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David Koechner

Engrossing ‘Cheap Thrills’ Bets on Men’s Desperation

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

CHICAGO – “Cheap Thrills” is a case study in human desperation and depravity. It’s a sick and twisted film, but it goes about it in a most absorbing albeit uncomfortable way. It’s one of those films that forces the viewer to place themselves in the protagonist’s unpredictable position, asking a question like, “what would you do for money?” Once you do it, what else are you willing to do for more and then, “how far is too far?” 

‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ Defies Pattern of Comedy Sequels

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

Comedy sequels are SO rarely worthwhile. Most good comedy is dependent on being fresh, new, and unpredictable – words not commonly uses to describe sequels. For every “Wayne’s World 2,” there are a dozen films of the caliber of “Ghostbusters 2,” “Arthur 2,” and “Caddyshack II” – movies that are so bad that they almost diminish the legacy of their predecessors.

Horror Spoof ‘A Haunted House’ is Pretty Horrible

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

CHICAGO – There is one funny line in “A Haunted House,” the new horror spoof starring Marlon Wayans. It’s “my foot has a cramp, don’t touch it.” The rest of the film is stunningly without humor, relying on a series of flatulence, sex and failed jokes to dauntingly fill the long, long 95 minutes.

Numbingly Stupid ‘Piranha 3DD’ is BaDD

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

CHICAGO – “Piranha 3D” was a flawed film to be certain but it looks like a horror/comedy masterpiece compared to the dull mess that is the virtually straight-to-DVD follow-up, “Piranha 3DD,” opening on a whopping 75 screens today and also available On Demand.

‘Final Destination 5’ Plays Like 3D Cartoon For Horror Fans

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

CHICAGO – The “Final Destination” movies have become an increasingly-excessive orgy of gore with a twisted sense of humor – the Grim Reaper isn’t just coming for you, he’s going to have some fun before you go. The first four films in the franchise represented the typical downward spiral common in horror series with each subsequent entry falling a little deeper down the rabbit hole of typical horror genre traps.

‘The Perfect Game’ Proves That Baseball Fiction is Duller Than Truth

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

CHICAGO – The 1957 Little League team from Monterrey, Mexico, was the first non-U.S. team to win that league’s World Series. That is a fact. “The Perfect Game” creates a story based on that fact that is as improbable as a team from Mars winning the big game.

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  • Punk Punk

    CHICAGO – For theater that is audaciously in-the-now and generates a sparkle of life, there are few better storefront (garage, gothic gathering place) groups than “Nothing Without a Company.” Their latest, eclectic kick-in-the-head production is the intensely diverting and weirdly fun “Punk Punk.”

  • Assassination Theater

    CHICAGO – There are two dates in modern American History that ring in the heads of certain generations. Of course, there is September 11th, 2001, but the granddaddy of that date is November 22nd, 1963. That is when an American president, John F. Kennedy, was shot point blank in the head and killed on the street of an American city. The official proclamation from the government is that a lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, fired those shots. In a new Chicago play, “Assassination Theater,” subtitled “Chicago’s Role in the Crime of the Century,” the jury is still decidedly out.


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