August 30, 2013 |
* (out of four) A big star in Mexico, “Instructions Not Included” star/director/co-writer Eugenio Derbez may best be known by American audiences as Felipe/Felipe's grandma in Adam Sandler's horrible comedy “Jack and Jill.” Quite the reference point. For his directorial debut, Derbez takes a page from Sandler, playing a much-younger ladies' man despite any obvious explanation of his appeal. He also pretends to tell a story about family when really the whole movie is about him. The 50-year-old actor plays Valentin, a stud in his mid-30s who...
March 8, 2012 |
*1/2 (out of four) After more than thee years on the shelf, "A Thousand Words" hasn't aged well. Or do I need to say that louder, so you can hear me over your laughter at cracks about the Atkins Diet, Britney and Chili's baby-back ribs? Worse, the movie barely cares about its own rules. Fast-talking agent Jack McCall (Eddie Murphy), an arrogant Ari Gold type who will die if he says 1,000 more words, can't raise his middle finger because that counts as two. He can't write anything down because those words also count.
June 14, 2012 |
* (out of four) This week's second-worst movie to feature Def Leppard's “Rock of Ages,” “That's My Boy” opens with the 1980s rock song but spends much more time amused by the '90s. Ian Ziering! Ricky Martin! Vanilla Ice laying on the ground, urinating into the air and saying, “Look at me, I'm a fountain!” If you're groaning, don't expect to stop. Ruining any jokes that might be funny with his bizarre baby voice, Adam Sandler plays Donny, a disturbingly unbalanced man-child who carries a Budweiser everywhere but only...
June 28, 2012 |
**1/2 (out of four) Early on in “Ted,” the titular walking, talking teddy bear (voiced by director/co-writer Seth MacFarlane) watches “Jack and Jill” with four prostitutes at his side. Ted, who possesses a large sex drive for a creature with no genitalia, calls the Adam Sandler film “unwatchable.” Let's see here: -- Sandler movies: full of homophobic jokes. “Ted”: full of homophobic jokes. -- Sandler movies: Characters constantly crack up at the expense of people who are overweight and/or farting.
April 24, 2013 |
Seth Meyers and Hannibal Buress are coming home for the fifth annual TBS Just for Laughs Chicago comedy festival in June. Evanston native Meyers, who runs the "Saturday Night Live" writers' room and "Weekend Update," is one of the festival's anchors--get it?--along with "Arrested Development" co-star David Cross, "Real Time" host Bill Maher and comedy legend Bob Newhart. Meyers' June 14 show at the Chicago Theatre will feature Buress and Al Madrigal. The festival runs six days from June 11-16 at various venues including...
April 28, 2014 |
Is Chicago having a big year at the movies or what? One of the spring's biggest films ("Divergent") was set here, filmed here and based on a book by a local author. Now two of summer's biggest movies, "Transformers: Age of Extinction" and "Jupiter Ascending," plop the city back on giant screens, this time with even bigger stars (Mark Wahlberg and Channing Tatum/Mila Kunis, respectively). Yes, there also are "Spider-Man" and "X-Men" sequels on the way, plus "Guardians of the Galaxy," Angelina Jolie being evil in "Maleficent" and more Shailene Woodley in "The Fault...