HollywoodChicago.com Movie Reviews

‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Boldly Goes Animated With Potent Story, Mediocre Animation, Anemic Acting

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” which is the inaugural animated “Star Wars” project from Lucasfilm Animation and “Star Wars” architect George Lucas, feels and looks every bit as introductory as a foundational attempt could be.

God’s Vajoojoo Tastes Like Semi-Glorious ‘Pineapple Express’ in Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen Stoner Film

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

CHICAGO – If god had a vajoojoo, Judd Apatow and company think it’d taste something like smoking “Pineapple Express”. There’s no question “Pineapple Express” is ultimately a stoner film, but is it the ultimate stoner film of our decade?

Always the most difficult proposition in a comedy is maintaining its comedic pacing with consistency.

Despite Jet Li’s Would-Be Resurrection, ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’ Still Flops

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The threequel that culminates with “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” is so hackneyed that even the main star of the previous two films – Brendan Fraser – wasn’t enough to sell audiences on a third return. Universal Studios needed to enlist co-star Jet Li to stand a fighting chance and take the mood the Asian way.

Neil Young’s ‘CSNY Déjà Vu’ a Concert Film That Mixes Message With Music

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young (collectively CSNY) have long established their credibility as a rock/folk group of the highest order.

No Matter How Hard You Believe Otherwise, ‘The X-Files: I Want to Believe’ Most Anemic Story Yet

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Following an addictive TV series that spanned from 1992 to 2002, I wanted to believe “The X-Files: I Want to Believe” would more dynamically pay homage to its television success than Chris Carter’s first film attempt in 1998. In take two, though, it didn’t happen.

Emotions of Sexuality, Gender, Social Order Wrestle During 1800s Paris in ‘The Last Mistress’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Difficult as it is now, in 1835 women in Paris never really had many choices for an eventual lifestyle.

They could hope to marry rich and live in relative comfort or they could toil in a working-class marriage while raising children and working themselves to death. If they didn’t marry, they might be a maid or a governess. If they were really bored and bold, though, they could be “The Last Mistress”.

Andy Samberg, Witty Script Lift Animated ‘Space Chimps’ Off Launching Pad

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

CHICAGO – So far in the 2008 summer animation season we’ve seen cuddly martial artists (“Kung Fu Panda”) and robots in love (“WALL-E”).

But where are the monkeys and how long before the first joke about flinging their poo?

Despite Rollercoaster Energy, ‘Mamma Mia!’ Bellows Beloved ABBA Vocals With Feel-Good Appeal

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

CHICAGO – While it’d be embellishment to say you’d have the time of your life at the new musical film “Mamma Mia!,” any dancing queen or an admirer of seeing Pierce Brosnan croon a tune instead of trigger James Bond destruction can at least have some of the time of your 108 minutes.

‘The Dark Knight’ Bestows Role of a Lifetime For Heath Ledger, Epic Proportions For Itself

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0
(rarely perfect)

CHICAGO – With only three short words comprising the film’s enigmatic title, “The Dark Knight” also boasts three epic claims to fame: the role of a lifetime for the late Heath Ledger as the hauntingly deranged Joker, one of the best films of 2008 and one of the greatest superhero films of all time.

French Film ‘Tell No One’ a Journey of Mystery Down Road of Twists, Turns

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

CHICAGO – The most perfect description for the new French suspense film “Tell No One” comes from the most unlikely source: a 1957 American film called “Sweet Smell of Success”.

Describing one of the characters in that film, one line observes that he has “more twists than a barrel of pretzels”. Take that barrel and put it through the zigzag of a taffy-pulling machine and those results might be able to straighten out the labyrinth of circumstances in “Tell No One”.

It’s Eddie Murphy Inside Eddie Murphy in Made-For-Children Sci-Fi Comedy ‘Meet Dave’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The longtime career of Eddie Murphy has lately taken an interesting turn.

After a meteoric career with huge box-office comedies, Murphy has steered toward more family oriented fare (“Daddy Day Care,” the “Shrek” movies, etc.) before his Oscar-nominated performance in “Dreamgirls”. After the stumble of 2007’s “Norbit,” Murphy has again returned this summer in kid-friendly mode with “Meet Dave”.

Jules Verne’s ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ With Brendan Fraser Stars Film’s 3-D Effects

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

CHICAGO – Jules Verne’s classic 1864 science-fiction novel “Journey to the Center of the Earth” has been adapted well in excess of a dozen times into films, radio and stage plays along with several made-for-TV movies and video games. It has even been adapted into two amusement-park rides.

Following ‘Pan’s Labyrinth,’ ‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army’ Regresses From Best to Worst For Guillermo del Toro

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Hellboy is plugged as the world’s brawniest, kitten-loving superhero. While that paradox is supposed to be both funny and action packed, “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” from famed writer and director Guillermo del Toro falls flat on the funny front and instead winds up on the funny farm.

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  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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