IllinoisTimes - Film - Chuck Koplinski http://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-32-1-film-chuck-koplinski.html Sun, 28 May 17 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 Two young leads nearly save Everything http://illinoistimes.com/article-18702-two-young-leads-nearly-save-everything.html Two young leads nearly save Everything
 Stella Meghie’s Everything, Everything is the sort of movie that’s easy to scoff at. A tale of young love replete with improbable events and inexplicable actions, the film is one of extremes...]]>
Lack of clear direction maroons Covenant http://illinoistimes.com/article-18669-lack-of-clear-direction-maroons-covenant.html Lack of clear direction maroons Covenant
 What began as a simple haunted house story set in outer space has become an enigmatic, existential treatise on man’s place in the universe and his origins. Eager to fill their coffers once mor...]]>
City of Z a fascinating, compelling journey http://illinoistimes.com/article-18643-city-of-z-a-fascinating-compelling-journey.html City of Z a fascinating, compelling journey
 James Gray’s The Lost City of Z is cut from the same cloth of old-fashioned adventure films like The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The Man Who Would Be King, a rousing jaunt that finds one...]]>
Darker Guardians 2 is still great fun http://illinoistimes.com/article-18621-darker-guardians-2-is-still-great-fun.html Darker Guardians 2 is still great fun
 If James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy was Star Wars for the 21st century, then its sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, is surely our new Empire Strikes Back. The writer/director seems to...]]>
Free Fire a slick exercise in nihilism http://illinoistimes.com/article-18579-free-fire-a-slick-exercise-in-nihilism.html Free Fire a slick exercise in nihilism
 While you couldn’t technically call Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire a chamber play, you might be able to get by with referring to it as a pressure chamber movie. Its concept is simple – a limited...]]>
Fun Fate a worthy Furious entry http://illinoistimes.com/article-18556-fun-fate-a-worthy-furious-entry.html Fun Fate a worthy Furious entry
 It’s a long way from street racing on the mean streets of L.A. to saving the world James Bond style, but that’s the evolution the Fast and Furious franchise has taken, one that no one could...]]>
Style a safe retread http://illinoistimes.com/article-18528-style-a-safe-retread.html Style a safe retread
 Zach Braff’s Going in Style is a pleasant-enough movie. It has a breezy, light-hearted air to it and three veteran performers – all Oscar winners – who don’t break much of a sweat, but a...]]>
Johansson’s humanity makes for rewarding Ghost http://illinoistimes.com/article-18482-johansson%25E2%2580%2599s-humanity-makes-for-rewarding-ghost.html Johansson’s humanity makes for rewarding Ghost
 With last week’s announcement that Elon Musk and his team are working on developing implants that will be put in our brains so that we can interface wirelessly with computers, we were brought...]]>
Same old approach grounds Life http://illinoistimes.com/article-18455-same-old-approach-grounds-life.html Same old approach grounds Life
 I have to wonder who at Sony Pictures gave the green light for Daniel Espinosa’s Life. While it is a well-made movie and features good work from its fine cast, the derivative nature of the sto...]]>
Beast forgets that less can be more http://illinoistimes.com/article-18430-beast-forgets-that-less-can-be-more.html Beast forgets that less can be more
 It was one of the most frustrating film-going experiences in recent memory. Disney’s live-action remake of its classic animated feature Beauty and the Beast is a combination of touching moment...]]>
Kong: Skull Island an epic monster mash http://illinoistimes.com/article-18401-kong-skull-island-an-epic-monster-mash.html Kong: Skull Island an epic monster mash
 When reading about the massive budgets spent on some of today’s films, I often wonder, “Where did all the money go?” That’s certainly not the case where Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ Kong: Skul...]]>
Jackman finds the humanity in Logan http://illinoistimes.com/article-18375-jackman-finds-the-humanity-in-logan.html Jackman finds the humanity in Logan
 It comes as no real surprise that director James Mangold draws comparisons between the X-Man character Wolverine and the classic Western gunfighter Shane in his latest film, Logan. Among all of...]]>
Get Out succeeds with horror and humor http://illinoistimes.com/article-18365-get-out-succeeds-with-horror-and-humor.html Get Out succeeds with horror and humor
 There’s a sense of unease that sets in early on in Jordan Peele’s Get Out, and as well made as this acerbic, entertaining hybrid is, this may be its most significant accomplishment. Our prot...]]>
Long trudge dooms Fight http://illinoistimes.com/article-18321-long-trudge-dooms-fight.html Long trudge dooms Fight
 “I had a thought as I was being dragged down the stairs by that horse on meth.”The circumstances surrounding the way in which the above piece of dialogue was delivered had me laughing much h...]]>
Wicked Chapter 2 a ballet of violence http://illinoistimes.com/article-18292-wicked-chapter-2-a-ballet-of-violence.html Wicked Chapter 2 a ballet of violence
 I face a bit of a moral quandary where reviewing John Wick: Chapter 2 is concerned. A beautifully shot and composed film that visually puts most similar Hollywood product to shame, it features K...]]>
Clever Lego Batman hindered by spastic style http://illinoistimes.com/article-18273-clever-lego-batman-hindered-by-spastic-style.html Clever Lego Batman hindered by spastic style
 Call me a curmudgeon, but I was one of the few who weren’t fully enamored with The Lego Movie when it hit movie theaters in 2014. While it did have a clever plot and a worthwhile theme – tha...]]>
Simplistic Purpose a bit listless http://illinoistimes.com/article-18228-simplistic-purpose-a-bit-listless.html Simplistic Purpose a bit listless
 Anyone who’s ever had a dog has asked the question, “I wonder what they’re thinking?” Lasse Hallstrom’s A Dog’s Purpose does its level best to answer this query, and the results are...]]>
Portman returns to form with Jackie http://illinoistimes.com/article-18200-portman-returns-to-form-with-jackie.html Portman returns to form with Jackie
 Much like a kaleidoscope that provides rapidly changing perspectives, Pablo Larrain’s Jackie gives us a wide variety of glimpses into the life of Jacqueline Kennedy as the first lady tries to...]]>
Keaton riveting in The Founder http://illinoistimes.com/article-18170-keaton-riveting-in-the-founder.html Keaton riveting in The Founder
 Of course I can’t be for certain, but I can’t imagine that even in his wildest dreams Ray Kroc could have conceived that McDonald’s restaurants would have the impact on the world that they...]]>
Stylish Night is a by-the-numbers exercise http://illinoistimes.com/article-18145-stylish-night-is-a-by-the-numbers-exercise.html Stylish Night is a by-the-numbers exercise
 Much like Ron Howard, Ben Affleck is an old school, workman-like director. Give him any script, and he’s likely to come up with a competently made movie. He has no overarching theme that runs...]]>
Figures fine but lacks bite http://illinoistimes.com/article-18126-figures-fine-but-lacks-bite.html Figures fine but lacks bite
 Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures is the sort of sanitized history lesson that sets out to right wrongs by presenting a story infused with good intentions and a sense of righteousness. There’s...]]>
Passengers provides a bland journey http://illinoistimes.com/article-18094-passengers-provides-a-bland-journey.html Passengers provides a bland journey
 Is that all there is? That was my reaction to Morten Tyldum’s Passengers, a bloated space adventure that hopes to get by on its looks – those of its stars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt,...]]>
Affleck and Williams are devastating in Manchester http://illinoistimes.com/article-18066-affleck-and-williams-are-devastating-in-manchester.html Affleck and Williams are devastating in Manchester
 Positive buzz has been growing steadily for Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea since its debut at last spring’s Sundance Film Festival, as critics and major film groups have been falli...]]>
Rousing Rogue One a worthy Star Wars entry http://illinoistimes.com/article-18038-rousing-rogue-one-a-worthy-star-wars-entry.html Rousing Rogue One a worthy Star Wars entry
 I have to admit, I was skeptical where Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was concerned. As a prequel to the original film released in 1977, now referred to as Chapter IV: A New Hope, this smacked of...]]>
Ford’s Animals a haunting, tantilizing mystery http://illinoistimes.com/article-18010-ford%25E2%2580%2599s-animals-a-haunting-tantilizing-mystery.html Ford’s Animals a haunting, tantilizing mystery
 There’s a hypnotic quality to Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, a sense of foreboding that grows heavier as we progress down the dark roads of its two narratives. This will end badly, you know i...]]>
Beatty out of step with Rules http://illinoistimes.com/article-17991-beatty-out-of-step-with-rules.html Beatty out of step with Rules
 I’m often asked if I have any favorite filmmakers or actors, and if I do, if I go easy on them in the reviews I write of their work. Personally, the opposite is true – if anything, I’m har...]]>
Tepid pace dooms Allied http://illinoistimes.com/article-17949-tepid-pace-dooms-allied.html Tepid pace dooms Allied
 Robert Zemeckis’ Allied is a film that is concerned about appearances, both in terms of its characters as well as the production itself. Artifice is what drives the film in terms of locale, it...]]>
Dr. Strange a worthy addition to the Marvel canon http://illinoistimes.com/article-17894-dr-strange-a-worthy-addition-to-the-marvel-canon.html Dr. Strange a worthy addition to the Marvel canon
 Having already earned their bona fides in rendering earthbound heroics and taken the first step towards intergalactic adventure, Marvel Studios now introduces another aspect of their shared univ...]]>
True heroism at the heart of brutal Hacksaw http://illinoistimes.com/article-17881-true-heroism-at-the-heart-of-brutal-hacksaw.html True heroism at the heart of brutal Hacksaw
 On May 1, 1945, the unthinkable occurred. Attempting to take a ridge on the island of Okinawa, the 1st Battalion of the United States Army suffered massive casualties due to heavy enemy fire. Re...]]>
Cruise on auto-pilot in Never Go Back http://illinoistimes.com/article-17851-cruise-on-auto-pilot-in-never-go-back.html Cruise on auto-pilot in Never Go Back
 Not since Conrad Veidt played the monstrous somnambulist Cesare in the first horror film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, has an actor sleepwalked through a film the way Tom Cruise does in Jack Rea...]]>