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Arnold Schwarzenegger

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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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

  • A Field in England (teaser)

    CHICAGO – I can’t recommend this more. “A Field in England” is a flashback and a flash forward all at once. It’s impossible to watch without thinking of great counter culture cinema. In fact when I saw it at Fantastic Fest 2013 it played as part of a double bill with Ken Russell’s “The Devils” (1971). They made perfect cinematic companion pieces. Russell’s film concerned a wayward priest desperate to protect his 17th century city from corruption in the Church only to fall victim to group hysteria when he is, ironically, accused of witchcraft by a jealous nun.

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