MOVIE REVIEW: Glass

Injections of high interest and good graces were attempted by attaching the hope of the present to an old hit of the past. The big Unbreakable reveal that elevated the otherwise uneven Split is wasted in miscalculations to the point where Glass can be weaken a portion of that first film’s favor. The monotony replacing ambition pushes viewers to be ready for washed-out despondency.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: Guest on the "CinemaJaw" podcast #405

This past week, I was honored to be a guest on the CinemaJaw podcast, hosted by fellow Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle members Matt Kubinski and Ryan Jagiello. After being on their show in the spring of 2017, this was my first venture into their new recording setting at the nerdily lavish and swanky headquarters of Cards Against Humanity. CinemaJaw remains one of the best and entertaining movie podcasts in this or any city. Give their work a like and a follow!

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on January 14, 2019

Notable and notorious IndieWire film critic David Ehrlich recently put out a social media call for film critic peers to join a weekly survey to discuss movie topics, answer questions, and highlight their work.  Representing Every Movie Has a Lesson, I, along with over 50 other emerging and established film critics including some of my fellow Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle members, accepted the invitation to participate.  I'm honored by the opportunity, and I hope my responses are chosen each week.  

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on January 7, 2019

Notable and notorious IndieWire film critic David Ehrlich recently put out a social media call for film critic peers to join a weekly survey to discuss movie topics, answer questions, and highlight their work.  Representing Every Movie Has a Lesson, I, along with over 50 other emerging and established film critics including some of my fellow Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle members, accepted the invitation to participate.  I'm honored by the opportunity, and I hope my responses are chosen each week.  

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MOVIE REVIEW: Stan & Ollie

Steven Coogan and John C. Reilly offer meticulous and mirror-like stage perfection. Their movements, cadences, and pliable statures stir light shenanigans and incalculable charm, just the like the genial historical figures. The winsome and touching delights spreading from the remembrances and respect found here in Stan & Ollie make for amiable and meaningful engagement. This one is a true treat.

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SPECIAL: See “Roma” in 70mm this week at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre

Chicago’s 90-year-old premiere arthouse venue will be exclusively presenting Alfonso Cuaron’s highly regarded Oscar contender Roma in widescreen 70mm. The Spanish-language film from Mexico will play on their main screen over the course of five days and fifteen showings between Wednesday, January 9th and Sunday the 13th. Tickets for Roma are $15 ($12 for Music Box members) and available now at their box office or online.

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COLUMN: Who should win/will win the 2019 Golden Globe film awards?

The 76th annual Golden Globe Awards are this Sunday. This film critic has shuffled the cards and read the tea leaves to lay down some confident (or maybe sure-to-go-wrong) picks of who should win the movie award categories and who will actually be hearing their name and walking to the stage as the true winners. Enjoy and come back Sunday to keep score!

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COLUMN: New Year's Resolutions for the Movie Industry for 2019

Plenty of regular everyday people make New Year's Resolutions, but I think bigger entities, namely movie makers and movie moguls, need to make them too.  Annually, including this eighth edition, have fun taking the movie industry to task for things they need to change. As always, some resolutions come true while others get mentioned and reiterated every year. Enjoy this year’s hopes and dreams.

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20 YEAR RETROSPECTIVE: The best of the rest of 1998

Alright, I’ve spelled out my absolute “10 best” from 1998 in the previous post.  It’s time to take the press badge off and get casual.  Here are more categories of distinction and remembrance from 1998. Guess what? You still don’t see The Thin Red Line.  That’s too bad.  In the completely opposite direction, I was so very close to putting Wild Things in my Top 10 for 1998. Read on for more!

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20 YEAR RETROSPECTIVE: The 10 Best Films of 1998

In an annual series, Every Movie Has a Lesson is going to look back twenty years to revisit, relearn, and reexamine a year of cinema history to share favorites, lists, and experiences from the films of that year. When measuring back as far as twenty years or more, I feel like “favorites” that have stood the test of time have aged to become some level of “best.” I feel like a bunch of those populate my reflective look back at the best of 1998.

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DOCUMENTARY REVIEW: They Shall Not Grow Old

Free of labels and talking heads and clean in ambiguous anonymity, They Shall Not Grow Old is entirely composed of footage and voiceovers restored and transformed by current production technology. The documentary takes viewers through the enlisted man’s journey through the Great War from sign-up to homecoming in vibrant color and 3D, a theatrical event (presented by good people at Fathom Events) like no other you will find this year.

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GUEST CRITIC #29: Leon: The Professional

As busy I get from time to time, I find that I can't see every movie under the sun, leaving my friends and colleagues to fill in the blanks for me.  As poetically as I think I wax about movies on this website as a wannabe critic, there are other experts out there.  Sometimes, it inspires me to see the movie too and get back to being my circle's go-to movie guy.  In a new review series, I'm opening my site to friend submissions for guest movie reviews. Today, meet fan and follower of the page Farnaz Nazari

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on December 24, 2018

Notable and notorious IndieWire film critic David Ehrlich recently put out a social media call for film critic peers to join a weekly survey to discuss movie topics, answer questions, and highlight their work.  Representing Every Movie Has a Lesson, I, along with over 50 other emerging and established film critics including some of my fellow Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle members, accepted the invitation to participate.  I'm honored by the opportunity, and I hope my responses are chosen each week.  

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on December 17, 2018

Notable and notorious IndieWire film critic David Ehrlich recently put out a social media call for film critic peers to join a weekly survey to discuss movie topics, answer questions, and highlight their work.  Representing Every Movie Has a Lesson, I, along with over 50 other emerging and established film critics including some of my fellow Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle members, accepted the invitation to participate.  I'm honored by the opportunity, and I hope my responses are chosen each week.  

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MOVIE REVIEW: If Beale Street Could Talk

All of these sumptuous and strenuous sways are the work of Barry Jenkins taking James Baldwin’s lengthy and verbose prose and shaping it into a carefully honed narrative fit for the visual storytelling of the motion picture art form. The power of Baldwin is in his words, combinations of asides and absolutes with both bountiful and poignant descriptive details in between. Every adapted word from Jenkins telegraphs that gravity and projects these historical scenarios with towering relevance and parallels to present society.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Vice

With more dismissive scowls than joking winks, thinly veiled outrage outweighs the drink-clinking humor in Adam McKay’s film presenting a biography of one of the least favored men in American political history. Hazy in some moments, hasty in others, and always provocative, Vice is easily the most polarizing film of the year. The movie is not unlike Cheney’s own aim with a shotgun, hitting and missing plenty with occasional collateral damage.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Bumblebee

Plenty of loud-and-dumb still comes out of Bumblebee, but at least the pompous hubris and sophomoric fixations that fuel it are exchanged for those three missing elements of tone, character, and heart. The charming zeal of this revisionist prequel stands as the beacon signal to welcome back those who wrote this series off (including this very writer) years ago.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Aquaman

Bounding over land and sea across the oceanic globe, Aquaman is a bona fide comic book adventure with all the proper melodrama, pathos, heroics, and world-building amplified to a fantasy level of the highest order. James Wan’s crowd pleaser is a gushing rush of dazzling entertainment fully aware of its challenge to wash away decades of misplaced opinions and intentions. Enjoy bringing these action figures into a really big bathtub of flavored popcorn. For as fantastically cheesy as this movie is, its brassy and glossy pull is quite surprising.

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