HollywoodChicago.com

'Zombieland: Double Tap' Not As Fresh But Still Has Some Life Left

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

CHICAGO - Zombieland: Double Tap lacks the freshness or the belly laughs of its predecessor, but I was surprised to see that this outrageously overqualified cast has not worn out its welcome. It’s ridiculous that three Oscar nominees and one Oscar winner headline a movie devoted solely to blowing zombies up. But when you employ Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin, you’re going to get some unexpected surprises.

Visual Beauty Can't Cover Up Cultural Vagueness in 'Abominable'

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/2.5

CHICAGO – The changing view on yetis goes to show just how different my childhood was from kids growing up today. Back in my day, yeti’s were elusive creatures meant to be feared, much like Big Foot or Loch Ness. Films like “Smallfoot” and “Abominable” are paving the way towards acceptance were we ever to encounter a yeti, but the latter is more of a step back than forwards.

Zellweger's Star Power Single-Handedly Saves Stale 'Judy'

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

CHICAGO – Even before I figured out my own sexuality, Judy Garland’s status as a gay icon was known to me. I wouldn’t understand why until much later in my life, but sure as the sky was blue, the city was emerald, and the brick road was yellow, I knew I was a friend of Dorothy. Heartbreakingly, “Judy” paints a bleak portrait of the star, but never takes a look at the bigger picture.

'Hustlers' Is Flashy But Empty Stripper Crime Caper

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

CHICAGO – This striper crime caper is flashy, buffed to a high gloss, and more entertaining and watchable than it has any right to be. But it’s never quite as smart, or layered as it seems to think it is.
Constance Wu from “Crazy Rich Asians” stars as the proverbial stripper with a heart of gold, Destiny.

HollywoodChicago.com ESP, En Español: 'It Chapter Two' y 'Official Secrets'

CHICAGO – Cada semana, HollywoodChicago.com le traerá las criticas de las películas que hemos visto y que están saliendo esa semana, pero en español. HollywoodChicago.com ESP no sólo representa HollywoodChicago.com Espanol, sino también Esta Semana en Peliculas.

‘The Farewell’ Greets with Cultural, Emotional Exploration

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

CHICAGO – We all have those family stories that seem just so uniquely ours that it is hard to believe anyone could actually relate to them. Stories that, at the time, don’t seem like anyone else would even understand. Lulu Wang proves in “The Farewell” that all it takes is a little empathy, a skilled storyteller, and a group of talented people to bring any story to life.

Horror is Worth a Visit in 'Annabelle Comes Home'

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

CHICAGO – There is such an unnerving quality to older dolls, which is why they lend themselves so perfectly to horror stories. There’s just an unsettling feeling when looking at their static expression, usually plastered with a permanent smile that gives me terrible flashbacks to when I worked retail. Oddly enough, “Annabelle Comes Home” similarly elicits familiar feelings of terror but channels it through an 80’s horror homage.

Less Black Magic, More Black Mirror is a Success in 'Child's Play'

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

CHICAGO – There are some fears in this world that seem irrational to us. Like a fear of clowns or the fear of using an elevator. Horror films are at the core of some of these fears, with the truly great ones creating new things to fear. The “Child’s Play” franchise may have had its roots in psychopathic soul transfers, but the update focuses on the ghost in the machine.

'The Dead Don't Die' Offers Full-On Horror Homage But Little Else

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

CHICAGO – Before Jordan Peele, before Mike Flanagan, before James Wan, and especially before all of Blumhouse, there were other masters of horror who paved the way for the filmmakers we know today. The Carpenters, the Cravens, and the Argentos of the world helped turn horror into the thriving genre it is today. Jim Jarmusch’s “The Dead Don’t Die” openly acknowledges this with their love letter approach to the genre itself.

‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ Feels More Like a Cat Nap Than Catnip

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – As a pet owner, I know firsthand that I want an exciting life for my guinea pigs. When I’m off at work, I’d like to think that they throw parties or have some sort of hangouts with other guinea pigs or pets in the area. The alternative being the sad realization that they are stuck in their cage while I’m away, probably bored out of their little minds. “The Secret Life of Pets” franchise continues to brings the fantasy to life, even if the sequel feels too tame.

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