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Steven Spielberg

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.

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

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Megan Fox

    CHICAGO - Look past the cheesy carbs and b-boy poses, this shiny mo-cap reboot of cartoon juggernaut “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” offers slick entertainment that makes for a welcome surprise for middle school fare. Proving that executive producer Michael Bay has both grown up but it still frightfully in tune with what jazzes teens, this surprise box office hit is indeed a nice slice of a blockbuster spectacle, whether or not a viewer cares about the turtles or not.

  • HoliDaze Front

    CHICAGO – Need a break from the noise of the holidays? Step Up Productions, – in residence at Chicago Dramatists Theater – present “HoliDaze,” a collection of six one-act plays, all dealing with the nature and nurture of the season. The showcase runs through December 21st, 2014.

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