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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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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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