CHICAGO – Good cartoons know that we’re in on the joke, that all the surreal actions will satisfy our basic funny bone. Great cartoons give us a little bit more, an empathy or a story that really goes beyond expectations. “The Croods” is a great cartoon, and a wonderful achievement in animation evolution.
CHICAGO – The fast, funny and brightly thematic “The Croods” is the latest animated epic to come out of DreamWorks Studios, and a couple of veterans in the cartoon game, Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders, are both the writers and directors of this vivid look into a prehistoric cave family and their evolutionary adventures.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of family 4 packs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of “The Croods” starring Nicolas Cage!
CHICAGO – Some studios seem hellbent on going out of their way to diminish audience expectations prior to a film’s release. The thoughtful, quietly powerful thriller, “The Grey,” was marketed to resemble a silly man vs. wolf action blockbuster, and yet still managed to have a big opening weekend at the box office. Are mainstream audiences seduced by the promise of dreck?
CHICAGO – In our latest action-packed thriller edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Blu-ray, we have 5 Blu-rays up for grabs for the highly anticipated home entertainment release of “Safe House” starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds!
CHICAGO – With obvious comparisons to “24” and “Buried,” Gabe Torres’ “Brake” comes with a bit of referential baggage in its trunk. Also in there is Secret Service Agent Jeremy Reins (Stephen Dorff), a man trapped in a nightmarish kidnapping situation in the trunk of a car. He wakes up there and it’s where the vast majority of “Brake” takes place as he’s tortured physically and mentally by a group of terrorists trying to find the Executive Branch’s secret bunker.
CHICAGO – “Safe House” is so overly familiar that you not only will think that you’ve seen it before and know exactly where it’s going before it gets there, but you will also barely remember having seen it once it’s over.
CHICAGO – In our latest crime/mystery edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated new film “Safe House” starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds!
CHICAGO – Just today, we wrote of the stellar ensemble in this summer’s “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and how well-used they were in that enjoyable romantic dramedy. On the other end of the comedy scale, we have “The Change-Up,” out on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow. Consider this an advance warning to not waste your time with this reprehensible excuse for a movie. Only the sheer talent of the two leads keep it from total disaster. Rarely have so many talented people been used so ineffectively.
CHICAGO – After the abysmal theatrical reviews, I thought it would be easier to completely dismiss “Green Lantern,” the least-acclaimed and least-profitable of the Summer 2011 Superhero Quartet (which also included “X-Men: First Class,” “Thor,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” — and I would rank them in that order in terms of quality with “GL” bringing up the rear). The fact is that this is not an “Elektra” or “Ghost Rider”-level mess. There are things about Martin Campbell’s film that work, especially in the first half, but a goofy story and aesthetic ultimately sink the film to cartoonish levels.