Brian Tallerico

Great Performance Anchors Devastating ‘The Attack’

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

CHICAGO – “The Attack,” opening this week at the Landmark Century in Chicago, is a melancholy, mournful piece about an unimaginable tragedy and a man faced with the realization that he may not know the truth about the woman he loved. It’s an accomplished drama anchored by an understated, captivating performance from an actor who fills nearly every frame of every scene.

‘Springsteen & I’ is Cinematic Love Letter to The Boss

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

CHICAGO – I must admit that my fandom for Bruce Springsteen played a factor in how I responded to a review outreach for “Springsteen & I,” playing in special engagements around the country, including tonight, July 22, 2013 at AMC River East 21 and Regal City North 14 in Chicago (and again on July 30). If it had been called “Nickelback & I,” I probably wouldn’t have responded.

Symbolism Crushes Human Connection at ‘The Wall’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “The Wall,” opening today at the Music Box in Chicago, is a numbingly frustrating film in that it constantly defies audience involvement by reminding viewers of its self-importance, tedious degree of seriousness, and general lack of anything approaching common human behavior. Told almost entirely through the narration of its lead character, “The Wall” starts with an interesting concept but goes nowhere with it, giving the viewer too little with which to relate or comprehend and asking them to mistake the clunky narrative as “deep.”

Clever ‘100 Bloody Acres’ Finds Horror-Comedy Balance

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

CHICAGO – “We’re not psychos, all right?!?! We’re small business operators.” It’s been awhile since there was a horror-comedy as fun as “100 Bloody Acres,” opening today in Chicago at the Music Box Theatre, and playing in some other markets around the country.

Jason Statham Shows Range on Road to ‘Redemption’

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

CHICAGO – Stephen Knight, the writer of brilliant scripts for “Eastern Promises” & “Dirty Pretty Things,” makes his directorial debut with “Redemption,” opening today in limited release, starring Jason Statham in a role that proves that he has more dramatic range than he’s usually asked to display.

Neil Jordan’s ‘Byzantium’ Feels Drained of Passion

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – I’ve rarely said this about Neil Jordan movie – in fact, maybe never – but I was bored during his latest, the vampire drama “Byzantium,” a movie with an intriguing cast and interesting story but little in the way of passion, emotion, dread, or the other intangibles needed to make a horror film like this effective.

Melissa McCarthy, Sandra Bullock Fuel ‘The Heat’

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

CHICAGO – An incredibly talented ensemble elevates a pretty pedestrian script in the just-funny-enough “The Heat,” a movie that gets better as it goes along, largely because its two mega-talented stars carry it over some mediocre patches of writing. Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock simply have unimpeachable comic timing.

Joss Whedon & Friends Tackle the Bard in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

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

CHICAGO – While relaxing and catching his breath after the stressful task of filming “Marvel’s The Avengers,” writer/director Joss Whedon didn’t just drink wine, host parties, and take baths in his money. He decided to use his break to make another movie. Changing gears from one of the biggest blockbusters of all time, Whedon called his friends from TV shows and films he had made in the past and put together an adaptation of one of William Shakespeare’s most beloved works, “Much Ado About Nothing.”

Sofia Coppola Captures Cult of Celebrity in ‘The Bling Ring’

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

CHICAGO – We live a celebrity-driven culture that not only easily dismisses when its celebutantes get DUIs but practically sees the occasion as a rite of passage. We follow gossip websites to the degree that we know the schedules of people who are famous just for being famous better than we know our family’s.

‘The Haunting of Helena’ Updates Tooth Fairy Legend

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Originally called “Fairytale,” “The Haunting of Helena” will be available on VOD tomorrow, June 18, 2013, before a very limited release on June 21, 2013. It’s a generic, mediocre horror flick with a few effective images and some interesting thematic play in the second act that is, sadly, totally underdeveloped.

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