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WHAT TO RENT THIS WEEKEND: The “Julie Says So” Top 5

It’s a great weekend to rent movies because a few that got serious love at the 2016 Oscars are now available. There are also some comedies for those of you who are sick of the heavy stuff but first, let’s start with one of the heaviest.

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1. You think you don’t want to see Room, but you DO. Brie Larson won the Best Actress Oscar, but little Jacob Tremblay turned in an awesome performance as well. Tremblay joked that Sylvester Stallone stole the Best Supporting Actor nomination from him, and he might be right! Click here to read my original review and seriously, don’t be afraid to rent Room.

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2. Ex Machina has actually been out for ages, but it’s getting renewed buzz thanks to a recent Oscar win. Alicia Vikander won Best Supporting Actress for The Danish Girl, but she was just as good in this one. Ex Machina is strange, sexy and even a little scary. Plus, it has Oscar Isaac and everybody knows I have the hots for that guy. Here’s the link to the Boozy Movies Podcast we did for this film, and forgive us for repeatedly mispronouncing the name. Continue reading →

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PODCAST: Oscar Chat with Mike Cohen of WILS Lansing, MI

I want to send a big THANK YOU to Mike Cohen of WILS Lansing, Michigan for having me on yesterday. I had a blast talking about the 2016 Oscars with him, but I was totally WRONG about a few things. First of all, Jennifer Lawrence DID win the Best Actress Golden Globe this year, but it was for a “Comedy or Musical.” I always forget that they break up the categories. Also, Idris Elba CAN’T be an African American because he’s BRITISH! Man, I’m repeatedly smacking my head over that one. Please listen to the podcast below and feel free to tell me what else I was wrong about, except my Oscar picks. We all know I’m right about those. Thanks Again Mike!

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The BEST, WORST, & WEIRDEST of 2015 Film

I started compiling a list of my favorite 2015 movies, but it was really lame. I got bored just writing it so I can’t imagine how much it would suck for the poor person reading it. The last thing anyone wants right now is another dry Top 10 List, right? I have one, which I will post at the end of this, but it actually excluded some of the coolest theater experiences I had this year. That’s why I decided to compile a list of The Best, Worst and Weirdest of 2015 Film. Continue reading →

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PODCAST: Chatting About the BEST of 2015 Movies (including that little “Star Wars” pic) with Krys Boyd on “Think”

I joined Krys Boyd on NPR’s Think yesterday, to discuss Star Wars: The Force Awakens and some of the other best movies of 2015. We were also joined by Chris Vognar from the Dallas Morning News and KERA’s Stephen Becker. They are both film nerds of the highest order so the pressure to perform well was pretty high. I was up for the challenge though, because I relish any chance to talk about movies with those guys. Click HERE to hear the show, and listen carefully for the moment Chris Vognar calls the rest of us children and when I debuted the word “porn-y” on NPR.

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The DFW Film Critics Association Picks The BEST of 2015

Did I tell you that I’m a member of the DFW Film Critics Association? Of course I did, because I brag about it constantly. See, I started covering movies as a side-gig to my regular radio job. I never expected anyone to pay attention to my reviews, much less take them seriously. I was shocked when the DFW Film Critics Association approached me because some of my favorite critics EVER are members. I sit with them at the screenings now, and it feels like I’m sitting at the Cool Kids Table.

Anyhow, the DFW Film Critics Association voted over the weekend and released a list of our BEST of 2015. I’ll post them below, along with MY picks, which didn’t always make the cut. I’d like to add that we are presenting this list in honor of Philip Wuntch, a longtime critic for the Dallas Morning News who passed away this October. Track down The Lady Eve, one of his all-time favorite classics, and watch it with Wuntch in mind.

BEST PICTURE OF 2015- Spotlight
Okay, this one was tough for me because Spotlight was my favorite movie of the year until this past weekend, when I saw The Revenant. It did come in 2nd place and I was happy to see that one of my other favorites, Sicario also made it in the top 5. Continue reading →

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MOVIE REVIEW: “Room” is Worth Every Agonizing Moment

I saw a movie years ago called Kiss the Girls, about a serial killer who kept women hidden in underground rooms. The notion terrified me. It was a fictional story based on a James Patterson book, but the idea of being trapped like that seemed too horrible to ever be true. Then I started hearing REAL stories of women who were held captive for extended periods of time with startling regularity. It made me wonder just how many women are being held against their will at any given time and if there was ever anything I could do to help them.

Author Emma Donoghue has had those same thoughts since hearing the story of Elisabeth Fritzl in Austria. She was locked away by her own father for 24 years, and even had 7 children by him while trapped behind that locked door. Elisabeth Fritzl is the woman who inspired Donoghue to write the best-selling book and screenplay for Room. Continue reading →

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FREE MOVIE PASSES: See Oscar Contender “Room” With It’s Author!

Room stars Brie Larson as a woman who is held captive in a 10-by-10 foot space with her young son. She does everything she can to help him lead a normal life, until the day they try to escape. This brings mother and son to the biggest challenge they’ve ever faced: the outside world.

Room is based on the best-selling novel of the same name, written by Emma Donoghue. It’s a work of fiction, but Donoghue based her book on the harrowing true stories of Jaycee Dugard and Elisabeth Fritzi. Both of these women were kidnapped and held in hidden rooms for years. They were also repeatedly raped and eventually gave birth while still in captivity.

The big screen version of Room is already getting Oscar buzz, specifically for Brie Larson’s performance. It also won the Toronto International Film Festival this year, which has a history of picking Academy Award Best Picture contenders. There’s even a fair amount of Oscar chatter for young Jacob Tremblay, who plays the movie’s 5-year-old boy.

Best of all, I have free passes to see Room and guess who’ll be sitting in the audience with you? Author Emma Donoghue will be at the screening too, so make sure you stick around for the Q&A after the movie. Take a minute to watch the trailer, then print out your pass to get in. You should probably bring some tissues too because this one looks like a weeper!
Click HERE for your passes!