IllinoisTimes - Cinemascoping http://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-141-1-cinemascoping.html Tue, 01 Sep 15 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 "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...]]>
Stunts Anchor “Rogue Nation” http://illinoistimes.com/article-15961-stunts-anchor-%25E2%2580%259Crogue-nation%25E2%2580%259D.html Stunts Anchor “Rogue Nation”
Paramount Pictures has been very aggressive in promoting Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, moving it forward from its original Christmas Day release date and having much of the advanced publicity foc...]]>
"Paper Towns" - Paper Thin http://illinoistimes.com/article-15962-paper-towns-paper-thin.html "Paper Towns" - Paper Thin
While I may be running the risk of courting the wrath of young adult lit lovers everywhere, I am honor bound to be honest in all of my reviews.  As such, I must say that I hated, I mean hated ...]]>
“Amy” a Devastating, Moving Tribute to a Lost Soul http://illinoistimes.com/article-15891-%25E2%2580%259Camy%25E2%2580%259D-a-devastating-moving-tribute-to-a-lost-soul.html “Amy” a Devastating, Moving Tribute to a Lost Soul
What makes Asif Kapadia’s documentary Amy so remarkable - and ultimately so devastating - is the vast number of video resources the filmmaker is able to pull from in order to construct this powerful...]]>
Three True Friends Bring Life to http://illinoistimes.com/article-15826-three-true-friends-bring-life-to.html Three True Friends Bring Life to
The premiere of Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s Me and Earl and the Dying Girl at this year’s Sundance Film Festival proved once more that, as with most things in life, timing is everything.  This quir...]]>
No Shortage of New Ideas in "Terminator Genisys" http://illinoistimes.com/article-15799-no-shortage-of-new-ideas-in-terminator-genisys.html No Shortage of New Ideas in "Terminator Genisys"
Never before has the phrase “Everything old, is new again,” been more prevalent at the movies than it is right now. This year alone has seen the return of Mad Max and the latest installment o...]]>
Church Intent on Telling Dog Soldiers' Tale in "Max" http://illinoistimes.com/article-15795-church-intent-on-telling-dog-soldiers-tale-in-max.html Church Intent on Telling Dog Soldiers' Tale in "Max"
 To say that Thomas Haden Church is enthusiastic about his new film Max is an understatement akin to saying the dogs in the movie worked kinda hard.  A familiar face on TV and in m...]]>
All Bark, No Bite in "Max" http://illinoistimes.com/article-15796-all-bark-no-bite-in-max.html All Bark, No Bite in "Max"
Patriotism is a hard thing to convey on the screen. One degree too much in either direction, and your film can come off as overtly political or insincere. Boaz Yakin's Max makes no bones about i...]]>
Pointed Social Agenda Elevates "Dope" http://illinoistimes.com/article-15797-pointed-social-agenda-elevates-dope.html Pointed Social Agenda Elevates "Dope"
Director Rick Famuyiwa has made no bones about the fact that his latest feature, Dope, is based on the Tom Cruise coming-of-age classic Risky Business. Like Joel Goodsen in that film, his hero is...]]>
Two Sides of McCarthy on Display in “Spy” http://illinoistimes.com/article-15629-two-sides-of-mccarthy-on-display-in-%25E2%2580%259Cspy%25E2%2580%259D.html Two Sides of McCarthy on Display in “Spy”
What makes Melissa McCarthy’s such an effective comedienne is her two-pronged attack where getting laughs are concerned.  One the one hand, she can be the sweet, not-so-confident bumbler who ne...]]>
“Poltergeist” a Worthy Update of Horror Classic http://illinoistimes.com/article-15562-%25E2%2580%259Cpoltergeist%25E2%2580%259D-a-worthy-update-of-horror-classic.html “Poltergeist” a Worthy Update of Horror Classic
Unlike the unwanted, supernatural characters at its core, director Gil Kenan’s Poltergeist does not overstay its welcome.  Playing somewhat like a Cliff’s Notes version of the Tobe Hooper/S...]]>
“Tomorrowland’s” Good Intentions Can’t Overcome Faulty Script http://illinoistimes.com/article-15563-%25E2%2580%259Ctomorrowland%25E2%2580%2599s%25E2%2580%259D-good-intentions-can%25E2%2580%2599t-overcome-faulty-script.html “Tomorrowland’s” Good Intentions Can’t Overcome Faulty Script
If good intentions were all that was necessary in making a good movie, Brad Bird’s “Tomorrowland” would be considered an instant classic.  As written by Damon Lindelof and the director, ...]]>
Schwarzenegger, Breslin Strive to Bring Life to “Maggie” http://illinoistimes.com/article-15496-schwarzenegger-breslin-strive-to-bring-life-to-%25E2%2580%259Cmaggie%25E2%2580%259D.html Schwarzenegger, Breslin Strive to Bring Life to “Maggie”
Since giving up on California politics, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to the big screen has failed to generate the sort of box office success his earlier work had.  Cameos in Sylvester Stal...]]>
Daring “D Train” Worth the Ride http://illinoistimes.com/article-15470-daring-%25E2%2580%259Cd-train%25E2%2580%259D-worth-the-ride.html Daring “D Train” Worth the Ride
During its first weekend in release, Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul’s The D Train made $447, 524 at 1,009 locations.  That breaks down to $444 per screen. This is no surprise as the film contai...]]>
“Adaline” Enchants Despite Lack of Chemistry http://illinoistimes.com/article-15408-%25E2%2580%259Cadaline%25E2%2580%259D-enchants-despite-lack-of-chemistry.html “Adaline” Enchants Despite Lack of Chemistry
When Casablanca comes to mind, you think of Rick and Ilsa.  When Wuthering Heights is mentioned, you immediately think of Heathcliff and Cathy. When The Notebook is on, you’re immediately suc...]]>
A Ghost in the Machine Haunts “Unfriended” http://illinoistimes.com/article-15407-a-ghost-in-the-machine-haunts-%25E2%2580%259Cunfriended%25E2%2580%259D.html A Ghost in the Machine Haunts “Unfriended”
While I certainly wouldn’t want to watch many movies like Levan Gabriadze’s Unfriended, a film that consists of one long take of a computer screen that constantly reconfigures itself depending o...]]>
Lying and its Ramifications the Focus of "True Story" http://illinoistimes.com/article-15375-lying-and-its-ramifications-the-focus-of-true-story.html Lying and its Ramifications the Focus of "True Story"
In December 2001, Christian Longo murdered his wife and three children.  The two oldest, four year-old Zachary and three year-old Sadie, were thrown into the freezing waters of Lint Slough in ...]]>
"Follows" Fails to Follow Through http://illinoistimes.com/article-15277-follows-fails-to-follow-through.html "Follows" Fails to Follow Through
A great deal of buzz has sprung up around David Robert Mitchell’s independent horror film It Follows and it’s easy to see why.  The director successfully creates an atmosphere of dread that...]]>
No Resurrecting “Lazarus Effect” http://illinoistimes.com/article-15189-no-resurrecting-%25E2%2580%259Clazarus-effect%25E2%2580%259D.html No Resurrecting “Lazarus Effect”
I suppose it’s a prerequisite that characters in horror films have never seen any horror films themselves.  If they did, then they would know better than to go into the dark house, venture into the creepy woods at night or pick up the hitchhiker at the side of the road.]]>
Smith Slick, Robbie Bright in “Focus” http://illinoistimes.com/article-15160-smith-slick-robbie-bright-in-%25E2%2580%259Cfocus%25E2%2580%259D.html Smith Slick, Robbie Bright in “Focus”
Midway through his new feature Focus.  Will Smith’s given the self-reflective line of dialogue, “I still got it.” That his character, con man extraordinaire Nicky Spurgeon, is face down d...]]>
Moore’s Honesty Sustains “Alice” http://illinoistimes.com/article-15130-moore%25E2%2580%2599s-honesty-sustains-%25E2%2580%259Calice%25E2%2580%259D.html Moore’s Honesty Sustains “Alice”
 Alice Howland knows that she’s living on borrowed time.  She’s well aware of what fate awaits her having been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and seeing those whose m...]]>
Oscar-Nominated Shorts an Eclectic Mix of International Visions http://illinoistimes.com/article-15131-oscar-nominated-shorts-an-eclectic-mix-of-international-visions.html Oscar-Nominated Shorts an Eclectic Mix of International Visions
 Animated Shorts - The five nominated films to be shown vary in quality but are overall a solid bunch.  Canada’s charming Me and My Moulton concerns three dissatisfied sisters who...]]>
"Whiplash" Follows the Beat of its Own Drum http://illinoistimes.com/article-15021-whiplash-follows-the-beat-of-its-own-drum.html "Whiplash" Follows the Beat of its Own Drum
“There are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘Good job.’ ” So says Terence Fletcher, instructor at the Shaeffer Conservatory of Music, a master manipulator whose sole...]]>
Despite Aniston's Fine Work, "Cake" Half-Baked http://illinoistimes.com/article-15020-despite-anistons-fine-work-cake-half-baked.html Despite Aniston's Fine Work, "Cake" Half-Baked
The role of Claire Bennett in Daniel Barnz’s “Cake” is one performers love to see come their way.  The character is sympathetic, is required to deliver biting crowd-pleasing bits of dial...]]>
2015 Oscar Nominations: Snubs and Surprises Aplenty http://illinoistimes.com/article-14985-2015-oscar-nominations-snubs-and-surprises-aplenty.html 2015 Oscar Nominations: Snubs and Surprises Aplenty
 It’s an annual rite in Hollywood. If you’re part of the film industry, you wait by the phone in the wee morning hours on the second Thursday in January as Oscar nominations are announced at...]]>
“Taken 3” and Neeson Running on Empty http://illinoistimes.com/article-14960-%25E2%2580%259Ctaken-3%25E2%2580%259D-and-neeson-running-on-empty.html “Taken 3” and Neeson Running on Empty
It’s hardly surprising that an air of weariness hangs over Taken as the third entry in any most any franchise starts to look ragged around the edges.  However, what’s most surprising is jus...]]>
Patience Required to Appreciate Anderson’s “Vice” http://illinoistimes.com/article-14936-patience-required-to-appreciate-anderson%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%259Cvice%25E2%2580%259D.html Patience Required to Appreciate Anderson’s “Vice”
 “There’s this guy…” It’s been my experience that any time someone uses that phrase, trouble is in the offing.  That’s certainly the case i...]]>