MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on August 19, 2019

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What is the best performance in a Richard Linklater movie?

After a small pause in early August, the IndieWire Critics Survey returned in time for the the release of Where’d You Go, Bernadette from renowned Texas filmmaker Richard Linklater. I count as a very positive fan of his work with the Before Trilogy and Boyhood on the drama side and Everybody Wants Some!! and School of Rock on the comedy end. When it comes to the best, I pick the biggest transformation of range that came from Jack Black in Bernie. What a stunner of a character shift from an actor compared to his usual.

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SPECIAL EVENT: Previewing 2019's Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con

Rosemont’s Donald E. Stephens Convention Centers hosts the eighth Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con.  The four-day event highlights all the pop culture fun possible from stages, big screens, small screens, game screens, game boards, and all the collectibles in between.  The Chicago edition begins Thursday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 25th. Yours truly from Every Movie Has a Lesson has been granted press credentials to cover and access the event.  I’m a first-timer, so I hope to be amazed and present a glimpse or two inside the celebrated gathering!

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EDITORIAL: The Best Films to Ever Show on TV

Watching movies has always been an experience that’s best shared with others. You can watch it with your family or friends, and even while you’re watching alone, you’re sharing this experience with the characters you see on screen. These days, you don’t have to travel all the way to a movie house or rent out tapes as many TV channels show reruns of some of the best films that you can watch with your loved ones in the comfort of your own home.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Neurotically charming, yet misshapen in many ways, Where’d You Go, Bernadette is wholly unique from the Texan and Hollywood outsider. The movie has the equal ability to disarm and disgust depending on your perspective or experience with the Maria Semple source material. Non-readers will float with the staccato blustering and the Antarctic kayak currents of fancy. Ardent fans will wonder where all the scintillating mystery went that gave merit to all the haphazard happenings.

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EDITORIAL: Hearing Fear: Why Music is Half the Battle in Horror Movies

Horror films rely heavily on sound and music to set the tone. The film score and soundtrack of a horror movie can make or break its capacity to strike fear into the hearts of audiences. The catharsis of a horror film—the death of an antagonist or the sudden revival of a monster—is nothing without the protracted, eerie build up throughout a film. Music matters in horror arguably more than it does in any other film genre. If you want to get over a movie that traumatized you in the past, try watching it with the sound muted. But if you want to keep the fear alive, brace yourself and turn the volume all the way up.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Peanut Butter Falcon

The Peanut Butter Falcon doesn’t just tell a good story. It tells a great one worthy of attention, praise, and undying appreciation. The purifying freedom that churns throughout this movie could cultivate even the most barren heart. This little lovable film, winner of the Narrative Spotlight Audience Award from the SXSW Film Festival, is the kind of experience that makes one rethink how their own story is going. That is a mighty, motivating accomplishment for something that couldn’t stand out more from the usual summer blockbuster fare.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Blinded by the Light

Hell no, you don’t have to be a superfan of Springsteen to enjoy Blinded by the Light, but it sure helps. Even if The Boss is not your ideal vibe, the sprightly emotions on-screen cannot help but target and trigger your own matching passionate feelings for whatever you revere that answers the questions of Lesson #1. Following the affable and lovingly-composed musical worship recently achieved by Yesterday earlier this summer, welcome to your next toe-tapping crowd pleaser to close the summer of 2019.

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REWIND REVIEW: Avengers: Endgame

Arriving on home media this week from Disney and Marvel Studios is their colossal blockbuster coda Avengers: Endgame starring everyone who’s everyone from the collective Marvel Cinematic Universe that has been built with tidy and patient blueprints since 2008. Time travel tropes aside, you couldn’t have asked for a better swan song of satisfaction than this big finish. Watch for it arriving in physical media form on store shelves Tuesday, August 13th after an extremely successful theatrical run. This is a pretty customary disc release, and one has to think Disney has something more complete, expansive, and expensive planned someday.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Luce

The enigmas revealed by the spiraling escalation of manipulative confrontations are incredible in Luce. Through the masterful mystery of folding facades written by director Julius Onah and playwright/writer J.C. Lee of How to Get Away With Murder, there is a feverish anticipation of who’s going to turn, who’s going to crack, who’s going to fall, and who’s going to rise. The tension present is unpredictable and captivating.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: Guest on the "Kicking the Seat" YouTube channel talking "Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood"

Huge kudos go out to Ian Simmons of the Kicking the Seat podcast for diving into the realm of YouTube! Enjoy Ian, David Fowlie of Keeping It Reel and Emmanuel Noisette of E-Man’s Movie Reviews, and swim across the 1960s and your very screen talking about Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood. It’s Ian’s inaugural YouTube round table. If you’ve always thought our podcasts sounded fun with us picking on points and each other, now you get to watch our obnoxious repartee. Enjoy this new video!

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MOVIE REVIEW: Brian Banks

As simple and well-tuned as it is, Brian Banks absolutely works as a fitting and crowd-pleasing source engaging inspiration. This is director Tom Shadyac’s first feature film in 17 years and rare foray into serious fare after a career built as the man who launched Jim Carrey to stardom. There is a steady maturity of craft and tone here that suits this kind of story without heavy melodrama. The sports movie cliches are absent to examine the life of a person before the redemptive fame. The result is a timely film of worthy importance.

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VINTAGE REVIEW: Medium Cool

When Medium Cool reaches its history-witnessing climax at the 1968 Democratic National Convention protests in Chicago, two crowd chants take over the urban soundscape. The first is a defiant “Hell no! We won’t go!” and the second is “The world is watching.” The observant cameras and microphones used by filmmaker Haskell Wexler preserved that spirited defiance for cinematic immortality. Fifty years after its release, the echoes of those unified shouts in Medium Cool still ring with relevance and importance today.  We’re not going anywhere, and people still fix their eyes on this film with shock and awe.

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INFOGRAPHIC: Which British Actors Guarantee Box Office Success?

British actors are making a name for themselves by starring in some of the most popular Hollywood releases. But, with all of the leading roles they take, what makes one actor more successful than the other? Which British actor guarantees box office success? The good people at Money Guru have crunched the numbers, analyzing which British actors offer the best Return On Investment (ROI) based on their box office sales as a leading actor and the respective film budgets. These are the stars that offer the biggest earnings, and the results will likely surprise you.

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GUEST EDITORIAL: 10 Mistakes to Avoid While Writing a Movie Review

by Daniela McVicker

Movie review writing mistakes can be very sneaky. They can slip into great movie reviews and can happen even to the best writers. A seemingly irrelevant mistake can corrupt a perfectly good movie review. If you want to write something that stands out and gives the reader relevant information, you should stay away from common mistakes and clichés. Knowing the following mistakes to avoid will make it easier for you to create an amazing movie review. 

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INFOGRAPHIC: Who is the Most Villainous Actress of All-Time?

Bellatrix Lestrange, Mystique and Cruella de Vil. All familiar names with movie buffs and filmgoers alike due to their cunning, cruelty and villainousness. One of the greatest female baddies, Maleficent, is due to return to cinema screens in October in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Played by Angelina Jolie, her character is a powerful fairy who curses the King’s daughter. That got the folks at Casino Kings thinking, who is the most villainous actress of all time? To find out, Casino Kings have trawled through over 1,000 movie bios and storylines to find the most villainous movie actress of all-time.

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INFOGRAPHIC: Disney Originals vs. Live-Action Remakes: Which is better?

We love our animated Disney classics—but the live-action interpretations have been met with mixed feelings. A more cynical person might say Disney is afraid to get creative with new stories, and these films are a terrific money-grubbing ploy. But at HowtoWatch.com, we wanted to see how fans and critics felt these remakes live up to the originals. HowToWatch brought in fan ratings from IMDb and critic ratings from Metacritic for the original animated films and their live-action reimaginings. After giving fan and critic ratings equal weight, here’s how the movies compared.

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GUEST EDITORIAL: 9 Iconic Movie Soundtracks to Learn on the Piano

Behind every great film is a meticulously planned soundtrack. Good soundtracks can make mediocre films unforgettable and bad ones can undermine stellar writing and performances. A soundtrack can build tension, establish characterization or even be part of the plot. Being nerds who spend most of our time in our basements, the folks at Jellynote LOVE a good soundtrack as it combines the two things we enjoy most in the world: music and living vicariously through other people. To celebrate the importance of the film soundtrack, they’ve compiled a list of our favorite soundtracks of all time and provided sheet music so you can have a go at playing them!

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