Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Spotty ‘Swiss Army Man’ Has Just Enough Gas

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

CHICAGO – It’s a simple concept. A man is stuck on an island, and has run out of hope. A dead corpse washes ashore and starts farting. The farts are so frequent that the man rides the corpse like a jet ski. The man is “saved”? Oh yes, and the corpse is portrayed by Daniel “Harry Potter” Radcliffe.

‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ is a Dull Detour to a Dead End

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

CHICAGO – With “10 Cloverfield Lane,” Producer J.J. Abrams attempts a classic bait and switch on his audience. The name and the tagline suggest a connection to Abrams found footage monster movie, 2008’s “Cloverfield.” But in all honesty, this film has very little to do with the events of that movie.

Meet the Press in Illuminating ‘Kill the Messenger’

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

CHICAGO – When journalists were heroes and exposed those in power for their sins, movies were made like “All the President’s Men.” Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News was one of those journalist heroes during the 1990s, but he wasn’t celebrated in his time. The indictments, induced paranoia and outright lies against him are distinctly chronicled in the luminary “Kill the Messenger.”

Hilarious Cast Elevates Mediocre ‘A.C.O.D.’

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

CHICAGO – The incredibly talented men and women who make up the cast of “A.C.O.D.” make the relative failure of its script easier to bear. Just hearing brilliant actors like Richard Jenkins and Catherine O’Hara at each other’s throats or watching remarkably likable stars like Adam Scott and Mary Elizabeth Winstead figure out their relationship has enough charm to get one from lights down to credits roll.

Charlie Sheen Opens Up in ‘A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III’

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

CHICAGO – Roman Coppola, Oscar-nominated as you read this for his great work co-writing “Moonrise Kingdom” (he also co-wrote “The Darjeeling Limited” with Wes Anderson) brings us the truly odd “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III,” now available On Demand and opening this Friday in Chicago. The film proves two things – that Charlie Sheen is a better actor than his public persona and stint on “Two and a Half Men” may have led you to believe and that he needs to find a character to prove that instead of this riff on his real-life drama.

‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ Makes For Bad Movie Night

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 0.5/5.0
Rating: 0.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The franchise has been in steady decline since the original “Die Hard,” quite simply one of the best action films of all time, but that still doesn’t prepare one for the truly horrendous “A Good to Day to Die Hard,” a complete waste of time on every level. Loud, obnoxious, boring, cartoonish, morally reprehensible, and just plain stupid, “A Good Day to Die Hard” is just bad, bad, bad.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is Emotionally Wrecked in ‘Smashed’

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

CHICAGO – “Young Drunks in Love” could be the subtitle of the new film “Smashed,’ or maybe “Recovery Can’t Recover All.” Regardless, Mary Elizabeth Winstead gives a career-defining performance as a young adult facing up to that adulthood, and leaving behind everything she has known for a life that’s healthier, but less familiar.

‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ Proves History Bites

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

CHICAGO – In this new film, don’t describe the 16th U.S. President as “The Great Emancipator,” call him “The Great Kick-Ass-ipator.” In this high concept romp, the President who presided over the Civil War is now winning it single-handedly by fighting his demons in “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.”

Unsettling Paranoia, Special Effects Showcase ‘The Thing’

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

CHICAGO – With Halloween approaching, what will truly scare us at the cinema this month? One strong entry is this weekend’s “The Thing,” the third remake of a wild and mysterious monster movie. It combines a European-style approach to paranoia with some truly unique monster effects.

Ambition, Ingenuity Win Fight of ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’

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

CHICAGO – Working from the graphic novels by Brian Lee O’Malley, Edgar Wright and Michael Cera deliver one of the most unique films of the year in the comeic-book/romance/comedy/video-game/pop-art/action/musical “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” You won’t see anything like this again for a long time. It’s an imperfect film that can get downright frustrating but it displays enough flashes of genius to warrant your time and demand your forgiveness of flaws.

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