Spike Walters

Oscar Week: HollywoodChicago.com 2023 Academy Award Predictions

CHICAGO – We have arrived. Welcome to the annual Oscar Predictions on HollywoodChicago.com for 2023 (the 95th 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: Woody Harrelson Guides a Basketball Team in ‘Champions’

Champions

CHICAGO – “Champions” is a predictable and formulaic, but it’s ultimately a good natured trip into a world of sports comedy clichés. It’s never particularly laugh out loud funny, but its heart is in the right place, which makes it hard to root against the film.

Film Review: Shrink Wrapped ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania’

CHICAGO – Ant-Man gets supersized in this agreeable Marvel Studios movie, which pits our tiny hero against his most formidable foe yet. While the first two Ant-Man movies were largely comic detours where the bug sized superhero carved a small but charming place in the larger universe, the third Ant-Man and the Wasp film puts him squarely at the center of the next phase of Marvel moviemaking.

Film Review: Football Ladies are Super Bowled in ’80 for Brady’

CHICAGO – “80 for Brady” has an all star lineup, but when it comes to scoring any genuine laughs it has a serious case of fumble-itis. It’s fun to see these talented women together on the screen but there’s not much there. It’s four old friends going to the Super Bowl, and that’s about it.

Film Review: ‘A Man Called Otto’ is O-T-T-Oh No for Tom Hanks

CHICAGO – Tom Hanks finds himself – as the title character – stranded in a slough of artificiality in this clumsy manipulative attempt at a crowd pleaser. He plays a grump in “A Man Named Otto,” a remake of a 2015 Swedish film. The setting has been transferred to the grey rust belt of Pittsburgh, and Hanks is a widower with a lot of chips on his shoulder about the world today.

Film Review: Holidays Granted in ‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’

CHICAGO – The Shrek franchise, which had been showing signs of creative exhaustion dating all the way back to “Shrek The Third,” gets an unexpected dose of new life with this belated – and better than it has any right to be – sequel “Puss In Boots: The Last Wish,” focusing on the swashbuckling feline (voice of Antonio Banderas).

Film Review: Die Hard is a Christmas Movie in ‘Violent Night’

CHICAGO – David Harbour is part Bad Santa, part John McClane in this yuletide spin on Die Hard which never takes itself the slightest bit seriously. It’s a spiked Christmas cocktail that’s surprisingly light on its feet. So Here comes Santa Claus with a sledge hammer ready to dispatch some North Pole justice to bad guys on his naughty list.

Film Review: Dwayne Johnson Like a Rock as Star of ‘Black Adam’

Black Adam

CHICAGO – Once again Dwayne Johnson finds himself in a vehicle unworthy of his considerable charms and talents. Johnson stars as “Black Adam,” a demigod from a mythical middle eastern country who was given power from a counsel of wizards to protect his homeland from injustice. He’s woken from a 5000 year sleep to protect the country again from foreign interlopers...

Film Review: Audiences May Be Grateful that ‘Halloween Ends’

CHICAGO – Experienced horror fans will recognize this, but anytime a long running franchise has to resort to Telekinesis, you know you’re in for trouble. It didn’t work for Jason, It didn’t work for Freddy, It didn’t work for Michael Myers the first time he tried it in “Halloween 5” … it most certainly does not work here in “Halloween Ends.”

Film Review: Unsettling & Unpleasant ‘Smile’ is Also Deadly … Boring

CHICAGO – Smile is unsettling and deeply unpleasant … its whole reason for being is to be unsettling and deeply unpleasant. And in that regard, it worked. I was uncomfortable sitting in a theater as these images flashed across the screen. But you know what else I was? Bored. The first kill happens around the 15 minute mark, and I know that because I was already checking my watch at that point.

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  • Shrinking

    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 27th, reviewing the new TV series “Shrinking,” featuring Jason Segel and Harrison Ford. Currently streaming on Apple TV+.

  • 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.

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