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Magic & Creativity is Formula for ‘Dave Made a Maze’

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

CHICAGO – When the magnificently creative film “Dave Made a Maze” begins, it seems like another Millennial generation stab at micro budget filmmaking, with a claustrophobic set and extreme archetypes instead of characters. But then the “exploration” of the title maze starts, and suddenly “Dave” becomes a marvel of invention, tribute, hilarity and even truth.

Film Review: Rotating Perspectives Converge in ‘Train Station’

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

CHICAGO – Taking on the variance of choice in a very unique and compelling way, “Train Station” was interpreted through 40 filmmakers in 25 countries, following a character – The Person in Brown – in a singular story that flexes and changes as the role is exposed. Chicago was one of those filming locations, and “Train Station” will screen here at the Music Box Theatre on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

Comedy is Humanity in Magnanimous ‘Don’t Think Twice’

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

CHICAGO – Comedian/writer/director Mike Birbiglia is breaking out as a filmmaker, and he adds a deft and emotional touch to a story of an improvisation comedy troupe split apart by change they didn’t expect. That sounds a lot like life, and it’s best to “Don’t Think Twice.”

Take the Opportunity to See 2016 ‘Oscar Nominated Shorts’

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

CHICAGO – Chicago is one of the cinematic cities that has the privilege to see two categories of Academy Award nominations on the big screen that are often not exhibited – the Live Action and Animated Short Films. In two separate programs, the Landmark Century City Cinema – 2828 N. Clark Street in Chicago – are screening the ten nominees.

Important History in ‘The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution’

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

CHICAGO – If you want to experience the old cliché of “everything old is new again,” look no further than the excellent documentary, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution.” The formation of the famous 1960s political group is rooted in the same issues that came out of Ferguson and Baltimore – the marginalization and harassment of African Americans by law enforcement authority.

Two Women Create a Human Connection in ‘Unexpected’

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

CHICAGO – Providing human life to this planet is the dominion of women, given that they gestate new existence through to birth. It was refreshing to see that gender point of view carried to expressive terms in “Unexpected,” the latest film by Chicagoan Kris Swanberg, and featuring Cobie Smulders.

Deep Thoughts, Shallow Characters in ‘Irrational Man’

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

CHICAGO – At this point in his stellar career, what is fascinating about Woody Allen is basically what he thinks about. He is a successful, family-stable, millionaire filmmaker with mortality issues. In “Irrational Man,” he ponders the existential question of “what lights the spark of life?”

Back to Haiti, Finding Identity in Emotional ‘Lakay’

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

CHICAGO – Understanding identity is a lifelong pursuit. When two U.S. immigrant brothers – and filmmakers – go back to to their native Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, they find much more than expected. Tirf Alexius and Remoh Romeo documented their journey in the new film “Lakay.”

American Story of T-Rex Named Sue in ‘Dinosaur 13’

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

CHICAGO – Only in America can an animal die millions of years ago, have its fossilized bones discovered in the 20th Century, and end up in a court of law, determining who she belongs to as if in a child custody case. The story of the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found is chronicled in the new documentary “Dinosaur 13.”

‘Be Good’ to Get Fest Premiere at Midwest Independent Film Festival

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

CHICAGO – Possibly one of the most perplexing times of life is the aftermath of the couple having their first child. The anticipation and joy quickly morphs into the reality of lifelong responsibility and care. Writer/Director Todd Looby captures that reality succinctly in his latest film, “Be Good.”

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  • 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).

  • Wonder Woman

    CHICAGO – There are few films in 2017 that are as historically important as they are cinematically well-crafted. Of those, there is only one I saw three times in theaters. That honor comes in the form of the revolutionary “Wonder Woman,” which not only shows huge promise for the future of DC Comics films but for comic book-based films as a whole.

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