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Interview

‘Don’t Breathe’ is a Terrifying Sensory Experience

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

CHICAGO – The horror genre can be a complex creature. The great films can show you the difference between ‘horror’ and ‘terror’. Some horror is all shock and no substance, while terror can be all fear, but no shock. The difference between them is so nuanced that only a skilled director, like Fede Alvarez, can show you the difference in his latest film, “Don’t Breathe.”

An Age Range of Human Conditions in ‘While We’re Young’

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

CHICAGO – We’re born, we’re nurtured, we seek purpose and we die. In between there are a million decisions between the words of that opening sentence, and writer/director Noah Baumbach understands that intuitively in his great new film, “While We’re Young.”

Jeff Garlin Directs Inconsistent ‘Dealin’ with Idiots’

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

CHICAGO – Jeff Garlin has created a good “character” in TV and films – a gruff but affable schlemiel that ambles through life as if distracted. He amplifies that role in his latest comedy, “Dealin’ with Idiots,’ but the loose improvisation style has too many unfunny stretches and an unpleasant spirit.

Mystery of Stanley Kubrick Explored in ‘Room 237’

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

CHICAGO – Every film buff remembers the first time they laid eyes on director Stanley Kubrick’s memorable horror classic, “The Shining.” In the film, Scatman Crothers’ character warns young Danny, “There ain’t nothing in Room 237…so stay out.” Filmmaker Rodney Ascher has ignored that warning in his documentary, “Room 237,” and takes us inside one of the most analyzed films in cinema history.

Visceral ‘On the Road’ Honors a Great American Novel

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

CHICAGO – The 1957 novel “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac, was a missile across the bow of American social conventions, and a precursor to the radical 1960s. For over fifty years, it has eluded a film adaptation, until director Walter Salles (“The Motorcycle Diaries”) found the way to capture it.

Comedy, Breeding Don’t Mix in Lame ‘The Babymakers’

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

CHICAGO – One of the questions we’re never suppose to ask the married couple without kids is, ‘when are you going to have kids?’ There might be specific reasons that it’s none of your damn business. Surprisingly, there is a whole so-called comedy based on this question and answer. Olivia Munn goes kid hatching in ‘The Babymakers.’

Elizabeth Banks Teeters With the ‘Man on a Ledge’

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

CHICAGO – New York City. Mid-day. A man steps outside the window on the edge of the Roosevelt Hotel. Is he jumping? That’s the question that street level onlookers and moviegoers want answered from Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell and Ed Harris in “Man on a Ledge”

Romantic Coupling of ‘One Day’ Rises Above Average

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

CHICAGO – In the sure hands of director Lone Scherfig, the underrated film “An Education” brought Carey Mulligan to full light. Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess generate similar radiance in Scherfig’s new film, “One Day.”

Emma Stone, Viola Davis Lend a Hand to ‘The Help’

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

CHICAGO – Using fiction to express the importance of real historical events is seductive and sometimes disingenuous. The new film “The Help” manages to counteract that notion through high level, emotional performances.

Nothing Plastic About Lena Dunham’s Post-Graduate ‘Tiny Furniture’

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

CHICAGO – The 24 year-old Lena Dunham is a new and notable voice for her generation of filmmakers, breaking in with her first feature, the memorable “Tiny Furniture.” Dunham wrote, directed and portrays the main character Aura, a newly minted film theory graduate who is going through the time honored process of what to do with her post collegiate life.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • 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).

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