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Mark Ruffalo

Human Emotions Transcend Wealth in ‘Foxcatcher’

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

CHICAGO – In the memorable film “Barton Fink,” the title character is asked to write a wrestling movie for Wallace Beery. If Fink had isolated himself long enough, he might have come up with “Foxcatcher,” demonstrating once again that a true story is much stranger than fiction.

Story of ‘Now You See Me’ a Bit Misdirected

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

CHICAGO – Boasting a big star ensemble cast, and themes of magical realism and misdirection, “Now You See Me” is an overdone, too-clever-for-its-own-good fantasy with some entertaining tricks. Jesse Eisenberg and Isla Fisher join veterans Woody Harrelson and Morgan Freeman in the magic mix.

Summer Movie Season Explodes with ‘The Avengers’

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

CHICAGO – When I was a kid, summer movies were an event. They weren’t just marketing tricks, young adult adaptations, or unnecessary sequels. They were blockbusters that you put on the calendar and counted the days until their arrival. Something of that summer movie magic has been lost in recent years – the sense that you weren’t just seeing a movie, you were experiencing something special.

Anna Paquin Makes Each Moment Count in ‘Margaret’

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

CHICAGO – The passion of adolescence, so driven by the emerging intellect merged with fierce hormonal obligations, is a subject tailor made for the movies. The drama and distinction in “Margaret” is the nearly perfect portrayal of the main character played by Anna Paquin, against the backdrop of New York City.

Annette Bening, Julianne Moore Out in the Light With ‘The Kids Are All Right’

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

CHICAGO – It is Hollywood that is often ahead of the social curve, expressing in art what most people can’t fathom in real life. “The Kids Are All Right” is that type of consciousness, depicting a committed lesbian couple – played by Annette Bening and Julianne Moore – coming to grips with transitions occurring with their kids.

Steve Carrell, Tina Fey Go Dutch on the Laughs in ‘Date Night’

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

CHICAGO – In this schizophrenic film, Steve Carrell and Tina Fey portray a “normal” couple from New Jersey who somehow become Steve Carrell and Tina Fey once they go on-the-town in New York City during “Date Night.”

Take Trip to Riveting ‘Shutter Island’ With Leonardo DiCaprio

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

CHICAGO – “Shutter Island” is a riveting trip through a cinematic funhouse led by one of the best filmmakers of all time in Martin Scorsese, who fully employs the copious skills of his most talented collaborators including star Leonardo DiCaprio. It is a technical masterpiece that gets under your skin and stays there for days.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

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