Gary Oldman

FREE MOVIE PASSES: See “Darkest Hour” EARLY & FOR FREE

Who would’ve guessed that this year’s Oscar race would include TWO pictures about the Allied forces’ struggle at Dunkirk? Darkest Hour tells the story from Winston Churchill’s perspective, and how the newly appointed Prime Minister dealt with advancing Nazi forces and the threat of invasion. Darkest Hour stars Gary Oldman, but don’t expect to see him anywhere in it. Nope, Oldman disappears so completely into character with Winston Churchill, he’s almost guaranteed a Best Actor nomination. Darkest Hour is also on many critics’ short-list for Best Picture, so you’d be smart to grab FREE PASSES to see it. Continue reading →

John Cena
2 Comments

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

Ferdinand the Bull is like a member of our family. We’ve been reading that book at bedtime since my nieces, who are now old enough to legally drink with me, were so little you couldn’t understand what they were saying (Seriously, one of them kept asking for Tah-tahs and Tagga Milk and we had NO idea what she was saying. She wanted Pop-Tarts and Chocolate Milk, of course). Now one of my nieces is reading Ferdinand to her own little girl, who can’t wait to see him on the Big Screen! And how appropriate is it that the big-scary-bull-who’s-actually-a-softie is played by John Cena? Even better, I have Family 4-Packs to give away, so you don’t have to pick a favorite kid to see the movie with! Continue reading →

Thanksgiving

The JULIE SAYS SO Top 5 Movies to See Over Thanksgiving (& Beyond)

Thanksgiving is a great time to see family, show gratitude for the blessings in our lives, and eat until we positively hate ourselves. It’s all of those wonderful things, but Thanksgiving is also a ticking time bomb. You know it’s only a matter of time before the toxic cocktail of wine, food and years of simmering tension boil over so what should you do? Head to the movies, of course! And here’s a list of my TOP 5 MOVIES TO SEE OVER THANKSGIVING, to help you out. Continue reading →

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 →