Posts in 2019
MOVIE REVIEW: The Goldfinch

Normally, the book vs. movie argument centers around missed opportunities. The majority lament becomes about the necessary condensing and trimming executed by writers and filmmakers that shaves too much of the nuanced essence from the sprawling story of the written page. With The Goldfinch, a different effect occurs. Given a longer running time than most movies already and all the patience in the world, any additions of extra depth and detail to the film adaptation would not help. What is already present is bloated, sluggish, and ineffectual. That’s an odd circumstance to say the least. Talk about a movie that should have stayed a book.

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EVENT: The upcoming 5th annual Irish American Movie Hooley in Chicago

As an Chicagoan of strong Irish descent myself, let me step in and play the part of “good authority.” I have it on good authority that the annual Irish American Movie Hooley is a boisterous event with a trio of buried treasure movies that normally wouldn’t grace American screens. Just as the event’s name translates: “When a party gets rowdy, the Irish call it a ‘hooley.’” You need to join the 5th edition of this artistic autumnal party at The Gene Siskel Film Center over the weekend of September 27–29. Come for the scene. Consume some friendly and fascinating culture.

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EVENT: Season 9 of Asian Pop-Up Cinema in Chicago

Musicals, dramas, comedies, and thrillers are just some of the genres coming Chicago’s way from overseas during the ninth season of Asian Pop-Up Cinemas. For another month between September 10th to October 10th, the non-profit Sophie’s Choice film organization has brought another eclectic slate to the Windy City. Each season, Asian Pop-Up Cinema is the film series that cultivates American interest and understanding of Asian culture through movie storytelling.

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EDITORIAL: 7 Great Movies for Students

School life is bittersweet. You get to make a lot of friends and create many good memories. It can also exert so much pressure on you considering the heavy academic work involved. You may lose motivation when you feel overwhelmed or when your performance is not as good as you want it to be. It is not always easy to stay motivated at school. However, considering the examples of others who have managed to overcome obstacles and be successful can help you. Watching inspiration movies is one way to do this. Here are the top students movies to help you stay motivated.

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EDITORIAL: How Watching Movies the Right Way Can Revolutionize Your Writing

Most writers are not inclined to movies due to time management issues. The movie platform, however, equips individuals with the ability to develop articles that capture readers’ attention. People tend to respond actively to visual arts as opposed to reading since movies, paintings, and pictures create more profound imaginations in the minds of the readers. When writers apply the appropriate procedures in watching movies, they improve significantly on their artistic representation of scenarios into writing as discussed in the paper.

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EDITORIAL: Terminator: The Dark Fate of the Universe?

Now it's time for Cameron to return to the helm of the Terminator franchise - sort of. He wrote the story for the new movie which was turned into a screenplay by David S. Goyer, Justin Rhodes, and Billy Ray. The movie will be directed by Tim Miller of Deadpool fame. As expected, it will ignore everything that happened after T2 - sort of. The new Terminator, played by Gabriel Luna, is similar to the T-X played by Kristanna Loken in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and judging by the trailers, Mackenzie Davis' character looks and feels a lot like the one played by Sam Worthington in Terminator: Salvation. While the movie is presented as a sequel, the many new elements make it feel like another reboot that Cameron hopes will start a trilogy. 

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REWIND REVIEW: Aladdin

All the desired diversity in the world paled to who could possibly follow the late Robin Williams? The Genie is the ticket to more than just wishes when it comes to this reboot’s success. That laborious task was given to Will Smith. Folks, he is a hot, baking sun of swagger! Will has not been this loose and free since Men in Black 3 seven years ago. Aladdin reminds us how much of a consummate showman the 50-year-old is and always has been. Will has a style, energy, and stage presence all his own, and he saves this entire movie from sandy ruin.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Official Secrets

Most cinematic eras have their overuse of dramatic varnish in historical retellings as a means of painted shine for grabbing attention and producing supposedly heightened value. This writer will always contend that if a chosen story needs too much of that glitz, where it cannot compel or entertain with its own facts, it should not be made into a movie in the first place. Gavin Hood’s Official Secrets gives righteous treatment to such a worthy story and builds a stoic thriller by layering its merits with an eye for accuracy.

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GUEST EDITORIAL: 8 Great Films about Writers and the Writing Lifestyle

If you’re a writer, then you probably watch movies in a slightly different way than the average person. You can appreciate all the joys and pains that go into putting together a piece of writing worthy of becoming a film. There’s something fascinating about a film based around the life of a writer and the writing process. These films can give you some incredible insight into the mind of a writer and what it’s like to pour your life and energy out onto the page. These eight films all give a unique perspective into the life of a writer.

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GUEST EDITORIAL: 7 Practical Tips to Start Movie Review Writing as a College Student

Finding an interesting writing job that won’t take up too much of your time while you’re still a student is a great way to both earn and get some writing experience. If you’re thinking about starting to write movie reviews, it is a really great idea. Watching a lot of films and sharing your personal opinions about them: What’s not to love? If you want to learn more about how to begin, which aspects you need to pay attention to, and where to find websites you can write for, you have come to the right place. Here is everything you need to know.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on August 26, 2019

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What is the best movie of this summer?

To end the month, David Ehrlich went for the season-ending trophy designation. He called upon us writers, podcasters, and more to tell us which film was the best of the summer. Personally, I think it was a substandard and lemon-filled summer comapred to years past. Redemption came in the form is several late-breaking exemplars that landed in July and early August. I repped one of those little guys as my pick for this week.

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SHORT FILM REVIEW: A Sisterhood of Signatures

One does not need millions of dollars to create an expression of personal passion. They need patience to see their vision through, a dedication to the project shared all involved, and the courage to put their work and themselves out there. Filmmaker Okema “Seven” Gunn harnessed all three of those values to make her short film A Sisterhood of Signatures and put them right back into the finished piece. She will proudly display her effort alongside the works of her inspirations and contemporaries as part of Chicago’s 25th Black Harvest Film Festival hosted by the Gene Siskel Film Center.

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EVENT: Special 90th anniversary festivities for the Music Box Theatre

Chicago’s famed Music Box Theatre, located near Wrigley Field in the Lakeview neighborhood, is nearly as old as its nearby ballpark neighbor. The historic venue opened its curtains on August 22, 1929 as the city’s first dedicated “talkie house.” The Southport Avenue gem is celebrating its 90th birthday this week with a special slate of outstanding programming that highlights both the rich history of film and the charm of the theater. Saying there’s something for everyone, from the casual fan to devout cinephile, would be an understatement. Follow the embedded links in this article for information and tickets.

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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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