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John Cusack

Film Review: Author Remains Elusive in Documentary ‘Salinger’

CHICAGO – Jerome David Salinger, J.D. to his readers, remains one of the most influential and controversial authors of the 20th Century. Known intuitively for the classic novel “Catcher in the Rye,” he also was known as a reclusive soul. His life and times make up the new documentary, “Salinger.”

Film Review: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack Get Buried in ‘The Frozen Ground’

The Frozen Ground
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – There have been a depressing number of bad career choices on the part of Oscar winner Nicolas Cage and once-great actor John Cusack in recent years. Anyone seen “Seeking Justice,” “Stolen,” “The Numbers Station,” or “The Factory”? Someone owes you an apology.

Film Review: ‘The Numbers Station’ Feels Made by a Computer

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.

DVD Review: John Cusack Fans Should Steer Clear of ‘The Factory’

The Factory DVD

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.

Blu-ray Review: Horrendous ‘The Paperboy’ Wastes Talented Cast

Paperboy, The

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.

Slideshow: Exclusive C2E2 Portraits Highlight 2012

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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.

Blu-ray Review: John Cusack Can’t Save Derivative Formula of ‘The Raven’

The Raven Blu-ray

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.

Film Review: Nicole Kidman is Unique in Fluttery ‘The Paperboy’

Paperboy, The

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.

Blu-ray Review: Disney Releases Some Modern Classics in Latest Wave

High Fidelity

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.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

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