HollywoodChicago.com Content

'The Farewell' Greets with Cultural, Emotional Exploration

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

CHICAGO – We all have those family stories that seem just so uniquely ours that it is hard to believe anyone could actually relate to them. Stories that, at the time, don’t seem like anyone else would even understand. Lulu Wang proves in “The Farewell” that all it takes is a little empathy, a skilled storyteller, and a group of talented people to bring any story to life.

Copy Cat Live Action ‘The Lion King’ Seems Unnecessary

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

CHICAGO – The latest tendency of Walt Disney Pictures to make live action remakes of their classic cartoons should have stopped at “Jungle Book” and “Beauty and the Beast.” The last three, “Dumbo,” “Aladdin” and now “The Lion King” subtract from their source cartoons, and the King is downright weird.

Kumail Nanjiani is the Only Reason to See ‘Stuber’

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

CHICAGO – Kumail Nanjiani is reaching the next level of stardom. Recently, he was the best thing in the rebooted “MIB: International” (as a cartoon sprite), and now he is the only reason to indulge in “Stuber.” Kumail portrays a nervy UBER driver named Stu (get it?), and upholds everything about the buddy movie that is enjoyable. The rest of it, including his buddy Dave Bautista, land with a dull thud.

Unbelievable Story is Key to ‘Framing John DeLorean’

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

CHICAGO – The story of auto impresario John DeLorean is definitely one of truth is stranger than fiction, but also has a basis in “what ifs?” The fascinating new documentary of his life tells that story, breaking down the vagueness of how a former General Motors superstar got involved in a drug deal to save his own car company. As always, a situation like that has more loopholes.

Mind-Blowing ‘Midsommar’ is Disturbing and Beautiful

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

CHICAGO – “Midsommar” is beautifully composed, disturbing in nature and very very Swedish. Writer/Director Ari Aster creates a stunning sophomore effort (after his brilliant debut “Hereditary”) that is pure cinema, and weaves a fantastical tale of humanity stripped to its bare bones. It moves a bit slow, but it also builds to something completely original and unexpected.

Fireworks for the 4th in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

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

CHICAGO – “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is remarkably light on its feet considering it takes place in the wake of the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” After the five year period between finger snaps which is now referred to as “the blip,” Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and some of his classmates have returned the same age, while everyone else has gotten five years older.

‘Yesterday’ is a Can’t-Miss Premise That Still Misses

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

CHICAGO – As a Beatles fanatic who has a band because of their existence, the premise of “Yesterday” was can’t miss. A man wakes up after an accident to discover he’s the only person to know that The Beatles existed? Sign me up and buy me popcorn. It’s unfortunate that the story went in a direction that did miss.

Horror is Worth a Visit in 'Annabelle Comes Home'

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

CHICAGO – There is such an unnerving quality to older dolls, which is why they lend themselves so perfectly to horror stories. There’s just an unsettling feeling when looking at their static expression, usually plastered with a permanent smile that gives me terrible flashbacks to when I worked retail. Oddly enough, “Annabelle Comes Home” similarly elicits familiar feelings of terror but channels it through an 80’s horror homage.

Less Black Magic, More Black Mirror is a Success in 'Child's Play'

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

CHICAGO – There are some fears in this world that seem irrational to us. Like a fear of clowns or the fear of using an elevator. Horror films are at the core of some of these fears, with the truly great ones creating new things to fear. The “Child’s Play” franchise may have had its roots in psychopathic soul transfers, but the update focuses on the ghost in the machine.

Rock Past Reverberates With ‘Echo in the Canyon’

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

CHICAGO – So much ink and retrospective media space has been taken up with the British Invasion of America, starting with The Beatles in 1964. Well, finally there is a new documentary that goes back to the good old USA during that era, to give that folk/rock “California Sound” its due.

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