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Art & Real World Taken to Task in Angular ‘The Square’

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

CHICAGO – Recently, the record for highest bid ever on a work of art was shattered – $450 million for Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Salvador Mundi’ – and the ownership of a canvas, for the price of supporting a small country, calls into question the meaning of art and collecting. All of this, and everything more, is generated in the cinematic rendering of “The Square.”

Discover the 2017 Oscar Short Film Nominees

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

CHICAGO – One of the more overlooked set of nominees at Academy Awards time is two categories for Best Short Film – Live Action and Animated. The 2017 nominees are packaged as two presentations that are currently screening in Chicago at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema.

2017 Best Doc Oscar Nominee ‘I Am Not Your Negro’

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

CHICAGO – The terms that have been used to describe African Americans over the years …black, afro-americans, negro and worse… has always been what others had named them, the others that wanted to marginalize, categorize and group individuals into images of words. The documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” seeks to upend these generalizations and in turn, those words.

Excellent ‘Little Men’ Exposes Humanity Disrupted

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

CHICAGO – Deep down, because of our profound connection to what makes us human, we attempt to interpret the doing of the right thing. But in a society of property, somebody lives on it and somebody is run off it. This theme, combined with an adolescent friendship, emerge in “Little Men.”

Life in 2016 is Famous in ‘Presenting Princess Shaw’

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

CHICAGO – Had you told a person 50 years ago that someday we would be able to personally record television and broadcast it to the whole world, they might have laughed and said maybe on the futuristic cartoon “The Jetsons.” But the future is now, and it lives in “Presenting Princess Shaw.”

‘The First Monday in May’ Confirms That Life is Beautiful

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

CHICAGO – The moral of the story of “The First Monday in May” definitely is “there is heaven on earth if the right angels come together.” The film is stunningly beautiful, as it chronicles the development of the annual costume exhibit and gala at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Passion of Young French Love Fuels ‘My Golden Days’

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

CHICAGO – Feel like a French film? Well, “My Golden Days” is just the ticket. Full of existential romance, too many cigarettes, casual carnality and pathological regret, the story should come with its own beret and baguette. Rich in detail, and awash in fine European actors, the movie is a perfect anecdote for “American Exceptionalism.”

Disaster is an Environmental Family Affair in ‘The Wave’

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

CHICAGO – Last year, we witnessed the American disaster porn of “San Andreas,” an overwrought attempt to destroy California on film. Norway has an entry into the disaster genre – “The Wave” – and unlike the American special effects pile-on, it’s based on real possibilities, and features a family that won’t give up or give in.

The Fog of Battle is a Heavy Burden in ‘A War’

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

CHICAGO – Humanity and war simply do no mix. You could have the biggest guns, the most powerful bombs and the greatest army, but you’re also going to eliminate innocent lives, and affect those soldiers who do the killing. This topic is pungently realized in the Danish film “A War.”

Roger Ebert’s Treasure of a Journey in ‘Life Itself’

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

CHICAGO – We will never see the likes of his kind again – the influential arbiter of cinematic taste, whose magic thumb could make or break the dreams of both filmmaker and film fan. The journey of Roger Ebert, the most influential film critic of our times, is told in the new documentary, “Life Itself.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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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