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James Cromwell

‘Big Hero 6’ is Sorely Lacking the Charm Component

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

CHICAGO – “Big Hero 6” is a dark revenge thriller masquerading as a kids movie. Walt Disney Studios takes a few pages from its corporate cousin Marvel, while creating this new animated adventure. It has its moments, but not quite enough of them to make this anything more than a minor entry in the Disney legacy.  

James Cromwell, Genevieve Bujold Ground Moving ‘Still Mine’

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

CHICAGO – Into the “getting old sucks” genre with award-winners like Sarah Polley’s “Away From Her” and Michael Haneke’s “Amour,” we can add “Still Mine,” opening tomorrow, July 26, 2013, in Chicago. Grounded by two stellar performances from the great James Cromwell and Genevieve Bujold, this Canadian production of a true story rests on a few melodramatic crutches too often but the honesty found by this pair of powerful actors builds to a truly moving final act.

‘The Artist’ is Magical Ode to Old Hollywood

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

CHICAGO – “The Artist” is the kind of film for which a critic feels an added responsibility. The fact is that I know that a large number of readers won’t go anywhere near a movie that is described as “a black & white ode to silent films.” Eek. Sounds like torture. And yet, I also know for a fact that a vast majority of those same readers would LOVE “The Artist.” This is a stellar piece of filmmaking, one of the best of the year. Jump on the bandwagon early for what will surely be one of the major players of the upcoming awards season.

Diane Lane a Champion in Literal Horse Opera ‘Secretariat’

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

CHICAGO – In real life, we cling to the notion that the inconceivable can happen, that magical probability can penetrate the mendacity of everyday existence, but it rarely if ever happens. That is what makes the new film “Secretariat” so appealing, that 37 years ago the impossible did happen, through the heart of a horse and his believers. Diane Lane and John Malkovich lead the charge.

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  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • 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.

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