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Chloe Grace Moretz

Overall Story of ‘The Equalizer’ Doesn’t Add Up

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

CHICAGO – You could call “The Equalizer” a bit of an underachiever. It re-teams Oscar winner Denzel Washington with his “Training Day” director Antoine Fuqua for a movie remake of a 1980’s TV show with a cult following, but the film as a whole adds up to less than the sum of its parts.

‘If I Stay’ Can’t Rinse its Too-Sudsy Soap Opera

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

CHICAGO – We hate it when they grow up. Chloë Grace Moretz, a former child actor, takes on a first-teen-love role, and the results are decidedly mixed. The extreme emotions, the circumstances and Ms. Moretz’s performance undermine the soapy “If I Stay.”

Performances Carry Update of Horror Classic ‘Carrie’

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

CHICAGO – Director Kimberly Peirce (“Boys Don’t Cry”) doesn’t convey the dread or atmosphere of Stephen King’s “Carrie” to a degree that elevates it to the source material’s true potential but she does handle performance in a way that’s rare in the genre, making this remake one of the best horror films of the season.

Disappointing ‘Kick-Ass 2’ Replaces Style with Vulgarity

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

CHICAGO – More vulgar, violent, and generally vile than the first film, “Kick-Ass 2” is one of those incredibly annoying films that actually will mar the legacy of its predecessor by association. Writer/director Jeff Wadlow entirely misplaces the priorities of the first film, thinking that the sequel needs to be more extreme, even if that’s at the expense of style and intelligence.

Story Lets Down Chloe Grace Moretz in Stupid ‘Hick’

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

CHICAGO – It’s understandable that people from the Southern or rural United States would criticize the general media. With films like “Hick,” which generally portray them as idiots or sociopathic, there is no balance or honest characterizations. Chloe Moretz, Blake Lively, Eddie Redmayne and Alec Baldwin add their take on it all.

Keep Tim Burton’s ‘Dark Shadows’ Out of the Light

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

CHICAGO – Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows” is one of the most inconsistent and frustrating major films in a long time. There are elements here and there that work but Burton and writer Seth Grahame-Smith seem incapable of figuring out how to wrangle them into a coherent, successful film.

Gorgeous ‘Hugo’ Plays Like Cinematic Snow Globe

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

CHICAGO – Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” is a deeply personal piece, a magical tale about imagination and the importance of film preservation presented with some of the most technical expertise in years. It is also a strikingly cold film, an adventure that doesn’t contain the whimsy, pace, or charm that it really needed to in order to connect emotionally as well as intellectually.

Incomprehensible Story, Uninteresting Characters Sink in ‘Texas Killing Fields’

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

CHICAGO – Ami Canaan Mann’s “Texas Killing Fields” is further proof of just how difficult it is to do what David Fincher does so well. “TKF” may have echoes of “Seven” and “Zodiac” but none of the character, mood, or even cohesion of those films. The best word to describe this misstep is a “mess” as the movie jumps around between plotlines and characters and never gives the viewer the footing that would make them resonate as something worth caring about or entertaining.

Harrowing ‘Let Me In’ Stands Tall Next to Original

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

CHICAGO – Believing all remakes are pointless is as narrow-minded as suggesting that they’re all worthwhile. It’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. Like a fantastic cover version of an amazing song, there can be room for more than one cinematic interpretation of the same story.

Wildly Entertaining ‘Kick-Ass’ Lives Up to Its Title

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

CHICAGO – With a half dozen superhero movies every year that feel as if they were created by a Hollywood blockbuster machine, it’s so refreshing to see one with its own distinct, subversive personality like Matthew Vaughn’s “Kick-Ass”.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Kingpin Blu-ray

    CHICAGO – Before 1998’s “The Big Lebowski” there was 1996’s “Kingpin”, the Farrelly brothers bowling comedy that didn’t have the narrative intricacies of the Coen brothers’ classic, but had plenty of jokes about middle-aged men playing the sport. Today finds the release of “Kingpin” to Blu-ray for the first time, coming with only one new special feature.

  • Star Trek Into Darkness

    CHICAGO – With J.J. Abrams not involved with the creation of a third “Star Trek” movie, a compendium of his work within the franchise only seems fitting. Loaded with special features but only a few new ones, this disc set is a strong choice for those who don’t already have both entertaining blockbusters in their collection.

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