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Celebration of Creation in Warm ‘Saving Mr. Banks’

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

CHICAGO – The world of creation, and the imagination behind it, gets an honorable and elegantly performed treatment in the fascinating “Saving Mr. Banks.” What seems like a “making of” film about the legendary “Mary Poppins,” becomes much more rich in symbolism and consideration.

‘Escape from Tomorrow’ Blasts America’s Sacred Mice

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

CHICAGO – One of America’s family traditions has become the trip to Disney World (or land). In one of the most highly charged anarchistic films in memory, this “tradition” is set on its mouse ears, as writer/director Randy Moore allows everyone to “Escape from Tomorrow.”

Tim Allen Narrates the Humanity in ‘Chimpanzee’

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

CHICAGO – It’s Earth Day this weekend, and following on the heels of “Earth” and “African Cats,” previous releases from Walt Disney Studios and Disneynature, there is “Chimpanzee.” Tim Allen narrates the story of Oscar, Isha, Freddy and Scar, and the film is co-produced by the Jane Goodall Institute, which preserves the chimpanzee natural habitats in Africa.

Diane Lane a Champion in Literal Horse Opera ‘Secretariat’

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

CHICAGO – In real life, we cling to the notion that the inconceivable can happen, that magical probability can penetrate the mendacity of everyday existence, but it rarely if ever happens. That is what makes the new film “Secretariat” so appealing, that 37 years ago the impossible did happen, through the heart of a horse and his believers. Diane Lane and John Malkovich lead the charge.

Forged in Myth, Nicolas Cage Shines in ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’

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

CHICAGO – The fantasy action epic has joined the animated film as the go-to genre for summer films. Disney joins the fray with “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” featuring magic, special effects action and a deep mythology, spiced with Nicolas Cage doing a slightly warped version of a King Arthur-era apprentice for Merlin the Magician.

Go Ask ‘Alice in Wonderland’ With Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway

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

CHICAGO – It’s like living in a dream. Director Tim Burton’s adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” uses 3-D magic for a timeless classic and creates gratitude for this current era of technology and creativity.

Disney Magic is Hopping to New Orleans in ‘The Princess and the Frog’

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

CHICAGO – The feature animation film tradition, invented by and fostered by the Walt Disney Company for close to 70 years, gets another glorious rendition in their latest release, “The Princess and the Frog.”

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  • The King of Comedy

    Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

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