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Vin Diesel

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ a Gleeful Space Romp

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

CHICAGO – “Guardians Of The Galaxy” is a gleeful Star Wars knockoff dressed up in Marvel Comics clothing. It occupies the same universe as Marvel’s other properties, but its tone is decidedly sillier. It has a spirit more akin to the later joke heavy installments of the Star Trek franchise or low budget exploitation mogul Roger Corman’s “Battle Beyond The Stars” than the ponderous pontificating of “Thor.”

Vin Diesel Returns to Iconic Character in B-Movie ‘Riddick’

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

CHICAGO – Did anyone else think there would be another film about Richard Riddick, Vin Diesel’s character from the great “Pitch Black” and not-great “The Chronicles of Riddick”? Me neither. But writer/director David Twohy won’t give up on this character, one he turns into even more of an iconized superhero in his third film, “Riddick,” the most B-movie of the three.

Formula Takes Another Lap in ‘Fast & Furious 6’

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

CHICAGO – “How did you know the car would be there to break my fall?” Everything you need to know about the current tone of the “Fast & Furious” franchise exists in that line. Not only are these people superhero enough to leap through the air from one vehicle to another but this is a world in which automobiles are designed to BREAK falls. It’s ridiculous, insane escapist entertainment, and while the bloated running time and less-exciting setting makes “Fast & Furious 6” a slight step down from the more well-paced “Fast Five,” it’s still a damn fun ride that’s sure to please the audience out to see a sixth installment of vehicular man-sanity.

‘Fast Five’ Furiously Finds Fun Factor in Franchise Finest

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

CHICAGO – Maybe director Justin Lin learned how to have fun directing the now-classic paintball episode of “Community.” Wherever he figured out that his movies need not be so damn self-serious or wordy, he took that knowledge to the set of “Fast Five,” a movie that this critic who hated “Fast & Furious” absolutely dreaded when it was first announced. Now I can’t wait for the inevitable sixth movie in the most unexpected mega-franchise of the new millennium.

‘Fast & Furious’ With Vin Diesel, Paul Walker is Loud, Boring, Useless Drivel

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

CHICAGO – It took eight years to reunite the cast of the original “The Fast and the Furious” - Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, and Michelle Rodriguez. What’s changed in that time? The franchise lost two articles and gained an ampersand. Maybe the next film will simply be called “F F”. I can think of one word that starts with ‘F’ that certainly applies to the latest film - failure.

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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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