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HollywoodChicago.com Movie Reviews

Effective Remake of ‘The Last House on the Left’ a Powerful Horror Film

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

CHICAGODennis Illiadis’ remake of “The Last House on the Left” is the exception the proves the rule that most horror movie remakes are a complete waste of time. With an incredible performance by Garret Dillahunt (“Deadwood,” “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”) and great supporting work by Monica Potter, Sara Paxton, Tony Goldwyn, and others, “Last House” is the best mainstream horror movie in a long time.

Zack Snyder Turns ‘Watchmen’ Into Loud, Disjointed, Brutal Mess

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

CHICAGO – For years, fans of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s masterful and influential “Watchmen” have been waiting for a filmmaker willing to faithfully and slavishly adapt their favorite graphic novel. Well, we got what we wanted in Zack Snyder’s frame-copying vision of this legendary book, but as someone once said - You should be careful what you ask for because you just might get it.

Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow Shine in Excellent ‘Two Lovers’

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

CHICAGO – How many men have missed out on a great relationship because they were chasing a romantic vision largely of their own making? James Gray’s excellent “Two Lovers,” the film that Joaquin Phoenix has notoriously been promoting in a style similar to that of Andy Kaufman, is a wonderful character-driven drama about a man caught between what he has and what he wants.

Painful, Depressing ‘Must Read After My Death’ Window Into the Dark Side of Family

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

CHICAGO – If someone had a recording of the dissolution of a seemingly perfect family, would you listen? What would you learn from it? You can test your answer to these questions with the riveting “Must Read After My Death”.

Clive Owen, Naomi Watts Fail to Save Deadly Dull ‘The International’

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

CHICAGOTom Tykwer’s “The International,” an alleged thriller starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts, is one of the most surprisingly inert films so far this year, an awfully written conspiracy flick that never gets out of neutral and is only remotely worth someday seeing for one fantastic action sequence.

Lack of Originality, Actual Scares Render Marcus Nispel’s ‘Friday the 13th’ Ineffective

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

CHICAGO – Your reaction to Marcus Nispel’s “Friday the 13th” is likely to depend on how nostalgically you remember the original and how you reacted to producer Michael Bay’s “remakes” of “The Amityville Horror,” “The Hitcher,” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”.

Henry Selick’s ‘Coraline’ an Early Contender For Best Animated Film of 2009

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

CHICAGOHenry Selick, the visionary director of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “James and the Giant Peach” has masterfully directed a mesmerizing journey into the world of imagination called “Coraline”.

Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Ginnifer Goodwin Nearly Save ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’

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

CHICAGO – If you’ve ever been speed dating or even just on a series of dates in a short period of time, it’s not that different from the back and forth between good and bad in the latest romantic comedy, “He’s Just Not That Into You,” a mixed bag of cliches, comedy, coincidences, and cute coupling starring Jennifer Aniston, Ginnifer Goodwin, and many, many more.

Liam Neeson Elevates Above-Average Action Movie ‘Taken’

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

CHICAGO – Bringing the same screen presence and gravity that he has to more serious roles like those in “Schindler’s List” and “Kinsey,” Liam Neeson turns the relatively generic “Taken” into an above-average action movie that should prove a surprising alternative for movie goers looking for a break from Super Bowl coverage this weekend.

Animated Documentary ‘Waltz With Bashir’ One of Best of 2008

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

CHICAGO – “Waltz With Bashir” is a transcendent shattering of what viewers should expect from traditional animation or the standard documentary film. Ari Folman’s dream-like journey into his own memory is a must-see, one of the best films of 2008 and a likely Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film.

Benicio Del Toro Shines in Steven Soderbergh’s Mesmerizing ‘Che’

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

CHICAGO – Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” not only features one of the best recent performances by the excellent Benicio Del Toro but this challenging biopic, unlike any that has been made in years, is one of the best films of 2008.

Edward Zwick’s ‘Defiance’ Drains Strength From Powerful True Story

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

CHICAGO – Ed Zwick’s “Defiance” is a dramatically inert film that misses the mark by allowing its director to play up his notable weaknesses as a filmmaker.

David S. Goyer’s ‘The Unborn’ is Unoriginal, Uninspiring Mess

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

CHICAGO – Odette Yustman stars in David S. Goyer’s “The Unborn,” a poorly conceived and produced horror movie that could have just as easily been called “The Un-scary,” “The Uninspiring,” “The Unoriginal,” or “The Unexciting”. Whatever you do, just un-plan to see it this weekend.

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  • Cornerstone, Nothing Without a Company

    CHICAGO – We all need some help. The stage play group Nothing Without a Company realizes that, and has collaborated with the organization “Cornerstone” to provide that assistance. Cornerstone is a seminar and a happening in downtown Chicago, facilitated by “experts” to generate your potential. The presentation has a Thursday-Sunday run at Michigan Avenue’s Artspace 8 through April 29th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Cold War

    CHICAGO – Local filmmaking is thriving, thanks to the many creators who choose to make independent movies in Chicago. Co-directors Stirling McLaughlin and J. Wilder Konschak (also writer) brought their cast and crew to the Windy City to make their comedy, “Cold War.” The film made its digital debut on April 6th, 2018, and will be available on iTunes, Google Play, FandangoNow, Amazon, Vudu and more.

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