IllinoisTimes - Film - Chuck Koplinski http://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-32-1-film-chuck-koplinski.html Thu, 18 Dec 14 00:00:00 -0600 en hourly 1 Foxx and company flounder in bland Annie http://illinoistimes.com/article-14841-foxx-and-company-flounder-in-bland-annie.html Foxx and company flounder in bland Annie
 Whenever someone decides to tinker with a classic I can’t help but be a bit skeptical about the entire affair. Such is the case with Annie, “a modern re-imagining of a beloved musical” acc...]]>
Spectacle, redemption propel Exodus http://illinoistimes.com/article-14815-spectacle-redemption-propel-exodus.html Spectacle, redemption propel Exodus
 Director Ridley Scott is no stranger to bringing epic visions to the screen. From the sci-fi sagas Blade Runner and Prometheus to the grand ancient tales Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven, the fil...]]>
Bosses 2 a surprising improvement http://illinoistimes.com/article-14785-bosses-2-a-surprising-improvement.html Bosses 2 a surprising improvement
 Though superhero films are doing their best to disprove this notion, it’s generally accepted that sequels are usually not as good as the movie that preceded them. I would argue that comedy seq...]]>
Penguins deserving of time in spotlight http://illinoistimes.com/article-14754-penguins-deserving-of-time-in-spotlight.html Penguins deserving of time in spotlight
 While I’m not privy to what’s said during the bean-counting meetings at DreamWorks Animation, I’d be willing to bet the moneymen there are more than thrilled with the success of their Mada...]]>
Insecurities, self-reflection at core of Birdman http://illinoistimes.com/article-14721-insecurities-self-reflection-at-core-of-birdman.html Insecurities, self-reflection at core of Birdman
 Like a snake consuming its own tail, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman is so postmodern, so self-referential that it ultimately begins to consume itself. This is all as it was designed to...]]>
Cast brings life to familiar Lights http://illinoistimes.com/article-14692-cast-brings-life-to-familiar-lights.html Cast brings life to familiar Lights
 There’s never been a shortage of behind-the-scenes showbiz melodramas in film history, but it has been a while since we’ve had a good one. So until the fourth version of A Star is Born hits...]]>
It’s all about Murray in St. Vincent http://illinoistimes.com/article-14661-it%25E2%2580%2599s-all-about-murray-in-st-vincent.html It’s all about Murray in St. Vincent
 I’ve never been a member of the cult of Murray – Bill, that is. I know he has a very devoted following that thinks the sun rises and sets on his every move, marveling at the masterful way he...]]>
Ouija board, movie lack mystery http://illinoistimes.com/article-14645-ouija-board-movie-lack-mystery.html Ouija board, movie lack mystery
 It isn’t that Ouija, the latest property to hit the screen from Hasbro Toys after G.I. Joe and Transformers, is necessarily a bad movie; it’s simply late to the party. After the recent succe...]]>
John Wick: A bloody, cathartic ride http://illinoistimes.com/article-14609-john-wick-a-bloody-cathartic-ride.html John Wick: A bloody, cathartic ride
 Make no mistake, there’s little in the way of originality where David Leitch and Chad Stahelski’s John Wick is concerned. It’s a simple story you know well – a man of violence, in an att...]]>
Fury gets job done, accomplishes little else http://illinoistimes.com/article-14583-fury-gets-job-done-accomplishes-little-else.html Fury gets job done, accomplishes little else
 Perhaps my expectations for David Ayer’s Fury were a bit too high. Primed by the presence of a strong cast, the strength of the director’s previous film – the tough cop procedural End of W...]]>
Questions of identity propel Gone Girl http://illinoistimes.com/article-14554-questions-of-identity-propel-gone-girl.html Questions of identity propel Gone Girl
 Having purposely kept myself in the dark regarding the central conceit at the core of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel Gone Girl, I approached David Fincher’s adaptation of it ready to be...]]>
Washington invaluable in slick Equalizer http://illinoistimes.com/article-14524-washington-invaluable-in-slick-equalizer.html Washington invaluable in slick Equalizer
 There’s no escaping the “been-there-done-that” feel that hangs over the new Denzel Washington actioner The Equalizer. Based ever so loosely on the Edward Woodward television series from th...]]>
Neeson walks strong Among the Tombstones http://illinoistimes.com/article-14496-neeson-walks-strong-among-the-tombstones.html Neeson walks strong Among the Tombstones
 In the last decade, Liam Neeson has seemingly taken every script that’s come his way. He’s been forthcoming in his reasoning as, since the tragic death of his wife Natasha Richardson, he’s...]]>
Drop fails to live up to Hardy’s fine work http://illinoistimes.com/article-14484-drop-fails-to-live-up-to-hardy%25E2%2580%2599s-fine-work.html Drop fails to live up to Hardy’s fine work
 Michael Roskam’s The Drop is a movie I wanted to like more than I did. I kept looking among the many positive things in the film for just one more great moment, one more clever turn of the nar...]]>
Boyhood: Subtle, powerful meditation on life http://illinoistimes.com/article-14430-boyhood-subtle-powerful-meditation-on-life.html Boyhood: Subtle, powerful meditation on life
 On the surface, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood seems to be nothing more than a gimmick. Filmed for a week to 10 days over the course of 12 summers using the same cast, the movie serves not only a...]]>
Brosnan shines in November Man http://illinoistimes.com/article-14403-brosnan-shines-in-november-man.html Brosnan shines in November Man
 Could the widespread usage and acceptance of Viagra be somehow linked to the spate of action films with heroes over 60 years old in the last decade? Now that sexual virility is attainable at any...]]>
Dame: dynamic yet tired http://illinoistimes.com/article-14376-dame-dynamic-yet-tired.html Dame: dynamic yet tired
 There’s no question that Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is a visually stunning piece of work, the sort of film DVDs were made for – you’ll find yourself...]]>
Magic in the Moonlight http://illinoistimes.com/article-14344-magic-in-the-moonlight.html Magic in the Moonlight
 While Magic in the Moonlight doesn’t rank as one of Woody Allen’s finer efforts, it certainly isn’t without its charms. Of course, one should keep in mind that the writer/director’s less...]]>
Familiar Expendables 3 http://illinoistimes.com/article-14310-familiar-expendables-3.html Familiar Expendables 3
 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 Sylvester Stall...]]>
Brown biopic http://illinoistimes.com/article-14281-brown-biopic.html Brown biopic
I’ve often said that film biographies are a no-win proposition and any director foolhardy enough to take one on is just asking for trouble. Sure to disappoint those who are expecting to see a full e...]]>
Guardians: Star Wars for a new generation http://illinoistimes.com/article-14250-guardians-star-wars-for-a-new-generation.html Guardians: Star Wars for a new generation
 It’s been a dismal summer at the movies not only where the quality of films is concerned but also in regards to how much fun viewers have been having. Sure, 22 Jump Street was funny and X-Men:...]]>
Dismal Sex Tape http://illinoistimes.com/article-14218-dismal-sex-tape.html Dismal Sex Tape
 In watching Jake Kasdan’s dismal Sex Tape, I was under the impression that many of its key players were having a series of days like this during its making – uninspired, flat, dull and not a...]]>
Begin Again a cure for summertime movie blues http://illinoistimes.com/article-14187-begin-again-a-cure-for-summertime-movie-blues.html Begin Again a cure for summertime movie blues
 A tonic for the steady stream of vacuous movies Hollywood has foisted on us this summer, John Carney’s Begin Again is a grounded, delightful, human tale buoyed by infectious yet meaningful pop...]]>
Snowpiercer chilling http://illinoistimes.com/article-14161-snowpiercer-chilling.html Snowpiercer chilling
 Joon-ho Bong’s Snowpiercer is the sort of film in which the director asks you to buy into his premise and trust that the trip he’s taking you on will be worthy of your time. To be sure, it�...]]>
Earth an echo of other better films http://illinoistimes.com/article-14133-earth-an-echo-of-other-better-films.html Earth an echo of other better films
 When does a film, obviously inspired by another, segue from being a homage to a blatant rip-off? If a story has a similar plot but some narrative changes, is it considered a variation on a theme...]]>
Too not everyone’s cup of tea http://illinoistimes.com/article-14107-too-not-everyone%25E2%2580%2599s-cup-of-tea.html Too not everyone’s cup of tea
 Film critic Gene Siskel once put forth the notion that reviewing comedies was a useless exercise. He felt that comedy was a subjective genre and that while he might think something was funny, ot...]]>
22 Jump Street - More of the same and that’s just fine http://illinoistimes.com/article-14081-22-jump-street.html 22 Jump Street - More of the same and that’s just fine
 Mismatched partners, police officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) have been handed a ridiculous assignment – they’re to enroll as college students in order to track down t...]]>
Dragon 2 soars above other summer fare http://illinoistimes.com/article-14056-dragon-2-soars-above-other-summer-fare.html Dragon 2 soars above other summer fare
 Not content to play it safe and give audiences the same old “boy and his dragon” adventure, director Dean DeBlois ups the emotional and thematic stakes in How to Train Your Dragon 2, an exci...]]>
Tomorrow stumbles - A decent film trips up at the finish line http://illinoistimes.com/article-14027-tomorrow-stumbles.html Tomorrow stumbles - A decent film trips up at the finish line
 There’s no question that Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow is a solid one hour and 40 minute movie. Too bad it runs one hour and 53 minutes. Smart, funny, exciting and thought provoking, like al...]]>
Blended a familiar concoction http://illinoistimes.com/article-13999-blended-a-familiar-concoction.html Blended a familiar concoction
 As funny as it sounds, I held out a modicum of hope for Blended. After all, two of Adam Sandler’s more successful films, The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates, also co-starred Drew Barrymore a...]]>