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Bradley Cooper

Great Performances Drive Entertaining ‘American Hustle’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

As career con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) introduces newly-undercover FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) to his world of criminal enterprise, he shows him a Rembrandt painting in a museum, revealing that it’s a fake. Millions of people have seen and admired it, not realizing that it’s not the original. Does it matter if they get the same artistic enjoyment out of it?

Worse Than a Real One, ‘The Hangover Part III’

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

CHICAGO – With a lazy, over-plotted story, and a cast that are desperately going through the motions, “The Hangover Part III” is the latest example of a contract obligation disguising itself as a movie. Writer/director Todd Phillips sluggishly pounds out another one, with simply no originality.

Crime, Fatherhood Intersect in ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Derek Cianfrance’s masterful “The Place Beyond the Pines” is a complex, epic piece of storytelling about the ripple effect of crime through families and across generations. Drastic action does not exist in a vacuum. It influences generations below and those impacted by their parent’s decisions.

Deadly Dull ‘The Words’ Has Nothing to Say

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

CHICAGO – It may seem like easy bait for a critic but the quote whores supplied a dozen or so words for the mysterious ads for the new drama “The Words” and so I’d like to play their little game. I have a few words of my own – “Dull.” “Inert.” “Pretentious.” “Uninteresting.” “Inconsistent.” “Craptastic.” Put those on your ad.

Dax Shepard, Kristin Bell Stall Out in ‘Hit & Run’

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

CHICAGO – Pardon the clichés for a minute. I can’t help myself. Dax Shepard’s “Hit & Run” doesn’t just lose the drag race. It doesn’t just blow a flat tire or run out of gas. Think of all the Shalit-esque puns you can about a disastrous experience in a car and apply them to this lurching mess of five or six movies that aspires to be Tarantino-esque but completely misses its mark.

‘The Hangover Part II’ a Funny, Formulaic, Desperately Shocking Carbon Copy

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

CHICAGO – Business and creative people go together as well as fine wine at a burger joint. Riding on the heels of the monumentally profitable “The Hangover,” the brass win out over the artists in “The Hangover Part II”.

Bradley Cooper’s ‘Limitless’ Unlocks 100% of Hollywood’s Ridiculousness

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

CHICAGO – If you’re not easily susceptible to vertigo and can survive the intro cut scene, “Limitless” proceeds to treat you to one part thrill ride and one part exercise in ridiculousness. While we often go to the movies to escape, “Limitless” manipulatively exploits our deepest and darkest desires for wealth, power and Google-like global conquests.

‘Case 39’ With Renee Zellweger Should Have Remained Closed

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

CHICAGO – A film where a little girl screams as her foster parents attempt to brutally murder her can be a tough sell to theater owners. Perhaps that’s why Paramount’s “Case 39” with Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper has been sitting on studio shelves for years since it closed production in 2006. How do you market a film that chooses to turn the world of foster parenting into a horror thriller? Why make it in the first place?

Plan Comes Together For Entertaining Action of ‘The A-Team’

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

CHICAGO – “Overkill is underrated.” So says Col. Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) near the end of Joe Carnahan’s “The A-Team” and it clearly was the operating principle for not just the characters but the entire production. With its tongue firmly in its steroid-induced cheek, “The A-Team” is not designed to break any rules or change the action world, merely to offer summer entertainment for two hours and it does precisely that.

‘The Hangover’: All the Fun of Inebriation, No Next-Day Headache

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

CHICAGO – Those who seek out “The Hangover” will do so wanting a good laugh. Those who see this film will occasionally be struck with the feeling that they shouldn’t be laughing. But laugh and laugh often they will as “The Hangover” will whirl you through all the fun of inebriation without the consequence of the nasty, next-day headache.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • The King of Comedy

    Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.

  • 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.

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