Spike Walters

Who Ya Gonna Call in ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’

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

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.

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

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 0.5/5.0
Rating: 0.5/5.0

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. Those expecting some comic book fun are treated instead to the bizarre odd couple act of Tom Hardy arguing with himself …

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

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

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. But all too often, they’re lazy cash grabs to half forgotten films where no one seems to have learned any lessons from the first outing …

Clint Eastwood Moseys Into the Sunset in ‘Cry Macho’

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

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.

'Reminiscence' is a Mystery with Very Little in Mind

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

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.”

Spike is Back! Counter Point Review of ‘Free Guy’

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

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.

‘The Invisible Man’ is a True Heart Pounding Thriller

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

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).

‘The Call of the Wild’ Offers Only Tame Adventure

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

CHICAGO – “The Call Of The Wild” is an old fashioned story with some expensive and unnecessary technological upgrades. Forgoing 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.

‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ is Fast & Furry But Not Funny

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

CHICAGO – It may be damning with faint praise, but I can assure you that “Sonic the Hedgehog” is no longer the stuff of nightmares. The-Island-of-Dr-Moreau-like creation which seemed half human half hedgehog in the film’s first trailer, has been replaced by something more akin to the Sonic we know from video games and cartoons. He’s cute. He’s fast. But he’s not particularly funny.

‘Bad Boys for Life’ Are Just Too Old For This

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

CHICAGO – “Bad Boys For Life” shows that maybe Will Smith isn’t too old for this kind of sh*t, but Martin Lawrence certainly is. This third installment comes 17 years after “Bad Boys II,” and 25 years after the original film unleashed director Michael Bay on an unsuspecting public. It aims to be just as bombastic as its predecessors, but without Michael Bay behind the lens and a lot more jokes about middle age, creaking bones and dying beards.

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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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