Posts in 2019
MEDIA APPEARANCE: Guest on the "You'll Probably Agree" podcast talking "The Lion King" and Disney's future

Mike Crowley of the steaming-ahead “You’ll Probably Agree” brand welcomed yours truly back on the podcast microphone again, this time to talk about The Lion King. Neither one of our childhoods were married to the 1994 original, but we recognize its greatness while questioning and critiquing the new Jon Favreau visual achievement. Mike and I gaze ahead into the Disney crystal ball and wonder where they are heading with these reimaginings that border on creative bankruptcy. Fire up the audio! Give the show episode a listen, his YouTube channel a new subscriber, his Facebook page a like, and his Twitter a follow!

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GUEST EDITORIAL: The Relevance of "Fight Club"

In the last twenty years, however, it’s become something of a cult classic, and many have tried to dissect what the film actually means. To me, it’s mainly a satire on the American consumerist lifestyle, the prevalence of advertising, and masculinity. Some see it as a very political film, throwing around words such as “Marxism” or “propaganda.” To others, it’s about spirituality. Everyone has their own take on Fight Club. Personally, I think it’s some kind of combination of all of these ideas, and I’m dedicating the rest of this article to explaining why I believe that Fight Club has inadvertently become much more relevant now than it was in 1999. 

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Lion King

Jon Favreau’s The Lion King stands as the biggest test to all of that progress and the attached criticism because of how little beyond the pristinely pixelated exterior is actually “reimagined.” So incredibly and, dare I say, unnecessarily much is nearly a shot-for-shot duplication of Disney’s most popular and most successful film of their Renaissance era. To go back to Dumbo, duplicated enjoyment may have been the goal, but that makes one question a tangible purpose for truly needing any such update. Luckily, the shininess, so to speak, is an undeniably impressive redeeming feature to a lack of implemented originality.

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SHORT FILM REVIEW: A Bad Feeling

Star Wars fans will quickly have their sensors triggered when they note the title of this short film from Charlotte Barrett and Sean Fallon. It is a nod to a running gag that is said as often in Star Wars films as the classic line “May the Force be with you.” The phrase alludes to a character’s audible dread and the heebie-jeebies warning of something awful, visible or invisible, on their horizon. The characters in those movie moments say it and mean it. In A Bad Feeling, the husband and wife central figures know their trouble, entirely feel it, but don’t announce their fears when they should.

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GUEST EDITORIAL: How filmmaking companies make money

We all love to watch films and feel as if we’re the part of movie-making art. And every time we go to the cinema we try to imagine what stands behind all these scenes and how the magic is done. Well, only film-makers know these secrets but we definitely know that they cost a lot of money. Movie production companies know that you won’t cover all the expenses with the help of ticket revenue. Filmmaking doesn’t only include the involvement of celebrities, cameramen, and other staff but also development, production, promotion, etc. So, let’s find out how people make money in this industry.

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INFOGRAPHIC: Vacation destinations that are out of this world

Every town and city in the world employ various strategies to attract tourists to helps boost the local economy. If certain towns were lucky enough to be the backdrop of some of the most famous TV shows and movies, it’s only natural for the city councils to capitalize on the recent trend of tourists visiting set locations based on their favorite shows. Alpharooms, an online travel booking agent, has created travel brochures for FOUR of the most iconic TV and movie locations so fans can immerse themselves into these ‘out of this world’ holiday destinations browsing.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Extra Innings

The expression “heart in the right place” is normally used as a smallish complement to counteract some obvious flaw or as a baseline pleasantry when something does not achieve its goal fully. Albert Dabah’s intensely personal independent film Extra Innings carries that expression with neither of those dismissive caveats. Its heart is indeed in the right place, with that position being right next to its soul. That soul is wearing cleats, a ball cap, a weathered glove, and a stirrup-ed uniform patrolling the grasses of center field on a baseball diamond on a sunny summer day.

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INFOGRAPHIC: America's most popular Pixar movies by state

A generation has grown up with Pixar, starting with Toy Story way back in 1995. Now that Toy Story 4 is upon us, it’s safe to assume that Buzz Lightyear wasn’t kidding about taking it “To infinity . . . and beyond!” In celebration of the June 21 release of Toy Story 4, we toyed around with Google Trends to determine the most popular Pixar movie in each state. Let’s see what everyone ages three and up has been searching for in the Pixar world this year.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on July 8, 2019

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: What is the best ever horror performance and how did it leverage the genre to accomplish something that might not have been possible in a more grounded type of film?

Horror is not my cup of tea, coffee, cocktail, or even water, and I didn’t see Midsommar which inspired this week’s survey question, but I have dipped my toe in enough good and classic horror to pick out a great performance or two. I’ve seen no one unravel under the fictional stresses better than Mia Farrow in Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby.

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DOCUMENTARY REVIEW: Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable

The light produced by this documentary matches the inspirational shine of the subject herself. Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable is an admirable and impressive chronicle of its sunlit sporting world of “calculated chaos.” Over and over, with every step she takes forward as a woman and as a competitor, Bethany Hamilton remains undefined by the famous shark attack incident that claimed her left arm. Instead, her actions and stature make her the pillar very worth celebrating.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: Guest on the "Kicking the Seat" podcast talking "Spider-Man: Far From Home"

Ian Simmons of the Kicking the Seat podcast leads what has come to be lovingly called “Earth’s Mightiest Critics” to explore another big and loud comic book movie. Matching the fireworks of the holiday, Spider-Man: Far From Home was the entertainment coming off the grill to the picnic table for our talk. As always, Ian, David Fowlie of Keeping It Reel and Emmanuel Noisette of E-Man’s Movie Reviews, and myself bounce the ideas. Us unqualified old men are joined by a special guest from the target demographic, David’s teenage daughter Grace. This was a very fun and long show for all of us! Give Kicking the Seat, a subscribe, follow, and a listen:

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MOVIE REVIEW: Wild Rose

Tattooed on the right forearm of Jessie Buckley’s Rose-Lynn Harlan character from Tom Harper’s Wild Rose is the phrase “three chords and the truth.” It is an homage (and clear naming inspiration) to the quintessential description and motto of country music coined by 1950s era songwriter Harlan Howard. In spite of that mainstream majority, we’ve got a girl from Glasgow, Scotland behind bars with those historic words permanently etched into her skin. Foreign soil be damned, the honesty and harmony of hardscrabble is alive and well in Wild Rose. Shouts of anger and tirades of tears fuel the fights and the vocals churning from Jessie Buckley in what will stand as one of the finest performances of the year.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: Guest on the "You'll Probably Agree" podcast talking "Toy Story 4" and 1989's "Batman"

Let me be either the first or the next person to tell you how cool it is to talk to Mike Crowley about movies. Mike has recently revamped his “You’ll Probably Agree” brand and platform to include written and podcast content to go with his videos. This past week, Mike wanted to share a podcast discussion on Toy Story 4, especially with our differing takes between his positive one and my internet-reviled “rotten” tag. We also went from one box of toys to another to reminisce about the 30th anniversary of Tim Burton’s classic Batman. This was a damn good time with a damn good dude!

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: Every Movie Has a Lesson mentioned on ComicBook.com!

In the spirit of any press counting as good press, Every Movie Has a Lesson was mentioned in a news piece on ComicBook.com recently as one of the first and few Rotten Tomatoes-approved critics to give Toy Story 4 a negative or “rotten” review,. Cameron Bolomolo was reporting on the first wave of negative reviews hitting the Toy Story 4 Tomatometer, spoiling a 100% rating. Dubious as some might find it, it was still an honor to be noticed and mentioned respectfully.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Yesterday

t takes quite a unique movie, dare I say even a special one, to take an absolutely preposterous concept and make it wholeheartedly joyful with extra whimsy. Know ahead that it is pure farce and fantasy, right there with something like Penny Marshall’s Big. Brush off the eye-rolling salt and you will find beaming smiles of sugar. That is the kind of serendipitous territory this movie zips through for the love letter of love letters to great music and the connecting pop culture we cherish.

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CAPSULE REVIEWS: Feature films of the first ever Rom Com Fest

Founded by entrepreneur and romantic comedy connoisseur Miraya Berke, the goal is celebrating the joy to be had and the art on display in this undervalued film genre. I think this is a smashing idea for a festival and I jumped at the chance to offer some remote coverage for its five-film competition slate. Compiled below are my capsule reviews for the movies I viewed in order from highest to lowest recommendation:

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on June 25, 2019

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: With 2019 almost half-over, what is the best movie performance of the year so far?

With June soon swooning to July, critics will start making their halfway and “so far” lists of films and performances. David Ehrlich put performances on the table to measure for this week’s survey and an outstanding list was built. I love the selection of Lupita Nyong’o from Us. She would be my 1A choice, but I was wowed this weekend by Ann Lupo in a little movie call In Reality which just won the top award of the debut Rom Com Fest in Los Angeles. Give this week’s survey a look.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: Guest on the "Kicking the Seat" podcast talking "Toy Story 4"

It with Ian Simmons of the Kicking the Seat podcast where I no longer feel like an island after watching and review Toy Story 4. He and I sat next to each other at the screening and both shared a great deal of chagrin afterwards. We put that together for his latest podcast episode against the positive interventions of David Fowlie of Keeping It Reel and Emmanuel Noisette of E-Man’s Movie Reviews. In addition to talking out the highs and lows of the movie, I was invited to share my experience this past week of being one of the extremely few “Rotten” Rotten Tomatoes reviews for Toy Story 4. Great conversations here for my 20th appearance on Ian’s fine sh Give it a listen!

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