IllinoisTimes - Film - Chuck Koplinski http://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-32-1-film-chuck-koplinski.html Thu, 08 Dec 16 00:00:00 -0600 en hourly 1 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...]]>
Infiltrator not invasive enough http://illinoistimes.com/article-17444-infiltrator-not-invasive-enough.html Infiltrator not invasive enough
 Has the increase in quality television affected the way we (or maybe it’s just me) watch films? For the last decade, many convincing arguments have been put forth that what with the coming of...]]>
Swiss Army Man: A multi-purpose disaster http://illinoistimes.com/article-17434-swiss-army-man-a-multi-purpose-disaster.html Swiss Army Man: A multi-purpose disaster
 I’ve seen some very bad movies lately, but Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s Swiss Army Man is by far the worst of the year, a film so misguided, confused and insulting that I sat slack-jawed...]]>
Yates’ Tarzan a rousing, moving success http://illinoistimes.com/article-17401-yates%25E2%2580%2599-tarzan-a-rousing-moving-success.html Yates’ Tarzan a rousing, moving success
 Legendary film producer Darryl Zanuck once said, “The secret to success in Hollywood is giving the public what it wants before it knows it wants it.” In the spirit of that statement and in a...]]>
Johnson, Hart generate vital chemistry in Intelligence http://illinoistimes.com/article-17362-johnson-hart-generate-vital-chemistry-in-intelligence.html Johnson, Hart generate vital chemistry in Intelligence
 One of the most surprising developments in American popular film over the last decade is the emergence of Dwayne Johnson as a major star. Using his popularity in the WWE as a foundation – and...]]>
Magical Dory helps us find ourselves http://illinoistimes.com/article-17350-magical-dory-helps-us-find-ourselves.html Magical Dory helps us find ourselves
 There’s no question that Pixar Animation radically changed the way big-screen cartoons were created, as well as what audiences should expect from them. These brightly told morality tales weren...]]>
Popstar takes no prisoners as it skewers modern pop http://illinoistimes.com/article-17304-popstar-takes-no-prisoners-as-it-skewers-modern-pop.html Popstar takes no prisoners as it skewers modern pop
 To be sure, Andy Samberg is an acquired taste. However, with his brilliant work on the cop show parody “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” he’s shown himself to be a comic with not just crackerjack timi...]]>
Fairy tale Me Before You surprisingly effective http://illinoistimes.com/article-17280-fairy-tale-me-before-you-surprisingly-effective.html Fairy tale Me Before You surprisingly effective
 Many times in life, we often let our hearts overrule our minds. Such is the case with Thea Sharrock’s Me Before You, a slick piece of treacle that manages to charm as it flirts with insulting...]]>
Director’s misstep hinders Nice Guys http://illinoistimes.com/article-17258-director%25E2%2580%2599s-misstep-hinders-nice-guys.html Director’s misstep hinders Nice Guys
 If ever I’ve been on the fence about a movie, it’s with Shane Black’s The Nice Guys.At times uproariously funny, at others maddeningly frustrating, this L.A. film noir set in the late 1970...]]>
Flawed Monster a timely diatribe http://illinoistimes.com/article-17230-flawed-monster-a-timely-diatribe.html Flawed Monster a timely diatribe
 There’s no question that Jodie Foster’s Money Monster is a manipulative exercise, one meant to incite viewers’ ire where the current disparity between the haves and have-nots is concerned....]]>
Comic inspiration aplenty in Keanu http://illinoistimes.com/article-17189-comic-inspiration-aplenty-in-keanu.html Comic inspiration aplenty in Keanu
 Very rarely do I see a comedy that, when I think about it days after, I find myself laughing at the memory of its most inspired moments. Such is the case with Keanu, the film debut of the comedy...]]>