IllinoisTimes - Cinemascoping http://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-141-1-cinemascoping.html Thu, 30 Jun 16 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 “Resurgence” A Bloated Piece of Nothing http://illinoistimes.com/article-17410-%25E2%2580%259Cresurgence%25E2%2580%259D-a-bloated-piece-of-nothing.html “Resurgence” A Bloated Piece of Nothing
As far as I know, there was no great demand for a sequel to “Independence Day” and what with the many financial successes in his past, I can’t imagine that its director Roland Emmerich is in n...]]>
“Shallows” Dead in the Water http://illinoistimes.com/article-17411-%25E2%2580%259Cshallows%25E2%2580%259D-dead-in-the-water.html “Shallows” Dead in the Water
Some films are half-baked from the start and never get around to fully developing what could be a worthy premise. Jaume Collet-Serra’s The Shallows certainly falls in that category as it leaves the...]]>
“Lobster” Humorously Challenges Our Notion of Love http://illinoistimes.com/article-17330-%25E2%2580%259Clobster%25E2%2580%259D-humorously-challenges-our-notion-of-love.html “Lobster” Humorously Challenges Our Notion of Love
By its very nature, falling in love is a transformative act.  The newly besotted tends to look at life, themselves and others in a myriad of different ways when Cupid’s arrow finds its mark....]]>
Wan Returns to Frighten Once More with "Conjuring 2" http://illinoistimes.com/article-17331-wan-returns-to-frighten-once-more-with-conjuring-2.html Wan Returns to Frighten Once More with "Conjuring 2"
His considerable talent wasted on Furious 7, director James Wan is back in familiar territory with The Conjuring 2,  an effective if overlong thriller that contains many of the elements that ha...]]>
Deft, Wry “Love and Friendship” a Comic Delight http://illinoistimes.com/article-17332-deft-wry-%25E2%2580%259Clove-and-friendship%25E2%2580%259D-a-comic-delight.html Deft, Wry “Love and Friendship” a Comic Delight
Without question, Lady Susan is a woman to be reckoned with.  Sly, coy, flirtatious, gorgeous, she’s a master manipulator, adept at playing the victim whenever it suits her; she has no probl...]]>
Singer Continues to Entertain, Challenge with “Apocalypse” http://illinoistimes.com/article-17277-singer-continues-to-entertain-challenge-with-%25E2%2580%259Capocalypse%25E2%2580%259D.html Singer Continues to Entertain, Challenge with “Apocalypse”
Having already brought in $103 million overseas, Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse hits the states with a full head of steam at the box office and, curiously, a myriad of middling reviews.  Wh...]]>
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...]]>