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Ben Stiller

Frustrating Journey Into ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’

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

I so want to love Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Stiller’s directorial work on films like “The Cable Guy” and “Tropic Thunder” was underrated, the source material is great, the message of living in the moment has more value in an increasingly cluttered world, and the time seems right for an imaginative journey into the mind of a likable protagonist like Mr. Mitty.

Ben Stiller in ‘The Watch’ Needs a Better Mechanism

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

CHICAGO – Star studded, special effects ladened “comedies” featuring aliens should have been put to rest after last year’s “Paul.” But “The Watch” is here, and it features Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and an odd Richard Ayoade as four suburban neighborhood watch volunteers who end up hunting space men. Yep, right after “Paul.”

Sweet, Enjoyable ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’

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

CHICAGO – It’s incredibly rare to be able to say this – the third installment in a hit animated franchise could arguably be the best. “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” is certainly more fun, clever, and enjoyable than the last film in this series and probably holds its own against the original.

Ben Stiller in ‘Tower Heist’ is a Waste of Time, Talent

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The frustrating madness that is the typical Hollywood movie never ceases to amaze, in the sense where large sums of cash are outlaid to pair the right movie stars together, and not one wit is expended to create an interesting or cohesive story. “Tower Heist” is the latest example of this sad trend.

Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller Seem Bored in Tepid ‘Little Fockers’

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

CHICAGO – The Law of Diminishing Returns is alive and well in the “Meet the Parents” Franchise, as the third film in the series, “Little Fockers,” has a lazy, we-did-it-for-the-money veneer. They got the gang back together, Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Barbra Streisand and the rest, but with few exceptions they all seem bored with it all.

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

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

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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  • Bad Words

    Looming over “Bad Words” is the potential it could have had, as is, were it released ten years ago. With its focus of R-rated behavior poking at the projected innocence of children, along with the couple of chromosomes that keep Bateman’s Trilby from being a Vince Vaughn character, this movie is certainly a product of the comedies that have sculpted out the manchild story in the past decade.

  • Winter's Tale

    The theatrical poster for “Winter’s Tale,” after promising that “It’s not a true story, it’s a love story,” made a large demand from its viewers at the bottom: “This Valentine’s Day, Believe In Miracles.” While there is indeed a difference between filmmaking and marketing, it is hard to not imagine writer/director Akiva Goldsman whispering “believe in miracles” into the ear of every executive who helped “Winter’s Tale” come to life, immediately after throwing glitter on them.

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