Movie Review

Film Review: Visual Beauty Can't Cover Up Cultural Vagueness in 'Abominable'

abominable1

CHICAGO – The changing view on yetis goes to show just how different my childhood was from kids growing up today. Back in my day, yeti’s were elusive creatures meant to be feared, much like Big Foot or Loch Ness. Films like “Smallfoot” and “Abominable” are paving the way towards acceptance were we ever to encounter a yeti, but the latter is more of a step back than forwards.

Film Review: Zellweger's Star Power Single-Handedly Saves Stale 'Judy'

CHICAGO – Even before I figured out my own sexuality, Judy Garland’s status as a gay icon was known to me. I wouldn’t understand why until much later in my life, but sure as the sky was blue, the city was emerald, and the brick road was yellow, I knew I was a friend of Dorothy. Heartbreakingly, “Judy” paints a bleak portrait of the star, but never takes a look at the bigger picture.

Film Review: 'Hustlers' Is Flashy But Empty Stripper Crime Caper

CHICAGO – This striper crime caper is flashy, buffed to a high gloss, and more entertaining and watchable than it has any right to be. But it’s never quite as smart, or layered as it seems to think it is. Constance Wu from “Crazy Rich Asians” stars as the proverbial stripper with a heart of gold, Destiny.

Film Review: Finding One’s Self in ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’

CHICAGO – There is something so lovely about a film that unfolds slowly, until the moment occurs when a multi-layered story occurrence takes the breath away. “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” is such a film, portrayed with a magic subtlety by Cate Blanchett, one of the finest film actors working. She lives a life that is broken, but not in ways we suspect.

Film Review: ‘Good Boys’ Misses the Mark But Manages to Land

CHICAGO – The innocence of childhood is about to be wrecked for the gazillionth time, c’est la vie. “Good Boys” is a raunchy film with foul-mouthed middle schoolers going on wacky adventures. The pretzel logic to set up these adventures are weak, but the core of the conclusion is the strength.

Film Review: ‘The Kitchen’ is Once Upon a Time in New York City

CHICAGO – It’s the ladies turn to harken back to the badass 1970s, more precisely 1977 in Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. In an adaptation of a DC Vertigo comic series, “The Kitchen” features Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss finding their destiny in taking over mobster duties.

Film Review: Popcorn Ready ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’

CHICAGO – The dog days of the summer are upon us, which also reflects from the silver screen. “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” is a spin-off of the eight film “The Fast and the Furious” franchise. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are the title characters, fighting and driving their way into our hearts.

Film Review: A Soul Laid Bare in ‘David Crosby: Remember My Name’

David Crosby: Remember My Name

CHICAGO – Getting into the mind of a creative person requires a delicate brush, or on the opposite end of that spectrum a new wing of a mental hospital. Submitted for your approval, one David Van Cortlandt Crosby, in the new documentary produced by Cameron Crowe, “David Crosby: Remember My Name.”

Film Review: ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ is a Cinematic Poem

CHICAGO – What does Quentin Tarantino think about? That question immediately comes to mind when experiencing his latest film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” QT meditates on TV westerns, the summer of 1969 in Los Angeles and the Manson family, and it’s a tone and mood rather than a story. But it works.

Film Review: ‘The Farewell’ Greets with Cultural, Emotional Exploration

CHICAGO – We all have those family stories that seem just so uniquely ours that it is hard to believe anyone could actually relate to them. Stories that, at the time, don’t seem like anyone else would even understand. Lulu Wang proves in “The Farewell” that all it takes is a little empathy, a skilled storyteller, and a group of talented people to bring any story to life.

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