Patrick McDonald

‘I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell,’ Then Serve Up the Filmmakers

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

CHICAGO – The main problem with “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell,” based on Tucker Max’s memoir about a hard partying, devil-may-care womanizer, is that the screenwriter (Max himself) didn’t have the cojones to go all the way.

John Malkovich and the Morality of South Africa in ‘Disgrace’

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

CHICAGO – In a stark and compelling tale of naked vulnerability, John Malkovich becomes the centerpiece of the continuing battle for territory and humanity within the country of South Africa, in the newly released “Disgrace.”

Steven Soderbergh’s ‘The Informant!’ Puts Matt Damon on a Wire

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

CHICAGO – Behind every great fortune lies a great crime, as the saying goes. In director Steven Soderbergh’s “The Informant!,” he and Matt Damon carve out a satire where the “crime” becomes entangled with the larger issues of “justice.”

Paul Giamatti Does More With Less in ‘Cold Souls’

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

CHICAGO – How is the best way to discover the elusiveness of the soul? For Paul Giamatti, playing himself, the key is to store the legendary organ into the deep freeze, in his new absurdist comedy, “Cold Souls.”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel Connect in ‘(500) Days of Summer’

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

CHICAGO – Romantic comedies have been so sanitized, obviously for the protection of the movie consumer, that it is refreshing to meet a reality-based couple as they interact, co-mingle, love and clash in “(500) Days of Summer.”

‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ Discovers the Wizard of Awe

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

CHICAGO – The Harry Potter phenomenon, born from the pen of J.K. Rowling and nurtured through the utter magic of modern filmmaking, has reached a monumental creative peak with the film “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

‘I Love You, Beth Cooper’ Inspires Hatred For the High School Genre

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

CHICAGO – In what could be the worst mainstream release of the summer, “I Love You, Beth Cooper” wastes talent, production values and ultimately time in a cliché-ridden mess that produces little or no real love.

‘Imagine That’: Eddie Murphy’s Family Fare Predictable as Sunrise

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

CHICAGO – Nobody expects an actor to maintain the ambitions of their early career. The manic energy of Eddie Murphy from “Raw” or “48 Hours” is as gone as an ‘80s hairdo. But the numbing sameness of family-friendly Eddie is a direction that is stultifying, and does no favors for him or the audience.

Robert De Niro, Director Barry Levinson Wade Through Hollywood’s Mud in ‘What Just Happened?’

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

CHICAGO – In his long and distinguished career, Robert De Niro has probably seen it all when it comes to Hollywood excesses and quagmires. Given that experience, he seems the perfect choice to portray an aging film producer and power broker whose influence is on the decline.

Death-Defying Audacity Walks Between the Twin Towers in New Documentary ‘Man on Wire’

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

CHICAGO – Where have all the true eccentrics gone? Where are all those people who achieve a Zen purpose just because the challenge is there?

“Man on Wire” is a documentary that tells of such a challenge 34 years ago in another place and time.

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