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Michelle Yeoh

Film Review: Stylish ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is a Bit Too Soap Opera

CHICAGO – “Crazy Rich Asians” is not meant to be anything but glitzy fun, but in the midst of the glamour, excessive wealth and beautiful people, there is a plot that ventures into Soap Opera land, and eventually becomes a distraction for the reason an audience goes to this show… to fantasize about living large.

Film Review: ‘Morgan’ Takes Out Intelligence in Artificial Intelligence

CHICAGO – There is nothing like the feeling of watching a completely immersive sci-fi film that delivers the complexity of technology in a modest package, and uses elements of nature to create a beautiful contrast. Unfortunately, “Morgan” doesn’t deliver on the enlightenment it promises.

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Lady’ Takes Unimaginative Look at Extraordinary Life

The Lady Blu-ray

CHICAGO – “The Lady” is a textbook example of a missed opportunity. It assembles a talented cast and crew to tell the story of Aung San Suu Kyi, an extraordinary woman who sacrificed everything—including her own freedom—in order to bring democracy to her homeland of Burma. Her life story deserves far more than an episodic biopic, but that’s exactly what it receives here.

Film Review: Great Performances Nearly Save ‘The Lady’ From Remarkable Convention

The Lady
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?

Blu-Ray Review: Vin Diesel’s ‘Babylon A.D.’ Passable Only in High-Definition

Babylon

CHICAGO – When did Vin Diesel go from “the next Bruce Willis” to the “the current Steven Seagal”? Diesel’s half-asleep, apathetic performance in the sci-fi action flick “Babylon A.D.” is only one of the problems with a film that was ignored in theaters but has been given a respectable treatment on Blu-Ray.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’ an Awful Movie, Great Blu-Ray

Mummy 3

CHICAGO – The divide between the quality of a film itself and the Blu-Ray presentation it has been given has arguably never been wider than with Universal’s “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”. The special features are as comprehensive as any released this over-crowded holiday season and the transfer is one of Universal’s best of the year but the film itself is a complete disaster, one of the most excruciating theatrical releases of 2008.

Despite Jet Li’s Would-Be Resurrection, ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’ Still Flops

CHICAGO – The threequel that culminates with “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” is so hackneyed that even the main star of the previous two films – Brendan Fraser – wasn’t enough to sell audiences on a third return. Universal Studios needed to enlist co-star Jet Li to stand a fighting chance and take the mood the Asian way.

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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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