Spike Walters

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

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

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.

Intelligence Extinct in Dopey ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’

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

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 as the film turns Dino after Dino into a deadening drumbeat of dull destruction.

Mechanical ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’

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

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.

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

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

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 front and center.

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

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

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.

Peter Dinklage Leads Perfectly Serviceable ‘Cyrano’

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

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.

'Marry Me' Works With Owen Wilson & Jennifer Lopez

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

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… and with the state of rom-coms these days that’s something of an accomplishment.

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

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

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.

‘Being the Ricardos’ Questions Who Loves Lucy

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

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.

Who Ya Gonna Call in ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’

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

CHICAGO – This latest attempt to revive the beloved 1980’s franchise is a curious rumination on nostalgia. It’s so heavily indebted to the original, references are treated as holy relics to be revered and worshiped. But it also makes the compelling case – to begin with – for the futility of trying to turn the film into a franchise.

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  • Loot

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on The Eddie Volkman Show with Hannah B on WSSR-FM (Star 96.7 Joliet, Illinois) on August 5th, reviewing the TV series “Loot,” featuring Maya Rudolph. Currently on Apple TV+ with the 9th of ten episodes available to stream today.

  • Bear, The

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on The Eddie Volkman Show with Hannah B on WSSR-FM (Star 96.7 Joliet, Illinois) on July 22nd, 2022, reviewing the new TV series that is set in Chicago, “The Bear.” Currently on the FX channel and whole series streaming on HULU.

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