February 24, 2018

Catching Fire movie review- not as violent as original

Catching Fire

By Julie Samrick Every once in a while a movie sequel is better than the original. This is the case for Catching Fire, the second installment of the Hunger Games trilogy based on the books by Suzanne Collins.   The heroine of the story, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) struggles to readjust to normal life after… Read more

Wacky Free Birds

Free Birds

By Julie Samrick Reggie (Owen Wilson) doesn’t fit in with the other turkeys. Though ignorance to their fate may keep them in a state of bliss, Reggie knows just what will happen to all of them come Thanksgiving. If only they’ listen!   When the President’s daughter chooses Reggie to be pardoned, and takes him… Read more

All signs point to One Direction: This is Us

One Direction

By Julie Samrick My seven-year-old likes One Direction and now I’m a secret admirer too.   They’re bubble gum sweet and very innocent…or the producers in the movie do a good job showing them as so. They sing the Seven Dwarves mantra, “Hi-ho! Hi-ho! It’s off to a work I go,” to amp up before… Read more

What makes a great teacher?


By Julie Samrick Mrs. Oetting got the name “Miss Shakespeare” because that is what she embodied to a class of otherwise squirrelly 5th graders. She got us excited about learning, namely about Shakespeare.  We performed plays in her class and learned a ton while doing so. We had a hand in every part of our… Read more

Smurfs 2 is a sloppy sequel

Smurfs 2

Why are Smurfs blue?  And why is Smurfette the lone girl in a community of males? These questions are at the heart of Smurfs 2, the sequel to the hit 2011 Smurfs movie. Thinking he has a chance to rule the world, evil wizard Gargamel kidnaps Smurfette to extract her blue essence.  But might Smurfette… Read more

Turbo is Terrific


By Julie Samrick Theo the garden snail may handle overripe tomatoes during the day but after hours he dreams of navigating the curves of Nascar’s track and the “terrifying, blazing speed” of it that makes him happiest.   Though he’s subject to ridicule for these grand dreams, an accident soon gives him turbo powers. But will… Read more

Despicable Me 2: Best parts are the original’s leftovers

Despicable Me 2

In the first Despicable Me (2010) hardened criminal Gru (Steve Carrell) transformed before our eyes from a tough guy to a softie all by the uncomplicated, pure love of three little girls.  In the end Gru formally adopts the orphans and vows to turnaround his life.   In this sequel Gru remains a doting father… Read more

Monsters University has something for everyone

Monsters University

By Julie Samrick Did you know not a single G-rated movie has ever bombed at the box office? So why aren’t there more of them?  Instead kids’ movies of late are almost entirely rated PG or PG-13.  It’s a breath of fresh air to welcome Monsters University this summer.  The prequel to the 2001 megahit… Read more

“Man of Steel” darker, more solitary in 2013

Man of Steel movie

By Julie Samrick As a girl I swooned over Christopher Reeve as Superman.  I don’t know if it was his strength or that single curl of hair that fell on his forehead. Or maybe it was those goofy glasses he wore as Clark Kent that still couldn’t hide his cuteness. Perhaps it was his smirk,… Read more

New Movie Not Quite “Epic” But Good


By Julie Samrick   Epic is a mixture of several stories we’ve seen before– The Littles, Avatar, The Wizard of Oz, and Honey I Shrunk The Kids.    The film is set when teenager Mary Katherine (aka M.K., played by Amanda Seyfried) goes to live with her eccentric father (Jason Sudeikis) after her mother dies… Read more