IllinoisTimes - Cinemascoping http://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-141-1-cinemascoping.html Wed, 24 Aug 16 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 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...]]>
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...]]>