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Jason Sudeikis

Olivia Wilde Shines in Joe Swanberg’s Excellent ‘Drinking Buddies’

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

CHICAGO – Joe Swanberg’s “Drinking Buddies” has been billed as the Chicago writer/director’s breakthrough largely due to the star power on display in the cast list but the film works not merely because of the notable talents of its cast but a new maturity and wisdom displayed by its creator.

Horrible ‘We’re the Millers’ Wastes Huge Potential

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

CHICAGO – There was a point in “We’re the Millers” when the story fell off the table like a Slinky from a mountaintop. It’s as if other writers took over from a far superior dark comedy, and injected “heart” and middle age “stripping.” This all adds up to a difficult 110 minutes of lost life time.

Gorgeous Visuals Lift Mediocre Script of ‘Epic’

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

“Epic” is the best-looking 3D animated film since “How to Train Your Dragon”. From the very first scenes, it has a mesmerizing visual palette as the natural world comes to life in a way reminiscent of “The Lord of the Rings” and “Avatar.” It’s gorgeous. Sadly, the lurching, generic script doesn’t live up to the look of the film but it’s worth seeing just for the memorable visuals.

Predictable ‘The Campaign’ Hinges on Hilarious Newlyweds Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis

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

CHICAGO – Will Ferrell makes five new proclamations loud and clear: he’s a comic dream-team duo with Zach Galifianakis in “The Campaign,” punching a baby and then a dog are seriously funny, real-life politics should take a lesson from this over-the-top smear campaign, you need one supporting Korean weapon and there’s nearly no such thing as a 100% comedy that delivers on 100% of its comedy.

‘A Good Old Fashioned Orgy’ Can’t Get it Up

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

CHICAGO – Rarely have so many talented comedians been sucked into a more depressing morass of bad comic timing and worse writing than in the dreadful “A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy,” a movie with a bunch of people I like making a comedy I really, really hate. This movie knows nothing about friendship, sex, or, most importantly, comedy.

Talented Cast Carries Dark Comedy of ‘Horrible Bosses’

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

CHICAGO – There’s a theory that a film that should be judged based on how well it succeeds at what it attempts to do. If it’s a comedy, does it make you laugh? “Horrible Bosses” has some issues but it is an undeniably funny movie. With stellar comic timing from the entire ensemble and a dark streak of edgy humor with just enough wit to make it not seem cruel, this is one of the straight-up funniest movies of the year.

Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis Skate By in ‘Hall Pass’

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

CHICAGO – The Farrelly Brothers’ “Hall Pass” is a near-miss for the directors of “There’s Something About Mary” and “Dumb & Dumber” that features enough laughs to remember when the boys were in their prime but ultimately doesn’t come enough together to get them back to it. With Owen Wilson delivering a pretty lazy performance but “SNL” star Jason Sudeikis balancing it out with a nearly-great one, “Hall Pass” is a hit-and-miss affair that falls too often on the wrong side of that comedy corridor.

Drew Barrymore, Justin Long Fall Short of ‘Going the Distance’

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

CHICAGO – Drew Barrymore no doubt is working hard to become Queen of the Romantic Comedy. She has done over ten of them, more if you count “Bad Girls.” (kidding) When recycling themes even the best of them can get redundant when seeing the same actress involved. “Going the Distance” is not even among the best of them.

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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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