IllinoisTimes - Film - Chuck Koplinski https://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-32-1-film-chuck-koplinski.html Fri, 15 Feb 19 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 Surprising Prodigy hits all the right notes https://illinoistimes.com/article-20940-surprising-prodigy-hits-all-the-right-notes.html Surprising Prodigy hits all the right notes
There are very few surprises in Nicholas McCarthy’s The Prodigy, other than the fact that it’s an effective little B-movie shocker that had me giggling with delight over just how much fun it is.&n...]]>
Pursuit a bloody misfire https://illinoistimes.com/article-20903-pursuit-a-bloody-misfire.html Pursuit a bloody misfire
 I’ve spoken of tone before in other reviews – how hard it is to sustain over the course of a film, how difficult it is to maintain a consistent mood on a set over the length of a prolonged s...]]>
Elliott Nearly Saves Hitler…Bigfoot https://illinoistimes.com/article-20900-elliott-nearly-saves-hitler%25E2%2580%25A6bigfoot.html Elliott Nearly Saves Hitler…Bigfoot
 The movie to beat for best film title of the year, Robert Krzykowski’s The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot, is a somber, pulp tale of a man left behind, a veteran whose deeds have gone unsung, unknown by the public he sacrificed so much to save.
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Serenity goes its own way https://illinoistimes.com/article-20879-serenity-goes-its-own-way.html Serenity goes its own way
 I often complain that movie trailers give far too much away about the films they’re promoting, revealing key twists and surprises that not only undercut the work of the director in question bu...]]>
Glass: A frustrating, intriguing failure https://illinoistimes.com/article-20861-glass-a-frustrating-intriguing-failure.html Glass: A frustrating, intriguing failure
 Comic book enthusiasts are very defensive of their favorite medium. They contend there’s much more to the superhero stories they love so much, and they’ll go to great lengths to explain this...]]>
Powerful Beale Street focuses on tragedy of common racism https://illinoistimes.com/article-20842-powerful-beale-street-focuses-on-tragedy-of-common-racism.html Powerful Beale Street focuses on tragedy of common racism
 In a year in which we’ve had many films dealing with the issue of race in America, Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk is the most moving of the lot; this seemingly unassuming story do...]]>
Basis of Sex doesn't ring true https://illinoistimes.com/article-20811-basis-of-sex-doesnt-ring-true.html Basis of Sex doesn't ring true
 During the ‘30s and ‘40s, biopics were a staple of the major studios, particularly Warner Brothers and MGM, where films were made recounting the greatness of the men – and occasional woman...]]>
The Mule a slight piece of post-modernism https://illinoistimes.com/article-20800-the-mule-a-slight-piece-of-post-modernism.html The Mule a slight piece of post-modernism
 Clint Eastwood’s The Mule succeeds more as a piece of post-modern cinematic reflection rather than an engaging narrative, and that’s fine. Very few actors have been as conscious of their scr...]]>
Aquaman a true sea snore https://illinoistimes.com/article-20758-aquaman-a-true-sea-snore.html Aquaman a true sea snore
 Not the knockout Wonder Woman was or the disaster that was Justice League, James Wan’s Aquaman is a rather plodding by-the-numbers affair that goes far out of its way to provide the sort of un...]]>
The Favourite a wicked delight https://illinoistimes.com/article-20742-the-favourite-a-wicked-delight.html The Favourite a wicked delight
 Does an 18th century tale of palace intrigue have any relevance for our times? Well, any story that deals with behind-the-scenes machinations to wrest power at the cost of your moral integrity d...]]>
Vibrant, imaginative Spider-Verse a true delight https://illinoistimes.com/article-20724-vibrant-imaginative-spider-verse-a-true-delight.html Vibrant, imaginative Spider-Verse a true delight
 Sony Pictures has made more than a few questionable moves where the Spider-Man franchise is concerned. After bringing the web head to the big screen with the trilogy directed by Sam Raimi, they...]]>
Great performances save Book https://illinoistimes.com/article-20706-great-performances-save-book.html Great performances save Book
 Whenever a film is based on a true story, certain liberties are taken for a variety of reasons. Events are compressed because of time considerations, two or three people may be combined into one...]]>
Creed II: Focuses on wrong fight https://illinoistimes.com/article-20669-creed-ii-focuses-on-wrong-fight.html Creed II: Focuses on wrong fight
 The most surprising thing about Creed II is that it actually did surprise me … once. An out-of-the-blue appearance from a character long forgotten actually caused me to gasp. This in and of it...]]>
Fractured approach stymies Runner https://illinoistimes.com/article-20641-fractured-approach-stymies-runner.html Fractured approach stymies Runner
 “Stupid is as stupid does.”That famous Gump-ism swirled ‘round and ‘round in my mind as I watched Jason Reitman’s not-as-good-as-it-should-be biopic, The Front Runner, play out. Chroni...]]>
Erased: A tale of understanding https://illinoistimes.com/article-20621-erased-a-tale-of-understanding.html Erased: A tale of understanding
 There’s a vital, timely message of hope contained in Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased. At first glance it appears to be about one young man’s struggle with coming to terms with his sexual identi...]]>
Carrell and Chalamet shine in flawed Boy https://illinoistimes.com/article-20610-carrell-and-chalamet-shine-in-flawed-boy.html Carrell and Chalamet shine in flawed Boy
 At its best, Felix van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy captures the sense of frustration, rage and helplessness parents feel when they see one of their children caught in the cycle of addiction. Go...]]>
Rhapsody missing a few vital notes https://illinoistimes.com/article-20578-rhapsody-missing-a-few-vital-notes.html Rhapsody missing a few vital notes
 It is with great regret that I report that Bohemian Rhapsody is not the film Queen fans have been waiting for, nor is it the one the band deserves. A rote exercise from the start, this by-the-nu...]]>
Tasteless Halloween leaves a bloody, bad taste https://illinoistimes.com/article-20555-tasteless-halloween-leaves-a-bloody-bad-taste.html Tasteless Halloween leaves a bloody, bad taste
After deciding to resurrect the Halloween franchise, director David Gordon Green and writer Danny McBride expressed concern that they might embarrass themselves, that their efforts might not do ju...]]>
Gun is a worthy swan song for Redford https://illinoistimes.com/article-20544-gun-is-a-worthy-swan-song-for-redford.html Gun is a worthy swan song for Redford
 I have an old gray T-shirt. I can’t tell you how many times it’s been washed or how many times I’ve worn it. It’s always at the top of the pile in my dresser drawer and it is the one I g...]]>
Intimate look at space race propels First Man https://illinoistimes.com/article-20526-intimate-look-at-space-race-propels-first-man.html Intimate look at space race propels First Man
 I was speaking to a friend the other day about how we take the age we live in for granted. We punch 10 numbers into our cellphones and talk to people thousands of miles away and don’t give it...]]>
Cooper, Gaga salvage Star https://illinoistimes.com/article-20508-cooper-gaga-salvage-star.html Cooper, Gaga salvage Star
 There’s a great deal to like in Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born, the directorial debut from the actor. Cooper pulls off an Orson Welles, where in addition to acting in the film, he serves as...]]>
Timely Assassination a vicious cautionary tale https://illinoistimes.com/article-20471-timely-assassination-a-vicious-cautionary-tale.html Timely Assassination a vicious cautionary tale
 A primal scream from today’s generation, Sam Levinson’s Assassination Nation is a film that brims with anger, a work propelled by confusion and resentment that rages against the machine that...]]>
Favor a mixed bag of good intentions https://illinoistimes.com/article-20448-favor-a-mixed-bag-of-good-intentions.html Favor a mixed bag of good intentions
 I’m a fan of film noir and I’m not averse to a nice dark comedy. So Paul Feig’s A Simple Favor would seemingly be right up my alley, and, for the most part, it works. Simultaneously a paro...]]>
Nun falls short of Blumhouse standard https://illinoistimes.com/article-20432-nun-falls-short-of-blumhouse-standard.html Nun falls short of Blumhouse standard
 As far as the Blumhouse Productions Conjuring series is concerned, the five movies that make up this franchise have been like money in the bank. A surprise hit in 2013, The Conjuring focused on...]]>
Gripping Searching falters at the end https://illinoistimes.com/article-20388-gripping-searching-falters-at-the-end.html Gripping Searching falters at the end
 Every parent’s worst nightmare is at the center of Aneesh Chaganty’s Searching, an at times harrowing abduction story that revolves around one father’s search for his missing daughter. How...]]>
Isaac, Kingsley arresting in Finale https://illinoistimes.com/article-20376-isaac-kingsley-arresting-in-finale.html Isaac, Kingsley arresting in Finale
 Unlike many of the other high-ranking members of the Third Reich, Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Final Solution, survived World War II. He fled to South America where he continued to live...]]>
Papillon a power metaphor for troubled times https://illinoistimes.com/article-20343-papillon-a-power-metaphor-for-troubled-times.html Papillon a power metaphor for troubled times
 When it comes to movie remakes, I’ve been of the mind that perhaps only bad films should be redone, or those that could be retold to reflect modern societal issues. The former is never attempt...]]>
Crazy a beautiful, bland affair https://illinoistimes.com/article-20323-crazy-a-beautiful-bland-affair.html Crazy a beautiful, bland affair
 In addition to The Meg, which is also currently in wide release, Crazy Rich Asians is a film co-produced by American and Chinese studios, an effort to appeal not only to viewers in the United St...]]>
BlacKkKlansman a fascinating, timely tale https://illinoistimes.com/article-20293-blackkklansman-a-fascinating-timely-tale.html BlacKkKlansman a fascinating, timely tale
 In the fall of 1978, eager to make a name for himself, Colorado Springs police office Ron Stallworth approached his superiors with the idea of infiltrating the local Ku Klux Klan chapter in orde...]]>
Overbearing McKinnon, bland script sink Spy https://illinoistimes.com/article-20259-overbearing-mckinnon-bland-script-sink-spy.html Overbearing McKinnon, bland script sink Spy
 Some performers have a tendency to want to dominate whatever production they’re in. A good director knows that actors such as this need to be kept in check, lest the spotlight constantly falls...]]>