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Samuel Goldwyn Films

Courage of Testimony is Remembered in ‘Anita’

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

CHICAGO – The saga of Anita Hill, an African American law professor from Oklahoma, electrified the United States in the early 1990s. During the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Ms. Hill testified that Thomas had created a workplace atmosphere of sexual harassment. The story is told in the new documentary, “Anita.”

Sensual ‘Renoir’ Fails to Explore Titular Giants’ Genius

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

CHICAGO – Naming a picture after two of the great artistic minds in human history is quite a high bar to set. Director/co-writer Gilles Bourdos attempts to tell the tale of both impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet) and his son, the future filmmaker Jean Renoir (Vincent Rottiers), who would go on to helm controversial masterpieces such as 1939’s “The Rules of the Game.” These are fascinating people, but the script doesn’t even begin to do them justice.

‘Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel’ is Fabulous, Dahling

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

CHICAGO – Biography documentaries often are the most creative of that film genre. Over the past few years some notable general releases have included “The Kid Stays in the Picture” (2002) and the George Harrison treatment by Martin Scorsese. Add “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel” to that list – bio docs that present a life in style and substance.

Frank Langella Shines in Delightful Sci-Fi Comedy ‘Robot and Frank’

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

CHICAGO – Frank’s world is fading before his eyes. With his wife gone and his children all grown up, Frank lives a reclusive existence, though he doesn’t seem to be in particular need of company. His memory may be fading, but his instincts as a retired cat burglar are still ever-present. He can’t helping stuffing a few soap figurines into his pockets while casually browsing through a store.

‘The Double Hour’ Cheats Audiences With Multiple Twists

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

CHICAGO – Early in “The Double Hour,” our heroine (a very effective and nearly movie-saving Ksenia Rappoport) goes to a speed dating session. The movie that follows is not unlike a cinematic version of that modern way of meeting people in that it jumps genre to genre like a suitor jumping tables. The result is a film that has marveled people with its labyrinthine plotting but that ultimately feels about as deep as a speed date. You never really get to know it.

‘Elektra Luxx’ Offers Middling Showcase For Carla Gugino

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

CHICAGO – Sebastian Gutierrez is the sort of filmmaker who thrives best on the festival circuit. His work is just quirky and distinctive enough to garner overenthusiastic praise from jaded festival goers in the mood for markedly lighter fare. Yet when screened out of the celebratory atmosphere at SXSW, Gutierrez’s films fail to register as anything more than mediocre trifles.

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  • Ride Along with Ice Cube

    CHICAGO – Few figures have had less of an exciting domination of the world than Kevin Hart. In the past few years, the comedian has skyrocketed to leading fixture in the comedy scene, creating hit scripts out of films like “Think Like A Man” and “About Last Night,” while taking victory laps in his lacking stand-up features like “Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain”. The big problem is that these projects don’t justify his comic potential.

  • The King of Comedy

    Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.

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