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Ed Helms

Tartan Prancer – Yes, a Fictional Albanian Car – Steals the Otherwise Borrowed Show in ‘Vacation’

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

CHICAGO – Retreads from classics are often as weary as having to write that they are almost never as good as the original. And here we go again with the Ed Helms-led “Vacation,” which fails to capitalize on the beloved Chevy Chase film “National Lampoon’s Vacation” from 1983.

‘They Came Together’ Sharply Skewers the Rom-Com

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

CHICAGO – If there is any genre of film that needs a good blasting, it is the romantic comedy. These silly fantasies practically seem like satires anyway, so when the comic genius of writer/director David Wain ponders them, and casts Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler as the “couple,” the funny will fly.

Horrible ‘We’re the Millers’ Wastes Huge Potential

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

CHICAGO – There was a point in “We’re the Millers” when the story fell off the table like a Slinky from a mountaintop. It’s as if other writers took over from a far superior dark comedy, and injected “heart” and middle age “stripping.” This all adds up to a difficult 110 minutes of lost life time.

Worse Than a Real One, ‘The Hangover Part III’

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

CHICAGO – With a lazy, over-plotted story, and a cast that are desperately going through the motions, “The Hangover Part III” is the latest example of a contract obligation disguising itself as a movie. Writer/director Todd Phillips sluggishly pounds out another one, with simply no originality.

Jason Segel, Ed Helms in Inconsistent ‘Jeff, Who Lives at Home’

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

CHICAGO – Writer/directors Jay and Mark Duplass clearly love their characters. Whether it’s the awkward man-child at the center of “Cyrus” or the title character in their new dramedy “Jeff, Who Lives at Home,” there’s a charming affection for these people. I really enjoyed spending time with the quartet of well-drawn, well-acted people in “Jeff,” which makes the fact that their story is less-structured and sloppier than it should be to be effective all the more frustrating. I SO want to love “Jeff, Who Lives at Home,” but this dude is too often stuck in the creative basement.

‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’ Boasts Strong Voice Cast But Weak Storytelling

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

CHICAGO – “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” certainly isn’t an awful film by any stretch of the imagination. It features some solid voice work, a few lessons worth learning by the iGeneration, and some nifty visuals. It’s also pretty damn boring. Even the little ones at the family screening I attended seemed to lose interest in how this timeless story has been stretched to the demands of a modern family film. It just never quite connects in the way fans of this legendary character hope it would.

‘The Hangover Part II’ a Funny, Formulaic, Desperately Shocking Carbon Copy

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

CHICAGO – Business and creative people go together as well as fine wine at a burger joint. Riding on the heels of the monumentally profitable “The Hangover,” the brass win out over the artists in “The Hangover Part II”.

Ed Helms, John C. Reilly Find the Heart in ‘Cedar Rapids’

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

CHICAGO – It is great to witness a star being born. Ed Helms, who so memorably stole the show in “The Hangover,” breaks out even further with a career defining performance as Tim Lippe in the warm and funny new comedy, “Cedar Rapids.” John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver and Isiah Whitlock Jr. lend essential support.

‘The Hangover’: All the Fun of Inebriation, No Next-Day Headache

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

CHICAGO – Those who seek out “The Hangover” will do so wanting a good laugh. Those who see this film will occasionally be struck with the feeling that they shouldn’t be laughing. But laugh and laugh often they will as “The Hangover” will whirl you through all the fun of inebriation without the consequence of the nasty, next-day headache.

It’s Eddie Murphy Inside Eddie Murphy in Made-For-Children Sci-Fi Comedy ‘Meet Dave’

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

CHICAGO – The longtime career of Eddie Murphy has lately taken an interesting turn.

After a meteoric career with huge box-office comedies, Murphy has steered toward more family oriented fare (“Daddy Day Care,” the “Shrek” movies, etc.) before his Oscar-nominated performance in “Dreamgirls”. After the stumble of 2007’s “Norbit,” Murphy has again returned this summer in kid-friendly mode with “Meet Dave”.

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  • Sherlock Holmes with David Arquette (teaser)

    CHICAGO – Different isn’t bad and might be great, but you’d better have an irrefutable reason to change what was never broken. Campy being the only word to accurately convey this alternate-reality version of Sherlock Holmes with an original script, writer Greg Kramer and director Andrew Shaver try too hard to be different without ever figuring out why.

  • Merry Widow, The

    CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.


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