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David Strathairn

Charming ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ Bucks Botched Sequel Trend

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

CHICAGO – Motivated by financial necessity, sequels often mitigate business risk and satisfy studio executives by riding on the coattails of a previous fan base with brand equity. But business aside, to moviegoers the follow-up product so often feels like it “wasn’t nearly as good as the first” or didn’t need to return at all.

Hollywood’s ‘Godzilla’ Misses, Mocks Ishirô Honda’s Main Warning Message

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

CHICAGO – Except for the clear purpose of cashing in on yet another “Godzilla” remake, everything is happening for no reason. Worst of all, what is ensuing misses and even mocks the reason why Ishirô Honda originated 1954’s “Godzilla” in the first place.

‘Lincoln’ Magnificently Humanizes the Man, Our History

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

CHICAGO – There is an argument that Steven Spielberg is the most “American” of directors, at least in his generation. He deftly and brilliantly teams up with playwright Tony Kushner and actor Daniel Day-Lewis to humanize and realize our 16th president in “Lincoln.”

Rachel Weisz Anchors Melodrama of ‘The Whistleblower’

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

CHICAGO – Rachel Weisz elevates the harrowing true story of “The Whistleblower,” a pull-no-punches drama about a disturbing international conspiracy to cover up a sex trafficking ring involving the men tasked with protecting the innocent who turned to exploiting them. This is a graphic, dark, violent piece of drama, as it should be given its subject matter, but it’s the work of one of our best working actresses that truly makes it worth venturing into the darkness.

Paul Giamatti Does More With Less in ‘Cold Souls’

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

CHICAGO – How is the best way to discover the elusiveness of the soul? For Paul Giamatti, playing himself, the key is to store the legendary organ into the deep freeze, in his new absurdist comedy, “Cold Souls.”

Blueberries Meet Luscious Taste Buds in ‘My Blueberry Nights’ With Jude Law, Rachel Weisz

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5CHICAGO – We see sensual close-up shots of blueberry pie overflow with aqueducts of vanilla ice cream in Wong Kar-Wai’s opening sequence of “My Blueberry Nights”. This dreamy scene sets the tone of the latest film from the famous Chinese director as he confronts the West with his unique cinematic style.

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  • Sherlock Holmes with David Arquette (teaser)

    CHICAGO – Different isn’t bad and might be great, but you’d better have an irrefutable reason to change what was never broken. Campy being the only word to accurately convey this alternate-reality version of Sherlock Holmes with an original script, writer Greg Kramer and director Andrew Shaver try too hard to be different without ever figuring out why.

  • Merry Widow, The

    CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.


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