IllinoisTimes - Film - Chuck Koplinski http://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-32-1-film-chuck-koplinski.html Fri, 18 Aug 17 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky one of year’s best http://illinoistimes.com/article-19021-soderbergh%25E2%2580%2599s-logan-lucky-one-of-year%25E2%2580%2599s-best.html Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky one of year’s best
 It would be easy to dismiss Stephen Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky as a countrified Ocean’s Eleven. It does revolve around a heist; it does involve a ragtag group of misfits; it does contain its f...]]>
Modest approach topples Tower http://illinoistimes.com/article-18981-modest-approach-topples-tower.html Modest approach topples Tower
 Through sheer force of will, Idris Elba (“The Man Who Would Be Bond”) attempts to make Nikolaj Arcel’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower something of note. Needless to say, his...]]>
Scarce emotional connection bogs down Detroit http://illinoistimes.com/article-18951-scarce-emotional-connection-bogs-down-detroit.html Scarce emotional connection bogs down Detroit
 As she so adeptly proved in The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, director Kathryn Bigelow is a master at recreating urban warfare on screen, an ability she uses to great effect in her latest fi...]]>
Dazzling Valerian overstays its welcome http://illinoistimes.com/article-18927-dazzling-valerian-overstays-its-welcome.html Dazzling Valerian overstays its welcome
 “Less is more” is a notion director Luc Besson has no use for. His penchant for excess is front-and-center in his latest, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, an adaptation of a Fren...]]>
Impressive Dunkirk hampered by gimmick http://illinoistimes.com/article-18903-impressive-dunkirk-hampered-by-gimmick.html Impressive Dunkirk hampered by gimmick
 There’s no shortage of ambition on display where Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is concerned. In replicating the evacuation of 400,000 Allied troops from Northwestern France in the late spring...]]>
Deliberate pace nearly undoes Apes http://illinoistimes.com/article-18882-deliberate-pace-nearly-undoes-apes.html Deliberate pace nearly undoes Apes
 Without question, the special effects on display in the new series of the Planet of the Apes films are phenomenal. Using the latest in digital technology coupled with motion-capture performances...]]>
Holland’s exuberance energizes Homecoming http://illinoistimes.com/article-18856-holland%25E2%2580%2599s-exuberance-energizes-homecoming.html Holland’s exuberance energizes Homecoming
 “Amazing,” “astonishing” and “spectacular” are all adjectives that have been used to describe various comic book iterations of the famed web-slinger Spider-Man, and they certainly ar...]]>
Blistering Baby Driver this summer’s sleeper http://illinoistimes.com/article-18833-blistering-baby-driver-this-summer%25E2%2580%2599s-sleeper.html Blistering Baby Driver this summer’s sleeper
 Most of the time, films fail to live up to the massive hype that surrounds them. However, that is certainly not the case with Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver. Coming off a rapturous reception at th...]]>
Lightning strikes again in Cars 3 http://illinoistimes.com/article-18807-lightning-strikes-again-in-cars-3.html Lightning strikes again in Cars 3
 Having put the dismal second entry in the series in its rearview mirror, Pixar’s Cars franchise is once again back in the winner’s circle with its third chapter in the adventures of the ever...]]>
Weisz captivating in My Cousin Rachel http://illinoistimes.com/article-18782-weisz-captivating-in-my-cousin-rachel.html Weisz captivating in My Cousin Rachel
 “Did she or didn’t she?” That’s the question that hangs over Roger Michell’s My Cousin Rachel, an adaptation of the Daphne du Maurier novel that’s long on atmosphere as well as tensi...]]>
Wonder Woman a heroine for the ages http://illinoistimes.com/article-18751-wonder-woman-a-heroine-for-the-ages.html Wonder Woman a heroine for the ages
 The wait was long, but it was worth it.Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman is an inspired breath of fresh air in the DC Comics movie universe, standing in stark contrast to the dark and grimy visions...]]>
Depp distracts from Dead Men http://illinoistimes.com/article-18740-depp-distracts-from-dead-men.html Depp distracts from Dead Men
 I was hoping that perhaps absence would make my heart grow fonder where Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean films were concerned. After all, it’s been six years since On Stranger Tides, the la...]]>
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...]]>