Spike Walters

Film Review: Ass Kicker of the Wrong Kind is Downfall of ‘The 355’

CHICAGO – There’s something to be said for a well done ass kicker in January that provides an entertaining distraction from the ice and snow outside. “The 355” is not it, offering a typical quick cutting action thriller that plods along in the most formulaic and least exciting manner possible. There’s nothing in this movie that hasn’t been done to death already.

Film Review: ‘Being the Ricardos’ Questions Who Loves Lucy

CHICAGO – “Being the Ricardos” tries to tell the story of a comedy icon with a star who wouldn’t know physical comedy if it slapped her in the face. Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball isn’t the only problem weighing down this biopic, but anytime this lead-footed and ponderous production threatens to build up a little momentum, Kidman stops it in its tracks.

Film Review: Who Ya Gonna Call in ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’

CHICAGO – This latest attempt to revive the beloved 1980’s franchise is a curious rumination on nostalgia. It’s so heavily indebted to the original, references are treated as holy relics to be revered and worshiped. But it also makes the compelling case – to begin with – for the futility of trying to turn the film into a franchise.

Film Review: ‘Vemom: Let There Be Carnage’ is One of the Worst Modern-Era Comic Book Films

Venom 2

CHICAGO – The best that can be said for “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is that it is mercifully short. Otherwise this is an appalling incomprehensible mess of misbegotten ideas, uninspired action sequences, and truly woeful performances.

Film Review: ‘The Addams Family 2’ is Pure Torture for Old & Young

Addams Family 2, The

CHICAGO – Sometimes sequels serve as a cinematic do-over, a second chance to fix what they got wrong the first time. Other times, they offer a chance to build on the bones of a good story and make it better.

Film Review: Clint Eastwood Moseys Into the Sunset in ‘Cry Macho’

CHICAGO – Clint Eastwood’s return to the western is an amiable-but-relativiely-minor mosey south of the border. The 91-year-old doesn’t embarrass himself, but this small stakes story is far from Clint’s finest hour. In “Cry Macho” Eastwood is a former rodeo cowboy and horse trainer named Mike who has run into hard times after a devastating heartbreak.

Film Review: 'Reminiscence' is a Mystery with Very Little in Mind

CHICAGO – “Reminiscence” is a futuristic noir with precious little on its mind. Instead of ideas, this sci-fi thriller offers half remembered cop movie cliches and hard boiled detective narration that’s just barely a step above Harrison Ford’s in the original cut of “Blade Runner.”

Film Review: Spike is Back! Counter Point For ‘Free Guy’

Free Guy

CHICAGO – Welcome back to film reviewer Spike Walters … “Free Guy” has the sort of premise that seems to tingle with possibility. Ryan Reynolds stars as a background character in a Grand Theft Auto/Fortnite-style video game who gradually discovers the true nature of his existence. There are many different ways to go with this material, but “Free Guy” inexplicably strands Reynolds and us in a half assed romantic comedy about coders instead.

Film Review: ‘The Invisible Man’ is a True Heart Pounding Thriller

CHICAGO – When I think of “The Invisible Man” the first thing I think of is the special effects… and that’s largely what it’s been about … from Claude Raines initial portrayal of “The I Man” in the 1930s, all the way through more modern takes like Kevin Bacon in the thriller “Hollow Man” (2000).

Film Review: ‘The Call of the Wild’ Offers Only Tame Adventure

CHICAGO – “The Call Of The Wild” is an old fashioned story with some expensive and unnecessary technological upgrades. Foregoing man’s best friend in reality, the film replaces the featured dog with an entirely digital creation … which I can’t say was an improvement.

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  • South Side

    CHICAGO – One the brightest comedies set in Chicago is “South Side,” created by Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle. The pair moved the show from Comedy Central to HBO Max, and Season Two dropped for streaming on November 11th, 2021, with the same free-wheeling and hilarious misadventures of Simon and Kareme.

  • Colin in Black & White

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Dan Baker on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on November 4th, 2021, reviewing the new miniseries “Colin in Black & White” – regarding the early years of ex-NFL QB Colin Kaepernick – currently streaming on Netflix.

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