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Music Box Films

Ordinary Lives Are Interwoven in Intricate ‘Flowers’

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

CHICAGO – The meaning of our lives is elusive, and the time we spend here too short. The Spanish foreign language film “Flowers” seeks to define the meaning, through three women trying to memorialize one man. “Flowers” opens at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre on Dec. 18th, 2015.

Incredible Personal Tour in ‘Antarctica: A Year on Ice’

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

CHICAGO – Along with your local library’s DVD section and equality, Antarctica remains one of the general world’s greatest oversights, even though it’s the size of a continent (because it is one). Around this time of year, the North Pole gets a huge shoutout for its mass production of brand items, but it’s the South Pole that forever remains in the shadow of everything else in the world, only mentioned in films like Werner Herzog’s 2007 documentary “Encounters at the End of the World,” or that 2009 Kate Beckinsale snow thriller “Whiteout.”

Nature’s Instincts on Display in Unique ‘Augustine’

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

CHICAGO – How the human species was able to survive, given its dismissal and treatment of women during certain points in history is somewhat miraculous. This film from France, “Augustine,” chronicles the relationship between a 19th century neurologist and his prized female patient, as she tries to work through a condition called nature.

Guilt, Grief Wrapped Up in Mystery of ‘The Silence’

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

CHICAGO – With echoes of “The Vanishing” and “Memories of Murder,” Baran bo Odar’s dread-filled “The Silence” is a character-based thriller that focuses more on the people wrapped up in its web of perversion and murder than the crimes themselves.

Alan Cumming Shines in Heartbreaking ‘Any Day Now’

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

CHICAGO – Travis Fine’s “Any Day Now” is an old-fashioned social problem film painted in the broadest of strokes. Fairly early on, the audience is faced with two choices: either resist the film’s assuredly tear-jerking formula or submit to it. Though some critics will always opt for the first choice, regardless of a film’s merits, I’m willing to praise a formula as long as it’s well-executed.

Deftly Lensed ‘Snowman’s Land’ Leaves Audience in the Cold

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

CHICAGO – The art of deadpan humor looks deceptively simple to the untrained eye. It’s fairly easy to say ridiculous things while maintaining a straight face. What separates the amateurs from the professionals is a mastery of timing as well as a keen understanding of a character’s interior life. The best deadpan laughs are the ones that allow an inside peek into the human psyche.

Gripping ‘Wallander: The Revenge’ Shames Most American Thrillers

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

CHICAGO – Why can’t American studios make thrillers like “Wallander: The Revenge”? As a matter of fact, why can’t we make ones like the recent production of “Sherlock” or even “Luther”? Perhaps it’s something about producing for TV that gives people more creative depth but the best thrillers so far this year have been the three episodes of “Sherlock” and this week’s release of “Wallander: The Revenge,” opening at Music Box today and available next week in a massive DVD box set.

‘The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest’ Underlines Franchise Limitations

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

CHICAGO – Now that the third and final installment of Stieg Larsson’s posthumously published, phenomenally popular book series has been turned into a feature film, the questions emerges: ‘Was it worth it?’ To the worldwide box office and the creatively bankrupt Hollywood, of course it was. But were moviegoers truly satisfied by the experience?

Violent, Extreme Crime Saga of ‘Mesrine: Public Enemy #1’ With Vincent Cassel

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

CHICAGO – When we last left Jacques Mesrine in “Mesrine: Killer Instinct,” he was robbing banks, killing cops, and escaping from jail. In “Mesrine: Public Enemy #1,” Jacques Mesrine robs banks, kills cops, and escapes from jail. The second half of the “Mesrine” saga contains most of the same strengths and flaws as its predecessor and one has to wonder if the two films couldn’t have been merged into a stronger and more accomplished single project.

1960s-Era James Bond is Skewered in New Spoof ‘OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies’

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

CHICAGO – The heroic nature of the James Bond series of films begs several questions about his representation of western world power.

For one, just who did he act for and what was he fighting against? The new French film “OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies” attempts to answer this question through a subtle and sporadically funny satire, a skewering of the Bond image and geopolitics in the 1960s.

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  • Stephanie Buxbaum

    CHICAGO – In the history of “Reality TV” there has been periods of up-and-down popularity, shows that have been around seemingly forever (“Big Brother,” “Amazing Race”) and spinoffs to new styles like “documentary series” as networks like the National Geographic Channel emerged. In all those permutations, producer Stephanie Buxbaum has experienced it all, and has the career and stories to prove it.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

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