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HollywoodChicago.com Movie Reviews

Star-Crossed Lovers Create Road to Ruin in ‘Before the Rains’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5CHICAGO – By its very nature, colonialism is bad karma waiting to happen.

You are a sovereign nation with weaponry and a desire for treasure. While you invade and take over a country with that treasure, it also comes with a society you don’t understand. You stir in religious dogma, native slavery and the defiling of lands and create an evil stew that’s ripe to boil over.

‘Speed Racer’ Condemns Franchise Dignity, But Delivers Sensorial Explosion

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5CHICAGO – While Hollywood slapped “PG” on the hotly anticipated “Speed Racer” to line its pocketbooks with the widest hodgepodge of people (ahem: kids) everywhere, those same kids will leave the theater with that lollipop nearly sucked to the stick but then yanked away with confusion.

‘Iron Man’ Sits Indisputably in Club of Highest-Rated Superhero Movies of All Time

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – Move over, Superman. This lush, high-octane playboy never tasted so good.

Robert Downey Jr. fittingly opens “Iron Man” with a cocktail in hand and all the arrogance in the world. As the story goes, his conceit is indeed respected as Earth is his oyster both for the playing and for the taking.

Director Uwe Boll Pukes Out Another Opus of Insufferable Screen Time in ‘Postal’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 0.5/5CHICAGO – At the Chicago screening of “Postal” for critics, director Uwe Boll introduced his new film as a personal “The Kentucky Fried Movie” attacking the heart of America. Boll – a German national – has produced several “B”-grade movies in both Germany and the U.S.

Tepid Con Job Spoils Sexual Intrigue in ‘Deception’ With Ewan McGregor

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2/5CHICAGO – Despite its timid title, “Deception” has all the right ingredients for a decent tale of mystery: a strong premise, sound acting and the famous femme fatale. It even starts with a promising conviction: How does a background player in life deal with initiation into a secret society?

‘Deal’ is No Big Deal as Career of Burt Reynolds Fades Away

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1/5CHICAGO – Poor Burt Reynolds. As the No. 1 box-office star from 1978 to 1982, he revived his film career in 1997 with “Boogie Nights”. Since then, he has had the long, slow decline of “B” movies and bad remakes. Reynolds even tainted his own legacy by participating in the horrible 2005 redo of “The Longest Yard”.

Considering Sore Subject Matter of ‘Chapter 27,’ ‘Why?’ is Only Plausible Reaction

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2/5CHICAGO – As a contemporary of the John Lennon assassination in 1980 and an ardent admirer of the late Beatle, I had a hard time figuring out the reasons for making the film “Chapter 27”.

‘The Visitor’ Works Out America’s Demons Following Sept. 11, 2001

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5CHICAGO – “The Visitor” is a subtle film. Created by the unique talent of writer and director Thomas McCarthy – who also generated the equally subtle world of “The Station Agent” – this new work explores the nature of who belongs where.

Judd Apatow Again Fashions Gimmick Into Gold in Uproarious ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – After being blitzed by an onslaught of attention-demanding advertising that begged the question “who is Sarah Marshall?” even before you realized it’s a film, anticipation was ravenous.

‘Zombie Strippers’ an Intentionally Killer ‘B’ Movie That Loves the Skin It’s In

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – As the title implies, “Zombie Strippers” has everything and more. How many films about strippers who are zombies also quote the bible and Friedrich Nietzsche? This film is loads of fun because it has loads of everything.

Blueberries Meet Luscious Taste Buds in ‘My Blueberry Nights’ With Jude Law, Rachel Weisz

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5CHICAGO – We see sensual close-up shots of blueberry pie overflow with aqueducts of vanilla ice cream in Wong Kar-Wai’s opening sequence of “My Blueberry Nights”. This dreamy scene sets the tone of the latest film from the famous Chinese director as he confronts the West with his unique cinematic style.

Ellen Page’s ‘Smart People’ Only as Scholarly as Zealous Senior in High School

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5CHICAGO – I’m flummoxed. I know “Smart People” was supposed to be comedic drama with a splash of romance. Instead, I have been misled. It’s not a comedy. It’s not a tragedy. It’s not even a tragicomedy.

Ignoring Old Show-Business Rules, Rolling Stones Brightly ‘Shine a Light’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5CHICAGO – In The Beatles versus The Rolling Stones debate (which no one under 40 would have), I’m decidedly in the corner of the Fab Four. I do acknowledge, however, the sheer stamina and staying power of The Rolling Stones.

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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 10th, 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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