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Current Film Reviews

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
    Rating: 3.5/5.0

    CHICAGO – The über popular “The Hunger Games” series is back, splitting the final novel into two movie parts, Harry Potter style. Subtitled “Mockingjay - Part 1,” this is the beginning of the end of the story, setting up rather than knocking down.

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
    Rating: 3.5/5.0

    CHICAGO – It’s late August in the year of 1944, and Paris is about to be destroyed by a vacating Nazi party. “Diplomacy” is a chamber film that imagines the crucial conversation between a Nazi general and a Swedish diplomat that is said to have saved Paris, a riveting story of personal actions influencing the course of world history.

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
    Rating: 3.5/5.0

    CHICAGO – Writer/Director Gina Prince-Bythewood, the creator of the cult favorite “Love & Basketball,” is back with another original story that she created, an intimate and romantic perspective on a singer on the path to nowhere, despite superstar-level fame. Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars as that singer in “Beyond the Lights.”

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
    Rating: 3.5/5.0

    CHICAGO – The life story of iconic physicist Stephen Hawking is given a well-deserved cinematic treatment this weekend with “The Theory of Everything,” an earnest presentation of an existence that defies the usual. As his personal journey required the care-taking of others, the film is not adapted from something Hawking wrote, but from his wife Jane’s personal account, “Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen.”

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
    Rating: 2.5/5.0

    CHICAGO – “Dumb And Dumber To” is an exercise in diminishing returns. Jim Carrey and The Farrelly Brothers expend twice the effort for less than a third of the laughs. It benefits greatly from the enormous well of goodwill created by the original’s inspired idiocy. But one can only suspend disbelief for so long and this sequel has problems that the warm glow of nostalgia can’t solve.

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
    Rating: 1.5/5.0

    CHICAGO – For the pack of horror fans who mourn the “PG-13” toothlessness of the teen wolf, the limited-release film “Wolves” tries to reclaim the character with slow-mo, WWE-with-claws fight scenes and some sprinkles of brief softcore wolf porn. If that’s all one could ask for from a werewolf movie, you probably can’t be blocked from giving this one a curious look; however if you’re trepidatious of a plainly junky, R-rated reaction to “The Twilight Saga,” perhaps you can be stopped.

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
    Rating: 4.0/5.0

    CHICAGO – Glen Campbell, the singer, actor and personality, is ingrained into a certain late 1960s/early ‘70s ethos. His sunny disposition and clean pop music rhetoric crossed over from country to the mainstream, and in that other era he could seriously call his television show “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.” Today, he fights a losing battle against Alzheimer’s Disease in the emotional documentary, “Glen Campbell, I’ll Be Me.”

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  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

  • reno 911 front.png

    CHICAGO – The oughts was the era of the workplace mock-doc comedy, with shows like “The Office” and “Reno 911!” born into a time where TV viewers were excited to see see fake realities about the crumminess of a job. While this series has been available in separate season collections previously, “Reno 911!” is now available in a complete series set, one that boasts a grand amount of special features content in spite of some lacking comedy in the actual show.

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