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Kristen Schaal

‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2’ Wins with Foodimals, Overemphasizes Humans

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

CHICAGO – I was paying attention to the movie. Correction: I was mostly paying attention to the movie. It was challenging to ignore my angry, empty stomach and fully enjoy the food coma that is “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”. Just don’t make the same mistake I did and eat before you do.

Same Formula in Weak Sequel ‘Despicable Me 2’

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

CHICAGO – Oh those wacky Minions. We just never know what those little yellow guys in “Despicable Me 2” will do, because they simply DO EVERYTHING! They sing, fart, burp, perform parodies and handle hazardous materials. More than comic relief, they are all-purpose story coverage.

Mike Birbiglia Steps Up in ‘Sleepwalk with Me’

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

CHICAGO – It’s exciting to witness a breakthrough with a new film artist. The comedian Mike Birbiglia has adapted his one-man show, “Sleepwalk with Me,” into a movie, and the result is a naturalistic performance piece that plays both like a documentary and a Woody Allen film during the “Annie Hall” period. Birbiglia gets a little help from some friends like Lauren Ambrose, Kirsten Schaal, Wyatt Cenac and Amy Schumer.

Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd Serve ‘Dinner for Schmucks’

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

CHICAGO – The third of the Steve Carrell Seasonal Movie Trilogy debuts with the uneven but absurd comedy “Dinner for Schmucks.” Paul Rudd, now the go-to actor for straight-man-yuppie-turned-wild-dude joins a strong cast, including the ubiquitous Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement (”Flight of the Concords”), and Bruce Greenwood.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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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