GUEST EDITORIAL: 10 Best Pet Movies for Your Next Night In

Grab your popcorn and snacks for your pups and marathon these 10 best pet movies. If you are a true pet lover, you appreciate pets in all their forms – in real life, in paintings, in music, in literature and especially in movies. From classics like The Lady and the Tramp to new favorites such as Garfield, these shows will receive a bark of appreciation from the whole crew. You are bound to have the time of your life through the adventures in the movie.

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INFOGRAPHIC: Iconic Opening Lines

The opening line from a film can make all the difference. It can be what hooks you in, it can be what makes you turn over. Some opening lines are so great that they’re works of art in their own right, and department store Oldrids & Downtown have captured that in these cool posters. Using the first line from some iconic films, they’ve created some fascinating illustrations that fans of the movies will love. By incorporating the visual themes and aesthetic of the film, they’ve nailed these, see for yourself here…

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MOVIE REVIEW: Breakthrough

Too often nowadays in our headline-seeking and attention-starved society, that first definition of “miracle” is stretched and overused to the point of hyperbole, right there next to other words like “epic” and “masterpiece.” There are places where effectiveness has been lost. That second definition calling for divine intervention is a doozy. It calls for higher piety. Well, good believers love divine challenges and so does this Breakthrough starring Chrissy Metz.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on April 8, 2019

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What film has most defied your expectations, either for better or for worse?

I harp often about unreasonable expectations. Between giving up trailers and really trying to bring a little more objective grading into subjective criticism, I’ve come to hate the term “expectations.” I really stretch to stay neutral at all times. That said, having zero expectations is impossible, which means, like this week’s question, plenty of movies will surprise me from what they were billed to be. For my answer this week, I dug back to 1999 and picked out a silly movie that really won my over, cheese and all.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: Guest on the "Kicking the Seat" podcast talking "Shazam!"

Look! It’s the other Captain Marvel movie! In a quick turnaround after Marvel took it’s turn in March, the “comic council” of film critics united again to say our own magic words. Kicking the Seat’s Ian Simmons crossed the Skype-streams to put the wizardry of Ian, David Fowlie of Keeping it Reel, Emmanuel Noisette of Eman's Movie Reviews and myself together for a heck of a super-spirited podcast. Enjoy!

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Public

The number of debated points in The Public outnumber the aisles and stacks. On one hand, that crowding creates an involving and intriguing machine of tied fates and a roundtable forum sampler for the viewer. On the other, that same populated weight does make the film saturated with many bouncing tangents of rhetoric, not all of which mesh fluidly. Nevertheless, the debate balance of this brouhaha of hubris and sentiment favors the rightly idealized and positive. The Public makes a worthy stump speech for its checklist of modest societal issues.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Dumbo

During this continuing trend of Disney live-action “reimaginings,” one that shows no sign of stopping, fulfillment is an adulation not often realized by these newfangled and amplified tentpoles.  Improvement is another lost reward. Audiences constantly question the values of duplicated enjoyment or tangible purpose for needing anything new and shiny made from something that worked just that way it was intended decades ago.  With Tim Burton’s ambitious Dumbo, we fortunately get both.

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COLUMN: What Does a Video Producer Do?

Just like the director, the video producer is a valuable asset on the set. But why are they so important? Here are a few facts to help you figure out the basics of the video producer’s job and how you’ll benefit from hiring one. Every project, from a Hollywood movie to a short commercial video, requires a video producer. This person makes the whole production process go smoothly, preventing and eliminating all the mishaps along the way. Sounds pretty serious, but this doesn’t explain much. What does a video producer do?

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GUEST EDITORIAL: Unusual Stories of Actors Before They Became Famous

For some, it’s quite difficult to come to terms with the fact that some of the iconic figures in the entertainment front were ordinary people at some point doing regular jobs and others going for days without shelter. Many of the biggest acts in the movie industry got their start by chance while others worked really hard to get to where they are currently. Well, we could go ahead to say it does help to be in the right place at the right time but then again for some hard work supersedes all.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on March 25, 2019

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Is “elevated horror” a real thing"?

I’m not a horror film regular or connoisseur, but I know and appreciate a good horror film when I see one. I know “elevated horror” has become a buzz term, as evidenced by David Ehrlich’s survey this week, but I think the unlabeled idea of it has been around since the beginning of the genre. I consider it’s a compliment, which puts me in the slim minority this week on the dais.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Shazam!

Shazam! might be the new exemplar for the word “zany.” What is fantastical and ludicrous was just what was needed for this DC Comics material. Zachary Levi’s schtick of superpowered shenanigans becomes the epitome of both the adjective and the noun variations of that choice word. Zany is the bullseye of Shazam! and, boy, is that all kinds of satisfaction. Go get that satisfaction synonym list next.

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OVERDUE REVIEW: Mary Poppins Returns

Mary Poppins Returns is the cinematic equivalent of a very pleasant British greeting. The film is completely courteous and undoubtedly well-meaning. It presents itself with manicured poise and a dress-to-impress sense of style. It aims to please and presents the proper success. The movie makes kind contact and bows nicely before you. Mary Poppins Returns is the nicest hat-tip possible, but then is gone as soon as it arrived. It’s merely a grand gesture and not more than that.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Us

One’s communal theater experience and entertainment value is addictively fed and your mind will race afterword, preserving the impact for even more internalization, compartmentalization, and surprise. That said, what do these lessons and all of this in Us mean? If the details do not expand the buzz of the mindf — k at hand, nothing will. Keep Peele’s targeted purpose in mind when you dig into Us for what you can extract. Open your perceptions and hold your s — t together.

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DOCUMENTARY REVIEW: Apollo 11

There are about three levels of “how in the hell did they do that?” that come from watching the sterling documentary Apollo 11. That exasperating and jaw-dropping question comes out often when we watch fantastical cinematic tales of fiction. But it’s different with Apollo 11 because of the non-fiction nature. Dozens of brilliant-yet-unassuming scientists, engineers, and specialists poured their lives and livelihoods into this mission and the entire program. In their honor, the documentary team led by director/producer/editor Todd Douglas Miller, have now echoed that monumental achievement with an artistic one of their own.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on March 18, 2019

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What is the best documentary about the American political system?

Documentaries are not my strong suit. I’m a big An Inconvenient Truth mark, but I wouldn’t call that a documentary about the American political system just because of the presence and olive branch policies of former Vice President Al Gore. Ava DuVernay’s 13th also has scope beyond the business and posturing of D.C., but the political threads run farther and deeper, making it my worthy pick this week.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Finding Steve McQueen

Finding Steve McQueen carries the boasting superlatives of the detailing the “largest bank heist in U.S. history” and, according to director Mark Steven Johnson, one of “the greatest stories never told.” Don’t expect a film of that kind of scope and size. This is a big crime orchestrated by small people who think they are bigger than they really are. The year is 1972 and the illegal act is the United California Bank Robbery.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Wonder Park

The new animated family flick Wonder Park offers an imagined world of roller coasters and amusement built with as much love as they are creative engineering. The principles of STEM support the cinematic chain lift hills before the drops take audiences through inversions and turns of family feels. Like the railed, ridden inventions it depicts, Wonder Park has clever ideas and solid foundations, but too many trim brakes, suspensions, bumps, dead spots, and other hits of filmed friction slow the glee and weaken the poignant pillars attempted.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE: David Ehrlich's IndieWire Critics Survey on March 11, 2019

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Who is the greatest movie cat of all-time?

Eschewing the rest of the trollish buzz surrounding Captain Marvel, I really appreciated that David Ehrlich picked a lighter question this week. In honor of the scene-stealing “Goose” from that new Marvel entry, we critics were asked to elect a top feline. Honestly, it was hard not to just picked the marmalade-colored Flerken. It took a little soul-searching (and Google searching) to remind myself of the toilet-flusher himself.

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