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Judy Greer

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Delivers Old Hollywood Glory

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

CHICAGO – Since the Golden Age of cinema, theaters have tried countlessly to deliver up big budget films. Summer is here and the public is showing that they are cooling off these blockbusters, no longer fooled by the thought that cost equates to quality. “War for the Planet of the Apes” shows us that blockbusters may still be redeemed by channeling some Old Hollywood magic.

Lily Tomlin Fuels the Journey Depicted in ‘Grandma’

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

CHICAGO – There is a circumstantial and frank presentation of abortion in the new Paul Weitz film “Grandma,” and it probably could not have resulted the way it did if the story wasn’t anchored by the great Lily Tomlin. She portrays the title character, helping her granddaughter get to the procedure.

A Perfect Paul Rudd, Michael Peña Bring Often-Overlooked Humor to ‘Ant-Man’

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

CHICAGO – In 1989, Rick Moranis played a scientist father in “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” who accidentally shrinks kids to the size of insects. But dating back to a first appearance in 1962, Marvel Comics first published the Ant-Man character. His persona was the superhero alias of the scientist Hank Pym after inventing a substance that allowed him to shrink himself.

More Than a Popcorn Flick, ‘Jurassic World’ Makes a Climactic Comeback Worth Making

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

CHICAGO – Blockbuster films are obsessed with bigger, louder and faster. They often think they need to spend more money to outdo what they’ve done before – especially when coming from a beloved original like “Jurassic Park”.

Awe Factor is Sorely Lacking in ‘Tomorrowland’

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

CHICAGO – For a movie all about the awesome power of inspiration, innovation and wonder, “Tomorrowland” has precious little of its own. “Tomorrowland” the title promises a kind of retro futuristic world where anything is possible, but “Tomorrowland” the movie rarely delivers anything approximating joy.

Dull Soap Opera in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

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

CHICAGO – “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” just goes to show that you can have the most expensive and best looking visual effects money can buy, but it doesn’t mean a damn thing if you haven’t got a good tale to tell.

Performances Carry Update of Horror Classic ‘Carrie’

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

CHICAGO – Director Kimberly Peirce (“Boys Don’t Cry”) doesn’t convey the dread or atmosphere of Stephen King’s “Carrie” to a degree that elevates it to the source material’s true potential but she does handle performance in a way that’s rare in the genre, making this remake one of the best horror films of the season.

Awful ‘Playing for Keeps’ Wastes Talent of Notable Cast

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

CHICAGO – When will the movie universe stop lionizing the upper middle class and their “problems” as a standard for storytelling? The idiotic crawl of “Playing for Keeps” is a prime example of that style, a sad exercise in contradictions that pass for narrative. Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Dennis Quaid and Catherine Zeta-Jones get punked by the script.

Jason Segel, Ed Helms in Inconsistent ‘Jeff, Who Lives at Home’

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

CHICAGO – Writer/directors Jay and Mark Duplass clearly love their characters. Whether it’s the awkward man-child at the center of “Cyrus” or the title character in their new dramedy “Jeff, Who Lives at Home,” there’s a charming affection for these people. I really enjoyed spending time with the quartet of well-drawn, well-acted people in “Jeff,” which makes the fact that their story is less-structured and sloppier than it should be to be effective all the more frustrating. I SO want to love “Jeff, Who Lives at Home,” but this dude is too often stuck in the creative basement.

George Clooney Stars in Stunning ‘The Descendants’

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

CHICAGO – If one looks solely at the central male characters, it can seem remarkably easy to classify Alexander Payne’s movies under the subgenre heading of “mid-life crisis comedies”: Jim McAllister (“Election”), Warren Schmidt (“About Schmidt”), Miles (“Sideways”), and now the memorable protagonist of his stellar new dramedy “The Descendants,” Matt King.

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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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