CHICAGO – John Cusack’s new spy thriller is so routine, predictable, and dull that they could have called it “By-the-Numbers Station”. Too easy? How about “Paint-by-Numbers Station”? OK, I’ll stop now before @FakeShalit comes after me.
CHICAGO – John Cusack is in a very bad mood. Not even a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner can melt his icily grim disposition, as he speeds through traffic, shouts expletives at random extras and takes part in several terse phone conversations (hopefully with his agent). Of course, if I was an A-grade actor trapped in Z-grade dreck, I’d be peeved too.
CHICAGO – Some have embraced Lee Daniels’ super-weird “The Paperboy,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, as pure pulp entertainment, the kind of sexy, sweaty, ridiculous B-movie that they don’t make enough of any more. Others have called it absolute trash with The Onion A.V. Club going as far as to name it the worst movie of the year. I’m much closer to The Onion in this case. As hard as I tried to get on the wavelength of this film’s growing cult movie reputation, I couldn’t shake the fact that it’s just a piece of junk.
CHICAGO – One of the great events in Chicago in 2012 was the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, affectionately called C2E2. A galaxy of movie and TV stars appeared at that Spring gathering, including Sean Astin, John Cusack, Val Kilmer and Steven Yuen (“The Walking Dead”). The next C2E2 is April 26-28, 2013.
CHICAGO – John Cusack is an enormously likable actor, and for the first third of James McTeigue’s period thriller, he holds audience interest long enough to inspire hope for a better two thirds. Alas, the film crash lands soon after that, as McTeigue proves to have little to no interest in his central subject, one of the greatest writers in the history of literature.
CHICAGO – With all the steamy heat, and the thick, gluey southern accents from mostly non-southern actors, the audience for “The Paperboy” might need to wear lawyer-like suspenders and flap a funeral home fan to take it all in. The sweaty new film features Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey and John Cusack, all chewing the scenery.
CHICAGO – Through their ownership of Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures, Disney has released a stellar wave of catalog titles this week, including at least three comedies that I would call great, two of John Cusack’s best performances, and an ’80s comedy that many people point to as one of the faves of their childhood. Pick your favorite.
CHICAGO – Only The Criterion Collection can do a film like “Being John Malkovich” justice. Not only has the film held up remarkably well since its 1999 release (and even somes somewhat ahead of its time given our ability to invade the privacy of celebrity more than ever) but Criterion has assembled a stellar collection of special features that display that unique sense of personality that Spike Jonze’s debut film embodies for its fans.
CHICAGO – “The Raven” is such a snooze fest that it could have the disastrous effect of turning young viewers off from actually reading Edgar Allan Poe. Trust me, young readers – nothing by Poe is this generic, dull, boring, or plain stupid.
CHICAGO – Though Chicago’s John Cusack is perhaps best known for his beloved roles as a down-to-earth charmer in “Say Anything” and “High Fidelity,” he’s no stranger to exploring the troubling depths of darkness.