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Katie Holmes

‘The Giver’ Takes Too Much From Young Adult Formula

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

CHICAGO – “The Giver” must have seemed a lot newer back when it was written than it does now. The Newberry Medal winning, middle school staple predates many other Young Adult series about oppressive big brother-ish societies. But its filmed adaptation, coming on the heels of “Divergent” and “The Hunger Games,” can’t help but feel like it’s riding their coattails.

Adam Sandler Sticks to Formula in ‘Jack and Jill’

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

CHICAGO – No one will ever accuse Adam Sandler of not knowing his audience and the reason they keep coming back to his “Happy Madison” genre of films – he delivers the oddball characters, lots of bodily fluids/sounds, physical beatings and the know-it-all straight man. Add the gooey sentiment and out spews the latest, “Jack and Jill.”

Channing Tatum Stars in Inconsistent ‘The Son of No One’

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

CHICAGO – Director Dito Montiel and star Channing Tatum were once tagged with the label of the hot new debut artistic partnership. 2006’s great “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” introduced both men to the world and it felt like it could be the calling card for a creative team to someday rival Scorsese and De Niro.

Ineffective ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’ From Producer Guillermo Del Toro

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

CHICAGO – Echoing elements of masterful works by Producer Guillermo Del Toro (most notably “The Devil’s Backbone,” “Pan’s Labyrinth”), “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” is an incredibly frustrating remake, a film that reminds one of scary movies instead of actually producing scares itself.

Kevin Kline, John C. Reilly Are Eccentric New Yorkers in ‘The Extra Man’

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

CHICAGO – The beauty of watching creative character actors like Kevin Kline and John C. Reilly is that they seem to revel in the craft of embodying their roles. In “The Extra Man,” they both take a trippy and literate script and apply some additional magic that helps to flesh out a young man’s journey into the heart of Manhattan.

Star Power Can’t Save ‘Mad Money’ From ‘Thelma & Louise’ Writer Callie Khouri

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2/5CHICAGO – Whenever there’s stunt-movie casting with divergent generations of Hollywood “stars,” there’s bound to be trouble at the multiplex.

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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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