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Will Arnett

Big Laughs Await in Sly, Fun ‘The LEGO Movie’

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

CHICAGO – The funniest movie in a long while features no human beings, just animated bland faces among interlocking plastic bricks, the toys which inspired the film. “The LEGO Movie” never takes itself seriously, which means huge laughs for the audience.

B-Level Story Sinks Finely Animated ‘The Nut Job’

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

CHICAGO – It feels like when any studio besides Disney or Pixar does an animated film with celebrity voices, there is a little less lacquer on it. What the other two remember, and others forget, is that it starts with a script. All the toon landscapes in the world can’t fix a dull story.

Middling ‘Mansome’ Suffers From Skin-Deep Insight

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

CHICAGO – Morgan Spurlock is an awfully likable guy. I’ll never forget the day when he held a special screening of “Super Size Me” for an auditorium full of college kids. After participating in an extended Q & A, Spurlock spoke with every single student that wanted to shake his hand and pose for a picture. When the building finally had to close up for the night, the Spurlock love fest spilled out onto the sidewalk.

Magical Trip to ‘The Secret World of Arrietty’

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

CHICAGO – Hayao Miyazaki is a living legend and his company Studio Ghibli should be as revered as Disney. They have given moviegoers around the world so many incredible gifts such as “Spirited Away,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” and “Princess Mononoke.” When Mr. Miyazaki only produces or writes instead of directing, such as with the new “The Secret World of Arrietty,” the results are less magical than otherwise but there’s still a lot to like in this gentle, sweet family film.

‘Despicable Me’ With Steve Carell Falls Short of World Domination

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

CHICAGO – “Despicable Me” is a mildly entertaining diversion on a summer afternoon. It’s a film that’s as equally difficult to hate as it is to love — kind of like its morally complex lead Gru (Steve Carell) — that falls just short of animation domination.

Josh Brolin, Megan Fox Dash Between the Explosions in ‘Jonah Hex’

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

CHICAGO – Delving deep into the comic book lexicon, the latest page-to-film adaptation is “Jonah Hex,” featuring Josh Brolin, Megan Fox and John Malkovich. Hex is a scarred bounty hunter whose primary job seems to be saving America, when he isn’t in the midst of or causing things to blow up real good.

DreamWorks’ ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’ Has Great 3D Concept, But Falls Flat

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

CHICAGO – Hasn’t Pixar proven that animation can be more than just concept and celebrity voice work? The problem with “Monsters vs. Aliens” is that the team behind it clearly prioritized nearly every element of the film over actual storytelling.

Dr. Seuss’ ‘Horton Hears a Who!’ Heard Loudly Into Instant Children’s Classic

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – One of Dr. Seuss’ most famous storybooks has finally been granted life with its self-titled animated feature “Horton Hears a Who!,” which involves a morally righteous elephant, philosophical timbre and Dr. Seuss’ ingenious lyrical rhymes.

Slapstick in ‘The Brothers Solomon’ Dumber Than ‘Dumb & Dumber’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2/5CHICAGO – With 2007 films like “Knocked Up” and “Superbad,” the smart and embarrassingly truthful geek comedies are the current wave of humor in America.

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  • 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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