Posts tagged St. Vincent
MOVIE REVIEW: The Book of Henry

Grant Focus Features, director Colin Trevorrow, and debuting feature writer Gregg Hurwitz all the balls in the world for putting out a movie this daringly original during the summer marketplace.  Ambition notwithstanding, the extreme tonal shifts, while effective at keeping you invested in The Book of Henry to see what happens next, only half work in totality.

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MOVIE CLASSROOM: Updated archive on YouTube channel

In returning to my "Movie Classroom" series of interactive whiteboard video reviews with new vigor, new skills, and new tools, I wanted to bring back and upload my old video attempts to my Every Movie Has a Lesson YouTube channel.  In a massive file drop, I recently uploaded 29 of my past Movie Classroom videos from 2014, including winners like Whiplash and Birdman.  Head over and reminisce on some fine films and commentary by yours truly.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Hidden Figures

With a family-friendly PG rating, “Hidden Figures” becomes an instant must-see film for both classrooms and living rooms.  Boy or girl, man or woman, black or white, any audience member who has ever marveled at the Space Age of our national history will find much to love in Theodore Melfi’s follow-up to “St. Vincent” adapted from Margot Lee Shetterly’s nonfiction book.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Pete's Dragon

Blooming out of a cradle of artistic and narrative perseverance, it is clear a philosophy of great care and pleasant patience was given to “Pete’s Dragon” by Lowery and company.  The film enhances the magical charm audiences remember from the original with newly gained maturity to operate as a loving family drama and touching adventure of friendship.  It is a welcome and calming addition of heft painted by that superb idyllic tone.  The wonderment never overplays its moments.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Midnight Special

In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the adjective form of "special" can be defined as "held in particular esteem" and "readily distinguishable from others in the same category."  For a film to earn that distinction it has to do more than have the word in its title, as is the case with the Jeff Nichols film "Midnight Special."  It has to possess exemplary qualities to revere that enable it to stand out from its peers.  As one of the most striking, imposing, and spell-binding original science fiction films in recent memory, "special" is fitting trademark for "Midnight Special."

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Confirmation

If we were to play Word Association and you were given the name Clive Owen, what would you say?  The lucky astute of us who have followed Clive since 1998's "Croupier" have seen him play brash and gruff villains, antiheroes, and leading men.  As of the new film "The Confirmation," you have very likely never seen him play a domestic father.  Now, north of 50 years old, here's Clive Owen in a role that doesn't require, nor utilize, any of the sexy traits that made him a James Bond candidate before Daniel Craig.

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COLUMN: The 10 Best Films of 2014

Getting into the numbers, I reviewed twenty four-star films and twelve five-star gems.  That means my final "10 Best" list are all champs with two that had to be bumped to lead the next ten.  From there, my four-star reviews were ranked from 12-20 and then honorable mention.  In keeping with the hook of my website, each of my "10 Best" are presented with their best life lesson and linked full reviews.  Enjoy! 

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MOVIE REVIEW: St. Vincent

 Bill Murray, at his age and at this end of his career reinvention as a serious actor over the last two decades, has reached the point where he is unarguably great in everything he touches, right down to silly cameos and web videos.  In his new film, “St. Vincent” his powers of talent and charm have merged and reached a new peak.

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COLUMN: Must-see films for the 50th Chicago International Film Festival

While the festival doesn't boast anywhere near the amount of red carpet headliners found at Toronto or New York's film festivals, there are still several worthy films coming to Chicago for the first time in advance of their theatrical release and the year-end Oscar and awards season.  This very writer has acquired press credentials through Examiner.com to cover this year's event and here is a list of the must-see films from the festival's schedule.

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COLUMN: 50th Chicago International Film Festival special events

Since starting in 1965, the Chicago International Film Festival has operated as the country's oldest competitive international film festival.  Following "Miss Julie" and the Opening Night Gala, two films will be featured as the Festival Centerpieces.  Both films will screened on Wednesday, October 15th. Over the course of the two and a half weeks that follow, over 300 more films and events will take place primarily at the AMC River East 21 theater on 322 East Illinois Street.  Best of all, this whole extravaganza is open to the public.  For this watershed anniversary, several special presentations are planned.

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COLUMN: 2014 Fall Movie Preview

Traditionally, the months of September and October are the dumping grounds of movies that weren't good enough or too dark to be summer releases or films not quite good enough to be held until the prime awards season during the winter months of November and December.  Every now and then, though, a future Academy Award winner sneaks into early into the Oscar race with an October release.  Here is my full preview of the 2014 fall movie season.  I hope I can steer you to a few hidden gems before the real big-timers get here in November and December. 

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CHECKLIST: 2014 Fall Movie Calendar

Now that September is here, the summer movie season is officially over and we shift girls to the fall movie season.  Here's a handy checklist and calendar of upcoming releases for September and October.  Bookmark this, print this out, or slap it on the fridge as your new must-see list.  My full 2014 Fall Movie Preview will be dropping soon.

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COLUMN: 2014 Spring Movie Preview

This year's slate of spring releases offers a pretty eclectic menu of choices, especially compared to the winter, and even a few blockbusters that want to beat the summer big boys to the punch of box office dollars.  Here's my final breakdown of this spring's upcoming releases to enjoy. 

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CHECKLIST: 2014 Spring Movie Calendar

Here's a bare-bones calendar checklist of the upcoming movies hitting theaters for the months of March and April of 2014.  Print this out and slap it on the refrigerator.  Be sure to check ahead as release dates shift all the time.  A full seasonal preview is coming soon!

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