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Val Kilmer

Renny Harlin’s ‘5 Days of War’ Succumbs to Action Clichés

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – “5 Days of War” is a stark reminder of the atrocities that can occur when a B-movie director tries to tackle serious material. The Russo-Georgian War of 2008 was largely ignored by the U.S. government and media, so it was only a matter of time until filmmakers attempted to raise belated awareness about the devastation.

‘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.”

Will Forte, Kristen Wiig Explode a Megaton Bomb in ‘MacGruber’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 0.5/5.0
Rating: 0.5/5.0

CHICAGO – In a parallel universe, perhaps a version of “MacGruber” exists that actually understands that comedy should be funny…oh what a beautiful world that would be. Here in this astral plane Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe and Val Kilmer, plus the writers, director and craft services obviously conspired to create a movie bomb that no one could diffuse.

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  • 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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