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Aaron Taylor-Johnson

‘Nocturnal Animals’ Takes Two Stories to New Levels

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

CHICAGO – Reality and fantasy have separate rules, and in fantasy there are no rules. This is the philosophy of “Nocturnal Animals,” a wild character study that exists on the reality/fantasy planes. And it has the bonus of the Amy Adams/Isla Fisher mix-up and Jake Gyllenhaal at his Gyllenhaal-iest.

Rousing ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Hits Modern Society’s Central Nervous System

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

CHICAGOLook. We all know sequels usually suck. And blockbuster films often get panned for overprioritizing special effects at the expense of a well-written story and character development. Even when a story in a big-budget film is redeeming, it’s practically impossible not to shoot holes through it.

Hollywood’s ‘Godzilla’ Misses, Mocks Ishirô Honda’s Main Warning Message

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

CHICAGO – Except for the clear purpose of cashing in on yet another “Godzilla” remake, everything is happening for no reason. Worst of all, what is ensuing misses and even mocks the reason why Ishirô Honda originated 1954’s “Godzilla” in the first place.

‘Godzilla’ Just Goes Where He Has Gone Before

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

CHICAGO – I did not like “Godzilla.” That sentence alone might make my review interesting enough to attract some initial attention. But despite that, and despite the fact that I’m a sucker for pretty much giant anything if it stomps a city, I’m holding fast to this judgment.

Disappointing ‘Kick-Ass 2’ Replaces Style with Vulgarity

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – More vulgar, violent, and generally vile than the first film, “Kick-Ass 2” is one of those incredibly annoying films that actually will mar the legacy of its predecessor by association. Writer/director Jeff Wadlow entirely misplaces the priorities of the first film, thinking that the sequel needs to be more extreme, even if that’s at the expense of style and intelligence.

Brilliant Staging Bolsters Emotionally Hollow ‘Anna Karenina’

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

CHICAGO – Though cinema is first and foremost a visual medium, too many modern directors have become prone to using it as a stage for long-winded exposition. No matter how polished the lensing is in a film like David Fincher’s “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” remake, the picture basically amounts to a series of dense dialogue passages interrupted by violence.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Wiz, The

    CHICAGO – When stage theater can cause outbreaks of elation, celebration and joy, then it must be due to Kokandy Productions’ revival of “The Wiz.” The urban reinterpretation of “The Wizard of Oz” story – told through tuneful euphoria and jubilant dance – is ecstatically produced, in every morsel of its stagecraft.

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