Don’t Save the Cat! Snyder vs. Sorkin and the Marginalization of Creative Screenwriting

Don’t Save the Cat!  Snyder vs. Sorkin and the Marginalization of Creative Screenwriting
“There are a zillion different ways to prepare beef. You can have filet mignon, Beef Wellington, flank steak…anything. But if you were to prepare beef the way the fewest people find objectionable…it would be a McDonald’s hamburger, every single time. I love McDonald’s hamburgers. I eat way too many of them. But if I were... Read more »

My 2017 at the Movies: Unsettled Ground (An Overview)

My 2017 at the Movies: Unsettled Ground (An Overview)
Movie-wise and otherwise, 2017 was an unsettling year. There may be a grim cosmic logic in Jonathan Demme dying the same year Donald Trump became President. Nothing stands in more direct opposition to the celebration of women, multiculturalism, social activism and free-spiritedness in Demme’s filmography than Cheetolini’s narcissistic rage and intolerance. As a freelance film... Read more »

My 2017 at the Movies: The Favorites (Top 10)

My 2017 at the Movies: The Favorites (Top 10)
If you didn’t read my year-end overview, it adds a little context to this list (like, why does he have a TV show here?). * Indicates a festival screening and the film had no other local 2017 theatrical run. 1. Lady Bird – Immediately joining the ranks of Rushmore, Dazed and Confused and other top-tier... Read more »
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My 2017 at the Movies: The Favorites (11-25)

My 2017 at the Movies: The Favorites (11-25)
If you didn’t read my year-end overview, it adds a little context to this list (like, why does he have a TV show here?). * Indicates a festival screening and the film had no other local 2017 theatrical run. **A late 2016 release I ignored the calendar to include. 11. The Florida Project – Sean... Read more »

My 2017 at the Movies: Honorable Mentions

My 2017 at the Movies: Honorable Mentions
If you didn’t read my year-end overview, it adds a little context to this list. * Indicates a festival screening and the film had no other local 2017 theatrical run. **A late 2016 release I ignored the calendar to include. At Your Doorstep* – From my Chicagoist coverage of the Chicago Latino Film Festival: “The... Read more »

My 2017 at the Movies: Odds and Ends

My 2017 at the Movies: Odds and Ends
If you didn’t read my year-end overview, it adds a little context to this list (like, why do I have a TV show here?). * Indicates a festival screening and the film had no other local 2017 theatrical run. Biggest Disappointments Alien: Covenant – After the huge disappointment of the prequel Prometheus, I was not... Read more »
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Jonathan Demme Sang Our Song

Jonathan Demme Sang Our Song
Though our aging population has more octogenarians, nonagenarians and even centenarians than ever, you can’t rationally claim that 73 is a tragically young age to die. Why then did Jonathan Demme’s passing this past April, at age 73, hit me—and so many others who were strangers to him—so hard? How could it feel “too soon?”... Read more »

"Free Fire" Is a Misfire Despite Killer Cast

"Free Fire" Is a Misfire Despite Killer Cast
With his new slapstick shoot-‘em-up, Free Fire, British writer-director Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High-Rise) seems on the verge of moving from cult film favorite to a more mainstream career. The movie is getting by far the widest U.S. release of his six theatrical features, its high-profile cast includes recent Oscar winner Brie Larson, and no... Read more »

Top-Tier Filmmaking and Performances Make "The Levelling" a Must-See

Top-Tier Filmmaking and Performances Make "The Levelling" a Must-See
The Levelling is too damned good for its likely fate: becoming another under-the-radar gem lost in an overflow of independent productions competing for a moment’s attention in a film culture that shunts so much of its best to the margins. Catch it while you can, because this powerhouse drama of grief and deep-seated family resentments... Read more »
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Epic Western Fable "Brimstone" Is Both Impressive and Pretentious

Epic Western Fable "Brimstone" Is Both Impressive and Pretentious
The flooded film market sees a lot of features, good and bad, go straight to a VOD release. A few get a token theatrical release to go along with that. Usually these are low- to medium-budget indie features, trying to find an audience off the festival circuit, or pure genre films (horror and action mainly)... Read more »
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    Joel Wicklund

    Joel Wicklund has been writing about movies for over two decades now and, shockingly, he is still allowed to do so. Currently writing regularly for Chicagoist, he insists on claiming more online space here in the hope of indoctrinating more lost souls in his personal cult of cinephilia. Reviews, rants, interviews, features…you get the drift.

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