IllinoisTimes - Cinemascoping http://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-141-1-cinemascoping.html Thu, 11 Feb 16 00:00:00 -0600 en hourly 1 "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...]]>
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...]]>