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Steven Spielberg

More Than a Popcorn Flick, ‘Jurassic World’ Makes a Climactic Comeback Worth Making

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

CHICAGO – Blockbuster films are obsessed with bigger, louder and faster. They often think they need to spend more money to outdo what they’ve done before – especially when coming from a beloved original like “Jurassic Park”.

‘Poltergeist’ Remake Has a Soul of Its Own

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

CHICAGO – Whether it’s the 1982 original or the remake just released in theaters today to the wrath of numerous fans, the lesson of “Poltergeist” remains the same: Don’t do a half-assed job when relocating skeletons for corporate greed, or suffer the supernatural consequences. Fear not, however, as this is one remake that doesn’t just dress up a nostalgic skeleton for the modern horror crowd, but one that reminisces, and looks forward, with a mostly intelligent, genuine heart.

Emotion of ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ in ‘Earth to Echo’

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

CHICAGO – Oh those meddling kids, they can’t keep their noses out of anything, and for one lost space alien that’s a good thing. “Earth to Echo” is a wonderfully mastered combination of “found footage” composition and a Spielbergian-style encounter with an extra-terrestrial.

‘Lincoln’ Magnificently Humanizes the Man, Our History

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

CHICAGO – There is an argument that Steven Spielberg is the most “American” of directors, at least in his generation. He deftly and brilliantly teams up with playwright Tony Kushner and actor Daniel Day-Lewis to humanize and realize our 16th president in “Lincoln.”

Steven Spielberg Casts a Golden Light Upon ‘War Horse’

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

CHICAGO – Opening on Christmas Day is a film about a boy, his horse and war, brought to the screen by America’s most popular living director. “War Horse” is the most critic proof film ever realized. Kidding. This equine epic is Steven Spielberg’s latest, taking advantage of precise filmmaking, emotion and cinematography to deliver a decent holiday package.

Steven Spielberg’s Disappointing ‘The Adventures of Tintin’

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

CHICAGO – Being a huge Steven Spielberg fan and a pretty big aficionado of Peter Jackson (who produced) as well, I was pretty psyched to see what these two undeniable geniuses could do in the world of motion-capture animation with their collaboration on the adaptation of the hit Herge cartoon “The Adventures of Tintin.” That’s why it hurts me to say that, excepting a few stand-out action scenes, this is a shockingly dull affair, something that lulled me to sleep far more often than it inspired my imagination to life.

‘Real Steel’ Overcomes Harebrained Premise With Heart, Quenching Hollywood Wizardry

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

CHICAGO – Try selling a friend on paying to see a movie with you about machine-operated boxing where humans control robots for money.

Just call your friend on his Motorola DynaTAC retro brickphone and say: “Hey, Billy! Remember all those swell nights we had as kids when I smoked you every time in Rock’em Sock’em Robots with our two dueling robot boxers mechanically manipulated by us?

J.J. Abrams Finds Magic in Wonderful ‘Super 8’

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

CHICAGOJ.J. Abrams’ “Super 8” comes to theaters this week shrouded in mystery, nostalgia, and expectation. What do the aliens look like? How will it pay homage to the works of Steven Spielberg that so clearly inspired it? And will the merging of two filmmakers amplify their flaws or underline their strengths?

Simon Pegg, Seth Rogen Have Close Encounter in Fun ‘Paul’

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

CHICAGO – When having fun at the movies seems in short supply, the British film duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost come along with one of their goofy, comic tributes to our cinematic heritage. After zombies in “Shaun of the Dead” and action heroes in “Hot Fuzz.” Pegg and Frost take on the extra terrestrials in “Paul.”

MIchael Bay-Produced ‘I Am Number Four’ a Solid Block of Superhero Gouda

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

CHICAGO – While the new sci-fi/superhero film “I Am Number Four” can be easily dismissed as yet another “Twilight” knockoff, the power of two mega-producers arms the film with nearly as much right as it does wrong. Thankfully for Chicagoans the film doesn’t star Brett Favre because of his numerical jersey affiliation, but with a story this weak, that stretch wouldn’t be too far.

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  • Pippin

    CHICAGO – It is the simple, timeless stories that work best when they are mounted again on Broadway, and the musical “Pippin” stays true to that assertion. Taking the concepts and the songs from a play that debuted in 1972, and featuring one of those original cast members in a key role, the National Touring revival of “Pippin” is being performed in Chicago at the Cadillac Theatre until August 9th, 2015.

  • Lori Petty, photo by Joe Arce

    CHICAGO – Lori Petty will never be predictable, nor put into some show business box. The free-wheelin’ Ms. P applies her expansive performance skills to the role of Lolly – a guest spot that turned into a recurring character – on Netflix’s hot series “Orange is the New Black,” which released its third season on June 12th, 2015.

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