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John C. Reilly

Despite One Premise, Laughs Are Plenty in ‘The Little Hours’

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

CHICAGO – It occurred to me in assessing “The Little Hours” that the basic premise is somewhat like “The Beguiled” – a man is taken in, rooster-like, into a henhouse where there are women with “needs.” Except this time, instead of a girl’s boarding school, it is a 14th Century nunnery. Get thee to it, if thou wants to laugheth.

Rousing Adventure Awaits in ‘Kong: Skull Island’

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

CHICAGO – King Kong is a wholly generated creature of the movies. Ever since the gorilla legend came to life on screen way back in 1933, he has appeared in countless official remakes, cheap exploitation flicks and now as a symbol of American overreach. He still rules in “Kong: Skull Island.”

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ a Gleeful Space Romp

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

CHICAGO – “Guardians Of The Galaxy” is a gleeful Star Wars knockoff dressed up in Marvel Comics clothing. It occupies the same universe as Marvel’s other properties, but its tone is decidedly sillier. It has a spirit more akin to the later joke heavy installments of the Star Trek franchise or low budget exploitation mogul Roger Corman’s “Battle Beyond The Stars” than the ponderous pontificating of “Thor.”

Voice Cast Delights in Wonderful ‘Wreck-It Ralph’

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

CHICAGO – The nostalgia of the old video game arcade comes to life in a charming and fun way in the new Disney film, “Wreck-It Ralph.” One of the strengths is the precise selection of celebrity voices used to animate the rollicking characters. John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman and Jane Lynch are part of the familiar voice cast.

Funny, Political ‘The Dictator’ with Sacha Baron Cohen

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

CHICAGO – Ali G, Borat, Bruno and the Stationmaster Guy in “Hugo” is now “The Dictator.” Sacha Baron Cohen puts on another character mask and produces his usual style of cheap laughs with a surprising sense of political sharpness. Anna Faris and Ben Kingsley go along for the ride.

Midnight Show Vibe in ‘Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie’

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

CHICAGO – The midnight movie show, popularized by “Rocky Horror,” always needs new candidates. The raunchy, hit-and-miss “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” is fresh midnight meat, stamped with “love” from Tim Heidecker and Eric Warheim of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim (”Tom Goes to the Mayor”).

Oedipus Wrecks Tilda Swinton in ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’

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

CHICAGO – The mother and son relationship is perhaps one of the most complicated ever invented. In giving birth to an opposing gender, the woman must then deal with a maturation process foreign to her own, with all the potential psychosis attached. Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller play the game in “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”

Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz Shine in Roman Polanski’s Surprisingly Average ‘Carnage’

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

CHICAGO – Roman Polanski may not seem to be the first choice for a film about culture clashes in New York City but he has notable experience with dramas with only a few characters in a few locations (“Knife in the Water,” “Cul-de-sac,” “Death and the Maiden”). He knows how to build character tension through interaction – the games people play with words.

‘Terri’ Paints Honest Portrait of Adolescent Alienation

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

CHICAGO – Nothing says “Official Selection at Sundance” quite like an obese teen grappling with an angst-ridden existence. There have been countless pictures centering on young, plus-size protagonists, though few feel three-dimensional. Tracy Turnblad and Claireece Precious Jones aren’t people so much as they are symbols of survival in the face of adversity. It’s easy to root for them, but it’s more than a little difficult to believe in them.

Ed Helms, John C. Reilly Find the Heart in ‘Cedar Rapids’

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

CHICAGO – It is great to witness a star being born. Ed Helms, who so memorably stole the show in “The Hangover,” breaks out even further with a career defining performance as Tim Lippe in the warm and funny new comedy, “Cedar Rapids.” John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver and Isiah Whitlock Jr. lend essential support.

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  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 10th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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