Baltimore Screening Pass-palooza – “Minions: The Rise of Gru”!

Okay, you’ve gotta admit those yellow cuties are adorable. Synopsis!

Long before he becomes the master of evil, Gru (Oscar® nominee Steve Carell) is just a 12-year-old boy in 1970s suburbia, plotting to take over the world from his basement.

It’s not going particularly well. When Gru crosses paths with the Minions, including Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto—a new Minion sporting braces and a desperate need to please—this unexpected family joins forces. Together, they build their first lair, design their first weapons, and strive to execute their first missions.

Ready? Let’s go!

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“The Black Phone” – chilling, thrilling, and a damn good time

“Are those black balloons in there?” [OMG RUN KID]

Story: It’s 1978 y’all! Pinball machines, stripe-y ski vests, and a serial killer? Yeah, that last one isn’t the best thing to happen to the Denver suburbs. (Not the worst either, but moving on…) But “The Grabber” has been making kids disappear for a while, so when junior high student Finney meets a magician who seems to need help with a bag of groceries? Oh Finney. Don’t help. Whups, too late.

Subgenre: Scary Clowns Are Bad Crime Chillers
Release Date: 2022
FX: Brief, but well done and not overused.
Clichés: Psychic Kid Is Psychic, Vans Are Bad Y’all, Parents Suck, School Sucks, Friends ‘Til The End

Spooky or Nah?: I’d heard this film was the scariest thing that has come out this year. Hmm. Well, scary is relative. Are we talking truly chilling, like “this is disturbing and I’m freaked out”? Or maybe horrific, like “I have to jump into my bed because I’m afraid of what could be under it”? Perhaps a complete and total gross-out “I need a Silkwood shower after watching this” vibe? In my humble opinion, Phone is chilling, with a touch of horror and a wee soupçon of gross-out. With me? No? Okay fine, I’ll elaborate. *stretches out typin’ fingers*

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In A Nutshell – “Jurassic Park Dominion” is exactly the stupid-fun ride you think it is

“Do you wanna ask questions, or do you want a ride?”

Story: Really? Okay. Dinosaurs. All over the world. The OG Park crew and the World-ies get together to gank prehistoric locusts. Trust me, go with it.

Genre I’d put it in: Stupid fun with Dino-sawers!
Release Date: 2022
Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: Really, part 2? Okay. Part of all the Jurassic thangs.

What’s Up?: Should I have tapped this out the moment I saw it opening morning? Yep. Yep I should have. But since I’d forgotten to RSVP for this press screening, you’re thinking you’re gonna get a timely peek into my brainparts about this film? You know me better than that. But in case you’re the three or four individuals that read this mommyblog and haven’t seen Dominion yet? Go see it. Because Dominion is absolutely brainless entertainment that’s perfect for warm weather “give me some fun while I enjoy this theater’s air conditioning” days.

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Baltimore Screening Pass-palooza – “The Black Phone”!

Ready to check out what some are calling “the scariest film this year”? Synopsis!

Finney Shaw, a shy but clever 13-year-old boy, is abducted by a sadistic killer and trapped in a soundproof basement where screaming is of little use. When a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring, Finney discovers that he can hear the voices of the killer’s previous victims. And they are dead set on making sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Finney.

Ready? Let’s go!

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TrailerWatch – Netflix breaks the Fourth Wall with their “Persuasion” reboot

Austen. An all star cast that includes Dakota Johnson, Henry Golding, and Richard E. Grant. Add in deliciously snarky original dialogue mixed with fourth wall breaks that feel both modern and completely in-sync with the source material, and I am hooked. Synopsis!

Eight years after Anne Elliot was persuaded not to marry a dashing man of humble origins, they meet again. Will she seize her second chance at true love?

Persuasion hits Netflix July 15th, 2022.

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Baltimore Screening Pass-palooza – “Lightyear”!

If you didn’t score tix to Paul McCartney, I have tix for another star that’s out of this world! Synopsis!

A sci-fi action adventure and the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear, the hero who inspired the toy, “Lightyear” follows the legendary Space Ranger after he’s marooned on a hostile planet 4.2 million light-years from Earth alongside his commander and their crew. As Buzz tries to find a way back home through space and time, he’s joined by a group of ambitious recruits and his charming robot companion cat, Sox. Complicating matters and threatening the mission is the arrival of Zurg, an imposing presence with an army of ruthless robots and a mysterious agenda.

Ready? Let’s go!

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Baltimore Screening Pass-palooza – “Elvis”!

Got a hunkahunka burning need to see this biopic from crazy cool director Baz Luhrmann? ME TOO. Synopsis!

The film explores the life and music of Elvis Presley (Austin Butler), seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge).

Ready? Let’s go!

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“Fire Island” – everything you want & need from a modern-day rom-com

“I gave you unrestricted access to our room for TWENTY SEVEN MINUTES. What the fuck were you doing?”

Story: BFFs Noah and Howie (Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Yang, playing fictionalized versions of their true selves) head to their yearly summer week at Fire Island, to relax, have fun, and reconnect with their chosen family, headed by unofficial matriarch Erin (Margaret Cho). But when Howie starts to crush on Charlie, a wealthier-than-thou guy, Noah gets bad vibes from Charlie’s BFF Will. Hey; it’s a truth universally acknowledged that when a bunch of single men of good(?) fortune get together at Fire Island, misadventure – and love(? Pt2) – won’t be wanting. Or something like that.

Genre I’d put it in: Fun Inclusive Rom-coms Perfect For Summer Viewing
Release Date: 2022
Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: Loosely based on the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Gotta say: Before I get into this review I want to let you know that while I am not a gay dude, this film has all the things that would make me predisposed to absolutely love it. Austen riff? Check. Gorgeous beachy location? Check. Margaret Cho and Bowen Yang? Checkity check. Now let’s break down why I think you’d like this movie. Ready? Let’s go.

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Freaky Fridays – “The Sadness”!

Horror, Cult Movies, Exploitation Cinema, 70s Schlock, and more! Let’s start the weekend off by getting freaky! Or something like that…

“To politicize a virus is a terrible mistake!” [#OhMy2020]

Genre: Probably Beyond Your Boundaries Horror
Year Released: 2022
Where I Watched: Shudder

Synopsis: Jim and Kat are young, in love, and have a pretty sweet flat in Taiwan. But this morning, as Jim scooters Kat to the train station, they go by a violent traffic altercation. When Jim passes by again? Everyone is gone, and the cars are abandoned, doors open. Then the whole city goes literally insane in a snap…could this be due to a mutation of the pandemic that’s been plaguing Taiwan of late, affecting infected individuals ala rabies? Well now, that’s just soy-lib poppycock. Right? Sure. But Jim and Kat are trying to get to each other anyway, so let’s hope all the blood, perversion, and disturbing attacks are just fake news. (Yes, there are parallels to real world attitudes in this film. I just wanted to hit you over the head with that bit.)

Fabulous or Frustrating?: This is the only film on Shudder where I’ve noticed a note warning viewers of “graphic and extreme violence/gore“. And they mean that shit. As this film was influenced by Garth Ennis’ extreme horror comic Crossed? I decided to finish my lunch before hitting play on this one. Because less than ten minutes in, little things start get creepy. A touch of blood here, police restraining a bloody woman there… Then BOOM. By the fifteen minute mark, you’re in the splash zone, baby.

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Baltimore Screening Pass-palooza – “Jurassic World Dominion”!

Ready to see our modern world overrun by dinos? Me too, y’all. Synopsis!

From Jurassic World architect and director Colin Trevorrow, Dominion takes place four years after Isla Nublar has been destroyed. Dinosaurs now live—and hunt—alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history’s most fearsome creatures.

Ready? Let’s go!

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