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HollywoodChicago.com Movie Reviews

Wily ‘Ira & Abby’ Averts Predictable Hollywood Boy Meets Girl Trap

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – Groucho Marx once said: “Marriage is a wonderful institution … but who wants to live in an institution?” For the romantic and humorously charged “Ira & Abby,” holy matrimony seems a stressful but hilarious adventure.

Message Movie ‘Music Within’ Still Within Fledgling Director Steven Sawalich

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2/5CHICAGO – “Most people go to their graves with their music still inside them,” 19th century poet Oliver Wendell Holmes once said. First-time director Steven Sawalich’s “music” presumably still resides inside him because it doesn’t resound in his “Music Within” message movie.

‘Rendition’ a Mediocre Message Movie With What Should Be Self-Evident Politics

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5AUSTIN, Texas – German writer Franz Kafka meets the war on terror in “Rendition,” which is a message movie with what one would consider a self-evident message: torture is bad. We live in a political climate, though, where that isn’t self-evident.

In ‘Gone Baby Gone’ Directorial Debut, Ben Affleck Matures Into Polished Auteur

Rating: 4.5/5CHICAGO – It wasn’t that long ago when Ben Affleck was an unknown. Fortune eventually smiled upon him and along came quality performances in independents and an Academy Award for screenwriting.

‘Juno’ the First LiveJournal, Blogger Film; Writer Diablo Cody a Standout Star

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5AUSTIN, Texas – No one says anything plainly in “Juno”. Hyper clever, hyper literate and hyper pop savvy, it tells a light story of teenage pregnancy in a package of verbose middle classiness.

Jodie Foster is Wicked, Wicked Witch With Furious Vengeance in ‘The Brave One’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5CHICAGO – Jodie Foster reinvents herself and plays a vigilante flung galaxies out of character in “The Brave One,” which opened on Friday.

Following ‘The Sandlot’ Home Run, ‘The Final Season’ Strikes Out

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1/5CHICAGO – Once a year, it seems a studio releases a film that tries to nudge its way into the almost-holy canon of American sports cinema. Most years, studios succeed. Recently, we have been lucky with the caliber of sports films offered up to us.

‘The Darjeeling Limited’ Seesaws Between Deft, Forced Eccentricity

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5CHICAGO – With his aloof character panache and colorful imagery, Wes Anderson is one of those directors you either love dearly or loathe dreadfully.

Tan-Skinned ‘Sydney White’ Tragically Lacks Charisma of Fair-Skinned ‘Snow White’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1/5CHICAGO – I recently tagged “Illegal Tender” as the must-miss movie of the year. I stand corrected. That unconquerable 2007 cake now goes to “Sydney White,” which opened on Friday.

‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ Screams Readiness For Franchise Extinction

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1/5AUSTIN, Texas – “Resident Evil: Extinction,” which opens on Friday and to the dismay of many critics didn’t screen across the U.S., is yet another cineplex excursion that’s beneath conte

Despite Poehler’s Wit, ‘Mr. Woodcock’ Underwhelms With Wasted Thornton, Sarandon Talent

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2/5CHICAGO – Just from eyeing the “Mr. Woodcock” movie poster, you could suspect exactly what the movie will be. Just 90 minutes later, your suspicions would be confirmed.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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