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Simon Pegg

‘Star Trek Beyond’ is a Blast of Starship Adventure

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

CHICAGO – In the equation of the Star Trek universe, what works best is the emotional connection to the iconic crew. Co-screenwriter Simon Pegg – also portraying Scotty – knew this, and saved the rebooted series from its bloated second film. A magnificent adventure awaits with ‘Star Trek Beyond.’

‘Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens’ is the One We’ve Been Waiting For

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

CHICAGO (No Spoilers!) – I felt privileged on Tuesday morning. Not just to be a Chicago film critic, but to be a movie lover. Film critics and movie lovers alike wade through scores of yawners hoping for one or two masterpieces that remind us why we fell in love with the experience of watching a film in the company of people we like. Just in time to close out 2015, we’re met with the rare opportunity to take part in moviemaking magic once more.

‘Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation’ at Top of Its Game

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

CHICAGO – The sensational summer movie season of 2015 still has some pulse pounding tricks up its sleeve, and “Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation” fulfills that sensation with a wham-bam bag of spy games. Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner are back, joined by femme kick-ass Rebecca Ferguson.

Animated ‘The Boxtrolls’ Has British Comic Tone

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

CHICAGO – Monty Python, Peter Cook & Dudley Moore, Peter Sellers, Mr. Bean, Alan Partridge – all are examples of British comedy, that off-kilter “are you in on the joke?” point of view. That comic tone has arrived in an animated film, within the stop motion world of “The Boxtrolls.’

Farcical Themes Bring Laughs to ‘The World’s End’

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

CHICAGO – In the collaboration of actors Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright, the best in life come in threes. Following their sublime “Shaun of the Dead” and the wacky “Hot Fuzz,” comes ther third comic film rendering, “The World’s End.”

Visual Excess Dims ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

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

CHICAGO – The anticipation of experiencing the rebooted crew of the starship Enterprise now may overwhelm any creative team’s ability to deliver to that anticipation. “Star Trek Into Darkness” piles on the space war excess, while lessening the savory humanity and memorable characters.

‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Satisfies Fans with Entertaining Adventure

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

CHICAGOJ.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness” is like a really solid mid-season episode of a great TV series. Entertaining, for sure, but lacking the energy of a premiere or the stakes of a finale. It leaves fans wondering what’s next in the franchise, which will surely make Paramount happy, but doesn’t stand on its own like the truly great part twos (“The Dark Knight,” “The Empire Strikes Back”).

Steven Spielberg’s Disappointing ‘The Adventures of Tintin’

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

CHICAGO – Being a huge Steven Spielberg fan and a pretty big aficionado of Peter Jackson (who produced) as well, I was pretty psyched to see what these two undeniable geniuses could do in the world of motion-capture animation with their collaboration on the adaptation of the hit Herge cartoon “The Adventures of Tintin.” That’s why it hurts me to say that, excepting a few stand-out action scenes, this is a shockingly dull affair, something that lulled me to sleep far more often than it inspired my imagination to life.

‘Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol’ Rocks Your Holiday

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

CHICAGO – Brad Bird proves that he can make the leap from Pixar to action with one of the best genre films of the year, the adrenalized “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.” Proving there is a way to make a big budget franchise installment that feels vibrant, alive, and like more than just a pathetic retread of what has come before (unlike this year’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Sherlock Holmes” entries), “Ghost Protocol” delivers with breakneck pace and stellar action choreography. This movie wastes little time – it’s a lean, mean, action machine.

Unfunny ‘Burke and Hare’ Wastes Top-Notch Cast

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

CHICAGO – There are few sights more depressing than a game cast all dressed up with nowhere to go and no good jokes to share. “Burke and Hare” is the sort of comedy Mel Brooks was making in the ’90s. All the ingredients are on hand for a promising comedy, and yet something’s missing—namely, laughter. The timing is off, the punch-lines are obvious and the actors are bored beyond belief.

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  • [Trans]formation

    CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.

  • Life Sucks

    CHICAGO – Let’s face it, life does suck. But what can we do about that? How do we survive? Lookingglass Theatre Company’s latest stage presentation tries to answer those thorny questions through a group of fellow travelers, flung together at a cabin retreat, trying to figure out why (indeed) “Life Sucks.”

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