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Bryce Dallas Howard

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen in Moving ‘50/50’

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

CHICAGO – Jonathan Levine’s “50/50” is a daring blend of buddy comedy, light romance, family drama, and, oh yeah, cancer movie. The tightrope act of a script by Will Reiser is elevated in remarkable ways by one of the best ensembles of the year, led ably by the great Joseph Gordon-Levitt, doing career-best, Oscar nomination-worthy work.

Emma Stone, Viola Davis Lend a Hand to ‘The Help’

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

CHICAGO – Using fiction to express the importance of real historical events is seductive and sometimes disingenuous. The new film “The Help” manages to counteract that notion through high level, emotional performances.

Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon Deliver Poignant ‘Hereafter’

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

CHICAGO – Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” is a dramatic examination of a subject rarely dealt with in American cinema with even an ounce of honest emotion: What happens after we die.

New Director Finds Teeth in ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’

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

CHICAGO – Easily the best entry in the franchise, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” finally allows those of us unfamiliar with the books by Stephenie Meyer to understand why the saga of the vampire, the wolf, and the sullen girl in the middle has become an international phenomenon.

Tobey Maguire ‘Black’ in Action in Venomously Conflicted ‘Spider-Man 3’

Rating: 3.5/5CHICAGO – At the heart of every great film is a good conflict. In Spidey’s third advent, his heart is venomously conflicted and so is the film.

The film gets gargantuan props on its special effects. Of course, the entertaining visual acuity is expected and is no surprise.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Spike Heels Stage Play

    CHICAGO – If you can remember the 1990s outside of childhood, you are in the glow of middle age, so congratulations. The Brown Paper Box Co. theater ensemble takes us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with “Spike Heels,” a relationship comedy centering on the co-mingling antics of two couples, with a slight nod toward George Bernard Shaw and the play “Pygmalion” (or its musical counterpart, “My Fair Lady”).

  • 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.

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