Posts in Column
SPECIAL: Third annual CIFCC Award nominations

On Saturday, January 26th, the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle announced the nominees for the their third annual CIFCC Awards. 37 different films were nominated between 21 categories. As one of the founders and directors of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle, I’m honored to be among such fine peers. These are solid picks our group can be proud to support. Here’s a special slideshow presenting each category. The CIFCC will present their winners on February 2nd.

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EDITORIAL: Five surprises and snubs from the 91st Academy Award nominations

Leave it to the annual early morning Oscar nominations to always find a way to rock our worlds. Earlier this morning, Kumail Nanjiani and Traci Ellis Ross read off the names and films looking to win some hardware on the host-less 91st Academy Awards airing on February 24th. Let’s take a look at the trends, swerves, and surprises.

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COLUMN: The 10 Best Films of 2018

If this teacher/critic learned anything himself this year it’s to more consistently define the difference between “favorite” and “best.” Often they are different measures, yet it is a special distinction when some films can be both. That’s a whole bunch of those of this definitive 2018 list. All ten and a few extra were no-doubt five-star films for me. True to this website’s specialty, each film will be paired with its best life lesson. Enjoy!

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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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INFOGRAPHIC: When will we see the futuristic cars from our favorite entertainment?

To work this out, the fine folks at Leasing Options looked at each futuristic aspect of these cars and found the best prediction as to when they will be commercially available. Obviously, not every feature of the fictional car will be practical, desirable or even legal. So, we’ve focused on the car’s most important features and figured out when they might be available.

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INFOGRAPHIC: The Biggest Movie Star Missteps

This series of infographics reveals the costliest decisions ever made by some of Hollywood's most famous film stars when it came to turning down iconic roles. Sometimes, the choices made by actors when deciding which roles to take up and which to turn down are based on no more than when picking red or black on one of the online blackjack tables at Betway Insider. They can't predict the future, after all. But, while all the people on the list below have continue to enjoy successful careers on the silver screen, they must surely still kick themselves at these costly calls. Here are the biggest financial missteps made by some of Hollywood's biggest stars:

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EDITORIAL: Lessons and reactions to the 2019 Golden Globe film nominations

Originally published a special edition of “What We Learned This Week” on the Feelin’ Film podcast website, here are my lessons, reactions, and trends from the film selections and nominees of the 2019 Golden Globe Awards as chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Enjoy my editorial rantings and ravings!

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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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EDITORIAL: Four modern movies begging for the MST3K treatment

Watching quality cinema is all well and good, but sometimes a bad movie is even better. Giving a movie the full Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment can be a blast. Now that actually good projectors cost under $500 and are affordable enough for anyone, you can even do it on a big screen right in your home (since heckling in the theater is generally frowned upon). Old movies make great fodder for mockery, but there are movies coming out all the time that strike that perfect balance of patently ridiculous and super fun.

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EDITORIAL: Best casino movies of the 21st century so far

Flashy casino settings have long been inviting destinations for eager tourists and lavish film productions.  The twinkling lights and allure of scoring a life-changing payday is a shared dream of both the customer and the moviemakers looking for artistic and commercial successes.  Nowadays, a taste of that lucky escapism for thrill seekers can come online through eclectic sites like Casino Billions or continue at their local movie theater or the cushions of their couch with a good flick.

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