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Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake Sink in Horrible ‘Yogi Bear’

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

CHICAGO – “Yogi Bear,” the latest degradation in the cynical family film 3D marketing universe, has done the improbable. It has taken notable and nostalgic cartoon characters (Yogi and Boo Boo) and turned them into animatronic shills for a post modern bore of a story that wouldn’t work if Fellini were directing it. Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake sell out (I mean lend) their voice talents.

Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon in Gloriously Romantic ‘How Do You Know’

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

CHICAGO – Writer/Director James L. Brooks has been producing prime entertainment for nearly 50 years now, and proves he has not lost a step in ‘How Do You Know.’ This film of love, loss, power and especially romance is a great showcase for the talents of Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson and the great Jack Nicholson.

Nothing Plastic About Lena Dunham’s Post-Graduate ‘Tiny Furniture’

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

CHICAGO – The 24 year-old Lena Dunham is a new and notable voice for her generation of filmmakers, breaking in with her first feature, the memorable “Tiny Furniture.” Dunham wrote, directed and portrays the main character Aura, a newly minted film theory graduate who is going through the time honored process of what to do with her post collegiate life.

‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ Not Worth the Trip

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

CHICAGO – The children’s fantasy drama is a hot commodity in the current age of computer generated images. Many favorite books once thought too complex to be filmed are now seeing new life in film series, including “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” by C.S. Lewis, first published in 1952.

Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Darren Aronofsky Stage Mesmerizing ‘Black Swan’

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

CHICAGO – Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” pulses with the kind of energy and life that we only see from cinema a few times a year. With creative expression rarely seen in American film and one of the best performances by an actress that you will ever see, “Black Swan” is a film that resonates for hours and even days after you see it. You won’t easily shake this masterpiece. And you won’t want to.

Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal in Unbearable ‘Love and Other Drugs’

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

CHICAGO – “Love and Other Drugs” celebrates everything that is wrong with America, wrapped in a package with two “it” stars doing a disservice to their emerging careers. The love depicted is random and somewhat damaged. The drugs are simply a cynical proclamation on how great Big Pharma is.

Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton Are Redemptive in ‘Faster’

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

CHICAGO – The Action Film is getting a bit creaky, relying more on computer generated eye candy than character or plot. It is refreshing to experience a film like “Faster,” featuring Dwayne Johnson and Billy Bob Thornton, because it is an action film that means something, and puts its inhabitants on a path to their own salvation.

Disney Has Another Brush With Greatness in Delightful ‘Tangled’

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

CHICAGO – Movieland is awash in feature length “cartoons,” with virtually every season cranking out more new entries in this new golden age of animation. The Disney Studios, the grandaddy of the genre, aims to keep the bar high with its latest, the amazing looking and hilarious 3D version of the Rapunzel story, with a post modern title of “Tangled.”

Russell Crowe Goes Hitchcockian in Taut ‘The Next Three Days’

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

CHICAGO – The suspense thriller is a delicate art that depends on situational realism and unlikely circumstances cohabiting in a heart-pounding plot. The Master of the genre was Alfred Hitchcock, who often put ordinary people in these nail biting scenarios. Director Paul Haggis (”Crash”) uses this theme and does the Master proud in “The Next Three Days.”

Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams Charm in ‘Morning Glory’

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

CHICAGO – The Holiday Season for films is populated by epic crowd pleasers and artsy Oscar bait. In between are the warm popcorn movies that don’t attempt to be anything except what they are. Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton and Patrick Wilson illustrate that cinematic point in the appealing and accessible “Morning Glory.”

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  • Elizabeth Laidlaw

    CHICAGO – The recent limited series “The Red Line” on CBS-TV was notable for a couple elements – it was set in Chicago and it featured Chicago actors in major roles. Creators Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss (from here), cast their Chi-town colleague Elizabeth Laidlaw, who portrayed police officer “Vic” Renna.

  • 2019 Physical Theater Festival

    CHICAGO – The visual artistry of the stage is often due to the picture that is created through the physicality and movement of the actors. This is brought to light in the 6th annual Physical Theater Festival in Chicago, a cornucopia of international imagination generating theater through the physical realm. Co-founders/Artistic Directors Alice Da Cunha and Marc Frost created the fest, which runs from May 31st through June 9th, 2019, Stage 773 in the Belmont Avenue Theater District. All the Festival information – including tickets – can be found by clicking here.

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