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Amy Poehler

‘Are You Here’ Feels Like Mashup of Two Different Films

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

CHICAGO – You would think that a film written and directed by Matthew Weiner – the creator of “Mad Men” – would be worthwhile company, especially when the cast includes Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson and Amy Poehler. It is disappointing to note that not only was this cliché-ridden mess unpalatable, but it also switched gears two-thirds of the way through to evoke a different mood, and that schizophrenia didn’t help the overall product.

‘They Came Together’ Sharply Skewers the Rom-Com

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

CHICAGO – If there is any genre of film that needs a good blasting, it is the romantic comedy. These silly fantasies practically seem like satires anyway, so when the comic genius of writer/director David Wain ponders them, and casts Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler as the “couple,” the funny will fly.

Hilarious Cast Elevates Mediocre ‘A.C.O.D.’

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

CHICAGO – The incredibly talented men and women who make up the cast of “A.C.O.D.” make the relative failure of its script easier to bear. Just hearing brilliant actors like Richard Jenkins and Catherine O’Hara at each other’s throats or watching remarkably likable stars like Adam Scott and Mary Elizabeth Winstead figure out their relationship has enough charm to get one from lights down to credits roll.

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.

Despite Poehler’s Wit, ‘Mr. Woodcock’ Underwhelms With Wasted Thornton, Sarandon Talent

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2/5CHICAGO – Just from eyeing the “Mr. Woodcock” movie poster, you could suspect exactly what the movie will be. Just 90 minutes later, your suspicions would be confirmed.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Spike Heels Stage Play

    CHICAGO – If you can remember the 1990s outside of childhood, you are in the glow of middle age, so congratulations. The Brown Paper Box Co. theater ensemble takes us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with “Spike Heels,” a relationship comedy centering on the co-mingling antics of two couples, with a slight nod toward George Bernard Shaw and the play “Pygmalion” (or its musical counterpart, “My Fair Lady”).

  • Book of Merman, The

    CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.

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