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Bill Murray Rolls Downhill in ‘Rock the Kasbah’

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

CHICAGO – What’s up with this movie? Everything in it is so wrong headed, despite movie star casting and a attempt toward “current events.” Setting itself in a modern and complex country – Afghanistan – but creating a perspective on that country that is straight ugly American, “Rock the Kasbah” is a total downer.

More Risqué ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ Doesn’t Dare to Trailblaze Again

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

CHICAGO – Sex sells, sure, but the film-noir sequel “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” makes you feel dirty if you’re left thinking that’s enough.

Nine years since the visually groundbreaking, avant-garde hit “Sin City,” Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’s biggest mistake with their next incarnation is replacing the first film’s bloodthirsty impact with too much nudity.

‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ Breaks No New Ground

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

CHICAGO – When the first “Sin City” (2005) was released – based on the graphic novels by Frank Miller – the conversion of a film to a noir-like comic book atmosphere was pioneering. The sequel “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” has heightened that look, but this time has much less to say.

Despite Flopping as a Comic Book Movie, ‘Red 2’ Coasts By with Well-Written Characters

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

CHICAGO – If you didn’t see the DC Entertainment splash screen when this “Red 2” sequel kicks off with the fake death of one of its usual suspects, you wouldn’t mind that the rest of the film feels nothing like a comic book movie except for its animated transitions between scenes.

‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ Almost Turns Macho Stupidity Into Art

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

CHICAGO – “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is the kind of dumb summer action blockbuster that works in the season when the kids aren’t in school and the movie theater is used as an excuse to get in the air conditioning as much as see anything approaching filmmaking. It nearly works in March. Nearly.

‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ Makes For Bad Movie Night

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 0.5/5.0
Rating: 0.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The franchise has been in steady decline since the original “Die Hard,” quite simply one of the best action films of all time, but that still doesn’t prepare one for the truly horrendous “A Good to Day to Die Hard,” a complete waste of time on every level. Loud, obnoxious, boring, cartoonish, morally reprehensible, and just plain stupid, “A Good Day to Die Hard” is just bad, bad, bad.

Stunning, Creative Vision of ‘Looper’ with Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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

CHICAGO – It’s so refreshing to see a talented filmmaker that has been allowed to bring his unique vision to the screen without compromise. You know the feeling when you’re watching a product of a marketing focus group or producer interference and when you’re seeing something fresh, new, and personal.

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?

Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ Delights with Clever Tale of Young Love

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

CHICAGO – Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” is a true delight — a fun, clever, and, of course, whimsical tale about the days when love seemed worth running away from home over and getting a scout badge meant the world. Easily Anderson’s best film since “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Moonrise” is arguably the most tonally consistent film he’s made to date, a thoroughly enjoyable endeavor that one would have to be pretty cynical to dismiss entirely.

Talented Ensemble Wasted on Incredibly Dull ‘Red’

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

CHICAGO – They say you can learn as much from a bad movie as you can from a good one. If that’s true, what’s the lesson to be taken from the extremely boring and misguided “Red”? Perhaps that moviemaking is not the sum of its parts and that you can’t just get together an amazing cast, shout action, and expect magic.

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  • Sherlock Holmes with David Arquette (teaser)

    CHICAGO – Different isn’t bad and might be great, but you’d better have an irrefutable reason to change what was never broken. Campy being the only word to accurately convey this alternate-reality version of Sherlock Holmes with an original script, writer Greg Kramer and director Andrew Shaver try too hard to be different without ever figuring out why.

  • Merry Widow, The

    CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.


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