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Rousing ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Hits Modern Society’s Central Nervous System

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

CHICAGOLook. We all know sequels usually suck. And blockbuster films often get panned for overprioritizing special effects at the expense of a well-written story and character development. Even when a story in a big-budget film is redeeming, it’s practically impossible not to shoot holes through it.

Big Spectacle, Small Heart in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’

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

CHICAGO – For a film with so much eye candy that it threatens ocular diabetes, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is decidedly low in story rhythm and energy – even with a villain named Electro. The story also has the “three villain syndrome,” which allows for a lack of focus and heart.

Near-Perfect ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Defies Common Sequel Disappointment

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

CHICAGO – If the original is anything to applaud, the sequel usually isn’t. And even more rarely is the sequel actually better.

While it’s aggressive to market “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” as one of the “best superhero movies of all time” and more realistic to pitch it as “better than ‘The Avengers,’” it most certainly is 2014’s best action flick yet and it definitely defies common sequel disappointment.

Forced ‘Thor: The Dark World’ Sequel Lacks Passion, Sci-Fi Basis

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

CHICAGO – For me and the subculture as a whole, so much of science fiction came from “Star Trek”. If creator Gene Roddenberry were alive today to witness “Thor: The Dark World,” he’d tell it to focus on being a superhero film rather than failing to dabble in science fiction.

Geekdom Celebrated in ‘Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope’

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

CHICAGO – Say the words “San Diego Comic-Con” to a certain comic geek subculture and suddenly heart rates are up and anticipation is in the air. The documentary maker Morgan Spurlock (“Supersize Me”) seeks to capture that feeling in “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope,” with help from Seth Rogen, Kevin Smith, Stan Lee, Thomas Jane, Josh Whedon, Seth Green and Matt Groening.

‘The Incredible Hulk’ Indeed Jacked Up on CGI Roids, But Medusa’s in His Face

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

CHICAGO – Technology has done double-edged service and disservice to the legendary Hulk superhero character from Stan Lee’s Marvel Comics.

In peering at the CGI-created ripped body of nothing remotely reminiscent of Edward Norton, the 2008 film iteration of “The Incredible Hulk” has a leg light years up on Lou Ferrigno’s character in the 1978 television series of the “The Incredible Hulk”.

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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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