OVERDUE REVIEW: Mary Poppins Returns

Mary Poppins Returns is the cinematic equivalent of a very pleasant British greeting. The film is completely courteous and undoubtedly well-meaning. It presents itself with manicured poise and a dress-to-impress sense of style. It aims to please and presents the proper success. The movie makes kind contact and bows nicely before you. Mary Poppins Returns is the nicest hat-tip possible, but then is gone as soon as it arrived. It’s merely a grand gesture and not more than that.

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One’s communal theater experience and entertainment value is addictively fed and your mind will race afterword, preserving the impact for even more internalization, compartmentalization, and surprise. That said, what do these lessons and all of this in Us mean? If the details do not expand the buzz of the mindf — k at hand, nothing will. Keep Peele’s targeted purpose in mind when you dig into Us for what you can extract. Open your perceptions and hold your s — t together.

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There are about three levels of “how in the hell did they do that?” that come from watching the sterling documentary Apollo 11. That exasperating and jaw-dropping question comes out often when we watch fantastical cinematic tales of fiction. But it’s different with Apollo 11 because of the non-fiction nature. Dozens of brilliant-yet-unassuming scientists, engineers, and specialists poured their lives and livelihoods into this mission and the entire program. In their honor, the documentary team led by director/producer/editor Todd Douglas Miller, have now echoed that monumental achievement with an artistic one of their own.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on March 18, 2019

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What is the best documentary about the American political system?

Documentaries are not my strong suit. I’m a big An Inconvenient Truth mark, but I wouldn’t call that a documentary about the American political system just because of the presence and olive branch policies of former Vice President Al Gore. Ava DuVernay’s 13th also has scope beyond the business and posturing of D.C., but the political threads run farther and deeper, making it my worthy pick this week.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Finding Steve McQueen

Finding Steve McQueen carries the boasting superlatives of the detailing the “largest bank heist in U.S. history” and, according to director Mark Steven Johnson, one of “the greatest stories never told.” Don’t expect a film of that kind of scope and size. This is a big crime orchestrated by small people who think they are bigger than they really are. The year is 1972 and the illegal act is the United California Bank Robbery.

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The new animated family flick Wonder Park offers an imagined world of roller coasters and amusement built with as much love as they are creative engineering. The principles of STEM support the cinematic chain lift hills before the drops take audiences through inversions and turns of family feels. Like the railed, ridden inventions it depicts, Wonder Park has clever ideas and solid foundations, but too many trim brakes, suspensions, bumps, dead spots, and other hits of filmed friction slow the glee and weaken the poignant pillars attempted.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on March 11, 2019

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Who is the greatest movie cat of all-time?

Eschewing the rest of the trollish buzz surrounding Captain Marvel, I really appreciated that David Ehrlich picked a lighter question this week. In honor of the scene-stealing “Goose” from that new Marvel entry, we critics were asked to elect a top feline. Honestly, it was hard not to just picked the marmalade-colored Flerken. It took a little soul-searching (and Google searching) to remind myself of the toilet-flusher himself.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: Guest on the "Kicking the Seat" podcast talking "Captain Marvel"

Not waiting for any S.H.I.E.L.D. clearance of sign from Thanos, Kicking the Seat’s Ian Simmons convened the “comic council” of film critics for the new Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson. Our Skype-tied dais puts their cosmic, warped, and warped cosmic thoughts on the record. Enjoy myself, Ian, David Fowlie of Keeping it Reel, and Emmanuel Noisette of Eman's Movie Reviews as we celebrate and critique the latest Marvel dynamo.. Enjoy our extremely entertaining back-and-forth chat!

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EDITORIAL: The top martial art movies of all-time

If energy and entertainment entice you, you must watch martial art films!  There are just a few things in the world which are as delectably enjoyable as this type of movies. When you can turn most on halfway through while watching martial art movies, you will still be glued to your seat. Chances are there, you will coast along with the plot while eagerly expecting the next action scene. If you’ve not watched such a movie for a while, make a move soon. Above that, you can buy the DVDs that you want at an affordable price.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on March 4, 2019

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Who is the best villain so far this century?

Gosh, this one was a hard one. For every obvious Heath Ledger Joker from The Dark Knight or Javier Bardem’s Anton Chigurh from No Country For Old Men, you could site anything Philip Seymour Hoffman in from Mission: Impossible III to Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls and still land on a good pick. I emphasized the dastardly and went smaller with J.K. Simmons’ Oscar-winning antagonist from the masterful Whiplash.

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

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Who should play James Bond after Daniel Craig is done?

Between Connery, Moore, Dalton, and especially Brosnan, I credit my mother for making me a James Bond fan. Though the Mission: Impossible franchise is on quite a run, I still consider Ian Fleming’s character king of the spy game. With Daniel Craig north of 50 and rumored to be done, the decadent tuxedo will be open to a new actor soon. I think I know just the guy and it’s an eclectic choice.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on February 18, 2019

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What is one silver lining of this year's awards season, and why?

The 2018-2019 awards season has been a contentious and challenging up-and-down chore. Unpredictable one moment and inflexible the next, it was hard to find what David Ehrlich was looking for. Then I remembered the stature and history of Spike Lee and what a win for him would mean. I found my answer right there.

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CHECKLIST: 20 films to watch for the 2020 Oscars

In what has become an annual Monday morning Oscar hangover, this website looks down the calendar and into the crystal ball to prognosticate which 2019 films could be contenders for the 92nd Academy Awards in 2020.  Gosh, that year sounds like the absolute future.  No sooner than the sun rises and coffee pots turn on, the next Oscar season starts now!  Here’s your seventh year of advance scouting courtesy of Every Movie Has a Lesson. Release dates are listed if known.

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SPECIAL: Final 2019 Awards Tracker and Oscar Reactions

Welcome to conclusion of my eighth year of Every Movie Has a Lesson's "Awards Tracker."  My goal every year is simple: Help each and every one of you win your Oscar pools. I don’t know about you, but I got smoked with a 14-10 spread last night across the 24 categories, easily my lowest score in these eight years. Time to get back in the saddle next year.

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MOVIE REVIEW: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

One of the most exceptional qualities of the How to Train Your Dragon films are their undaunted sense of encouragement. Too many animated film entries targeted to kids are dominated by crass and crude humor. We may laugh, but we don’t grow. This hit franchise always achieves the latter in splendid fashion. Through its motivating attitude, rich pathos, and indomitable spirit, the final chapter of How to Train Your Dragon celebrates the substance that has made this series triumph.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Fighting with My Family

The new film Fighting with My Family drops the perfect gem of a “soap opera in spandex” and has characters describe themselves as “riddled with wrestling” like an addiction. The fitting melodrama is as ripped as the muscles being flexed. Stephen Merchant’s film borrows and mashes together two tried-and-true movie formulas to tell a very engaging true story of one of their superstars, Sariya-Jade Bevis, better known as Paige.

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CHECKLIST: Full predictions for the 91st Academy Awards

These aren’t my personal choices of what “should” win. It’s what I think “will” win because you and I have got Oscar pools to dominate! Here are my complete and official predictions for the 91st Academy Awards. Feel free to use this as your cut-to-the-chase checklist and cheat sheet of choice!

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