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Angelina Jolie

Dull Story of Extraordinary Survival in ‘Unbroken’

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

CHICAGO – Olympic runner, plane crash survivor, and WWII POW Louis Zamperini had an extraordinary life of defeating even more profound conditions from cruel nature and fellow man. His is a tale of grandiose cinematic potential, especially considering our desire for beat-down underdogs and their gauntlets of adversity, but such gets a surface-level treatment from director Angelina Jolie’s underwhelming tribute “Unbroken.”

‘Maleficent’ is All Dressed Up With No Story to Tell

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

CHICAGO – If “Maleficent” were an actual fairy tale storybook, I’d say it has beautiful illustrations but not much story to tell. As the title character, Angelina Jolie is a towering presence with an unforgettable look, but the film itself is all dressed up with nowhere to go. “Maleficent” the movie’s story moves so slowly it makes a sloth look like a cheetah.

Angelina Jolie is ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey’ in Directorial Debut

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

CHICAGO – The sorrows of war has been played out too many times in our so-called modern age. The excessively cruel Bosnian war – a three year conflict that introduced the vile term “ethnic cleansing” – is the background of Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut, “In the Land of Blood and Honey.”

More or Less Same Formula in ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’

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

CHICAGO – Good and evil, chase and fight. Those are the two basic formulas that dominate “Kung Fu Panda 2,” the sequel to the very popular first film. That redundancy is helped by the spirituality of an animated panda and some spectacular 3D rendering.

‘The Tourist’ Twists Predictably, Lacks Chemistry Between Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp

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

CHICAGO – Though you probably don’t know his name, Christopher McQuarrie’s involvement might sell you on paying to see “The Tourist” even more than “A”-list stars Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. After all, McQuarrie is the writer behind 1995’s Oscar-winning magnum opus by the name of “The Usual Suspects”.

‘Salt’ With Angelina Jolie Suffers From Lack of Flavor

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

CHICAGO – Perhaps the creators of “Salt” took the potential double meaning of its title a bit too seriously because the film has been overloaded with one flavor at the expense of the variety that could have turned this well-done action movie into something a bit more memorable. Angelina Jolie is great and the film is undeniably expertly made but it’s also shockingly lacking in personality or moments to make it register as more than just an extended chase scene.

‘Wanted’ With Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy Concocts Curving Bullet in Gluttonously Entertaining Blockbuster

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

CHICAGO – With curving, clinking and kissing bullets, “Wanted” indeed does Chicago proud. And Angelina Jolie sells it. And Morgan Freeman is ominous. And in his body of work, James McAvoy – the star of this orgasmic summer blockbuster – becomes a man.

‘Beowulf’ in IMAX 3D Affords Break For Big Actors to Improve Even Themselves

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – It’s all the rave today to exhume an epic from long, long ago and bring it back on the monster screen bigger, better and with more grandeur than ever fathomable before.

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  • Book of Merman, The

    CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.

  • Men, Women & Children with Kaitlyn Dever

    CHICAGO – In “Men, Women & Children,” director Jason Reitman not-so-audaciously reflects onto viewers their world of silent screens and awkward impersonal interactions. As many stories (“Don Jon,” “Disconnect”) have taken on the torch of showing how we are, gasp! — connected to the world yet disconnected from those close to us — Reitman’s tale is just another one for the batch.

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