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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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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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