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Current Film Reviews

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
    Rating: 1.0/5.0

    CHICAGO – The old man as macho action hero trend has finally calcified. If you haven’t seen either of the two previous “Expendables” pictures – this is definitely not the place to start. Sylvester Stallone’s creaky franchise hits rock bottom with this shoddy looking, poorly paced, indifferently acted and overlong exercise in excess on the cheap. It supposedly cost $90 million dollars to make, but what’s onscreen looks like it should have gone direct to video. Some explosions look like they were created with an iPhone.

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

    CHICAGO – “The Giver” must have seemed a lot newer back when it was written than it does now. The Newberry Medal winning, middle school staple predates many other Young Adult series about oppressive big brother-ish societies. But its filmed adaptation, coming on the heels of “Divergent” and “The Hunger Games,” can’t help but feel like it’s riding their coattails.

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

    CHICAGO – The premise is sound, but the new film “Let’s Be Cops” refuses to do something original with the premise of a couple of regular Joes pretending to be Johnny Law. The same stale jokes and inevitable need for heroic action climax overwhelms the mild amusement of it all.

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

    CHICAGO – The title of the film, “Calvary,” should have resonance to any guilty Catholic out there, and yet the loaded word can’t deliver the truth that the film seeks. Brendan Gleeson gives an astonishing performance as a conflicted priest, but the material he has to work with is not up to his portrayal.

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

    CHICAGO – Early incarnations of “Godzilla,” for example, were so memorable because of the characters and its story. The “special effects” were laughable, but the films caught on despite it because they had heart.

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

    CHICAGO – “What If” is a really bad title, but that is the least of the film’s concerns, apparently, as the old can-man-and-women-be-friends canard rears its indecisive but predictable head (snicker). This time it’s interpreted through Harry Potter and Elia Kazan’s granddaughter, if this is to be believed.

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

    CHICAGO – “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is as manufactured and flavorless as a frostbitten Lean Cuisine. However as the impresario of a Michelin-starred Restaurant in the south of France, Helen Mirren implores her staff that food is not an old tired marriage, it is a passionate affair. It’s ironic that the film containing that speech is such a limp, forgettable piece of Oprah endorsed uplift with not one genuine emotion to be had.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Knick, The

    CHICAGO – Cinemax’s ominous new series “The Knick” is a hospital drama that’s very much in the voice of its director, Steven Soderbergh. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, the series presents the medical world as it inches closer and closer to modernity, while making contemporary parallels to the desperate hustle by surgery room clients and their doctors alike regarding treatment of the human body. What has changed in the politics of medicine? What hasn’t?

  • Transcendence

    CHICAGO – The Internet is for real in “Transcendence”, a B-movie with grade-A production quality, loaded with terabyte-size open-ended questions, so long as one can accept it lastly with a scientific mindset. It is a film that perceives technology to be more expansive than a box of wires and computer chips, and actualizes the expanse of the internet as limitless to the realm of spiritual.

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