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Antonio Banderas

‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water’ Squeezes Out More Fun

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

CHICAGO – “The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water” squeezes another big-screen adventure out of America’s favorite undersea fry cook, and introduces some tantalizing comic possibilities that ramp up the series – including winking meta references – but it’s ambitions remain distinctly small scale.

‘Machete Kills’ So Over the Top, it Has No Bottom

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

CHICAGO – You gotta love director Robert Rodriguez. When other filmmakers are slogging through their important films, he’s out convincing big stars to blow off cinematic fireworks, giggling all the time. The excess is the thing, more so and more so, in his new film “Machete Kills.”

Zoe Kazan Illuminates Fascinating Fable of ‘Ruby Sparks’

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

CHICAGO – Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris return to the spotlight this week with their first film since the award-winning “Little Miss Sunshine” and they completely defy the sophomore slump, delivering a smart, fascinating, fun gem in the spectacular “Ruby Sparks.” Buoyed by one of the best screenplays of the year courtesy of one of our most interesting young actresses, “Ruby Sparks” is a clever romantic fantasy that works on nearly every level.

Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor in Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Haywire’

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

CHICAGO – Steven Soderbergh is one of the few directors who can do whatever the hell he wants. Whatever genre, whomever he casts, whichever story he chooses to tell – he pulls it off. He hasn’t made anything approaching a stumble since 2004’s “Ocean’s Twelve” (and, believe it or not, there have been eight films released since including this one) and his latest, “Haywire,” serves as further evidence that any conversation of the best working directors that doesn’t include him is incomplete.

‘Puss in Boots’ Coasts Through Familiar Animated Antics

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

CHICAGO – Animated family films have made a pact with their audience. For our participation – and extra 3D glasses fee – they deliver the latest in computer generated eye candy, familiar voice talent and heroes that always win while making pop culture references. Antonio Banderas is “Puss in Boots.”

Lazy, Uninspired ‘Shrek Forever After’ With Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The laziest big budget film of the year, “Shrek Forever After” is the worst kind of family entertainment in that it relies solely on the goodwill engendered by the hit movies that came before to not only get audience members in seats this weekend but to sell them toys, video games, and tickets to amusement parks.

‘Shrek the Third’ is Foxy Flirt Between Kid’s Play, Adult Wit

Rating: 3.5/5CHICAGO – To thwart his fate of being royally screwed (“mommy, what does that mean?”), the ornery ogre who smells like the shallow end of a swamp has unwavering resolve to crown someone else as proxy for his kingdom’s recently croaked king.

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  • The Projects

    CHICAGO – The legacy of public housing is one of the strangest forces of karma in the City of Chicago. For example, sites that were once some of the roughest and most neglected housing for the poor now contain luxury condos. It is the people of those former hellholes that still remember the sorrowful history of what they once called home. The American Theater Company (ATC) have gathered these stories for the poignant and extraordinary “The Projects.”

  • Gambler, The 2

    CHICAGO – Browsing Dostoyevsky titles with consideration for proper roles for Mark Wahlberg, one might expect the Beantown hero to take on an adaptation of “The Idiot” before anything like “The Gambler.” After all, while Wahlberg has proven to be a diverse screen force - one who has well-grown past his Funky Bunch days - he often leans towards goofy men, or at least goofy men in goofy movies.

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