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Colin Farrell

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ Relies on Second-Hand Wonder

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

CHICAGO – It’s been five years since the last Harry Potter film, and for fans eager to scratch that itch for a dreamworld of magic again “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” will probably suffice. It’s this story’s tangential connection to the Harry Potter universe that is its biggest asset – but the film unfortunately can’t muster up much wonder on its own.

‘Winter’s Tale’ Freezes in Cheesy Movie Hell

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

CHICAGO – The poster for “Winter’s Tale,” after promising that “It’s not a true story, it’s a love story,” makes a large demand from its viewers at the bottom: “This Valentine’s Day, Believe In Miracles.” While there is indeed a difference between filmmaking and marketing, it is hard to not imagine writer/director Akiva Goldsman whispering “believe in miracles” into the ear of every executive who helped “Winter’s Tale” come to life, immediately after throwing glitter on them.

Celebration of Creation in Warm ‘Saving Mr. Banks’

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

CHICAGO – The world of creation, and the imagination behind it, gets an honorable and elegantly performed treatment in the fascinating “Saving Mr. Banks.” What seems like a “making of” film about the legendary “Mary Poppins,” becomes much more rich in symbolism and consideration.

Gorgeous Visuals Lift Mediocre Script of ‘Epic’

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

“Epic” is the best-looking 3D animated film since “How to Train Your Dragon”. From the very first scenes, it has a mesmerizing visual palette as the natural world comes to life in a way reminiscent of “The Lord of the Rings” and “Avatar.” It’s gorgeous. Sadly, the lurching, generic script doesn’t live up to the look of the film but it’s worth seeing just for the memorable visuals.

Colin Farrell Can’t Let Go in ‘Dead Man Down’

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

CHICAGO – Nothing like a high concept crime story to compliment “spring forward.” Colin Farrell plays the revenge card to the nth degree in the unusual and slowly paced “Dead Man Down,” and takes Noomi Rapace (of the Swedish “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) along for the ride.

Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell in Fun ‘Seven Psychopaths’

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

CHICAGO – Is there room for vengeance if you believe in Heaven and Hell? How do we suppress our need for moral and even physical justice if we believe that violence leads to damnation? Is there a chance to…oh, never mind. Let’s just blow someone’s brains out. That’s essentially how “Seven Psychopaths,” the clever new action comedy from Martin McDonagh (“In Bruges”) works in that it has a number of interesting ideas that aren’t fully developed even if the movie is fun enough to be considered a sin.

‘Total Recall’ Remake Should Be Wiped From Your Memory

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

CHICAGO – Paul Verhoeven’s “Total Recall” has been run through a machine and turned into a personality-less, numbing exercise in CGI action with a complete lack of any characters worth giving a damn about and a totally wasted opportunity at social commentary. Sure, seeing Jessica Biel fight Kate Beckinsale while Colin Farrell punches a robot in a speeding space elevator has something inherent that appeals to the 12-year-old boy in me but that doesn’t make it filmmaking. No, filmmaking and Len Wiseman are two things that don’t really go together.

Clever, Scary ‘Fright Night’ Remake With Colin Farrell

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

CHICAGO – The word remake sends an understandable chill down the spine of most horror fans. We’ve been subjected to so many retreads and reboots and the batting average of quality has been pathetically low. And yet, there are exceptions including Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead” and David Cronenberg’s “The Fly.”

Talented Cast Carries Dark Comedy of ‘Horrible Bosses’

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

CHICAGO – There’s a theory that a film that should be judged based on how well it succeeds at what it attempts to do. If it’s a comedy, does it make you laugh? “Horrible Bosses” has some issues but it is an undeniably funny movie. With stellar comic timing from the entire ensemble and a dark streak of edgy humor with just enough wit to make it not seem cruel, this is one of the straight-up funniest movies of the year.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Downward Dog

    CHICAGO – From “Mr. Ed” to “Dog with a Blog,” talking animals have had their place on TV. The latest has origins as a web series, with the clever title “Downward Dog.” The show premieres on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 (9:30pEST/8:30pCST), on ABC TV, and features Ned the Dog as Martin, and human companions portrayed by Allison Tolman and Lucas Neff.

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

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