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Shia LaBeouf

World War II Drama ‘Fury’ Fires on All Cylinders

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

CHICAGO – “Fury” just might be Brad Pitt’s “Saving Private Ryan.” At its heart it’s a crowd pleaser, but it never shies away from the sheer brutality of war. While it doesn’t have anything quite so devastating as “Saving Private Ryan’s” D-Day sequence, it depicts the everyday horrors of killing the enemy and the men who must force themselves to make their peace with the casualties that pile up in the muck.

Brutal Next Chapter Defines ‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. 2’

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

CHICAGO – The exploration of sexuality is a stark breakthrough in the “Nymphomaniac” film series by writer/director Lars von Trier. In the story of a woman interacting with her nature, there are shades of all physically active individuals. “Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1” covered the younger days of the main character of Joe. Vol. 2 takes her to the next, and more brutal phase – challenging her life and her disposition.

Nature, Morality Collide in ‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1’

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

CHICAGO – Writer/director Lars von Trier creates exposure through his film art. He is unafraid to explore the very nature of being human, while at the same time revealing the very foibles of barriers to our nature – social structures, economies, religion and our own conceits in life. Lars von Trier’s latest barrier breaker is “Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1.”

Annoying, Inconsistent ‘Charlie Countryman’ with Shia LaBeouf

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – What happens when you give people two months in Romania to make a movie about a lost soul dealing with grief, love, drug use, and general excess? You get a spoiled, bizarre, annoying piece of work like “Charlie Countryman,” starring talented people given absolutely nothing to do that proves that talent. It’s a film more in love with slow-motion shots of its abrasive lead running to electronic dance music than anything approaching character or plot. It’s like watching the travel video of the most annoying guy you know.

Tom Hardy Leads Great Cast in Disappointing ‘Lawless’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – John Hillcoat’s “Lawless,” based on Matt Bondurant’s “The Wettest County in the World,” is one of the most high profile disappointments of 2012, a film with an amazing cast that suffocates under the weight of an inconsistent script, a boring lead, and a complete lack of narrative drive. Who would have ever guessed that a movie with so many charismatic actors and actresses could ever be so shockingly dull? It’s nearly an accomplishment.

‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ Gets Adrenalin Pumping

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

CHICAGO – The final 45 minutes of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” are such an orgy of CGI insanity, falling skyscrapers, and battling robots that the film approaches some sort of summer movie nirvana, or at least it will for the right audience. There’s little debate that the Chicago-set climax of Michael Bay’s third film based on Hasbro’s line of toys delivers what it promises.

Shia LaBeouf, Michael Douglas Drive Energetic ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’

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

CHICAGO – After a string of disappointments that include “Alexander,” “World Trade Center” and “W,” one of the best directors of the 1980s and 1990s at least draws closer to form with the entertaining “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”. The film is a great vehicle for Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin and Michael Douglas that occasionally disappoints but crackles more often than it fizzles.

‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ is Galaxies Away From its Predecessor

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – There are often many reasons sequels should not be made. “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is one of them.

Seeking that “Allspark” exhilaration pumped into many of us from the original “Transformers,” moviegoers will flock to the sequel with anticipation.

After 19 Years, ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ Phenomenally Exhumes Venerated Roots

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5CHICAGO – After such a long respite from the beloved film progression, I was initially just as skittish about seeing Harrison Ford back in the Indy saddle as I was watching Sylvester Stallone back in the ring in “Rocky Balboa” in his 2006 comeback and then again in 2008 in his “Rambo” return.

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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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