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Bradley Cooper

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ a Gleeful Space Romp

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

CHICAGO – “Guardians Of The Galaxy” is a gleeful Star Wars knockoff dressed up in Marvel Comics clothing. It occupies the same universe as Marvel’s other properties, but its tone is decidedly sillier. It has a spirit more akin to the later joke heavy installments of the Star Trek franchise or low budget exploitation mogul Roger Corman’s “Battle Beyond The Stars” than the ponderous pontificating of “Thor.”

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.

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  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

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