IllinoisTimes - Cinemascoping http://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-141-1-cinemascoping.html Tue, 31 May 16 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 Art Reflects Life in Scafaria’s Meddler http://illinoistimes.com/article-17251-art-reflects-life-in-scafaria%25E2%2580%2599s-meddler.html Art Reflects Life in Scafaria’s Meddler
There’s no question as to what director Lorene Scafaria’s intentions were with her new movie The Meddler. “I wanted to make a movie about my father and the two women who loved him most,” sh...]]>
Good Intentions Trip Up “Meddler” http://illinoistimes.com/article-17276-good-intentions-trip-up-%25E2%2580%259Cmeddler%25E2%2580%259D.html Good Intentions Trip Up “Meddler”
Sometimes, an artist is so close to his or her subject that objectivity becomes a casualty.  Such is the case with Lorene Scafaria’s The Meddler.  While the film is meant to be a tr...]]>
“Green Room” an Effective Siege Thriller http://illinoistimes.com/article-17214-%25E2%2580%259Cgreen-room%25E2%2580%259D-an-effective-siege-thriller.html “Green Room” an Effective Siege Thriller
Director Jeremy Saulnier’s 2013 thriller Blue Ruin, was a film that effectively employed a long-fuse strategy to build a sense of dread. A simple revenge tale, it was the sort of movie that was pe...]]>
"Street" Hits all the Right Notes http://illinoistimes.com/article-17215-street-hits-all-the-right-notes.html "Street" Hits all the Right Notes
John Carney has a gift. Not simply in the way he uses music in his films and understands its power but how he’s able to create characters that on the surface could be dismissed as clichés but win...]]>
“Criminal” Great B-Movie Fun http://illinoistimes.com/article-17123-%25E2%2580%259Ccriminal%25E2%2580%259D-great-b-movie-fun.html “Criminal” Great B-Movie Fun
It would be hard to defend Ariel Vromen’s Criminal so I’m not going to try.  Right off the bat I will admit the film’s premise is something akin to what you’d find in a sci-fi comic bo...]]>
"Next Cut" a Welcome Reunion http://illinoistimes.com/article-17097-next-cut-a-welcome-reunion.html "Next Cut" a Welcome Reunion
 What with 12 years having passed since the release of Barbershop 2: Back in Business, one would think that the “sell by” date for yet another sequel to Ice Cube’s surprise 2002 hit would...]]>
Quiet “Midnight Special” a Unique Sci-Fi Tale http://illinoistimes.com/article-17096-quiet-%25E2%2580%259Cmidnight-special%25E2%2580%259D-a-unique-sci-fi-tale.html Quiet “Midnight Special” a Unique Sci-Fi Tale
Jeff Nichols is a director who doesn’t have to raise his voice in order to make a dramatic point.  One look at his excellent 2011 thriller Take Shelter, and you see a filmmaker out of step w...]]>
"Wedding 2" Keeps Things Bland, Safe http://illinoistimes.com/article-17028-wedding-2-keeps-things-bland-safe.html "Wedding 2" Keeps Things Bland, Safe
Why some movies are successful at the box office and others aren’t has always fascinated me, particularly those that have very low budgets yet go on to gross ridiculous sums of money.  A pri...]]>
Gavin Hood Tackles the Vagaries of Modern Warfare with “Eye in the Sky” http://illinoistimes.com/article-17029-gavin-hood-tackles-the-vagaries-of-modern-warfare-with-%25E2%2580%259Ceye-in-the-sky%25E2%2580%259D.html Gavin Hood Tackles the Vagaries of Modern Warfare with “Eye in the Sky”
Having made a film about a youth gang leader in Johannesburg (Tsotsi, winner of the 2006 Oscar for Best Foreign Film), a questionable interrogation process used by the United States (Rendition), a r...]]>
Rauch Takes the Reins with “The Bronze” http://illinoistimes.com/article-16956-rauch-takes-the-reins-with-%25E2%2580%259Cthe-bronze%25E2%2580%259D.html Rauch Takes the Reins with “The Bronze”
And to think, it all started with a free pretzel. Inspiration can come from the most unexpected of places and that was certainly the case with Melissa Rauch and her husband Winston who, years ago...]]>
Convoluted Plot Sinks “Triple 9” http://illinoistimes.com/article-16875-convoluted-plot-sinks-%25E2%2580%259Ctriple-9%25E2%2580%259D.html Convoluted Plot Sinks “Triple 9”
If you’ve ever found yourself caught up in a game of Three Card Monte, you’ll have some idea of what sitting through John Hillcoat’s Triple 9 is like. Simultaneously over-plotted yet full of ho...]]>
Oscar Nominated Live Action Short Films http://illinoistimes.com/article-16847-oscar-nominated-live-action-short-films.html Oscar Nominated Live Action Short Films
 Ave Maria (Palestine/France/Germany) – Taking place on Palestine’s West Bank, a Israeli family’s car runs off the road and crashes into a convent where five nuns who have taken a vow of...]]>
"Ride Along 2" Fires Nothing but Blanks http://illinoistimes.com/article-16684-ride-along-2-fires-nothing-but-blanks.html "Ride Along 2" Fires Nothing but Blanks
There’s a moment in the needless but seemingly obligatory Ride Along 2 in which everything clicks.  Reluctant partners and pending brothers-in-law James (Ice Cube) and Ben (Kevin Hart) are in...]]>
Thrills aplenty but Logic AWOL in “Point Break” http://illinoistimes.com/article-16656-thrills-aplenty-but-logic-awol-in-%25E2%2580%259Cpoint-break%25E2%2580%259D.html Thrills aplenty but Logic AWOL in “Point Break”
Surprisingly, there’s something of an intriguing story propelling Ericson Core’s remake of Kathryn Bigelow’s cult action flick Point Break, a movie that, despite it’s many fans, isn’t abov...]]>
“Daddy’s” a Funny Look at Bad Parenting http://illinoistimes.com/article-16630-%25E2%2580%259Cdaddy%25E2%2580%2599s%25E2%2580%259D-a-funny-look-at-bad-parenting.html “Daddy’s” a Funny Look at Bad Parenting
Obviously, director Sean Anders and his crew are well-aware they’re not on the road to creating something akin to Citizen Kane when they set out to make a movie like Daddy’s Home.  I w...]]>
“Creed” Finds New Life in Old Formula http://illinoistimes.com/article-16503-%25E2%2580%259Ccreed%25E2%2580%259D-finds-new-life-in-old-formula.html “Creed” Finds New Life in Old Formula
 As with any movie in the Rocky series, you pretty much know what you’re getting with Ryan Coogler’s Creed, a clever offshoot to the seemingly unstoppable boxing franchise that Sylvester St...]]>
Lawrence Salvages “Mockingjay – Part 2” http://illinoistimes.com/article-16412-lawrence-salvages-%25E2%2580%259Cmockingjay-%25E2%2580%2593-part-2%25E2%2580%259D.html Lawrence Salvages “Mockingjay – Part 2”
And so it finally comes to an end, as Francis Lawrence’s Mockingjay-Part 2 brings the curtain down on the big-screen adaptations of Suzanne Collins’ cash cow The Hunger Games. Those who have...]]>
"All-American" Drowns in Schmaltz http://illinoistimes.com/article-16407-all-american-drowns-in-schmaltz.html "All-American" Drowns in Schmaltz
Angelo Pizzo’s My All-American is a movie with the best of intentions, most of them presented in a manner that would be better suited to a film from the 1950’s. All of the characters here have t...]]>
"Peanuts" a Pleasant Greatest Hits Affair http://illinoistimes.com/article-16408-peanuts-a-pleasant-greatest-hits-affair.html "Peanuts" a Pleasant Greatest Hits Affair
Within the first ten minutes of Steve Martino’s The Peanuts Movie, we are re-introduced to all of the key characters in Charles Schulz’s universe, Charlie Brown has been upended on the pitcher�...]]>
“Burnt” Can’t Spice Up Familiar Recipe http://illinoistimes.com/article-16352-%25E2%2580%259Cburnt%25E2%2580%259D-can%25E2%2580%2599t-spice-up-familiar-recipe.html “Burnt” Can’t Spice Up Familiar Recipe
Much like its main character, John Wells’ Burnt dares you to like it.  Composed of familiar plot points and revolving around a truly unsympathetic character,...]]>
“Jobs” a Compelling Portrait of a Clueless Genius http://illinoistimes.com/article-16319-%25E2%2580%259Cjobs%25E2%2580%259D-a-compelling-portrait-of-a-clueless-genius.html “Jobs” a Compelling Portrait of a Clueless Genius
We’re attracted to biographies because we’re fascinated with what makes the famous and infamous tick.  Problem is, due to limitations of both the literary and film mediums, we’re destine...]]>
“Malala” a Compelling but Incomplete Portrait http://illinoistimes.com/article-16252-%25E2%2580%259Cmalala%25E2%2580%259D-a-compelling-but-incomplete-portrait.html “Malala” a Compelling but Incomplete Portrait
You can’t help but be humbled while watching Davis Guggenheim’s He Named Me Malala, his new documentary that focuses on the experiences of Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani woman was thrust...]]>
“Martian” a Predictable but Entertaining Adventure http://illinoistimes.com/article-16223-%25E2%2580%259Cmartian%25E2%2580%259D-a-predictable-but-entertaining-adventure.html “Martian” a Predictable but Entertaining Adventure
The buzz surrounding Ridley Scott’s The Martian is the sort one associates with Oscar-winning productions and films ultimately referred to as “classics.”  As I’ve often told my son, sa...]]>
Sicario Barely Survives Flawed Third Act http://illinoistimes.com/article-16224-sicario-barely-survives-flawed-third-act.html Sicario Barely Survives Flawed Third Act
Adept at creating a sense of oppressive dread and fascinated with characters forced to compromise their morality, director Denis Villeneuve isn’t one to shy away from films that deal with issues o...]]>
Format Smothers Emotion in Cold “Everest” http://illinoistimes.com/article-16194-format-smothers-emotion-in-cold-%25E2%2580%259Ceverest%25E2%2580%259D.html Format Smothers Emotion in Cold “Everest”
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Baltasar Kormakur’s Everest is that I watched it with a sense of fascination rather than emotional engagement.  This account of an ill-fated expedition...]]>
“Scorch Trials” a Long, Slow Trek http://illinoistimes.com/article-16195-%25E2%2580%259Cscorch-trials%25E2%2580%259D-a-long-slow-trek.html “Scorch Trials” a Long, Slow Trek
Though dystopia fatigue may have had something to do with it, I couldn’t help but come away from The Scorch Trials, the adaptation of the second novel in the Maze Runner series, feeling weary.&nbs...]]>
"American Ultra" Half-Baked http://illinoistimes.com/article-16043-american-ultra-half-baked.html "American Ultra" Half-Baked
Nima Nourizadeh’s American Ultra isn’t necessarily a bad movie as much as it’s a production made with a script that needed another rewrite.  This is a “close, but no cigar” kind of a...]]>
“Sinister 2” Lacks Direction http://illinoistimes.com/article-16044-%25E2%2580%259Csinister-2%25E2%2580%259D-lacks-direction.html “Sinister 2” Lacks Direction
Some sequels are a complete waste of time and Sinister 2 is surely one of those.  If there is a logical way to continue a story or if a series of films have been planned and each segment moves ...]]>
Allen’s “Irrational Man” Familiar but Fine http://illinoistimes.com/article-15984-allen%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%259Cirrational-man%25E2%2580%259D-familiar-but-fine.html Allen’s “Irrational Man” Familiar but Fine
One thing you have to say about Woody Allen is that he’s consistent in the themes that he deals with in his films.  Existential angst, infidelity, the curse of the intellectual and guilt are ...]]>
“Ricki” Missing a Few Key Notes http://illinoistimes.com/article-15985-%25E2%2580%259Cricki%25E2%2580%259D-missing-a-few-key-notes.html “Ricki” Missing a Few Key Notes
Add playing an aging rock star and being able to deliver a mean guitar lick to Meryl Steep’s impressive resume as she’s required to do both in her latest, Ricki and the Flash, a fun movie as far...]]>