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HollywoodChicago.com Movie Reviews

Academy Award-Nominated ‘City of God’ Spawns Evocative Brazilian Slum Film ‘City of Men’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – The plight of the people in the hard-hitting Brazilian film “City of Men” is akin with its plight to make you aware it even exists. This can be said about many great films that’ll touch you and leave you better than you were before despite not having the luxury of omnipresent advertising.

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.

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  • Stephanie Buxbaum

    CHICAGO – In the history of “Reality TV” there has been periods of up-and-down popularity, shows that have been around seemingly forever (“Big Brother,” “Amazing Race”) and spinoffs to new styles like “documentary series” as networks like the National Geographic Channel emerged. In all those permutations, producer Stephanie Buxbaum has experienced it all, and has the career and stories to prove it.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

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