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Jared Harris

‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ Just a Big Screen Bore

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

CHICAGO – Director Guy Ritchie’s big screen version of the 1960’s spy show “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” is a colossal waste of time for all involved. The original show was never all that good to begin with, but this film is never able to clear that admittedly low bar, or even replicate any of the TV show’s small pleasures.

‘Poltergeist’ Remake Has a Soul of Its Own

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

CHICAGO – Whether it’s the 1982 original or the remake just released in theaters today to the wrath of numerous fans, the lesson of “Poltergeist” remains the same: Don’t do a half-assed job when relocating skeletons for corporate greed, or suffer the supernatural consequences. Fear not, however, as this is one remake that doesn’t just dress up a nostalgic skeleton for the modern horror crowd, but one that reminisces, and looks forward, with a mostly intelligent, genuine heart.

Animated ‘The Boxtrolls’ Has British Comic Tone

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

CHICAGO – Monty Python, Peter Cook & Dudley Moore, Peter Sellers, Mr. Bean, Alan Partridge – all are examples of British comedy, that off-kilter “are you in on the joke?” point of view. That comic tone has arrived in an animated film, within the stop motion world of “The Boxtrolls.’

Explosive Conclusion is the Fate for ‘Pompeii’

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

CHICAGO – For a film in which everyone knows the ending walking in, “Pompeii” creates a decent good-versus-evil precursor to the volcanic big bang, and enough sword and sandals style fight sequences to provide some action. It all comes down to an active volcano, in modern digital design and 3D.

Nothing New in ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’

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

CHICAGO – The last time I checked, I am not a swoony teenage girl, looking to be romanced by a hunky-but-shadowy demon hunter. Thus the margin for enjoying “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” falls off like a leaf on an autumn tree. Even Kristen Stewart, I mean Lily Collins, can’t save it.

‘Lincoln’ Magnificently Humanizes the Man, Our History

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

CHICAGO – There is an argument that Steven Spielberg is the most “American” of directors, at least in his generation. He deftly and brilliantly teams up with playwright Tony Kushner and actor Daniel Day-Lewis to humanize and realize our 16th president in “Lincoln.”

Robert Downey Jr. Personifies ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’

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

CHICAGO – The production team of “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” – designers, crew, writers, director and actors – should be proud of the level of respect they have given and embodied in delivering an updated Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, Professor Moriarty and the like. They take liberties, of course, but they also make sure that the truth of the characters are always intact.

John Carpenter Returns With Mediocre ‘The Ward’

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

CHICAGO – John Carpenter’s “The Ward” would make for a satisfying episode of the now-canceled “Masters of Horror” and might therefore be an interesting rental someday but it doesn’t live up to the pedigree of its once-brilliant director and ultimately disappoints regardless of the name above the title.

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