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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

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

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