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Dustin Levell

Despite Smothered Direction, ‘Doubt’ Brings Out Best in Performers

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

CHICAGO – The inherit drama of a Catholic priest accused of molesting an African American boy during the 1960s would be enough to make for an interesting film on its own. In “Doubt,” this is one of the less-explored themes writer and director John Patrick Shanley examines.

Like a Bad ‘Law & Order,’ ‘Righteous Kill’ With Al Pacino, Robert De Niro Lacks ‘Heat’

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

CHICAGO – Last fall, Francis Ford Coppola made the comment that Al Pacino and Robert De Niro (along with Jack Nicholson) had lost their ambition. Coppola essentially said they have been phoning in their performances and picking safer movies. “Righteous Kill” could be the case study to that argument.

Jules Verne’s ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ With Brendan Fraser Stars Film’s 3-D Effects

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

CHICAGO – Jules Verne’s classic 1864 science-fiction novel “Journey to the Center of the Earth” has been adapted well in excess of a dozen times into films, radio and stage plays along with several made-for-TV movies and video games. It has even been adapted into two amusement-park rides.

‘Definitely, Maybe’ Borrows From Successful Romantic Comedies, Adds Fresh Hook

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5CHICAGO – The makers of “Love Actually” and “Notting Hill” know how to do romantic comedy that doesn’t somehow fall into the trap of a formulaic chick flick like “27 Dresses”. “Definitely, Maybe,” which is their latest effort, on the other hand isn’t particularly original and really isn’t very funny.

‘Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story’ Taps Best of Must-See TV Kings of Comedy

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – The makers of “Scary Movie,” “Date Movie” and “Epic Movie” should be kicking themselves right now for never thinking to make “Musical Bio-Pic Movie”.

On ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’: Alviiiiiiiiiiiiiiin? More Like Ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch!

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5CHICAGO – Thanks to live action and computer-generated animation, we’ve brought to life “Underdog,” “Transformers,” “The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle” and both “Scooby-Doo” and “Garfield” twice.

‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ Searches Soul, Comes Up Half Full

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5CHICAGO – In 2000’s “High Fidelity,” John Cusack mused: “I’ve read books like … ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ and I think I’ve understood them. They’re about girls, right?”

Wily ‘Ira & Abby’ Averts Predictable Hollywood Boy Meets Girl Trap

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – Groucho Marx once said: “Marriage is a wonderful institution … but who wants to live in an institution?” For the romantic and humorously charged “Ira & Abby,” holy matrimony seems a stressful but hilarious adventure.

Message Movie ‘Music Within’ Still Within Fledgling Director Steven Sawalich

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2/5CHICAGO – “Most people go to their graves with their music still inside them,” 19th century poet Oliver Wendell Holmes once said. First-time director Steven Sawalich’s “music” presumably still resides inside him because it doesn’t resound in his “Music Within” message movie.

In ‘Gone Baby Gone’ Directorial Debut, Ben Affleck Matures Into Polished Auteur

Rating: 4.5/5CHICAGO – It wasn’t that long ago when Ben Affleck was an unknown. Fortune eventually smiled upon him and along came quality performances in independents and an Academy Award for screenwriting.

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  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.


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