August 23, 2017

Every Sunday could be Father’s Day

Father's Day inspiration

By Julie Samrick My uncle is in the end stages of ALS and was moved into comfort care this week. Though my dad has four daughters, the family he created with my mom, he’s said it’s a lonely feeling to be losing the last remaining member of his original family. At 67-years-old, my dad’s even… Read more

Rio 2 is a colorful sequel with one flaw

Rio 2

Julie Samrick At the start of Rio 2 domesticated blue macaw Blu, his wife Jewel and three kids leave their computers, iPods and busy city life in Rio de Janeiro to get back to basics and research their heritage in the Amazon rainforest. Thinking they’re the only blue macaws left in the world, they find… 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

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

“I will not check my child’s grades online multiple times a day”

More and more schools are adopting student information software, allowing millions of parents to monitor their kids’ attendance and academic progress. But should they? 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

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

Turbo

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

Netspeak: an internet safety guide for parents

netspeak

The internet contains the good, the bad and everything in between. As adults, many of us have the tendency to assume children know how to behave, but in fact they can be very vulnerable online, lacking the savvy needed to stay secure and steer clear of danger. A particular cause for concern is the growing… Read more