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‘Cirque du Soleil: World’s Away’ is Visually Arresting Infomercial

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

CHICAGO – Cirque du Soleil, which began with two street performers in Quebec in 1984, has grown into a multi-million dollar enterprise with shows on every continent and seven simultaneous extravaganzas in Las Vegas. The Vegas shows make up the storyline for “Cirque du Soleil: World’s Away.”

‘The Guilt Trip’ Never Reaches a Destination

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

CHICAGO – There has to be something wrong with a movie that by the end, the thought is ‘how did they get a parking spot in San Francisco?’ and ‘how much does that house cost?’ “The Guilt Trip,” with Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand, is a dispirited exercise in wasted potential.

Johnny Depp Spins Animation Gold in Hilarious ‘Rango’

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

CHICAGO – When we first see the chameleon named Lars (Johnny Depp), soon to be ‘Rango,’ he is doing acting voice exercises. He is basically warming up a film that is a real hoot, and has wonderful heart.

Love Story of ‘Kites’ Soars as a Marvel of Modern Moviemaking

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

CHICAGO – One of the most provocative and unusual films this year, or any year, is an amazing production from India entitled “Kites.” American director Brett Ratner (”Rush Hour”) was so taken by this film, that he agreed to edit the original (or remix) for the U.S. presentation. Both versions will be will be in the marketplace for a limited release.

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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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