Tag Archives: grace hill media

5 Reasons to See The Conjuring 2 (Plus Prizes!)

I received an email recently from the good people at Grace Hill Media. They asked my friend Mel and me to cover the much-anticipated release of The Conjuring 2, opening in theaters on June 10. You might remember that Mel and I covered the first movie for them back in 2013. So when they asked about the sequel, naturally I said yes.

Right away, they sent me a little “thank you” package. Inside the box were two items:

Conjuring2Candle(1) A limited edition movie candle for my home (Aww. Thanks, Grace Hill. What a sweet and unique gift.) and …


… (2) A bone-chilling, demon-exorcising prayer to recite once it’s ignited. (Seriously, Grace Hill? Totally uncool. Now I’m scared before I even step into the theater.)

Of course, since when did being scared ever stop me from doing anything? (Attention: People who know me personally. Please refrain from listing the dozens of answers you probably have to this question as it waters down the peer pressure tactics I’m about to exhibit.) Fear Schmear! I am going to see this movie. And so is Mel. And so are YOU!! And here’s why …

Five Reasons to See The Conjuring 2

Because who doesn’t love a scary movie? Okay, fine. Truth be told, I watched much of the first movie between my pathetic, trembling fingers. Yes, I am a card-carrying coward … but there was no way I was missing out on the second highest-grossing original horror movie of all time. Second only to The Exorcist. Chew on that, lily-livereds.

Because one of the leads is played by a girl from New Orleans. I just found a picture of her (Madison Wolfe) with my daughter singing in the school choir. I almost posted it then decided she’s not my child so it wouldn’t be appropriate. You’ll just have to take my word for it. And know that it’s a pretty exciting development in my little corner of the world.

Because sleep is overrated. And since this movie will have you cogitating for a while, just imagine all the things you’ll be able to get done in the middle of the night when the rest of the world is wasting its time sleeping. You could organize all of your closets, toiletries and canned goods by color, learn to speak Portuguese or even potty train your cat.

Because your body’s many physiological functions will get a full workup. You can test your heart, your circulation, your respiratory system, your kidneys, your bladder, your sweat glands, your vocal cords and even your tear ducts all simultaneously from the comfort of your cushy chair in a dark movie theater. And all for free.

Because the movie looks just fantastic. Check it out. (P.S. Yes. That’s Madison.)

Oh, and I almost forgot. We have prizes! Mel and I are giving away TWO prize packages from The Conjuring 2. Each package contains 2 movie money passes, a leather-bound journal, a T-shirt, a mug and a flashlight.

Click HERE to enter.

The contest ends on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 12:00AM CST.

See you at the movies!!


Seen this award-winning film yet? Maybe I can help.

Just a few days ago, I was contacted by my friends at Grace Hill Media about conducting another movie promotion. I was reluctant. This week is a crazy busy one for my family. In addition to a sizable freelance job I’m working on in every spare minute, it’s also final exams for both of my kids as well as my daughter’s birthday and her elementary school graduation. I really, really didn’t want to add anything else.

But then my friend Gary at Grace Hill said two said words: American Sniper.

I stopped what I was doing to reply simply “I’m in.”

To quote Gary’s email to me, “Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated adaptation of Chris Kyle’s autobiography is moving and meaningful filmmaking, depicting the heroism of both the service member in combat and the family left stateside. It is not an easy film to watch, given its subject matter, but it is, I believe, an essential film to watch to help us better understand the cost, to those on the battlefield and on the home front, of the freedoms we hold so dear.”

American Sniper hits stores Tuesday, May 19 … just in time for Memorial Day. But I might be able to save you the trip. Because I’m giving away a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack to one lucky reader.

CLICK HERE for a chance to win.

Enter daily until 12:00AM on 5/24/15.

To the winner of the contest … I want to say congratulations in advance. And to everyone else … I want to encourage you to go pick up your own copy of the movie. Why? Because Warner Bros. is donating a dollar from each sale, up to $1 million, to the Wounded Warrior Project, a program that enlists public aid and provides direct services to meet the needs of our injured military personnel.

I can’t think of a better reason to buy the movie.

Oh, and one more thing …

Grace Hill was good enough to give me an extra copy of the film to gift to a special veteran in my life.

My friend, Mitzi, served as an AG2 (Aerographer’s Mate) aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the U.S. Navy for five years.

Thank you, Mitzi, for your commitment.

To order American Sniper from Amazon.com, click here.


Just in time for (insert name of occasion you’re celebrating)!

Just in time for Christmas! Or Hanukkah! Or Winter Solstice, flu season, your cat’s birthday … whatever you’re observing this time of year! Mel and I have a gift for YOU, our wonderful readers.

Have your heard of the film entitled The Good Lie starring Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon? It’s coming out on Blu-Ray and DVD on December 23. But YOU don’t have to battle the malls to get it. Because, thanks to our friends at Grace Hill Media, YOU could win your very own copy right here!

I know, right?


The movie tells the true-life story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, their lives torn apart by civil war, left to grow up in refugee camps, then given the opportunity through the efforts of church groups and other charities to embark on new lives in the U.S. And, in addition to Reese (Seriously, I can call her Reese by now, right?), the film features actual former Lost Boys from Sudan. Talk about injecting it with a huge dose of authenticity. But enough of my blathering on. Watch the clip. I’m sure it will hook you just like it did me.

And don’t just take my word for it. In addition to all of its positive press, when The Good Lie opened in theaters earlier this year, audiences polled by Cinemascore rated it an “A+.” In the last thirty years, only about 50 movies have received that prestigious honor. This is a good one. You want to see it.


Click HERE to win.


So Happy Whatever-You’re-Celebrating. Please keep reading. And thank you for your support.

(Hey, Mel, we sound like those old wine cooler dudes. Ooh, I call Bartles!)

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With dolphins, a nice message & Harry Connick, Jr., what more do you need?

What would you say if I told you I knew a grown woman who was totally pumped about the upcoming release of Dolphin Tale 2?


Well, no. I’m not naming any names. But here’s a hint.


Of course, it doesn’t hurt that …..

A. My girl and I loved the first movie. We just re-watched last month.

B. Along with Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and many others, Harry Connick, Jr. is one of the big stars of DT2. Hello? You guys DO know he’s from NOLA just like me, right? We just love our homeboys.

C. And guess what? Thanks to Grace Hill Media, my friend, Mel and I are AMBASSADORS for the movie. That means it’s our job to make sure you buy a ticket. So seriously, put down that kid, grab your TV remotes and get going! … Wait. Strike that. … Reverse it.

Still need convincing? Check out the trailer.

Dolphin Tale 2

Opens September 12, 2014

See you there!

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Deliver Us From Evil – I’m scared just typing it. (Plus a contest!)


Deliver us from evil.

Until today, I thought only of those four little words as the closing to a comforting and familiar prayer I’ve known since childhood. After today, they will also forever be associated with this terrifying account of demonic possession the likes of which I can barely watch on my computer monitor. Opening in theaters today, Deliver Us From Evil is described as “an intense dramatization of actual events, following New York police detective Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) as he tries to solve a series of bizarre crimes. He turns to an unconventional priest (Edgar Ramirez) for help when it becomes clear the evil he is fighting is more spiritual than earthly.”

(shivering and fleeing to safe spot in back of closet for the rest of this post)

I plan to bring a vial of holy water with me to the theater.

And a crucifix.


Thanks to our friends at Grace Hill Media, Mel and I are giving away prize packs to TWO lucky winners. Each pack contains the following items:

A copy of Officer Sarchie’s book Deliver Us From Evil (formerly Beware the Night, description found here) AND a Deliver Us From Evil t-shirt


See that smiling idiot? She actually thinks she’ll be able to SLEEP in that shirt tonight. Of course, she’ll probably wake up levitating over her bed while blood trickles down the walls of her room.

Don’t do it, fool!

Want to win a Deliver Us From Evil Prize Pack?

Click HERE to Enter!

The contest ends on Wednesday, July 9, 2014.

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There’s a Big Sequel Coming Out this Fall (Plus My EIGHT Favorite Movie Animals)

Mel and I were asked by our good friends at Grace Hill Media to help promote another movie coming out soon. Anyone remember Dolphin Tale? Well, its sequel (aptly titled Dolphin Tale 2) will be released this September 19. Here’s the proof!


So mark your calendars … and mark your kids’ calendars (Wait! Your kids have calendars???) … for this special event coming in the fall!

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of movies … and animals … and movies about animals, I think it’s time for another Blog Posts by Number entry. Today’s installment?



I grew up with this adorable mutt. The other actors in the movie could not have been weaker, but Benji was amazing. He had me completely convinced he was a dog!

2. Babe

I’ve never met a sweeter pig. And I know a lot of pigs, you guys.

3. Milo

Is it any wonder we opted to name our much bitier cat after him? Somebody told me there was a dog (named Otis or Olaf or something) in that movie, too. He must have faded into the background for me. Between Milo the cat and Dudley Moore’s narration, I was already captivated.

4. Cujo

I saw this movie when I was entirely too young for it. And I almost showed it to my kids accidentally a few years ago. Until Dave reminded me it was rated R! Oops.

5. Jaws

These movies are classics. And when I say “these,” I’m only referring to the first two. The Roy Scheider years. After he left, the Jaws franchise was dead to me.

6. Dory

The dopey little fish voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, my home girl from New Orleans. (Can I pull that off?) (Nah. I didn’t so.)

7. Remy

Oh, how I love that adorable, culinarily-gifted rodent. So much so that my kids gave me the complete Ratatouille action figure set for Mother’s Day that year.


From Charlotte’s Webb. And, while I love Steve Buscemi, I’m talking about the animated version voiced by Paul Lynde. Because what beats an ornery old gay rat?


June is Blog Post by Numbers Month. Wanna play with Mel and me? Just write a “listy-type” post with a number in the title (ex. FOUR Reasons I Love Mayonnaise, SIX Things You Can Do With A Paper Clip). Then link back to us and tweet us about it so we can include you on June 30th in our final list: (Number-Yet-To-Be-Determined) Great Bloggers Who Played the Blog Post by Numbers Game!

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The Post About PTSD, Russell Crowe AND Winning Free Stuff!

Floods. (shiver) Here in New Orleans, we’re a little shell-shocked about them because we’re located about a dozen feet below sea level. In my lifetime, I’ve seen it happen several times, most famously in 2005 thanks to Hurricane Katrina. My home was among the many casualties, although you’d never know it to look around here now. Seriously, I think someone sneaks useless trash and clutter into my house while we’re asleep.

But let’s get back to floods. I want to talk about the biggest flood of all times. Because its story is being told on the big screen in a movie that opens this Friday, March 28. It’s called simply … Noah. Have you seen the trailer yet?

I’ll be seeing this movie very soon, most likely with my mother. And I’ll be positively hyperventilating during all the destruction scenes. Water-related disasters (Titanic, The Perfect Storm, Jaws) get me in the gut every time. Maybe I need to rethink those cheese sticks and go for something more “stomach-friendly” for this one.

(We all know I’m still getting the cheese sticks, right?)

Oh, and before I forget, my friends at Grace Hill Media asked Mel and me to help promote the movie release with a little giveaway. Actually, we have TWO giveaways because everything related to this movie should be done in PAIRS. (I’ll just assume you get that joke.) Wanna see what you could win? Remember, ODNT has a very limited marketing budget so we can’t afford to hire any fancy models for the photo shoot.


Each prize package contains three items: A hoodie shirt, a raincoat (duh!) and  a baseball cap.

Be flattered. Because I absolutely despise how I look in baseball caps. And I never put them on. For anyone. Here’s why.


Don’t even TRY to tell me you don’t see the resemblance. 

* * * * * * * * * *

So, I’ll be keeping the shirt and the raincoat but passing the cap on to my Godchild. Named NOAH, of course. His birthday is this week. (Happy birthday, buddy!!!) Want a set of Noah merchandise of your very own? Mel and I can totally make that happen. Right now.


Remember to fill out the rafflecopter completely. Just clicking the ‘tweet the giveaway’ option can earn you TEN extra entries each day. The promotion ends on Monday, March 31, 2014.

* * * * * * * * * *

Good luck!

For more information about the movie, visit noahmovie.com.


Darling Dame

Movie Review: The Monuments Men

War movies. There are literally hundreds of them. Sands of Iwo Jima, Platoon, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Full Metal Jacket, The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now … to name only a handful. And, if I can share a little secret, I’ve seen about none of them. They don’t appeal to me. Too bloody, too grisly, too real.

So when my friends at Grace Hill Media asked me to screen and review a movie called The Monuments Men, I was a bit concerned. Would I like it? Would I appreciate it? And (gulp) would I even get it?


Okay, fine. Maybe I’m being a little hard on myself. Because I attended the screening this week and I  did like and appreciate it. And I totally got it. Probably more than many people did back when this “based-on-a-true-story” situation was actually happening. Take a look at the trailer to help get you up to speed.

A pet project of George Clooney (who wrote, directed, produced and acted in the film), The Monuments Men chronicles the noble and most unprecedented mission of a small platoon of very unlikely heroes. These middle-aged men, a small group of artists, architects, and historians, all volunteered to enlist, endure basic training and travel all the way to Nazi-occupied Europe for the sole purpose of protecting and preserving Western art and culture.

Famous paintings and sculpture, historical architecture, even such artifacts as the original manuscript of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 were all on the rescue list. It was Hitler’s plan to possess or destroy all of it. To rob the world of its beauty and its creative expression.  These men were the ones who stopped him.

“If you destroy an entire generation of people’s culture, it’s as if they never existed.” Frank Stokes (as played by George Clooney)

The cast list was impressive. George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville, Bill Murray … seriously, how much more time do I have here? Oh, and speaking of Bill Murray, he and Bob Balaban (an accomplished actor whom I most associate with old Seinfeld episodes) made a great pair. They had a sweet chemistry and shared a moment involving a Christmas carol that, for me, was one of the most touching of the film’s 118 minutes. Just as with other comic actors like Robin Williams and Jim Carrey, I always love when I see Murray in a more serious, meatier role. Groundhog Day is fine, but it’s in these more cerebral projects that he really shines and shows his chops. (Perhaps I should call his agent.)

The most amazing (and, let’s be honest, embarrassing) thing about the movie is that I didn’t know anything about the history behind it. Which is sort of the point of this film. It’s a seventy-year-old story that has never been told.* (How many movies can make that claim these days?) And I left the theater compelled to look up these brave individuals. I wanted to know more about them. I was curious about which pieces were saved. And which were not.

I wish I could thank them for their contribution.

The Monuments Men. It just opened in theaters. I’d take my parents to see it. And I’d take my kids to see it. Despite its protective PG-13 rating. (And you guys know I NEVER say that.)


*AUTHOR’S NOTE: As soon as I hit “publish,” my cinephilic (that means movie-loving) friend Michael (who I so should have consulted first) reminded me about a 1964 film by John Frankenheimer entitled The Train featuring Burt Lancaster. It deals with the same subject in a very different manner. So I’ll revise my review to say “it’s a seventy year old story that hasn’t been told … recently.”

Still pretty impressive when you consider how many movies they made about the Titanic.



Darling Dame