Luc Besson

Ramshackle, Rickety ‘Taken 3’ is Far Too Predictable

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

CHICAGO – “Taken 3” is more a brand extension than a movie. Seven years after “Taken” turned Liam Neeson into an unlikely action star, “Taken 3” shows this series has completely run out of gas. The novelty of the hulking Oscar-nominee beating bad guys to a pulp wore off a long time ago, and “Taken 3” puts Neeson through the most pedestrian set of paces yet. It says something when the operative word of his first scene is “predictable.” Neeson only says it a half dozen times.

Scarlett Johansson Packs a Blockbuster Punch in ‘Lucy’

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

CHICAGO – “Lucy” is a piece of high-minded cinematic junk food that manages to be outlandishly weird while still satisfying the lizard brain desires of its audience. It’s a film that knows what’ll get the behinds in the seats, and that appeal can effectively be summed up in one shot. It shows Scarlett Johansson in a tight-fitting white t-shirt walking in slow motion with her bosoms bouncing in unison, carrying two guns and ready to kick some serious ass.

Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace in Annoying, Awful ‘Lockout’

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

CHICAGO – The annoying and boring “Lockout” is a pile of aggressive junk masquerading as a good time. Some critics and viewers will pretend that this is a “fun B-movie” just because it has a few over-the-top sequences (that look completely cartoonish), an absolutely ridiculous premise, and a scenery-chewing performance from the great Guy Pearce.

Great Performances Nearly Save ‘The Lady’ From Remarkable Convention

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

CHICAGO – I love every decision made by the great Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis in Luc Besson’s historical biopic “The Lady” and yet I cannot recommend the film. It is a wild understatement to call the film conventional and those who did not know that it was from the director of such personality-heavy films as “La Femme Nikita” and “The Fifth Element” would never guess that the man behind it was anything more than a director for hire. To be fair, Besson does draw the best out of his two leads but “The Lady” is a film about an extraordinary woman. So why is it such an ordinary film?

Liam Neeson Elevates Above-Average Action Movie ‘Taken’

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

CHICAGO – Bringing the same screen presence and gravity that he has to more serious roles like those in “Schindler’s List” and “Kinsey,” Liam Neeson turns the relatively generic “Taken” into an above-average action movie that should prove a surprising alternative for movie goers looking for a break from Super Bowl coverage this weekend.

‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ Screams Readiness For Franchise Extinction

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1/5AUSTIN, Texas – “Resident Evil: Extinction,” which opens on Friday and to the dismay of many critics didn’t screen across the U.S., is yet another cineplex excursion that’s beneath conte

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  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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