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Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dour Zombie Drama ‘Maggie’

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

CHICAGO – A common quagmire during a zombie outbreak, as expressed in the 367 films about the topic made about such an event since 2000, concerns what to do when your loved one is infected. For many movies, it makes for the tearful, climactic moment; for the dour drama “Maggie,” it’s the total narrative examination that just about fills half a movie, featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a rugged, lumberjack dad who is disturbed by the ailing conditions of his infected daughter (played by Abigail Breslin).

As Title Implies, ‘The Expendables 3’ Totally Expendable

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The old man as macho action hero trend has finally calcified. If you haven’t seen either of the two previous “Expendables” pictures – this is definitely not the place to start. Sylvester Stallone’s creaky franchise hits rock bottom with this shoddy looking, poorly paced, indifferently acted and overlong exercise in excess on the cheap. It supposedly cost $90 million dollars to make, but what’s onscreen looks like it should have gone direct to video. Some explosions look like they were created with an iPhone.

Surprises Can’t Save ‘Sabotage’ From Bloody Carnage

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

CHICAGO – The crime thriller “Sabotage” is the least predictable and most intense of the handful of post-Governator action movies Arnold Schwarzenegger has starred in. Last year’s “The Last Stand” had a sense of humor about it, along with a nod to classic Westerns, that lightened the bloody violence, but here is a gritty film that proudly displays its tattoos and adrenaline in a testosterone-laced delivery.

Two Old Dogs Prove Very Entertaining in ‘Escape Plan’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Great action movies have one truth in common – they mix their face-offs with a psychological battle, which complements the pyrotechnics of invincible super humans. “Escape Plan,” with grizzled veterans Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, is true to that form.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is Back in ‘The Last Stand’

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

CHICAGO – With enough hair plugs, bronzer and hormone injections to float a rejuvenation clinic, Arnold Schwarzenegger is back from his political meanderings and is an action star once again in the shoot-’em-up “The Last Stand.” Johnny Knoxville lends some comic relief.

Sylvester Stallone in Formulaic ‘The Expendables 2’

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

CHICAGO – Face it, it is fun to see the major action stars of the 1980s, ‘90s and now – Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger – together again for “The Expendables 2.” Why the hell can’t anyone write a decent story for them?

Bar is Set Low in Retread of ‘Conan the Barbarian’

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

CHICAGO – Sword and sandal epics are almost expected to have wooden acting and absurd dialogue. The new film “Conan the Barbarian” meets those expectations, and doesn’t offer any action or originality to counteract the anticipated flaws.

Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham Are Halfway in ‘The Expendables’

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

CHICAGO – Seeing them all together was fun. Enduring some macho joshing, even in the form of stiff dialogue, was tolerable. But doing a bad, boring action movie with Sylvester Stallone trying to prop up his “legacy” was sadly too much to bear. Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are among “The Expendables.”

Adrien Brody’s ‘Predators’ Unmemorably Lulls Through the Expected Motions

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Good films deliver on their promise. Great films up the ante even more. In this version of the long “Predators” franchise from director Nimrod Antal (“Control,” “Armored,” “Vacancy”) and more-known producer Robert Rodriguez (“Grindhouse,” “Sin City”), we merely see more of the same: just enough to get us by but not nearly enough to make us care.

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  • Punk Punk

    CHICAGO – For theater that is audaciously in-the-now and generates a sparkle of life, there are few better storefront (garage, gothic gathering place) groups than “Nothing Without a Company.” Their latest, eclectic kick-in-the-head production is the intensely diverting and weirdly fun “Punk Punk.”

  • Assassination Theater

    CHICAGO – There are two dates in modern American History that ring in the heads of certain generations. Of course, there is September 11th, 2001, but the granddaddy of that date is November 22nd, 1963. That is when an American president, John F. Kennedy, was shot point blank in the head and killed on the street of an American city. The official proclamation from the government is that a lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, fired those shots. In a new Chicago play, “Assassination Theater,” subtitled “Chicago’s Role in the Crime of the Century,” the jury is still decidedly out.


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