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Josh Brolin

‘Hail, Caesar!’ is Coen Bros. Excellence for Movie Lovers

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

CHICAGO – Writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen love the movies, and that love is magnificently played out in “Hail, Caesar!” As they riff on religion, geopolitics and 1950s morality, while wonderfully celebrating and spoofing an era in movies that will never be again, the Coens abide and deliver.

Benicio Del Toro is Never Better in Standout 2015 Thriller ‘Sicario’

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

CHICAGO – Seeing the man behind the curtains in “The Wizard of Oz” really was when so many of us truly understood what “behind the scenes” means. Today, we’re fascinated by FBI and CIA stories because they grant us top-secret security clearance we’ll otherwise never have.

Beyond Being Trippy, ‘Inherent Vice’ is a Difficult Trip

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

CHICAGO – Interpreting the ambling and sonic prose of author Thomas Pynchon has eluded filmmakers until now. Director Paul Thomas Anderson takes a whack at “Inherent Vice,” and although much of the film has his usual eminent vision, as a whole it makes for difficult sledding.

More Risqué ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ Doesn’t Dare to Trailblaze Again

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

CHICAGO – Sex sells, sure, but the film-noir sequel “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” makes you feel dirty if you’re left thinking that’s enough.

Nine years since the visually groundbreaking, avant-garde hit “Sin City,” Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’s biggest mistake with their next incarnation is replacing the first film’s bloodthirsty impact with too much nudity.

‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ Breaks No New Ground

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

CHICAGO – When the first “Sin City” (2005) was released – based on the graphic novels by Frank Miller – the conversion of a film to a noir-like comic book atmosphere was pioneering. The sequel “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” has heightened that look, but this time has much less to say.

‘Labor Day’ Provides Meaning to Romantic Tension

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

CHICAGO – There is a real power when the right filmmaker connects with the right performers. What appears on the surface to be a slight and well-worn story, gains a decided psychological edge. “Labor Day” features Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, and writer/director Jason Reitman.

Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ Remake Merely Echoes Superior Original

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

After years in development hell, Spike Lee’s remake of Park Chan-wook’s beloved “Oldboy” is finally here. Does it live up to the high expectations set by the original? Does it mark a return to form from the director of some of the most important movies of his era or is it another disappointment? No and no. Sadly, what’s so remarkable about “Oldboy,” especially when one considers the darkness of its themes and graphic violence, is that it’s just so forgettable. It’s an echo of Park’s film and will be quickly dismissed in the legacy of its director.

‘Men in Black III’ Deserves to Be Neuralyzed From Memory

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

CHICAGO – “Men in Black III” is such a soulless venture, a film made by committee that doesn’t display the touch of anyone with any remaining actual interest in the characters. In the pipeline for years, the film has been fine-tuned to the point that all of its personality was buffed out in the process.

Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon Ride the Lonely Plain of ‘True Grit’

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

CHICAGO – “True Grit” seems like the perfect project for Joel and Ethan Coen; something they had been working toward their entire career. Not only had they made what could be considered a modern Western already in “No Country Old Men” but they were to bring together The Dude (Jeff Bridges) and Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) under the magnificent lens of the great Roger Deakins. It nearly had to be a masterpiece.

Shia LaBeouf, Michael Douglas Drive Energetic ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’

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

CHICAGO – After a string of disappointments that include “Alexander,” “World Trade Center” and “W,” one of the best directors of the 1980s and 1990s at least draws closer to form with the entertaining “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”. The film is a great vehicle for Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin and Michael Douglas that occasionally disappoints but crackles more often than it fizzles.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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