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John Cusack

Brian Wilson Redeems His Soul in ‘Love & Mercy’

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

CHICAGO – Brian Wilson has been called one of the greatest songwriters in popular music history. His tonality and approach towards his best compositions have been studied like Mozart. In “Love & Mercy,” we see that the thing that made Wilson great also had the power to destroy him.

Pre-Apocalyptic Darkness Found in ‘Maps to the Stars’

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

CHICAGO – There is a moral darkness in director David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars” that is hard to shake. It is filled with circumstance and souls right at the edge of insanity, polluted by an atmosphere that doesn’t give them much of a chance. The apocalypse is now, and living in Los Angeles.

Back to the Funny in ‘Hot Tub Time Machine 2’

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

CHICAGO – The concept is a hot tub, that also acts as a time machine. It practically writes itself! The too-meticulous plot of “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” still delivers a decent amount of laughs, although most of them fall under the crude and rude category. Better a cheap laugh than no laugh.

Author Remains Elusive in Documentary ‘Salinger’

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

CHICAGO – Jerome David Salinger, J.D. to his readers, remains one of the most influential and controversial authors of the 20th Century. Known intuitively for the classic novel “Catcher in the Rye,” he also was known as a reclusive soul. His life and times make up the new documentary, “Salinger.”

Nicolas Cage, John Cusack Get Buried in ‘The Frozen Ground’

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

CHICAGO – There have been a depressing number of bad career choices on the part of Oscar winner Nicolas Cage and once-great actor John Cusack in recent years. Anyone seen “Seeking Justice,” “Stolen,” “The Numbers Station,” or “The Factory”? Someone owes you an apology.

‘The Numbers Station’ Feels Made by a Computer

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

CHICAGO – John Cusack’s new spy thriller is so routine, predictable, and dull that they could have called it “By-the-Numbers Station”. Too easy? How about “Paint-by-Numbers Station”? OK, I’ll stop now before @FakeShalit comes after me.

Nicole Kidman is Unique in Fluttery ‘The Paperboy’

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

CHICAGO – With all the steamy heat, and the thick, gluey southern accents from mostly non-southern actors, the audience for “The Paperboy” might need to wear lawyer-like suspenders and flap a funeral home fan to take it all in. The sweaty new film features Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey and John Cusack, all chewing the scenery.

Edgar Allan Poe Deserves Better Than ‘The Raven’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “The Raven” is such a snooze fest that it could have the disastrous effect of turning young viewers off from actually reading Edgar Allan Poe. Trust me, young readers – nothing by Poe is this generic, dull, boring, or plain stupid. Taking the two hours of your life that it would take to see “The Raven” and reading anything by the man who inspired it would be a smarter use of your time. And you’d be less likely to fall asleep.

John Cusack, Rob Corddry Ride ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’

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

CHICAGO – What man approaching or in middle age wouldn’t love to go back to when they were in their physical, sexual, and alcohol-imbibing prime and not just feel young again but perhaps even correct a few mistakes that led to a disappointing life?

‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ Searches Soul, Comes Up Half Full

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5CHICAGO – In 2000’s “High Fidelity,” John Cusack mused: “I’ve read books like … ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ and I think I’ve understood them. They’re about girls, right?”

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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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