Liana Liberato

‘The Best of Me’ is the Worst of Formulaic Romance Novelist Nicholas Sparks

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

CHICAGO – What do you see in the compilation image below?

Yes, it’s nine films based on books by romance novelist Nicholas Sparks. But look more closely. “Message in a Bottle” opened his can of worms in 1999 and 2002’s “A Walk to Remember” could only say it was based on a best-selling novel.

Aaron Eckhart Gets ‘Erased’ in ‘Bourne’-esque Thriller

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

CHICAGO – Two talented stars – Aaron Eckhart & Liana Liberato (“Trust”) – do a remarkable job of finding the depth in paper-thin, clichéd dialogue and generic contrivances but they can’t quite pull “Erased,” now available On Demand and opening in Los Angeles tomorrow, from its B-movie trappings. If you’re a spy thriller fan or love the perpetually underrated (and in need of a better agent) Eckhart, you may be surprised. Everyone else has a better alternative this weekend.

Horrendous ‘Trespass’ With Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman

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Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Joel Schumacher’s “Trespass” represents a new low for the often divisive and (lately) horrendous director of such gems as “The Number 23,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Bad Company,” “8MM,” “Batman & Robin,” and “Batman Forever.” The film is getting a very-brief theatrical release before essentially going straight-to-DVD, leading a few industry watchers to question if perhaps one of the stars had it in his or her contract that the film had to run in movie houses. Unless you have a similar contract requiring you see it, avoid at all costs.

Searing Performances Elevate David Schwimmer’s ‘Trust’

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

CHICAGO – There’s an unsettling potency to relationships that are born online. They take place entirely within the mind, which is capable of producing idealized images never to be equaled by reality. With the right stroke of keys, a savvy writer could potentially seduce a susceptible victim into emotional entrapment. That’s why the Internet is a predator’s playground.

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  • 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.

  • Joe Turner's Come and Gone Goodman Theatre

    CHICAGO – The late playwright August Wilson left a gift to the world in the form of his “American Century Cycle,” a series of plays each individually set in a decade of the 20th Century, focusing on the black experience. Chicago’s Goodman Theatre presents Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” now through May 19th, 2024 (click here).

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