Taking on Cinematic History - a Review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
*In the interest of having something else to think about while we post thousands of great deals, we thought we'd re-up Jerrito's slightly cantankerous review...*
*Because elements of the plot were vital to my review of this film, the following contains a number of "spoilers."*
First off, I must mention that I am not a fan of science fiction. As a child, I was forced to watch the exceptionally campy Star Trek series by my older brother, who because of his superior strength, controlled which channel we watched and when. My only real exposure to the genre comes from now being "forced" to watch the Sci-Fi channel when one of her favorite shows is on. That being said, I fell in love with the Star Wars series as a child. My mother took my brother and I to see that first, and frankly best, film of the series. "A New Hope" was enthralling to this then eleven year old boy. Something about it just captured my attention and has continued to do so for thirty five years.
And so my thoughts are not based on any particular knowledge or understanding of what happens in a typical production in this world. I have seen only minutes of any of the Star Trek movies, and was never really attracted to any of them. I'm not fascinated by the space time continuum, and frankly, don't care much to know any more about it. Though I certainly don't criticize those who love that world and understand the love so many have for it, science fiction just isn't my thing. But like so many, I love the Star Wars franchise, seeing it more as a part of my youth I loved, and much more than just a story.
Was the latest chapter in the Star Wars saga ever going to garner universal praise from critics, while avoiding the ire of it's fans? Probably not. But Star Wars: The Force Awakens did plenty of things well, and if nothing else produced a logical stepping stone in the world's most popular series.
Though I always attempt to avoid reviews before giving my own take, they were impossible to avoid when I pre-ordered the Blu-Ray combo. The most common criticism I saw was the "sameness" of this film to the other six in the series.
Of course, this highly-anticipated installment is first and foremost a Star Wars film. Like it's predecessors, "Awakens" employs themes of "good vs evil" early and often. There is Kylo Ren, a villain whose anger has turned him in the direction of the dark side. At least one character "discovers" that she is a Jedi. A large, exceptionally powerful ship is used by the force to cause great destruction among innocents. An adorable droid figures prominently in saving the world. Stop me if this sounds familiar...
These are all popular plot points in the saga, to be sure. But personally, I found these to be no more or less static and "predictable than they were in all six of the previous chapters. And yet I enjoyed each of those films. It is, in many ways a true Star Wars movie, which means that many things will be "the same." And that's fine with me. However, there were things I questioned, to be sure, especially in the area of character development.
First and foremost, my attention stumbled more than once while watching Kylo Ren. I always found that a vital element in the personality of a certain Darth Vader was his seemingly absolute level of evil (at least until "Revenge of the Sith) and willingness to do anything to assist the emperor in his quest for world domination through any means necessary. While I understand that not all characters should be identical, Kylo Ren is so flexible in his ways, so wishy-washy and yes, even weak, that it is hard to fear him. With a "master" who is hardly fleshed out enough to hate also in the mix, I never achieved anything near the same sense of dread when either of these characters found himself in a warring posture that I felt each and every time that Vader, or any of the emperors in past productions, caused me to feel each and every time previous "evildoers" appeared on screen.
Frankly, Ren is one of the weaknesses of "Awakens." Perhaps his internal struggle between the forces of light and dark appear too quickly, or are too quickly exposed, or maybe it's something as simple as the revelation of his true appearance, far too "normal" to give the impression of evil, that makes it so. In fact, the "real" Ren (played by Adam Driver) looks and behaves more like a pouting prince than an evil, super powered "First Oder" demon. Or maybe it's the fact that Ren is too easily knocked from his perch on the first appearance of a light saber wielding Jedi. Whatever the individual reason, it is more likely the sum of all of these that makes what was probably intended to be a battle between good an evil something more akin to a battle of "good" versus "not so bad." The fact that his "evil voice" sounds like it's coming from a cheap Radio Shack speaker only makes this impression move obvious.
An ineffective portrayal of a character can truly hurt a film, and I thought this was also apparent in the Poe Dameron character. Though we can easily see the parallels between he and Luke Skywalker (though Poe is not, as far as I can tell, a Jedi) that is where the similarity ends. Sent by Leia to attempt to find more information about the location of her brother, Oscar Isaac gives us a cocky character who fails to even approach the likability of Mark Hamill. A number of Poe's lines are particularly cheesy, and when he appears at the outset of the movie to be in grave danger, his over the top facial expressions and excessive dramatics give the impression that he is anything but a servant of a cause.
The search is on for the evil organization called "The First Order." They're looking for the most famous of all Jedis, and the last surviving member, Luke Skywalker. Of course, their goal is to eliminate the last remnant of that group. But the ubiquitous knight is nowhere to be found. Now a General in the resistance movement, Leia is looking for him, too. Though this quest is often mentioned, we see the great hero only at the end of the film, and even then only as a foreteller of what is to come. He speaks no words as our hero, Rey approaches him. And the film ends.
If action is what you were hoping for, you are unlikely to be disappointed with "The Force Awakens." Viewers are treated to well choreographed fights throughout the movie. From fisticuffs to light saber duels the choreography (something Hollywood in general seems to have skillfully improved upon) is well executed and as believable as a "space sage" can be.
The score is one of the absolute highlights of this film, and it's given the proper attention by those who created and mixed the sound for the film. In a score that truly "owns it" we're taken low, high and points in between by full symphonic sound, then transitioned to lighter, airier tunes, all tying-in at various appropriate moments to those original, now timeless melodies that remind us that we're watching an epic film with everything that comes with it's pedigree. Even if you're looking, you'll find it difficult to find any sort of fault with the music in "Awakens." Few, in the history of film have so deftly drawn viewers in and kept them emotionally engaged in what they're watching as John Williams. My one critique would be that the large gap between the volume level of the bass in the sound effects (the explosions are move powerful than ever here) and the dialogue is a bit too much of an adjustment for most ears. Happily, I was able to somewhat even this out through my receiver. Though the audio is mixed in 7.1 surround, it sounded exceptional on my 5.1 system.
For the tech geek in you, the technical production of "The Force Awakens" is almost without peer. Both the stunning video and powerful, clear audio are the equal of the very best films in existence. Shot in true blockbuster sci-fi flick style, viewing it in the Blu-Ray format as I did is a pleasure. With highly detailed, expansive, gorgeous panorama shots from JJ Abrams, especially as rebel fighters approach their targets is truly something to behold. The skies are drop-dead gorgeous, and the "machines" have never looked more real. The quality of the shots is as good as any you're likely to see in any film this year, and used with great skill in "The Force Awakens. I could go on about the quality of the on screen images for hours, but in the interest of time, I will simply describe the view as "captivating."
Mostly, Star Wars: The Force Awakens does honor to a series that deserves it. The elements one would most expect to be present are there. We have heroes and villains, some painted clearly in black and white, and of course one character who appears in a very obvious gray. Plot twists, shocking discoveries about some of the characters, and an enormous amount of action are of course brightly and properly portrayed. While there are some inconsistencies in the development of the characters (perhaps affected by the single movie assignment of JJ Abrams as director - was he in a hurry to get to the point?) the movie does what a Star Wars movie should: Capture the viewer in an ever dangerous, never truly clear world of The Force.
5 Things I love about Star Wars: The Force Awakens
1.) I thought John Boyega was brilliant in his role as Finn, a convert to the cause/comic relief rebel. He had most of the funniest lines in the movie, and his delivery was spot on. Instead of distracting the way Jar Jar Binks was, Finn makes you laugh without taking all of the attention away from the fact that there's a moving playing in front of you.
2.) Similarly, I found Daisy Ridley to be a revelation as Rey. The actress skillfully portrays the latest "rebel princess" of the Star Wars Saga with a range surprising when you consider her youth. Clearly, she has star power, beauty, and most importantly, serious acting chops.
3.) In more than 40 years of watching movies, I found the videography in "Awakens" to be stunning and practically perfect. If you love visually beautiful films, the images alone are worth the price of admission. Everything from the expansive vistas of the various planets to the incredible detail of the vehicles is truly eye-poppingly good. Grab the Blu-Ray and watch it on a high-quality HDTV. You won't be disappointed in the way this film looks.
4.) Chewbacca is back. Enough said about that.
5.) Without diminishing the incredible love fans have for R2-D2, I must say that BB-8 was more than a welcome addition to the history of amazingly "human" droids in the series. Only Star Wars can make a machine "adorable" and they did it again with the new "assistant" robot. The "new guy" comes off as cute, and somehow heroic as he plays a vital part in the cause to save the world from the "Dark Side."
Things I Loved Less
1.) Hammy dialogue and slightly over portrayed characters have always been part of this series. Having said that, I found that Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher seemed to be trying too hard. Perhaps overshadowed by the new blood on set, the pair seemed to be trying too hard to make the move from young and idealistic (or in Han's case already cynical) to wise and truly dedicated to the cause. Or maybe it was just more fun to watch when I was younger.
2.) Kylo Ren. I'm not sure if it's the portrayal by Adam Driver or the development of the character by the writers, but this "dark prince" seems too unwilling too soon, and comes off as more schizophrenic than conflicted. In perhaps the biggest flaw in the film, he leaves us rather uninterested in his choice. As Star Wars "bad guys" go, I found him to be rather uninteresting, a cardinal sin in a series that thrives on villains bent on spreading pure, unadulterated evil.
3.) Rey seems to learn too quickly what it required the vaunted Luke Skywalker much longer to become a powerful Jedi. Though this is probably a method to produce a "savior-like" heroine quickly, in my opinion, it was rather incredible that she learned so quickly what Luke took 2.5 films to master. She kicks serious butt while wielding a light saber, showing that it's not so difficult to be the greatest fighter for the cause of "light" without too much actually instruction. Or at least so it appeared.
4.) Poe Dameron is the standard, cookie-cutter type "regular army" guy in the film. As such, his lines are droll, predictable, and in my opinion at times so annoyingly glib that I ceased carrying about his character by the time the Stormtrooper turncoat Finn hopped a ride with him. This was the casting call type choice that seemed to choose handsome (Oscar Isaac) over substantive. Though this choice was likely to have been intentional, for me it appeared to be responsible for a fighter pilot that should have been a bit deeper and more interesting.
5.) Many fans have vocally decried the use of very similar plot elements in the film. There's a gigantic, seemingly invincible warship menacing the very existence of the world. Pilots, part of a rebellion, are charged with destroying it. The task is daunting, but they fight on against seemingly impossible odds...Yes, it's been done before, and in this same series, of course. Is it laziness or fear of moving too far away from the most successful plot elements of the series? Though this and other like scenarios do seem familiar, I'm conflicted about whether to call it "lazy." Let's just say the The Force Awakens succeeded in spite of some copying from itself.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a flawed, yet worthy, more modern successor to the previous VI films in the saga. Once concerned about Disney's effect on the series, I'm considerably more optimistic about the future of Star Wars. "Awakens", like the others, is at times flawed, but still often engaging, and in a few moments enthralling. It carries on the legacy of this incredibly loved story skillfully, and in my opinion is worth watching if you're a fan of Science Fiction, and even if, like me, you just love a good story.
How and Where to get a Great Price on a Laptop this Season!
With most of us actually doing our online shopping on a laptop, we thought now would be a good time to tell you how and where you'll find some of the best deals on them this Black Friday season. While a few of the best offers will appear at smaller sellers (we'll post those here when they appear) we've narrowed it down to some of the "safe bets" for places to search, especially if you haven't settled on a specific model yet. Below, we'll give you what we believe to be the best places to start, and explain why you should keep an eye on them...
They sell their own laptops and desktops, of course, but nowadays Acer is making some very nice PCs. Their review scores and customer reviews have improved right before our eyes as the years have passed. You can now shop at their very own site, and they've already kicked off some of their Black Friday level prices.
Dell Home and Dell Small Business
In our estimation, probably the best in the business. You can find everything from an 11" laptop made with kids in mind for $150 to a $1900 best with 15.6" screen that shines in gorgeous 4K. Best of all, they're always competitive. Last year, both sites offered large price drops, and did so throughout November and right through the 20th or so of December. They've also already gone live with some early Black Friday Deals.
Case in point: When my sister in law was looking for a Macbook Pro last year around this time, the best price I found for the model she wanted was from a seller named eTechGalaxy at eBay's site. It was so relatively inexpensive that I did not see it beat by anyone for six months after I bought it for her. With so many sellers including Best Buy, NewEgg and literally thousands more, the competition is so fierce that they often beat pretty much everyone we know of on specific models.
Again, you'll find their PCs for sale there. But since it's the manufacturer doing the selling, you'll also find eveyrthing from a small tablet sized laptop to their brilliantly constructed Yoga laptops with incredible flexibility. The best prices we found on most of their models were here last holiday season, and we expect the same to be true this year. By the way, they've kicked off their Black Friday offering early as well.
It's likely that you'll find the cheapest laptop here. Some of that is because they're always competitive this time of year, but also because they aren't too concerned about carrying only the big brand names. It's very likely you'll find an off brand model laptop for under $200 there at some point this season, but also a $1,000 HP machine at a big discount.
The majority of their deals are valid for one day only or until they sell out of that product. This time of year, the latter is more likely. While you're likely to see a hot deal on a brand new, in the box laptop, you should expect to find many more deals on "certified refurbished" models at truly exceptional prices. Since they're now owned by Amazon, we trust that you'll get a good deal on a good machine there or they'll make good on it.
Walmart Black Friday Deals plus Sneak Peek!
For years, Walmart has been one of the most eager, and sometimes best purveyors of Black Friday done big. This year is no exception. Their Black Friday Sale is posted on their site and looks quite enticing to us. While we predicted that we would see great holiday level deals as soon as November 1st, they somehow managed to beat our prediction. The sale starts now and runs right up until Christmas Eve, with some VERY large discounts on the massive variety of merchandise that only one big box store can provide. It begins with their Black Friday Sneak Peek, where we're already finding some great offers.
The samples below are from the Walmart Black Friday Sneak Peek, which will eventually become the actual Black Friday Sale. Prices can change at any time. But we're confident that there are already many deals worthy of your attention right now.
Tramontina Primaware 18 Piece Non-stick Cookware Set $35.96
The Pioneer Woman FlexBrew Single-Serve Coffee Maker $39.99
Star Wars The Child Animatronic Edition $59.00
KidKraft Ainsley Wooden Swing Set / Playset $264.00
L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Remix Super Surprise 70+ Box $98.00
VTech KidiZoom Creator Cam HD Video Kids' Digital Camera, Green Screen $49.44
NBA 2K21, 2K, Nintendo Switch $44.99
Madden NFL 21 for PS4 or Xbox One $39.88
Assassin's Creed Valhalla for PS4 or Xbox One $49.94
Sony Playstation 4 DualShock 4 Controller With FIFA 21 for $99.00
Our Prime Day Summary
So the big sale (you know the one) has passed. For two days the entire web seemed to be focused on it, including the vast number of retailers who participated in making Amazon's Prime Day sale a pretty big deal. It became a real event, with lots of competition and price matching, and we saw some pretty good to great prices. Here's a few more things that we noticed from the bigger retailers that may portend what will come during the Black Friday through Cyber Monday period...
Of course, this was all about Amazon. They kicked off on day one with deals across a wide swatch of categories. There were quite a few true bargains featured, including on what we call "the good stuff." For us, that's a sign of an interest in going big, because shoppers will only be enticed by discounts on household supplies for so long. We saw deals on iPad, Sony, DeWalt, Mattel and a host of other top brands. Did the prices meet expectations? As always, that's up to you, and your budget. From our point of view, the deals were slightly below our expectations on many of the most popular items. The biggest deals were on Amazon devices, including Kindle, Echo and all iterations of their Fire TV Platform. That's fine but without huge discounts on the "other brands" it came off as a bit of a massive, two day marketing campaign for...Amazon.
Another thing that we found a tad off-putting was that the majority of the deals seemed to appear on Day one of the sale, and last right through the end of Day two. That seemed to us like an odd choice to us. Why expand availability? Yes, it's good for the shopper to have longer to decide whether to make a purchase, but doesn't that also negate the effect of a "limited time deal?" Worse, some of those deals became available due to their popularity.
Look, we love Prime Day. And because it's such a big deal, and it is Amazon after all, we always expect big things. This time around, we think they may have fallen just a bit short of that. But as I often say with sales in October that just begin to peak our interest, this is just the beginning. The holidays are on the horizon, and we're confident that we've yet to see their best. We fully expect the "hot stuff" to get here soon.
Walmart continues to bill itself as serious competition to the online shopping throne. While we love that they compete and price match because it's good for consumers, but we think that a few improvements would certainly help their cause. Better organization at their online portal would help them actually do so. There's a lack of cohesiveness there that confounds us at times. There's a mish mash on their pages that just makes it difficult to know where to go. That's a shame because they do offer some exceptional deals. We just think they should be easier to find.
Of course, many other popular retailers participated in the madness. Macy's dropped prices AND offered a coupon to get additional discounts at checkout and deserves credit for being the best in their space for months now. We expect more from them as the holidays near, and look forward to shopping there ourselves. If you're looking for apparel, kitchen items, perfumes, toys and more this year, we highly recommend them.
In our opinion, Staples has shined for the past few months. During the Prime Day festivities, they featured some fantastic prices on laptops, office furniture, and all sorts of great daily essentials, from paper towels to hand sanitizer. And they differentiated themselves from the other office stores by featuring free shipping on all orders, large and small beginning a few months ago. It's another place we recommend you keep an eye as November approaches.
Much More than Amazon!
In the eyes of some, Prime Day will be a preview of what is to come. We'll see some good deals, they say, but it's nothing like Black Friday. Well, around here we have a different point of view. Our experience tells us that this WILL be a huge sale, and there absolutely will be the type of deals we see during the holidays in Amazon's 2 day retail joyride.
But the biggest reason we think this will be a sale of massive proportions can be found in our Inbox. It's a simple matter of competition. We've been receiving e-mails from many of our affiliate partners for weeks that tell us of large discounts coming on or around the 13th of October. That date, of course, is when Amazon kicks off it's two day Prime event.
So we can tell you about what we see, but not where it will be coming from. Not yet, at least. They ask us to keep that quiet, and we'll happily honor that. Sales on shoes, electronics, housewares, appliances and practically everything your heart desires are on the horizon. The retailers who promise to jump in on the action include some of the biggest names in the business, along with many of our favorite smaller endeavors. And the discounts promise to be hefty. Some of them are even using the word "Prime" in their advertising. Their intent is quite obvious.
Plus we're confident that we'll see the usual price matching from retailers that we've become accustomed to around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, once the sale begins. Remember, if you see a great deal at Amazon, take a look around. Their competitors will surely take a shot at matching or beating that offer. And we think you'll be surprised at how quickly, and how often this happens.
We plan on spending Prime Day (both days, actually) posting Amazon's best Prime Day Deals, because that's where the main action will be. But when the others jump in, we'll post theirs as well. Because we want you to have options. And we REALLY want you to save, no matter where the deals are.
What to Expect from Amazon's Prime Day!
The first Amazon Prime Day hit the web in July of 2015, as the retail giants' way to "celebrate" it's 20th Anniversary. Since then, we've seen it grow into an almost, but not quite, Black Friday level event. And so we were expecting this year's even to be equally massive. But 2020 is no ordinary year, is it? As a friend of mine recently commented "All that's missing is the hail!" So have things changed? Will this year's event, once-delayed and now occurring on October 13th and 14th, live up to past iterations? Will we again have the opportunity to save on everything we've ever dreamed of purchasing?
Let's start at the source. "Prime Day is back with epic deals on top brands. Exclusively for Prime members. Deals in Electronics, Fashion, Home & Kitchen & More" their own website touts. That basically sounds like every previous year's sale. But last year we found not only almost as many deals as we witnessed on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but discounts on an enormous variety of merchandie. From their front page Gold Box to their limited time Lightning Deals, it seemed that everything was discounted. We imagine that the variety of products staggered the imagination, and we saw items like fishing poles, bread yeast, and even rubber bands on sale. In our view, with 15 years of doing this behind us, it was truly impressive.
And so, if you're thinking that this year's sale could be a dud, we're betting on this being quite the opposite. Yes, things are difficult for many American workers. Stores are limitimg the number of customers in their brick and mortar locations, and some folks will be in no shape to spend for this sale. But with Amazon, the usual rules rarely apply.
So expect big things. We do. And one thing that is likely to steer Amazon toward offering us more and better deals is that we love to shop. When we can, Americans collectively spend enormous sums of money on all sorts of things. We are consumers, folks who love to try new stuff, and are likely continue to stay that way. Amazon Prime Day will probably be as big a deal (excuse the pun) as ever. They are in strong financial shape, but always aggressive in pursuing their intention to stay that way. Not only are thousands of great deals on the way, but as of this posting, they've already begun offering "Early Prime Day Deals" on Amazon devices, with more to come.
As always, we'll be following the sale and posting the best deals right here on our Home Page!
The Retail Elephant in the Room
Years ago, I was interviewed on Long Island News Radio for a piece about Black Friday. It was a good interview, I thought. The host asked quite a few great questions regarding where we get our deals, how we make a living posting deals, and how shoppers could find the best deals out there. At one point, he kind of dropped a bomb on me. “Why do you have so many Amazon deals on your site?” I hadn’t even looked at what we had been posting that particular day. Typically, I’ll look for deals and when I find one that’s good enough for our shoppers, I just post it. As it happens, that was a day late in November when things really started to go a bit bonkers on the web. Deals were everywhere, but the Goliath of retail shopping had been absolutely explosive. They were not only dropping dozens of prices on the really good stuff, but price matching the second biggest retailer on Earth almost as quickly as that other site put up a hot deal. And so, without even noticing it, I had given our customers a rather large percentage of Amazon deals. So how did I answer him? “We go where the deals are.” In other words, because we’re affiliated with hundreds of online stores, our choices are rather vast, but that doesn’t stop us from posting the best price, regardless of where we find it. On that day that meant a lot of great deals from the biggest seller of them all.
But on another day, and frankly most days of the year, it usually means deals from a a wide variety of sellers, some of whom you may not know. We know them though, and we wouldn’t post them unless they were well regarded in the industry and well-reviewed by shoppers. Stay with us as we post the best Black Friday Deals from sellers small and enormous right here.
A Disney (Shop) Christmas!
We’re happy to report that they’ve kicked off their Black Friday Sale! Get up to 40% off their fantastic selection of everything from Apparel, Holiday Decor, and of course TOYS until 12/25! Shop the Black Friday Sale at Disney Shop here! Let’s just admit it. Disney is an American icon, and a brand so big that none of us can avoid it. Kids love it, of course, but most of the folks I know are adults, and the majority can quote snippets from Disney movies as easily as I can quote Van Halen lyrics. If you are into Disney magic, then their own website is always a great place to grab one of their hard to find collectible ornaments, dolls from all of their lovable characters, or clothes emblazoned with your child’s favorite character. Of course, they up the ante this time of year, with some good to great discounts on a large selection of toys, games, holiday clothing, and even serving dishes for your holiday meal. To check out what’s going on at their place this season, head to Shop Disney here.
Amazon Happy HoliDeals is Here!
Yes, it’s basically where the Countdown to Black Friday (what they were calling it last year) begins. Until the middle of November, this is where you’ll find many of their hottest deals appear well before Thanksgiving. Of course, if it’s like last year’s sale, the variety of items marked down will be enormous, with deals on everything from the most sought after videogames to coffee mugs with funny sayings on them. Their HoliDeals page has categories to choose from including the Homepage with all deals listed if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, and frankly have plenty of time to browse, and even Upcoming Deals to tell you what will be available soon. That second page is where you get a peak at some of the best deals on the way BEFORE it’s available for purchase, giving you time to get ready to buy when the moment arrives. Some of these are exclusively for Prime Members, so sign up for a free trial of Prime at the site if you’re not already signed up. Some of the hottest deals of the year are almost certain to appear in the Amazon Lightning Deals part of their site, where items of all sorts pop-up at hard to believe prices, get an enormous amount of interest, then sell out in a short time. It’s definitely worth a look but as with all things shopping related this time of year, be prepared to say “yes” to a deal quickly.
Walmart Deal Drop Kicks off a huge November! Black Friday Starts today!
The Huge Walmart Black Friday Sale Starts Now! Technically it starts in a few hours. Exactly 10PM EST if you’re keeping score. Here it comes! One of the biggest Black Friday Sales anywhere, where the hot Doorbusters cover a huge swatch of categories so you can finish your shopping rather quickly. Take a look at just a small portion of the fantastic deals you’re about to see… Apple Deals Apple Ipad 10.2-inch (7th Gen) 32GB Wi-Fi $249 Apple AirPods (Latest Model) with Charging Case $129 Apple iPhone Straight Talk 6s Prepaid Smartphone $99 Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS – 38mm Band $129, 42mm Band $159 Gaming Consoles and Bundles Sony PlayStation 4 1TB Console Bundle $199.99 PS4 Pro Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Bundle $299.99 Xbox One S 1TB All?Digital Edition $149.99 Nintendo Switch w/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe $299.99 Xbox One S 1TB Star Wars Jedi Bundle $199.99 Xbox One X 1TB Gears 5 Bundle $349.99 $100 Off XBox One Console Bundle Computers & Such Samsung 11.6? Chromebook 3, 16GB, 4GB – XE500C13-K04US $99 HP 14? HD Laptop Celeron 4GB 64GB + 1yr Office 365 $149 HP 15.6? FHD Touchscreen Chromebook i3-8130U, 4GB, 128GB SSD $299 HP Pavilion 15.6? FHD Laptop (i5-9300H 8GB 256GB SSD GTX1050 $499 HP Pavilion Desktop (i5-9400F, GTX 1660Ti, 8GB, 256GB SSD (8GB), $579 Razer Mamba Wireless Gaming Mouse $50 Toys Hot Wheels 50-Car Ultimate Collectors Gift Pack Set $25 Yvolution Neon Balance Bike $15 Disney Frozen II Arendelle Fold & Go Castle $39.99 ESPN Mid-Size Folding Table Tennis Table with Paddles and Balls $79 Electronics Fitbit Inspire HR $69 Vizio 65? Class 4K Smart TV $398 Roku Ultra with JBL Earbuds $48 Google Smart TV Kit: Google Home Mini plus Google Chromecast $35 Oculus Go Standalone Virtual Reality Headset 32GB for $149 $50 Off the FitBit Charge 3 plus Bonus Band Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones $129 Fujifilm Instax Mini 7s Camera $50 GoPro HERO7 Action Camera $139 Kitchen Instant Pot Ace 60 Cooking Blender $49.99 Farberware 16? Non-Stick Electric Griddle $9.96 Instant Vortex 6-Quart 4-in-1 Air Fryer $49.96 Keurig K-Compact Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker $39 iRobot 670 Wi?Fi Vacuum Cleaner $197 Shop-Vac 4.5 Peak HP, 6 Gallon Stainless Steel Vacuum $32 Primo Hot / Cold Water Dispenser $59 ——————————————————————————————————————- *11/24 Update – They already have a pretty hefty percentage of hot TV deals we see that you can see here.* A few more of the many truly great deals you’ll find in their Early Black Friday Sale, many with free 2 day delivery… Sterilite Footlocker $19.98 Roku Streaming Stick+ 4K Media Player $29.99 Apple AirPods with Charging Case $139.00 All Digital Edition Xbox One S 1TB $149.00 KidKraft Ainsley Wooden Swing Set $239.00 Super Mario Maker for Nintendo Switch $43.99 Masterbuilt Digital 30 in. Electric Smoker $204.99 Xbox One X 1TB Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order $349.00 PowerBlock 10-35 Lbs Adjustable Kettlebell $145.00 Thomas & Friends Eco Rescue Wood Firehouse Set $27.99 Playstation 4 Pro Call of Duty Modern Warfare Bundle $299.99 Muscle Rack 18? D x 36? W x 72? H, 5-Shelf Steel Shelving $48.97 LEGO 60192 City Arctic Expedition Arctic Ice Crawler $13.99 Disney Princess Magical Movers Twirling Tower Adventures $10.99 Weslo Crosswalk 5.2t Total Body Treadmill – compatible with iFit Coach $269.00 23andMe DNA Test – Health + Ancestry Personal Genetic Service and including Lab Fee $99.00 ————————————————————————————————————— *11/15 Update* Walmart has gone live with a large selection of their ACTUAL Black Friday Deals! Here are just a few of our favorite items from this one… Apple 10.5-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi 512GB $599.00 Lenovo Ideapad 130s 14.0? Laptop,Windows 10, Intel Celeron $179.00 Bounce Pro 14-Foot Trampoline, with Classic Enclosure $178.00 Little Tikes Adjust ‘n Jam Pro Basketball Set $29.98 Huffy 12V Battery-Powered SWAT Truck 2-Seater Ride-On $249.00 Buy 1 Get 1 FREE: Barbie Inspiring Women Rosa Parks and Frida Kahlo Series $29.88 Xbox Ultimate Sports Bundle with 2K20 Console, Fifa 20, Madden 20 and Bonus Controller $299 JVC LT-55MAW595 55? UHD 2160p HDR Roku Smart LED TV $269.00 Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular – 38mm – Sport Band – Aluminum Case -Silver/White $199.00 ——————————————————————————————————————– It wasn’t ever going to escape us that Walmart is going to go big this Black Friday. Or even that we’re already seeing some pretty great deals appear at their site. But the sheer number of deals we actually found that are live right now did surprise us. And that’s not easy to do. In 2018, we saw many of their advertised deals appear as early as the first day of November. What this means is that it’s never too early to head there and see what’s going on. We’re already looking for their best offers, of course. You’re probably ask yourself what we’re going to see when Thanksgiving rolls around. Well, in the case of Walmart there really isn’t much need to wait, at least not for long. Their current sale is billed as “The Deal Drop,” and the deals actually are exceptional. Better yet, it’s happening right now, and features hundreds of great items already on sale. Here’s a taste from it… Ninja CF097 Coffee Bar System $99.00 KidKraft Savannah Dollhouse $79.99 Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter $348.00 Shark Ion S86 RV850 Robot Vacuum Cleaning System $269.00 Choice of Xbox One S and BONUS Call of Duty Modern Warfare $249.00 Hisense 58H6550E 58? 4K Ultra HD HDR Android Smart LED TV $279.99 Nintendo Switch Bundle with Your Choice of Game $329.00 Samsung LC32F39MFUNXZA 32? Curved Monitor $179.00 Ninja Foodi 8-Quart All-in-One Pressure Cooker/Air Fryer $189.00 PAW Patrol, Mighty Pups Super PAWs Lookout Tower Playset $69.99
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