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Shawn Levy

Film Review: Bigger Not Better ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’

CHICAGO – This is what happens when a beloved book gets sucked into the big Hollywood studio machine and gets all the endearing qualities – plus its heart and soul – sucked right out of it. “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad movie.

Film Review: Unoriginal, Unfunny ‘This is Where I Leave You’ a Poor Man’s ‘August: Osage County’

CHICAGO – Jason Bateman and an all-star cast got me there. The unfunny copycat story left me regretting it. If you don’t start with a solid plot that’s at least somewhat new, it doesn’t matter how many “A”-listers you throw into an ensemble. They’re just individuals doing the best they can with weak material.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Internship’ With Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated new comedy “The Internship” starring Vince Vaughn!

Blu-ray Review: Kids Will Like ‘Real Steel,’ Adults May Be Bored

Real Steel with Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly and Dakota Goyo (main page)

CHICAGO – For pre-teen boys, a movie about fighting robots probably can’t possibly be too long. For their parents, guardians, or babysitters, the fact that “Real Steel” is a ridiculously-overlong 127 minutes is worth noting. The film plays like gangbusters to eight-to-twelve year old boys (and the PG-13 rating is silly given the general lack of non-robot violence) but wears out its welcome for pretty much everyone else. There are things to like here, but not enough to overcome its bloated personality.

‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian’ is Predictable, Clustered Drivel

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian with Ben Stiller

CHICAGO – The sequel “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” is, presumably, an effort by director Shawn Levy (“Night at the Museum” in 2006 and “The Pink Panther”) and writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (who both wrote the first film) to weave together an exciting and educational film.

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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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