Reviews

Review: The Hunger Games (Movie)



On Thursday, Mike and I attended the advance screening of The Hunger Games!!! *throws confetti* We got free tickets through @shesconnected and @ToshibaCanada off of Twitter. (Thank you so much!!!)

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie! I thought the acting was well done, casting was well done, screenplay was good (it was pretty accurate to the book), the fighting and kill scenes were gruesome as it needed to be, and there were enough funny, nice moments scattered between the bloodshed that helped keep the whole movie from being too tense.

At the same time there’s definitely a few things I didn’t like all that much about the movie but let’s start with the points I particularly enjoyed. Sidenote: the following points contains spoilers!

  • Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman
  • I am a huge fan of Stanley Tucci as an actor and was very excited when I found out he was going to be a part of The Hunger Games. I think he did a fantastic job portraying Caesar Flickerman. He is really the biggest comic relief throughout the movie and was key in making sure the darkness and the killing in the story wasn’t too heavy. I loved his interview scenes and his narration of the games as it happened.

  • Gamemakers in the Control Room
  • I LOVED the scenes showing the Gamemakers in the control game! To see these people starting forest fires, shooting fireballs, and dropping mutated beasts into the arena, it was cruel but also so very cool. You don’t really get to see them do this in the books. Plus I never even thought about it really while reading – how the Gamemakers were altering the arena and changing the game to make things more exciting. It was just a fact that it was happening. The book never delved into how they were doing it so to see it presented visually on screen with everyone in a slick control room with this lethal virtual 3D system was a great plus to the film.

  • They included Buttercup!
  • This is a very brief, very small detail but a very important one for me. I kept wondering if they were going to include Prim’s cat Buttercup in the movies or not and when the movie first began and they were introducing Prim and showing the mother sleeping – for a second I was ready to be completely disappointed because it didn’t look like Buttercup was there. But just before Katniss leaves the house, there Buttercup is! It was a scene just a few seconds long but it was those few glorious seconds that ensured I wouldn’t hate the movie based on their exclusion of the cat! :)

  • Good actors
  • They’re not going to be winning any Oscars but the actors in The Hunger Games are good and did a solid job. I can easily say that the acting in the first Hunger Games movie is a million times better than the acting in the first Harry Potter or the first Twilight movies. I didn’t cringe at all, which is huge because my face was basically cringing the entire time while watching the first Harry Potter and Twilight movies (awful, awful acting). Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson were great as Effie and Haymitch. They portrayed them basically as I had pictured them to be and as with Stanley Tucci their characters were great for comic relief. Overall I’d say the casting was spot on. Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Liam Hemsworth as Gale, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. It all worked for me. Also, Liam Hemsworth is sooo pretty.

    Now here are some points that stuck out for me (in a bad way):

  • Shaky camera
  • The camera was too shaky at times. In fact, most of the time. I’m really not a fan of shaky camera-style shooting and done in just the right dosage will actually give me a huge headache. Luckily the shaky cam in The Hunger Games wasn’t quite enough to induce a migraine but it was notable. For the next two movies I hope they decide to go with less of a shake.

  • The importance of the Mockingjay pin
  • The Mockingjay pin is supposed to become the symbol of the uprising. Katniss is the Mockingjay. And yet I didn’t really feel the scenes that included the pin really alluded to its importance. I also didn’t like that you didn’t really see it at all throughout the entire Hunger Games. I will have to refresh my memory of whether or not it was kept hidden in the books but I feel that it wasn’t (because people had to have seen it in order for it to start being imitated and made into a fashion trend for people in the Capitol). It always seemed to be re-pinned on her clothes and yet in the movie whenever it was pinned it seemed to be covered or hidden. Not to mention Katniss acquiring the pin was one of the few plot points they actually changed from book to movie. I didn’t really like that she just picked it up at The Hob randomly. I can see how Madge (the person who originally gives her the pin in the book) could be an expendable character but I just had an off feeling about the movie’s portrayal of the Mockingjay pin.

  • Emotion not properly conveyed
  • The biggest issue I had with the movie is that I didn’t feel like I cared as much about Katniss and Peeta and others, as I did in the book. A lot of the book is in Katniss’ head, it’s a lot of her thoughts and her working through what’s happening and what to do next, etc. Obviously that’s hard to show in movie form unless they did some kind of a voiceover of her thoughts, which I’m sure the movie makers probably mulled over but decided against for a reason. Still without that – knowing what Katniss is thinking and what’s going through her mind – it made it hard for me to really connect and really care or even believe in some of the situations. For example I was 100% invested in the Peeta/Katniss love in the book. In the movie? Not so much. I didn’t feel that internal struggle of Katniss working through her feelings for Peeta and Gale and what she had to do survive and keep Peeta alive, etc. It didn’t really feel that real. I mean Peeta never even says he loves Katniss in the movie, just that he has a “crush” on her. I think they chose to go with that word because the audience wouldn’t believe in the love. Believed it in the books, not in the movie. Of course there were some scenes where there was definitely emotion – Katniss volunteering for Prim, Gale being upset seeing Katniss and Peeta together, some of the Katniss and Rue scenes, but it just felt like something was missing and I can’t really fault the movie that much because I don’t think you ever really get all of the emotions and details that you find in a book – properly and fully conveyed when it gets turned into a movie, you just don’t. (Except for maybe The Notebook movie!)

  • It’s superficial, but Peeta’s slicked back hair wasn’t pretty
  • It is unfortunate that “Capitol” Peeta means slicking back his hair because it really isn’t a good look for him, lol. Messy hair Peeta in the District, almost dying in the arena, that’s a much better look for him. It has to be said, lol. I’m not a fan of the slick back look!

    To summarize…

    Mike disagrees with my negative opinions for the most part. He loved the movie and said it was as good if not better than the books. He didn’t think Josh Hutcherson would have made a good Peeta but by the end of the movie he said it worked. He did agree the camera was a tad shaky but it didn’t bother him that much.

    The advance screening was fun! It was packed but we got good seats. Mike also bought me a Mockingjay pin of my own!!! :)

    So awesome. Mike also got a free Hunger Games poster, which we probably won’t ever put up because come on that’s a little tacky, lol.

    If you’ve read the book you should definitely watch the movie! :) If you haven’t read the books you should still watch the movie but the books are definitely better so I do recommend you eventually read them.

    Again a big thanks to @shesconnected and @ToshibaCanada for the tickets!!!

    So what did you think of The Hunger Games?

    Agree/disagree with my points?

    Linda

Linda Hoang is an Edmonton blogger who writes about food, travel, lifestyle/events and pets. She’s also a social media/digital specialist with a journalism background. Linda is in love with her city and loves exploring and promoting Edmonton and other places she visits with her husband Mike. Linda is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival (and has 2 cats herself, along with 2 dogs).

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2 Comments

  • Carolyn

    Awesome Job Linda!
    Honestly, your review was pretty much spot on to what I was thinking; the shaky camera made me sooooo dizzy towards the end of the movie and I was sitting in the last row! I definitely was taken aback when Katniss “found” the pin at the Hob; but I understand how they did it. I really didn’t like how they did the 3-finger salute at the beginning and had the riots in this movie. For some reason I thought the 3-finger salute started off in District 3? Rues? Or was she from district 4? Anyway, overall I felt they captured the actual battle part of the story very well and I LOVED all of the actors. Thanks Linda!

    • Linda Hoang

      Thanks for your comments Carolyn! I always appreciate your thoughts. :) I can’t remember which district the finger salute came out of!!

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Sherbrooke Liquor is one of Canada's best liquor stores! They carry over 1,500 beers (whoa), 800 wines, 400 spirits, and a bunch of beer/wine accessories/tools and other gifts. Along with their great selection, Sherbrooke is also very well-known for their exceptional service and commitment to community. Theyโ€™ve personally ordered me specialty products - and would do the same for anyone who requests. The staff are simply wonderful and they are truly Edmonton's liquor store. Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
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LOVEPIZZA ๐Ÿ• is a pretty cool local pizza spot in downtown Edmonton. The owners - a husband and wife team who met on a first date having pizza - want to create memorable experiences around people, places, and you guessed it - pizza! LovePizza pizzas are about 6" wide and 17" long. They have signature pizzas (try the Meatatarian or the Old MacDonald!) and my favourite - Build Your Own Pizza! You can even add an egg ๐Ÿณ on your za. Yum. LovePizza regularly gives back to the community, and is always coming up with funky pizza specials! Give them a try. โ˜บ๏ธ Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
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When you wake up craving Mexican-inspired meat platters & churros, you obviously make todayโ€™s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป a $50 giftcard to @Rostizado_YEG! ๐Ÿ˜
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Rostizado is a modern-Mexican restaurant that uses fresh, quality local ingredients prepared in traditional-Mexican rosticeria fashion: slow-cooked and hearty. Their platters are a must-try: with rotisserie chicken, beef, and Cuban-Style pork shoulder. We also love their crispy potatoes, roasted cauliflower and various queso dips. They have an awesome lunch deal and the churros are to die for. Rostizado has a great vibe, cool decor, excellent service and a meal here is always a good time! Their sister-restaurant @trescarnales is also a popular spot for tacos in the city! Learn more about Rostizado and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
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Iโ€™m a big brunch fan so todayโ€™s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป is Brunch for 2 to @BundokYEG! (valued at $40).
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Sabor is very well-known for serving some of the very best seafood in Edmonton! Sabor serves up delicious Iberian (Portuguese/Spanish/Mediterranean) coastal cuisine, using sustainable, Ocean-wise certified seafood. This beautiful restaurant (perfect for wedding receptions and other intimate gatherings) is also home to live music on weekends! Sabor has been voted one of Canada's best restaurants and is one of my favourites. It's got a great lunch deal (appetizer + entree for $18 from a set menu) and has delicious risotto and paella too. Eating 'Family Style' at Sabor is also popular! Chef Lino will prepare a three-course meal that changes daily, based on seasonal ingredients and his daily ingredients. Sabor is a must-try! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
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Who doesnโ€™t love a good croissant? Well the ones from @chocorrant are GREAT! Todayโ€™s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป is an Artisan Chocorrant Collection (Bakerโ€™s Dozen) of croissants featuring all kinds of flavours like matcha, strawberry milk, chocolate and cookies and cream! (Valued at $50).
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Chocorrant is one of Edmontonโ€™s newest patisserie & cafes. They make their croissants in-house, fresh daily, and infuse awesome flavours into these buttery,  fluffy pastries. I had only ever really had cheese, chocolate and regular croissants before Chocorrant opened my eyes to all the wonderful flavours you can have in a croissant! They also have savoury croissant sandwiches and sell over treats too! Visit their cute little store on @shop124street. Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
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Have you tried @ErnestsNAIT? This #yegfood gem and one of Canadaโ€™s Best Restaurants (voted by @opentable users!) features delicious cuisine & service by @NAIT Culinary Arts & Hospitality students! Iโ€™ve always had a great meal at Ernestโ€™s and now you can too - For todayโ€™s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป, Iโ€™m giving away a $50 gift card to this affordable fine dining spot. โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”
To enter, do two things: 
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2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! Iโ€™ll pick a winner on Dec. 3 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”
Ernest's is an Edmonton food gem - an affordable fine dining spot featuring delicious cuisine and excellent service by NAIT Culinary Arts and Hospitality students. This dining room has been a huge part of the Culinary Arts department for over 50 years, and is recognized as one of Edmonton's top dining experiences. The coolest part is that all the food is prepared and served by students! Ernest's offers a lunch and dinner menu, along with a lunch buffet, and is often host to a bunch of wicked culinary dinners featuring celebrity chefs and local chefs. You're always in good hands at Ernest's. Theyโ€™ve also been named one of Canada's Best 100 Restaurants in past years, AND for 2017! If you've never tried, now's your chance! I used to call it a hidden gem but it shouldn't be hidden because everyone should know about Ernest's! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
* * THE WINNER IS @reneechan_yeg! * *
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Happy #TacoTuesday!! ๐ŸŒฎ๐ŸŒฎ Todayโ€™s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป is a $50 gift card to @ElCortezYEG!! Eat all the tacos, tequila, and try their new winter menu!
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure youโ€™re following me and @ElCortezYEG!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! Iโ€™ll pick a winner on Dec. 6 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”
El Cortez is a super cool Mexican kitchen + tequila bar just off Whyte Ave @oldstrathcona. The restaurant/bar specializes in traditional Latin food with a modern twist. Their tasty menu features tacos, tapas, gourmet street food, and Latin brunch. They are one of just 9 establishments in the WORLD to be certified by The Tequila Regulatory Council (so their tequila offerings are legit). They also have amazing decor and an overall wicked vibe - like when I say it's super cool I mean this place oozes cool. Check out the funky graffiti-style wall art and the crazy-lit bathrooms. El Cortez is always a good time. They just launched their new winter menu too so be sure to check it out, PLUS - on Tuesdays its half-price tacos!! ๐ŸŒฎ Theyโ€™re also currently running a holiday gift card promotion! For every minimum $50 gift card purchased, El Cortez is donating $5 to the Humane Animal Rescue Team @hartedmonton! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
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#yeg #yegfood #edmontonfood#exploreedmonton #lindorksgiveaways #yegxmas #yegchristmas #edmonton #edmontonchristmas #holidays #festive #festivities #hohoho #merrychristmas #tacos #tacolife #allabouttacos #tacostacostacos #mexicanfood #latinfood #mexicanstreetfood #elcortezyeg #elcorteztequilabar #tequilabar #mexicanrestaurant #tuesdaytacos #everydayistacotuesday
  • ๐ŸŽ DEC 4 GIVEAWAY! ๐ŸŽ
Mondays can be hard. Ramen can help! ๐Ÿœ Todayโ€™s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป is a $50 gift card to @yegnoodles!! Eat all their delicious noodz. ๐Ÿœ
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure youโ€™re following me and @YEGNoodles!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! Iโ€™ll pick a winner on Dec. 5 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”
The Prairie Noodle Shop takes Japanese ramen and infuses it with flavours unique to Alberta. The team behind Prairie Noodle Shop tested the market with a series of ramen pop-ups before opening their 124 Street location. This prairie-inspired ramen is one of the best (and certainly one of the most unique) in the city! Try their NEW winter menu which includes beef and curry bowls, the return of their ๐Ÿง€ bowl, and new small plates & beers! ๐Ÿบ Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
* * UPDATE * * The winner is Jerb2 from Twitter! Thanks for entering everyone!! .
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#yeg #yegfood #edmontonfood#exploreedmonton #lindorksgiveaways #yegxmas #yegchristmas #edmonton #edmontonchristmas #holidays #festive #festivities #hohoho #merrychristmas #yegnoodles #ramen #ramenislife #japanesefood #soup #souperb #tasteab #japaneseramen #albertaramen #albertapork #ramennoodles #noodles #noodz #yegsoup #souperb
  • Sunday Funday at @centralsocialhall trying their delicious brunch ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿ˜ & learning about how the company has evolved over the years - stepping up their #yegfood game! Thanks for the great company @becausemimosas @argenplath @antonatienza & for the invite @jessekupina @vancebosch @chattygirlmedia! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป
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#yeg #brunchbrunchbrunch #yegbrunch #exploreedmonton #edmonton #edmontonfood #edmontonbrunch #waffles #belgianwaffles #belgianwaffle #waffles #wafflelove #mimosas #welcometothebrunchclub #brunchqueen #centralsocialhall #centralsocialsunday #sundayfunday #sundaysareforbrunch #brunchislife #yegdt #yegdtfood #instagrammablefood #instagrammable
  • ๐ŸŽ DEC 3 GIVEAWAY! ๐ŸŽ
On Sundays, we brunch! ๐Ÿณ๐Ÿฅ“๐Ÿคค Thatโ€™s why todayโ€™s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป is Brunch for Four to @xix19! (valued at $120!)
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure youโ€™re following me and @xix19!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! Iโ€™ll pick a winner on Dec. 4 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”
XIX Nineteen offers simply great food. Head Chef Andrew Fung is one of my favourite chefs in Edmonton. Must-orders on their brunch menu: their crispy chicken & waffle (pictured), their five spice bao benny, their Moroccan meatball tagine, and their banana bread french toast. On their regular menu - XIX Nineteenโ€™s signature Ahi Tuna Twists is a must!! XIX Nineteen has two locations - one in Terwillegar south Edmonton and one in St. Albert. Give it a try if you havenโ€™t yet! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
* * UPDATE * * Congrats to @gingergolovely of Instagram, winner of Brunch for Four to @xix19! Thanks to everyone who entered. Watch for more giveaways! .
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#yeg #yegfood #edmontonfood#exploreedmonton #lindorksgiveaways #yegxmas #yegchristmas #edmonton #edmontonchristmas #holidays #festive #festivities #hohoho #merrychristmas #xixnineteen #xix19 #chefandrewfung #terwillegar #stalbert #stalbertfood #brunch #sundaysareforbrunch #sundayfunday #brunchbrunchbrunch #chickenandwaffles #bubblewaffles
  • ๐ŸŽ DEC 2 GIVEAWAY! ๐ŸŽ
Todayโ€™s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป is an All-You-Can-Eat Brazilian Steakhouse Dinner for Two to @EatPampaYEG! (valued at $100!)
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure youโ€™re following me and @EatPampaYEG!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! Iโ€™ll pick a winner on Dec. 3 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”
Pampa's Brazilian churrascaria provides unlimited fire-roasted select cuts of AAA Alberta beef, pork, chicken and lamb, served table-side. I love their rump steak! They also have a huge salad bar and unbelievably delicious Brazilian cheese buns (#paodequeijo!) Pampa has two Edmonton locations (downtown + Ellerslie) and one location in Calgary! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
* * UPDATE * * Congratulations to Candice M from Facebook, winner of Dinner for 2 to @eatpampayeg!! .
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#yeg #yegfood #edmontonfood#exploreedmonton #lindorksgiveaways #yegxmas #yegchristmas #edmonton #edmontonchristmas #holidays #festive #festivities #hohoho #merrychristmas #pampa #pampabraziliansteakhouse #braziliansteakhouse #churrascaria #rodizio #allyoucaneat #AYCE #buffet #meatbuffet #meatsweets #eatpampaYEG #yegdt #yegdtfood #pampaellerslie

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