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  • Larry "The Soup Nazi" Thomas

    CHICAGO – “No soup for you!” is one of the most memorable TV catchphrases of the 1990s, uttered into immortality by actor Larry Thomas on “Seinfeld,” who portrayed “The Soup Nazi.” Thomas was in the Chicago area recently to act in “Mind Over Mindy,” a new comedy from writer/director Robert Alaniz.

Current Film Reviews

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

    CHICAGO – One thing that struck me about writer/director Joe Swanberg’s previous “Drinking Buddies,” and made it one of my more celebrated from 2013 despite not really loving it as a film, was its importance to those good ol’ independent movies. Here were big flashy stars like Olivia Wilde and Anna Kendrick, not just acting in a movie of a lower budget, but creating a wider appeal out of a previously very niche aspect, without the film form itself changing much.

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

    CHICAGO – I empathize with Dwayne Johnson and simultaneously don’t. Most people never get rich and famous once let alone twice. Sure, it’s hard to rebrand people from the wrestling superstar you once were into the dramatic action star you’re trying to become, but your past is forever immortal.

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
    Rating: 3.0/5.0

    CHICAGO – After last year’s powerful “Blue Jasmine,” writer/director Woody Allen’s trajectory seemed destined toward another film masterpiece, but “Magic in the Moonlight” isn’t it. Colin Firth and Emma Stone are an unlikely pairing in this seen-it-before-Woody film trifle.

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

    CHICAGO – In the current debate between metaphysical spirituality or intelligent design versus scientific and provable fact, there are demands regarding the religious or metaphysics that do not relate to those facts. What the new film “I Origins” hopes to provide for, is that there is room for both forms of mysticism in our lives, if only the eyes remain open.

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
    Rating: 2.0/5.0

    CHICAGO – “And So it Goes” can be summed up in its incredibly weak title, as just lazy hackery. In attempting to tell a story of redemption for a old white rich man, the film falls back on clichés, predictability, improbability, overdone physical comedy and stereotypes. The first-time pairing of Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton, and the direction of old pro Rob Reiner, can’t overcome the stench of the hackneyed screenplay.

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

    CHICAGO – “Lucy” is a piece of high-minded cinematic junk food that manages to be outlandishly weird while still satisfying the lizard brain desires of its audience. It’s a film that knows what’ll get the behinds in the seats, and that appeal can effectively be summed up in one shot. It shows Scarlett Johansson in a tight-fitting white t-shirt walking in slow motion with her bosoms bouncing in unison, carrying two guns and ready to kick some serious ass.

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
    Rating: 4.5/5.0

    CHICAGO – Life is made up of moments, as the philosophy of the new Richard Linklater film wants to convey. What formulates a person’s ideals and soul, born in a certain place and time? Over 12 years, the writer and director created a fictional family using the same actors in “Boyhood.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bad Words

    Looming over “Bad Words” is the potential it could have had, as is, were it released ten years ago. With its focus of R-rated behavior poking at the projected innocence of children, along with the couple of chromosomes that keep Bateman’s Trilby from being a Vince Vaughn character, this movie is certainly a product of the comedies that have sculpted out the manchild story in the past decade.

  • Winter's Tale

    The theatrical poster for “Winter’s Tale,” after promising that “It’s not a true story, it’s a love story,” made a large demand from its viewers at the bottom: “This Valentine’s Day, Believe In Miracles.” While there is indeed a difference between filmmaking and marketing, it is hard to not imagine writer/director Akiva Goldsman whispering “believe in miracles” into the ear of every executive who helped “Winter’s Tale” come to life, immediately after throwing glitter on them.

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