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Joel McHale

‘Deliver Us From Evil’ Goes Straight for the Jugular

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

CHICAGO – “Deliver Us from Evil” is director Scott Derrickson’s second foray into possession horror. His first, the excellent “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” was taut, thoughtful and offered some truly unsettling demon scares…it still ranks as one of the most important and best of the new crop of possession/devil films it helped kick start into being with their box office numbers.

‘Blended’ is Lazy, Laugh-Free Catastrophe

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

CHICAGO – Two things save “Blended” from getting a zero star review. Number one is the still-palpable chemistry between Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler. Number two is the occasional chuckle courtesy of Wendi McClendon-Covey as Barrymore’s business partner. Otherwise this is a barren laugh-free safari through Africa that doesn’t even have the benefit of Al Pacino trampling on his prestigious career for our amusement.

Adam Sandler Exploits the Family, More in ‘Blended’

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

CHICAGO – Trying to understand the psychology and philosophy of manchild Adam Sandler, when it comes to his “middle-age” movies, will perplex film scholars and therapists for generations to come. His latest excuse for a “family comedy” is the insipid and exploitative “Blended.”

Fearless Comedy of Seth MacFarlane’s Original ‘Ted’

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

CHICAGO – “Ted” is one of the most inventive and surprising films of the year. It has a sense of humor that will be very familiar to fans of writer/director Seth MacFarlane’s “Family Guy” but is refreshingly unique in a film genre that is too often stale. In fact, most of the Summer 2012 movies have been incredibly predictable and there’s NOTHING predictable about “Ted.”

Owen Wilson, Steve Martin, Jack Black Flock Up in ‘The Big Year’

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

CHICAGO – “The Big Year” is advertised as a comedy. The subject is bird watching, or as the new film likes to express the proper term, “birding.” It stars comic legend Steve Martin, and funnymen Jack Black and Owen Wilson. It is both not funny and is ACTUALLY, seriously about birding. Time to fly away.

Anna Faris Falls Flat in Awful ‘What’s Your Number?’

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

CHICAGO – Why can’t anyone figure out how to use Anna Faris effectively? She’s got some of the best comic timing of any actress working today but she can’t find a good script in which to display it. Take her latest venture, the misogynistic, creepy, and just BAD “What’s Your Number?,” a pale excuse for a chick flick that should look even more ghostly in light of the similarly-themed and far-superior “Bridesmaids” earlier this year.

Steven Soderbergh’s ‘The Informant!’ Puts Matt Damon on a Wire

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

CHICAGO – Behind every great fortune lies a great crime, as the saying goes. In director Steven Soderbergh’s “The Informant!,” he and Matt Damon carve out a satire where the “crime” becomes entangled with the larger issues of “justice.”

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  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

  • They're Playing Our Song

    CHICAGO – During the late disco era of the 1970s, an unusual musical opened on Broadway. Essentially a two person stage play, “They’re Playing Our Song” involved a songwriter and a lyricist who develop a stronger connection than just writing partners. The always passionate Brown Paper Box Co. of Chicago has unearthed this chestnut with a bright and fun revival at the Rivendell Theatre through August 20th, 2017.

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