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December 1, 2011 | By Matt Pais and RedEye movie critic
Zero stars (out of four) The examination of class in “Answers to Nothing” consists of Ryan (Dane Cook) briefly looking at a homeless person. The examination of race boils down to an African-American woman (Kali Hawk), who says she hates black people, deciding to look on the bright side. As for the discussion of infidelity, there isn't one. Ryan simply cheats on his wife Kate (Elizabeth Mitchell) - he's so sleazy he tells the romantic story of his grandparents' love while receiving oral sex from his mistress Tara (Aja Volkman)
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 14, 2013 | Matt Pais, @mattpais and RedEye movie critic
Zero stars (out of four) This must be a nightmare: There can't actually be a cutesy, vapid dramedy set in WWII-era Germany featuring voiceover from Death. With a charming British accent. Death does not have a charming British accent! He doesn't comment on how he encounters humans at their best and at their worst (not necessarily true) and that no one served the Fuhrer more loyally than he! The “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” of Holocaust movies, “The Book Thief,” adapted from Markus Zusak's novel, is a fantasy, a fairy tale and a crock.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 12, 2012 | Matt Pais and RedEye movie critic
Zero stars (out of four) A Chicago-native filmmaker with any loyalty to hometown crowds should never, ever claim a scene takes place in Detroit while blatantly displaying the exterior of Ukrainian Village's Rainbo Club and the Division Street sign. In director/co-writer Bob Meyer's horribly written, shockingly amateur “Drunkboat,” the embarrassment to our city doesn't end there. Following an introductory scene in which he wears a mop on his head, Vietnam vet Mort (John Malkovich)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 24, 2013 | Matt Pais, @mattpais and RedEye movie critic
Zero stars (out of four) The associations that director Joseph Levy makes in the outrageously insulting documentary “Spinning Plates” can't be deliberate. No filmmaker would correlate a family restaurant burning down to a world-renowned chef battling cancer and chalk it all up to adversity. No decent person would salute the University of Chicago hospital in saving Alinea wunderkind Grant Achatz's life and then parallel the chefs at struggling Tucson restaurant La Cocina de Gabby as they decide to make breakfast tacos to entice additional customers.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 18, 2012 | Matt Pais, @mattpais and RedEye movie critic
Zero stars (out of four) Without referencing early 1990s rappers Kris Kross, I see no way to write a less-menacing tagline than the one on the poster for “Alex Cross”: “Don't ever cross Alex Cross.” This thriller plays like the copy of a copy of a '90s flick, so that what was once gripping becomes vague and unintentionally funny. As detective Dr. Alex Cross - that's really what people call him, due to his psych degree - Tyler Perry appears uninformed that movie cops usually deliver some measure of coolness or toughness.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 11, 2012 | By Curt Wagner and RedEye
I didn't think anything could make me as cranky as a Rob Schneider movie does. (OK, his buddy Adam Sandler's movies do too.) But more to the point: Now there's "Rob!" ( 7:30 p.m. Jan. 12, CBS; zero stars ) Schneider's confounding new sitcom that delivers some of the worst jokes put to paper about immigration, rape and many other racist and stereotypical behavior. And I swear I'm not going to play the "politically correct" card here. I'm just trying to say that this show is not funny--at all. Schneider stars a white, middle-aged,...
ENTERTAINMENT
January 2, 2012 | By Curt Wagner and RedEye
Two manly men can't find work, so they line their eyes with mascara, wrap up the equipment with Ace bandages and squeeze into dresses to get jobs as women. ABC, you can do better than this drivel you call "Work It" (7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3; 0 stars - that's right, zero stars). "Work It" is so bad, it makes the equally dismal "Last Man Standing," which airs at 7 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC, look brilliant. Married salesman Lee Standish (former Chicagoan Ben Koldyke) and his best bud, a Romeo of a mechanic named Angel Ortiz (Amaury Nolasco)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 2013 | Matt Pais, @mattpais and RedEye movie critic
Zero stars (out of four) I don't know when or how “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” came about, but here's the phone conversation that may as well have taken place between star Charlie Sheen and writer/director Roman Coppola: CS: “Roman, baby, it's Sheen. Need a favor.” RC: “Of course. I remember what happened last time I said 'no' to you.” CS: “Bitchin'. Need to do a movie to show how hard it is being me. We'll call the character Charles Swan as a wink-wink, nudge-nudge...
ENTERTAINMENT
October 24, 2013 | Matt Pais, @mattpais and RedEye movie critic
Zero stars (out of four) The associations that director Joseph Levy makes in the outrageously insulting documentary “Spinning Plates” can't be deliberate. No filmmaker would correlate a family restaurant burning down to a world-renowned chef battling cancer and chalk it all up to adversity. No decent person would salute the University of Chicago hospital in saving Alinea wunderkind Grant Achatz's life and then parallel the chefs at struggling Tucson restaurant La Cocina de Gabby as they decide to make breakfast tacos to...
ENTERTAINMENT
November 14, 2013 | Matt Pais, @mattpais and RedEye movie critic
Zero stars (out of four) This must be a nightmare: There can't actually be a cutesy, vapid dramedy set in WWII-era Germany featuring voiceover from Death. With a charming British accent. Death does not have a charming British accent! He doesn't comment on how he encounters humans at their best and at their worst (not necessarily true) and that no one served the Fuhrer more loyally than he! The “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” of Holocaust movies, “The Book Thief,” adapted from Markus Zusak's...
ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 2013 | Matt Pais, @mattpais and RedEye movie critic
Zero stars (out of four) I don't know when or how “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” came about, but here's the phone conversation that may as well have taken place between star Charlie Sheen and writer/director Roman Coppola: CS: “Roman, baby, it's Sheen. Need a favor.” RC: “Of course. I remember what happened last time I said 'no' to you.” CS: “Bitchin'. Need to do a movie to show how hard it is being me. We'll call the character Charles Swan as a wink-wink, nudge-nudge thing.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 18, 2012 | Matt Pais, @mattpais and RedEye movie critic
Zero stars (out of four) Without referencing early 1990s rappers Kris Kross, I see no way to write a less-menacing tagline than the one on the poster for “Alex Cross”: “Don't ever cross Alex Cross.” This thriller plays like the copy of a copy of a '90s flick, so that what was once gripping becomes vague and unintentionally funny. As detective Dr. Alex Cross - that's really what people call him, due to his psych degree - Tyler Perry appears uninformed that movie cops usually deliver some measure of...
ENTERTAINMENT
July 12, 2012 | Matt Pais and RedEye movie critic
Zero stars (out of four) A Chicago-native filmmaker with any loyalty to hometown crowds should never, ever claim a scene takes place in Detroit while blatantly displaying the exterior of Ukrainian Village's Rainbo Club and the Division Street sign. In director/co-writer Bob Meyer's horribly written, shockingly amateur “Drunkboat,” the embarrassment to our city doesn't end there. Following an introductory scene in which he wears a mop on his head, Vietnam vet Mort (John Malkovich)
ENTERTAINMENT
January 11, 2012 | By Curt Wagner and RedEye
I didn't think anything could make me as cranky as a Rob Schneider movie does. (OK, his buddy Adam Sandler's movies do too.) But more to the point: Now there's "Rob!" ( 7:30 p.m. Jan. 12, CBS; zero stars ) Schneider's confounding new sitcom that delivers some of the worst jokes put to paper about immigration, rape and many other racist and stereotypical behavior. And I swear I'm not going to play the "politically correct" card here. I'm just trying to say that this show is not funny--at all. Schneider stars a white, middle-aged, longtime...
ENTERTAINMENT
January 2, 2012 | By Curt Wagner and RedEye
Two manly men can't find work, so they line their eyes with mascara, wrap up the equipment with Ace bandages and squeeze into dresses to get jobs as women. ABC, you can do better than this drivel you call "Work It" (7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3; 0 stars - that's right, zero stars). "Work It" is so bad, it makes the equally dismal "Last Man Standing," which airs at 7 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC, look brilliant. Married salesman Lee Standish (former Chicagoan Ben Koldyke) and his best bud, a Romeo of a mechanic named Angel Ortiz (Amaury Nolasco)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 1, 2011 | By Matt Pais and RedEye movie critic
Zero stars (out of four) The examination of class in “Answers to Nothing” consists of Ryan (Dane Cook) briefly looking at a homeless person. The examination of race boils down to an African-American woman (Kali Hawk), who says she hates black people, deciding to look on the bright side. As for the discussion of infidelity, there isn't one. Ryan simply cheats on his wife Kate (Elizabeth Mitchell) - he's so sleazy he tells the romantic story of his grandparents' love while receiving oral sex from his mistress Tara (Aja Volkman)
NEWS
November 15, 2013 | By Mick Swasko, @swasko and RedEye
Go ahead and whine about your commute. At least you're not this dude that drove a Mercedes directly into wet concrete . (No, really, this happened in front of a Dominick's parking lot near O'Hare.) Thank god you're not that guy, it's Friday and you know what the hell's going on: 1. Had your coffee? Good, get ready to spit it out at this video of three people dancing on top of an SUV in the middle of a busy Loop intersection while holding children. 2. He is “The Most Interesting Bear in the World.” Artist, singer, tight end, black unicorn,...
ENTERTAINMENT
April 12, 2012 | Matt Pais and RedEye movie critic
Zero stars (out of four) If “Juno” knocked up “Life As We Know It” and totally neglected the baby, that child could still write a better movie than “L!fe Happens.” By the age of six. As Kim, co-writer Krysten Ritter (“Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23”) not only lies to a guy (Geoff Stults) by claiming that her baby actually belongs to her roommate Deena (Kate Bosworth) but complains about the exhausting challenge of maintaining the lie. Kim's not someone who believes in effort and accountability anyway; her...
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