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John Leguizamo

‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ Adds Artistry to Mass Murder

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

CHICAGO – It takes a special kind of film that enthralls the audience so much that they stop caring about the body count and are more concerned with the main character running out of bullets. “John Wick: Chapter 2” offers the same cathartic effect as watching a Nazi get punched but in an infinitely more picturesque package.

Keanu Reeves in Ludicrous Premise as ‘John Wick’

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

CHICAGO – Keanu Reeves has been in a lot of dogs over the years, but rarely has he left such a high body count while avenging one of them. “John Wick” is a brutal revenge thriller where Reeves is a ex-mob enforcer who goes on a murderous rampage leaving blood on every doorstep to avenge the death of his dog. Despite that chuckle-inducing premise, “John Wick” isn’t the dog I expected, but then again that’s not saying much.

Jon Favreau’s Anti-Popcorn Project ‘Chef’ Still Mild

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

CHICAGO – By the time of his 2011 box office blitzkrieg otherwise known as “Cowboys & Aliens,” the product that indie director-turned-Hollywood habitue Jon Favreau had been hocking as a “popcorn salesman” had gone stale – to use a showbiz term from Nicholas Ray’s” In A Lonely Place.”

Even Kids Might Run from ‘Walking with Dinosaurs 3D’

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

CHICAGO – “Walking with Dinosaurs” depicts the magnificent titular creatures in stunning realism and 3D vision, and then proceeds to give them line readings with the equivalent sophistication of Archie comics. This adds up to an educational film with a long, dull journey ahead.

Disappointing ‘Kick-Ass 2’ Replaces Style with Vulgarity

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – More vulgar, violent, and generally vile than the first film, “Kick-Ass 2” is one of those incredibly annoying films that actually will mar the legacy of its predecessor by association. Writer/director Jeff Wadlow entirely misplaces the priorities of the first film, thinking that the sequel needs to be more extreme, even if that’s at the expense of style and intelligence.

‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’ Sucks Remaining Life From Franchise

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

CHICAGO – The families who get suckered into the truly horrendous “Ice Age: Continental Drift” should be angry. Not only does it fail when compared to the best animation of the year (“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” “The Pirates! A Band of Misfits,” “The Secret World of Arrietty,” “Brave”) but it’s less entertaining than most children’s television.

Katherine Heigl’s ‘One For the Money’ Was Made For No One

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

CHICAGO – Just under five years ago, Katherine Heigl became a decently known actress in the film world for her role as Alison in the Judd Apatow film “Knocked Up.” After having been in the show “Grey’s Anatomy” for a few years, Heigl had finally broke into the world of cinema, and seemed to have a decent amount of comedy acting skills. Now, several years and a few bad movies in a row, Heigl seems to be desperately holding on to whatever career she still has left.

Matthew McConaughey Nearly Saves Problematic ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’

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

CHICAGO – Proving yet again that he can deliver when he avoids horrendous romantic comedy cliches, Matthew McConaughey does his best work in years in “The Lincoln Lawyer,” but the film doesn’t quite come together like one wishes that it would due to the common traps that befall big screen adaptations of best-selling thrillers.

‘Nothing Like the Holidays’ Does Nothing to Stand Out From Christmas Movie Crowd

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

CHICAGO – When it was still called “Humboldt Park” and was probably more closely related to Chicago’s thriving Hispanic neighborhood, Alfredo De Villa’s “Nothing Like the Holidays” was probably a lot more interesting than the cookie-cutter dramedy that ended up on the big screen.

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.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Wiz, The

    CHICAGO – When stage theater can cause outbreaks of elation, celebration and joy, then it must be due to Kokandy Productions’ revival of “The Wiz.” The urban reinterpretation of “The Wizard of Oz” story – told through tuneful euphoria and jubilant dance – is ecstatically produced, in every morsel of its stagecraft.

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