IllinoisTimes - Film - Chuck Koplinski http://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-32-1-film-chuck-koplinski.html Mon, 20 Feb 17 00:00:00 -0600 en hourly 1 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...]]>
Ouija II proves fun, frightening http://illinoistimes.com/article-17831-ouija-ii-proves-fun-frightening.html Ouija II proves fun, frightening
  I remember my grandmother had an Ouija board and it was something we kids pulled out at every family and holiday gathering, handling the tattered brown cardboard box with a sense of awe an...]]>
Girl a bit too clever for its own good http://illinoistimes.com/article-17809-girl-a-bit-too-clever-for-its-own-good.html Girl a bit too clever for its own good
 Some movies make their intentions known from the start. Tate Taylor’s The Girl on the Train certainly falls in that category, as it sets out to keep the viewer back on its heels throughout mos...]]>
Miss Peregrine overcomes a slow start to delight http://illinoistimes.com/article-17774-miss-peregrine-overcomes-a-slow-start-to-delight.html Miss Peregrine overcomes a slow start to delight
 Creatures who eat eyeballs to regain their humanity; children who are invisible or can turn you to stone with a glance or are lighter than air; and a sense of alienation felt by all. Yep, Ransom...]]>
Inspiring Queen avoids pitfalls http://illinoistimes.com/article-17746-inspiring-queen-avoids-pitfalls.html Inspiring Queen avoids pitfalls
 Taking a break from traditional sports-based films (Miracle, Million Dollar Arm, McFarland USA), Disney and co-producer ESPN bring us a movie focusing on competition of a different sort with Que...]]>
Fuqua helms Magnificent muddl http://illinoistimes.com/article-17722-fuqua-helms-magnificent-muddl.html Fuqua helms Magnificent muddl
 There’s much more to making a Western than putting movie stars under Stetson hats, giving them six-shooters and throwing them on a horse. This approach plus poorly choreographed sequences of e...]]>
Disappointments haunted by better films http://illinoistimes.com/article-17706-disappointments-haunted-by-better-films.html Disappointments haunted by better films
 Unless someone can come up with a fresh angle, I think there should be a moratorium put on haunted house movies. We’ve had ghosts scaring families that move into old creepy mansions, people wh...]]>
Sully: A tale of modest heroism http://illinoistimes.com/article-17672-sully-a-tale-of-modest-heroism.html Sully: A tale of modest heroism
 I wasn’t sure what to expect from Clint Eastwood’s Sully, but it certainly wasn’t what ended up on the screen. Anticipating a by-the-numbers “you are there” recreation of the events of...]]>
High Water targets corporate greed http://illinoistimes.com/article-17628-high-water-targets-corporate-greed.html High Water targets corporate greed
 On the surface, the appeal of David Mackenzie’s Hell or High Water appears to be that it’s a revisionist western – far too few of these are being made – and features a performance from J...]]>
Don’t Breathe is a thrilling, fun house ride http://illinoistimes.com/article-17606-don%25E2%2580%2599t-breathe-is-a-thrilling-fun-house-ride.html Don’t Breathe is a thrilling, fun house ride
 Having employed a ferociously violent aesthetic in rebooting Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead (2013), director Fede Alvarez takes a decidedly different approach with Don’t Breathe, an intriguing si...]]>
Plenty to chew on in Sausage Party http://illinoistimes.com/article-17568-plenty-to-chew-on-in-sausage-party.html Plenty to chew on in Sausage Party
 Not only does Seth Rogen’s Sausage Party have the greatest title in the history of cinema, it also features talking hot dogs, graphic scenes of various food items having sex, scads of racial s...]]>
Jenkins hits all the right notes http://illinoistimes.com/article-17543-jenkins-hits-all-the-right-notes.html Jenkins hits all the right notes
 Where a film like Florence Foster Jenkins is concerned, finding the right tone is key to its success. Director Stephen Frears knows a thing or two about creating the proper mood and intent of a...]]>
Suicide Squad executed in half-measures http://illinoistimes.com/article-17521-suicide-squad-executed-in-half-measures.html Suicide Squad executed in half-measures
 There’s a great deal of potential (most of it wasted) in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, which is Warner Brothers latest effort to get its stable of DC Comics characters on firm cinematic footin...]]>
Silliness obscures Moms’ message http://illinoistimes.com/article-17502-silliness-obscures-moms%25E2%2580%2599-message.html Silliness obscures Moms’ message
 Having found success after writing the Hangover trilogy, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore set out to show that women can act just as stupidly as men with Bad Moms. Much to their own and their character...]]>
Lights Out a fun frightshow http://illinoistimes.com/article-17467-lights-out-a-fun-frightshow.html Lights Out a fun frightshow
 In order for a horror film to work, it’s required that at certain points, its characters act … without thinking? I don’t want to use the word “stupid,” as I surely don’t know how I w...]]>