Movie Review

Israeli Directorial Debut ‘The Band’s Visit’ Built on Series of Bittersweet, Exquisite Moments

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 5/5CHICAGO – When we speak of conflicts between people or ideologies, there’s a tendency for broad categorization. Who are the liberals or the conservatives? What type of people make up the Israelis or Palestinians? Who are the people of color and who are white?

‘Wild Ocean 3-D’ in IMAX Offers Breathtaking Cinematography, Profound Message

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – “Wild Ocean 3-D” – an unforgettable nature documentary playing now in IMAX at Chicago’s Navy Pier – dives to the depths of the ocean and through the vastness of the sea with breathtaking 3-D cinematography and a profound message for all mankind.

Skater Boy Culture Takes Center Stage in Cult Director Van Sant’s ‘Paranoid Park’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5CHICAGO – For “Paranoid Park,” cult director Gus Van Sant returns to high school, which is the setting of his previous chilling look into the Columbine incident in 2003’s “Elephant”. Though not as successful as “Elephant,” “Paranoid Park” evokes a dream-like meditation on the trials and extreme tribulations of a skateboarding teenage boy trying to find his way.

With Surreal Madness, Strange Boys Play ‘Funny Games’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5CHICAGO – Imagine a film with no redeeming or uplifting emotional qualities with evil that tortures the soul, squirm-inducing narrative elements and a relentless anxiety that practically has us – like the characters in the film – screaming for mercy. Imagine also that this film is excellent.

‘Sleepwalking’ Has Exactly That Potential Effect on Moviegoers

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 0.5/5CHICAGO – When done improperly, there’s nothing more embarrassing than actors playing against their type or social class. There is a subtlety to channeling the lower middle or the working class beyond dressing down or developing a bad hairstyle. “Sleepwalking” is the type of film that gets it wrong and just gets worse as it tries harder.

Dr. Seuss’ ‘Horton Hears a Who!’ Heard Loudly Into Instant Children’s Classic

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – One of Dr. Seuss’ most famous storybooks has finally been granted life with its self-titled animated feature “Horton Hears a Who!,” which involves a morally righteous elephant, philosophical timbre and Dr. Seuss’ ingenious lyrical rhymes.

Filled With Political Blackmail, ‘The Bank Job’ Pays Dividends

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – Done properly, the classic heist or caper film is a welcomed genre of suspense-filled locations, stereotyped experts and the big cash payoff. Based in speculative part on the true story of a robbery in a vital London safety deposit vault, “The Bank Job” adds the spice of political intrigue as an underlying factor to the actual crime.

‘Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day’ as Rare as Boobs Without Silicone in Hollywood

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – Character comedies that actually have some depth and fun are as rare as boobs without silicone in Hollywood. “Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day” reaches these heights with a sensibility of an old studio picture with stylized glamour, lovable rogues and at the center the great Frances McDormand as the title character taking a chance in 24 sparkling and event-filled hours.

Despite Potty Humor, ‘CJ7’ Crosses Into Cliché to Reveal Alien Lassie

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5CHICAGO – Stephen Chow, who directed “Shaolin Soccer” and “Kung Fu Hustle,” brings us his latest eccentricity in the form of the kid-oriented film “CJ7”. Slapstick antics, sarcastic humor and excessively absurd characters are simply a few of Chow’s cinematic trademarks and “CJ7” is no exception to his design.

Oscar-Winning ‘The Counterfeiters’ a Bravely Told Gem From Depths of Nazi Germany

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – “The Counterfeiters” is a historical gem bravely told from the depths of Nazi Germany. An opening scene of a dismal sea sets the tone of Stefan Ruzowitzky’s historical jewel with a sense of despair that raises curiosity to the physical level.

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