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Ethan Hawke

Director Eugene Jarecki Crowns Elvis Presley ‘The King’

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

CHICAGO – Elvis Presley, besides being one of the most famous entertainers of the 20th Century, does symbolize to an extent what can happen to icons when they turn towards certain directions in a career. Director Eugene Jarecki has created an amazing documentary about Elvis called “The King,” that uses his rise and decline as a symbol for the American Dream.

‘The Magnificent Seven’ is How the Western Was Lost

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

CHICAGO – The appeal of Westerns was mostly lost on me when I was younger. The tales of these hypermasculine wanderers, answering every problem with a gun, never appealed to me. When I got older, I discovered their messages of honor and self-defense against corruption. The genre proved it could be more than one-liners and shootouts, but “The Magnificent Seven” set out to be only that.

Limiting Twists in Time Travel Drama ‘Predestination’

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

CHICAGO – “Predestination” is a time travel game of limited pieces, in which two beings are not who they seem. Twists abound in a story that gets credit for jarring narrative directions, but this adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein’s “All You Zombies” remains limited in its potential, especially as it fails to evolve past its spiritual predecessors “Source Code” and “Looper.”

Circumstances of Life, Truth Exist in ‘Boyhood’

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

CHICAGO – Life is made up of moments, as the philosophy of the new Richard Linklater film wants to convey. What formulates a person’s ideals and soul, born in a certain place and time? Over 12 years, the writer and director created a fictional family using the same actors in “Boyhood.”

Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez in Numbing, Awful ‘Getaway’

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

CHICAGO – You know a car chase movie is poorly made when you’re longing for more dialogue scenes between Selena Gomez & Ethan Hawke just to break up the tedium of the neverending, personality-free vehicular nonsense. At one point, Hawke’s character actually says, after one of several situations that could never possibly be replicated in the real world, “I can’t believe that actually worked.”

‘The Purge’ is Entertaining What-If Escapism

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

CHICAGO – A vast majority of James DeMonaco’s “The Purge” makes absolutely no sense. It is the kind of what-if thriller that demands that the viewer put on blinders, suspend disbelief, and not pull at the plot threads left dangling or risk tearing the whole thing apart. It’s totally nonsense. And yet it knows that it’s mostly illogical, embracing its ridiculousness to just the right degree that becomes escapist entertainment if you’re willing not to take it too seriously.

Perfect ‘Before Midnight’ Captures Truth of Romance

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

CHICAGO – Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise” brilliantly captured the live-in-the-moment romanticism of youth, that time in our 20s when anything was possible before the dawn. “Before Sunset” depicted romance in a time when potential turns into actuality in our 30s, how we need to grab that chance at happiness before time runs out at twilight.

The Most Scary Film of 2012, ‘Sinister’ is Both a Voyeur’s Heaven & Hell

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

CHICAGO – We have forgotten what it’s like to be scared by an actually scary movie. “Sinister” – from producer Jason Blum (“Insidious” and all four “Paranormal Activity” films) – is the first film in 2012 to remind us.

Don Cheadle, Wesley Snipes, Richard Gere Are ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’

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

CHICAGO – The “thin blue line,” that imaginary border that separates society between order and chaos, is experienced on a daily basis by the police “force.” The human beings knighted with this responsibility are “Brooklyn’s Finest.”

Original, Stylish ‘Daybreakers’ With Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe

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

CHICAGO – In the early part of the last decade, Michael and Peter Spierig (The Spierig Brothers) debuted with the unique zombie cult hit “Undead” and horror nuts waited to see what they’d do next. It took way too long but the brothers are back with the stylish, original “Daybreakers,” a vampire film that injects new life into an often-dead genre.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Orange is the New Black

    CHICAGO – Orange Day is Friday (July 27, 2018)… as in “Orange is the New Black.” That’s when Season Six will be available for download from Netflix, as the online series continues to showcase the women inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary, three of whom are played by Taylor Schilling (Piper), Kate Mulgrew (Red) and Dascha Polanco (Daya).

  • Everybody, Brown Paper Box Co

    CHICAGO – When is the last time a stage play, based in an intimate setting, made you think about your life, death, and the destiny inherent in both? “Everybody,” staged by Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo), is such a play, and the energetic aura and sense of surprise that the show contains is soul soothing wonder. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the Pride Arts Center in Chicago run through August 12, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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