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HollywoodChicago.com Movie Reviews

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.

In ‘Gone Baby Gone’ Directorial Debut, Ben Affleck Matures Into Polished Auteur

Rating: 4.5/5CHICAGO – It wasn’t that long ago when Ben Affleck was an unknown. Fortune eventually smiled upon him and along came quality performances in independents and an Academy Award for screenwriting.

‘Juno’ the First LiveJournal, Blogger Film; Writer Diablo Cody a Standout Star

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5AUSTIN, Texas – No one says anything plainly in “Juno”. Hyper clever, hyper literate and hyper pop savvy, it tells a light story of teenage pregnancy in a package of verbose middle classiness.

Jodie Foster is Wicked, Wicked Witch With Furious Vengeance in ‘The Brave One’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5CHICAGO – Jodie Foster reinvents herself and plays a vigilante flung galaxies out of character in “The Brave One,” which opened on Friday.

Following ‘The Sandlot’ Home Run, ‘The Final Season’ Strikes Out

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1/5CHICAGO – Once a year, it seems a studio releases a film that tries to nudge its way into the almost-holy canon of American sports cinema. Most years, studios succeed. Recently, we have been lucky with the caliber of sports films offered up to us.

‘The Darjeeling Limited’ Seesaws Between Deft, Forced Eccentricity

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5CHICAGO – With his aloof character panache and colorful imagery, Wes Anderson is one of those directors you either love dearly or loathe dreadfully.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Cher Show, The

    CHICAGO – Cherilyn Sarkisian… yes, that is her birth name… is the redoubtable Cher, and it’s perfect timing for her to have a jukebox musical tribute. “The Cher Show,” covering three eras/songs of the six-decade career of Cher, opens for a Chicago preview before its Broadway run, from June 12th through July 25th, 2018.

  • ThroatPunch

    CHICAGO – The provocative title of Sharon Krome’s new stage play, “ThroatPunch,” does not contain that particular fight technique. But it does have standout performances by the three person cast, as they make their way in Chicago, circa 1983, amid their emerging twentysomething punk rock attitude. The World Premiere of the show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through June 3rd, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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