Posts in Feelin' Film
EDITORIAL: Clarifying "subjective" versus "objective" in film criticism

The duel between objective and subjective is a gray area of thinking that doesn’t have a black-and-white answer of right or wrong.  It is more of a sliding scale between prudent and careless presentation of facts and opinions.  Too often lately, I hear or read people, both professional and amateur in background mind you, put the -ly ending on either of those two terms to create what they think is an adverb of defense to strengthen some silly descriptive point of “good” or “bad” they are trying to make about a movie.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: Minisode #55 Minisode podcast guest for "Feelin' Film" to review "A Private War"

A Private War takes Colvin’s words off the page and lets us experience just why her work was so important, making this one of 2018’s most essential films. In this special minisode, Feelin’ Film Aaron White interviews Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award winning director Matthew Heineman about his first narrative feature film, followed by a discussion with yours truly from Every Movie Has a Lesson.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: "Connecting With Classics" Episode 8: "Lawrence of Arabia"

Closing out the main summer months with the August pick of the Feelin' Film Podcast "Connecting With Classics" series, host Aaron White and I needed to carve out some serious committed time to absorb and appreciate the longest film ever to win the Best Picture Oscar.  That revered classic and victor is the 56-year-old Lawrence of Arabia from director David Lean and it has a lengthy resume of accolades, rankings, and awards    Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the definition of a true Hollywood epic.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: Minisode podcast guest for "Feelin' Film" to review "Searching"

If you follow my social media shingles, you know I can't stop and won't stop stumping for this film.  Searching is an incredible combination of innovative filmmaking, anxiety-inducing thrills, emotionally complex characters, and relevant commentary on the internet as both a danger and potential tool for good. Feelin' Film co-creator Aaron White and I were both floored by writer/director Aneesh Chaganty’s debut feature film and John Cho’s performance in it, so we sat down for a conversation about what makes the film so special.  Enjoy this excellent conversation with all the feels and kudos!

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: "Connecting With Classics" Episode 7: "Vertigo"

Aaron White and I have been circling Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo for months, ever since it officially celebrated its 60th anniversary on May 9th.  Next to Casablanca, it’s probably the highest regarded film “Connecting With Classics” will present in this series during this inaugural year of 2018.  We here dive into the AFI’s Top 100, but Vertigo sits atop "The 50 Greatest Films of Time" as voted on by the British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound magazine.  Ladies and gentlemen, they don’t get much better than this.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: Minisode podcast guest for "Feelin' Film" to review "Eighth Grade"

Host Aaron White of the Feelin' Film podcast brought me in for a chat about rookie director Bo Burnham’s new feature film Eighth Grade. The film is currently generating a lot of buzz and most everyone who has seen this darling indie has loved it - us included. You can count on it making our year-end list conversations.  Director/Writer Bo Burnham is most known for his stage comedy routines so humor was definitely a big part of the film, but it has an amazing amount of heart and life lessons (my favorite) for us to discuss, as well.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: "Connecting With Classics" Episode 6: "Bringing Up Baby"

The Feelin’ Film Podcast and Every Movie Has a Lesson go back a little further and a little sillier than than Jurassic Park and Jurassic World with the loosest movie interpretation of a paleontologist possible. 1938’s Bringing Up Baby, directed by Howard Hawks and starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, may not be scary but it is a classic screwball comedy with plenty to enjoy. Here’s our latest “Connecting With Classics!”

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: Minisode podcast guest for "Feelin' Film" to review "First Reformed"

Friend-of-the-page and always the supportive collaborator, Aaron White of the Feelin' Film podcast exited his advance screening of Paul Schrader's First Reformed in need of a therapy session to exhale and unpack the heavy film.  I had the same challenge.  Combining forces, we jump on the mic to talk through what we just saw. First Reformed hit us hard with its intellectually profound script regarding matters of faith and environmentalism, providing plenty of questions and few answers. One of the strengths of the film is its ability to be a powerful conversation-starter, and this episode is proof of that.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: "Connecting With Classics" Episode 5: "American Graffiti"

The stars align here at the end of May. Ron Howard’s new film Solo: A Star Wars Storyhits the big screen featuring a backstory of the iconic character made famous by Harrison Ford. The happenstance of Ron Howard treading into Harrison Ford’s territory led us to an American classic that turns 45 years old this year.  Hop in your car of choice, roll the windows down, turn your music up, and drive it slow as we talk American Graffiti.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: "Connecting With Classics" Episode #4: "Shane"

For this departing month of April, Aaron White of the Feelin' Film podcast are pleased to present you a conversation about 1953’s Shane, just in time for its 65th anniversary.  Newer or younger audiences may recognize this film as the allegorical pairing made in James Mangold’s Logan, but this classic western sits at #46 on the AFI Top 100 10th Anniversary list and #3 on the westerns list for good reasons.  

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DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM REVIEW: Donald in Mathmagic Land

Frees’s voiceover goal is to change Donald’s mind about math, to ruffle his feathers of antiquated ideas, false concepts, superstitions, confusion, and general bungling (all revealed in pseudo-analog-Inside Out fashion).  Whether the knowledge of these “boundless treasures of science” stick in his bird brain remains to be seen.  Spirited and pristinely stylish animation, dancing shapes, and moveable manipulatives fill the screen backed by music from Buddy Baker, a veteran of 26 Disney films of the era.  

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EDITORIAL: 2018 March Madness Movie Bracket Challenges

Everything nowadays gets scored and ranked against everything.  As an educator with accountability to assessment and achievement, I can respect that and gladly drink that Kool-Aid.  With the annual NCAA March Madness tournament going on in full swing, a pair of movie-themed brackets have been surfing the Facebook waves and I couldn't help but be intrigued.  One challenge is for the youthful casual fan and one is for the somewhat more serious cinephile.  

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: "Connecting With Classics" Episode #2: "Casablanca"

Here in Episode 2 of “Connecting With Classics”, Feelin' Film's Aaron White, guest host Josh Effengee from LSG Media’s Science Fiction Film Podcast, and myself celebrate Valentine’s Day by discussing a film that is considered one of the greatest love stories ever told. Casablanca checks in at #3, NUMBER THREE!, on the AFI Top 100 10th Anniversary list. This is definitely a beloved classic, my own #1 all-time favorite movie, and we have a great conversation about its quality as a film and all of the ways it has resonated with us emotionally.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: "Connecting with Classics" Episode #1: All the President's Men

Welcome, listeners new and old, to the FIRST episode of our new series “Connecting With Classics.” In this initial episode, Aaron and I discuss the #77 film on AFI’s Top 100 10th Anniversary list, and one which is closely connected to current new release The Post. If All the President’s Men isn’t the best journalism film ever made, it’s certainly in the conversation. Join us for some history, some lessons, and as always some emotional connection.

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SHORT FILM REVIEW: Message Received

The character of James in Message Received, played by David Chin, is a married man whose extramarital activities has been discovered by a mystery person.  His actions that follow in the taut 11-minute short demonstrate how desperation can make that downward cycle even more steep and slippery.  Things get worse instead of better and he has no one to blame but himself.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: "Feelin' Film" podcast minisode on "Detroit"

Kathryn Bigelow's new film Detroit deserves the attention and lightning rod attraction it hopes to receive.  Her historical drama is unrelenting in weight and topical in its parallels to similar and remaining mistreatment still happening today.  On the same night as seeing an advance screening, three critics got together to unpack and reaction to Detroit.  Aaron White, one of the hosts of the Feelin' Film Podcast, invited me and fellow Chicago critic Emmanuel Noisette of Eman's Movie Reviews to put our thoughts and feelings into words.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Menashe

Weinstein writes and directs what constitutes as a love letter to a culture, a community, and to the essence of fatherhood.  The lead’s personal plight is a compelling one done with grace and admiration for attaching the right layer of empathy.  It’s not overly heavy in any particular way, but Menashe carries enough honesty, enough will, and enough power to break any father’s heart.  There’s strength to be found in that.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: Guest on the "Feelin' Film" podcast for "Mr. Mom"

I had the honor and pleasure this past week to join a league of movie-loving dads talking about a true fathers' movie: 1983's Mr. Mom.  Host Patrick Hicks orchestrated myself and fellow regular Feelin' Film contributor Jeremy Calcara in a lively discussion covering the film, dad jokes, how our own upbringing informed our own parenting styles, our tremendous wives, and what makes this John Hughes film worth revisiting.

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