come. – They are all different!

Have you ever done watercolor painting? If so, do you have any tips for me? If not, would you consider doing it in the future? … Especially if you have a useful recipe book like the one by William Powell? Let me know in the comments!

* Sidenote: William Powell also makes recipe books for other paint types including acrylic and oil-based paints!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday – My SIL


I'm so grateful to have such wonderful in-laws, but I am especially grateful for my wild-child sister-in-law. Over the past 11+ years, she has kept me both sane and insane at the same time! I've watched her grow from a cute, adorable child to a vivacious teenager, to a … Well, I'm not sure she's grown out of the teenage bit yet! No matter. She is amazing, and I love her spunky, crazy self as is! Love ya girl!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Best Tourist Attractions In The US

Thrillist, a fantastic website for finding just about anything to do anywhere, recently posted a list of the top tourist attraction in each state. Even though I haven't been to very many states, I decided to take on the list and see, of the states I've been to, how many tourist attractions I've done…

States in the US I've been to … Or at least drove through.


1. Alabama – US Space and Rocket Center

I went in elementary school. I don't remember much about it aside from the Dippin Dots ice cream, which was a new thing at the time.

2. Florida – Disney World

If you live within driving distance of Orlando, Florida and grew up sometime after the opening of the WDW Park, you've probably been. I remember going once at the age of 6, again at 10, and for the last time at age 12. We even took the grandparents one year and walked them to death. They learned quickly that they were far too old to ever vacation with me and my younger brother again. Of course, the problem was probably more so the heat index of 100+ and the high humidity Florida is known for. As you age that high heat and humidity slowly ruins any desire you may have for visiting Florida, or at least it did for me.

3. Georgia – Georgia Aquarium

Having only been to one other aquarium in my life, located in Chattanooga, TN, I have found that the Georgia Aquarium is one of the most interesting and busiest aquariums to visit in the south. (Be sure to let me know if I am wrong.) With ticket prices at $30+ a head, it's hard to fathom going more than once to see the humongous whale sharks or pet the sting rays. Do keep in mind though that you can go free on your birthday though!

4. New York – Statue of Liberty

I can't say I've actually been on to Liberty or Ellis Island, but I've seen the Statue of Liberty from the coast of NYC; does that count? … Of course, then I looked at the website and saw that there are 377 steps going up to the top of the Statue of Liberty, so I'm guessing it doesn't. :( I just don't have any reason to visit. Readers, have you seen the view from the top? Is it worth the climb?

5. North Carolina – Biltmore Estates

My parents claim we went once when I was younger, but I don't remember much about that. More recently, my husband and I bought a season pass and we've been at least 3 times since. (The pass pays for itself if you go at least twice in the year.) I plan to go at least once more in the fall and then again in the winter. The estates are simply gorgeous and it's a lot of fun to explore the trails. (Most tourists are just interested in the house, which is grand and enormous, but gets boring after the second or third walk-through.)

6. South Carolina – Historic Charleston

I am a little surprised that Thrillist chose the whole town for this rather than singling out one attraction or another. To be fair though I suppose historic Charleston could be considered a rather large tourist attraction in the same way that Disney World is one. All of the historic homes are unique and interesting and there is so much history that is spread out all through the area. It's hard to visit just one spot and call your trip to Charleston done.

7. Virginia – Colonial Williamsburg

One of the colleges I was considering was located here, so my family stopped by one year on our way to Washington DC. We explored George Washington's estates and simply took in the beauty and historicness that makes Colonial Williamsburg a tourist attraction. Is it the most interesting thing to do? I suppose it depends on how interested in colonial American history you are…

Given that there are 50 states in the US and I've only been to 7 attractions, it would seem I still have a lot of attractions left to explore, see, and do! How many US tourist attractions have you been to on the Thrillist list?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Summer Movie Reviews Pt. 2

Remember how I said I watched all of the movies this summer? I wasn't lying. Welcome to part 2 of my summer movie reviews! Today I'm reviewing Jurassic World, Minions, and Ant Man. :)

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Jurassic World


Absolutely not my first choice ever, the kids I was watching that fateful day wanted to go see it. Having never seen more than a little of the original Jurassic Park, I was a little bit worried. Scary movies are soooo not my thing. And reptiles? Lord, help me. :) But I took the 10 and 12-year-olds like the good sport I am, because the alternative would have been to sit at their house and do nothing. Seriously, would anybody actually choose nothing over something? So, we went and we got our 3D glasses and our candy and we sat mesmerized for the next 2 hours.

So let's back up a minute…

Chris Pratt is amazing! I have not seen him in any movies recently that I haven't liked. Then, let's just pair him up with director Steven Spielberg; what have you got? A blockbuster, obviously! If you add Jake Johnson, from New Girl, you have a movie that I can't help but like. :)

Set 22 years post-Jurassic Park, brothers Zach and Gray Mitchell are sent to Jurassic World to explore and enjoy as well as get to know their well-meaning aunt and Jurassic World's operations manager, Claire Dearing. Unsurprisingly, Claire is far too busy working on and preparing for the opening of a new exhibit at the park where a new genetically modified (whatever that means) dinosaur will be unveiled and doesn't have time to spend with her nephews, so she sends a babysitter. The boys, as it turns out, are uninterested in having a babysitter and somehow manage to sneak away (read: run away) while she is distracted on her phone. (Thankfully the kids I was watching didn't get any crazy ideas!) Afer sneaking away, while on a ride, they decide, stupidly, to ignore the demands of the park overseers to return to base for safety concerns. (Why the ride doesn't automatically return I have no idea! Clearly this park's overseers have more faith in humanity than Disney's do!) At about this time, Claire, who has taken her co-worker Owen (Chris Pratt) to see the new dinosaur have discovered this dinosaur to be missing. How did he escape from his cage? they wonder. Could he have climbed the 40-foot wall and escaped? Rather than making intelligent decisions about it, Owen and friends decide to enter the cage and see what's up. (Because when you are in Jurassic movies, that's what you do, right?) As they look over what seem to be wall tracks, the dinosaur makes his appearance escaping the cage and giving everyone (dinosaurs and humans alike) a run for their money. Can the staff of Jurassic World capture the dinosaur before he kills hundreds if not thousands of people and dinosaurs? Will children Zach and Grey make it back home to their loving parents?

Grossing $208,807,270 during it's opening weekend at the Box Office, Jurassic World set a record for the biggest June opening ever, the largest ever opening weekend, and had an IMAX opening record of $20.6 million. Viewers of the movie were split evenly between men and women, those over and under age 25 (source). Clearly this was a movie for everyone.

As for me and my skepticism at viewing the dynamic between human and dinosaurs? I loved it! The opening scenes were absolutely beautiful and well-filmed, the characters and plotline were mostly believable, and there was a bit of humor in there too which was nice. The dinosaurs weren't as scary-seeming as I had previously only imagined they would be, and then there was that line about Christ Pratt being a "badass" which, for the record, he totally was. This is one movie I am not only glad that I had the chance to see, but that I very much enjoyed seeing in 3D. Yes, this is definitely a film I recommend seeing. :)

Minions


I'll admit that I begged Justin to take me to see this on opening weekend. Thank goodness we had far too much to do as this movie would have led to disappointment and heartbreak.

This movie is the prequel to Despicable Me. For as long as the minions can remember they have strived to work for the very best villain imaginable, but keeping their masters alive is harder than you would think. Slowly over time, one by one, the masters die off and these yellow little freaks have to find new ways to spend their time. Rather than become depressed, Kevin, a minion, decides to go off on an adventure doing whatever is necessary to bring happiness to his tribe, which mainly includes finding a villain to serve. Luckily, when he, Stuart, and Bob arrive off the coast of New York City in the 1960s, they manage to find a family to travel down to Florida with as they head to Villaincon were all of the world's best villains are going. Once arriving, Kevin, Bob, and Stuart land a job with the world's best villain and fly off to London in search of Queen Elizabeth's crown, which they must obtain for Scarlet Overkill. Will they be successful? Will they land a new career working for one of the world's best villains? Or will she "huff and puff and blow their world to smithereens"? Only one way to tell… :)

While the commercials for this movie basically giving away the whole story, I was amused enough to see the movie. How would Disney pull off this prequel? Sadly, as it turns out.The minions are cute enough, but cuteness isn't enough to lead a movie. And Scarlet Overkill? Seriously? I'm sorry, but the combination of the script and Sandra Bullock's acting just didn't work for me. Scarlet Overkill seemed less of a villain than the little girls in Despicable Me. And what does her character tell young girls about positions of power? All I took from it is that women can't hold positions of power without having a husband behind them. No thanks, Disney. Try again.

In essence, take your kids to see Minions if you have to. Laugh a little. Just don't expect too much. It's not that good.

Ant Man


When Justin and I originally saw this trailer in theatres, I'm pretty sure I leaned over and said "I'm not going to see that movie when it comes out." Well, guess what? I did. You see I do something called mystery shopping, and it just so happens that the same week I was going to mystery shop the theatre was the week of the Ant Man opening. Go figure, right? But I took it in stride. Marvel makes some pretty amazing movies, and I had high hopes for Ant Man. Even if the movie was about disgusting little insects, I had high hopes that at least the superhero aspect would be fun. How could it not be?

So here's the story:

Man gets out of prison. His ex-wife is now married to a police officer and neither ex-wife nor police officer husband will let ex-prisoner see his daughter until he gets a job and has a stable living condition. Political issues aside (as blatant as they may be), ex-prisoner (from this point forth known as Scott) can't get a job. Unfortunately because he lacks a job, he also lacks a stable life. Even Baskin-Robbins won't keep him on. Enter friend. Luis (AKA friend) gets a lead on a break-and-enter job. All Scott has to do is enter wealthy man Hank Pym's home and steal whatever is in his vault. Thinking of his daughter and how much he wants to see her, he agrees. Perhaps this job will get him the extra financing he needs to afford that stable life he desires. On the day of the heist, Scott discovers there is absolutely nothing in the vault except for a stupid looking costume. He takes it anyway thinking this job was all-for-nothing. Back at the apartment, he tries the costume on, shrinking to the size of an ant, running and escaping the treacherous aspects of a normal life that an ant leads. (Ever feared going down a shower drain?) When he finally manages to get back to a normal size, his first instinct is to return the scary costume – only Hank Pym's daughter is watching and she has other plans. She calls the police on him and sends him back to jail. At this point, Hank Pym meets with Scott as his lawyer and suggests that an opportunity will come along that will help him get out of jail. If Scott accepts this opportunity, he must become the Ant Man. Without knowing what all is involved, Scott escapes jail in the ant suit and slowly learns what all is involved with being a superhero. He has a daughter to see and a future to save, and this ant suit is just the beginning…

The box office numbers for this film weren't too impressive; Justin and I got to see and experience that since we went on Sunday evening of the opening weekend where we were in a theatre of about 12 people. While some of that could be chalked up to a "work night", I still thought the number was really low given how many kids and teens are out on break for summer. The movie itself wasn't bad. Justin took issue with some of the politics and science in the film, but nothing really bothered me too much. I was surprised to see Michael Douglas performing the role of the rich Hank Pym and thought he did very well alongside Paul Rudd as Scott Lang. Overall it was a good movie that had it's ups and downs. I'm not sure it's necessary to pay for 3D experience aside from the very cool miniature effects you get a la Honey I Shrunk the Kids. However, it is nice that this film is rated PG-13, so finally you can take your kids to see an action movie without worrying! And that little girl in the film? Adorable!

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Anyway, that's my take on this summer's hottest new flicks (that I've seen). Have you been to see any of these movies yet? Would you go? Share in the comments and let me know!