IllinoisTimes - Cinemascoping http://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-141-1-cinemascoping.html Thu, 29 Sep 16 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 Berg Too Close for Comfort with “Horizon” http://illinoistimes.com/article-17765-berg-too-close-for-comfort-with-%25E2%2580%259Chorizon%25E2%2580%259D.html Berg Too Close for Comfort with “Horizon”
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon, a semi-submersible offshore oil drilling rig suffered a catastrophic disaster when high pressure sent thousands of gallons of oil into the air when a system...]]>
Stone’s “Snowden” Engaging Agitprop http://illinoistimes.com/article-17741-stone%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%259Csnowden%25E2%2580%259D-engaging-agitprop.html Stone’s “Snowden” Engaging Agitprop
As with most of Oliver Stone’s fact-based movies, Snowden is a work that needs to be taken with a grain of salt.  Fascinating and frightening, the film sets out to give the title character’s...]]>
Dull “Witch” Pales Next to Original http://illinoistimes.com/article-17742-dull-%25E2%2580%259Cwitch%25E2%2580%259D-pales-next-to-original.html Dull “Witch” Pales Next to Original
For some inexplicable reason, director Adam Wingard has gained the reputation of being some sort of horror craftsman among aficionados of the genre.  Based on his previous work (V/H/S, You’r...]]>
Conviction Propels “Oceans” http://illinoistimes.com/article-17653-conviction-propels-%25E2%2580%259Coceans%25E2%2580%259D.html Conviction Propels “Oceans”
Where The Light Between Oceans is concerned, you have to give director Derek Cianfrance and his cast credit – they’re fully committed to making the audience weep and will go to any length to mak...]]>
Been There, Done That with "Morgan" http://illinoistimes.com/article-17654-been-there-done-that-with-morgan.html Been There, Done That with "Morgan"
The antecedents to Luke Scott’s “Morgan” are many – Frankenstein, A.I., Lucy, Ex Machina – so much so that we should simply regard this movie as yet another variation on the ...]]>
Well-Written “Southside” a Compelling Love Story http://illinoistimes.com/article-17647-well-written-%25E2%2580%259Csouthside%25E2%2580%259D-a-compelling-love-story.html Well-Written “Southside” a Compelling Love Story
Surprisingly engaging, Richard Tanne’s Southside with You recounts the fateful first date between Barack Obama and his future wife Michelle Robinson, which occurred on one very long afternoon and e...]]>
Beautiful “Kubo” Speaks to All Ages http://illinoistimes.com/article-17650-beautiful-%25E2%2580%259Ckubo%25E2%2580%259D-speaks-to-all-ages.html Beautiful “Kubo” Speaks to All Ages
Poignantly told and beautifully rendered, Travis Knight’s Kubo and the Two Strings may be the most striking film in a landmark year for movie animation.  Containing elements from Japanese fol...]]>
Alvarez and Lang Respond to the Challenges of “Don’t Breathe” http://illinoistimes.com/article-17611-alvarez-and-lang-respond-to-the-challenges-of-%25E2%2580%259Cdon%25E2%2580%2599t-breathe%25E2%2580%259D.html Alvarez and Lang Respond to the Challenges of “Don’t Breathe”
Having helmed a remake of Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead which was greeted with either great derision or unbridled admiration, director Fede Alvarez decided he would take his time before embarking on h...]]>
Muddled Execution Hobbles “Hur” http://illinoistimes.com/article-17612-muddled-execution-hobbles-%25E2%2580%259Chur%25E2%2580%259D.html Muddled Execution Hobbles “Hur”
It’s a testament to the novel by Lew Wallace that the power of Ben-Hur cannot be completely obscured by shoddy filmmaking.  That was my take away after sitting through the sixth screen versio...]]>
Just Enough Magic Keeps “Dragon” Afloat http://illinoistimes.com/article-17584-just-enough-magic-keeps-%25E2%2580%259Cdragon%25E2%2580%259D-afloat.html Just Enough Magic Keeps “Dragon” Afloat
I went into David Lowery’s Pete’s Dragon skeptical about what it had to offer; little did I know that this frame of mind would be in keeping with that of many in the movie itself.  This re...]]>
“Big Bang’s” Simon Helberg Rubs Shoulders with Movie Heavyweights in “Jenkins.” http://illinoistimes.com/article-17540-%25E2%2580%259Cbig-bang%25E2%2580%2599s%25E2%2580%259D-simon-helberg-rubs-shoulders-with-movie-heavyweights-in-%25E2%2580%259Cjenkins%25E2%2580%259D.html “Big Bang’s” Simon Helberg Rubs Shoulders with Movie Heavyweights in “Jenkins.”
Thanks to the phenomenal success of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, Simon Helberg is a familiar face in millions of homes around the world.  As Howard Wolowitz, the luckiest engineer in the world ...]]>
“Café” Familiar but Fine http://illinoistimes.com/article-17538-%25E2%2580%259Ccafe%25E2%2580%259D-familiar-but-fine.html “Café” Familiar but Fine
There’s nothing really new where Woody Allen’s 48th film, Café Society is concerned and that’s fine.  While other directors are certainly guilty of covering the same ground more than onc...]]>
Scattered “Bourne” a High-Tech Headache http://illinoistimes.com/article-17539-scattered-%25E2%2580%259Cbourne%25E2%2580%259D-a-high-tech-headache.html Scattered “Bourne” a High-Tech Headache
There’s not much to Jason Bourne, the fifth entry in Universal Pictures’ spy franchise.  To be sure, it resembles a movie and passes as an action film by today’s standards, which is pret...]]>
“Beyond” Delivers Good, Not Great “Trek” http://illinoistimes.com/article-17516-%25E2%2580%259Cbeyond%25E2%2580%259D-delivers-good-not-great-%25E2%2580%259Ctrek%25E2%2580%259D.html “Beyond” Delivers Good, Not Great “Trek”
There’s never a moment where you feel as though the Star Trek crew is going through the motions in their latest big screen adventures Star Trek Beyond, though there is a sense of familiarity to it ...]]>
“Ghostbusters” Reboot a Pleasant Surprise http://illinoistimes.com/article-17463-%25E2%2580%259Cghostbusters%25E2%2580%259D-reboot-a-pleasant-surprise.html “Ghostbusters” Reboot a Pleasant Surprise
I’ve never made any bones about not liking the original Ghostbusters. While many of my generation have proclaimed it a comedy classic, I always saw it as a lumbering movie that was hijacked b...]]>
“Pets” Could Use Some Discipline http://illinoistimes.com/article-17440-%25E2%2580%259Cpets%25E2%2580%259D-could-use-some-discipline.html “Pets” Could Use Some Discipline
Much like a puppy you bring into your home, there are things to like about The Secret Life of Pets and some…well, not so much.  Yep, it’s cute, charming and fun for a little while but then ...]]>
“BFG” An Empty Exercise http://illinoistimes.com/article-17417-%25E2%2580%259Cbfg%25E2%2580%259D-an-empty-exercise.html “BFG” An Empty Exercise
Box office pundits spent a great deal of time wondering this week why Steven Spielberg’s The BFG tanked during its opening weekend at the box office. (For the record, it brought in $19 million aga...]]>
Timely “Purge” A Pointed Reflection of Our Times http://illinoistimes.com/article-17418-timely-%25E2%2580%259Cpurge%25E2%2580%259D-a-pointed-reflection-of-our-times.html Timely “Purge” A Pointed Reflection of Our Times
There’s always been an obvious social/political subtext in James DeMonaco’s Purge films. Regrettably, our country has come to the edge of enacting the sort of severe class politics these movies...]]>
“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...]]>