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Kodi Smit-McPhee

Dull Soap Opera in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

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

CHICAGO – “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” just goes to show that you can have the most expensive and best looking visual effects money can buy, but it doesn’t mean a damn thing if you haven’t got a good tale to tell.

New ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is Almost Passable if You Haven’t Seen It, Unnecessary if You Have

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

CHICAGO – When I walked out of my screening for 2013’s “Romeo and Juliet” with Hailee Steinfeld (Oscar nominated for “True Grit”) and London’s Douglas Booth (previously unknown to the U.S.), I had to remember that not everyone’s seen this story in one way or another.

Fun, Brilliant ‘ParaNorman’ Delivers For All Audiences

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

CHICAGO – “ParaNorman” is not only the best animated film of 2012 by a large margin but it’s better than anything that came out last year as well. The latest stop-motion gem from LAIKA (who made another one of the best animated films of the last several years in “Coraline”) is smart, funny, scary, imaginative, and, most surprisingly of all, moving. Don’t miss it.

Harrowing ‘Let Me In’ Stands Tall Next to Original

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

CHICAGO – Believing all remakes are pointless is as narrow-minded as suggesting that they’re all worthwhile. It’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. Like a fantastic cover version of an amazing song, there can be room for more than one cinematic interpretation of the same story.

Oppressively Bleak ‘The Road’ Buries Great Viggo Mortensen Performance

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

CHICAGO – The long-delayed and highly-anticipated adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” has moments of stark beauty and a typically fantastic lead performance from Viggo Mortensen, but the film ultimately misses its mark as a whole piece, coming off numbing in its bleak, repetitive view of the end of the world instead of inspiring emotionally or creatively.

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  • Merry Widow, The

    CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.

  • Black White Love Play

    CHICAGO – The love story of a prominent Chicago celebrity couple becomes the basis for a metaphoric and tuneful celebration about courage and coming together. “The Black White Love Play: The Story of Chaz & Roger Ebert” – written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater’s Jackie Taylor – portrays the film critic and the civil rights lawyer in their time, but also creates an atmosphere of emotion through song, sorrow and jubilation.


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