IllinoisTimes - Cinemascoping Mon, 21 Aug 17 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 Meandering “Wind River” Lacks Focus Meandering “Wind River” Lacks Focus
There’s an “almost, not quite” quality to Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River, a thriller with great potential that gets lost thanks to its oblique narrative.  It surely isn’t a lack of tale...]]>
“Kidnap”: An Insulting, Exploitive Exercise “Kidnap”: An Insulting, Exploitive Exercise
The issue of child abduction is hardly one to be made light of, yet Luis Prieto’s Kidnap uses the subject as a catalyst for a Death Wish-like vehicle for actress Halle Berry.  Stupid to an i...]]>
Fun “Wish Upon” Exceeds Expectations Fun “Wish Upon” Exceeds Expectations
A new take on the classic horror tale The Monkey’s Paw, John R. Leonetti’s Wish Upon proves to be far more fun than it has a right to be.  Driven by a winning performance by actress Joey King...]]>
Effective, Haunting “Beguiled” Hard to Shake Effective, Haunting “Beguiled” Hard to Shake
While I often object to remakes of films that were well made the first time around, Sophia Coppola’s The Beguiled, a redo of the little-known Clint Eastwood feature, proves to be a worthy exercise...]]>
Sincerity, Humor Make “Big Sick” a Winner Sincerity, Humor Make “Big Sick” a Winner
Director Michael Showalter and his cast pull off an impressive high-wire act with The Big Sick, an account of the early days in the relationship between Pakistani comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his wi...]]>
“Despicable 3” Surprisingly Lively “Despicable 3” Surprisingly Lively
By the time a third entry in a franchise rolls around, wear and tear begins to show in what was once considered fresh and inventive. And if the same filmmaker that brought parts one and two to the scr...]]>
Cast Can’t Save “Rough Night” Cast Can’t Save “Rough Night”
Taking a respite from kickin’ butt and takin’ names in a myriad of action movies, Scarlett Johansson dips her toes in the comedy pool with Lucia Aniello’s “Rough Night,” a film with some gen...]]>
Faulty Execution Sinks “47 Meters Down” Faulty Execution Sinks “47 Meters Down”
Lets hope that having to sit through a bad shark movie doesn’t become an annual tradition.  Last year’s “The Shallows” was dead on arrival and now we have “47 Meters Down,” another...]]>
A Worthy "Mummy" for a New Generation A Worthy "Mummy" for a New Generation
Universal Pictures has a great deal riding on Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy.  Having witnessed the global success of Marvel Films interconnected superhero movies; the powers that be at the ...]]>
Shults’ Impresses with Disturbing “It Happens At Night” Shults’ Impresses with Disturbing “It Happens At Night”
A24 Films may be promoting Trey Edwards Shults It Comes at Night as another apocalyptic, zombie feature, but there’s far more that lurks beneath its dark surface.  Concentrating on the corro...]]>
Johnson’s Charisma Can’t Rescue “Baywatch” Johnson’s Charisma Can’t Rescue “Baywatch”
In a world in which there is so little to believe in, yet another absolute has been disproven.  Up until seeing Baywatch, I though that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was capable of anything, b...]]>
Mixed Genres Make for Muddled “Arthur” Mixed Genres Make for Muddled “Arthur”
Made for the superhero generation, Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is an origin story about an orphan who finds out he has a destiny, gets a magical object that gives him superhuman...]]>
Heigl and Dawson Elevate "Unforgettable" Heigl and Dawson Elevate "Unforgettable"
Perhaps it’s from having watched Fox TV’s excellent mini-series Feud, the chronicle of the fierce rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis that occurred during the making of What Ever Happe...]]>
Honest Approach Elevates “Gifted” Honest Approach Elevates “Gifted”
There’s definitely some merit to W.C. Fields famous warning about the dangers of working with children and animals. They’re unpredictable, at time amateurish and guaranteed to upstage you just by ...]]>
Boyle Delivers Worthy "Trainspotting" Sequel Boyle Delivers Worthy "Trainspotting" Sequel
If ever there was a movie that captured the Zeitgiest of the time in which it was made, it was Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting. An indie sensation when it was released in 1996, the film was not simply...]]>
Slow Burn Shopper a Thinking Person’s Ghost Story Slow Burn Shopper a Thinking Person’s Ghost Story
Maureen Cartwright is haunted.  Whether it be by the spirit of her dead twin brother, something troubling from her past or mental illness is open to debate.&nb...]]>
“CHIPS” a Bland Reboot “CHIPS” a Bland Reboot
Each big screen adaptation of a television show gives credence to the notion that Hollywood is out of ideas.  And while some do wind up being worthwhile (the post-modern 21 Jump Street, the Osc...]]>
Marion, Illinois a Real Find for Marion, Illinois a Real Find for
Growing up in rural Wisconsin, filmmaker Hunter Adams knows what makes small town living unique and how tight-knit communities behave. With that in mind, he knew Marion, Illinois was the perfect pla...]]>
Well Done “Collide,” a Guilty Pleasure Well Done “Collide,” a Guilty Pleasure
It was with a sense of giddiness that I entered a local theater to see Eran Creevy’s Collide.  I love it when great actors go slumming and this low-concept chase film has two of them - ...]]>
Flimsy Effects Prevent “Wall” From Greatness Flimsy Effects Prevent “Wall” From Greatness
The most expensive film ever made in China, “The Great Wall” is meant to serve as a bridge between American and Asian audiences, a co-production between Universal Pictures and the China Film Gro...]]>
Surprising “Rings” Outdoes Predecessors Surprising “Rings” Outdoes Predecessors
Not having been a fan of The Ring (2002) or its sequel, I had no great hope when Paramount Pictures announced a third entry/reboot was in the works. Surprisingly, Rings proves to be superior to the ...]]>
Stellar Cast Elevates “Comedian” Stellar Cast Elevates “Comedian”
Groucho Marx’s third wife once stated, “If he’d only said ‘I love you’ once, I would have stayed.”  No doubt, it must be difficult living with someone who makes their living crackin...]]>
McConaughey Shines in “Gold” McConaughey Shines in “Gold”
Stephen Gaghan’s Gold certainly doesn’t tell a new story but at least it does so in an entertaining manner.  Based on the Bre-X Minerals scandal from the 1990’s, the film is propelled by ...]]>
Tepid Pace Nearly Undoes "Split" Tepid Pace Nearly Undoes "Split"
I’m glad that M. Night Shyamalan has wandered out of the wilderness of big budget mistakes and has returned to the world of modest thrillers. His distinct voice has been sorely missed in the genre...]]>
Earnest “Patriot’s Day” a Gripping, Emotional Tribute Earnest “Patriot’s Day” a Gripping, Emotional Tribute
Only three years removed from the event itself, Peter Berg’s Patriot’s Day runs the risk of reopening fresh wounds and perhaps offending victims of the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013, the event ...]]>
Powerful "Moonlight" a Timely Tale of Lost Youth Powerful "Moonlight" a Timely Tale of Lost Youth
Riding a wave of positive buzz provided by the many film festivals where it was greeted with numerous accolades, Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight arrives in theaters with the onus of not only having to li...]]>
Inspiring, Gorgeous, Funny "Moana" One of Disney’s Best Inspiring, Gorgeous, Funny "Moana" One of Disney’s Best
When you have a formula that works, you don’t tinker with it.  Kentucky Fried Chicken knows this, Mercedes-Benz knows this and Disney knows this. It would be hard to calculate just how many ...]]>
Awkward "Seventeen" Ultimately Rights Itself Awkward "Seventeen" Ultimately Rights Itself
Like many an awkward teenager, Kelly Fremon Craig’s The Edge of Seventeen takes one step forward and two steps back during much of its development, stumbling here, righting itself there before comin...]]>
Joneses Never Catches Fire Joneses Never Catches Fire
There’s no shortage of talent where Greg Mottola’s Keeping Up with the Joneses is concerned, a would-be comedy romp that never really generates enough laughs, or rompiness for that matter. ...]]>
“Nation” Proves Problematic, yet Compelling “Nation” Proves Problematic, yet Compelling
Incendiary, problematic and arresting, Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation is the hot-button film of the moment, an unflinching look at the vagaries of slavery and its echoes through the generatio...]]>