Jon Espino

‘Luca’ Uses Queer-Bait Hoping to Reel in a Hit, Ends Up Snagged

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

CHICAGO – Even as an adult, I am still in awe of how effective animated features are as narrative vehicles. As a kid, it was the thing I would consume the most, gorging myself into a stupor. The cartoons didn’t even have to follow any set story structure, especially when some of my favorites included a cowardly dog, a cow and chicken as siblings, and even an underwater sponge that is friends with an aquatic squirrel.

Feature: The Importance of the Quiet Revolution of ‘In the Heights’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO - When I used to have cable television (when I lived with my parents and they paid for it), there was this section of one hundred or so music channels, each with a different music style to explore. I remember stumbling across it one day when I was younger, in complete awe that there was even that variety of music in the world.

Cinematic and Literary Influences Temper the Glorious Chaos of ‘Loki’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – From villain to anti-hero to homoerotic fan fiction icon, Loki has traveled a long way from the greasy-haired megalomaniac we have come to love. For most of his cinematic character development, Loki has been a foil to Thor’s massive himbo (n.: a very attractive, often beefy male who isn’t the brightest bulb, but is still able to shine because of his good-natured attitude and respect for women. Male version of a “bimbo”) energy.

‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’ is Haunted By Its Past

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGOThe Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is our third official, not-counting-the-spinoffs foray into the “based on true events” shenanigans of Ed and Lorraine Warren, and it’s starting to show. If you’re a tea drinker and equally as frugal as I am, you have reused a tea bag to make a second (sometimes even a third) cup of tea.

‘A Quiet Place II’ is No Echo, But a Sonic Boom of a Sequel

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

CHICAGO – The horror genre gets a bad rap but in many ways, they’ve earned it. That’s not to say that every horror film is inherently bad, but at the smallest sign of financial/critical success, the studios will try to franchise it like it’s an IHOP. For example, let’s look at the cautionary tale known as the Saw franchise, which recently released a film that likely none of you saw.

Like a Zombie, ‘Army of the Dead’ is Mindless, Sometimes Fun

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – If you’ve ever worked retail or in the service industry, you’re aware of the mental and physical state lovingly known as “Cruise Control”. That’s when the crippling monotony of everyday life forces our body into a sort of energy-saver setting that is meant to keep us from having psychotic mental breaks on a semi-regular basis. A sort-of zombie mode, if you will.

‘Spiral: From the Book of Saw’ is a Horror Ouroboros Devouring Itself

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – If you find yourself reading this review, you likely understand how much a film can influence society. Despite our best efforts, we don’t get to decide how or why something gets added to our zeitgeist. Its staying power can extend to anything from a character, an ideology, or even a quote. The effect is so strong that even a small sentence is enough to trigger certain feelings in your brain.

'The Woman in the Window' Offers a Muddled Yet Entertaining View

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

CHICAGO – People in waste management have a mantra that seems to have been awkwardly adopted by the film industry: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. In the film industry’s case, ‘reduce’ doesn’t mean to create less waste, but to reduce the amount of money spent taking a chance on original content.

The Tone-Deaf, Formulaic Approach Murders 'The Little Things'

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – There are over 500 episodes of “Law and Order” but I’m not about to embarrass myself publicly by revealing just how many of those I’ve seen; let’s leave it at “a lot.” In the age of binge television, I know I’m not the only one that has taken a deep dive into the show and other long-running shows like it, but I know we can all agree why we continue watching them: they keep things fresh.

Firth and Tucci Deliver Stellar Performances in 'Supernova'

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

CHICAGO – Stars are a concept that I don’t think I will ever understand. Giant celestial bodies of gas and fire that burn and shine with an unimaginable intensity. Their spherical appearance masks a double-edge that can both bring and sustain life, or out-right end it. Love is much the same way, simultaneously nurturing us up until the moment it isn’t. Although Supernova doesn’t take us on the incredible interstellar adventure its title suggests, the grounded, emotional journey is still otherworldly.

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  • loki main

    CHICAGO – From villain to anti-hero to homoerotic fan fiction icon, Loki has traveled a long way from the greasy-haired megalomaniac we have come to love. For most of his cinematic character development, Loki has been a foil to Thor’s massive himbo (n.: a very attractive, often beefy male who isn’t the brightest bulb, but is still able to shine because of his good-natured attitude and respect for women. Male version of a “bimbo”) energy.

  • Young Rock
    HollywoodChicago.com Television Rating: 5.0/5.0
    Television Rating: 5.0/5.0

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on February 18th, 2021, reviewing the new TV series “Young Rock,” Tuesdays on NBC-TV.

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