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HollywoodChicago.com Movie Reviews

‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian’ is Predictable, Clustered Drivel

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

CHICAGO – The sequel “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” is, presumably, an effort by director Shawn Levy (“Night at the Museum” in 2006 and “The Pink Panther”) and writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (who both wrote the first film) to weave together an exciting and educational film.

Christian Bale, Sam Worthington in McG’s Disappointing ‘Terminator: Salvation’

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

CHICAGOMcG’s loud-and-annoying “Terminator: Salvation” with Christian Bale and Sam Worthington continues the summer of non-Trek disappointments, delivering nothing but a bloated exercise in CGI overload. With awful dialogue, a ridiculous plot, and mostly uninspired performances, the interesting human element has been drained from the franchise. The machines have won.

Tom Hanks, Ron Howard Misfire With Ridiculous ‘Angels & Demons’

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

CHICAGORon Howard’s “Angels & Demons,” the sequel to “The Da Vinci Code,” is an absolute mess, a film that tries hard to break free from the dull tone of its predecessor but ends up even more ridiculous, frustrating and generally worthless.

Pure Summer Entertainment Lives on in J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Trek’

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

CHICAGO – It will be a stunning surprise if the summer of 2009 produces another slice of movie entertainment as satisfying and well-made as J.J. Abrams rollicking “Star Trek” reboot, a film that not only delivers on high expectations but shatters them by clicking on every single level.

Hugh Jackman Rocks in ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine,’ But Movie Falters

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

CHICAGO – How did Wolverine get to Northern Alberta, Canada, where he makes his first appearance in a bar cage match in Bryan Singer’s “X-Men”? And what about all those flashbacks to his dark past and the experiments that turned him into a legend?

Matthew McConaughey’s ‘Ghosts of Girlfriends Past’ Overdone, But Relatable

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

CHICAGO – “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” is the cinematic blending of two familiar formulas: the “love, lose and then love again” framework of most romantic comedies with the idea of transforming ghosts from the classic “A Christmas Carol”. The result: an overdone yet relatable story of a man coming to terms with his true desires.

‘Anvil! The Story of Anvil’ is Best Documentary of 2009 to Date

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

CHICAGO – Abramorama’s “Anvil!: The Story of Anvil” has been building buzz nearly as loud as the heavy metal featured in this excellent documentary, the best of the year so far and such a good film that I can nearly guarantee that you won’t see a better doc for the next eight months.

Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck Bring Spark to Mediocre ‘State of Play’

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

CHICAGO – I’ll be the first critic to tell you that they don’t make adult thrillers often enough. I was very disappointed by the lackluster box office take of Tony Gilroy’s ” Duplicity”. But does that mean that we should give all intellectual mysteries a pass? Of course not. And while I want to love Kevin Macdonald’s “State of Play,” a few poor decisions during production keep it back from being the excellent film it could have been.

Seth Rogen Delivers in Controversial, Hilarious ‘Observe and Report’

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

CHICAGO – The hysterically misleading TV spots for Jody Hill’s “Observe and Report” make it out to look like another broad comedy that might even have a cute romance between stars Seth Rogen and Anna Faris. There’s nothing cute or predictable about “Observe and Report”. And that’s precisely why it works.

‘Fast & Furious’ With Vin Diesel, Paul Walker is Loud, Boring, Useless Drivel

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

CHICAGO – It took eight years to reunite the cast of the original “The Fast and the Furious” - Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, and Michelle Rodriguez. What’s changed in that time? The franchise lost two articles and gained an ampersand. Maybe the next film will simply be called “F F”. I can think of one word that starts with ‘F’ that certainly applies to the latest film - failure.

DreamWorks’ ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’ Has Great 3D Concept, But Falls Flat

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

CHICAGO – Hasn’t Pixar proven that animation can be more than just concept and celebrity voice work? The problem with “Monsters vs. Aliens” is that the team behind it clearly prioritized nearly every element of the film over actual storytelling.

Ramin Bahrani’s ‘Goodbye Solo’ Stands Alone So Far in 2009

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

CHICAGO – There were a few great films of late 2008 that weren’t widely released until early this year including “Waltz With Bashir” and “Che,” but Ramin Bahrani’s “Goodbye Solo” is the first truly great film of 2009.

Julia Roberts, Clive Owen Shine in Tony Gilroy’s Clever ‘Duplicity’

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

CHICAGO – Writer/director Tony Gilroy (“Michael Clayton”) uses words the same way horror movie directors use blood or action movie auteurs use bullets. His weapon of choice, witty repartee, is delivered wonderfully in the enjoyable, clever, charming “Duplicity,” starring Clive Owen, Julia Roberts, Paul Giamatti, and Tom Wilkinson.

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  • Cher Show, The

    CHICAGO – Cherilyn Sarkisian… yes, that is her birth name… is the redoubtable Cher, and it’s perfect timing for her to have a jukebox musical tribute. “The Cher Show,” covering three eras/songs of the six-decade career of Cher, opens for a Chicago preview before its Broadway run, from June 12th through July 25th, 2018.

  • ThroatPunch

    CHICAGO – The provocative title of Sharon Krome’s new stage play, “ThroatPunch,” does not contain that particular fight technique. But it does have standout performances by the three person cast, as they make their way in Chicago, circa 1983, amid their emerging twentysomething punk rock attitude. The World Premiere of the show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through June 3rd, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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