Spike Walters

Film Review: ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’ on the Road to Nowhere

CHICAGO –“Bad Boys: Ride Or Die,” the fourth in this series, is a big budget clunker that’s clearing coasting on fumes. A wheezy Martin Lawrence, and a post-slap Will Smith, are trying to recapture some of their former box office glory by trying to milk their still considerable chemistry for all its worth. The best that can be said is that it’s less of an interminable slog than I thought it would be.

Film Review: ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ Creates an Energy of Its Own

CHICAGO – It’s no “Fury Road,” but “Furiosa” is a suitably high octane summer blockbuster that delivers the eye popping action that Mad Max fans come for. The film is a prequel to that Oscar winning film, with Anya Taylor-Joy taking over for Charlize Theron as the one armed, shaved headed all around world-class bad ass.

Film Review: Pride Goeth Before ‘The Fall Guy’ with Ryan Gosling

CHICAGO – “The Fall Guy” is one of those movies where what’s happening on the margins is so much more interesting than the main event. And the promotional campaign for it is far superior to the film itself. Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt have the romantic chemistry to fuel a high octane action comedy … but “The Fall Guy” never steps on the gas.

Film Review: Forgettable ‘The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare’

Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, The

CHICAGO – “The Ministry Of Ungentlemanly Warfare” wants to be “Inglourious Basterds” in the worst way … but Henry Cavill is no Brad Pitt, and Guy Ritchie is no Quentin Tarantino. It’s a featherweight romp about British rogues killing Nazis that’s arch, witty, and completely forgettable. It goes down easy enough, but seems unlikely to inspire the love and devotion it so clearly craves.

Film Review: Size Matters in ‘Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire’

CHICAGO – The key to the rapidly expanding Warner Bros. “Mosterverse” of films, now on its fifth installment, is the enduring pleasure of watching giant creatures laying waste to entire cities. Godzilla and Kong are entirely digital creations, but they have all the personality we need in a movie like this.

Oscar Week! HollywoodChicago.com 2024 Predictions

CHICAGO – Here we go again. Welcome to the annual Oscar Predictions on HollywoodChicago.com, for 2024 (the 96th Academy Awards). The film/entertainment contributors of HC – Patrick McDonald and Spike Walters – are joined by filmmaker treasure Michael Glover Smith (“Relative”) and film critic Jeffrey L. York of “The Establishing Shot.”

Film Review: Triple Threat ‘Argylle’ is Uninspired, Idiotic and Boring

CHICAGO – “Argylle” is a nasty, smelly cinematic hairball coughed up on unsuspecting audiences. It’s a collection of half remembered clichés, atrocious writing, incoherent action, and terrible performances. A flaming dumpster fire of which only the great comic actor Catherine O’Hara emerges largely unscathed.

Film Review: Zac Efron the Weak Link in Wrestling Drama ‘The Iron Claw’

Iron Claw, The

CHICAGO – An epic piece of miscasting puts “The Iron Claw” in a sleeper hold it’s never quite able to escape from … the pint sized gaping empty hole at its center has a name, and it is Zac Efron. Efron mistakenly believes that his admittedly drastic physical transformation will do his acting for him.

Film Review: Charming Timothée Chalomet Brings the Willy to ‘Wonka’

CHICAGO – “Wonka” is a sweet, perhaps too sweet, musical origin story of the world famous cantankerous candy man. Timothée Chalomet has got a song in his heart and sweets up his sleeve in a movie that threatens to give old fashioned “family films” a good name once again.

Film Review: The Subconscious Cage in Sharp ‘Dream Scenario’

CHICAGO – Nicolas Cage makes a welcome return to Charlie Kaufman-like mind bending drama in “Dream Scenario.” He stars as Paul Matthews, a bald and schlubby college professor always clad in an ever present winter coat. His unremarkable life takes a turn when he mysteriously begins appearing in millions of people’s dreams.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Prodigal Daughter, The

    CHICAGO – One of the open secrets of Chicago is its horrible racist past, which remains like an echo. Playwright Joshua Allen has been exploring this theme in his Grand Boulevard Trilogy – the last chapter talking place during the infamous 1919 race riots – in Raven Theatre’s “The Prodigal Daughter.” For tickets and info, click TPD.

  • Michael Shannon and Travis A. Knight, Red Orchid's TURRET

    CHICAGO – When in the presence of a powerful acting force like Michael Shannon, the depth of performance is emotional and passionately essential. He co-leads with Travis A. Knight in Red Orchid Theatre’s World Premiere of Levi Holloway’s “Turret,” just extended to June 22nd at the Chopin Theatre.

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