Jennifer Garner

Dear Dead Dad! On-Air Film Review of ‘The Adam Project’

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

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Dan Baker on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on March 10th, reviewing “The Adam Project,” featuring the “Free Guy” team of Ryan Reynolds and director Shawn Levy, and is streaming on Netflix beginning March 11th.

Imagination is the Key to Charming ‘Wonder Park’

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

CHICAGO – Most animated films depicting the “family” often includes a parallel lesson about togetherness or some such domestic symbolism. In “Wonder Park,” the lesson is how the spark of imagination can keep a childhood alive. When that spark is temporarily dosed, the destination of the title also suffers.

‘Peppermint’ Offers Nothing New in Revenge Genre

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

CHICAGO – When a revenge film gets a bit stale, as they tend to do, the best way to pass the time is to start counting how many people are indiscriminately killed. “Peppermint,” which has the former “Alias” star Jennifer Garner going back to an action mode, had 36 (give or take) quality kills, with the last one taking the longest between executions.

‘Love, Simon’ is a Palatable Queer Film Entry That Leaves Us Wanting

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

CHICAGO – Anyone who has ever held a big secret knows that the weight of it is usually worse than the secret itself. The only thing worse than that is when the secret you’re holding back is your true self. “Love, Simon” explores the all-too-familiar, high school coming of age story, but with the added complication of coming to terms with your sexuality and identity.

Imagine What Could Have Been for ‘Danny Collins’

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

CHICAGO – “Danny Collins” is a shoulda-woulda-coulda film. It was inspired by the true story of a John Lennon letter acquired by a musician 40 years after he was suppose to to have received it, and then re-imagined as a cheap soap opera, punctuated by far superior John Lennon songs.

Bigger Not Better ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’

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

CHICAGO – This is what happens when a beloved book gets sucked into the big Hollywood studio machine and gets all the endearing qualities – plus its heart and soul – sucked right out of it. “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad movie. It goes from Alexander getting gum stuck in his hair and his mom buying him the wrong kind of sneakers to Steve Carell doing sake bombs in a Japanese steak house on a job interview and catching a pirate shirt he’s wearing on fire.

‘Draft Day’ is Daft, Except as an NFL Infomercial

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

CHICAGO – Kevin Costner has defined a career in sports-themed movies. From the Iowa farmer building a baseball diamond in “Field of Dreams,” to “Bull Durham,” to “For the Love of the Game,” he exemplified game day heroics. Yet being an NFL executive in “Draft Day” isn’t quite as exciting.

‘Dallas Buyers Club’ is Highly Romanticized Yet Effective

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

CHICAGO – Matthew McConaughey’s performance as a 1980s-era HIV positive man in the drama “Dallas Buyers Club” is a gangbusters piece of acting. However, some highly exaggerated characters and soft soaping of reality creates a more gauzy romance of the situation than true grit.

‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’ Misses Emotional Connection

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

CHICAGO – Peter Hedges’ “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” has a warm, gooey center that’s admirable in a family movie way but what’s around it can’t hold together as the lack of focus in the narrative and the rather grating performance from the young man playing its title character causes it to annoy more than entertain.

Russell Brand Tries Too Hard in Lame ‘Arthur’

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

CHICAGO – There are many problems inherent in film remakes, starting with comparisons to the original source. The first “Arthur,” while not a classic, did have a warm, funny story and Dudley Moore’s title performance. The current remake has none of that.

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  • Velma

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on The Eddie Volkman Show with Hannah B on WSSR-FM (Star 96.7 Joliet, Illinois) on January 20th, reviewing the new series reboot “Velma,” created by Mindy Kaling and featuring the Scooby-Doo gang. Currently streaming on HBO Max.

  • Chicago Puppet Festival 2023

    CHICAGO – Call me an Ismael puppet. We’ll never know if that was the opening line Herman Melville intended for his classic “Moby Dick,” but the 5th Chicago International Puppet Festival presents their Opening Night marionette version on January 18th, 2023 (7:30p), and the fest runs through January 29th. For tickets and info, click 5TH PUPPET FEST.

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