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Alan Arkin

Two Old Stars Roast Their Images in ‘Grudge Match’

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

CHICAGO – Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro – between them they have over 150 film credits in careers stretching back to the 1960s. Two of their most famous roles, boxers Rocky and the Raging Bull, get the full make-fun-of treatment in the Christmas Day Film “Grudge Match.”

Nothing Magical About ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’

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

CHICAGO – It’s this simple – “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” just isn’t funny. Sure, there are a few laughs here and there and some of the supporting cast works but the leads are woefully miscast and most of the jokes hit with all the awkward silence of a Bennigan’s tableside magician who guesses the wrong card.

‘Stand Up Guys’ Worst Waste of Talent Since Booth Shot Lincoln

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Three actors, with three Oscars and an astounding 14 nominations between them, obviously have lost the ability to read a script late in their careers. That or the producers had dirt on them. There is no other reason why Al Pacino, Alan Arkin and Christopher Walken would be the “Stand Up Guys.”

Ben Affleck Reaches Career Peak with Tense, Masterful ‘Argo’

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

CHICAGO – Ben Affleck has reached the apex of his already impressive directorial career with the stunning “Argo,” a tight, tense machine of a film, a masterwork that delivers as comedy, action, drama, and more. Critics see movies all the time that we understand may produce a divided response. We get that many acclaimed films won’t make a dent with the populous.

Troubled ‘Thin Ice’ With Greg Kinnear Barely Works

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

CHICAGO – Over a decade ago, Jill & Karen Sprecher made waves on the indie scene with “Clockwatchers” and “Thirteen Conversations About One Thing” but then virtually disappeared. They’re back with another arthouse piece, a “Fargo”-esque black comedy called “Thin Ice,” starring Greg Kinnear, Billy Crudup, Alan Arkin, and more. The strong ensemble makes the relatively weak script (as presented…more on that later) easier to take as the film skates over some treacherous rough patches but never falls through.

Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds Buried Under ‘The Change-Up’

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

CHICAGO – “The Change-Up” is an undeniable mess, as any movie that opens with a grown man getting baby crap projected into his mouth would be (and that’s just the beginning), but one of the worst scripts of the year is saved from the depths of comedy hell by a talented cast headlined by the typically-restrained Jason Bateman playing against type.

Nothing is Real With Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies on ‘City Island’

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

CHICAGO – A blue collar worker father who has a secret Marlon Brando obsession (gasp!), a son with an improbable fetish and a daughter who quits college to…strip, this is a normal day-in-the-life in the new film “City Island.”

Amy Adams Brings the Sparkle to ‘Sunshine Cleaning’

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

CHICAGOAmy Adams gives a performance in Christine Jeffs’ “Sunshine Cleaning” that is not only the best actress turn of the year to date but nearly single-handedly makes the many flaws of this quirky comedy easy to overlook. It’s rare, but sometimes one talented star can make any project shine. Amy Adams is that talented.

In ‘Get Smart’ Lifeless Retread, Steve Carell Can’t Fill Don Adams’ Shoe

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

CHICAGO – Observing the new “Get Smart” film, which is based on the 1960s TV sitcom of the same name, is to note how much has changed since the Cold War ended.

KAOS and CONTROL – the U.S. and Russian spy agencies that square off in the movie – seem like relics of another era.

‘Rendition’ a Mediocre Message Movie With What Should Be Self-Evident Politics

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5AUSTIN, Texas – German writer Franz Kafka meets the war on terror in “Rendition,” which is a message movie with what one would consider a self-evident message: torture is bad. We live in a political climate, though, where that isn’t self-evident.

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  • 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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