Coco

FREE MOVIE PASSES: See Disney Pixar’s “Coco” EARLY & FOR FREE

Think you have no interest in seeing the latest from Disney Pixar, Coco? Why don’t you take a minute to read some of it’s reviews first? See, when I read words like “Dazzling” or “Captivating” and especially “Insta-Classic,” I can’t help but get a little excited about Coco. This one tells the story of young Miguel (newcomer Anthony Gonzalez), who finds himself in the Land of the Dead while trying to become a famous musician. There’s a phenomenal cast, including Gael García Bernal and Benjamin Bratt, and music from Frozen songwriters, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. Coco is also written and directed by Lee Unkrich, who won TWO Oscars for Toy Story 3. Still not interested in Coco? Fine, just go be grouchy somewhere else while WE grab free passes to see Coco Continue reading →

Denzel Washington
3 Comments

FREE MOVIE PASSES: See Denzel Washington’s “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” EARLY & FOR FREE

I can’t help but get excited when Denzel Washington has a new movie coming out AND it’s during Oscar Season. This time around, he stars as Roman J. Israel, Esq. an idealistic activist and attorney who is also on the spectrum (possibly Asperger’s). Roman loses his focus when he loses his job, until an ambitious lawyer (played by Colin Farrel) recruits Roman to his firm. It’s also when Roman devises a money-making scheme that changes his life forever. Sound like your thing? Then grab free passes to see Roman J. Israel, Esq. Continue reading →

Miller, Fischer, Gadot, Affleck, Mamoa

MOVIE REVIEWS: Does “Justice League” Offer DC Redemption?

The one massive downside to all of these superhero movies is that, after a while, they all start to look the same.
Even the characters are interchangeable: Batman is the money/gadget guy (Iron Man) while Aquaman is the rebellious God (Thor). The Flash is the joke-cracking youngster (Spiderman), Cyborg is the half man, half something-else-entirely (The Hulk) and, of course, Wonder Woman is the beacon of goodness (Captain America). This doesn’t mean that Justice League is a bad movie. I don’t think it could be BAD with this cast and this much material (introducing the League, fighting evil AND mourning a dead Superman). No, Justice League isn’t a bad movie but it does feel awfully familiar. It also highlights a huge difference in the way Marvel and DC tell their stories and why the Marvel films are consistently stronger: Continue reading →

Pickles

PUT THAT THING AWAY: A Tale of Unwanted Pickles

It’s come to my attention that my daughters occasionally read my blogs. While I don’t relish the idea of them seeing this particular story, I think it’s an important one to share. See, women don’t often talk about the unwanted junk they’ve been flashed in their lives. It happens with far more regularity than I think the world is aware of, though. Maybe it’s time we shared these stories, even though they’re gross. That’s why I’ll be referring to penises as “pickles” from here on out. For the sake of my girls.
The first Unwanted Pickle I ever saw was in middle school. I was 11-years-old and my 6th grade teacher had an awful smoking habit. She left us alone in the classroom several times a day, which was when the boys took over. Most of them (I can’t honestly remember if it was ALL of them) would whip out their pickles as soon as she shut the door, and dance around the classroom. We, the girls, would cover our eyes or bury our faces in books to try to block it out, while the helicopter dance played out around us. I remember one young man skirting disaster after laying his pickle on my friend’s desk. She had a hefty textbook nearby and tried to smash that mini-gherkin, but he got out of the way just in time. This Lord of the Flies display went on for a few days before someone finally told on them. It led to a separation of the boys and girls for a “What IS and IS NOT Appropriate” discussion, but that was about it. I don’t remember any of the boys getting into trouble and the whole situation eventually went away. I never even talked about it with my classmates after that. Most of those boys grew up to be good guys, and some were even my friends. Continue reading →

Ronan & Metcalf

MOVIE REVIEW: Messages From Mom in “Lady Bird”

My mom and I used to have the same fight every single day. It was the summer between my Junior and Senior year of high-school, so she would make a list of chores for me before leaving for work. She would call every day around 11 o’clock to make sure I had completed them, but I was always still in bed.
This enraged my mother.
I finally asked her one morning why she continued to call when she knew exactly what was going to happen.
“Why do you call when you know I’m still in bed? You know I’ll do the chores eventually, but not until I get up. You’re just going to get mad so why bother calling?”
There was a brief moment of silence, when Mom might have considered my question.
Then she completely lost her mind.
This particular conversation is what the movie Lady Bird is all about.
Saoirse Ronan plays Christine, or as she calls herself, Lady Bird. She is a senior in high school who is trying to make her way in a world that keeps pulling the rug out from under her. She has one best-friend she can count on, and a father who spoils her, but Lady Bird’s relationship with her Mom is essentially one long fight.
Any woman (or man who grew up with sisters) will recognize these patented mother-daughter arguments. They’re persistent, infuriating and usually over the same 3 or 4 things. These battles eventually turn into a kind of love-language though, that you hate as a child but smile about when you grow up. They’re also one of the reasons women run as far and as fast from their moms as possible, only to find themselves longing for the very thing they escaped.
Writer-Director Greta Gerwig says that Lady Bird is only semi-autobiographical, because Christine’s mother (Laurie Metcalf) is nothing like her own. Gerwig wanted to examine the singular tension between Moms and daughters though, and how it stems from being essentially the same person. It’s something I’m constantly aware of as I raise my own daughters. They simply want to live their own lives, but I see the things I want to “fix.” I remember the things my own Mom did that made me crazy, and try not repeat them. Minutes later, I’m chasing my daughters with a hairbrush and screaming, “Surely you’re not going out like THAT!”
The cycle continues.
As I drove away from Lady Bird last night, I remembered the very last fight I ever had with my Mom. Continue reading →

Tremblay & Roberts
2 Comments

FREE MOVIE PASSES: See “Wonder” EARLY & FOR FREE

Can you get through the trailer for Wonder without crying? If so, you must be biting the inside of your mouth or something, because I just can’t.
Wonder tells the story of Auggie (Jacob Tremblay), who was born with a rare facial disorder. After 27 surgeries and years of home-schooling, his mother and father (Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson) decide that it’s time for him to start middle-school. Wonder is about Auggie’s journey into the real world and how it affects everyone around him. Continue reading →

Affleck, Gadot
2 Comments

FREE MOVIE PASSES: See “Justice League” EARLY & FOR FREE

Is it weird that I don’t really CARE if the new Justice League movie is good? My expectations are so low now, after Batman v. Superman and then the shocking let-down that was Suicide Squad. Wonder Woman was a refreshing surprise, but I don’t know if she and that golden-lasso are strong enough to save this whole movie. Jason Mamoa plays Aquaman in Justice League though and, if I were completely honest with you, I’d probably say that’s enough for me. It’s always better to see a potentially disappointing movie for free though, right? Continue reading →

Mass Shooting
2 Comments

ANOTHER MASS SHOOTING: It’s Time to Change the Conversation

There was a loud noise in the back of my church Sunday. We were right in the middle of the service, so it was a little alarming. I still don’t know what it was. Maybe a hymnal falling on the floor or a door shutting, but it startled me.
That’s when I started to imagine it.
I saw us all jumping to the floor as an unseen person from the back took shots. I imagined my husband and I diving to cover our children. Then I thought of the aftermath, and how quickly a small congregation like ours could be decimated. How entire families would be lost.
That’s when I shook back to reality and mentally scolded myself for those awful, paranoid thoughts.
I hate to admit it, but I have them often now. Anytime I hear a loud noise and I’m in a public place. Like the balloon that burst during the Parkinson’s Foundation walk I attended Saturday or the falling chair at the mall last week. I hear the sound and then the What Ifs play out in my head.
I scold myself. I tell myself I’m being morbid and paranoid.
But yesterday, right around the same time that the What Ifs were playing out in my head, they were playing out in someone else’s reality.
My stomach lurched when I heard about Sutherland Springs, just as I’m sure yours did. We are all shocked and horrified, but are any of us really surprised?
We aren’t because, for some reason, this is what happens today. This is the world we live in and despite the legislation battles that will wage now, then slowly die off until the next shooting, nothing will change.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Nothing. Will. Change.
Is that really what we want? And before anyone takes this opportunity to spout some pro or anti-gun mantra, let me remind you that it isn’t working. Every comment about guns that’s been screamed into the void of social media or printed on a bumper-sticker has changed nothing. Continue reading →

Nat Geo

FREE MOVIE PASSES: Celebrate Veteran’s Day with “The Long Road Home”

Veteran’s Day is coming up November 11th and I just found the best way to recognize it. Grab some FREE PASSES to see The Long Road Home from National Geographic on the big screen. This film tells the true story of “Black Sunday,” when the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood was ferociously ambushed in Sadr City, Baghdad. It’s based on the novel by Martha Raddatz and covers 48 hellish hours, when families back home in Texas waited for word and expected the worst. Continue reading →

Metcalf & Ronan
1 Comment

FREE MOVIE PASSES: See “Lady Bird” EARLY & FOR FREE

I’ve been hearing little whispers about Lady Bird for months now.
It’s one of those movies that I know will be important to me, even if I don’t love it. I know this because Lady Bird stars Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, two exceptional actresses we simply don’t see enough of. It’s also written and directed by Greta Gerwig, who touched me with her performances in 20th Century Women and Frances Ha. I think I’m most excited to see Lady Bird because I’m a mother of daughters though, and a daughter in my own right. I watch the trailer for Lady Bird, and feel like I’ve known every woman on the screen, and even BEEN some of them. If you’d like to see Lady Bird EARLY and FOR FREE, Continue reading →