Movie Review

Film Review: ’Sonic the Hedgehog’ is Fast & Furry But Not Funny

CHICAGO – It may be damning with faint praise, but I can assure you that “Sonic the Hedgehog” is no longer the stuff of nightmares. The-Island-of-Dr-Moreau-like creation which seemed half human and half hedgehog in the film’s first trailer, has been replaced by something more akin to the Sonic we know from video games and cartoons. He’s cute. He’s fast. But he’s not particularly funny.

Film Review: ‘Bad Boys for Life’ Are Just Too Old For This

CHICAGO – “Bad Boys For Life” shows that maybe Will Smith isn’t too old for this kind of sh*t, but Martin Lawrence certainly is. This third installment comes 17 years after “Bad Boys II,” and 25 years after the original film unleashed director Michael Bay on an unsuspecting public.

Film Review: 'Zombieland: Double Tap' Not Fresh But Still Has Some Life

CHICAGO - Zombieland: Double Tap lacks the freshness or the belly laughs of its predecessor, but I was surprised to see that this outrageously overqualified cast has not worn out its welcome. It’s ridiculous that three Oscar nominees and one Oscar winner headline a movie devoted solely to blowing zombies up. But when you employ Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin, you’re going to get some unexpected surprises.

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

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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.

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