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HollywoodChicago.com Movie Reviews

Gondry’s Cinematic Breakthrough ‘Be Kind Rewind’ Proves Again He’s an Artistic Goliath

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5CHICAGO – Michel Gondry’s latest cinematic breakthrough “Be Kind Rewind” grants passage into his magical imagination and proves yet again he’s one of today’s artistic giants.

‘The Signal’ Sports Plenty of Style, Little Substance in Sci-Fi Twist on Torture Porn

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5CHICAGO – In the last several years, the horror genre has become hot because of its return on investment. The strategy is to market the hell out of the scare factor, get a good opening weekend (which usually takes care of the filming costs several times over) and make sure the blood spatters well. There is no need for pricey star power because the “star” is always the quality kills.

Horror Master George A. Romero Reveals Veteran Zombie Lock in ‘Diary of the Dead’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5CHICAGO – Master horror filmmaker George A. Romero is back for the fifth installment of his “Dead” series as what began with 1968’s “Night of the Living Dead” has fast-forwarded to “Diary of the Dead”. This time, Romero takes on the modern soul deadening of staring at screens and includes the constant navel gazing of videotaping, computers and the instant playback that has become our lives.

Despite Offering Tantalizing Possibilities, ‘Jumper’ Weakened By Formulaic Clichés

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5CHICAGO – As a distinct premise, “Jumper” offers tantalizing possibilities. The ability to transport yourself from one location to another with simple mind control is a cool rule of the world. While the film speaks to some of the far-reaching potential of the power, it also follows story formulas that weaken it.

‘Definitely, Maybe’ Borrows From Successful Romantic Comedies, Adds Fresh Hook

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5CHICAGO – The makers of “Love Actually” and “Notting Hill” know how to do romantic comedy that doesn’t somehow fall into the trap of a formulaic chick flick like “27 Dresses”. “Definitely, Maybe,” which is their latest effort, on the other hand isn’t particularly original and really isn’t very funny.

Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson Feel Valentine’s Day Love in ‘Fool’s Gold’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5CHICAGO – Check off this list of stock movie characters: the broke rogue adventurer, his sensible love interest, the daffy heiress, her gruff but benign wealthy father, the evil rival, the doltish but loyal sidekick, the evil rival’s goons and the “seems to be evil but in the end turns out heroic” buddy.

Lebanese Film ‘Caramel’ Coats Women’s Relationships With Warmth, Truth

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5CHICAGO – In the social palette that makes up relationships for adult women, the main brushstrokes involve trust, unity and a passion for friendships. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if they can meet in their favorite beauty parlor. The film “Caramel” follows the lives of five women in Beirut, Lebanon as they experience aging, commitment, lifestyle choices and bikini waxing.

Despite Flawed Plot Clichés, Dancing Takes Center Stage in ‘How She Move’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5CHICAGO – Kids, it’s an old-fashioned dance off, and despite being about the contemporary and very urban stepdance craze, it has all the hope, dreams, choreography and clichés of a golden-age Hollywood musical revue.

Stallone Sports Aggrandized Violence, Weak Storyline in ‘Rambo’ Revival

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5CHICAGO – The best quality about the fourth “Rambo” is its “Rambo” authenticity. The worst quality about the fourth “Rambo” is its “Rambo” authenticity.

Diane Lane’s ‘Untraceable’ Plagued With Predictable, Connect-the-Dots Plotline

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2/5CHICAGO – Gregory Hoblit’s “Untraceable” is a predictable thriller that takes us into the masterminds of cybercrime in Portland. Diane Lane plays FBI agent Jennifer Marsh and heads up a cybercrime department that’s chasing an Internet killer.

History-Making ‘U2 3D’ Feature-Length Film Redefines Concert Experience

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – Shot with more digital 3D cameras than any other film project, the feature-length “U2 3D” film production revolutionizes the concert experience on the big screen.

Star Power Can’t Save ‘Mad Money’ From ‘Thelma & Louise’ Writer Callie Khouri

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2/5CHICAGO – Whenever there’s stunt-movie casting with divergent generations of Hollywood “stars,” there’s bound to be trouble at the multiplex.

Akin to ‘Match Point,’ Woody Allen’s ‘Cassandra’s Dream’ Expressly Hitchcockian

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5CHICAGO – Woody Allen – the most prolific American writer/director of the last quarter century – has a desire for a particular expression in this last part of his epic career.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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