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Selena Gomez

Direction Proves a Problem For Open Mic Drama ‘Rudderless’

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

CHICAGO – Actor William H. Macy’s directorial debut “Rudderless” is a film of open mic songwriting that tackles a recovery from grief with neat lyrics and easy metaphors. Instead of standing out, Macy has provided another sap’s ballad that has the cuteness of “Kumbaya”, one that aims to please the crowd without challenging emotions, only presenting them.

Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez in Numbing, Awful ‘Getaway’

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

CHICAGO – You know a car chase movie is poorly made when you’re longing for more dialogue scenes between Selena Gomez & Ethan Hawke just to break up the tedium of the neverending, personality-free vehicular nonsense. At one point, Hawke’s character actually says, after one of several situations that could never possibly be replicated in the real world, “I can’t believe that actually worked.”

Bikini Girls with Machine Guns in Mesmerizing ‘Spring Breakers’

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

CHICAGO – Already hailed as this generation’s “Fight Club,” Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers” is a mesmerizing piece of satire, a journey into the dark side of teenage excess. And what’s a better symbol of excess than the ritual of spring break? But lest you think this is like MTV’s watered-down version of pop bands and bikini girls, Korine has something much more intense in store for you.

‘Hotel Transylvania’ Proves Hyper Isn’t Always Funny

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

CHICAGO – It was probably just a matter of time. With the current vampire craze dominating pop culture in flicks like “The Twilight Saga” and shows like “True Blood,” it was inevitable that creatures of the night be turned into family entertainment. Even “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein” was recently released on Blu-ray and Universal is about to unleash a whole set of HD monster movie classics. Monsters are hip. “Hotel Transylvania” does its best to put a nail in that coffin.

‘Monte Carlo’ is Cut Above Young-Women-Abroad Films

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

CHICAGO – Nothing like a summer surprise at the movies to make the season a little more tolerable. Selena Gomez and the ubiquitous Leighton Meester take a sumptuous trip and brings us along in “Monte Carlo.”

Beverly Cleary’s ‘Ramona and Beezus’ Works For Young Adults

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

CHICAGO – “Ramona and Beezus” may not be the perfect film that Beverly Cleary fans hoped for when they fell in love with these characters but it is successful on its own terms in its refusal to talk down to its pre-teen audience and through the massive future star-power of its talented young stars. I admittedly have a soft spot for any film that places teachers on a higher pedestal than businessman and effectively teaches young viewers to stick to their creative visions. It’s flawed, but “Ramona and Beezus” works.

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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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