Posts in 2019
MOVIE REVIEW: Aladdin

Disney and Sherlock Holmes series director Guy Ritchie aimed admirably with an “ambitious and non-traditional” take employing minority casting against whitewashing and colorism. Those skin-deep improvements are progressive, but who are we kidding? The color that mattered most was blue. All the desired diversity in the world paled to who could possibly follow the late Robin Williams? The Genie is the ticket to more than just wishes when it comes to this reboot’s success.

Read More
CAPSULE REVIEWS: Feature films of the 7th Chicago Critics Film Festival

The 7th Chicago Critics Film Festival began May 17th at the famed and restored Music Box Theatre.  Steaming towards a decade in successful existence, the CCFF remains the only film festival in the country curated by film critics. For the third year in a row, Every Movie Has a Lesson will be credentialed to cover this fine spread of movie offerings.  Ranked in order of recommendation, here are my capsule reviews. Full pieces coming later when the respective films have their proper release:

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

War set to a rate-of-fire beat of melee lead and breaking bones is indeed what you’re getting with John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum. Springboarding from its increasing success, one could say the movie stylishly assaults your senses with its own creative focus, commitment, and will behind the camera to match the stoic Keanu Reeves protagonist in front if it. Swelling enough from its redundancies, this symphony of gunpowder and gumption will satiate your summer thrills just fine.

Read More
MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on May 13, 2019

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What is the best Keanu Reeves performance and how does it speak to his unique persona?

With the third John Wick film dropping this week, the question was an easy softball matching the film’s star. Keanu Reeves has had one interesting and steady career. The peaks are far spaced between his breakout with Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Speed, The Matrix, and John Wick, but he’s as steady as they come. I went with the dark and seedy stuff that made him break his deadpan persona for my survey pick. Second place would have been the little-seen The Watcher where Reeves plays an enigmatic serial killer.

Read More
MEDIA APPEARANCE: Participant in "World of Reel" Critics Poll for Best Films of the 2010s

As I grow with press credentials and professional affiliation locally and nationally, I find myself more and more landing and conversing in circles with other film critics of various levels. Much like the David Ehrlich survey I participate in, I answered an open social media call from Jordan Ruimy of World of Reel. He is a fellow Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic who also has contributed to The Young Folks, The Playlist, We Got This Covered, and The Film Stage. His poll was to collect the Top 5 films of the 2010s from critics and other industry folk. I was honored to chime in with my quintet.

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: Still Human

Those lines are a screenwriter’s dream of created sentiment. As doubtlessly as it could sting a nose on its directness, the moment squeezes tear ducts easily too. In this case, the sincerity is earned by Still Human’s meaningful journey and the dedicated performances of the leads. Director Oliver Siu Kuen Chan’s debut feature is the epitome of the genuinely genteel washing crassness away. The spirit-affirming foreign entry debuts locally in Chicago for a run at the Gene Siskel Film Center starting on May 13th.

Read More
SPECIAL: Previewing the 7th Chicago Critics Film Festival

For the seventh consecutive year, many of the best domestic and international films on the festival circuit come to Chicago thanks to the Chicago Film Critics Association. The 7th Chicago Critics Film Festival opens May 17th at the famed and restored Music Box Theatre in the northside Lakeview neighborhood. Steaming towards a decade in successful existence, the CCFF remains the only film festival curated by film critics in the nation. This year, 25 feature films and two short film programs comprise their rich and ambitious offering slate

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: Clara

Citing genuine and actionable science, Clara builds heady inquiry for the voluminous and important research of its depicted discipline. Its sense of intelligence intertwines with the unpredictability found in the amorous reverberations of the human heart. This combination creates an intimate and daring film experience that enraptures as easily and as powerfully as it fascinates.

Read More
MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on April 29, 2019

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What major filmmaker should try their hand at television?

Full admission, I don’t little to zero current TV. I’m a long-time cord-cutter and I’ll occasionally binge a show with my wife on Hulu or Netflix. Still, the list of buzz-worthy shows I haven’t seen during this 21st century evolution of the medium that keep water coolers thriving is ridiculously long. However, my eye for the movies can pick out a good creative mind. A little research on Google revealed many prime director names who’ve had their moonlighting projects on television, much to my surprise. After a few nominees, I found my stylish pick.

Read More
DOCUMENTARY REVIEW: Penguins

Penguins represents the combined work of over a dozen cinematographers documenting the miraculous and treacherous annual life cycle of the Adelie penguins of Antarctica. The two directors sought to give this circle of life character. That’s where the affable Ed Helms comes in as a narrator. He provides color commentary as “Steve,” one such Adelie penguin who is a first-time father for this annual journey. High and low, dry and wet, close and far, and through every blizzard in between, Penguins presents this apprehensive newbie with education and entertainment combined together.

Read More
SHORT FILM REVIEW: Trained

The opening scene of filmmaker Yuri Rutman’s spare yet sizzling short film tantalizingly begs many questions. What kind of couple are we witnessing? What triggers provoke this passion? A montage follows to show that this wild escapade is not the first time the hearts and loins of these two people have been electrified around the rails of public transportation. This is Jake and Emma, and they are tragically intoxicated by two different things at the expense of each other.

Read More
MEDIA APPEARANCE: Guest on the "Kicking the Seat" podcast talking "Avengers: Endgame"

Folks, this was the big one! Immediately after the hush-hush advance press screening of Avengers: Endgame, Ian Simmons of Kicking the Seat called for the “comic council” of film critics to assemble. True to our loyal form, David Fowlie of Keeping it Reel and myself started spoiler-free and then expanded to full spoilers on our fresh and immediate reactions on the big MCU finale. Mere minutes after the epic film’s conclusion, the three of us exhaled for a very spirited conversation.

Read More
EDITORIAL: Underrated Sci-Fi Movies to Watch on a Date

 Movies are the best way to spend your date: it's a safe bet; it's always a comfortable choice because you can choose to be intimate and kiss throughout the film or pretend «interested» if you don't feel that comfortable with a new date. But these movies will definitely fascinate you so much that you wouldn't want to take a break and grab another portion of popcorn without pausing the movie. Also, it is a list of most awesome and most underrated films that might not be a huge success in Hollywood but earned many rewards and niche critic's positive reviews.

Read More
EDITORIAL: Most Influential Movies for Bodybuilders

Bodybuilding is no longer a hobby like it used to be. Many people are now involved in bodybuilding as a career and even employ personal managers. This means that this physical activity has devolved a lot over time. If you want to start this career today, staying motivated is the first step that you need to take. Some movies that revolve around weight lifting and bodybuilding will probably do the magic. The list we have prepared below has the top ten most influential movies for bodybuilders. In fact, it is crucial for both novices and experienced bodybuilders to watch these movies. Read on to learn more.

Read More
EDITORIAL: Best casino movies of all-time

Hollywood has a huge fascination with gambling. They keep creating movies which reveal the dark and hidden side of the casino lifestyle, or tells tale of strategic card counting. Here are top 5 movies of all time. There are numerous casinos around the globe with free slot machines, which provide opportunities to the players to participate in the gambling free of cost. The casino movies show the unknown side of this industry which is generally unknown to the common crowd.

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: Avengers: Endgame

Reeling in the wake of the perfect set-up of Avengers: Infinity War and answering every ounce of hype, Avengers: Endgame has accomplished following the moviemaking miracle of 2012’s first team-up film with another. All of the prodigious forethought and fortitude has paid off. Avengers: Endgame is not a pivot point, but a grand finale eleven years in the making. True to the blueprint, it is hard to imagine a more gratifying and rewarding summit.

Read More
MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on April 22, 2019

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: How do you think the legacy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will impact the movie world?

Boy, this was a rough survey collection. The majority of participants this week have more negative responses and rationales than positive ones when it comes to talking about the lasting impact of the MCU. I’m unashamed and proud to try and be one of the more positive replies. Is it part of a big corporate greed monster? Maybe, but I cannot deny how it’s become a huge and influential success.

Read More
MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on April 15, 2019

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What’s the most beautifully animated film ever made?

Much to my surprise, I was the only participating critic in this week’s survey to cite a Disney movie, and a classic one at that. As you’ll read in my contribution, I can’t get over the depth from the backdrops in Sleeping Beauty. I do love that Loving Vincent inclusion. That very much in the running for this vote.

Read More