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Idris Elba

Legacy Matters in ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’

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

CHICAGO – The memory of South Africa freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, who passed away on December 5th, is filled with deserved accolades and iconography. Director Justin Chadwick and actor Idris Elba brings the man to human life in the essential “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”

‘Thor: The Dark World’ is Little More Than Marketing For ‘The Avengers 2’

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

CHICAGO – Few major films have felt less creatively inspired and more commercially conceived than Alan Taylor’s dull “Thor: The Dark World,” a wannabe blockbuster with all the personality and ingenuity of a straight-to-DVD sequel. It is a film that simply fades into the background of other films, both already produced and still-to-come.

‘Pacific Rim’ is Classic Sci-fi Cult Movie Joy

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

CHICAGO – Leave it to the wondrous auteur, director Guillermo del Toro, to push the boundaries of giant science fiction epics simply by paying homage to their predecessors. The grand, glorious embrace of “Pacific Rim” leaves no stone of cult film fun unturned.

Fascinating Journey to ‘Prometheus’ Makes For Bumpy Ride

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

CHICAGO – Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” rides a wave of expectation, anticipation, hype, and an already-building backlash into theaters this weekend and all I have to say is something that most critics hesitate to do – you need to see this for yourself and make up your own mind. Is it the perfect blend of adult, intellectual science fiction and summer action that I was hoping for at the beginning of the season?

‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’ Begs Audience to Accept Mediocrity, Stupidity

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

CHICAGO – At the very least, I can take some comfort in knowing that the YouTube montage of Nicolas Cage freaking out has some new (and golden) material. As cursed as Cage’s Johnny Blaze character is by the demon inside him known as the Ghost Rider in the newest chapter, “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” so is this movie cursed by unthinkable dialogue, lackluster acting, obnoxious camerawork, and confusing editing.

Something’s Gotta Give With T.I., Matt Dillon in ‘Takers’

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

CHICAGO – The ensemble cast is decent, the story fits the action/adventure essence of the heist film and one of the hottest music stars of the moment, Tip “T.I.” Harris, has a prominent role. Then why is the new film “Takers” such a seen-it-all-before exercise in action blandness? It feels like a total waste of all those resources.

David S. Goyer’s ‘The Unborn’ is Unoriginal, Uninspiring Mess

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

CHICAGO – Odette Yustman stars in David S. Goyer’s “The Unborn,” a poorly conceived and produced horror movie that could have just as easily been called “The Un-scary,” “The Uninspiring,” “The Unoriginal,” or “The Unexciting”. Whatever you do, just un-plan to see it this weekend.

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  • 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.

  • reno 911 front.png

    CHICAGO – The oughts was the era of the workplace mock-doc comedy, with shows like “The Office” and “Reno 911!” born into a time where TV viewers were excited to see see fake realities about the crumminess of a job. While this series has been available in separate season collections previously, “Reno 911!” is now available in a complete series set, one that boasts a grand amount of special features content in spite of some lacking comedy in the actual show.

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