Stellan Skarsgard

Despite Sandy Start and Trope Pitfalls, 'Dune' Could be the Next 'Star Wars'

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

CHICAGO – Everything has ‘potential’ and in examining that you reveal a little bit about yourself. Seeing the ‘potential’ in something is inherently an exercise in optimism because you take what you see and understand that it could do or be better. Criticism is also a key component when it comes to discussing ‘potential’ because without a critical eye you can’t see beyond what is to see what could be.

‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ is a Bubbly Musical

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

CHICAGO – I give in. “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” the sequel to the much derided “Mamma Mia,” is a bubbly, frothy here-come-the-good-times musical that fits summer like a glove. The flashback format will also answer all the burning questions that were left unanswered from the first film, and the cast includes Cher!

Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman on Track in ‘The Railway Man’

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

CHICAGO – One of the hidden implications of World War II was the suffering of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) from the millions of soldiers who survived the horrors of that war. The difficulties associated with PTSD are communicated with honor by Colin Firth in “The Railway Man”

Brutal Next Chapter Defines ‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. 2’

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

CHICAGO – The exploration of sexuality is a stark breakthrough in the “Nymphomaniac” film series by writer/director Lars von Trier. In the story of a woman interacting with her nature, there are shades of all physically active individuals. “Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1” covered the younger days of the main character of Joe. Vol. 2 takes her to the next, and more brutal phase – challenging her life and her disposition.

Nature, Morality Collide in ‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1’

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

CHICAGO – Writer/director Lars von Trier creates exposure through his film art. He is unafraid to explore the very nature of being human, while at the same time revealing the very foibles of barriers to our nature – social structures, economies, religion and our own conceits in life. Lars von Trier’s latest barrier breaker is “Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1.”

Forced ‘Thor: The Dark World’ Sequel Lacks Passion, Sci-Fi Basis

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

CHICAGO – For me and the subculture as a whole, so much of science fiction came from “Star Trek”. If creator Gene Roddenberry were alive today to witness “Thor: The Dark World,” he’d tell it to focus on being a superhero film rather than failing to dabble in science fiction.

‘Thor: The Dark World’ is Little More Than Marketing For ‘The Avengers 2’

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

CHICAGO – Few major films have felt less creatively inspired and more commercially conceived than Alan Taylor’s dull “Thor: The Dark World,” a wannabe blockbuster with all the personality and ingenuity of a straight-to-DVD sequel. It is a film that simply fades into the background of other films, both already produced and still-to-come.

New ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is Almost Passable if You Haven’t Seen It, Unnecessary if You Have

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

CHICAGO – When I walked out of my screening for 2013’s “Romeo and Juliet” with Hailee Steinfeld (Oscar nominated for “True Grit”) and London’s Douglas Booth (previously unknown to the U.S.), I had to remember that not everyone’s seen this story in one way or another.

David Fincher’s Stunning ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’

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

CHICAGO – David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” comes with waves of expectations from fans of the Stieg Larsson books, the Swedish original films, the director’s previous beloved works, and even drama over a certain national outlet breaking an agreed-upon embargo. Could it possibly live up to the hype? If you can let it go and just appreciate the film for what it is — absolutely.

Lars Von Trier’s Mesmerizing ‘Melancholia’ Turns Depression Into Art

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

CHICAGO – Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia” is a mesmerizing, haunting portrayal of the world-shattering force of depression from a filmmaker who has first-hand knowledge of the debilitating disease. With career-best work by Kirsten Dunst and some of the most confident filmmaking from its controversial director, this is one of the best films of 2011, a stunningly original examination of that which is completely out of our control.

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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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