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HollywoodChicago.com Movie Reviews

After 19 Years, ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ Phenomenally Exhumes Venerated Roots

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5CHICAGO – After such a long respite from the beloved film progression, I was initially just as skittish about seeing Harrison Ford back in the Indy saddle as I was watching Sylvester Stallone back in the ring in “Rocky Balboa” in his 2006 comeback and then again in 2008 in his “Rambo” return.

‘The Witnesses’ Bear the AIDS Burden of a Time Less Remembered

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5CHICAGO – While Paris, France in 1984 probably wasn’t as romantic as the Paris in several of its other lionized eras, it existed just the same. As portrayed in “The Witnesses,” it was an age that may have been more uncertain than the others based on a melting pot of inhabitants who immigrated to the City of Lights in search for a new life.

‘Body of War’ Confronts Grisly Realities of U.S. War Mistakes in Iraq

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – They are invisible in the current war, which has lasted longer than World War II. It’s the soldier in Iraq who fights on – in the face of public apathy at home – and who carries out the decisions of an administration that has chosen to hide their caskets in death.

Packed With Picturesque Majesty, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian’ Fights Nobly For ‘PG’ Rating

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5CHICAGO – For the life of me, I couldn’t exorcise it from my head. Amid all the splendor of such a picturesque film, this one question was like a gnat I couldn’t swat: “Is this really rated ‘PG’?” Indeed, “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” is rated “PG”. But that didn’t come without great scrutiny and much editing.

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.

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  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.


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