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Michael Ealy

‘About Last Night’ Remake Suffers from Lack of Focus

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

CHICAGO – The remake of the 1986 Chicago-based movie, ‘About Last Night,’ has potential for a thematic redo. That opportunity seems squandered in this 2014 version, as the focus is just on casting and crudeness, as practiced by co-stars Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Joy Bryant and Regina Hall.

Strong Ensemble Carries Funny ‘Think Like a Man’

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

CHICAGO – Tim Story’s ‘Think Like a Man’ can be a frustrating film but the overall likeability of the cast and the inclusion of some of the often-missing elements from relationship movies (like chemistry and believable friendship dynamics) overcome the movie’s flaws. It’s a movie that could have been better but works on its own terms – it’s funny, clever, and even sweet. It’s not going to change the romantic comedy landscape but so many films in this slumping genre fail spectacularly and no one can say that about “Think Like a Man.”

Seriously Silly ‘Underworld: Awakening’ With Kate Beckinsale Will Put You to Sleep

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – There is a near-great movie opening this weekend that features a bad-ass, gun-toting chick who defeats any obstacle placed in her way. Despite what the advertising may have you believe, that movie is not “Underworld: Awakening” (Hint: It’s “Haywire”).

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.

Something’s Gotta Give With T.I., Matt Dillon in ‘Takers’

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

CHICAGO – The ensemble cast is decent, the story fits the action/adventure essence of the heist film and one of the hottest music stars of the moment, Tip “T.I.” Harris, has a prominent role. Then why is the new film “Takers” such a seen-it-all-before exercise in action blandness? It feels like a total waste of all those resources.

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  • The King of Comedy

    Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.

  • 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.

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