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Rooney Mara

Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’ is Masterful Commentary on Connection

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

How do we connect with other people? Why do we often push away those we need and stay with those we don’t? Why do we hold on to relationships long after they have stopped working? Is a physical relationship with no intellectual or emotional component somehow more valuable than one that can never be person-to-person but engages on a deeper level? And how do the ways we deal with love and loss impact the way we look at the rest of the world?

Mesmerizing, Romantic Power of ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’

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

CHICAGO – Is a film automatically flawed if we can see its influences? We don’t do it as quickly in music, in which it’s often incredibly easy to determine a new artist’s favorite bands as a kid. Authors that pull from a notable and recognizable literary history are often lauded for doing so.

Rooney Mara, Jude Law Star in Steven Soderbergh’s Thrilling, Stellar ‘Side Effects’

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

CHICAGO – Steven Soderbergh has given interviews in which he claims that his latest film, the fantastic “Side Effects,” will be his last. As much as I have my doubts that this is true, it makes more sense after viewing the thriller starring Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Channing Tatum. It plays like a proof of the auteur theory; like a “Greatest Hits” of Soderbergh’s career.

David Fincher’s Stunning ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’

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

CHICAGO – David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” comes with waves of expectations from fans of the Stieg Larsson books, the Swedish original films, the director’s previous beloved works, and even drama over a certain national outlet breaking an agreed-upon embargo. Could it possibly live up to the hype? If you can let it go and just appreciate the film for what it is — absolutely.

David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’ is a Rare Masterpiece

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

CHICAGO – So many recent films have been called “masterpieces” by critics that the word doesn’t have the power that it once did. And yet there’s sometimes no better way to describe a film. David Fincher’s “The Social Network,” starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake is a masterpiece.

‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ Remake Plays Like a Bad Dream

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Samuel Bayer’s remake of Wes Craven’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street” may be about repressed memories coming back in horrific ways, but it ironically ends up one of the least memorable films of 2010 to date. Not as abrasive as the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remakes and not as dumb as “The Amityville Horror,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is merely forgettable; something never said about the influential original.

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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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