Ciarán Hinds

‘John Carter’ is Poor Man’s ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Avatar’ With Kitschy Taylor Kitsch, Soft-Porn Lynn Collins

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Usually it’s critics critically flogging a film when we say it weakly lacks originality and borrows too heavily from others. Disney’s “John Carter” attacks that classic grumble by promotionally comparing itself to “Star Wars” and “Avatar” before critics even had a chance to deduct points for it.

‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’ Begs Audience to Accept Mediocrity, Stupidity

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – At the very least, I can take some comfort in knowing that the YouTube montage of Nicolas Cage freaking out has some new (and golden) material. As cursed as Cage’s Johnny Blaze character is by the demon inside him known as the Ghost Rider in the newest chapter, “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” so is this movie cursed by unthinkable dialogue, lackluster acting, obnoxious camerawork, and confusing editing.

Mixed Bag of Quality in ‘Oscar Nominated Short Films 2012’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – It’s that time of the year when you can get a leg up on your friends at your Oscar party when the short film categories pop up by seeing “Oscar Nominated Short Films 2012: The Animated” and “Oscar Nominated Short Films 2012: The Live Action,” opening around the country tomorrow, February 10th, 2012, and in Chicago at the Landmark Century Cinema.

Daniel Radcliffe Stars in Chilling ‘The Woman in Black’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The most important element to the opening of “The Woman in Black” is the Hammer Films logo that caused the legendary Roger Ebert to applaud when it appeared in the screening room here in Chicago. This is a Hammer Film through and through complete with unbelievable character action, loud sound effects, extreme shock scares, and other B-movie manipulations.

Stoic Gary Oldman Uncovers ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Espionage sure isn’t like it used to be. The new film “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” is set during the Cold War period of the early 1970s, when lines were drawn by their proximity in front of and behind the Iron Curtain. Gary Oldman plays an old British spook in this thriller adapted from the famous John le Carré novel.

‘Life During Wartime’ Provides Haunting Coda to ‘Happiness’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Todd Solondz’s 1998 masterpiece, “Happiness,” is the darkest American comedy ever made. It’s so brutal and uncompromising that it calls into question the very definition of comedy. When one character explains to her sister that she isn’t laughing at her, but with her, the sister responds, “But I’m not laughing.” Solondz isn’t laughing either.

‘The Eclipse’ Blends Human Drama With Spooky Horror

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – I often find that the most interesting characters in a ghost story are not the ghosts themselves, but the humans who encounter them. Ghosts are reflections of a past we are unwilling to depart from, even if it halts us from entering the future. It’s a consolation for us to believe that our departed loved ones view us as their “unfinished business.”

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