IllinoisTimes - Cinemascoping http://illinoistimes.com/blogs.sec-141-1-cinemascoping.html Wed, 04 Mar 15 00:00:00 -0600 en hourly 1 Smith Slick, Robbie Bright in “Focus” http://illinoistimes.com/blog-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/blog-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/blog-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/blog-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/blog-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/blog-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/blog-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/blog-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...]]>
Franco Shines in Lackluster "Interview" http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14925-franco-shines-in-lackluster-interview.html Franco Shines in Lackluster "Interview"
All that trouble for this… I’m sure I’m not the only one who was hoping that Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogan’s The Interview would be, if not a groundbreaki...]]>
Redmayne and Jones Bring Heart and Soul to “Everything” http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14773-redmayne-and-jones-bring-heart-and-soul-to-%25E2%2580%259Ceverything%25E2%2580%259D.html Redmayne and Jones Bring Heart and Soul to “Everything”
James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything is a noble endeavor, an effort to portray theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking’s refusal to be completely silenced by the debilitating neuromuscular disea...]]>
Lawrence’s Conviction Saves Overlong “Mockingjay” http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14743-lawrence%25E2%2580%2599s-conviction-saves-overlong-%25E2%2580%259Cmockingjay%25E2%2580%259D.html Lawrence’s Conviction Saves Overlong “Mockingjay”
So here we have it, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -Part 1, the final chapter in the saga of Katniss Everdeen, Suzanne Collin’s dynamic archer-turned-rebel who’s become a symbol of power for ‘twe...]]>
“Dumb 2” a Surprisingly Dull Affair http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14744-%25E2%2580%259Cdumb-2%25E2%2580%259D-a-surprisingly-dull-affair.html “Dumb 2” a Surprisingly Dull Affair
It comes as no surprise that Dumb and Dumber To was the number one movie at the box office during its opening weekend.  Fans have been clamoring to see more of Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne�...]]>
“Big Hero 6” Can’t Break the Mold http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14713-%25E2%2580%259Cbig-hero-6%25E2%2580%259D-can%25E2%2580%2599t-break-the-mold.html “Big Hero 6” Can’t Break the Mold
I’m not sure who’s going to conquer the world first – Disney or Apple.  (If they ever merge and begin calling themselves Skynet then we’re all doomed.)  The Mouse House’s latest ...]]>
Gyllenhaal Continues to Impress in Nightcrawler http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14682-gyllenhaal-continues-to-impress-in-nightcrawler.html Gyllenhaal Continues to Impress in Nightcrawler
Having lost 30 pounds before filming Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler, Jake Gyllenhaal has a reptilian appearance in the film.  It suits his character well as Lou Bloom is as coldblooded as they com...]]>
“Before” not as clever as it needs to be http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14683-%25E2%2580%259Cbefore%25E2%2580%259D-not-as-clever-as-it-needs-to-be.html “Before” not as clever as it needs to be
 I’ve often wondered why directors attempt to follow in the steps of Alfred Hitchcock.  Having nearly singlehandedly created the paranoid thriller, modern filmmakers unwisely invite com...]]>
Nolan’s Vision Exceeds His Grasp in “Interstellar” http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14656-nolan%25E2%2580%2599s-vision-exceeds-his-grasp-in-%25E2%2580%259Cinterstellar%25E2%2580%259D.html Nolan’s Vision Exceeds His Grasp in “Interstellar”
If Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is nothing else, it is ambitious – ambitious with a capital “A” – to the tune of $165 million, a gamble so large that despite the director’s proven su...]]>
“Men” Tripped up by Obvious Intentions http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14600-%25E2%2580%259Cmen%25E2%2580%259D-tripped-up-by-obvious-intentions.html “Men” Tripped up by Obvious Intentions
If director Jason Reitman wants you to take anything away from his new film Men, Women and Children, it’s the knowledge that the internet is a very bad thing, I mean a REALLY bad thing, an awful, ...]]>
“Alexander” an Effective Reminder of Our Blessings http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14601-%25E2%2580%259Calexander%25E2%2580%259D-an-effective-reminder-of-our-blessings.html “Alexander” an Effective Reminder of Our Blessings
We’ve all had them, those days when, not only do things go badly, but circumstances occur that are so outlandish, so catastrophic that we can’t possibly understand how they came to be.  Th...]]>
“Dracula: Untold” a Worthy Addition to Vampire’s History http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14602-%25E2%2580%259Cdracula-untold%25E2%2580%259D-a-worthy-addition-to-vampire%25E2%2580%2599s-history.html “Dracula: Untold” a Worthy Addition to Vampire’s History
Other than Sherlock Holmes, Dracula has graced the silver screen more than any other fictional character.  With that being the case, do we really need another movie featuring the cursed count ...]]>
Downey Jr. and Duvall Struggle Mightily to save “Judge” http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14603-downey-jr-and-duvall-struggle-mightily-to-save-%25E2%2580%259Cjudge%25E2%2580%259D.html Downey Jr. and Duvall Struggle Mightily to save “Judge”
David Dobkin’s The Judge is a movie that has one thing and one thing only on its mind – to make its star Robert Downey Jr. look good.  This should come as no surprise as this is the first ...]]>
Bland http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14454-bland.html Bland
Being harshly critical of a movie like Charlie Martin Smith’s A Dolphin Tale 2 is akin to kicking a puppy that’s been chewing on your shoes in the teeth.  Yes, corrective measures should b...]]>
"Below" a Cut Above Standard Horror Fare http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14398-below-a-cut-above-standard-horror-fare.html "Below" a Cut Above Standard Horror Fare
On the surface, John Erik Dowdle’s As Above, So Below appears to be a typical horror movie populated with stereotypes stuck in an all-too familiar situation.  However, it quickly becomes appar...]]>
Familiarity Makes http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14395-familiarity-makes.html Familiarity Makes
More times than not, there’s a recurring problem where most faith-based movies are concerned – they’re often less-than subtle in delivering their message, which is ironic because for the most...]]>
Chuck's Classic Movie Picks 8/25 - 8/31 http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14368-chucks-classic-movie-picks-8_25-8_31.html Chuck's Classic Movie Picks 8/25 - 8/31
Classic Pick of the Week - The Magnificent Ambersons  (1942) Orson Welles was more than up to the task of following up Citizen Kane (1941) as he planned to ...]]>
“Stay” a Dismal Example of Modern Storytelling http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14364-%25E2%2580%259Cstay%25E2%2580%259D-a-dismal-example-of-modern-storytelling.html “Stay” a Dismal Example of Modern Storytelling
R.J. Cutler’s If I Stay is pitched squarely to teenage girls, of which I am not, who are susceptible to melodramatic plots and doomed love stories.  Though I fall firmly out of this demograp...]]>
"The Giver" Still a Cut Above Rivals http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14339-the-giver-still-a-cut-above-rivals.html "The Giver" Still a Cut Above Rivals
As the old saying goes, timing is everything and Philip Noyce’s adaptation of Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver is suffering from being a bit too late to the party w...]]>
Chuck's Classic Movie Picks 8/18-8/24 http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14336-chucks-classic-movie-picks-8_18-8_24.html Chuck's Classic Movie Picks 8/18-8/24
  Tuesday – August 19th – One of Clint Eastwood’s most overlooked and underrated films in recent years, Hereafter (2010), airs on FXM at 11:00 pm. Tackling a fractured n...]]>
Hoffman’s Power on Full Display in http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14333-hoffman%25E2%2580%2599s-power-on-full-display-in.html Hoffman’s Power on Full Display in
It’s been a rough year where deaths in the world of film are concerned. While we acknowledge their passing and recognize the inherent misfortune that accompanies these events, we only begin to rec...]]>
"Cops" Familiar but Fun http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14327-cops-familiar-but-fun.html "Cops" Familiar but Fun
 I often tell people where popular movies are concerned – “Keep your expectations low and you might end be pleasantly surprised.”  Such is the case with Let’s be Cops, a goofy b...]]>
"Expendables 3" Too Familiar to Thrill http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14328-expendables-3-too-familiar-to-thrill.html "Expendables 3" Too Familiar to Thrill
 Having now sat through three Expendables movies, I can safely say that this is the most predictable franchise in film history. Nothing, and I mean nothing comes as a surprise in Sylves...]]>