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Timothy Olyphant

Unoriginal, Unfunny ‘This is Where I Leave You’ a Poor Man’s ‘August: Osage County’

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

CHICAGO – Jason Bateman and an all-star cast got me there. The unfunny copycat story left me regretting it. If you don’t start with a solid plot that’s at least somewhat new, it doesn’t matter how many “A”-listers you throw into an ensemble. They’re just individuals doing the best they can with weak material. But the film’s fatal flaw is it can’t figure out who it is – a comedy, drama or dramedy? – and it didn’t do just one thing well.

Jeff Garlin Directs Inconsistent ‘Dealin’ with Idiots’

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

CHICAGO – Jeff Garlin has created a good “character” in TV and films – a gruff but affable schlemiel that ambles through life as if distracted. He amplifies that role in his latest comedy, “Dealin’ with Idiots,’ but the loose improvisation style has too many unfunny stretches and an unpleasant spirit.

‘Elektra Luxx’ Offers Middling Showcase For Carla Gugino

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

CHICAGO – Sebastian Gutierrez is the sort of filmmaker who thrives best on the festival circuit. His work is just quirky and distinctive enough to garner overenthusiastic praise from jaded festival goers in the mood for markedly lighter fare. Yet when screened out of the celebratory atmosphere at SXSW, Gutierrez’s films fail to register as anything more than mediocre trifles.

MIchael Bay-Produced ‘I Am Number Four’ a Solid Block of Superhero Gouda

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

CHICAGO – While the new sci-fi/superhero film “I Am Number Four” can be easily dismissed as yet another “Twilight” knockoff, the power of two mega-producers arms the film with nearly as much right as it does wrong. Thankfully for Chicagoans the film doesn’t star Brett Favre because of his numerical jersey affiliation, but with a story this weak, that stretch wouldn’t be too far.

‘The Crazies’ Defies Rule That Horror Remakes Never Work

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

CHICAGO – Horror remakes are almost never a good idea but there seems to be something about George A. Romero’s work that defies that expectation. Zack Snyder delivered with his version of “Dawn of the Dead” and now Breck Eisner has shocked genre fans with his effective take on the low budget classic “The Crazies”.

‘A Perfect Getaway’ With Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovich Delivers Thrills

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

CHICAGO – David Twohy’s “A Perfect Getaway” is a surprisingly effective thriller, featuring good-to-great performances from Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant, Steve Zahn, and Kiele Sanchez, and a taut, interesting screenplay with enough twists and turns to keep the audience entertained for its scant running time.

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  • Punk Punk

    CHICAGO – For theater that is audaciously in-the-now and generates a sparkle of life, there are few better storefront (garage, gothic gathering place) groups than “Nothing Without a Company.” Their latest, eclectic kick-in-the-head production is the intensely diverting and weirdly fun “Punk Punk.”

  • Assassination Theater

    CHICAGO – There are two dates in modern American History that ring in the heads of certain generations. Of course, there is September 11th, 2001, but the granddaddy of that date is November 22nd, 1963. That is when an American president, John F. Kennedy, was shot point blank in the head and killed on the street of an American city. The official proclamation from the government is that a lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, fired those shots. In a new Chicago play, “Assassination Theater,” subtitled “Chicago’s Role in the Crime of the Century,” the jury is still decidedly out.


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