IllinoisTimes - Cinemascoping Sun, 30 Apr 17 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 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...]]>
Berg Too Close for Comfort with “Horizon” Berg Too Close for Comfort with “Horizon”
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon, a semi-submersible offshore oil drilling rig suffered a catastrophic disaster when high pressure sent thousands of gallons of oil into the air when a system...]]>
Stone’s “Snowden” Engaging Agitprop Stone’s “Snowden” Engaging Agitprop
As with most of Oliver Stone’s fact-based movies, Snowden is a work that needs to be taken with a grain of salt.  Fascinating and frightening, the film sets out to give the title character’s...]]>
Dull “Witch” Pales Next to Original Dull “Witch” Pales Next to Original
For some inexplicable reason, director Adam Wingard has gained the reputation of being some sort of horror craftsman among aficionados of the genre.  Based on his previous work (V/H/S, You’r...]]>
Conviction Propels “Oceans” Conviction Propels “Oceans”
Where The Light Between Oceans is concerned, you have to give director Derek Cianfrance and his cast credit – they’re fully committed to making the audience weep and will go to any length to mak...]]>
Been There, Done That with "Morgan" Been There, Done That with "Morgan"
The antecedents to Luke Scott’s “Morgan” are many – Frankenstein, A.I., Lucy, Ex Machina – so much so that we should simply regard this movie as yet another variation on the ...]]>
Well-Written “Southside” a Compelling Love Story Well-Written “Southside” a Compelling Love Story
Surprisingly engaging, Richard Tanne’s Southside with You recounts the fateful first date between Barack Obama and his future wife Michelle Robinson, which occurred on one very long afternoon and e...]]>
Beautiful “Kubo” Speaks to All Ages Beautiful “Kubo” Speaks to All Ages
Poignantly told and beautifully rendered, Travis Knight’s Kubo and the Two Strings may be the most striking film in a landmark year for movie animation.  Containing elements from Japanese fol...]]>
Alvarez and Lang Respond to the Challenges of “Don’t Breathe” Alvarez and Lang Respond to the Challenges of “Don’t Breathe”
Having helmed a remake of Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead which was greeted with either great derision or unbridled admiration, director Fede Alvarez decided he would take his time before embarking on h...]]>
Muddled Execution Hobbles “Hur” Muddled Execution Hobbles “Hur”
It’s a testament to the novel by Lew Wallace that the power of Ben-Hur cannot be completely obscured by shoddy filmmaking.  That was my take away after sitting through the sixth screen versio...]]>
Just Enough Magic Keeps “Dragon” Afloat Just Enough Magic Keeps “Dragon” Afloat
I went into David Lowery’s Pete’s Dragon skeptical about what it had to offer; little did I know that this frame of mind would be in keeping with that of many in the movie itself.  This re...]]>
“Big Bang’s” Simon Helberg Rubs Shoulders with Movie Heavyweights in “Jenkins.” “Big Bang’s” Simon Helberg Rubs Shoulders with Movie Heavyweights in “Jenkins.”
Thanks to the phenomenal success of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, Simon Helberg is a familiar face in millions of homes around the world.  As Howard Wolowitz, the luckiest engineer in the world ...]]>
“Café” Familiar but Fine “Café” Familiar but Fine
There’s nothing really new where Woody Allen’s 48th film, Café Society is concerned and that’s fine.  While other directors are certainly guilty of covering the same ground more than onc...]]>