February 24, 2018

The Hundred Foot Journey is just what we all need

100 Foot Journey

By Julie Samrick As political, social and religious wars rage around the world and we hear of the bloodshed of children, the most innocent among us, most other topics seem petty to discuss.   Yet the new film The Hundred Foot Journey is just what the world needs right now. I’ll even predict this movie… Read more

Lego Movie: glittery surface, lackluster plot

The Lego Movie

“Everything is awesome” for Lego Movie’s leading character Emmet, where in his Lego-constructed world all citizens abide by the rules and optimism abounds. Chosen by a prophecy to be an imaginative “master builder,” and save the world from Kragl (a misspelling of Krazy Glue, which symbolizes no imagination or thinking outside structured, strict manual-led lives)… Read more

“Frozen” movie review


Meet the latest Disney princesses: sisters Anna and Elsa of the Nordic-inspired kingdom of Arrendale.  When it’s discovered Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel) has the powers to freeze everything she touches, her parents, the King and Queen, hide her away much like Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty was sequestered for her own safety. Yet when Princess… Read more

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

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

Bill Cosby: “Cosby Show” aimed to take “house back” from kids

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby says he wanted The Cosby Show to represent a parenting philosophy that would “take the house back” from kids. “I based the series on two important things: No. 1 … I hated those series where the children were brighter than the parents, and those parents had to play dumb,” Cosby recently told ABC News. “No. 2 was… Read more

“The Croods” Become Less So With a Little Modern Help

The Croods

By Julie Samrick The Croods are the Flintstones of our time, a modern stone-age family (and I foresee the family Halloween costume of 2013, just like The Incredibles were a few years back).  The father of the clan, Grug Crood (voiced by Nicolas Cage), has worked hard to keep his Neanderthal wife, children, and mother-in-law… Read more

Run, Don’t Walk, To See “Girl Rising”

Girl Rising

By Julie Samrick Every once in a while a book or a movie opens our eyes to things we haven’t thought much of before, things that really matter.  This week I had such an experience when I went to a screening of a new documentary called Girl Rising.  In it we see and hear nine… Read more

“Sparkle” Shines but Shows Plenty of Rough Patches Too


By Julie Samrick It’s 1968 in Detroit, the heart of Motown, and every young girl wants to be the next Aretha or Diana Ross.  Sparkle is about a new generation’s passion for the music at that time, centering on three sisters who moonlight as a girl group away from their protective mother’s (Whitney Houston) watchful… Read more

“Brave” Proves It’s Anti-Princess By Being Anti-Boy


By Julie Samrick Sweet Snow White and demure Cinderella are passé, yet my young daughters still adore them.  Even so, the archetype for Disney’s leading ladies has shifted over time to valiant heroines who don’t need any rescuing. In fact, the new Disney princesses of the past 20 years have started saving the prince too. … Read more