Garden Song

How to Turn the Perfect B&B into a House of Horrors

I spent most of last night lying awake in the attic room of a 3-story house in Natchez, Mississippi. It’s called Garden Song and was built in 1836, then turned into a bed and breakfast only a few years ago. I chose it as a midway stopping-point for our return from Georgia, to appease my 14-year old daughter (who loves all-things-creepy). She preferred a B&B further out of town, which resembled a crumbling, nightmare-version of Forest Gump’s home, but I talked her out of it. An overnight stop would be pointless if I couldn’t sleep, and that place surely housed God-knows how many restless spirits. I talked her into Garden Song, which was in-town and bursting with Southern charm (and even better, great reviews).
We were the only guests for the night and our proprietor was out of town, so we surprisingly had the whole place to ourselves. My girls and I made the most of it for hours, lounging in the parlor and enjoying the sodas and wine that were left out for us. One of the master bedrooms was left open, so we also helped ourselves to the designer toilet that lived there. I double-dog-dared my youngest to try some of it’s more exotic options, which resulted in her first use of profanity. (What the hel…heck, Mom?!!!)
The sun went down and the house started to feel a little larger, with darkened corners and closed doors I hadn’t noticed before. I told the girls to head to our room, which took up the majority of the 3rd floor. Teeth were brushed and jammies were donned, but our earlier bravado had vanished. The door was locked, lights were dimmed and, even though there were two beds, we all crawled into one. Continue reading →

Ocean's 8

FREE MOVIE PASSES: See “Ocean’s 8” EARLY & FOR FREE

Dammit, this movie had better be good.
Sorry, but I’ve got some mounting concerns about Ocean’s 8, even as I watch Sarah Paulson calmly promote it on TV. Every time Sandra Bullock shows up looking sheik and relaxed on some late-night talk show, I tell myself that I’ll probably love Ocean’s 8. I smile as a sparkling Cate Blanchett plugs the movie and chugs beer with Jimmy Fallon, but in my heart I think, “Please…don’t let this movie suck.”
Because Ocean’s 8 can’t be just another Ocean’s movie with famous women in place of famous men. It can’t be a well-shot fashion show where glamorous women smirk as they rob other glamorous women. It has to be smart. It has to be funny. It has to tell a story we haven’t seen before and more importantly, Ocean’s 8 needs to make a statement about women and where we stand today.
And, if I was being completely honest, I’d admit that I need Ocean’s 8 to be even better than the Ocean’s movies that came before it.
No small task, right?
So, who wants to see Ocean’s 8 EARLY and FOR FREE? Continue reading →

Knoxville

FREE MOVIE PASSES: See Johnny Knoxville’s “Action Point” EARLY & FOR FREE

Does anyone else get worried when they see that Johnny Knoxville is still pulling Jackass-type stunts? Not that Action Point is a Jackass-type movie. No, Action Point has an actual story-line, where Knoxville has to save his beloved theme-park before it’s shut down by a neighboring corporate mega-park. It even has a script and only ONE Jackass co-star, Chris Pontius. But Johnny Knoxville is still performing all of his own stunts which, based on the trailer, must be painful as HELL. So, want to see Action Point EARLY and FOR FREE? Continue reading →

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Can Kids See “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (& My Interview with NEW Chewbacca Joonas Suotamo)

If your kids are Star Wars fans, they’re probably expecting to see Solo: A Star Wars Story as soon as humanly possible. It’s rated PG-13 though, which could mean just about anything these days. So, can you take your kids to see Han Solo’s origin story, or is it simply too much for younger viewers? Continue reading →

Fred Rogers

FREE MOVIE PASSES: See “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” EARLY & FOR FREE

Why do you think everyone is flipping out over Won’t You Be My Neighbor? This documentary about Fred Rogers and his Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood has been blowing audiences out of the water at film festivals everywhere. Even it’s trailer moves most people to tears (me included) with long forgotten images of Mr. McFeely, Lady Aberlin and of course, those famous blue sneakers. What is it about this TV show and especially this man that seems so important and necessary right now? Could it be Fred Rogers’ commitment to children, or to honesty, or his continued assertion that everyone is special and deserving of love? I don’t know, but I’m tearing up just thinking about it and simply can’t wait too see this movie! So, do you want to see Won’t You Be My Neighbor EARLY and FOR FREE? Continue reading →

Woodley & Claflin

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

Imagine meeting the love of your life, who then asks you to sail across the ocean with him? Sounds pretty romantic doesn’t it? Well, that’s exactly what happened to Tami Oldham and it was just as beautiful as it sounds, until they sailed right into a massive hurricane. Oldham wrote a book about their journey, called Red Sky in Mourning: A True Story of Love, Loss and Survival at Sea, which has been turned into the movie Adrift (starring Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin). It looks pretty incredible and, after her brilliant performance in Big Little Lies, I’d watch Shailene Woodley in anything. If you feel the same way, Continue reading →

Ryan Reynolds
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MOMMY MOVIE REVIEW: What Age is Appropriate for “Deadpool 2”

There are 3 kinds of parents in the world:
Those who let their kids watch anything, those who won’t let their kids watch anything, and parents like me who fall in the middle. We tend to stress over the sex and violence our youngsters will see onscreen, but we still want to watch great movies with them. The MPAA rating system only works so much for Moms and Dads like us because we might not mind violence and profanity, but we still aren’t ready to sit through heated sex scenes with our older kids. So, what do parents like US do with a movie like Deadpool 2? Continue reading →

Brooke Purdy

Award-Winning Film “Quality Problems” is Now on VOD!!!

One of my favorite films from last year’s Women Texas Film Festival is being released today on VOD and I couldn’t be more excited! Quality Problems ran the Film Festival circuit this past year and won just about every award it was up for. I even wrote a swoon-y review for it back in August, which you can read below.

“When you grow up, you realize that movies, even the ones you love, tend to get it all wrong. You figure out that ROMANCE actually has nothing to do with sunsets, sexy underwear or hot-tubs. Real romance comes from things like a shared history, commitment and intimate moments that are often not sexy at all. You realize that real HORROR has nothing to do with clowns or haunted dolls, but stems from scary diagnoses or a parent’s failing health. You also figure out that true COMEDY doesn’t have to come from a team of well-paid writers. Your biggest belly-laughs usually come from your best friends, who can crack you up with one look or line. That’s why Quality Problems, a film about being a grown-up, is a ROMANCE, a COMEDY and a HORROR flick, all at the same time. Written by Brooke Purdy (and co-directed with her husband Doug), it’s loosely based on Brooke’s own cancer diagnosis and how they kept their family-life on track during her treatments (the Purdys own children even play themselves). It’s a story so familiar and intimate, you sometimes feel like you shouldn’t be watching. Quality Problems also has it’s laugh-out-loud moments because humor tends to find a way, even in our darkest hours. (A)” Continue reading →

Keaton, Bergen, Fonda, Steenburger
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FREE MOVIE PASSES: See “Book Club” EARLY & FOR FREE

If you’re looking for a cheap (or FREE) Mother’s Day gift for Mom, this Book Club screening might be just the thing. This movie stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen as women whose lives are changed after reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Even better, it pairs 80-year-old Jane Fonda up with 68-year-old Don Johnson! He was paired up with 25-year-old Kate Upton in the last movie I saw him in, so this is more like it! So, would you like to see Book Club EARLY and FOR FREE? Or would your Mom like to see it for Mother’s Day? The screening IS on May 13th, after all! Continue reading →

Charlize Theron
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MOVIE REVIEW: Charlize Theron in “Tully” (Why We Need MOM FRIENDS)

One thing kept going through my mind while watching Charlize Theron play an exhausted mother in Tully: Where are her Mom Friends?
Theron plays “Marlo,” who has two small children and one baby who simply won’t let her sleep. Though her husband (Ron Livingston) helps a little, the tedium of a newborn and endless nights have led her to a breaking point. In steps her wealthy brother (Mark Duplass), who offers some relief in the form of a night-nurse, “Tully.”
I could’ve used a Tully, but honestly, nothing brings sanity to those loud, sleepless baby-years like your MOM FRIENDS.
I didn’t have Mom Friends when I had my first baby and the walls started to close in on me. I couldn’t revel in the Joys of Parenting because I was too busy worrying about my child’s “important milestones” or trying to piece together a few consecutive hours of sleep. I felt like a failure, on so many levels, until I met another Mom while taking my baby on a stroller-walk. We talked about “crying it out,” and “teething,” and all the other things you can’t talk to normal people about. That one conversation gave me such relief, and our stroller walks continued daily until we picked up more Moms and more babies. Before long, we were like a Coven of Neighborhood Mothers, leaning on and assuring each other that we were doing a good job and that everything was going to be alright. Continue reading →