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Kerry Washington

Same Weary Tyler Perry Format in ‘Peeples’

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

CHICAGO – The Tyler Perry “filmmaking machine” cranks out lowbrow comedies or high drama potboilers without any regard for originality. While this may jibe with Perry’s creative vision, the films themselves are a waste of time. Tina Gordon Chism directs the latest Perry production, “Peeples.”

Jamie Foxx Rides in Quentin Tarantino’s Incredibly Fun ‘Django Unchained’

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

CHICAGO – Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” has some undeniable pleasures, the kind that erupt from the screenwriting abilities of one of the best movie scribes alive. Tarantino’s way with words and plotting are as honed as ever and he directs his super-talented cast to enjoyable performances all around.

Nothing Nice to Say About Eddie Murphy’s ‘A Thousand Words’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 0.5/5.0
Rating: 0.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The movie business is a funny thing in that EVERYONE involved with “A Thousand Words” has moved on and yet there are studio executives who still want you to care enough to open your wallet. Who didn’t care before you? The writers who delivered once of the worst scripts in years, the director who proved that his pedestrian work on “Norbit” and “Meet Dave” was the pinnacle of his abilities, and the producers who let this cinematic crime get even more stale than when it was shot.

Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington Nearly Save ‘Night Catches Us’

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

CHICAGO – “They’re all around us. Ghosts. They’re everywhere.” People don’t talk like that. Especially kids. Especially not after a major revelation about their dad. It just doesn’t feel real. And that’s the problem with “Night Catches Us,” a well-intentioned drama with strong performances that somehow can’t find the realism at the heart of its story. Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington nearly rescue the piece but it just doesn’t come together into anything memorable enough to recommend.

Cluttered, Melodramatic ‘For Colored Girls’ Never Comes Together

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

CHICAGO – Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” was a landmark event in 1974, giving voice to a segment of society rarely seen on the stage. It took 34 years for a filmmaker to tackle this remarkable work in film form and Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” retains some of the inherent power of it source and features some strong performances in the process but never finds the narrative cohesion needed to translate it to modern movie audiences.

Annette Bening, Naomi Watts Lack the Connection in ‘Mother and Child’

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

CHICAGO – “Mother and Child,” with an all star cast of Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits and Kerry Washington, is mindful of its subject matter, that rare and elusive connection between a mother and their offspring. However, the film has difficulties when the characters become inconsistent with their past backgrounds after that connection is introduced.

‘Good Hair’ Has Chris Rock Getting to the Roots of Follicle Follies

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

CHICAGO – Positioning himself as a informational bridge-builder, comedian Chris Rock explores the often complex social economics of African American hair, specifically the intense styling that is a borderline obsession for women of color.

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  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

  • A Field in England (teaser)

    CHICAGO – I can’t recommend this more. “A Field in England” is a flashback and a flash forward all at once. It’s impossible to watch without thinking of great counter culture cinema. In fact when I saw it at Fantastic Fest 2013 it played as part of a double bill with Ken Russell’s “The Devils” (1971). They made perfect cinematic companion pieces. Russell’s film concerned a wayward priest desperate to protect his 17th century city from corruption in the Church only to fall victim to group hysteria when he is, ironically, accused of witchcraft by a jealous nun.

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