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Ray Stevenson

Forced ‘Thor: The Dark World’ Sequel Lacks Passion, Sci-Fi Basis

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

CHICAGO – For me and the subculture as a whole, so much of science fiction came from “Star Trek”. If creator Gene Roddenberry were alive today to witness “Thor: The Dark World,” he’d tell it to focus on being a superhero film rather than failing to dabble in science fiction.

‘Thor: The Dark World’ is Little More Than Marketing For ‘The Avengers 2’

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

CHICAGO – Few major films have felt less creatively inspired and more commercially conceived than Alan Taylor’s dull “Thor: The Dark World,” a wannabe blockbuster with all the personality and ingenuity of a straight-to-DVD sequel. It is a film that simply fades into the background of other films, both already produced and still-to-come.

Billy Bob Thornton’s ‘Jayne Mansfield’s Car’ Stalls Out

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

CHICAGO – There was a time when it looked like not only would Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton be one of our great actors but possibly a threat behind the camera as well. Everyone knows the impression of his character from “Sling Blade” but many forget that he directed it as well. He followed that up with the flawed but ambitious and interesting “All the Pretty Horses.”

‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ Almost Turns Macho Stupidity Into Art

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

CHICAGO – “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is the kind of dumb summer action blockbuster that works in the season when the kids aren’t in school and the movie theater is used as an excuse to get in the air conditioning as much as see anything approaching filmmaking. It nearly works in March. Nearly.

‘The Three Musketeers’ Lets Down Legendary Heroes

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

CHICAGO – Seriously?!?! Another “The Three Musketeers”?!?! Just because source material is beloved, why does it need to be remade over and over again? Perhaps Paul W. S. Anderson’s new take on the legendary trio complete with “Resident Evil”-esque action sequences can serve as the final word on this over-done story although if it somehow ends being the only version that future generations end up seeing they will surely wonder why such a boring tale was retold so many times in the first place.

Despite Loveless Love Story, ‘Thor’ Deserves Your Popcorn-Flick Dollar

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

CHICAGO – When big-budget films set their sights on being the next Hollywood blockbuster, they’re almost always built on a formulaic groundwork of proven ingredients. While these films often lose points for much of the same and little of the new, plunking a mighty $150 million into the production “Thor” has found a way to be both formulaic and successful.

‘Kill the Irishman’ Offers History as Explosions

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

CHICAGO – The amalgamation of big time unions and organized crime in post-WW2 industrial America is as enlightening as any struggle for power. Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1950s thru the ‘70s was both on the waterfront and had the East Coast influence of New York City’s most notorious crime families. That history is wasted in “Kill the Irishman.”

‘Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant’ With John C. Reilly Not Freaky Enough

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

CHICAGO – For everything that Paul Weitz’s “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant” does right, there’s something about the film that just doesn’t work. More manic than quirky and more cluttered than consistent, “Cirque” features a few great performances and interesting characters but they’re sabotaged by the other members of this cinematic freak show.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Kingpin Blu-ray

    CHICAGO – Before 1998’s “The Big Lebowski” there was 1996’s “Kingpin”, the Farrelly brothers bowling comedy that didn’t have the narrative intricacies of the Coen brothers’ classic, but had plenty of jokes about middle-aged men playing the sport. Today finds the release of “Kingpin” to Blu-ray for the first time, coming with only one new special feature.

  • Star Trek Into Darkness

    CHICAGO – With J.J. Abrams not involved with the creation of a third “Star Trek” movie, a compendium of his work within the franchise only seems fitting. Loaded with special features but only a few new ones, this disc set is a strong choice for those who don’t already have both entertaining blockbusters in their collection.

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