October Movies on “Good Morning Texas”

I was on Good Morning Texas yesterday to go over some of the big films to watch for this month. I also gave my reviews of films like The Many Saints of Newark, Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage and the new James Bond film No Time to Die. Click HERE to watch the segment and remember to check the Julie Says So MOVIE MINUTE podcast for more reviews.

“Dear Evan Hansen” Review: So Many Questions, Namely WHY???

(from left) Evan Hansen (Ben Platt) and Cynthia Murphy (Amy Adams) in Dear Evan Hansen, directed by Stephen Chbosky.

Information presented in this review may be triggering to some people. If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

Dear Evan Hansen had two strikes against it for me because A) I don’t like musicals and B) I have never seen the one it’s based on. I’ve heard all the praises sung in its name though, which never changed my decision to only see it if under the threat of death. Instead, they made a movie out of Dear Evan Hansen so, of course, I had to go.

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Must-See September Movies on “Good Morning Texas”

I was on Good Morning Texas today, discussing all the September movies you should add to your Must-See list. Many will be available through streaming services but some will require you to mask up and hit your local theater (like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which opens this weekend). Click HERE to watch the segment and remember to buy your tickets early, in case the screenings sell-out. The Julie Says So MOVIE MINUTE podcast will be back next week with any release-date changes (there’s a new one for Ghostbusters: Afterlife and the Top Gun sequel, Maverick) and a review of The Eyes of Tammy Faye so find that HERE or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Before you leave, check out the brand-new trailer for Red Notice (hitting Netflix November 12th) because Ryan Reynolds and Dwayne Johnson apparently need to be in every movie that comes out this year.

July Movies on “Good Morning Texas”

Are you ready to head back to the theater? Some exciting films are coming out this month and not all of them will be available to stream. Watch my “July Movies” segment from Good Morning Texas HERE to find out what you can stream at home and what movies will require actual pants and shoes. Remember that screenings sell-out faster right now, due to socially-distanced seats, so make sure you buy those tickets in advance. And here’s a look at Matt Damon’s latest, Stillwater, which opens in theaters only July 30th.

Is “Black Widow” Worth the Wait? (& a Parent Review)

You might ask yourself, “Why is Marvel releasing a movie about a dead Avenger?” That’s a good question, but “death” hasn’t stopped them from building stories around other departed heroes. Take for instance Vision and Loki, who now have successful series bearing their names. Marvel isn’t just mining old material with these characters. It is using them to further the ever-expanding Marvel universe.

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Rebekah Black reviews “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It”

Rebekah Black reviews "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It"

I didn’t get to attend the screening of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It but Rebekah Black (my co-host on the Haunted AF podcast) stepped in to cover it. She’s a huge fan of scary movies but she’s also extremely picky and hates bad CGI. We’ll share more thoughts when Episode 3 of the Julie Says So Movie Minute podcast drops on 6/10.

I have to admit, I went into The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It fully expecting it to be a hot pile of garbage. I’ll be damned if it wasn’t the best of all five (or however many there are). 
If you’re a fan of the series, this one essentially gives you all of them rolled into one movie. Even the freaking nun managed to make an appearance (probably not the way you want her to, but she’s there). This based-on-actual-events story of Arne Johnson might even be the inspiration behind every demonic-possession movie that’s come out since he hit the scene. 
If I had to sum up this installment of The Conjuring in one word, it would be intense. It comes out swinging. The first 15 minutes are filled with nonstop action but there’s a decent balance of funny, too. It’s needed to ease all of that crazy! The story does get a little obvious at times and the ending is a bit cheesy. Without giving too much away, there’s a real love-conquers-all vibe (boo!). Another issue (and this is one The Conjuring has struggled with since the beginning) would be the bad special effects and sad makeup. Either get a better team or film with a lower digital quality. And maybe less close-ups on the demons! The crayola-look kinda ruins it. 
Despite these minor issues, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It might be the best of the bunch. It also feels like this one might be the last, so why not go out with a bang? I’m giving this chapter of The Conjuring franchise 8 out of 10 bone crunches. Yes, bone crunches are a prominent sound-effect in the film so if that makes you cringe, you might really struggle with this movie!

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“In the Heights” Review by Chris Ramirez

I saw Lin Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights last night but, by the time I got my backside into that seat, Chris Ramirez had already seen it three times. It holds a special place in his heart, having performed years of musical theater and even recently portrayed “Sonny” in the Dallas Theater Center version. Here’s his review and check out his bio at the end to see what Chris is working on, including a play about pro-wrestling!

This summer, theaters nationwide are showing the film adaption of Lin Manuel Miranda’s 2008 masterpiece In The Heights. I saw it on Broadway in 2009 and, as a Latino, I had never felt the amount of pride and representation in a theater before. The rumor mill said that a film version (starring Lin Manuel Miranda, Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Banderas) was in the works and I couldn’t have been more excited! For years, the movie was stuck in limbo and I lost hope. Lin aged out of playing Usnavi and HAMILTON became the new toy everyone wanted to play with. When the announcement came that the movie was FINALLY being made, you can imagine how enthralled I was. I was even playing “Sonny” at the Dallas Theater Center when the trailer and poster were released!!!  I had the opportunity to see the film and all I can say is it was worth the wait. 
From the second it starts, director Jon M. Chu makes it clear that In the Heights will lean into stylization and magic. I mean…the opening song was executed TO PERFECTION. The films ability to capture Latinidad, community, family, love, culture, and characters within the first musical number had me in ugly tears 4 minutes in. They didn’t stop for the next two and a half hours…and that’s ok! The cinematic style and musical numbers work so well together that you will want to hop up and move those hips with the actors on screen. Speaking of which, the acting in this film is so truthful and heartfelt, you’ll feel as if you know and understand the people of Washington Heights. The dialogue from Quiara Alegrìa Hudes, who also wrote the book for the stage version, is phrased so beautifully. I will be shocked if she doesn’t get an Academy Award nomination. 
If you are a fan of the stage version, it’s important to know that things were cut, moved around, and changed to accommodate the length. This isn’t a bad thing. I actually support every decision and change they made because a direct scene-by scene-copy would not translate well. Jon, Lin, and Quiara also had to move things around for the emotional arc and pacing of the story. Don’t worry, it is still the In the Heights musical we all know and love. There are even some great cameos and easter eggs for long time fans. 
If you are fully vaccinated and get the chance to see In the Heights in the theater, I highly recommend it. This touching story of sueñitos (dreams) and community is one to be shared WITH people. Laughing and crying with strangers when I watched it at a theater is a memory I hold so close to my heart and will not soon forget. It may have taken over 10 years for this to finally come out, but In The Heights delivered and will serve as a reminder that Lin Manuel Miranda created a masterpiece before HAMILTON. I leave you with Lin’s own words, “Esta bonita bandera, contiene mi alma entera, Y cuando yo me muera, entierrame en mi tierra!” WEPA! (This beautiful flag holds my entire soul, and when I die, bury me with it in my land.)

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