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HollywoodChicago.com Movie Reviews

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.

Attempted J-Horror ‘One Missed Call’ Instead Grudgingly Makes Us Laugh

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1/5CHICAGO – Hello, J-Horror. Please hang up and dial again. In fact, the message “please hang up and dial again” should have been given to director Eric Valette before accepting Takashi Miike’s remake “One Missed Call” as his American directorial debut.

‘Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story’ Taps Best of Must-See TV Kings of Comedy

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – The makers of “Scary Movie,” “Date Movie” and “Epic Movie” should be kicking themselves right now for never thinking to make “Musical Bio-Pic Movie”.

On ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’: Alviiiiiiiiiiiiiiin? More Like Ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch!

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5CHICAGO – Thanks to live action and computer-generated animation, we’ve brought to life “Underdog,” “Transformers,” “The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle” and both “Scooby-Doo” and “Garfield” twice.

‘The Mist’ Stars Scribe Stephen King, Marcia Gay Harden in Supporting Role

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5CHICAGO – It’s just a twist of fate, of course. I know the CGI wizards at The Weinstein Co. can’t command the weather in the real word, too. But – wow – what providence.

With Music its Star, Whole of ‘August Rush’ Greater Than Sum of Parts

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5CHICAGO – When you look at films critically, you sometimes spend too much time examining the pieces of the whole without stepping back from the picture and taking it as a complete work.

‘Southland Tales’ Starts With Bang, Ends With Sensory-Overloading Whimper

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5CHICAGO – Unlike the world, “Southland Tales” starts with a bang but ends with a whimper. Richard Kelly’s opus of a film is little more than sensory overload meant to look like a political statement on the state of privacy, the war, news, entertainment and celebrities.

‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ Searches Soul, Comes Up Half Full

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5CHICAGO – In 2000’s “High Fidelity,” John Cusack mused: “I’ve read books like … ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ and I think I’ve understood them. They’re about girls, right?”

‘Beowulf’ in IMAX 3D Affords Break For Big Actors to Improve Even Themselves

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – It’s all the rave today to exhume an epic from long, long ago and bring it back on the monster screen bigger, better and with more grandeur than ever fathomable before.

‘Wristcutters: A Love Story’ Inventively Imparts Life’s Story After Death

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – The vision of life after death varies between the religious and the non-religious, the optimists and the pessimists and the believers and non-believers. There are few after-life stories, though, as unique and humorous as the one in “Wristcutters: A Love Story”.

Wily ‘Ira & Abby’ Averts Predictable Hollywood Boy Meets Girl Trap

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – Groucho Marx once said: “Marriage is a wonderful institution … but who wants to live in an institution?” For the romantic and humorously charged “Ira & Abby,” holy matrimony seems a stressful but hilarious adventure.

Message Movie ‘Music Within’ Still Within Fledgling Director Steven Sawalich

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2/5CHICAGO – “Most people go to their graves with their music still inside them,” 19th century poet Oliver Wendell Holmes once said. First-time director Steven Sawalich’s “music” presumably still resides inside him because it doesn’t resound in his “Music Within” message movie.

‘Rendition’ a Mediocre Message Movie With What Should Be Self-Evident Politics

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5AUSTIN, Texas – German writer Franz Kafka meets the war on terror in “Rendition,” which is a message movie with what one would consider a self-evident message: torture is bad. We live in a political climate, though, where that isn’t self-evident.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Jesus Christ Superstar, Lyric Opera

    CHICAGO – As a wee lad, I would often go into my parent’s record collection. One day, out of the blue, that brown double album with the gold embossed angels appeared, like a gift from the divine. “Jesus Christ Superstar” began as a record album “rock opera” in 1970, evolved to a Broadway show and film, and then was interpreted through a myriad of stage revivals over the years. The latest is an exciting piece of stagecraft at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The show has a various evening/matinee run through May 20th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Cornerstone, Nothing Without a Company

    CHICAGO – We all need some help. The stage play group Nothing Without a Company realizes that, and has collaborated with the organization “Cornerstone” to provide that assistance. Cornerstone is a seminar and a happening in downtown Chicago, facilitated by “experts” to generate your potential. The presentation has a Thursday-Sunday run at Michigan Avenue’s Artspace 8 through May 6th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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