Spike Walters

Film Review: Baz Luhrman’s 'Elvis' is a Hanka Hunka Burning Drudge

CHICAGO – Director Baz Luhrman’s “Elvis” has plenty of suspicious minds, but precious little mystery as his trademark excess fails to breathe new life into the tired legacy of the King. No amount of montages, quick cuts, and odd music choices can obscure the fact that we don’t see anything here that even the casual Elvis fan doesn’t already know.

Film Review: Intelligence Extinct in Dopey ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’

CHICAGO – Intelligence goes extinct in this supremely dopey sixth installment of the Jurassic Park franchise. Not even the reunion of original stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum can counteract the law of diminishing returns and a lack of focus behind the camera.

Film Review: Mechanical ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’

CHICAGO – “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” proves that more Doctor Stranges do not necessarily equal more fun. And more so than other comic book adventures, this seems like a cog in the Marvel machine first, and an adventure in its own right a very distant second.

Film Review: Law-Abiding ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’

CHICAGO – The elements of the Fantastic Beasts franchise that work at all are the ones most closely connected to the larger world of Harry Potter that enchanted the hearts and minds of millions in the first place. In “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” it’s ostensible main character Newt Scamander demoted to supporting character while Dumbledore is now front and center.

Oscar Week: HollywoodChicago.com 2022 Oscar Predictions

CHICAGO – Here we go again. Welcome to the annual Oscar Predictions on HollywoodChicago.com, for 2022 (the 94th Academy Awards). The film/entertainment contributors – Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Lennon Espino – are joined by guest Michael Glover Smith, the director of the upcoming film “Relative.”



Film Review: ‘The Batman’ with Robert Pattinson is On Its Way Up

CHICAGO – Since I was no fan of of director Zack Snyder’s take on the Caped Crusader – “Batman v Superman” and “The Justice League” being some of the worst superhero movies ever to sputter onto the big screen – as far as I was concerned the franchise had nowhere to go but up.

Film Review: Peter Dinklage Leads Perfectly Serviceable ‘Cyrano’

CHICAGO – This is no small feat, but “Cyrano” works as well as it does because it puts a couple of new spins on the material while keeping the essence of this tale … which is seemingly as old as time. For those not paying attention during high school literature classes, Cyrano De Bergerac is a gallant hearted hero and actor who is in love with the maiden Roxanne, who happens to be his best friend.

Film Review: 'Marry Me' Works With Owen Wilson & Jennifer Lopez

CHICAGO – I’ll admit that based on the ubiquitous trailers, The latest attempt for Jennifer Lopez to reclaim the throne as Queen of the Rom-Com seemed like the sort of enterprise meant to make you bury your face in your hands. So I was pleasantly surprised to find “Marry Me” is just innocuously bad, not egregiously bad.

Film Review: Ass Kicker of the Wrong Kind is Downfall of ‘The 355’

CHICAGO – There’s something to be said for a well done ass kicker in January that provides an entertaining distraction from the ice and snow outside. “The 355” is not it, offering a typical quick cutting action thriller that plods along in the most formulaic and least exciting manner possible. There’s nothing in this movie that hasn’t been done to death already.

Film Review: ‘Being the Ricardos’ Questions Who Loves Lucy

CHICAGO – “Being the Ricardos” tries to tell the story of a comedy icon with a star who wouldn’t know physical comedy if it slapped her in the face. Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball isn’t the only problem weighing down this biopic, but anytime this lead-footed and ponderous production threatens to build up a little momentum, Kidman stops it in its tracks.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • La Dolce Vita Blu-ray

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio Blu-ray DVD review of “La Dolce Vita,” the Federico Fellini film masterpiece that introduced the 1960s to itself, and the term “Paparazzi” to the language, now available through Paramount Pictures wherever Blu-rays are sold.

  • Ms. Marvel

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson, WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin), on June 23rd, 2022, reviewing the new streaming series “Ms Marvel,” a new kind of Marvel Universe superhero now streaming on Disney+.

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