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Current Film Reviews

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

    CHICAGO – The headline is a quote (“Don’t say that you love me!”) from Fleetwood Mac’s song “Tusk,” which Kevin Smith gratefully includes in his film of the same name. The movie is either the most outrageous audacity of the year or a blatant middle finger from Smith to the audience. You decide.

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

    CHICAGO – Jason Bateman and an all-star cast got me there. The unfunny copycat story left me regretting it. If you don’t start with a solid plot that’s at least somewhat new, it doesn’t matter how many “A”-listers you throw into an ensemble. They’re just individuals doing the best they can with weak material. But the film’s fatal flaw is it can’t figure out who it is – a comedy, drama or dramedy? – and it didn’t do just one thing well.

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

    CHICAGO – Liam Neeson still looks good being a badass, but “A Walk Among The Tombstones” is a vehicle unworthy of his particular set of skills. It’s not a tightly constructed thriller like “Non-Stop,” and it lacks the sheer over-the-top ludicrousness of “Taken 2.” This is largely a by-the-numbers jalopy that can best be called forgettable.

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

    CHICAGO – Opening at Chicago’s Music Box Theater this weekend is a full-length musical conceived by Stuart Murdoch, the lead singer of indie pop darlings Belle & Sebastian, making his debut as a writer/director. Surpassing the notion of a concept album, Murdoch has engineered a vibrant experience that is missing all but the introduction of a new dance move.

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

    CHICAGO – Yes, the future world of teenage bleakness, so popular in “The Hunger Games’ and “Divergent,” now has its own genre. “The Maze Runner” is an excellent entry, and gets over its stilted dialogue and scary monsters by adding in surprises and atmospheric mystery.

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

    CHICAGO – The essential killing machine to protect the Homeland hasn’t been invented yet. Or has it? Filmmakers Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett combine “The Terminator” with a perfect metaphor for perpetual war in a new release, “The Guest.”

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

    CHICAGO – Live from the movies, it’s Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig! The two “Saturday Night Live” veterans are “The Skeleton Twins,” and both have more to do than just be funny. There are moments that sink or swim, depending on the “Twins,” and those parts are greater than the narrative sum.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Star Trek Into Darkness

    CHICAGO – With J.J. Abrams not involved with the creation of a third “Star Trek” movie, a compendium of his work within the franchise only seems fitting. Loaded with special features but only a few new ones, this disc set is a strong choice for those who don’t already have both entertaining blockbusters in their collection.

  • References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot

    CHICAGO – In “References to Salvador Dali Makes Me Hot,” now at the Den Theatre in Chicago through September 7th, the intersect of author José Rivera and the strong cast of actors make for a formidable partnership. Committed and passionate interpreters take both the soft and edgy parts of the narrative to task.

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