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ON YOUR RADAR: “The Walk” & “Blindspot”

We’ve officially reached the end of “Summer Movie Season,” and most of the current offerings look about as sad and lifeless as the grass on my lawn. This would be the perfect time to catch up on those blockbusters you MEANT to see (like Straight Outta Compton and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) AND familiarize yourself with all the new TV shows and movies heading our way. I’ve been lucky enough to see some sneak peeks of upcoming attractions and wanted to share what I’m MOST excited about. First and foremost is The Walk, from Director Robert Zemeckis. You simply HAVE to watch this trailer:

Your heartrate is up, isn’t it? Continue reading →

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BLOG: My Daughter Has A Boy…Friend

My daughter Lucy has a friend who is a boy but who isn’t a boyFRIEND. She’s only 8-years-old so I don’t think that’s in their vocabulary yet (at least I HOPE it isn’t). She bonded with this boy over Minecraft last Spring and then worried about not seeing him over Summer Break. I promised we would arrange play-dates but of course, got busy and forgot. Poor Lucy and her boy didn’t have their “date” until yesterday, almost a full week AFTER Summer Break ended.

I have fully encouraged this relationship and not just because he’s a sweet kid. I too have always had boy-friends and I also found my first in Elementary School. Continue reading →

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BLOG: I’ve Developed a SERIOUS Oscar Isaac Problem

I’m too old to be a fangirl.

I am a happily-married mother of 2 who gave up celebrity crushes sometime in middle school. Sure, I have my favorites (ANY scene that includes both Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston is good) and I was supremely goofy when I met Michael Fassbender a few years ago. He came to a cocktail party for film critics and chatted with us like we hadn’t all just seen him naked in Shame. My hands were shaking so badly, I had to set down my wine glass.

All of that aside, I haven’t had a full-blown Celebrity Crush for YEARS…until now over Oscar Isaac. Continue reading →

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TRAILER PORN: “The Witch”

Sometimes I like movie trailers just as much as full-length motion pictures.

Sometimes I like them even more, especially when the movie being advertised seems tailor-made just for ME. Case in point: The Witch.

A New England family in the 1630’s moves their farm to the edge of a wilderness. One child disappears and their crops fail soon after. Are they victims of bad luck OR are they being tormented by a malevolent spirit in the woods? Can they save themselves or will they turn on each other, violently?

Writer-director Robert Eggers won the praise of critics AND the Directing Award after The Witch screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. We, however, will have to wait until sometime next year to see it. Here’s the trailer and don’t blame me for any freaky goat-nightmares you have afterwards.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Can “American Ultra” Turn Jesse Eisenberg Into an Action Hero?

One of the perks of being a Film Critic is that I get to take friends to the movie screenings with me. They love it and usually repay me with cocktails afterwards. Sometimes though, I can’t FIND anyone to see a movie with me because no one is interested in it. That was the case with American Ultra, so I had to see it alone. One friend even said, “The one with Kristen Stewart? Ugh, PASS!” That surprised me because I was excited about this movie. I’ve been a fan of Jesse Eisenberg ever since Zombieland and American Ultra seemed like the perfect vehicle for his talents.

Eisenberg plays Mike, a hapless stoner who is perfectly content working at a small town convenient store. He lucked into a gorgeous stoner-girlfriend named Phoebe (Stewart), who is way out of his league but takes care of him anyway. They live in slacker Utopia until the day Mike is “activated” and his past as a Sleeper Agent comes back to haunt him. This is where the fun really kicks in because Mike is even more surprised by his new skills than the audience. Mike and Phoebe don’t have time to explore them though because someone wants to kill them both and time is running out. Continue reading →

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BLOG: Is Heaven Boring? (My Daughter’s Existential Crisis)

Today is my daughter Lucy’s 8th birthday. She will celebrate like any other kid, by eating cake and being mildly disappointed in her presents, but Lucy isn’t like other kids. She seems happy-go-lucky but deep down, Lucy has some awfully big worries. In fact, just the other night she had her very first existential crisis.

It was Sunday and school was starting the next day so I assumed that’s why she was anxious. Lucy was next to tears though when I tucked her in so I asked what was wrong. I EXPECTED to hear the usual school worries, but this is what I got instead:

“Mom, what really happens when we die? Do we really go somewhere FOREVER? What does that even MEAN? What is Heaven REALLY like? What if you have to go with someone you don’t like very much and you’re stuck with them forever? And will there be ANYTHING TO DO? What if we get bored?” Continue reading →

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BLOG: My Friend Walter Likes Bugs

Wait, that might be an understatment. My friend Walter really REALLY likes bugs. He likes them so much that he’ll spend hours on end, waiting to get the perfect shot of them. Not because Walter is an entomologist or a National Geographic photographer. No, he’s actually a Pastor, which is why I know him in the first place.

11830736_10204694200694569_1470342476_n Continue reading →

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PODCAST: Summer Movie Chat with “Gene & Julie” on Mix 101.5

I talked to Gene & Julie on Mix 101.5 in Raleigh, North Carolina recently. I do this on a regular basis but it’s still kind of crazy. I mean, I’ve known those guys FOREVER, like back when we were all single people (most people think G&J are a bizarre form of twins who were born married). It’s also crazy because I was born in North Carolina and have elementary school buddies who live in Raleigh and can listen when I’m on-the-air. I don’t know if they actually DO listen but I still think that’s kind of cool.

I did a “Summer Wrap-Up” segment with G&J this week, where we discussed movies you need to see in the theater before the season ends. I took most of July and parts of August off, so I missed some movies that have gotten FANTASTIC reviews. I made a special list for those guys, as well. You’ll have to forgive me for my #1 pick and don’t worry. I’ve already gotten LOADS of flack about that one. Click HERE for a link to the podcast, featuring my Top 5 Summer Movies Not To Miss. Thanks again to Gene & Julie. I always love talking to you guys!

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MOVIE REVIEW: “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” (A Movie Based on a TV Show You Never Watched)

Anyone who makes a Cold War movie in 2015 better have an interesting take on it because we’ve seen every Russia VS America flick imaginable. Director Guy Ritchie makes HIS Cold War picture different by casting two of the most beautiful men in Hollywood, Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. If you’re a grown woman who relishes any chance to stare at these men (like me), that might be enough. If you need something more than foxy dudes in your movies, you might be yawning before the first fake Russian accent kicks in. Continue reading →

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BLOG: “Mommy Camp” is CLOSED

The girls officially need to go back to school. It starts next week but honestly, I don’t know if I can wait that long.

Not that we didn’t have an awesome summer. There were 2 weeks of vacations and 1 week of summer camp but otherwise, we spent the whole time sleeping in, eating ice-cream and playing in the pool. This is where I learned an interesting fact about my daughters. They are fascinated by my body in a bikini, especially the pocket of fat on my stomach I call The Baby Bucket. It’s apparently more fun than a Nerf-Gun because they will poke, smack and wigglewigglewiggle it. I, for the most part, allow this because I’m trying to teach them to accept their bodies. I also think it’s important to have a sense of humor about our bodies because they rarely look EXACTLY the way we want them to.

If I’m totally honest though, I’d admit that I kind of like it. I mean, our kids really don’t care WHAT we look like in a bathing suit. Unless you’re a torturous A-hole, your kids will love you no matter what skin you’re in. There’s something liberating about that, which is probably why I don’t mind when Lucy grabs my thigh with both hands and says “WOBBLEWOBBLEWOBBLE.” Continue reading →